Changing the Human Mindset by Stepping Out of Human Notions
"What is human? Sentiments and desires fill the body.
What is immortal? Human mentalities do not exist.
What is Buddha? Benevolence and virtue in abundance.
What is Dao? A pure and tranquil true being."
("Distinction Between Human and Enlightened Beings" in Hong Yin)
Cultivation is a path a human being travels to achieve godhood. Cultivation requires that people transcend and improve and reach higher realms, with the intent of bringing people to heaven. How do human beings achieve godhood? What do cultivators cultivate? I realized that to cultivate is to change the human mindset, to get rid of human thoughts, to use the universe's righteous laws to replace human laws, to step out of all human notions and attachments, to return to our true self that is selfless and pure and assimilated to the universal principles, and to become enlightened beings as part of the righteous Fa in the new universe. The cultivation path Master initiated for us requires us to upgrade our xinxing and step out of human notions. It is very difficult because we have lived in the human world all our lives. We face the temptations of fame, material interests, and qing every day and could be easily polluted and follow the flow. We are easily immersed in qing and are often not able to escape it. This requires that we study the Fa more often and that we use the Fa to cleanse ourselves, purify ourselves, control ourselves, and rectify our degeneration. When we face issues, we should view them from the standpoint of the Fa and do well in every single thing. We need to get rid of human notions in every single thought, truly comply with the standards of the various levels in the universe, and eventually return to our real home.
I'm sharing my personal cultivation experience. Please kindly point out anything improper.
Understand the Fa from Within the Fa, Believe in Master and Believe in the Fa
One day in October of 2003, I was cleaning up in the ward. The director reminded me to be careful because there was a nail on a board in the floor. I acknowledged him and continued to clean up. Sure enough, I accidentally stepped on the nail and it punctured me really deep and it hurt. I shouted with pain and thought, "There is rust on that nail. It could cause tetanus." The director said right then, "Hurry up and clean up that wound! Then go get a tetanus shot." I hesitated. According to "common knowledge" (human notions), this is an absolutely necessary treatment procedure. Tetanus is very dangerous. My heart became very heavy. Again the director urged me to get a shot. I didn't say anything but was fighting inside. I remembered that Master said, "...A qigong master has gong." (Lecture Two in Zhuan Falun, March 2000 translation version) I then realized that practitioners are not ordinary people. We can't use human notions to measure the things that happen to us. We need to judge things using laws from higher realms and meet higher standards. Dafa practitioners have powerful gong that has strong elements. How is it possible to get tetanus? Master mentioned in the Fa a practitioner who was a medical doctor who did experiments with bacteria. All the bacteria around him died, which indicates that Dafa practitioners have the capability to kill bacteria. Why would we need medical treatment? Aren't these human thoughts and notions? Is the fear of acquiring tetanus consistent with the Fa and believing in Master? Why couldn't I change my human mindset? Master said,
"But if you want to cultivate into a Buddha, your understanding has to be extraordinary in every regard. If you don't let go of that attachment, you won't be able to pass this test, and it will be impossible for you to reach Consummation." ("Teaching the Fa in New York City" from Lectures in the United States)
With a clearer understanding of Fa principles, the righteous thoughts will be stronger and the attachment of fear will be gone.
From this incident, I realized that I should always consider myself a cultivator and use the Fa to rectify myself. It's critical to believe in Master and the Fa.
For Continuous Improvement, It Is Important to Recognize Shortcomings in Ourselves, to Look Inward, and to Cultivate Ourselves in Conflicts
For a long time I didn't do well in practicing "Forbearance." I always looked outward in conflicts and acted like a police officer. I always looked at other people's shortcomings and didn't look inward to correct myself. I turned studying the Fa into a formality and didn't view it as a guide to my cultivation. As a result, in conflict situations I argued and fought like a non-practitioner. Here is an incident that happened recently. I'm writing it down to warn myself and to remind fellow practitioners to improve together in the Fa.
My husband (also a practitioner) and I went to distribute truth-clarification materials at my mother-in-law's. When we finished that night, I told him, "I'll go back tomorrow." Surprisingly, my husband became really angry and started blaming me. I didn't think I had done anything wrong so I couldn't understand why he would be so angry. So I, too, got angry and blamed him. I was angry with him for the next several days, and I didn't want to talk to him. But on the third night I realized that this happened for a reason. Wasn't this a warning to me? So I calmed down.
"Cultivation practice must take place through tribulations so as to test whether you can part with and care less about different kinds of human sentimentality and desires." (Lecture Four in Zhuan Falun)
I suddenly realized that this was my cultivation opportunity, and it was time for me to improve. Master says,
"It would be good if they could manage to search within themselves for the things that they have been able to find in others." ("A Dialogue with Time" in Essentials for Further Advancement)
In my husband's behavior, Master wanted me to see myself--my impatience and my temper, that I liked to blame things on others and complain when I saw other practitioners' shortcomings. Fellow practitioners didn't like the way I acted, but I didn't realize this. Master says, "You have to endure the same suffering you caused others before." ("Teaching the Fa in New York City" from Lectures in the United States) This time it's my turn. If I think about it from other people's standpoint, they must have felt bad. So starting now, I should really pay attention to this.
"While working, your tone of voice, your kindheartedness, and your reasoning can change a person's heart, whereas commands never could!" ("Clearheadedness" in Essentials for Further Advancement)
When your counterpart's attitude is not right, isn't it your cultivation opportunity?
"If everyone is nice to one another, how do you practice cultivation?" (Lecture Nine in Zhuan Falun)
"How could you improve your xinxing if it weren't for your difficulties with them? How could the black substance be transformed into the white substance during suffering? How could you develop your gong?" (Falun Gong)
When you view it with human notions, it's surely not good for you to suffer. But from the viewpoint of a higher level, this is a chance for him to help you eliminate karma and help you cultivate and improve. What is a cultivator cultivating? Isn't it walking out of human attachments and human notions? I felt it was unfair because I couldn't let go of human notions: I still crawled within the boundary set by my own ignorance.
Moreover, why was I angry? A cultivator's heart should always be calm and unmoved by any human notions. Looking behind this and digging further, I found that there was an attachment to pursuing comfort. I was afraid of losing face and of my self-esteem getting hurt. I wanted everybody to treat me well and I didn't want to face any difficulties. How could this be cultivation?
"Without letting go of anything of everyday people, how can you improve and elevate? Therefore, you simply cannot improve and elevate. You must truly let go of these things, attachments that humans cannot let go of." ("Lecture at the Australia Fa Conference")
From this incident, I realized that I was not able to tolerate and understand others, and I didn't have a cultivator's calm mind. That state had been with me for a long time. I was angry whenever I saw him and didn't pay attention to my cultivation of speech.
"You cannot only pursue transformation of gong in the physical body without emphasizing improvement of your xinxing. It is waiting for you to upgrade your xinxing--only then will you make a holistic change." (Lecture Six in Zhuan Falun)
So when you face conflicts with fellow practitioners, besides kindly pointing out the practitioner's shortcomings, we should be looking inward to look for our own shortcomings and correct them. Only if we step out of our human notions and change our human mindset can we walk towards the brightness.