To Cultivate, One Must Put Fa Principles into Action
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings to everyone! I am an ordinary Internet user in China. I have not been able to learn Falun Gong because I am living in a very remote place. No one here practices Falun Gong or talks factually about the persecution or the true reasons behind it. However, this year I have fortunately been be able to view the Minghui website (1). I have become a frequent visitor. There, I am able to read practitioners' cultivation stories and the truth about Falun Gong. I also read Zhuan Falun (2) and other works written by Falun Gong's founder, Mr. Li Hongzhi. Thus, I have some comprehension of "cultivation." The following is my limited understanding. I am not sure if it is correct, but I would like to share it with you.
Teacher Li has said that "cultivation" is very important; it is the key to increasing gong (3). My understanding is that cultivation includes cultivating wisdom and clarity about Fa principles. Through reading Zhuan Falun and studying the Fa (4), a cultivator ought to feel illuminated and understand the Fa principles, know how to apply this outlook towards life and the world and understand how to face all sorts of conflicts and attachments in one's life. This is the first part of cultivating xinxing (5). The next step is to incorporate understandings of Fa principles into action. In other words, one should treat people and everything in the environment according to one's understanding of Falun Dafa's foundational principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance."
Being able to apply the principles in daily life is the most important part of cultivation. It is the crux to improving xinxing. Cultivating xinxing is imbedded within one's actions. For a cultivator to achieve consummation, he or she has to reach a very pure realm through cultivation. This is like making a steel implement from molten iron and other elements. First, we must shape the form in a special furnace and then refine it under high temperatures. Only then can it become pure steel. Hence, our understanding of Fa principles is just like the furnace: it is only a mold. Bringing the Fa principles into our hearts is just like pouring the molten iron into the mold. Then, applying the principles is akin to refining the steel under high temperatures, driving out the impurities. Thus, cultivating xinxing is imbedded within one's action.
However, due to the principles of mutual-generation and mutual-inhibition and principles of positive and negative in the cosmos, no matter what you do, you will encounter hardships and tribulations. Fearing hardships and suffering are in the roots of all living beings in the old cosmos. These impurities can generate other attachments and karma. The opposite -- that is, enduring hardships and suffering -- is the key to producing mighty virtue. In short, both virtue and karma come from how we handle hardships. Only through enduring hardships, can we eliminate attachments and karma and accumulate mighty virtue. Furthermore, the process of enduring hardships and accumulating mighty virtue is a process of continuously tempering one's will. When the will becomes as strong as diamond, the cultivator can endure much hardship.
From this I enlightened to the understanding that gong forms from cultivating one's xinxing, and the mind nature is tempered through suffering hardships within the activities of daily life. Thus, to cultivate, we need to take opportunities to apply Fa principles while we interact with the world around us. You cannot just talk about cultivation without putting the principles into real action. Without action, how can we rid ourselves of attachments? Without action, how can karma be eliminated? Without action, how can virtue be accumulated? With no action, how can the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance" be manifested? There must be hardships and suffering to be endured! Therefore, I think if a person learns the Fa, the person should first contemplate how to endure hardships and suffering, instead of first thinking about consummation. (In fact, Teacher Li has already provided clear directions in the lectures.)
Finally, to provide encouragement, here is a quote from Teacher Li's poem "Righteous Thoughts and Righteous actions" from Hong Yin II:
Righteous Thoughts and Righteous Actions
A Great Enlightened Being does not fear hardship
Having forged an adamantine will
And with no attachment to living or dying
He walks his path of Fa-rectification openly and nobly
May 29, 2002
(1) Minghui is the Chinese version of Clearwisdom.
(2) Zhuan Falun, a book written by Mr. Li Hongzhi, contains the primary principles of Falun Gong. To download or read online books by Mr. Li, you may go to:
(3) Gong is cultivation energy.
(4) Fa: Law and principles; the teachings of Falun Dafa.
(5) Xinxing is mind or heart nature, moral character.