Some Reflections of Mine As I Clear My Thoughts
Some questions were on my mind for a while and the answers kept changing. The number of questions increased and their content also kept changing. I used to treat them as my personal problems in cultivation. Furthermore, I was too busy to think about them and put them into words. Until one day, I was so shocked at hearing some practitioners say that some articles were very reasonable including two fake articles. I then tried to clear my mind and initiated this discussion with everyone.
First: Protecting the Law vs. Dedicating Oneself Singularly to Cultivation
This problem, in comparison with others, is rather major. Recently, some fake articles tried to confuse us in this aspect. Stabilizing and concentrating oneself in cultivation is very necessary. Cultivating ones heart is also right. We are only cultivators, and it is Teacher who rectifies the Law. However, during this special historic period of time for Law rectification, what is the relationship between ones own cultivation and safeguarding the Law?
Presently, my understanding is that regardless of the circumstances and historic conditions, a cultivator should cultivate oneself and unceasingly upgrade his xinxing (heart nature; moral quality) and level. This could be regarded as the biggest part of cultivation in a normal cultivation period. What is complicated is that we are cultivators who are cultivating during the historic period of time when the Law is being rectified. Everything in the universe will be rectified. Whatever cannot assimilate with the Law will be discarded eventually. The new universe has been forming. Therefore, the form, the process, and the content of our cultivation are surely not the same as those of an ordinary cultivation period of time in the past or in the future. For example, in a normal cultivation environment, practitioners will not encounter things like going to Beijing to report the real situation to the government, or appealing to the government by doing exercises in Tiananmen Square. Neither will they express themselves by sitting silently in front of the congress hall in Washington D.C. or Ottawa, or request support from the United Nation and World Human Right Organizations, or set up internet web pages to spread Dafa information. Neither will they be sent to jail for trying to protect the Law. These incidents would not happen in a normal cultivation period of time. However, it is not regarded to be wrong to do these things during the present period of time of Law rectification. On the contrary, rectification of the Law is a special and yet great movement in history. As cultivators in this period of time, we are especially fortunateTeacher personally instructs and guides us in cultivation. At the same time, we also carry a special historic responsibilityto corporate with Teacher for the rectification of the Law. In accordance with our sincerity and firm belief, we do our best to protect and spread the Law as the celestial phenomenon unfolds. Teacher said that Buddhas, Taos, and Gods are great protectors of the universe. I think that safeguarding the Law must be the nature of all enlightened beings, for which the parts of us that have succeeded in cultivation are totally enlightened to. However, since we aim at cultivating ourselves to become unselfish and selfless and care for others prior to ourselves, how can our true nature not be moved but stand there as an on-looker, now that Dafa is banned and sabotaged in the human world?
As for how to cultivate during the process of protecting the Law, one ought to follow the natural course of cultivation and what should be cultivated must be done. Every practitioner is different. However, as long as you are practitioners, Teacher will take care of your cultivation. Therefore, everything you encounter in any circumstances can be arranged by Teacher to cultivate your xinxing and upgrade your level. However, for someone who feels upgraded when doing something, he thinks that this must have been arranged by Teacher for him. In my opinion, such a thought is not logical. To give an extreme example here, the evil forces desperately try to destroy the Great Law, but Teacher makes use of it to propagate the Great Law and upgrade the practitioners level. In fact, it does function in propagating the Great Law and upgrading the disciples level. Can we say the demons sabotaging the Great Law were arranged by Teacher?
Some say that because people have different origins, some need to propagate and protect the Law, while others only need to cultivate themselves singularly at home. What can I say? It may or may not be the case. However, one thing is for sure. At this critical time in history when the Great Law is being widely spread in the world, when Teacher is preaching the Law and guiding disciples himself, and when the whole universe is under rectification, the number of lives
who dare to come to the earth is actually quite insignificant, are lucky enough to listen to Teachers lectures directly, and have the opportunity to contribute to the Great Law. 100 to 200 million people may be a large number on the earth but when compared with the number of higher beings that exist in the universe, it is insignificant. As Teacher said in The Great Poem, It eventually comes ashore after a dream of ten thousand years. After coming down to the earth, we have lived through such a long historic time and waited until today for the advent of the great law. We really need to think rationally how we can make the crucial step towards consummation during our individual cultivation and whether we can fulfill our promise, vow to save the sentient beings with our compassionate hearts!
Second: The Persecution and The Continued Crackdown
Cultivating in an orthodox Law, people encounter temptations and hardships, as they do in cultivating in the Great Law. However, ordeals are to enhance the mighty power of the Great Law and its cultivators and to test the righteous faith of cultivators. From this perspective, I can understand that it is a natural consequence for big tribulations to surface. However, the suppression in China today is way beyond the natural consequence I can understand. This is because the crackdown in China not only aims at preventing practitioners from maintaining their righteous minds, but also attempts to use the power of some evil-minded people and the violence of a dictatorship to physically destroy the practitioners in the Great Law. Isnt this evil to an extreme? Isnt it the disturbance of demons? Isnt it the final struggle of old forces in the universe that refuse to be assimilated into the Great Law? Though this has been used to enable cultivators to upgrade themselves but what is put on to a practitioner is not as simple as a result of a personal karmic debt. Moreover, the persecution is directed at the Great Law and our Teacher. It is not because an individual or any individuals have leakage or omission in their cultivation. Therefore, my understanding is that: this kind of crackdown is not the normal arrangement for propagating and rectifying the Law. Instead, it is the result of those lives in the universe who are bent on having their own way to hold on to the old principles of the universe.
Therefore, for a decision-maker of the government, if he sets up the policies to repress the Great Law, he has actually acted like a gunman of the demon and directly hindered the rectification of the Law in the universe as well as orthodox cultivation. The sin resulting from doing so is beyond imagination, and even death can not expiate all his crimes. If the employees of a work unit or the law-enforcing personnel blindly carry out the policy of suppression, or in some cases, they even try to broaden the crackdown and take advantage of the suppression, to benefit them, they have actually lost the basic kindness and morality of being human. They are helping the evil. They are also destroying the law of the human society on which human beings have relied to maintain stability and peace. They are actually forcing people to give up their kindness and to obey the evil. This will speed up the degradation of social morality. For individuals like this, they will have to pay for their karmic debts owed because of their activities of harming orthodox cultivators. Then, for cultivators, if they passively endure the persecution or to any extent unintentionally help the persecutors behavior against the practitioners, are they possibly nourishing the evil and enhancing the power of the old forces in the universe?
The Law of the universe also set forth rules for the behavior of human society. Teacher said, in todays society, Mans selfishness, rapacity, stupidity and ignorance, interwoven with his kind nature, are unknowingly accumulating all the consequences for which he will bear responsibility himself, and which are swallowing up the society. (Essentials For Further Advances, Remaking of Humankind) Tolerance towards evildoers and indulgence of them can have different forms. The superiors do not refrain the conduct of their subordinates who are doing evil things is one form. To compromise in the face of a major principle at a crucial moment for the purpose of protecting a small individual or collective interests is another. Being Mr. Dong Kuo [a well-known character in a Chinese fable that ignorantly protects a hungry wolf in front of a hunter and ends up being eaten by this wolf eventually by translator] is also one form. They do not know that after a social phenomenon is formed, it would always turn back to affect every individual in the society. Decades ago, during the peak of learning from Lei Feng, a societal model in 1950s, the society has formed a phenomenon that no one would keep the money picked up on the street. People would consider others prior to themselves and consider the public interests first before doing so for themselves. As a result, no one would need to lock doors at night and no one would pick up anything left on the street. People would help one another even though they are total strangers themselves. It had become vogue to respect seniors and to take care of minors. Everyone in the society benefited from such as social norm. However, in todays society, people regard protecting personal interests and caring for nothing else but personal gains as the motto. What is the consequence then? I dont want to elaborate on this but the consequence has been kind of clear to everybody. All in all, to ignore and indulge in the persecution of the Great Law is absolutely unadvisable because it has everything to do with everybody in the society.
The great enlightened understands it more clearly, that it is for obtaining the Law that they come to this secular world. Thousands of years have passed when the predestined relationship is connected and the Law is complete. (The Great Poem, Predestined Relationship) The life of a real cultivator has become eternal unknowingly as time passes by. For us, now that the precious life in this world has lost what it is supposed to mean for a human, what else can't we let go of? How could the cruel persecution prevent us from following Teacher to go home?
The reasons for the continued crackdown may be very complicated. I understand that the compassionate Great Law might keep giving chances to the old forces in the universe to change themselves as Teacher keeps waiting for us, which was mentioned by him in A Dialogue With Time. It is also possible that Teacher keeps giving chances to those practitioners who should have reached consummation but did not pass the test again and again, although this kind of crucial opportunity is very hard to come by, and cannot be given unlimitedly. Man shall never be able to learn the vastness of the Universe and the immensity of the Celestial Body. Man shall never be able to explore the microcosm of matter. Mankinds knowledge about the body is merely a scratch on the surface of the profound and subtle subject. The multifarious and complex life shall remain an eternal mystery to mankind. (Essentials for Further Advancement,Vault) The celestial undertaking of the rectification of the Law is very difficult and complex. It is not something that can be easily conjectured by an insignificant life like me who is cultivating among ordinary people. However, I cannot agree that the upgraded and lasting persecution results from practitioners misunderstanding of the Law and the imperfection of their cultivation. At least, when we look at the group of cultivators from the perspective of the kindness or even the compassion of a practitioner, I am afraid what we see is more of others virtues and glory and at the same time our shortcomings.
Third: A Great Tao Is Formless and The Form of Cultivation Set Forth by Teacher
The form of cultivation that Teacher taught has been perfectly passed down to us before the beginning of persecution. I think though practitioners in Mainland China may not be able to follow the form set forth by Teacher for the time being under such a severe environment, people who cultivate in a normal, peaceful period of time in the future should still follow the way Teacher had guided us. That is to say, to have group study and group practice, creating an environment for diligent cultivation and simultaneous progress. Our assistant centers or Buddha Law Associations cannot be recognized as organizations in ordinary peoples society. Cultivators do not rely on any organizations, money, or interests but the Law in their hearts and their wishes to ascend through cultivation. Isnt this the manifestation of A Great Tao is formless? All practitioners can understand this.
One of the significant features of Falun Gong cultivation is that people are cultivating among ordinary people. It requires practitioners to maximally conform to ordinary peoples society. Therefore, when more and more people come to practice and want to get together, it is very natural for them to form assistant centers or Buddha Law Associations. This is a voluntary gathering of practitioners in ordinary peoples society. It does not connote having to join some kind of Falun Gong organization where one comes to learn Falun Gong. With the help of practitioners, the members of assistant centers or Buddha Law Associations voluntarily undertake the responsibility of coordinating the work between practitioners and society and enthusiastically organizing the book study, group exercises, and Law propagation. Actually, the voluntary devotion of numerous assistants and the center leaders has had a great effect on helping people obtain the Law and urging practitioners to cultivate firmly. Especially after July 22, 1999, millions of practitioners in Mainland China have insisted firmly in appealing to the government and going to Beijing to petition no matter how hard it is. Practitioners in all fields of work have silently done a lot of work in their living or working environment to protect and spread the Law. At the same time, the effort of overseas assistant centers, Buddha Law Associations, and many practitioners have also helped enable more kind-hearted people around the world to understand what Falun Dafa is and how practitioners are treated in China. It also has a great effect on gaining support of Falun Dafa from United Nations Human Right Organization and the governments around the world.
Recently, I have heard some people discuss their understanding of the meaning of A Great Tao Is Formless. Some have asserted that the assistant centers are forms and should not exist any more. It is just because they have seen some assistants, assistant center leaders, or members of Buddha Law Associations make mistakes in their cultivation that did not fulfill the requirement of a cultivator, or had different understandings about the Law from theirs. The sabotage of our cultivation environment during the crackdown against Falun Gong has become the so-called evidence that supports this point of view. I remembered that two days ago I read an article. It mentioned that when the understanding of A Great Tao Is Formless develops to an extreme, it would coincide with the way of thinking of Zen Buddhism. I laughed when I read it. To think it deeper today, indeed, if the conditions for persecution are wrong, then what reasoning and conclusion can one reach, under these wrong conditions, that the persecution is reasonable? A practitioner may make mistakes, so does an assistant. Pointing out their problems with a kind heart is being responsible to them and for the Great Law. However, recklessly denying the way of cultivation that Teacher had left for us is a severe problem of principle. These two can not be confused.
There are still some questions regarding the nature of the peaceful petition of April 25 and its historic effect, the appealing to the government, etc. Because of the limitation of time and space, I would like to finish here today and will continue the discussion later when another opportunity knocks. The above is only my personal understanding up to now. Please kindly point out my mistakes, if any.