Study the Fa Well; Take the Last Leg of the Journey Rationally and with a Clear Mind
In the past few years' cultivation practice, whether from my own experience or from what I see in other practitioners, I have developed some understandings about Shan (kindness, compassion, benevolence). When I study Master Li's lectures, I find that Master has given many lectures about Shan. I would like to share my shallow understanding about Shan. If there is anything inappropriate, please kindly point it out to me.
Master Li told us,
"Shan is the manifestation of the nature of the universe at different levels and in different dimensions. It is also the fundamental nature of Great Enlightened Beings. Therefore, a cultivator must cultivate Shan and assimilate to the nature of the universe, Zhen-Shan-Ren (Truth-Compassion-Tolerance)."
(A Brief Explanation of Shan)
Shan is a reflection of the universal characteristics on our bodies after we keep assimilating to Dafa in our cultivation. Practitioners' every thought, word and action naturally manifests Shan, which can be summarized in one sentence, "A practitioner is full of kindness." Such genuine Shan is the true reflection of the inner nature that Dafa practitioners constantly show. It doesn't change with time, environment or conditions. Such Shan is compassion and other beings can feel it. When it manifests in the human world, other people will be touched and changed by it. I feel that in the face of such genuine Shan, evil factors will immediately disintegrate.
I remember when I was sent to a forced-labor camp there was a practitioner called Xiao Zhou detained in the same labor camp. Everyone in touch with Xiao Zhou would find him very pure and kind and even those evil people who "surrounded and monitored" Xiao Zhou also admired him because of this. They said that they didn't understand why Xiao Zhou was so stubborn but his heart was extremely kind.
The pure Shan that Dafa practitioners show after assimilating to Dafa can be felt by everyone, including the police that persecute practitioners. Once when we were lined up, one policeman stood at the front. I saw him looking at Dafa practitioners in the row one by one from left to right, and his eyes were full of malice. When he saw Xiao Zhou, suddenly his vicious expression completely disappeared and he even started to smile. He looked relaxed and cheerful and then told a joke to Xiao Zhou. At that time we could clearly feel that the evil factors controlling this policeman disappeared. This scene is permanently imprinted on my brain. Such a dramatic change of this person's facial expression in one second was unbelievable. This incident helped me truly experience and understand the implication, at one level, of what Master Li told us, "Shan is really powerful." (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Singapore) I also understand that behind Dafa practitioners' kindness there is the dignity of the Buddha Fa.
In many vicious environments, I see such fellow practitioners. They keep a compassionate and harmonious state and don't have any extreme words or actions. Even in the most severe and difficult moments, they still smile and continue to be gentle and calm, but they still have a firm belief in Dafa. They use all kinds of ways to validate and safeguard Dafa at critical moments. They clarify the truth to people with wisdom and rationality on any occasion so that everyone, including evil people and policemen, admire them. Evil people can not exhibit evil behavior before such practitioners. Sentient beings can witness the beauty of Dafa in such practitioners and also develop respect and admiration for Dafa. In front of the pure compassion of genuine practitioners after they assimilate to Dafa, all evil will be disintegrated and all past resentments will be kindly resolved. Just as Master Li told us,
"Indestructible righteous faith in the cosmos's Truth forms benevolent Dafa disciples' rock-solid, Diamond-Like Bodies, it frightens all evil, and the light of Truth it emanates makes the unrighteous elements in all beings' thoughts disintegrate." (Also in a Few Words)
It is not easy to conform to Dafa in all situations because our cultivated part will be separated very quickly. The remaining parts need to be cultivated in this great dye vat of the human world. If we cannot assimilate to Dafa more, we may unconsciously get stuck in the environment of everyday people and become attached to fame, self interest and sentimentality without realizing it. The moment we do, we behave like everyday people and also equate ourselves with everyday people. The sentimentality in the three realms then puzzles us and we become confused by the minor details of those conflicts and cannot see through the fundamental nature of that interference and the true reasons behind it. Thus we may get stuck in it and be unable to get out. When our thoughts are in sentimentality, we cannot develop the compassion to save sentient beings, nor can we show the Shan of Dafa practitioners. We have had too many of these lessons. When we forget we are practitioners, out of our selfish intentions to protect our own fame, self interest, sentimentality and attachment of struggling, we fight with everyday people, and our behavior that is not consistent with Dafa becomes a barrier to sentient beings, stopping them from understanding Dafa correctly.
I remember that at one time I didn't study the Fa enough. I didn't study with enough concentration so that my cultivation state was poor. I was stuck in some specific conflicts at work and I could not get out. During a morning meeting, I had some complaints due to my supervisor's long-term misunderstanding of me. During our conversation, I saw myself as an everyday person and said some inappropriate words due to my attachments to fame, self interest and sentimentality. I also had an everyday person's mood. At this time my supervisor also got agitated and later even said some words showing that she didn't understand Dafa and didn't respect Dafa, which really woke me up. I started to ask, "Who am I? What am I doing?" I could not express the regret in my mind. I deeply felt that if I didn't do well enough, I would destroy her!
One thought can develop kindness or evil. When I genuinely thought about others from the fundamentals of their lives and remembered my own responsibility, in that instant, the situation suddenly changed. In that second, her attitude completely changed and she became calmer. I felt surprised at her big change. and took the opportunity to speak to her with a calm mind and solved her misunderstanding. I openly and sincerely admitted my own shortcomings and sincerely hoped that she could forgive me and in the end helped her develop a righteous understanding about Dafa again. Later on, I realized that because I had righteous thoughts at that time, Master Li helped me and suddenly turned things around. If we are attached to fame, self interest and sentimentality, we will destroy sentient beings, but if we have kind thoughts of saving sentient beings out of our true nature, then we can save sentient beings.
Master Li said,
"If you are always compassionate and friendly to others, if you always consider other people when you do things, and whenever you have issues with other people you first think about whether they can take it or whether it will cause them harm, then you won't have any problem. So, when you cultivate you should follow high and even higher standards." (Zhuan Falun).
How should we be considerate of others? I understand that we should be considerate of the true beautiful future of a being and help them develop a correct understanding about Dafa. We should be considerate of their understanding of the truth so they are not poisoned and deceived by evil lies and propaganda, and so that they can position themselves correctly in relation to Dafa and the Fa-rectification, and can have long-term happiness and not let down their pre-destined relationships with us, and not let down the expectations held by their true selves. Of course, if we have not done well in following Dafa's requirements and cause invisible damage to them, then we should make use of our time to make up for it. It is a great kindness to rectify mistakes when we realize them.
There are two manifestations of Dafa practitioners' Shan among practitioners: one is being mutually tolerant and the other is mutual harmonization. In the work to validate Dafa, our cultivated part has assimilated to Dafa and is harmonious without barriers. Because we are still cultivating, our parts that have not assimilated to Dafa and haven't met the standards yet need to be rectified through cultivation practice and will manifest as various kinds of attachments, human mentality and notions. When practitioners are together, these matters manifest themselves and then practitioners have conflicts and one after another contradict each other. It is not shameful to have conflicts. As long as we can treat Dafa as our Master, cultivate ourselves and treat Dafa as the first priority, then it will be easier to solve the conflicts. In addition, it won't affect our work to validate Dafa and it will allow us to cooperate with each other. In fact, conflicts will expose many of our attachments and human thoughts and this is a good opportunity for practitioners to discard attachments and fundamental selfishness. It is a good thing.
About Fa Study
In the practice of Fa-rectification, I find that when we run into all kinds of problems and difficulties as individuals and as a whole body, and when the evil makes use of our loopholes and creates tribulations for us, it is basically because we didn't study the Fa well. Because we don't study the Fa well over a long period of time, many attachments that we have cannot be removed. Since our fields are not pure, we have many loopholes, so when we send forth righteous thoughts, we feel our lack of ability to do what we should. When we clarify the truth, we feel that we have strong human attachments and strong interference and that we produce poor effects, and practitioners have all kinds of conflicts and interfere with each other. Because Master Li asks us to do the three things well, I realized that if we do not study the Fa well, the other two things will be affected. If we cannot do the other two things well, our Fa study will also be affected.
Also in every Fa-lecture, Master Li tells us to study the Fa more and also explains to us the deeper connotations of Fa study. Practitioners also remind each other. We need to attach enough importance to Fa study and we should study the Fa more. But when we get busy, when we are interfered with by all kinds of human sentimentality and desires, when we are controlled by laziness, we tend to ignore Fa study and even forget to study the Fa. Indeed some practitioners don't pay enough attention to Fa study for a long time, so they get stuck in everyday people's minor issues and cannot get out. They even waste their lives and their time in front of the TV or in meaningless gossip instead of picking up the book and reading it. When we practitioners are not diligent, the deeper meaning of Dafa at different levels won't manifest for us to see.
I realized that the motivation for Fa study should be the desire from the bottom of one's heart to assimilate to Dafa, not to study Dafa for reducing trouble or tribulations. But when we study Dafa well, our cultivation path will naturally be better and more stable. During our cultivation process on the surface, Master Li's Fa lectures aim to guide our cultivation practice. However, we cannot see the fundamental implications with our human eyes, nor can we describe them using human language. When we can upgrade in cultivation practice and understand the different implications of Dafa, our feeling at that time is beyond description and incomparably magnificent.
There should not be any precondition for any Dafa practitioner to keep studying and assimilating to Dafa. In fact, this should be the luckiest and happiest honor for beings in the cosmos. When I was detained, the most painful thing for me was the lack of opportunity to study Dafa as usual. I will never be able to forget the regret that I did not cherish Fa study in my normal environment. I often looked for Zhuan Falun in my dreams during that period. I believe every practitioner who has such an experience has a similar feeling. After I was released, I felt so happy to have Zhuan Falun and other Fa lectures of Master Li again and to be able to study the Fa normally. If we still cannot realize the importance of Fa study and still cannot pay enough attention to Fa study, then on the date when the Fa rectifies human world, we will finally realize that we have deceived ourselves. But at that time, no matter how much regret we feel, we won't ever have such an opportunity again.
Dafa practitioners, who genuinely understand the meaning and purpose of life and make it through the Fa-rectification cultivation, will understand the different implications of Dafa at different levels, will understand the power of Dafa and will know our own mission and our responsibilities. We will greatly cherish Dafa and attach enough importance to Fa study. We find that those practitioners who can openly walk through all kinds of persecution environments with dignity are those who can study Dafa with calm minds in any circumstance. When we can keep putting Dafa into our minds, then the evil factors won't have any room to exist. Those human mentalities and attachments won't be able to interfere with us so easily and those notions and barriers that stop us from saving sentient beings will be constantly removed.
Only when we study the Fa well, can we constantly keep our righteous thoughts.
Only when we study the Fa well, can we genuinely validate Dafa and save sentient beings.
Only when we study the Fa well, can we take the last part of our path well, rationally and clear-mindedly.