Shared at 2002 Eastern U.S. Falun Dafa Conference
Greetings, Master. Greetings, fellow practitioners. My name is Tongyun Dang. I am a practitioner in US. I am very happy to have the opportunity to share some of my recent experiences and understandings during the Fa-rectification cultivation.
At first, I could not think of anything special during my cultivation; and I have done quite poorly compared to fellow practitioners. However, encouraged by my fellow practitioners, I felt the need to write an experience-sharing article. Regardless of the quality of my article, I can, in this way, find areas for improvement. By identifying them, I can correct them and truly improve on the journey of my cultivation. Meanwhile, some understandings may also be helpful to fellow practitioners.
1. Use my work knowledge to validate the Fa and clarify the truth
I am a post-doctoral medical researcher in a university, studying cancer biology and pharmacology. I had the idea of using my work knowledge to validate the Fa. Later, with the help from other fellow practitioners, I did some work in this area. The following are some understandings I have learned.
Because it took quite some time and energy to do it, I could do very little on some other Dafa projects such as truth-clarification on the Internet. For quite a while, I was confused. I saw other fellow practitioners clarify the truth more directly. I wondered if I was doing the right thing, or if I could make a difference by doing so. Through further Fa-study, I realized that, such work was indeed necessary for the Fa-rectification and saving sentient beings. This is because, essentially, the purpose of people coming to this world is to return to their origin, through cultivation. When we are revealing shortcomings of current science, we are gradually helping people to come to true understandings of the nature and society. While they are thinking, and restoring their conscience, they also gradually begin to understand Dafa in the positive way. In doing this, we are also saving people.
I also thought, what was my motivation of writing science-related articles? Certainly one thing is clear: this is to validate the Fa, and this is to clarify the truth and spread the Fa, not everyday people's scientific knowledge. But, why not doing something else? Is it because I have got used to such projects, like to do them, or have attachments to them? After pondering, I thought it was not the case. If necessary, I could always switch to other projects anytime, and this would make no difference for me. Thinking of that, I further realized how serious and divine Dafa work was. It is true that we are currently working on many projects, such as writing articles, making phone calls to China, or spreading the Fa on the Internet, or practitioners in Mainland China stepping forward to distribute flyers or clarify the truth under all circumstances, sometimes even risking their lives. But, no matter what we do, our determination on the Fa and compassion for all sentient beings should always be the same, although the specific manifestations can be different.
Later, I found a hidden attachment. A little complacence emerged when I thought that my project might require technical or specialized knowledge. Soon I realized that this was wrong. Not just because I had done rather poorly compared to fellow practitioners, but also that the selfish thought itself should not have existed. Essentially, all our knowledge was given to us for validating the Fa. Therefore, strictly speaking, the only thing we have as our own is the heart for Dafa, for more sentient beings to assimilate to Dafa. Although what we do is different from person to person on the surface, we are in fact doing the same thing. Especially at this critical moment when countless sentient beings need to be saved, what a Dafa disciple should think is how to do better during this period of time. Countless beings in the cosmos are facing a dangerous situation. While improving ourselves, what we are supposed to think about and do is to validate Dafa and clarify the truth, so that more sentient beings can come to know the truth of Dafa.
Sometimes when I listened to music composed or sung by Dafa disciples, I was often very touched since the music and songs indeed came from their hearts. In this way, I had further understandings of how divine and how great the Fa-rectification cultivation was. In my understanding, writing science related article is similar to clarifying the truth or spreading the Fa in other ways. A righteous attitude will result in articles that can touch others' hearts. It will also make the writing process easier; sometimes the ideas just flew out naturally.
Of course, writing science-related articles can take many approaches. There are not only different fields, but also countless topics can lead people to further thinking. For example, there are reports that anger causes heart attack. Based on this, we can mention that only kindness can lead to true health; alternatively we can also emphasize on the relationship between spirit and matter. We can even explain it from the viewpoint of traditional Chinese medicine, and thus giving the readers an opportunity for further understanding of traditional Chinese culture. Therefore, there are many things that we can write. Needless to say, there were also moments that I felt difficulty to write. In most cases, it was because my mind was not pure or righteous, most likely considering it as finishing an everyday people's task. The greatness and boundlessness of Dafa are manifested in all aspects; it is our attachments or human notions that keep us from doing better.
2. Improving ourselves during clarifying the truth
Other than joining group activities, I do not have much experience of clarifying the truth to people face to face, so here I will share some understandings during daily life and work. I used to be very passive in clarifying the truth, and would not do it until people mentioned or even attacked Dafa. However, such opportunities are very limited and obviously what I did did not meet Dafa disciple's criteria. Later I was able to do better. When talking with other people, I always tried to encourage people and inspire their conscience, so that they can come to know Dafa in a positive way, as well as hearing about the persecution facts. For example, when taking about numerous social problems, or terrorism, we can mention that the most fundamental resolution comes from people's mind nature, not relying on juridical procedures or high-tech strategies.
Furthermore, in my understanding, clarifying the truth is not limited to the above. Through our everyday behaviors, people are observing us and judging us. For example, due to my previous partial understandings, I had not paid much attention to my everyday work, and I even considered neglecting it as letting go of attachments to fame and interest. As a result, it caused troubles that could have been avoided. Later, I realized the importance of conforming to the everyday human society. However, due to my partial understandings, I went to another extreme and even tried to show off. It did not work out, either. Later, I realized all of these were attachments. In my understanding, no matter in the past or in the future, everyday society's work always needs to be done, and needs to be done well. In addition, doing well at work is also manifestation of Shan (Benevolence) of a practitioner.
"Do but pursue not" (Hongyin) has profound meanings. In past, I only emphasized on "pursue not", while ignoring "Do". If just dealing with everyday work superficially, this does not conform to everyday society's principle, let alone meeting Dafa's requirements. In fact, when clarifying truth, we are not only facing a human being, but also the high level sentient beings behind, as well as more beings who are observing this at different levels. During the Fa-rectification, any impure parts inside us will be exposed, and they all need to be resolved during our upgrading in the cultivation practice. When we cannot handle things well, it not only becomes an issue for ourselves, but also may have negative influence on fellow practitioners and other people's attitudes towards Dafa, whether we are aware of it or not. Plus, the old forces can easily take advantage of such opportunities, which causes loss at different levels. When we can truly act according to requirements by the Fa, people will come to know Dafa disciples' pure, upright and compassionate nature.
Teacher has taught this many times, but very often I still cannot do well. I think this is because I need to improve my Fa-study, and be strict with myself. Only knowing what should do, but cannot act according to the Fa, this in fact is not cultivation.
In Zhuan Falun, Teacher said, "Only if one truly practices cultivation can one's journey of life be changed. But as a regular person, this person is practicing qigong only for healing and fitness. Who will change his path of life? As an ordinary person, he will catch an illness one day or come across some trouble on another day. He might become psychotic someday or drop dead. An ordinary person's whole life is just like that." Another understanding I have is, when sometimes I seem to know what to do, but will not go ahead do it or cannot do it up to my understandings; or in some other occasions, do not know how to deal with things, there are deeper reasons for that. I think that means that deep in my heart, I have not fully believed the Fa, assimilated to the Fa.
It is very critical to have a determined mind and get rid of the interference. During a group Fa-study on one weekend, I felt exhausted, and had a stomachache, plus the inference of thought karma was severe. I started to send forth righteous thoughts in my mind. After a while, did not see any improvement. With the painful feelings, I thought, no matter what, as long as I could still breathe, I would continue the Fa-study here. Plus, what I am studying is Dafa, how possibly there could be any interference? Then I began to fully concentrate on the Fa-study. All the uncomfortable feelings were gone very soon, and I did not even notice it.
3. "Constantly cultivating xinxing" (Hongyin)
Like everyone here, I have had many opportunities for improvement in cultivation. The following are just two or three examples.
One day, I joined a discussion between several practitioners. During the discussion, I saw some fellow practitioners insist on their own opinions about some Dafa work technical details or procedures. Instead of co-operating with each other, they even used Teacher's words to criticize others and turned the situation into a deadlock. I was very emotional at seeing this, and almost stood out to do something to "settle it". After calming down and thinking it over, I realized that, if I had gone ahead and criticized others, didn't I have similar attachments as theirs? In other words, primarily look outside and hardly look inward, or do not look inward at all. I often felt very bad when seeing fellow practitioners holding their attachments and unwilling to let them go. Meanwhile, I also realized, it could never be accidental for me to see things like this. Isn't that sometimes I also hold my attachments firmly and even cannot realize it? In my understanding, many times it is not that we have to do things in a certain way; what is even more important is our state of mind, is it truly considering for saving sentient beings, or mixing other considerations? From this, I thought of the enormous difficulty Teacher has experienced to save us and other sentient beings. I was almost in tears.
My wife is not a practitioner, and she sometimes made many comments or complaints about me. For example, she said I failed to meet the requirements for practitioners, such as often being tardy, and not compassionate when dealing with other people or handling things. For some of them, I also noticed and said I was willing to correct them. But, long time has past, and there has been little change. One day, she told me again that I did not do well on this and on that. I said, "OK, I will make a note to remind myself, and for sure will correct them." She said, "Come on. You have written down many times, but that did not make any difference". That made me think it over for a long time: I had always considered myself as a practitioner, and had been improving. How come there were still so many attachments so hard to get rid of? For example, when introducing Dafa to other people, my attitude was always kind; but it would be different during my daily life, especially when there was something unpleasant . Theoretically, cultivation of Shan (Compassion) should be unconditional, how come sometimes I can act according to it, and sometimes not? Seems there are some deeply hidden attachments. In another word, I was unwilling to act according to Shan at the most fundamentally level. In my personal understanding, I think that this problem is one manifestation of whether I truly wanted to assimilate to the Fa or not.
One day when reading fellow practitioners' articles on the Internet, several articles ended with quoting other fellow practitioners' words. I did not feel good about it, thinking, "only Teachers' word is the Fa; why are we paying so much attention to fellow practitioners' words, not what Teacher has said?" However, when I calmed down, and thought about it again, I realized it was also a reminder for myself. I sometimes made a note for myself, by writing down several rules similar to everyday people's ones so that I can follow during my daily life and when dealing with other people. Of course it cannot work for a long time, one or two days at most. As I now look back, all these were attachments. During our cultivation, if using others' understandings or our own experience in the past as guidance, it is not appropriate and cannot work out either. Only by regarding Fa as teacher, and continual eliminating impure elements, can it be a cultivation process. During our looking inward when things come up, or planning to do something, what we need to consider should not be what we have done, instead it should be what need to be done, yet has not been fulfilled. In another word, we need to pay much attention to those places that did not meet Dafa requirements. As a practitioner, and as a Fa-rectification disciple, the criteria to judge everything can only be the Fa. Only Dafa can continuously help us upgrade, solve problems and harmonize everything.
Above are some understandings of mine during the Fa-study and Fa-rectification cultivation. Please kindly point out anything improper. Finally, I would like to end this article with a poem of Teacher (Hongyin)
"Obtaining the Fa
Genuinely cultivating Dafa,
The only thing that is important.
Assimilating to Dafa,
One is bound to succeed in the future."
Thank you, Master. Thank you, everyone.