Sharing Some Understandings on "Faith"
(Clearwisdom.net) The faith I am talking about here is the deep belief in Teacher and the Fa. Some practitioners may ask if there is any practitioner who does not believe in Teacher and the Fa, and how could one make it to today without faith in Teacher and the Fa? Yes, in the past I also thought I had faith in Teacher and the Fa. However, as I look back on my cultivation journey, there is an issue of to what extent do we believe in Teacher and the Fa. In other words, it is an issue of levels. I came to understand that the more we believe in Teacher and the Fa, the more righteous we are; the more we believe in Teacher and the Fa, the higher we can cultivate.
I think that during the personal cultivation period of time, our belief in Teacher and the Fa is primarily manifested in the following aspects: whether the illness is gone, whether our gong has increased, and whether we can overcome tribulations, etc. For practitioners who deeply believe in Teacher and the Fa, no matter if they have seen or felt something extraordinary, no matter if their illnesses are gone, they always think Dafa is good and always have faith. For those who do not believe in Teacher and the Fa firmly, they may check if they have a Falun, if they have seen things in other dimensions, if their illnesses are gone, etc. If these are confirmed, they will believe. During the early days of cultivation, I belonged to the latter group. At that time, everyone was saying Dafa was good, and through Fa study I had some understandings of Dafa. After I started to practice, I also saw some evidence, therefore, I have been able to keep practicing.
Starting from July 20, 1999, the entire situation changed. It was just like Teacher said in Essentials for Further Advancement:
"If we change the situation in human society and reverse the general climate, then let's see who still says that Dafa is good and who changes his mind. This way, won't everything suddenly become crystal clear?"
Facing the vicious lies and brutal persecution, many were intimidated. Whether one could still believe in Teacher and Dafa was a serious test. Although I did not give up believing in Teacher and Dafa at that time, there were times that I was doubtful, which led to plenty of detours on my cultivation journey later. Without deep belief in Teacher and the Fa, I had too many concerns and reluctance, and was thus unable to walk forward boldly. In the face of the rampant persecution, I just suffered passively and sometimes even had vicious thoughts. Then I thought, "If all this is real, will I lose this precious opportunity if I do otherwise?" It was just like Teacher said,
"If you hold on to humanness with one hand and won't let go, and you hold on to Buddhahood with the other hand and won't let go, just which one exactly do you want?" ("Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference")
It was because of all this that my cultivation had many tribulations, which also caused losses to Dafa, and aggravated the burden on Teacher.
Even now, occasionally I still have thoughts of not believing Teacher and not believing in Dafa. For example, sometimes when there was some physical discomfort, I thought, "How come I still feel uncomfortable after cultivating for so many years?" As my hair turned gray along with other phenomena as I got old, I thought, "How come this is happening to me since I am cultivating both mind and body? Plus, such and such a practitioner cultivates so well, how come he (or she) was persecuted to death?" And, "How come this brutal persecution still has not ended?" I know the above thoughts and doubts are human notions and do not come from my genuine self. I know my true self will continue to be rectified through cultivation.
I remember one practitioner's story. When the police went to her home to confiscate Dafa books, she remembered Teacher's words in "Zhuan Falun,:
"... and if someone could affect you, he could affect me, and to put it directly, he'd be able to affect the universe."
Then she calmed down to send forth righteous thoughts. As a result, the police did not take the Dafa books but left instead. There were also a practitioner who, when being illegally arrested by the police, kept calling out loud "Falun Dafa is good" all the way to the police station, to the detention center, then to the labor camp. The labor camp did not want to accept him, so he was sent back to the local police station. The police could do nothing but release him. It was through righteous belief and righteous thoughts that he was able to walk out of the evil den. There are many stories like this.
In Lecture in Sydney, Teacher said,
"For instance, Jesus said, 'If you have faith in me, you will be able to go to heaven.' In fact, you must follow the principles that he taught you to be a good person. Only then do you genuinely have faith in him and can you go to heaven."
In Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Europe, Teacher said,
"Religions in the West used to teach faith, while those in the East would teach enlightenment. The idea is that you have to be resolute. Without this type of mind you can't accomplish anything."
My understanding is that, since we are still in the process of cultivation, sometimes there are thoughts of whether Teacher came to save us and whether the Fa is the universal truth. Nobody has seen or experienced this in the past, so how can one keep practicing Dafa? The answer is faith. If your belief is shallow, your cultivation path could be very difficult with many curves, and you may even stop in the middle; if your belief is moderate, there could still numerous obstacles and tribulations on your cultivation journey; if your belief is firm, nothing can stop you on your cultivation path, and all evils and demons will be disintegrated and eliminated. A practitioner with firm belief in Teacher and the Fa will cultivate diligently, all the way to consummation. Therefore, the issue of belief is very critical throughout the process of cultivation. Belief not only means one understands this in one's mind, it is also manifested in one's words and actions.
Teacher told us that,
"...you'll be tested on whether you are steadfast in the Fa all the way until the last step of your cultivation." (Explaining the Content of Falun Dafa)
It is indeed the case. We have seen many things in the past: the media propaganda against Dafa, about ten thousand practitioners who went to appeal on April 25, the start of the persecution on July 20, the so-called Tiananmen Square Immolation, some so-called homicide incidents, many practitioners being killed during the persecution, and organ harvesting from living practitioners in Sujiatun and other labor camps. Throughout these events, we are being tested to see if we can be clearheaded, and we are being tested to see if we believe in Teacher and the Fa, and we are being tested to see if we can follow the path arranged by Teacher while opposing the old forces' arrangements. The extent to which we believe in Teacher and the Fa indicates our purity, just like 18k and 21k compared to 24k gold. The deeper we believe in Teacher and the Fa, the stronger our righteous thoughts are; the deeper we believe in Teacher and the Fa, the higher our level .
These are some personal understandings to share. Please kindly point out anything improper.
June 5, 2006