Understanding Forbearance and Its Manifestation in the Fa-rectification Period
(Clearwisdom.net) After talking and sharing experiences with some practitioners who do not have firm righteous thoughts regarding opposing the persecution, I finally realized my shortcomings in cultivation and searched inward to dig them out at the root. I would like to summarize the points to which I have enlightened.
1. I had been treating the persecution itself, which is the result of the evil taking advantage of my shortcomings in cultivation, as an issue of personal cultivation. Thus I strayed from the correct view that the persecution should be taken as a Fa-rectification issue and that we should be responsible for ourselves, for Dafa, and for all sentient beings. I even came to the incorrect understanding that I should accept the persecution and be thankful for it! As I now understand it, we should get rid the habitual conception of cultivating ourselves in the persecution. Rather, we should cultivate ourselves in the course of opposing the persecution, and this is the anti-persecution stance that is related to helping our Teacher in the Fa-rectification period.
2. The practitioners that I first referred to took non-action in the self-cultivation period as the whole and only meaning of Forbearance. It is my understanding that Forbearance has two parts: one is being able to endure and the other is being able to tolerate. Teacher says:
"Forbearance (Ren) is manifested in all of a cultivator's conduct, but it doesn't mean taking no action." ("Lecture at the Conference in New Zealand (May 8th, 1999)")
My personal understanding of what Teacher said, in terms of action, refers to the action that practitioners take in doing Dafa work in a normal way, safeguarding Dafa, and saving sentient beings. Also, under the special situation of the persecution, they not only don't resort to violence in the course of working against anything that defames Dafa, but also do take action to oppose and stop the persecution.
3. Those practitioners didn't realize that, during this period of time of in which we are assisting Teacher to validate the Fa, opposing the persecution has become an inevitable form of Fa-rectification cultivation, that both the inner meaning of the action of cultivation and the format have changed. Fa-rectification period cultivation is associated with Fa-rectification, in which the cultivation itself in Fa-rectification is against the persecution, resisting and stopping the persecution with benevolent and tolerant cultivation behavior. Overall cultivation behavior is to resist persecution in Fa-rectification. In addition, there is another incorrect understanding: "We can only cultivate if we are being persecuted or suffering tribulations or opposing the persecution." I would like to ask, "Couldn't we cultivate in any other situation? Couldn't our realms elevate in any other environment? What is required in Fa-rectification?" Actually this is a forced habit passed down from our personal cultivation period. In the recent lectures "Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005" and "Teaching the Fa in Los Angles," Teacher has made it very clear. My personal understanding is that cultivating ourselves well while doing Dafa work well is safeguarding Dafa and saving sentient beings. Doing Dafa work well is tied to the elevation of our personal realm. Whether we can cultivate well or not and the level of our realms directly reflect how well we can do Dafa work and how well we are able to assist Teacher to validate the Fa and be more responsible for all the righteous factors in the universe. I now understand that this is the true inner meaning and format of our Fa-rectification period cultivation.
4. Those practitioners regard other practitioners who are being persecuted as having been taken advantage of by the evils and consider the persecution of Dafa as an issue in personal cultivation. They attach a great deal of importance to self-elevation, elevation of their personal realm, personal enlightenment, and personal mighty virtue to the extent that they would rather accept persecution and be thankful for the evils' persecution. They see themselves as cultivating better, higher, and having greater mighty virtue. As a result they force other practitioners to follow their way of doing things.
"A Dafa disciple completely opposes everything arranged by the evil old forces." ("Dafa is Indestructible" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
I came to the understanding that our ability to negate the old evil forces' arrangements and how much we can do are a result of cultivation. It is also a manifestation of different levels in the new cosmos. For those practitioners who verbally negate the evil forces' arrangements but cannot let go of their attachments and notions, their actions don't follow through on their words, let alone completely negate the evil arrangements on every level.
What is the current manifestation and understanding of forbearance? I personally understand that it is a two-part quality: First, in a normal situation without any persecution, one is able to contribute to Dafa work, not being afraid of hardship, overcome difficulties, and make sacrifices for others and Dafa. Second, in a persecution situation, if the persecution is not very serious, we give others an opportunity to change; we don't take over others' responsibilities or sue others and we don't resort to violence. We demonstrate it by safeguarding the Fa while benevolently saving sentient beings. If the persecution is serious, forbearance means not fighting with but exposing the evils to stop the persecution. It is embodied in the purpose of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, which is not being against the people who participated in this persecution or the evil Party but to stop the persecution. It also means sending forth righteous thoughts so that the evil people receive their due karmic retribution and to stop the persecution and eliminate persecution, as opposed to taking direct physical action against the evil people.
As a matter of fact, what does forbearance mean to a Dafa practitioner? Teacher has explained clearly in his lectures. For those who went down a path of evil "enlightenment", fundamentally isn't it because of their fear? Don't they always look for excuses for themselves? As time flies, divine beings know whether or not we can truly cultivate ourselves and whether or not we can use righteous thoughts to understand Teacher's Fa and Dafa practitioners' missions.
This is my personal understanding; please point out anything inappropriate.