My Understanding of Study and Enlightenment
(Clearwisdom.net) Teacher compares cultivation to students attending school in Zhuan Falun, and in many other lectures. At first, I thought this was just a simile, without giving it more thought. A few years ago however, I had several dreams when I did poorly in exams. Every time I woke up, I enlightened to what Teacher was telling me: I was not diligent enough. When this happened for the third time, I suddenly realized Teacher wanted me to be a diligent student in my cultivation as we are all most diligent and serious with learning in school.
As a student, we have to follow rules and principles for study. I remembered in my first class in junior high school, the teacher wrote a line by Confucius on the blackboard. It read "Learning without thinking, one will be confused; thinking without learning, one will slack off." So studying and thinking are important principles for ordinary peoples learning. Teacher repeatedly teaches us to study the Fa and he emphasizes that we have to "enlighten" as well. So studying and enlightenment should be important principles as a Dafa disciple. Enlightenment has a deeper and broader inner meaning and higher level of requirement than thinking.
Teacher teaches us about enlightenment,
"The enlightenment that we actually refer to is a matter of whether in the course of cultivation practice one can enlighten to and accept the Fa taught by the master or the Tao taught by the Taoist master, whether one can treat oneself as a practitioner upon encountering tribulations, and whether one can adhere to the Fa while practicing cultivation." (Zhuan Falun)
My experience during the past few years has indicated that we can only qualify to be a Dafa disciple if we study the Fa diligently and focus on the different aspects of enlightenment. At the same time, we must combine the two. I will talk about my understanding of the three important parts of being a student: going to class, doing homework, and writing exams, as compared to study and enlightenment in Dafa cultivation.
1. Righteous faith, understanding and acceptance of the Fa is a result of studying the Fa well
Our curriculum is Falun Buddha Fa. Teacher said,
"The Buddha Fa is most profound; among all the theories in the world, it is the most intricate and extraordinary science." (Lunyu)
The utmost law of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance has a profound meaning as it manifests at different levels. The process of studying the Fa is the process of understanding the Fa at a corresponding level, and accepting and assimilating to it. Then, follow the improvement of "xinxing" and energy potency. Whats most important is our righteous faith in and the understanding and accepting the Fa. This is the first stage of enlightenment.
Teacher has infused all the principles of the Fa into the book Zhuan Falun, the main text of Falun Dafa. As long as we study it again and again, with elimination of attachments and the improvement of our xinxing and levels, we will feel the different transformations and forms of manifestations of the Fa, and gain things naturally without pursuing them.
Then how should we treat the other lectures in relation to Zhuan Falun? Teacher said in Explaining the Fa at 2003 Lantern Festival:
"The first one is that what Ive said recently in different periods is supplementary to Zhuan Falun. Just remember their relationship, and that what you should study frequently is Zhuan Falun."
I understand that during the Fa-rectification period, Teacher guides our cultivation in person, so we improve fast as a one body. During different periods of time in Fa-rectification, Teacher, based on the overall situation of the Fa-rectification and Dafa disciples, expounds the inner meaning of some law principles at relevant levels. This is why, every time after we study Teachers new lectures and go back to Zhuan Falun, we feel that we have a new understanding of certain principles.
2. Following the law principles is the prerequisite of doing the three things well
Teacher taught us in "Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference,"
"For Dafa disciples there are just three things right now. One is clarifying the facts. One is sending righteous thoughts--sending righteous thoughts has an effect on your own bodies and things outside of your body. And the other is cultivating yourselves and studying the Fa well. These three things are of utmost importance."
Teacher also expounded on the profound meaning of doing the three things well. To a certain extent, doing the three things well is the homework from Teacher that we must complete.
The process of doing the three things well is the process of following the path arranged by Teacher. So, whether or not we can treat the Fa as teacher, and follow the law principles, is the key to doing the three things well, understanding and walking our path, an important part of enlightenment quality. The following is my understanding.
Firstly, position ourselves appropriately and harmonize our environment. Our home environment, work environment and people around us, access to information (access to the Internet, whether or not we can read Teachers lectures and the Minghui /Clearwisdom website promptly) are our physical environment. Our personal situation, how long we have obtained the Fa, educational level, work experience, and special talents are our personal environment. As a particle in the cultivation one body, we should follow teachers teachings:
"The work and family environments that you spend time in are both settings in which you are to cultivate yourselves, are part of the path you must walk, are what you must handle, and handle correctly at that. None of these should be glossed over."("Teaching the Fa in Canada, 2006")
We should understand all of the above from the perspective of Fa, and harmonize our cultivation environment. Based on the needs of Fa, we must position ourselves and arrange for time to study the Fa and do the exercises, send forth righteous thoughts, and select the most appropriate methods for truth clarification. This is the foundation of walking our cultivation path well.
Secondly, we should be persistent in studying the Fa and cultivating our xinxing. We are not doing Dafa work as an ordinary people. We are Dafa disciples eliminating evil, validating the Fa and saving sentient beings. So we have to put studying the Fa as our priority and cultivate ourselves well. All kinds of human mentalities will be exposed (such as fear, zealotry, jealousy, competitiveness, seeking comfort). We have to stick to the principle of looking inward and understand them from the Fas perspective, and at the same time, get rid of our attachments and improve our xinxing. Only if we continue to study the Fa and cultivate our xinxing can we strengthen our righteous thoughts, increase our wisdom and have compassion. In turn, we can be more effective in doing the three things. This will ensure that we can walk our path well.
Thirdly, we have to be diligent. Many practitioners realize that time is tight. We live in an ordinary society and have ordinary jobs. Not to mention the difficulties of talking to people about the truth of Falun Gong, it is a challenge to do three things on a daily basis in terms of the time. Precious time will slip by if we dont arrange it well. So we should put the three things as our priority and cherish the very limited time available.
If we can regard the three things as a daily homework, then we will remember that we cannot leave our homework to the next day. I take myself as a student who does not have holidays and weekends. I do the homework every day. At the end of the day, I ask myself how I did in terms of homework completion. I will remember teachers teaching,
"The three things that Master has taught you in the Fa to do well seem simple, but [things such as] whether you are diligent and the Attainment Status you will achieve are linked to it" ("Teaching the Fa in Canada, 2006")
3. Keep in mind that we are cultivators
As students in school, we have to write exams. In cultivation, the tests we are faced with are the exams. Minor tests keep happening. When we are faced with tribulations, during Fa-rectification, it is a major exam. However, no matter what exams they are, as long as we can remember that we are cultivators, we will be able to pass them and catch up with the Fa-rectification. This is an important aspect of enlightenment quality. From July 20, 1999, when the persecution started and fellow practitioners began going to Tiananmen Square to validate the Fa, to the Tiananmen self-immolation deception in 2001; from practitioners clarifying the truth, sending forth righteous thoughts and eliminating the evil to the publishing of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, to appealing to people to quit CCP and its affiliated organizations, Dafa disciples have been writing exams. Also, tests have been challenging us to see if we remember that we are cultivators and whether we have righteous faith in Dafa.
The exposure of the organ harvesting was a major exam for Dafa disciples. Some practitioners did not pass it well. When faced with the unprecedented incident, they did not realize that they are cultivators. They did not look at it from the Fa-perspective to transform the sorrow and indignation into efforts to expose the evil and save more people. Instead, they were moved by human sentimentality, and fear of the evil grew while faith in Teacher and Dafa was shaken. The lessons were hard learned.
The above is my understanding after I have repeatedly studied Teachers teaching about Enlightenment. I realize that it is not easy to be a qualified Dafa disciple.
We should ask ourselves all the time, Am I lax? Am I too relaxed? Am I apathetic?
I would like to conclude my article by quoting Teacher in Los Angeles:
" thats all I will say. I hope everyone will do better and better at the end. Be sure not to become lax. You must not slack off, and you must not become apathetic. ("Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles")
The above is my personal understanding. Please kindly point out anything inappropriate.