cultivators of Falun Gong must make cultivation of xinxing
their top priority and regard xinxing
as the key to developing gong. This is
the principle for cultivating at high levels. Strictly speaking, the gong
potency that determines oneís level isnít developed through performing
exercises but through xinxing cultivation. Improving xinxing
is easier said than done. Cultivators must be able to put forth great effort,
improve their enlightenment quality, bear hardships upon hardships, endure
almost unendurable things, and so on. Why havenít some peopleís gong
grown even though they have practiced for years? The fundamental causes are:
first, they disregard xinxing; second,
they do not know a high-level righteous cultivation way. This point must be
brought to light. Many masters who teach a practice system talk about xinxingóthey are teaching genuine things. Those who only teach
movements and techniques without ever discussing xinxing are actually teaching wicked cultivation. So practitioners
have to exert great effort in improving their xinxing before they can start cultivation at higher levels.
1. Xinxingís Inner Meaning
The "xinxing" referred to in Falun Gong cannot be fully encompassed by "virtue" alone. It encompasses much more than virtue. It encompasses many different facets of things, including those of virtue. Virtue is only one manifestation of oneís xinxing, so using only virtue to understand the meaning of xinxing is inadequate. Xinxing encompasses how to deal with the two matters of gain and loss. "Gain" is to gain conformity to the nature of the universe. The nature that comprises the universe is Zhen-Shan-Ren. A cultivatorís degree of conformity to the nature of the universe is reflected in the amount of his or her virtue. "Loss" is to abandon negative thoughts and behaviors, such as greed, the pursuit of personal gain, lust, desire, killing, fighting, theft, robbery, deception, jealousy, etc. If one is to cultivate to high levels, one also needs to break with the pursuit of desires, something inherent in humans. In other words, one should let go of all attachments and take lightly all matters of personal gain and reputation.
complete person is composed of a flesh body and character. The same is true with
the universe: In addition to the existence of substances, there also
simultaneously exists the nature Zhen-Shan-Ren. Every particle of air contains
this nature. This nature is made manifest in human society in the fact that good
actions are met with rewards and bad ones with punishment. At a high level this
nature also manifests as supernormal abilities. People who align themselves with
this nature are good people; those who depart from it are bad. People who comply
with it and assimilate to it are those who attain the Dao. In order to conform
to this nature, practitioners need to have extremely high xinxing.
Only this way can one cultivate to high levels.
It is easy to be a good person, but it is not easy to cultivate xinxingócultivators must prepare mentally. Sincerity is a prerequisite if you are to rectify your heart. People live in this world in which society has become rather complicated. Though you want to do good deeds, there are some people who donít want you to; you do not want to harm others, but others might harm you for various reasons. Some of these things happen for unnatural reasons. Will you understand the reasons? What should you do? The struggles in this world test your xinxing at every moment. When confronted with indescribable humiliation, when your vested interests are infringed upon, when faced with money and lust, when in a power struggle, when rage and jealousy emerge in conflicts, when various types of discord in society and in the family take place, and when all kinds of suffering occur, can you always handle yourself in accordance with the strict xinxing criteria? Of course, if you can handle everything you are already an enlightened being. Most practitioners start as everyday people after all, and cultivation of xinxing is gradual; it moves upward little by little. Determined cultivators will eventually gain Righteous Attainment if they are prepared to endure great hardships and to face difficulties with a firm mind. I hope that each of you cultivators maintains your xinxing well and improves your gong potency rapidly!
2. Loss and Gain
Both qigong and religious circles talk about loss and gain. Some people take "loss" to mean being charitable, doing some good deeds, or giving a hand to people in need, and "gain" to mean gaining gong. Even monks in temples also say that one should be charitable. This understanding narrows the meaning of loss. The loss we talk about is much broaderóitís something of a larger scale. The things we require you to lose are the attachments of everyday people and the mindset that doesnít let go of those attachments. If you can break with the things you consider important and part with the things you think you canít part with, that is loss in the truest sense. Offering help and displays of charity are only a part of loss.
everyday person wants to enjoy renown, personal gain, a better standard of
living, more comfort, and more money. These are everyday peopleís goals. As
practitioners, we are different, for what we acquire is gong, not those things. We need to care less about personal gain and
take it lightly, but we are not really asked to lose any material things; we
cultivate in human society and need to live as everyday people do. The key is
for you to break your attachmentsóyou arenít really required to lose
anything. Whatever belongs to you wonít be lost, while the things that donít
belong to you cannot be acquired. If they are acquired they will have to be
returned to others. To gain, you must lose. Of course, itís impossible to
immediately handle everything very well, just as itís impossible to become an
enlightened being overnight. Yet by cultivating little by little and improving
step by step, it is attainable. You will gain however much you lose. You should
always take matters of personal gain lightly and prefer to gain less in order to
have peace of mind. When it comes to material things you might suffer some
losses, but you will gain in terms of virtue and gong.
Herein lies the truth. You are not to intentionally gain virtue
and gong by exchanging your
renown, money, and personal gain. This should be understood further using your
Someone who cultivated in a high-level Daoist practice once said: "I donít want the things others want, and I donít possess the things others possess; but I have things others donít, and I want things others donít." An everyday person hardly has a moment when he or she feels satisfied. This kind of person wants everything except the rocks lying on the ground that no one wants to pick up. Yet this Daoist cultivator said, "Then Iíll pick up those rocks." A proverb goes like this: "Rarity makes something precious, scarcity makes something unique." Rocks are worthless here but could be most valuable in other dimensions. This is a principle that an everyday person canít understand. Many enlightened, high-level masters with great virtue have no material possessions. For them, there is nothing that cannot be given up.
The path of cultivation is the most correct one, and practitioners are actually the most intelligent people. The things that everyday people struggle for and the minute benefits they gain only last a short while. Even if you obtain through struggling, find something for free, or profit a little, so what? There is a saying among everyday people: "You canít bring anything with you when you are born, and you canít take anything away with you when you die." You enter the world having nothing, and you take away nothing when you leave itóeven your bones will be burned to ashes. It doesnít matter if you have tons of money or are a dignitaryónothing can be taken with you when you leave. Yet since gong grows on the body of your Main Consciousness, it can be taken forth. I am telling you that gong is hard to earn. It is so precious and so hard to acquire that it canít be exchanged for any amount of money. Once your gong has reached an advanced level, should you one day decide not to cultivate anymore, as long as you donít do anything bad, your gong will be converted into any material thing you wantóyou will be able to have them all. But you will no longer have the things that cultivators possess. You will instead have only the things that one can acquire in this world.
leads some people to use improper means to take things that belong to others.
These people think that they get a good deal. The truth is that they gain that
profit by exchanging their virtue with othersóonly they donít know it. For a
practitioner, this would have to be deducted from his or her gong.
For a nonpractitioner, it would have to be deducted from his or her life
expectancy or from something else. In short, the books will be balanced. This is
the principle of the universe. There are also some people who always mistreat
others, harm others with abusive words, and so on. With these actions they throw
a corresponding portion of their virtue to the other party, exchanging their
virtue for the act of insulting others.
people think itís disadvantageous to be a good person. From an everyday
personís viewpoint, a good person is at a disadvantage. But what they acquire
is something that everyday people cannot: virtue, a white substance that is
extremely precious. Without virtue one
cannot have gongóthis is an absolute
truth. Why is it that many people cultivate but their gong fails to develop? It is precisely because they donít
cultivate virtue. Many people emphasize virtue
and require cultivation of virtue, yet they fail to disclose the real
principles of how virtue is evolved
into gong. It is left for the
individual to comprehend. The close to ten thousand volumes of the Tripitaka and the principles that Sakyamuni taught for over
forty-some years all talked about one thing: virtue. The ancient Chinese books
of Daoist cultivation all discuss virtue. The five-thousand-word book by Lao Zi,
Dao De Jing, also contemplates virtue
(de). Some people still fail to
We talk about "loss." When you gain, you must lose. You will encounter some tribulations when you genuinely want to cultivate. When they manifest in your life, you might experience a little bodily suffering or feel uncomfortable here or thereóbut itís not sickness. The hardships can also manifest in society, in the family, or in the workplaceóanything is possible. Discord will suddenly arise over personal gain or emotional tensions. The goal is to enable you to improve your xinxing. These things usually happen suddenly and seem extremely intense. If you encounter something that is very tricky, embarrassing for you, that makes you lose face, or puts you in an awkward position, how are you going to handle it at that point? If you stay calm and unruffledóif youíre able to do thatóyour xinxing will be improved through the tribulation and your gong will develop proportionately. If you can achieve a little, you will gain a little. However much you expend is however much you gain. Typically, when we are in the middle of a tribulation we might not be able to realize this, yet we have to try. We shouldnít regard ourselves as everyday people. We should hold ourselves to higher standards when discord arises. Our xinxing will be tempered among everyday people since we cultivate amidst them. We are bound to make some mistakes and to learn something from these. Itís impossible for your gong to develop while you are comfortable and not encountering any problems.
3. Simultaneous Cultivation of Zhen, Shan, and Ren
cultivation way cultivates Zhen, Shan, and Ren simultaneously. "Zhen"
about telling the truth, doing truthful things, returning to oneís origin and
true self, and ultimately becoming a true person. "Shan" is about developing
great compassion, doing good things, and saving people. We particularly
emphasize the ability of Ren. Only with Ren can one cultivate to become a person
with great virtue. Ren is a very powerful thing and transcends Zhen and Shan.
Throughout the entire cultivation process you are asked to forbear, to watch
your xinxing, and to exercise
not easy to forbear when confronted with problems. Some say, "If you donít
hit back when beaten, donít talk back when slandered, or if you forbear even
when you lose face in front of your family, relatives, and good friends,
havenít you turned into Ah Q?!" I say that if you act
normal in all regards, if your intelligence is no less than that of others, and
if itís only that you have taken lightly the matter of personal gain, no one
is going to say you are foolish. Being able to forbear is not weakness, and
neither is it being like Ah Q. It is a display of strong will and
self-restraint. There was a person in Chinese history named Han Xin
who once suffered the humiliation of crawling between someoneís legs. That was
great forbearance. There is an ancient saying: "When an everyday person is
humiliated, he will draw his sword to fight." It means that when a common
person is humiliated, he will draw his sword to retaliate, will swear at others,
or will throw punches at them. Itís not an easy thing for a person to come and
live a lifetime. Some people live for their egoóitís not worth it
whatsoever, and it is also extremely tiring. There is a saying in China: "With
one step back, you will discover a boundless sea and sky." Take a step back
when you are confronted with troubles, and you will find a whole different
practitioner should not only show forbearance towards the people with whom he
has conflicts and those who embarrass him directly, but should also adopt a
generous attitude and even thank them. How could you improve your xinxing
if it werenít for your difficulties with them? How could the black substance
be transformed into the white substance during suffering? How could you develop
your gong? It is very difficult when
you are in the midst of a tribulation, yet you must exercise self-restraint at
that point. The tribulations will get continually stronger as your gong
potency increases. Everything depends on whether you can improve your xinxing.
That tribulation might be upsetting to you at the beginning and make you
unbearably angryóso angry that your veins bulge. Yet you donít erupt and you
are able to contain your angeróthatís good. You have started to forbear, to
intentionally forbear. You will then gradually and continuously improve your xinxing,
truly taking these things lightly; that is an even greater improvement. Everyday
people take insignificant friction and minor problems really seriously. They
live for their ego and tolerate nothing. They will dare to do anything when they
are angered to an unbearable point. Yet as a practitioner you will find the
things that people take seriously to be very, very trivialóeven too
trivialóbecause your goal is extremely long-term and far-reaching. You will
live as long as this universe. Then think about those things again: It doesnít
matter if you have them or not. You can put them all behind you when you think
from a broader perspective.
4. Eliminating Jealousy
Jealousy is a huge obstacle in cultivation and one that has a large impact on practitioners. It directly impacts a practitionerís gong potency, harms fellow cultivators, and seriously interferes with our ascension in cultivation. As a practitioner, you have to eliminate it one hundred percent. Some people have yet to forgo jealousy even though they have cultivated to a certain level. Moreover, the harder it is to abandon, the easier it is for jealousy to grow stronger. The negative effects of this attachment make the improved parts of oneís xinxing vulnerable. Why is jealousy being singled out for discussion? Itís because jealousy is the strongest, most prominent thing that manifests among Chinese people; it weighs most heavily in peopleís thinking. Many people are nonetheless unaware of it. Called Oriental jealousy, or Asian jealousy, it is characteristic of the East. The Chinese people are quite introverted, reserved, and donít express themselves openly. All of this easily leads to jealousy. Everything has two sides. Accordingly, an introverted personality has its pros and cons. Westerners are relatively extroverted. For example, a child who scored a one hundred in school might happily call out on his way home, "I got a hundred!" Neighbors would open their doors and windows to congratulate him, "Congratulations, Tom!" All of them would be happy for him. If this happened in Chinaóthink about itópeople would feel disgusted once they heard it: "He scored a hundred. So what? Whatís there to show off about?" The reaction is completely different when one has a jealous mentality.
Jealous types look down upon others and donít allow others to surpass them. When they see someone more capable than they, their minds lose all perspective, they find it unbearable, and they deny the fact. They want to get pay raises when others do, get equal bonuses, and share the same burden when something goes wrong. They get green-eyed and jealous when they see others making more money. At any rate, they find it unacceptable if others do better than they. Some people are afraid of accepting a bonus when they have made certain achievements in their scientific research; they are afraid of others becoming jealous. Some people who have been awarded certain honors donít dare reveal them for fear of jealousy and sarcasm. Some qigong masters canít stand to see other qigong masters teach, so they go make trouble for them. This is a xinxing problem. Suppose that in a group that does qigong exercises together, some people who started later are nonetheless the first persons to develop supernormal abilities. There are people who would then say: "Whatís he got to brag about? Iíve practiced for so many years and have a huge pile of certificates. How could he develop supernormal abilities before me?" His jealousy would then emerge. Cultivation focuses inward, and a cultivator should cultivate him or herself and look within to find the source of problems. You should work hard on yourself and try to improve in the areas you havenít done enough with. If you look hard at others to find the source of friction, others will succeed in cultivation and ascend, while you will be the only one left here. Wonít you have wasted all of your time? Cultivation is for cultivating oneself!
Jealousy also harms fellow cultivators, such as when oneís badmouthing makes it hard for others to enter tranquility. When this type of person has supernormal abilities, he or she might use them out of jealousy to harm fellow cultivators. For example, a person sits there meditating, and he has been cultivating fairly well. He sits there like a mountain since he has gong. Then two beings float by, one of who used to be a monk but who, due to jealousy, didnít achieve Enlightenment; even though he possesses a certain gong potency, he has not reached Consummation. When they arrive at where the person is meditating, one says, "So-and-so is meditating here. Letís go around him." Yet the other says, "In the past, I chopped off a corner of Mount Tai." He then tries to strike the practitioner. But when he raises his hand he canít bring it down. That being is unable to strike the practitioner because he is cultivating in a righteous practice and has a protective shield. He wants to harm someone who cultivates a righteous way, so it becomes a serious matter and he will be punished. People who are jealous harm themselves as well as others.
5. Eliminating Attachments
"Having attachments" refers to the relentless, zealous pursuit of a particular object or goal by those practitioners who are unable to liberate themselves or too stubborn to heed any advice. Some people pursue supernormal abilities in this world, and this will certainly impact their cultivating to high levels. The stronger the feelings, the more difficult they are to abandon. Their minds will become ever more unbalanced and unstable. Later on these people will feel that they have gained nothing, and they will even start to doubt the things that they have been learning. Attachments stem from human desires. The characteristics of attachments are that their targets or goals are obviously limited, fairly clear and particular, and frequently the person might be unaware of the attachments. An everyday person has many attachments. He might use any means necessary in order to pursue something and obtain it. A cultivatorís attachments manifest differently, such as in his pursuing a particular supernormal ability, his indulging in a certain vision, his obsessing over a certain phenomenon, and so on. No matter what you, a practitioner, pursue, it is incorrectópursuit has to be abandoned. The Dao School teaches nothingness. The Buddha School teaches emptiness and how to enter the gate of emptiness. We ultimately want to achieve the state of nothingness and emptiness, letting go of every attachment. Anything that you cannot let go of has to be discarded. The pursuit of supernormal abilities is an example: If you pursue them it means you want to use them. In reality, that is going against the nature of our universe. It is actually still an issue of xinxing. You want to have them; you just want to flaunt them and show them off in front of others. Those abilities arenít something to showcase for othersí viewing. Even if the purposes of your using them were innocent and you just wanted to use them to do some good deeds, the good deeds that you did could turn out to be not so good. Itís not necessarily a good idea to handle matters of everyday people using supernormal means. After some people hear me remark that seventy percent of the class has had the Third Eye opened, they start to wonder, "Why canít I sense anything?" Their attention focuses on the Third Eye when they return home and do the exercisesóeven to the point of getting a headache. They still canít see anything in the end. This is an attachment. Individuals differ in physical state of being and inborn quality. It isnít possible that all of them come to see through the Third Eye at the same time, and neither can each personís Third Eye be at the same level. Some people might be able to see and some might not. It is all normal.
Attachments can bring the development of a cultivatorís gong potency to a grinding halt. In more serious cases they might even result in practitioners taking a wicked path. In particular, certain supernormal abilities might be used by people with inferior xinxing to do bad things. There have been cases in which a personís unreliable xinxing has resulted in supernormal abilities being used to commit bad deeds. Somewhere there was a male college student who developed the supernormal ability of mind control. With this he could use his own thoughts to manipulate the thoughts and conduct of others, and he used his ability to do bad things. Some people might witness visions appearing when they do the exercises. They always want to have a clear look and full understanding. This is also a form of attachment. A certain hobby might become an addiction for some, and they are unable to shake it. That, too, is a form of attachment. Because of differences in inborn quality and intentions, some people cultivate in order to reach the highest level while some cultivate just to gain certain things. The latter mentality surely limits the goal of oneís cultivation. If a person doesnít eliminate this kind of attachment, his or her gong wonít develop even through practicing. So practitioners should take all material gains lightly, pursue nothing, and let everything unfold naturally, thus avoiding the emergence of new attachments. Whether this can be done depends upon a practitionerís xinxing. One cannot succeed in cultivation if oneís xinxing isnít fundamentally changed or if any attachments remain.
(1) The Origin of Karma
is a type of black substance that is the opposite of virtue. In Buddhism it is
called sinful karma, while here we call it karma. So doing bad things is called
producing karma. Karma is produced by a personís doing wrong in this life or
in past lives. For instance, killing, taking advantage of others, infringing
upon others' interests, gossiping about someone behind his or her back, being
unfriendly to someone, and so on can all create karma. In addition, some karma
is passed on from ancestors, family and relatives, or close friends. When one
throws punches at someone else, one also throws oneís white substance over to
the other person, and the vacated area in oneís body is then filled with the
black substance. Killing is the worst evildoingóit is a wrongdoing and will
generate heavy karma. Karma is the primary factor causing sickness in people. Of
course, it doesnít always manifest itself in the form of sicknessóit can
also manifest as encountering some difficulties and the like. All of these
things are karma at work. So practitioners must not do anything bad. Any
misconduct will produce negative influences that will seriously impact your
Some people encourage collecting the qi of plants. When they teach their exercises they also teach how to collect qi from plants; they discuss with intense interest which trees have better qi and the colors of different treesí qi. There were some people in a park in our northeastern region who practiced a kind of so-called qigong in which they would roll all over the ground. After getting up, they would circle around the pine trees to collect their qi. Within half a year the grove of pine trees had withered and turned yellow. This was a karma-generating act! It too was killing! Collecting qi from plants is not right, whether itís viewed in light of our countryís greening, the maintenance of ecological balance, or from a high-level perspective. The universe is vast and boundless, with qi available everywhere for you to collect. Knock yourself out and go collect itówhy abuse these plants? If you are a practitioner, where is your heart of mercy and compassion?
Everything has intelligence. Modern science already recognizes that plants have not only life, but also intelligence, thoughts, feelings, and even super-sensory functions. When your Third Eye reaches the level of Law Eyesight, you will discover that the world is a totally different place. When you go outside, rocks, walls, and even trees will talk to you. All objects have life. No sooner does an object form than a life enters it. It is people living on Earth who categorize substances as organic and inorganic. People living in temples get upset when they break a bowl, for the moment it is destroyed, its living entity is released. It hasnít finished its life journey, so it will have nowhere to go. It will therefore have extreme hatred towards the person who ended its life. The angrier it gets, the more karma the person will accrue. Some "qigong masters" even go hunting. Where did their benevolence and compassion go? The Buddha and Dao Schools donít do things that violate heavenís principles. When one does these things, it is an act of killing.
Some people say that in the past they produced a lot of karma, for example, by killing fish or chickens, by fishing, etc. Does this mean that they can no longer cultivate? No, it does not. Back then, you did it without knowing the consequences, so it wouldnít have created extra karma. Just donít do it anymore in the future, and that should be fine. If you do it again you will be knowingly violating the principles, and that is not permitted. Some of our practitioners have this kind of karma. Your attendance at our seminar means that you have a predestined relationship, and that you can cultivate upward. Shall we swat flies or mosquitoes when they come inside? As to your handling of this at your present level, it isnít considered wrong if you swat and kill them. If you cannot drive them out, then killing them is no big deal. When the time has come for something to die, naturally it will die. Once, when Sakyamuni was still alive, he wanted to take a bath and asked his disciple to clean the bathtub. The disciple discovered many bugs in the bathtub, so he returned and asked what he should do. Sakyamuni said it again, "It is the bathtub that I want you to clean." The disciple understood, and he went back and cleaned the bathtub. You shouldnít take certain things too seriously. We donít intend to make you an overly cautious person. In a complicated environment it is not right, I think, if you are nervous at every moment and afraid of doing something wrong. It would be a form of attachmentófear itself is an attachment.
We should have a compassionate and merciful heart. When we handle things with a compassionate and merciful heart we are less likely to cause problems. Take self-interest lightly and be kindhearted, and your compassionate heart will keep you from doing wrong. Believe it or not, you will discover that if you always hold a spiteful attitude and always want to fight and contend, you will even turn good things into bad ones. I often see some people who, when right, wonít let others be; when this type of person is right he has finally found some grounds for mistreating others. Similarly, we shouldnít stir up conflict if we disagree with certain things. The things you dislike might at times not necessarily be wrong. When you continuously raise your level as a practitioner, every sentence you say will carry energy. You shouldnít speak as you please, since you will be able to restrain everyday people. It is particularly easy for you to commit wrongdoing and create karma when you arenít able to see the truth of problems and their karmic causes.
(2) Eliminating Karma
The principles in this world are the same as those in heaven: Eventually you have to pay what you owe others. Even everyday people have to pay what they owe others. All the hardships and problems you encounter throughout your life result from karma. You have to pay. The path of life for us genuine cultivators will be altered. A new path that suits your cultivation will be arranged. Your master will reduce some of your karma, and what remains will be used to improve your xinxing. You exchange and pay for your karma through performing the exercises and through cultivating your xinxing. From now on, the problems you confront wonít happen by chance. So please be mentally prepared. By enduring some tribulations, you will come to let go of all the things an everyday person canít release. You will run into many troubles. Problems will arise within the family, socially, and from other sources, or you might suddenly encounter disaster; it could even be that you will get blamed for what is actually someone elseís fault, and so on and so forth. Practitioners arenít supposed to get sick, yet you might suddenly come down with a serious sickness. The sickness could come on with intense force, causing you to suffer to the point where you are no longer able to bear it. Even hospital exams might yield no diagnosis. Yet for an unknown reason the sickness might later disappear without any treatment. In fact, your debts are paid in this manner. Perhaps one day your spouse will lose his or her temper and start a fight with you for no reason at all; even insignificant incidents might trigger big arguments. Afterwards, your spouse too will feel confused over his or her loss of temper. As you are a practitioner, you should be clear as to why this kind of incident takes place: Itís because that "thing" came, and it was asking you to pay for your karma. To resolve these sorts of incidents, you have to keep yourself under control during those moments and watch your xinxing. Be appreciative and thankful that your spouse has helped you pay for your karma.
The legs will start to ache after one sits in meditation for a long while, and sometimes the pain is excruciating. People with a high-level Third Eye can see the following: When one is in great pain, there is a large chunk of the black substanceóboth inside and outside of the bodyócoming down and being eliminated. The pain one experiences while sitting in meditation is intermittent and excruciating. Some understand it and are determined not to unfold their legs. The black substance will then be eliminated and transformed into the white substance, and it will in turn be evolved into gong. Practitioners canít possibly pay for all of their karma through sitting in meditation and performing the exercises. They also need to improve their xinxing and enlightenment quality, and to undergo some tribulations. What is important is that we be compassionate. Oneís compassion emerges quickly in our Falun Gong. Many people find that tears start to fall for no reason while they sit in meditation. Whatever they think of, they feel grief. Whoever they look at, they see suffering. This is actually the heart of great compassion that emerges. Your nature, your genuine self, will start to connect with the nature of the universe: Zhen-Shan-Ren. When your compassionate nature emerges, you will do things with much kindness. From your inner heart to your outer appearance, everyone will be able to see that you are really kind. At that point no one will mistreat you anymore. If someone were to treat you unfairly then, your heart of great compassion would be at play and you wouldnít do the same to him in return. This is a type of power, a power that makes you different from everyday people.
When you encounter a tribulation, that great compassion will help you overcome it. At the same time, my Law Bodies will look after you and protect your life, but you will have to undergo the tribulation. For example, when I was lecturing in Taiyuan there was an older couple that came to attend my class. They were hurrying when they crossed the street, and upon reaching the middle of the road a car came speeding along. It instantly knocked the elderly woman down and dragged her along for more than ten meters before she finally fell in the middle of the street. The car couldnít stop for another twenty meters. The driver got out of the car and said some rude words, and the passengers sitting inside the car also uttered some negative things. At that moment the elderly woman remembered what I had said and didnít say anything. After she got up, she said, "Everything is all right, nothing is broken." She then went into the lecture hall with her husband. Had she said at that very moment, "Oh, it hurts here and it hurts there, too. You need to take me to the hospital," things would have turned out really badly. But she didnít say that. The elderly woman said to me: "Master, I know what that was all about. It was helping me pay for my karma!" A great tribulation was eliminated and a big chunk of karma was removed. As you can imagine, she had really high xinxing and good enlightenment quality. She was that elderly, the car was travelling that fast, and she was dragged that far before finally hitting the ground hardóyet she got up having a right mind.
Sometimes a tribulation seems tremendous when it comesóso overwhelming that there looks to be no way out. Perhaps it stays around for quite a few days. Then a path suddenly appears and things start to take a huge turn. In fact, itís because we have improved our xinxing and the problem has disappeared naturally.
In order to improve your realm of mind, you have to be tested by various tribulations in this world. If your xinxing has really improved and stabilized, karma will be eliminated during the process, the tribulation will pass, and your gong will develop. Donít be discouraged if during xinxing tests you fail to watch your xinxing and you conduct yourself improperly. Take the initiative to find what you learned from this lesson, to discover where you fell short, and to put effort into cultivating Zhen-Shan-Ren. The next problem that will test your xinxing might come shortly thereafter. As your gong potency develops, the next tribulationís test might come on even stronger and more suddenly. Your gong potency will grow a little bit higher with every problem you overcome. The development of your gong will come to a standstill if you are unable to overcome a problem. Small tests lead to small improvements; big tests lead to big improvements. I hope that every practitioner is prepared to endure great suffering and will have the determination and willpower to embrace hardships. You wonít acquire real gong without expending effort. There is no principle in existence that will let you gain gong comfortably without any suffering or effort. You will never cultivate to become an enlightened being if your xinxing doesnít become fundamentally better and you still harbor personal attachments!
7. Demonic Interference
"Demonic interference" refers to the manifestations or visions that appear during the cultivation process and that interfere with a personís practice. Their goal is to prevent practitioners from cultivating to high levels. In other words, demons come to collect debts.
The problem of demonic interference will surely arise when a person is cultivating to high levels. Itís impossible that one has not committed wrongdoing in oneís lifetime, just as oneís ancestors must have in their lives; this is called karma. Whether a personís inborn quality is good or not reflects how much karma this person carries with him or her. Even if he or she is a rather good person it is still impossible to be free of karma. You canít sense it because you donít practice cultivation. Demons wonít care if your practice is only for healing and improving health. But they will bother you once you begin cultivating to high levels. They can disturb you using many different methods, the goal of which is to prevent you from cultivating to high levels and to make you fail in your practice. Demons manifest themselves in a variety of ways. Some manifest themselves as daily life happenings, while others take the form of phenomena from other dimensions. They command things to interfere with you every time you sit down to meditate, making it impossible for you to enter tranquility and, therefore, to cultivate to high levels. Sometimes the moment you sit down to meditate you will begin to doze off or will have all kinds of thoughts going through your mind, and you become unable to enter into a cultivation state. At other times, the moment you start to perform the exercises, your once-quiet surroundings will suddenly be filled with the noise of footsteps, doors slamming, cars honking, telephones ringing, and a variety of other forms of interference, making it impossible for you to become tranquil.
Another kind of demon is sexual lust. A beautiful woman or handsome man might appear in front of a practitioner during his or her meditation or dreams. That person will entice you and seduce you by making stimulating gestures that evoke your attachment to sexual lust. If you canít overcome this the first time, it will gradually escalate and continue to seduce you until you abandon the idea of cultivating to a high level. This is a difficult test to pass, and quite a few practitioners have failed because of this. I hope you are mentally prepared for it. If someone doesnít guard his or her xinxing well enough and fails the first time, he or she should truly learn a lesson from it. It will come again and interfere many times until you truly maintain your xinxing and completely break that attachment. This is a big hurdle that you must overcome, or you will be unable to attain the Dao and succeed in cultivation.
There is another kind of demon that also presents itself during oneís performance of the exercises or in oneís dreams. Some people suddenly see some horrifying faces that are ugly and real, or figures that are holding knives and threatening to kill. But they can only scare people. If they were to really stab, they wouldnít be able to touch the practitioner since Master has installed a protective shield around the practitionerís body to keep him or her unharmed. They try to scare the person off so that he or she will stop cultivating. These only appear at a certain level or during a certain period of time and will pass quicklyóin a few days, a week, or a few weeks. It all depends on how high your xinxing is and how you treat this matter.
8. Inborn Quality and Enlightenment Quality
"Inborn quality" refers to the white substance one brings with oneself at birth. In fact, it is virtueóa tangible substance. The more of this substance you bring with you, the better your inborn quality. People with good inborn quality more easily return to their true self and become enlightened, as their thinking is unimpeded. Once they hear about learning qigong or about things concerning cultivation, they immediately become interested and are willing to learn. They can connect with the universe. It is exactly as Lao Zi said: "When a wise man hears the Dao, he will practice it diligently. When an average man hears it, he will practice it on and off. When a foolish man hears it, he will laugh at it loudly. If he doesnít laugh loudly, it is not the Dao." Those people who can easily return to their true self and become enlightened are wise people. In contrast, a person with a lot of the black substance and an inferior inborn quality has a barrier formed outside of his body that makes it impossible for him to accept good things. The black substance will make him disbelieve good things when he encounters them. In fact, this is one of the roles karma plays.
A discussion of inborn quality has to include the matter of enlightenment quality. When we talk about enlightenment, some people think that being enlightened is the equivalent of being clever. The "clever" or "cunning" person that everyday people refer to is actually far away from the cultivation practice we are discussing. These types of "clever" people usually canít achieve Enlightenment easily. They are only concerned with the practical, material world so that they can avoid being taken advantage of and avoid giving up any benefit. Most notably, a few individuals out there who regard themselves as knowledgeable, educated, and smart, think that practicing cultivation is the stuff of fairy tales. Practicing cultivation and improving xinxing are inconceivable to them. They consider practitioners foolish and superstitious. The enlightenment we speak of doesnít refer to being smart but to the return of human nature to its true nature, to being a good person, and to conforming to the nature of the universe. Oneís inborn quality determines oneís enlightenment quality. If oneís inborn quality is good, oneís enlightenment quality tends to be good as well. Inborn quality determines enlightenment quality; however, enlightenment quality isnít entirely dictated by inborn quality. No matter how good your inborn quality is, your understanding or comprehension cannot be lacking. The inborn quality of some individuals isnít so good, yet they possess superb enlightenment quality and so can cultivate to a high level. Since we offer salvation to all sentient beings, we look at enlightenment quality, not inborn quality. Even though you have many negative things, as long as you are determined to ascend in cultivation, this thought of yours is a righteous one. With this thought you only need to forgo a little more than others and you will eventually achieve Enlightenment.
The bodies of practitioners are purified. They wonít contract illness after gong develops, because the presence of this high-energy substance in the body no longer permits the presence of the black substance. Yet some people just refuse to believe this and always think that they are sick. They complain, "Why am I so uncomfortable?" We say that what you have gained is gong. How can you not have discomfort when youíve gained such a good thing? In cultivation one has to give things up in an exchange. In fact, all of the discomfort is on the surface and has no impact whatsoever on your body. It appears to be sickness but itís certainly notóit all depends on whether you can awaken to this. Practitioners not only need to be able to bear the worst suffering, but they also need to have good enlightenment quality. Some people donít even try to comprehend things when they are confronted with troubles. They still treat themselves as everyday people despite my teaching them at a high level and showing them how to measure themselves with higher criteria. They canít even bring themselves to practice cultivation as genuine practitioners. Neither can they believe that they will be at a high level.
The enlightenment discussed at high levels refers to becoming enlightened, and it is categorized into Sudden Enlightenment and Gradual Enlightenment. Sudden Enlightenment refers to having the entire process of cultivation take place in a locked mode. At the last moment after you have completed the entire cultivation process and your xinxing has reached a high level, all of your supernormal abilities will be unlocked at once, your Third Eye will instantly open to its highest level, and your mind will be able to communicate with high-level beings in other dimensions. You will instantly be able to see the reality of the entire cosmos and its different dimensions and unitary paradises, and you will then be able to communicate with them. You will also be able to use your great divine powers. The path of sudden Enlightenment is the most difficult one to take. Throughout history, only people with superb inborn quality have been selected to become disciples; it has been passed on privately and individually. Average people would find it unbearable! The path I took was that of Sudden Enlightenment.
The things I am imparting to you belong to the path of Gradual Enlightenment. Supernormal abilities will develop in due time during your cultivation process. But the supernormal abilities that emerge will not necessarily be available for you to use, as it is easy for you to commit wrongdoing when you have not raised your xinxing to a certain level and are still unable to handle yourself properly. You wonít be able to use these supernormal abilities for the time being, though they will eventually be made available to you. Through practicing cultivation you will gradually improve your level and come to understand the truth of this universe. Just as with Sudden Enlightenment, you will eventually reach Consummation. The path of Gradual Enlightenment is a little easier and takes no risks. Whatís difficult about it is that you can see the entire cultivation process. So the demands you place upon yourself should be even stricter.
9. A Clear and Pure Mind
Some people canít achieve tranquility when they do qigong exercises, and so they search for a method. Some have asked me: "Master, why canít I become tranquil when I perform qigong exercises? Can you teach me a method or technique so that I can become tranquil when I sit in meditation?" I ask, how can you become tranquil?! You still couldnít become tranquil even if a deity were to come teach you a method. Why? The reason is that your own mind isnít clear and pure. Because you live amid this society, things such as various emotions and desires, self-interest, personal matters, and even the affairs of your friends and family come to occupy your mind too much and assume a high priority. How could you become tranquil when seated in meditation? Even if you intentionally suppress them, they will still surface by themselves.
Buddhismís cultivation teaches "precept, samadhi, and wisdom." Precepts are for letting go of the things that you are attached to. Some Buddhists adopt the approach of chanting a Buddhaís name, which requires concentrated chanting in order to achieve the state of "one thought replacing thousands of others." Yet itís not simply an approach, but a type of ability. You can try chanting if you donít believe it. I can promise you that other things will arise in your mind when you use your mouth to chant a Buddhaís name. It was Tibetan Tantrism that first taught people how to chant a Buddhaís name; one had to chant a Buddhaís name hundreds of thousands of times each day for a week. They would chant until they got dizzy and then there would finally be nothing left in their minds. That one thought had replaced all others. That is a type of skill that you might not be able to perform. There are also some other methods that teach you how to focus your mind on your dantian, how to count, how to fixate your eyes on objects, and so on. In actuality, none of these methods can make you enter into complete tranquility. Practitioners have to attain a clear and pure mind, discard their preoccupation with self-interest, and let go of the greed in their hearts.
Whether you can enter stillness and tranquility is in fact a reflection of your ability and level. Being able to enter tranquility the moment you sit down indicates a high level. Itís all right if for the time being you canít become tranquilóyou can slowly accomplish this through cultivation. Your xinxing improves gradually, as does your gong. Your gong will never develop unless you attach little importance to self-interest and your own desires.
Practitioners should hold themselves to higher standards at all times. Practitioners are continuously interfered with by all kinds of complicated social phenomena, many vulgar and unhealthy things, and various emotions and desires. The things that are encouraged on television, in the movies, and in literature teach you to become a stronger and more practical person among everyday people. If you canít go beyond these things you will be even further away from a cultivatorís xinxing and state of mind, and you will acquire less gong. Practitioners should have little to no dealings with those vulgar and unhealthy things. They should turn a blind eye and a deaf ear to them, being unmoved by people and things. I often say that the minds of everyday people cannot move me. I wonít become happy when someone praises me, nor will I get upset when someone insults me. I remain unaffected no matter how serious the disruptions to xinxing among everyday people may be. Practitioners should take all personal gain lightly and not even care about it. Only then can your intention to become enlightened be considered mature. If you can be without strong pursuit of renown and personal gain, and even regard them as something inconsequential, you wonít become frustrated or upset and your heart will always remain calm. Once you are able to let go of everything, you will naturally become clear and pure-minded.
I have taught you Dafa and all five sets of exercises. I have adjusted your bodies and installed Falun and energy mechanisms in them. My Law Bodies will protect you. All of what should be given to you has been given. During the class itís all up to me. From this point on, itís all up to you. "The master leads you through the door of cultivation, but itís up to you to continue cultivating." As long as you learn Dafa thoroughly, attentively experience and comprehend it, watch your xinxing at every moment, cultivate diligently, endure the worst sufferings of all, and forbear the hardships of all hardships, I believe you will surely succeed in your cultivation.
The path for cultivating gong lies in oneís heart
The boat to sail the boundless Dafa rides on hardships
 Lao Zi (laow dzz)óauthor of the Dao De Jing and popularly regarded as the founder of Daoism, Lao Zi is thought to have lived sometime around the 4th century BC. Note: Dao De Jing is sometimes romanized as Tao Te Ching.
 Ah Q (ah cue)óa foolish character in a well-known Chinese novel.
 Han Xin (hahn shin)óa leading general for Liu Bang, the first emperor of the Han Dynasty (206 B.C. - 23 A.D.).