My Understanding of the Enlightenment of a Falun Dafa Disciple
Teacher said, "What is 'enlightenment?' 'Enlightenment' is a term from religion. In Buddhism, it refers to a practitioner's understanding of the Buddhist Dharma, the enlightenment in terms of understanding, and the ultimate enlightenment. It means the enlightenment of wisdom." (From Zhuan Falun, Lecture Nine: Enlightenment)
"The enlightenment that we actually refer to is a matter of whether in the course of cultivation practice one can enlighten to and accept the Fa taught by the master or the Tao taught by the Taoist master, whether one can treat oneself as a practitioner upon encountering tribulations, and whether one can adhere to the Fa while practicing cultivation." (From Zhuan Falun, Lecture Nine: Enlightenment)
"The fundamental enlightenment that we talk about refers to this: In one's lifetime, from the outset of cultivation practice one will constantly move up and let go of human attachments and various desires, and one's gong will also constantly grow until the final step in cultivation practice. When this de substance has completely transformed into gong and this person's cultivation journey designed by the master has come to an end, "Boom!" all locks will be exploded open at that very second. His Celestial Eye will reach the highest point of his level, and he can see at his level the truth of different dimensions, the forms of existence for different lives and matter in different time-spaces, and the truth of our universe. All of his divine powers will emerge, and he will be able to contact different kinds of lives. By this time, isn't this person a great enlightened person or a person enlightened through cultivation practice? When translated into ancient Indian language, he is a Buddha." (From Zhuan Falun, Lecture Nine: Enlightenment)
For a long period of time, I have always considered myself a person with good enlightenment quality. I have always thought that, compared to other practitioners, I was able to enlighten to things more quickly and more extensively, and able to enlighten correctly and righteously. I often indulged myself in this kind of self-aggrandizement. In fact, the "enlightenment" that I indulged in had merely remained at the level of "the enlightenment in terms of understanding," and I considered my cultivation to be equivalent to the amount of knowledge that I had acquired.
Teacher said, "Study the Fa and obtain the Fa,
Learning and cultivating under guidance,
Referring to the Fa in doing everything,
Compliance is cultivation." (From Hong Yin, "Solid Cultivation").
Through Fa-study, I've been enlightened to a lot, but it was very difficult for me to be "referring to the Fa in doing everything," or to constantly be "complying with" the Fa. Sometimes, it was because I "forgot" that I was a Falun Dafa practitioner. Other times I was clearly aware of it but simply couldn't do it. A huge gap always seemed to exist between the so-called "enlightenment in terms of understanding" (knowledge and agreement based on theories and feelings) and "the ultimate enlightenment" (being able to consciously adhere to the Fa when encountering conflicts and tribulations). This gap is actually due to my inability to let go of ordinary people's attachments and my inability to understand the Fa with the side of my original nature.
Especially during the Fa-rectification period, when the old forces are magnifying our attachments and taking advantage of our loopholes, it has become even more difficult for us to attain "the ultimate enlightenment." Sometimes, it seemed as though we were busy doing Fa-rectification work, but in fact, it was not really Fa-rectification period disciples doing Fa-rectification work, and because of this, we failed to manifest Falun Dafa's magnificence and greatness. Under the evil persecution, even "the enlightenment in terms of understanding" was nowhere to be found. As a result, the evil persecution became more severe. This situation is what Teacher described in "Expounding the Fa" (Essentials for Further Advancement) "Whenever a tribulation comes, you do not see it with the side of your original nature but view it completely with your human side. Evil demons then capitalize on this point and inflict endless interference and damage, leaving students in long-term tribulations. As a matter of fact, this results from an inadequate understanding of the Fa by your human side. You have humanly restrained your divine side; in other words, you have restrained the parts that have been successfully cultivated and have prevented them from doing Fa-rectification. How can the uncultivated side restrain your main thoughts or the side that has already attained the Fa? Having humanly fostered the evil demons, you allow them to capitalize on the loopholes in the Fa. When a tribulation arrives, if you, a disciple, can truly maintain an unshakable calm or be determined to meet different requirements at different levels, this should be sufficient for you to pass the test. If it continues endlessly and if there do not exist other problems in your xinxing or conduct, it must be that the evil demons are capitalizing on the weak spots caused by your lack of control. After all, a cultivator is not an ordinary human. So why doesn't the side of you that is your original nature rectify the Fa?"
Teacher could not have stated it more clearly. Then, why is it still so difficult for us to attain "the ultimate enlightenment?" In the end, it is actually a question of whether or not one firmly believes in Teacher and in Falun Dafa.
Teacher said, "Indestructible righteous faith in the cosmos's Truth forms benevolent Dafa disciples' rock-solid, Diamond-Like Bodies, it frightens all evil, and the light of Truth it emanates makes the unrighteous elements in all beings' thoughts disintegrate. However strong the righteous thoughts are, that's how great the power is." (From "Also in a Few Words" in Essentials for Further Advancement II)
As a matter of fact, cultivation practice is a very simple matter. By firmly believing in Teacher and firmly believing in Falun Dafa, one can thus develop "indestructible righteous faith." One can thus "frighten all evil." One can thus "make the unrighteous elements in all beings' thoughts disintegrate." One can thus attain "the ultimate enlightement" and, in the end, reach the highest level of consummation.
Then, how do we constantly elevate from "enlighenment in terms of understanding" to "the ultimate enlightenment"? In fact, this is a matter of with which perspective we choose to view Falun Dafa, and a matter of how we study the Fa.
Teacher said, "'The Buddha Fa' is most profound; among all the theories in the world, it is the most intricate and extraordinary science. In order to explore this domain, humankind must fundamentally change its conventional thinking. Otherwise, the truth of the universe will forever remain a mystery to humankind, and everyday people will forever crawl within the boundary delimited by their own ignorance." (From "Lunyu", in Zhuan Falun)
It is precisely because we have failed to "fundamentally change [our] conventional thinking," and have "forever crawl[ed] within the boundary delimited by [our] own ignorance," that we have failed to transcend from "the enlightenment in terms of understanding" to "the ultimate enlightenment."
Teacher has repeatedly told us to "understand the Fa from the Fa." (From Fa-Lecture at the Conference in Florida, U.S.A.) He is, in fact, telling us to understand the Fa from our divine state, from the side of our original nature. Yet we often regard ourselves as everyday people, and will everyday people not "forever crawl within the boundary delimited by their own ignorance?"
I know that a few students, although they are always studying the Fa, still view Teacher and Falun Dafa from the perspective of an everyday person. Whenever a conflict arises between their own understandings and the Fa that Teacher has taught us, they question and even doubt Teacher. Actually, they have considered those notions to be a part of themselves, and they have not really studied the Fa deeply enough. Those notions are selfish and are to be eliminated in cultivation. If one attempts to cultivate Falun Dafa while stubbornly adhering to these notions, then how can one ever expect to attain righteous enlightenment?
There are yet some other students who seem to know a lot on the surface, and seem to think that they know everything. But they have remained at the same level for a long period of time. Also, a few students carry a very strong everyday people's notion of hierarchy and cannot let go of it. When encountering conflicts, they tend to make their decisions based on others' thinking and their own judgment based on the everyday people's concept of hierarchy. They have incorrectly put what Falun Dafa requires of us, and what Teacher has said, at a less important position. Some students care very little about everyday people's fame and fortune, yet when they are with other fellow practitioners, they unconsciously want to compare and fight to prove they are better and at a higher level. Accordingly, a lot of their behavior has not been benevolent. Can such a state of cultivation qualify as being enlightened clearly, well, and at a high level?
I know one practitioner in particular, whose human side did not seem to be very clever on the surface. It would take him a long time to enlighten to the Fa that could be easily understood by others. It would take him a few days to memorize Teacher's articles that could be memorized by others in no time. Later on, however, he remained very steadfast when repeatedly facing the evil's brutal persecution. He once told me, "I just firmly believe in Teacher and Dafa." His words were so plain and simple, and his action so pure and righteous, that I was greatly inspired by him. Regardless of whether it was quick or slow, he had actually solidly enlightened to the Fa principles through his solid cultivation. He has truly enlightened to these Fa principles, so he was able to do so well.
Through Fa-study, observation and contemplation, I gradually understood: to reach the understanding and to act accordingly is true, righteous enlightenment and is truly assimilating with Falun Dafa. To be able to constantly elevate from "the enlightenment in terms of understanding" to "the ultimate enlightenment," we must "fundamentally change our conventional thinking." We must abandon all self-righteous human mentalities and notions, solidly study the Fa, and consciously hold ourselves to requirements that are clearly and strictly based upon Fa principles. Only by doing so can we show the fundamental difference between Falun Dafa disciples' solidly validating Fa principles and clever everyday people's accumulating knowledge.