Doing Every Little Thing in Life Well
Greetings Master and fellow practitioners,
My name is Wu Lina, and I am a practitioner from Chicago. Today I am given this opportunity to share my cultivation experiences with my fellow practitioners. I am grateful for Master's merciful salvation, Dafa, and those practitioners who have written their cultivation experiences. They have encouraged me to write down a summary of what I have enlightened to while cultivating within Dafa, and to report to Master while sharing with fellow practitioners. The following is what I have personally enlightened to, so please point out anything that is not in line with the Fa.
1. Look Within and Treat Fellow Practitioners with Compassion
Because I am the oldest child in my family and have received the most education, my parents usually take what I say seriously and seek my advice on many family issues. Thus, I became good at arguing with people and criticizing others, and I developed a self-centered and aggressive personality. I have removed some of it over these years of cultivation, however, it still comes up from time to time, especially in my attitude towards my family members and other practitioners.
My father is a relatively new practitioner who has been practicing Dafa for about two years. In his shorter cultivation process, his human notions and habits show up frequently in his daily life and diet, and I often criticize him. Because he is my family member and I still had quite a strong attachment to family, when I criticized him, my tone and attitude have not been compassionate enough. Before, he was able to take it. However, I am a practitioner too, and I also have a lot to improve in the situations I have encountered, and I overlooked this point. One day, I used my own understanding and opinion in a conversation with my father and asked him to do something according to my perspective. He pointed out to me, "Don't forget that it is Master who is looking after my cultivation." His words woke me up all of a sudden. Master said,
"Why do you encounter these problems? They are all caused by your own karma. We have already eliminated for you many, numerous pieces of it, leaving only that tiny bit which is divided into tribulations at different levels for upgrading your xinxing, tempering your mind, and removing your different attachments. These are all your own tribulations that we use to improve your xinxing, and you will be able to overcome them. As long as you upgrade your xinxing, you can overcome them. Unless you, yourself do not want to do so, you can make it, provided you want to overcome them. Therefore, from now on when you come across a conflict you should not consider it a coincidence. This is because when a conflict occurs, it will take place unexpectedly. But that is not a coincidence--it is for improving your xinxing. As long as you treat yourself as a practitioner, you can handle it properly." ("Zhuan Falun," third translation edition, 2000)
Master has explained the Fa very clearly in His teaching, but I still had attachments that I couldn't let go of. I was unable to be rational when things happened and I was not tolerant of fellow practitioners.
My cultivation environment has changed so that I am now around fellow practitioners most of the time except at work. In the beginning, it was easy to communicate and get things done because we were all practitioners. However, everyone's shortcomings came to the surface over time and I developed the notion of telling others what they should do. I used my own understandings of the Fa to judge others and often criticized others in an aggressive manner when there was a problem.
Once I realized my problem, I studied the Fa more. One day when I was reciting Lunyu, I was moved by the sentence, "humankind must fundamentally change its conventional thinking" in the paragraph,
"'The Buddha Fa is most profound; among all the theories in the world, it is the most intricate and extraordinary science. In order to explore this domain, humankind must fundamentally change its conventional thinking. Otherwise, the truth of the universe will forever remain a mystery to humankind, and everyday people will forever crawl within the boundary delimited by their own ignorance." (Zhuan Falun, 2000 version)
I was stubborn and required fellow practitioners to do things by following my understanding. Isn't this my own conventional thinking? My thought that fellow practitioners did not reach the standard was actually formed by the old forces. They used my attachments to interfere our Fa-rectification. From then on, whenever I had the thought of criticizing fellow practitioners, I would try to get rid of it by sending forth righteous thoughts and not regarding it as my thought. Gradually I began to notice the changes in other practitioners, and I am able to understand them better now.
Because of my strong attachment of family, I used to think that my father had obtained the Fa late and he could cultivate faster if he followed my instructions. But it didn't turn out to be what I had expected. Master teaches:
"Someone may say, 'I'll earn some more money to settle my family down well so I won't have to worry about anything. Afterwards, I'll practice cultivation.' I would say that this is your wishful thinking. You are unable to interfere with the lives of others, and neither can you control others' fates, including those of your wife, sons, daughters, parents, or brothers. Can you decide those things?" (Zhuan Falun, Lecture Four)
After having realized my own problems, whenever there is a conflict at home I first look at myself and see if there is anything for me to improve. As I am changing, I notice that my cultivation environment is changing as well. I truly feel the natural smoothness described in Teacher's poem "Unimpeded" in Hong Yin II (The Grand Verses): "The paths of cultivation are varied, but none is outside the Great Law, when one is attached to nothing, the path underfoot is naturally smooth."
2. Cultivating While Maximally Conforming to Ordinary Human Society
As the process of Fa-rectification is speeding up, Dafa practitioners have come up with many methods to try to save as many sentient beings as possible and there are more and more Dafa related projects. Practitioners continuously take part in new projects. The practitioners who had worked with me on one project switched to other projects, and I felt that I was the only one who was still working on this project, while other practitioners just provided assistance. I felt a lot of pressure. When fellow practitioners commented that the project was not doing well, I felt that it was not my problem, but rather, that it was the cause of many external and objective reasons. In the meantime, I complained about fellow practitioners to myself, "They only wanted to join the projects directly related to Dafa, but ignore the projects that indirectly spread the Fa and require a lot of contact with ordinary people. I have already done a lot and it was not easy for me." Thus, I felt a big gap between me and fellow practitioners. I didn't study the Fa enough, and my cultivation state wasn't very good.
At that time, I was taking night shifts at work which were very stressful. After work, I often felt tired and exhausted, but I still had some Dafa work to do. I couldn't find anyone else to replace me, so I continued doing it regardless of my inadequate state. However, the results of my work were not very good. I felt that I had tried my best and hoped that more practitioners could join my project. Worried about the limited time, I simplified many things to try to save time. Aside from sleeping, I devoted all my time to Dafa work. The housework such as laundry or cooking was left for my family members. I didn't even clean my room, and the place for my Dafa work was also disorganized. My eating and sleep were irregular. Fellow practitioners were afraid of calling me, worried that they might wake me up from catching up on some sleep because of the night shifts, even if they needed to talk to me about Dafa work. I tried to use an ordinary person's way of spending more time to try to finish the work, but it didn't turn out to be very satisfactory. Fellow practitioners didn't have positive comments on my project, and ordinary people didn't like me, either. Practitioners who participated in other projects pointed out that I didn't focus and my professional skill didn't improve too much over these years of working. All of the pressure came to me, and I felt that it was so unfair. Some practitioners suggested that I adjust my shifts to the afternoon. However, in that state of mind, I wasn't willing to listen to any practitioners, even though their suggestions were kind and nice. I lingered in that state for a long time. Master said,
"Of course, the way karma transforms does not take place completely as I have just described; it can manifest in other areas. It can happen either in society or at home. While walking on a street or in another social environment, one may come across some trouble. You will be made to abandon all those attachments that cannot be given up among everyday people. As long as you have them, all of those attachments must be removed in different environments. You will be made to stumble, whereby you will become enlightened to the Tao. This is how one goes through cultivation practice." (Zhuan Falun, Lecture Four)
Seeing me lingering in such a state too long, Master gave me hints through other practitioners' mouths many times.
"You look as if you are a god." This was a comment from a fellow practitioner when I was passing a test. In normal situations, this comment could be regarded as a compliment or acknowledgment. However, when that practitioner said that to me, the tone of criticizing in the practitioner's voice was quite clear. Dafa practitioners are gods doing things in the human world, and we need to comply with the state of ordinary human society. But exactly the opposite, my state was that of a human doing a god's work, and I did it terribly, acting almost like I was a little crazy in ordinary people's eyes. The problem was getting more severe and I couldn't do well at my job either. It got so bad that I was close to losing my job.
In order to solve my problems, I studied the Fa diligently and started to make some changes. The first thing was to do every little thing well in daily life and to accord with everyday people.
"Our school of practice teaches you to attain gong through conflicts. Therefore, we should accord with everyday people as much as possible. Materially, you will not really be made to lose anything. But in this material environment you need to upgrade your xinxing." (Zhuan Falun, Lecture Eight)
First, I switched my shifts from nights to afternoons, so that I could have time to do some housework and free some time for my family members and to study the Fa or practice the exercises. When other practitioners could join my project, I tried to communicate with them more and cooperate better. When there were training workshops related to the Dafa projects I was taking part in, I would make efforts to attend them and improve my skills and knowledge.
I am aware that I am still far from what Master requires. Nonetheless, I believe that as long as I keep studying the Fa and improving myself, and with the collaboration of fellow practitioners, I will be able to do Dafa work well and save more sentient beings.
3. We Should Do What the Evil is Afraid of
In these years of cultivation, fellow practitioners' sharing articles have helped me a lot to improve myself within the Fa, and to be a good and compassionate person. I thought about writing down my cultivation experiences for this mid-American Fahui for some time. However, at the start, I had interference from a lot of thoughts. I recalled that I had wanted to write about many sincere, kind, and selfless practitioners around me for last year's Fahui, and I started writing but couldn't finish it. I found many excuses for myself, such as I had too much work related to spreading the Fa and clarifying the truth, my work was busy, and I had little time to finish it. The sharing articles on the Minghui/Clearwisdom website have helped me a lot when I was passing through my tribulations and hardships. From the seemingly little things they wrote about, I can feel their pure hearts. I love to read fellow practitioners' articles sharing their cultivation experiences. In our local Fa study group, when I hear someone's excellent cultivation experience, I always encourage them or help them to write it down and post it on the website. I also often urge other practitioners to share their experiences at Fa conferences. However, I find it hard to write myself. Not only do I not like to write experience sharing articles for Fa conferences, but also I don't like to write for the media project I am participating in right now, and I find that writing is getting more difficult for me. Every time, writing an article is very hard for me, and I felt as if I was blocked.
From the beginning of this year, when I started to write, I had a headache and discomfort all over my body which appeared to be a fever from an ordinary person's perspective. The symptoms would disappear if I stopped writing. Recently the symptoms showed up again when I was writing this article. The evil must be scared of our articles, so we should write more and leave no room for the evil to exist. This time I have made up my mind to write, because the pen is my divine instrument that I can use to validate the Fa and save sentient beings. During the three days of writing, the evil interfered with me the whole time. A lot of Dafa work needed to be done in these three days and fellow practitioners were helping me with great cooperation. Since the time I made up my mind to write the article, no matter whether it would be picked for the Fahui or not, the writing process was quite smooth. All the symptoms disappeared right after I had finished writing, just like what Master said in his poem "The Master-Disciple Bond" in Hong Yin II (The Grand Verses):
"There is no affect between master and disciple, the Buddha's grace remolds Heaven and Earth, when disciples have ample righteous thoughts, Master has the power to turn back the tide."
Than you, Master; thank you, everyone.