Some Understandings About "Cultivation Depends On One's Own Efforts"
A few nights ago, I took many Dafa flyers and tried to post them on the local main streets. It was just past 9 p.m. There were still many pedestrians on the streets, but I did not try to hide what I was doing. I thought: "I have Teacher and Dafa. I shouldn't be afraid." Eventually while I was posting the last of the flyers, two people came out of the shadows and arrested me. Then I was detained in the local police station.
Late at night, the gates were left wide open. The guards went to sleep, but I could not unlock my handcuffs no matter what I did. I continuously sent forth righteous thoughts, but I was still tightly locked to the chair. I realized that Teacher had already opened the gates for me to go outside, but the two small iron hoops that captured my freedom were finally left to me. I must break through it by myself. As a Dafa practitioner, I should be able to achieve this. At the moment I was caught, I should have frozen the vicious people. Moreover, I should not have let them see Dafa practitioner putting up flyers. There were many things that I should have done, but I actually did not achieve any of them. I felt that I was an "unqualified" practitioner and felt ashamed to face Teacher. Because of this experience, I deeply felt Teacher's compassion. A negligent person like me would not have made it this far without Teacher's protection. For the first time since I practiced Falun Gong, I silently shouted from my heart, "Teacher! I've realized that I have been relying on you for a long time, and have not taken the initiative to do well. I forgot that I was a practitioner and that cultivation depended on my own efforts."
Teacher said in Hong Yin, "Taking care of all human affairs, looking after heavenly suffering. To whom should the words be told? It's even colder in higher places." Recalling Teacher's poem, "Colder in Higher Places", I felt very sad. "It's not that Master is not merciful: in the several years of your cultivation, I have not only borne an incredibly great deal for you, but also, along with this, constantly given you hints for your improvement, looked after you for your safety, and settled the debts that you owed at different levels so that you can reach Consummation--these aren't things that just anyone can do, and neither can they be done for everyday people. It's just that these people are too irrational and don't know to treasure Dafa and the opportunity to practice cultivation." ("Drive Out Interference" from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I recalled that over three years of Fa-rectification, I had hardly cultivated myself, and had given little thought to Teacher's sacrifice. I pushed all the difficulties to Teacher without hesitation. I did not think much about how things worked in the human world, and only firmly believed in Teacher and Dafa. However, I went to extremes without cultivating myself, and constantly relied on Teacher. So are we helping Teacher to rectify the Fa, or making more trouble for Teacher in the Fa-rectification period? In the future, how can we take responsibility for the sentient beings? Our hearts are in the right place in wanting to help Teacher in Fa-rectification, but we did not completely act according to Teacher's requirement. I thought about many things when I was detained in the local police station, and found many of my shortcomings. Teacher said in Zhuan Falun: "Cultivation depends on one's own efforts, while transforming gong is done by one's master." I did not really cultivate myself, so where did I get cultivation energy from? I did not build the foundation well in my cultivation, so I have been relying on Teacher's protection in the Fa-rectification period, again and again.
The police shouted at me, "So, you have come here to improve your level." I relied: "No! I am here because I did not cultivate well. This place is not the for me, I must leave here." I was very firm and willing to sacrifice everything for Dafa. No amount of force can make me give up my practice; in no way would I cooperate with the evil persecution. I must get out! I immediately began sending forth righteous thoughts continuously to eliminate the evil. I did not give my name, or address, and did not eat or drink. Once I tried to push open the door and leave, but I was caught. Again I came out of the handcuffs and ran out, but I was caught, sent to the hospital and the criminal detention centre twice. However, I never gave up hope and confidence. I thought, "If I could not get out this time, then I will keep trying until I succeed. I'll never cooperate with the evil!" It rained and snowed for two days, and the sky cleared on the third morning. I knew that this was the time for me to leave. The detention center did not want to keep me, so the local police station had to let me go home.
This big lesson was a wake-up call. There are many places I need to cultivate related to "Cultivation depends on one's own efforts".
- Completely denying the old forces' arrangements is not something that we can take for granted, and we can't rely on Teacher for everything. It solely depends on the capabilities of Dafa practitioners. Our Xinxing [the nature of the mind or the heart, moral character] is being tested. If we do not eliminate our strong attachments, of course our cultivation energy won't be high. Meanwhile we won't understand the Fa from the Fa, and we are unable to achieve consummation and may be interfered with by the old forces. Completely denying the arrangements of the old forces should be a concrete part of our lives, not just idle talk.
- I have been clarifying the truth quite smoothly for a long time, and developed the attachment of zealotry, the mentality of showing off, treating things lightly, and only did the work rather than cultivating myself. We should eliminate the attachments in our cultivation and not develop more attachments.
- I clarified the truth with the attachment of competition with the old forces.
- I am very casual when I go out by myself, and feel less responsible once separated from the whole group. But when I was arrested, I realized that I could have easily exposed other fellow practitioners to danger. I realized that Dafa practitioners are one body at all times.
- Xinxing includes many aspects, and many attachments need to be relinquished in cultivation. It is not that we can complete our cultivation practice only without the attachment of fear. We still have to get rid of the attachments of zealotry, showing off, a competitive mentality, and the attachment to doing some type of work. During the Fa-rectification, we have been concentrating on eliminating the attachment of fear. I had forgotten overall cultivation and unwittingly expanded many other human notions.
The above is only my personal understanding, please kindly point out the shortcomings and correct them.