Only by Setting Strict Standards for Ourselves Can We Keep up with the Process of Fa-rectification
(Clearwisdom.net) I have always wanted to share the path I have taken in recent years. However, when I read articles written by other practitioners, I felt ashamed, so it took me a long time to start writing about my experiences. Two of the many attachments I had were showing-off and zealotry. After reciting Teacher's recent lecture "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angles" I realized that I must write down the process of my Fa study and how, during tests, I overcame the bad thoughts with righteous thoughts. I simply want to explain the seriousness of cultivation and stop myself from playing petty tricks. Because I thought Teacher was merciful and would forgive anything I did, I used to ignore the Fa and do things I knew I shouldn't do. This was not only deceiving myself but also disrespecting Dafa.
I began to practice Falun Gong in 1996. At the time I was only 20 years old and was a medical intern. I only felt that Falun Dafa was good but was not diligent in cultivating. Every time I did something wrong I knew it, but I could not stop myself. Since I seldom studied the Fa I could not enlighten to the importance of cultivation.
After July 20, 1999, I went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Gong and was intercepted on the way. My purpose in going to Beijing was actually to pursue consummation. When I was escorted back home, I was detained and persecuted by my workplace and local security organizations. Since I could not let go of affection for my family, I wrote a Guarantee Statement against my will. During the 2000 Chinese Lunar New Year I was arrested while handing out fliers and sentenced to one and half years of forced labor. This was a result of failing to study the Fa earnestly and having too many attachments. In detention I calmly looked inside and found that I had too many attachments, which brought me a lot of harm. At that time I was determined to recite the Fa when I got out of the forced labor camp and to never write another "Guarantee Statement" again. Doing so could only deceive myself, but not Teacher and Dafa.
In 2002, after returning home, my family was opposed to my continuing to cultivate. With the help of local practitioners I began to join the group Fa study. In this environment I found my xinxing gap and was determined to catch up with others. First, I sent forth the righteous thoughts every hour. Even when I was having a meal I would stop and erect my palm and sit in a full lotus position. The righteous thoughts helped me to get rid of the fear mentality and all worries. The environment at home also changed for the better. However, I still had various attachments, such as jealousy, the competitive mentality, the attachment of zealotry, and the mentality of showing off. Whenever I encountered conflicts, these mentalities would pop up. I would fail tests at critical moments. I tried different methods, such as learning by heart the most important sentences in Teacher's new lectures, which did have some effect but still failed to curb my attachments or maintain my xinxing. I worried about myself but could not find the root cause of my failure to progress.
After 2003, I joined in some local Fa-rectification projects such as establishing truth clarification material production sites and acting as a coordinator. I would do whatever the Fa needed me to do, because we are short of people. I had serious fears and a lot of worries. I had many dreams in which I clearly experienced being arrested. Whenever I woke up I would send forth righteous thoughts to negate it. Every time I went to pick up truth-clarification materials, to buy supplies, or to hand out fliers I really felt uncertain, and I had to force myself to do it. I knew it was not good to have a mentality of fear and other worries because they could be taken advantage of, however, I just simply could not break free from the feelings.
After reading every issue of the "Minghui Weekly" and strengthening my Fa study (I would read four or five of Teacher's recent lectures every afternoon), I realized that I had not fundamentally changed my behavior in all these years. My behavior included swearing, arguing with people, fooling around all day long, and not changing my thinking or my deeds. I failed to measure my words and actions with the Fa and did not finish the five sets of exercises every day. When I finally enlightened to the state of my behavior, I tried to improve bit by bit. Every day I would read Teacher's articles and lectures. Each time I went out to do Fa-clarification work I would first remind myself that I was a righteous higher being, no one was worthy of persecuting me, and I would be taken care of only by Teacher. In this way, my righteous thoughts became stronger and stronger. Sometimes when I went out into the streets to hand out flyers and clarify the truth ,I could feel I had a very strong courage and my righteous thoughts were very strong. However, I still had attachments that were very hard to relinquish. These were my fundamental problems. For example, I could not wholeheartedly believe in Dafa without any doubts. I knew the problems, but in practice, I failed to change them.
By the latter half of 2005, many local practitioners that I had contact with had been detained and persecuted. (I myself was arrested in 2004.) Some of them had been sentenced to long prison terms and forced labor. We knew that the arrests and detentions were caused by long-term xinxing problems that those practitioners had not dealt with. I had always been very careful and had drawn lessons from other practitioners to find my own shortcomings. However, the differences between myself and the other practitioners in my city were becoming more pronounced, and we could not unify our opinions at all. However, I still did not look inside myself but instead blamed others for not cooperating. Sometimes, even when I looked inside, I just did it as a mere formality. I was thinking about what was wrong with me. I worried that if my xinxing was not improved then I could not do anything well. Worse still, it might cause damage to Dafa. I also found that if I could not maintain my xinxing on one issue then my xinxing problems would spillover like a flood.
Since I was unable to forgive others and always failed to look inside (even when I did look inside it was only superficially), many of my other attachments, including jealousy, zealotry, being competitive, showing off, and the attachment to lust, became increasingly stronger. The feeling of lust was the worst. Before I began practicing Falun Gong this attitude was very strong. After I learned Falun Gong I tried to let go of lustful feelings or thoughts but failed many times. While walking on the street or browsing the Internet I failed to maintain my xinxing in regard to the attachment of lust many times. Each time I would allow my imagination to run wild. After I read "Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference" I knew Teacher was talking about me. However, I still could not maintain my xinxing. I repeatedly failed the tests in my dreams (I am not married). I felt despair many times and even thought about giving up my cultivation. With the help of fellow practitioners and by thinking about Dafa I continued my cultivation.
During the process I suddenly enlightened to an issue. Each time I was having a test there would be a battle between the righteousness and the evil. The reason I lost so many battles was that I did not study the Fa enough. Therefore, at the critical moment I would not think of the Fa and could not enlighten to the Fa principles. Since I had limited Fa in my mind and failed to enlighten to a lot of Fa principles, how could I use the Fa to guide my cultivation? On the other hand, everything we do in daily life--a movement, an expression, or the people we encounter--all have cultivation factors in them. I did not pay enough attention to this aspect and opportunities slipped away again and again. Moreover, I failed to set a high standard for myself and defied the Fa, thinking that Teacher would have mercy on me. Many times I was afraid that Teacher might leave me behind and that the old forces might destroy me.
My main consciousness was not clear, the thought karma was very strong, and I did not have enough Fa in my mind. These were the main reasons that led me to where I was. How could I change things? There was no shortcut. The only way out for me was to recite the Fa. If my mind is filled with the Fa then I could use the Fa as my guide in whatever I did. I was determined to do it and began to change from reading the Fa to reciting the Fa. Every day, whenever I had time, I would recite Zhuan Falun and Teacher's recent articles and lectures. Also, I read a lot of Teacher's articles and lectures from the early years. I would measure myself against the Fa, find my shortcomings, and overcome them.
The results were obvious. By repeatedly reciting the Fa my mind became clearer and a lot of Fa principles that I had failed to enlighten to in the past unfolded before me. In practice, these Fa principles guided me and helped me to raise my xinxing. My righteous thoughts also became stronger and stronger. Many times, I really felt that I was a positive, higher being who was sending forth the righteous thoughts. As a result the mentality of not wanting to do the exercises disappeared. I practice the exercises every day and the environment at home has improved. In the past, my family stood in my way many times for no reason. Now they do not interfere with my activities. Besides, my righteous thoughts have played a leading role. (Note: when reciting the Fa, I do it sentence-by-sentence or paragraph-by-paragraph, as long as I can remember. I then move on to memorize and recite the following paragraphs, until I finish the whole lecture or book. Then I will start over again. The purpose is to get a deeper impression.)
Take Teacher's new lecture "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles" for example. I read it a few times and always found that it was too profound to comprehend. What's more, the faster I read the faster I would forget. Therefore, I decided to recite the lecture. During the process, I enlightened to many Fa principles. Teacher always teaches the Fa in a kind and peaceful tone and never tries to stress anything. If we do not study and recite the Fa in a calm state, then we will feel that Teacher has talked about this Fa before and it will seem familiar. If we feel this way, then we will fail to understand the care and thought Teacher has expended on the Fa. At the same time, it is disrespecting Teacher and Dafa. At the very least you failed to set a high standard for yourself.
My personal understanding is that Teacher tries to explain the Fa bit by bit in his new lectures and to help us to increase our capacity to tolerate. As long as we set higher standards for ourselves, pay attention to Fa study, and guide our cultivation with each of the Fa lectures, we will be able to enlighten to the broad and profound inner meaning of Dafa. In practice we must measure ourselves with the Fa, have righteous thoughts and righteous actions, and cultivate our xinxing. We must overcome all the interference and steadfastly act in accordance with the Fa.