2018 Fa Teaching Given in Washington, D.C.

Li Hongzhi
June 21, 2018, in the United States

(The nearly ten thousand Dafa practitioners in attendance stand and applaud at length. Master takes the stage and greets everyone with heshi.)

Good afternoon! You’ve been working hard. The persecution has been, as the old forces put it, a life-and-death test, a baptism, of Dafa disciples, and a process of smelting true gold. But whatever the case, you really have, as practitioners, shouldered great responsibilities—those of saving lives. You don’t have much karma; not that much, at least. But as you’re aware, there is more to all of the living things found in this world than meets the eye, even the animals here. Many lives came here from very high planes of existence, and we should try to save them. These lives are representatives of beings from the old cosmos who were about to be eliminated, and they wished to spare their beings that fate. So when we save these lives, the beings they represent will be saved as well. While rescuing a great many beings or lives would seem like a great thing to do, what about all of the karma involved? It is an enormous amount. And as you can imagine, people accrue massive amounts of karma when caught in the strong currents of this world. This is what accounts for the difficulty, troubles, and ordeals involved in saving them, as well as the persecution.

The persecution is essentially a matter of wicked, low entities and things obstructing our efforts to rescue people. But as beings at very high levels see it, this serves to test Dafa disciples and facilitate their cultivation. So that is what’s going on. All of the divine beings that we’re familiar with from throughout history, who are associated with true faiths and who came to this earth to save people, were establishing the kind of culture that would allow people to understand the divine, and what they went through was in fact something similar. It was similar in terms of what I just described. But there is deeper significance to what Dafa disciples are doing. If human beings are the earthly incarnations of lives from high planes and represent enormous numbers of massive groups of beings, then you can just imagine the significance of how these people fare in this world. And in this sense there is more to this world than meets the eye. But, as special as the people on this earth now are, they fare poorly—and some even terribly—once they are in this illusory, mundane world and get caught in the relentless tide of worldly things. Yet they are lives of tremendous caliber. So we must save them, even if at this surface level they have gotten caught in currents of modern thought that take them away from the culture bestowed by the divine, or even been sinisterly indoctrinated by the culture and thought of a wicked communist society, and fared poorly or awfully. Dafa disciples are their sole hope of deliverance. Nobody else can save them.

This owes to the fact that, as I’ve indicated before, the religions of the past were simply laying the cultural groundwork for people to understand the divine. This involved, for example, establishing what divinities are like, how faiths are practiced, what it takes to go to a divine realm, or what spiritual practice entails. They simply laid a cultural foundation. But could those religions really shoulder the responsibility of truly saving the lives of the cosmos at the final, critical hour? None of them could do so. This is something that only Dafa and Dafa disciples can do, and yes, it is remarkable. Perhaps you come from a truly significant place and all that you represent is tremendous; perhaps your powers prior to your time in this world were extraordinary. But it is hard not to fall for and get contaminated by this mundane world when confronted, just like everyone is, with all of its enticing things and all the things that tug at your emotions and attachments in order to get you off track. Fortunately, Dafa disciples have been cleansed continuously and had their karma eliminated by me throughout history, all the way up to the present. So you are different from ordinary people. As divine beings see it, anyone who can resist the mighty current that is pulling this world down and stand his ground is really something. Anyone who is unaffected by it is really exceptional! And yet Dafa disciples are not just unswayed by it all, but moreover, are going against the tide! (Applause.)

You have gone against the strong tides of this world. But things aren’t simply what they seem, if you think about it. The entire cosmos is facing elimination, and everything has deteriorated. And yet you have managed to go against such tides! Anyone in this world who is able to have positive, virtuous thoughts is remarkable. Wouldn’t you agree? The merit of someone’s positive, virtuous thoughts is relative to the kind of social environment he is in and its moral baseline. In times past it wasn’t that significant if someone did something good, since most everyone had wholesome thoughts and excellent moral values; just about everyone was like that. But in today’s world good and evil are jumbled together, or are even turned on their heads. If you can still view things with virtuous thoughts—if you still have virtuous thoughts—then you are extraordinary.

At this point I’d like to speak about something I haven’t brought up before. We often talk about “cultivation.” But what does it really mean? Few people really know, in fact. “Cultivation” is the perfection and fulfillment of a being. It’s not something exclusive to religions or spiritual groups, nor even something they necessarily do. Consider that the Three Realms were created at a time when the cosmos was no longer suitable, and that the lives that have gathered in this human world are representatives of enormous beings and groups at very high planes. What kind of world this would become and how it should be handled became a really serious and profound matter, then, if you think about it. The truth is, by coming to this human world these lives have arrived at a setting for cultivation and tempering themselves. I’ve always said that this entire society is in fact a setting for our Dafa disciples to cultivate in. You are cultivating out in the world, and not off in a religious setting, so whatever job or trade you are in serves as a setting for your cultivation, doesn’t it? And this doesn’t apply to just you, in fact. Wouldn’t this mean that ordinary people are also in a setting for cultivation or tempering themselves, then? Never has there been a world like this before!

In every social class, in every setting in this world, in every form that living in this world takes, there are things that test the heart and mind. How a person handles everything in life reflects his mindset and character, and all of it is being recorded. Have you ever considered how it is that a single Shen Yun performance can save people? Wouldn’t they need to have had the necessary foundation and setting for that to be possible? I have always said that those who come to see Shen Yun’s performances are special; not everyone qualifies to get in. Those who enter the theater can do so because they have already had the groundwork laid and been chosen and given the opportunity to come, out of all the people out there. In other words, they have already, in effect, tempered and cultivated themselves in the larger setting of this world. [I’ll give you an example.] I remember when Shen Yun was performing in one city in North Carolina, I think it was, and I was there. The tickets had sold out, but on the day of the performance a snowstorm hit. The snow was deep and it was really hard to drive anywhere. Only thirty percent of the audience showed up, as a result. But afterwards, the ones who did make it told striking accounts of what they had experienced. One person described the trip from his house, saying it was like a spiritual journey, with each step of the way posing challenges and spurring reflection, all the way to the theater; it felt like he was being tempered through that process; and after seeing the show, he felt deeply fulfilled—just like [what we’d call] “consummation.” So in other words, don’t underestimate this world and its people. Dafa disciples aren’t the only ones “cultivating” or working on themselves; others are doing the same, in a sense. They are being tempered as well. As people lead their lives and go about their jobs, wherever they may be, and deal with things, think about things, and act in this world, they are all making choices—in the contest between good and evil—that will impact their future.

Then if this setting as a whole facilitates cultivation, does it mean that everyone is a cultivator? No, it doesn’t. You may know that when steel is smelted there is more that goes into the furnace than just iron ore: there is also charcoal. And without it, steel can’t be smelted. The same idea applies in this human world. While many beings from high planes have come here, so have many demons that have incarnated as humans; they stir up trouble in this world, and have been constantly trying to get people into “new” trends of thinking. They get people into modern ways of thinking, steering them away from the God-given ways of tradition; and they lead people to ruin their hopes of returning to Heaven, which lie in tradition—something divinely bestowed. So as I mentioned, someone must be following the ways that the divine put in place in order to be cultivating or tempering himself. But there are now demons here among men, since they have covertly incarnated in human form. And their numbers are great. But a great quantity of them are needed to smelt steel; otherwise the furnace wouldn’t have the kind of roaring fire, heat, or temperature needed. And so that’s the role they play in this world, trying to steer and destroy humanity with modern thought, with all sorts of tactics that corrupt people, and with a variety of different approaches. Many people have really fallen for it, especially young people. The evil ones have made students, especially college students, their main target of attack.

Anyway, I don’t want to put it too gravely. You can think it over, but that’s basically the state of the world. There is something I discovered about the current trends of thought, though. In the beginning I was watching to see how many people would be able to make it through such a tremendous tribulation. But I actually found that throughout the world, with the exception of China, the upper classes have remained largely unaffected, however hard those things tried to sway them. They reject modern things, and strongly, at that. They are the keepers of tradition. And as such, they are able to preserve and uphold the God-given ways of tradition. That’s not the case in China, however. There, people have been so indoctrinated by evil communist thought that they can’t tell good from bad and have gone in, head over heels, for the stuff that those demons-in-human-form came up with in the West; all of Chinese society has gone in for that stuff, more or less. But why is it that way in China? Recall what I taught about the kings or monarchs of the world and what happened to them with the advent of democracy: they reincarnated in China. And I mean the monarchs of every era—not just of one era, one people, or one nation. They were from every era and came from the highest of heavens, representing massive cosmic bodies, and they were of tremendous caliber. All of them reincarnated in China, and it became a primary setting for cultivation. So this is why China is the biggest mess, and every nefarious thing conceivable has found its way there. By all appearances China is thriving nowadays, and has everything imaginable. But in reality these things are tempting and ruining people—and hardly anyone can resist. You can just picture how hard it is to survive all of that! So sometimes I find myself thinking that, even though the abnormal state of Chinese society has indeed caused confusion for our Dafa disciples there, they have stayed with Dafa and are still trying to do things for Dafa all the same. In this regard I am pleased, and think they are remarkable. In every aspect of their lives signs of contamination from modern things show through—from their conduct, to their thinking, to whatever it may be. But even so, if you can, as a Dafa disciple, do well the things that you should be doing—that is, if you as a Dafa disciple can fulfill the vow that you made and do what you should do—then that is the greatest and most outstanding thing. Even if you’ve been interfered with, as long as you haven’t left the Fa, are trying to cultivate yourself well, are still a Dafa disciple, and are still doing what a Dafa disciple should do—then that is outstanding, considering how exceedingly complicated and debased Chinese society has become.

Things are not as simple as they seem in the West either, in fact. The demonic entities who seek to harm humankind go about it differently there, as they try to achieve their ends by infecting the general culture. They take people’s concept of freedom and expand it, and overly encourage individualism and self-centeredness. And then there’s… I won’t go into more specifics. There are just all kinds of things now that people advocate for. My point is that they are destroying traditional culture using a different approach. And people are being driven by the trends of modern thought. So what we face is a world that is truly a mess. I am speaking about this now because it’s time to. When things have gone too far, it’s time for them to turn around. Positive and healthy things are now on the rise, and you will come to see that hope is in sight; this era will slowly but surely take a turn in the right direction. So I would like you to gain a better understanding of these things.

The evil Communist Party is terribly notorious now, as you know. Even those who hold power in communist states aren’t proud of it anymore; it’s just a means for them to keep power. They can’t think of a way forward, yet they’re reluctant to let go of the reins. So that’s how things are. Nobody really believes in it now. Even though the communist specter is ruling the world, it faces the same predicament as the Party does in this world, and it is slowly being decimated. Whatever state it may appear to be in, or however things may go in society, Dafa disciples have the leading role in this world—the stage is yours. So however things may seem to be, in reality, charcoal can in no way compare to steel. They are smelting you, not vice versa. In other words, things like the wicked Communist Party and the specter exist and live for your sake. Also, as you may realize, this cosmos itself has long since gone bad and turned unsuitable, and it has remained to this day because of Dafa. If we didn’t succeed at what we are doing today, everything would collapse and cease to exist. But the fact that we have managed to keep doing everything that we need to do, and that we have done it all well, under these circumstances—however chaotic or complicated things may have gotten—means that we have succeeded. (Applause.)

Another thing is, as you’re aware, persecution is still taking place in the world—namely, in China. We see it for what it is: it is the old machinery still at work. This is extremely clear to us. I think you have figured it out. And while things may seem to be in disarray, you will come to see that there is in fact an order to things. Even what appears chaotic and disorderly was arranged. Over time, things will appear more orderly. Stay tuned. But in any case, Dafa disciples should have a good understanding of all that’s involved in the journey they have been through and the one that lies ahead.

I have always said that the toughest thing about cultivation is how long and drawn out it can seem, especially when one is being tempered through tribulations and ordeals. You can’t see the finish line or when it will conclude, and that is in fact what’s most trying about it. But there’s a saying, right? “Things will always turn around when they reach a certain point.” And this holds true for everything; it’s a law. Things will always change at a certain point, whether it’s what people are expecting or not. Take for instance the collapse of the Soviet Union. No one expected it. Nobody could have imagined that such a strong regime would fall. But it had to. It doesn’t matter what people may think; if higher beings want to make people do something, people will, and this includes people who think they really have a will of their own. Don’t let the length of time that all this takes wear you down. Many people have gradually slacked off in their cultivation. Yet what we have here is something extraordinary. I have told you that it is outstanding—truly outstanding—when Dafa disciples in China can manage to persevere in doing what they should be doing and continue to cultivate themselves and study the Fa, in spite of what a trying and high-pressure setting it is there, and with all of the temptations they face in that complex environment. They have managed to do that under such trying circumstances! So you all mustn’t let up! As soon as you do, the old forces can take advantage of that fact and may even take your life. There have been too many painful instances and lessons like this! Of course, there has been another scenario, too: some people had cultivated very well, and yet the old forces took their lives as a way of making others cultivate. There have been quite a few cases like this as well.

My point is that you shouldn’t become less strict with yourself in your cultivation. You’ve made it through the hardest part of the journey, the roughest stretches, with all of your efforts. Of course, walking one’s path well is easier said than done, I know. But however difficult it may be, this is what you came here to do. And however difficult it may be, this is what your life was created and made for. A Dafa disciple is no longer subject to the jurisdiction of the Three Realms. Your name was removed from the ledgers of Hell the day you decided to take up the practice. A Dafa disciple will not reincarnate after passing away, for he is no longer subject to the jurisdiction of the Three Realms and cannot be reborn there. Nor has Hell any jurisdiction over him, and so he cannot be punished there. You belong solely to Dafa and are under its care. The Dafa disciples who have departed early for whatever reason are all, regardless of whether they did well or not, quietly watching you from the special dimension where they abide, awaiting the final conclusion of this all.

What I am ultimately trying to convey to you is that it was all for this affair that you came here! So you have no choice [but to do all of this well]; there is really no other way! That’s the case for Dafa disciples. For ordinary people it’s fine to reincarnate however they may. But that’s not an option for you, as you are here for Dafa and its great undertaking. So if you don’t do well you will be left with regrets. And I especially want to remind our veteran Dafa disciples not to slack off. You have gone through so many long and grueling years to make it to this day, and it really hasn’t been easy! Do you not know to value and cherish yourselves? I certainly cherish you! And divine beings do too! (Applause.) So all the more so should you value and cherish yourselves.

That’s all for today. I’ll answer some questions from you that are representative of what people would like to ask. You can pass your questions slips up now. Thank you. (Applause.)

Disciple: Greetings, Master! Our media have provided analyses on how communism has deceived and harmed the world, and we are also supporting a return to tradition and propriety. But this has been really hard for some of our practitioners to accept, who have been very much influenced by the deviant thinking of the West that has occurred in recent years. And some of these practitioners are still finding it difficult to embrace. How can we help them to quickly come around?

Master: This is by no means a simple issue. But I will explain it at its fundamental level. Traditional ways are a path set forth by the divine, and they can enable people to directly return to the heavens. Because human beings have extraordinary backgrounds, they can be connected to the divine by these means. And since, as I was saying earlier, this larger environment is one for cultivation in effect, a person can gain salvation right away when he encounters Dafa. But degenerate things are not part of tradition and won’t enable anyone to connect with the divine. When a person’s thinking rejects the divine and doesn’t even appreciate it or believe in it, how could he or she be saved? And therein lies the issue. As Dafa disciples your duty is to try to save all lives. So doesn’t the question we’re talking about hit on something fundamental? I think [the people you asked about] must not have given much thought to this.

We don’t get involved in any worldly political things, but, we absolutely cannot be untruthful. Our media mustn’t report falsely, like some others do, or follow others’ lead in spreading untruthful things. We aren’t promoting anyone or actively trying to make up positive news about someone. Rather, we are just trying to report things accurately. Dafa disciples are trying to help people go in a healthy, positive direction, right? Our intention is to save people, so, I think that if someone comes along now who can help to halt the downward spiral that the world is in, then he is truly someone extraordinary! He would in effect be helping us! (Applause.) Wouldn’t he be helping us to save people? Think about it: we wouldn’t be able to rescue them if they were to keep sliding downward! I think you can see the idea now.

Disciple: After reading the serialized book How the Specter of Communism is Ruling Our World, by the editors of The Nine Commentaries, which exposes the communist specter, I became concerned and feel powerless in this situation where the specter has infiltrated every part of society. (Master: It has, indeed.) I’d like to ask Master how we can purge ourselves of these notions with righteous thoughts?

Master: You are already doing that when you study the Fa and come to see your notions for what they are. If ordinary people can recognize [the specter] for what it is, they too will reject it. As long as people come to recognize it, they will know how to respond to it, just as any human being would. And that is what we raise awareness for. As far as eradicating [the Party] is concerned, well, that’s not something that Dafa disciples are tasked with. We are just trying to save people and tell them what they should do.

When someone has pledged that he would dedicate his life to communism, that’s serious, due to how things work in the cosmos. What does making a “pledge” entail? Divine beings record everything a person says. So when someone pledges to dedicate his life to the wicked Communist Party, it will take charge of his life, as you might figure, and it will have the power to make him do its bidding. Sometimes as you try to clarify the facts to people, they won’t hear a word of it. Yet it’s not the person himself that’s tuning you out, but the communist evil specter, which has affixed itself to the person’s body and is standing in for him. That can happen because the specter of communism has power over the person, and his life is at its command. But our Dafa disciples have great wisdom, and have gradually come to realize how things work. They get people to withdraw from the Party first. They start by explaining how awful it is, what wicked things it has done, and how it is inherently evil. And then they encourage people to withdraw from it. After agreeing to do so, these people no longer resist the facts that you tell them [about Falun Gong]. But why the change? It’s because they are no longer controlled by the specter. If the specter did try to control them, divine beings would annihilate it. So that explains why things go better when you clarify the facts to people after they have withdrawn from the Party.

Although the specter is ruling the world, positive gods are actually looking after things as well. Both positive and negative factors and forces are meant to coexist in this world. So when humankind changes in negative ways more and more, and ever more seriously so, the scales tip in that direction, and so it appears as though the specter, or the Devil, is ruling the world. So that’s what accounts for the situation. But the scales will become balanced again once people come to have positive, virtuous thoughts and see the evil for what it is.

Disciple: There are some young Dafa disciples involved in our efforts to promote Shen Yun and in our media work, but relatively few proactively join our other efforts that are done more frequently, such as spreading the practice to others and raising awareness. What can we do to give young disciples more opportunities to temper themselves?

Master: Let’s see, how to put it… Well, it’s not an issue, actually, since in every locale and with all of our projects we are short of manpower, and they’re all utilizing young Dafa disciples when possible. As long as the young disciples are up for it, the projects will offer them opportunities. Shen Yun is doing that—Shen Yun is full of young Dafa disciples.

Disciple: Some practitioners are privately saying that the Fa’s rectification of the human world is imminent and that the Fa rectification has entered a new phase. They say that this phase is different from the previous one, in that, before, Dafa disciples were supposed to do all they could to expose the persecution and clarify the facts about Dafa, whereas now the Fa-rectification-period Dafa disciples should be leading the human world to…

Master: Though you are playing the leading roles here, you aren’t yet able to lead this world. You can’t do so at this time. We can see things with great clarity and save people, but as for leading this world, well, even in the future, worldly affairs won’t be something that cultivators, spiritual practitioners, will want to influence. There are ordinary people in place to do that. All you need to concern yourselves with is saving people. We only concern ourselves with people’s hearts.

Disciple: Last year, when Shen Yun ticket sales weren’t going that great in my area, the local Shen Yun coordinator criticized all of the coordinators of our Dafa projects, saying that we hadn’t done all that we could to help with promoting Shen Yun. And this year, after Shen Yun was done performing in our area, he told people that Master said, “Of all the projects we have for saving people, Shen Yun is the most powerful.” (Master: I have said that.) I have no doubt that that’s the case, but my question is, should everyone set aside whatever project they’re working on in order to help out with promoting Shen Yun?

Master: Even back when Shen Yun was first starting up I didn’t say anything like that. Even in the early days of promoting Shen Yun, when things were quite tough, what I kept saying was that Dafa disciples who weren’t busy, who weren’t very busy with other projects, could help out. Perhaps in the situation you described the coordinator got anxious when ticket sales weren’t going well. So there wasn’t any major issue with what he did, in principle. But I would like to say something to our students who aren’t that busy: considering how powerful Shen Yun is in rescuing people—it has the power to save one to two thousand people with just one performance—you really should pause and think about what you are here for. But you should know that the opportunities to help are becoming fewer and fewer.

When I was in Europe I shared with the practitioners there that I had originally hoped they would all get involved, as I had wanted to give them a chance to establish majestic virtue in the process, to really build up their foundations in cultivation, and rise higher through it all. But many practitioners hadn’t taken things I’d said very seriously. Yet by the time they realized how major this is and wanted to get involved, ticket sales were already going smoothly without them; tickets were being sold just by running ads and using online media. So when they wanted to get involved, the opportunities were gone. But that’s how cultivation is—it doesn’t wait for anyone.

Disciple: The children of some Dafa disciples used to study the Fa and do the exercises along with their parents when they were little, but, because the parents didn’t really know how to raise young disciples well and were busy with projects that support Dafa, they didn’t do well at guiding their children to really understand what cultivation is about. Now those children have grown up and become part of society, and to a large extent are no longer cultivating. Yet they must be destined for Dafa to have been born into the families of Dafa disciples. Is there still a chance for us, as parents, to remedy our failings in rearing them now that the end of Fa rectification is approaching?

Master: Sigh… It’s not easy, indeed. You have to tell them what Dafa is really about, just as you would with anyone else. Don’t expect them to listen to you just because they are your children; don’t think that what you say goes. They won’t listen to you anymore. You need to go about it differently now when you explain Dafa to them. That’s the situation.

I’ve seen this sort of thing firsthand as well. In the early days of Shen Yun most of you didn’t have a good understanding of what it was, and worried about what would become of your kids down the road [if they joined the company], when they were no longer dancing. They didn’t realize that it’s not my way to just utilize someone while they’re useful and then, that’s it, be done with them. I had to think about the kids’ future welfare. So I started a secondary school, a college, and a graduate program. At first, though, some parents were reluctant to send their kids and part with them. They didn’t want to part with them when they were twelve or thirteen and very limber, which is a great age at which to develop one’s technique. But then when the kids got to be fourteen or fifteen, the parents found that they were out of control, defiant, and argumentative, and they couldn’t deal with it anymore and quickly sent them to our school (laughter). But at that point the kids weren’t as flexible and had a hard time with the training at the Mountain. I have seen this a lot, firsthand.

Disciple: In China some ordinary people have been producing Falun pins, and practitioners in some areas have been buying them in large quantities online and distributing them among practitioners. We have had disagreements over whether this is appropriate.

Master: There’s actually nothing wrong with having Falun pins. But, if this is some kind of money-making venture, then Dafa disciples must not go in for it, as it would be too risky. It shouldn’t be an issue though if it’s just that they wanted to make these and allow people to have a Dafa pin at cost. However, safety really needs to be kept in mind if it’s in China. That’s because practitioners can’t publicly wear Falun pins there now, or they would be giving themselves away to the evil policemen. So what’s my recommendation, then? It seems as though it’s not the right time to make them. There’s nothing wrong with it other than the safety concern.

Disciple: In China, where the persecution still goes on, we often come to know internal information on pending activities of the Public Security Bureau or Domestic Security Protection unit. On the one hand, I worry that if I don’t share it with people, they won’t know to put extra effort into sending righteous thoughts to negate the evil’s plans; but on the other, I worry that if I do share it with people the negative information will affect them and distract them from doing the things that they should be doing. Sometimes when I have shared the information with others, I’ve felt it necessary to add a few words, like, “I hope everyone will be careful, but at the same time we should have righteous thoughts and actions, negate the persecution, and do well with what we’re supposed to do.” I wonder if that was okay to do?

Master: That should be fine. The Dafa disciples who work in the Public Security Bureau know about certain things but face a dilemma sometimes. They worry that informing others about something might cause them to go to extremes, but that not saying anything might result in people not being as mindful of safety as they should. These are valid concerns. The best would be if you could all stay rational and sensible, and do a good job with what you should do and not do unsuitable things. But with that society having been made as complicated and confusing as it is, that can be hard, I realize.

Disciple: Some practitioners have put videos of the 2016, 2017, and 2018 Shen Yun productions onto USBs and shared them with some other practitioners. Some people have reminded them of the notice from the Minghui Editorial Board that this shouldn’t be done, but they are still doing as they please.

Master: It’s understandable that people want to see Shen Yun. But, safety is a concern.

There’s another thing that might not have occurred to you. We have achieved many things, and Fei Tian College and Shen Yun have accomplished a lot that’s world-class in caliber. But we don’t put those things online or post them there. That’s because the Internet is like the Devil. There are all sorts of things there, and it’s the vilest of places—it is the product of humanity gone bad. Why would we want to add our things into the mix? Why would we want to toss our beautiful works into that pit? Yet there are always practitioners who are putting Shen Yun’s things, or other things of ours, online. Of course, Shen Yun’s and Fei Tian’s respective websites do provide some information about them, but that’s done for a purpose and is in line with normal business practice. If you happen to see the evil badmouthing us online, just do your best to ignore it, of course. It will disappear if you pay it no heed. The more attention you give it, the more it will feed off of that.

So if you’re not mindful and you put Shen Yun footage or recordings online, other people might grab them from the Internet. But bear in mind that many of Shen Yun’s things—including Shen Yun’s music—are of the heavens. If simply anyone could download them from the Internet, and they were used to attack Dafa or were used as part of the most vile of things in human society, how would you feel? You’d be the one who made it possible! You can see the problem, right? So this is why I don’t want these good things of ours put online. They are meant to give humanity a future!

Disciple: What should we be doing at this time to address the challenges of coordinating things in China on a large scale? Is it appropriate for someone to be designated a “general coordinator” of a prefecture-level city and then have him or her oversee things for the counties in that area? Some people feel that if the smaller regions aren’t coordinated in this manner it means we have not come together as “one body.”

Master: No, that mustn’t be done. I want to make clear that that really mustn’t be done, even if your intention is good. I’m very aware that there are limits to what people can physically bear when they are subjected to persecution. When you are at the breaking point psychologically, or you can’t even think straight, and still the brutal torture goes on, you might give in and disclose things that you shouldn’t reveal. But you shouldn’t necessarily be judged by that, ultimately. We would understand that you didn’t do well, in that case, because you simply couldn’t bear it anymore or were beside yourself. And since your journey of cultivation isn’t over, you might still have more opportunities ahead. However, it would be serious if you mishandled things along the lines we’re discussing. Things would be more grave if your failings led to the death of other Dafa disciples. This is why I am telling you not to do things like this.

Minghui.org provides Dafa disciples with a forum for sharing and exchanging ideas, while also offering non-practitioners a window into our world. So you can share whatever ideas you have through the site. But coordinating things on a large scale is not something you should be doing [in China] at this time. You really need to be mindful of everyone’s safety.

Disciple: In recent years a number of practitioners in our area have passed away, including some who played big roles as coordinators. Some of their lives were claimed by sickness karma, even though they truly didn’t want to give in to it. It’s commonly believed that one reason for it was that certain factors were at work and made it inevitable.

Master: As I mentioned earlier, the reason some people were made to lose their lives was to have others see it—it was meant for their cultivation. That was how the old forces arranged it. It wasn’t because they didn’t do well. But, there have been cases where the person was lax in his or her cultivation, and those are lessons for us. There have also been situations where the person was being subjected to persecution, and he felt helpless and couldn’t figure out what his problem(s) were.

Every Dafa disciple aspires to become a true cultivator, someone who is steadfast and solid in his cultivation as he travels the path to divinity. But for some practitioners that’s just a wish, as their minds haven’t reached that spiritual realm or level. They may think to themselves, “I’m defying the old forces’ persecution.” But their minds haven’t reached that spiritual realm or level, where one is able to do that; so their righteous thoughts aren’t solid enough. Sometimes the old forces are watching you to see whether you can be shaken, ultimately. And so they make troubles for you based on your thoughts. And if you are shaken, then they will have succeeded. So in these circumstances I think that when newer practitioners, or those who haven’t managed to improve in their cultivation for a long time, are dealing with a sickness-karma test, sometimes it’s fine for them to see a doctor. It’s fine for them to go to the hospital. It will just be regarded as an episode along the way in their journey of cultivation. But I think that this is not an issue for the Dafa disciples who are solid in their cultivation, have strong righteous thoughts, and know what they should do.

The old forces have been using the situation to do harm. You might be rather shocked by what I just said a moment ago. But, I said that because I’ve found that the old forces are using this situation to persecute our practitioners. When the old forces use this… As I said earlier, the wicked, low entities—and that includes low-level old forces—are truly evil. They don’t want you to succeed at cultivation, and want to persecute the life out of you. The beings at high levels, meanwhile, see the persecution as something that can be utilized to temper you. So there are multiple layers to it all. Beings at low planes, that is, the ones at the lowest plane, who are able to persecute Dafa disciples’ bodies, are trying to disrupt you. Of course, there are all sorts of causes at work. Things aren’t always how you imagine them to be, where divine beings or I can take care of everything for you. Some of the causes are simply too complicated to begin to explain. So new practitioners, or those who know that they haven’t made progress for quite some time and have cultivated on and off, if you’re experiencing problems, you can see a doctor.

Before, when I spoke about it not being appropriate for Dafa disciples to go to the hospital, I mentioned that divinities, or holy people, such as those who have cultivated in the mountains for hundreds or thousands of years, would never go to the hospital. Isn’t that right? More likely, doctors from the hospital would seek them out when sick. (Laughter and applause.) That’s the idea. So be sure to keep all of this in perspective.

Disciple: Some practitioners are quite wealthy but don’t use their money to help save people. Are they just not being diligent in their cultivation, or are they making a serious mistake?

Master: Don’t focus on things like this. Among those who are wealthy there are sure to be Dafa disciples, as disciples are found in each social class. Whether a person is wealthy or not isn’t related to whether he does wrong. Some people are meant to have wealth but they haven’t been very diligent about cultivation; and then there are others who do have wealth and who have been diligent. It’s a matter of how they cultivate, which isn’t related to their wallets (laughter). And it’s not like it is only right if they donate money. It’s a problem when your projects aren’t profitable and always rely on contributions from practitioners. Some people are quick to spend money or even spend it extravagantly, and pay little regard to their financial limitations or whose money they are spending.

Many projects by Dafa disciples are short on funds. That’s because the old forces are watching to see whether you can succeed under such challenging circumstances. They hold that that’s your cultivation, your majestic virtue, and extraordinary—and only then will they approve of you. If you could have whatever you needed, be it manpower or funds, wow, it’d really seem to them that Dafa disciples had it too easy, and that saving people was a breeze. [They might say,] “Oh, so you want to get around China’s firewall? Now all you have to do is put up a satellite [and broadcast there].” (Laughter.) You would be able to do anything you wanted. Then do you think the old forces would recognize your accomplishments in that case? That’s why our journey has been so tough. The old forces think it’s only fair if you have to face this world of over 7 billion people with serious constraints in place—financial, material, and manpower. They think that otherwise Dafa disciples would have too much capability. But anyway, there are matters between the old forces and me that are to be settled later on. For now, this is how we have to do things, and we should do them well.

Disciple: There is something I’m confused about at times. When I experience sickness karma or tribulations, are they due to meddling by the old forces or due to my own karma being eliminated? By looking within I’ve come to see many shortcomings on my part. But if the ordeal drags on, Master, I’d like to ask, what more can I do to make a breakthrough?

Master: I have said that there is nothing to fear if you have Dafa. But some people take this to mean they have nothing to fear if they have the book of Dafa. Someone early on even walked down the middle of the street with a Dafa book in his hand, walking into fast oncoming traffic, shouting, “I’m a Dafa disciple and no one can hit me!” His thinking wasn’t much different. Only when you really study and absorb Dafa do you really “have Dafa.” If you have truly followed it and worked on yourself, and become a sincere disciple, then you really do “have Dafa” and have nothing to fear. So this is one aspect of things.

Also, as I was just saying, the old forces are preying upon Dafa disciples’ shortcomings, and that’s another aspect. And another cause is failing to find one’s own attachments. But what’s involved is not always that simple, of course; there are tens of millions of possible reasons. Things are quite complicated. Some practitioners experience similar ordeals time and again because they have a large amount of karma. As I’ve explained before, there are three categories of Dafa disciples. But even if you have a lot of karma, you can get through whatever tribulation as long as you have strong righteous thoughts. The karma does need to be eliminated, though, and so there could be what seems like a relapse. If that happens you can just treat it as a test, as something to cultivate through. Keep your thoughts positive and strong, and you will again break through it. Cultivation doesn’t take just one shape or form. Each person’s situation is unique. But I would like you to know one thing: now that you have Dafa with you, you have gained the Fa, and your life belongs to the Great Way, so you should forge ahead without any doubt, with righteous thoughts and actions, and do things as I have taught you. But, if you feel that you haven’t cultivated well and aren’t up to par, and can’t handle [the physical ordeal you’re facing], then you can go see a doctor, and you can do better in the future after you’ve made some progress in cultivation. But don’t take my words as an excuse to let up.

Disciple: In order to increase website traffic, our media seem to be writing headlines that are more and more unclear.

Master: That’s true, in fact. Sometimes when I read your paper’s headlines I really can’t make out what they are getting at, and sometimes the title for a positive story has a negative slant. And the same is true for the online edition. So you need to take this seriously. You should be writing in keeping with traditional conventions for the Chinese language and with the norms of standard Mandarin. You shouldn’t be using the kind of grammar that the Chinese residing in Southeast Asia use, right? (Laughter.) Chinese isn't the main language there, so it’s understandable that they use it differently. But you are Chinese language media that are meant for readers in all Chinese communities, so you should make sure your headlines aren’t misleading or confusing.

Disciple: … and in order to increase people’s time on the webpages, they are writing news articles that don’t reveal the key points of pieces until well into the article, which is veering further and further away from the conventions of standard journalism. Am I right in thinking that this stands to hurt our media’s professional reputation and credibility? And in turn impact our ability to rescue people? Is it in fact at odds with what the Fa teaches us?

Master: You might have a point. Now, when I say this, it’s because we do have some writers who aren’t all that skilled, and others who are influenced by modern thinking and culture and do those things intentionally. It’s like what people are doing in China. It used to be that broadcast journalists always spoke standard Mandarin, but now they like to mix in a bit of Cantonese accent, or else… Anyway, they do it on purpose since people think it’s trendy, especially young people. But what we are trying to do is lead people back to traditional culture. Don’t forget that.

Disciple: I experience thought karma that’s disrespectful of Master and I can’t repel it. I am very troubled by it, and feel that I’m unworthy of all that Master has done for me.

Master: You are trying to repel it, so you have done pretty well. It’s very likely those evil thoughts are not from your own mind. It’s also possible that they are reactions against Dafa by notions that you have formed since your birth, as everything is alive, and they could be resisting. Just try to repel them. You are handling it correctly if you keep repelling them. The process of repelling them is one of cultivation, and you are strengthening your will as you do so. Don’t be distressed. Anytime you experience things like this you can just regard them as not you, and remind yourself to act as a Dafa disciple should; study the Fa when you should, and do whatever you should be doing regardless. Don’t let it weigh on you. Master is aware of what you’re going through.

Disciple: There is a practitioner in China who is experiencing femoral head necrosis in his leg and hasn’t recovered. As a result he limps when he walks, but he goes out daily to clarify the facts.

Master: There are a couple of situations you should be mindful of, as Dafa disciples. One is where you haven’t done well but feel that you need to seize the day. This practitioner is probably thinking, “Necrosis?—how could such a thing happen to a Dafa disciple? I must not have done well. I’d better seize the day and get out there.” And so he goes out. If that’s the case, well, I would say you can do some other things for now, and wait until you’ve recovered before you go out to clarify the facts to people in person. Otherwise, people might ask you, “What’s with your limp?” (Laughter.) And you’d have no way to respond, right? Another situation I’ve heard about is practitioners who are experiencing a sickness karma test going to the Chinese consulate or embassy [to join other practitioners outside]. But if the agents there took photos of them and used these in propaganda against us, it wouldn’t have been worth going there, would it? They would use those pictures in China to defame us, and they would ridicule you. You can still do well with other things for the time being, and those are no less valuable.

Disciple: Greetings, Master. Owing to long-term interference, my journey of cultivation has been fraught with hardship and pain. I often experience visions of Satan, and believe the interference I face largely stems from Satan. I’d like to ask Master what the connection is between the old forces and Satan.

Master: This cosmos is an old cosmos, and it has degenerated, as you know. But even so, the old cosmos’s ways of existence are what all lives have grown accustomed to, from how they go about their lives, to their habits, to even everything about the culture passed down by the divine. So if one wants to renew all of this in the Fa rectification, or even remove whatever is substandard, and make everything good, [certain old beings] won’t be willing to see those things go. And so they try to meddle with the Fa rectification and change it into what they would have it be. And you can imagine what happens when it’s not just one or two beings who think that way. And there’s even more to it than I’ve described. There has been interference to many major matters and affairs, and that is the old forces’ doing. They established a system of things at certain levels, a comprehensive one, and joined together and imposed it, while taking advantage of the changes being made during Dafa’s Fa rectification! They came up with a set of things of their own, under the pretext of helping to save the old cosmos and helping me with Fa rectification. That’s what makes them “old forces,” as I put it.

There is no direct connection between them and Satan. Evil things like Satan and the communist Red Beast, as with the awful entities of any realm, are being utilized by them to temper Dafa disciples. The awful entities find it gratifying to harm Dafa disciples and ruthlessly persecute them, hoping to make them fail in cultivation. That is their intention. While they can do that, they’re aware that they will be annihilated if they overdo it, and so they are cautious not to overstep their bounds; they must be able to justify what they do. But their motive is evil—to do evil. The intention of the old forces, on the other hand, is to achieve their own ends in the Fa rectification. That’s what drives them. So the persecution we face today is the result of the stuff they arranged.

It’s actually all quite simple. You know, it’s like how a room will need to be swept if it hasn’t been cleaned for a long time, as it will be dirty. But no matter how you go about sweeping it, it’s going to stir up dust, and the dust is going to be irritating. If nothing else, doing the sweeping is tiring and a bit of a hassle. Or let’s say there is a house in disrepair, well then you have to fix it, which is quite tiring. And you might even hurt yourself along the way, like by getting some scrapes or bruises, or some kind of injury, or having something fall on you. It’s laborious and tiring. But if it were a new house, you would have none of these troubles. Doing anything entails certain tribulations or troubles. So not doing things means no troubles, while doing things does. That’s just how it works. And that is why some gods who are sympathetic toward me have said, “You’re the only one willing to deal with all this.” (Laughter and applause.)

Disciple: There are many new practitioners from China who have taken up Dafa in order to stay abroad, and their mindsets vary. Some have truly taken up the practice, while some still haven’t withdrawn from the three main communist organizations and don’t understand the truth even after having studied the Fa for a year or two. And a few of them even badmouth or slander practitioners behind their backs. The coordinators like to support their involvement in our activities and initiatives, and they believe that these new practitioners will benefit from the Fa study that their involvement leads to, however much that may be. And sometimes they help these people with their immigration procedures by vouching for them in writing. I know it really must not have been easy for these people, living under the evil Party as they did in China. So I’d like to know, how should we handle cases like these? How should we help them?

Master: How to help them? You need to first see if the person is a practitioner. If he isn’t, if he hasn’t really begun to practice, and is just doing it to gain legal status, then we shouldn’t get involved, as that would violate U.S. immigration laws, right? So that’s one thing. Another is, you might be thinking that by helping the person you are saving him, but if he doesn’t cultivate he won’t even appreciate your kindness. Do you realize what people in China are capable of? They go so far as to con their own parents or siblings, or even pull guns and knives on them. That’s how bad people have become. Don’t think of them as holy or something. If they are not cultivating then they are just ordinary people. You can only regard them as practitioners if they are truly cultivating and have really taken up our practice.

Disciple: I’m a practitioner from Europe. I’ve realized that every day my attachments are controlling me, and I can’t pull away from my cell phone or the computer. I’m wasting a lot of time on them. I’ve tried to break away from them but it hasn’t gone well. Could compassionate Master please tell me what I can do to strengthen my will and get rid of this attachment?

Master: Buy a cell phone that can’t go online. (Laughter and applause.) Where there’s a will there’s a way. Did you know? Many of the young disciples on the Mountain just have a simple phone without Internet, so that they won’t be interfered with.

Disciple: Some practitioners go back to China for a year or so, and then after returning they participate in our events, including Fa conferences. But they didn’t experience any persecution while they were in China. What should we make of this?

Master: This is worth thinking over. You know about how phones can be monitored… I can tell you that every mobile phone we carry on us is serving as a listening device. The CCP is sitting there listening in on even your casual conversations, and they hear everything clearly. Every Dafa disciple’s mobile phone is being monitored. So how could anyone think you could go undetected by them? And mobile phone calls are traced very quickly. As soon as you call someone they will get that number and will then start monitoring that phone as well. It’s very rare, if not impossible, for someone not to be identified by them. They will know about you as soon as you participate in a public activity. So I think there’s definitely something going on when someone can go back to China and nothing happens to him and everything is smooth.

Disciple: I’d like to ask, have Shen Yun ticket-sales entered a new phase, where only a small number of people are needed? But what if it’s the first time that Shen Yun is performing in a certain country, and…

Master: That’s a given—when it’s the first time they perform somewhere it takes a wholehearted effort from everyone. Shen Yun’s impact… I said before: once Shen Yun has succeeded in New York, it would succeed throughout the United States; and once it has succeeded in the United States, it would succeed throughout the world. And that is what has happened—it is now recognized by the entire world. Wherever Shen Yun has been in Europe, people have heard about it and know about it, and are saying good things about it, as they all know it’s excellent. So that is where things now stand. I think that the parts of Europe that haven’t put in much effort promoting Shen Yun really need to take it more seriously. Those are places that have been a bit passive about clarifying the facts and rescuing people. Yet Shen Yun is a real force in rescuing people, and [having Shen Yun perform] amounts to helping you achieve the same goals in your respective area. However, you have been passive about it. But whatever the reasons, if you could have been a bit more tenacious about it and approached things like the practitioners in the U.S. have, you would have seen an even bigger demand and audience in Europe than in America today.

The CCP has been using special agents to try to influence or interfere with prospective theaters, and they have threatened them and tried to bribe them. They have even invited the managers of some theaters to China [to try to buy them off]. There’s nothing they won’t try. But our Dafa disciples have been tenaciously overcoming all of this. And in cases where people really have been bought off by the wicked Party, our practitioners have escalated the matter to higher management. As you know, board members and senior executives are usually upper class people. They happen to be the target audience of our performances, and so, typically, they have seen it. When they find out [that a manager is discriminating against Shen Yun], they actively help us. [They might confront the manager, saying something like,] “Who on earth do you want to book, if not Shen Yun?” Some managers had to comply, while some remained resistant. In one episode, the manager of a theater in Los Angeles refused us one year, and just wouldn’t let us book the theater. He did this after he had been bribed by the Chinese consulate with a trip to China. So we went to their upper management about it, and though they didn’t say anything about it to us, they quietly fired him. Afterwards the theater called us—and mind you, at the time we didn’t ask for this—they took the initiative themselves to call us and see whether we’d like to perform there. Had the board of directors not given the word, and told management they must book Shen Yun, they definitely wouldn’t have done that, because the rest of the staff there was still under the sway of the manager who was fired. So when Shen Yun got there, they were cooperative about things, even if they didn’t seem too enthused. It gradually got better, of course. So this is just one example.

If an individual has been intimidated by the wicked Party’s consulate or embassy, then go and clarify the facts to him, make him aware of how evil the Party is, and tell him about how other theaters have handled this kind of situation and what they have done. You will be able to resolve the matter if you tell them these things. My point is that you have got to put in just as much effort. In some cases our practitioners give up as soon as there’s a bump in the road. But that doesn’t cut it. How will you overcome challenges without perseverance? You are saving people. So you have to do everything you can think of to save them, to rescue them. There are many restrictions in place in this world that you might have to break through, while still complying with the law and conducting yourselves appropriately and courteously. Go and get the job done. Saving people comes with challenges, and that’s the nature of it. The old forces wouldn’t go for it if all you needed to do was go to a theater and they quickly agreed to everything you asked for and said, “Sure, come perform here.” In the U.S. we have already worked through these challenges. There are annual conferences that theater administrators attend, and word has spread about these attempts by the CCP to bully and sway these people. People have been talking about it and are now aware. In Europe, [what you need to do] is the same.

Of course, don’t try to go about it on your own and end up mishandling things. Everything you do should be a coordinated effort. Talk things through with the coordinators and come to an agreement on how to do things. Once you’ve thoroughly discussed it together, go do it. Don’t try to go it alone and allow yourself to foul things up. We have had some people who aren’t normally very rational, and they have impulsively said all kinds of crazy things [to theater management], such as, “You will suffer retribution for this,” or “Shen Yun is the divine.” All sorts of things have been said. There is no way people at the human level are going to be receptive to remarks like those. And the effect is going to be bad, contrary to what you intend.

Disciple: Owing to long-term interference, my journey of cultivation has been fraught with hardship and pain. I often experience visions of Satan, and

Master: I read this one earlier. Visions of Satan... In a scenario like this you should just repel it in a positive way. And if things get really bad, you can call out to me. If it’s just an apparition, you can just laugh at it. You can send righteous thoughts to get rid of it, and it won’t be able to do anything to resist; it will be powerless. Dafa disciples have certain powers, and your power far surpasses it. Satan, as you might have figured, is a demon in the Three Realms, a demon of this world. So that’s an awfully low level. To the common, ordinary man here in this world he seems formidable. But to divine beings he is countless times punier than dust. If you can send righteous thoughts, and really do so with strength, you will scare him away. Some demons manage to harm our Dafa disciples because the disciples can’t see them, and so the disciples think that they are powerless to turn things around. So those demons have taken advantage of this fact.

Disciple: Will someone’s views toward America’s current political situation and which party he supports impact his future? When we raise awareness with people should we talk about how the wicked Party has influenced America and how a certain political party advocates for communist ideas?

Master: We don’t get into political matters. We have to save everyone, regardless of their political affiliation. And we have no views on political affairs. Isn’t that the case? It’s about principles, not about who it is. We condemn the specter of the wicked communist party, not particular people. You are here to save people. You have absolutely no business getting involved in inter-party political disagreements. Our media haven’t gotten involved in those, either, in fact; they are merely trying to report accurately on positive developments, and that’s all. They have never said outright that they support some particular person, have taken sides, or have tried to promote someone through their journalism. That’s not what they are doing. They are merely reporting things in a constructive manner—constructively reporting the facts. It wouldn’t be befitting for the media of Dafa disciples to misreport, would it? We shouldn’t have negative thoughts about our media just because they’re different from the ones that spread untruthful things, right? [If you do,] you should pause and reflect on how you, a practitioner, could have allowed your emotions, your human thinking, or negative factors to impair your reasoning.

Disciple: Some Dafa disciples believe that if we first look within when we go through an ordeal, we are following the old forces, and we should first send righteous thoughts instead.

Master: Sigh… what I usually say is that you should first look within anytime you meet with trouble, and see whether there is a problem on your part, and if so, correct it immediately. Sending righteous thoughts is what you should do when you know for sure some evil force is involved or meddling. You need to be sure that that’s what it is before sending righteous thoughts. And sending righteous thoughts isn’t something to do for each and every thing you meet with. If you did something wrong and then you sent righteous thoughts, they would be targeting you, yourself, if they were to really take effect right then.

Disciple: What should a Chinese practitioner living overseas do if he hasn’t been able to return to China for some time, yet neither can his family in China go abroad?

Master: It’s hard to be apart from your loved ones, and I can see it’s agonizing for you. But since you are cultivating, what can you do? Cultivate. If you ask me, I would advise you to focus on cultivation. Does that make sense? Those who are meant to meet, will do so, one day. When one day Dafa disciples, publicly and with great dignity, return to China, like heroes who have saved the world, you will enjoy tremendous honor. (Applause.) But if you stealthily go back now, and you get found out and detained in some tiny room, get beaten up, and spill it all (laughter), then I think that doesn’t sound too appealing!

Disciple: In China VCRs are now a thing of the past, yet practitioners there are still keeping in their homes videotapes of Master teaching the Fa in the early days. I’d like to ask Master whether we should still hold on to them, or can they be burned?

Master: You can burn them if keeping them poses a safety risk. But as Dafa disciples you have to know (pointing to the heart) what you are doing. If you don’t mean to do anything harmful to Dafa, then it’s fine to do that. I have told other practitioners that they could do that.

Disciple: In my cultivation I often find myself being resentful. It’s an attachment that’s really hard for me to get rid of.

Master: When a person harbors resentment it’s because he has grown fond of hearing pleasant things and having things go well. And then when things don't go that way, he resents it. You can’t be like that, if you think about it. You can’t go about cultivation that way, can you? I have always taught that a practitioner should look at things in the opposite way of how people normally do. When things go badly for you, you should see it as good, and understand that it’s meant to help you rise higher. [You should think,] “I’ve got to handle it well. This is a test for me to cultivate through, another test.” And when things go well for you, you should remind yourself, “I can’t get too happy. When all is well, I can’t improve and can easily slide downward.” So to cultivate you have to look at things in reverse. But if you always push away and reject the difficulties and unpleasant things that come your way, then you are refusing to cultivate through your tests and turning down chances to make progress, aren’t you? The persecution we face is a different matter, of course.

Disciple: Should practitioners outside of China put more effort into making the English Epoch Times a success?

Master: I wouldn’t be against that. I once told the person in charge of The Epoch Times that if they had taken the English edition more seriously early on, it would have surpassed all other media in New York by now; it would have had a massive readership at this point, I said, and that it still could if they acted quickly. Well, anyway, it’s not really anyone’s fault [that that didn’t happen], of course. It has been very challenging due to the lack of financial resources and manpower.

Disciple: Communist doctrine is dominating our world. Since the Fa’s rectification of the human world is about to begin, are people—whether in the East or the West—whose minds haven’t been completely cleansed of the Party’s evil ideas, in danger, even if they haven’t joined its organizations?

Master: I can tell you that people in the West generally don’t have a good impression of the wicked Communist Party. Of course, there are some people who aren’t clear on certain things and who advocate for socialism, equal distribution of wealth, and those kinds of things. But that’s not how this world is meant to be. Karmic causes and destiny are at work here. The good things someone did in his previous life will become blessings in this life, and those blessings might translate into a position of power, or having wealth—and that’s how someone comes to have the money that he does. While people’s business success might be attributed to their experience or business knowhow, it actually owes to their blessings. There are many people who consider themselves very talented and good at whatever they do, yet who can’t make any money and feel resentful about it. But it is because they don’t have those blessings. The fact is that this world is actually governed by higher beings, so things are fair. If someone killed people and did lots of terrible things in his last life, there is no way he should expect to strike it rich in this life. So it’s different from what people think. Higher beings are in charge. It’s not how people think it is. Everyone wants to live well, and there’s nothing wrong with that. People can’t be faulted for thinking in human ways. There is nothing wrong with people helping the poor, for instance. It’s a good thing that should be encouraged, right? It’s done out of kindness, sympathy, and compassion, so it’s good. Those are good things. And it inspires the poor to do better with their lives, which is good for society, in turn. The human world is like one big setting for cultivation and self-improvement, as I’ve said, and people are following god-given ways if they can keep their thinking virtuous and hold on to traditional values.

With that said, there are people who don’t understand what the wicked Communist Party or socialism really are. As for what socialism is, the Party has spelled it out perfectly clearly: it is the forerunner of communism. That’s very clear. It is explicitly stated in the constitution of the Communist Party. China is a socialist society, not a communist society; they say that themselves. And it’s in an early stage of socialism. What they aspire to is communism, something more evil. The people out there pushing for socialism should really go and live in China for a while and experience it firsthand—and then let’s see what they have to say.

Of course, the things that happen when we are out raising awareness usually don’t happen by chance. If you run into a Westerner and you make him aware of these things, he was probably meant to hear it even if he hasn’t joined that evil Communist Party.

Disciple: I’m a new disciple who has taken up the practice and been doing the three things, but it always seems like there’s a difference between me and the veteran disciples. Is it that our origins, levels, and beings are different?

Master: That’s not the way to interpret it. Some people were arranged to take up the practice and become Dafa disciples at a later stage than others. That’s when you were meant to come, and it has nothing to do with your level in the future. So all you need to do is to quickly get down to studying the Fa, try to catch up, and do a good job with the things you should be doing.

Disciple: Is it appropriate for people to use the words Zhen, Shan, Ren in product designs that don’t have the Falun emblem in them?

Master: No, it’s not. Zhen, Shan, Ren is the Law of the cosmos. It’s not very appropriate, or proper, to put it on things that are being sold. I understand that as Dafa disciples you want to benefit others, but that’s not how to go about it. You still need to be respectful of the Fa.

Disciple: Could Master please explain how we should “draw lessons” from both positive and negative experiences?

Master: There have been just so many lessons of all sorts. Just too many, really—more than a hundred million. If you don’t look at positive or happy developments as a practitioner should, and just get happy like an ordinary person would, then it will lead to a tribulation for you, since you are a practitioner. As for lessons of a negative sort, well, there have been simply too many. When you don’t do well it leads to a negative lesson.

Disciple: When Dafa disciples use human means to try to address the problems they face in their cultivation, not only does it fail to resolve the problem, but it actually makes things like conflicts even worse.

Master: Dafa disciples are people who cultivate themselves. So if you don’t look at things in terms of cultivation, don’t try to resolve things in light of the Fa’s teachings, and use human thinking instead, then the old forces that lurk nearby will make trouble for you. You might get into a fight with someone after only a few words, since you aren’t on the Fa.

Disciple: I am very grateful to Master. It seems I can understand and find the root cause of emotion (qing) in me, but I can’t understand how emotion is connected to selfishness, in my case.

Master: [To put it in perspective,] selfishness isn’t really a big problem in this cosmos, and especially in this human world. And how is that so? Because everything stems from self. If you think about it, you will find that it’s true for everything in this world—your family, your job, the money you earn, the things you do, and so on. Selfishness is the force that propels the developments in this world—I want to invent something, I want to do something, I want to this or that… That seems to be the case, doesn’t it? For example, the president of a country might think, “I want to change society for the better” in some way or other. Even good things stem from self. And that’s just fine for non-practitioners. But as a practitioner you want to develop a kind of altruism that extends to others and the greater good, and change your very being such that you are one with the true Fa and have attained true and virtuous enlightenment. That’s what a practitioner should do.

As for emotion, you can’t see this in the human world, but within this atmospheric layer emotion has a density more than ten thousand-fold greater than the molecules that make up water. It permeates the bones and cells and particles of every living thing. It can permeate any living thing or object, as long as that thing is within the Three Realms. So in other words, you are immersed in emotion. Anyone who is unaffected by emotion is really exceptional. This is only possible for those who engage in spiritual practice. But even if a person is engaging in spiritual practice and achieves this, it will only be part of him that does—the part of him that elevated beyond the Three Realms when he came to understand certain principles. So you are immersed in emotion and influenced by it as long as you haven’t cultivated to those heights and are still here at the human plane. Dafa disciples can keep emotion in check by using reason; it’s not possible to be completely free of its influence, however. You can merely use reason to deal with it. Only the part of you that has completed cultivation will break free of it.

But a Dafa disciple’s ability to handle it using reason will depend on how rational he is. That is what we mean by having “righteous thoughts.” And when we talk about whether someone’s cultivation is solid, it’s about the same thing. If you can handle everything rationally like I’ve described, then that is truly remarkable. I know what it’s like to be free of emotion (pointing to the heart). It means having compassion for all living things, something altogether different from emotion and that is all-encompassing. When someone is like that, emotion feels unnecessary and irksome—similar to when you hear something unpleasant or see something that shouldn’t be, and you don’t want to have anything to do with it. Anyway, all you can do for now is to handle emotion by using reason.

Disciple: Many things that we do at Minghui.org require full-time, professional staff who can apply themselves to the work fully, if we’re to achieve what we want to. But we don’t have an actual office, a formal organizational structure, nor salaries or any form of compensation on the side. The individuals involved have long had to keep a low profile while doing the work, and can’t tell others what they are busy with. Many practitioners who were originally involved have been pulled away by other projects as a result. A group of practitioners have stuck with the work, but they can only do it in their spare time and don’t work that hard on developing their professional skills. Those out there who do have the professional skills needed require financial compensation to do the work, and some form of recognition for it, and so they haven’t been able to really come on board and have a sense of mission with it. So when it comes to broadening the content of the site, and improving the website design and outdated technology…

Master: All of our media are saving people, and are extraordinary for doing so. All have had an enormous impact in the Fa rectification, and have made a contribution beyond measure. But only Minghui.org serves as a window into Dafa for the outside world and as a forum for Dafa disciples to share their cultivation experiences. It’s a forum for Dafa disciples from every corner of the globe, including China. And this isn’t something any other media could do—it’s irreplaceable. So it has made an even greater contribution! (Applause.)

As the person was just mentioning, they have to do things in a low-key manner, so nobody knows what they are doing and people might even think that they’re not actively involved in Dafa disciples’ activities. And it is hard and tiring work, going late into the night, with limited manpower, and they have to keep at it under very tough circumstances. But it’s cultivation, so aren’t these the most magnificent and extraordinary kinds of things you can do? When Dafa disciples are in the most difficult of circumstances and need to hear a [supportive] voice, Minghui.org is there for them. So think about how extraordinary your work is. You really should cherish it! However hard it may be to do, that is your majestic virtue.

Also, the people doing Minghui work need to be very trustworthy and reliable practitioners, since they have to establish lines of communication with practitioners in China directly; they have to be very reliable and dedicated to the work, and really able to apply themselves to it in full. Younger Dafa disciples are most needed, but it’s hardest for them to stick with things, and so this poses challenges, too. But this is cultivation, and if practitioners were really aware of [Minghui’s value] they would be vying to participate in it. But the majestic virtue involved isn’t something people can see. It isn’t visible to anyone, and the efforts of the practitioners involved aren’t something others know about.

People usually want to do things that are more visible, and where others can see what they have accomplished. They’d like it to be seen by others, if not Master. Otherwise it might bother them on some level. But actually, there are so many eyes in the cosmos intently watching you that the number is simply unimaginable. Even a single particle of matter is packed full of these eyes—even the tiniest of particles are. All of the lives in the cosmos are intently watching all that Dafa disciples do. And divine beings are among these. Your every thought and action are being recorded, and more vividly than video recording—everything is recorded multi-dimensionally. So what you are doing is for the divine to see, not man. They can’t help but watch, for Dafa disciples’ failure or success has bearing on whether the Fa’s rectification of the cosmos succeeds and whether the cosmos will continue to exist; whether Dafa disciples do well has bearing on their very lives. How could they not watch intently? And so they all are.

Disciple: We have received feedback from readers saying that Minghui’s use of the term “kidnapped” to describe Dafa disciples being wrongfully seized by the police in China doesn’t make sense to non-practitioners, since “kidnapping” normally refers to thugs seizing someone in order to extort ransom money. They think the way we are writing is odd and not very normal.

Master: The way they do things in China is different. The practitioners who have been away from China for some time tend to look at things in the way that people in the rest of the world do, so there might be a difference. The evil Communist Party is like a gang of thugs—isn’t how they take people away just like kidnappers abducting people? To “seize” is used to describe capturing bad people. You can tell the readers who are concerned that, if needed, the choice of terms can be improved, though—terms that are related to things in China. But if you think it over, it seems rather fitting to use the term in question, in fact.

Disciple: Is the book How the Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World primarily meant for people outside of China? Does it need to be distributed widely in China?

Master: No, it doesn’t. It’s mainly meant for the rest of the world. The people in China already know that the Red Beast is ruling them. Needless to say, the specter has been ruling them.

Disciple: My question is in reference to the book The Ultimate Goal of Communism. When trying to give people some good advice and when writing opinion pieces, some practitioners want to summarize the book or quote it, but often aren’t able to express things as well as the book does.

Master: In a book you have room to provide ample support and fully explain your points. While clarifying the facts to people it’s not possible to convey as much verbally or cover everything right then and there, and so you won’t get the same results. So I think you can regard the book as something that provides additional information for you to draw on when you clarify the facts. But you should still clarify the facts to people in your own way and tailor it to the people you are talking to and the situation.

I think I’ll stop here. Many people have traveled a great distance for today’s Fa conference, and I don’t want to take up more of your time. The experiences that you share with one another at Fa conferences are vitally important. You can learn valuable things from the different ways that Dafa disciples from different areas are rescuing people and how they are cultivating, and this will be of great benefit to you in your own efforts hereafter. But I knew that you would want to hear what I had to say, and so I tried to answer some questions for you. And so here we are.

You are the ones who have to do the actual work. In the toughest and most trying of circumstances, you were the ones who stood up to the evil and continued to do [what you should]. Know that I am with you. The evil Communist Party says that I’m hiding in America, but I am actually with you in China every day! (Applause.)

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(Translation by Team Yellow, subject to further improvement. Date of this version: July 13, 2018.)