The Fourth Talk

Loss and Gain

In the cultivation world people often talk about the connection between loss and gain, and ordinary people talk about it, too. How should we practitioners deal with loss and gain? Not like ordinary people do. The only thing ordinary people think about is their own gain and how to live well and comfortably. But we practitioners aren't like that, we're just the opposite. We don't seek the things ordinary people want, but what we gain is what ordinary people can't, even if they want to… unless they cultivate.

Usually when we refer to loss, it's not a very narrow thing. When you talk about loss, some people might wonder if it's about donating a little money, offering a little help to people you see in need, or giving a little to the beggar you see on the street. That's a type of giving up, and it's also a type of loss, but that's only taking money or material things, that one issue, lightly. Giving up money is of course one aspect of loss, and it's a pretty big one. But the loss we're talking about isn't that narrow. In the process of cultivating, we're practitioners, so we need to give up so many attachments, like showing off, jealousy, competitiveness, being overjoyed—a whole lot of attachments have to be totally eliminated. The loss we're talking about is broader. Throughout the whole course of cultivation we should lose all those attachments and different desires that ordinary people have.

Now maybe some people are thinking, "We do our cultivation among ordinary people. If we lose everything, wouldn't that make us the same as monks and nuns? Losing everything seems impossible." In our discipline, for the portion that cultivates among ordinary people, it's required that we cultivate in the ordinary world, and keep to the ways of ordinary people as much as possible. We're not asking you to really lose any material things. It doesn't matter how high your official rank is, and it doesn't matter how rich you are: the key is whether you can let go of that attachment.

Our discipline focuses directly on your mind. When something is at stake, or when you're having problems with somebody, whether you can take those things lightly, that's the key. The cultivation in monasteries and deep in the mountains or woods is meant to completely cut you off from the ordinary world, and it's to force you to lose the attachments of ordinary people, it denies you material things so that you have to lose. But people who cultivate in the setting of ordinary people don't take that approach. We have to become indifferent to those things while sticking to an ordinary person's way of life. That's really hard, of course. And that is what's most crucial in our discipline. So the loss we're talking about is broad, not narrow. So as for doing a good deed and donating a little money, take a look at the beggars on the street nowadays—some of them are pros, and they've got more money than you. We should focus on the bigger things, not trivial things. This is cultivation, right? Then we should focus on bigger things, and we should go about our cultivation openly and with dignity. In the process of losing, what we really lose are bad things.

People often think that what they want are good things. But in fact, when you look at it from a high level, that's all just for the instant gratification ordinary people like. Religions have said: no matter how rich you are or how high your rank is, it only lasts for a few dozen years, it can't be brought with you at birth, and it can't be taken along at death. So why is gong so precious? Because it grows directly on your master soul, it can be brought with you at birth and taken along at death, and it directly decides your Fruition, so it's not easy to cultivate it. In other words, what you give up are bad things, and only this way will you be able to return to your original, true self. So what is it you gain? Your level is raised, you eventually obtain a True Fruition, and you reach Perfection—what it resolves is the fundamental problem. Of course, if we want to lose ordinary people's different desires and meet the standard for a true cultivator, and if we want to achieve that instantly, then it's not easy. You have to do it gradually. You hear what I say, "do it gradually," and you say "Teacher told me to do it gradually, so I'll just take my time." But that's not right! You have to be strict with yourself, but we do let you improve gradually. If you achieved it instantly today, you'd be a Buddha today, and that's just not realistic. You'll get there gradually.

What we lose, actually, is something bad. And what is it? It's karma, and it's intertwined with all the different attachments people have. For example, ordinary people have all sorts of character flaws, and they do all kinds of bad things to benefit themselves. So they get this black matter, karma. It's directly connected to our own attachments. To remove those bad things, we have to turn our thinking around, first.

Transforming Karma

There's a process that can transform the white matter and black matter into each other. After people have a clash there's a transformation process. If you've done something good, you get the white matter, virtue, and if you've done something bad, you get the black matter, karma. There's also an inheriting and transferring process. Somebody might ask, "Is it from doing bad things earlier in your life?" That's not always the case, because the karma that you've accumulated isn't from just one lifetime. In the cultivation world it's believed that the master soul doesn't perish. If the master soul doesn't perish, then he might have had social interactions before this life, and he might have, in those previous social interactions, owed somebody, taken advantage of somebody, or done other bad things like killing, which resulted in this type of karma. These things can keep accumulating in other dimensions, and they always tag along with you. The same is true for the white matter. But this isn't the only source. There's another case, where it can be accumulated in your family or passed on from ancestors. Older people used to say, "Build up virtue, build up virtue!" "Your ancestors built up virtue," "This person is losing virtue, he's reducing his virtue!" What they said was right on. Ordinary people nowadays turn a deaf ear to this. If you tell young people about lacking virtue, or being short of virtue, they won't take it to heart one bit. But the truth is, its meaning is pretty deep, and it's not just some concept that comes from recent generations' thinking and mindset. It really, materially exists. Our human bodies have both of these kinds of matter.

Some people ask, "Is it true that if you have a lot of black matter, you can't cultivate to high levels?" Yes, you could say that. People who have a lot of black matter have their comprehension affected by it. It forms a field around your body and envelops you, it cuts you off from the nature of the universe, to be True, Good, and Endure, so this kind of person might have poor comprehension. When other people talk about things like cultivation and qigong, he thinks it's all blind belief, and he doesn't believe in it at all, he thinks it's ridiculous. That's usually how it is, but it's not absolute. So does this mean that if he wants to cultivate, it will be really hard, and that his gong can't go very high? No, not quite. We say that "the Great Law is boundless"—cultivation all depends on your mind. The master leads you through the door, but cultivation is up to you. It all depends on how you cultivate yourself. And whether you can cultivate, that all depends on whether you can endure, whether you can make sacrifices, and whether you can take the hardship. If you're able to steel your will, no difficulty can block you, and I'd say it'll be no problem.

A person with more of the black matter usually has to make more sacrifices than somebody with more of the white matter. Since the white matter is directly in line with the nature of the universe, which is to be True, Good, and Endure, as long as he improves his character and is able to improve himself when he's in a disagreement, his gong will grow. It's that simple. A person with more virtue has better comprehension, and he can take hardship—"working the body, tempering the will"—and even if he endures more with his body and less with his mind, he'll still be able to increase gong. But this won't work for people with more black matter. First they have to go through this process, where the black matter has to be transformed into white matter. That's the process, and it's extremely painful. That's why someone with poor comprehension usually has to endure more hardship, and with his huge karma and poor comprehension, it's even tougher for him to cultivate.

I'll give you a concrete example, and we'll see how some people cultivate. To cultivate in meditation, you have to cross your legs for a long time, and once they're crossed, your legs ache and feel like pins and needles. After a while you start to feel anxious, and then you get really anxious—you are "working the body, tempering the will." Your body doesn't feel good, and your mind doesn't, either. Some people are afraid of the pain from crossing their legs, so they uncross their legs and don't want to go on. And some people can't stand it if their legs are crossed for a little bit longer. But when they uncross their legs the meditation was in vain. The moment their legs hurt from being crossed, they spring right up and move around, and then they cross them again. We think that's just not effective. The reason is, when their legs hurt, we can see that the black matter is attacking their legs. The black matter is karma, and suffering eliminates karma and turns it into virtue. Once it hurts, the karma starts to be eliminated, and the more the karma presses down, the more his legs hurt. So there's a reason behind the pain in his legs. People who are meditating usually feel the pain in their legs coming in waves, and the pain lasts for a while, it gets excruciating, and then after it's gone there's some relief, but not for long, because the pain starts again. That's usually how it goes.

Karma comes off one chunk at a time, so after a chunk is eliminated your legs feel a little better. But after a little while, here comes another chunk, and your legs start to hurt again. After the black matter is eliminated, it doesn't dissipate, this matter isn't destroyed—after it's eliminated it turns directly into the white matter. And this white matter is virtue. So why can it transform like that? Because he endured hardship, he paid the price, and he tolerated the pain. We believe that virtue is gained when you tolerate pain, endure suffering, and do good things. That's why this happens during meditation. With some people, once their legs hurt a little they'll jump up and move around before they put their legs back up. That's not effective at all. When some people do the standing stance their arms get tired, and they can't stand it, so they put their arms down. That's really just not effective. What's that tiny bit of suffering? I'd say that if somebody could succeed in cultivation just by holding his arms up like that, that'd be way too easy. So these things happen when people cultivate in meditation.

Our discipline doesn't take that approach for the most part, but it does still have a certain role. We transform karma mainly through tensions with other people that test our character. That's how it usually plays out. When you have a run-in with somebody, or have a lot of friction with someone, it could even be worse than that pain. I'd say that bodily pain is the easiest to bear—you just grit your teeth and it's over. But when people are scheming against each other, that's when it's hardest to control your mind.

Here's an example. There's this person, and once he arrives at work he overhears two people saying bad things about him, what they say is just awful, and he just seethes with anger. But we've said that as a practitioner, you shouldn't hit back when attacked, or talk back when insulted—you should hold yourself to a high standard. So he thinks, "Teacher has said that we practitioners are different from other people, and that we should be very forgiving." He doesn't argue with those two persons. But, usually when a conflict comes along, if it doesn't provoke you, it doesn't count, it doesn't work, and you won't be able to improve from it. So this guy can't get over it, he feels annoyed, and maybe he can't get it off his mind, and he keeps wanting to turn around and catch a glimpse of those two people saying bad things about him. He turns around, looks, and there those two are in the heat of conversation with mean looks on their faces. He can't take it for even an instant, his anger erupts, and there's a good chance he'll fight with them right on the spot. It's really hard to keep your mind under control when you're in the middle of a problem with someone. I'd say that if everything could be handled through meditation, that'd be easy, but that's not how it works.

So from now on in your practice you'll run into all kinds of tribulations. How could you cultivate without them? With everybody treating each other nicely, with no clashes in trying to get ahead, and nothing interfering with your mind, you'd just sit there and your character would improve? That's not how it works. A person has to truly temper himself in real-life situations—that's the only way you can improve. Some people wonder, "How come we always run into troubles in our day-to-day practice? They're pretty much the same as what ordinary people go through." That's because you cultivate among ordinary people. You won't suddenly get flipped upside down, float up, and hang in the air, getting yanked up into the air to suffer—that's not going to happen. They'll all be situations that ordinary people have, where somebody starts trouble with you, somebody angers you, somebody treats you badly, or somebody says something rude to you out of nowhere. It's just to see how you handle these things.

Why do you run into these problems? It's all caused by your own karmic debts. We've already decreased it by countless portions for you, and there's only a little bit left, which is distributed across different levels so that you can improve your character. The tribulations are set up to temper your mind and get rid of your different attachments. They're your own tribulations, and we use them to improve your character. You should be able to overcome all of them. As long as you improve your character, you will be able to overcome them—it's only that you might not want to overcome them. If you want to overcome them you can. So from here on out, when you run into a conflict you shouldn't think that it's just by chance. That's because when a conflict comes along, maybe it just pops up out of nowhere, but it doesn't happen by chance. It's to improve your character. As long as you see yourself as a practitioner you will be able to handle it well.

Of course, you won't be told when tribulations or conflicts are coming. If you were told everything, how would you cultivate? That would defeat the purpose. They usually come unexpectedly, and only this way will your character be tested, only this way will your character truly improve, and only this way can we tell whether you can guard your character. That's why conflicts don't come by chance. So throughout the whole course of your cultivation, whenever karma is being transformed you'll run into this, and it's a lot harder than just working the body, like ordinary people picture—you do some exercises, do them a little longer, hold your arms up so long they're sore, or stand still so long your legs get tired… and then your gong just grows? You just exercise a few more hours and your gong can grow? That only transforms your innate body, but it still needs energy to reinforce it, and it doesn't raise your level. Tempering your will is the key to truly raising your level. If you could improve just by working the body, I'd say China's farmers suffer the most, so shouldn't they all be qigong grandmasters? You can work the body all you want, and it's nothing compared to what they do, laboring away in the fields day after day under the baking sun, suffering so much and exhausting themselves. So it's not that simple. That's why we say that if you really want to improve, you have to improve your mind. That's real improvement.

While karma is being transformed, if we're going to handle it well and not make a mess of things like ordinary people, we need to always have a compassionate heart and calm mind. Then when you suddenly run into some problem you'll be able to handle it well. If your mind is always that peaceful and compassionate, when problems suddenly come up, you'll usually have a buffer and room to think it over. But if your mind is always thinking about disagreeing with other people, fighting over this, over that, then I'd say once you run into a problem you'll start fighting. I guarantee it. So, when you get into a conflict, I'd say it's meant to transform the black matter in your body into white matter, into virtue.

We human beings have developed to this extent today, and almost everyone has karma built upon karma—everyone's body has a pretty big amount of karma. So as for karma's transformation, here's what usually happens: while your gong is growing, and while your character is improving, your karma is reducing at the same time, and transforming at the same time. And when you run into problems with other people, this could show up in frictions that temper your character. If you can endure it, your karma is eliminated, your character is improved, and your gong grows. They're all integrated. People in the past had great virtue, and their character started off high. They'd suffer just a little bit and they could increase their gong. But people nowadays aren't like that. Once they suffer they don't want to cultivate, and it gets even harder for them to awaken to it, and even harder for them to cultivate.

In cultivation, when you're really having trouble with somebody, or when other people treat you badly, it could be one of two scenarios. One is that you might have mistreated them in your previous life. You feel wronged, "Why are they treating me like that?" Well, why did you treat them like that before? You say, "I don't know anything about back then. This lifetime has nothing to do with that lifetime." But it doesn't work like that. There's another scenario. When you're clashing with somebody, there's the issue of transforming karma involved, so when we're handling each of them we should be very forgiving, and we shouldn't act like ordinary people. At work there's interaction with other people, and the same goes for other environments where you do work or if you're self-employed. It's impossible not to have any contact with the outside world—at a minimum you interact with your neighbors.

In your social dealings you will have all kinds of disagreements. So for the portion of us that cultivates in the setting of ordinary people, it doesn't matter how much money you have, how high your official rank is, or whether you're self-employed or you have your own business, it doesn't matter what kind of business you do: do things fairly and act with integrity. All the professions out there should exist, it's only that people are short of integrity. It's not about what type of profession you are in. There was a saying in the past, "Nine out of ten merchants are crooks." That's what ordinary people say. But I'd say it's a problem of integrity. If the people have integrity, and people do business fairly, the more effort you put in, the more money you should make. You get that only because you put in effort in this ordinary world—no loss, no gain—it's gained through effort. You can be a good person in any social class, and there are different kinds of conflicts in different social classes. The upper class has upper class type conflicts, and they can all be handled correctly—whichever social class you're in, for how to be a good person, you can all let go of different desires and attachments. In different social classes you can all show yourselves to be good people, and all of you can cultivate in your own social classes.

Nowadays in China, no matter whether it's the state-run enterprises or other businesses, the problems people have with each other are really unique. Other countries have never had a phenomenon like this. So the clashes people have trying to get ahead are especially intense, they plot against each other and lock horns, they fight for trivial gains, and the thoughts they have and the tricks they play are all terrible. It's even hard to be a good person. For example, somebody comes to work and gets the feeling that the atmosphere there isn't right. Later, somebody tells him, "So-and-so made a big fuss about you, and he went to the supervisor and reported you. He smeared your reputation." Everyone looks at him in a strange way. How could ordinary people tolerate this? How could they tolerate that kind of mistreatment? "He does bad things to me, I'll do bad things to him. He has people on his side, but I have people on my side, too. Let's fight." Around ordinary people, if you do that, ordinary people will say you're strong. But for a practitioner, that would be just awful. If you fight and struggle like an ordinary person, you are an ordinary person. And if you did it with more gusto than him, then you're not even as good as that ordinary person.

Then how should we handle that incident? When you run into that type of conflict, we should first keep calm, and we shouldn't handle it the same way he did. Of course, we can explain it kindly, we can clarify things—that's not a problem. But you shouldn't get too attached. When we encounter these problems we shouldn't fight and compete like other people do. If he acts that way, and you act that way, too, aren't you an ordinary person? Not only shouldn't you fight and compete like him, you shouldn't hate him, either. Really, you shouldn't hate him. Once you start hating him, aren't you getting angry? Then you've failed to live up to Endurance. We strive to be True, Good, and Endure. And what's more, your Goodness is nowhere to be found. So you shouldn't act like him, and you really shouldn't be angry at him, even if he smeared your reputation at the office and really disgraced you. Not only shouldn't you be angry at him, you should thank him from the bottom of your heart—really thank him. Maybe an ordinary person would think this way: "Isn't that being like that pathetic guy Ah-Q?" I can tell you, that's not the case.

Let's think about it. You're a practitioner. Shouldn't you follow a higher standard? You shouldn't go by the criteria that ordinary people go by. You're a cultivator, so aren't those things that you get of higher levels? Then you should follow the criteria of high levels. If you act like he does, aren't you the same as him? Then, why should you thank him? Think about it, what will you get? In this universe there's a law called "no loss, no gain"—if you want to gain, you have to lose. He smeared you around ordinary people, he's considered the party who gains since he's profited at your expense. The worse he smeared you, the more serious the impact, the more you shoulder, and the more virtue he loses, and that virtue is all given to you. At the same time, when you're shouldering it you might take it lightly and not take it to heart.

There's another law in this universe: you're the one who suffered a lot, so your own karma will get transformed. You paid the price, so however much you've borne, that's how much gets transformed, and it all turns into virtue. Isn't this virtue what a practitioner wants? Didn't you gain in two ways?—your karma is also eliminated. If he didn't create that situation for you, where would you get your character improved? You treat me nicely, I treat you nicely, and we sit there getting along great, and then your gong just grows—how could that happen? It's exactly because he created that conflict for you, because he created that opportunity to improve your character, that you can improve your character through it. Doesn't your character get improved? You've gained in three ways. You're a practitioner. So now that your character has improved, doesn't your gong increase? You've gained in four ways all in one shot. How could you not thank that person? You should really thank him from the bottom of your heart. That's really how it is.

Of course, his intention wasn't good, or else he wouldn't have given you virtue. But he did create a chance for you to improve your character. So in other words, we should emphasize cultivating our character, and while you cultivate your character your karma is eliminated, it gets transformed into virtue, and only this way can you raise your level. They complement each other. When you look at it from a high level the truths have all changed. An ordinary person can't understand this, but when you look at this from a high level the whole thing is turned upside down. The way ordinary people see it, though, it's correct. But it's not truly correct. Only when you look at things from a high level are they truly correct. That's generally how it is.

I've explained the idea to you thoroughly. I hope in your later cultivation you are all able to see yourselves as practitioners and truly cultivate, because the principles are laid out right here. Maybe some people, since they're among ordinary people, think that ordinary people's concrete, tangible benefits right there in front of them are still more practical. In the mighty torrent of ordinary people they aren't able to hold themselves to a high standard. If you want to be a good ordinary person you can take heroes and model citizens as your example. Those are ordinary people's role models. But if you want to be a cultivator, your cultivation all relies on your own mind, and your understanding all relies on your own self, there aren't any role models. The good thing is, we've now let the Great Law be known, whereas before, even if you wanted to cultivate, there just wasn't anybody who would teach you. So, follow the Great Law, and maybe you can do a little better. Whether you can cultivate, whether it'll work out, and which level you'll break through to—all of this depends on you, yourself.

Of course, the way karma gets transformed isn't always in the form I just described. It can also be expressed in other arenas, out in the world, at home—it can take place anywhere. Maybe you run into trouble while you're walking down the street, or it could be somewhere else out in the world. The attachments you can't let go of around ordinary people all have to be let go. All your attachments, as long as you have them, all have to be worn down in different settings. You will stumble, and from that grasp the truth. That's how you cultivate.

There's another pretty typical situation. For a lot of people, in the process of cultivating, when you do the cultivation exercises your spouse often gets really unhappy, and he'll fight with you as soon as you start to do the exercises. But if you do other things he won't bother you. Suppose you waste a lot of time playing Mah Jong. He won't be happy, but not as unhappy as when you're exercising. Your exercises don't cause him any trouble, and you're giving your body a workout, which doesn't interfere with him—it's great. But as soon as you start to do the exercises he'll throw things and fight. Some couples have fought almost to the point of divorce because one of them does cultivation exercises. A lot of them don't stop and think about why this happens. Afterwards, you ask him, "Why are you so angry when I do my exercises?" He can't find a reason, he really can't find a reason. "Yeah, I shouldn't be that angry." But he just gets furious at that time. So what's really going on? When you're doing the cultivation exercises, karma has to be transformed—no loss, no gain. What's lost are bad things, and you have to pay.

Maybe as soon as you walk in the door, your spouse blows up right in your face. If you can endure it, today's exercises weren't in vain. Maybe somebody usually gets along well with his wife, since he knows you have to take virtue seriously when you do cultivation exercises. So he thinks, "Usually she won't disagree with me, but today she's walking all over me!" Your anger boils over, and you start to fight with her. Then today's practice was all for nothing. That's because karma was there, and she was helping you eliminate it, but you didn't let her and you started a fight with her, so that karma wasn't eliminated. A lot of things like this happen. Many of us have run into this situation, and we didn't pause and think about the reason. When you do other things she won't bother you as much, and even though it's a good thing, she always squares off with you. Actually, she's just helping you eliminate your karma, but she doesn't know it herself. She's not just fighting with you on the surface yet still nice to you inside, that's not how it is. She's really, genuinely angry. That's because whoever the karma falls on, that's who feels the pain. It's definitely that way.

Improving Character

Before, a lot of people weren't able to guard their character, and so they ran into a lot of problems, and they couldn't go further after they cultivated to a certain level. Some people are born with pretty high character, and when they do cultivation exercises the Third Eye opens instantly and they reach certain realms. That person's base is pretty good, and his character is high, so his gong increases fast. When his gong rises to where his character is, if he wants to raise his gong further, the tensions will become obvious, and he'll need to keep improving his character. This is even more true for somebody who's born with a good base. He feels that his gong is coming along nicely and his practice is going well. How come so much trouble suddenly comes up? How come everything goes sour? Everybody treats him badly, his boss looks down on him, and things at home get tense. How come so many problems suddenly come up? He still hasn't understood it yet. His base is good, and so he was able to reach a certain level, and now this kind of cultivation state appears. But how could that be the ultimate Perfection standard for a cultivator? His cultivation has still got a long way to go! You have to keep improving yourself. It was the result of that little base you brought with you—that's why you were able to reach that cultivation state. If you want to improve further the standard has to be raised.

Some people say, "I'll make some more money and make sure my family's set for life. Then I won't have anything to worry about and I'll go to cultivate." I'd say you're dreaming. You can't interfere with other people's lives, you can't control their fates, be it your wife's, your kid's, your parents', or your sibling's. Is that something you decide? Besides, if you don't have any worries at home, and if you don't have any trouble at all, what's left for you to cultivate? Practicing in total comfort—who's ever heard of that? That's how you think about it, from an ordinary person's standpoint.

Cultivation is something you do right in the thick of tribulations. They'll test whether you can sever your emotions and desires, and they'll see if you can take them lightly. If you're attached to those things you won't be able to finish your cultivation. Everything has its cause. Why can human beings be human? It's exactly because humans have emotion. People just live for emotion. The affection among family members, the love between a man and woman, love for parents, feelings, friendships, doing things for friendship's sake—no matter where you go you can't get out of emotion. You want to do something, you don't want to do something, you're happy, you're unhappy, you love something, you hate something—everything in society comes completely from emotion. If you don't sever emotion, you won't be able to cultivate. But if you do break out of emotion, nobody can affect you, and ordinary attachments won't be able to sway you. What replaces it is compassion, which is more noble. Of course, it's not easy to sever it all at once. Cultivation is a long process, it's a gradual process to get rid of attachments. But you really have to be disciplined.

For us cultivators conflicts come up suddenly. So what should we do? If you always keep a compassionate heart, and a peaceful state of mind, when you run into problems you'll handle them well because it will give you space as a buffer. If you are always compassionate and friendly to others, if you always consider other people when you do things, and whenever you have issues with other people you first think about whether they can take it or whether it will cause them harm, then you won't have any problem. So, when you cultivate you should follow high and even higher standards.

Often some people just don't understand. Some people's Third Eyes are open and they see Buddhas. This person goes home and worships Buddha, grumbling to himself, "How come you don't take care of me? Please, please help me solve this problem!" Of course, that Buddha won't step in. That tribulation was set up by him, and it was to improve your character so that you can improve yourself through the challenges. How could he resolve it for you? He absolutely won't resolve it for you. If he did, how could your gong grow? And how could you improve your character and raise your level? What's key is to have your gong grow. As the Great Enlightened Beings see it, being human isn't the purpose: a person's life isn't for being human, but to have you return. People think that they suffer a lot. But they think that the more you suffer, the better—it pays off your debts faster. That's how they think. Some people don't grasp this. When begging to Buddha doesn't work they start blaming him, "How come you aren't helping me out? Day after day I burn incense to you and kowtow." Some people even smash Buddha's statue because of this, and bad-mouth Buddha from then on. As soon as he mouths off, his character drops down and his gong is gone, he knows there's nothing left, and so he resents Buddha even more. He thinks Buddha is ruining him. He uses ordinary people's logic to measure Buddha's character. How could you measure it that way? He uses ordinary people's criteria to look at higher things—how could that work? So, this kind of problem happens often, where a person thinks that the suffering in his life is an injustice against him. And there are a lot of people who've tumbled down this way.

In the past few years there have been a lot of qigong masters who've tumbled, and this includes some of the big-name ones. Of course, the real qigong masters all went back, they completed their historic missions and returned. There are only a few left now, who've gotten lost in the midst of ordinary people with their fallen character. They're still active but they don't have any gong now. Some qigong masters who used to be famous are still active in the world. Their masters saw that they'd gotten lost among ordinary people, that they'd sunk over fame and profit, and couldn't pull themselves out, and that there was no hope for them. So their masters took their subordinate souls away. The gong was all on the body of their subordinate souls. Those cases are typical, and there are a lot of them.

In our discipline those cases are pretty few. And even when we do have them they aren't that notable. What we do have a lot of, though, are striking examples in terms of character improvement. There was one student who worked at a textile mill in a city in Shandong Province. After he learned Falun Dafa he taught other employees at the mill to practice. The result was that he brought morale up throughout the whole mill. He used to take home pieces of towels from the mill, and so did all the other employees. After he learned our practice, he not only stopped taking things home, but also brought back what he took home before. When other people saw him doing that, they, too, stopped taking things. Some employees even returned what they'd taken before. This happened throughout the whole mill.

The person in charge of one city's Assistance Center went to visit Falun Dafa students at a factory to see how their practice was going. The factory's head came out to meet them in person, "Since learning Falun Dafa, these employees come to work early and go home late. They do diligent and conscientious work, they're never picky no matter what work their supervisors assign them, and they've also stopped fighting to benefit themselves. Once they started to act this way the morale of the whole factory went up. And the factory's financial returns have even improved. Your practice is so powerful, when will your teacher come?—I want to go to his talks, too." The main goal of Falun Dafa cultivation is to guide people up to high levels. It's not about doing that kind of thing, but it can do a lot to promote better civility in society. If everyone searched inside himself, and if everyone thought about how to act better, I'd say society would stabilize and people's moral standards would rise.

When I was teaching the Law and the exercises in Taiyuan City, there was a student who was in her fifties. She and her husband came to attend the class. When they were in the middle of crossing the road, a car went whipping by, and its side-view mirror caught the older woman's clothes. With her clothes caught, the car dragged her more than 10 yards, and then "Wham!"—she was thrown to the ground. The car didn't stop for another 20-plus yards. The driver jumped out of the car and wasn't happy. "Hey, you weren't watching where you were going." That's just how people are these days—whenever they run into a problem the first thing they try to do is duck the blame, even if they're at fault. Then the passenger in the car said, "Check out how badly she fell. Let's send her to the hospital." The driver came to his senses and said, "How do you feel, ma'am? Are you hurt? Let's go to the hospital and check it out." That student slowly got up from the ground and said, "I'm alright, you can go now." She brushed off the dirt, grabbed her husband, and left.

She came to the class and told me this story, and I was happy to hear it. Our students have definitely improved their character. She said to me, "See Teacher, I'm learning Falun Dafa. If I hadn't learned Falun Dafa I wouldn't have handled it that way today." Let's think about it. She's retired, the cost of living is so high, there's no welfare benefits, she's over 50, and she was dragged by a car that far and thrown to the ground. "Where are you hurt?" "Everywhere." She could just lay on the ground and never get up. "Go to the hospital? Let's go." And she could stay in the hospital and never leave. When this happens to an ordinary person, that could well be the case. But she's a practitioner, and she didn't do that. We'd say that a good or bad outcome comes from one thought. The difference in one thought leads to different results. At her age, if she was an ordinary person, how could she not be hurt? But she wasn't even scratched. A good or bad outcome comes from one thought. If she'd just lay there and said, "Ohhh, I'm in trouble. This part hurts, that part hurts…" then maybe her ligaments would be torn, or her bones fractured, and maybe she'd be paralyzed. No matter how much money they give you, you'd still have to live in the hospital the rest of your life. And could you really enjoy that? Even the bystanders thought it was strange that this lady didn't extort money from the driver. "Ask him for money." People's moral standards these days are all perverted. Sure, the driver was going too fast. But he wouldn't hit somebody on purpose. He didn't mean to do that. But people are like that nowadays, and if you don't extort money from him, even the bystanders would think it's unfair. I'd say that people aren't able to tell right from wrong these days. When you say to someone, "What you're doing is wrong," he won't believe it. That's because people's moral standards have changed. Some people just seek profit—as long as they can get money out of it they'll do anything. "Life will get the best of you if you don't look out for number one"—that's even become a motto!

There was a student in Beijing who once took his kid to the Qianmen shopping area for a walk after dinner. They saw a van with loudspeakers promoting a lottery game. The kid wanted to join in the fun and play the game. "If you want to play, go ahead." So he gave the kid a dollar to play. The kid won second prize right on the spot, and got a deluxe kid's bike. The kid was so excited. But then suddenly, "Bing!"—a light went off in the dad's head. "I'm a practitioner, how could I ask for something like this? Now that I've gotten this for nothing, how much virtue will I have to give back in return?" He told the kid, "Let's not take it. If you want one we can buy one ourselves." The kid got upset, "I asked you to buy one for me but you wouldn't. Now I win one myself, and you don't want me to have it." He threw a tantrum and wouldn't give in. The practitioner had no choice but to push the bike home. After he got home, the more he thought about it the more uneasy he felt. "I'll just return the money." Then he thought, "The lotto tickets are gone. If I bring the money back, won't they pocket it? I'll just donate the money to my company."

He was lucky, because there were a lot of Falun Dafa students at his company and his boss could understand. If this happened in a typical setting, or at a typical company, and you said that you're a practitioner and you don't want to keep the bike you won from a lottery and want to give the money to your company, even your boss would think you're crazy. People would talk on and on about it, "Did something go wrong with his practice? Did he go insane?" I've said that moral values are now perverted. In the 1950s or 60s, this wouldn't have been a big deal. It would have been perfectly normal, and nobody would be surprised.

We'd say that no matter how much the human moral standard changes, the nature of the universe, to be True, Good, and Endure, will never change. When some people say that you're good, you might not really be good, and when some people say that you're bad, you might not really be bad, because the standards for judging what's good and bad are all perverted. Only those who conform to the universe's nature are good people. This is the only standard for determining what is a good person and bad person, and it's recognized by the universe. No matter how much society changes, no matter how much people's moral standards slide, no matter how degenerate the world gets with each passing day, and no matter how badly people just think about money, the universe doesn't change based on how mankind changes. A cultivator shouldn't follow ordinary people's standards. Ordinary people say something is right, and then you just go and do things based on that? That's no good. What ordinary people say is good isn't necessarily good, and what ordinary people say is bad isn't necessarily bad. In this age of twisted moral values, when a person is doing something bad, if you point out to him that he's doing something bad, he won't even believe you! To be a cultivator, you have to judge things by the nature of the universe, and only then can you tell what's truly good and truly bad.

Buddhist Anointment

In the cultivation world there's something called anointment. Anointment is a religious ritual from the Tantric Buddhist cultivation way. The purpose of anointment is to have you not take up another discipline and to recognize you as a true disciple of one discipline. What's strange now is that this religious ritual has shown up in qigong practices. Even Daoist qigongs are doing anointment, it's not only Tantrism. I've said that anyone who teaches Tantric exercises in society in the name of Tantrism is a fake. And why do I say that? It's because Tang Tantrism has been gone for over 1,000 years in our country, and it doesn't exist at all. Because of the language barrier Tibetan Tantrism never spread fully to the Han region. Remember that it's an esoteric teaching, so it has to be cultivated secretly in a monastic setting, and a person has to receive secret teachings from the master and cultivate secretly with him. It absolutely can't be taught without these conditions being met.

A lot of people go to Tibet to learn qigong with an intention: they want to find a master to study Tibetan Tantrism with, so that they can become qigong masters and get rich and famous later on. Now think about it, genuine Living Buddha Lamas who've received true teachings all have strong abilities, and they can see what's on the learner's mind. What he's there for can be seen with just one look at his mind, "He's come here to learn this practice so that he'll be a qigong master when he leaves and get rich and famous. He's here to ruin our discipline's method of cultivating Buddhahood." It's such a serious discipline for cultivating Buddhahood, could it be ruined by him just like that for the sake of becoming a qigong master to get rich and famous? What kind of motive is that? So they won't teach him a thing, and he won't get any real teachings. Of course, there are a lot of temples out there, and maybe he'll get some superficial things. If his thoughts aren't proper and he wants to become a qigong master so that he can do bad things, then he'll attract possessing spirits. Animal spirits have energy, too, but that isn't Tibetan Tantrism. Those who go to Tibet truly in search of the Law might plant themselves there and not come back. Those are true cultivators.

It's strange that a lot of Daoist practices also do anointment now. Daoists use energy channels, what are they doing anointment for? From what I learned while I was spreading the practice in the South, especially in the Guangdong area, there's an awful mess of a dozen-plus qigong practices doing anointment. And what's that for? When those masters do anointment for you, you supposedly become their disciples and you can't learn other practices. If you do they'll punish you. That's what they do. Aren't they doing crooked things? What they're spreading are things for healing and keeping fit, and the general public is only learning those things to get healthy. What's the point of doing that? There's a person who claims that once you do his qigong you can't do any others. Can he save people and lead them to Perfection? He's tying people up and ruining their chances! A lot of people do this.

The Daoist system doesn't do anointment, but now it's shown up there, too. I've seen that the qigong master who's the worst about anointment, do you know how high his gong pillar is? It's only two or three stories tall, yet he's a big-time qigong master. His gong has dropped so much, from what I saw, it's pathetically little. Hundreds and thousands of people line up for him to do anointment. His gong is limited and it's only that high, and his gong would drop and be gone in no time. What could he be using to do anointment for people? Isn't that cheating people? Real anointment, when you look at it from other dimensions, makes a person's bones look like white jade from head to toe. In other words, it uses gong, high-energy matter, to purify your body and wash it from head to toe. Can that qigong master do this? He can't. What's he doing? Of course, he's not necessarily doing religious things. The purpose is to have you belong to him once you learn his practice, and you'll have to go to his classes and learn his stuff. He's doing it to make money off you. If nobody learns his things he won't make money.

Falun Dafa disciples are like the disciples of other Buddhist disciplines, in that it's their master that does anointment for them many times, but they won't be told. People with abilities might know it, and sensitive people might feel it, too. When they're sleeping or at other times maybe they'll feel a sudden, warm current go through the whole body from the top of the head. The purpose of anointment isn't to make your gong higher—gong is something you cultivate yourself. Anointment is a method of strengthening, and it's to purify your body and clean it further. It has to be done lots of times, it has to be done at each level to help you cleanse your body. Cultivation is up to you, gong is up to the master, so we don't do ritual anointment.

Some people go through formal ceremonies to become students of their master. Now that I've mentioned this, I might as well tell you that a lot of people want to go through formal ceremonies to become my students. Our current period of history is different from China's feudal society. Does kneeling down and kowtowing count as formally becoming a student? We don't do those kinds of rituals. Here's how a lot of people think: "I'll kowtow, burn incense, and worship Buddha, and if I'm a little bit pious my gong will grow." That's ridiculous. True cultivation totally depends on how you cultivate—it's useless to hope for things. You don't have to kowtow to Buddha, and you don't have to burn incense, just truly cultivate yourself according to the standard for cultivators, and he'll be really happy just seeing you. But if you always do bad things when you're out in the world, maybe you burn incense and kowtow to him, but he'll be upset at the mere sight of you. Isn't that how it really is? True cultivation depends on you. So maybe you kowtow to me today and go through some formal ceremony to become my student, but you stick to old ways once you're off on your own again—then what was the point? We don't do that type of ritual at all. You could even ruin my name!

We have given you so much. For each of you, as long as you really cultivate and act strictly according to the Great Law, I'll take you as my disciples and guide you. As long as you cultivate Falun Dafa we'll take you as disciples and guide you. But if you don't cultivate we can't do anything for you. If you stop cultivating, what good would it do you to carry that title? It doesn't matter if you are students from the first series of classes or the second, could you be considered my disciples just because you do the movements? You have to truly cultivate according to our character standard, and only then can you have a healthy body, and only then can you truly go up to high levels. So we don't do those rituals. As long as you cultivate, you belong to our discipline. My Law bodies are aware of everything. Whatever you think about, they're aware of it, and they can do anything. If you don't cultivate they won't look after you, but if you do cultivate, they'll help you all the way to the end.

The practitioners in some qigongs haven't met their masters. They were told to kowtow facing in a certain direction and pay hundreds of dollars, and that this would do the job. Aren't they only fooling themselves? What's more, somebody like that goes head over heels, and from then on he starts to defend the practice and its master. He even tells other people not to learn other practices. I think that's pretty absurd. And then there are other people who do some so-called "touching the head" ritual. I don't know how that touch could do anything.

It's not just the people who teach qigong in the name of Tantrism that are fakes, the same goes for all those people who teach qigong in the name of Buddhism. Now think about it, the cultivation ways in Buddhism have had those forms for thousands of years, so is it still Buddhism if somebody goes and changes it? A cultivation way is for seriously cultivating Buddhahood, and it's incredibly wondrous. One little change will wreck the whole thing. The process that evolves gong is extremely complex, and what you can feel doesn't mean anything. So you shouldn't cultivate by feel. Monks' religious forms are their cultivation ways, and once they are altered they don't belong to that discipline anymore. Every discipline has a Great Enlightened Being in charge of it, and every discipline has cultivated a lot of Great Enlightened Beings. Nobody dares to just go and freely change the cultivation way in that discipline. What benevolent might does a little qigong master have to cheat its master and alter that discipline for cultivating Buddhahood? And if it really could be altered, would it still be the same discipline? You can tell what's fake qigong.

Placement of the Mysterious Pass

"Placement of the Mysterious Pass" is also called the "One Aperture of the Mysterious Pass." You can find these terms in The Book of Elixir, Daoist Canon, and Guide to Nature and Longevity. So what is it? A lot of qigong masters can't explain it. Ordinary qigong masters can't see it at all from their levels, and they're not allowed to see it. If a cultivator wants to see it, he has to reach the upper level of the Wisdom Eye before he can see it. Ordinary qigong masters can't reach that level so they can't see it. Ever since ancient times cultivation circles have been trying to figure out what the Mysterious Pass is, where the One Aperture is, and how to place it. In The Book of Elixir, Daoist Canon, and Guide to Nature and Longevity they only discuss it theoretically, and they don't touch the essence at all. They explain it and explain it, but they only make you more confused. No one can explain it well because ordinary people aren't allowed to know the essence.

Also, I can tell you something, and it's only because you're our Falun Dafa disciples that I'm telling you this: make sure you don't read those confused qigong books. I'm not talking about the ancient books I just mentioned. I'm referring to those fake qigong books that people write nowadays. Don't even open them. As soon as you have even the slightest thought, "Oh, this sentence makes sense..." when that thought flashes through your mind, the possessing spirits in that book will get on your body. A lot of books were written under the control of possessing spirits that manipulated people's attachments to fame and profit. There are a lot of fake qigong books—quite a lot. A lot of people are irresponsible, and they even write things that have possessing spirits and other junk. Even the ancient books I mentioned before or other ancient books like those, for the most part, it's better not to read them since there's the issue of committing to just one practice.

An official from the China Qigong Association once told me a story which really made me laugh. He said that there was a person in Beijing who always went to qigong lectures. He'd take them in one after another, and after a while he felt that there wasn't anything more to qigong than what he'd heard. They were all at the same level so they all talked about the same things. Like those fake qigong masters, he thought that was the only meaning qigong had! "Alright then, I'll write a qigong book, too." Think about it, someone who doesn't practice qigong wants to write a qigong book. Qigong books are just copied from one another nowadays—he copies yours, you copy his… He wrote and wrote until he got to the topic of the Mysterious Pass, and he couldn't go further. Who really knows what the Mysterious Pass is? Even few real qigong masters know. So he went and asked a fake qigong master. He didn't know he was fake, though, because he didn't know about qigong to begin with. But if the fake qigong master couldn't answer the question, wouldn't people know he was fake? So he dared to make something up, and said that the One Aperture of the Mysterious Pass is located at the tip of a man's private part. It sounds pretty absurd. But don't laugh yet—this book has been published. What I'm saying is that today's qigong books are that ridiculous. Is there any point in your reading that stuff? There's no point, and it can only harm you.

So then what's meant by, "Placement of the Mysterious Pass"? During your Triple-World-Law cultivation, when you cultivate above the middle levels, meaning, when you enter high-level Triple-World-Law cultivation, the Cultivated Infant starts to develop. The Cultivated Infant is different from what we know as Cherubs. Cherubs are small, playful, and mischievous. The Cultivated Infant doesn't move, and unless the master soul controls him, he'll sit still with his hands folded in the Jieyin position, legs crossed and on a lotus flower. The Cultivated Infant is born from the elixir field. You can see him in the extreme microcosm—even when he's smaller than the tip of a needle.

There's something else I'd like to clarify. There is only one true elixir field, and it's at the area around the lower abdomen. Well, it's the field located above the Huiyin acupoint at the perineum, it's inside the body, and below your lower abdomen. Many forms of gong, many abilities, many technique-like things, Law Bodies, the Cultivated Infant, Cherubs, and many other beings are all born in this field.

In the past there were a few cultivators who talked about an upper elixir field, a middle elixir field, and a lower elixir field. I'd say they were wrong. Some would say that their masters had passed it down that way for generations and that it's written in books that way. I'll tell you, junk has been around since ancient times. Don't look at how many years it's been passed down for—that doesn't mean it's correct. Some worldly small paths have always been spread in the environment of ordinary people, but they can't help you cultivate. They're nothing. When they talk about the upper elixir field, middle elixir field, and the lower elixir field, what they mean is that wherever you generate elixir is an elixir field. Isn't that funny? When a person focuses his mind on a single spot, after some time it will generate an energy mass that forms an elixir. If you don't believe it, then focus your mind on your arm and keep it there, and a little while later elixir will form there. So when some people see this they say that elixir field is everywhere. That sounds even funnier. They think that wherever elixir forms, that's an elixir field. The truth is, that's an elixir, but not a field. You could say that elixir is everywhere, or that there's an upper elixir, middle elixir, and lower elixir—that's okay. But, there's only one field that can truly generate countless Laws, and it's located at the lower abdominal area. So those sayings about an upper elixir field, a middle elixir field, and a lower elixir field are wrong. Elixir will form wherever you focus your mind for a while.

The Cultivated Infant is born at the elixir field at the lower abdomen and it slowly grows bigger and bigger. By the time he's the size of a ping-pong ball, the shape of his whole body can be seen, and his nose and eyes are developed. While he's the size of a ping-pong ball, a small, round bubble grows by his side. After it's formed, it grows as the Cultivated Infant grows. When the Cultivated Infant grows to be about five inches tall, a single lotus flower petal appears. When he grows to be about seven to eight inches tall, the lotus petals are basically formed, and a layer of lotus petals appears. The golden, shining Cultivated Infant sits on a golden lotus plate—it's beautiful. That is the Indestructible Adamantine Body, which Buddhists call a Buddha-body, and Daoists call a Cultivated Infant.

In our discipline we cultivate both types of bodies and they're both required—your innate body has to be transformed, too. You know, a Buddha-body can't be revealed around ordinary people. With a lot of effort, the shape can be shown, and ordinary people's eyes can see its luminescence. But to ordinary people, after this body has been transformed, it looks the same as the body of an ordinary person, and ordinary people can't tell any difference, but it can freely move between dimensions. When the Cultivated Infant has grown to be about five to seven inches tall, the air bubble will have also grown to the same height. It's just like a balloon's membrane, and it's transparent. The Cultivated Infant sits with its legs crossed and doesn't move. When he's grown that big the air bubble needs to leave the elixir field, it's fully grown. "A melon falls when it's ripe," as they say. So it'll move up. The process of moving up is a slow one, but every day it can be seen moving. It gradually moves up and rises higher. If we experience and observe it carefully we can sense that it exists.

When it reaches your Tanzhong acupoint at the center of the chest, it needs to stay there for a period of time. This is because the human body's essence, and many things (the heart is also here), will form a set of their own inside this air bubble. The air bubble needs to be enriched with essence. After some time it moves up again. When it passes through the neck you feel suffocated, as if your blood vessels were blocked, and it feels so swollen it's painful. This will be over in a day or two, and then it reaches the head. We call this "ascending to Niwan." Although we say it arrives at Niwan, it's actually as large as your entire brain, and you'll feel like your head is swollen. Since Niwan is a key place in a person's being, its essence also needs to be formed inside the bubble. After that, the bubble squeezes its way through the Third Eye passageway, and that feeling is awful. The Third Eye is so swollen that it hurts, the temples also feel swollen, and the eyes are sunken. This lasts until the bubble squeezes out, and it instantly hangs at the forehead position. This is called the Placement of the Mysterious Pass—it hangs there.

At that time, people whose Third Eyes are open can't see. That's because in both Buddhist and Daoist cultivation the doors are closed in order to develop things faster inside the Mysterious Pass. There's a large set of doors at the front and a set of doors at the back, and they're all closed, just like the tunnel of Tiananmen gate in Beijing, with a big set of doors on each side. In order to accelerate the formation and enrichment of the Mysterious Pass, the doors aren't opened except under extremely special circumstances. People who can see things with their Third Eyes aren't able to see at that stage—they aren't allowed to look with it. What's the purpose of its hanging there? Hundreds of energy channels in our body intersect at that spot, so the hundreds of energy channels have to circle through the Mysterious Pass and come out, and they all have to go through the Mysterious Pass. This is done to lay some more foundations and form that set of things inside the Mysterious Pass. Since the human body is a small universe, it will form a small world, and all human-body essence will be formed inside it. But it only forms a set of facilities, and it's not fully operational yet.

In Qimen cultivation the Mysterious Pass is kept open. When the Mysterious Pass is ejected, it comes out in the form of a tube, but it gradually becomes round. So the doors on both its sides are open. The Qimen practices don't cultivate into Buddhas or Daos, so they have to protect themselves. There are a lot of Buddhist and Daoist masters, and they can all protect you, so you don't need to see and you won't run into problems. But that wouldn't work for the Qimen practices. They have to protect themselves, so they have to be able to see. But when they see things with their Third Eyes at that time it's like looking through the tube of a telescope. After this set of things is formed, which is about a month or so, it starts to return. When it returns to inside the head it's called the "Mysterious Pass Changing Positions."

When it goes back, your head will again feel so swollen that it's awful. Then it squeezes its way out of your Yuzhen acupoint at the nape of the neck. The feeling as it squeezes out is again awful, as if your head was being split open. Then it comes out all at once, and you'll immediately feel relief. After it comes out, it hangs in a deep dimension, and it exists on the bodily form in that deep dimension, so you won't press against it while you sleep. But there's one thing. You'll sense that something is in front of your eyes when the Mysterious Pass is first placed, and even though it's in another dimension, you'll always feel like your vision is blurry, like something is blocking your eyes, and it's not very pleasant. Since the Yuzhen acupoint is a major, key pass, a set of things also needs to be formed at the back of the head. Then it starts to go back. The "One Aperture of the Mysterious Pass" actually isn't just one aperture—it has to be placed multiple times. After it's returned to Niwan, it starts to descend, and it descends inside the body all the way to the Mingmen acupoint at the space between the kidneys. At the Mingmen acupoint it's ejected out again.

Your Mingmen acupoint is an extremely important, major aperture. Daoists call it an "aperture," and we call it a "pass." It's an important, major pass, and it's really like a steel gate—like countless layers of steel gates. You know, our bodies have layers after layers. Our flesh cells here are one layer, and the molecules inside them form another layer—atoms, protons, electrons, the infinitely small particles, the smaller and even smaller particles, all the way down to the extremely microcosmic particles, and each layer has one layer of gates set up. And for this reason there are lots and lots of abilities and technique-type things that are all locked inside the many layers of gates. In other practices, which cultivate elixir, when the elixir explodes, the Mingmen has to be blasted open first. If it's not blasted open your abilities won't be freed. After the Mysterious Pass has formed this set of things at the Mingmen acupoint it goes back inside again. Once it's inside, it begins its return to the lower abdominal area. This is called "Mysterious Pass Returning to its Position."

After the Mysterious Pass returns, it doesn't go back to its original place. At that time the Cultivated Infant has grown very big. The air bubble will cover the Cultivated Infant, and it will envelop the Cultivated Infant. As the Cultivated Infant grows, it grows along with him. If the Infant is a Daoist one, usually when he has grown to the size of a six- or seven-year-old child he's allowed to leave the body, and that's called "Birth of the Cultivated Infant." He can come out and move around under the control of your master soul. The human body stays there, fixed, while the master soul comes out. And if the Infant is a Buddhist one, usually when it's cultivated to your size there's no more danger. At that time, the Cultivated Infant is normally allowed to leave the body, to separate from the body, and it can come out. By then the Cultivated Infant has grown as large as you, and the cover is large. The cover has expanded outside your body, and that is the Mysterious Pass. Since the Cultivated Infant has grown so big, the Mysterious Pass naturally expands outside the body.

Maybe you've seen the statues and paintings of Buddhas that are in temples, and noticed that the Buddhas are always inside a circle. This is especially true for the paintings of Buddhas—there's always a circle that the Buddha sits in. A lot of Buddha images are like that, especially the paintings in ancient temples—they're all like that. Why do they sit inside a circle? Nobody knows. I'll tell you, that is the Mysterious Pass. But then it's not called a Mysterious Pass. It's called a world. Well actually, it can't be called a world just yet. It only has this set of facilities, just like a factory that has a set of facilities but doesn't have the ability to produce. It needs energy and raw materials before it can start production. A few years back a lot of cultivators said, "My gong is higher than a Bodhisattva's," or "My gong is higher than a Buddha's." Other people thought it sounded unbelievable. Actually, what they said wasn't at all unbelievable. Your gong does have to be cultivated to a very high level while you're in the human world.

So how did this come about?—he's cultivated higher than a Buddha? You shouldn't understand it so superficially. His gong is definitely very high. That's because when he's cultivated to a very high level and reached full Enlightenment, or is Unlocked, his gong is definitely very high. Right before he's Unlocked and fully Enlightened, eight tenths of his gong will be taken down together with his character level. That energy is used to enrich his world, his own world. As you know, a cultivator's gong, along with his level of character especially, is what he's cultivated by going through countless hardships and tempering himself under grueling conditions all his life. So it's extremely precious, and eight tenths of that precious matter is used to enrich his world. And for this reason, when he succeeds in cultivation later on he'll get whatever he wants just by extending his hand, he'll have anything he wants, and he'll be able to do whatever he wants to—he'll have everything in his world. That's his benevolent might, which he cultivated by bearing hardships.

That energy that he has can be easily transformed into anything. So whatever a Buddha wants, or whatever he'd like to eat or to play with, he has it all. That's what he has cultivated for himself, that's his Buddha Status, and without it he can't complete his cultivation. By this time it can be called his own world, and he only has two tenths of his gong left to be Perfected, to attain the Dao. Even though he only has two tenths of his gong left, his body isn't locked, or he doesn't have a body, or even if he does it's already been transformed by high-energy matter. His divine powers will then be displayed in full, and they are unmatched in their might. While he's cultivating around ordinary people his body is usually locked and he doesn't have such great skills, and no matter how high his gong is, he's restrained. But now everything will be different.