Cultivate Ourselves More As the Environment Becomes Better
(Clearwisdom.net) Dafa disciples all know about the truth of Master's words, "good or evil comes from a person's spontaneous thought"(Zhuan Falun) and understand that a cultivator should view things from the perspective of the Fa. From time to time, however, our minds are shackled subconsciously by human thoughts due to deep-rooted human notions, especially since we have been poisoned and influenced by the culture of the Chinese Communist Party. So we are more susceptible to interference if we do not pay attention to our daily Fa-study and to sending righteous thoughts.
For instance, some fellow practitioners were quick to conclude that those practitioners whose articles were published on Clearwisdom.net must all be well educated. I think this is a typical example of viewing things from the human perspective. When using human thoughts, one can only see the surface.
I have read many well-written articles by fellow practitioners, which were based on strong belief in Master and the Fa-principles and provided insight, inspiration, and encouragement for diligent cultivation. This shows that since Fa-rectification has reached the present stage, Dafa disciples are able to do better by being more mature and rational. The articles by these practitioners have indeed played a role in promoting the improvement of the whole body. The authors of these good articles have different experiences and understandings about Dafa and cultivation practice because they are from different backgrounds and walks of life. They wrote down their cultivation experiences, their understandings of the Fa-principles, and their thoughts on how to deal with the existing problems so that we could have an opportunity to improve through sharing.
In fact, the notion that "good articles are written by well-educated practitioners" conceals a well-hidden attachment that is not easy to detect. Namely, the unwillingness to face one's own gap and covering up the attachments by using Master's words, "The paths of cultivation are varied"("Unimpeded", Hongyin II) as a pretext. On the surface, this is only a gap in understanding, but actually it is a dangerous thought for a cultivator.
Master once said that the closer to the end in Fa-rectification, the more difficult and serious it is. Today, when the environment becomes better, as Dafa disciples inside and outside of China work together to clarify the truth, and as the world's people are becoming more and more clear-headed, this is what I understand to be the harsh test. It is not only the frenzied persecution against Dafa disciples that we must deal with from the external, evil elements, but also, and mostly, it is our own attachments that we must contend with, like the abandonment of all human hearts and the final exit of the human shell.
Persecution, visible and tangible, can awake our alertness, and can be turned into a motivating force for our diligent cultivation. On the other hand, the human attachments that affect our diligence in cultivation, such as the attachment to comfort, show-off mentality, competitiveness, complacency, etc. are not easy to detect. They usually have become quite apparent by the time we are aware of them or fellow practitioners point them out for us. Why are there the kind of practitioners who could be fearless and keep diligent in cultivation when the evil persecution was most rampant, yet start thinking about having a comfortable life and whose various attachments all crop up after the environment becomes better? Some practitioners did the three things well in the past, yet now start to treat them as routine or slack off. Why are they like that? Some practitioners were careful in cultivating their speech, but now they need constant reminding from others. Some practitioners, though active in clarifying the truth to people, say they don't have enough time for studying the Fa more.
Cultivation is like sailing the boat against the current--if you do not advance, you will move backward. It becomes more demanding towards the end. "Study the Fa more" is a phrase mentioned the most among practitioners' sharing. Of course, such reminders and encouragement are necessary; but a clear understanding, and more attention to how to study the Fa more and study it well are also needed. On this issue Master said clearly in Zhuan Falun:
"you have no way to cultivate if you don't know the Law at high levels, and if you don't cultivate inward, if you don't cultivate your character, your gong won't increase. Those are the two reasons."
The Fa is available right before us; the key is whether or not we can check our actions against the Fa and constantly redress our every thought - this is called "cultivating." Some practitioners say, "I read through Zhuan Falun every two days." But whenever they encounter a conflict, they would, as if holding a flashlight, examine others only, and sometimes they do not view things from the perspective of the Fa. This way of conducting themselves gives people the impression that they are only reading the book instead of studying the Fa, or they are merely fulfilling a routine task rather than assimilating to the Fa.
We should constantly remind ourselves that the better the environment becomes, the harder it is to cultivate; the better the environment, the more we should cultivate ourselves. It is hard for Buddhas to cultivate in their realms because there is no hardship there. And the hardship we now endure is just the process of giving up human attachments; the karma we incurred life after life has been borne by our Master. Now we have this unique opportunity, if we do not hurry to cultivate ourselves, what are we waiting for? For some practitioners, as the environment improves, they start to relax, and become slow and insensitive in cultivating themselves, not realizing that danger is imminent. Master said in "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles,"
"I hope everyone will do better and better at the end. Be sure not to become lax. You must not slack off, and you must not become apathetic."
This is not only an encouragement to Dafa disciples, but also a warning to those who still have strong human attachments and who are not diligent in their cultivation as they are journeying the last phase.
If we are content with the present status and do not see that others have become more diligent as the end nears, we are already left behind. Why don't we do our best to move ahead?
The above is only my own shallow understanding, and I kindly ask fellow practitioners to point out any inadequacies.
June 13, 2006