Be Clear About the Concept of Cultivation Practice and Continuously Break Through to Higher Levels (Part II)
Continued from Part I: http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2002/1/4/17411.html
3. Make Continuous Breakthroughs
Many fellow practitioners hold the common opinion that demonic interference is very severe now that the Fa is placing higher and stricter requirements on us, but I realize that almost all interference is caused by our own slackness, and by our not following the requirements of the Fa. Teacher said, "And the most outstanding evidence of that is that they always compare themselves with humans and with their own past, but fail to examine themselves with the requirements of the Fa at different levels" (From Teacher's article "A Dialogue with Time"). I had some experiences in this regard and have listed them briefly below.
Breaking through the sentimentality of nostalgia, and "fatigue"
It was in early autumn. Feeling the autumn wind and seeing the falling leaves, I said to a fellow practitioner, "The autumn scenery is my favorite. It always evokes a sentimental train of thought." It is true that I would always feel sentimental about the autumn scenery before I started cultivation practice, but when I said these words at the time to the fellow practitioner, I was actually indulging my emotions without realizing it. In those days, I would unconsciously begin to call up my past memories and experience nostalgia. I would also dream about things that had happened in the past and about my old friends. Upon waking, I would enjoy thinking about the dreams again and again, and consider them beautiful. Later, I would always wake up in the middle of the night while dreaming and find it hard to fall asleep again. I began to worry that my shortage of sleep would make me feel less energetic during the day. (Actually such worry is also an attachment caused by an ordinary human mentality.) As a result, during that period of time, I did become very tired and sleepy during the day. This affected my normal study of the Fa, my exercise routine, and my Fa-rectification work until one day, when I awoke at midnight, the music from a fake qigong school--one noted for animal possession--was resounding in my ears. I began to realize that evil had been interfering with me. Since I was indulging in recalling past memories, the evil then devised some past scenes to interfere with me using various means.
It is also an attachment to be concerned about fatigue. Teacher said, "Because your worries themselves are attachments. So when you have attachments, we need to get rid of your attachments. You may then feel you are being interfered with; in fact, it occurred possibly because of your own heart" (From Falun Buddha Fa Lecture at the Conference in New Zealand -- unofficialtranslation). After realizing this I managed to eliminate the sentimentality of nostalgia and become strict with my every thought. Meanwhile, no matter how sleepy and tired I was, even though it felt like there was a thousand pound weight on my arms, I would keep doing my work with clenched teeth until I finished everything. Thus, I finally eliminated demonic interference, gave up the sentimentality of recalling the past, and broke through fatigue.
Breaking through the attachment of fear and "imagination"
For a period of time, I always wanted to go back home. (I had left my home to avoid persecution.) But whenever I had this thought, the attachment of fear would always follow. I felt very uncomfortable---I wanted to go home but was afraid to do so. I even dreamed that I had been captured. My homesickness became stronger and stronger, while my attachment of fear became bigger and bigger. I realized this was another form of interference from evil, which was increasingly strengthening my homesickness while constantly creating illusions to frighten me. It tortured me by making me imagine how I would be caught and arrested. Therefore, I tried hard to let go of my emotions. After I had given up the attachment of fear, I felt it necessary to go back home for righteous reasons, not because of any strong emotions. So, having overcome this attachment, I eliminated the interference and resolutely went back home.
There is another form of interference: before we do something, it makes us imagine some scary scenes and plots. Sometimes it even makes us see clearly in our minds that we are being arrested. It makes us confused and unsure whether it is our own premonition or a hint from Teacher. We feel unsure about doing anything, and our normal lives and Fa-rectification work are severely affected. When this happened, I tried to understand it clearly from the standpoint of the Fa. I realized that it is the most sacred thing in the world for us Dafa disciples to help Teacher in the human world, and that we should not be captured and beaten for this. Presently, all the persecution of Dafa disciples is in fact the persecution of Dafa. Our Teacher arranged our cultivation practice path, so we should radically oppose any arrangements by the old forces. Teacher said, "A Dafa disciple completely opposes everything arranged by the evil old forces." (From Teacher's article "Dafa is Indestructible") All the dangerous "imaginations" are actually created and sent to our minds by the evil ones, who take advantage of our degenerate concepts that we will be arrested when going out to do Fa-rectification. They first make us acknowledge it and then persecute us whenever they find some loopholes. With this in mind, I would eliminate any "imagination" of this sort and strengthen my own righteous thoughts.
Teacher once said, "You should not always feel afraid that you are ill as such a fear is an attachment as well, which could bring you trouble, too." (From Zhuan Falun) Then, isn't it an attachment to be afraid of being arrested and beaten? Isn't it the same reason? Teacher also said, "If a cultivator can let go of the thought of life and death under any circumstances, evil is bound to be afraid of him. If every practitioner is able to do this, evil will of itself no longer exist" (From Teacher's article "Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s)"). Since I understood these principles from within the Fa, I broke through the attachments of fear and "imagination" with my powerful righteous thoughts. After I broke through, I found that the imagined elements of fear didn't exist at all. I can't even remember what fear is. I truly experienced what Teacher said, "If you are not afraid, the factor that would make you afraid will become non-existent. This is not to be self-imposed, but is achieved by calmly and truly letting go of it" (From Teacher's article "Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s)").
Breaking through degenerate concepts and laziness
Around the first week in October, I felt tired and sleepy all day and I was in a bad mood. I thought it was because of a sharp pain during meditation, elimination of karma, and the great consumption of energy while sending forth righteous thoughts. I thought I would recover soon; however, the situation didn't change, but instead became more serious. Some fellow practitioners pointed out to me that I had some attachments in my heart, but I couldn't find any problems. One day, when I was doing the standing stance and embracing the wheel, I suddenly realized that I was cultivating in the most righteous Fa in the universe, and I too was most righteous. Why should I worry about my ability to eliminate the vicious old forces? I definitely have the ability to eliminate them. I should do things amidst the Fa-rectification nobly and aboveboard. I felt relaxed right away, as if a wall in front of me had just fallen. I dug further into the origin of the attachment and found it was actually a degenerate human mentality: I was afraid of being envied by others, so pretending to be very modest, I eventually lost confidence in myself. I realized that modesty belongs to principles at the human level, while divine beings don't need it. What divine beings need is truth and to do what should be done. Lack of confidence in myself reflected a lack of righteous faith in Dafa. It is like a tall man who, afraid of others' envy and gossip about his height, always lowers his head and bends his back until eventually he becomes a hunchback.
During that period of time, deep in my mind, I really worried whether I had the ability to eradicate the vicious old forces at higher levels. I had already realized that we should send forth righteous thoughts towards Jiang Zemin and Luo Gan, etc., eradicating directly the evil beings controlling them. But I thought that the evil beings controlling them might be old forces from higher levels and began to doubt my ability. In fact, it was this degenerate concept that prevented me from maintaining righteous faith in Dafa, and from realizing that I am cultivating in the fundamental Fa of the universe and doing the most sacred thing in the world by participating in Fa-rectification. It was this degenerate concept that made me doubt the supernormal ability I had obtained in the cultivation of Dafa. In addition, I realized that I was very slack during that time. Selfishness was hiding behind my slackness--I would always regard my Fa study as the first priority, thinking that I was ascending as long as I could grasp more Fa principles. I put Fa-rectification work in second place, regarding it as only a task. As long as I could finish my own tasks, I would feel satisfied. To some extent, I was doing Fa-rectification work out of an ordinary human mentality.
To sum up, why were demons interfering in my affairs? Teacher said, "Demonic interference occurs because we have inadequacies. When you conduct yourself well, you're already winning the battle, and Master will take care of you." (From Falun Buddha Fa Lecture at the Conference in Singapore) I had more understanding of the importance of what Teacher said. "Without knowing the Fa at high levels, one cannot practice cultivation. Without cultivating one's inner self and one's xinxing, one cannot increase cultivation energy. These are the two reasons." (From Zhuan Falun) It is true that we cannot neglect cultivation of our hearts while studying the Fa, and we cannot neglect studying the Fa while cultivating in Fa-rectification. Neither can be missing.
(To Be Continued)