Comment from Master:
I suggest that all Dafa disciples read this article.
November 1, 2003
A few days ago I read a fellow practitioner's article Treat Fa-Rectification Period Cultivation with the Cleanest and Purest Mind that contained a story discussing the issue of one's purity in their desire to cultivate. The story goes as follows: A butcher ran into two people who were cultivating Buddhahood. The two people said that they were on their way to the West to see the Buddha, and tried to convince the butcher to go with them. The butcher said, "I'm just too filthy and not worthy. But please, take my sincere heart with you." (This showed that even though this person's profession was not good, he still had the sincere heart to respect and long for the Buddha.) So the butcher took out his own heart and gave it to the two people. (This showed that the butcher had no reservations or doubts about his respect and longing for the Buddha.) The two people who were cultivating Buddhahood agreed and took his heart to the West. After they came into the Buddha's presence, the Buddha pointed to a giant pot filled with boiling water and asked them if they dared to jump in. The two people both felt a lot of hesitation, so they thought: Maybe it would be best to throw that heart into the pot and see what happens? (This showed that these two cultivators did not have complete faith in the Buddha's words and were still evaluating them with a human heart.) So they threw the butcher's heart into the pot, and it became a golden Buddha. (A reflection of the state of that person's inner being's realm.) Seeing this, the two people immediately jumped in, too. (This showed that these two people had very poor enlightenment quality and were stuck in the mentality of "seeing is believing." They only did what the Buddha said to do when they saw the gains they were after.) The outcome was that they became two pieces of fried dough, the reflection of their inner being's realm.
In another article, Having No Human Notions In the End, a fellow practitioner also told a story about two people. One person had a great exterior. (He did everything well and appropriately, and received praise from everyone.) After he died, when people opened him up, they saw that inside he was filthy and decayed, and everyone referred to this person as "shining magnificently on the outside but a rotting mess inside." (The bad things inside him were covered up, and they were not cleaned up on a fundamental level.) Another person had a very ordinary exterior and didn't stand out in any particular area. He committed suicide after being unable to resolve a trivial matter. After his death, when people opened him up, they saw that this person was shining brilliantly inside with a golden light. The people all shook their heads in regret for this person, saying that this person was "plain and nondescript on the outside but glorious inside." They all felt that it was a shame for this person to give up everything he had achieved. In reality this person had cultivated quite well, but it was just that he couldn't see it. Because he committed suicide over a trivial matter that he couldn't overcome, all of his previous achievements in cultivation were completely for naught.
After reading these two stories, I felt that they were very good reminders for myself and for everyone to better cultivate our xinxing (mind nature, moral character) and understand the Fa better. From the first story, I realized that doing Dafa work for long periods of time without thinking of anything else does not necessarily mean that a person is constantly in a state of mind of what a Dafa disciple should be. As for how to truly walk one's own path well and righteously, it's not something that can be clearly and thoroughly understood immediately.
In the past during the time of personal cultivation, there were many well known Assistance Center heads, assistants, and veteran practitioners, including practitioners who were frequently around Master -- both in China and abroad -- that did many things for Dafa and were very capable, but some of them had obvious problems in their xinxing. For example, they often didn't study the Fa or they did not study the Fa with a cultivator's mindset (regarding the Fa as just a source of information or studying the Fa with curiosity or as a type of research, etc), or they did not have a heart of compassion, had an everyday person's bureaucratic attitude or a strong sense of hierarchy, were full of themselves, were jealous, competitive, overly focused on gain and loss, etc. Of course, they were cultivating after all, so they did not go after everyday people's things. But among practitioners and in cultivation circles, when it came to what they perceived as "gains", they were so blatant in pursuing them yet thought nothing of it. These types of problems also exist in those practitioners who are not in positions of responsibility, for example envying or blindly admiring certain "famous people". This in turn fostered their impure mentalities, but because they were not in positions of responsibility, they didn't feel that it was so important. In reality, this is a reflection of their own everyday people's mentality of hierarchy, because cultivation in Dafa only looks at a person's heart and not the surface, it doesn't matter if you are a "famous person" or not.
After the persecution began on July 20, 1999, all of the Assistance Center heads and "famous people" immediately faced immense pressure. A group of them fell very quickly; some went to the opposite side completely, and some were mired in demonic tribulations for long periods of time. At the time it brought about a great deal of confusion and interference to some of the practitioners, and it shook me up a great deal, as well. I thought, "Most likely it's because they had too much work to do on a day-to-day basis, and they didn't focus on grasping the time to study the Fa well, so the foundation for their xinxing and cultivation was not well established. All of us should learn from this lesson and study the Fa more."
At that point, the focus of studying the Fa was mainly on maintaining quantity, rather than consciously focusing on closely tying studying the Fa and cultivating xinxing. So many problems couldn't be resolved, the understanding of the Fa principles did not increase steadily, and sometimes there was a great deal of interference in studying the Fa. Later on, as Teacher lectured more and more on Fa-rectification, I gradually had a deeper understanding of this issue. First, those people probably unknowingly mixed in the enthusiasm for everyday people's work, abilities, spirit of sacrifice, and way of doing everyday people's work with their own roles in Falun Dafa cultivation. They didn't consider that they still had fundamental attachments and didn't cultivate themselves seriously when facing conflicts brought about by their own xinxing problems. On the contrary, they habitually felt that they were "special" or "privileged", instead of realizing that they were fighting for something or pursuing something. Second, some of those people were arranged for by the old forces, with the goal of testing and weeding out practitioners who had strong everyday people's mentalities. Some were placed to exert a negative influence at critical times, and they weren't doing that type of work because their xinxing was better than everyone else's. But Master wants to save all sentient beings, so He would go along with a lot of things and turn things around--changing things' fundamental nature amidst those arrangements, and destroying the old forces' arrangements. Third, when they did some things in the circle of cultivators, they would be interfered with by the attachment to fame and gain. They were not able to conduct themselves well with a strong main consciousness. Instead, this lead to the appearance and escalation of the attachments to fame and gain, competitiveness, and jealousy, leading to new problems with the work itself, as well as in cultivation.
So, in the four years of Fa-rectification cultivation, the fellow practitioners in Mainland China have been carrying out the matter of validating Dafa and saving sentient beings in the form of "a great way has no form." Each person is being responsible to his or her own cultivation and Dafa work, coordinating among themselves on their own, and it can be said that in reality each person has become a person of responsibility during the Fa-rectification cultivation. Even though overseas there are Falun Dafa Associations and Assistance Centers, and there are a lot of project teams and many new people of responsibility have appeared, these things that take on a concrete form are just for conforming to ordinary society's forms. When it comes to genuine Fa-rectification cultivation, it is also each Dafa disciple being responsible to him or her self, to Master and to the Fa, and to sentient beings. In this process, I think that all of our new and old "people of responsibility" should thoroughly learn from the lessons that we talked about above, so that they are unaffected by the attachment to fame and gain or everyday people's concepts of "famous people" or that of hierarchies, and they don't come to the conclusion that they must be cultivating because they are so busy working. Only when we can truly at every moment and at every place put the Fa into our hearts to continually measure ourselves against, putting our hearts into thinking about how to be responsible to the Fa, to sentient beings, and to our own cultivation, then can each of our "people of responsibility" take every step well and righteously.
The second story reminded me of something else. When an everyday person commits suicide, it generates a great deal of karma and creates complicated consequences. However, when a cultivator commits suicide, he has committed the sin of killing a Buddha, and the consequences are even more complicated and severe. There is an episode during the cultivation story of Buddha Milarepa. After Milarepa had endured various types of enormous physical and spiritual suffering in the course of seeking a righteous Fa, he felt that probably his karma was too great and he would not be able to attain a righteous Fa in his lifetime. So in extreme agony he contemplated suicide. So he said, "Since Marpa and Marpa's wife are both in trouble because of my sins, and since with this present body I will not succeed in cultivation but only accumulate more sins, I am going to kill myself." Thus he pulled out his knife to commit suicide. At that point, a lama named Ngokpa grabbed him and said to him with tears rolling down his face, "Don't do that! The faculties and the sense of each of us are innately divine, this would be the sin of killing a Buddha. There is no greater sin in the world than suicide. Even in the exoteric tradition of the Sutras there is no greater sin than to cut off one's own life. Since you know this, give up the idea of killing yourself." And this was just regarding a cultivator's own situation during the stage of personal cultivation. Speaking from another angle, Fa-rectification cultivation requires us to consider others first in every situation, and cultivate the righteous Enlightenment of being completely selfless and always placing others before ourselves. Furthermore, Fa-rectification disciples have special historic missions, so when we are enduring the suffering amidst tribulation, have we or have we not thought about Master's enduring, the pains Master has taken, and the sentient beings' waiting and longing?
Just like that fellow practitioner wrote, "In being persecuted, many disciples have been forced to go from place to place and lost their jobs. From an ordinary person's perspective these people have nothing in terms of their career and have nothing that's remarkable. But from the perspective of cultivators and Gods, these people are doing the most sacred, magnificent things of validating Dafa and saving sentient beings. In the final historic period of the cosmos' Fa-rectification, we absolutely cannot foster any everyday people's attachments, nor can we afford to be not diligent in our cultivation because we cannot see the fruits of our own cultivation -- or even worse, give up cultivation, and having everything be ruined in an instant at the end."
Through studying the Fa I understood that there is another layer of meaning, that is, in reality Fa-rectification cultivation is not about what we have given up for Dafa, what we are willing to do for Dafa, or how much we have done -- it is about whether or not we can truly recognize the Fa-rectification's enormous inner meanings, and whether or not we know to treasure and humbly accept the future that Master has established for us. Without Master, there is no true Fa-rectification. Without Master's Fa-rectification, none of the old cosmos' sentient beings would have a future, and Fa-rectification is boundlessly merciful while at the same time incomparably sacred and solemn. Fa-rectification cannot be used by any being or human attachment.