Surface Form and the Heart (II)
(Clearwisdom.net) Teacher has emphasized many times that we should pay attention to the cultivation of heart and mind.
"However high your character is, that's how high your gong is.."
However, a lot of times I still tend to overestimate formality and superficial manifestations, and ignore the heart. Teacher has given me hints again and again about this in my cultivation practice.
I knew a leukemia patient who fully recovered soon after practicing cultivation in Falun Dafa. A subsequent medical check-up found that everything was normal, so I wondered if the patient had been misdiagnosed. As a result of studying the Fa, I understood that Falun Dafa was supernormal. However, this practitioner later passed away. I wondered, "Why did he die? Doesn't Dafa cultivate the body? Why wasn't his life extended? He seemed to be very diligent." I only looked at his behavior, but did not look at his heart. When I contacted his wife, I learned that, after his illness was cured, he thought that Dafa was very wonderful, and that he had "insurance." He became fearless, thinking that Dafa was protecting him. He even slackened in his cultivation practice, practiced less, and studied the Fa less. The symptoms of leukemia soon returned. Then he developed a strong attachment of fear and thought constantly about life and death. To demonstrate how diligent he was, he often participated in group and Hongfa activities. In fact, his behavior was misleading. In his heart, he doubted Dafa and had a strong attachment of pursuit.
His behavior was actually a pretense, inconsistent with "Zhen-Shan-Ren." When he was hospitalized, he became even more doubtful about Dafa. He was no different from an everyday person, and he soon passed away. His wife, after studying the Fa, understood what had happened. She realized that if he had indeed let go thoughts of life and death, he would not have died. This incident helped me realize that we should look at cultivation of the heart instead of looking at appearances and outward manifestations. Teacher has said that,
"the whole process of cultivation is a process of constantly getting rid of human attachments."(Zhuan Falun)
In cultivation practice, I often tend to forget this, even though Teacher has given me hints again and again.
In another instance, I saw a very diligent practitioner whose hair turned white. I thought, "Doesn't Dafa cultivate the body? How could his hair turn white?" Then I found his mother's hair turned from white to black through cultivation practice. Then I learned of another diligent practitioner who had chronic diarrhea. I thought, "Doesn't Dafa keep one fit and free of illness? Why does he still have diarrhea?" Later I found that although he had diarrhea, he had gained weight. Then I recalled what Teacher had said,
"I don't emphasize any specific approach; I use various means to expose your deeply-concealed attachments and get rid of them."
(Essentials for further advancement, Digging Out the Roots)
From this sentence I understood that all of these manifestations are for us to get rid of our attachments. We should not pay attention to the surface appearance itself. Since we are cultivating among everyday people, Teacher will use many different manifestations in human society to help us realize our attachments and get rid of them. I often tend to use my flesh eyes to look at outward appearances. One time I see someone's hair turn white; another time, I see someone else's hair turn black. Then I see my fellow practitioner with chronic diarrhea, while later he gains weight. I often end up confusing myself.
Indeed, the more one looks at outward appearances, the more confused and puzzled one will be. On the contrary, if one pays attention to one's own heart from the standpoint of the Fa, one will become more and more clear-minded and rational, and cultivation will be much simpler and faster.
During personal cultivation practice, when we don't study the Fa well and become confused, Teacher will often give us hints, so we can identify our shortcomings, and be reminded to cultivate from the standpoint of the Fa. In Fa-rectification period cultivation practice, however, we should become more and more mature in cultivation practice and should learn how to walk our own paths well by ourselves.
During Fa-rectification period cultivation practice, one of the means that the old forces has used to persecute us is to confuse us using all kinds of appearances. For example, they let us see things like "a practitioner's hair turn white" and "a practitioner with chronic diarrhea," and try to keep us from seeing " a practitioner's white hair turn black" and "a practitioner gaining weight." If we focus on the superficial and on surface manifestations, these appearances will confuse and mislead us. We will fall into a trap and be unable to get out. We might even develop new attachments, have doubts, and disappointments, lose confidence, and stop being diligent. In addition, Dafa has clearly told us that one's cultivation status depends on one's xinxing and on nothing else. If we look at the surface manifestations, it is because we didn't study the Fa well and do not know how to cultivate.
Different levels have different surface manifestations versus true nature, form versus heart, falsity versus truth. In human society, our flesh eyes keep us from looking at the truth, and what we see is an illusion, leaving us lost in the maze. When a cultivator reaches a high level and looks back, the human world turns out to be so unreal and illusory. Only the realm that he has ascended to appears to be real and wonderful. Yet he may once again focus on the surface manifestations in this dimension and get lost in the maze there, thinking that only things in this new dimension are real.
Teacher has expounded upon the structure of the universe -- there are heavens beyond heavens. We Dafa practitioners are luckier than cultivators in the past. We have been taught these heavenly secrets, and therefore we need to view things differently: We should not be content with our understanding at this level; we should keep studying the Fa, move forward diligently and ascend to higher levels constantly. We should not get lost in the maze of surface manifestations we see at any level. Compared to higher levels, the truth that we see at our level is no longer real. Higher levels have truths that are more real. No matter how high our levels are, we cannot escape from this grand universe; no matter how high our levels are, it is still possible to be lost in the maze of that level.
These comments are just for your reference. Please kindly point out anything that is incorrect.
Please see Part I at http://clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2003/5/28/36235.html.