Correct One's Basis, Let Go of Self, and Look Inward Unconditionally
(Clearwisdom.net) Time passes quickly. We have walked through stormy days for over six years. My state of mind and my body have changed dramatically. During this time I have let go of layers upon layers of human notions and attachments.
Clearly understand the Fa, maintain a right foundation, and be able to think and act righteously
It has been embarrassing for me. Because I didn't study the Fa well, I fell badly and deviated from the righteous path of cultivation. I lay there flat for over a year before standing up again. After righting myself, I focused a lot of my efforts in Fa-study. I studied the Fa frequently with a clear and calm mind. I strove to improve my understanding of the Fa, for that is the utmost guarantee of walking down a righteous path of cultivation. Gradually, I came to understand the basis of cultivation more and more. I realized the fundamental difference between self-cultivation and Fa-rectification cultivation. I suddenly understood why my path was so rough. The key was that I hadn't completely come out of the box of self-cultivation and into Fa-rectification cultivation. I didn't view tribulations and the illegal persecution from the basis of Fa-rectification. My understanding of the Fa was still limited to human notions or obvious perceptions, and it had not yet advanced to rationality. I saw this persecution as a persecution of humans by humans. I endured it passively, and I went down the path arranged by the old forces. The evil took advantage of this gap in my understanding.
After I clearly understood the Fa, another picture unfolded in front of my eyes. It was a completely different view. I was full of confidence. I understood Fa-rectification cultivation much better, and I clearly knew my mission in validating the Fa and saving sentient beings. I no longer depended on others, nor did I blindly copy their actions. I truly realized that cultivation was difficult, and enlightenment was even harder. I understood that once we enlighten to something, we need to take action to achieve it. When we encounter a new problem or when crooked thoughts come up, we should not indulge the thought-karma and fear. Instead, we should use the standard of the Fa to measure it. If it meets the requirement of the Fa, we should do it without any hesitation. Otherwise, we should immediately clear it out. My righteous thoughts became stronger without me realizing it. My human thoughts reduced and became weak. When sending forth righteous thoughts, my field became purer and more righteous.
On one occasion, we planned to distribute truth-clarification materials. Then we heard there would be police everywhere in the city that night. My first reaction was, "don't go." However, when I weighed the decision from the perspective of the Fa, I thought: "Saving sentient beings is such a sacred mission, and who is worthy enough to interfere with and hinder this mission? We must do things according to Teacher's arrangements. Who dares to persecute Falun Gong? It is just that my state of mind must be pure and righteous."
Eliminate the separations and harmonize as one-body
Study the Fa in a group and form an environment of exchanging ideas and improving as one body; this is the cultivation way Teacher introduced to us. However, the evil forces in Mainland China greatly feared our forming one-body. They used various tricks to destroy us; they strove to create partitions between us, and to block communication and information-sharing among practitioners.
The cultivation environment at my home was good, and all my family members were practitioners. I decided to create such a Fa-study environment with fellow practitioners. Finally, we were able to study the Fa together as a group. However, because of deep fear and too many attachments, the practitioners lacked tolerance toward one another which was taken advantage by the evil. Not long after, the group-study could not continue.
A short while later, because of a difference in understanding between me and another practitioner, the conflict escalated again. I over emphasized that my idea was correct, and I pointed out the other practitioner's issue. I was not compassionate in my heart when I pointed out his problem. My attitude was rather rough. When the other practitioner pointed out my attachment, I refused to acknowledge it. On the contrary, I still insisted on seeing others' shortcomings, and I did not want to find fault in myself.
After the practitioner left, I felt agitated. I randomly picked up a booklet. On the last page was a story entitled, "Don't Always Look at Others." My heart took a jump. I flipped through the pages and saw the sentence, "Give Others a Stepping Stone." I read the story and realized that Teacher was giving me a hint. Something wasn't right with me. In my heart, I admitted my fault to Teacher. I calmed down and looked inward. There were strings of deeply hidden attachments. My willingness to contribute to Dafa was good, but I held onto an attachment to a strong mentality toward "doing things," wanting to quickly succeed, and to fighting. I lacked forbearance, and I wasn't considerate of others. I blamed outside factors, and I pursued outside changes, yet I didn't know why this was happening. What strong human mentality of mine was this targeting? I had completely ignored improving myself. Isn't cultivation about unconditionally looking inward?
After realizing this, I quickly shared my thoughts with fellow practitioners. (This sharing is also an important aspect in cultivation.) We, as one body, became more cooperative and harmonious. Whenever there was an issue we were able to repeatedly share our understandings, quickly form one-body, send forth righteous thoughts, and nullify the evil's persecution. We were able to cooperate with each other to save fellow practitioners from the persecution. We looked at those issues with righteous thoughts, sent forth righteous thoughts within a close proximity to the evil, clarified the truth, and completely nullified the old forces' participation.
I understood that I needed to be considerate of others, think of others first and at the same time, look inward unconditionally. After adjusting the basis of my mindset, I started to feel that I had gradually entered the door of a righteous cultivation. I realized what true cultivation is and what Fa-rectification cultivation is. The practitioners' relationships became more and more harmonious. The power of one-body became stronger and stronger.
Eliminate attachments, let go of self and look inward unconditionally
Fa-rectification cultivation is a process of eliminating attachments, letting go of one's self, and steadfastly advancing in cultivation. I should look inward in every issue that I face, find my own attachment, and try to get rid of it. I should also seek to improve my xinxing and cultivation status during Fa-rectification. I tried to figure out how to best do Dafa work, and I often treated that as my cultivation. I was driven by the mentality of "doing things;" I hid behind the notion of "doing Dafa tasks." In so doing, I continuously enlarged the attachments I had not yet eliminated. The old forces arranged for the dark minions and evil spirits to take advantage of that, and it has caused great interference.
I realized the seriousness of this issue. I strengthened my main consciousness, and decided to overcome the difficulty. Things started to turn around. I felt that my righteous thoughts became stronger. But after a short while, those attachments and that same mentality surfaced again. After I saw that I failed repeatedly, I slipped into a despondent state and couldn't validate the Fa well. I felt myself unworthy of anything. I also indulged myself. Then the evil exploited this loophole. The cultivation environment in my home wasn't good anymore. It so happened that as soon as I held the book, Zhuan Falun, to read, something would come up. I was quite busy, yet I didn't do well in any one of the three things. The more anxious I was to do well, the more interference there was.
Three months passed by quickly. My head was murky. The coordination among the practitioners wasn't good. Looking at this mess, my heart was strongly shaken. I sincerely apologized to fellow practitioners right away. I looked inward, let go of my self, and discussed it with other practitioners. The practitioners also gained new understandings from the Fa. They let go of themselves and forgave me.
I finally realized my own loopholes. I was determined to let go of everything. After studying the Fa with a calm mind and looking inward, I dug out the root cause of my attachments; the root cause was mainly my attachment to self. That is, I wanted (or humanly desired) to do such and such. I wanted to do well in this and that. This notion encouraged a strong mentality of validating my self. When I didn't do well, I became discouraged, disappointed, and sought to escape.
When my pen stopped here, I realized another deeply hidden and dirty mentality. It is the unforgivable mentality of using Dafa to obtain one's human goals. I even wanted to use Dafa to pursue my own perfect state and to validate myself. How frightening.
I've always thought of myself as someone who is not pursuing anything. I remember once reading a practitioner's articles on this subject. I thought: "I don't have such a notion." However, in reality, this notion was hiding within me. Holding on to such a dirty thing, how could I not get interference? Upon realizing that, I immediately pulled myself up. I persisted in studying the Fa often, sending forth righteous thoughts often, cleansing myself, and eliminating interference. Then, I read Teacher's article "The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be." Every word shook my heart. These words especially did so:
"And yet a small number of students--veteran students, even--have to differing degrees exhibited a despondent state and slackened in their resolve to be diligent. They haven't realized that this is an attachment to the duration of Fa-rectification, or is caused by interference from incorrect, acquired notions, which results in their gaps being exploited by interfering factors that the old forces left behind early on in the surface of the human dimension, wicked specters, or rotten demons--things that have magnified and strengthened those attachments and human notions--all of which has brought about this despondent state."
My confusion and puzzlement suddenly disappeared. The light of the Fa pierced through layers upon layers of evil hindrances. Isn't this my current reflection? It was the evil that interfered with me, made me slip, and kept me in a despondent state. I slacked off and missed a great opportunity to clarify the truth. It also put me at a dangerous edge. How frightening!
I have another experience to share with fellow practitioners. Before 2001, I coordinated Dafa efforts in an area where I met many practitioners. I took on a lot of responsibilities and did many Fa-validating things. On the surface, it looked vigorous. Now, when I look back, how can I call it cultivation. Even though I did many things, various attachments and human notions were growing within: the mentality of "doing things," zealotry, competitiveness, the mentality of showing off, greed, pursuit of fame, etc. My mindset of validating myself grew stronger and stronger. Actually, during that time, practitioners who had contact with me all had a connection with the truth-clarification materials production sites. Because of our human sentiments and attachments, nobody (including me) wanted to make changes.
Later, I didn't have time to study the Fa with a calm mind. My gaps grew larger and larger, and it led to the evil's arbitrary persecution. I walked a huge detour, and I almost couldn't get myself out of it. Several fellow practitioners were affected by me. It also brought a big loss to our local truth-clarification work. This bad influence lasted for a long time. It was clear that the problem was related to the local practitioners' cultivation states (as they form a one-body state). However, to me, the lesson was too serious. I was truly awakened by it and became clear-headed.
I hope that those practitioners who have similar attachments would use my experience as a reference. Please don't let the mentality of "doing things," attachment to fame and other notions control us. When our states are not good, we should calm our hearts and study the Fa more, and we should look inward unconditionally. There is nothing we cannot let go of. Because the Fa encompasses all, it will balance everything. When you need to adjust yourself, other practitioners will fill in voluntarily. Of course, this principle will not fit all situations. You should always consider everything according to your own circumstances and enlighten on the right path. In fact, a temporary adjustment of yourself is also an ongoing part of being responsible to yourself and the Fa.
Walking down the right path is the best way to validate the Fa. I say this because if we are being persecuted, regardless of how righteous we are in dealing with the persecution, we have not walked our path correctly. Persecution is definitely not what Teacher arranged for us. It will also bring huge losses to our validating the Fa and saving the world's people. Under any circumstances, our improvement is the number one priority. It also is a major guarantee for doing Dafa work well. Only when we are pure and righteous, can we take on the historic mission given to us, utilize our power to a better effect, and save more sentient beings.
In conclusion, I will share a paragraph in "The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be" with fellow practitioners:
"...but you should take fewer detours on this most magnificent, divine path; not leave reason for regret in your futures; and not fall so far behind in terms of levels. That is my hope, your hope, and the hope of the beings who are counting on you."
My most recent understanding is that the cultivation path is like the "mechanisms" and "qi mechanisms" that Teacher installed in us. The cultivation path has already been laid out. The more we are attached to something, the more difficult things will become, and it will be more difficult for us to experience the floating state created by the "mechanisms." The more we let go of self and melt into the Fa, the more we will experience the wonderful flowing feeling, like wind and water, and we will walk down the cultivation path with ease.