From Self-Centred to Self-Less
I was once enlightening along an evil path. My first action after returning to the righteous path was to write a solemn declaration of my true will and to go to Beijing to validate the Fa - starting over again in being a Fa-rectification disciple. Once I recognised the evil path, obstacles appeared. Fellow practitioners said to me, "You've only just returned to the righteous path, you should do more Fa study to fill yourself with the Fa." My understanding of the true nature of my deviating from the righteous path was that it was the arrangement by the old forces, therefore a rock solid faith in the Fa is the most crucial. If, after all the Fa study, one still cannot establish a righteous faith in Master and in the Fa, and cannot step out, that still wouldn't do. Therefore, on November 10, 2001, I went to Tiananmen with fellow practitioners, held up our banners and voiced the sound of my life. It was like a sharp swat, completely severing the arrangement made by the old evil force.
Attachments to my job and money had left loopholes for the evil forces, which were taken advantage of - I was arrested on my way back to the railway station. In the detention centre, I completely denied the arrangement by the old evil forces, and insisted on not cooperating with the evil. Amidst tribulation, I was able to walk out of the detention centre with unshakeable faith in Master and the Fa, after 13 days of hunger strike without water.
Guided by Master's compassion, I went to Beijing six times to validate the Fa. Except for one, I was able to return safely all the other five times. Out of the six trips, two of them I went to re-enforce and strengthen other practitioners by sending forth righteous thoughts, in which I did not display any banners. Incorrectly thinking that I have been there once already, have validated the Fa and fulfilled my oath with the Lord Buddha, I felt there was no need for me to hold up a banner again, and just using my righteous thoughts to help other practitioners to return safely would be enough. Afterwards I realised that this thinking was not correct, as the duty of Fa-rectification disciples during the Fa-rectification period is to validate the Fa, there is no such thing as "doing it once" being enough. Thus I went to Beijing two more times to validate the Fa, and left a banner hanging on a bench between Tiananmen and Zhongnanhai for more people to see.
After returning home I was rather pleased with myself, feeling that I have fulfilled my duty. Yet after reading fellow practitioner's article "Breaking Through the Evil, Assisting Teacher in Fa-Rectification," I came to understand why I did not have that exhilarating feeling coming from the bottom of my heart during my later trips for Fa rectification, as those trips were responsive acts rather than acts out of my own heart. The first trip was out of my own will, but was driven by my hatred of the arrangement of the old forces, not by my wish to clear the name of Master and Dafa. The impurity of my thoughts and the omission in my heart was the cause of me being taken in and subjected to persecution.
The impurity of heart and thoughts was rooted in selfishness. Yet I was feeling happy for myself for having fulfilled my historical duty. That was actually very selfish. Only now did I start to see how deeply the old forces were hidden within my being. All these times I thought I had a pure heart towards Master, now I could see how impure my heart actually was, my heart almost felt dead.
Master said: "During the process of beings in the cosmos deviating from the Fa, beings came to no longer know the Fa's existence or the Fa's true requirements for the beings at different levels. So this has caused sentient beings, when faced with something as major as today's Fa-rectification, to be unable to handle themselves correctly in relation to the Fa, to Dafa disciples, and to myself."("Teaching the Fa at the Washington, D.C. International Fa Conference") What I should have done was to go to Beijing to validate the Fa out of righteous thoughts and righteous faith in Master and in the Fa. Master has given Dafa Disciples the special glory to participate in Fa-rectification. Therefore, what a Dafa Disciple must do is to rectify the Fa. This is for the eternal future of myself and of those living beings who are dependent upon me. When I realised this, I decided to go to Beijing to validate the Fa for the sixth time. I made a banner that said "Restore My Master's Reputation" and went to say just words for my Master from deep down in my heart. Under the protection of our benevolent Master, I returned safely.
During this period of time, I suddenly felt that I stopped making progress. I thought it was because I had reached the end of my cultivation. Exactly because of this notion, I thought what I had enlightened to was at a very high level. But now I realised how low it actually was, being at the tip of the universe's selfishness. Master has told us that in the universe "selfishness" has penetrated to a very high level. Yet beyond the realm of "self" there are still unimaginable high realms and there are still countless levels of laws and principles to enlighten to! Previously I always thought my understanding was the highest and the best. Now I realized that all of my understandings were still based on "selfishness," which had made others see me as unapproachable, causing a tense relationship between me and fellow practitioners. Looking back at my path of cultivation, this problem had existed from the very beginning. Having recognised this problem helps to know how to cultivate.
Dafa's principles are too profound, and my "self" really means nothing. Others all cultivate locked, whereas I cultivate partially unlocked. In the past I thought that meant my inborn quality was quite good, but now I understand that it is just the opposite. Others came from very high levels, and letting them see even a tiny little bit might mean that they are not able to return. In order to lead those of us with a little less inborn quality to also return to our highest original position, our benevolent Master let us cultivate first and experience the tribulations in China. Otherwise we would not be able to return to our original place. Master is using the arrangements of the old forces for us to elevate ourselves, eliminating our karma. I can see my standpoint in the past had been wrong, and I am starting to understand how I should look at things, handle problems, and how I must treat other practitioners in the future.
I feel ashamed of myself for being arrogant due to my own shallowness. The best cultivators quietly cultivate themselves. Now I understand why I have to cultivate, because Master wants to save us to a selfless new universe, making us a part of the beautiful new universe.
The above is my personal understanding, can fellow practitioners please kindly give corrections.