(Li Hongzhi ~ May 19, 2013)
(All stand and applaud enthusiastically) Good morning! (Disciples reply, “Good morning, Master!” Applause continues) My, this is probably the biggest Fa conference we’ve had in years. (Applause) A large number of people have come. I hear that some have come from mainland China. This being a Fa conference of Dafa disciples, it’s the best environment for Dafa disciples to inspire one another as they cultivate. Through what’s shared in the conference you can come to see where you fall short, as well as see others’ strong points and build upon them.
For cultivators there are no real role models to follow. Each person is cultivating himself, and each must walk his own path; there are no references to draw upon or examples to follow. There’s just one thing: how you follow the Fa in your actions. Each person has his own realizations and feelings about things. So it’s unlikely, when encountering something, that everyone will understand it in the same way, approach it in the same way, or handle it in the same way. It’s highly unlikely. That is because people have different ways of thinking and the origins of one’s thoughts are complex. All of the various notions that each person has formed over the long course of time, as with his different understandings of things, his perceptions, and his feelings—all of the many aspects of things that go into a person’s understanding or realization, or characteristics of his understanding—all of these are quite complex, and that is why it’s hard to find two people with the same personality. Simply imitating what someone else does is just superficial copying, and the substance of it is very unlikely to be the same.
Moreover, I expect every person to achieve Consummation through his own effort. Everyone sitting here is a cultivator, as this is a Fa conference. There are a lot of newer students here as well. Master isn’t going to talk about anything that’s too far-fetched. By no means can a being just simply come down and become a Dafa disciple. The beings in this cosmos are simply countless. With something as major as this happening here, it’s quite possible that all who have come here are Kings. Therefore, in terms of walking their own path, and validating their own mighty virtue through their enlightenment, they have to go through their own process of coming to understand things, and have their own cultivation process, with their own factors and traits. So each person must walk his own path. And that partially explains, in fact, why over the years there have been all kinds of situations coming up among Dafa disciples, different understandings in cultivation, and disagreements when working together.
Of course, when there’s something that needs to be done in a Dafa project, you should set aside your own things as much as you can to get done what the project needs done. That is the first priority. So you need to cooperate. When completing that task, however, you will bring to it your own manner of handling things, which is a reflection of you walking your own path in cultivation. Master acknowledges this, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It’s inevitable that each person goes about things like that. It can’t possibly be that you are all the same, as if all cut from the same mold. Thus, the ordeals and tests that you meet with, the bumps on the road of cultivation that you each experience—whatever kind of road it may be, be it arduous or rugged or whatnot—all are for the sake of establishing and validating your celestial rank, and prove out the path to your ultimate Consummation and everything you will achieve.
During your cultivation process, you have gone through many hardships and many tests, and you have made it through what I would call an unprecedented persecution. As you know, the Christians were persecuted for three hundred years and the Buddhists went through five ordeals, with the clash between Buddha Shakyamuni and the original Brahmanism being quite intense at the time. Yet those things weren’t as vicious as the evil CCP. This is being directed by old forces at higher planes. In human society, the righteous and the wicked are supposed to co-exist, and good and bad, and good and evil, co-exist. They form a balance. If there were no goodness, people wouldn’t know what evil is; if there were no evil, people wouldn’t know what goodness is. In cultivation, goodness provides people with a standard, while the evil that exists allows cultivators to understand the way to reach the standard. This enables cultivators to perfect themselves in their cultivation, and these are important circumstances and conditions provided in the human world to cultivators that enable them to elevate their being. This was something set forth back at the time of human society’s creation: if you want to cultivate, this is how it must be done. But the old forces have seized upon this feature of the human world and made it into something absolute.
This feature of the human world is not a phenomenon found in any other dimension of the cosmos. Only in this setting of human society, where good and evil co-exist, do things play out so dramatically. And only thus can people cultivate. Of course, there’s more to it than just these things. There are also elements such as illusion, suffering, and emotion. The old forces have seized upon precisely this phenomenon and created this extensive persecution of Dafa disciples, as a “test.” As they describe it, it’s supposedly to enable the Dafa disciples who are capable of achieving Consummation to do so. Now of course, as Master has often said to you, I stated that I didn’t agree and didn’t accept the set of things arranged by the old forces. I had my own ways of saving sentient beings, and I brought with me what I wanted to do. But the old forces went and, on the sly, did a whole different thing of their own. So things like the persecution of the Christians, or the Buddhists, that I just mentioned—they think that this is a necessary experience to have before a person can achieve Consummation, or become an enlightened being. They think it just has to be done that way, and going about it any other way wouldn’t do it. When I used higher principles of the Fa to point out to them that using their approach on Dafa disciples would be evil interference, they replied, “That is the only way we know to do it.”
But isn’t Buddha Law all-powerful? Nobody expected that I could use the performing arts to save people. This is something they didn’t expect, either.
Buddha Law is all-powerful. Having people cultivate in the midst of ordinary society—that too is something they didn’t expect.
Then what is the approach I wanted to use?
The entire cosmos had gone bad, and all lives have massive amounts of karma now. Jesus said that man has sin, and indeed, as Buddhists put it, people keep creating karma throughout their lives, resulting in sin; or in other words, over the long, drawn-out course of reincarnation, people have accumulated many karmic debts, life after life. A person may have been a soldier who killed people in a past life, or maybe he was a butcher, or took advantage of people, or did something terrible. The truth is, everyone has gotten to this state already, with karma all over their bodies. All of society is basically like that now. The lives at higher planes no longer meet the standard, either, and even the standard itself has changed. With things having gotten to this point today, if one is to save these beings, think about it, it couldn’t possibly be accomplished by using [the old forces’] approach. Reality has proven that it wouldn’t work whatsoever. And they know this, so they really don’t intend to have that many people be saved. You’ve heard that in past prophecies it was said, “only one thousand in ten thousand shall remain,” or “one household in ten,” right? A wide array of prophecies have told of such a thing. This reflects that they didn’t want people to actually be saved, and merely planned to keep the ones they thought were good enough.
But in actuality, all sentient beings are equal. Over the long, drawn-out years, lives came to no longer meet the standard, became corrupt, and everything became unacceptable. It’s because the cosmos itself was limited in its wisdom to what is known as “formation, stasis, degeneration, destruction.” Then, unless formation, stasis, degeneration, destruction is changed, sentient beings will, naturally, degenerate in the course of formation, stasis, degeneration, destruction. At the time of the cosmos’s formation, sentient beings were identical in nature to the Dao and the cosmos’s Fa; the stasis phase was a relatively good period, with moral norms at each and every level of existence being in accordance with the standard of the cosmos; during the time of degeneration, then, things began to go downhill, with the world’s morals declining by the day; and during the time of destruction, things are no longer suitable, and once they’ve reached the end, you can’t let them rot any further, can you? So what do you do? Dissolve it all. After things are dissolved, nothing is left—lives and matter in the cosmos cease to exist. Then if you wanted them, you would have to re-create them. Now you have the picture. So, without this fundamental thing being altered, sentient beings would inevitably undergo changes during the course of formation, stasis, degeneration, destruction.
Then whose sins are those, really? If you ask me, those sins aren’t attributable to anyone. It’s just how beings act, given the nature of the cosmos’s formation, stasis, degeneration, destruction. It’s because the cosmos’s wisdom was lacking. So, I thought that the best approach would be to benevolently resolve things for all lives! It wouldn’t matter who owed what to whom, everyone would stop collecting their debts, since everyone has sins. If everyone were to stop collecting their debts; if everything between people were resolved in a positive way during Fa rectification; and if everyone headed to the future, how wonderful that would be! (Resounding applause) Sentient beings would like this for sure, and everyone would be happy. That’s what I had wanted to do at the beginning.
However, the old forces changed all of this, and created such a massive tribulation—something so evil as to have no precedent. Think about live organ harvesting, for example. Back in ancient Rome even at the height of the persecution of Christians, there was nothing so evil. About the cruelest thing they did was to put people to death. The worst evil perpetrated on this planet is that which Dafa disciples have been subjected to, or have been up against, in the persecution. The old forces hold that since you come from such high planes and you are to attain celestial ranks so great and become kings so great, if you were put through only minor ordeals and if the means used on you were not befittingly evil, could you cultivate up to that height? That’s how their logic is.
As you know, the Fa that Master teaches is, while extraordinarily rich and deep in meaning, very plain and direct on the surface. When I’ve said that speaking in such simple principles and language has fooled sentient beings, I was actually referring to beings at high planes. Historically, people have been figuring that when one day people would be saved, perhaps it would be hard to obtain the Fa, that the opportunity would be hard to come by. And in the past it wasn’t only the world’s people talking about it like that, divine beings too were thinking that, in the end, when the Fa would be taught, when in the end it was the time to save sentient beings, the opportunity would surely be extremely hard to come by, it would surely be very hard to realize it [when it did come]—only those who were extremely intelligent would be able to realize it—and a person would have to go through great hardship to find it. Think about it: if it were like that, would that be fair? No, it wouldn’t be. Many of the great enlightened beings who’ve come to the world might have incarnated as handicapped persons, or have become hard of hearing or seeing due to old age. Would it have been fair to them? No, it wouldn’t. So, the Fa that Master teaches is as plain and simple as possible. But this in fact caused [those high-level beings] to disbelieve it. In this regard, they’ve done worse than even the people here in this world.
The principles conveyed are plain and simple, as are the words. There’s almost no mystery to it. I said that this time the Fa would be taught to sentient beings in a way that’s completely fair. I’ve said that the great gate has been opened—so wide that it is no longer a gate. And that’s the idea behind it, in fact. But the old forces have still insisted on doing what they want. Of course, they’re clear on things now. They now know that all of what they are doing is actually destroying themselves. All of what they are doing at the same time results from old forces at higher levels utilizing this [situation] to eliminate the lives at levels below them, whose sins are grave, for those lives committed the greatest sin—to change what I wanted to do. But whatever the case, all of what the persecution has brought about is gradually coming to an end, and cannot be reverted. They cannot possibly pay for what they have done. What they interfered with is the Fa’s rectification of the cosmos, and the sin is just enormous.
The majority of people here today are Dafa disciples from outside of China. But the Dafa disciples of mainland China are in fact the main body. That’s because the Kings of each ethnic group from each period of history have reincarnated in China, as have beings from high and even higher planes.
A person’s outward appearance can be altered by his notions. The evil CCP has damaged traditional Chinese culture, and it was a semi-divine culture—the culture closest to divine. You can sense it when you watch Shen Yun, right? And along with that, the evil Party has instilled in people an extremely evil doctrine of “struggle,” making people just fight and vie with one another nowadays. Chinese people themselves are aware now that anytime you have Chinese people together, wherever it may be, they’ll fight with each other. Many people from other nationalities wonder why Chinese people don’t have a sense of “unity.” There are in fact profound reasons behind this. The old forces wanted to foul things up intentionally, to foul them up to this extent. And having made such a mess of things, then they’ll see how you cultivate. With your origins being so high, with you representing so many lives, and with your celestial rank at Consummation being so great, they decided to make China into the mess it is today. [Their thinking was,] “We will only recognize you if you can cultivate out of a situation like this. If you can’t succeed at cultivating this way, then it means your character is lacking. We only recognize those who succeed in cultivation in such an evil setting.” And that is what they’ve done. Relatively speaking, things aren’t so atrocious beyond China’s borders. In China, where there’s no alternative frame of reference, people can’t sense what they have become. Among Dafa disciples, similarly, there are many who haven’t been diligent, or haven’t been strict with how they’ve acted, and who have caused disturbances among the group due to the influence of the Party’s culture.
But whatever the case, everything has now reached the end. The evil no longer has the power to muster up another round of persecution as sinister as this one. That’s because the evil factors at work were sourced from many dimensions by the old forces, and those evil factors were put together specifically for this persecution, including awful things of every sort. Now the majority of them have been eliminated, so circumstances seem to be letting up more and more. But, as long as it hasn’t ended, the evil will be evil just the same. It’s just like how poison is bound to be poisonous, and even if you asked it not to be poisonous it couldn’t do that. So you must not lower your guard. Try your best not to let the old forces exploit any gaps in your cultivation. As for things at the end, Master will be watching and deciding how to handle them.
As a cultivator, whatever the case, you are someone on the path to divinity, and as you know, a person on the path to divinity is of course different from a regular being, or an average person. But you do your cultivation among ordinary people, so in terms of your conduct, or even your dress, your manner, or your speech, there won’t be any difference to speak of from ordinary people. There is just one, major difference: when experiencing conflicts or tensions, or any situation, you are able to look inside yourself for the cause, [thinking,] “Is this because I did something wrong? Is there a problem on my part that caused this disharmony?” This is the only noticeable difference between you and an ordinary person. Of course, this difference will also manifest in your conduct. Ordinary people will feel that your disposition is different from others, or think that Dafa disciples are kind, and they will enjoy interacting with Dafa disciples. Since you are a cultivator, after all, the field around you is one of pure goodness—something ordinary people don’t have. So you are different in this regard, and people will sense it.
Then in other words, although Dafa disciples are cultivators, by appearance, they are hard to tell apart from ordinary people. That’s especially so when one cultivates among ordinary people, and even more so, when one cultivates in a setting as complicated as this. So it is hard for cultivators. I remember back when you first obtained the Fa, how as soon as you saw this Fa—particularly those in the first two of the three categories I’ve described before—your heart was truly just overjoyed! [You were thinking,] “This is wonderful! I’ve finally found it!” Weren’t all those thousands of years of reincarnating and waiting exactly for this? At the time, driven by the feeling from deep inside your being, you were able to renounce any human attachment and be determined to cultivate yourself well. That excitement could propel you to be diligent. But with the passage of time, that feeling was gradually lost. Human laziness, all kinds of human notions, and the array of chaotic things before you in society all combined to tempt you and interfere with you. Hence the saying, “Cultivate with the heart you once had, and consummation is certain.” Often, people say to me things like, “In the past, when I read the Fa my level rose so quickly. And as I read the book, things that would improve my understanding were constantly revealed to me. How come I don’t experience that anymore?” Then think about this: are you “cultivating with the heart you once had”?
I did say something to this effect early on. I said that Dafa disciples, including new students, would at the time be swiftly pushed by me to their position, as long as they cultivated. And to what position was that? To wherever you came from, whatever height it may be; you would be pushed to your position in a short time. The human body at the surface doesn’t go through drastic changes. For you to be able to manifest powers that great, you have to have righteous thoughts of that strength, and only then can you have that much of an impact; your righteous thoughts have to be pure to that degree before you can have that much of an impact.
You know, for a divine being to move a mountain is nothing; moving mountains is easy. However, that being doesn’t have human thinking. His notions are all godly ones, and his state of being is one befitting a divine being. Then could [mountains be moved] if someone has human thinking? Absolutely not. Some cultivators can do it while some cannot. It’s a matter of whether your righteous thoughts are strong enough. It will only be possible when your righteous thoughts are truly pure to the required extent.
Some people express that they think they’re quite pure, when in fact that’s not the case; they have all kinds of extraneous, distracted thoughts and many things that were formed postnatally. Even what you consider to be a very simple thought might—from its starting point to its cause, or the things that accompany it—be impure. If a cultivator can maintain strong righteous thoughts consistently for the long haul in cultivation, and keep that state of mind that he had when he first obtained the Fa, that pure state of mind, then that is truly remarkable and divine beings will call you remarkable when they see it. But it’s not easy. I knew from early on when I was imparting the Fa that human thinking might interfere with your cultivation. If that weren’t the case, I wouldn’t have written all those pieces in the Essentials for Further Advancement books in order to constantly set things right in your cultivation, watch over and push you all forward, and point out the problems you were encountering in your cultivation. I knew those issues would come about. It was the same with other past cultivators who were not Dafa disciples. The same issues have always existed. Whoever of you can “cultivate with the heart you once had” will definitely achieve Consummation.
Naturally, since you are disciples who cultivate Dafa in the setting of ordinary human society, there’s a lot of interference. Master sees this. Although yours is a cultivation format that has never been adopted before, the standard you have to meet is nevertheless strict. You know this from Zhuan Falun. In cultivation you truly have to be like a cultivator. At a minimum you have to regularly have conscious, righteous thoughts, and be able to, in all sorts of complicated circumstances and when you run into different conflicts or when problems suddenly come up, handle it just like a cultivator would. Only that is acceptable.
Of course, that’s hard to achieve, isn’t it? And that is why Dafa disciples have had complicated states in their cultivation. There are those who have cultivated well and those who haven’t, with some acting this way and others that way. And, as you know, there have even been Dafa disciples who’ve passed away. Of course, with human beings it’s only natural for there to be deaths, right? In any large city plenty of people pass away on any given day. Birth, aging, sickness, and death is the standard cycle for humankind. Then with such a large body of people, with tens of millions of Dafa disciples, it would really be miraculous if no one died and everyone were a diligent, true cultivator who never gave in to laziness. That would break the spell of illusion. It’s precisely because there are people who aren’t diligent that problems come about. But since it’s a body of cultivators after all, the death rate is quite low. Another thing is, the old forces have sought to make this a confusing environment and supposedly “test” people. They have wanted to see whether your understanding of the Fa is real and whether you believe. So they have intentionally mingled true and false and made it hard for people to see things clearly.
And how confusing does it get here? Here’s an illustration. Some Dafa disciples, along with their families, are very diligent. They look good to others, and some people even try to learn from them. However they go about cultivation, others do the same. But I have said that for cultivators, there are no role models. If you take someone as a model rather than trying to understand the Fa for yourself, it will bring trouble. The old forces may think that you are merely watching him cultivate instead of trying to gain an understanding of the Fa for yourself. Then it’s likely they will make that other person pass away. Of course, for a Dafa disciple, passing away also means Consummation, for sure. With even an ordinary person, when you manage to save him through clarifying the facts, he may be able to return to his position. So, how much more so for a cultivator of Dafa. And moreover, his departure was an abnormal occurrence brought about by old forces. So, of course he deserves to reach Consummation.
That’s what the old forces have made of this issue. They use this evil approach to test others, to test people through this thing that happens. “What now? Here’s someone you think cultivated well. He died. Do you still believe?” There have been many instances of this. Many Dafa disciples have had this experience, and are now aware of the old forces’ tactics. But as for Master’s requirements, cultivation is serious; a human being can’t turn into a divine being merely by sitting there sipping tea and reading over the book. Only when someone is able to truly cultivate on the path will it work.
During the cultivation process, however, precisely because a cultivator can’t always maintain the same state of mind from start to finish—shooting up like a rocket while substantiating each level he’s at through diligence—there will inevitably be different situations that come about. And the old forces will throw your environment into disarray to test people’s minds, and things like that. And that’s not all. There are many other examples. Needless to say, what has happened in China is even more severe. The displays of evil in the persecution were arranged by the old forces as part of such designs. Their goal is the success of the things they planned, and to allow those Dafa disciples whom they think are acceptable to cultivate to Consummation. But they pay no regard to the question of who can reach Consummation and who cannot. They only care about having those who are able to meet the standard during the persecution reach Consummation, and about accomplishing what they set out to do.
As the persecution has taken place, I’ve been watching closely. Some practitioners really don’t learn their lessons. Soon after the person is released from a labor camp, his attachment to showing off and his human thinking spring right back up. Even when an ordinary person goes through something he will draw a lesson from it, and give it some thought. So, all the more so should a cultivator try to figure out why the old forces exploited his gaps. You have got to figure out what your problem is. I won’t speak about these things further here at the Fa conference. The situation in China is complicated. There are all sorts of human mentalities and all sorts of conflicts, and they are changing in so many ways in that complicated setting. You really need to earnestly search within, and minimize the chances of the old forces taking advantage of your gaps.
Next I’ll talk about some other things.
As you may know, recently the NTD television station, which is a project started by Dafa disciples that is meant to clarify the truth, underwent some changes. I think that’s perfectly normal. Many students are talking about it. When there are good approaches and ideas to help achieve good results in the things that Dafa disciples need to do and in the truth-clarification projects, let’s go with them. That’s all quite normal. But some practitioners hadn’t been doing so well in their day-to-day roles, or even had negative opinions about the former project coordinator, but [when the changes happened,] they tried to curry favor with him. Initially the former coordinator was quite calm and at peace with [the changes being made]; I had given him a heads up and had spoken with him about the matter. But then some people went to him and started grumbling, saying things like, “We weren’t that bad, were we? How could they just replace you like that?” (Master chuckles) Of course, a cultivator handles things differently, after all: as soon as I spoke to the former coordinator about this, he immediately got it.
For cultivators there’s a question of how you respond to the things that Master wants you to do. If Master asks that something be done in a certain way, there’s definitely a sound reason. Aren’t you here to help Master rectify the Fa? Then why don’t you cooperate with what Master wants done, and harmonize with it, rather than go and instead do those things that you shouldn’t do? And say things that shouldn’t be said? Are you a cultivator? Are you my disciple? Do you still call me Master?
Have you considered the following? You were just speaking about Shen Yun and its success. I’ve said before that human history was to end in the year 1999. When people had a big celebration upon making it to the year 2000, I noted that it was people’s awake sides that were celebrating. To have made it through that time, to have hope of survival, was indeed something worth celebrating. But can time be extended like that indefinitely? If an apple has rotted to the core and you just leave it there, does that work? When there are maggots crawling all over it, and it’s emitting a rotten odor, can you still leave it there? How much time is really left? People have been discussing this matter in recent history. In other words, people are worried. If you ask me, I long ago said to Dafa disciples that precisely because the cosmos is undergoing Fa rectification, this place has become the center of Fa rectification, and here countless Dafa disciples are validating the Fa—and it is because of this that time has been extended. Then in other words, it is Dafa that has preserved it. For what purpose? To give people one more chance. It has been kept so that Dafa disciples may save people here. Don’t just look at how we keep bearing hardships here.
Some students proclaim that they will just bear it, and bear it some more. Enough with the “bearing” already! However hard the situation may be, you still must do the three things well. Saving sentient beings—that is a Dafa disciple’s responsibility! A Dafa disciple’s Consummation is absolutely not just individual Consummation. Rather, it must be that in saving sentient beings you will have led countless beings to Consummation. That holds true for every one of you! (Applause) Then if that’s the case, think about it, during this historic period shouldn’t we be playing the lead role?
By leading you all in doing Shen Yun, Master is in fact giving you a model. I have made Shen Yun the best show in the world. At the very least, in the performing arts, in the field of the arts, it’s playing the lead role. So how about our other projects, then? When what you do has just a little bit of success, you’re so pleased with yourselves. But are you playing the lead role [in your field]? You haven’t even managed to play a supporting role, and some are playing the role of a clown! Is that what Dafa disciples should be doing? Is that what Master has asked you to do? Some of us are saying, “We don’t have sufficient funds, so we can’t get the project going.” But that is because you haven’t done a good job on it. You didn’t treat it as something that Dafa disciples really need to do, as a real enterprise to run. An international media company isn’t considered a major corporation if it doesn’t have a few hundred million dollars in working capital. Of course, when I put it this way some people will certainly feel pressure. I’m not saying it’s unacceptable if you don’t achieve that. I’m merely talking about it in terms of principles, and that we have to approach things this way.
How is it that some people have such limited breadth of mind? How can their thinking be so limited in scope? If the media company that you run could really be well-established in mainstream society and truly become a global media company, think about it, wouldn’t it have a tremendous impact in exposing the evil and guiding mankind in a positive direction? And how powerful would it be in saving sentient beings? You haven’t achieved that and, instead, are often hoping that ordinary media will do something for us! Ordinary people’s media won’t do that for you, for they are not run by Dafa disciples. It is you who are validating the Fa, not ordinary people. So that is the issue. Sometimes you want ordinary people’s media to do something for you, and they do the opposite, right?
I’ll say a little more on the topic of Shen Yun. Many students have this idea that it is Master guiding the effort. The fact is, Master is setting an example for you, while many more things are to be done by you. But I have a plan for Shen Yun’s development each step of the way.
At the beginning, for a performing arts company to become well-established and well-recognized in society is no small feat. And that was especially so for us, since we are Chinese persons, an ethnic minority, in the U.S. Even American performing arts companies need decades to achieve recognition from the public and emerge from the challenging phase. So what were we going to do? Master thus asked many of the Dafa disciples of each area to get involved, to proactively work together on it and make Shen Yun a big hit. Well, this is one reason [for its success].
Another is that we had to ensure the quality of the program. That’s why I have been closely watching the direct effect we are having on the audience. A choreographer tends to look at the effect in terms of the dance, and it’s hard for him to consider how the audience views it. A conductor tends to focus on bringing out the orchestra. And those handling lighting or sound, likewise, tend to have their own, partial takes on things. I am different. I look directly at what effect the whole thing has on the audience, and whether the strength being used at various points for each component is in proper measure, so as to ensure that the overall performance achieves the desired effect for the audience.
So, with the quality of the program having been elevated and the joint effort of practitioners everywhere, and with it being cultivators doing these things, everything that is displayed is pure goodness and beauty, and moreover, it carries the powerful positive energy of cultivators in it. Dafa disciples came here, after all, to save sentient beings, so whatever it is Dafa disciples do, it mustn’t be done in vain and we must be responsible for saving people. Of course, those things come across very prominently in the show. Many in the audience can sense or see that divine beings are taking part on the stage. With the other projects that Dafa disciples work on, the same should in fact be true: you should work earnestly and do a good job. Look at how in just a few short years Shen Yun has become a sensation.
Actually, Shen Yun came out with a bang in its very first year, with people at that time calling it a marvel. I originally planned to have two different productions each year. One was Holiday Wonders, which was to be a Christmas season show. And then there would be one for the Chinese New Year. There would thus be two different productions each year. But since our time was just too tight and that couldn’t be done, we now have just one show. In just a few years, there has been a notable impact. This is because of the cooperation of Dafa disciples as well as many other factors.
I said to the TV station’s main coordinator that if a media company doesn’t take seriously the professional development of its staff, it won’t be able to improve the quality of its product, and the level of professionalism won’t be up to par, which is unacceptable. For any large-scale media operation, this is something that must be emphasized.
When we began Shen Yun I figured that if we were to have Shen Yun become the best, the first thing we would have to do is to develop its performers. So I started a school, and fully addressed the issue of performers. We were fast, and in just a short while we had trained our dancers. At that time their technique was not as advanced as it is today; now it is getting more and more superb. Many of our performers have become world-class dancers. (Applause) That’s why our performances can have such a great effect. We’re becoming ever more professional in other regards, too. Of course, Shen Yun’s orchestras are also improving significantly. I’m going to make the orchestras world-class, too. (Applause) And I will live up to my word. (Master chuckles, audience applauds). We’re working hard at it. Last year our three orchestras combined for a symphony orchestra performance, which was at Carnegie Hall in New York. The concert went great, and the orchestra members gained newfound confidence. The orchestras will definitely be successful as well.
My involvement with Shen Yun is, in fact, meant to show each project how Master does it. Also, I have another idea in mind. Since too many practitioners in each area are involved in promoting Shen Yun, it affects other projects. This situation has to change. Things have already changed a lot. During the season that spanned last year to this year, not that many people were involved. Many areas are now able to use very few people. I’ve told the New York area to minimize the number of people they use. When you have thousands of people working on ticket sales, in the end there is no mighty virtue to be had, as there are only so many people in the audience. In some areas just three or four people were able to put on several shows, all with full houses. Think about how great that mighty virtue is! So, in the time ahead, fewer and fewer people will be utilized. Besides, some calculations were done, and in many places it’s the same scenario: over eighty percent of the audience came after seeing an advertisement. So, we only need to use a small number of people and do well in advertising, and we’re all set. That’s the direction we are going in.
What I just talked about were two specific things. I heard that a portion of the people in attendance here are from mainland China. Some students have heard me teach the Fa before, but the great majority of the students in the mainland have never heard me teach the Fa, and I know a chance for them to see Master is hard to come by. So I’ll speak a little more. (Enthusiastic applause)
Let’s use the same approach, where Master answers questions. (Applause) You can now start passing up your question slips.
If I sit, you won’t be able to see me that well, so I think I will keep standing. (Applause)
Okay, let’s have the questions passed up.
Try to just raise cultivation-related questions. As to your personally not feeling well here or there… (audience laughs) See, everyone is laughing. Those are tests for you to pass.
Disciple: What should Dafa disciples do in daily life about the foods in today’s world that have been contaminated through industrial processes? (Everyone laughs) (Master chuckles)
Master: That really is an issue these days. Mankind’s science is quite shallow. On the surface it seems that genetic modification can reduce the damage to crops by pests, and it may even seem to increase crop yields. But this world was in fact created by divine beings, and man’s foods were made by them. There is meant to be a normal circulation among things in the natural world and the human body, in which each makes use of the other. And during the course of circulation, things can rise to higher levels. The entire universe is a circulatory system. If things here become warped and impure, it affects not just human society but also societies at higher levels. And moreover, warped things can cause the human body to deform.
I told you before that mankind has in fact lived through two earths’ time. When mankind reached the last period of the previous earth, the people looked grotesque. Some had large heads, some short legs, some had one arm longer than the other, and some had crooked facial features. They turned ugly from poisoning and became deformed. This was caused by genetic modification and industrial pollution.
Dafa disciples are cultivators. Modern man’s surface body is inherently contaminated. And furthermore, there is a lot of karma at the surface. In the cultivation process you are to remove these bad things and purify your mind and body. Whatever is deficient or damaged can even be compensated for. When you return to your position, you must meet the standard for a divine body. So there shouldn’t be a problem. As long as you cultivate, this isn’t an issue. Adults’ bodies won’t become deformed right away, but [these foods] can cause hair loss. The impact is minor. The impact on future generations is huge, though. But as long as someone is a cultivator, whether a child or an adult, the problem is actually in the process of being resolved; your body, whether contaminated or not, is being transformed.
Disciple: We are Taiwanese disciples who obtained the Fa a number of years ago. Together with my husband as a fellow practitioner, I have believed in Master and the Fa and have tried to do the three things well. I know that Dafa is not for curing diseases, and know that a cultivator’s cells are transformed by high-energy matter. However, I’m still suffering from gout. It started before I obtained the Fa. Recently my joints have hurt quite a bit. (People laugh)
Master: (Chuckles) Cultivators know that as long as you are diligent, changes are occurring in your body, and Master will adjust things for you. It is not done by this human body of Master’s here. It is done by Master’s law bodies. If the problem hasn’t been healed since taking up cultivation, you really should try to find xinxing problems on your part, see if you have some sort of attachment, and figure out in which ways you need to cultivate better. This really is a matter of your personal cultivation. (Applause)
Disciple: Greetings from Dafa disciples in the Mt. Pingding area of Henan province.
Master: (Chuckles) Let’s stop sending up greetings. Master knows how you feel.
Disciple: We are Dafa disciples who are senior citizens, and we arrived in the U.S. not too long ago. We have wished so much to see you and hear you teach the Fa, but for many reasons we hadn’t been able to fulfill our wish. So we asked a practitioner who is attending the Fa conference to pass on our greetings. Changsha city Dafa disciples.
Master: There is no need to send these up. Master knows. (Master smiles)
Disciple: Master, please have a seat as you teach the Fa. You’ve been standing for an hour…
Master: It’s all right.
Disciple: In Taipei we haven’t been able to book the most prestigious venue, the National Theatre, for the Shen Yun performances. Is this because we disciples haven’t tried hard enough?
Master: There are some good theaters in Taiwan that aren’t in Taipei. But it seems that none of the theaters in Taipei are very good. Even the National Theatre can seat only nine hundred some people, so it doesn’t really matter whether we rent it or not. So I didn’t ask people to insist on renting it.
Disciple: The way that the Taiwan edition of The Epoch Times exposes the evil Party doesn’t seem to be well-liked. Right now it’s not widely accepted by people in Taiwan. Would you please tell me what I should do?
Master: You can give them some suggestions. That’s probably all you can do. (Master chuckles)
Disciple: How many sentient beings have we saved exactly? What’s the percentage?
Master: How many people have quit the Party? Almost all the people whom you’ve clarified the facts to are among the figure who have quit the Party. But there’s no guarantee that each person who has quit the Party will never be involved in persecuting Dafa disciples. Some people have truly quit from their hearts, though. But whatever the case, when someone expresses the intent [to quit], divine beings will help take care of the related matters. One hundred and thirty million Chinese people have quit the Party now, but the wicked CCP doesn’t have that many members. The count includes people who have quit the Party, the [Communist Youth] League, and the Young Pioneers, as well as retirees.
Disciple: Before, in China, I didn’t do well at clarifying the facts or in personal cultivation. In these years while living outside of China, I often think about the people who I missed the chance to clarify the truth to, but should have. I hope that I can make up for my regrets by going back and clarifying the truth to them. But in my mind there is always the word “fear.”
Master: In cultivation, if a person can be steady, confident, and aboveboard, there is sure to be little interference. Don’t think that, “Well, if Master says so, I will go ahead.” What if you get arrested after going back? Just speaking about things in terms of cultivation, you should truly have no fear in your mind, be confident and aboveboard, do what you should do, continue on the path to divinity in a noble and dignified manner, and not be afraid. The policemen, too, are beings who await salvation. “If they come, then I’ll give them the truth”—there really are some Dafa disciples who have acted that way. They have won admiration from the police, who even told them upon leaving, “Stay safe!” Just extraordinary. (Applause) But now that you’re outside of China, just do well what you should do and it’s the same.
Disciple: Hello, Master. I understand that the Fa principle of “cooperate unconditionally” means that we should do whatever the coordinator says. My question is, if at the crucial moment for a project the coordinator doesn’t say what to do, how are we to cooperate? (Audience laughs)
Master: Sometimes the coordinator will first listen to others’ ideas before deciding which one is good to adopt. That happens. But, there are some people in charge who never have any opinions on things. They never have any ideas, and never put their heart into it. Then that really doesn’t cut it. Master has entrusted so many Dafa disciples to you, and expects you to lead them well. So it is something you must do, and it is your responsibility. If you don’t do it well, it’s directly related to your cultivation.
Disciple: Does the Fa-principle of “cooperate unconditionally” also include that at the crucial moment for a project, the coordinator should have the courage to decide the direction of that project?
Master: Of course that’s the case, as otherwise how could any of your good ideas be put to use?
When we first began Shen Yun, there were no small number of Dafa disciples involved in the arts. One would tell me, “Master, we should do it this way,” while another person would then claim the same thing about his own idea. One person would say this is how something is, while another person would tell me something different. They all sounded reasonable, and they even provided many examples. Almost daily I had people airing their ideas to me. What I was thinking was, “I’m the one who is doing this, so no one and no words can interfere, and I know very well how I should do it. If this were the coordinator of any regular project, he really wouldn’t be able to hold up.” Wow, some were really emphatic, and indeed hard to ward off. But if as a coordinator you aren’t set on your direction, you really won’t be able to get anything done.
Disciple: At present some countries still haven’t followed Shen Yun’s requirements in managing finances. Would Master please talk about this again?
Master: A Shen Yun meeting is going to be held, and these are things that should be handled well. Dafa disciples are supposed to take these kinds of [monetary] things lightly, as cultivation is the first priority. But if these kinds of problems happen, then it’s hard to cultivate. The old forces will definitely make you pay for it, and it will be a test you cannot pass. Be sure not to make this mistake.
If the conditions aren’t adequate, if certain students just get carried away, or if other projects are meeting with difficulty and you misappropriate funds [for Shen Yun], then that is a terrible problem. The reason is, as you Dafa disciples validate the Fa, or work on a project, you are in the process of Consummating yourselves and walking the path of cultivation, and so you have to resolve on your own whatever challenges you meet with for it to count as passing tests, right? When you pass it, that’s mighty virtue. If you use other people’s money, or embezzle others’ money or the funds for Shen Yun, then it’s different: no matter what you do for the project, there will be no mighty virtue. And the old forces will capitalize on your problem: “Are you helping your master rectify the Fa, or is it that your master is helping you?” Moreover, embezzling funds without other people knowing, or treating the money as one’s own, is really a major taboo in cultivation, an extremely serious problem. So, sometimes I’m thinking: be sure not to make any of these kinds of mistakes. Master isn’t going to overemphasize these things, and it’s not that important to me personally. But I’m truly worried that whoever makes such mistakes will have spent all those years cultivating in vain. The old forces don’t care whether you’re a veteran student, new student, or coordinator—they might just destroy you all the same.
Of course, you’ve all in fact done really well, and everyone is thrilled upon seeing the success of Shen Yun, which is powerful in saving people. Your minds are all on supporting Shen Yun. I know that you’re all thinking this way.
Disciple: Dafa disciples from Xi’an send greetings to Master.
Master: Thank you all. You don’t need to send up more greetings.
Disciple: I’m a reporter for the Taiwan edition of The Epoch Times. This year we came across many people from all walks of life from mainland China who had come to Taiwan specifically to see Shen Yun perform. Not only were they moved, but also, they wished to give their regards to compassionate and magnificent Teacher Li Hongzhi, and convey their greatest admiration. They sincerely hope that Master will be able to return to China, and that Shen Yun Performing Arts may soon return to the home of the divinely imparted culture.
Master: I thank them. I do want to have Shen Yun perform in mainland China. (Applause) Let’s see if there’s enough time left. If we’re to go to the mainland, then three or even four companies won’t be enough. Someone in the company was reckoning the other day, that if we had the three companies performing in China, it would take sixty years just for the Dafa disciples to see the show (all laugh), for all of them to see it. (Applause) So, that audience would be enormous. Of course, since we want to save sentient beings, we need to have more ordinary people go see it.
Disciple: On behalf of Beijing and Tianjin Dafa disciples in China, I send regards to Master and bow to him.
Master: Thank you all. There’s no need to keep sending up greetings.
Disciple: (Master: I won’t read you the greetings to me at the beginning.) I’m a Changchun Dafa disciple. We’re not fazed by the bitter cold or extreme heat, nor winds or rains. We persist in sending righteous thoughts. As long as the persecution hasn’t stopped, our righteous thoughts won’t stop and we will do the three things well. Master, please rest assured.
Master: Thank you all. (Applause) The disciples in my hometown have done really well. (Applause)
Disciple: (Master: Hmmm, what to do here? Still more greetings. Should I read them?) Dafa disciples from Yongling township of Xinbin county in Fushung city, Liaoning province, send greetings to compassionate, magnificent Master.
Master: Thank you all.
Disciple: How should we better clarify the truth about the persecution to the Western media and human rights organizations?
Master: Clarifying the truth, that’s something you can do anywhere or to anyone. Don’t specifically target some government, organization, etc. Don’t have that thinking. Often it’s precisely on account of such thinking that your path gets blocked. As you know, we are saving people. And what is it we save when saving people? Their minds. So, just direct it at the mind, direct it at the individual. Don’t direct it at an organization or entity. If you really want to target some organization and clarify the truth to them, you can go and do that. But, for you to achieve real results as you go about saving people, you should be open to clarifying the truth to anyone. You can clarify the truth to people of any social status. All sentient beings are waiting.
Disciple: I’m not sure how to expose and yet compassionately deal with the people who have long passed themselves off as practitioners while being with Dafa disciples and deliberately stirring up trouble among us.
Master: Indeed, some people think that Dafa is good and don’t want to leave it, but they don’t cultivate and so they have been in effect stirring up trouble. They don’t realize it. And some students who have strong human thinking even like listening to what they say. They’ll attract a pack of people and speak before them, with all of what they say being human understandings, and not being on the Fa. It really is stirring up trouble. To these people who aren’t diligent, but feel that Dafa is good and something they can’t live without: I hope you don’t pass up this opportunity of countless ages; I hope that you can really, solidly cultivate some, and gain from it; and only then will you not have wasted the time you spent among Dafa disciples.
Disciple: If a Dafa disciple hasn’t cultivated himself well, is it that no matter how much he does, he won’t achieve the goal of saving sentient beings?
Master: No, that’s not the case. This reminds me of a principle, actually. Some people—and in particular, many people in mainland China—would say, “Since you haven’t done well, you don’t have any business finding fault with me.” Those words may sound correct to you. “Right, once you’ve done well you can criticize me.” That’s not in fact right. Nobody is perfect. Maybe the person is lacking in one regard, but maybe in other regards he’s a bit better. Whoever the person may be, as long as what he says is correct, you should listen to him. It doesn’t matter whether you think he’s a good or bad person. Only this way is right. So, no matter whether you feel you’ve done well or not in cultivation, you should still go and do things to clarify the truth. (Applause)
Disciple: All Dafa disciples in Tangshan city of Hebei province send greetings to Master. Since July 20 of 1999, this has always been one of the most severely persecuted areas in the whole country. And last year there were two episodes of large-scale persecution that brought about massive losses for sentient beings. Could Master please shed light on this.
Master: If I’m to talk about it, there are just too many of these sorts of things. Things are actually like this throughout mainland China. As Master just said, though, if our Dafa disciples have stronger righteous thoughts, are able to act as a cultivator would in the persecution, and have fewer human attachments, then there will be less persecution.
The more the human attachments, the more the trouble. Some people still don’t learn their lessons. Soon after they get out of the labor camp, all sorts of human thoughts start coming again, including the attachment of showing off. Then that will bring trouble, won’t it? Not only will that person suffer for it, but it will also affect the whole environment. That’s why if every Dafa disciple could manage to do well, I will tell you, the persecution would not persist, and would have ended long ago. (Applause)
Disciple: In some areas, the person in charge of the Dafa Association is in charge of many things at the same time, such as The Epoch Times, NTDTV, the Dafa Association, and truth-clarification project groups. We have to consult him on everything.
Master: Indeed, that’s the way some areas are. If it is really due to lack of manpower, then there is nothing to criticize. With some areas, it is really problematic, though. Even I’m thinking: if someone could take my place, I wouldn’t work on Shen Yun. In validating the Fa, you must let each Dafa disciple walk his own path and give them [chances for] mighty virtue. If you hoard too many things for yourself, you might not do them well, in fact. Looking at it from another angle, is it attachments that caused you to do things this way? Then that’s actually a problem in cultivation that you haven’t overcome. In my case, I’m willing to let go of things. I can let anything go. These things are meant to temper people anyway, so why not let things go? You’re all cultivators, and with the Fa here, what’s there to fear? I’m willing to hand over anything to others, so why can’t you? My purpose is to temper people, so why don’t you let other people do it? (Applause)
Disciple: The Dafa disciples of Heilongjiang province miss Master. We will overcome any hardship and do the three things well. Under Master’s personal guidance, Shen Yun has become the best show in the world. Our understanding is that, right now, we need to handle it with our highest standards.
Master: Oh, you’re talking about the Shen Yun DVDs. Dafa disciples in the mainland want to make elegant packaging for them. Do it in keeping with your abilities and means. Since a lot of practitioners are still experiencing many difficulties, if everyone were to do it that way, it would impact your normal daily lives. Some practitioners would forego food and drink in order to help out financially. Let’s not create difficulties for our practitioners. As you may know, Shen Yun and the Mountain have never accepted donations from regular practitioners. But, there are always some who do donate, and we always have to return it. We only accept donations from those who are businesspeople or quite wealthy. We don’t accept them from others who hold regular jobs.
Disciple: Under the circumstances in China, how can we tell the difference between being rational and having fear?
Master: In the setting of mainland China, if you can truly be free of any fear, I would say that is really remarkable. That atmosphere of terror was in fact concocted by the old forces, and it has been made based on Dafa disciples’ present circumstances. Supposing you are without fear, they will think that [setting] isn’t able to test people enough. If you have no fear, they would have done everything in vain, wouldn’t they? They just want to make you scared, and see whether, in this vile climate, you dare to work on saving people. That’s what they’ve done.
Some students’ righteous thoughts are stronger, so they have less fear and they conduct themselves in a more confident, upright, and dignified way. Some people are more fearful, so they don’t do so well. There is a very small number of people who are completely without fear. In areas where things are not so intense, there are more such people. But in places where there is a lot of evil and pressure, there are very few of them. It’s not that if you have fear you are no good. It’s about overcoming your fears and trying to do the three things well with stronger righteous thoughts, and that is outstanding. (Applause) To put it in perspective, no matter how afraid you may be, if when faced with the responsibility of saving sentient beings you feel compelled to take action, to go save people, then that is remarkable.
Disciple: There are a lot of people right now who haven’t been saved yet. Could I trouble Master to speak more about the importance of making the best use of time to clarify the truth and promote the “three withdrawals”?
Master: I don’t think too much needs to be said about the importance of this, does it? It is your responsibility to save people, and something that every Dafa disciple must do. You may say, “I’ve cultivated pretty well. I read the book every day, and I do the exercises for a long time.” But I would say that is not the cultivation of a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple; you haven’t cultivated. And how is that so? Because Dafa disciples are not the monks of the past, who only sought personal Consummation. Dafa disciples have a mission, and that is why you are called “Dafa disciples.” Your goal is not your personal Consummation. It is to lead a large group of lives to Consummation. So you must go and do that. (Applause)
Disciple: The states of mind of fellow cultivators who’ve been through the evil persecution, and those who’ve lived outside China for some time, are different.
Master: Indeed. I’ve noticed, with people who come out of the mainland over to America, that when they walk down the street and see the Western police officers, they still seem to be afraid. And when they say the words, “Falun Gong,” they’re worried about what others will think. There’s still a lot of fear inside them. Because they’ve been in those circumstances [in China] for a long time, they’ve interacted with one another in abnormal ways, and because the behavior and thinking of the people there come from the culture of the evil Party, there’s a difference in how these people act.
The Dafa disciples living outside of China now forget, having lived here for a long time, what’s different about people in China. And especially in these years, the difference is even bigger. So they wonder, “How come the people who come from the mainland are so strange?” In particular, when you are afraid inside, the students outside of China feel that you’re beating around the bush when you talk. It makes them wonder if the person is a spy. They really feel that way. I often tell them how in the mainland, after a long time of persecution and a long time in the environment of the Party’s culture, people become like that, and they don’t dare to share their thoughts with anyone. That’s not normal. It’s because in that Chinese society people’s faults or mistakes will be seized upon, you will be labeled, and be attacked. Outside of China there is nothing like that, and nor has there ever been in the history of mankind. Only in the evil CCP’s society is it like that. Outside of China, when two people who don’t even know each other are together, they’ll tell the other anything and everything about their families, all very openly and naturally.
Sometimes mainlanders think that people abroad are so naive, even telling people all about their family matters. But that is normal human behavior, isn’t it? [This kind of thing] is because the people of China have gotten messed up by that wicked Party’s culture, by that society; and it results from their having gone through the political movements there. They constantly conceal their thoughts, and are afraid of everything. That sinister CCP is really just too evil! (Applause)
Disciple: Disciples in the UK have persisted at peacefully protesting in front of the Chinese consulate for over a decade. Currently, disciples have divided opinions about it.
Master: What I think is, whatever the case may be, each and every thing that Dafa disciples do to validate the Fa, Master affirms. And that includes sitting quietly outside the consulate, helping the world’s people become aware and understand, and making passersby see that these people are being persecuted. It is exposing the evil. I think it’s a great thing you’ve done, and it should be done. (Applause) I have affirmed this approach all along. And people will notice that no other country is having this happen in front of its consulate. It only happens to the wicked CCP’s rogue regime. I have always affirmed this approach.
Disciple: In the mainland, when a fellow cultivator’s body is unwell, in most cases it’s because the old forces are persecuting the person, and we would all work against it with righteous thoughts and look within. After coming out of China, when a fellow cultivator’s body is unwell, they attribute it to karma elimination. I don’t have a good understanding of this from the Fa’s principles.
Master: In an evil environment, especially in China, there is a lot of evil in other dimensions and it persecutes you. Outside of China there are not that many evil factors, and the pressure is gone. Currently, whether it is karma elimination or interference from evil factors, that is all the work of the old forces. It’s all the same—they are just called different names. I am against all that the old forces do. I don’t accept any of it. And even less so should Dafa disciples be made to endure such suffering. (Applause)
Disciple: I obtained the Fa in 2010. Today is the first time I’ve been to a Fa conference, and now I’m having the privilege of seeing Master in person. Please allow me to represent my sister and her daughter in passing along regards to Master.
Master: Thank you, thank you. Master knows.
Disciple: Master, I’d like to ask why some mainland Dafa disciples who had been severely persecuted and who came to the U.S. had their applications for political asylum rejected.
Master: There are two reasons. The first is that perhaps there are still some things in China that you should do but haven’t done yet. Perhaps there are people that you are to save but haven’t yet? I’m just speaking in terms of the Fa’s principles. I’m not saying this is your situation necessarily. Another reason is, as you know, the U.S. immigration officers are very direct when they ask questions. But when we Chinese people speak, we are not upfront. In the mainland, once the general idea is conveyed, people all get it—“Oh, that’s what it’s about.” But people in Western society don’t think that way. So, things often don’t go very smoothly, and sometimes it upsets the immigration officers, “Why don’t you give me a straight answer?” They think that you are hemming and hawing because you’re lying. But you aren’t. It stems from your manner of expressing things, or your way of thinking, your understanding, or your concepts. There are indeed differences. Try to answer directly. Of course, there’s another reason that is crucial: the person’s cultivation state.
Disciple: If the media company recruits ordinary people for some tasks, will the good ideas that come from our Dafa disciples’ sharing of resources leak to ordinary people’s society?
Master: If your own advertising abilities are poor and you hire some ordinary people to work on advertising, or marketing, then it might not be a big issue. But, with other things, if the [non-practitioner] person were in the same office, then it might be a big problem. It’s quite possible many people would assume that he’s a Dafa disciple, and not be careful with what they say. There would of course be a difference in how things are understood. And if there were issues with the person’s background, then it would bring bigger trouble. The evil Party considers any information about Falun Gong to be “intelligence.” So, these things are tricky. If you hire people from ordinary society, don’t have them be together with you. Put them in a separate place. That way the Dafa disciples will know that those are non-practitioners and these are Dafa disciples. Otherwise they’ll get jumbled together.
Disciple: I’m a Dafa disciple from northeastern China. Many Dafa disciples are still being persecuted in China’s jails and labor camps. What should we do to more effectively rescue our fellow cultivators?
Master: Each person has his own cultivation path. As Dafa disciples, it’s only fitting that you think about helping your fellow cultivators suffer less persecution. But as for how to do it specifically, in cultivation, the person’s cultivation state comes into play. If his cultivation state is good, it will be easy to help; if his state is off, it won’t be easy to help. I can only say that you should try your best within your means to do what you should do. Actually, Dafa disciples around the world are working on this. They are exposing the evil and restraining it.
Disciple: How should Dafa disciples make good use of society’s media?
Master: Make good use of ordinary people’s media? Let me put it this way: Dafa disciples’ affairs are ours to handle—we’ve got to do them ourselves. If you count on ordinary media to do them, that media company’s mighty virtue would be too great. As you know, some newspapers have a huge influence. If some paper exposed the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong, and covered the whole thing from A to Z, with great clarity, you would think this was definitely a good thing. A lot of people would think it was just great. But the old forces absolutely would not go for it, as it would destroy the environment they arranged. They would absolutely object to something that damages the supposed “environment” that they believe tests Dafa disciples. That’s why ordinary people’s media have not reported on it all these years. I knew about these things long ago, so I never asked you to work on that. As long as you go and do that, the story will come out negative.
Of course, some reporters have watched Shen Yun or learned the truth while interacting with Dafa disciples, in which case they’re different. So sometimes there will be an occasional report on certain things, and that’s of course great, excellent. It can only be said that that person is outstanding, and has chosen a future for himself. That’s the only way to put it. But if you want such things to happen on a larger scale, or for people to report our story at great length, that hasn’t happened yet these years. It’s not that you aren’t able to make it happen, nor is it because Master hasn’t let you. It is that the old forces are restraining ordinary society.
Disciple: There has been some evil interference in Hong Kong recently. Was this triggered by human attachments on the part of the majority of Hong Kong’s Dafa disciples? Or are there other reasons?
Master: When you run into problems don’t point fingers at one another. Everyone should think it over calmly. Hong Kong is the front line for the evil Party, and it’s just outside its jaws now. When you expose the evil there, it is so full of hatred that its teeth ache down to the root [from gnashing]. It would be abnormal if [the CCP] didn’t do those evil things. But Dafa disciples are amazing. All these years you have done an outstanding job, and have managed to expose the evil with great strength under those circumstances. Although it’s so full of hatred that its teeth ache, there’s nothing it can do. And with its latest bout of madness, it doesn’t even care about its supposed “one country, two systems” or image anymore. The world’s people have seen that the evil Party has lost its senses, and has gone mad again with its dirty tricks.
At this time you need to act calmly and rationally. This is a place arranged previously for Dafa disciples to clarify the truth. So could such madness last long? It won’t. And the old forces are doing it to target certain human attachments. If one person has a problem, it’s a personal cultivation issue. But if in cultivation many people have problems, problems will occur in the larger state of affairs. So, when you encounter things you must stay composed. Master has been observing this matter, and I am observing Dafa disciples’ states of mind and how each person deals with such things.
Disciple: Some people spread fake Fa-teachings all over the place. How should we handle such things when we run across them?
Master: As an individual: don’t listen to it, don’t look at it, and that’s the end of it. Why are people still being swayed by those things when they know they’re fake and know that the Minghui website has many times announced this and talked about the problem?
Let’s think about it: what is the reason why such things are happening among our students? Isn’t it because some people like to hear information through the grapevine? It is an attachment born of human thinking. So, targeting that human thinking, the old forces figure, “If we don’t make him take a nasty fall, he won’t change, and he won’t get rid of that mentality. We must make him fall over this.” And so they make those people go and spread hearsay. The people who spread hearsay are interested in the hearsay themselves, and that’s why they do it.
Haven’t some people taken a fall? They were down for years and couldn’t get up. In the end they realized it, and were pained with regret. Master doesn’t recognize such things, but it was because you allowed the evil to seize upon a principle that it dared to do that. If you could have let go of the attachment earlier, there wouldn’t have been such losses. This is particularly [important] when you cultivate among such a large group. When people cultivated in the past, in order to enable someone to succeed at cultivation, different approaches would be used to target and remove different human attachments. Then, when Dafa disciples have omissions, the evil targets their attachments and stirs up trouble. Sometimes the evil targets whatever you are afraid of and makes that happen, or it brings about whatever your mind is dwelling on.
Disciple: How can we help disciples who haven’t been diligent or who have fallen get back on track?
Master: Clarify the facts to him just as you do with someone who hasn’t learned the Fa. That’s because once he has fallen, he won’t even be able to recite Lunyu anymore, and he won’t be able to call to mind any passages from the Dafa books. If he really wants to come back, he must begin studying anew. He must start over again.
Disciple: Some disciples don’t pay much heed to the changes to the Chinese characters made in the books. How could such books be passed on to later generations?
Master: Master will handle things for later generations. But, Dafa disciples should do well with what they are supposed to do.
Disciple: There are a few students from China who are very hard working, but they are very attached to their own understandings.
Master: Indeed. So why is the persecution so severe in the mainland? One reason is that some people’s human mindsets are just so intense. I’ve said that when you work together as a group, nobody’s idea could possibly be completely perfect. Society is constantly changing, and so are states of affairs. And isn’t it true that people regard one thing as trendy today, but then tomorrow it’s something else. It’s a society in flux. So don’t be insistent that your own ideas are so good. As long as something is for the completion of the task, go and work hard together at it. If you feel that something is not ideal in some regard, and you do your best to make it better, then that is remarkable, that is what divine beings want to see, and that is what a cultivator should do. (Applause) It’s not about which idea or whose idea is perfect or amazing. You may have won the argument, but that is precisely what divine beings oppose, and Master doesn’t want to see that either. And besides, the old forces think that the less complete [an idea], the better. As that way, when you act on it and all kinds of flaws in it become apparent, if you are able to compensate for those things, then that is remarkable. The situation has given everyone an opportunity to cultivate together. That’s how they look at it.
Disciple: Some fellow cultivators work full-time for several media, and have no income to sustain their daily lives. Some media provide a living stipend; the money is donated by practitioners. Some cultivators have come to the understanding that accepting subsidies doesn’t comply with the Fa taught by Master about paying salaries, and so they have left the company and found an ordinary job. They now have chosen to work on other truth-clarification projects. I too face this question of receiving a subsidy. How should I understand it?
Master: Some of the media have provided subsidies with my approval. If you want to make a media company successful as quickly as possible, yet you have no salaries, how could that work? And if people don’t work full-time, is that feasible? So it’s okay to do that at first. For example, if NTDTV is to start over and do well, it’s fine to do this during this period of time, due to the circumstances. But it won’t go on for long. The new person in charge won’t let that go on too long.
Disciple: Because it’s been so long, some veteran students in China have not been diligent, and even quit cultivating. What should we do?
Master: With cultivation, don’t you know—the old forces precisely want to sift out those who aren’t diligent or up to standard. It was said before, cultivation is just like panning for gold, right? The sand is all sifted out and only gold is left. Isn’t there a phrase that goes, “Great waves sift the sand”? Amidst great winds and waves, what’s sifted out is sand and what remains is gold.
Actually, I think that all sentient beings should, during this period in history, make a critical decision about their existence. If someone doesn’t want to cultivate anymore, that’s entirely up to the person himself. In an upright cultivation way, no one is forced to cultivate. If the person’s heart isn’t in it, then his presence among cultivators is fake. So all along my approach has been that if you cultivate, I, as your master, will look after you; and if you don’t cultivate, you are free to leave. If the person’s heart isn’t in it, it’s not going to work.
Disciple: The wicked Party has begun to reduce the use of labor camps on Dafa disciples, but increase the use of jail sentences and heavy jail sentences. Has the evil begun to pick up again?
Master: It’s a case of old wine in a new bottle. The evil is out of tricks. It has shown people all of its evil tactics, and this has been done to test human attachments.
Disciple: A few years ago, Master said in his Fa teachings that Dafa disciples outside of China shouldn’t return there. Can overseas Dafa disciples go back to China now?
Master: If you are on the evil’s blacklist and you go back to China, they will definitely seek you out. If they let you return, it is for two purposes: one is to get supposed “intelligence” from you; the other is to make you into a spy. Otherwise they won’t let you go back. That’s why when many people return from a trip back to China, their fellow cultivators don’t trust them. They’re thinking, “It’s hard to say what you did while back in China.” People are going to think that way. Do you really want to invite such troubles?
Disciple: Recently an extremely evil labor camp was exposed. An ordinary person published a book exposing the evil of the camp as well. And there are ordinary people and ordinary media that want to interview mainland students who were persecuted in labor camps. Some Chinese students are willing to come forward and expose the evil. I’d like to ask Master, is it appropriate at this time?
Master: Of course it’s appropriate. Why wouldn’t we expose it? (Applause) Students outside of mainland China can put a lot of effort into it. Students inside should mind their safety. I have always refused to accept this persecution, and I don’t accept the stuff arranged by the old forces. Nor will I ever. (Applause)
Disciple: Minghui has continually published articles asking people to stop disrupting the Fa, but some students in China still haven’t gotten clear about it.
Master: Indeed. They are being controlled by the evil, and they even oppose Minghui. Do you know why I publish information on Minghui? It is to tell you that it is trustworthy, that it is a platform via which Dafa disciples can communicate. Speaking from another angle, Master is also keeping an eye on it, and it won’t have any major problems.
Disciple: Some fellow cultivators in the mainland do the exercises together in public. This has led to arrests. And they don’t actively clarify the truth.
Master: Not clarifying the truth, and not resolving those issues is not right. When conditions are right, the students in some areas aren’t bothered when they come out to practice. But some other areas shouldn’t blindly imitate them. When the situation is still quite evil, don’t do it, as it will bring about losses.
Disciple: Only about half a million Dafa disciples have published solemn declarations on Minghui. Is that because there are many who have done wrong things but still haven’t stepped forward? How can we help them better?
Master: Just do well at what Dafa disciples should do. Once a fellow cultivator from before has truly fallen, then approach him just as you would an ordinary person when clarifying the truth. Don’t treat him as if he were still a cultivator. If you think his understandings are the same as yours, then you’re wrong. As soon as someone falls, he is the exact same as an ordinary person. So you have to clarify the truth to him just as you would an ordinary person. I’ve said to you before that if a person stops cultivating, his memory will be wiped of all traces of Fa. So he won’t remember anything. If he intends to cultivate, then he has to cultivate anew and start again from scratch.
Disciple: In addition to the questions raised, the conference staff has received slips from students in many regions. We will give them to Master later on.
Master: The conference staff wrote this one for me. There was a large pile of greetings to Master that they combined. I’ll read them to you. The entire body of Dafa disciples from Taiyuan, Shanxi; Beijing; Zhuzhou, Hunan; Chengdu, Sichuan; Jinzhou; Jixi city of Heilongjiang; Nanyang; Fushan district; Baoding, Hebei; Shanxi; Yushan; Shenzhen; Liuzhou, Guangxi; Shijiazhuang; Panjin; Macau; Jinan; Tangshan, Hebei; Liaocheng, Shandong; Shenyang; Anhui; Shaanxi; Yunnan; Suzhou; Changchun; Heilongjiang; Lingyuan; Weifang; Mudanjiang; Chifeng, Inner Mongolia; Shandong; Yunnan; Pingjiang, Hunan; Pingshan, Hebei; Chengde; Wuhan, Hubei; Shanghai; Jinzhong, Shanxi; Yuci; Guangzhou; Hunan; Ministry of Aerospace, Beijing; Hongshan district, Wuhan; Huanggang city, Hubei; Wuxue city; Macheng city; Huangshi city; Xishui city; Xinjiang; Langfang, Hebei; Zhejiang; Panzhihua city; Leshan, Sichuan; universities and colleges in Beijing; Jiangsu; Liaoning; Fujian; Dalian; Tianjin; Henan; Datong; Deyang, Sichuan; Zhangjiakou, and Gansu send their regards to Master.
Master: Thank you all. (Applause) There’s more. The conference staff combined the greetings. The following is another portion. All Dafa disciples from Japan; Los Angeles, USA; Australia; Romania; Holland; Norway; Hawaii; Vancouver; Iran; Dubai; New Zealand; Vietnam; Korea; Italy; France; England; Spain; Malaysia; Sydney; Taiwan; San Francisco, California, USA, and New York send their regards to Master. (Applause)
That’s all I’ll say for now. There are over eight thousand in attendance today. If every one of you sent up a slip, I certainly wouldn’t be able to read them all. But all the same, the questions I just responded to were perhaps representative. I hope everyone got something out of it. Each time we have a Fa conference, Master will do it this way if time allows and try to answer more of your questions. But whatever the case, no matter how much I say, it still has to be you who cultivates. Master can only serve to provide guidance. Of course, in cultivation it still holds true that, “cultivation is up to you, gong is up to the master.” That’s for certain. But when you encounter problems, when you encounter that whole array of different scenarios out there among ordinary people, it has to be you who manages them.
That’s all for today. I hope you walk the final leg of the journey well. There really isn’t much time left. It could end at any time, and the next phase could begin at any time. Thank you all. (All disciples stand. Long, enthusiastic applause.)