Some Thoughts about the Story of Mr. Zhou Yi
(Clearwisdom.net) During the Ming Dynasty, many people believed in Taoism and practiced cultivation. There was a man in that era named Zhou Yi. One day, people heard the news that a great enlightened being would hold a test for gods [those who passed would become gods], and they hurried toward the mountain where the great enlightened being was supposed to be. On their way up, they met an old woman holding her young grandson sitting under a peach tree. The grandson cried for a peach and the old woman asked the passersby if they could reach one for the young child. Many people said, "There will be a test for gods on the mountain over there. It's more important for us to go to the test. Who has the time to get a peach for you now?"
Mr. Zhou Yi was the only person who felt compelled by compassion to help out the old lady before going to the test. As he climbed up into the tree, at the instant when he reached out for the peach, the whole peach tree fell into a heavenly cave. It turned out that this cave was the true location of the test, and the great enlightened being had changed into an old woman to test people's compassion.
This story was wide spread in Jiangsu and Zhejiang Provinces. Even now, people still respectfully refer to him as Gentleman Zhou Yi in honor of his virtue.
After I was barred from boarding a flight to Iceland at the airport, I heard this story by "coincidence." I remembered that for the past year, we always hurried to faraway places to do the three things that Master required of us, but we had forgotten to do the three things well involving things all around us. For example, clarifying the truth to friends and relatives and validating the Fa to friends and colleagues. Also, when we called for support in front of government buildings, we forgot about the citizens who brought us umbrellas in the rain and sincerely helped us. In fact, the improvement of the body of Dafa Disciples as a whole does not require that everyone do the same thing. Instead, we're like Master's gong. We do different things, and every aspect has to be well taken care of. Master said, "Our manpower is very limited right now, so in your efforts to validate the Fa, don't neglect things when you turn your attention to something else. In other words, we shouldn't focus all of our efforts on one thing. We should try our best to cover things as a whole and do a good job with all the things we're now working on." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Boston").
"Within Fa rectification, offering salvation to people of the world is fundamental." ("To Fellow Practitioners" May 4, 2002 by the Clearwisdom editors) However, after we did things on a grand scale one after another during the urgent calls for rescue, we ignored the seemingly ordinary people who sincerely helped us. A person who gave us his key; a person who helped recharge our battery; a person who called to help us get 24-hour electricity in front of the Chinese Consulate; a person who allowed us to spend the night in his truck away from the wind and the rain. Moreover, we have not returned the things one person gave to us, six months later, nor have we earnestly thanked him. On the surface, it seems as if we don't have the time, but actually it is because we do not have enough compassion and our hearts are not big enough. Our every word and action are the truth by its own right. If he fails to see the truth just because our actions are not pure enough, and as a result, this person and many people who supported us fail to be saved, then isn't that exactly the opposite from our original intention, which is to save people?
Every time we finish an urgent appeal, every time we focus on "reactions from the media and government," maybe that's when we overlook the "little things" and seemingly ordinary people, which is exactly our omission and the real cause for not being able to do something smoothly or unable to do things as we planned. This can reveal many of our attachments. Benevolence is not something to show off. When we diligently study the Fa, assimilate to the Fa and return to our original true selves, our true nature of selflessness, altruism and thinking of others at all times will come out: that's benevolence. Cultivation is to reach the most compassionate true nature and to our original true nature. This side always thinks of others in everything, and this should become "natural" to us. This should be reflected in everything, dealing with anyone at all times and all around us. Since many ordinary people's principles are exactly the opposite of the righteous laws of the cosmos, when we treat people and things in an unrighteous way, this shows the limitation of our levels. It's often the case that what we focus our cultivation on are not the tests we believe that we need to pass. Our tests are that we often deviate from the Fa's standard without realizing it. It seems that we lack only a little bit, but in fact we lack tremendously in other dimensions. If our xinxing is far from the standard of the Fa, our microscopic bodies will be quite far from our original true selves, and our level will be far from the realm that "Whenever something happens or whenever a situation comes about, even if it's a minor thing, my first thought is of others, for it's already become natural for me--I just think of others first. ("Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Boston") This also explains why sometimes we don't do so well with the government and the media. Our benevolence of saving people has not become "natural."
What is the definition of a "critical moment?" Maybe it's not something huge, more than likely, it would be something small. Just because we overlooked or did not have the time to take care of many "seemingly trivial things," we were not able to achieve many "great things" in ordinary human society when we had the mentality of an ordinary person.
Several days ago, during a discussion about how far the Fa-rectification has reached, an elderly practitioner who usually did not say much burst out without a second of thinking, "Hasn't Master already made this clear? On page three, paragraph three of 'Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Boston', Master said, 'In the Fa-rectification, breakthroughs toward the surface are already being made. In other words, it's now about to approach what human beings can see.'"
We, who hustle about doing the "great things" and overlook the "little things," how well have we studied the Fa? I read "Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Boston" everyday, why did I not find this sentence? Yes, there's a great distance between the diligent practitioners and me. When our heart is not set upon the Fa when reading the Fa, aren't we wasting our time and deceiving ourselves?
The outcome of our work with the government and media mainly depends on how well we study the Fa. If we don't study the Fa well, our individual cultivation will not be up to the requirement of Zhuan Falun. If we don't have a solid foundation of xinxing from cultivation, consequences resulted from our omissions during Fa study will be brought about in everything during our Fa rectification cultivation and saving sentient beings. Master said, "There are a lot of things you still aren't able to do well as Dafa disciples, though, and I can tell you that this is in fact because you've neglected Fa-study. The reason is, your surface, which is still assimilating to the Fa, needs to be constantly improved, and as you constantly improve, the things that you need to cultivate away have to be arranged for. Every realm has its own state of being. If you remain stagnant, you definitely won't be able to keep up with the Fa-rectification. When you do well in the Fa-rectification, I can see that it's always because you are able to understand the Fa from the Fa; and when you do somewhat poorly, I can see that it's because you aren't making a priority of Fa-study and you aren't able to understand the Fa from the Fa. As a Dafa disciple, no matter what the situation or what the circumstances, you have to study the Fa, and you can't neglect your own assimilation and improvement; you can't forget to study the Fa. If you don't study the Fa well, you won't be able to do Dafa work well." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Boston").