Truly Guiding People Up to High Levels
For the whole time I've been transmitting our teachings and exercises, I've made a point of being responsible to society and to our students. The results have been good, and the impact on the whole society has been pretty good, too. A few years back there were a lot of masters of the qigong arts spreading their qigong practices, but the things they taught were all just at the level of healing and fitness. Of course, I'm not saying that other people's practices aren't good. I'm just saying they haven't passed on any higher things. I know the state of qigong all across the country, and I can say that right now, whether we're talking about inside China or abroad, I'm the only one who's really transmitting a practice that takes you to higher levels. And why isn't anybody else doing that? The reason is, huge issues are involved, the historical origins of it go deep, it involves a wide range of things, and the questions it brings up are penetrating. This isn't something just anybody can teach, since it involves touching a lot of practices' things. And this is especially so when we have a lot of practitioners who learn one practice today, then go and learn some other one tomorrow, and they turn their own bodies into a big mess, which makes success just impossible. Others take the main road and cultivate upwards, while they take all kinds of side roads. When they cultivate in one practice, the other ones interfere, and when they cultivate in the other ones, the first one interferes—they're being interfered with all over the place, and they can't cultivate anymore.
We need to straighten all this out for you. We'll keep what's good, get rid of what's bad, and make sure you can cultivate from this point on. But you really have to be here to learn the Great Law. If you bring all kinds of attachments with you, or if you've come here wanting to get abilities, to get healed, to just hear some ideas, or maybe for some other bad reason, then it's not going to work. And this is important, now, because like I've said, I'm the only person doing this, and there aren't a lot of opportunities like this. I won't keep on spreading it this way forever. I think that whoever gets to hear me transmit the exercises and teachings in person, I'd say he's really… later on you'll know, and you'll feel really glad about this period of time. Of course, we believe in karmic relationship, and everybody sits here because of their karmic relationships.
Transmitting a practice that takes you to high levels—now think about it, what's that mean? Isn't it about saving people? It's saving people—you are truly cultivating yourself, and not just getting healthy or fit. It's true cultivation, so the demands on the student's character are higher. Now us folks sitting here, we've come here to learn the Great Law, so you need to have the mindset of a true practitioner while you sit here, and you need to let go of your attachments. If you're coming here to learn the exercises, or the Great Law, with the goal of getting all kinds of things, then you won't learn anything. I'll tell you a truth: the whole process of cultivation is a process of constantly getting rid of human attachments. Out in the ordinary world, people fight each other, they deceive each other, and they harm other people just to benefit themselves a little. The thoughts behind that all have to go. And this is especially true for us folks learning the practice today—you have all the more reason to get rid of those thoughts.
I'm not going to talk about doing healing here. We don't do healing. But if you want to do true cultivation, and you've come here with an ailing body, then you can't cultivate yet. So I have to purify your body. I only purify the body for people who've truly come here to learn the practice, who truly come to learn the Law. There's one thing we stress: if you can't set aside those thoughts of yours, if you can't set aside that health problem, then there's nothing we can do and we can't help you. And why is that? Because there's a truth in this universe: the things that happen to ordinary people, as Buddhists put it, all have underlying causes, and for ordinary people things like birth, aging, sickness, and death are just a fact of life. People only have health problems and suffering because they did bad things in the past and made karma. When they go through hard times they are paying off a karmic debt, so nobody can just go and change that at will. If it's changed, that's like letting somebody who's in debt get off without paying it back, and you can't just go and do that on a whim. That's the same as doing something bad.
Some people think that healing people, or helping them get healthy and fit, is doing a good thing. But the way I see it, they haven't really healed anything. They've just postponed and shifted the ailment, or transformed it, but they haven't taken it out. To really eliminate that tribulation you have to eliminate the karma. And if a person can really heal people, if he can completely clear out that karma, and I mean really do that, then his level definitely isn't low. He would have already seen a truth, which is, the laws for ordinary people can't just be violated like that. During his cultivation, a cultivator who's moved by compassion is allowed to do some good things, heal people, or help them get healthy and fit, but he still can't heal people completely. If an ordinary person's ailment could really be rooted out, then a non-cultivating, ordinary person would walk off without any ailment, but he'd still be an ordinary person, and he'd go on fighting for his own benefit just like other ordinary people. How could you just go and eliminate his karma? That's definitely not allowed.
So why is it okay to do that for cultivators, then? Because nobody is more precious than a cultivator. He wants to cultivate, and that's the most precious thought. In Buddhism they talk about Buddha-nature, and that when a person's Buddha-nature comes out the Enlightened Beings can help him. And what do they mean by that? If you ask me, since I'm transmitting a practice on a higher level, it involves truths from high levels, and the issues it touches on are huge. In this universe, human life, as we see it, isn't generated in the ordinary world. A person's true life is generated in the space of the universe. The reason being, there are many types of matter in this universe that produce life, and these types of matter can generate life through motion and interaction. What this means is that a person's earliest life originates in the universe. The space of the universe is inherently good, and its nature is to be True, Good, and Endure, and when a person is born he has the same nature as the universe. But as more beings are created, community-like social relationships form. Some of the beings might grow selfish and gradually lower their levels, so they can't stay at that level and have to drop. But then at the next level they become not so good again, and again they can't stay there, so they keep dropping down and down, until at some point they finally drop to this level of human beings.
The whole human society is at one level. When they drop down this far, these beings were supposed to be destroyed if they are looked at only in terms of abilities, or only from the standpoint of the Great Enlightened Beings. But Great Enlightened Beings take compassion as their starting point, so they gave them another chance and made this special environment and this special dimension. The beings in this dimension are different from the beings in all other dimensions in the universe. The beings in this dimension can't see the beings in other dimensions, and they can't see how the universe really is, so it's just like these people have dropped into a realm of delusion. If they want to get healed, get rid of adversity, or eliminate their karma, then they've got to cultivate and return to their original, true selves. That's how all the different cultivation ways see it. A person should return to his original, true self—that's actually the true purpose of being human. So, once somebody wants to cultivate, they'd say his Buddha-nature has come out. That thought is the most precious, because he wants to return to his original, true self, he wants to break out of this level of ordinary people.
Maybe you've heard the Buddhist saying, "When a person's Buddha-nature comes out it shakes the Ten-Directional World." Whoever sees this will help him, and they'll help him no matter what. Buddhists believe that saving people has no conditions attached, it's done at whatever cost, and they can help him unconditionally. That's why we can do a lot for our students. But it doesn't work like that for an ordinary person, who just wants to be an ordinary person and get healed. Some people think, "I'll cultivate if I can just get my health back." But cultivation doesn't have any conditions attached—if you want to cultivate, then you just cultivate. Some people's bodies are sick, though, and some people have messed-up messages in their bodies, some haven't ever cultivated, and then there are others who've cultivated for decades but are still milling around in the realm of qi energy, and haven't gotten anywhere cultivating.
So what should we do about that? We need to purify their bodies and make it possible for them to cultivate up to high levels. When you're cultivating at the lowest level there's a process, which is, we totally purify your body. We take all the bad things in your mind, that karma field around your body, and all those factors that make your body unhealthy, and we clean the whole thing out. If we didn't, then how could you, and that dirty body of yours that's all dark, and that filthy mind of yours, how could you cultivate up to high levels? And we don't work on qi here. You don't need to work on those low-level things. We'll push you past that and help your body reach an illness-free state. And at the same time, we'll give you a complete, ready-made set of things that are needed at the low level to build a foundation. That way, we'll start right off at a high level.
Going by what's said in cultivation, if you want to count qi, then there are three levels. But true cultivation (which doesn't count working qi) has two major levels: one is Triple-World-Law cultivation, and the other is Beyond-Triple-World-Law cultivation. These "Triple-World-Law" and "Beyond-Triple-World-Law" are different from what people say in monasteries about "leaving the mundane world" and "entering the mundane world"—those are just conceptual. We undergo changes at two major levels through true human-body cultivation. In the process of Triple-World-Law cultivation the body is purified constantly, again and again, so when the highest form of Triple-World-Law is reached the body will have been completely replaced by high-energy matter. But with Beyond-Triple-World-Law cultivation, that's pretty much Buddha-body cultivation, that's a body made of high-energy matter, and all abilities will be redeveloped. These are the two major levels we talk about.
We believe there are karmic relationships. So I can do these things for you, as you're sitting here. Right now we've just got over 2,000 people here, but even if there were thousands more people, say maybe 10,000 people, then I could still do them. So what I'm saying is, you don't need to practice at the low level anymore. After we purify your body, we push you past that level and place a full cultivation system in you, so right from the start you cultivate at a high level. But, I only do this for students who've really come here for cultivation. It's not like just because you're sitting here you're a cultivator. If you can change your thinking at its very core, we can do this for you, and more, and later on you'll know it. I've really given something to each of you. And again, we don't do healing here, but what we will do is totally rebalance our students' bodies, and make it possible for you to practice—if you're carrying around an ill body you really won't develop any gong energy. So you shouldn't come to me to get healed, and I don't do that. The main goal I had in coming out to teach was to guide people up to high levels—to truly guide people up to high levels.
Different Levels Have Different Laws
A lot of qigong masters have said that qigong has a beginning level, an intermediate level, and an advanced level. But that's just qi, and that's all at the level of working qi, even if they go categorize it into beginning level, intermediate level, and advanced level. When it comes to true higher things, among the masses of qigong cultivators nobody really has a clue, no clue at all. Starting today, what we're going to explain are all Laws of high levels. And I want to set people's thinking straight about cultivation. In my classes I'll touch on some bad phenomena in the cultivation world. I'll spell out how we should deal with them, and how we should look at those phenomena. Also, when you transmit exercises and teachings at a high level, the range of things it impacts, and all the questions it hits on, they're pretty big, and it can even get intense. But I want to tell you about all of these things. And there are some things that come from other dimensions which are interfering with our ordinary world, and even more so the cultivation world, and I want to tell you about them, too, and resolve these things for our students. If these problems aren't fixed you won't be able to practice. These problems need to be solved at the root. And to do that, we have to treat you all as true cultivators. Of course, it's not easy to change your thinking in one fell swoop, but from today on, as you attend my classes, you'll gradually come to shift your thinking, so I hope you all listen carefully. I don't transmit my practice the way others do. When some people transmit their practices, they just talk a little about how their practices work, and then they have you receive some of their messages and teach you some exercises, and that's it, they're done. And people are used to that kind of instruction now.
To really transmit something you have to teach the Law, to teach the Dao or "Way." During these ten classes I'll expound higher truths and leave nothing out, and then you'll be able to cultivate. If I didn't do that you'd have no way to cultivate. Those things other people are spreading are all just about healing and fitness, and if you want to cultivate up to high levels, you won't get anywhere, because you don't have a higher Law to guide you. It's just like going to school: if you used elementary school books in college you'd still just be an elementary school student. Some people think they've learned a lot of practice methods, and they ramble on about such-and-such methods, and they've got a big old pile of completion certificates, but guess what, their gong still hasn't gone up. They think those things are the heart of qigong and that that's all there is to it. Hardly. That's just qigong's outer shell, that's its lowest things. Qigong is about more than that, it's cultivation, which is wide-ranging and profound. And besides, at different levels there are different Laws. So it's not like the qi-based approaches we know about today, where learning more of them doesn't do anything for you. Let's say you've studied Britain's elementary school books, you've studied America's elementary school books, you've studied Japan's elementary school books, and you've studied China's elementary school books—well, you're still just an elementary school student. The more low-level qigong lessons you take in, and the more that gets crammed in your head, it turns out, the worse that is for you, and you'll wreck your body.
Now, there's a point I want to make: when you cultivate, you have to have both practice methods and teachings passed on to you. Maybe the monks in some monasteries, like the Zen Buddhist ones, probably, they might have a different opinion. The minute they hear the words "pass on teachings," they don't want to listen. And why is that? Zen Buddhism believes that the Law isn't something you can teach, that as soon as you explain the Law it's not Law anymore, and that there's no Law that can be taught, you just have to figure it out intuitively. That's why Zen can't teach any Law today. The Zen Buddhist Bodhidharma spread this idea, and it was based on one thing Buddha Shakyamuni said. Shakyamuni said, "no Law is absolute." So he founded the Zen sect based on that statement from Shakyamuni. We'd say the sect is going down a dead end. How so? Back at the beginning, when Bodhidharma went down it, he thought it was pretty spacious, while for Patriarch II it wasn't that spacious; for Patriarch III it was so-so, but by the time of Patriarch IV it was already really narrow; basically there wasn't much to go down for Patriarch V, and by the time of Patriarch VI, Huineng, they'd hit the end of it, and they couldn't go any further. Today if you go to Zen to learn the Law, don't ask them anything, because if you ask them something they'll whack you right on the head, and they call it a "stick wake up." The idea is, you shouldn't ask, and that you've got to awaken on your own. You'd say, "I came here to learn because I don't know anything. What am I supposed to 'awaken' to? You just hit me with a stick!" That's the end that they've reached, and they have nothing left to teach. Even Bodhidharma said that Zen could only be passed down for six generations, and that after that it wouldn't work. Hundreds of years have gone by, but today there are still people who cling for dear life to Zen's doctrines and just won't let go. So then what's the real meaning of Shakyamuni's "no Law is absolute"? Shakyamuni was at the Tathagata level. People later on, and even a lot of monks, weren't able to awaken to things at Shakyamuni's level, nor to the state of mind at his level of awareness, to the true meaning of the Law he taught, or the true meaning of his words. That's why people who came after him interpreted it just about however you could imagine, and they interpreted it into a big mess. And they took "no Law is absolute" to mean you shouldn't teach it, and that once it's taught it's not Law. But that's actually not what it means. After Shakyamuni became Unlocked, or Enlightened, under the Bodhi tree, he didn't reach the Tathagata level right away. For all of the 49 years he was preaching the Law he was constantly improving himself. Every time he improved one level he'd look back and see that the Law he had just taught wasn't correct. After he improved more, he'd realize that the Law he had preached wasn't correct again. And when he improved even more, he realized that the Law he'd just taught wasn't correct yet again. For all 49 years he was constantly raising his level like that, and every time he went up one level he'd realize that the Law he taught before had a low understanding. He also realized that the Law at each level is that level's manifestation of the Law, and that every level has a Law, but that not one of them is the absolute Truth of the universe, although the Laws at higher levels are closer to the nature of the universe than the Laws at lower levels. That's why he said, "no Law is absolute."
In the end, Shakyamuni also said, "I haven't taught one bit of Law in my life." Zen again took that to mean that the Law can't be taught. Shakyamuni had reached the Tathagata level by his later years. So why did he say that he hadn't taught the Law at all? And what was he really getting at? He was saying, "Even at this Tathagata level I'm at, I still haven't seen the universe's ultimate Truth, or what its ultimate Law is." So he was telling people who'd come later not to take his words as the absolute, unchanging Truth, because that would limit people after him to the Tathagata level or lower, and they wouldn't be able to break through to higher levels. The people after him didn't understand the true meaning of his words, and they took them to mean, "if the Law is taught, it's not the Law"—that's how they've understood it. Shakyamuni was actually saying, "Different levels have different Laws, and the Law at each level isn't the absolute Truth of the universe, but the Law at any given level does act as a guide at that level." That's the idea he was really getting at.
There used to be a lot of people, and especially in Zen, who always held on to that kind of biased and totally wrong understanding. If nobody teaches you, though, what's there to guide you in your practice? How could you practice? How could you cultivate, then? Buddhism has a lot of Buddhist tales. Maybe some of you have read the one about a guy who ascended to the heavens. He arrived at a heavenly kingdom, and discovered that every word in the Diamond Sutra up there was different from the Diamond Sutra down here, and that even their meanings were different. Then why was that Diamond Sutra different from the one in the human world? There are other people who've said, "The scriptures in the Western Paradise are so different from the ones below you wouldn't recognize them. They're totally different. Not only the words are different, but the meaning and the significance of them are different, too. They've changed." What's actually going on is, the same Law changes at each level and manifests in a different way, and for cultivators, it can guide them differently at different levels.
You know, there's a booklet called, Travelogue of the Western Paradise. It's about a monk who meditated and his soul went to the Western Paradise and saw some scenes. He strolled around for a day there and came back to the human world, where a good six years had passed. Did he really see all that? He did, but what he saw wasn't how it really is there. And why not? His level wasn't high enough, so he was only shown the Buddha Law's manifestation that he was supposed to see at his level. He couldn't see how things really are there because a world like that is a manifestation of its makeup by the Law. So I'd say that this is the meaning of "no Law is absolute."
One Standard Alone Determines if Someone is Good or Bad: Whether He is Able to be True, Good, and Endure
There have always been people in Buddhism examining what Buddha Law is. And some people think that the Law taught in Buddhism is the whole Buddha Law. But it's actually not. The Law that Shakyamuni taught was for those ordinary people 2,500 years ago with a really low degree of civilization, they were people who'd just emerged from a primitive society and whose minds were kind of simple. He talked about, "the Age of the Law's End." That's today. Modern people can't cultivate with that Law anymore. In the Age of the Law's End it's hard for monks in monasteries to save even themselves, let alone save others. The Law Shakyamuni preached back then was specific to that situation, and also, he didn't teach people everything he knew at his level about Buddha Law. And if you want to keep it from ever changing, that's just not possible.
Society has been developing and the human mind has gotten more and more complicated, so it's hard now for a person to cultivate that way. Buddhism's Law doesn't cover the entire Buddha Law—it's just a tiny little part of Buddha Law. There are a lot of Buddhist Great Law practices that have been passed down among common folks, or passed down over the generations in a lineage-type way. Different levels have different Laws, and different dimensions have different Laws, and all of this is the Buddha Law's manifestation in different dimensions and at different levels. Shakyamuni also talked about there being 84,000 disciplines for cultivating Buddhahood. But Buddhism has only a dozen or so disciplines, like Zen, Pure Land, Tendai, Huayan, and Tantrism. They don't cover the entire Buddha Law. And besides, Shakyamuni didn't preach all of his Law, he just selectively preached the part of his Law that the people back then could grasp.
So just what is Buddha Law? The universe's most fundamental nature, to be True, Good, and Endure, that's the highest expression of Buddha Law, that's the essence of Buddha Law. Buddha Law is expressed in different forms at different levels, and at different levels it acts as a guide in different ways, with its manifestations getting more diverse as the level gets lower. Air particles, stone, wood, soil, steel, the human body—all matter has this nature, to be True, Good, and Endure. In ancient times they believed that the Five Elements form all the myriad things of the universe. And they, too, have this nature—to be True, Good, and Endure. A cultivator can only know the specific manifestation of Buddha Law at the level he has cultivated to, and that's his cultivation Fruition, his level. If you spell it out in detail, the Law is huge. But when you reach its highest point, then it's simple, because the Law stacks up in a pyramid-like shape. Up at an extremely high level you can summarize it in just three words: True, Good, Endure. But as it manifests at each different level it gets extremely complicated. Let's use human beings as an analogy. Daoists see the human body as a small universe. Human beings have a material body, but just having a material body doesn't make somebody a complete person. It takes a human temperament, personality, traits, and a soul to make up a complete and independent person, with individuality. The same goes for this universe of ours: there's the Milky Way and other galaxies, and also life and water, so the myriad things are its material side, but it also has its nature, to be True, Good, and Endure. The particles of every single thing have this nature, and extremely small particles have this nature, too.
This nature, to be True, Good, and Endure, is the standard that determines what is good and bad in the universe. What's good? What's bad? You use this nature to tell. The same goes for the idea of "virtue" that people used to talk about. Of course, now society's moral level has changed, and even the moral standard has been perverted. Nowadays, if somebody models himself after that good Samaritan, Lei Feng, people will probably say he's crazy. But in the 1950s or 60s, tell me, who would have said he's crazy? Mankind's moral standard is on a big downslide, the world is going to the dogs, people are just controlled by greed, they harm others just to benefit themselves a little, and people just compete and fight—they go at it by hook or by crook. So think about it, could this be allowed to continue? When some people do bad things and you point it out to them, they don't even believe you—they really can't believe they're doing something wrong. Some people size themselves up with the fallen moral standard, and they think they're better than other people. That's because even the standard for measuring has changed. But it doesn't matter how mankind's moral standard changes, the nature of the universe doesn't change, and it is the only standard for determining who's good and who's bad. So to be a cultivator you have to take the nature of the universe as your guide for improving yourself. You can't go by ordinary people's standards. If you want to return to your original, true self, if you want to raise your level by cultivating, you have to live by this standard. For anybody here, only if you can follow the universe's nature, to be True, Good, and Endure, only then you can call yourself a good person. And a person who goes against this nature, now that's somebody who's truly bad. Maybe when you're at work or out and about, someone will say that you're bad. But maybe you aren't really bad. Or maybe someone says that you're good. But, turns out, maybe you aren't really good. And for a cultivator, if you assimilate to this nature you're someone who has attained the Dao. The truth is really just that simple.
Daoists cultivate True, Good, Endure with an emphasis on being True. That's why Daoists strive to, "cultivate truth and nourish inborn nature, say true words, do true things, be a truthful person, return to your original, true self, and ultimately cultivate into a True Person." But they also have Endure, and they also have Good, it's just that the emphasis is on cultivating the True part. Buddhists emphasize the Good of True, Good, Endure, in their cultivation. Cultivation of Good can develop a heart of great compassion, and once this heart of great compassion comes out you can see that all sentient beings are suffering, so you'll be filled with one wish: to save all sentient beings. But they also have True, and they also have Endure, it's just that the emphasis is on cultivating Good. Our Falun Dafa discipline, the Law Wheel Great Way, goes by the highest standard of the universe, to be True, Good, and Endure, and we cultivate these all together. So what we cultivate is huge.
Qigong is Part of Prehistoric Culture
What is qigong? A lot of qigong masters are trying to address this question, but what I have to say is completely different. A lot of qigong masters talk about it at one level, while I'm talking at a higher level about how to understand qigong, and it's nothing like how they understand it. Some qigong masters say that qigong has a 2,000-year history in our country. And others say qigong has a 3,000-year history. Some say it has a 5,000-year history, which would be about the same as the history of our Chinese civilization. And there are people who say that if you go by historic artifacts it has a 7,000-year history, which goes way beyond the history of our Chinese civilization. But all the same, the date doesn't go much beyond the history of this civilization. Now, according to Darwin's theory of evolution, man first evolved from aquatic plants into aquatic animals, then he climbed onto land, and later up into trees, then he came back down and turned into an ape, and then finally he evolved into modern man, who has culture and thought, which puts human civilization at only about 10,000 years old, if you figure that way. Go back a little further and there wouldn't have even been quipu record-keeping, and they would have worn leaves and eaten raw meat. Go even further back, and maybe they wouldn't even know how to make fire, and they would have been those totally savage, primitive people.
But something just doesn't add up. There are a lot of places around the world where traces of ancient cultures have been left, and they're really a lot older than our civilization. These ancient remains are excellent in terms of their craftsmanship, and if you look at the artistry they're superb. It's almost like modern folks are imitating the arts of ancient people, and they have great aesthetic value. But they're from more than 100,000 years ago, hundreds of thousands of years ago, millions of years ago, or even more than 100 million years ago. Then think about it, isn't this making a joke of "history" as we know it? But this really isn't just another amusing idea, since mankind is perfecting itself and rediscovering itself on an ongoing basis, and that's just how a society develops, so chances are what it knows at the beginning isn't totally correct.
A good number of you have probably heard of the term prehistoric culture, which is also called prehistoric civilization. Let's talk about prehistoric civilization. On the earth there is Asia, Europe, South America, North America, Oceania, Africa, and Antarctica, which geologists group together as continental plates. It's been tens of millions of years since the continental plates formed, or you could say, a number of land masses rose from the ocean floor, and a lot of land masses sank to the bottom of the sea, and it's been tens of millions of years since they stabilized as they are now. But at the bottom of a lot of oceans people have found tall and large ancient structures, the structures have elegant designs, and they aren't cultural remains from today's human race. So they must have been built before they sank to the sea bottom. Then who was it tens of millions of years ago that started those civilizations? Back then, our human race wouldn't have even been monkeys, right—how could we have created such intelligent things? Today archaeologists have discovered that there was an organism called a trilobite, and that creature was active from 600 million years ago up until 260 million years ago. It hasn't been around for 260 million years. Yet there's an American scientist who discovered a trilobite fossil, and what was on it but a human footprint, the footprint of somebody wearing shoes, and the print was unmistakable. Isn't that like playing a joke on historians? If you go by Darwin's theory of evolution, tell me, could there be human beings 260 million years ago?
In the museum of the National University of Peru there's a rock that has a human figure etched into it. A study determined that the figure was etched in the rock 30,000 years ago. But this figure is wearing clothes, he has a hat on, and he's wearing shoes, in his hand he's got a telescope and he's observing the stars. Now how could people 30,000 years ago know how to weave cloth and put on clothes? What's even more incredible is that he's holding a telescope and observing the stars, he knew something about astronomy. We've always thought that the European, Galileo, invented the telescope, and that it was just a little over 300 years ago. So who would have invented the telescope 30,000 years ago? And there are lots and lots of other unsolved mysteries. For example, many caves in France, South Africa, and the Alps have murals on the slate there, and the murals were etched in a fully lifelike and vivid way. The figures there were etched with great quality, and they're coated with a type of mineral pigment. But those figures are dressed like modern people, and their clothes look a little like Western-style clothes—they're wearing breeches. Some of them are holding things like tobacco pipes, and some are holding canes and wearing hats. Do you mean to tell me those monkeys hundreds of thousands of years ago could have had this level of artistry?
Let's go back a little further. In Africa there's the Gabon Republic, which has uranium ore. It's a country that's pretty underdeveloped and they don't have the capacity to extract the uranium themselves, so they export the ore to developed countries. In 1972 a plant in France imported that uranium ore, and after chemical analysis they found that the uranium ore had already been tapped and used. They thought it was strange, and so they sent over some scientists and technical personnel to make an on-site investigation. Scientists from a lot of countries went there to investigate. They eventually verified that the uranium ore mine was a large-scale nuclear reactor, and the layout was really technically sound. There's no way even us modern folks could create something like that. So when was it built? Two billion years ago, and it operated for 500,000 years. These numbers are just astronomical. There's no way to explain it with Darwin's theory of evolution. And there are tons of things like this. The scientific and technological community has discovered enough new things to change our current textbooks. Once mankind gets its thinking stuck in an old, deep rut, it's hard for people to accept new ideas. And even when the truth is revealed people don't dare to accept it—they just reject it impulsively. Because of the influence of old ways of thinking nobody is organizing these things today in a systematic way, and so people's thinking never keeps up with new developments. You bring up these things, and, even though they've been discovered, and just not yet publicized much, you have people who still blurt out "blind belief" and just can't accept it.
There are a lot of brave scientists in other countries who have publicly acknowledged that these things come from prehistoric cultures, and that they're from a civilization that came before this human civilization of ours, meaning, before this civilization of ours there were other periods of civilization, and not just one. You can tell by looking at archeological objects that they weren't all from one period of civilization. So they think that after the many times civilization suffered a devastating blow, only a small number of people survived, they lived primitively, then gradually multiplied into a new human race, and began a new civilization. Then it would head for destruction again, and again they would multiply into a new human race. So that's how it's gone through all of these different cyclical changes, time after time. Physicists say that the motion of matter has patterns. Our entire universe's changes also have patterns.
The movement of our planet earth, when it's in this vast universe, and when it's in this turning Milky Way, there's just no way it could have always had smooth sailing, and chances are it's run into other planets, or had other problems, and these would have brought about huge catastrophes. If we look at it from the perspective of abilities, that's just how it was arranged. One time I traced it back carefully and found out that there have been 81 times when mankind lay in total ruin, and only a few people survived, only a little of the prehistoric civilization was left, and then they entered the next period and lived primitively. When the people multiplied enough, civilization would finally appear again. So it's gone through 81 of these cycles, and I didn't trace it back to the end. The Chinese people talk about opportunities of time granted by Heaven, geographical advantages, and unity among the people. Different changes in celestial phenomena, or different times granted by Heaven, these can bring about different situations in the ordinary world. In physics they say that the motion of matter follows patterns. Well, the same goes for the motion of the universe.
The main reason I just talked about prehistoric culture was to make this point: qigong is not something that today's human race came up with, it was handed down from ages ago, and it's part of prehistoric culture. And we can find some passages about this in scriptures. Back in his day, Shakyamuni said that he completed his cultivation and became Enlightened many, many hundreds of millions of kalpa ago. So then how many years are in a kalpa? One kalpa is many, many hundreds of millions of years. You really can't even imagine a number that huge. So if what he said is true, then doesn't it match up with mankind's history and the changes the whole earth has been through? And another thing Shakyamuni said was that before him there were six Buddhas of the primeval age, that he had masters, and so on, and that all of them had cultivated and become Enlightened many, many hundreds of millions of kalpa ago. So if these things are really true, then could some of those authentic, real practices and some of the legitimately passed down ones that are spread in the world today, could they include those types of cultivation ways? If you ask me, I'd say of course, sure. But you don't see them much. Nowadays those fake qigong, phony qigong, and those people who are possessed go and recklessly concoct some stuff to con people, and they outnumber the true qigongs by umpteen times. It's hard to make out which is real and which is fake. And it's hard to tell if something is real qigong. It's not that easy to find.
Actually, qigong isn't the only thing left from ages ago. The Tai-ji symbol, the Hetu and Luoshu diagrams, the Book of Changes, and the Eight Trigrams, to name just a few, all of these have been passed down from prehistory. So today when we go and study it from an ordinary person's standpoint, or try to understand it that way, it's just not going to make sense no matter how we try. When you look at things from the level of an ordinary person, or from that standpoint, or that level of awareness, there's no way you're going to understand what is real.
Qigong is About Cultivation
Qigong has been around for ages, so just what exactly is it for? I'm going to tell you, what we have here is a Buddhist cultivation Great Law, so of course it's for cultivating Buddhahood. And Daoists, of course, cultivate the Dao to attain the Dao. I can tell you that the idea of "Buddha" isn't blind belief. "Buddha" is a term from Sanskrit, which is a language of ancient India. When it was brought to our China it had two words, pronounced "Fo Tuo." Some people also translated it as "Fu Tu." Then, as it was passed around by people, and as it was handed down over the generations, we Chinese people left out one of the words and just called it "Fo." So what does this term mean in Chinese? It means "Enlightened One"—a person who's become Enlightened by cultivating. How's that "blind belief"?
So let's think about it. Cultivation can bring out a person's supernatural abilities. Six types of abilities are recognized in the world today, but there are more than just those. I'd say there's around 10,000 true abilities. Just suppose that while sitting in place, and without moving his hands or feet, somebody could do what other people can't do even with their hands and feet, and he could see the true laws governing every dimension of the universe, and the reality of the universe—he could see things that ordinary people can't. Isn't that somebody who's attained the Dao by cultivating? Isn't he a Great Enlightened Being? Could you say he's the same as an ordinary person? Isn't he somebody who's become Enlightened by cultivating? Isn't it only right to call him "an Enlightened Being"? When you put it into the language of ancient India, that's a "Buddha." And that is what it's really about—that is what qigong is for.
The moment qigong comes up there's always somebody who says, "Why would you want to practice qigong if you don't have health problems?" He's implying that qigong is just for healing, and that's a really, really shallow understanding of it. But you can't blame him, because a lot of qigong masters are just healing people and helping them stay fit, that stuff, they just talk about healing and fitness, and nobody is teaching higher things. I'm not trying to say their practices aren't good. It's actually their mission to teach things at the level of healing and fitness, and popularize qigong. But there are a lot of folks who want to cultivate to high levels. They think about this, and they have the heart for it, but they don't know how to cultivate themselves, and this has brought them a lot of hardship, and they've run into a lot of problems. Now of course, really transmitting a practice at high levels is going to involve higher things. So we've made a point of being responsible to society, and to all people, and the overall results of transmitting this practice have been good. Some of the things are high-level, and maybe it sounds like we're talking about blind beliefs, but we'll try our best to use modern science when we explain them.
When we mention certain things some people blurt right out, "blind belief." Why do they do that? Their criteria for something being "blind belief" or "quackery" is that it's whatever science hasn't grasped, or whatever they haven't experienced first-hand, or whatever they think can't possibly exist. That's their way of thinking. So is that way of thinking correct? Can you just dismiss something as blind belief or quackery just because science hasn't grasped it yet, or just because science isn't far enough along to explain it yet? Aren't these people themselves full of blind belief? And aren't they caught up in quackery? If everybody thought that way, could science develop? Could it move forward? Society wouldn't be able to make progress. The things that our scientific and technological community has invented are all things that people didn't have at one time. If those things were all thought of as blind belief, then there'd be no point in talking about progress, right? Qigong isn't quackery. But there are always a lot of people who think it is, since they don't understand it. But with the use of scientific instruments people have now detected on the bodies of qigong masters things like infrasonic waves, ultrasonic waves, electromagnetic waves, infrared, ultraviolet, gamma rays, neutrons, atoms, and trace metal elements. Aren't those all concrete things? They're matter. Aren't all things made of matter? Aren't other space-times made of matter? Could you call them blind belief? Qigong is for cultivating Buddhahood, so of course there are going to be a lot of profound things involved. And we're going to explain all of them.
So if that's what qigong is for, why do people call it qigong? It's not really called qigong. What's it called? It's called cultivation—it is cultivation. Of course, it has other specific names, but as a whole it's called cultivation. So why do people call it qigong, then? You know, qigong has been popular for over 20 years. It started as early as the middle of the Cultural Revolution, and at the end of the Cultural Revolution it began to peak. Now think about it. Back then the ultra-leftist, Maoist thought was going strong. Let's not get into what names qigong had in prehistoric cultures. But as this civilization of ours was developing, it went through a feudal period, so it had names that sounded pretty medieval. And the ones related to religions often had names that sounded pretty religious, like, "Dafa of Cultivating Dao," "Vajra Meditation," "Way of Arhat," "Dafa of Cultivating Buddha," "Nine-Fold Immortality Elixir Method." They were names like those. If you used those names during the Cultural Revolution, wouldn't you have been publicly denounced? That wish that qigong masters had to popularize qigong was good, and they did it to heal the masses and keep them fit, it was to improve people's physical conditions—that was great, wasn't it?—but it still wouldn't have gone over well, so they didn't dare use those names. So to popularize qigong, a lot of qigong masters plucked two words from The Book of Elixir and the Daoist Canon and then called it "qi gong." Some people even dig into the term qigong and research it, but there's nothing there to study. It just used to be called cultivation. Qigong is just a new term that came along in order to suit modern people's thinking. That's all.
Why Doing Cultivation Exercises Doesn't Increase Gong
Why doesn't doing cultivation exercises increase your gong? Here's what a lot of people think: "I haven't been given any of the real things in my practice. But I know my gong would just shoot right up if a teacher showed me his signature move or let me in on some top-notch tricks." That's how 95% of people think these days. I'd say that's pretty silly. And why do I say that? Because qigong isn't some ordinary technique, it's entirely a higher thing, and so you have to use higher truths to size it up. I can tell you that the fundamental reason people's gong doesn't go up is that between the two words "cultivation" and "exercises," people only pay attention to the "exercises" part but not to "cultivation." Looking outward won't get you anywhere. Look, your body is just human flesh, your hands are just human hands, and your thoughts are just human thoughts, and you think you can evolve high-energy matter into gong? And you think it'll just grow? Not a chance! I'd say that's a joke. That's the same as looking outward, as looking outside yourself, and you'll never get what you want.
This isn't like some kind of ordinary person's technique, where you spend a little money, study a few moves, and then just like that you've picked up the skill. It's completely different. It's at a higher level than ordinary people, so you have to be held to higher laws. And what do you have to do? You just have to cultivate inward, you can't look outward for help. But a lot of people are looking outward. They want one thing today, they want something else tomorrow, and they cling to that desire for abilities—they have all kinds of goals. And some people even dream about becoming qigong masters and getting rich healing people! But in true cultivation you have to cultivate your mind, and it's called cultivating your character. To illustrate it, when you and another person are having a problem with each other, you try to take those emotions and desires of yours, all those passions of yours, take them a little less seriously. Otherwise, you're over there fighting tooth and nail to benefit yourself, and you want to increase your gong? Forget it! Aren't you just like an ordinary person, then? You think you could increase your gong? That's why you have to focus on character cultivation. That's what it takes for your gong to grow, and that's what it takes for your level to rise.
So what is character? Character includes virtue (which is a type of matter), it includes enduring, it includes awakening to things, it includes giving up things—giving up all the desires and all the attachments that are found in an ordinary person—and you also have to endure hardship, to name just a few things. So it includes a lot of different things. You need to improve every aspect of your character, and only when you do that will you really improve. That's one of the key factors in improving your potency.
Some people think, "This 'character' you're talking about, it's just a philosophical thing. It's a matter of a person's level of awareness. It's different from the gong we want to cultivate." What do you mean "different"?! In intellectual circles there's always been the question of whether matter is primary or mind is primary. They've been talking about this and debating it for a long time. I'm going to tell you, in reality, matter and mind are one and the same. The scientists in the field of human-body science are now thinking that the thoughts the human brain produces are matter. So they exist materially. But aren't they also in people's minds? Aren't they one and the same? It's just like what I've said about the universe—it has its material side, and at the same time, it has its nature side. The universe's nature, to be True, Good, and Endure, isn't something ordinary people can sense, and that's because ordinary people are all on this one level's plane. When you go beyond the level of ordinary people then you can experience this nature. How do you experience it? In this universe all things, and this includes even all the matter that permeates the whole universe, they're all living entities, they all have thinking, and they're all forms that the Law of the universe exists in at different levels. If they don't let you rise to a higher level, maybe you want to go higher, but you just can't go up, they just won't let you come up. And why don't they? Because your character hasn't improved. Every level has different standards, and if you want to raise your level, you have to put a stop to your bad thoughts and dump out your filth, and you have to assimilate to that level's standard. That's the only way you can go up.
When your character improves, your body really changes. When your character improves, the matter in your body definitely changes. And what are the changes? You'll throw out those bad things that you stubbornly go after. Let me illustrate it. Take a bottle that's filled with filth, cap it tightly, and throw it into water, and it'll sink right down to the bottom. Then dump out that filth inside it, and the more you dump out, the more it'll float up. And when it's dumped all the way out it'll float all the way up. What we're doing when we cultivate is getting rid of every kind of bad thing that's in the body, and that's the only way to rise to higher levels. That's the nature of the universe at work. If you don't cultivate your character, if you don't improve your moral standard enough, and if you don't get rid of your bad thoughts and bad matter, then it won't let you rise to higher levels. So could you say they're not one and the same? Here's a funny illustration for you. Let's say there's somebody who has all the emotions and desires ordinary people do, and he's suddenly allowed to go up and be a Buddha. Think about it, could that happen? Chances are, he'd see how beautiful those Great Bodhisattvas are and start having indecent thoughts. And since he didn't get rid of jealousy he'd probably start trouble with Buddhas. Could that kind of thing be allowed there? It can't. So what's done about it? Right in the midst of ordinary people you have to get rid of every bit of all those bad thoughts you have, and that's the only way you can improve and go up.
So to put it another way, you have to care about character cultivation, cultivate by the nature of the universe—to be True, Good, and Endure—and get rid of those ordinary people's desires, those character flaws, and those thoughts about doing bad things. As long as your level of awareness goes up even just a little bit, those bad things of yours are shed some at the same time. And along with this, you have to experience a little hardship, go through some hard times, and eliminate some of your karma, and then you can raise your level a bit, meaning, the universe's nature won't have as big a restriction on you. The cultivation is up to you, gong is up to the master. The master gives you a gong that increases your gong, that gong takes effect, and outside your body it can take your virtue, which is material, and evolve it into gong. You keep on improving nonstop, you keep on cultivating upward nonstop, and with you goes your gong pillar, breaking through upward nonstop. To be a cultivator, you have to cultivate yourself right there in the environment of ordinary people, you have to temper yourself there, and bit by bit get rid of your attachments and all those different desires you have. We human beings usually think of those things as good, but when you look at them from a higher level they're usually bad. So what people think of as good, like making out better by ordinary standards, or having things go better, the way the Great Enlightened Beings see it, that person is worse off. What's worse about it? He gains more, he harms other people more, he gets things he shouldn't get, and he'll care a lot about his reputation and profit, and the result is that he loses virtue. You want to increase your gong, but you don't take cultivating your character seriously, so your gong won't increase at all.
In the cultivation world we say that a person's soul doesn't perish. A little while back, if somebody talked about humans having a soul people might have called that blind belief. But we now know from research in physics on the human body that there are molecules, protons, and electrons in it, and going further down, there are quarks, neutrinos, and so on, and at that point even a microscope can't see anything. But that's still far from the origin of life or the origin of matter. And we know that nuclear fission takes a huge amount of energy for collision to happen and a huge amount of heat for the nuclei to undergo fusion or for fission to take place. Then when a person dies, do you really think the nuclei in his human body just die like that? So we've found that when someone dies, it's only the components of him that are in this dimension of ours, this layer of the largest molecules, it's only them that get shed, while his bodies in other dimensions aren't destroyed. Let's think for a minute. What's the human body look like under a microscope? A person's whole body is moving, even if you're just sitting there still, your whole body is moving, your molecular cells are moving, and your whole body is loose, as if it's made of sand. That's what the human body looks like under a microscope, and it's totally different from the body our eyes see. The reason is, this pair of human eyes can create an illusion for you, and they keep you from seeing those things. But when your Third Eye is open you can magnify things to look at them, and that's actually an innate ability of human beings, only now it's called a supernatural ability. If you want to have your supernatural abilities come out, you have to return to your original, true self, you have to cultivate back.
Let's talk a little about this virtue thing. Just how exactly are they related? We'll explore it a bit. We human beings have a body in each of many, many dimensions. The largest component of the human body, as people today see it, is the cell. And that's the case for our flesh and blood, at least. But when you go in between cells and molecules, or in between molecules and molecules, you'll experience what it's like to enter other dimensions. So what form does that body take? Of course, you can't understand it with concepts from this dimension right here: your body has to assimilate to the forms of being required in those dimensions, and in other dimensions your bodies are capable, by design, of expanding and shrinking. At that time you'll discover that that dimension is so vast it's beyond compare. Here I'm just talking about a simple form in which other dimensions exist, and those are dimensions that exist at the same time and in the same place. In a lot of other dimensions a human being has a particular kind of body, and in a specified dimension, all around the human body there's a certain kind of field. What field? That field is the virtue we've been talking about. Virtue is a type of white matter, and it's actually not some spiritual thing, or just something philosophical, like some people used to think. It's definitely material. And that's why at one time older people said "Build up virtue!" and "Don't lose virtue!" They hit it right on the head! That virtue is all around the human body, and it forms a field. Daoists used to say that the master looks for a disciple, not that the disciple looks for a master. And what does that mean? They just had to look at the proportion of virtue on the disciple to see if it was large. And if it was large, it'd be easy for him to cultivate. If it wasn't large, it'd be hard for him to cultivate, and he'd have a really tough time raising his gong up high.
At the same time there's a black type of matter. Here we call it karma, while in Buddhism it's called bad karma. There's white matter and black matter, and these two kinds of matter coexist. So how are these two types of matter related? The matter called virtue is something we get through suffering, going through hard times, or by doing good things for people. While the black matter, on the other hand, people get that by doing terrible things or things that aren't good, like taking advantage of other people. Nowadays, it doesn't stop at people just being controlled by greed, some people will even stop at no evil and do anything for money. They murder innocent people, hire people to kill, engage in homosexuality, do drugs, you name it—there's all kinds of stuff. When people do bad things they lose virtue. How do they lose it? When a person insults somebody, he thinks he's come out on top and let off steam. But there's a law in this universe, called "a person doesn't gain anything if he doesn't lose"—to gain, you have to lose, and if you don't lose you'll be made to lose. Who enforces this? It's the nature of the universe that does. So only wanting to gain just won't do it. So how's it work? When a person insults somebody, or when he takes advantage of someone, he flings his virtue over to him. He's being wronged, he's losing out, and he's suffering, so he's compensated for it. So when that person insults him over here, right when those words come out a piece of virtue flies out of that person's own dimensional field and it lands right on him. The worse that person insults him, the more virtue he gives him. And the same goes for hitting people and taking advantage of them. When a person punches somebody, or gives him a good kick, however hard the hit, that's how much virtue lands on him. An ordinary person can't see truths this high. He thinks he's getting pushed around, and he can't stand it. "You hit me, so I've got to hit you back." "Wham!" He punches right back, and pushes that virtue back to the other guy. So neither of them loses or gains anything. Then maybe he thinks, "Fine, you hit me once, then I've got to hit you again to let out my anger." So he punches him again, and another piece of his virtue flies over to him.
Now why do we care so much about virtue? Well, what's transforming virtue really about? In some religions they believe that a person with virtue will make out well in his next life if he doesn't in this one. What will he gain? If he's got a lot of virtue he could land a top position, get filthy rich, or get whatever he wants. And all of that's actually swapped for virtue. Another belief in some religions is that a person who doesn't have any virtue will have both his body and soul destroyed. His master soul is annihilated, and when his life's over all of him dies. Nothing is left. But in the cultivation world we believe that virtue can be evolved directly into gong.
Let's talk about how virtue is evolved into gong. There's a saying in the cultivation world, "Cultivation is up to you, gong is up to the master." But some people practice setting up a bodily crucible or furnace, gathering chemicals to make elixir, and using thought direction. They think that's important. But I want to tell you, those things don't have any importance, and if you think too much about them you're attached. If you dwell on them, aren't you attached and seeking them? "Cultivation is up to you, gong is up to the master"—if you just have that wish you're all set. When it comes to who's actually doing it, it's the master. There's no way you could do that. You've just got an ordinary human body, and you think you can evolve a higher being's body that's made of high-energy matter? Not a chance. It's a joke to even mention it. The process of evolving the human body in other dimensions is incredible, and complicated, and there's just no way you could do those things.
So then what does your master give you? He gives you the gong that increases gong. Virtue is outside the human body, and a person's true gong is developed from virtue, so the height of a person's level, and how much potency a person has, these both come from virtue. He evolves your virtue into gong, which grows upward like a spiral (the gong that really determines a person's level grows outside the body), it grows in a spiral shape until at some point it forms a gong pillar after reaching the top of your head. Want to know how high somebody's gong is? It just takes one glance at how high his gong pillar is, and that's his level, or what they call "Fruition" in Buddhism. When some people are meditating their master souls can leave the body, and they shoot right up to high levels, but then they can't go up any higher, and they don't dare to. They got there by riding on their gong pillars, and they can only go that high. The reason is, that's how high their gong pillars are, so they can't go up any further. That's the Fruition that Buddhism has talked about.
Also, to tell how high a person's character is, there is a measuring stick you can look at. The measuring stick and the gong pillar don't exist in the same dimension, but they do co-exist. When you've improved your character by cultivating, like for example, maybe you're around ordinary people and somebody insults you, but you don't say anything back and you're totally calm inside, or maybe somebody punches you, and again you don't say a thing and you just shrug it off, and you get through it. Then that shows that your character is high. You're a practitioner, so what should you get? Don't you get gong? When your character improves, your gong rises. However high your character is, that's how high your gong is. That's a Truth, and it's absolute. There used to be some people who put their heart into doing their exercises, and it didn't matter if they were at home or out in the park, they really believed in it, and they did them pretty well. But as soon as they were back out in the real world they'd be a different person, they'd go back to their old ways, and fight and compete with ordinary people for profit and to make a name for themselves. Do you think their gong could grow? Not even an inch. And they couldn't get well, for the same reason. So why is it that some people do qigong exercises for a long time but don't get their health back? That's because qigong is cultivation, and it's a higher thing, it's not like ordinary people's exercises. So you have to take character seriously if you're going to get well or increase your gong.
Some people think that what's meant by "elixir" in the saying, "setting up a crucible or furnace, gathering chemicals to make elixir" is gong. But it's not. That elixir just stores some types of energy, but it doesn't contain all kinds of energy. And what kind of thing is elixir? You know, we too have some things that are for cultivating longevity, gong will emerge from our bodies, and there are a whole lot of technique-type things. Most of these things are locked, though, and that's to stop you from using them. There are a lot of abilities, some 10,000 of them, and each of them is locked as soon as it's formed. So why don't they come out? It's to keep you from going and using them as you please out in the ordinary world. You can't just go and disturb the ordinary world, and you can't just go around showcasing your skills in the ordinary world, because that would upset the way of things in the ordinary world. A lot of people have to cultivate by awakening, so if you went and showed them all those things, people would see that they're real, and they'd all come to cultivate, you'd even get people who've done unforgivable evil, and that just wouldn't work. So you aren't allowed to show off like that. And you'd probably do bad things since you can't see the underlying reasons, and you can't see the essence of things. What you think of as doing good could turn out to be bad when you do it. So you aren't allowed to use them. The reason is, as soon as you did something bad your level would drop, and you'd have cultivated for nothing, so a lot of abilities are locked right up. How's it work, then? On the day the person is to be Unlocked and Enlightened, the elixir acts as a bomb and blasts open all of his abilities and all of his body's locks and apertures—"Boom!" they're all jolted open. That's what it's for. After monks die and are cremated there are sarira. Some people say they're just bones or teeth. Then how come ordinary people don't have them? That's elixir after it's exploded. Its energy has been released, and it has a lot of matter from other dimensions in it. After all, it's something material too, but it doesn't have much use. Nowadays people think it's really precious. It has energy, and it's luminous and hard. That's what it is.
There's another reason why people's gong doesn't increase. It's that you can't cultivate up if you don't know the Law at high levels. What do I mean? It's just like what I said earlier about some people who've practiced a lot of different qigong forms—I'm telling you, no matter how much you learn it won't do anything for you, and you're still just an elementary school student, just an elementary school student in cultivation, because those are all low-level truths. If you follow those low-level truths and try to cultivate up to high levels, you won't get any guidance. You could be in college, but if you read elementary school books there then you'd just be an elementary school student, and studying more of them wouldn't get you anywhere. Turns out you'd be worse off. Different levels have different Laws that correspond to those levels. And at different levels the Law guides in different ways. So the truths of low levels can't guide you up to high levels cultivating. What we'll be putting forth are high-level cultivation truths, and I'm integrating things from different levels when I teach, so they'll always be able to guide your cultivation from here on out. I have a few books along with some audiotapes and videotapes. You'll find that when you read them, listen to them, or watch them once, they'll guide you, and you'll discover that after a while, when you read them again, listen to them again, or watch them again, they're sure to still have the effect of guiding you. You'll be improving yourself nonstop, and they'll guide you nonstop. That's exactly how the Law is. So what I just talked about are the two reasons why doing cultivation exercises doesn't increase your gong: you have no way to cultivate if you don't know the Law at high levels, and if you don't cultivate inward, if you don't cultivate your character, your gong won't increase. Those are the two reasons.
Falun Dafa's Special Features
Our Falun Dafa is one of the Buddhist system's 84,000 disciplines. It's never been passed on to the general public before during this period of civilization, but it did once save people on a large scale in a prehistoric age. Today I'm spreading it again widely during this final period of the kalpa's end, so it's just extremely precious. I've talked about the way virtue is transformed directly into gong. And gong, it turns out, doesn't come from doing exercises—it comes from cultivation. A lot of people are really looking to build up their gong, but they only think exercises are important and they don't take cultivation seriously. But the fact is, gong all comes from cultivating your character. Then why do we teach you exercises here? Let me first say a little about why monks don't do exercises. They mainly meditate, chant scripture, and cultivate their character, and then their gong increases—they increase that gong which decides your level. Shakyamuni talked about renouncing everything in the world, and that includes your innate body, so they don't need to do any movements. Daoists don't talk about saving all sentient beings. The people they teach don't have all kinds of mentalities, or all kinds of levels, and they don't deal with just whoever, with some people being really selfish and others less so. They choose their disciples. They might find three disciples, but only one of them is taught the essence, so that disciple is sure to have a lot of virtue, be good, and not run into problems. So they focus on teaching manual techniques, and that's to cultivate longevity. They work on things like supernatural powers and technique-type things, and that means they have to do some movements.
Falun Dafa is a practice that cultivates both your nature and longevity, so it has to have some movements to do. For one thing, the movements are for reinforcing abilities. And what's "reinforcing" about? It's about using your mighty potency to fortify your abilities, and it makes them stronger and stronger. And secondly, your body needs to evolve a lot of living things. When they reach a high level of cultivation, Daoists talk about "the Cultivated Infant coming to birth," just as Buddhists talk about "the Indestructible Adamantine Body," and lots and lots of technical things need to be evolved, too. All of these things need to be evolved through manual techniques, and they're what the movements are for. Looking at it this way, a complete system of both nature and longevity cultivation needs to have cultivation, and it needs to have exercises. So I think you now know how gong comes about: the gong that really decides your level doesn't in fact come from exercises. It comes from cultivation. It has to do with you cultivating yourself, and how when you improve your character in the midst of ordinary people, and when you assimilate to the universe's nature, then the universe's nature doesn't hold you back, and you're able to rise higher. That's when your virtue starts evolving into gong, and as your character improves, it goes right up with it. That's how it works.
This practice of ours really counts as a practice of nature and longevity cultivation. The gong we develop is stored up in every cell in our bodies, and it goes all the way down to the microscopic particles of the original matter that exists in an extremely microcosmic state, and they all store up that high-energy-matter gong. As your potency grows higher and higher, its density becomes greater and greater, and its power becomes greater and greater, too. This type of high-energy matter has intelligence, and because it's stored in every cell in your body, right down to the origin of your being, over time it takes on the same form as the cells in your body, and it has the same arrangement as the molecules, and the same form as all the nuclei. But its nature changes, and now your body isn't the same flesh and blood that your cells used to make up. Then you're out of the Five Elements, aren't you? Of course, your cultivation isn't over, and you still cultivate around ordinary people, so on the surface you look like an ordinary person. The only difference is, you look young compared to people your age. And obviously, the first thing is to get rid of the bad stuff in your body, and that includes health problems. But we don't do healing here. What we do is cleanse the body. And we don't use the term "healing," we just call it cleansing the body—we cleanse the body for true cultivators. Some people just come here to get healed. But people with serious health problems aren't allowed into our classes, and that's because they can't let go of that desire to get healed, and they can't stop thinking they're sick or injured. They've got a serious condition, and they don't feel good. Could they just forget about it? They aren't able to cultivate. Again and again we've made it clear, we don't take people with serious conditions. We're here to cultivate, and it's really a far cry from what they're thinking about. They can go find other qigong masters if that's what they want. Of course, a lot of students do have health problems. But you want to do true cultivation, so we can do all this for you.
After our Falun Dafa students cultivate a while the way they look changes a lot. Their skin becomes delicate and fair, it glows with health, and older people begin to have fewer wrinkles—some will hardly have any. This is all common. There's nothing far-fetched about it. A lot of the veteran students here in the audience know this. Also, older women are likely to get their period back, because a practice that cultivates both your nature and longevity needs to have the qi of essence and blood to cultivate longevity. They'll get their period, but it won't be heavy. They'll have just a little bit at this stage, only the amount that's needed. That's another thing that's common. If that didn't happen, how would you cultivate longevity when you don't have it? The same goes for men—the old and the young alike will all feel energized from head to toe. So I can say to our true cultivators: you will feel these changes.
What we cultivate in our practice is huge, it's not like all those ones that imitate animal movements. What we cultivate in this practice is just immense. Back in the times of Shakyamuni and Lao-zi, all of the truths taught then were just truths within the scope of our Milky Way. Then what do we cultivate in Falun Dafa? We cultivate by following the laws governing evolution in this universe, we take the highest nature of the universe—to be True, Good, and Endure—as the standard to guide our cultivation. What we cultivate is something so huge, it's the same as cultivating a universe.
Our Falun Dafa has another major feature that's extremely special and that sets it apart from all other practices. The qigong forms that are popular these days are all elixir-method qigong, they cultivate elixir. It's really hard for the qigong forms that cultivate elixir to have their practitioners become Unlocked, or Enlightened, while they're in the ordinary world. Our Falun Dafa isn't elixir-method qigong. What our practice does is cultivate a Law Wheel at the lower abdomen, and I personally place it in students during my classes. While I'm teaching Falun Dafa we place a Law Wheel in you one by one. Some people feel it, some don't, but most people feel it, and that has to do with people each having different physical conditions. So we cultivate a Law Wheel, not an elixir. The Law Wheel is a miniature universe, it has all the functions of a universe, and it can operate and rotate automatically. It will turn forever at your lower abdomen, once it's placed in you it won't stop, and it'll turn like that year in and year out. When it's turning clockwise it automatically absorbs energy from the universe, and it can evolve energy by itself, and supply the energy that's needed to evolve every part of your body. In the same way, when it turns counterclockwise it sends out energy, and drives used material out of you, which then dissipates around your body. When it sends out energy, it shoots it out very far and brings in new energy again. And the energy it shoots out benefits everyone who's near your body. Buddhists believe in saving oneself and saving others, saving all sentient beings, so you don't just need to cultivate yourself, but you also have to save other beings. Other people benefit along with you, and you can adjust other people's bodies and heal other people without even meaning to, and other things. But of course you won't lose the energy. When the Law Wheel turns clockwise it draws it back in by itself, because it turns constantly and never stops.
Some people wonder, "Why doesn't the Law Wheel ever stop turning?" There are also people who ask me, "What makes it turn? And what's the reason?" It's easy for people to understand that elixir can form when a lot of energy is collected, but it's hard for them to grasp how the Law Wheel can turn. Here's one way to illustrate it. The universe is in motion, and all the Milky Ways in this universe are in motion, and so are all the galaxies, too, the nine major planets are orbiting the sun, and the Earth is rotating. Now think about it, did somebody have to give them a push? Do you think somebody's applying force to them? You can't understand this type of thing with the concepts ordinary people have. They just have a kind of turning mechanism. The same goes for our Law Wheel, it just turns. It solves the problem that people with a regular work and family life have doing the exercises, and it does that by extending the exercise time. And how does it do that? It keeps turning nonstop, and it keeps absorbing energy from the universe, and evolving energy, so when you go off to work it's still refining your body. And we're not just talking about a Law Wheel, of course: we'll put lots and lots of functions and mechanisms in your body, and they'll automatically operate and automatically evolve in connection with the Law Wheel. So in this practice people are evolved automatically, and this brings about, "the gong refines the person," which is also called, "the Law refines the person." When you aren't doing the exercises, the gong is refining you, when you are doing the exercises, the gong is still refining you, and when you're eating, sleeping, or are at work, gong is being evolved. Then what do you do the exercises for? It's to strengthen the Law Wheel and to strengthen all of the functions and mechanisms that I place in you. When you're cultivating at high levels it's all done with nonaction, so the movements should follow along effortlessly, and there's no thought guidance, no breathing methods, or things like that.
And we don't have anything like doing the exercises at set times or set locations. Some people ask me, "So what time should we be doing the exercises? Midnight? Morning? Noon?" The timing doesn't matter to us: when you don't do the exercises at midnight, gong refines you, when you don't do the exercises in the morning, gong is still refining you, when you're sleeping, gong is still refining you, when you're walking, gong is still refining you, and when you're at work, gong is still refining you again. Doesn't this cut way back on the time you need for doing the exercises? A lot of us have a sincere wish to attain the Dao, and of course, that's the goal of cultivating—the ultimate goal of cultivating is to attain the Dao and reach spiritual Perfection. But some people are older and they don't have that many years left, so there's a chance they don't have enough time. Our Falun Dafa can solve that problem by shortening the cultivation process. And also, this is a practice that cultivates both nature and longevity, so when you keep cultivating, it keeps extending your life, and as you keep on practicing, it keeps on extending it. So this way the older folks among us with good bases will have enough time to practice. But there's just one condition. The time that your life is extended for beyond your predestined, original course of life, that time is solely for you to practice. If your thinking goes even a little off track it'll put your life in danger, because your course of life ended a long time ago. But this doesn't apply to you if you've gone beyond Triple-World-Law cultivation. Then it's different.
We don't talk about facing such-and-such direction, and we don't talk about ending the exercises in a set way, because the Law Wheel turns constantly, and it can't be stopped. If the phone rings or somebody knocks on your door, you can go get it right away—you don't need to end the exercises in a set way. When you stop to take care of something, the Law Wheel spins clockwise right then, and in one swoop it draws in the energy that was scattered around your body. You can spend all the effort you want lifting qi and pouring it down, and that qi will still be lost. The Law Wheel, however, is an intelligent entity, and it knows on its own how to do these things. And we don't require that you face certain directions, because the whole universe is in motion, the Milky Way is rotating, the nine major planets are rotating and orbiting the Sun, and Earth is rotating too. We're practicing according to a truth as huge as the universe, so where's north, south, east, or west? Nowhere. Face whichever way you want and exercise, and you're still facing all directions. Face whichever way you want and exercise, and it's just the same as facing north, south, east, and west simultaneously. Our Falun Dafa protects students from going wrong. And how does it protect you? Our Law Wheel protects you if you're a true cultivator. My roots are all deeply planted in the universe, and if someone could affect you, he could affect me, and to put it directly, he'd be able to affect the universe. I know my words sound a bit mystical, but as you study further you'll understand. There are some other things, too, but I can't talk about anything that's too high. We're going to systematically put forth the Law of high levels, and move from what's shallow to deep. It's not going to work if your character isn't right, and, if you're here to get something, you could run into trouble. But even though I said this I've still discovered that a lot of veteran students' Law Wheels have deformed. And how did that happen? You mixed other things into your practice, you accepted other people's stuff. And why didn't the Law Wheel protect you? It's given to you, so it's yours, and it's governed by your mind. Nobody can stop you if that's what you want. That's a law in this universe. If you decide you don't want to cultivate, nobody can force you to. That'd be wrong. Could somebody really force you to change your mind? You have to discipline yourself. Some people borrow the good things from a lot of practices, and they take in things from just about everybody, they do one practice today, they do another one tomorrow, and they're trying to get rid of their health problems. But do they get their health back? They don't. Their problems just get postponed and shifted. When it comes to cultivation at high levels, there's the matter of committing yourself to one discipline, you have to stick to one discipline, and whichever discipline you cultivate, that's the discipline you have to put your heart in, and you have to stick with it right up until you're Unlocked and Enlightened in that discipline, because only then can you switch to another practice and cultivate further, and that's a different set of things. That's because a set of things that's been reliably transmitted will date back to ages ago, and so they all have somewhat complex evolving-processes. Some people do the exercises by feel. What's your feeling worth? Not a cent. The real evolving-process takes place in other dimensions, and it's extremely complex and wondrous, so it won't work even if it's just the slightest bit off. It's like putting the wrong part into a precision instrument by mistake—it breaks down instantly. Your bodies in all dimensions are changing, and it's so wondrous that it won't work even if it's just the slightest bit off. Didn't I tell you, cultivation is up to you, gong is up to the master. But then you go and pick up other people's stuff, you add it right in, and you bring in those other messages, and that interferes with this discipline's things, so then you'll go off course, and this will show in your daily life, where you'll have the same kinds of problems ordinary people do. But other people can't stop you, because that's what you wanted, and it's a problem of comprehension. Meanwhile, the things you mixed in will turn your gong into a mess, and then you can't cultivate anymore. That problem will happen. Now I'm not saying that everybody has to learn Falun Dafa. If you don't learn Falun Dafa and you've had real things passed on to you in some other practice, then I think that's good, too. But I'm going to tell you, to truly cultivate up to high levels you have to commit to one discipline. And there's another thing I should share with you. Right now there is nobody else who is really transmitting like me a practice that goes to high levels. Later on you'll know what I've done for you, so I hope you can realize what this is. A lot of folks want to cultivate up to high levels, and now I've placed this right in front of you, but maybe you haven't realized how valuable this is—you could travel the earth to study with masters and spend a ton, but still not get this. Today I'm putting this right in your lap, and maybe you still don't see it! So it's a question of whether you can understand this, or to put it another way, it's a question of whether you can be saved.