Assimilate to the Fa, Facing Ordeals and Letting Go of Self
(Clearwisdom.net) I learned Falun Dafa in 1996. I have learned many lessons from my ordeals over the last ten years. All of them came from my fundamental attachments of fear, showing off, being unrealistic and laziness. Today I will write about my experience in order to dig out the roots of my attachments. Then I can walk my path well in the future.
1. Looking Inward During Hardship and Correcting Myself to Pass Tests with Righteous Thoughts.
The selfish notions formed in the past often make me unknowingly use human notions based on self when I encounter ordeals. My will to protect myself is very strong. I often made the mistake of behaving like an everyday person. Finally, I realized that as a practitioner I should solve the issues based on the Fa. These human notions dominated my way of thinking, especially before 2001. I was released from a forced labor camp.
I couldn't totally let go of self and validate the Fa when I came across enormous hardships. I often thought about how 'I' should pass this ordeal and not lose it to the evil. I artificially magnified the ordeal. Hence, I felt extreme pressure in every step I walked. In fact, when I look back now, every ordeal was a very small bump. Every ordeal looked like a heavy burden to me at the time, because I couldn't let go of self. Most people became "transformed" soon after being put in a forced labor camp. Only a few steadfast practitioners held on. The guards and prisoners used all sorts of tricks to force us to "transform." They made every minute of every day difficult. At that time, we were forced to stand for very long periods of time every day, from dawn to late at night. Every night in bed, I thought, "I made it through one more day. What's going to happen tomorrow?"
My xinxing was not very stable under these circumstances, because of my attachments. When physical and mental endurance was pushed to a certain extreme, many kinds of thoughts would pop into my mind. I knew very clearly why I shouldn't "transform." However, under excruciating physical pain and tremendous mental pressure, I started looking for an easy way out. The evil caught me. All the practitioners in my cell had been "transformed" and this left me alone with prisoners trying to transform me. I lost my rationality and wanted to "transform." I quickly woke up and regretted that selfish thought. I enlightened to how easily one can be controlled by demons, if one is selfishly protecting oneself. I had a strong feeling that a Dafa practitioner can absolutely not leave the Fa. If a practitioner leaves the Fa, he/she would rather be dead than alive. Now, when I think back on that moment, I feel that I came back to life from death. I will never forget this feeling. No matter how the guards tortured me in the camp from then on, they couldn't change my mind.
I also realized that Teacher taught me the Fa and how to be a practitioner. So, I was able to see my deteriorated ideas in this selfish, immoral world. Human beings, after numerous reincarnations, have accumulated so much karma that they have come to the last stage. One step further and humans would step into hell. If Teacher hadn't scooped us out of hell, cleaned us up and taken us home, where would we be? What could be more important and precious than cultivation? Looking at those who are still mystified, I pity them. Whenever I had human notions that I couldn't let go of, or ordeals I couldn't pass, I told myself, "What couldn't you let go of, when you have already obtained the Fa?"
My cultivation environment improved as I gradually understood the Fa principles, let go of attachments and my xinxing became more stable. By the end of my time in the camp, I could rationally and calmly look at the issues and solve the problems using Fa principles. The guards in the camp told me I no longer belonged there and I could go home, and that I could practice if I wanted.
2. I Upgraded Myself by Letting Go of Self.
For a long time after I left the camp, I always tried to find the other person's faults during conflicts. I was stubborn and wouldn't listen to others. I protected myself all the time, because I felt extremely uncomfortable when others criticized me. My behavior was just like what Teacher described in 2006, in "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles,"
"Some people have become like matches--one stroke and they ignite. They're like land mines-one step and they detonate."
Sometimes, the land mind would not detonate and I told myself, "I am a practitioner and I don't want to argue." In my mind I thought that as a practitioner I was being forgiving, but in fact I was reluctant to look inward for my own problems and selfishness.
It was a serious issue. During the many years of cultivation, especially during the persecution, I dragged these heavy human notions along my path. I had many bad thoughts, failed many tests and said many improper things as a practitioner. I never full-heartedly devoted myself to clarifying the truth because of fear. Teacher seldom blames us, instead he gives us hope and encouragement.
Teacher spoke of this issue in the 2006, "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles,"
"Today I am raising the issue again, and with this, I am eliminating for you the physical substance that has formed. But you need to correct the tendency you have formed--you must. Be sure to pay heed! From this point on, whoever can't take criticism is not being diligent, whoever can't take criticism is not displaying the state of a cultivator, or at least on this issue. If someone still can't pass this test, I'll tell you, he is in a very dangerous situation, because for a cultivator this is the most fundamental thing, it's at the top of the list of things to eliminate, and it has to be eliminated. If you don't get rid of it, you won't achieve Consummation."
After I studied this article, whenever I came across conflicts that triggered my attachments and made me uncomfortable, I looked to find the root of why I was uneasy. It is like I am opening up a wound and cleaning out the pus. I did this over and over again and was very strict about it. Gradually, this uneasiness about taking criticism went away. I was more sincere and open when admitting my faults.
3. Only by Letting Go of Attachments Can I Better Save Sentient Beings
The persecution began. I had interference and ordeals at work, home and while doing truth clarification. Every time there was a problem, I'd send righteous thoughts. But I had a strong attachment when I sent righteous thoughts. I would think to myself that Teacher would help me solve the problem, if I did so. I didn't look at my problems like a practitioner during the Fa-rectification period. Also, I didn't send righteous thoughts the way Teacher wanted us to. My issues were often hard to solve and they came one after another.
I slowly realized the depth of sending righteous thoughts, through studying and validating the Fa. Only thoughts that assimilate to the Fa principles and fit the standards of the Fa, are the righteous thoughts. Righteous thoughts are weakened by wanting to solve practical problems.
In "Teaching the Fa in Canada, 2006," Teacher said,
"Haven't I said that when you look at things in the Three Realms, things are reversed? Many of the things that mankind considers bad are good. And many things that mankind considers good are bad. Isn't the conventional wisdom in the human world inverted?"
"Remember, what is for human beings conventional wisdom is inverted. So when you encounter troublesome things as you cultivate, don't regard them all as problems, as interference to your rightful tasks, or as attacks against those tasks, or think, 'This thing I'm doing is of utmost importance, that thing I'm doing is of utmost importance...' Many things might not truly be how you see them, in fact. Your true improvement will always be first and foremost, and the consummation of your cultivation is always first and foremost."
I first looked at any interference or conflict I came across based on the Fa. I would find where my problems were and eliminate the attachments of not wanting to lose or suffer, wanting to be lazy and be comfortable. Understanding the Fa and upgrading myself in cultivation was foremost. I even realized that sending righteous thoughts to eliminate rotten demons and evil communist spirits was not to have a comfortable life, but to save sentient beings. Holding onto the attachment of self will let the demons exploit my gaps, use sentient beings to persecute me and create trouble to stop me from validating the Fa. That way the sentient beings would end up being eliminated. Hence, letting go of self and upgrading ourselves through Fa cultivation not only enables us to reach consummation, but also saves sentient beings.
I have had many experiences in the past ten years, but I couldn't really express how I felt. Please kindly point out anything that is not correct.