Maintaining a Steady Cultivation State
(Clearwisdom.net) In "Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital," Teacher said,
"Whoever manages to remain steady while following this ordinary-society cultivation format, that person is truly doing what's best in this format of cultivation."
I've read this specific passage of the Fa many times, and it has often touched my heart, causing me to reflect on my cultivation path over the past 11 years. On several occasions, I have experienced the profound meaning of the word "best" that Teacher mentions. Therefore, please allow me to take this opportunity of the "The Fourth Internet Experience Sharing Conference for Practitioners in China" to share my understandings with fellow practitioners and leave a precious record of my cultivation during Fa rectification.
Submitting Articles to the Minghui/Clearwisdom Website
Throughout each "Internet Experience Sharing Conference for Practitioners in China," I have always remained in a steady cultivation state and my experiences have been most magnificent. When practitioners follow Teacher during Fa rectification, they become part of an extremely precious record of history. Cultivating Dafa while Teacher is rectifying the cosmos in the human world and sharing with fellow practitioners during this time is most sacred. This process clearly shows the boundless power of cultivation in Falun Dafa.
Cultivating in Falun Dafa, assimilating to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and ascending are very precious. During the last four years, I steadily did what I should do, gave what I should give and let go all the attachments that I must let go. I therefore gained what I should have gained. During this process, being able to remain in a steady state, one should do things in accordance with Teacher's requirements. One can then do a good job in submitting articles to Minghui/Clearwisdom no matter what the obstacles. Doing well and remaining diligent should be seen as indispensable parts of our cultivation. This is my shallow understanding on submitting articles to Minghui/Clearwisdom.
Letting Go of Desires
During all these years of cultivation, my understanding of the issue of lust and desires has gradually improved. Frankly speaking, I was very careful on this issue before I became a practitioner. Measuring my conduct with everyday people's standards, I was a kind person. I had never done anything bad. However, conducting myself according to standards above everyday people, I was always considered a righteous and upright person. This was my understanding at the beginning and the middle of my cultivation. During a later period of my cultivation in Fa-rectification, the standards set for practitioners elevated. When I compared my conduct with the standards of a true cultivator, I found that I had huge gaps. During a small experience sharing conference in April this year I gained a deeper understanding on this issue.
Also during this period of time fellow practitioners downloaded from the Minghui website a lot of experience sharing articles on cultivating our hearts and minds and letting go of our desires. I benefited a great deal from these articles. During my cultivation during the past 10 years I felt it was not that difficult to pass the tests of lust and desire. However, the test of desire between my wife and I seemed difficult. Since I always thought that Teacher didn't ask us to completely cut ourselves off from this, I was reluctant to let it go completely. On this issue, my wife, who is also a practitioner, had a better understanding than I. She asked, "Why should we do such a filthy thing anymore?" While gradually assimilating to the Fa I was able to do it in moderation. When I remembered that cultivating is letting go of attachments and desires, I asked myself, "If I can not let go of desires, then what kind of cultivation is that?" Teacher says in "Determination," from Essentials for Further Advancement,
"It is your own responsibility to cultivate your heart and mind, let go of your desires, attain wisdom, and eliminate confusion."
Teacher also explained clearly to us in "Distinction Between Human and Enlightened Beings," from Hong Yin, Translation Version B,
"What is human? Sentiments and desires fill the body
What is immortal? Human mentalities do not exist."
No matter what, as long as one has desires and human attachments, one has not reached the standard of a cultivator on the path to godhood. Aren't we walking on the path to godhood? If we have desires, we are human. Only when we do not have desires will we become Gods.
A good or bad outcome comes from one thought. How obvious the demarcation line is! I remembered a practitioner mentioned at a sharing that if his wife passed away, then it would be easier for him to let go of his desire. His words left a deep impression on me. He could let go of his desire were his wife to pass away. Would this mean that I could not let go of my desire since my wife is still alive? The fundamental issue is not whether one's wife is alive or not. The fundamental issue is whether we are able to let go of the desire. This is the key to our cultivation.
When cultivation comes to the final stage, can't I let go of my desire? Should I still indulge in human sentimentality? What is the purpose of our cultivation? Aren't we to return with Teacher? When my understanding improved, I reached a state wherein my heart was on the Fa. Since April of this year, my wife and I have completely let go of the attachment to lust and desire and even when we are together we no longer think about sex. This phenomenon is beyond the explanation of human thinking. I once again felt the purity and sacredness of this supernormal realm of thinking.
Of course letting go of our desires isn't limited only to lust. We should completely let go of our desires for other things as well. For example, one day I suddenly very much wanted to have fish, and thought that cooking a live fish would be even tastier. Therefore I went to the market and bought a big live fish. I felt very happy with myself. It seemed that at the time I forgot I was a practitioner and dropped to the level of an everyday person.
On the following day, when I picked up the pot with the leftover fish, the pot dropped to the floor and broke into pieces. This incident led me to awaken. My wanting the live fish showed that I had not completely let go of the desire. This is the same as other desires. We should let go of all our desires since they are the manifestations of demon nature. That is why practitioners must let go of their desires. If we cannot let go of our desires, we cannot transcend the human state, nor can we bring out our Buddha nature through cultivation.
Thoughts on Joining Nationwide Morning Group Exercise
On the morning of April 2, 2007, I joined the Minghui Radio broadcasts of the morning group exercises with other practitioners across China. Every day we practiced all the five sets of exercises, and I felt great. My first impression was that it seemed the energy field we used to have from group exercises reoccurred. I also felt very relaxed. It seemed that China came to a standstill and that the entire universe was refreshed by this grand Fa music. My body appeared in every dimension, and I no longer had human attachments. I had only my awareness of doing the morning exercises.
These were my feelings at the time. In the days to follow I had the same feeling every day, which I thought to be good. So I have participated in the morning exercises every day since April 2, and have never missed a day. At the time I wash my face and hands before doing the exercises to show my respect for Teacher and the Fa. From doing the exercises I gradually enlightened to the Fa principles. "The Thousand-Armed Buddha Stands Upright;" "The Heart is Harmonized and Body Lightened;" "The Law Unlocks the Top and Bottom Energy Passages;" "You Feel Light, as if Floating;" "Move or Become Still With Ease." ("Chapter II," The Great Consummation Way of Falun Dafa )
Over the course of participating in the group exercises, I came across a problem. The length of the fifth exercise for the group practice was 60 minutes. However, I usually do 90 minutes. "What should I do?" I thought. Should I sit for my usual length or finish earlier with everyone else? At this moment in history, saving sentient beings is a cultivator's priority and personal consummation is no longer an issue. Practicing the exercises only strengthens the automatic mechanisms and is supplementary to increasing gong (cultivation energy).
Thinking further, I realized that it was not wrong to do the sitting meditation for 90 minutes. Whether practitioners are eliminating karma or passing a test, we should know that none of our experiences occur by chance.
Now for the group exercise, the sitting meditation lasted only 60 minutes. I think this is a present requirement during this period of Fa rectification. Therefore I could use the extra time to study the Fa, to clarify the facts, to spread the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, and to persuade people to withdraw from the CCP--thus saving sentient beings. For Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples, wouldn't that be more meaningful? Therefore, I concluded that I need to follow the present requirements.
During the 60 minutes of sitting meditation, I was able to achieve the state of ding (empty and yet conscious mind) and my body was fully cultivated. I also know my level since the wonderful colors (of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, purple, white, and colorless) were constantly shown to me, which showed the wonders of Falun Dafa. Therefore my righteous belief in Teacher and Dafa was getting firmer. I think all practitioners in China should join the group morning exercises every day if they can. When a student asked a question regarding this, Teacher affirmed it, saying,
"That ought to be a good thing." ("Fa Teaching at the 2007 New York Fa Conference").
If it's a good thing, then we should do it better in accordance with what Teacher has said!
Saving People with Righteous Thoughts
Looking back at my cultivation over last ten-plus years, I have been doing the three things. However, if practitioners want to do them well, we must first of all study the Fa well, set a higher standard for ourselves in line with the Fa, and measure whatever we do with the principles of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance." Only when we do this well can we be called true practitioners. The things we do would be more sacred and we would do a better job in clarifying the facts to save more sentient beings.
In recalling things I've experienced along my path of cultivation, there have been several trials between the righteous and the evil forces. A few years back practitioners faced the issue of the "tenth lecture" and fake new articles. We also dealt with the issue of practitioners and donations. On this issue, I firmly believe what Teacher said,
"A person is like a container, and he is what he contains. If he contains Fa, he has assimilated to the Fa; if he's filled with dirt, he is dirt" ("Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Singapore")
As practitioners, we started our paths by being good people and gradually elevating our xinxing through letting go of attachments. Letting go of the things that are not in line with the Fa is itself very difficult, so why would we make our cultivation even more difficult by not being diligent?
Lacking diligence however results from our thoughts not being righteous enough. Our cultivation in Falun Dafa directly targets our minds. Only when we have strong righteous minds can we be righteous, otherwise our minds would not be righteous, but evil. Only when we have righteous minds can we bring out our Buddha nature through our cultivation and only when we have Buddha nature can we display our supernormal powers of the Buddha Fa to save sentient beings.
Cultivation Amidst Persecution
I am an ordinary practitioner and had been to Tiananmen Square in Beijing to validate the Fa. However, no one besides my wife knew of my going there since it was not done to show off. I knew that Teacher's law bodies knew. Over the past years I had never come across any persecution such as being arrested or imprisoned, and I remained in a stable state. I think it's very important to have a righteous mind. Only when my mind is righteous can I rectify anything that is not righteous. I tried to remain righteous in both my thoughts and actions. However, I know I must think from Dafa if I want to do well in this aspect. Righteousness comes from Dafa.
Before July 20 1999, when the persecution started, I had already read through Zhuan Falun more than 100 times. On top of that I also read Teacher's other works. From my reading I enlightened to the following Fa principles as mentioned by Teacher,
"Our Falun Dafa will protect practitioners from deviating. How does it protect you? If you are a true practitioner, our Falun will safeguard you. I am rooted in the universe. If anyone can harm you, he or she would be able to harm me. Put simply, that person would be able to harm this universe." (Zhuan Falun)
These principles laid a solid foundation for me to cultivate during the persecution.
Since my righteous thoughts have been very strong, I never felt scared whenever what everyday people call "sensitive days" approached, therefore I would not find a place to hide away Falun Dafa books or truth-clarification materials. I have no fear of being arrested when going out to clarify the truth. When I went to Beijing to validate the Fa I did not have any thought that I would be arrested.
However, I was seriously poisoned by the Party culture. I liked to sing before I began cultivating Falun Dafa. After cultivation I would unconsciously hum the songs of Party culture. I noticed that it was not right and would instantly change to the songs composed by fellow practitioners. It is only correct for practitioners to follow their Teacher in rectifying the Fa. Divine beings would be afraid of human beings since everything is decided by Teacher or practitioners' righteous thoughts.
Since early 2001, after Teacher instructed practitioners to send forth righteous thoughts, I had a better understanding of righteous thoughts and truly enlightened to what Teacher said,
"When disciples have ample righteous thoughts
Master has the power to turn back the tide"
("The Master-Disciple Bond" from Hongyin II, Translation Version A)
I had many experiences in this regard. For example, many times when I got on a bus I found it very noisy. I sent forth righteous thoughts to let them understand that Falun Dafa is good, that "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" is good, that all the sentient beings came for the Fa, and to eliminate the evil forces. Afterward, the bus would become quiet very quickly. It would be in the state of benevolence.
If we rely on everyday people to stop the persecution of Falun Dafa, that would be looking down upon ourselves and Falun Dafa and would exalt that everyday person, but he is not worthy. What abilities do everyday people have? No matter how high his position is, he is still an everyday person. Without cultivation, an everyday person can never leave the Three Realms and will forever reincarnate in the cycle of samsara. Only true practitioners under the power of Falun Dafa are able to eliminate all the evil forces with their powerful righteous thoughts. This is because practitioners came here with Teacher to save sentient beings. Therefore practitioners must firmly believe in Dafa. Only by assimilating to the Fa of the cosmos can practitioners have powerful righteous thoughts, save more sentient beings and demonstrate the historical mission bestowed on them.
On the issue of how to rescue the imprisoned practitioners, I read a lot of articles and had this enlightenment. Righteous thoughts can eliminate the evil that persecutes practitioners, eradicate the CCP evil spirit completely and rescue all practitioners. Therefore, we must exert greater effort to do the three things well to end this persecution. Stopping the persecution is the manifestation of Teacher's infinite compassion, a manifestation of the Fa's power during Fa rectification, and a process before the conclusion of Fa rectification.
The practitioners pushed by Teacher's grand torrent of Fa rectification will ascend through negating the persecution and cultivating. By upgrading themselves to higher and purer levels, practitioners will then reach new standards of attaining righteous enlightenment of selflessness and altruism during the process of saving sentient beings.
We should not continue using our human eyes or ears to examine our problems. Fa rectification has all been completed everywhere but in the human realm. The root of this persecution, beings at high levels, has been eliminated. Why then, hasn't the persecution ended? In the human dimension, the continuation of the persecution has direct links to practitioners' acquired notions or external thoughts and to our not being diligent enough in letting go of human attachments. Teacher has given us the divine power of Buddha Fa. Our thoughts must be completely in the Fa and end this persecution.
These are my personal enlightenments at my present level. For anything I did not do well, please feel free to comment and correct me