(Li Hongzhi ~ June 7, 2009)
Good afternoon! (Disciples: Good afternoon, Master!)
You've been working hard! (Disciples: Master has been working hard!)
I am delighted to see you all, as we haven't seen each other for over a year. (Enthusiastic applause) I have intentionally avoided lecturing too much, for I am aware that the more thoroughly I talk about something, the greater the difficulty it will bring your cultivation and the more trouble the old forces' elements will make. The Fa has been taught, and Master has told you that as long as you are steadfast in cultivating by this Fa, everything will be yours. That's definitely the case, so as long as you study it earnestly, it is the same as my teaching you directly. So having pondered this matter, I decided that it was better to speak less frequently, leaving you more opportunities to improve, to arrive at your own insights, and to walk your own path. When I teach the Fa infrequently though, what worries me most is not the hardships or ordeals you face, which you know to be plenty hard. They are not the hardest thing; after all, however trying hardship may be, it's over after you get through it, and at that point things are clear to you. Rather, to quietly cultivate in bleak loneliness, unable to see hope, is the hardest of all. Doing any form of cultivation entails undergoing a trial such as this and a path with such features. Only if one can persevere and continually forge ahead does it amount to true diligence. It's easy to talk about, but putting it into action is tremendously difficult. That is why it's said that always cultivating as if you were just starting will surely result in achieving your ultimate rank.
You have all seen that in today's society negative things abound, and they spur on people's attachments and affect their minds and souls, continually dragging the world's people downwards. It is terrifying. Dafa disciples are human cultivators, not gods that cultivate, and so as people who cultivate, they will be interfered with to some extent. If they cannot handle themselves well, then they are just like ordinary people; and when interfered with, their behavior will be much like that of ordinary people. Some students haven't encountered much in the way of ordeals and have gradually become lax. This means that they have formed attachments to the various temptations of ordinary society, and been dragged down by its lure. Of course, different people have different human thoughts as they cultivate and their innate foundations are different, just as their attitudes toward cultivation are, of course, different. The most precious thing is to manage to continually progress while in this grueling setting, under pressure, and unable to see hope. That is the most precious, and greatest, thing.
I have discovered that many students have, in this period of time where they couldn't see me, become relatively lax and not so strict with themselves. Cultivation is truly something solemn. Two earths have come to pass since the creation of the world, and this eons-old history has all been to await the final moment that is today. This time is, in reality, but the blink of an eye or the wave of a hand, as gods see it. But in this dimension of man, it requires a process that takes time. However long something takes in human dimension time, it is still but the blink of an eye to the gods. Many years need to pass in this human place, and as the time drags on, some students are apt to become less diligent and to slack off a bit. You have to be vigilant about this problem. I think that you will be fine as long as you pay attention to it from now on. Seen in another light, the path that you have traveled and all that you have faced and gone through, as with Dafa's vast spreading, and the deeds of our cultivators--none of this is possibly by chance. Ordinary people would never have the chance to experience all that you have gone through. The unfolding of an event as great as this in the human world could by no means be accidental. Think about it a little and you will see that it really isn't ordinary. Since you have made it through so many years, why can't you do well on the final leg of the journey? Failing to be diligent in cultivation is actually no trivial thing. The instant you relax, you will be led away by human thinking and take a backward, or roundabout, route, and you will cooperate poorly with each other as you validate the Fa and clarify the facts.
Each of our Dafa disciples' projects that clarify the facts and save people is self-organized voluntarily for the purpose of validating the Fa, and you have seen what you've achieved. The media entities and networks that Dafa disciples have put together, and all that you have accomplished, strike fear into the evil elements. The wicked CCP has mobilized China's entire state apparatus--not just its propaganda organs--and as a result, all of its foreign affairs initiatives abroad have stagnated. It all exists solely to persecute Falun Gong. As Dafa disciples clarify the facts, they are truly going at it one man against a hundred, or even one against a thousand, and have effectively exposed this ordeal that the evil created and directed at Dafa disciples. In the last few decades, the wicked CCP has always put up a facade and feigned peace and prosperity so as to get the world to recognize the legitimacy of the wicked Party's rule. Right now, the evil in other dimensions has been badly decimated, and its ability to control people has waned. So, for Dafa disciples, things overall have become ever more relaxed and comfortable. But as things get more comfortable, the pressure lessens; and when the pressure is lessened, it's apt to lead to a desire for comfort, to wanting a little more ease, to relaxing a little bit, and to seeking some relief. But the reality is, each Dafa disciple's life has been tightly wed to, like links in a chain, his cultivation. So when you relax yourself, it amounts to relaxing in your cultivation.
Some Dafa disciples are working on projects meant to save people, and they are busy and work hard. I'm aware of all of this. And I know some Dafa disciples have very little time to rest, and face many challenges. But whatever the case, isn't today what we have awaited? Whether you made vows in history or came specifically for this affair, what's before us at this moment, today, is what Dafa disciples are to do and have long awaited. Though what you are doing is saving people, you are nonetheless cultivating yourselves as well, and so what manifests in this human setting won't be fully divine-like. If the world's people could see your godly appearance and the wonders of what you do, it would break the spell of delusion that makes this an ordinary, human place. In that case there would be no such thing as Dafa disciples cultivating or saving people, and the hardships would disappear. And without those things, your cultivation would become less sacred. So it is for this reason that you appear to be ordinary human beings. And there is more than just this. As I just said, this kind of cultivation setting, where one cannot see what lies ahead and one is immersed in prolonged loneliness, is the hardest to endure, and it is most apt to lead a person to slack off. This is the greatest test in cultivation.
Of course, the evil factors in mainland China are still quite rampant in some locales. Though the majority of the bad factors have been cleared away, in some locales and in certain scenarios, they can still manage to control bad people and act out in sinister ways. So, a portion of our students will really feel a great deal of pressure when setting out to do things. The same is true outside China; that is, those that are truly at the forefront of things will feel this pressure. No matter what, though, and regardless of what kind of setting they are in, all Dafa disciples need to do well.
Yesterday, I discussed with our Dafa disciples from NTDTV a few of the situations at hand. Another thing at present that you are all aware of, is that students who haven't been diligent--people that didn't step forward for a long time and fell far short--have begun to step forward in a steady stream as the climate has changed. In mainland China, quite a few Dafa disciples from the most severely persecuted and heavily pressured areas have stepped forward after long having failed to. There are also some people who have come here from China, and conflicts have arisen when they tried to work together with overseas Dafa disciples. This has led to Dafa disciples around the world feeling that things have gotten more complicated. The main reason for this, however, is something other than their cultivation state.
The notions that people from mainland China have were formed under the influence of the wicked CCP's culture. Their concepts, mindsets, way of life, and day-to-day conduct were all formed under such circumstances. The people in Western society or those in societies not ruled by the wicked communist party live in a human way that is natural, with the differences among peoples just being cultural. In a natural society such as that, people share a common way of life that values keeping calm, being kind and open-minded, and not putting up your guard around people. That's normal, and before the wicked Party came along, Chinese people used to be that way too. But in today's Chinese society, the wicked CCP constantly uses lies, hatred, and "struggle" to educate people from birth to adulthood. It unfailingly uses false principles to educate people, and always does so based on its needs, resulting in people's behavior becoming more and more in line with what it wants as their daily conduct sinks further. Some people in mainland China still talk about ancient traditions though, and a few still have traditional values. The presence of such people was what led to the Cultural Revolution, and that's why there have been all kinds of political movements there, to constantly batter and destroy the Chinese people's traditions. Today's youth have grown up amidst nothing but Party culture and lies, and the mindsets they have formed amidst those lies, as with their conduct and how they go about things, are in stark contrast to those of people from other nations. In other societies, when two people meet in person, they are able to speak openly about anything, and even if they didn't know each other before, they are able to speak sincerely and frankly. That's simply impossible for people in the mainland. So, the students that have come from the mainland do things and interact with others differently from how people do outside China. Students from outside China don't understand the students from there, and can't understand what they say and do, wondering, "How can they do things this way? Why is this person so odd?" The reality is that Chinese people who were made to "struggle" against and denounce each other in multiple political campaigns by the wicked Party have, after having experienced such persecution, sealed themselves off by force of habit; and that has especially been the case during the persecution of Dafa disciples. Dafa disciples should be understanding of one another, however. And conversely, mainlanders, having formed that kind of mentality in China, can't understand people abroad, and wonder, "How can these foreigners be so stupid?" Nor can they understand Chinese who have been outside China for a long time, and ask themselves, "How come they do things this way?" Indeed, being human beings, everyone should really just act normally. This is an area in which you need to be understanding of one another and cooperate well.
Because of the different mindset that mainland students have, the unsuccessful cooperation, their abnormal way of looking at things, their always being at odds with people, and their closing themselves off, some Dafa disciples outside of China wonder if the students from the mainland are spies. In a lot of places, this has stirred things up and caused quite some disruption. I think that you know what I've said before, namely, that I will save the spies, too. He may be a spy in this life, but in his previous lives perhaps he was outstanding. And they all came for this Fa. So, why would we judge him based solely on this lifetime? Should we no longer save him, in that case? He merely has a different profession, that's all. Of course, what he does in his line of work can indeed cause harm and mean that he has committed sins against Dafa. But I think that the Fa is immense and that this is the Great Law of the cosmos, after all, so it can resolve anything. As long as you can open up your heart and be tolerant, I think anything can change. Back when I was disseminating the Fa in China, there were so many students that were members of the wicked Party and veteran cadres from the Red Army, there were many party secretaries, many students from the state and public security bureaus, and many students from the military--even members from the third or second intelligence directorates of the military's general staff. It's not that they truly went to the other side during the persecution, but rather, that they were fearful and became confused in the face of pressure. The person is a human being, after all, and is capable of doing anything under pressure. Once he becomes clearheaded, he will certainly come back. It's just a matter of time.
Saving people is just that, saving people, and to pick and choose would not be merciful. That is particularly true now, when human society has reached this point and everything is falling apart. The only criterion now is what a person himself wants. I discussed this just yesterday. I said that history has never seen an era in which people have become so bad, as they are today. And that is especially so for the people in mainland China, whose utter moral collapse has reached an all-time low. If you walk down the street and observe people's thoughts, very few of them have good things in mind, many think about bad things every moment, and most of what they do is bad. Society as a whole is driving these things, and the wicked Party is yanking people down. So for Dafa disciples, this persecution will allow them to, whatever the case--no matter how much physical suffering or mental torment it causes them, and no matter how severe the persecution--eliminate their karma and head towards Consummation. What awaits Dafa disciples are all the best things. Isn't this the goal of your cultivation? However, per the old forces' sinister arrangements, this wicked-Party-perpetrated persecution of the world--and especially of the Chinese people--that was wrought by the old forces so as to supposedly "help Dafa disciples achieve Consummation" is unmatched in its severity. By corrupting people and having them commit sins against Dafa, isn't it pushing the Chinese people towards destruction? Even though it was the old forces that arranged this vile persecution, it is nonetheless on account of Dafa disciples that the Chinese people have endured such disgrace and suffering. So from that perspective, shouldn't you go and save them? Shouldn't Dafa disciples open their hearts wide? Aren't even those who carry out the persecution, with the exception of the head of the evil, themselves targeted by the persecution?
I thus wanted to point out that right now, when many of your different projects are short-handed, some of the Dafa disciples who have come out of China still have no place on a project. I'd say that you shouldn't worry about whether they have been "transformed" or not. As long as the person has left that evil setting, he will regain his clarity and feel regret. Even though it was a disgrace, the person needs to be given a chance to come back. Cultivators must have human thoughts in order to cultivate, after all. Such a person's sore spots are going to be sensitive when they're hit upon, and sometimes the person will even defend himself with some kind of argument, fearing scorn. So, regardless of how he got out of there, he should still be able to enter this environment of Dafa disciples. You cannot push these people away. Instead, you should get close to them and show them warmth. No matter what they think or do, and no matter how different their mindset may be, they will gradually come to know and appreciate how people in other countries lead their lives. Broaden your hearts and minds some, for they are your fellow disciples, Master's Dafa disciples. You need to show tolerance for them. If you really do feel uncomfortable putting someone like this on a certain project or asking him to do certain things, then you can inquire with the Dafa disciples in China from his locale about his specific circumstances. As long as he was a Dafa disciple originally, then I don't think involving him will present a problem. Dafa can strengthen even diamond, so could it be that we can't help one such individual person to improve? No environment can compare to that of Dafa disciples. As long as your righteous thoughts, as Dafa disciples, get a little stronger and you collaborate a little better with fewer conflicts, the strength of your efforts to save people will be greater.
Right now some of your projects require a lot of hard work. Especially notable are the media projects, which require a relatively large number of people. For a media entity to really have the effect of saving sentient beings and really leverage the strengths of a media outlet, you have to have a firm footing in ordinary society. Having a firm footing in ordinary society isn't just something to pay lip service to. Rather, it is something you need to truly act upon. If you want to have a firm footing in ordinary society, you have to run that entity well. The ultimate goal and starting point for any company in ordinary society is to do business and make money. Though your starting point is to save people, you still need to become well established in society, get into a positive cycle financially, and adhere to society's management methods as much as possible. If something were not quite right for human society, it surely wouldn't be adopted widely. So, when everyone uses certain methods of management, it means that they suit people's needs and that gods permit such a format in society. In the last century or two, the way corporations operate has proven to be viable, and you could say it is the result of what ordinary people have learned through experience. Then why can't we follow those conventions when we run ours?
Dafa disciples all have in mind the thought, "We will rush to the front lines, no matter how hard or exhausting it may be or if it means long nights without sleep--we can, and will, do whatever it takes." But, when it comes to management, they falter. Didn't you say that you could do whatever it takes? (Audience laughs) Didn't you all go from not knowing how to do something to knowing how? Then why is it that you can't do this part well? Only by running a media entity well can it grow stronger and have more of the desired effect. Right now how much time is wasted figuring out how to keep it going and scrounging around for money to sustain it--how hard it has been! If you really put some thought and effort into this, then I think the outcome will be great. Whether it's seeking sponsorships or getting ads, all of that behind-the-scenes work done to get capital for the media companies is the same as that of those who act as the public face of the company--the mighty virtue is exactly the same. It couldn't possibly be that someone's mighty virtue is greater just because he writes articles, acts as an editor, serves as a translator, often appears in or on that media, or because he has some select assignment. All of you who participate in that media entity are, as Dafa disciples, the same, regardless of what task you do.
Yet when you deal with this issue that has long confounded you, upon seeing the challenges ahead, fully aware of them, you retreat instead of pushing forward, and don't want to do it. I want to tell you here, as Master, that I support managing the media companies well. I have told the people responsible for the media entities that they should put some effort into this. But there are more people who aren't so clear on this, and you have this short-term thinking, namely, "When Fa-rectification requires something, we'll do it. When it's over with, we're done." But that's not how things work. When Dafa disciples do something, it is never solely for that one thing. With whatever you do, you need to consider the present as well as the future, and you need to consider the task itself as well as anything related to it. Right now this cultural format is being used to save people and validate the Fa, but won't this format be left to the future? Won't it be given to the people of the future to follow?
Then there is another management issue related to how you run a media company. You all have this attitude of, "If I want to do something, I'll do it. But when someone tells me what to do, I don't go for it." How could that work? You are Dafa disciples. When you work at an ordinary company, you do whatever your boss tells you to. So how come with a Dafa project, when doing something for Dafa, you won't listen when someone says something, tells you to do something, or assigns something for you to do? Just think about it: is that right? If we want to gain a foothold in society and have that media entity more effectively play its role, then you have to run it with ordinary means. That's what I have told the television station, the radio station, the Epoch Times newspaper, and the other media entities. It was something I said to them. If you want to use these [media] forms to clarify the facts and save people, then you need to take that approach. Whatever ordinary people do or however they run a company, that's how you need to do it. It's merely that your motive is to save people. That's where the difference lies.
Real-life experience has shown that the human style of management is quite effective, so why don't you use it? Perhaps that format for doing things is to be left to the future. But if you're telling me that with your managerial process nobody listens to anyone, then could that format be passed on to the future? No, that wouldn't work. If people don't want to listen whenever you assign something and they just want to do whatever suits their fancy, and each does things his own way, could that ever work? It's just like when this fist goes out--it's strong when everyone is clenched together. (Master makes a fist.) But if you're saying that this one wants to do this, that one wants to do that, and the next one something else (spreading the five fingers apart and pointing to each finger), then that's weak, and as soon as it goes out, it will be repelled, right? You need to have a plan and organize things, coordinate well, and cooperate with each other.
Some people might think, "Why should I listen to so-and-so? I think I've cultivated better than him." You mustn't say that. Only someone who has cultivated well will be content to follow whatever is assigned to him, and [thinking that way] only proves that you have not cultivated well. I have said that the media companies you run are not inherently a part of Dafa, and that the duties which go with your assigned role do not represent your cultivation level. You are Dafa disciples, and have come together of your own volition for the purpose of saving sentient beings and validating the Fa. You built up this project to save people and validate the Fa. That's how these things should be viewed. Since the company is not a part of Dafa, it should gain a solid footing in society, and be ordinary. Why shouldn't something ordinary be managed with ordinary methods? An ordinary person's job doesn't bespeak of how high his level used to be in the heavens, nor does it represent how high a cultivator's current realm is or how well he has cultivated. Since you understand this principle, and know that just because someone manages you it doesn't mean he has cultivated to a higher place, then should there still be issues of discontentment or jealousy involved here? It's fine for someone to manage you, since that is for Dafa. Aren't Dafa disciples supposed to be able to adapt to different circumstances? When you faced harsh persecution while in jail, when you were beaten and cursed at by wicked people, and ordered around, did you succumb to discontentment at that time? Then why is it that in this situation, when involved in something so sacred, you can't do it??
Today there are a great many Dafa disciples before me, so I wanted to spell things out. You have done very well with the media entities and already had a huge effect in saving sentient beings. So this is something that needs to be done well. Master's wish is that you will get them on a solid footing in society and make them solid businesses with a positive cycle, thus allowing them to have an even greater impact and do even more to save sentient beings. That's what I wanted to say. As for the management of things, you should have departments, a managerial level, and people who do the hands-on tasks. The roles are different, but they all have in common the one goal of validating the Fa. Those who manage things and those who carry out tasks earn the same mighty virtue. You are supporting the format of that media entity and using it to save sentient beings, so your impact is the same.
I have a lot to say, but whatever I would bring up would lend too much emphasis to that topic. I won't say much more. I just wanted to talk in general terms about things at present. If you have questions that you really feel a need to ask or that urgently need to be resolved, you can pass them up shortly on slips of paper, and I will answer them for you. (Applause)
Looking at the essence of the current situation, we can see that the evil's factors are finished and that the evil specter of the wicked CCP has been destroyed. It's just that some of its messages still exist--for example, in some of its books or pictures from the past--along with its evil factors, though most of those evil factors have been destroyed. The harm being done to Dafa disciples comes from the mess of utterly base low spirits and rotten demons that exist in the low-level places that have been impacted by Fa-rectification. Those things are being directly controlled by evil factors, and the old bad factors of even higher levels are at work layer after layer. But in China, that evil specter of the CCP has long been finished. As you know, there are factors of the evil specter behind the wicked Party. Who before would have dared to say that the wicked Party was bad? People wouldn't dare say anything, even behind closed doors in their own homes. People were even afraid at just the thought of it, and had a sense something was watching them. Yet now, everyone--from the wicked Party's central authorities down to the common folk--dares to curse it in public. Whenever they get together, they curse the wicked CCP. This shows that the evil factors that used to control people are no more, that they're finished. Then why is its political power still intact? That's just a gang of thugs who want to oppress and exploit the people, and stay in power--it's an extremely depraved gang at work, holding onto power. It plays into the hands of the old cosmos's evil factors, which exploit their bad thoughts and use them to create pressure for, and sustain that sinister climate for, the Dafa disciples who have yet to step forward or who haven't cultivated well. That society is now rotten to the core.
If I were to end this affair right now, too many future lives would be destroyed. Those people that came down to obtain the Fa, and those people that came for the purpose of obtaining the Fa, would have come in vain. Regardless of what those lives are now doing, they were, in the beginning, gods. They saw how terrifying it was here, yet they dared to jump headlong in--they dared to come. Why was that? Because they had hope in the Fa-rectification and Dafa, and they came out of a deep faith. No matter how they are behaving now, we need to look at how things were initially and look at their history--at how that life once was--and do our utmost to save them. This is the Great Law of the cosmos, after all, and for the countless sentient beings, it's an opportunity that is hard to come by. It is here just this once, and if they can remain, they will remain; if they cannot, then they will disappear forever. So I feel that we need to keep doing this and keep saving them. If the people who had obtained the Fa today were not you but others, and you were the ones in that circumstance and counted among the ordinary people, think about it: wouldn't you be deserving of pity? And as for the Chinese people, who suffer the most severe persecution, they are persecuted to that extent only on account of the old forces' trying to interfere with you. So there is even more reason for you to save them. At present, it is a given that you need to do well the three things and cultivate yourselves well. Have strong righteous thoughts. When you cultivate yourself well, your righteous thoughts will of course be strong. So for all of you, saving sentient beings is your responsibility and your historic mission, and it is something at once both monumental and grueling.
You know that it's not hard for us to save a person; the difficulty lies in the evil's interference and pressure. When a person manages to understand the truth and be saved, it means that, speaking on a fundamental level, all of the lives in the cosmic system behind him that he represents are saved in conjunction. It means that immeasurable numbers of sentient beings and immense systems--so many lives--are saved. It is a factor that major which makes it hard for the person to have a chance to hear the truth and understand what is before him. It takes the form of various evil factors interfering with our clarifying the facts, but in essence it's due to the presence of that major factor behind it all. I just said that the responsibility Dafa disciples have is monumental and that this historic mission is not something just anyone could take on--only Dafa disciples are worthy. It's magnificent, truly magnificent.
I want to mention something in passing. It is something I haven't talked to you about before. I spoke about something at the meeting yesterday, and I need to repeat it today. Otherwise it will circulate inaccurately. In the past, as a part of Fa-rectification, gods at every level addressed the matter of determining what would happen with humankind after Fa-rectification, and gods at a certain level arranged for there to be a great Final Judgment. This can be found in the Western tradition, which tells of mankind facing a grand judgment. But it would not be limited to mankind: all beings of the whole Three Realms would face it. Even deceased people would be brought back to life and face judgment. This judgment would be the final conclusion to all that had come to pass since the creation of the world, and encompass the beginning of and spreading of Dafa as well as mark the end of saving sentient beings, and in particular, it would encompass all of what beings during the final Fa-rectification period had done--all of it would be displayed in full view. When I have spoken about "sentient beings," I have used the term in a broad, comprehensive sense that includes everything in the cosmos. Regardless of whether man's science calls something organic or inorganic, the truth is that everything is alive. The lives of the multitude of dimensions, all sentient beings, came for this Dafa; and the living environments that all the sentient beings were provided with were themselves created for this Dafa. Then I would say that in the end, all of them would have to face the Judgment. I didn't mention this before while teaching the Fa, for the arrangements made at that specific level no longer count; ultimately it will be I who decides what is done. The Final Judgment that they arranged was not limited to the judging of those who would play oppositional or negative roles, or those who would do bad things. Rather, those that had played positive roles would also have to face the Judgment. What would they face? Here's an example. While you might have played a positive role during Fa-rectification, there would remain the question: did you fulfill your responsibilities to the utmost degree? Another example is, those who came here to be Dafa disciples: what was the vow that you made? did you honor that vow? what did the Lord Creator require of you? did you do as the Lord Creator required? If you did not honor your original vow or do as the Lord Creator required, then you would not have completed what you were supposed to do and would have in effect deceived the Lord. Since you would have thus brought losses to your local area's situation at that time, to the progress of Fa-rectification, and to the sentient beings that were thus not saved, and you would have thus brought damage or ruin to different levels of the cosmos, you would be held accountable. I talked about this yesterday, and I needed to repeat it for you today lest it be passed around inaccurately. I didn't talk about this before and hadn't wanted to get into this, for I know that you have all been through so much. But ultimately, no matter how you are made to stand and face Fa-rectification and yourself, if you have failed to do well, you will truly be considered responsible.
Next, you can pass up your slips and I will answer your questions. (Applause)
Disciple: I would like to ask Master to talk about the function and significance of Shen Yun's performances at this point in the history of Fa-rectification.
Master: By now you've all seen that at each of Shen Yun Performing Arts's performances there are hundreds in attendance at a minimum, and most typically there are over a thousand, or even two or three thousand, with the number ranging upwards of over five thousand at times, depending on the size of the venue. As many as that may be, after watching the performance over ninety percent who attend have a change of attitude toward Dafa, and they become clear about what that evil Party is; the people become completely positive. Effecting change in that many people all at once like that would be really hard to achieve simply by clarifying the truth. Just think about how many Dafa disciples it would take, all clarifying the truth in sync, to achieve that? Of course, that's not to say that our media haven't had a large impact. Rather, it's that right now nothing but a Shen Yun performance can have an impact as big and instantaneous as I've described.
Everyone's experience while taking in a Shen Yun performance is different. Chinese audience members understand it on a rational level. The pure goodness and beauty of what unfolds on stage is just stunning both in terms of the visual effect and the feelings it evokes, especially so because it is built completely upon [China's] divinely inspired cultural heritage, has not a hint of Party culture, and is something truly human and part of the human heritage. So when the performance shows the great compassion and fortitude of Dafa disciples, and after it lays bare the lies of the wicked CCP, it is truly stirring indeed to the Chinese in attendance. Westerners and persons of other ethnicities also find the experience to be really powerful, with some even actually seeing, as they watch, mesmerized, divine beings on the stage. Nowhere else but at a Shen Yun performance have they ever seen performers of such high caliber or with that kind of positivity on stage. After watching, many say things like, "It was heavenly," "God was with them," "This gives us hope for the future," or "Shen Yun is reviving the arts." Many who make such remarks are people of prominence, and not the type to speak frivolously. And some of them are so moved that they are wiping tears away as they speak. All of this indicates that the performances really do accomplish what I've described. So we know that Shen Yun's performances really can have the effect of saving people. Then as Dafa disciples, when we consider that but one Shen Yun tour can manage to save hundreds of thousands of people, is there anything not to like about it?
Okay, that's all for this question.
Disciple: Disciples from all countries abroad who have come to the New York Fa conference give their regards to Master.
Master: Thank you all! (Warm applause.)
Disciple: Could Shen Yun travel to India to perform? Also, there are many people in India, especially school students, who are rapidly gaining the Fa and starting the exercises. But, owing to a shortage of Dafa materials, we can't ensure that they are diligent about exercises or understanding the Fa after they learn it. How should we help these new practitioners? Another thing is, may we produce an English edition of the Epoch Times in India at this time?
Master: It's fine for Shen Yun to perform there. You can start an English edition of The Epoch Times if conditions permit. There aren't any restrictions in place for this media entity. If conditions suffice, one day it will appear in mainland China.
Newer students need to study the Fa more; there is no way around it. If we look at the cultivation state of Dafa disciples as a whole, we find evidence from the path walked thus far that tells just how important Fa-study is. A human being is like a container. If he is filled with Fa, he will--this being the Fa of the cosmos--naturally have righteous thoughts and play a positive role. That's for sure. So there is only one way, and it is to study the Fa more. Don't turn doing the exercises into a formality and stop at that. Rather, you should guide everyone to study the Fa more. The best thing is to organize students to study the Fa together in different settings, and this would be especially good in India, given the large number of school students.
Disciple: When we're promoting Shen Yun and, as of the last day or two before a performance, there are a lot of tickets left, fellow cultivators are often of two opinions. One is that we should lower the ticket prices, since we shouldn't have empty seats. The other is that we shouldn't lower the prices, since we need to establish the Shen Yun brand.
Master: Since this has come up, here's what I would like to say. You know how there are a number of famous brands out there that are known internationally, well, often these well-known brands are not hit hard in times of economic recession. Generally speaking, they aren't affected much when the economy is bad. The reason is, typically what a bad economy affects is the lower rungs of society; the upper rungs have savings, and so they aren't hit very hard. Looked at from another perspective, it is most definitely the case that in human society the upper class is endowed with a greater amount of blessing, and such people's inborn quality is better. While this isn't a hard and fast rule, it does hold true for the vast majority of people, since if they didn't have blessings allotted to them they wouldn't be entitled to what they have--unlike what the twisted logic of the wicked CCP says. We don't try to distinguish the rich from the poor, for we try to save all the sentient beings before us regardless of which class they belong to. So, it's not acceptable if we don't take care of the upper echelon of society.
A second matter is the ticket. The effect of a Shen Yun performance now counts it as the top show in the world--the best. (Applause.) And I don't just mean at present. I examined the quality of various shows during different eras of history, and ours is still the best. I'm referring to the theatrical effect of the performance, and this includes the artistic form as well as the artistic technique that's demonstrated. Ordinary people's performances can't compare, to be honest. What we have here is an assemblage of cultivators, and their starting point is a desire to save sentient beings; and what fills the stage but divine beings, who give assistance. Could ordinary people's performances possibly achieve that? They can't.
So as for the value of the ticket, we know that the people in Western society have social classes; the fact remains, however unhappy some people might be about it, that social classes really do exist. People from different social classes go to different stores and establishments. There's no question about it. This is something that Chinese people, having lived under the wicked Party, do not understand. If you ask someone from the upper class to go and partake in something lower class, he most certainly won't. Image is something everyone cares about, and, given that everyone wants to look good, there are many people who want to make their way into society's upper tier. So, if you find a good venue for our performances, people from both the upper and lower classes will be happy to go. But if, on the other hand, the location is a poorer neighborhood or it's a venue that puts on low-end shows, neither upper nor middle class people will have anything to do with it. Whatever one may think about this, that's the reality of society. If we want to save people, then when we try to save them we have to be attentive to their circumstances. Don't take this for granted.
Here's my take on Shen Yun ticket sales. You're all talking about what to do when you still have tickets left over prior to opening night. Let me first address this in cultivation terms. How sales go in a given locale is, in reality, a true, tangible sign of how well practitioners have cultivated and cooperated there. (Applause.) I'm not just saying this because I think Shen Yun is so important. Rather, it truly is a reflection of your cultivation. The assistants in some areas are narrow-minded. They will only team up with the people they "believe in," and if there are other people that they can't stand, they don't let them participate and even drive them away. In some areas there are students who interact with each other with strong human attachments and neglect to make cooperation the top priority. The fights between people there are endless, with the result being that it compromises our validating of the Fa as well as our selling of tickets. In some places, people try to grab practitioners to join their side, each group goes its own way, and they don't work together in the least. In some areas there have indeed been people who harbor bad intentions and that stir up trouble. And in yet other cases, people have been preoccupied with the thought that spies might find out about their plans, and so they cover and hide what they're doing to the point that practitioners don't have any clue about what's going on--in which case, how are they supposed to cooperate together? (Applause.) They go about things stealthily, as if they were doing something unspeakable. But isn't this something you should do with confidence and poise? Again and again I've said: don't let appearances, or evil factors, deceive your eyes, for this phase of history is given to Dafa disciples for validating the Fa; if you can walk this path well, nothing will block you, for it is all a matter of whether you walk it righteously. If your mind is that narrow, how will you achieve what's needed? You won't be able to. Of course, arranging a performance by Shen Yun is something that the practitioners in each area have done voluntarily. It's something you do because you want to. If you don't want to, it's not as if Master would insist on it. It's something that is done by Dafa disciples of their own accord, solely to validate the Fa. There is something very real that I've observed, however. Namely, the change that a Shen Yun performance brings about locally is enormous. So many people become clear about Dafa in one fell swoop, and they change for the better. That would be awfully hard for you to achieve under normal circumstances. And, moreover, some local people seek out Dafa as a result of the Shen Yun performance and start to cultivate. That is even something we've seen often.
Then as for the question of the ticket's worth, consider that this is the best artistry performed on any stage in the world, that divine beings are performing, and that a person's health problems are resolved when he watches the performance. And consider that when someone watches the show, the stress in his life from the economic crisis nowadays, no matter how great, will be completely dissolved and relieved; the person's troubles might truly disappear afterwards, he will feel as if he's seen the light at the end of the tunnel (laughter), and he will seem to have changed as a person, if not his finances too. (Applause.) This happens because, having made the right choice at the show, people will have their karma dissolved for them, and it will be transformed into blessings. And the health problems of many people disappear after they see the performance. Then what would you say: how much is that worth? Many audience members have said, just speaking about the quality of the performance at the most superficial level, that one ticket is worth $500--$500 U.S. dollars, that is. (Applause.) Be it in Europe, America, or other places, many audience members have said that it is worth $500.
Of course, when you have leftover tickets, there is another reason involved as well; it's not just because of poor cooperation on the part of Dafa disciples. Namely, in many places people don't know Shen Yun. However well Shen Yun might perform, the several hundred thousand who see the performance amount to just a tiny figure when there are over 7 billion people on this earth. Also, in Western society the performances and ballet companies have histories that go back a century, and parents take their kids to see them starting right from their youth. They watch the same performance over and over again right into old age. People thus know even the details of a ballet company, such as what caliber it is, who is performing in a production, how a given artist is doing, and so on. So, when that ballet company comes to town, all an advertisement has to do is tell which company it is and what dates it's performing on, and that's it. They can keep it simple and things work out, people come. But in our case, no matter how well we do our ads, you still think it's not good enough, and you even think that it will work only if you pack everything about the show into the ad. Yet that's not possible. And besides, even if the ad is done supremely well, it doesn't necessarily mean people will come. The year before last, in the New York metro area more than 10 million people--just about every person--had seen the ads for Shen Yun five times. So it was done to that extent, yet those people still didn't come. And why was that? What people were thinking was, "I know you're in town, but I don't know whether I would like what you perform and I don't know how the quality is." Their not being sure suggests that we still lack the level of brand recognition that's needed. Thus, it's not a question of our ads, and it's not simply that we haven't put in enough effort. Rather, there is an element of people not knowing [Shen Yun].
Then there's another reason. Consider what kind of stuff people in the U.S., or whatever country it may be, are exposed to when song and dance performances from China come. It's one big hodgepodge. For example, contained in their dance movements are techniques from ballet, classical Chinese dance, and "modern," or contemporary, dance, in addition to all sorts of random, irregular stuff that is mixed in. Then do you think they'll go for this in Western society, where they are used to formal, clearly-defined art forms? Mainland Chinese don't get this. Filled up with wicked CCP culture and trapped in its confines, the Chinese people--including choreographers, directors, and performers--haven't the slightest clue about these things or about the psychology of normal people. But the wicked Party's evil specter is clear on all this, and it has all along sought to harm the Chinese people and destroy their culture. So it has directed Chinese people to do such things. That's why the things that they perform are such a mess and so lacking in creativity. Thus, you don't see anybody outside of China praising it, and this has created a definite obstacle for Shen Yun's performances. The moment people hear "Chinese show," they have a bad impression.
But that said, I have observed that the quality of absolute beauty that permeates a Shen Yun performance really can have the effect of saving sentient beings and stirring the soul. The impact of this will only grow greater and greater as Shen Yun keeps performing in the time ahead. Truth be told, the extent to which Shen Yun's performances have moved and impacted society is already something that no other show can match. It's really sizable. And what's more, this is achieved by the combined effect of Shen Yun's own strength plus that of the local Dafa disciples who are organizing the event. After people see the performance they will speak from their heart about it publicly, spreading the word person to person, mouth to mouth. Soon there will be a sense of excitement brewing, and we will quickly be on the radar. At that point you will just need to write a few words and you're all set--"Shen Yun is returning!" You won't need to do much publicity. (Applause.)
So, what are you to do when you have tickets left? You didn't do well, and so tickets remain. My stance is that we shouldn't lower the prices. (Enthusiastic applause.) Some people might be wondering, "But since we're saving people, wouldn't it be nice to bring in even just one more person? Isn't it the more, the better?" That's not how it is. It's not how you imagine it. Some Chinese people still don't understand how things work outside of China. If you really do lower the prices, if you really take that approach, the long-term effect is extremely bad. To illustrate, there was once a person who had bought one of the most expensive seats. He overheard the person next to him saying that his ticket was bought at a discount, and this infuriated him--to the point that he tracked down the theater's manager to chew him out. In another episode, our practitioners invited the audience members in the third mezzanine to come down to the orchestra level. Little did they realize that those sitting there, in the best seats, wouldn't stand for it. People got up and sought out the manager to get a refund, saying things like, "What are you thinking, bringing people who bought cheap seats over here?" They were really upset, and felt humiliated. The issue isn't whether their mentality was right or not; let's not criticize them. The point is, if we want to save people, we are only going to be effective if we do it in a way that takes account of society's realities. Another thing is, anytime a new brand is established it has to go through a challenging period of time, and ensuring that the price reflects the quality of the product is how you build credibility in Western society. By contrast, in mainland China nowadays, when people do business they want to make a quick deal, and they want to move their goods as soon as they arrive. They figure that a buck made is still a buck, and they pay no attention to prestige, credibility, or branding. And what's the end result? They end up with nothing. We can't go about things that way. We need to ensure our quality and the reputation we have in society, and doing so will be to our benefit down the road as we save more sentient beings. So I don't think the issue is one of whether or not to cut prices. Rather, it's a question of whether you can devote your attention to cooperating well. With that, you will sell a lot more tickets.
Disciple: Recently I have discovered that what makes it hard to remove attachments is in fact that my resolve to cultivate is inadequate and my will is not firm, and thus, as we head toward the end, the problem is especially apparent.
Master: If you realize it, that's a good start, for you have begun to improve. If we are able to recognize our shortcomings, then we can quickly catch up. At present, some people still aren't aware of them, and aren't willing to face up to their cultivation situation or see their shortcomings. Then could you call that cultivation?
Disciple: Some coordinators in Japan are forceful in their manner of handling things, and don't listen to other people's opinions. This has led to a group of disciples opposing them, and many disciples have become quite disheartened as a result. I think that we shouldn't give up hope in the Association or get stuck arguing over who is superficially right or wrong. By discussing together in terms of the Fa's principles, we should be able to ultimately resolve any problem. We should try to, starting with a pure and correct intent within us, be tolerant of others' shortcomings.
Master: In cultivation one mustn't look outward. If people don't listen to your idea, will you then form a negative attitude? Who are you cultivating for? You know how intensely those evil factors in mainland China make wicked policemen persecute Dafa disciples, right? Yet despite such persecution, none of them became negative or sank into despair. Yet over such a little thing you're getting deflated? (Applause) You should proactively clarify the truth and walk your own path. Don't waste your energy being preoccupied with the coordinators.
It is true that some newer students who haven't studied the Fa in depth have been affected, so I need to shift direction and say a few things to the coordinators. When you're doing things, think about how Master handles them, and learn from it a bit. Only when you can manage to have the great breadth of mind befitting a cultivator will you be able to guide more people and save people. With some things, everyone needs to listen to the directives of the Dafa Association and act in a unified manner. With other things, the Association needs to loosen its grip and allow everyone to act on their own. However, when people can't reach consensus, the Association will have to decide on the course of action for everyone; once a decision is made, that's how it will be done, and you need to cooperate. (Applause) We can't allow differing opinions to affect what needs to be done. Of course, if you can truly come to an understanding and improve together, that's terrific, and how it should be. But when time is tight, as is often the case, and we can't afford to wait until everyone is on the same page before taking action, then it is sometimes necessary for everyone simply to follow an executive decision by the Association. Do you understand? (Enthusiastic applause)
Disciple: My father is a veteran practitioner and lives outside China, but he doesn't have the courage to step forward. I don't know what I should do.
Master: Then he's not making the grade. (Laughs) For one thing, it would be best if he could realize for himself what to do, since this is cultivation after all. Another thing you can do is to serve as a catalyst for him and help him along. The evil won't suddenly tell him one day, "We're not going to persecute you anymore." If a person wants to cultivate, he should just go ahead. What's actually at work is fear. Everyone talks about "setting aside all thought of life and death," but when the pressure increases a little they can't come through. Don't be a "lesser man who hears the Dao."
Disciple: Please allow yourself to sit.
Master: Many of the question slips are asking me to sit, but I think I'll stand. (Everyone laughs, applauds) It's been a long time since we last saw each other, and I want to have a good view of you, just as you want to have a good view of me. (Warm applause)
Disciple: I have a child who saw Shen Yun perform last year and was very moved. He even shed tears. He saw Shen Yun again this year, and from the first note, before the curtain had even opened, he began to weep. He said that it was the same scene appearing before his eyes again, and that it was how Heaven looked. The child has a predestined connection to Dafa, and believes in it, and in Master, very much. But sometimes he has doubts. Is this interference?
Master: I have addressed this in my Fa teachings. If you study the Fa a bit more you'll all be clear on this, actually. Human beings naturally have both a good and a bad side, and all material things and creatures in the Three Realms are constructed of both good and bad factors, either of which can have an effect. When it is goodness that dominates the person's actions, then he is good; when it is evilness that dominates the person's actions, then he is not good. If goodness abounds as a person cultivates, then he will be in a corresponding state; if goodness is lacking, his foolish ignorance will show. It's just a question of which quality is in effect. Cultivation is all about cultivating away the things that are not good, or negative, and it means cultivating your positive side to the point of completion. And that is when good fruits will follow. You shouldn't be thinking, "Wow, this child is just outstanding. He should be just like a god, and always righteous." It's not like that. People are people. If someone can see gods, he is still a human being; it's merely that his human state is different.
Disciple: My mother cultivated for over ten years, but passed away not long ago. When she was cultivating, she provided a great deal of assistance to me in life. But I failed to help her break through the test of life and death.
Master: You shouldn't have too many thoughts about this. If you think too much, it will become an attachment. Just put your heart into cultivating. Only when you have cultivated well will you be able to help sentient beings. The Dafa disciples that have passed away all have good returns awaiting them. There's no need to worry.
Disciple: Why is it that articles submitted to the Minghui website from mainland China all seem to have certain elements of Party culture in them?
Master: Many articles that come from the mainland do indeed speak the way they do in the Party culture. Their authors don't know any different, as that's how they were educated in that environment. But after you have edited the articles, you can still use the true things that are present in them. Don't let it affect anything.
Disciple: How are we to make sense of the thinking and behavior of students who come from the mainland?
Master: Try to put yourself in their shoes and understand them a bit. They are cultivators too, and in essence, the same as everyone else. They are doing the three things as well, and they too are my disciples. That's grounds enough to try to work with them. They will gradually become aware of the issue themselves. You need to be clear on this. Don't push them away just because of this.
Disciple: Should we steer our little disciples to learn dance, artistic gymnastics, and music?
Master: I know you all adore the kids of Fei Tian Academy, and consider them very fortunate--performing so well on stage as they do. You want your kids to attend Fei Tian and later become part of Shen Yun, right? Well, there won't be that many people who can join Shen Yun. Also, the requirements that have to be met to enter Fei Tian are high, for Fei Tian prepares students to join Shen Yun. Shen Yun is a world-class company, and its requirements are only getting higher. The child's physical attributes have to meet the standard for professional recruitment, and students of dance have to be tall and thin, have a slender frame and long legs, be very flexible, and have a good vertical leap. The boys, too, have to meet these conditions, and so those who are plump or have too large a frame, or aren't tall enough, are not suitable. Music students need to have good musicianship and a good sense of rhythm, with the difference being that Shen Yun requires that they be skilled before coming in. Dafa disciples have a lot of projects going, and if you work on something else, that's good too. But those who really do have the necessary traits won't miss their chance, even if you don't say anything. If you don't have the necessary traits, though, don't try too hard to force it.
Disciple: Each time we have a group activity, because there are very few fellow practitioners who are capable of sharing the load with creating materials and doing promotional work, oftentimes I'm the only one and must scramble to get things done. This situation has created a huge array of problems for my ordinary work and my family. (Master: Indeed.) It's thus hard for me to squeeze in Fa-study or cultivation.
Master: Actually, all of our Dafa disciples face this kind of challenge, since each has family that they have to take care of, and each still needs to cultivate as well as to validate the Fa. It's like that for everyone. Balance things well. Of course, there are often certain special situations where others don't have the skills that are needed, and there's just one person. In that case, do your best to find others to learn those skills.
Disciple: I don't know what my vow is. Some practitioners tell me to do this, and others that, but I can't do it all. How can I know for sure what my path and my vow really are?
Master: I have never said to anyone that he should do this or she should do that. Manpower is needed on each and every front. If you feel that you're especially skilled in a certain regard, or there is something you especially like to do, then go and solidly, resolutely, do a good job with that thing. As long as that effort can save sentient beings, and you have a part to play in it, then go and do it, and that's that. It's not as if when you wrote your vow you spelled out that you would specifically come down to be a reporter or a performer. (Everyone laughs)
Disciple: Could I ask Master to talk a little about the environment of Fa-rectification at this time?
Master: The environments in mainland China and outside the mainland are different. The problems that the rest of the world faces, and its environments, are just what they are. Dafa disciples should cultivate in keeping with the circumstances they are in, and, similarly, validate the Fa and save sentient beings in keeping with them. Right now, the evil in some areas of mainland China is really crazed, and in such circumstances a person needs to do his utmost to keep safety in mind. Clarifying the truth and personal cultivation are integrated. If someone's state of mind is not right, or if his righteous thoughts are not strong enough, then problems will follow, for your own cultivation is what's fundamental. Remember too that the rotten demons and evil entities of low levels that directly persecute Dafa disciples don't want sentient beings to be saved.
Disciple: There are many projects that need Dafa disciples' participation, and there are many disciples who have yet to appreciate the future prospects of Dafa disciples' media.
Master: Yes, I know. This is especially the case with the English Epoch Times and other, non-Chinese-language editions of the paper or of the other media. We're really short of hands, and this often results in many things being hard to do. So I would ask: has the coordination of our projects as a whole really achieved what it should? Are there still shortcomings that exist? If you can truly handle this well, they will really begin to achieve the effect they should, and it will change the environment around us; it could even be that the effect of the media will become such that more people in society want to read or watch them, learn the truth, and even seek out Dafa. If you can really achieve that, then you will have sufficient manpower, as there will constantly be new people coming, with some being very capable persons. If you haven't managed to make that stride forward, then you should examine things and ask whether it results from some form of inadequacy and that is why you have such difficulty. If you really manage to do well, the situation will change--change for the better. That really is the case. Of course, what I described isn't the sole reason for your situation. There are evil factors making trouble for you as well, after all. They hold that only when you cultivate in hardship, amidst ordeals, and under trying circumstances will you gain mighty virtue. And thus, they interfere. That's how the situation is right now.
Disciple: When we are doing group study, should we be reading aloud the parts of Master's Fa teachings such as the signature, the date, and the parenthetical remarks such as "applause" or "Master laughs"?
Master: (Laughing) No, you don't need to. You don't need to read the signatures, dates, commas, or parenthetical parts. (Laughing) (Everyone Laughs) Just read the Fa--the Fa content--and it will be fine. There's a phenomenon among mainland students, namely, while studying the Fa some people think that they shouldn't read Master's full name aloud whenever they come upon it, and that, instead, they should just say "Master" or "respected Master." Reading the Fa is reading the Fa, so you shouldn't change it.
Disciple: The mainland Chinese Dafa disciples who live in Korea send their regards to Master!
Master: Thank you.
Disciple: How should the management in our media go about listening to the ideas and opinions of its staff? And in particular, how so when the students' ideas and opinions diverge from their own? The coordinators of the Sydney branch of the Epoch Times would prefer to look in other countries, to the periphery, to recruit new people, and seem not to value the students who have been working inside the company all along.
Master: That's true. We often do that. That is, when people don't cooperate well they just go and look for other people, and they keep doing that again and again as things continue not to work out and, in the end, the Epoch Times just becomes one big practice site. (Everyone laughs)
But having touched on this, I want to say a few words about how some students fix their attention on the management. If the setting were your normal workplace, would you dare to fix your attention on your superiors? Could you do that? You couldn't. Then how come, while validating the Fa and cultivating yourselves, you are focusing your attention on external things? What's more, Master has told you that cultivation is about cultivating yourself; you have to cultivate inward, to look inside yourself. If you can all manage to do this, there will be no problem that can't be resolved, and this is the greatest way to work together and is a magic tool given by the Fa. So how come you don't do it? Those who manage things are responsible for this, and so are those who should cooperate--each is responsible. But has it occurred to you that we're always talking about how others "don't cooperate well," with some people always talking about how the management has this and that problem? In every case, that is looking outward, cultivating outward, and dwelling on what others are doing. Why don't we instead look for our own faults, and try to truly do well? If you can truly do things correctly, how will others view you? Then when you, as the coordinator, are anxious about getting something done, why don't you reflect for a moment on what you might have done inadequately that has led students not to want to do what you tell them? So you must remember, it is cultivation--exactly cultivation!
Disciple: There are some veteran students in the mainland who believe that things like the so-called "Unabridged Fa" and "Lecture Ten" are real.
Master: That's all stuff concocted by those despicable secret agents. There is no such thing as this supposed "Unabridged Fa," nor is there any "Lecture Ten" or any other rotten demonic stuff like that. What will they cook up next, a "Foot Fa"? (Laughs) That stuff is just concocted by the evil specter using the brains of secret agents, and it is used to confuse those among us who they think aren't diligent, who like to hear gossipy things, who like to hear something new just for novelty's sake, or who like to show off. It's meant to confuse such people. But they cannot confuse even one person who cultivates solidly.
Disciple: Is it the case that when a person inside China sees the Shen Yun DVD he can be saved just as someone would outside of China who sees the performance in a theater?
Master: As long as someone can see the evil for what it is, become clear that Dafa is good and that Dafa disciples are good people, then that will suffice. But that said, watching the DVD will never have the same effect as seeing the performance in a theater. Some people have asked whether we could play a recording of the performance on a big screen, in effect allowing more people to see it, as if they were watching Shen Yun live. No, you cannot. You most definitely don't want to do something like that outside China, for it will ruin people's chances of being saved. Were you to do that, it would mean that those who have the predestined fortune to see Shen Yun live on stage would not be stunned by it in the way they normally would, or worse still, if it seemed as though the performance was going to be the same [as the DVD], they wouldn't even come. So you don't want to use that approach. When seeing the live stage performance, there are divine beings directly on the scene, whereas while watching the DVD there isn't anything like that power, and moreover, the surroundings in which the person watches the video might interfere with him or her. With mainland China it's different, however, for people can't see Shen Yun there. If they can manage to see the DVD, it can have a certain impact. But outside of China we don't want to use that approach.
Disciple: The core players in our media often leave to work on other projects, making it impossible to ensure the quality of our work. How can we better deal with this?
Master: Right, when someone who has done quite well suddenly leaves for some other project, it instantly creates a manpower shortage. With some students, the moment something isn't agreeable to them they just disregard how [leaving] will affect others, they don't consider how it will impact that task that was being done to validate the Fa, and they just do whatever they please. I have observed this in some students, and the gods are not exactly impressed, either. At the same time, though, it is true that other projects are in need of people. If you have the spare time to help them, well, many Dafa disciples are simultaneously shouldering multiple duties, so there shouldn't be a problem in principle. But no matter how much we discuss this matter, it all boils down to a problem of coordination and cultivation.
Disciple: Could Master please talk about the Nine Competitions?
Master: New Tang Dynasty Television has held the nine competitions for the past two years. It has made them quite dramatic and appealing, and they've become a sensation. The nine competitions are all about traditional culture--divinely-bestowed culture, the true cultural heritage of man. It is something that was being lost. In terms of the long-run, the competitions will serve to pass on such things to the future and its people. And as for the present, the obvious way in which this format is helpful is that it raises NTDTV's profile and increases the station's viewership, while, more fundamentally, it has the even greater impact of clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings. Once the competitions are over, though, let's stop there and not keep hyping them up. And if you keep putting on such events, and are doing so internationally, then you are promoting ordinary people's things since most of what they involve are ordinary things, after all. The competitions are to help promote the TV station, enrich its programming, and further its name-recognition. And the other idea behind the competitions is that people are competing on the basis of things from traditional culture--something beneficial for the people of the future and that helps people to reclaim their traditions.
Disciple: This year's vocal competition only includes the bel canto style, and not Chinese folk singing. Is that because folk singing is not being affirmed or kept?
Master: I've mentioned before that there are many vocal styles in this world. Each ethnicity corresponds to the culture of a different cosmic body. Perhaps a certain vocal style is a distinguishing trait of the particular culture in a particular cosmic body's system. So we don't disapprove of any specific vocal style, other than things that have an adverse effect on society, the bad things. I won't affirm those things. Since there are so many possible choices, and we can't possibly use everything, we thus have to take some things into consideration and use things selectively. As for the question of what the future human society will be left with, that's a future matter. Whatever is good will be kept. This year, Chinese folk singing is not included, only bel canto is. That style can be used by just about any ethnicity.
Disciple: I would like to ask whether organizations such as the Falun Dafa Information Center should also be run like an ordinary company.
Master: I can't talk about things that specifically. If I were to now say how the Information Center should be run, you would turn around and say, "Master said that the Information Center must be run in such-and-such way," and that "Since Master said that, nobody should think of doing otherwise." So I can't address the question specifically. What I can say is, if you are able to do so and have the right conditions for it, then you may. But if you lack the ability to do so or conditions aren't ripe, then you still have to take it slow. I think, though, that for the media companies such as the Epoch Times and NTDTV, it is imperative.
Disciple: A Changchun Dafa disciple asked me to raise a question with Master on his behalf. He said he is observing that although many fellow cultivators are really active in validating the Fa, for long stretches of time they aren't able to study the Fa or do the exercises well. He feels this is a serious problem. I was in the same predicament for a while. The effect is that when we work on our projects to validate the Fa, things are not sacred, and it is hard to achieve the impact that we wish for. And conflicts among fellow practitioners also result from failing to study the Fa well, causing them not to do well looking inward or cooperating with one another.
Master: Yes, indeed. I feel the same way. I hope that the Dafa disciples in all regions of mainland China--not just those in Changchun--will manage to do all three things well at the same time. Only by doing so are you truly accomplishing what you should, and only then are you advancing diligently as Dafa disciples.
Disciple: There is a lot of interference in Southeast Asia. Is it because Dafa disciples' efforts to clarify the truth have been insufficient?
Master: Although this part of history is meant for Dafa disciples to validate the Fa, the environment is complicated and there are evil factors at work; hence the challenges. But as long as you do well, have ample righteous thoughts, and coordinate things well, the situation will change. If you are unable to do that, are fearful, or have too many human attachments, then you are apt not to do well. And when you don't do well, evil factors act more wildly, negative factors gain the upper hand, and all that you see will be interference and ordeals. My Dafa disciples... you are distributed over a large expanse (gesturing), and you are each now responsible for your respective area of this world. Changes in your thinking can lead to changes in your surrounding environment. How the people in your region are is a result of the extent to which you have clarified the truth to them. The environment is shaped by your human attachments. When the environment is bad, it is because you made it that way. Of course, if you now say, "Then I will act like a god," and you start to be irrational, then it will be another case of self-wrought interference. You must be rational, go about things with confidence and poise, and know well what you should do.
Disciple: Russian disciples send their greetings to Master.
Master: Thank you. (Applause)
Disciple: We have tried hard to clarify the truth, but the situation has not turned around much. What can we do to have Shen Yun perform in Russia?
Master: Yes, there are political factors that have led to big challenges. Don't be anxious. If our Dafa disciples have truly done well but things still aren't good there, then let's give it a little time and see. The evil factors of the old forces can see that the wicked CCP is done for, and if there were a country on its northern border that dealt with it in the manner that the U.S. does, then the evil would be in no mood to persecute Dafa disciples. So, there are special circumstances where it might not be that Dafa disciples haven't done well, but rather, that the larger situation involves something like this. So given that, let's wait and see. No matter what, Dafa disciples should still do the things they are supposed to do in terms of clarifying the truth and saving people.
Disciple: We have come across situations such as the following when selling ads: some of our clients listened to us clarify the truth and learned about Dafa, and decided to advertise, but after a while they stopped advertising with us when they felt the effect was minimal. Was this because we disciples didn't do well, or was it that the client left after having done what he was supposed to do for Dafa?
Master: A person doesn't necessarily change after you clarify the truth to him. When you clarify the truth, you have to clear up the person's wrong ideas and help him to see that the CCP's intentions are evil. If your truth-clarification is inadequate and the effect of the ads is minimal, then of course the client won't want to stay on. But if a contract has been signed, then it needs to be honored. If there is a breach of contract that results in any loss, then whoever caused the loss has to be held accountable. If there is no economic consequence and it's just a matter of whether they want to continue, then handle it on a case by case basis. There is no such thing as a client being supposed to do this or that for Dafa. You are saving sentient beings, period. It's not that the sentient beings should do certain things for you. As for whether you've done well or not, Master really doesn't need to comment on such things. You will know the answer if you try to figure out what isn't quite right.
Disciple: How can we do better with clarifying the truth to the two hundred thousand Chinese people in Brazil?
Master: You are Dafa disciples, so just do your best. Clarifying the truth is your responsibility. If you're asking how you could possibly talk to all those people that you want to save, then I'd say just do your best--do as much as you can. When Dafa disciples do well with what they are supposed to, things change.
Disciple: There are a lot of new students who would like to join certain projects, but who don't speak up since they are afraid that the veteran students might criticize them. And then there are veteran students who seem to equate participating in activities with cultivation, and they push new students to go everywhere to participate.
Master: Then there's a problem with the veteran students. New students are new students, after all, and isn't our focus on saving sentient beings? New students have just joined in, and they really do need your help. What's most important is that you guide them to study the Fa a lot.
Another thing is, let's stop participating in the community events that take a large number of people and where you can't directly clarify the truth (for example, the parades and activities in areas where there aren't many Chinese residents). They don't have much of a substantial impact and are not that effective.
Disciple: If ordinary people book Shen Yun and it is not Dafa disciples taking the lead and driving ticket sales, will the audience be saved just the same?
Master: Yes, it will be. Whoever watches the show will be saved, and it's the same regardless of who does that work.
Disciple: Some students go back to the mainland almost every year. Can they take on important projects?
Master: I think it's best that they don't. One day they might be taken away by the evil Party's wicked police, and once they are gripped with fear, they might say anything. (Laughs, sighs)
Disciple: When will Shen Yun be able to perform in China?
Master: That's exactly what I am thinking! (Applause) But let me assure you, they will go, for sure! (Enthusiastic applause, cheers)
Disciple: Many disciples know that doing work is not cultivation, but they still value highly the accomplishments of our media. How should we, speaking in terms of personal cultivation, maintain a pure state of mind and at the same time be effective in what Dafa disciples are to do?
Master: Keep your righteous thoughts strong, and realize that you are doing that work to save people. The starting point of what you do, as a cultivator, is sacred. If your approach isn't right as you go about things, it will bring about interference to, and cast a shadow over, both what you are working on and your cultivation.
Disciple: Is the current economic crisis caused by the significant decline of mankind's morality, and especially that of those in power?
Master: Let's not worry about the condition of the world economy. Who holds power or what happens somewhere on some day has nothing to do with our cultivation. We focus on saving people, period. The normal arrangements for human society are most definitely based on people's allotted blessings and amount of karma.
Disciple: Dafa disciples in Donggang city, Liaoning province; Xinjiang province; Gaomi city, Shandong province; Lanzhou city, Gansu province; Qingdao city; Yuyuantan park, Beijing; Shanxi province; Yangpu district, Shanghai; Shanghai; Changping district, Beijing; Weifang city, Shandong province; Chongqing city; Shenzhen city; Hulu Island, Liaoning province; Shenyang city; Chengde city, Hebei province; Kunming city, Yunnan province; Shijiazhuang city, Hebei province; Yantai city, Shandong province; Jinan city; Heilongjiang province; Lianyungang city, Jiangsu province; Zhejiang University; Guan county, Shandong province; Hefei city, Anhui province; Jiangmen city; Guiyang city, Guizhou province; Xi'an city; Bureau of Health of Guangzhou municipality; Chaoyang city, Liaoning province; Wuxue city; Huanggang city, Hubei province; Xishui county; Macheng city; Fushun city; Datong city, Shanxi province; Hebi city, Henan province; Weihai city, Shandong province; Qiqiha'er city; Fuyang city; Tianjin city; Jinchang city, Gansu province; Changchun city; Handan city, Hebei province; Chaoshan city; Xuzhou city; and Tai'an city send their greetings to Master.
Master: Thank you all. (Warm applause)
Disciple: Greetings to our compassionate, magnificent, and venerable Master from Dafa disciples at the Minghui Schools. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security is providing funds for Chinese language education to organizations outside of China that have been infiltrated by the CCP. Meanwhile, organizations such as ours that provide normal Chinese language education are not receiving such funding. Some students think we should use this opportunity to clarify the truth to the government and expose the evil. But some think that since this is not direct persecution, we shouldn't get involved.
Master: While we are persecuted, you can tell the world about the things that the wicked CCP has done abroad, but don't get overly preoccupied with this. Saving sentient beings is first and foremost. Just try to save more and more people. You can expose those evil elements as circumstances permit. Actually, sometimes I've thought: now that the wicked CCP is almost finished, who should be given all those things that it racked its brain to get through deceit and fraud? It hasn't yet been decided where those things will end up.
Disciple: Master, could you offer a few words to the Dafa disciples imprisoned in the mainland? How should they conduct themselves and strengthen their righteous thoughts while imprisoned?
Master: Those are dark dens where the evil is entrenched during its final days. Each Dafa disciple's circumstances are different, but under no circumstance should you lose your righteous thoughts, and you mustn't forget for even a moment that you are a Dafa disciple. If you put the Fa first, you will manage to have righteous thoughts and be able to withstand the evil; you will know what to do in the face of the evil. That said, things are complicated, and people's cultivation states are different. Some might indeed lose their lives, and some will be severely persecuted. Each person's situation is different; each person's past history, along with that which the old forces might have arranged for a Dafa disciple if he was deceived, have made things awfully complicated. But whatever the case, if you can manage to keep Dafa in your heart, you will make it through. And even if the person does lose his life, he will return to his rightful position, for sure. Even though some people get confused temporarily, they will ultimately make it through.
Disciple: There is a practice site in our area and most of the participants are African-American. Some of them have been coming for over eight years, but they only do the exercises and have read the book only once or twice. The same is true with the newcomers. How should we help them?
Master: Just help them to study the Fa, and do a good job of explaining to them how important Fa-study is.
Disciple: Should the European Choir continue to try to raise awareness and save the world's people by using the format of a choir?
Master: I sometimes wonder whether your singing can really have an effect like Shen Yun, can it really save people? That would be hard to do. If the choir can't achieve a real effect in terms of saving sentient beings, then it's not that meaningful. The reason I say that is because when you rehearse or sing together, it consumes human resources. If you can, however, really play a big part in saving sentient beings, then you should do it as long as some people are indeed saved, even if you can't guarantee a large number. But by all means don't become attached to the choir itself.
Disciple: The Toronto branch of Tianti Books, Inc. has been open for business for almost a year now, and the number of people coming to the store to learn the truth and study the Fa has gradually increased. But the store's business operations are still not quite ideal. Should the store be run like the media companies, and work on marketing and advertising?
Master: You're coming to me with even this question? (People laugh) Just manage your business operations; there's nothing wrong with doing that. When you don't do well, the evil will interfere and there will be difficulties. That's how things are right now. If you want to do something, then do it well.
Disciple: Last week some malicious thugs in Flushing tried to snatch video cameras from our students' hands, right in front of a federal investigator from the U.S. Department of Justice. We plan to sue those thugs. The American police only charged them with "attempted robbery."
Master: Well, it was attempted robbery, as they didn't succeed in taking anything. (Laughs) It's only natural that the police would say that. They couldn't say those things were stolen when they were not. If the thugs did indeed take something, then you can sue them.
Disciple: We would like to tell the federal government that for a long time now these violent thugs have targeted us, tried to provoke us, and threatened us for our faith.
Master: It's not just an issue of faith. It is that the wicked CCP is behind these things. Actually, people know already even without your telling them--even the police know it. I've been thinking about something, though. Our students who are in Flushing, the ones on the front lines, have a good starting point--to stand up to the evil. That is really good, and I do affirm that. But, do you perhaps rush into things a bit? Calmly think things over, and broaden your mind a little. If you can really regard everyone as a sentient being that we want to save, and then you try to save them, see if things change. It's definitely no coincidence that the evil emerged in Flushing and has made people do bad things. It must have come about to target our students' omissions. Don't blindly go battling against their human sides. Your goal is not to defeat them, but to save them. Do things with compassion and a calm mind, and then see how it goes.
Disciple: When reporters who are responsible for reporting on Shen Yun work under tight deadlines and with a heavy workload, it's hard to share resources among our media and reporters. It's difficult to do. As a result, there have been a number of problems where reporters contend with one another to get the few allotted press passes.
Master: Indeed. It's not so much that the problem is people contending for allotted press passes. There have been times where there weren't that many people in the audience, but there were still reporters everywhere and it was quite intimidating for people. It's a performance they're going to. Haven't you ever thought about how the theatergoers look at you? And some students like to show off. They'll be carrying their camera around, "click, click, click," taking photos non-stop, left and right. That has annoyed people. This isn't just about your character and how you conduct yourself; rather, it is a matter of cultivation. You didn't make saving sentient beings first and foremost. Reporting on the performances is a good thing; your intention is to help promote the event. But when there are too many reporters, it might really have the opposite effect. And the theater management won't be able to stand it, either. So it's really not an option to have no limit in place on the number of press passes.
Disciple: All of the Dafa disciples in the Beijing aerospace industry, and all Dafa disciples at Ganjiakou, Zhanlan Road, and Outer Fucheng Gate, Beijing; the Shuangxiu practice site in the Haidian district, Beijing; Changsha city, Hunan province; Guangzhou city; East Lake Scenic Area, Wuhan city; Hongshan district; China Academy of Sciences; China Academy of Social Sciences; Zhuhai city; Hongdu Park, Nanchang city; Leiyang city, Hunan province; Chenzhou city; Hengnan county; Xining city; Liuzhou city, Guangxi province; Harbin city; Dongguang county, Hebei province; Fucheng county; Chengdu city; Benxi city, Liaoning province; District 204, Shenyang city; Changqing district; Ningbo city, Zhejiang province; Dongfang city, Hainan province; Xinyang city, Henan province; Jiangmen city, Guangdong province; Dongbei University of Finance and Economics in Dalian city; and Jiangsu province send their greetings to Master.
Master: Thank you all. (Applause)
Disciple: While promoting Shen Yun ticket sales (Master: My goodness--this is not a conference on Shen Yun. Why is everyone asking about it?), I realized that the purpose of Shen Yun's performances is to save people, and that, as Dafa disciples working on this, factors of our cultivation are involved. Thus, clarifying the facts should be the main thing we do. But some fellow practitioners think that advertising in mainstream media is the main task.
Master: Selling tickets is just that, selling tickets, and you only need to clarify the truth when problems come up. It's at the performance that people are saved. There is nothing wrong with advertising in normal media, large or small. As for how to do the advertising, do things based on your local circumstances. Some say that passing out flyers is all it takes; some say focusing on selling tickets at certain locations does the job; and some believe that advertising is necessary. However you do it is fine. In some areas they didn't advertise much, but the students worked well together and sold all the tickets at just a few stores. What I'm saying is, do it based on the specific circumstances of your locale.
Disciple: Those of us who do media work need to study the Fa as a group, but we're scattered throughout the world. Would it be appropriate for us to study the Fa together over the Internet?
Master: You can give it a try. But I'm thinking, wherever Dafa disciples may be--in whatever remote corner of the world they may be doing media work--they should not become disconnected from the local Dafa Association. And it's best for you not to disassociate yourself from the local group, either. You should all study the Fa with the Dafa disciples in your local area.
Disciple: When the evil Party's regime has collapsed, will the people of mainland China still have an opportunity, under those more favorable circumstances, to come to understand Dafa and be saved? What do we need to do to achieve that?
Master: When the evil really does collapse, and it is the time of Fa rectifying the human world, there will be a different state of things specific to the Fa's rectification of the human world, different from that at present--completely different. Don't think about those affairs, for right now we need to do things according to the present situation and save people accordingly.
Disciple: How are we to distinguish hints from Master and interference from the old forces?
Master: Master and certain righteous gods will give you hints, for sure. But often they will be meant to, for your sake, remove your attachments or help you avoid danger, and they will be for your cultivation. The interference from the evil factors, by contrast, often takes the form of false hints that go along with your attachments, your being overjoyed by something, your likes, or any of your other attachments. Afterwards you will feel extra happy and be even more attached, and take a wrong turn, all the while thinking that it was Master leading you along. That's usually what happens. So how are you to distinguish the two, then? Some people say that they cultivate by the spirit messages that they receive in dreams. I would say that's nonsense. (Laughter) Being attached to dreamtime hints is not cultivation, but rather, going dangerously off course. Disciples of Dafa cultivate by following the book of Dafa, and they take the Fa as their standard. Whether you're off in dreamland or in whatever setting it may be, you have to use the Fa as your standard for measuring right and wrong, and only then will you not fall prey to interference. I have never given you some kind of cultivation method whereby you don't have to cultivate but instead just do whatever my Law Bodies tell you. I don't recognize that as cultivation. It's not possible for each and every student to be by my side, and I have thus taught you to "take the Fa as Master." Having the book of Fa, you should know how to cultivate.
Disciple: After Master taught the Fa to the Australian students, their situation improved in some regards. However, before long, things lapsed. There have been communication problems between Chinese and Western students, and when problems come up many students say, "We should study the Fa more," or "Let's set aside our attachments," but people don't really look within.
Master: Human attachments will always be present. If it were as simple as Master teaching the Fa to them one time and then all those attachments being gone, then I'd be happy to teach them the Fa every day. But actually, the Fa is already with us--it's just a question of living by it. Cultivation is a process, and one has to allow time to eliminate [attachments]. But that said, you should always keep an eye on the clock. You have to seize the day--you really must. You're saying that the Dafa Association is lapsing into old ways and becoming closed again, but is it really like that? I'll look into it. But whatever the situation, as Dafa disciples who are cultivating themselves, you should do well yourselves regardless of whether the Association does well or not. Master has never pinned all of his hopes, or all of Australia's hopes, on the shoulders of any one person or the Association. I have pinned them on each and every Dafa disciple and your ability to cultivate well. You are the hope of salvation for the beings in your region, you are disciples of Dafa who are validating the Fa, and you are helping Master do Fa-rectification. It's not just the Association that is helping Master do Fa-rectification, nor just the assistants. If attachments lead you to fix your gaze on the Association, that's not right. If the Association really does have problems, I will straighten them out, but I wouldn't be doing it in response to your attachment.
Disciple: Will we witness the grand Final Judgment?
Master: You shouldn't get attached to whatever it is Master talks about. (Audience laughs) Don't pay that any mind. Do a good job with what you should be doing.
Disciple: Some students are very proactive about work on Dafa projects, and they are cultivating their xinxing. But, they aren't up for doing the exercises, and they don't take sending righteous thoughts very seriously. Can students such as this achieve consummation?
Master: If that's the case, maybe he hasn't put much heart into cultivation, but if he decides to give it some more attention things will work out. But that said, there are indeed some people who don't study the Fa and just do the work. You need to do all of the three things. If you only do work and don't study, then it is a case of an ordinary person doing Dafa work. And an ordinary person who does Dafa work cannot achieve consummation; he can only build up merit. Building up merit, or blessings, means that the person will have blessings when reborn, but that is all, and he won't achieve consummation. Then wouldn't you say all of your efforts were for nothing? Is it acceptable when a cultivator doesn't cultivate? When you go to clarify the truth, only when your mind has stored up ample Fa will you be able to save people. That is when your words will have the power to move them.
Disciple: When I was clarifying the truth I encountered ordinary people who said that they knew such-and-such Dafa disciple and how he's not even as good as your average non-practitioner, and though his words sound really good, his conduct is really poor.
Master: I've heard such things too. If what you do is not befitting a Dafa disciple, then you are playing the role that the old forces would like to see, and it is dangerous. But that said, I hope that those of you who happen to hear people say such words will think about how it might relate to you. Do you understand what I just said?
Disciple: I'm a twelve-year-old little disciple. I missed the chance to enroll in Fei Tian Academy of the Arts because my father opposed it. Will I have another opportunity?
Master: Since you are not yet an adult, the law stipulates that your parents have custody over you. If your parents don't approve, then it won't work out. If you have the natural talent and physical attributes required, there will always be an opportunity. If you don't, then try not to be attached.
Disciple: When Western practitioners are learning Chinese, should they study the simplified or the traditional characters?
Master: It doesn't matter much whether it's simplified or traditional characters. It's fine to study the simplified, just as it's fine to study the traditional--neither is a problem. I say this because those who study the simplified characters can still read the traditional ones, and vice versa. Human affairs are to be dealt with in the future. What we're concerned with at present is the matter of saving sentient beings. It should be noted, though, that many simplified characters were produced by the wicked CCP, and their connotations aren't good. But with so many people--over a billion--using the simplified ones, this will have to be something that's addressed at a later time.
Disciple: When it's said that "the evil is finished," does that mean that the wicked Party is about to disintegrate?
Master: The factors of the wicked Party are no more. It's as I said, those people who are propping up that system are really just trying to maintain their power.
Disciple: Many secret agents have come to my area. How should we deal with them?
Master: There are U.S. security or intelligence personnel, or secret police, following each secret agent and keeping an eye on him or her. A secret agent who is produced by the wicked CCP's culture is himself someone who was duped by the culture of the wicked Party, and for that reason he is in danger. When we save sentient beings, we give everyone a chance. But there are some people who are always wrangling and starting trouble among us, and you may think they are secret agents though they are not really so; but, the deeds they do are actually worse than what real secret agents do. Yet such a person thinks he is doing something good, and gives no thought to what it is about him that causes our students not to accept him.
Disciple: Many Chinese citizens have wished Master well over the hotline to quit the CCP. Their words of gratitude towards Master are very moving. I would like to hereby pass them on to Master.
Master: Please pass on my thanks to them if you have the opportunity. (Applause)
Disciple: The attitude of Western governments toward the wicked Party has grown increasingly soft. Disciples feel that their strength to save them is insufficient, and that the students involved are too few.
Master: Pay no regard to such things, as it is just the old forces playing a balancing game. They won't allow one side to overpower the other right now. They believe that the evil is no longer sufficient to test Dafa disciples, and so they try to even things out. All the same, things overall are changing, the situation as a whole is changing--changing for the better.
Disciple: The past two days at U.N. Plaza, I saw a couple of asylum seekers, one of whom was wearing a yellow [Dafa] T-shirt. When I asked about it, he said that one of our students loaned it to him.
Master: Which student loaned it to him? The clothes you wear represent Dafa disciples. If you casually loan it to an ordinary person, and that person does things not befitting the Fa or that shouldn't be done, then are you saving sentient beings or ruining them? We always have some people that don't live up to expectations. (Laughs.) If everyone could manage to do well, the ordeals that you face today wouldn't be as they are.
Disciple: Dafa disciples have altered the lyrics to certain songs from the wicked Party and sing them. Of course, the lyrics now oppose the sinister CCP, but the melodies remain the same and I find them unsettling to hear.
Master: My view is that Dafa disciples shouldn't be singing that stuff. It's fine for the general public to sing it.
Disciple: When clarifying the truth to the mainland, [we encounter people] with two different types of attitudes: one type agrees to the idea of the "three withdrawals" but doesn't identify with Dafa; the other type identifies with Dafa but isn't willing to do the three withdrawals. When the weeding out takes place, what will be their fate?
Master: This means that they have not changed fundamentally from before; it's that the truth hasn't been spelled out adequately to them. As for what their fate will be, the line is drawn right here, through this. Whichever side of it he stands on, that's the side he belongs to, and there is no ambiguity. It's possible the person will say he agrees with this or that, when in fact, in his heart he hasn't changed in the least. Perhaps he's just saying nice things to be polite to you, but he hasn't in fact changed and is only being polite.
Disciple: In New York, many people have begun interacting with Dafa in the interest of gaining political asylum. Many fellow cultivators are disgusted by their behavior, and want to turn them away.
Master: What I'm thinking is, though it wasn't a good motive that led those asylum seekers to interact with Dafa disciples, what we're doing after all is trying to save people. If you can treat them with compassion, perhaps they will forever remember your words and deeds. These might have an impact on the person, and perhaps it is like planting the seeds of his future affinity with Dafa. If we don't treat them well, however, perhaps that affinity will be lost. But whatever the case, we should know that what we're doing is saving people.
Disciple: When I encounter degenerate art during my ordinary work, is it possible for me to, if I maintain righteous thoughts, correct those warped factors similar to how Shen Yun does it?
Master: If you go and try to correct ordinary people's modern art, do you think they will listen to you? And besides, we don't have the time to tackle those things right now. What you are to do is save people, so for now you don't need to pay attention to those things. At present you can just ignore those things one and all. When the Fa rectifies the human world, the Fa will naturally have its means of rectifying things here.
Disciple: There are a large number of industrial and commercial enterprises, and a large migrant community, in the Pearl River delta area of Guangdong, and some of the coastal cities there are sizable, and the population is dense. But disciples haven't done enough there.
Master: The specific conditions of each area in China vary, and you have no option but to do things in keeping with local circumstances. At the same time, it's important to be attentive to safety. Whatever part of China it may be, the Dafa disciples there understand what their responsibility is, namely, to cultivate themselves well and save sentient beings. And that is what should be done. The more people that can be saved, the better, for that is the responsibility that you shoulder.
Disciple: With the TV work we do, certain skills have yet to reach a professional level. Would it be all right for us to collaborate with ordinary people in that case?
Master: If you want to hire ordinary people for a certain project, that shouldn't be a problem. However, it's best you not jointly start a company or collaborate on some project or other. If the person is interfered with, it will spell trouble. There have been too many instances of this. You are a Dafa disciple, and what you do is sacred whereas what he does is human; little could the two be wed. If you run your own company and you wish to hire the person and have him simply be your employee, that's fine, since he will do whatever you say. But if instead you collaborate with him, that often leads to problems. It's easy for the person to be interfered with.
Disciple: Some veteran students who obtained the Fa many years ago have left Dafa after being trapped by some hang-ups in their minds and by attachments. We have no way to untie those knots, and feel sorry and anxious for them. How can we help them?
Master: Handle it a bit carefully. Try to see what the person's fundamental issue really is. If it's really that the person is holding onto the wicked CCP, or on a fundamental level doesn't want to cultivate and was just joining in the fun back then, then leave it be. But whatever the case, as Dafa disciples you are to try to save sentient beings regardless of what their situation is, and that is what you should go and do. When you see someone to save, go do it. And if you cannot manage to, then it's not your fault.
Disciple: There are many projects that I could get involved in. With the exception of Shen Yun, I'm not sure how to discern which are related to my primordial vow.
Master: It's not something you can tell, and if you think too much about it, it's an attachment. Just go and do what Dafa disciples should do, and what you do will be right.
I think I'd rather not take up any more of your time. It wasn't easy for you to make the trip, and you should carry on with the experience sharing conference. I hope that through this conference you will all improve by seeing how others have done well and what approaches they've taken, and bring the good things back home with you. If you can truly get something out of this conference, it will benefit your cultivation and thus you won't have come in vain. The expenditures associated with each conference are not small. In total, according to our estimate, the cost of flights this time alone might have reached into the millions. The costs were really sizable. So don't let this become a formality, and don't just come to join the crowd. Nor should you just come out of curiosity, wanting to hear what Master has to say. Master has told you that you should walk well the last leg of the journey and fulfill your mission. And that is what I will always tell you.
In conclusion, I hope that you won't lessen your resolve. Haven't you caught glimpses of dawn's light? The evil is finished, and the closer it gets to the end, the more invigorated you should be. Fulfill what you are supposed to as Dafa disciples, and save more sentient beings. Therein lies mighty virtue. Behind each being you save lies a massive group of lives. What a magnificent thing that is.
Many of you might have passed up slips that were brought up by the conference staff, while many still want to ask more things. But whether you ask or not, in our book of Fa you can find the answer. Read it more. You cultivate in a state of delusion, and cannot see what the book of Fa is truly like. When you truly do manage to see it, words will be inadequate, simply powerless, to describe it. I have told you before that behind each word lie Buddhas, Daos, and Gods, tier after tier. Nor can you grasp what it meant when Master said that everything has been compressed into the book of Fa, for at this time you cannot, with your human thoughts, fathom that sentence. Everything can be gained there; it all depends on how much you put your heart into it and what your state of mind is. Everything can be gained through the book of Fa. But cultivation is a serious matter, and you can't be the least bit sloppy with it. If you bring with you any of a variety of impure thoughts when you study the Fa, the book, you will see nothing and gain nothing. Many Dafa disciples have remarked that when a person is persecuted for a long time it is as if he doesn't improve any by reading the Fa. Actually, the problem is that at those times your brain is preoccupied with persecution, and you cannot quiet your mind. Cultivation is serious. You have to be able to ensure a pure and sincere state when you study, and cultivate, and only then will you make improvements and get results.
I'll end on a familiar note. I hope that you will all handle the final leg of the journey well and be worthy of the title "Dafa disciple." Thank you all. (Long, enthusiastic applause)
Last update: July 14, 2009