Let's Not Forget to Cultivate Ourselves while Validating Dafa
(Clearwisdom.net) Recently, a situation occurred among fellow practitioners who live in our district--they were not as frank and honest as they used to be when sharing experiences amongst themselves. Because of some frictions which occurred among practitioners while doing specific work to validate Dafa, some obstacles were formed in the practitioners' minds. Practitioner A might think that practitioner B does not behave like a practitioner should and does not even want to change although he knew that he was wrong. Because practitioner A could not let go of this mentality, he may look for other practitioners and recount his feelings to them, or he may ask some practitioner who is frank to create justice among them; as a result, rumors were spread everywhere among our fellow practitioners. The practitioners who were asked to arbitrate had to call all the practitioners for a gathering and ask them to discuss the specific issues face-to-face to determine where their minds had gotten stuck. The result was still not satisfactory and an open and honest atmosphere could not be restored. Many practitioners still felt that they could not unlock the knots in their minds.
During the sharing, many veteran practitioners had the feeling that they missed very much the atmosphere of the old days when personal cultivation was the focus and everybody shared their cultivation experiences openly with each other. They were longing for and wanting to bring back this condition of a pure mentality among the whole group. Then let us recall what we shared during the time of personal cultivation. At that time, there were only a few cases in which a large group of practitioners did the work together in the world at large. Everyone was basically performing as a person in the ordinary society; therefore almost all the tests came from ordinary people when we had contact with them and we shared those kinds of tests with each other when we encountered them. For example, we discussed how those people made things difficult for us and whether we were able to hold on to our xinxing; for those who were able to maintain their xinxing, they talked about the elevation they experienced, and for those who failed to maintain their xinxing, they felt regret. That field was really a pure cultivation field and the field could really move everybody that walked into it. That field purified and elevated everybody who joined the sharing.
Why could we form such a good cultivation environment? It was because everybody was sincerely looking within for their shortcomings. During those times, the people who made things difficult for us were basically those people who did not cultivate. Therefore, we could not ask those people to follow the principles of Falun Dafa and we could not find excuses for ourselves to avoid difficulties. We all know that nothing happens without a reason, and as long as we encounter tests and our minds are bothered by them, we have to look inside for attachments. We should not consider at all whether a particular event was right or wrong. If we read Zhuan Falun with a calm mind, we know that when our xinxing is tested, it has nothing to do with fairness, just like the examples mentioned in Zhuan Falun, such as a person being dragged by a car for more than a dozen yards, being faced with a fight as soon one returns home, someone complaining to one's boss, being insulted when walking around, being faced with four heavy hardships within a day, Han Xin enduring the humiliation of crawling between someone's legs--all these issues require from practitioners that they maintain their xinxing, even when facing unfairness, when their hearts are moved, and none of this has changed because we are doing Dafa work now.
Let's take a look now from a different aspect: what is our state of mind when most of the xinxing tests come from our fellow practitioners today? Often when our hearts are moved and when we feel difficulty and things are hard, we easily use the Fa to judge other fellow practitioners, and use the so-called outcome of our Dafa work to judge what is right or wrong. As a result, we start to get trapped in the argument about right and wrong. The pure land for cultivation disappears and many undesirable phenomena that often exist among groups of everyday people who do not cultivate appear among us. Many fellow practitioners said, "Where is our pure land? Why is this like a group of people who do not cultivate and sometimes it is even worse?" Some practitioners also said, "I do not have the courage to share my tests and experiences with others anymore. I found that after I shared, it was distorted and rumors were spread behind my back." But if we look back on the experience sharing during 1995-1996, we can see that everybody bravely talked about their shortcomings that were exposed during their cultivation process, and it did not matter what kind of shortcomings they were. Why? Because at that time everyone was clear in his mind that those shortcomings were not his or her true self. To clearly recognize the shortcomings is to eliminate them and be able to elevate oneself. Also, the fellow practitioners who were listening did not think that those shortcomings belonged to the practitioners who were sharing; they learned and enlightened from the process how a practitioner can clearly recognize his or her true self during cultivation.
Furthermore, at the current stage, even when a fellow practitioner looks inside for shortcomings, he does it with reservation. After he looks inside himself for shortcomings, he also talks about others; for example, "Concerning this issue, I have discovered what my attachments are and I will correct them. But what you have just mentioned also shows attachments, your attitude was not kind, and you should not consider that you have no responsibility...." Let's think about it: if the other party were not a practitioner, could one still use all these excuses as protection? Master taught us that as a practitioner one should not fight back when being punched or insulted. Did we then conduct ourselves according to this teaching?
Some practitioners avoid conflicts that must be dealt with during cultivation, using the slyness that ordinary people use to deal with certain situations. For example, in order not to offend anybody they ignore matters of principle; they walk away when they see problems and conflicts; they deal with a situation with the mentality of an outsider. They have forgotten the principles of the Fa that stipulate that everything one sees and hears is also for one's cultivation. Therefore, they do not have any cultivation experiences to share and they cannot elevate themselves. Others are trapped in some situations and complain about unfairness; they are affected and disturbed by the right or wrong, loss or gain, and success or failure of the thing itself. They are not even able to see the holiness of Dafa and the magnificence and the overwhelming power of the Fa rectification process.
We are Falun Gong practitioners during the Fa rectification period. The work we do to validate Dafa is also related to our cultivation. The distinctiveness of our cultivation during the Fa rectification demands that we must do our best to work together to save lives while still conforming to the formalities of ordinary society; therefore frictions and tests that take place during conflicts surface as well, just like among ordinary people. When this happens, whether we unconditionally look inside for shortcomings, or partially look inside while at the same time also look for problems in the other party, or only judge the other party using the Fa, that is a fundamental issue of whether we want to cultivate ourselves, and that is the most basic question in cultivation. As a matter of fact, if our whole group is able to unconditionally look inside for shortcomings when conflicts occur or when our minds are affected, we will achieve the state of divine beings as one body. How could the evil take advantage of loopholes? No matter what the task, we would always achieve the validation of Dafa, would we not? "Doing" is forever a process and carrier of cultivation, and the realm the practitioner achieves in this process is the essence and the key to things being "Done."
Let us encourage each other with what Master mentioned in Zhuan Falun:
"We have also said that if every one of us cultivates his inner self, examines his own xinxing to look for the causes of wrongdoing so as to do better next time, and considers others first when taking any action, human society would become better and ethical standards would again rise. The spiritual civilization would also become better, and so would public security. Perhaps there would not be any police. No one would need to be governed, as everyone would discipline him or herself and search their inner self. Wouldn't you say this would be great? You know that laws are becoming more comprehensive and impeccable. Yet why are there people who still do bad deeds? Why don't they comply with the laws? It is because you cannot govern their hearts. When they are not seen, they will still do bad deeds. If everyone cultivates the inner self, it will be totally different. There will be no need for you to ensure justice." [Zhuan Falun, Third Translation Edition (Updated in March 2000. USA)]
April 20, 2005