(Clearwisdom.net) A while ago I was puzzled by an exterior disturbance. When one of my parents was hospitalized for surgery, my wife was suddenly taken away by the authorities. With the attachment of sentiment, I could not study the Fa or practice the exercises with a peaceful mind, and I couldn't maintain the proper hand position when sending forth righteous thoughts. I was really badly bothered at that time.

One day, when I was studying Teacher's article "Pacify the External by Cultivating the Internal" in Essentials for Further Advancement), I suddenly found the root cause of what was disturbing me; that is, I did not cultivate myself well. At that time, I enlightened to another level of meaning of cultivation--pacifying the external by cultivating the internal. If we cultivate internally, the external environment will be calm. Otherwise, we cannot form a merciful, auspicious, pure, and righteous field. Then how can we affect and restrict external factors?

"Broadly shines a Buddha's light,
Justly setting all things right"

("One With the Fa" in Hong Yin)

So only by cultivating the internal can we pacify the external. Without a pure interior state of mind, how can the exterior environment be peaceful? If I am disturbed or perplexed, is that not caused by my own mind?

Meanwhile, I realized the principle that all of what Teacher has said is "Fa" and is for directing our cultivation and is closely associated with us. When I studied that article before, I always comprehended it with a human mind and took it as a strategy for administering a country and ways for officials and common people to behave, yet I never related it to my cultivation. Also, when I studied the Fa before, I frequently chose to read whatever I liked to study. I would memorize by heart the paragraphs that were related to me. Actually, that is a kind of attachment.

"Study the Fa and gain the Fa,
Focus on how you study and cultivate,
Let each and every thing
be measured against the Fa.
Only then, with that,
is it actually cultivation."

("Solid Cultivation," Hong Yin)

I cannot help but ask myself, "When I study the Fa, do I measure myself against the Fa, follow Teacher's instruction and cultivate myself genuinely?"

March 30, 2007