Cast Aside "Self" And Be Responsible To All Sentient Beings
I was really struck when studying Master's article "Fa-Rectification Period Dafa Disciples." It gave me a new understanding of today's Fa-rectification cultivation, and I'd like to share this with fellow practitioners.
Our cultivation today during the Fa-rectification period is completely different from any cultivation of the past or future. Master has borne for us everything in our history--Master says, "Today you have barely had any hardship in your self-cultivation, and you haven't been asked to bear the enormous sins yourselves that you have committed over your many lifetimes" (Fa-Rectification Period Dafa Disciples). We may not know much about our past lives; neither do we have deep feelings about our experiences during those times. A recollection, however, of the hardships Buddha Milerepa had to endure during his cultivation in Tantrism enables us to feel the weight of this sentence. Its weight is even more significant now that we are cultivating in this enormous Fa of the cosmos. Furthermore, Master has given us the best of every level--which brings up the question of, why have we come to have such fortune and blessing? Every stage of our rapid improvement is possible only because Master has borne everything for us, which is to enable to us fulfill the holy mission bestowed upon us during Fa-rectification.
In the lecture at the Washington DC International Conference, Master said, "In every period of history, beings from different paradises have come to the land of China to establish their relationship, and they've each represented their own cosmic system. Dafa students are no exception, they've also come from different cosmic systems." Indeed, because the Fa-rectification was to occur, we Dafa disciples of today have come to the human world on behalf of our own cosmic systems to cultivate. From this perspective, the challenge facing today's Dafa practitioners is not only about how to progress in our individual cultivation, but is also about how to be responsible to all sentient beings in our cosmic system, and all savable sentient beings in the entire cosmos. Thinking about this, I not only feel I am fortunate, but realize more the serious obligations we are shouldering as Dafa disciples. In other words, if we can do well in Fa-rectification and in reaching Consummation in cultivation, it will likely enable the sentient beings in our cosmic system and other beings to assimilate to Dafa and thus be saved. From this perspective, if we do poorly or slack off during the Fa-rectification period, how will we be able to balance well the relationship between the countless beings and us? Dafa cultivation is truly solemn and sacred.
In order to rescue the cosmos and save all sentient beings, Master bears everything, not only for Dafa disciples, but also for all the beings at different realms in the cosmos and for the people of the world. As Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples, it is our duty to help Master by sharing the burden of the sins of the people of the world and of beings at different levels in the cosmos, and to save all those savable beings who still have some good thoughts in their minds. This is also one manifestation in Dafa disciples of the indestructible and harmonious components of Dafa. In this special Fa-rectification period, Master bestows this ability upon us.
When we look at the notion of "self and selfishness" in light of being responsible to sentient beings, they appear so small. The first moment when this rational thought arose in my mind, I felt that many attachments induced by selfishness had suddenly melted away. Welling up in my mind instead were steadfast, righteous beliefs in Dafa and compassion for all sentient beings. It was utterly beyond description.
Actually, even if we are able to bear the sins of the people of the world and sentient beings, those sins, including ours, are ultimately borne by Master himself. To illustrate, we all know that the majority of Dafa disciples don't feel any pain or discomfort following our eliminating the evil with righteous thoughts, which is precisely a result of Master's bearing everything for us. With his great mercy, Master is taking extreme care in looking after and guiding us. He has told us so many Fa-principles withheld from gods before. Through his great suffering, Master is also giving us opportunities, with the hope that we will do better and better. All of this is to help us establish our mighty virtue so that we can return to our original and highest positions.
Why do we always feel that we have failed to meet Master's expectations for us? The reason I see for this, upon examining it carefully, is that the warped notions of "self and selfishness" are preventing and hindering us from conscientiously assimilating to the Fa. Being the root cause of every human attachment, "self and selfishness" can be found to be closely associated, in every way, with all kinds of bad thoughts, notions and attachments we have and will get rid of. Indeed, the old, evil forces in the cosmos have been using them to obstruct and damage Fa-rectification. They have committed the sin of persecuting Dafa and Dafa disciples, and have gone to the side that is against Dafa.
While eliminating the evil during Fa-rectification, we also need to eliminate the warped notions of "self and selfishness." This requires us to study the Fa more attentively than ever. Let's never leave weak spots in our minds for the evil to capitalize on, and never allow ourselves to be deceived or taken advantage of by the evil. Eventually, the evil will find no place to hide. In the course of validating Dafa and amidst the great process to "Clarify the truth thoroughly, eliminate the evil with righteous thoughts, save all beings, and safeguard the Fa with determination," we will walk our path righteously.
The above are only my personal experiences and reflections. Comments from fellow practitioners are welcome.