In the cultivation world there's this phrase, "qigong psychosis," and it has a pretty big effect on the general public, especially since some people make a huge deal out of it and they've caused some people to be afraid of doing qigong. When those folks hear that qigong can lead to psychosis they get too scared to practice. But actually, I'm going to tell you: there's just no such thing as qigong psychosis.
There's a fair number of people who've gotten possessed as a result of their thoughts not being proper. Their master consciousnesses aren't in command, and yet they somehow think it's qigong. Their bodies are controlled by those spirits, and they get all topsy-turvy, and scream and shout. When people see that, they think that that's how people are when they do qigong, and they get so scared they don't dare practice. A lot of us mistake that for qigong. But how could that be doing qigong? That's only related to the low, low level of healing and fitness. But it's actually really dangerous. If you get used to being that way, and your master consciousness is never in charge, then your body might get controlled by things like your subordinate consciousness, outside messages, or possessing spirits, and it might do some dangerous things. And that would do a ton of damage to the cultivation world. It's caused by people's thoughts not being proper and their showing off out of attachment. It's not qigong psychosis. Some people, I just don't know how they can pose as so-called qigong masters—they too talk about qigong psychosis. The truth is, practicing qigong doesn't lead to qigong psychosis. Most people have seen this term mainly in literary and artistic works, like kung-fu novels and those kinds of things. If you don't believe me, then go dig through the ancient books or cultivation books—there's nothing like that. Where could you find something as absurd as qigong psychosis? That kind of thing just doesn't happen at all.
The qigong psychosis that your typical person believes in has a few different forms, and what I just talked about is one of them. It comes on as a result of the person's thoughts not being proper, and he got himself possessed, he develops all kinds of states of mind, like wanting some "qigong state" to show off, and so on. Some of them even seek abilities, or maybe they've done fake qigongs, and whenever they do qigong exercises they have a habit of relaxing their master consciousnesses; they're not aware of anything, and they give their bodies away to others, they get all topsy-turvy and let their subordinate consciousnesses or outside messages take charge of their bodies, and so then they do some strange things. If somebody tells him to jump off a building, he'll jump, and if somebody tells him to jump in a lake, he'll jump. He doesn't have any will to live anymore and he's given his body away to others. That doesn't count as qigong psychosis, but you could say he's gone astray, and it was caused by his intentionally acting like that in the beginning. A lot of people have this idea that swaying all over the place is doing qigong, when the truth is, if somebody is in that state when he does true qigong it'll have serious consequences. That's not doing qigong—that comes from ordinary people's attachments and pursuits.
Another form is where a person's qi gets clogged somewhere when he's doing qigong and it can't pass through, or his qi gets stuck at the top of his head and can't come down, and he gets scared. The human body is a small universe. So Daoist practices, especially, run into these problems when qi is trying to rush through a pass. If his qi can't rush through it'll get stuck there. And it's not just the top of the head—the same goes for other parts of the body, but it's just that the top of the head is your most sensitive place. After a person's qi gets to the top of his head and isn't able to rush down and get through the pass, he'll feel like his head is heavy, like his head is stuffed up, or like he's wearing a thick hat of qi, or he'll have some other kinds of sensations like these. But qi doesn't have any restrictive power, it can't bring people any trouble, and there's no way it could cause some kind of sickness. Some people don't know what qigong is really about, and they go and make some irresponsible comments in a sensational way, and that makes things a big mess. So people think that if someone's qi can't come down from the top of the head he'll get qigong psychosis, or he'll go awry, or something, and that's made a lot of people scared.
When qi can't come down from the top of the head it's only a temporary state. Some people's qi can't come down for a long time, maybe even half a year. If it can't come down, a person can ask a true qigong master to guide it and then it can come down. Whenever we can't get through a pass in our practice, or whenever our qi isn't able to come down, we should check our character for the cause—"Have I lingered at that level for too long, and now it's time to improve my character?" When you truly improve your character you'll see that it comes right down. When you only focus on transforming your gong and don't focus on changing your character, you know, the problem will stick around until your character improves, and only then can sweeping changes happen. When a person's qi truly isn't going through it won't cause any problems. It's usually our own minds that cause problems. That, plus hearing fake qigong masters tell them that something will go wrong if qi gets to the top of the head, ends up scaring them. And when they get scared, now that might bring on real trouble. That's because when you get scared you have fear, and isn't that an attachment? And when your attachment comes out, shouldn't you get rid of it? The more scared you are, the more the problem feels like sickness—that attachment of yours just has to go. It's to have you learn a lesson and get rid of the attachment of fear, improving yourself.
A practitioner won't feel that pleasant in the cultivation that lies ahead, either. A lot of gong will appear in your body, and all of it is strong stuff that moves every which way inside your body, bringing you all kinds of discomfort. The reason you have that discomfort is mainly that you are always afraid your body has some kind of health problem, when in fact, you've already generated really powerful things in your body, they're all gong, they're all abilities, and there are lots of living things. If they move, your body will feel itchy, painful, unwell, or whatnot (the nerve endings are sensitive), and all kinds of cultivation states can show up. So you'll have those sensations as long as your body hasn't been transformed into high-energy matter. And it's a good thing in its own right. You're a cultivator, so if you always consider yourself an ordinary person and always think these things are health problems, then how are you going to cultivate? When calamity strikes during your cultivation, if you still consider yourself an ordinary person, I'd say your character dropped to the level of ordinary people at that time. Or at least with this one thing you've dropped to the level of ordinary people.
If you're going to be real practitioners, you have to look at things from a really high level, and you can't use ordinary people's opinions to interpret things. When you think it's a health problem, you might just bring on health problems. The reason is, once you think it's a health problem, your character is about as high as an ordinary person's. Qigong and true cultivation, and even more so that cultivation state, won't lead to health problems. You know, with people who really do have health problems, 70% of it is psychological and 30% physical. It's usually that they collapse psychologically first, that they fall apart, and have a huge mental burden, which causes their condition to rapidly deteriorate. That's usually how it goes. Let me give you an example. There was this person who was tied to a bed. They lifted his arm and told him that they would make him bleed to death. Then they blindfolded him, scratched his wrist (they didn't make him bleed even a bit), and turned on a water faucet to have him hear the dripping sound. He thought that his blood was dripping, and in no time he was dead. But actually, they didn't make him bleed one bit—it was the tap water that was dripping. His mind caused his death. When you always think that you've got health problems, you might just give yourself health problems. That's because your character has dropped to the level of an ordinary person, and of course ordinary people do get health problems.
You're a practitioner, so if you always think it's a health problem you're actually asking for it—you are asking for that problem, and now it's able to set in. To be a practitioner your character has to be high. Don't always be afraid that it's a health problem. Fearing that it's a health problem is an attachment in itself, and it can bring you trouble just the same. In cultivation you need to eliminate karma, and eliminating karma is painful—how on earth could you increase gong in total comfort! And how else could you get rid of your attachments? I'll tell you a story from Buddhism. There was this person who put in a ton of effort and finally cultivated into an Arhat. He was about to achieve a True Fruition and become an Arhat—how could he not be happy? He was breaking out of the Three Realms! That happiness was an attachment, though, an attachment of excitement. An Arhat should always be in a state of nonaction, with a mind that's unshakable. But he dropped, and he cultivated in vain. Since he cultivated in vain he had to cultivate all over again, so again he cultivated himself upward. After he put in a ton of effort, he again moved up by cultivating. But this time he got worried and said to himself, "I'd better not get happy this time. If I get happy again I'll drop all over again." When he got afraid he dropped again. Fear is an attachment.
Then there's another scenario, which is that some people develop psychosis, and other people say they've got qigong-induced psychosis. And would you believe, some people are even waiting for me to treat their psychosis! I say that psychosis isn't a health problem, and I don't have time to go and take care of those things. Why is that? It's because a psychotic person doesn't have any virus, and he doesn't have any pathological changes or ulcers in his body. In my view, it's not a health problem. Psychosis is when a person's master consciousness is too weak. And just how weak? It's as if the guy can't ever take charge of himself—that's what a psychotic person's master soul is like. He doesn't want to be in command of this body anymore, and he's always foggy-headed and can't stay alert. When this happens his subordinate consciousness and external messages come and interfere with him. Every dimension has so many levels, and all kinds of messages interfere with him. And a person's master soul might have done some bad things before this lifetime, and he might have creditors who want to harm him. All kinds of things can happen. We say that this is what psychosis is about. How could I treat it for you then? I'd say that this is really how people develop psychosis. So what do you do about it? Educate him, and get him to snap out of it. But that's very hard to do. If you watch, when the doctor in a mental hospital is about to administer an electric shock, the psychotic person immediately gets so scared that he stops mumbling nonsense. And why is that? At that moment his master soul perks up, and he's afraid of getting shocked.
Usually when a person takes up cultivation he likes to keep practicing. Buddha-nature is something everyone has, and everyone has the wish to cultivate. So, once they've learned a practice, a lot of people will keep practicing it the rest of their lives. It doesn't matter whether he can finish his cultivation or whether he's obtained a Law, the bottom line is he has a wish to seek the Dao, and he'll always want to practice it. Everyone knows he does qigong—the folks at his office know it, his community knows it, and all his neighbors know it. But think about it, true cultivation—who did anything like that a few years ago? Nobody did. Only true cultivation can change your life's path. But he's an ordinary person and he's only doing health-and-fitness qigong. So who would change his course of life for him? Ordinary people, you know, one day they just come down with something, or out of the blue they have problems, and there's even a chance one day they'll just develop psychosis or maybe even kick the bucket. An ordinary person's life is just like that. You see him out in the park doing qigong, but he's not really cultivating, in fact. He wants to cultivate up to higher levels but he hasn't obtained a true teaching, so he isn't able to get anywhere cultivating. He only has the wish to cultivate up to higher levels, and he's still a qigong practitioner at the low level of healing and fitness. Nobody has changed his course of life, and so he'll have health problems. And if he doesn't take virtue seriously nothing will get well. It's not as if after you do qigong you'll never have any health problems again.
He has to truly cultivate himself, and he has to take character seriously, and only then when he really cultivates can he get rid of his health problems. Qigong isn't aerobics, and it's something higher than ordinary people, so its practitioners have to go by higher truths and standards. They have to do that if they want it to work. But a lot of people haven't done that and they're still ordinary people, so when the time comes they'll still get health problems. So maybe one day he suddenly has a stroke, or he suddenly comes down with some kind of disease or some kind of ailment, or maybe out of the blue he gets struck by mental illness. Everybody knows he does qigong, so when he develops psychosis people say he got qigong psychosis from his practice—they slap on a big label. Now think about it, is that reasonable? An outsider doesn't know what's going on, and it's hard even for the experts or for a lot of qigong practitioners to know what's really at work. If this guy comes down with psychosis at home it probably won't be as bad, but people will still say he got it from doing qigong. If he develops psychosis while at a practice site, then that's disastrous. A big label gets slapped on and you can't get rid of it. "Doing qigong brings on psychosis"—newspapers will all report it. Some people just blindly oppose qigong, "Look, just a while ago he was fine doing the exercises right there, and now he's like this." But he's an ordinary person, so whatever is supposed to happen to him will happen. Maybe he'll have other health problems, or maybe he'll run into other trouble. Is it fair to blame it all on doing qigong? It's just like with doctors in hospitals: now that they're doctors they should never get sick again the rest of their lives? Can you really look at it that way?
So we can say that a lot of people don't know what qigong is really about, and they don't know what's at work, so they go and talk wildly. As soon as there's a problem they'll slap all kinds of labels on qigong. Qigong has only been popular for a short time now, and there are a lot of people with rigid ideas who always dismiss it, attack it, and reject it, and who knows what's behind their thinking. They're annoyed by qigong… as if it has anything to do with them! And when somebody mentions qigong they automatically call it quack. Qigong is a science—it's a higher science. It's just that these people's ideas are too rigid and their knowledge is too narrow.
There's another scenario. In the cultivation world there's something called the "qigong state." A person who has it doesn't quite seem all there, but he doesn't have qigong psychosis, either. And he's perfectly rational. I want to first talk about what this qigong state is all about. You know, in cultivation a person's base plays a big role. In all countries around the world there are people with religious beliefs, and in China, for thousands of years, there have been Buddhist and Daoist believers, and they've always believed that doing good is rewarded and doing evil is punished. But some people don't believe these things. This was especially true during the Cultural Revolution, when they denounced these things and called them blind belief. Some people think that whatever they can't understand, whatever they haven't learned from books, whatever is beyond the level of today's science, or whatever hasn't been understood yet, they think it's all blind belief. There were a lot of people like this a few years ago, but now there are a little fewer of them. It's because some phenomena have really been reflected into this dimension of ours already, even though you don't acknowledge some of them. You're afraid to address them, but now there are people who have the courage to talk about them, and they've picked up a little about qigong from what they've seen and heard in daily life.
Some people are just so close-minded: when you mention qigong they laugh away at you, they think you're caught up in blind belief, and it's just too funny. And when you bring up some of the phenomena in qigong they think, "This guy's so ignorant!" Even though somebody like that is close-minded, his base might not be bad. If his base is good and if he takes up qigong, it's possible his Third Eye will open at a very high level and maybe some of his abilities will come out. He doesn't believe in qigong, but he can't guarantee he won't get sick. If he gets sick he'll go to the hospital. If doctors of Western medicine can't cure him, he'll go see a doctor of Chinese medicine. And if doctors of Chinese medicine can't cure him, and if folk prescriptions can't cure him either, then he'll remember qigong. He thinks to himself, "I'll go try my luck and see if qigong really can heal me." Grudgingly he comes to try it. Since his base is good he'll do pretty well right from the get-go. Maybe a master will be interested in him, and so this higher being in another dimension gives him a hand. His Third Eye opens right up then, or maybe he'll enter a state of semi-Enlightenment. His Third Eye opens at a high level, and he can suddenly see the true picture of some of the universe, and along with this he'll have abilities. Now when this kind of fella sees those scenes do you think his mind can take it? Just imagine what his state of mind will be. The very things he's always thought of as blind beliefs and totally impossible, and things he'd laugh at the second somebody mentioned them, they're all unfolding right before his eyes in full reality, and he's really come into contact with them. So his brain can't take it, and the pressure on his mind is just too much, and what he says can't be accepted by other people. But his thinking isn't illogical—he just can't put the two sides into proper perspective. He has realized that the things mankind does are wrong, whereas the other side is usually right. But when he does things according to the other side, though, people then say he's wrong. People don't understand, so they go and say he's gotten qigong psychosis by practicing.
Actually, he hasn't got qigong psychosis. Most of us who practice qigong won't have anything like that happen to us, it's only those really close-minded people who have this qigong state. A lot of people in the audience here have their Third Eyes opened—quite a lot. They really have seen things in other dimensions, they aren't shocked by it, they think it's good, their brains aren't jarred, and they won't experience this qigong state. After someone enters the qigong state he's perfectly rational, and what he says is really profound, and the logic behind it is sound. It's just that ordinary people don't believe what he says. He might tell you that he's seen so-and-so who is deceased, and that this person told him to do things. Would an ordinary person believe this? Later on he realizes that he should keep these things to himself, and he'd better not talk about them. After he learns to put the two sides into proper perspective he's fine. These people usually have abilities. And this isn't qigong psychosis, either.
Another scenario is called "true insanity," and this is an extremely rare thing. The "true insanity" we're talking about here isn't actually about going truly insane. That's not what it means. It means cultivation of what's true. What's true insanity like? I'd say that among cultivators maybe one out of 100,000 people has it—you hardly ever see it. So it's not common, and it hasn't had any effect on society.
True insanity usually has a prerequisite, which is that the person's base has to be excellent, and he has to be getting on in his years. When somebody is a bit older there's not enough time for him if he wants to cultivate. People with excellent bases often come with a mission, and they've come from high levels. Everybody is afraid of coming to this ordinary world—after your brain is cleared you don't recognize anyone. After they enter the environment here in this ordinary world, the interference they get from people causes them to put a lot of stake in their reputations and personal gain, and eventually they'll drop right down, and they'll never be able to get out. That's why nobody dares to come and everyone is afraid. But some of these people have come, and after they get here they really break down in the midst of ordinary people, they really are about to fall, and they've done a lot of bad things in their lives. When a person fights to benefit himself, he'll do a lot of bad things, and then he'll owe a lot of things. His master sees that he's about to fall. "But he is one with Fruition—we can't just sit by and let him fall like this! Now, what can we do…" His master is very worried. There's no other way to have him cultivate—where could he find a master at that time? He has to return, he has to cultivate back from scratch. But that's easier said than done, right? And he's getting on in years, and he doesn't have enough time left to cultivate. Where could he find a practice that cultivates both nature and longevity?
This person has to be someone with a superb base, and under that extremely special circumstance, and only then, can the method of making him insane be used. In other words, when there's absolutely no hope, and in a situation where he can't return on his own, that's when this method might be adopted—to have him go insane, that is—and a certain part of his brain will be shut down. For example, we humans are afraid of the cold, and we're afraid of filth, so the part of his brain that fears cold is shut down, and the part that fears filth is shut down. After these parts are shut down, this person will have some mental problems, and he'll really start acting like a lunatic. But people who are like this usually don't do bad things, and they don't insult people or hit people, instead, they often do good things. But they're actually cruel to themselves. They aren't aware of the cold, so they'll run around barefoot in the winter snow, wearing just a thin layer of clothes, while their feet freeze to the point of cracking and bleeding. And because they aren't aware of filth, they'll even dare to eat feces and drink urine. I know that there used to be this one person who gnawed away happily on horse manure that was frozen hard like a rock. They can bear hardships that an ordinary person couldn't bear while his mind is still intact. Just imagine how much they suffer from this insanity. Of course, they often have abilities, and in most cases they're older women. Older women had their feet bound in the past, but there was one who could easily scale a wall that's over two yards high. When this older lady's family saw that she'd gone insane and always ran outside, they locked her up indoors. But when her family went out she would just point her finger at the lock and it would open, and so she'd get out. "Then let's lock her up with steel chains." After her family headed out, she would undo the chains with a mere shake. It was impossible to restrain her. And it was this way that she went through a lot of hardship. She really went through some serious hardship, and things were just brutal, so she could quickly pay back the bad things she owed. It doesn't take more than three years, and usually it's over in just one or two. The hardship she goes through is pretty huge. As soon as it's over they understand. With this their cultivation is considered done, so instantly they're Unlocked, and all kinds of divine powers come forth. These cases are extremely, extremely rare. This has happened in history, though, but it's not something a person with an average base is allowed to do. You all probably know about crazy monks and crazy Daoists, and they really did exist in history, it's been documented. There are a lot of stories like the one about "the crazy monk who swept out Minister Qin" and the ones about crazy Daoists.
So now this "qigong psychosis" thing, or "going into fire like a demon," to take the old expression for it really literally, I'd say it's definitely bunk. Let's say so-and-so really can draw fire, though—then I'd say that guy's something. Or he can spit fire and send it out with a stretch of his arm, and he doesn't even need a match to light his cigarette, then well, he's not psychotic, he's supernormal!
Attracting Demons in Qigong
What is "attracting demons in qigong"? It's about getting interfered with when we practice qigong, and it happens pretty easily. Now how is it that doing qigong can attract demons? The reason is, it's really hard when you want to do cultivation. There's no way you'd succeed at true cultivation without my Law Bodies' protection—the moment you stepped outside, maybe your life would be at risk. A person's master soul doesn't perish, so it's possible in your social dealings before this lifetime that you owed someone, or took advantage of someone, or did some bad things. So your creditors will go after you. In Buddhism they have a belief: a person's life is karmic retribution. If you're in debt with someone he'll go after you for payback, and if he takes too much from you he'll end up giving it back to you next time. If a son isn't good to his parents they'll switch roles next time. This is how the retribution goes round and round. But we really have seen that there are demons interfering and not letting you practice. All of these things have causal reasons, and it's not as if they're totally uncalled for. It wouldn't be allowed if there was no reason.
The most common form of attracting demons in qigong is as follows. When you aren't doing the exercises your surroundings are rather quiet. Now that you've learned the exercises you always like to do them, but the moment you sit down to meditate suddenly it's not quiet outside. Cars are blowing their horns, there's the noise of people walking, talking, or slamming doors in the hallway, or somebody outside turns on a radio… the quiet is gone in no time. When you aren't doing the exercises the environment is pretty good, but as soon as you do them it gets like this. A lot of us haven't thought more deeply about just what exactly is going on, and you just think it's kind of strange and feel dejected since you can't do the exercises. You just feel it's odd and don't think about it further. It's demons interfering with you—they are directing people to interfere with you. This is the simplest form of interference, and it serves the purpose of stopping you from doing the exercises. "You want to practice and attain the Dao. And you're not going to pay back all those things you owe?" They won't stand for it, and they won't let you practice. But this, too, is just something that appears at a certain level—after some time this phenomenon isn't allowed to exist. Or to put it another way, after those debts are whittled away they aren't allowed to interfere with you again. And that's because people who cultivate our Falun Dafa cultivate pretty fast, and they break through levels fast, too.
There's another form of interference from demons. You know that our Third Eyes can open by practicing. After some people's Third Eyes open they see some scary scenes and scary faces when they're doing the exercises at home. Some of those things have hair that's a big mess, some want to fight you and kill you, and they might even make all kinds of moves—it's really horrible. Sometimes when a person does his exercises he'll see these things hanging against the outside of the windows, and it's really terrifying. So why does this happen? All these are forms of interference by demons. But these things are extremely rare in our Falun Dafa discipline, maybe they happen to one percent of us, and most people won't run into this. It doesn't accomplish anything in our practice, so they aren't allowed to interfere with you like that. In the cultivation of ordinary practices this is the most common phenomenon, and it lasts a long time. Some people can't practice because of this—they're scared to death. Normally a person chooses a quiet place to do his exercises at night. When he opens his eyes he'll see a person standing right in front of him, looking half-demon, half-human, and he'll get too scared to do his exercises. In general this doesn't happen in our Falun Dafa, but there are some really rare exceptions. Some people's situations are really unusual.
Another kind has to do with people who do practices with both internal and external cultivation—they do martial arts along with internal cultivation. This kind of practice is more common in the Daoist system. When someone learns this style of practice he'll often encounter this kind of demon (someone who does a typical practice won't run into it, it only happens in practices that have both internal and external cultivation and practices that involve martial arts), which is, some people will want to duel with him. This is because there are a lot of Daoist cultivators in the world, and many of them practice martial arts, they do both internal and external cultivation. Martial artists can develop gong, too. Why is that? After he gets rid of some attachments, like to reputation, and personal gain, his gong can grow. But it takes a long time for him to get rid of his attachment to being competitive, and he gets rid of it pretty late, so he's likely to still do these things when he's at certain levels. When he meditates he'll know in a half-conscious state that so-and-so is practicing, so his soul leaves his body to find that person for a match to see whose mastery is better. So these fights take place. This scenario unfolds in other dimensions. And there are others who come to him for a fight or scuffle. If he doesn't take them on they'll really try to kill him, so they fight each other, and fight and fight. As soon as he falls asleep, somebody comes to him for a match or a fight, and this keeps him from getting a good night's rest. But in fact, this is exactly the time for him to get rid of his attachment to being competitive. If he doesn't get rid of his attachment to being competitive and he always stays this way, then after being stuck for years he still won't be able to go beyond this level, even after it's dragged on like that for years. The result will be that he can't practice anymore, and his physical body won't be able to take it, either, he'll have spent just too much energy, and in the worst case scenario he could even be left powerless. So these kinds of things come up in practices with both internal and external cultivation, and it's really common. Those things don't happen in practices of internal cultivation, it's not allowed. The several forms I just discussed are fairly common.
There's another form of interference from demons, and it's something everyone will run into—even in our discipline you'll all run into it. It's the demon of lust. And it's something really serious. In the ordinary world there's marital relations between husband and wife, and only with this can human beings procreate. This is how mankind goes forward. There's emotion in society, so for ordinary people these things are just normal. Since people have emotion… being angry is emotion, being happy is emotion, love is emotion, and hatred is emotion, enjoying doing something is an emotion, not enjoying doing something is an emotion, your thinking someone is nice or someone isn't nice, your loving to do something or not loving to do something—everything is emotion, and ordinary people just live for emotion. Then if you're a practitioner, a higher person, you can't use this logic to evaluate things, and you need to break out of this stuff. So there are a lot of attachments that are derived from emotion, and we have to really care less about them, and at some point finally let go of them all. That desire and lust stuff are all just human attachments, and we should get rid of all of them.
In our discipline, or at least for this part that cultivates in the setting of ordinary people, you don't have to become a monk or nun. Our young folks should still get married. So how should we handle this, then? As I've said, our discipline focuses directly on the human mind, and we don't make you really experience any material loss, but just the opposite—we have you temper your character right in the thick of ordinary people fighting for profit, and what you truly improve is your character. When you can let go of the attachment, then you can let go of anything, and then when you're asked to let go of the material thing you'll definitely be able to. But if you can't let go of the attachment, then you won't be able to let go of anything, so the true purpose of cultivation is to cultivate your mind. In monastic cultivation they force you to lose these things, and that, too, is to make you get rid of the attachment. They force you, they completely cut you off from these things, and they keep you from thinking about them. That's the approach they take. We don't make you go that route, though. We have you let go of material gain when it's right in front of you, and you aren't fazed by it. That's why the cultivation in our discipline is the most solid. We don't make you all become monks and nuns. We cultivate among ordinary people, and later on when our practice spreads more and more widely, it wouldn't work if everyone became semi-monks and everybody who practices Falun Dafa became like that. Here's what you all have to do in our practice. You practice, but maybe your spouse doesn't, and in that case you can't get divorced just because you practice. The point is, we should take it lightly—you can't take it that seriously like an ordinary person would. And this is all the more so since nowadays there's pornographic trash out there, like that "free love" junk that interferes with people. Some people are really into it, but we're practitioners, so we really have to take it very lightly.
When beings look from high levels, they say the people of the world are really just playing in mud, but that they don't think it's filthy, and they're on the ground playing away in the mud. We say that you can't strain your family relations because of this, so take it lightly during your current stage, and it's fine to just maintain normal and harmonious marital relations. Later on when you get to a certain level you'll have that level's cultivation state, but right now it's this way, and we say it's good enough if you handle it like this. Of course, you can't be like the people out there nowadays—how could that be allowed?!
There's something else involved in this. As you know, we practitioners have energy in our bodies. By the time you leave this class, 80–90% of you in the class will not only have your health problems healed, but you'll also develop gong, so your bodies carry strong energy. The gong you have isn't proportional to where your character is right now. For the moment your gong is higher—I've raised it for you in one fell swoop—and now you're improving your character. Gradually you'll be able to catch up, and I guarantee you'll catch up during this period of time. That's why we did that ahead of time. So to put it another way, you now have some amount of energy. Since the energy that a true cultivation brings out is pure, and compassionate, all of you sitting here feel a peaceful and compassionate field. In my practice you come through cultivation that way, so I carry these things. As you sit here you all feel that it's harmonious, and nobody has bad thoughts in his mind—the urge to smoke doesn't even come up. Later on as you discipline yourself to live by our Great Law, the gong that emerges in your cultivation will be this way, too. And as your potency continually grows, the radiation of the gong your body has will grow quite powerful. Even if it's not that powerful, a typical person who's within the range of your field, like for example, the people around you when you're at home, you can restrain those other people. Your whole family might be under the effects of your restraining. Now why is that? You don't even have to think, and since this field is a purely kind and compassionate one—it's a field of righteous thoughts—people aren't apt to think about bad things or do bad things. It will have this kind of effect.
The other day I said that "Buddha's light shines everywhere, propriety and righteousness harmonize everything." It means that the energy emitted from our bodies can rectify all wrong states. So under the effect of this field, when you don't think about these things you unwittingly restrain your spouse. When you don't think about it, and you won't have those kinds of thoughts, your spouse won't think of it, either. But it's not without exception—in today's environment all you have to do is flip on the TV and take a glance, and there's all kinds of stuff, and it can easily stir up desire. But in normal settings you can have this restraining effect. Later on when you get to high levels in cultivation, you won't need me to tell you, and you'll know for yourself what to do. At that time you'll have a different cultivation state, and still be able to maintain a marital life. So, don't make too much of these things. If you're too concerned about it that's also an attachment. There isn't the problem of lust between husband and wife, but there is an issue of desire, so take it lightly, don't go to extremes, and you'll be fine.
So what kinds of demons of lust will you run into? If your concentration in meditation isn't good enough, you'll run into them in dreams. When you're sleeping or meditating they'll suddenly appear. If you're a male, a beautiful woman will show up, and if you're a female, the man of your dreams will show up. But they're naked. As soon as you're excited you might discharge and it'll become a reality. Now think about it, in our practice the qi of blood and essence is used to cultivate longevity—you can't just discharge like that all the time. And at the same time, you didn't pass the test of lust. Could that work? So I can tell you that everybody will run into it, guaranteed. When I teach the Law I'm sending strong energy into your brain. When you leave here maybe you won't remember exactly what I talked about, but when you really run into problems you will remember what I said. As long as you take yourself to be a cultivator, at that time you'll remember it, and then you'll be able to control yourself, and you'll be able to pass the test. If you can't pass the first test, then the second one is going to be really tough. But there's also another scenario where you didn't pass the test the first time and after you wake up you really regret it. There's a chance this attitude, or this state of mind, will reinforce your memory of it, and when you run into it again you'll be able to handle yourself well and pass it. But if somebody didn't pass it and he doesn't care, it will be even harder for him to handle it well after that. I can guarantee that's how it is.
When these things happen, there are cases where it's demons interfering with you, and there are other ones where it's your master transforming certain objects to test you. Both scenarios exist, since everyone has to go through this test. We start our cultivation from the level of ordinary people, and the first step is to pass this test—you'll all come across it. I'll give you an example. When I gave a class in Wuhan City there was a student who was a 30-year-old young guy. Right after I talked about this topic he went home and meditated, and in no time he was in a state of concentration. After he got into concentration, he saw Buddha Amitabha suddenly show up on one side and Lao-zi on the other. This is what he said in the essay he wrote and shared with me on his understandings from cultivation. After they showed up, they took a look at him, didn't say anything, and faded away. Then Bodhisattva Guanyin appeared and she had a vase in hand. A wisp of white smoke drifted out from the vase. He was sitting there meditating and saw these things vividly, and he was pretty happy. Then all of a sudden, the smoke turned into several beautiful women—they were those heavenly maidens, and they're just gorgeous. They danced for him, and their poses and movements were so graceful! He figured, "While I meditate here, Bodhisattva Guanyin is rewarding me by transforming some beautiful women for me to watch, and she's having these heavenly maidens dance for me." While he was getting happy thinking about this, suddenly those beautiful women got naked, and made all kinds of moves and came on to him, hugging and caressing him. Our student's character had been improving fast, and this young guy's guard went up instantly. What first came to his mind was, "I'm no average person. I'm a practitioner. Don't treat me this way. I cultivate Falun Dafa." As soon as this thought came out, "Swoosh!"—everything vanished. It was all conjured up to begin with. Then, Buddha Amitabha and Lao-zi appeared again. Lao-zi pointed at the young fella and said to Buddha Amitabha with a smile, "This lad is teachable." He meant that this young guy is good, and that he can be taught.
So when you look at it from history, or from higher dimensions, a person's desires and lust, these things, they play a huge role in determining whether someone can cultivate. That's why we should really take these things lightly. But you cultivate among ordinary people, so we don't have you completely abstain. At least at this present stage, you should take it lightly and stop being like you were before. That's how you should be if you're a practitioner. Any time some kind of interference comes along in your practice, you have to look within for the cause and find what it is you still haven't let go of.
Breeding Demons in Your Own Mind
What's it mean to "breed demons in your own mind"? A person's body has a material field in every dimension. In a special field, everything found in the universe is cast like a shadow into that dimensional field of yours. Even though they're shadows, they also exist materially. Everything in your dimensional field is controlled by the thoughts in your brain. In other words, when you look at things with your Third Eye, if you calmly observe with no thoughts added in, what you see is real. But as soon as you use your mind, even if it's just a little bit, everything you see will be false, and this is "breeding demons in your own mind," which is also called "transforming according to thoughts." It's because some practitioners aren't able to act as cultivators, because they aren't able to handle themselves well, because they want abilities, because they're attached to trivial skills and small tricks, or because they're even attached to some things they heard in other dimensions—they're attached to seeking these things—that's why these people are the most likely to breed demons in their own minds, and that's why they're the most likely to fall. It doesn't matter how high you've cultivated to, once this problem comes up, you'll fall all the way to the bottom and you'll be totally ruined. This problem is extremely serious. It's not like other problems, where if a person doesn't pass a character test one time he can still get up after falling and keep on cultivating. But when it's the problem of breeding demons in your own mind, that's real trouble, and his whole life will be shot. This is especially an issue for people who have their Third Eyes open at a certain level in their cultivation, it's easy for them to have this problem. And then there are people who always have external messages interfering with their minds. Whatever foreign messages they receive, they go and believe it, and they too will have this problem. So some of us will have every aspect of our cultivation interfered with by messages after our Third Eyes open.
Let's illustrate this. While cultivating at a low level it's hard not to be affected inside. Maybe you can't quite see what your teacher looks like. Suddenly, one day, you see a big, tall Heavenly Immortal come toward you. This big Immortal praises you and then teaches you something. So you accept it, and your gong gets messed up. You get happy, you take him as your master, and you go and learn from him. But he hasn't achieved a True Fruition either, it's just that in that dimension they can expand and shrink. This is unfolding right before you, and you're actually seeing this huge Immortal—how exciting! Once your attachment of happiness wells up, won't you go learn from him? When a cultivator can't handle himself well it's hard to save him, and there's a good chance he'll ruin himself. The celestial beings are all deities, but they haven't achieved a True Fruition, and they have to enter the cycle of rebirth just the same. If you just go and casually take somebody as your master and follow him, which level will he take you to? He isn't good enough to achieve a True Fruition himself—won't you have cultivated in vain? And in the end your own gong will be turned into a mess. It's really hard for humans to be unaffected inside. I'll tell you, this problem is very serious, and a lot of us will run into it later on. I've taught you the Law. Whether you can handle yourself the right way is all up to you. What I talked about is just one scenario. When you see Enlightened Beings from other disciplines, don't let it affect you and just cultivate in one discipline. "It doesn't matter what so-called Buddha, what Dao, what Deity, or what demon it is—they can't sway me." When you're like that there's definitely a good chance you'll succeed.
Breeding demons in your own mind also comes in other forms. Maybe you see deceased family members who interfere with you, they cry and weep, and they tell you to do this or that—all kinds of things come up. Can you stay unaffected inside? Maybe you dote on your kid or you love your parents. Your parents have passed away, and now they tell you to do certain things… things that you shouldn't do, and it'd be a disaster if you did them. That's how hard it is for a practitioner. People say that Buddhism is now a mess, and Confucianism's things have crept into Buddhism, like filial piety, affection between men and women, and so on—these things have crept into Buddhism. But these things don't belong in Buddhism. Why is this wrong, then? Since a person's true being is his master soul, only the mother who gave birth to your master soul is your real mother. In your cycle of rebirth, if you want to count the mothers that are human and nonhuman, they're just countless. And how many children have you had over all those lifetimes? They're countless, too. Who is your mother? Who are your children? When you take your last breath no one recognizes anyone, and you still have to pay back the karma you owe. People just can't let go of these things when they're lost in delusion. Some people's children have died, but they can't let go of them and talk about how wonderful they were, or they talk about how great their mothers were, but they've died. These people grieve their hearts out as if they want to follow their deceased for the rest of their lives. Why don't you think about it: aren't they doing this to wear you down? They do this to keep you from living a comfortable life.
Maybe ordinary people can't understand this: if you're attached to this stuff you can't cultivate at all. That's why this isn't a part of Buddhism. If you want to cultivate, you have to set aside human emotion. Of course, while we're cultivating in the ordinary world we're supposed to respect our parents and be good to them, just as we should teach our kids and discipline them. In every situation we should be good to others and be kind to people, let alone your family members. We should treat everyone the same, be good to our parents and our kids, and always be considerate of others. Then your heart isn't a selfish one when you do that, but a compassionate one—it's compassion. Emotion is the stuff of ordinary people. They just live for emotion.
A lot of people can't handle themselves well, and this has brought a lot of challenges into their cultivation. Some people say that a Buddha told them something. Whoever tells you that you're going to have trouble today, or that something bad is going to happen, and they tell you how you can avoid it, or if someone tells you today's winning lotto number and tells you to draw one, unless your life is in danger and they're telling you how to get out of it, whenever someone tells you how to gain something out in the ordinary world, that's a demon. When you just want to get ahead in the ordinary world, you'll fail the tests of those tribulations, and you won't be able to improve. If you live a plush, comfy, and luxurious life among ordinary people, how can you cultivate? How's your karma going to be transformed? Where's the environment for you to improve your character and transform your karma? Make sure you remember this, now. Those demons might praise you, tell you that your level is so high, tell you that you're a really high-level great Buddha or great Dao, or tell you how amazing they think you are. All of that's bogus. Somebody who truly cultivates up to high levels has to let go of all the different attachments he has. When you run into these things you really have to watch out!
Your Third Eye might open during your practice. People whose Third Eyes are open have their challenges while cultivating, and those whose Third Eyes aren't open have their challenges cultivating, too—cultivation isn't easy either way. After your Third Eye opens, it definitely is hard for you to handle yourself the right way when all sorts of messages are interfering with you. In other dimensions things are a feast for the eyes, they're really beautiful and wonderful, and any of those things could tempt you. Once you're swayed, maybe you'll get interfered with and your gong will be messed up. That's usually what happens. And that's why when people breed demons in their own minds and they can't handle themselves well they might experience a certain situation. I'll give an example. As soon as this guy has bad thoughts it's dangerous. One day his Third Eye is open and he can see things, and even see clearly. He thinks, "At this practice site I'm the only person whose Third Eye is opened well. Maybe I'm not just your average person, eh? I've been able to learn Teacher Li's Falun Dafa, and I've learned it so well—better than anybody else. I'm probably not just an average person." These thoughts are going in the wrong direction. Then he thinks, "Know what, maybe I'm a Buddha. Now, let me take a look at myself." He looks at himself and sees that he really is a Buddha. And why is that? It's because all matter within the scope of the dimensional field that's around his own body transforms with his thoughts. This is also "transforming according to thoughts."
All the things reflected over from the universe change with his thoughts. The reason is, everything within the range of his dimensional field is at his command, and shadows exist materially, too—they're no different. This person thinks, "Maybe I'm a Buddha. And maybe what I wear are Buddha's clothes." Then he'll see that what he wears really are Buddha's clothes. "Wow, I'm really a Buddha!" He can hardly control his happiness. "Maybe I'm not just a small Buddha." He takes a look, and sees that he's a giant Buddha. "Maybe I'm higher than Li Hongzhi! Let me take a look... Wow, I really am higher than Li Hongzhi." And then there are people who hear this stuff through their ears. A demon interferes with him and says, "You're even higher than Li Hongzhi. You're such-and-such amount higher than Li Hongzhi." And then he believes it. Have you thought about how you'll cultivate from that point on? Have you cultivated before? Who taught you cultivation? Even when a real Buddha comes down to do things, he has to cultivate all over again, he doesn't keep any of the gong he originally had, and it's just that he cultivates faster now. When this happens, once someone has this problem, it will be really hard for him to pull himself out, and he'll immediately develop that thought. After it wells up, he'll dare to say anything, "I'm a Buddha. You don't need to learn from anyone else. I am a Buddha. I'll tell you what to do." He'll start to act like this.
Don't we have somebody just like that in Changchun? He was pretty good at first, but then he got like that, claiming he's a Buddha, and in the end he claimed he was higher than anybody else. That happens when someone can't handle himself well, when his attachments come out. Now why does this happen? In Buddhism they say that if you see something you should just ignore it since it's all demonic illusion, and you should just enter into concentration and cultivate up. Do you know why they don't let you see things, and why they don't let you get attached to those things? It's because they're afraid you might run into this problem. The cultivation in Buddhism doesn't have any intensive cultivation methods, and their scriptures don't guide you on how to avoid this problem. Back then Shakyamuni didn't teach this Law, so, to avoid the problem of breeding demons in your own mind and transforming according to thoughts, he called all the scenes that people see in cultivation "demonic illusions." So once you have an attachment it'll generate this demonic illusion, and it's really hard to break free from it. And then this person might even be done for and turn demonic. Since he calls himself a Buddha he's already started down a demonic path, and in the end, he might even get possessed or bring on other things, and he'll be totally finished. His mind will have gone bad, and he'll fall all the way down. There's a good number of people like this. Even in this class there are people who think highly of themselves, and they even speak with a different tone. As for what your true situation is, even in Buddhism that's something taboo. What I just talked about is another situation, and it's called "breeding demons in your own mind," which is also called "transforming according to thoughts." Beijing has had some students like this, and they've appeared in other regions too. And this problem interferes with practitioners pretty badly.
Some people ask me, "Teacher, why is it you don't straighten this out?" Think about it, folks, if we straighten out all the obstacles on your cultivation path, how are you going to cultivate? Only when there's interference from demons can you show whether you can keep up your cultivation, whether you can really grasp the truth, whether you can take the interference, and whether you can be steadfast in this discipline. Great tides wash away the sand, that's how cultivation is, and what's left is true gold. I'd say that without these kinds of interference it'd be too easy for people to cultivate. The way I look at it, your cultivation would be too easy. Those Great Enlightened Beings at high levels would think it's even more unfair when they saw it, "What do you think you're doing? You call that saving people? They don't have any obstacles along the way, and their cultivation is smooth sailing all the way to the end—is that cultivation? The more they practice the more comfortable they get, and they don't have any interference. How could that work?" That is the issue, and I've been thinking about it, too. In the beginning stage I took care of many demons like that. But I don't think it'd be right if I kept doing that all the time. Others have said to me, "You've made their cultivation so easy. People just have that little bit of adversity of their own, and there are just those little things between people. There's a lot of attachments they still aren't able to get rid of! We still have to wait and see whether your people can understand your Great Law when confusion and chaos arrive." There's this issue, so there will be interference, and there will be trials. What I just talked about is one form of demon. It's really hard to truly save a person, but extremely easy to destroy him. Once your understanding goes too far off your cultivation is over.
Your Master Consciousness Needs to be Strong
A person has done bad things over his many lifetimes, and for people this results in misfortune, or for cultivators it's karmic obstacles, so there's birth, aging, sickness, and death. This is ordinary karma. There's another type of karma that's powerful, and it has a serious impact on cultivators. It's called thought-karma. While you're alive you have to think. But since people are lost among ordinary people, they often form in their minds a kind of thought that revolves around reputation, gain, lust, anger, and those things. As time goes by, it shapes up into a strong thought-karma. Everything in other dimensions is alive, so karma is, too. When someone wants to cultivate a true teaching he has to eliminate his karma. Eliminating karma means eradicating it and transforming it. Now of course the karma won't go for it, so people have tribulations and they have obstacles. But thought-karma can directly interfere with a person's mind, and so he might silently swear at the teacher or swear at Dafa, or maybe he'll have some evil thoughts and bad words. When this happens, some cultivators get confused about what's going on, and they think that those are their thoughts. And then there are people who think it's possession, but it's not. It's caused by the thought-karma reflecting into their brains. Some people's master consciousnesses aren't strong, and so they go along with the thought-karma and do bad things. They're done for, and they fall. But most people can use their strong minds (their strong master consciousnesses) to get rid of it, to fight it. That shows that this guy can be saved, and that he can tell good from bad, and it means that his comprehension is good. My Law Bodies will help him remove most of that thought-karma. This situation is pretty common. When it comes up, it all depends on whether the person can overcome these bad thoughts. When you can stay steadfast we can eliminate karma.
Your Thoughts Have to be Proper
What's meant by "not proper thoughts"? It's when somebody always has a hard time thinking of himself as a practitioner. A practitioner will run into difficulties while he's cultivating. And when that difficulty comes along, maybe it'll take the form of friction with people, or maybe it'll be things like people jockeying for position—the kinds of things that would really affect your character. There will be more of these cases than others. What else will you go through? Your body might suddenly feel unwell, and that's because you have to pay for your karma. It'll manifest in a lot of different ways. At some point you'll be made confused about what's true and what's false, and you'll doubt that gong really exists, that you can cultivate, that you can really go up there in cultivation, that there are Buddhas, that they're real... You'll experience this later on, and you'll be given those false impressions, which make you feel that those things don't exist and that they're false, and it's exactly to see if you can stay steadfast. If you say you want to steel your will, then with this thought, at that time you'll really be able to do that, and naturally you'll do well since your character has improved. But if you're that unstable right now, and we have those tribulations hit you right now, you'd have no idea what's going on, and that'd be the end of cultivation for you. It's likely there will be all kinds of tribulations.
That's how people have to cultivate upward in the cultivation process. So we have some people who will feel unwell somewhere in the body, and then they jump right to the conclusion that they're sick. They always have trouble behaving like practitioners. When they run into this they think it's sickness—"Why do I have to go through so much?" I'll tell you, I've already eliminated a lot of it for you, and your troubles have been shrunk a lot. If I didn't reduce them for you, maybe you'd bite the dust when you ran into that difficulty, or maybe you'd be bedridden forever. So, you run into a little trouble and you think it's hard to bear, but how could it be a breeze? Here's an example. When I was giving a class in Changchun, there was a guy whose base was excellent. He was really good material, and I saw a lot of potential in him. So I increased his hardship a bit to have him pay back his karma soon and have him become Unlocked—that's what I was planning. But one day he suddenly seemed to have the symptoms of a stroke, he fell down and thought he couldn't move, and it was like his limbs didn't work, so they took him to the hospital for emergency care. Then he was back on his feet. Let's think about it—how could someone who had a stroke be back on his feet again with mobility in his arms and legs so quickly? But then he turned around and said that learning Falun Dafa was what made things go wrong. He didn't think about how he managed to recover so fast from a stroke. If he hadn't learned Falun Dafa maybe he would have died right then and there when he fell, or maybe he'd be permanently paralyzed and really have had a stroke.
This says something about how hard it is to save a person—you do so much for him but he still doesn't realize it, and instead he says stuff like that. Some veteran practitioners have said to me, "Teacher, why do I feel unwell all over my body? I always go to the hospital to get injections but it doesn't work. And taking medicine doesn't do much, either." They didn't even feel embarrassed to say that to me! Of course that wouldn't work. It wasn't sickness, so how could that work? Go ahead and get a check-up. Nothing is wrong, you just don't feel well. One of our students went to the hospital and had several syringe needles bend on him, and the last vial even squirted out, but the needle still couldn't go in. Then he caught on, "Wait, I'm a cultivator! I don't want any more injections." Only then did he think not to get injections. So when we run into difficulties we really have to take this seriously. Some people wrongly think that I'm just trying to keep them from going to the hospital, so they figure, "You don't let me go to the hospital, so I'll go see a qigong master." They still think it's a health problem and so they go looking for a qigong master. And where are you about to find a real qigong master? If he's a fake one you'll be ruined on the spot.
Now we should ask, how can you tell if a qigong master is real? A lot of qigong masters are self-proclaimed. I've been tested, and I have the documents from the evaluations that the scientific research institutions did of me. A lot of qigong masters are fake and self-proclaimed, and there are plenty who deceive and con people. These fake qigong masters can do healing, too. But why can they do that? They're possessed. If they weren't possessed they wouldn't be able to con people! The possessing spirits can emit gong and can heal people. It takes on the form of energy and can control ordinary people easily. But like I've said, when those possessing spirits treat people, do you have any idea what kind of stuff they're sending out onto your body? At extremely microcosmic levels, it's all in the image of the possessing spirit. What are you going to do when that's sent to your body? "Inviting a deity is easy, but sending him off is hard," as they say. Of course, we don't need to talk about ordinary people—they just want to stay as is, and they just want to be comfortable for now. But you're a practitioner, and don't you want to continually purify your body? If you get this stuff on your body when will you be able to get rid of it? And it also has a certain amount of energy. Now some people might wonder, "How come the Law Wheel lets it in? And don't we have Teacher's Law Bodies protecting us?" There's a law in our universe: when it comes to what you seek, nobody is going to intervene. If you want something, nobody is going to intervene. My Law Bodies will try to stop you and they'll give you hints. But when they see that you keep being like that they'll give up on you—how could anyone force a person to cultivate? Nobody can make you cultivate, force you to cultivate. It's you who can really make progress happen. If you don't want to improve, nobody can do anything. I've explained the principles to you, and I've taught the Law to you—if you still don't want to improve, who can you put the blame on? If it's you who wants something then the Law Wheel won't do anything about it, and my Law Bodies won't, either. That's for sure. There are also people who went to listen to talks by other qigong masters, and when they went back home they felt crummy—that should be a given. Then why didn't my Law Bodies protect you? Well, what did you go there for? By going there to listen, didn't you want something? Could it get in if you hadn't taken it in through your ears? Some people have even deformed their Law Wheels. I'll tell you, that Law Wheel is even more valuable than your life. It's a higher being, and you can't just go and casually ruin it. There are a lot of fake qigong masters these days, and some of them are famous. I've said something to the officials of the China Qigong-Science Research Society: in ancient times, Concubine Da turned the royal court upside down, and that fox was running wild, but her behavior still wasn't as wild as today's fake qigongs, which have turned just about the whole country into a mess, and so many people have been victims! They might seem pretty good on the surface, but do you know how many people have those things on their bodies? Once a fake qigong master sends out that stuff you'll have those things. They're way too rampant. So it's hard for ordinary people to tell from the surface.
Maybe some of you are thinking, "After attending today's class on qigong and listening to Li Hongzhi's talk, now I realize that qigong is so profound and there's a lot to it! When the next qigong class comes along I'll go to that one, too." I'd suggest that you really make a point of not going. When you hear bad things they'll get in through your ears. It's hard to save a person, it's hard to change your thinking, and it's hard to adjust your body. There are so many bogus qigong masters. And even when it comes to the real qigong masters of authentic practices, are they really clean? Some animals are just ferocious, and even though those things aren't able to get on his body he still can't drive them away. He doesn't have the ability to tackle those things on a large scale. And as for his students, when he's sending out gong there's all kinds of things mixed into it. Maybe he has some integrity, but his students don't, and they're possessed by all kinds of spirits—they've got everything on them.
If you want to truly cultivate Falun Dafa, don't go and listen. Of course, if you don't want to cultivate Falun Dafa and you want to practice everything, then go ahead, I won't stop you—you're not a Falun Dafa disciple then—and if you have problems don't say they're caused by practicing Falun Dafa. A person is a true Falun Dafa practitioner only if he follows the character requirements and cultivates according to Dafa. Some people have asked me, "Can we socialize with people who practice other qigongs?" I'm going to tell you, they're only doing qigong while you cultivate the Great Law, and after you finish this class your level will be so far above theirs. This Law Wheel is something that's formed after so many generations of cultivation, and it has tremendous power. Now of course, if you want to be friends with them, it's no big deal as long as you can make sure you don't accept or take anything from them and you're just normal friends with them. But if that person really has something on his body, that's really bad, and it's best you don't have any contact with him. Now as for married couples, if one person does another qigong I don't think that's a big problem. But there's one thing: you cultivate a true teaching, so when one person cultivates, others benefit. If your spouse does a crooked practice she might have crooked things in her body, and we'll cleanse her for your safety. Everything that's in other dimensions will be cleaned up for you. And the environment at home will be cleaned up. If the environment wasn't cleansed, how could you practice with all those kinds of interference?
But there's a situation where my Law Bodies can't clean things up for you. I have a student who saw my Law Body come one day. He was full of joy—"Teacher's Law Body is here. Teacher, please come in." My Law Body said, "Your room is too messy, and there are too many things here." And then he left. Generally speaking, if there are too many spirits in other dimensions, my Law Bodies will clean them out. But this student's room was full of this awful mess of qigong books. He realized it and cleared them out by burning them or selling them for recycling. Then my Law Body came back. This is what the student told me.
There are also people who go to see fortune tellers. Some folks have asked me, "Teacher, now that I'm practicing Falun Dafa, can I still use the Book of Changes or fortune-telling things? I've always been interested in them." Let me put it this way: if you have a certain amount of energy, the words you say have an effect, and if something isn't supposed to be one way, your words might make it that way for the person, and then maybe you've done a bad thing. An ordinary person is really weak, and all his messages are unstable and apt to go through some changes. If you carelessly say something to him, then maybe that tribulation will happen. Or if he has a lot of karma, he has to pay it off, but when you keep telling him good things and then he can't pay off his karma, how could that be okay? Aren't you hurting him? Some people just can't let go of these things and they're just attached to them, as if they have some kind of special talent. Isn't that an attachment? Besides, even if you really do know what's going to happen, you're a practitioner, and you should guard your character, so you can't just go and casually leak Heaven's secrets to an ordinary person. That's the reason behind it. No matter how you calculate things using the Book of Changes, some of the things no longer hold true, anyway. So you calculate and calculate, and you come up with both true and false things. Things like fortune-telling are allowed in the ordinary society. Since you're somebody who really has gong, though, I'd say a true practitioner should hold himself to a high standard. But some people have gone and asked others to read their fortunes, and they've said, "Do a reading for me, and take a look at how I'm doing and how well I'm doing with this practice," or, "Do I have any tribulations ahead of me?" That's what they wanted to find out from the fortune-telling. But if your tribulations were predicted for you, how could you improve? A practitioner's whole life has been changed, and his palm reading, face reading, his eight words, and the message type of things in his body aren't the same anymore, they've changed. When you go to a fortune teller you're believing him, or else what are you doing there? What he tells you are surface-level things and how things would have been. But they have changed, in fact. Then think about it: when you went to him for fortune-telling, didn't you listen to him and believe him? Didn't it burden your mind then? When you have a mental burden it's going to weigh on your mind—isn't that an attachment? How are you going to get rid of this attachment? Haven't you imposed on yourself another tribulation? And don't you have to go through even more hardship to get rid of this self-made attachment? With every trial and every tribulation, there's the question of whether you move up in cultivation or down. It's difficult enough as is, but then you go and impose on yourself this other tribulation. Now how are you going to get through it? And maybe you'll run into tribulations or hassles because of this. Others aren't allowed to see your altered path. If someone were able to see it, and if he could tell you at which point you're going to have a tribulation, then how could you cultivate? That's why there's no way it's allowed to be seen. Nobody from other disciplines is allowed to see it, and even fellow disciples of the same discipline aren't allowed to see it. So nobody can predict things right since this is an altered life—a life of cultivation.
Some people have asked me if they can read other books of the religious sort or if they can read other qigong books. Here's our take on it. Books from religions, especially the ones from Buddhism, they all teach people how to cultivate their character. We're Buddhist too, so in principle it shouldn't be a problem. But there's one thing: in a lot of the scriptures there are some things that weren't translated accurately in the first place, and on top of that, a lot of scriptures have been interpreted with understandings at different levels, and they've casually defined things. This has damaged the Law. Some people who've recklessly interpreted the scriptures are just so far from the realms of Buddhas, they have just no clue about their true meaning, and that's why their understandings are different. It's not that easy for you to have a good grasp of the scriptures, and you can't comprehend them on your own. But if you say, "I'm just interested in the scriptures," and you always study them, then you're cultivating in that discipline. That's because scriptures have combined the gong and Law of that discipline, and once you study them you've learned that discipline—there's this problem. If you really get into them and cultivate by those ideas, then maybe you've taken up that discipline, and you aren't cultivating in our discipline. In cultivation people have always talked about "no second discipline." If you want to truly cultivate in one discipline, you should only read the texts of that discipline.
Now as far as qigong books go, don't read them if you want to cultivate. This is especially true for the books that are published these days—don't read them. And the same goes for books like The Yellow Emperor's Classic of Internal Medicine, Guide to Nature and Longevity, or Daoist Canon. Even though they don't have that many bad things, they still have messages of different levels. They're cultivation ways themselves, so when you read them those things will get added to yours and they'll interfere with you. When you think that a sentence is good, "All right," it comes over, and gets mixed into your gong. Even though it's not something bad, tell me, can you practice when other things are suddenly mixed into yours? Won't you have problems? If an extra component is added to the electronic components inside a TV, what do you think will happen to the TV? It will be busted right away. That's the idea. And besides, a lot of the qigong books are fake these days, and they have all kinds of messages in them. One of our students was flipping through a qigong book and a big snake sprang out. Now of course, I don't want to get into details about this. What I've been talking about is how problems have come up when our practitioners weren't able to handle themselves well, meaning, they brought on trouble because their thoughts weren't proper. I'm spelling this out because it's good for you to know, I'm helping you see what to do, and how to tell them apart so that problems won't come up later on. Never mind that what I just said wasn't worded strongly—make sure you watch out for it. This is often the cause of problems, it's often where problems come up. Cultivation is just awfully grueling, it's incredibly serious, and if you get just a bit careless you might fall and be destroyed in a day. So your thoughts really have to be proper.
Martial Arts Qigong
Besides the internal cultivation methods there's also martial arts qigong. When I talk about martial arts qigong there's a point I've got to drive home, and it has to do with the slew of qigongs people talk about in the cultivation world nowadays.
Right now what's come along but some so-called "painting qigong," "music qigong," "calligraphy qigong," "dance qigong"—everything's popping up. Are those all qigongs? I think it's kind of bizarre. I'd say it's trashing qigong. Not just messing up qigong, but downright trashing qigong. What's their theoretical grounding? They say that when someone paints, or sings, or dances, or writes, if he gets all in a daze—the so-called "qigong state"—they say that's qigong. It is? You can't look at things this way. I'd ask this: isn't that trashing qigong? Qigong is a profound and far-reaching discipline for cultivating the human body. Oh, so being in a constant daze means it's qigong? If that's the case, then if we go to the bathroom in a daze, what would that be? Isn't that trashing qigong? I'd say that's trashing qigong. At the Asian Health Expo two years ago there was this "calligraphy qigong." What's calligraphy qigong? I went over to the calligraphy qigong booth to check it out. A person was writing with a brush-pen. After he was done writing he used his hands to send qi at each character he wrote, one by one, and what he gave off was all black qi. His head was full of stuff like money and fame. So could he have gong? His qi couldn't be any good, either. His calligraphy was hung up there for sale at a pretty high price, and only rich tourists bought them. If you ask me, whoever bought them and took them home is in for trouble. How could that black qi be good? Even the guy's face looked dark, it was as if he had dollar signs in his eyes and all he thought about was money, so could he have gong? This guy's business card had a pile of titles, such as "International Calligraphy Qigong" and whatnot. I want to ask, could that be called qigong?
Let's think about it: now out of the people who finish this class of mine, after 80–90% of you finish this class, not only will you have your health back, but you'll also develop gong—real gong. What you now have in your bodies is pretty extraordinary. If you'd practiced solo you wouldn't get these things even if you practiced for a whole lifetime. Even if a young guy started to practice right now and practiced for a whole lifetime, he still couldn't develop the things I've placed in you, even if he found a true great teacher to instruct him. It's taken us so many generations of people to form this Law Wheel and these mechanisms, and now these things are placed in you all together at once. So I want to tell you: easy come, easy go. These things are extremely precious, they're invaluable. After you finish this class what you have is real gong, it's high-energy matter. When you go home and write a few words, it doesn't matter how good or bad your handwriting is, they'll have energy! So after you finish this class of ours, should every one of you be dubbed "master," and you'll all be calligraphy qigong masters now? I'd say you can't look at it that way. That's because a person who truly has gong, who truly has energy, leaves energy on anything he touches without even consciously sending it out, and it will shine.
I also saw a piece in a magazine about an upcoming calligraphy qigong class. I gave it a quick scan to see how they were teaching it. Here's what they wrote: first regulate your breathing and control your inhaling and exhaling; then meditate for 15 to 30 minutes while focusing your mind on the qi in your elixir field; use your mind to lift the qi from your elixir field and have it go into your forearm; pick up the brush-pen and dip it in ink; move your qi to the tip of the pen; and when your thought gets there, start to write. Isn't that deceiving people? So wherever you lift your qi to, that's a form of qigong? Then when we eat, if we meditate for a little while, pick up the chopsticks, and move our qi to the tip of the chopsticks and eat, that's "dining qigong," right? And what we eat is energy. I'm just illustrating the point. I'd say this is trashing qigong—they think qigong is something that shallow. So you can't look at it that way.
But martial arts qigong counts as an independent qigong. Why is that? It's been passed down for thousands of years, and it has a complete set of cultivation theories and a complete set of cultivation methods. That's why it counts as a complete system. But with that said, martial arts qigong is still something at the lowest level among the internal cultivations we have out there. Hard Qigong is a type of energy mass, and its only use is in fighting. I'll give you an example. There was a student in Beijing who couldn't press anything with his hands after he finished our Falun Dafa class. He went to a store to buy a stroller and he used his hand to test its sturdiness. With just one press on it, "Crash!"—the stroller fell apart. He thought it was strange. When he sat on a chair at home, he couldn't press on the chair with his hands. When he did, the chair would—"Crash!"—break to pieces. He asked me what that was all about. I didn't tell him, as I was concerned that he'd get an attachment. I said, "These things are natural. Just let it be and don't worry about it. They're all good things." When a person masters that ability he can crush a rock with the squeeze of his hand. Isn't that Hard Qigong? But this student had never practiced any Hard Qigong. All these abilities usually come out from doing internal cultivation practices. But since people can't keep up their character, they often aren't allowed to use these abilities after they come out. This is especially so when someone is cultivating at a low level—his character hasn't improved enough, so when his abilities show up at a low level they really can't be brought out. Time rolls by, and when he gets to a high level those things aren't useful anymore, so they aren't brought out then, either.
Now just how, exactly, is martial arts qigong done? People who do martial arts qigong talk about directing and moving qi. But it's not easy to direct qi at the beginning. You think that when you want to direct qi, you can just go and do it? You can't. So what do they do? They have to train their hands, and both sides of the chest, the feet, legs, arms, and head all need to be trained as well. How do they train them? Some people strike trees with their hands, and they hit them with their palms. Some people slap their hands against slabs of stone, "Whack…Whack…."—they slap them like that. You can just imagine how bad it hurts when the bones hit it like that, and their hands will bleed when they use just a little force. Still, they can't get the qi out. So what do they do? They start to swing their arms and make their blood go back down the arm so their arms and hands will swell up, and they really do swell. Then when they slap a rock their bones will be cushioned, and they won't make direct contact with the rock, and it won't hurt as much. As they go on practicing their masters will teach them, and as time goes by they'll be able to direct qi. But being able to direct qi isn't enough—during a real fight the other person won't wait for you. Of course, when a person can direct qi, he's already able to block attacks, he might not feel any pain when he's hit by a big stick, and he can direct qi and swell himself up. But qi is really a primitive kind of thing at the beginning stage, and as they keep on practicing their qi will change into high-energy matter. When it's changed into high-energy matter it gradually forms a high-density energy cluster. This energy cluster takes on a life of its own, so it's also an ability cluster, or in other words, it's a kind of ability. But this ability is specifically for attacking and defending, and it wouldn't work if you used it to do healing. That high-energy matter is in another dimension and it doesn't travel in our dimension, so its time is faster than ours. When you want to hit somebody, you don't need to direct qi or think about it anymore, the gong has already arrived there. And when others attack you and you're warding them off, your gong has already reached there, too. It doesn't matter how fast you make your move, it's faster than you—time is conceptually different in the two dimensions. So by doing martial arts qigong a person can bring out abilities like the Iron Palm, Cinnabar Palm, Diamond Leg, Arhat Foot, and so on. They're abilities that ordinary people have. An ordinary person can reach this stage through physical training.
The biggest difference between martial arts qigong and internal cultivation is this: the practice of martial arts qigong calls for motion, so a person's qi travels beneath the skin. And since it's practiced in motion, the person can't reach a state of stillness, his qi doesn't go into his elixir field, and when his qi moves it goes under his skin and reaches into the muscle. That's why he can't cultivate longevity and he can't bring out supernatural abilities. Us folks who do internal cultivation have to practice in stillness. Most of these practices have qi go into the elixir field, or have qi enter the lower abdomen, they cultivate in stillness, and they really care about transforming the person's innate body. They can cultivate longevity, and they can cultivate to higher levels.
Maybe you've heard about some of these different kung fu skills, like how in novels they write about the Golden Bell Cover, the Iron Shirt, piercing a poplar from a hundred paces away, and then there's the levitation abilities, where people can move about high up in the air, and some people can even vanish into other dimensions. So do these skills exist? They do, that's for sure. But you won't see them in everyday life. People who've truly brought out these high-level skills by practicing can't just show them off. These things aren't refined by just doing martial arts qigong, and they're completely beyond the level of ordinary people, so somebody like this has to cultivate himself by doing an internal cultivation practice, he has to really care about character, improve his character, and take things like material gain lightly. Even though he can cultivate these skills, it turns out he can't just use them freely around ordinary people after he gets them. It's alright for him to use them a little when nobody can see him. But look at what they've put in those novels: a person will kill and fight for some swordsmanship manual, for treasure, or for women, and those people have tremendous skills, and they move about like no human being can. Let's think about it: doesn't somebody like that who really has those skills have to have cultivated them by doing internal cultivation? He can only cultivate them by taking his character seriously. So things like fame, money, and all sorts of desires haven't meant much to him for a long time. How could he go and kill people? How could money and wealth mean so much to him? There's just no way. Those are just artistic exaggerations. People just thirst for thrills and want whatever quenches their thirst. The authors have seized on this and they go all out to write whatever quenches your thirst and pleases you—the more unbelievable they make it, the more you like to read it. It's just artistic exaggeration. Somebody who truly has these skills won't do those things, and even less so can he bring them out for a performance.
We do our cultivation in the setting of ordinary people, and because of this a lot of our students can't seem to let go of many attachments they have, and a lot of their attachments have already become natural to them, they can't notice it. Showing off can appear in all kinds of situations, and it can also show up when a person is doing something good. Maybe some people brag and show off in their day-to-day lives when they gain a little status or wealth, "I'm a guy who makes things happen, it's always me." We too see something like this, where somebody has cultivated a little better, or he can see a little more clearly with his Third Eye, or maybe he does the exercises a little more smoothly, and that's also showing off.
Some people say, "I heard Teacher Li say some things," everyone gathers around to listen, and he's there in the middle passing on the grapevine gossip, pitching things in here and there that come from his own understanding. So what was the motive? It all comes down to showing off. And then there are people who spread grapevine gossip, he passes it on to the next guy, she passes it on to the next gal, they savor and relish every bit of it as they spread it around, and they come across as if they're in the loop—as if all these students of ours aren't as informed as they are, or as if others don't know as much. It's become natural for them. Maybe they're doing it unknowingly, and they just have showing off in their subconscious. Why else would they spread that gossip? There are also people spreading things about when I'm "going back to the mountains." I didn't come from the mountains—go back to what mountains? And then some people say that on such-and-such day I taught something to so-and-so, or gave someone a little one-on-one tutoring. Now what good does spreading that stuff do? Not one bit of good. But, we've seen that this is their attachment, a kind of showing off.
There are also folks who track me down for an autograph. What are they up to? That's still an ordinary people's thing—getting an autograph, getting a keepsake, or whatnot. If you don't cultivate, look, I'm going to tell you, I can give you my autograph but it's useless. Every single word in my books has my image and Law Wheel, and every sentence is my words—do you really want me to still sign something? Some people think, "Once he signs it, I'll have Teacher's messages protecting me." They still believe in those message things. But we don't care about messages. It should be obvious by now that this book is priceless. Is there more you still need? All of this reflects those attachments. There are some people who notice how the students that travel with me carry themselves, and then they go and imitate them, not knowing what's good or bad about it. The fact is, we don't care who it is who acts what way—there's only one Law, and only by following this Great Law in your actions are you meeting the true standard. The people who travel with me don't get any private coaching, they're the same as others, only they work for the Research Society. Don't let these attachments swell up. We often end up damaging Dafa without meaning to when we let this kind of attachment swell up. And if you make up sensational things, that could even cause tension, or maybe stir up other students' attachments, it could make them elbow to get closer to me so that they can listen to some things, too, and so on. Don't all these things go back to this problem?
So what else is this showing off likely to trigger? I've been transmitting the practice for two years now. Out of our veteran students of Falun Dafa cultivation, there's a batch of them who might become Unlocked soon, a batch will enter into a state of gradual enlightenment—they'll suddenly enter into gradual enlightenment. Now why didn't those abilities come out before? The reason is, it wouldn't work if I just pushed you up to a level that high in one fell swoop but all your human attachments were still there. Of course, your character has already been lifted up very high, but you still have a lot of attachments you haven't cast off, so we can't let you have those abilities. After you pass this stage, after you become stable, you'll all at once be sent to the state of gradual enlightenment. And in the state of gradual enlightenment your Third Eye will be opened at a really high level, and you'll have a lot of abilities come out. Actually, I can tell you that when a person truly cultivates, a lot of abilities will emerge as soon as he starts practicing. You've already gotten to such a high level, so your abilities are already abundant. In the near future a lot of us might have that state. Then there are other people, they can't cultivate that high, and the combination of what they brought with them and their ability to endure is fixed, so some people become Unlocked, Enlightened, I mean completely Enlightened, at very low levels. There will be people like that.
The reason I'm pointing this out to you is to tell you that once people like that appear, you have to really be sure you don't regard them as some kind of amazing Enlightened Beings. This is a serious problem in cultivation. Someone is right only when he acts in line with this Dafa. Don't follow others or go and listen to them when you see their abilities, or divine powers, or whatever it is. You'll hurt them, their attachment of happiness will well up, and they'll lose everything they have in the end, everything will be shut down, and eventually they'll fall to the bottom. Somebody who's Unlocked can still fall down, and if a person doesn't handle himself well, even if he's Enlightened, he can fall down, too. Even when a Buddha doesn't handle himself well he'll fall, let alone you—somebody who's cultivating right in the thick of ordinary people! So it doesn't matter how many abilities you've got, how awesome your abilities are, or how great your divine powers seem, you really have to handle yourself well. Recently we had some folks who disappeared while sitting here and reappeared a while later. It was like that, and maybe even greater divine powers will come out. How are you going to handle it then? You're my student, my disciple, so it doesn't matter later on if these things emerge for you or they emerge for somebody else, don't put him on a pedestal or seek these things. As soon as you're affected inside, that's it, your cultivation is shot, and you'll fall. Maybe you're even higher than him and it's just that your divine powers haven't come out yet, but at least in terms of this you fell. So please, really keep this in mind. We've put a lot of emphasis on this because this situation is going to come along soon, and when it does, it's trouble if you can't handle yourself well.
Even when a cultivator's gong emerges, or when he becomes Unlocked, or truly Enlightened, he still shouldn't think that he's some kind of big shot. The things he sees are just at that level of his. That's because he has cultivated to that point, or in other words, his ability to comprehend has reached that point, his character standard has reached that point, and his wisdom has reached that point. So maybe he won't believe the things at higher levels. And exactly because he doesn't believe them, he thinks that what he sees is absolute and that it's all there is. But that's far from it, since his level is only there.
There's a segment of people who will be Unlocked at that level—they can't go any higher in cultivation, so they can only be Unlocked and Enlightened at that level. Those of you who'll succeed in cultivation later on, some of you will become Enlightened at the level of small worldly paths, some will become Enlightened at different levels, and some will be Enlightened with True Fruition, and only Enlightenment with True Fruition is supreme. At different levels these people can all see things, and things can actually manifest before them. Even the people who are Unlocked and Enlightened at the lowest level, the level of small worldly paths, can see some dimensions and some Enlightened Beings, and they can communicate with them. Now at that point don't be smug. You can't achieve a True Fruition when you're Unlocked at the level of the small worldly paths, or at a low level. That's for sure. So what can he do? He can only stay at that level and cultivate toward higher levels later on. That's what he can do from that point on. But his uppermost level is only that high, so what'd be the point of not letting him be Unlocked? If he keeps on cultivating upward like this he can't go any higher. So he'll be Unlocked since he's reached the end of his cultivation. There will be a lot of people like this. But no matter what unfolds, you have to keep up your character, and the only way to truly do it right is to follow Dafa. Whether it's your abilities, your Unlocked state, or whatnot, you got it by cultivating Dafa. If you make Dafa secondary and your divine powers primary, or now that you're Enlightened you think that some understanding or other of yours is correct, or if you even think you're so great you've gone beyond Dafa, I'd say you've started to fall, and you're at risk, and you're getting worse and worse. Then you're really in trouble, you've cultivated in vain, and chances are you'll fall and end up cultivating for nothing.
I'm also going to tell you this: what's inside this book of mine combines the Law I taught in several classes. All of it is my words, every sentence is my words, and they were transcribed from the tape recordings word by word, and copied down word by word. It was done with the help of my disciples and students. They transcribed my words from the recordings, and then I revised the book over and over again. All of this is my Law—what I teach is just this one Law.