Let Us Study the Fa with Great Attention and Care
Today while studying the Fa, I read the section "Martial Arts Qigong" in Zhuan Falun. When I read, "This guy's business card had a pile of titles, such as 'International Calligraphy Qigong' and whatnot." I immediately realized that genuine cultivation requires that I persistently and thoroughly eliminate my own deviated attachments to fame, wealth, and showing off. I saw in this sentence that Teacher wanted us to eliminate these attachments. In the past when I studied the Fa, I read through this sentence without any special understanding.
Some time ago while studying the section "A Person with Great Spiritual Inclination" in Zhuan Falun I read, "To be a practitioner you should, for starters, be able to 'not hit back when attacked, not talk back when insulted.' You have to endure." and I suddenly had a realization about how to study the Fa well. In the past when I read the sections "Showing Off", "Being Too Engrossed" and "Jealousy" I knew that Teacher was talking about attachments and I could easily understand these sections, but when I read the sections "The Ability of Remote Vision," "Bigu Fasting," "Stealing Qi" and "Gathering Qi," I only had a vague impression of what they meant after reading them. This time when I studied the Fa it was different. I felt that I had started to understand the inner meaning of the Fa. From reading just that sentence, I saw the difference between my previous understanding and my current understanding. Previously I subconsciously studied the Fa as if I was studying Buddhist precepts. Teacher has long talked about this issue in "The Teachings in Buddhism are the Weakest and Tiniest Portion of the Buddha Fa," (Essentials for Further Advancement II) it's just that I didn't study it well enough to understand this.
I had been working at a site where we produce truth-clarification materials. With my notions I had been studying the Fa so that I could do a good job, rather than seeing that doing a good job was part of studying the Fa well. With Teacher's hints, I started to have new understandings and righteous insights into the reasons for Fa-study. Teacher's kind hints helped me to gradually realize the gap between the Fa and myself. It turned out that I had been practicing, studying the Fa, sending righteous thoughts, and clarifying the truth only at the level of action. I was unable to fully accomplish what Teacher has asked of us or to do it well.
Since then, I make the following requirements for my Fa-study: Every day I spend more time studying the Fa. Before I begin studying the Fa, I clearly remind myself that the Fa taught by Teacher is immeasurably compassionate and has boundless meaning. Every sentence in the Fa reveals some attachments that I need to eliminate and there are different attachments that manifest at different levels, therefore, I always have some attachments that I need to eliminate. Not only while studying the Fa, but also in all circumstances, I will continuously have attachments that I need to eliminate. I require myself to let go of the mentality of how much Fa I should study and slow down the speed of my study. I focus on the Fa with my full attention and with a calm mind. I try to comprehend the surface meaning of the words as they appear. I try to be aware of thoughts or emotions that are attachments to the Fa and that have nothing to do with elevating myself. As I become aware of such thoughts or emotions, I immediately eliminate them and do not allow them to reflect into my mind. Every day in addition to studying the Fa, I use the Fa to measure my exercise practicing, sending righteous thoughts, clarifying the truth, my daily activities, and so on. Have I done what Teacher asks of me? Was my mind completely on the Fa? While practicing the exercises did I reject all other thoughts? When sending righteous thoughts, did I follow the requirements stated in "Righteous Thoughts"? Did I become attached to how my body was feeling and slacken my focus on eliminating the evil in my mind? When clarifying the truth, what are the motive or emotion behind my actions? When I think about suggesting to others or asking others to do better, I examine myself -- have I done as well as I could? Is my own mind right? When I do my daily living activities, do I just do things thoughtlessly or do I do them with a calm and peaceful mind?
As soon as I started doing all this, I discovered that I had fallen so far behind the Fa's requirements. If I didn't maintain a righteous mind and act righteously I could only achieve a small part of what I wanted to do. I found that in my cultivation I needed to be vigilantly aware of my mind and, although it was really difficult, it was very precious. I have also clearly experienced the feeling of having truly righteous thoughts. Since I have begun to study the Fa in this way, I constantly gain new understanding when I study. I don't try to understand something purposefully; instead, it has become very natural to understand a certain meaning instantly. Often when I read a sentence I find my human-side surprised and I feel the Fa's magnificence. Meanwhile, from time to time I have experienced anointment (guanding) as a sudden warm current going through my body. One time I suddenly found myself in a place where there was golden light shining across the sky and reflecting off the ground, but just as suddenly it changed back to normal. Another time the words in Zhuan Falun suddenly turned into whirling law wheels or something resembling law wheels, in various bright colors. Even every dream I had had something to do with cultivation. Sometimes I was eliminating the evil and sometimes it was a test for my character (xinxing). Sometimes after reading through Zhuan Falun, I would feel I had gained so many new understandings, yet they were quickly separated from me and I could no long remember them. Sometimes I had so many new understandings from reading a single paragraph that I thought, "Wow, this is so extraordinary! There is so much meaning in it. I definitely have such an attachment that I had covered up..."
I studied and studied the Fa like that and one day I suddenly understood a new meaning behind the section "Remote Vision." It was certainly not what I thought it was. It turned out that in the past I used to have a strong attachment to pursuing knowledge, being curious and inquisitive. I don't know how long I had had this attachment. Since studying the Fa, this attachment had grown stronger, not weaker.
After studying the Fa with my new rules for a month, I had an experience that helped me to understand that a righteous and elevated mind can bring about a deeply harmonious state. Two practitioners that I had not seen for six months came to meet me wanting to share experiences with me. I also wanted to share my experiences with them.
Before we started, I spontaneously had this clear thought in my mind: "The parts of us that have been successfully cultivated are our true selves. We are all great Gods with mutual respect toward each other. Therefore during experience sharing, I should treat them respectfully and as my equals." We started sharing experiences and the process was very peaceful. They opened up their hearts and talked about everything they went through in their cultivation. Through this process I saw the limitations of our human-sides. At different moments I was able to naturally point out to them, while also clearly and consciously telling my human-side: When you said such-and-such a sentence, you were looking outward. When you said such-and-such a sentence you were attached to what others thought of you. In such-and-such sentence you were being suspicious of others and that's not right.
During the entire process, I often heard them saying: "Ah, that's it! That's it! I was not aware of it. I indeed have this attachment. Ah, hearing you say it I immediately understand it and accept it. But sometimes when others have said the same thing to me, I have gotten upset and simply haven't wanted to accept it. Now I discover I have an attachment like this."
During our conservation, they suddenly said unanimously, "I feel that this time the improvement you have made is so great!" I agreed with what they said, but I didn't get carried away. Besides, I didn't think that the improvement I had made was really as great as they thought. Upon hearing them saying that, I responded without hesitation, "I also feel that I have improved, but not as much as you think."
We continued with our experience sharing and we remained very peaceful throughout. Happily we all became aware of many of our attachments and shortcomings and thought about how to rectify ourselves. We could feel each other's state of mind. I discovered that since starting my cultivation practice, over four years ago, this was the first time I felt so open and peaceful when sharing experiences with fellow practitioners. We mutually inspired and encouraged each other. This was also the first time I was so sincere and direct in pointing out others' many attachments and shortcomings. I again noticed how far I had fallen behind the Fa's requirements in the past. This time I truly felt that I had entered the door of Fa-rectification cultivation.
That night, I had a dream. I dreamt I held a thick, high-level textbook while sitting in a classroom of a college campus. I had only flipped through the first few pages of the book, but I felt the content was very appealing. Meanwhile, I saw a roomful of students sitting in the classroom, and everybody was holding the book and studying quietly. In my dream I saw everybody studying on their own. There was no blackboard, no podium, and no teacher in the classroom. The teacher was the book. I also had a feeling in the dream -- I discovered that in the entire classroom, I was the only one with just a high school diploma, while everybody else appeared to have a Masters, Doctorate degree, professional or scholar diploma. Nevertheless, nobody in the dream thought about the issue of educational background and I myself was not concerned with it either. Everybody just quietly read the book in their hands. We were all carefree and content to read on our own.
A few days ago, two practitioners, who I was in touch with regularly, suddenly disappeared. I went out to look for them but I couldn't find them. After returning home, I didn't worry about why they disappeared so suddenly. I did everything as I usually do, except that when I sent righteous thoughts I added a thought, namely, "if this had something to do with the evil's persecution, then I resolutely eliminate the elements behind the evil that persecuted them." They returned; it turned out that they were just out of town for a few days. I was definitely not like this in the past. Before if I ran into something like this, I would have immediately begun to worry that they had been persecuted by the evil. Or I might have thought that because they used to have such-and-such an attachment, they were easily taken advantage of by the evil. Or I might have wondered that since they were affiliated with me, should I move in order to avoid being taken away? It was only in the end that I would think about sending righteous thoughts and it was not easy for me to focus my mind. When I learned from the Internet that practitioners in other areas were persecuted, sometimes I didn't even send righteous thoughts.
Now I truly feel that an elevated mindset will bring about an all-encompassing harmonious state and as Teacher has said in "Expounding on the Fa" in Essentials for Further Advancement "Your enlightened, original nature will automatically know what to do." I feel that we should think more about how to study the Fa well and continue to make breakthroughs. The Fa has profound inner meaning. Study the Fa with great attention and care. Start over to understand the Fa. Dafa is boundless.