Honing Our Xinxing During Fa-Validation
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings, Teacher! Greetings, Fellow Practitioners!
I feel so lucky to be able to participate in the Mainland China Dafa Practitioner Experience Sharing Conference again. I would like to use this precious opportunity to share my cultivation experiences during the Fa-rectification process. Let's treasure the path we have traveled together.
1. Elevating by Writing for the Clearwisdom Website
Since the end of 2002, I have been sending articles to the Minghui website, the Chinese version of the Clearwisdom website. I write articles periodically and send them in. Mostly they are about things happening around me that cause me to realize or understand something. I also write about my own understandings for the purpose of sharing and exchanging with more practitioners so that we can elevate together. Every time I write an article, it is also a chance for me to gradually get rid of various attachments, and it is an opportunity to elevate myself in the immense Dafa. For example, when my first article was published, I wanted my mother to see it and to know that I had written it. I could even imagine the joy on her face. However, I immediately realized that this was the attachment of showing off. What was I trying to validate? Myself or Dafa? After realizing this, I decided to eliminate that attachment.
After several of my experience-sharing articles were published, my attachment to myself was gradually exposed. I thought that my understandings were always very correct and that I was very rational, until sometime in 2007, when several articles I sent in did not get published. Even when one article was published more than a week later, it was heavily edited. This had not happened before. I started to search within myself asking if this happened due to problems with my xinxing. Later, after continuous Fa-study and reading articles on Clearwisdom, I came to see the difference between myself and fellow practitioners. I was just too attached to myself. The result was that I became lost and had been going in circles. With such a narrow mind, how could I improve?
After this experience, I concluded that the process of writing articles for Clearwisdom is not only to validate Dafa using my pen, but also a good way to elevate my xinxing at the same time. Every time I wrote, various attachments and notions surfaced. I would then eliminate these thoughts and attachments in my writing or forbid these attachments and notions from becoming effective. After I continued writing, my mental capacity kept enlarging. Naturally, I assimilated into the unity of Fa-rectification, which was fulfilling my destiny as a Dafa practitioner.
2. Letting Go of My Attachment to "Ability"
Over the years I had been in charge of the work in the local materials production center. Since I didn't have expertise in this area, I learned everything from the ground up. At the very beginning, I was quite modest and did not think much about my ability. Gradually, as I took on more and more Fa-validation projects, and as I made some accomplishments, I started to put an emphasis on "ability" as shown in everyday people, and I thought that I was quite "able." When this attachment surfaced, I started to pay more attention to the illusion of human ability. Whenever I encountered a problem, I naturally tried to solve the problem using human technology and methods rather than to ponder about the actual root cause behind the problem.
Due to my attachment to my "abilities" I became very bold. I felt that I was capable and was willing to try anything. The most obvious example was in repairing equipment and devices. Since I was focusing too much on my superficial technical capabilities, for some time whenever I encountered problems I did not first look inside my xinxing for attachments or clear out the interference of evil by sending forth righteous thoughts, and then repair the machine, like I did previously. Rather, I thought they were purely technical problems, so I used various tools and various methods to try to fix the problems. In the end, I usually spent a lot of time repairing but was not able to solve any problems. This behavior was already not based on Fa. When I calmed down and truly put my heart into studying the Fa and did not pay too much attention to the physical appearance of the problems, ideas would suddenly pop up into my head that later turned out to be very useful in solving the problems. In fact, this was Teacher enlightening me. In the end, the problems were all solved without a hitch.
It dawned on me that everything a human has is given by a god and one's ability is not an exception. If the god gives you wisdom, then you are wise. If the god sealed your wisdom, what can you do as a human being? All we can do is to always maintain a modest attitude and respect for the divine power. That is the attitude we should always have. Especially today as Dafa practitioners during the Fa-rectification, everything that we have is given by Teacher. Our abilities as human beings are meant to be used to save people more effectively. When we treat our abilities as assets of which to be proud and to validate ourselves, then how are we positioning Dafa? "Let go of my attachment to me" is what I always tell myself. However, from time to time I still try to validate myself. This makes me think, "If I can not eliminate the 'self' from the root, how can I go to the new universe? How can I save more people if I cannot let go the 'me?'"
I had a lot of understandings after I watched the DVD "Fa-Teaching Given to the Australian Practitioners" from August 2007. Teacher talked a lot about letting go of ourselves and eliminating the attachments of self-validation. The attachment to oneself has caused problems in lack of cooperation among practitioners and problems in coordination among various Dafa projects. Everyone thinks that he or she is very capable and that the projects can be done well only according to his or her own thinking. In reality, because we are not basing our thoughts on the Fa, the results are usually disastrous. This has a negative impact on Fa-validation. Teacher told us that when we were working on some projects, whether or not the solution was good on the surface was not the critical issue. The critical issue was whether we could let go of the "self" to validate Dafa, rather than to validate the self. That being the case, we would see miracles during the process. (This is just my personal understanding of Teacher's words). This part of what Teacher said helped me let go of my attachment to my abilities for the most part. It also helped me understand the meaning of "Cultivation depends on one's own efforts, while the transformation of gong is done by one's master"
3. Letting Go of My "Self" and Cultivating Compassion
Every practitioner has strengths that can be of great use in Fa-validation. However, we are cultivating in the big dye vat of the human world. If we cannot maintain our diligence at every moment, we will create a gap in our cultivation that can be manipulated by the evil to enlarge our attachments and eventually destroy us. Some of the fellow practitioners that I know have begun to gradually depart from the cultivation state and have been severely controlled by human attachments. When I see them like this, I feel very worried and anxious. Whenever I think of the days when they had pure eagerness to validate the Fa, and of the selfless state they were in when they always put Fa as the priority, my heart aches for their tardiness today. Whenever I have a chance to talk to these fellow practitioners, I always try to persuade them to be more diligent. Although on the surface I am trying to help fellow practitioners, in fact my xinxing is greatly honed in the process.
During my conversations with fellow practitioners my mood was often influenced by the other's words. At the beginning I had very strong reactions, and I did not want to talk to that person anymore. Then I remembered a few lines from the movie "The Everlasting Poem," "When parting they tell each other, 'When the Fa-rectification starts and the Dafa starts spreading, whoever is still lost in the human world, they shall awaken each other, tell his/her the way to go home.'" When I thought of these lines, righteous thoughts rose inside of me, asking me not to give up on my fellow practitioners. In fact, Teacher is giving me this opportunity to increase my forbearance. In order for more practitioners to come back to the Fa, I knew I had to be more accommodating. I should not be calculating my own loss and gain, I shall cultivate my compassion. Only when I have pure and compassionate power can I really change people. Teacher said:
"While working, your tone of voice, your kindheartedness, and your reasoning can change a person's heart, whereas commands never could! " ("Clearheadedness" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
I remember one practitioner who had been in a bad cultivation state for a long time. He had become very human. Although fellow practitioners tried to talk him out of the situation, he had already lost confidence. At the time I was quite angry at him for certain things he had done, so I did not bother to talk to him. Later, Teacher constantly prodded me. He reminded me that we should not watch a fellow practitioner be destroyed by the old forces, but, rather we should pull him or her back. No matter what the result is, at least we should constantly give our fellow practitioners opportunities to come back. Teacher will not give up on any one of his disciples, so how can we push our fellow practitioners away? Although I fully understood the importance of this, when I actually had to face the practitioner I still feared rejection. As such, I silently asked Teacher to enhance my righteous thoughts and also pleaded for compassion. Meanwhile, I continuously recited,
"Compassion can harmonize Heaven and Earth, ushering in spring
Righteous thoughts can save the people in this world"
This helped greatly enhance my righteous thoughts. I then had a very good conversation with the fellow practitioners. The entire environment was very cohesive and benevolent. The devilish side of the fellow practitioner subsided, and he was very calm. He also saw many of his own shortcomings. I was very touched, and I deeply experienced the power of the compassion from the Fa. However, I knew that I did not do much, because during the entire conversation I was empowered by Teacher. I said things that I would never know how to say. My calm and benevolent state of mind at the time was also something I had never experienced before. Since then, I have resolved that I should try my best to maintain a calm and benevolent state of mind at all times. I should learn to understand other people and truly cultivate my compassion. This is a standard that a cultivator must achieve.
For a long while after every experience sharing and exchange of understandings on the Fa, the fellow practitioner would maintain a better cultivation state for a while. This also aroused another attachment of mine by putting emphasis on results. However, the thing that can truly save people is the Fa. If a practitioner can temporarily become diligent in cultivation under some external influence, this cannot guarantee that the same practitioner can truly elevate. The only way to truly elevate oneself is to continuously study the Fa and cultivate one's xinxing, and regard oneself as a true cultivator at all times. Only as such can a practitioner truly elevate and not be swayed by any external factors.
When I found that the fellow practitioner was again slipping away bit by bit, and that his cultivation status fluctuated, I started to lose confidence in him. I thought to myself, "I have gone through so much trouble to help you, but you do not treasure this opportunity. I am really wasting my time. Oh well, I have done my best. The choice is yours." Then I suddenly realized that I was attached to results and asking for a reward for what I had done. "I have gone to the trouble, therefore you should become better. If you don't getting better, I will be unhappy." Teacher said:
"In offering salvation to people, there is no condition or consideration for cost, reward, or fame. They are thus far more noble than the heroes of everyday people. They do it completely out of their benevolent compassion." (Zhuan Falun)
Then, how was I doing? I was regretting all the time and effort that I had spent. The root of my thoughts was still for myself--I had not let go of myself. In fact, when we see a fellow practitioner slipping away from the Fa, we should feel sorry for the practitioner and feel sad for the being missing out on the precious opportunity to be elevated. But for me, I was still thinking about myself first. This attachment to myself was so obvious.
Now that I am thinking of it, I realize that every person that we meet in our lives and every occasion is an opportunity for self elevation. We can see our shortcomings only when we constantly search inside ourselves. Only in this way can we do well all the things that a practitioners in Fa-rectification should do.
4. Coordinating Well, Being Diligent in Saving Sentient Beings
Because I was not used to dealing with people, I was not able to connect with or exchange ideas with each of my fellow practitioners in a frank and truthful manner. When I needed to cooperate with others to do Dafa projects, I tended to avoid working with those with whom I did not get along. Even if certain practitioners had a lot of merits, I kept avoiding those I was uncomfortable being around. If I had to work with them, I would finish the task as soon as possible and then leave. Sometimes when people wanted me to help, I only helped them when the situation was convenient for me. Once I encountered difficulties, I would withdraw. I did not treat other practitioners' matters as my own and did not conform to the needs of Dafa and the sentient beings that need to be saved. On the other hand, if I was working with a fellow practitioner that I liked, I would do my best to complete the task whenever I was asked to help, no matter how hard the task was. At that time, I even felt that I was very selfless.
Later, one incident made me see this attachment. I encountered some difficulty in a project and was not able to solve it myself. It all came suddenly and I was not able to find anyone to help. I was very anxious, sent righteous thoughts, and begged Teacher to help, but the problem would not go away. I could not reach anyone. Previously, whenever I ran into a difficulty, someone would come to my rescue. But at that moment, it was not that people could not help me, it was that I could not find anyone. I had to search inside myself, "Was it something wrong with me?" When I was sending forth righteous thoughts, Teacher enlightened me and reminded me of an incident that happened a few days earlier. When one practitioner was doing Fa-validation work, he ran into some problems with his equipment and he asked me to help. At the time it was not an easy job, so I dragged my feet and was not diligently helping to solve the problem. The practitioner was very anxious, but I was not worried at all. That was already my selfishness in the works, but I did not realize it at the time. Teacher enlightened me to suddenly realize how difficult it had been for that practitioner when I was dragging my feet. Now I had run into the same difficulties, and my anxiety was beyond words. I was so ashamed of myself, and I felt very sorry for the other practitioner. I immediately decided that I had to solve that practitioner's problem and not leave my selfishness within me. When my xinxing was elevated, very soon I found a fellow practitioner to help me solve my problem. I also worked hard and repaired the equipment for the other practitioner.
This incident made me realize that my previous preference for doing things alone was actually a manifestation of a lack of forbearance. I was not able to allow more people in my heart. Simply put, I was too selfish. Because of this, in Fa-validation, I was not able to put the needs of Dafa first at any given moment. I was not able to cooperate with others well. My involvement in Dafa work was based on my preference for certain people in the project. If I was friendly with someone, then I would work with that person on the project. If I did not get along well with the person, I would not cooperate with him or her. Even if I had to work with the person, the result was not that good. This was all caused by my human notions.
Even though I am doing my best to overcome this attachment, I still have not completely let go of it. Sometimes, in order to eliminate this attachment, I keep sending righteous thoughts. It feels much better when I want to let go of my human notions. Every time there is a breakthrough, I feel light and relaxed, and I will be able to accommodate the fellow practitioner. Now my only thought is to cooperate with fellow practitioners better so that we can save people together. I will forget about the existence of self. This is a very good feeling.
Currently I am still anxious about my lack of effectiveness in clarifying the truth verbally. I often keep talking and talk in my sleep. When I compare myself with other practitioners who have done very well in this, I feel that my heart is not connected with other people. There is a gap. That is why my words do not enlighten people's innate selves. The practitioners who have done very well in this respect are able to impart their sincerity from deep down inside when they talk to people. I am lacking this sincerity, plus the human notions that I have developed through the years are hindering me, making me ineffective in saving more people.
Above are some experiences and understandings I have gained during the past few years of Fa-validation work. Deep inside I know that I still fall short when compared to fellow practitioners who have done well, that I am still far from meeting Teacher's requirements. However, I will keep trying. I will do the three things well and not let Teacher down.