To Fellow Practitioners Who Habitually Neglect the Practice of Falun Gong Exercises
(Clearwisdom.net) (Author's Note: The following is only meant for those fellow practitioners who habitually neglect to practice Falun Gong exercises, including those who feel they are too busy with Fa-rectification work to do the exercises.)
It has been over four years since Dafa practitioners in China were deprived of their group practice environment. During the four years of persecution against Falun Dafa, every Dafa practitioner has been walking his or her own path of cultivation in the Fa-rectification period. Needless to say, everyone has been studying the Fa voluntarily and persistently. However, there is a wide gap among Dafa practitioners in terms of practicing Dafa exercises of our own accord. Therefore I'd like to share my own understanding with those who habitually neglect to practice the Falun Gong exercises. My humble understandings are only for the purpose of exchanging cultivation notes on the subject. Please kindly point out anything that is in error.
I know a practitioner in my area who rarely practiced the standing exercises for the past five years. He occasionally practices the sitting meditation, and almost never practices the first four exercises except when he has some physical discomfort (or what the cultivation community calls "elimination of karma via pain"). I reminded him that practicing the exercises in pursuit of health was, strictly speaking, disrespectful to Dafa, and was not an appropriate behavior of a genuine Dafa practitioner. Now that we have lost the group practice environment in China that prompted us to practice the Falun Gong exercises daily, it becomes a challenge in our cultivation whether we can persist in practicing the exercises on a daily basis. I imagine that the old forces must have systematically arranged this situation to weed out some practitioners. It follows that, by persistently doing the exercises of our own accord, we are denying and eliminating the old forces' arrangement, as well as purging laziness in our own fields.
I think that one of the excuses that those practitioners who habitually neglect to practice the exercises may be, "As long as I keep studying the Fa and improving my understanding of the Fa, my body will naturally be transformed." True. The Fa is omnipotent. But I feel that such a mentality is a reflection of one's over-dependence on the Fa, as well as a lack of strong main consciousness to actively assimilate to the Fa. Though our practice is one in which the Fa cultivates practitioners, it still requires some physical exercises to strengthen supernormal abilities, to develop many living beings in the body, and to develop supernatural powers and skills. Teacher has clearly explained the importance of practicing the exercises in the first two paragraphs of "Characteristics of Falun Dafa" in Lecture One of Zhuan Falun. Moreover, it is unconscionable for a Dafa practitioner to take advantage of Dafa's omnipotence. It is a sly and impure scheme to expect to reap the harvest without any due effort.
Some practitioners thought that they had done enough group practicing in the early mornings prior to July 20, 1999, which should suffice to transform their bodies for consummation. They also tend to think that, since they are no longer cultivating in the personal cultivation period, they can relax the requirement of the practice of exercises. In my humble opinion, those who have this notion are trying to arrange their own cultivation path. Cultivation in Dafa is boundless. Before we reach consummation, we should meet everything that Dafa requires of practitioners. It is true that living among everyday people, arranging our daily affairs, clarifying the truth, sending forth righteous thoughts, and studying the Fa, together take a severe toll on our time. We never feel that there is enough time. A practitioner once asked me, "I only have one hour of free time today, which one do you think I should do? Doing the exercises or studying the Fa?" I told her stoutly, "Study the Fa!" We all know that studying the Fa should be our top priority. We have to make sure that we make time every day to study the Fa. On the days when I visit the farming villages to clarify the truth about Dafa and the persecution, I really don't have the time or place to study the Fa, but I will recite the Fa in bed before I fall asleep. I tell myself that I don't have any right to sleep unless I have studied the Fa. In fact, I cannot fall asleep if I don't finish the most important task of the day--studying the Fa.
As for doing the Falun Gong exercises, I continued to do the standing exercises in the morning and the sitting meditation at night every day for the first year since July 20, 1999. As I started to spend more time on sending forth righteous thoughts and clarifying the truth for the past several years, I would alternate between the standing exercises and the sitting meditation every day. But sometimes I would do all five exercises on the same day, and sometimes I couldn't even finish either one. Fortunately our school of practice is the most convenient. I can do the first exercise while making breakfast for the children, because the first, third and fourth exercises each takes no more than 10 minutes to finish. Besides, many practitioners in China no longer need the exercise music to measure the time or pace, which makes it very convenient to practice the exercises. In the evening I try to make time to do the second exercise and the sitting meditation.
Sometimes laziness got the better of me, and I would neglect practicing the exercises. It wasn't until last year, when I met a certain fellow practitioner, that I resolved to refrain from laziness. Her actions truly made a great impact on me. She has a child that started to attend a high school very far from home, so she has to get up at 4:30 a.m. every day to prepare breakfast for her child. Consequently, she no longer has time in the early morning to practice the exercises. She told me that she was very troubled with her condition during that period of time. But she also recognized the fact that if she didn't practice the exercises in the morning, it was unlikely that she would have time to practice the exercises later in the day. Therefore, she made up her mind to resume practicing the exercises in the early morning. Since then she gets up at 3:30 a.m. to do the exercises before preparing breakfast. When she shared her story with me, I saw a large gap in cultivation states between us.
We should seize every day for our cultivation. As long as we keep reminding ourselves that we are Dafa practitioners, we shall not neglect to do the exercises. Please understand that I am not implying the exact amount of time that we should be spending on practicing the exercises every day through my story and my fellow practitioner's story. Next, allow me to share my experience during a time when I neglected doing the exercises for about 4 or 5 days. I hope my experience will help inspire my fellow practitioners to keep up the practice.
One night I was lying in bed, feeling very tired and ready to sleep, but I kept reminding myself that I had not practiced the exercises for several days. While I was half asleep and struggling in my mind about whether to get up, I finally conquered the elements that discouraged me from doing exercises by a thought from the bottom of my heart: "I want to practice the Falun Gong exercises!" The very moment I sent forth this thought, I saw that all the living beings, lined up in an orderly fashion inside my body, raised their heads and became very energized. I was shocked beyond words by what I saw. I felt that they had been yearning to practice the exercises, and I immediately felt that I was in debt to them. I chose "Countless Lives Yearn for Falun Gong Exercises" as the subtitle of this article, to tell every practitioner that the numerous lives in our bodies yearn so very much for us to find time to do the exercises. Besides, while holding the Fa wheel in the second exercise and standing firmly on the ground, I felt myself immensely magnificent in this and other dimensions.
Another reason I wrote this article is that I have noticed that some fellow practitioners who have more free time are also neglecting to practice the exercises. These practitioners do not practice the exercises when they have time and they do not take the exercises seriously. What a regrettable and inappropriate phenomenon this is at this critical moment in the Fa-rectification period. After all, we have come a long way to be where we are today. We shouldn't have any omissions in doing the exercises.
My fellow practitioners, we should not create additional burdens on Teacher any more. We should not push our own responsibilities, or Fa-rectification tasks within our capabilities, onto Teacher. Since we are Dafa practitioners in the Fa-rectification period, we should do well in every area.