The Distance Between Me and Veteran Practitioners
(Clearwisdom.net) There is a veteran practitioner who had attended lectures given by Master years ago in China. Before the persecution started, he spent a year and a half memorizing Zhuan Falun. He could recite the entire book. When he was detained in the same labor camp with us, we asked him to recite the book to us whenever we had an opportunity. It was a period when the persecution was most rampant. He could recite all the parts we asked for and he wouldn't miss a word. I was fascinated. Because veteran practitioners like him played a positive role during hard time, a lot of practitioners didn't go astray under the great pressure. Many who did go astray awakened in time.
I attained the Fa in 1998, but only went out to practice with others at the beginning of 1999. Then the April 25th appeal occurred, and then the crackdown began on July 20th. I went to appeal for Falun Gong and was put into a labor camp. After I was released, I was forced to leave home and wander about. I participated in Fa-rectification work, yet I didn't make diligent advancement in Fa-study and the practice, nor did I have a chance to really practice and share experiences with other practitioners in a group. After July 20, 1999, Master pushed us to our due positions instead of us cultivating to those positions ourselves. Lacking a solid foundation in my cultivation, I only had a surface understanding of Dafa and Master. Hence I gave in to the police fearing that they might extend my detention terms. I remember after I gave in under the severe persecution that veteran practitioner said to me in a low voice, "Just one thought." That was the distance between me and the veteran practitioners.
While lecturing on the Fa, Master talked about an occasion when he had his mind connected with four or five great enlightened people and great Taos. It was a state of tranquility and emptiness. It was free of attachment, which cannot be reached during a short period of cultivation and is hard to describe in human language. Many practitioners have a solid cultivation foundation built up through long-term Fa-study and cultivation of their character. No matter how the environment changes, their belief in Master and Dafa never changes, which is reflected in their daily Fa-study, practice, sending forth righteous thoughts, and clarifying the truth. It is also reflected in their words and behavior. They are in the state that a cultivator ought to be.
"However high your character is, that's how high your gong is."
"Want to know how high somebody's gong is? It just takes one glance at how high his gong pillar is..." (Zhuan Falun)
This state cannot be reached without firm and steady cultivation for a long time. The benevolence and peace, and the purity and serenity are cultivated through steady practice, and cannot be pretended.
There are several such veteran practitioners around me. They are all working in the government, some even in high positions. Before the persecution started, they played a leading role in Fa-study and practice. Since the persecution, they have been persistently clarifying the truth and rectifying the environment. Local government officials and officials in the "610 Office" are replaced again and again, so practitioners clarified the truth to them again and again. While clarifying the truth with rationality, wisdom, and benevolence, they demonstrate the righteous image of a practitioner. After talking to them, many people understand the truth about what has happened, and some have started to practice as well.
The situation of the Fa-rectification in our place is relatively easy. There is no brainwashing class. The current head of the "610 Office", after learning the truth of Falun Dafa, said to the practitioners", "Those of you who are really practicing Falun Gong are all very good people." However, the situation in the adjacent urban area is not as good.
Nonetheless, the veteran practitioners keep on supporting Dafa work. Their words and behavior are righteous because they have a solid foundation in their cultivation. Since they are known to be practitioners of Falun Gong, people tend to think that they are the targets of the persecution. Yet they 'haven't been subjected to any of the usual persecution. I am not saying that the veteran practitioners are perfect, and they do not have any attachments. They still have their problems, including the one who can recite the Fa from memory. But in my view, the "characters of their divine sides" are more and more evident.
The biggest difference between me and the veteran practitioners is in Fa-study. I 'have not read Zhuan Falun as many times as they have. Cultivation is a long-term accumulation and also a process for the human body to be transformed into a divine body. There is no short cut. Some time ago, I encountered a set back in Fa-rectification work. Due to Master's benevolent protection, I had a narrow escape. I thought about it again and again and realized that it was because I didn't study the Fa thoroughly and had a poor foundation in cultivation.
In order to make up the deficiency and narrow the gap between me and veteran practitioners, and improve rapidly, I decide to memorize the Fa as a way of studying. I had tried several times before, but gave up in the end. I was stopped by my own notions, such as old age, poor memory, poor education, and lack of time. Actually, it was all interference. As long as I give up my notions and put my mind to it, the situation changes. Human elements do not have an effect on me any more.
Persistence is most valuable. At the beginning, I was greatly hindered. Apart from sending forth righteous thoughts, I also needed to find a suitable way to memorize the Fa, so as to be more efficient. For example, I read one paragraph again and again, over ten times. Then I take down the first word in each sentence in the paragraph and the punctuation marks as a hint to that paragraph. After I memorize one paragraph, I will go on to the next. After I finish one section, I will recite all the paragraphs in that section several times. It is normal to miss some words or forget about the previous sentences while reciting it for the first time. Then I try again, and again, until I can remember everything. Such a "slow" method works well for me. When I get used to it, it isn't really slow. I am now memorizing the fifth chapter.
I am writing this to share with older practitioners who also want to memorize the Fa. In fact, we have all studied Zhuan Falun dozens of times, a hundred times, or hundreds of times, and are very familiar with it. Why not take 'a step further and memorize the great law of cosmos? I had asked the above-mentioned veteran practitioner, "What makes you memorize each and every word with such accuracy?" He told me, "I went into the book (the Fa) and followed the principles Master teaches. Then it's easy for you to memorize everything." That was at the end of 2000.
The feelings between reading and memorizing the Fa are different. Memorizing the Fa is not the ultimate goal, but a way to thoroughly study the Fa. It goes along with the Fa-rectification process, whereas to truly assimilate to Dafa is the goal. We have read many articles on Clearwisdom with regard to that. Actually, many practitioners around me are memorizing the Fa. Some have been memorizing for a while and have written very good articles of their understandings. As we all know, only when we study the Fa well and assimilate to the Fa, can we better accomplish the mission of saving sentient beings. Master has once again benevolently pointed out in "Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference",
""...I've told you to study the Fa a lot, to study the Fa, study the Fa, study the Fa."
These words deeply touched every practitioner. As Dafa disciples in the Fa-rectification period, we have a historic mission to save sentient beings. Studying the Fa well is the key and foundation in doing all Dafa work. Since our cultivation way is "the Fa cultivates the practitioner," all power and states come from the Fa.
Sometimes I think for practitioners like us who attained the Fa relatively late, Master arranges for us to do something, not because we have great power, but because Master wants us to find our problems and attachments while doing Fa-rectification work. Through our frustrations we become enlightened to the Fa, make rapid progress, shorten the distance between ourselves and veteran practitioners, and meet the standard of righteous thought and behavior. Otherwise, Master could have finished the Fa-rectification with a wave of his hand. We really shouldn't take Master's benevolence lightly.