(Clearwisdom.net) In "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles" Teacher told us that we should look inward, endure criticism, remove our attachments diligently, and take the right path while heading towards the end of our cultivation. Last night, in our group Fa study, we read "Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference." I awakened to the fact that Teacher told us about these problems two years ago. Here, I would like to present this part of the teaching to encourage us all.

Teacher said:

There's another thing I want to talk about. As you know, as Dafa disciples continually cultivate themselves while they validate the Fa, many bad things that were formed among everyday people have been gradually removed during your cultivation process, but some things have only been reduced, while many things have truly been removed. So the things that have been reduced aren't completely removed. There's a reason you can't get rid of them completely yet, and it's to allow you folks, before you Consummate, to live in ordinary society, to save sentient beings in ordinary society, and to do the things that a Dafa disciple should do today. But since these attachments will often show up in your cultivation and your life, they show up in your words and actions in different settings, and can even show up in every single thought of yours during your daily life. When you're affected by a human attachment, then at that moment, or for that short while, or on that matter, your behavior is the same as an ordinary person's. If you often fail to follow the requirements for a Dafa disciple, a cultivator, then aren't you an ordinary person?

It's fine to have those human things—when you are able to restrain them in your actions, strengthen your resolve, firm up your righteous thoughts, and handle yourself well, then that's cultivation. Without those things it wouldn't count as cultivation. It's exactly because you have those little things that you're able to cultivate yourself and strengthen your resolve in the process, and when you are able to cultivate yourself in this complicated environment and amidst this persecution, you demonstrate even more the greatness of a Dafa disciple. That's how these things work. But if you're not careful then a lot of times they will make you come across as very attached.

In fact, as Dafa disciples validate the Fa, a lot of times they argue among themselves in order to do well informing people about the truth and in other Dafa disciples' things. You've seen how some students have acted, their human attachments are quite strong, and some students are easily affected by their human attachments. I've noticed a situation for a long time now, but I haven't discussed it with you because the things you do to inform people about the facts and the other things you do to validate the Fa are all very important, so I didn't want them to be watered down by this, and that's why I haven't discussed it in all this time. Have you noticed that a lot of our students can't take criticism from others? As soon as they are criticized they get mad and aren't able to take it. These things stick out pretty badly now. Think about it carefully. You can't even take criticism from me, your master. Today you all know that Master is truly doing things for your sake and has been speaking about the Fa to you with compassion. If I were to change my demeanor and talk to you bluntly, immediately you wouldn't be able to take it, really. Some people say, "No matter how Master puts it to me I'll be able to take it." That's what you think. Your cultivation has to be solid and sound, so you must truly meet the standard.

You know, why is it that many things, many attachments, can't be removed just like that? Why is it so hard? I've always told you that particles make up particles level by level from the microcosm all the way to surface matter. If you took a look in the extreme microcosm at the material formed by what your mind is attached to, [you'd see that] they are mountains, huge mountains, made of hard, granite-like rock, and once they are formed there's simply no way for a human being to move them. You know, in the cases of many cultivators in the past it was their subordinate soul that was cultivating, their masters couldn't do anything at all about those things, and that's why in their cultivation there was just no way they could keep this body. It's because they couldn't get rid of those big mountains, they couldn't take down those big mountains. They could only try to restrain them—restrain them while they were in concentration (ding) or in a state of no-thoughts—not let them have an effect during their current lifetime, and not let those thoughts arise during their cultivation. That was all they could do. They tried their best to prevent the side of them that can be Enlightened through cultivation from being affected, [they tried to] avoid getting so bad that they'd stir up those attachments, as those bad effects could make their cultivation fail and make them drop down—they tried to prevent things from getting that bad. That's why at a certain time when they were able to reach Consummation they would hurriedly discard this body. They couldn't delay for even a second.

When a cultivator doesn't want to get rid of his attachments, quite often his excuse is, "When other people criticize me, I don't want to hear it, but if Master says something to me I'll want to hear it." But if Master said something to you, would that big mountain of yours just be gone by itself? Would that hard rock just dissolve without cultivation? If I did that for you then it wouldn't count as you cultivating, so I can't do that, and you yourself have to cultivate it away. There are many things that you can't do but that Master can. And so how does Master do them? It's not like as soon as we come into contact I'll remove them. When your righteous thoughts are firm and when you can repel those things, I remove them for you bit by bit; however much you can do, that's how much I remove for you and diminish for you. (Applause) But since you're a cultivator, you have to truly hold yourself to the requirements for a cultivator. Even though sometimes you still can't quite get there yet, you've got to at least have those righteous thoughts, and you've got to cultivate yourselves.

Right now a lot of students don't recognize [these problems] at all. With Master not having addressed this type of issue for a while, a lot of people are really indulging these things. I talked about these things in Zhuan Falun long ago, and they are things a cultivator needs to take care of right at the beginning. "Not hitting back when attacked, and not talking back when insulted" is not just something you say, rather, you should be completely unaffected, and it's something you come to understand from the Fa. I've told you to study the Fa a lot, to study the Fa, study the Fa, study the Fa... When you don't give weight to Fa-study, those things are bound to be indulged. You don't want to hear displeasing things, you only want to hear pleasing things, and [you say or act like] "I can't stand it when other people irritate me." Think about it, everyone, isn't it ordinary people who, living in the ordinary world, care about enjoying those pleasing things and who enjoy hearing pleasing words? You're a cultivator, so do you want those ordinary things? Let me tell you, since you're cultivators and you're among ordinary people, you just have to listen to those displeasing words, and you have to be able to listen to those displeasing words. (Applause) Otherwise, when you haven't even resolved this most basic cultivation issue, how could you call yourself a Dafa disciple?

You're a cultivator, so why is it that sometimes you have lengthy arguments where you refuse to give ground? Why do you always say it's because of other people's attitudes? Why is it that whenever someone else says something you're affected? Aren't you supposed to remain unaffected even when someone verbally assaults you? Many of the factors that contribute to a conflict are caused by that thing at work. Whenever someone hits on that thing you become rash and worked up, your heart even starts to pound, and at that moment you don't think of being responsible to the Fa but just get angry and can't get over it. Some people always insist, "My, how come that person always has such an attitude? Why is he like that with everyone?" And there are some people who say, "Well nobody thinks too highly of him." But if you ask me, your master, you're all wrong. When none of you are attached anymore to wanting to hear pleasing things, when none of you are affected when you're insulted, see if he'll still be like that. Exactly because you people have those attachments, there exist factors that hit on your attachments; and exactly because those attachments of yours are stirred up, you get irritated; when all of you have those attachments, the situation where everyone is irritated by the person who hit on their attachments comes about. If you can all keep a calm and steady state of mind while being assaulted by strong words, and you're not at all affected, then see if those factors still exist.

Didn't I tell you that nothing that happens to a cultivator is by accident? Haven't I told you many times that a cultivator should stay unaffected? Today Master just has a flesh body appearance in the human world, but Master has many, many abilities, and I have countless Law Bodies, and all of them are resolving the things that should be resolved for Dafa disciples, they're resolving Fa-rectification related matters during the Fa-rectification, and doing many, many things. But none of that manifests here. What I've been telling you, though, are upright principles, Fa-truths of the cosmos, and Fa that creates Great Enlightened Beings. You're a Dafa disciple, so what should you seek and what should you cultivate? Have you even forgotten these most basic, simplest things?

Yes, you are clarifying the facts, are busy doing a lot of things, and there are many things to do; that has demonstrated the extraordinary side of Dafa disciples. But don't forget to cultivate away the most basic things! It's not like "at the critical moment I'll be good enough"—that's not necessarily true. A conflict always arrives when you don't expect it, so at a critical moment you might not be good enough, because it's not like what you think, nor is it something you can just say. Just like when you cultivate Buddhahood, you might say, "When I really get up there I guarantee you I'll be good enough, and I won't be attached to anything." But how are you going to be good enough when those factors of yours are still there? You won't be, and it's because this is how a being is made. A stone is a stone no matter where you place it, and a piece of gold is a piece of gold no matter where you place it.

You all know that during your cultivation, even when you don't specifically think about something, bad thoughts come up on their own. And why is that? Isn't it because that thing is there? When any conflict arises or anything happens, I've told you that not only should the two parties in the conflict look for reasons on their part, even any third party should think about himself—why are you the one who observed it? When you are a direct party in the conflict, that's even more the case, but why won't you cultivate yourself?

Today I brought this up because I felt it was time for me to address it, so I thought I'd use this opportunity. Now that I've talked about that, you need to be mindful of it and should take it seriously. Make your actions as Dafa disciples validating the Fa more sacred, and don't act like ordinary people. When an ordinary person does Dafa things he only accumulates blessings, but the things Dafa disciples do to validate the Fa are meritorious contributions, so you should Consummate yourself well." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference") (official translation)