Western Practitioner: Moving from Humanness to Divinity
(Clearwisdom.net) A warm greeting to our Master and to my fellow practitioners!
The title of my experience-sharing report is "Moving from Humanness to Divinity."
When we look at the thinning ranks of our practitioners in the greater Boston area leaving us short-handed for all the pressing projects we are doing; when we hear news about veteran practitioners abandoning their cultivation, or when we encounter new obstacles in our truth clarification projects that don't make any sense on a superficial level, it is easy to slip into periods of weariness, uncertainty, and discouragement. I have had these feelings to varying degrees, and perhaps some of you have, too.
This is all part of cultivation. When we experience lows like this, I think it is because we still have some humanness left to cultivate away.
Of course our cultivation practice takes the format of cultivating while in ordinary human society. And it is precisely because we live in ordinary society that we not only have an environment in which to improve our xinxing, but that we can carry out our mission of rescuing sentient beings. The two go hand in hand; and we are in a process of moving from humanness to divinity. As such, we have both human and divine thoughts.
In "Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005" Master said,
"Under the tests that the human mind is put to, a state will come about in a cultivator when understandings born of both divine and human thoughts are present and collide. When human thinking gains the upper hand, that person heads toward humanness; when divine thinking and a person's righteous thoughts gain the upper hand, he heads toward godhood."
In the same lecture Master had also said,
"You are now in the last stage of heading toward Consummation ..."
These words make me comprehend that our own righteous thoughts and divine thinking should have gained the upper hand by now. We should be able to distinguish between human thinking and divine thinking, and not remain in the dark on this all-important matter.
Human beings have human thoughts and gods have divine thoughts. That has always made sense to me, but at the same time it has also been most challenging. What differentiates the two kinds of thinking? How can I know if I am thinking like a human being or thinking like a god? There certainly isn't any magic formula that can be followed nor are there any role models for me to emulate. Sometimes, my thoughts are very human and thus easy to identify. Sometimes, my thoughts border on, and perhaps cross over, into the realm of divine thinking. Yet, there is a wide range of thinking going on inside me that is not so easy to define, at least not on the surface.
However, all my human thinking, even my "good" human thinking, is rooted in one thing -- selfishness. If what I am thinking of stirs uneasiness in my conscious mind; no matter how slight, when I pause, take a step back and look inside myself, I will inevitably find its selfish root. Perhaps I have been afraid of taking on something I consider uncomfortable. Perhaps I am really trying to show off, or brag a bit. Maybe one of my pet notions is challenged, or I am reluctant to let go of an opinion I formed of someone. Sometimes I find myself day-dreaming. [As far as I am concerned] All these mental activities are rooted in selfishness, an all too human characteristic.
Perhaps one of my recent experiences will illustrate what I am trying to convey. The New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) News Department held an impromptu experience-sharing conference a couple of months ago. With less than two weeks' notice, around two-dozen experience-sharing reports were read, and the atmosphere was charged with wonderful, positive energy. As I listened to the practitioners giving their reports and looked around at many familiar faces, I was thinking how far these practitioners had come and how quickly the NTDTV News Department has grown in such a short time span. That thinking revolved around surface, technical things, such as improvement in the techniques of news editing and reporting. I was caught up in this thinking and was even feeling a little complacent for being a small part of such a great team.
After dinner we split into an English news group and a Chinese news group in adjoining rooms for more sharing and planning of future projects. During the course of our English meeting, one of the editors quietly shared her understanding that our English News Team's most important role is to direct Western public attention to NTDTV -- that we should shine the spotlight on them, so to speak, and make it easier for them to do their job reporting truth to the Chinese people. I was blown away! Her words were so clear and powerful; full of compassion, without a trace of selfishness. This was in such a contrast to the way I had been thinking all day. I was ashamed of myself at that moment. But I was also thankful for having my human thinking exposed so quickly and compassionately.
Human thinking has selfish roots; that's for sure. There is also a telltale characteristic about human thinking that I have noticed in myself. When encountering a tribulation, if I am not thinking righteously and altruistically, I find that I am self-conscious. By this I mean that I am thinking ABOUT the tribulation more than I am about FACING the situation. When I look at the tribulation squarely and see the loophole that needs to be closed, then there is no time for being self-conscious. I just immediately do what needs to be done. This is part of what melting into the Fa means to me. If we are afraid, if we hesitate, if we look for Master to remove the tribulation, or if we handle it without righteous thoughts, then I think we miss the opportunity to move up another notch on our climb up the ladder to divinity. It has been my experience that cultivating a mind of kindness and compassion creates a fertile ground for thinking more god-like and less like a human.
When working on a project with other practitioners, isn't this the key to being One Body unselfishly? We should think of someone else's concerns, then the focus will not on "me."
This is a constant challenge for me. Although I know I have made some progress, I often lose sight of the phenomenon in our cultivation that Master expounded upon in great detail in his most recent lecture,
"So as parts are continually being fully cultivated, they are continually partitioned off. As parts continue to be fully cultivated, they are continually partitioned off; the part that hasn't been fully cultivated, meanwhile, constantly undergoes cultivation until the point where nothing remains and everything has been successfully cultivated. That is the cultivation path you are to take." ("Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital")
My understanding is: Because the divinely cultivated part that is liberated is immediately "partitioned off by a huge amount of space and time" ("Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital"), we find ourselves pretty much unchanged at this human level. But there's no need to get discouraged, because we know what's happening.
How wonderful it will be!
I hope that you, my fellow practitioners, will compassionately point out my shortcomings as we move together toward consummation.
Heshi to Master; heshi to everyone.
Category: Experience Sharing Conferences