Reflections from Fa Study
(Clearwisdom.net) Today I read "Explaining the Content of Falun Dafa" twice and gained a lot. I was struck when I read the part where Master mentioned the mass memorizing of the book by practitioners in the Changchun area:
"Those of us who have the ability, who are in their prime, excepting people who are older or who have poor memory, should try to memorize the book." "But in many regions a lot of students have memorized it very well. When they study the Fa they don't even need the book--they recite it from memory."
We have only realized the importance of studying the Fa and started memorizing the book after experiencing this huge tribulation [referring to the persecution of Falun Gong in China]. In fact, Master had already suggested that we memorize the book. I felt deep regret for not listening to Master in the beginning. If all practitioners in Mainland China had listened to Master--did what Master asked us to do, memorized the Dafa book and laid a solid foundation--could we still not know what to do when the persecution started? Could we not remember Master and Dafa when we were arrested, beaten and tortured, instead of only focusing on our physical suffering? Some practitioners would have not ended up taking wrong paths. However, we cannot reverse the flow of time and repeat the process. The good part is that the final stage has not come yet and merciful Master is still waiting for us, so we still have a chance to memorize the book. Thus practitioners in Mainland China and abroad should wait no more and fully utilize the current time.
Regarding memorizing the books, Clearwisdom.net has published many valuable experiences. I would also like to give a brief introduction of my experience. In order to strengthen my memory, whenever I memorized a paragraph, I would write it down from memory. It became faster when I recited the paragraph the second time. Any practitioner can give it a try when time permits. Here I want to emphasize this to older practitioners. I think older practitioners should not be blocked by human notions. Master said, "One becomes a god upon obtaining the Fa." [from Hong Yin, unofficial translation] Of course, if their education levels are low, the level of understanding the Fa for older practitioners may be different from younger practitioners. However, we older practitioners have our own advantages-- we have more time than young practitioners. As long as we are determined and put in more effort, we older practitioners should also be able to memorize the book.
For example, my mother was illiterate before she started to cultivate in Dafa. It was the miracle of Dafa that enabled her to read Dafa books. The only difference would be the slowness of her reading, and especially when she did not behave righteously, she could not remember some words she had learned before. For her, it would be difficult for her to memorize a whole paragraph each time. So she just memorized the Fa sentence by sentence. After she memorized one sentence, she started to memorize another one. She felt completely different even before she finished memorizing the first chapter. It was like Dafa had filled her mind (in fact, practitioners who have memorized the book before have expressed similar feelings.) Of course, the most important thing is persistence. Do not feel discouraged if the progress is slow. We should set high standards for ourselves and utilize all possible time. When you start to memorize the book for the second time, it will be much easier and the speed will become faster and faster.
I think that after we have cultivated for such a long time, especially after experiencing this persecution, we should have a deeper understanding towards Master and Dafa. Being Dafa practitioners, if we cannot even recite Dafa, it would really be a pity. At least we should memorize Zhuan Falun, which will be a great help to our personal cultivation and to follow Master's Fa-rectification progress.
In the past, I was very lazy in doing the exercises. After I began memorizing the book, I unconsciously became strict with myself, demanding that I get up in the morning to do the exercises. During this massive persecution, my parents have been detained and released several times, and coupled with their personal shortcomings, the surrounding environment became very tense; even neighbors became police informers. Especially after my father was sent to a labor camp, my mother became very afraid. Sometimes when she got up at midnight to do the sitting meditation, she could hear the sound of footsteps come and stop at the front door. On the morning of the second day, she could find cigarette butts or dirt from the bottom of shoes left in front of the door. For nearly two years, she was afraid of going out to clarify the facts. Occasionally, she went out for personal (household) issues, but when she clarified the facts to other people, she would look around, trying to find out if there were any strange people around, and then lower her voice or even get really close to the other person's ear to speak. Later, my father came home. With the help of fellow practitioners, she began emphasizing Fa-study and paid more attention to sending forth righteous thoughts. Now my mother can distribute flyers face to face; she also went to the far away countryside on a bike with fellow practitioners, hung up banners along the way, posted self-sticking poster and wrote signs. Although she did not do as well as other practitioners, as she still had some fear, but compared to the past, there was a big difference.
Therefore, I have a proposal for older practitioners. Master overcame many difficulties to find us, and we have also experienced many hardships and tribulations to obtain Dafa; we should not let the old forces' arrangement affect the pace of our cultivation. Master said, "Throughout history till today, just for this moment." ("Plum - Yuan Dynasty Style Verse," unofficial translation) "If you're able to steel your will, no difficulty can block you, and I'd say it'll be no problem." (from Zhuan Falun)
Furthermore, I have another proposal. I know many practitioners already act this way: we should utilize the time when we are doing pure physical labor at home or in society. Usually, it is rare for us to stay tranquil while walking or working, and most of the time our minds are occupied with everyday people's distracting thoughts. When this happens, we should repeatedly recite in our minds what we can remember of Master's teaching, even if we can only remember a few sentences (of course, the more we can recite, the better), or recite silently the formula for sending forth righteous thoughts. Especially in the countryside of Mainland China, farmers go to work before dawn and come back after dusk; they also have to do house work, feed livestock and are indeed very busy. In this kind of situation, they should better utilize their daytime hours. They can write down the Fa they are going to memorize on that day on a small piece of paper and put it into a pocket, so that during work breaks, they can take it out, take a brief look and memorize it after a while. Even if they have done this, there might still be many bad thoughts coming out from the mind; this is all right, as long as we notice it. We should send forth righteous thoughts immediately to eliminate it. If we are persistent in this way, our thoughts will become purer and purer, and each idea or thought will be assimilated to Dafa. If our minds are on the Fa, Master will watch us at each moment, and remind us to be diligent. I think each practitioner should have this kind of feeling: Master is beside us.
I hope all fellow practitioners can cultivate diligently, do the three things (1) well and not let down Master's merciful salvation and the hopes of sentient beings.
(1) Study the Fa, clarify the truth, and send forth righteous thoughts.
June 6, 2004