"Doing Things" versus Cultivation
(Clearwisdom.net) Greeting Master, greetings fellow practitioners.
I decided to write an article for the Canada Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference in Toronto. In the beginning, before writing, I suddenly noticed that I could remember how many Dafa projects I had been involved in, but I could not figure out how many attachments I had let go of in the process. Thus, I wasn't sure if I was truly cultivating, which was truly a serious issue. Therefore, my experience sharing topic for today is "Doing Things versus Cultivation."
I began the practice in early 2003. After graduating from university, I found a job in Toronto. My cultivation environment changed from independence to cooperating with many people. Recalling my cultivation path at the university, I woke up with a light body, fresh and energetic daily. But, since I only associated with non-practitioners, I did not face many xinxing tests. Therefore, a lot of attachments were still hidden inside. When I came to Toronto, due to the many Fa-validation projects I got involved in, plus not doing the exercises on a regular basis, I always felt very tired and wasn't energetic. I always felt that since I am a young practitioner, I should get involved in more projects. Thus, many attachments were exposed.
When I was little, I was a very jealous girl. I was jealous whenever someone earned a higher grade or if they received something I did not. Before cultivation, I always felt that life was not fair and I was tired of living. I didn't know why it was like that.
"Ordinary people can't see it, so they always think they should do what they're fit to and supposed to do. So they fight tooth and nail for things all their lives, they feel badly hurt, they think life is hard and tiring, and they always think things are unfair and they can't get over them." (The Seventh Talk, Zhuan Falun)
Through cultivation, I realized that I had a strong attachment to jealousy. I tried hard to eliminate it, but I still have not completely rooted it out. I finally realized the seriousness of this bad attachment when I worked on the Gala promotion and news reports.
During the Gala promotion, another practitioner and I were responsible for getting a license to sell tickets in Toronto's downtown business district. The other practitioner was able to obtain the license for a few buildings, some of which I had approached, but failed to get the approval from. She was the one who obtained the approval, which resulted in my jealousy. In fact, it is truly great to obtain more licenses so that we have greater opportunities to promote the Gala. Master said,
"So that can stir up jealousy, and people then get upset when something good happens to other people, instead of being happy for them. That's what happens." (The Seventh Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I got jealous when other experienced reporters interviewed VIPs and the interviews that were arranged for me were instead regular citizens.
I realized that jealousy is a very serious attachment and it can stir up many other attachments. Master said,
"If jealousy isn't eliminated, all the thoughts you've cultivated become fragile. There's a rule: a person who doesn't get rid of jealousy while cultivating cannot achieve a True Fruition--he definitely won't achieve a True Fruition." (The Seventh Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I hope by exposing this terrible attachment, I can finally let go of it. One has to truly cultivate to eliminate attachments at their roots.
Doing Things out of Human Sentiment
I was a good student and grew up with lots of praise. Ordinary people enjoy being praised and constantly seek it. As a Dafa disciple, if you receive a lot of praise, it creates hardships. The principles in the three realms are reversed. Master said,
"For a cultivator, all the frustrations he comes across among everyday people are trials, and all the compliments he receives are tests." ("A Cultivator is Naturally Part of It," Essentials for Further Advancement)
Because I received compliments from practitioners and non-practitioners, I did not want to reject or hurt anybody. I never say "No" when practitioners ask me for help. On numerous occasions, I have not even had time to study the Fa and do the exercises. Yet, I continue to promise to help. I thought that I was doing the right thing by helping others.
"If you don't study this Great Law well your own Consummation won't be secured. What's more, all the important Dafa things you should do will be like ordinary people going about their business, with ordinary-person thoughts and with an ordinary person's basis, and then that's just ordinary people, at best that's just ordinary people doing good deeds for Dafa." ("Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference," 2003)
Is it true? When I do not study the Fa and practice the exercises, am I still a Dafa disciple? Non-practitioners can do Dafa work, but they can only receive blessings and virtue. They do not have the mighty virtue of Dafa disciples. Therefore, I realized that I can't do things out of human sentiment. These are all human attachments, which are things we need to get rid of. Master said,
"You can only reach Consummation after you have abandoned all of your attachments and none of them remain." ("Cultivation Practice is Not Political," Essentials for Further Advancement)
Doing Things to Show Off
There was a period of time in which my cultivation state was not good at all. Too many things had piled up and I was quite stressed out. From my perspective, everyone appeared to have problems. I wanted to get angry and complain about everything to everyone that I met. One day, I couldn't take it anymore, thus I went into a temper tantrum and complained to fellow practitioners.
A few days later, I calmed down. I reviewed my cultivation state and I found that I had gone astray from the Great Law of the universe, the Fa. I had seen myself as a person with a pure heart when trying to improve our TV programs and I was responsible for the TV project. Only when TV programs are good do people want to watch them. This gives us the opportunity to save them. Logically, there was nothing wrong, but why did no one support me? Why was there so much resistance?
Whatever we do, as long as we do it as the Fa requires, things should work out smoothly, and we should be very efficient. When other practitioners thought that we were not ready to progress with certain things that I wanted to do, I didn't want to listen to them. I was attached to solving the problem, needing to push things harder and to push ourselves and force things through. When looking within, I realized that I was using the excuse of improving the TV program to cover up my attachments of validating myself, showing off and believing that I had the ability to achieve great things. Master said,
"You know, in cultivation the most prominent sign that a person still harbors human attachments is his doing things that are not to validate Dafa but instead to validate himself!" ("Fa Teaching at the 2007 New York Fa Conference")
Doing Things -- Purifying the Heart
During the shooting of the TV programs, if my cultivation state is not good, sometimes I repeatedly say the wrong words, the microphone battery might go dead, the light bulb may malfunction, or even worse things may occur. One time, we shot for one hour but the recording device had failed and only recorded the voice without video.
Once, when I co-hosted a show with a practitioner, Dr. Hu, a Chinese medical doctor from Taiwan, I was inspired. Generally, I am not a very calm person when doing things. I was not well prepared for the show. During the TV shooting, I only paid attention to how I looked in front of the camera, but not to how to communicate with the person I was interviewing. I spoke fast and I made many mistakes. When Dr. Hu saw this, he said one sentence, "Let us recite Lunyu from Zhuan Falun." Of course, after we recited it, I started to calm down.
Dr. Hu mentioned that in Taiwan, before they start to shoot a TV program, they always send righteous thoughts, recite Lunyu and then shoot the TV program. Every time before he shoots a TV program, he repeatedly asks himself, "Why am I doing this?" It is not because he wanted to tell ordinary people the things he knew, but to save sentient beings. He said, "If this is the case, then whatever I say is just what Master requires of me to say to save more people. It appears as though we are shooting a TV program. However, we do a TV program to save more people with a very pure heart. The motivation is different from ordinary people shooting a TV program, and thus the results are different."
I understand that only when one has a pure heart and is not attached to oneself, the wisdom will flow out non-stop. In this time period, when practitioners participate in Dafa multimedia projects, they have enormous responsibilities and missions. They are not just showing their faces in front of the camera and showing off their talents. They absolutely cannot have any superiority complex of being better or higher than anyone else.
Doing Things -- Compassion
I spent most of my weekends shooting TV programs. One day, I suddenly realized that it had been a year already since the last time I clarified the truth about Dafa to regular people. As a TV news reporter, sometimes I have the opportunity to meet Chinese people, but I only think of how to write an excellent news report. I forgot my real mission, which is to clarify the truth to Chinese people.
Then, last year, during the Flushing incident, I felt that I had not seen that many Chinese people for a long, long time. Although we were standing on the opposite side, we held no hatred. We had only compassion in our hearts. I felt that they were all great sentient beings and maybe once in our previous lives, they were our friends and family.
I recalled that before I obtained the Fa, if it were not for practitioners clarifying the truth to me, I would probably be one of these un-awakened Chinese, also against Falun Gong and accumulating karma without even knowing it. When I stood on the street in Flushing, and sang the song "Coming for You," I cried. I felt I was so blessed and honored to be a Dafa practitioner. I also felt bad and a sense of urgency for the Chinese people that were still lost and whose minds were poisoned.
Maybe because I have not talked to Chinese people for a very long time, the compassion from the bottom of my heart may really have touched the Chinese people on the opposite side. During the most severe day in Flushing, outside the Flushing Library, I clarified the truth to a gentleman. He resigned from the Chinese Communist Party and wanted to start practicing the Falun Dafa exercises. I also met many other Chinese people, who smiled at me. I began to understand that one can't use bad against evil. Only the compassion that comes from true cultivation can resolve the evil elements.
Six years of cultivation have passed. I still have many attachments that I need to let go of. Although I am still young and I started cultivation late, the standard of the Fa for every practitioner is unchangeable. We need to cultivate diligently.
The above is my limited understanding of the Fa due to being a more recent practitioner. Please kindly correct anything inappropriate.
Thank you, Master. Thank you, fellow practitioners.