Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan
(Li Hongzhi ~ March 26, 2006 ~ in New York)
There is always a good turnout for the New York Fa conferences since you all know that Master spends a lot of time in the New York area. Each Dafa disciple is trying his utmost to do what he should do on the path of validating the Fa, and since what you are doing at present is closely linked to your cultivation, you are in fact cultivating this way. The form that your cultivation takes has one cultivate in ordinary human society, and people in different social classes or different professions can all cultivate; and as you reside in different societies and make use of the different professions you are in to validate the Fa and save sentient beings in every corner of the world, you are utilizing this present form of society to cultivate.
But this cultivation format is not in fact a matter of cultivating in a relaxed, easy manner in ordinary human society. Master has told you that “a Great Way has no form,” and that aspect alone makes ours different from the types of cultivation done in the past. You’re all aware of this already, I realize. This earth has become the focal point of the cosmos’s Fa-rectification. If that is the case, then the lives that are here—including even the enormous array of objects and things present in this world—could not possibly be so simple or straightforward. Then the significance of what you do, be it your saving sentient beings or validating the Fa, with your personal cultivation being included, is simply enormous. As the lives here are for sure no longer the same simple ones that used to live on this earth originally, with the majority now being from high planes, it stands that many things in ordinary human society, including the forms in which many things appear to us, are not in fact simple either. If that’s true, then think about it: your being in each of the professions and trades out there, your being found in each segment of society, and your being part of each of society’s social stratum as you go about cultivating must have greater significance bound up in it. In that case, then, for a Dafa disciple personal cultivation just serves as an essential foundation, whereas assisting Master, saving sentient beings, and validating the Fa constitute the true purpose of being a Dafa disciple, and only through these can you fulfill the vows you made before the dawn of history. I spoke about things of this sort when I recently taught the Fa in Los Angeles. You can go online to read it if you’d like.
Anyway, since as cultivators you know that everything you do in society right now, including in your own personal life, falls within the realm of cultivation, then even more so should you take seriously everything that unfolds around you, and take more seriously this formless form of cultivation that you do. I indicated before that you need to do the three things well, that is, send righteous thoughts, study the Fa, and clarify the facts to save sentient beings. Clarifying the facts is something you have been proactive about and worked hard at. But naturally, there is also a portion of our students who have shown themselves to be rather lax and not so diligent about it, with them feeling as if it were just some task to be completed. That’s not so, however. It is just that the form of cultivation is different here. This is the path that our cultivation has taken and one by which, after the world’s creation, a human being may cultivate back to heaven. In the past, what each cultivation way cultivated was the subordinate soul, and after one’s life came to an end the master soul would continue on in the human world, reincarnating. Furthermore, each form of cultivation and each belief system was in fact simply a case of gods enriching man’s culture so that he could understand the divine and spiritual cultivation. This is the first time man has been given such an opportunity, and it is the whole purpose of the world’s creation. And then when you consider that you, out of all the simply countless, unimaginable numbers of sentient beings that exist, got to be a disciple of Dafa, how could you not do well at this? Follow Dafa’s requirements, and fulfill the vows you made before the dawn of history. Validating the Fa and saving sentient beings look, from the appearance, just like things that occur in ordinary society. But what you are doing in this case is true cultivation. The goal behind this is different from that behind ordinary people’s actions; what ordinary people want to gain is altogether different from what you want. What cultivators seek is to elevate their realms, to fulfill their vows, and to ultimately achieve Consummation. The goal is completely different.
I have also said that any form in society could be adopted for cultivation. Had I not brought forth this cultivation form to the entire, broader society and to each of its many professions as well as to different societies; had I just utilized one form or used the past forms of religious cultivation, then it would have meant there was just one path, that is, to take up the robe. A form would thus have been affixed to our cultivation. But that would not have been able to meet the enormous demands of the cosmos’s Dafa or of the cosmos’s Fa-rectification. If that was how we had done it, then how would the sentient beings residing in each distant corner of the world have been saved? Dafa couldn’t have spread throughout the world that quickly, as there are constraints of time upon Fa-rectification. Then it becomes a matter of Dafa disciples figuring out how to best utilize this form that we have, and that is what amounts to walking this cultivation path well. With a Great Way that has no form, every setting provides Dafa disciples with a place to do cultivation. In each, a person can cultivate. The cultivation that you do today is not the lesser-path type that was passed on to man as a part of culture by enlightened beings, as happened in the past. Rather, ours spreads all of human society out before you and has you choose to cultivate with the form that best suits you. Though it’s convenient, at the same time, it means that it is really hard for people to look to others as a reference, except for in matters of diligence. This is something that Dafa initiated just for you, and it is something unprecedented. So this is a path you must blaze and walk for yourself. The responsibility that you assume is simply enormous, though the form things take seems altogether ordinary. For the cultivators of the past there was always just one approach, namely, to go into the mountains and practice austerities, leaving behind one’s family. One might shave one’s head, becoming a Buddhist monk; or, in the Christian or Catholic context, become a monk or nun, or possibly a priest. And for a religion that was practiced by an entire nation, there would be strict regulations. None of those could serve as the cultivation method for Dafa disciples, however. The approach that Dafa disciples’ cultivation takes is formless, with all of ordinary society, in fact, serving as the form of your cultivation. Each of your paths is different. Your jobs are different, the settings in which you live are different, your families are each different, and so are your respective social classes, along with the things that you experience. And there is more than this, in fact. If the extended significance of what’s behind this is indeed tremendous, then the responsibility that’s shouldered is likewise tremendous. Each Dafa disciple is in fact shouldering responsibility for an enormous cosmic system, and if you are to save the countless sentient beings of such a massive system, then not only is the responsibility huge, but it also becomes very critical that you walk your path correctly. The beings that can be saved will be benevolently reconciled, purified, and mended by Fa-rectification; and the diverse array of material things there that can be kept will have their impurities removed as they are cleansed, with what remains thus being pure. For that is what the Fa-rectification of the entire cosmos requires. And in reality, this is something that you are actively effecting as you go about your cultivation. What does it mean for Dafa disciples to have this extraordinary form of cultivation and accompanying responsibility, and to have a Fa so gigantic and for it to be Fa-rectification on a cosmic scale? It means that the responsibility is astoundingly great, for this is also the sacred destiny that you formed before history began, and it is forging the holy virtue that one day awaits a great being. So would it work if you couldn’t manage to do well? And you can just imagine what grade of celestial rank is in store for you after you cultivate to Consummation. That’s why the requirements upon you in the cultivation process are high. And with these high requirements, there are no external things with any kind of form that keep you in check; what supervision there is, is loosely done in ordinary society. All we have is the Fa.
Having a loose approach where you cultivate in ordinary society might appear to be relaxed, but think about it: the standard that you are required to meet—having righteous thoughts and righteous actions as you put your cultivation into practice—is actually very strict, for it all relies on your will in regard to the Fa to really, sincerely cultivate. Here amidst the secular world, it is all up to you to walk the path correctly and to go beyond ordinary people when immersed in this complicated setting. Everything that ordinary people seek; everything that ordinary people want to gain; everything that ordinary people act on, say, and do—all of this is, for you, what needs to be cultivated away. But, since you still need to remain among ordinary people until your cultivation meets with Consummation, you have to reach a state in which you have such things but have no heart for them, in which you can do such things but without attachment. Or seen from another perspective, all of these things that ordinary people do serve to provide you with a cultivation setting. Such is the path that you travel. On such a path, the problem that is most apt to occur is that you slack off and lapse into ordinary ways. And that is especially so in the period of validating the Fa, where you are all the more liable to get discouraged when faced with so much pressure and ordeals of every sort. Of course, though, you are Dafa disciples who made vows beforehand after all, and your lives co-exist with Dafa. With such an enormous Fa here, the Fa will be with you when your thoughts are righteous, and this is the greatest assurance. But on the other hand, when your righteous thoughts are inadequate and not in line with the Fa, you will be cut off from the Fa’s power, and it will seem like you are alone and getting no help. Even if the things you are doing are Dafa things, you still have to conform to the Fa or else the Fa’s power will not be there. At present, you are doing terrific on the whole. But, cultivation is also a process of weeding out, of course, and so those who aren’t making the grade will definitely be sifted out along the way. That’s normal. Overall, Dafa disciples are doing excellently, and as you have forged ahead, the majority have made it through. Of course, there are those who have fallen behind, and there are those who are starting over and catching back up. And that’s normal, too. That is what can be seen of this cultivation process. As long as things haven’t been finished, this is, for cultivators as well as sentient beings, a great opportunity.
That is why I say that despite the fact that it seems like, with this relaxed approach to cultivation, there are no regulations, no commandments, no systems of rules, and nobody keeping you in line, the requirements are actually extremely high, for you must keep yourself in check and you must arrive at the standard by your own doing. But, precisely because the responsibility is great and the place you cultivate to is high, there couldn’t possibly be a devil monstrous enough in human society to directly create trouble for you. And that is why the old forces created the wicked CCP—to see whether you could still cultivate while being persecuted. If you could pull through, they would acknowledge you; and if you could not, it would mean you were no good. I don’t recognize such things, of course. But, they have proceeded in that manner, and they have indeed caused some people to lose all righteous thoughts and fall into their snare.
Another thing is, the challenges that surface in your real, daily life are cultivation opportunities created for and provided to you while your human attachments are being lured and affected by personal gain in this worldly society. This is in fact the hardest. That’s precisely why nobody in the past would have dared to cultivate in this manner. Someone who wished to cultivate would leave his family and home and try to avoid the secular world, and this way—free of interference from the secular world—he could have peace and quiet. One wouldn’t encounter troublesome things, nor would one meet with those things found in worldly society that have to do with one’s personal gain or that stir up human feelings. Then for a cultivator, whatever the discipline he cultivated in, his level would be, generally speaking, limited, and the level he cultivated to not so high. That’s because he had certain, set conditions; he avoided adverse settings and conflicts. In your case, the conflicts are squarely faced and the realities of society that might sway you are met head on, just as are all the various challenges posed by personal gain and human attachment. So it can be said that nothing is more difficult than cultivating in the human world. No cultivation method is harder.
I want you to listen carefully, now. People used to talk about this or that kind of cultivation being hard, about cultivating for decades, for a whole lifetime, or even several lifetimes. But the duration was actually dragged out like that because they failed to directly face temptation and their ordeals were not so huge. With the cultivation that you now do, there are no visible requirements or restraints in terms of the cultivation form. But, cultivating in this worldly society, you face temptations on many fronts, and at each moment and in every happening there is the question of whether you pass muster. That’s why I say that only when someone goes through all this is he really extraordinary. Nobody managed to cultivate like this in history, and nobody so much as attempted it; nor did any gods direct people to try this approach. And moreover, the world around you is a terrible mess, and then there is persecution from evil and the pressure of terrifying circumstances.
So, why do I say that the requirements for a Dafa disciple’s Consummation are high? Or that the responsibility he shoulders is great? That is in fact why. And along with this, when cultivating in a setting such as this, there are going to be a large number of students whose condition is such that they cultivate in a state of ignorance [of the true picture of things]. There are some students meanwhile who can, to some extent, or while in different states, or visually, come into some kind of contact with things in other dimensions. Each student’s path is different, and so is each student’s situation. And actually, whatever you may know is still extremely limited, for the magnificent scenes of the cosmos’s Fa-rectification as well as the wondrous sights of Dafa disciples’ bodies transforming through Fa-rectification cultivation are quite difficult for you to see. This form of ignorance presents a big challenge for our students in its own right. Were you cultivating in a religion, and had you adopted any of those cultivation formats that have one avoid the secular world, it would be nothing like the cultivation way that today’s Dafa disciples have. In those past ones, the adherents were able to have their supernatural powers unlocked to varying degrees, and having those magical powers was a means to spur the adherent to diligence. But many Dafa disciples cannot perceive their own transformation, nor the success of all that they have done, owing to evil interference from the old forces that results in our students being subjected to the most demanding of cultivation states. Then in this kind of circumstance, one still needs to be strict with oneself and walk the path well. When you are able to step forward to validate the Fa while being persecuted by the wicked CCP; when you are able to still be diligent even as you face pressure and your life is put at risk, as you are faced with the many people in this world who don’t understand the truth and were misled, and as you are subjected to the pressure of hearing all kinds of remarks from people in this world—aren’t you simply extraordinary? You truly are amazing then. Whoever can manage to cultivate under such circumstances should achieve Consummation, and should have a great celestial rank, for in history there was never something so immensely challenging, and nobody was bold enough to try this kind of path. (Applause)
Nothing significant that happens in human society is by chance. From the look of it, a person does something when he wants to. But in fact, it is not he who does that. Were there not the factors of gods behind the scenes, people wouldn’t really be able to do anything. And that holds true for everything in today’s society. For example, when a big company in this world grows to become that way; or when man is able to create something via scientific research; or the manner in which society operates; the state in which human beings exist—none of this is that simple. Especially when some event is able to influence the shape of society, you can be sure the factors of gods are at work behind the scenes. Of course, I have told you before that much of what unfolds in human society has a direct connection to Fa-rectification. Think about it calmly, and you will see that each ethnicity’s coming into being; that each happening in this entire world; that even the balance of power among political forces today; and even how many things are entwined—all of this has a direct connection to today’s Fa-rectification and with Dafa disciples’ validating of the Fa. Yet as Dafa disciples go about clarifying the facts and exposing the wicked CCP’s evil persecution, there are people who aren’t willing to listen and who even make excuses using things that the wicked CCP infused into them. But none of this is coincidence. Think about it, don’t those evil things come about because the old forces of the cosmos are controlling them? Don’t the old forces want to use their own notions and perceptions to steer the course of Fa-rectification and Dafa disciples’ cultivation? Since Fa-rectification affects every being in the cosmos, including the old forces, could the ones that are not pure, or pure enough, understand this? The thoughts that a being at high levels has will produce an effect in the realms below. When an ordinary person forms some idea in his head, it has no impact on others, though it will affect that person himself to some degree or other. But in the case of a high-level being, just one thought will affect all of the sentient beings within the scope of his universe. And with a being of an even higher level, one thought will have reverberations throughout a universe of tremendous scope. Such beings wouldn’t, of course, directly do harmful things to sentient beings in the realms below them, but that one thought of theirs does accord precisely with the wishes of rotten demons in the realms below, and it is only when rotten demons have a backing like this that they dare to persecute Dafa disciples so viciously. So, if in the Fa-rectification they want to keep the persecution up, to numb the world’s people, or to make people have little concern about the persecution of Falun Gong, that’s easy for them. They want to keep people from learning the true picture of Falun Gong’s persecution. Their motive for keeping the persecution going is to supposedly “test” Dafa disciples, and to do that, they have to continue to maintain the climate of terror. They do this because there is still a portion of our Dafa disciples who have failed to meet expectations and who haven’t cultivated well enough; there is another portion who have been stepping forward one after another; and there is a portion of sentient beings that have yet to be saved. Those shortcomings among our students have given them something to latch onto, and that is what has emboldened them to act so rashly. In their words, they wouldn’t hesitate to sacrifice their lives for the sake of Fa-rectification. But in reality, they don’t hesitate to do anything for the sake of reaching their own goals, and this has presented Fa-rectification with an enormous ordeal, and even affected its course.
What this means is, nothing that you come across as you go about saving sentient beings and validating the Fa is coincidental. Nothing is that simple, be it something seemingly minor, what thoughts someone has, or the wide array of people and things that you run into when you are clarifying the truth. But, it’s only acceptable when you go about things with compassion in your heart. Don’t be bothered when people have a certain attitude or misunderstandings. When you act just to save the person, to save sentient beings, then I think the impact of that can change everything. If, however, as you clarify the truth your mind is affected by ordinary human attachments, then you won’t be able to achieve anything. When in your truth clarification you run across ordinary people who have listened to and believed the lies and propaganda spread early on by the wicked CCP via its media, they might have misperceptions about Dafa disciples, be harsh toward you, or not willing to listen to you. At those times, if your emotions are stirred up by them, and you feel wronged, get upset, and maybe even aren’t all that rational, then you won’t be able to clarify the truth nor save those people. And in fact, the evil is constantly using the misperceptions of Dafa disciples that ordinary people have as a way to make the person feel increasingly at odds with you. But if your righteous thoughts are strong, the evil will be dissolved. The power of true compassion can dissolve all deviant factors, and when you talk with a person you will be emitting energy outwardly that dissolves evil things, and the evil in other dimensions will not dare to approach or control that person anymore. When you then reason with that person, he will listen, and you will be able to purge the lies infused into him by the wicked CCP, thus removing the block in his mind.
I won’t say more today since I just taught the Fa in Los Angeles and it was just published online today. But there is one thing I would like to share with you. Many gods are whispering in my ear, “Your Dafa disciples won’t stand for anyone being critical of them. Just one word and they explode. Could it work if others aren’t allowed to criticize them? How are they supposed to cultivate if they can’t take criticism? What kind of cultivator does that amount to?” and similar things to that effect. I could tell before that there were many forms of interference, and that you still weren’t mature in regards to the things you needed to do when facing the persecution. So, in order to have you do a good job with the things related to validating the Fa and saving sentient beings, all along I never spoke about this aspect of the Fa and I never emphasized this issue when speaking with you. But it’s now something very prominent, and it is something that you have to take note of. You all know, being cultivators, the principle of “not striking back when hit, not talking back when cursed at,” and that when a cultivator truly suffers some form of loss he simply laughs it off. That is the state that you should have, and that is what you must achieve, for you are not ordinary people and you seek to transcend their state of being. You have to hold yourself to high standards, not those of ordinary people. So you have to achieve what I described.
In these years you have done many amazing things, and the merit is just boundless. But that said, there are indeed also a number of students who have developed a certain habit, namely, though they are reading the Fa every day, they really have not improved that much along the lines I was just discussing. And I have even discovered that in many cases that thing is still expanding. In a few isolated cases the person has gotten to be so touchy that no one can go near him. The moment he hears anything even faintly unpleasant, he can’t take it. He blows up the moment his attachments are stirred up. That thing has now become hard to dislodge, and big. Others can’t say a critical word about him, he can’t take any criticism, and even if he does something wrong he won’t hear a word of it. How could that work, though? How is that being a cultivator? Even if you are doing Dafa things or things to save people, you still must be a cultivator in the process. You can’t go about them as ordinary people. And with some people, it’s even to the point that if they do something wrong and others kindly point it out, they make excuses for themselves. As soon as their error comes up they try to explain it away, telling bald-faced lies and trying to find some external reason for it. Is this kind of behavior, which is beneath even ordinary people, befitting a Dafa disciple? Cultivators must be able to accept others’ criticism, and this is set forth in the book. Then there are some students who shift the blame, trying to attribute whatever problem comes up to this or that reason. And if there really isn’t any reason, they’ll make one up (everyone laughs), saying things like, “You don’t realize what the situation was at the time.” And then they carry on with some nonsense or other. (Everyone laughs) And that’s the lighter of the problems, no less. In the more severe cases, the person won’t have any part of it whatsoever. Do you know how gods look at you in these instances? The old forces will remember you for it as soon as that happens, with your performance at that time becoming a handle for them to latch on to. What’s in store for you is trouble, then. When your xinxing doesn’t measure up in this regard, it will spell big trouble for you. Watch out.
When I last taught the Fa, I said that since Master had talked about this matter you would all encounter it when you left. And indeed, some people ran into it the moment they left the conference site. When a conflict is coming you won’t be given time to prepare. They always come when you haven’t had a chance to mentally prepare. Nobody will tell you, “I’m here to test you. I’m criticizing you so that you can elevate your xinxing.” Actually, the other party in the conflict won’t realize it either, as both parties are going through a xinxing test together. We’ll see whether you can handle it correctly after Master finishes teaching the Fa today. There will be no getting mentally prepared, no rehearsals, and no forewarning—the conflicts will erupt suddenly, and be just like ordinary people’s conflicts. Of course, having brought this issue up, I hope that now that I’ve talked about it you will put in some effort cultivating in this regard when you go home. Any type of habit that you form is in fact a material product. In other dimensions that material is there, and only thus does that state manifest here in this dimension. That thing is like a landmine, which detonates the instant you touch it. So it won’t work if you fail to remove that landmine. Thus, whichever region you live in, and whoever you may be, as long as you cultivate Dafa I will, starting this instant, remove that material substance for you. (Applause)
I will remove that material substance, but the associated habits and traits that you’ve formed have to be eliminated by you. And as for the habits that you’ve formed over time, those stem from your various attachments. Those who are attached to saving face will be made to hear things that are embarrassing, hitting upon that attachment that causes you not to be able to stand hearing others’ critical remarks. There are also some people who think that since they are project coordinators, they should be immune to criticism. And then some people who have special talents in some regard or other won’t take criticism from people. Another group won’t hear anyone out on account of having a negative opinion about the other person. It comes in all shapes and sizes. Being unwilling to listen to others’ remarks stems from a range of attachments. Whatever the case, you are all Dafa disciples, and it doesn’t matter what responsibilities you assume: you are all cultivators, and Master assumes responsibility for your cultivation. You are the same as everyone else who cultivates, cultivating yourself and wishing to ultimately reach Consummation, so you too will have to assume responsibility for your cultivation. Perhaps when you leave the premises today someone will say something offensive to you. Let’s see who explodes if that happens. (Master laughs) (Everyone laughs)
That’s how things will be for you, starting now. Whether you are right or not is, for a cultivator, not important whatsoever. Don’t argue left and right, and don’t emphasize who’s right and who’s wrong. Some people are always stressing that they’re right, but even if you are right, even if you’re not wrong, so what? Have you improved on the basis of the Fa? The very act of using human thinking to stress who’s right and who’s wrong is in itself wrong. That’s because you are then using the logic of ordinary people to evaluate yourself, and using that logic to make demands on others. As gods see it, for a cultivator to be right or wrong in the human world is not important in the least, whereas eliminating the attachments that come from human thinking is important, and it is precisely your managing to eliminate those attachments rooted in your human thinking as you cultivate that counts as important. (Applause) If you can manage to handle things calmly no matter how wronged you may feel, if you can remain unmoved and not try to come up with some kind of excuse for yourself, then with many things you won’t even need to argue. That’s because on your path of cultivation there is nothing that is by chance. So, when you get into a heated exchange and it stirs things up in you, or you get into a conflict over something that concerns your vital interests, perhaps the factors behind it were put there by Master. Maybe you only get upset when it’s a case of someone saying something that really provokes you or hits a sore spot. And maybe the person really did treat you wrongfully. But, those words weren’t necessarily said by that person. Perhaps they were said by me. (Everyone laughs) I want to see how you handle things at the time. When you butt heads with that person, it actually equates to butting heads with me. (Master laughs) (Everyone laughs, applauds) That’s all for today. I can completely remove the material substance for you, but the habits that were formed are something you definitely have to remove—definitely, absolutely. (Applause)
I detected this problem early on, but never mentioned it. And why was that? Because as Dafa disciples go about validating the Fa, what they are up against is all the forms of interference from the wicked CCP as well as its utilizing the propaganda apparatus of an entire nation. And then there are the thousands of newspapers and the hundreds of radio and television stations that the wicked CCP controls, simultaneously applying an all-encompassing pressure on Falun Gong, along with its using special agents to sow discord, its carrying out all sorts of plots, and the fact that all of what it reports are slander and lies. Moreover, there is the fact of all of the world’s people having been poisoned, and Dafa disciples needing to clarify the truth to some 7 billion people. So, if they don’t have a dauntless will born of righteous thoughts, they aren’t able to save sentient beings and validate the Fa. I had thus been disregarding what those gods were saying to me over these years, and had not taught this part of the Fa. Were Dafa disciples all to be especially kind and not say a word when people remarked about them, even when the evil slandered them, it would have been detrimental for our clarifying the truth and saving people, and even more so for our exposing the evil. That’s why I didn’t teach this part of the Fa. It is on account of this that I refrained from speaking about it all this time. The reason I am talking about it now is that doing so won’t compromise your doing things at this point. Dafa disciples are now mature as they confront the evil, and their clarifying the truth will not be affected. You are now rational and sober, and after going through what you have these years, you now know how to do things. My speaking about it at this point won’t become a detriment to your clarifying the truth. So, from now on, you have to make this a point of focus in your cultivation.
I similarly told you last time, when I spoke at the L.A. Fa conference, that you would run into this afterwards. I personally saw quite a few instances of it. (Everyone laughs) Things came on quite intensely. Though things appeared quite intense, the remarks that set them off were really nothing. Yet some students couldn’t stand it and exploded. They immediately launched into an argument with the person, and their behavior was nothing like the state of a cultivator. Of course, that’s not to say that you haven’t cultivated well. As I just indicated, it is not your fault, for Master did not deal with that thing so as to allow you to clarify the truth. Had I dealt with it before, and you thus performed feebly as you clarified the truth, your impact would have been small. But from the look of it, the habit that you have formed is now truly hard to break. Though the material substance is no longer there, you are still falling short when you encounter these things. I’ve come across quite a number like this, and said to them, “Did you attend the L.A. Fa conference?” Without having to say anything further, they caught on—“Oh, I handled it wrong. Master, I was wrong.” (Everyone laughs) That’s because he is a cultivator after all, and after he realizes the issue he will change. Everyone wants to do well. It’s just that when a conflict erupts, it comes about unexpectedly. You can’t expect to be warned and given a chance to prepare. There’s no such thing—it will catch you by surprise. Of course, a three-foot block of ice doesn’t form overnight, so, although the material thing has been removed, the habits that you’ve formed and certain other things will make [argumentative words] spring right out of your mouth. These have become habits, and so if you want to eliminate them it is none too easy. But you have to eliminate them.
I know that with this process it is possible you won’t do well the moment you step out the door, but don’t lose heart. Master knows that as you go about cultivating you will, in the end, manage to do well. These are just things that happen in the cultivation process. But, you mustn’t let yourself slack off. It won’t work if you tell yourself, “I’ll give it some time!” As a cultivator, you need to be diligent. It would be the best if you could get it right on the first try. [Failing that,] it’s only acceptable if you do progressively better. From this day forth, it is imperative that you really pay attention to this—especially when it comes to Dafa disciples collaborating on things. I removed from you anything that shouldn’t have remained in you as you cultivated, with the exception of this small thing, which I left there previously in order not to compromise your clarifying the truth. I used to speak about things such [as taking criticism] again and again in the early days, prior to July 20 of 1999. The reason was, at that time I was thinking that if the old factors were to do something, if they were to really pull that same old story on our Dafa disciples, many disciples might, had they not built a good foundation, not get through it and give up their cultivation, thus failing to make it and falling. So I emphasized quite a number of things back then, and taught relatively more, saying a great deal about xinxing cultivation. With the arrival of July 20, 1999, I ceased to bring such things up—especially this problem that we’re discussing today—for the reason that I shared with you. So, from this day forth you all must do well with this. I have seen that some people really have done an excellent job with it, while others, though it seems that they have let it go, have not really done so deep down inside and they are still struggling with it in their minds. (Master laughs) (Audience laughs) They don’t say a word, and they seem perfectly calm, but inside they’re really upset and just holding it in. (Master laughs) At least that means they can stay calm. And that’s the first step. Since Dafa disciples are at different levels, they will be held to different cultivation requirements. That means that someone who is doing well may be given requirements that are slightly higher, and he can thus improve that much faster. That’s exactly how cultivation is. If the trial that’s set up for you is too small, then you can only take a small step with it. If the trial that’s set up is great, then it will be a leap forward that you make.
Another thing to bring up is that, as Dafa disciples, you need to pay attention to things in your daily life. As you know, improper relations between people who aren’t husband and wife is a sin for human beings; it undermines the institution of the family as well as ethical relations. Before, in the early stage, I had already detected this problem. Namely, that while cultivating in ordinary human society, the greatest challenges are the sexual temptations posed by ordinary society when the world is in disarray. The requirements for such things used to be extremely strict for cultivators. No matter what practice it was, this was taken very seriously. In the past, if someone who had taken up the robe violated the ordinances on such things, it would spell the end of his cultivation. And if some immortal was guiding a disciple’s cultivation in the mountains and the disciple made this mistake, it would mean he was ruined forever. It is something that serious. You are Dafa disciples who cultivate in the Great Law, making what you do even more sacred, yet some students have paid so little heed to it. It shouldn’t matter what the prevailing values are in today’s human world or how people regard such things: a cultivator needs to have high standards and look at such matters with a higher set of principles, holding himself to the requirements of gods. Even here among humans improper sexual relations is criminal. A divine being would never do something so filthy. And aren’t cultivators on the path to divinity? Are cultivators not walking a divine path? Why can’t you act like a divine being, then? Why can’t you act in line with the requirements for a divine being? How could it be that some people keep repeating the same mistake? Could that ever be acceptable?
As you know, we are aware that the ending told of in past prophecies was meant for today’s people to hear. Many prophecies alluded to how, in the end, those who would remain would be the pure, and their bodies would be clean. They regarded maintaining purity to be most important, with nothing matching it in seriousness. So those who would remain would definitely be such people, and that is for sure what someone who cultivated successfully would be like; and those who were to remain on this earth would definitely be of this sort. Then consider this: how will the gods of the cosmos treat you when they see a Dafa disciple doing such things? Do you realize how terrible it is the instant you do such things, seen in light of the requirements that they have for those who would one day be gods? The moment someone goes wrong in this regard, all the gods in the heavens believe that you definitely must be struck down, for you absolutely cannot be approved of or recognized. Thus, of the ordeals that you meet with thereafter, in many cases the factors involved come from those gods who are fundamentally set on taking you down. Think about how much difficulty that would add to your cultivation! And then they will cause you to commit the same sin again and again while refusing to mend your ways as you repeat it. In the end, xinxing conflicts will drive you into a deviant interpretation of things. [That is because] you go and make excuses for yourself, again and again, which leads to your crooked understanding; then eventually, you will not even identify with Dafa’s teachings, and in the end will head in the opposite direction. Do you think all those people that arrived at deviant understandings really meant to do so? In many cases it was that the person didn’t do well in some regard and the evil thus took advantage of that opening. What that means is, those evil beings seize upon exactly these weaknesses of yours, and latch on relentlessly to those things of yours. As soon as they believe that you’re a hopeless failure, that by their standards you can’t cultivate whatsoever, they will definitely look for ways to bring you down, to destroy you. Of course, though, they know that Li Hongzhi will not forsake his disciples and will continue to try to save them. But do you realize, they will drive that person over to the other side, causing him to do things that let Dafa and Dafa’s disciples down, turning him into a tool for the evil. And when someone has committed an unforgivable sin against Dafa, how could he be saved? They want to drive the people who commit the kind of mistake we’re discussing to this point. And when someone really does reach that point, he indeed cannot be saved, for he will have no way to make up for it. How could he be saved, then? Fa-rectification has standards, and so does Dafa disciples’ cultivation. Then why can’t you be careful with this issue? You have disgraced Master, and you have disgraced Dafa disciples. That’s how grave the impact is.
There is another issue. Remember that you do your cultivation in ordinary human society. All along you haven’t done well dealing with the issue of having family members who don’t cultivate. The expression that I used earlier holds true here, too—a three-foot block of ice doesn’t form overnight. After you fail to handle things well at first, the resentment starts to pile up until it grows serious, and it will become, over time, a rift that seems completely irreconcilable. This kind of situation will bring difficulty to Dafa disciples as they attempt to validate the Fa. In every instance, however, the problem lies with our Dafa disciple. It is because you didn’t handle the situation well initially that it has turned into what it has. With many things, it turns out that if you can balance things well and arrange your affairs correctly, there won’t be any delays brought to the Dafa things that you do. [The problems] stem precisely from your not handling things well and overlooking what I just described.
You all know that Fa-rectification and cultivation are solemn, with whoever cultivates achieving his ultimate rank. Your family members and relatives will be blessed with good returns if you manage to succeed in your cultivation. But it’s definitely not the case that relatives, friends, parents, or children who don’t cultivate can join you at Consummation. Since that person, who is an independent being, doesn’t cultivate, whatever is in store for him will be in store for him. You can’t stand in for him or take on his things. If the person doesn’t try to harm the Fa, he will, though he doesn’t cultivate, reap good fortune should you Consummate, with some people possibly even going to your paradise to be sentient beings there. It’s also possible they will one day enjoy good fortune in the human world. We will have to see where his predestined connection will take him. As a result of your having cultivated successfully here in this setting, your family and relatives—as well as your forebears—will benefit. Conversely, the forebears of those who persecute Dafa disciples and interfere with Fa-rectification will be charged with a sin and be sent to hell. If you can help your family members to start cultivating, that’s best of course. But if they can’t cultivate, then you have to ensure that they are beings who can be saved, and at a minimum, be good people so that they may enjoy good rewards one day. Some of our students didn’t handle things well at first, and neglected what I’ve discussed. The principal reason has been the notion that the person is your kin, your parent, or your child, and cultivating Dafa is the greatest thing, so, since you call the shots, you’ll just make them cultivate. As a result, your words come across as coercive or as if people have to listen to you. At the crucial moment for a being’s life, nobody can stand in; what you say doesn’t count. You can stand in for them when it comes to worldly human matters, and maybe you can even decide things for them. But, when the critical things of that person’s very being are really involved, his act of deciding is not so simple as in those other matters. A human is not born just once. Maybe in this life that person is your family member, but next time he will be in someone else’s family, and the time after that who knows where he might reincarnate. [And your connection as family now] is but one lifetime’s predestined connection. Then how could you make on that being’s behalf the decision that determines the eternal fate of his life? Only when you truly have in your heart the wish to save that person, and you regard him as a sentient being to save, will you see things change. This tells us, then, that there are differences in how people handle many things. Thus the outcomes are different.
Of course, there are also some young Dafa disciples who have gotten married to non-practitioners, with the person in some cases really getting led astray by emotion, becoming more ordinary than even an ordinary person. In some cases the interference brought upon the person has been sizable. The person then feels that he’s willing but not able [to do the things he should do]: he fears that the couple’s relationship will be affected, yet he also fears that he’s not doing very well with Dafa things, and knows that all of this is affecting his cultivation. It eventually renders the person mentally and physically exhausted, as well as confused about what to do. Actually, if you can manage to collect yourself and think it over, you will see that all of it is resolvable. Since this Fa has been transmitted as such in the human world, and since a cultivation method like this that pits you in ordinary society was settled upon, then for sure anything that you meet with in ordinary human society can be resolved. It just depends on how, in this case, you regard your family members. Are you able to handle things with righteous thoughts? Are you able to help them gain clarity by speaking with the righteous conviction of a cultivator? If you can handle things well, things will go well. If you can’t handle them well, it will be the opposite.
All of this in fact holds true for your clarifying the truth as well. If you are able to all keep compassion in your hearts as you interact with the person, regardless of his attitude, then in the depths of his soul, or on the knowing side of his being, he will understand. If you do things in a perfunctory manner, or worse yet, allow ordinary people’s attitudes to affect you, then for sure the results won’t be good. How could you be so casual with something so sacred, something that determines a being’s future? Or handle it so shoddily? How could you allow ordinary people’s attitudes to affect you? Though we call what we are doing “clarifying the truth,” aren’t you in fact saving people? Aren’t you providing deliverance? Yet you are not saving them, and in fact, are being dragged down by them. The reason he is able to take hold of your thoughts is that you have attachments. If you didn’t have them, you wouldn’t be affected by him. If you can be really rational and have righteous thoughts when you clarify the truth, the results will be different.
A lot of our Dafa disciples thought nothing of the great distance they had to travel to attend this Fa conference, and it wasn’t easy for them since they each have jobs and have to use what would have been their time off on the weekend to fly here and back. It’s likely they have a lot of things they would like to speak with Master about now that they are here, and they may have some questions they wish to raise. Since we just wrapped up the Los Angeles Fa conference, and it is being revised for print publication, I won’t say more today lest it really be too much for you to digest. Since more Fa conferences are held during the summertime, I will talk again another time. (Applause)
I’ll say one more thing in passing. The intensity of our clarifying the truth should grow only greater and greater, so you mustn’t let up—you absolutely must not. If humankind really experienced something like what the prophecies have described, it would be too late for regret. You mustn’t let the sentient beings down, nor fail to honor the vow that you made before the dawn of history. And since this evil persecution has not yet ended, we have absolutely no reason to slack off. As Dafa disciples, you are not in fact doing what you’re doing for others, and nor is it for Dafa; and even less is it for me, your master. Everything that you do goes towards your cultivation, for this is the form that our cultivation assumes—a formless kind of form. All that you encounter in society is within the scope of your cultivation, and it is meant precisely to see how you handle things. Then confronting this persecution is, naturally, also within the scope of your cultivation. Thus, your managing to walk your path well in the time ahead equates to managing to cultivate yourself well. As for some isolated issues that have come about, I prefer not to say anything more, for you have gained composure and know that nothing is by chance, that there is a reason. My hope is that your righteous thoughts may be a bit stronger, that you may be a bit more diligent in your cultivation, and not allow the evil to exploit your gaps. If our Dafa disciples can manage to do this, you will suffer less harm. Clarifying the facts at this point in time very much requires manpower, and if sentient beings are to be saved, it will take participation from more people. More people need to be involved in the variety of projects that aim to snuff out the evil’s persecution. In this light, then, a great deal of strength is lost when there is one less person, and a great deal of strength is gained when there is one more set of hands. So I don’t wish to leave a single person behind, nor do I want to lose them or let them depart too soon. There is no more question of Dafa disciples achieving Consummation. However, were you to depart early, it would undermine what Dafa disciples are trying to achieve, and it would amount to allowing the old forces to exploit your gaps. This is a time when manpower is really needed. Don’t allow that kind of loss to happen. I would like to see everyone try his best to do well, have ample righteous thoughts, and avoid any losses.
That’s all I will say. Thank you all. (Thunderous applause from all those present)