Studying the Fa, Cultivating the Heart, and Looking Within
Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I obtained the Fa in 1996. In "Teaching the Fa at the Founding Ceremony of the Singaporean Falun Dafa Association" Teacher said,
"If you ask what I want, I want only to see that heart of yours--the heart to cultivate and the heart that longs for goodness."
I would like to display my "heart to cultivate and the heart that longs for goodness" that I have developed over the past 12 years of cultivation. I want to share my experiences studying the Fa, cultivating the heart, and looking inside with fellow practitioners. This is my limited understanding. If there's anything inappropriate, please kindly point it out.
I am thankful for Teacher's grace. The Fa allowed me to experience the harmony of looking inside.
In early 1996, I spent an entire day reading Zhuan Falun from beginning to end. At that time, I had a feeling that it was what I had been searching for. This was the Teacher I had been searching for. This was the dignified Teacher who saved my life.
I was a political worker before obtaining the Fa. Not only was I an atheist, I also used the CCP culture to poison others. In this world where morality is worsening every day, I struggled and competed for fame and fortune. I had many illnesses that made me seem like an old man even though I was only in my thirties. The illnesses lasted over twenty years. I took lots of medication, spent lots of money on treatments, suffered many pains, and yet I was still sick. I was foggy-headed all day and was really miserable beyond description. I didn't believe in qigong. It was just like what Teacher said in Zhuan Falun,
"When he becomes ill, he will go to the hospital. When a doctor of Western medicine cannot cure him, he will go to see a doctor of Chinese medicine. When the doctor of Chinese medicine also cannot cure the illness and when no special prescription works, he will then think of qigong and ponder: 'I'll try my luck to see whether qigong can actually heal my illness.'" (Zhuan Falun, Lecture Six).
I was forced to enter the realm of qigong by my illnesses. I didn't know anything about it, and I didn't know about cultivation. As a result, I practiced a false qigong and was possessed by spirits or animals.
It was Falun Dafa that made me realize for the first time that I was looking outward, trying to cure my illnesses, and trying to obtain supernatural powers. It was my unrighteous heart that had summoned the spirits or animals. From then on, I followed Teacher's teachings and looked inside, cultivating inward, asking for nothing, and putting effort into cultivating my xinxing. Teacher provided an incomparably bright cultivation path for me. I had infinite hope for my life. I realized that the point of life was "to return to the true self." I decided I would tell all my relatives, friends and even more people about this once in a thousand year opportunity, and I would use my cultivation experiences to spread Dafa to repay Teacher for his benevolent salvation.
In early 1996, a few other new practitioners and I established a group to promote the Fa. After the new year in 1996, we went to the city's main assistance center and officially established an assistance site in our district. Under Teacher's protection, four to five thousand people from different cities and townships in this region quickly came to learn Falun Gong. Of special note was one day in 1997, a large Falun appeared in the sky in our region to clean the field for the entire region. It was truly, "The Buddha-light illuminates everywhere and rectifies all abnormalities." (Zhuan Falun, Lecture Three).
A neighbor experiencing karmic retribution prompts me to look within to find the difference in my own level
There was a retired senior in my neighborhood who didn't understand Falun Gong. He became a spy working for the local police station after the persecution began on July 20, 1999. He often watched me from the front gate, tried to persuade me to stop practicing whenever he saw me, and told my family to do the same. At first I didn't pay much attention, and I didn't clarify the truth to him because of my attachment to fear. I later discovered that he sent the fliers to the police station as soon as he got them, and he was often sneaking around with the police officers. Around early 2001, officials with the police station, along with the street and neighborhood administrations stepped up the harassment, forcing me to leave home to avoid further persecution, and I was sure that my neighbor had contributed to this situation. When I left home, he seemed healthy enough, but less than eight months later, he died of cancer. I heard about this while I was out-of-town and it made me very happy. I thought that it was a manifestation of retribution for what he had done, and I took pleasure in his death. Also, I was very willing to read and share retribution news about those around the country who participated in the persecution. I didn't see anything wrong with this notion for a long time.
Teacher said in "Realms" from Essentials for Further Advancement,
"A wicked person is born of jealousy.
Out of selfishness and anger he complains about unfairness towards himself.
A benevolent person always has a heart of compassion.
With no discontentment or hatred, he takes hardship as joy.
An enlightened person has no attachments at all.
He quietly observes the people of the world deluded by illusions."
I suddenly realized that my notions about those who received karmic retribution was problematic. According to Teacher's Fa, I asked myself, what realm was I in? The answer was that I was in the realm of "a wicked person." I was astounded after looking within, as this was no small matter. Teacher taught us to be "with no discontentment or hatred, he takes hardship as joy." I on the other hand had spite and hatred, and no compassion. This wasn't just an ordinary human attachment, it was demon nature. Having compassion at all times is what Teacher hopes for us to achieve in order to cultivate upward. It's said that to use evil against evil makes the evil even worse, and to use kindness against evil makes the evil perish. One's retributions are decided by the laws of the universe. Teacher said in "Teaching the Fa in the City of Chicago,"
"I told you a long time ago that a Dafa disciple, or a cultivator, has no enemies. The only thing you have a role in is saving people, and you have nothing to do with using human means and human principles to punish or pronounce judgment on people. This is a fundamental issue!"
As cultivators, we cannot dwell in the realm of an ordinary person. Our revered Teacher wants us to save all sentient beings, be it those in this world who came for the Fa and contributed positively or negatively. Teacher even wants to save those who spy on Dafa practitioners. We as disciples should do the same as Teacher. Teacher wants us to cultivate generous hearts and become immensely compassionate and selfless, Buddhas, Taos, or Gods, not deviated, vengeful humans.
After I came to this realization, I no longer experienced pleasure whenever I heard the news about evil people receiving retribution. Instead I felt sympathy for them. I sincerely hoped for more people to be saved. From then on, I no longer felt hatred or fear when I encountered police cars or police officers. Because I no longer held enemies in my heart, I could naturally and steadfastly do the three things well.
Looking within about the incident of three small peaches, and cultivating xinxing from each and every small incident
There is a small fruit store near my home, which is run by a female owner. She was always friendly and selected the best fruits for me every time I shopped there. One day I took the opportunity to clarify the truth to her and helped her quit the CCP. I was grateful that she was saved. Two days later I went to purchase peaches from her. This time she gave me three small peaches, and I didn't turn her down to save face. When I returned home, those three small peaches irritated me. I thought, "Why is it that she gave me the good ones before I urged her to quit the CCP, and now she gives me the small ones after I helped her quit?" In a flash, I remembered that I was a cultivator, and I shouldn't care about such a small matter. I was only three small peaches. But they were there, catching my attention. My mind was disturbed and I couldn't let it go.
Teacher said in Zhuan Falun, Lecture Four,
"From the high-level perspective, these principles are all changed. An ordinary person will not understand it. When you look at these principles from high levels, everything will be different. Among everyday people you may find these principles correct, but they are not actually right. Only what is seen from high levels is truly right. It is usually like this."
Teacher taught us that encountering both good and bad situations is good. When I looked within myself calmly, I enlightened that Teacher was using the peaches to awaken me. Aren't these three peaches signifying my three human attachments? I did indeed hold quite a few human attachments. For example, I thought I should get something in return when I did something for others, I had an attachment to validating myself, and I loved to nit-pick about others for self-gain. From these three small peaches, I enlightened that when we clarify the truth to people to help them quit the CCP, a life that can be saved is saved by Teacher's fashen. We are just doing this as a process in this human format. We can't even protect ourselves without Teacher's help, not to mention saving others, but Teacher gives the mighty virtue to his disciples. Make no mistake, if one has the attachment to validate oneself, then it will lead one to show off, and it will easily be used by the evil as an excuse for persecution.
I thank those three small peaches for inspiring me. Afterwards, I started holding myself to the level of a cultivator when I went grocery shopping. I made friends with others to clarify the truth, and the results were good. I enlightened that even small incidents have deep meaning for a cultivator. To look within after even the smallest incident could help not only elevate one's xinxing but also save sentient beings.
Searching within leads to boundless seas and skies, and looking outward leads to a difficult, narrow path that is hard to walk. I feel that looking within is a requirement for every Dafa disciple. I enlightened that looking within is like discarding the filthy things that one has accumulated from each life. We should evaluate everything using Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, find the filth and purge it, and do this continuously in order to elevate continuously. The lid needs to be opened by oneself, the human attachments need to be found by oneself, the filth needs to be purged by oneself, and eventually that "bottle" will float. If we look outward in the midst of hardships in cultivation, it's like we are trying to purge others' "bottles" and we will never be able to float. Therefore, looking within is a treasure that's given to us by Teacher, it is a golden key in our cultivation, a broad path leading to the heavens. The evil is scared of us searching within, not looking outward.
October 15, 2008