Reflecting Upon A Situation that Teacher Pointed Out at the 2004 Chicago Conference
(Clearwisdom.net) Painful recollections overwhelmed me after I studied "Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference." I was riveted to the spot by a problem that Teacher had noticed for a long time.
"I've noticed a situation for a long time now, but I haven't discussed it with you because the things you do to inform people about the facts and the other things you do to validate the Fa are all very important, so I didn't want them to be watered down by this, and that's why I haven't discussed it in all this time. Have you noticed that a lot of our students can't take criticism from others? As soon as they are criticized they get mad and aren't able to take it. These things stick out pretty badly now. Think about it carefully. You can't even take criticism from me, your master. Today you all know that Master is truly doing things for your sake and has been speaking about the Fa to you with compassion. If I were to change my demeanor and talk to you bluntly, immediately you wouldn't be able to take it, really.." (From "Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference")
I'd like to share my perception of this problem. During the personal cultivation practice period before July 20, 1999, Dafa practitioners in general were very tolerant and were able to let go of our attachments when encountering problems. We were able to regard other people's good and bad attitudes towards us as opportunities to upgrade our xinxing(1). We truly thanked those who created conflicts because they provided an opportunity for us to temper our xinxing quickly. During that period of time, everyday people often praised Dafa practitioners for our excellent character and peaceful frame of mind. That time was purely for personal cultivation. In general, we were impervious to ill-grounded uncharitable criticism, except that we would try to seek inward when we heard such comments. We truly felt at ease. Cultivation was so wonderful and solemn.
After the persecution of Falun Gong began on July 20, 1999, however, our cultivation path changed. Such change was beyond our imagination. We had never thought there would be Fa-rectification cultivation. At that time, many of us were at a loss and very confused. Many people got stuck in the personal cultivation mode and could not make breakthroughs. Of course, there were practitioners who were able to elevate from personal cultivation to Fa-rectification cultivation. However, the problem Teacher mentioned also began to show up from that point on. Fa-rectification cultivation requires that we do not acknowledge the tribulations set up by the evil, and we should resist the evil, clarify the truth and expose the evil. In other words, the tribulations upon which we need to look within during personal cultivation have now become interference by the evil.
The purpose of our resisting the evil is not to fight with the evil, but to eliminate the evil and prevent sentient beings from sinning against Dafa. The ultimate purpose is to save sentient beings. However, I found that it is very difficult to resist the evil with pure compassion and without any trace of competitiveness, because we are still people cultivating in Dafa and we still have various attachments that we have not yet abandoned.
Under this situation, I noticed the following phenomenon: In the beginning, many of the practitioners I knew were able to look within no matter what kind of conflicts they encountered. After the Fa-rectification cultivation began, they no longer looked within when in trouble. Instead, they complained about why the evil was so bad to them and they vowed not to acknowledge any evil. Later, they would be very upset if anyone said anything critical and they did not want to listen to them. At that time, I truly felt the Fa-rectification cultivation was very hard. We are resisting the evil in the human world, but it is so difficult to achieve the state of validating Dafa without human notions. Therefore, we easily turned Fa-rectification cultivation into a battle in the human world.
This problem is especially serious among practitioners who had not built a good foundation through their personal cultivation practice. Put simply, those who do not do well in their personal cultivation practice often neglect to seek inward when they are in trouble. They often complain or hold hatred towards the evil, thus causing many people to have misunderstanding of Dafa. Many practitioners have been wondering why the situation has become this way. I also saw such problems surfacing in the labor camp.
Some female practitioners had very strong sentimentality. They forgot to look within when faced with confrontations. Therefore, they easily went to extremes in resisting the evil. For instance, when seeing the police, some practitioners waved their hands saying they would eliminate the evil. Such behavior caused new practitioners a lot of confusion, since new practitioners did not judge their cultivation state from the Fa, but from the behavior of practitioners. They wondered why Fa-rectification cultivation would be like this. Many new practitioners gave up their belief in Dafa with such confusion in their minds.
After being released from labor camps, many practitioners started to reflect on what Fa-rectification cultivation truly was. They were able to gradually realize that Fa-rectification cultivation and personal cultivation are inseparable. Actually, I have come to understand that the requirements for Fa-rectification Dafa disciples are very high. If our character is not that high, not only are we unable to validate the Fa, but we may also bring negative effects on Dafa. There are plenty of such lessons. Dafa disciples must be able to look within in any kind of conflict. They must be able to see their own shortcomings. At the same time, we must be responsible to the Fa. We must firmly eliminate any factors that damage Dafa and persecute sentient beings. Our Fa-rectification cultivation path is indeed very narrow and it is very difficult to move forward.
Teacher spent a lot of time talking about such problems this time at the Chicago conference. I feel that each of us should reflect upon this issue. At present, such problems are still very serious. Many people still do not understand the relationship between personal cultivation and Fa-rectification cultivation. I think we should look within no matter what problems we are facing. We should ask ourselves why such problems come to us. We know that the evil cannot interfere with us if we do not have any omissions. Even though we do not acknowledge the evil's interference, we should be clear that interference happens because we still have attachments to get rid of. I also feel that overseas practitioners should pay close attention to the issue Teacher mentioned. The reason is that many overseas practitioners obtained Dafa relatively late and may still have many human attachments. Practitioners in China have paid a huge price for such a problem. Now we are making up for the losses. We hope that overseas practitioners will be aware of this.
Teacher said, "It is extremely dangerous to add anything human to cultivation practice." (From "Digging Out the Roots" in Essentials for Further Advancement.)
We ought to take a good look at ourselves, and clearly see the many human notions we have added to our cultivation practice.
This concludes my personal understanding on this subject. Please kindly point out anything erroneous.
(1) xinxing: heart nature, thought quality, character