Elevating My Xinxing in the Course of Reciting the Fa
(Clearwisdom.net) Hello Master! Hello fellow practitioners!
Master said in "Path":
"The path a Dafa disciple takes is a glorious history, and this history has to be created by his own enlightening." (from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
In July 1999, I borrowed a copy of Zhuan Falun from my friend. My experience of reading Lunyu and the rest of Zhuan Falun was an experience that I will never forget. The questions I had been longing for answers to all my life -- such as the question of the meaning of life, why we are here on earth, why we should be a good person, why we should return to our true selves, and other questions about every aspect of our lives, were answered. I finished reading the entire book in one sitting. From that time on, I never put down this Fa.
Master said in Essentials to Further Advancement, in "Melt into the Fa":
"As a student, if his mind is filled with nothing but Dafa, this person is definitely a genuine cultivator. So you must have a clear understanding on the matter of studying the Fa. Reading the books more and studying the books more is the key to truly elevating yourself".
When I had just obtained the Fa, I repeatedly read all of Masters lectures as though I was quenching a great thirst. I was never slack with myself in studying the Fa. Even though I did not understand all of the high level Fa that Master taught, I accepted it nonetheless. Even though the notions I had accumulated and my thought karma tried to interfere with me, I could not put down this Fa. Every day, except for the ordinary business that I had to attend to, my mind was filled with the Fa. Even when I woke up in the morning, my mind was filled with the Fa. However, my understanding of the Fa was shallow, and it was also based on human interest and curiosity. In the course of studying the Fa, I noticed that Master emphasized again and again in the course of His lectures that we should repeatedly read Zhuan Falun. At that time, my human thoughts were very strong, and I thought, "Since Master emphasized reading this book, there must be heavenly secrets in it, so I should read it more." Looking back, I realized my xinxing was still very low, as I was using my human thoughts to understand Masters Fa. Instead of understanding the Fa from the Fa, I wanted to find a shortcut.
In 2003, after I had read Zhuan Falun over 100 times, my true nature enlightened that I should start to memorize this Fa. Prior to this, even though I had decided to learn to recite Lunyu, it took me almost two years to learn it. I decided to learn to recite the entire book of Zhuan Falun after I read an article on the Clearwisdom website of a fellow practitioners experiences of reciting the Fa. In the sharing article, the practitioner from China spoke of how she had learned to recite the first seven chapters of Zhuan Falun, but was then illegally arrested by the evil. After she was imprisoned, she met two other practitioners who had the last two chapters copied out in handwriting, so she memorized the last two chapters while being imprisoned.
This article left a deep impression on me. Considering how the practitioners in China could still persist in reciting the Fa under such a harsh environment, what excuse did I have to say that memorizing the Fa was too difficult and out of the question? From then on, I set my mind on learning to recite the Fa. Because I had obtained the Fa relatively late, I was particularly envious of those practitioners who had obtained the Fa earlier on, thinking that they had studied the Fa for a longer period of time and had a deeper understanding of the Fa. After I started to memorize the Fa, I realized: isnt every practitioners improvement and elevation based on studying the Fa well? Which cultivator doesnt start out as an ordinary person? I must be more and more diligent in studying the Fa in order to catch up with these veteran practitioners. Thinking back, even though my inner nature had a desire to assimilate to the Fa by reciting the Fa, I was still doing so from a selfish starting point, and had a heart of pursuit. Its just like Master said in "Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Switzerland,"
"Actually, you dont yet know that this selfishness reaches all the way up to very high levels. As a matter of fact, for cultivators in the past to say, "Im doing such and such," "I want to do such and such," "I want to obtain such and such," "Im cultivating," "I want to become a Buddha," or "I wish to attain such and such," none of that was outside of selfishness. But what I want you to do is to truly, purely, and unselfishly Consummate with the real righteous Fa and righteous Enlightenmentonly then can you achieve eternal non-extinction."
Yet my initial thoughts of wanting to recite the Fa and assimilate to the Fa came from precisely this kind of selfish standpoint.
However, after several years of memorizing and reciting the Fa, I have changed. It is hard to use words to describe the fundamental change that I experienced. As I recited the Fa, Master allowed me to enlighten to the Fa from different levels, and I gradually put down many attachments I had been holding onto in order to protect my "self". My compassion gradually emerged layer by layer. Whenever I did something for others, my heart was truly happy. One day I realized that heaven was really in ones heart. When we can truly consider others in everything we do, when we can gradually let go of ourselves, our heart expands more and more, and we let go of the parts of us that are not our true nature. As I recited the Fa, I felt that my heart of selfishness gradually withered away. I felt the frightening deviation of lives from the old cosmos as it gradually became more and more selfish in the course of history, and I understood the immense difficulty that Master faced in the course of rectifying the lives of the old cosmos. I resolved to not let down Masters compassionate salvation, and to walk righteously every step of a Dafa disciples path.
During the course of reciting the Fa, my faith in Dafa strengthened. One after another, the Fa broke through my selfish attachments. Every time I had a conflict with practitioners or with non-practitioners, regardless of how correct I appeared to be on the surface, I unconditionally looked inside myself, and I tried not to let the attachment of looking outwards to find the fault of others interfere with me. Because I had been lost in human society for too long, many deviated post-natal attachments were embedded within myself, and it was very hard to detect these hidden attachments in my heart. As I studied and recited the Fa more and more, I felt that these attachments and notions had less and less room in my heart. My heart felt more and more pure, and I felt that I could consider others first more and more.
I recalled that on the first Christmas Eve after I started to memorize the Fa, I went shopping. There were many shoppers, and I felt a bit tired after I finished shopping, and I really wanted to find a place to sit down and have a rest. As soon as I had this thought, I discovered there was a bench not far away with an empty spot. In the past I would not hesitate to sit down. But at that time, I thought, if I sat down, others would have to stand. Master asked us to consider others in everything we do and I should leave the seat for others, so I didnt take the seat. Every time I got to the checkout, when I saw that the person behind me in the queue had fewer items than myself, I took the initiative to let them pay first. I allowed the people around me to feel the beauty of Dafa through my compassion and my tolerance. The last person to realize my change was my husband. My husband was a compassionate, modest Australian, but he had quite a quick temper, and he often found it hard to exhibit tolerance when things came up. He has been the biggest help to my improvement and cultivation. His understanding of Dafa went from one of suspicion and misunderstanding to being fully supportive. Before I started to cultivate, he would hardly praise me, and we often had many conflicts. As I assimilated to the Fa more and more, I used the compassion and tolerance that I could display at my level to touch his heart. As a result, he would often praise me affectionately. One day after he came back from church, he said, "Today the priest spoke of the principle of a good tree would bear good fruit that Jesus had taught. So I thought of Falun Gong. Falun Gong must be good because the fruit that it bears, i.e. the practitioners, are so good." Through observing me and the Falun Gong practitioners around me, he deeply felt the beauty of Dafa. He said with conviction, "Nowadays human society has become like this, yet there are still so many people who truly want to be good people!" Hence, my husband not only supported my truth-clarification work, but also participated. He helped to hand out flyers. While I did translation for the Epoch Times, he helped me a lot. When it was time to translate, he was even more anxious than myself to hurry to the computer to receive the article to be translated, and he would explain the English vocabulary to me.
Reciting the Fa allowed me to melt into the Fa at every moment, and I used my actions to show the people around me the beauty of Falun Dafa, and I received compliments and praise from more and more people. One friend said to me: "I respect you." I replied: "If you want to respect me, you should really respect my Master. It is because of my Master that I can be such a person today." Every time I received a birthday card with messages like, "Thank you for everything that youve done" and "You have such a kind heart," I would know in my heart that without Master and without Dafa, there was no way that I, as a person carried downstream by human society with a body full of karma, could still keep calm when my self-interest was impinged upon. It is Dafa that kept rectifying my heart, a heart that had been lost in human society. It is through studying the Fa, and reciting the Fa that my heart has been cleansed. The changes that have been brought about through my studying the Fa have strengthened my faith in Master and Dafa, especially Masters teaching of Fa-rectification. This enabled me to understand the urgency of clarifying the truth, and I deeply understood the importance of clarifying the truth and exposing the persecution carried out by the evil Chinese Communist Party (CCP). During these years, I have, without letting up, used the form of handing out flyers, clarifying the truth online and doing translation for the Epoch Times, and using music to fulfill my vow of assisting Master to rectify the Fa. When I clarified the truth online, an online friend said, "I dont understand Falun Gong, but I believe you are sincere, because I feel a righteous energy emitting from you." Before I cultivated, I was somebody that did not want to interact with strangers. The first time I clarified the truth to the media, my heart was beating so fast. Yet recently, when I went to speak with my local MP about organ harvesting, I was surprised at how I spoke with great calm and peacefulness. When I composed music to validate the Fa, the principles of the Fa that had been embedded into my mind from constant Fa study guided me and allowed me to let go of the attachments of showing off, zealotry, jealousy and competitiveness. It also helped me to let go of the desire to validate myself, so I could use the heart of validating Dafa to compose music. Whenever an unrighteous thought came up, the Fa principles that I had enlightened to during the course of memorizing and reciting the Fa would immediately correct me. My heart felt more and more light and pure.
In the course of reciting the Fa, I realized that without selfishness, there would not be conflicts. A conflict arises because our minds have deviated from the Fa, and because we have the selfish heart of protecting or holding onto ourselves. When we are attached to "self", and we hold onto our notions without letting up instead of looking at the issue from the standpoint of the Fa, and assimilating to the Fa, then we are a loose particle. However, when we can fully look at something from the standpoint of the Fa, and when we can consider things from the other partys perspective, then we can form a strong "one body". From my limited understanding, barriers and gaps arise because we are still attached to "self". Only when every cultivator constantly assimilates to the Fa and considers others first, can we form an indestructible one body.
When I enlightened to a level of principles from the Fa, my righteous faith in Dafa strengthens, and I feel infinite gratitude towards Masters compassion for allowing me to constantly rectify myself.
Next I want to introduce to my fellow practitioners the methods that I have used to memorize the Fa. Some practitioners try to memorize the Fa as much as they can in one sitting, but my personal experience of this method is that it only allows me to memorize it for the short term. The way I memorize the Fa is to memorize one paragraph per day. Even though this is relatively slow, I think the purpose of our memorizing the Fa is to assimilate to the Fa, and we mustnt be hasty, otherwise it will be no different than just reading the Fa. When I first started to memorize the Fa, I would persist in studying one lecture a day of Zhuan Falun, and read the articles where Master talks about Fa-rectification. I memorize the Fa at night using the time after dinner when I am cleaning up the kitchen to memorize one paragraph. The next day, I would repeatedly recite this paragraph in my mind when I am doing chores, until I can recite it confidently. Eventually as I memorized more and more, it was harder for me to learn the new bits and remember the old bits. So I set strict requirements for myself to consolidate my memory of the previous parts so that it would be embedded into my memory. Whenever my mind was idle, I would repeatedly review the parts I learnt before. This included when travelling on a train, in the shop, when I was on my way to handing out flyers, and also when doing household chores. However when I got to Lecture 5, my speed of memorizing suddenly slowed, and I experienced quite a lot of interference, and I often could not finish even a paragraph in one day. I knew that I had to make a breakthrough, so I started to dedicate myself to memorizing one page of Zhuan Falun a day. This required about 45-50 minutes a day. The following day, I would review what I had memorized on the previous day, as well as find the time to recite one full chapter that I had memorized previously. In this way, I gradually progressed through the book. In February of this year, after having spent more than three years memorizing this book, I finally finished memorizing Zhuan Falun.
I started my path of cultivation with the attachment to self, and I started to memorize the Fa with various attachments. However, in the course of studying the Fa and memorizing the Fa, I have become a Dafa particle that has completely melted into the Fa, melted into Masters grand compassion, and I have gotten rid of more and more of my fake post-natal self. I know that without Master and without Dafa, I am nothing. What reason do I have to let these dirty attachments block my path of return, and what reason do I have to make Master more worried about my progress? Now, except for the sixth lecture of Zhuan Falun, which is longer and takes two days to recite, I now recite one chapter of Zhuan Falun a day. In addition to reciting the Fa, I also make sure I read one chapter a day. I then find time to study Masters latest articles. Moreover, it does not affect my Dafa work at all. Now I still use the method of reciting the Fa while doing other things, and I hardly experience interference from my surrounding environment when I do so. This is because my heart is focused on memorizing the Fa, and not doing the mundane things. Now the speed of my reciting is the same as my speed in reading. I also feel that there is a difference between memorizing the Fa and memorizing some ordinary human knowledge. When I memorize the Fa, I deeply feel that the Fa that I am memorizing is supernatural, and I feel that every word in Zhuan Falun is alive. Moreover, I gain a different understanding every time I memorise the Fa. The parts of Zhuan Falun that I did not understand when I used to just read it now becomes clear after reciting the Fa. When I memorize the Fa, I would often have tears flowing as I recited. I shed tears for the hardship Master has endured in the course of rectifying and transmitting the Fa. I shed tears for the gods and lives that have become lost as the universe went through formation, stasis, degeneration, destruction. I shed tears for the lives that have deviated from the Fa, and I shed tears for the Dafa disciples in China who are persecuted for practicing such a great Fa. And I shed tears for being able to realize my historic mission and assist Master in rectifying the Fa in this life.
Every one of us Dafa disciples, as we came down level by level to the human world, as we went through the cycle of rebirth, and while living in a maze, has endured through our many lives and countless hardships before we could hear the cosmos Fa. What reason do we have to be lazy in our Fa study? Nowadays, every diligent Dafa disciple is truly very busy as we clarify the truth, send righteous thoughts, study the Fa, do the exercises, spend time on work, family, etc. However, I dont think the critical thing is whether we have the conditions or time to memorize the Fa, the key thing is whether we have formed a desire to memorize the Fa.
Compared to other practitioners, I believe I have done very little during the course of my cultivation in Fa-rectification, and I am far away from Masters requirements. However I believe that as I cultivate and let go of self, and learn to consider others first more and more, I will do better and better. This is because I have had the fortune of meeting the most compassionate and righteous Master. In this time of the Dharma-ending period, in this time when human morality is dangerously sliding down, I have had the most precious opportunity to obtain the cosmos Fa that is contained in Zhuan Falun.
Thank you Master.
Thank you everyone.