Handling Barriers and Tribulations as a Dafa Practitioner
(Clearwisdom.net) As a Falun Dafa practitioner, each of us has his or her own barriers and tribulations--some of them Teacher arranges, and some are forced upon us by old forces; some are easier to differentiate than others. Regardless of their source, we should overcome them all. As for the existing barriers and tribulations, we are required to look within ourselves, and in the process of breaking through, we raise our xinxingand push forward toward completion.
Recently, I have noticed that many fellow practitioners are having problems handling barriers and tribulations. In view of this, I would like to share some of my viewpoints, which I hope might be helpful. Due to my limited level, my understanding may have some bias and loopholes. Please correct my errors.
1. There are quite a few fellow practitioners, I feel, who unknowingly classify themselves as everyday people by thinking that they still have sickness in their bodies. In fact, they still think of it as sickness, not knowing that they have passed the "state of the milk-white body," and that they are only in the process of eliminating sickness karma. Some people even think that as long as we are among everyday people, we must maintain ordinary people's ways of thinking, or we won't be able to live in human society--this is their excuse for not being diligent. Our cultivation is to work hard to eliminate our human mentalities, and we should not wait for Teacher to do it for us. Furthermore, as Teacher has already shouldered so much for us, the remainder of the karma we have to eliminate is very small.
In the process of our cultivating Dafa, there is nothing unrelated or accidental taking place, including the excuses used by the old forces to help raise practitioners' xinxing. Therefore, when each barrier or tribulation comes along, we can raise our xinxing from it. Our hearts would not be so moved if we could look at it more objectively. Further, if we raise our xinxing based on the Fa, we should be able to solve our problem. Some practitioners do not take this approach. After going through ups and downs, they feel happy only because their challenges disappeared, not because of gratitude to Teacher for their having reached a higher level. The difference is huge, because if your xinxing is not raised, your level is not raised either.
2. The attachment of fear of suffering. Where there is cultivation, there is suffering. Otherwise, cultivation would be impossible. Since there is such an element of suffering in the "Three Realms," cultivation becomes possible. It is because of this element that we are here in this human world, in the maze. When we suffer both mentally and physically and when we are confronting tribulations and hardship as well as injustice, we have the courage to openly deal with it with a cultivator's mind--no complaint, no fuss, no hatred, and no sorrow. Teacher said, "To consummate yourself, reaping Buddhahood, Let joy be found in hardship." ("Tempering the Will," Hong Yin) In human society, anything that makes us uneasy and uncomfortable touches our attachments. Let us think, what was our initial purpose for being here in the human world? We are here to save sentient beings! Our hearts were so compassionate when we had that thought back then, but now we have many kinds of thinking stemming from notions accumulated over numerous reincarnations. These many kinds of thoughts should be eliminated through cultivation, thereby enabling us to truly save sentient beings by assimilating to the Fa.
3. My wife asked me the other day, "You haven't been angry or worried about anything these past few years. Under what situation would you get angry or worried?" Looking back carefully, I feel that there has been quite a bit that I have encountered--evil interference, misunderstanding from relatives, as well as being distracted by thoughts of fame and profit, one thing after another. However, since I really learned how, whenever an incident appeared that shook me, I would first find the reason behind it by looking within myself. I do this regardless of the situation being exciting, sad, good or bad. I look inside myself to see whether my mind is leaning towards fame, profit, or emotion, and whether my mind was wandering in an area that was not compatible with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
It was easier to get rid of the attachments when I had them dug out and exposed. Also, I felt that it was worthwhile to keep them in front of me, so that in the future I could pay more attention to them should they reappear. In fact, when you know where the problem lies, those things disappear in front of you. I understood later on, that as long as you satisfy the requirement of overcoming the problem, its existence is no longer necessary. Sometimes, as soon as I began looking inward, and prior to finding the problem, the matter suddenly changed before I could find my attachment. In these cases, I regretted that the tribulation didn't happen. I said to myself, I've got to grab the opportunity more quickly next time, and find the attachment that I haven't noticed yet. Nonetheless, maybe I am happy because I am not afraid of any problem or any barrier, as they are all good things. As a matter of fact, considering that what is going on in human society is just like a play, what we do in cultivation is the only real thing. We are happy to face anything provided it's beneficial to raising our level in cultivation. That is why I am free and happy all the time.
4. One of the reasons I am writing this article is because of a scene I saw a little while back. I saw a large ball of black clouds which was holding back tons of Dafa practitioners, who seemed very tiny. Off and on, a few practitioners got out of the cloud. They became very big and dignified, with images of Buddhas, Daos, and Gods. These out-of-the-cloud practitioners were performing things like Gods. There were a great number of practitioners outside the cloud, but the practitioners outside were unable to help those inside. I believe that fellow practitioners could provide some insights about how to handle some of the problems that practitioners encounter. I would like to refer to Teacher's words in Zhuan Falun for our mutual encouragement.
"To a genuine practitioner, I would say that it is very easy and not something too high to reach. ......As a truly-determined practitioner, one is able to endure everything and give up or care less for any attachment in the face of various self-interests. As long as one can do this, it will not be difficult."