(Clearwisdom.net) Master said in "Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference,"
"Then, as Dafa disciples, today you're able to rectify the Fa together with Master, so I think that as far as what's in store for you in the future--I've never told you specifically but today I'll hint at it--it's going to be the most supreme, unprecedented honor!"
I never knew what kind of honor Master was referring to, until recently, when I suddenly realized it while doing the meditation and feeling tremendous pain in my legs. My legs hurt terribly, and usually when this happens I would "endure" and hope for it to end as soon as possible. However, in the midst of the pain, I suddenly realized, "For a being in the old cosmos, being able to sit here and do Dafa exercises like I am doing is in fact the most supreme honor!"
How can I merely "endure," considering I am a most fortunate being in the cosmos? How can I wish it to end? This is not a righteous thought at all!
All of this thinking started with the article, "Singing the Praises of Master and Dafa *With Master's Comment," which was published on Clearwisdom Net (http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2003/8/30/39707.html). I was very moved when I read it, but at the time it was hard for me to sort out my thoughts.
Later, I found I was not the only one who was moved. A series of similar articles appeared on Clearwisdom Net that continued to provoke my thinking. One day, I read the article "My Understanding Towards Master and Dafa" (http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2003/10/20/41448.html): "What does Master mean to me? The answer is simple: everything, all the meaning of my life, all the efforts of returning to my true nature, and where I ultimately belong. In Master's eyes, my life was as small as a speck of dust in this universe. ... Master chose us since he treasures what he created. I should be grateful for Master for my existence and for the fact that I can cultivate. ... If one day I have any glory, I am just sharing Master's glory. I have nothing myself, it is Master who gave me everything. In return, what could I offer to Master? Present Master the gifts Master has bestowed to me? In fact, the only thing we can offer to Master is a pure heart after getting rid of all human attachments."
When I read this article, I could not hold back my tears. I think they came from the origin of my being, penetrating through levels upon levels of cosmoses and universes and reflecting on the surface of my flesh body. This practitioner wrote what I wanted to say, but I know what he wrote is only the tiny bit that he could express after exhausting human language, because he was describing an incomparably glorious process of a being who improves his level and enters the new cosmos.
I vaguely felt that Master is reaching a very deep place with his magnificent Fa rectification, which is reflected in Dafa disciples' minds. After "Singing the Praises of Master and Dafa," every few days there would be another article written by a practitioner who had been moved to the depth of his being, and the article would appear on Clearwisdom Net. This continued until the article "Golden Buddha *With Master's Comment" was published. (http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2003/11/2/41918.html)
The butcher in "Golden Buddha" seemed like he never practiced cultivation, but the one thought he had was true, which moved the ten-directional world. He venerated and looked forward to Buddha so much that he could give up anything, and although he had not yet seen the Buddha, he could take out his heart when he heard two cultivators were going to see the Buddha. He could give up everything in this world in one instant. To be honest, would I be able to do the same in that situation? I'm not sure.
However, the butcher was able to do it, and he became a golden Buddha.
"True cultivation depends completely on cultivating your mind." (Zhuan Falun) In all of his lectures, Master repeatedly emphasizes that in our practice, He only looks at our hearts. In all past cultivation ways, the true nature of cultivation was never told. They beat around the bush and talked about this method, that method, venerating the Buddha, doing good things, building temples, doing practice, studying the scriptures and enduring hardships. ... In fact, true cultivation is the tempering of one's heart. When our xinxing (heart or mind nature, moral character) meets the standards, we have achieved Consummation. That's how simple it is.
If we look at the two cultivators, they had cultivated for a long time. They must have endured lots of afflictions, but when they finally saw the Buddha, they still couldn't completely believe and had to see real benefits for themselves. How low their xinxing was compared to the butcher's! Although they had gone through many hardships, they still couldn't let go of their attachments, so everything was an illusion. When the illusion disappeared, the truth was revealed, and it turns out they were "two pieces of fried dough."
"Building temples and worshiping gods, truly busy,
But not knowing actions with pursuit can bring nothing in the end;
Foolish and lost, vainly dreaming of the road to the western paradise,
Like blindly groping in night walk and scooping for the moon in water." ("Actions with Pursuit," Hong Yin)
Now, Master's words pound in my ears like thunder.
"Actually, it is because of reading Zhuan Falun that your body has been somewhat blessed on the surface. Other than that, you have not attained anything. With a mind that ill, could you attain anything else? Human beings! Think about it! What should you believe? What shouldn't you believe? Why do you practice cultivation? For whom do you practice cultivation? For whom does your life exist? I trust that you will weigh such questions properly. Otherwise, you will never be able to make up for what you will lose. When Dafa reveals itself to mankind, these are not the only things that you will lose." ("Dafa Cannot be Used," Essentials for Further Advancement)
This is not something trivial, not a joke. I have been cultivating for so long, and it has been over four years since July 20, 1999. Yet if by now I'm still not very clear what cultivation and Fa-rectification is all about, what a big "joke" it is! In fact it is not a joke, but an issue of whether I can be responsible to myself, be responsible to the eternity of my life and the countless beings in the sphere of my universe!
Looking back at the tiny bit of what I have done in Dafa work, my pitiful attachments to fame and self-interest and my desires, I could not help but see them as really pathetic and laughable. What's a so-called a person in charge, or a coordinator? What's so-called being capable or having that ability? Aren't these all opportunities created by Master to allow us to assimilate to the Fa? I'm in awe that I am such a being--one who used to be covered all over with karma and imbued with various dirty thoughts, a being that would be eliminated in the destruction of the old universe were it not for the Fa-rectification, a being that is not even worth a speck of dust in the vast cosmos--yet I have had the opportunity to listen to Master teaching the Fa of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance." What an honor this is! I do not know what other honors Master will give me in the future, but I do know that to be able to listen to Master teaching the Fa, to follow Master in Fa-rectification, is already a honor that beings do not even dare to contemplate!
I realize now that the ability I have does not mean I'm more capable than others. Master has given me this bit of ability to enable me to help others and to give me an opportunity to fulfil my wish that was made a long time ago. Master could give others the same ability and they could do even better than me.
If I'm a person in charge or a coordinator, or if I have done some things that I think are very important, it is not because I'm more capable than others, but because Master has given me this opportunity to reveal my own degeneration and impurity so that fellow practitioners can see my shortcomings more clearly. It's to allow me more opportunities to help others to be successful, so that we can all become purer, and better able to fulfill our vows made long ago. Master can also arrange such opportunities for others.
If I'm no longer a person in charge, or doing the work I think is very important, then I should be even more grateful to Master, because he would bestow me with another opportunity.
All these are created by Master's boundless compassion, and they are opportunities given to us with the boundless compassion and grace of Buddha. Buddha's graciousness is so enormous and powerful. I'm so insignificant, yet I have time and time again been granted such opportunities. Be grateful? I do not deserve all this!
Looking back at the past, where I could not let go of personal cultivation, it was indeed laughable and very dangerous. My understanding is that this is a fundamental reason that the old universe is heading for destruction. This is also a fundamental issue that Dafa disciples must resolve in Fa-rectification, a great obstacle in us that hinders our completely denying the arrangements of the old forces and becoming completely new beings in the new universe. What is cultivation? There is also such a concept in the old universe-- that a being can become a higher level being through cultivation. He would have a sense of achievement. It is indeed like this. He had endured many hardships and others would feel admiration toward him, thinking he is a great and glorious god. In fact, when looking from an even higher level, there are no such concepts as "achievement" or "cultivation." As Teacher explained,
"Also, at even higher levels the concept of wanting to achieve something doesn't exist, either. It's just a matter of the cosmos's choice." (Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference)
Some practitioners have suffered severe persecution, and they may feel that they have endured much; some practitioners got out of the den of demons with righteous thoughts; some practitioners have done a great deal of Dafa work. All these are outstanding, and both current and future beings in the universe would say these are our achievements and our mighty virtues. However, if we ourselves also think this way, then it is not righteous, and even pitiful and laughable.
What have we done? What can we do? What can we endure? The boundless karma, is it what we can endure? If Master doesn't untie the intertwined "net of resentment and karma," incalculable even with gigantic havocs, can we get out of the devil's den? We think that we have done so much extraordinary Dafa work, but do we know how many stunningly complicated factors are involved and how many debts accumulated through immeasurable havocs need to be balanced? On the surface it seems that we endure, we break through with righteous thoughts and we achieve in doing Dafa work, but what is the truth?
It's because Master has chosen us, like an artist chooses his materials, and there is no such thing as cultivation or achievement. Plainly speaking, all cultivation in the old cosmos is like using muddy water to wash the mud off our bodies.
In fact, the old cosmos' concepts of "returning to original self," "cultivation," "great compassion," etc., are meaningless in today's Fa-rectification, because fundamentally this Fa-rectification has nothing to do with the old cosmos. Even if one uses up all the cultivation methods or all the choices at different levels, one cannot enter the new cosmos, since this is the new history. No being has ever entered the history of the next cosmos and no being has ever had heard about the Fa-rectification. They simply had no such chance.
I cannot express with words how lucky and glorious we are to get this opportunity.
I understand that Master borrowed the old cosmos terms "cultivation" and "returning to original self" to allow the sentient beings of the old cosmos to understand the Fa principles of the new cosmos, but fundamentally, the inner meanings are totally different. If one holds onto the opinions of the old cosmos, he will never understand the true inner meaning of "returning to the original self" that Master speaks of.
"'Cultivation? We didn't arrange cultivation for him. What's cultivation? We just want to cleanse it, cleanse it step by step, all the way up. Cleanse it--it's as simple as that!' Yet when manifest at different levels, it becomes paving the way, having troubles, enduring hardships, eliminating karma, cultivating, and so on, cultivating one way, practicing another way..." (Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference)
As beings chosen by Master, whether we can recognize this clearly is crucial to whether we can break through the old forces' arrangements and persecution and walk toward the new cosmos.
Why can the old forces continue to do what they want? "'Well, don't you want to practice cultivation? I'll take care of you and tell you how to practice cultivation.'" (Zhuan Falun, Lecture 5) If we cannot get rid of the old cosmos' concepts of cultivation and achievements, we cannot get rid of its arrangements, we cannot feel the most supreme glory Master has bestowed upon us and can never enter the new cosmos' eternity that will never perish.
Now looking back at the pain in sitting meditation, I don't view it as the elimination of karma; instead, it is the most supreme glory Master has bestowed upon me! How are the endless karma and dirtiest filth eliminated? How did Master endure all these? The splendid Falun and all its mechanisms when we practice the meditation, the magnificent scenes when the Benti (original body) undergoes its changes, the immeasurable sentient beings in my cosmic body being saved and their karma eliminated, and with Master always nearby protecting me--isn't this the most supreme glory that a being would not even dare to imagine?
Facing the glory Master has bestowed upon us, should I have the mindset of "endurance?"
Above is a little understanding from my personal Fa study. Please point out anything improper.