Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference


July 16, 2011

Li Hongzhi


(Warm applause)

Good afternoon! (Disciples: Good afternoon, Master!) You’ve all been working hard! (Disciples: Master has been working hard!) I’m pleased to see you. We haven’t had that many Fa conferences in recent years, particularly large-scale ones. That means there have been fewer opportunities to see you in person. But nonetheless, I definitely know that many disciples have done an excellent and a proactive job of clarifying the truth, saving people, and counteracting the persecution, and this has really had a sizable impact. So in this regard, it can be said that you have fulfilled the responsibilities of a Dafa disciple. But, with the larger changes in the situation unfolding, as you are aware, the evil’s factors are becoming fewer and fewer, the vast force of Fa-rectification is pressing forward and removing and thinning out the layers upon layers of factors that separate it from the human world. Thus, it is increasingly drawing near to the human world, and the evil at various dimensional layers is being destroyed on a massive scale, one plane after another. So the presence of such evil things in the human world is progressively less, and weaker, and it is possible that the state of things will undergo a drastic change. But for you, disciples of Dafa, you cannot let up in what you need to do—namely, the three tasks. By all means, you mustn’t. Nothing less than your mighty virtue, your cultivation, and all that you shoulder is bound up in these.

For a Dafa disciple, cultivation is first priority. That’s because if you fail to cultivate well, you will not be able to accomplish what you are to do; and if you fail to cultivate well, your power to save sentient beings will not be that great. And if you cultivate a little worse, then you will view and consider problems in the manner that ordinary people do, which would be still more awful. So you absolutely mustn’t slack off or lower your guard. This predestined opportunity of tens of millions of years, or even eons, and the long wait we have all been through, as with all that we have borne throughout history—all of it was for today. If at this critical time you fail to do well what you should do, it will be, after things become clear in the future, just unbearably miserable for you and for your beings. So you absolutely mustn’t let down your guard. This is especially true with Fa-study: you really need to study the Fa with utter seriousness. Do you know what has become of Fa-study in many places? In some areas it has lapsed into a formality. When some people read Zhuan Falun they are not concentrating, but rather, thinking about other things, and not able to focus their attention on cultivation. It thus amounts to wasting time. And not just wasting time—instead of it being the time when they are to be elevating, they are using their minds to think over issues and things that they shouldn’t concern themselves with, and thus, not only aren’t they elevating, but on the contrary, they are often dropping in level. If you don’t study the Fa well, there are many things you will not be able to do well.

As you realize, with the many projects that Dafa disciples have initiated in order to counteract the persecution, clarify the truth, and save sentient beings, what is most important is that Dafa disciples cooperate together well, and that only when people work together well will things go well. I have said before that Dafa disciples have all been kings in history, or kings in the heavens, and that each, accordingly, has his own mind as well as the capacity to get things done independently, but when it comes to collaborating it is difficult. The difficulty lies in each person having his own views, each having great ideas, in which case collaboration will not go very well if each person insists on his or her own ideas. But you are cultivators and disciples of Dafa after all, so ultimately when the tasks that need to be carried out come before you, it should be the righteous thoughts of a cultivator that guide you. What I think is key, actually, is that as long as you keep pace with your Fa-study, with your cultivation, all of these matters of cooperation can in fact be resolved. For quite some time now there have been some regions, or some people, where the Fa-study has not kept pace; where human means are often adopted; where when the collaboration isn’t going well people even get negative, and do things on their own, or people even approach things in the cunning manner that ordinary people might employ. In such scenarios it becomes a case of ordinary people doing the things of Dafa, which shouldn’t be. This is very pronounced in some areas, and with some individuals. While you might think that, “Hey, whatever the case, I’m doing Dafa things!” that’s not in fact so. You are actually just enacting the form of it, and you are not managing to save those people you should be saving, nor are the things that require you to all cooperate having the impact that they should. By all means don’t be like that. You definitely should cultivate yourself well; truly be like a Dafa disciple; deal with things by approaching them as a Dafa disciple would; and work together. Only then will things succeed.

Another thing is, owing to the fact that Dafa disciples’ resources are limited at present, and notably, many disciples outside of China are involved in various projects, they rarely participate in the group Fa-study sessions that the local Dafa Associations organize. And moreover, these students do not take the initiative to study the Fa on their own, either, with some even having gone a long time without having studied. But consider what I have said: if whatever it is that you’re doing is not grounded in the Fa, if it does not have the power of the Fa, and if you haven’t cultivated well, you will not do those things well. Although you might have done whatever it is, it has not achieved any effect and simply cannot save people, for you are ineffective in dissolving evil factors. That is why Fa-study is still the most, most important thing—it is the fundamental guarantee for all that you are to do. If you cannot keep up in Fa-study, then there is no hope.

When you don’t keep up in Fa-study sometimes, you will have many ordinary human attachments, and all sorts of human thoughts might even emerge. If you use human thinking to approach, or do, whatever it is that you’re faced with—including even things of great importance—it will, with time, be hard to have success with the projects that you are doing. If you don’t study the Fa, the number of ordinary human attachments that you have will grow, and become increasingly pronounced, just as you will come to resemble an ordinary person more and more. And the impression that you give others will not be that of a cultivator. No matter how busy you may get, you still must study the Fa. This is why I am recommending that the Dafa disciples who are immersed in our various projects find time to participate in the local Fa-study. The reason is, in the preceding time, many a project asked me whether it would be alright for them to find time to study the Fa on their own, and so I have been observing, looking to see whether they could have a good handle on their own cultivation and meet the standard while not participating in the large group Fa-studies. The outcome, I found, was that they couldn’t. And not only didn’t they meet that standard, I found that they were stagnating; they were handling many things terribly; and many people were using human thinking to consider, view, and handle things, and falling behind in cultivation. I have seen the severity of this problem, and that is why I’m telling you that you had best still partake in the local Fa-study. Whatever the case, you must not slack off in your Fa-study, as this is the biggest problem, it’s a fundamental issue.

You know, when a person fails to keep up in cultivation, human thinking will surface, and everyone will see this reflected in his actions. And all of the human ideas, as well as the variety of sources from which those ideas stem, that are bound up in that human thinking will serve to interfere with the person. Whichever kind of life form your thinking aligns with, that life form will immediately have an effect on you. That’s because this cosmos is complex to a degree that is impossible to describe with human language, so complex is it. Even on just one plane of existence there are a great many dimensions, both vertical and horizontal, composed of various elements of every sort. And within these dimensions of the cosmos that are formed of different particles, there are a wide range of dimensions that are formed of many many types of elements; and these particles, having unique traits themselves and differing in type as well as size, in turn make up beings of countless sizes and forms—they are simply immeasurable. As soon as your thinking aligns with a particular type of being, it will be able to instantly exert an effect on you. Yet you won’t be aware of where your thoughts are originating from, and will still think that it is your own will. But in fact, it was precisely your attachments that resulted in those things having an effect on you, and that led to their strengthening your attachments.

So, in terms of the origin of one’s thoughts, there are many people, or scientists, researching this topic and trying to discern how the abilities and thoughts of the brain are generated. As I have indicated in the past, the brain is in fact a processing plant for constructing thoughts and expressing things, here at this plane of mankind. That is the function it serves, be it with any of your physical gestures or movements, something you wish to express verbally, or how you construct a sentence that you utter—it processes that in such a manner as to give it form and shape. Some thoughts originate from notions that were formed in this lifetime and while in this world, while some originate from the attachments that have to do with what you like. But where do thoughts on more significant things come from? What is their origin? They do not originate from this dimension. Strictly speaking, at critical moments it is one’s self at the fundamental level that is at work. But ordinarily, in typical situations, the thoughts that instead serve to reinforce one’s notions and likings originate from all sorts of dimensions. Also, this is related to the level of one’s morality. Some people’s thoughts originate from realms that are somewhat higher, while other people’s thoughts originate from levels that are quite low. So with the difference in moral level, there follows a disparity in the standard by which one does things and thinks about matters. The complexity of dimensions is just enormous, with there being a great many dimensions at each of the levels, low to high, and an even greater number of horizontal dimensions than those, a number which is the same for vertical dimensions. The density of all of the different species of lives is enormous, and all can interfere with a person—including a cultivator whose thinking is not grounded in the Fa.

The form and structure that the human body assumes in this cosmos is large, relatively speaking. As you know, the more microcosmic a particle is, the greater its energy—doesn’t modern science hold that its radioactivity is greater? A being that is composed of atomic particles is, on account of his particles being small, certainly small. Of course, as for the larger lives existing over the entire plane in the microcosm, there are also different kinds of them, as they are composed of microcosmic particles of different levels. But, comparatively speaking, for such a life that’s made up of the same number of particles that make up a human body, not considering the size of the particles for a moment but just the quantity of the particles, a life that is composed of the same number of particles will be smaller. Individual bodies are even smaller deeper in the microcosm, smaller and smaller as they get more microcosmic, though correspondingly the wisdom of such beings grows greater, since the level is higher. There are many miniscule Buddhas and Gods in dimensions that are extremely microcosmic, though were such a Buddha to manifest he would be huge. The dimensions composed of particles of different sizes all have Buddhas in them, with some very likely having come from smaller dimensions, even being so small as to be imperceptible. Of course, no two dimensions are the same in size, and in dimensions of different sizes there are Buddhas, Daos, and Gods comprised of particles of different sizes. That’s what I’m trying to explain. The beings of those microcosmic dimensions are not limited to Buddhas, Daos, and Gods. As you know, there exist beings of every sort, every type, and every shape, with their complexity being tremendous. Even in the human world there are people of different races, and a diverse range of ethnicities. Other dimensions are yet more complex still, with their history reaching back still further. So, whoever it is that you align with, that being will affect you. That’s one topic.

Another topic has to do with the structure of the human body. All material particles found in the Three Realms are the factors that form all objects in the Three Realms, and this holds true for all the particles that make up the human body. So they are great in number. The molecules, atoms, quarks, neutrinos, and protons that people speak of are all but particles within the Three Realms, and they are the particles that comprise this superficial dimension, where human beings exist, in the Three Realms. Particles that comprise things within the Three Realms are different, in structure as well, from the particles outside of the Three Realms, yet [even just here within the Three Realms] the particles are exceedingly varied and numerous. Since your body is comprised of molecules, and molecules make up cells, which, in turn, make up you, it stands to ask what is [at the plane] below your molecules. As you’re aware, it is atoms that comprise [the molecular layer], and that below the plane of atoms there are atomic nuclei, protons, and neutrinos, reaching downward toward what would be for mankind a new discovery. But no matter how much mankind might develop further, it will never manage to discover that which ultimately makes up the particles of the human body—the highest plane of particles in the Three Realms, that is. But in the cosmos, those particles are but one of the lowest of the lowest planes of particles there are.

What I was just saying was meant to tell you that the origins of one’s thoughts are in fact extremely complex. In this world a person merely goes about enjoying the course of life. I have said in the past that people are pitiable, for all that a person is doing in this world is merely enjoying the feelings and sensations that are brought to him by living the course of his life. My putting it this way is quite accurate. And why do I say so? Though people think that they are in charge of themselves, deciding what they want to do, the truth is, they are merely pursuing certain feelings as a result of postnatally formed habits and attachments that stem from their likings. And that’s all it is. Whereas what’s really at work, leading that person to want to do something, are factors behind the scenes, which are utilizing the person’s habits, attachments, notions, desires, and such things. Such is the true state of the human body, with the person merely enjoying those feelings and sensations that come about as a result of the life process: when you are given something sweet, you experience the sweetness; given something bitter, you feel the bitterness; given something spicy, you taste the spiciness; you feel awful when suffering befalls you; and you know joy when you are blessed with happiness.

Dafa disciples’ true selves hail from high planes. I’ve merely been discussing human beings and the structure of the human body. I was only talking about the origin of human thoughts. There is something I have observed during the Fa-rectification: in dimensions where the Fa-rectification has yet to arrive, sometimes when a Dafa disciple’s thoughts are quite righteous, there is a righteous god or righteous elements present, serving to reinforce his righteous thoughts. Then at other times, when Dafa disciples do not cooperate well, or get angry and lose their temper, I can see that certain degenerate beings, some of which are rather large, are present, adding to it; and also at work are those layers upon layers of bad beings at various lower levels that [the practitioners’ thoughts] have aligned with. Haven’t I taught that people have both a good and bad side? Then think about it, when a person’s thought comes forth, the factors that are at work are incredibly complex. But, as Dafa disciples, you all have a true self, and whether its goal in coming down to this world was to obtain the Fa, to help Master rectify the Fa, to save the beings of that paradise where you previously dwelled, whatever thought brought you here, that true you has been protected, and that true you originally served as the driving force at the beginning. But, as you know, whoever enters the Three Realms is equivalent to having been buried in soil, and gradually, that [true self] no longer manages to play the lead role—or even any role at all. Didn’t God say that he “created man out of clay”? And don’t Chinese believe that Nü Wa used clay to create the Chinese people? As seen from heavenly kingdoms, all of the molecules on earth, and even atoms—all particles within the Three Realms, all that constitute this world—look dirty to divine beings, like clay or mud. The particles in divine realms are more miniscule, and purer, with greater energy. So as they see it, this human place really is nothing other than clay or mud. The human body is thus composed and fashioned out of none other than these particles of the Three Realms which gods see as clay or mud. It is thus that gods have said that they used clay, or soil, to create humans. That’s the idea. Of course, when a divine being creates a person his actions can’t be conceived of as anything like how a human being goes about doing something. With just one thought the task is completed, without need for a physical act. But with the lowly, impotent human body, whatever one’s thoughts align with will dominate the person. In other words, when beings of different planes notice that you want something, or are attached to something, and that it precisely aligns with them, they take effect and even direct you. When a person is not rational, or is venting anger, negative elements are taking effect. Everything is alive, and those things include evilness, desires, and hatred, among others. So in such situations they naturally take effect.

This especially holds true in the Fa-rectification period, where all of the cosmos’s beings, both positive and negative, want to be saved. And that includes even the unimaginably massive gods at the highest of planes, as well as, notably, the sentient beings of their worlds. It is because of this that they have managed to have a presence in the human world, and in the Three Realms. Could they forgo this once-in-eons opportunity to be saved? “You have to save me”—they all utter this, imploring to be saved. But the way this comes across is not what one would expect by using the kind of reasoning and comprehension found in the human world, such as how you must be courteous and humble when asking for help—“As you are here to save me, I must first express my gratitude toward you, and I will do my part to make it easier”—it’s nothing like that. As they see it, “If you are to save me, you have to reach my level first, and you must have this measure of mighty virtue before you can save me. Without such mighty virtue, without having reached my stature, how could you save me?” So they would have you trip and fall, suffer, and eliminate your attachments, after which, with your mighty virtue having been established, you will have cultivated to that level and be able to save them. That’s how they want to have it.

    I have thus said before that Dafa disciples, being cultivators, should view problems in the opposite manner from how human beings do. Some people are unhappy when they meet with unpleasant things. Then aren’t you a human being? How are you any different? When you encounter unpleasant things, it is precisely time to cultivate yourself, to cultivate your mind. Didn’t religions used to teach that one should cultivate inward, working on the mind? Don’t listen to how modern people might interpret it—they don’t necessarily know the true meaning. Go and truly cultivate yourself—when you get into a conflict or run into some problem you should look at yourself and see what’s wrong, and ask yourself how you should handle it, using the Fa to evaluate things. Wouldn’t you say that is cultivation? Whether you are cultivating and are able to do this outside of the secular world or in regular society, ask yourself, could an ordinary person manage to do that? He couldn’t. Then, aren’t you someone who is cultivating himself? When something upsetting happens, something that angers you occurs, or there is personal gain at stake, or your ego suffers a blow, are you able to look inward and cultivate yourself, searching for your own shortcoming, and even when you find yourself in such a situation and you’re not at fault, are you able to have an attitude of, “Oh, I understand—I must not have done well in some regard. Or if I really didn’t do something wrong, perhaps it’s that I’m paying off karma that I owe. I’m going to handle it well and pay off what I should.” And as you continually encounter such things, you should continually cultivate yourself. Then, if a cultivator can handle things in that manner, using true principles to cultivate himself, then aren’t the unpleasant things that you experience in the ordinary world good things? If you want to cultivate, if you want to break free of the Three Realms, if you want to return to your original place, and to save the sentient beings belonging to your paradise, if you really want to help Master rectify the Fa, then aren’t [those adverse things] facilitating all of that for you, enabling you to truly cultivate yourself? Isn’t your encountering such adverse things in fact paving the way for you? So why are you unhappy?

    I have actually said such things in Zhuan Falun, and in the subsequent years I have gone on and on about it endlessly. Some people, once they run into actual problems, have no interest in overcoming them, as they only want to be happy; when there are problems between them and others, they don’t search inside themselves, and will admit no wrong even when they are at fault. If you don’t cultivate yourself, how are you to help me rectify the Fa? How am I to make use of you? If all you want are days filled with happy things, then I suppose that as a part of having you help Master rectify the Fa I’d have to arrange happy things for you to do, and have you call the shots, and make you the center of things in order to have you do this. But there’s no such thing. You’ve seen what the people of the world are like nowadays. Yesterday I joked with people about how actors today, whether it be film or theater, don’t actually need to act to play the part of the bad guy. (Laughter) Being the age that I am, I know, as do those who are older than me, that at one time people were very good and kind—from their outward behavior to the things they said. So, with the way they behaved and where the standard was, if they were to play the part of the bad guy, they would have to really put thought into how to do it, study the part, and rehearse it before they could come across as sufficiently bad. How could just a few decades make such a difference? With today’s people, if they’re to play the part of a good person they have to put thought into it, and pretend, and yet it’s still not convincing. In other words, the people of the world have slid down so drastically, and yet you still want to go about cultivation happily? The human sides of Dafa disciples cultivate amidst the realities of human beings, and have human attachments, and only thus can they cultivate. And with this, there will be times when people don’t work together well, and times when human attitudes interfere—this holds true for every one of you. But conversely, isn’t the fact that the world’s people have slid down as far as they have, and the terrible adversity that this brings you, providing you with precisely opportunities to cultivate? That is exactly what the old forces are up to, and what they have in mind—they are intentionally changing people for the worse so as to provide Dafa disciples with the conditions to cultivate. But they are destroying the world and its people. Yet today’s people, as we know, are not so simple. I have said that this entire, enormous affair of the Fa-rectification of the cosmos was arranged ages ago, so when someone is able to come here and be a human during this time, during the Fa-rectification of the cosmos, is it a simple matter? And why are today’s people so emphatic about environmental protection? A few years back, even before the natural environment had been that badly impacted, there were people advocating for environmental protection as well as the protection of animals. Nothing happens by chance. Many beings from higher planes have sought to come down and reincarnate, wishing to form a karmic tie with Dafa. Meanwhile, human beings have been reincarnating in the cycle of rebirth. But there are only so many humans and human skins. If there were any more, the earth wouldn’t be able to hold them all. Thus, lives of higher planes have reincarnated as animals and even plants. Many of the lives here at this human place are not simple, they are no ordinary beings. It should also be said that however the world may seem to be, all of it is in the hands of gods, and there is an order to everything. What bedlam there is, is in fact made to be such by gods, and there is an order amidst the disorder. If you have doubts, then observe all of this carefully and see. Here, however, it is Dafa disciples that are to play the lead role. All beings are waiting for you to save them. They are providing you with circumstances in which to cultivate, and at the same time waiting for you to save them.

    Let’s say you don’t cultivate well, and you get upset when you run into unpleasant things, even to the point of giving up doing Dafa things, and when someone says a few things you don’t like hearing, you think: “I just won’t save you, then.” (Laughter) But do you realize, it was for the Fa that they all came here, only they have been turned bad—at the hands of the old forces, bad factors, as well as the red dragon which takes the form of the evil CCP in this world, degenerate beings, Satan, and demons—and imbued with things that denigrate mankind’s traditional, true culture, and imbued with the evil culture of atheism that leads people to “struggle against” fellow man, the earth, and heaven, and which is intentionally damaging China’s traditional culture—something created by the divine. The wicked party and its philosophy of “struggle” instills evil in people, runs counter to the cosmos, and even demons wish they could abolish it. If it weren’t for the Fa-rectification, demons would eliminate it, for it is something warped and something that fundamentally should never exist in the cosmos. Because of Fa-rectification, the old forces are protecting it and using it to test Dafa disciples. The reason I oppose the old forces is merely on grounds that I disagree with this approach of theirs; I have my own approach. But whatever the case, today the world has become what it is. As Dafa disciples, you mustn’t let up in your own cultivation. You need to seize the opportunity to cultivate yourselves. The more chaotic things are, the more so you can cultivate yourselves amidst the chaos; the more you encounter ordeals, or unpleasant things, the more it is an occasion for you to look at the problems in a different way and think to yourself, “All of these are stepping stones by which to cultivate and improve.” Isn’t that the case? (Disciples respond, “Yes,” and applaud.)

You all like to hear Master teach the Fa and spell these things out, right? (Disciples respond, “Yes.”) I can tell you that your fundamental being understands things even more clearly than I’m putting them. The reason is, Master is now using the language of human beings to speak, whereas your true selves are very much aware, only it’s that postnatal factors of the Three Realms as well as those bad things have given rise in you to notions, experiences, and accumulations of things, burying you like dirt would, and preventing your true thoughts from coming back to the surface. So you have to cultivate. You have to climb out, wipe away those contaminating things, and wash yourself clean. That is precisely what you do in the cultivation process, and at the same time, while amidst ordeals, you must save people. Don’t forget that the old forces have ruined the people in today’s world, particularly Chinese people, and although they claim that this is done to provide a cultivation environment, after you did manage to complete your cultivation that cosmos would be no more—you’d be like a commander-in-chief with no army wherever you were. So you must save people, even amidst the ordeals that you face, for this is the mighty virtue of Dafa disciples, and something no ordinary person—or anyone in all of history—could ever accomplish! While plenty have clamored about “saving sentient beings” this and that, none have actually done so. But you are doing so! (Applause)

That said, though, I have said that Fa-rectification is sure to succeed, haven’t I? (Master laughs) Having reached this point where we are today, the conclusion draws near. In any case, why do I say that “Fa-rectification is sure to succeed”? The reason is, the Fa has already been completed, from start to finish, with merely the salvation of sentient beings left to carry out. When I just spoke about the structure of the cosmos, the point was to tell you about the source of the interference to your minds coming from all sorts of beings at various planes. I can tell you that although your true self is in control of you, it isn’t strong enough, or is even powerless because the old forces of the cosmos are dramatically larger, and moreover, you have been buried in the inverted principles of the Three Realms, so Master must look after you, help you, and stay on top of everything. And that’s not all. At a most fundamental level I am controlling everything, encompassing everything, all the way from nothingness to somethingness. This isn’t something that can be explained by way of examples found in the human language. It cannot be explained clearly, no matter what method is used. That power is the greatest, supporting and carrying all beings, everything from the microcosm to the vastest of macrocosms, with all that there is being within its control—including even gods of the greatest heights. Whatever state is wished to appear, or whatever is willed to be done—whether it involves the form of the cosmos, the state of affairs in this world, or anything there is from high to low—instantly it shall be. You already know why Fa-rectification is done in the manner that it is—to preserve the original lives. The reason that’s hard to do, is that the beings who are to be saved must discern good from evil while in this tumultuous world, and become good; and Dafa disciples, meanwhile, must succeed in cultivation amidst this chaotic world, and cleanse themselves, for it to work.

    I’ve told you before that when a god creates something, one thought is all it takes and immediately it will be done. With the highest gods, even when creating universes, one thought is all it takes for it to immediately be done. That’s because such is the height of their wisdom and the strength of their power, and there exists such a huge field within their realm, and so many planes of particles are within that field. If the particles spanning each and every single plane from big to small are indeed alive, then think about it, as soon as [that god] forms some intention in his mind, all of those molecules, all of that strength, and all of those particles are alive, and all of them, however large or miniscule, at the same instant do their part and carry out whatever the command is. And furthermore, as this is done beyond any space or time, is it not completed in an instant? It is miraculous, and it is how divine beings create things—with one thought, things are instantly completed. Gods and Buddhas don’t need to move about, for what is truly acting are all of those particles, in the blink of an eye forming and creating things—one creates this plane and another creates that plane, one creates this thing and another creates that thing, with what’s created having an enormous density. Yet human beings lack such capacity and ability. Humans have to take physical action in order to do things, as they are confined to the time of this dimension and must, bit by bit, get what they want done. Such are human beings.

    As for you, disciples of Dafa, the closer it gets to the end the better you should walk your paths, seizing the day to cultivate yourselves well. After doing a whole slew of things, you might find, if you look back upon them, that all of it was done with a human mindset. When it is a human being doing human things, and things are not being done with righteous thoughts, there won’t be any Dafa-disciple mighty virtue in those things. In other words, as gods see it, that’s just fooling around—not mighty virtue, or cultivation—even though you did do it. Then wouldn’t you say it was done in vain? You must study the Fa well, for that is the fundamental guarantee that you return to your position. (Disciples applaud) This isn’t just something that I casually thought up: what Master is imparting to you is the Fa of the cosmos. What I just said was to tell you that you absolutely must not slack off in your cultivation, you absolutely must not slack off in your Fa-study, and that you definitely must do it with all due sincerity. If previously you didn’t study well, you definitely should, once you leave here today and having heard Master address this again, really earnestly study and cultivate, and not let your mind wander. (Disciples applaud)

    You might have a lot of thoughts about Shen Yun-related issues, so I’ll say a few words in passing. As you know, Dafa disciples are running a lot of projects, with the goal being to expose the evil’s persecution and, along with this, clarify the truth and save the world’s people who have been poisoned and gone along with the evil on account of its slander, and been duped by it, putting them in grave danger. And that is what you should be doing a good job of at this time. And as for the projects you are running, it really can be said that they have had a great impact, and not just that—they have also played a critical role. Then there is Shen Yun, saving people using the form of the arts, and I don’t need to go into detail on that. You’re all well aware of that already, and I have spoken about it before. So, as for Shen Yun’s art, since it is something that is to be performed around the world, the basic requirements for it must be, by nature, quite high. High in what sense? What I was thinking at the beginning was: without producing superior performances, we won’t be able to move people, or save them. Each ethnicity thinks highly of its own arts. Now I’m not commenting on some particular ethnic group. [What I’m saying is,] each ethnicity holds the arts of its own people in high esteem, and human beings can’t be faulted for that. So, sometimes I have been thinking about how around the world, the most widely recognized are orchestral music, ballet, and Italian opera. Around the world these have become the most exemplary, the most celebrated, and seen as the highest form of art. And that’s especially true for those who are part of the cultural mainstream of society, who really love watching and experiencing these things. Whereas those very alternative, modern shows only appeal to a smaller number of lower-middle class, blue collar types, as well as college students. And those college students get over it after graduating, becoming more a part of the cultural mainstream as a matter of course. So that’s the situation.

    As you realize, if we’re to use the form of the arts to save people, our art needs to be superb for it to be successful. The reason is, if there are divine beings at work on the stage, helping during the performance, and yet what people in the audience are thinking is, “Wow, this performance is a disaster,” or “this is inferior,” and are ridiculing it… think about it, those are gods helping with the performance, and not only would they be failing to save people, but moreover, people would be committing sins. We can’t have that. So your artistry has to be superb. If our art form, or our quality, were less than superb as Shen Yun tours to numerous countries around the world, we wouldn’t meet their standards, and people wouldn’t approve of us, in which case we would not manage to save people. So you have to have something marvelously superb. Only when everyone speaks well of you, when nobody can say a bad word about you, can you save those people. It is thus necessary that Shen Yun Performing Arts has a high standard as its starting point. I intentionally chose to go with singing and dancing, the artistic forms that every ethnicity around the world can appreciate, accept, and understand. I also wanted to set an example for other projects, and have you see how Shen Yun does things—so you have something to reference. Thus we have really taken seriously the quality of the performances and the members’ training, and the results out there have been excellent. At first, whenever you were selling tickets somewhere, you wouldn’t dare say that this was the best. But the superior impact of Shen Yun’s performances has given you confidence, and over time, the more you have worked on this, the more confidence you have had—to the point that you would venture to say this is the best. (Applause)

    Of course, I’m not trying to tell you how great it is. I’m trying to convey that the wonderful result brought about by the performance, on top of which there is assistance from divine beings, is not something ordinary people could achieve—much less emitting energy that’s permeated with Zhen Shan Ren. Such is the righteous energy contained in every piece that is danced, every word that is sung, and every note that is played; even the colors on the stage emit positive energy. (Applause) Everything is material, and when the overall effect is as positive as this, people benefit from it. And that’s why you have some people who, after seeing the show, recover from illness; or after leaving the theater they receive a phone call, much to their surprise, with good news, with some major issue in their life suddenly being resolved for reasons unknown to them. Whatever the case, people are happy after seeing the show, and many things have changed for the better. Because people’s troubles stem from karma, and it is something accumulated by having previously done wrong, the more one accumulates it, the worse his problems are, with large amounts of it leading to major misfortune. Those troubles might cause major problems to loom in one’s life, or they might cause one’s body to suffer, or fall ill. After watching Shen Yun’s performance, that karma will have been eliminated. The positive energy in the show can have that impact, in which case, wouldn’t you say the troubles he once faced are over? They are gone, since it was karma that caused them. So, this is the reason why people are able to benefit right then and there.

    And that’s not all. As you know, Chinese culture is divinely imparted culture. As I have shared with you, the Chinese concept of “dynasty” is different from that of “country,” just as the concept of “emperor” is different from that of “king” as found in other countries. “Dynasty” stands for a period of mankind’s history, and there is a big difference between “emperor” and “king.” An emperor is the lord of the imperial court, the king of kings; under him are kings. So long as a country was under imperial rule, its king would have been appointed as such by an edict from the emperor, with even the successor of that king having to be designated by the emperor to be legitimate. This owes to the fact that China was the portal through which the different heavenly kingdoms descended to earth to become human; it was the main court to which they came to establish karmic ties in and to govern. Subsequently, at the final phase, they would be able to reconnect with those karmic ties and fulfill their wish. Each dynasty’s culture was tied to one group of celestial beings, bringing with them distinctive forms of dress and adornment, habits and traits, and even food, clothes, and dwellings. These facets would change each time there was a change of dynasty. Of course, speaking of dynastic change, there is a principle here among human beings such that one can “conquer the world with military force,” and “the victor governs the country.” But this is a reversed principle, not a righteous one. Man’s principles are reversed, for they must conform to the way of human beings here at this plane, and thus there are wars that topple those in power, or otherwise they would not leave. Then where have all of the people from China’s various dynasties gone? If they had all waited in China, they would have exceeded its capacity. So they went to other countries. And thus there are many nations and peoples. The differences among races result from different gods having created different types of human skins, and a person’s soul is not necessarily that of whatever race he is [here on earth]. When these lives first came to this earth and incarnated, they first went to China, and when they incarnated here, they formed a dynasty. Afterwards, they reincarnated in other countries and regions, forming a nation or an ethnic group, awaiting the final stage, in which Dafa would be widely spread and Fa-rectification would begin.

    Then consider this: who was it that established China’s five thousand years of civilization? All of mankind. Gods had planned to utilize Chinese culture during the Fa-rectification, and it was something that gods founded. It is a semi-divine culture, after all. What the culture has is just outstanding, and the examples of glorious things in the five thousand years of civilization—including its historical stories, which are simply too many to possibly count—are all bright spots of a divinely imparted culture, and it is a culture that was established during the process of man being reared from what he was in remote antiquity to the man we have today, with a modern mode of thinking. Then, when such a culture is presented to people, wouldn’t you say it’s marvelous to watch? Is it not a classic? Won’t people really enjoy watching it? Regardless of what corner of the world one lives in, when seeing this culture and what it contains, people all feel a connection with it, as if they had personally experienced it before, or been there. Everyone has that feeling. Indeed, that is the case, because no matter where a person might have happened to reincarnate later, he still has that memory. It’s like an electrical plug—plug it in, and the electricity flows through it. However, with the passage of time the reversed principles in the human world give rise to behaviors, notions, and a mode of living, and these serve to bury one’s true self. And then there are the variety of human desires and attachments, formed postnatally; various notions; as well as what one learns in this lifetime and world, all of which serve to conceal everything you have from before. Being buried as such prevents a person from being able to figure out what exactly [that sense of affinity] is, but the person does indeed have a sense of excitement. His knowing side is excited, and can see things very clearly and understand, which is to say, the person’s true self knows, even if his self at the surface can’t articulate it. The brain cannot process it with the logic available to it; this processing plant cannot establish, or formulate, just what exactly that sensation is. So, to the person it just remains a sensation. This is why Shen Yun has been such a powerful force in saving people.

    Along with this, Shen Yun informs its audiences about the many lies that the CCP has used to persecute Falun Gong. And in fact, that has been the party’s tactic in each of its past movements, too. It starts by making up a round of rumors about you, and then proceeds to utilize Chinese people to persecute other Chinese people, inciting wrath in people against one another. With its “one voice” system, you cannot say anything, and so nobody knows whether you are good or bad. It is the party who declares that you are bad, and then all of the nation’s print and broadcast media, being controlled by it, inundate society with that message. In history, did anyone who they attacked manage to stay standing for more than three days? Just one article in a paper alone can take someone down. Hasn’t that always been how it has worked under the wicked CCP? But what we have here is a group of cultivators, so that approach won’t work. Though that may be so, the party’s poison has cut deep, leading the world’s people to stand together with it denouncing Dafa and the disciples of Dafa. But these are cultivators being affected, and moreover they seek to save the world’s people, so wouldn’t you say those people have committed a sin? To put it another way, it is a crime because who they are targeting are cultivators. Then from this perspective, can Dafa disciples decide not to save them? We still must save them. Shen Yun Performing Arts’s performances, what its artists present, the workings of its program’s storylines, even a dancer’s single pose, the lyrics that Shen Yun sings, the music that Shen Yun produces—these are traditional, proper, and pure Chinese culture. When the cultural legacy of five thousand years that was laid down by the entire world’s populace is displayed before a person’s eyes, he quickly gets it—similar to how when someone is sizing up another person, and all it takes is a few words and a glance, and then you know whether he’s good or bad. After they perform for over two hours on stage, the audience realizes what kind of people they are. The pure goodness and pure beauty of the performance is not something the average modern person could achieve. A moment ago I was saying that today’s people have to really act to play the part of a good person, yet [what happens with Shen Yun] cannot be pulled off by acting; it’s an unintended natural revelation of the person’s inner world. Another thing is, the bodies of cultivators are very pure. Many audience members see the goodness of our performers, and can tell that their smiles are nothing like the self-ingratiating smiles of your typical performer. It is none other than a natural reflection of the pure goodness characterizing the inner world of a cultivator. Aren’t people then clear on what kind of people Falun Gong practitioners are, as soon as they see that? Of course, contained in the program is a goodness and authentically classical beauty that enlightens and inspires people, and there are pieces that depict Falun Gong students being persecuted. These are the reasons why, as you’ve seen, the impact of all of this has been decidedly positive, with over ninety-five percent—and we’re being conservative here—praising the show after seeing it, and they are even profoundly moved by it. That is because there is little that is positive in shows these days. While we can’t say there is nothing at all positive, we can say there is very little.

    But just performing well is not sufficient. When Shen Yun first began, it wasn’t understood or known in many regions. No matter the ethnic group, when Shen Yun came to perform, all that the people there knew were ballet companies, the opera house, or the symphony orchestra. They didn’t know who Shen Yun was. So that was the period of time when Dafa disciples were able to play a significant role, and they really did have a tremendous impact while promoting Shen Yun—meaning, they helped Shen Yun to save people. Saying that you are helping Shen Yun means, in fact, that you are helping yourselves, for in whatever you are doing you are cultivating yourselves, and what’s more, among the lives saved by Shen Yun, there is your contribution. That’s for sure. And your mighty virtue lies within what you have done. At the current stage, this project is done by way of all of you working hard together to save people. Yet all along I have had a concern. Namely, it’s not enough if we rely solely on our performers’ doing well. If the local Dafa disciples do not cooperate well, or do not do well, our audience won’t come. If, at this current stage, you can all work together and break new ground, and quickly reshape the situation like how eastern Canada and Taiwan did, I will have you know: when Shen Yun returns to town, you won’t have to put in such large amounts of time, manpower, or material resources. There are a lot of things you need to do with the many projects you have undertaken, and over the long haul, Master really doesn’t want to see you dropping everything to come work on Shen Yun. But at the current stage, what I want to see you do is precisely to focus your effort on making new inroads.

    Four years have passed. Some regions have made inroads, while some regions have not only failed to make inroads, but are doing progressively worse, with many problems coming about that should not have. This has to do with differences in terms of cultivation; it’s a reflection of the different mindsets each has had when going to save people. I had originally planned for it to take three years’ time to make some inroads for our performances, after which we would no longer need to utilize so many Dafa disciples. For that approach to work, one first has to make inroads into society’s cultural mainstream before reaching the entire society. This is just a strategy, actually. But society’s cultural mainstream cannot be reached just by talking about it, and if those people don’t come, you will end up in the same situation. Do you think you can just go out and succeed wherever you’d like? That’s not so. You have to adopt certain approaches. And just which ones exactly? Your ticket prices need to be those of the cultural mainstream, and people will come; you have to use the approaches and promotional methods of the mainstream. It won’t work if you don’t keep up in this regard. Though I’ve been telling you to target the cultural mainstream, for several years now practitioners have been taking to the streets to give out flyers and doing sales in Chinatown by shouting out at passersby to get their attention, and that’s what they’ve grown accustomed to. Yes, the tickets did move fairly well, people did come [to the show], the number wasn’t small, and the theaters were well occupied. But do you realize what it took to get those people there? We had to draw upon the entire force of our Dafa disciples. Can we carry on like this in the long run? We cannot! So we have to think of a way to make inroads, and that is why Master wants to first work on the cultural mainstream. But many students can’t understand this, and are thinking, “But why? I sold tickets pretty well before...” A portion of our tickets were priced very low, and sometimes tickets were given away for free. Can we keep doing that forever?

    In Western society it’s a basic tenet that “you get what you pay for.” Yet here we have such a high-caliber show, and you insist on selling it like some street vendor laying out his wares on the ground. That is not what Master wants, and that is why I have told you how to target the cultural mainstream. Actually, when Master wants something done a certain way, it’s not simply that he thought of something and then that’s it. I have to do a tremendous amount of preparation, which you cannot see, and all of those gods work on it too. Everything has been prepared, and all that’s missing is for you to carry it out. Yet you won’t take that step, thinking, “How can I work on the cultural mainstream? I don’t know what to do!” When you visit nicer communities, you’re too scared to say anything, hesitantly holding out that pamphlet with great trepidation. Do you think that could save people? Immediately that person is going to think you’re not trustworthy, right? You really don’t need to think too much about it— rather, go about it with confidence and dignity. You’re a Dafa disciple. Don’t you realize that you are saving people? Is Shen Yun’s ticket really not worth that amount? It is! I will tell you (applause), if a company in mainstream Western society put on a show as first-rate as this, do you know how much they would charge for a ticket? In any city the lowest price would be $500 per ticket. (Applause) We haven’t set the price that high, so what are you afraid of? You aren’t trying to get more money out of people. Rather, you are truly saving them. But when your confidence is shaky, you drive to that [nicer] location but don’t have the courage to get out of your car. You just make a cursory trip of it and then tell yourself, “All right, I went there.” Or you’ll be there in that nice community, stealthily tossing a flyer here and a flyer there, acting as if you’re ashamed to be seen doing that. Sure, some people do hate junk mail and the like, but there will always be some approaches that don’t resonate with certain people. You have to make a distinction: this is something huge—everyone is waiting to be saved!—so as long as you don’t overdo it, people will understand. We really do have some people who have done a great job, who have gone about things in a very natural and poised manner in upscale neighborhoods. And when they’ve spoken with people, they have been quite at ease. Instantly the other party has been delighted, just as if they’d been waiting for you. That really is the case. There has been a great deal of groundwork done in advance. All that’s missing is your carrying things out with righteous thoughts. Yet you haven’t had the righteous thoughts that it takes.

    So now you know the reason why it was a real struggle to sell tickets this past year. Another thing is, there was a portion of students who sent righteous thoughts as a group [to help the situation]. Sending righteous thoughts is of course done to clear out evil that blocks us from saving people, and there is little of the evil left, in fact. Clearing out evil is a good thing, of course. Could it not have an impact when so many people were sending righteous thoughts? It did have an impact. However, we need to look at what some people were sending out when sending righteous thoughts. They would be sitting there, palm erect, but their thoughts would not be righteous, “How come we’re taking this approach this year? I did a great job selling tickets last year. Why are they making me send righteous thoughts here when I could be out selling tickets? Why do we have to target society’s cultural mainstream? These tickets are so expensive—who’s going to buy them?!” (Laughter) While it sounds funny to hear this now, that was in fact an extremely widespread phenomenon. Do you realize that with all that being sent out, all around the world it formed into a sticky, glue-like substance, and it took just a very few evil beings to be able to interfere with you. It was not something that you could clear out, and it directly blocked our Dafa disciples’ ticket sales and blocked the Dafa disciples who were sending out true righteous thoughts. It was not something that could be cleared out. When evil tries to cause a mess, your sending of righteous thoughts immediately clears it out and eliminates it, scaring it into turning its tail and fleeing. But in terms of Dafa disciples, well, we certainly can’t eliminate them. What can we do when the person has a momentary slip-up because of an inadequate understanding of this matter? There’s nothing that can be done—even Master can’t do anything, for I must wait for those students of ours who have cultivated well to cultivate even better during this opportunity, and complete this particular path of theirs. Anyhow, there was a portion who did well, persevering through the difficulties with determination, and we made it to the end. But do you realize something? Those who were originally meant to have been saved last year [by Shen Yun, but didn’t go], have lost the opportunity forever. That’s because Fa-rectification is unceasingly forging ahead, step by step, and when it arrives at one cosmic plane it is time for that level of people; when it reaches a certain heavenly kingdom above, or a certain layer of cosmic body, it is time for that group of people to come see [the show], and next time around [when Shen Yun performs], that seat will belong to someone else. Do you realize how many lives have been lost?! Do you know how I feel when I see those empty seats in the theater?

    Many Dafa disciples speak about “helping Master rectify the Fa,” or “whatever Master wants, that’s what we will do.” And it is said with conviction. But as soon as Master actually has you go and do something that doesn’t agree with your thinking, or when things are a bit challenging, you completely lose track of that righteous thought about helping Master. With resentment mixed into your thinking, the thoughts that you emit get in the way. I have said in the past that nobody can damage Dafa disciples. You know how evil the wicked CCP is. If it wants to bring someone down, they couldn’t hold out for so much as three days. But could it topple Dafa disciples? The better you cultivate, the more steadfast, strong, and mature you are. That is about the extent of [the CCP’s] role. In other words, no outside elements can harm the cultivation that is done in Dafa, despite whatever interference might come about. Didn’t some band of CCP special agents in New Zealand try to secretly use students who had come to deviant understandings to stir up trouble? Let them try their luck, and just watch what becomes of them. Who could harm Dafa? Nobody can. No external elements or factors can accomplish anything. But if Dafa disciples who truly cultivate fail to do well, the losses we incur will be grave. Who could in fact damage the Fa? Could anyone possibly damage the Fa of the cosmos? Such occurrences are nothing more than tests for you, meant to expose your human thoughts and attachments. Are not all of the elements that you encounter which seek to interfere with Dafa disciples in fact targeting the students who haven’t been diligent and have been bumbling along? It’s just like with the evil websites a little while back, which riled some people up, with some even getting infatuated and irrational, as if they were no longer themselves, going so far as to spread those evil sites. So how did that happen? Was it not because the things that you had—those attachments, those human thoughts, that habit of lying, or that fondness for gossiping—were made to surface and reveal themselves? Wasn’t it to make you trip and fall so that you could see your shortcomings, and to have those who really aren’t suitable be weeded out? The old forces made use of that bad stuff from bad people and had it show itself. Isn’t that what this served to do? This is why I say that nobody can really cause trouble for us and, to the contrary, it can only serve to help us become ever more pure. As you’re aware, all around the world those gangster-like secret agents of the CCP tried to bribe the theaters, made phone calls, wrote threatening letters, or posed as Falun Gong students and wrote irrational letters trying to turn people against Falun Gong students. They really tried everything possible. But after people saw through them, there was really nothing more they could try. When Shen Yun was to perform in Korea, the several bad people specially dispatched by the CCP to cause interference pledged with confidence that Shen Yun wouldn’t manage to perform. But in the end, our performance did happen and was a success, dealing the agents a crushing defeat. In the end there was nothing they could do, they couldn’t interfere. So, although they stopped interfering, you yourselves ended up causing major losses.

    Dafa disciples’ duty is to save sentient beings. But have you considered: even if Shen Yun saves as many as it possibly can, how many audience members can one theater hold? With 7 billion people in the world, how many can you save with Shen Yun? With all of our media and all of the projects that Dafa disciples are doing that are saving people, even if you are giving your all, there is still a massive number of people who can’t be saved. As I have shared with you before, you are not in fact saving those people for Master’s sake, and neither is it done for others. You are saving them for yourselves, for very possibly those are to be the future sentient beings of your paradises, or are to belong to your expanse. You can’t let it become that when you return to your rightful place, you are like a commander-in-chief without an army, with it completely empty there, just one lone figure occupying that massive cosmic body. Buddhas aren’t supposed to be impoverished; they should be wealthy. The lives there are your riches, and only with them will your paradise be able to thrive. They all count as riches—every life counts as riches.

I’m aware that among those seated here today are some family members of Dafa disciples, and there are also some non-practitioner friends of Dafa disciples who have entered the hall. I know this because the field here isn’t that clean. Of course, there are also a handful of people who were dispatched here by the communist thugs. But all the same, I am going to tell you: your coming here is an opportunity that stems from karmic ties. Whoever you are, or whatever your motive, to have heard the Buddha Fa, to have had this predestined tie, is no simple thing. While it may look on the surface as though someone invited you to come, you absolutely would not have been able to enter if gods hadn’t wanted you to. (Disciples applaud) I have come to save people (disciples applaud), and you all know that I am enduring things on behalf of sentient beings so that they may gain salvation. I seek nothing personally from this. I can forsake everything, and I have no human attachments. Since I have come to save sentient beings, I cannot be selective. I am saving all of the world’s people, which includes all of you seated here. (Enthusiastic applause)

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