(Clearwisdom.net) The tribulations that Falun Dafa practitioners suffer in their cultivation practice, I believe, are mostly due to human thoughts and notions. The old forces exploiting practitioners' deviated thoughts to weaken their righteous thoughts and strengthen the deviated thoughts that they have not noticed yet. For example, consenting to such a statement as "Whatever those who govern say is correct and we should follow it and carry it out" is obviously a deviated thought, but many of us do carry such a thought. When I am at work, such a thought is often too deeply embedded in my mind for me to realize.
For example, a former boss of mine, who often showed his willingness to listen to different opinions, sometimes gave unreasonable instructions. Instead of providing positive suggestions or reminding him of the problem, however, I simply followed his instructions while still being grumpy at his instructions. This was the manifestation of the deviated thought that "We must execute our superiors' instructions" which is deeply hidden in my mind. Because of this, the old forces will use any means to strengthen such a deviated thought of ours, and then persecute us with the excuse that we carry such a deviated thought.
The old forces have arranged such a deviated thought for thousands of years. Through violence, dictatorship, and deceit, they arranged it forcefully. Through killing and terrifying people, they forced the governed to be unconditionally obedient to their rulers. By terrifying people, they engraved deeply in their reincarnated bodies and minds the deviated thought that one must recognize and carry out instructions from one's superiors or rulers. On the other hand, there have been some righteous elements in history that have tried to negate and abolish such deviated thought. There have been many examples of brave people who honestly presented reminders to the rulers on behalf of the masses, and who upheld their ethics in the face of persecution.
The deviated thought of blindly following rulers' instructions has reached a climax during the dictatorship of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party), and it has been widely exploited by the evil spirit of the CCP and the old forces in persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. Deep in one's notions, one believes that the CCP's orders have to be obeyed or one will be imprisoned, tortured, or killed. Many of our practitioners hold the same deviated thought without realizing its presence. As a result, the tribulations often worsen. On the contrary, recognizing various forms of such a deviated thought and cleaning them out will make us purer.
My understanding of forbearance
In my understanding of forbearance, I have been holding a deviated notion that forbearance is not to speak up or to fight but stay away from conflict when it occurs. When I feel wronged, I will think, "Isn't it enough to forbear?" Why do I still hold such a notion? All of the cultivation practices before the spreading of Falun Dafa were the cultivation of people's subordinate souls (the subordinate consciousness). In our previous lives, we probably all practiced such kinds of cultivation. Perhaps the mindset of escaping reality can be traced back to the old practice we did. My main consciousness dared not face the conflicts. Instead, it chose to escape. Deep in my heart, I was afraid of facing conflicts and afraid to deal with my attachments. In fact, the conflicts are manifestations of my attachments.
During a recent conflict with my supervisor at work, I truly felt the impulse of my strong attachments. My heart was beating rapidly and I was really angry. I started to talk to my colleagues because I could not tolerate it anymore. It appeared from the perspective of my colleagues that there was nothing wrong with commenting on or criticizing him because they were also unhappy with how he treated people. I believed that the old forces and the CCP were exploiting his wicked side so that he insisted on others listening to him despite his obviously wrong decisions. Such a notion strongly resonated with my deeply hidden attachments and irritated my heart. I couldn't calm down even when I was studying the Fa. I was very angry. My everyday people's notions all showed up. At this moment, the old forces and the CCP evil spirits were happy, and they might have been telling Teacher, "Look at your disciple! After so many years of cultivation, he is still like an everyday person."
As a Falun Dafa practitioner, I must take the Fa as the teacher. I realized that the tribulation was to let go of my huge attachments. While negating the deviated interference of the old forces in sending forth righteous thoughts, I strove to study the Fa more often. Gradually, I became more peaceful in the follow-up tests when my supervisor again used harsh language against me. I could feel that compassionate Teacher removed a big part of the mountain of attachments inside me.
In "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles," Teacher said,
"In fact, a lot of the gods of the old cosmos think, 'You Dafa disciples are cultivating to such a high level, and you will determine the future of the cosmos. So I won't let you ascend if you fall short even just a little bit.' Even though we can't call these beings 'ruthless,' when it comes to this they absolutely won't give a wrongdoer a way out, nor be lenient with you just because you have done some good things."
The lives in the old cosmos are ruthless. They won't leave you alone simply because you're doing Fa-rectification work. They will try to stop you. They will shock and interfere with you using deviated people or deviated human thoughts. Without paying attention to studying the Fa or sending forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the interference, I wouldn't have been able to pass the test. I'm grateful for the salvation of our compassionate Teacher. Under the guidance of the Fa, I passed the test, and my heart became even more peaceful and more determined.
My supervisor later gave me a very low assessment. My attachment started to manifest itself, although much more lightly. I planned to talk to the management above him, but I was concerned that this would be equivalent to lodging a complaint against my immediate supervisor. I was concerned that it would be everyday people's conduct. In fact, my understanding of forbearance stopped at the level of keeping silent. In my mind, the notion of leadership was still very strong. After realizing that leaders are also my colleagues and that I need to communicate with them, too, I decided to share my thoughts with them in writing and to point out the unfairness of the assessment. I felt relieved after I finished writing it. The bad habit that I can effectively communicate with my colleagues but hardly communicate with upper level management finally changed. As a matter of fact, our supervisors are also sentient beings that are to be saved. It would be sad if evil spirits exploited their deviated thoughts to interfere with the Fa-rectification. To eliminate such interference with our righteous thoughts and righteous actions is showing our compassion for them.