My Cultivation Experiences from Reciting the Fa
(Clearwisdom.net) Teachers words are an infinite source of encouragement that motivated me to memorize Zhuan Falun. For this reason, I never gave up reciting Zhuan Falun. Now I have recited the book for the third time. It took me about 74 days.
I want to write down my experience of reciting the Fa, in the hope that it will help fellow practitioners who have not yet started to memorize Zhuan Falun. I know that many non-Chinese practitioners are also reciting Zhuan Falun in their own languages.
I feel that I must be more diligent in the short period before the Fa rectifies the human world while doing the three things well. I cannot slack in the least, because I do not know whether my life has been extended for the sake of Dafa cultivation. I dont know how much time remains or when the Fa will rectify the human world, so every second is precious to me and every loss is permanent. The only thing I can think of and am capable of doing is quickly amending things Ive done poorly and improve on things Ive done relatively well, according to the standards of the Fa.
I progressed slowly in the months after I started reciting Zhuan Falun the second time because I didnt take it seriously enough. I became complacent because I had finished reciting the book once. Influenced by this wrong way of thinking I was too lax, and it was quite difficult for me to memorize the book. Sometimes I could remember only one page in a whole day. I read the book instead, but I discovered that my mind could not focus. My mind slipped, and oftentimes I would read a passage without knowing what I had read about. I often had to drag myself back and re-read the part I had glossed over. Sometimes I lost focus, although I would soon realize that I was not in the right frame of mind. I felt terrible.
Comparing reading and memorizing the book, I found that if I get distracted when memorizing the Fa and am not concentrating on the Fa, I am not able to remember it at all, not even a short sentence. I would therefore not be able to move on to the next sentence. When memorizing the Fa, every sentence becomes imprinted in my mind as opposed to reading the Fa, when I automatically move on to the next paragraph without understanding the words. When I was reading the Fa, I felt as if I was completing an assignment. I was trying to maximize the number of pages I could read each day. The outcome was not good. Instead, I must demand of myself to imprint the Fa in my brain, without any mistakes or random thoughts.
After reading, copying and reciting the Fa I came to the conclusion that reciting the Fa is the best way to study the Fa. I cannot remember the Fa, though, if my mind is not calm, or if I have the slightest non-related thoughts. This ensures that I study every sentence of the Fa and pound it into my head.
Please, dont give up reciting the Fa because it is initially slow and difficult. We should look at the final outcome of Fa study. We will be rewarded with however much we sacrifice. The more difficult the process, the better the results.
"Question: Time is limited. While I want to read the book straight through, I also want to memorize the book. But then I feel that memorizing the book will affect my reading of the book. How can I balance the two?"
Teacher: "Reading the book cover to cover contributes tremendously to your improvement. If you want to memorize the book, you have to spend some effort to memorize it for a period of time. It will spare you later on from having to read with the book in hand. But youll have to set aside some time to concentrate on memorizing it. Otherwise, if you want to read it through, then you want to memorize, and then you go back to wanting to read it through, then thinking like that all the time will keep you stuck like that. Memorizing the book wont affect your reading the book through, nor will it hinder your advancement due to a lack of reading it through. Thats because when you memorize the book, behind every word there are infinite Buddhas, Daos, and Gods, and every word can allow you to understand principles at different levels." ("Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Europe" in 1998)
When I was memorizing and reciting Zhuan Falun the second time, and particularly in the beginning, I was slack and encountered lots of xinxing tests that I did not pass. I couldnt bear it when conflicts touched my mind, and I got angry with others. I was not tolerant. I saw that I was doing even more poorly in some things than before, and I was not measuring or conducting myself according to the standard of Dafa. I could not do well with things that I thought should not be a problem for me. I felt ashamed. I often asked myself, "Why am I doing so poorly? Am I doing worse than before after all these years of cultivation?" If I dont make progress in cultivation, I will regress.
Fortunately I read Teachers article, "Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital" in 2006),
"Of course, everything that Dafa disciples display during the process of cultivating and validating the Fa can only be considered a manifestation while in a state of cultivation. During that process there are sure to be those who do well and those who do a little worse, those who aren't solid and become unsteady, and of course there are also those who are very steadfast and good. All of these are manifestations in that process, and that's just how cultivation goes."
"Then as you go through that process, think about it: isn't the part of you that shows itself in ordinary human society--a part that hasn't been successfully cultivated--that of a human being cultivating? Since it is a human being cultivating, he has human thoughts and behavior. Since it's a human being cultivating, he has all kinds of bad human thoughts that have either formed over time or are caused by new contamination from society. Then as a cultivator, [you may be thinking,] "What counts as cultivating?" Well, doing the things that Dafa disciples are supposed to do, such as things that validate the Fa and that save sentient beings, among others, is one's duty-bound responsibility and a part of establishing mighty virtue. But being able to improve yourself is the most crucial. That is because if you don't improve yourself, you won't be able to do any of those things well. So when you are strict with yourself, discover your shortcomings, and constantly get rid of them, then you are cultivating. If while you are going through a test you come to understand something, and become clear on it, and handle things well, then you will have elevated."
I cannot describe Teachers compassion and encouragement. How can I let Teachers earnest hope down? I must improve, and quickly, but how? The word xinxing kept appearing in my mind, and the desire to quickly and constantly improve my xinxing.
"So what is character? Character includes virtue (which is a type of matter), it includes enduring, it includes awakening to things, it includes giving up thingsgiving up all the desires and all the attachments that are found in an ordinary personand you also have to endure hardship, to name just a few things. So it includes a lot of different things. You need to improve every aspect of your character, and only when you do that will you really improve. Thats one of the key factors in improving your potency." ("The First Talk" from Zhuan Falun, 2003 translation version)
I realized that the key to xinxing improvement is to make serious and solid improvements. I can study the Fa better and quickly assimilate to the great Fa only by reciting the Fa. I think reciting the Fa is the best and fastest way for me to become more diligent. I continued to memorize "The Second Talk," and I picked up speed on "The Third Talk." From "The Fourth Talk" until "The Ninth Talk" I could memorize seven or eight pages a day.
Reciting Zhuan Falun the third time. I discovered that I could pass the tests and handle the conflicts better than before.
My method and understanding in reciting Zhuan Falun is as follows:
1. Cleanse my mind with righteous thoughts before memorizing the Fa. I heshi before reciting the Fa, to calm my mind with utmost respect for the Fa, so I can focus well when reciting it. Of course, this is when the situation permits. When I begin to recite the Fa each day, I try my best to imprint the first sentence in my head so I can melt into this sentence of the Fa, and subsequently I focus even better, and the effect of memorizing the Fa is better.
2. Memorize small paragraphs and divide a long paragraph into several shorter passages according to their meaning. When I repeatedly made the same mistake, I would close my eyes and write out correctly every word of the sentence in my mind, especially the part that I had remembered incorrectly. I paid special attention to those words.
3. I do not look back at the parts that I have already remembered. I would simply continue with the rest. It is just like reading the Fa, in that we cannot go through multiple sentences at once, and we should make brief pauses. We would not revisit the parts we have already read and instead would keep on reading, the only exception being when we read something wrong, which requires us to correct it. Reciting the Fa is just like reading the Fa through. We memorize it through, sentence-by-sentence and paragraph by paragraph.
4. I repeatedly memorize the same paragraph of the Fa three or five times, and I compare myself to the book during the last time to check if I had made any mistakes. I continue only after making sure that Im correct.
5. Make up a schedule to record my progress. I write down the number of pages I memorize each day, so I can compare my progress from day to day and from week to week. This way I can identify my shortcoming and my gaps and find ways to utilize my time more efficiently. At the same time, the schedule also forces me to fully utilize available time. I urge myself and constantly and diligently strive forward by seizing the time. I divide large goals into smaller goals. As I fulfill my plan of the number of pages I memorize each day, I eventually achieve my final goal.
6. Dont give up reciting the Fa. Even if you have given up 99 times, you should still persevere. Dont think about how far you still have to go, and dont think about how difficult it is going to be. When we recite the Fa with solid determination, we have greater confidence and recite better and faster, and we will achieve our goal.
"When you can really do it, just like that worn and weary traveler, youll see, the shade of willows, the blooms of flowers, a place to rest my head!" ("The Ninth Talk" from Zhuan Falun)
I will continue to recite the Fa, the fundamental way to ensure quick assimilation to Dafa and rapid xinxing improvement. I know that I still fall far short of the standard. As I continued reciting the Fa, I learned that some practitioners have already begun reciting Zhuan Falun for the fifth time. I would like to catch up and am determined to achieve a higher level within the Fa. It would be best if all of us can do well.