Let's Strive Forward Diligently on our Paths to Godhood
Divine Performing Arts has successfully finished its global tour. Each performance was very warmly welcomed. It lit up the whole world like a light from heaven. We all know that Teacher is rectifying the Fa and Falun Dafa disciples are assisting Master as He journeys this human world. The world's people and gods in heaven have great admiration for this. This is another opportunity that our compassionate Teacher gave to the endangered firmament in order to save countless sentient beings from the calamity.
In the past few years, fellow practitioners abroad have always remembered what Teacher said. In order to reduce the severity of the persecution of Falun Dafa in China, they have braved chilling winters, scorching summers, heavy wind, and heavy snowstorms. They have appealed to the Chinese Consulates. They have walked thousands of miles to raise awareness about the persecution. They've been exposing the persecution. They have called for people to stop the rampant killing by the Chinese Communist Party. Together, they are realizing their vows.
Practitioners inside China have suffered from several years of bloody persecution and torture. They've showed to the world their hearts of immense compassion and tolerance for saving sentient beings, which has moved heaven and the gods. Their tears and blood have paved the way to their cultivation destination. During our cultivation, each practitioner has been using his or her life to practice our beliefs and follow the truth of the cosmos, which is Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance
We are able to do this because we are one body and we have our great and benevolent Teacher. Together we cultivate the law of heaven. We share the same vow which is: "We will save sentient beings."
The Divine Performing Arts brought back the traditional culture which gods left to human beings. Every day, I read the articles published on the Clearwisdom website. I was moved by fellow practitioners striving forward diligently. I also felt ashamed of my shortcomings and came to realize the gap between the practitioners inside and outside of China. Since the Chinese New Year, practitioners in many places, including Heilongjiang Province, Changchun in Jilin Province, Benxi in Liaoning Province, Beijing, Weifang in Hebei Province, and other places in China, have all suffered serious persecution. Many fellow practitioners were illegally arrested and detained. Some of them were coordinators. Some areas lost equipment and millions of yuan in cash.
In tears, I asked myself and fellow practitioners, "Why? Why?" We also continuously heard news of fellow practitioners being illegally detained in prisons or forced labor camps, suffering from disability, and even being killed due to the persecution. Fellow practitioners, why did this happen?
Under a lot of pressure, we were able to clarify the truth to help many people who were deceived correct their mistakes. Many policemen who used to follow the evil Party regained their consciences with our help. Many people started to understand the purpose of their lives. Falun Dafa's compassion and solemnity have returned moral standards to China. With Teacher's protection, we were able to strive forward diligently on our way back to our true homes and to harmonize our return.
Today, facing the Party's desperation and cruelty, we need to ask ourselves, "Did I cut myself some slack? Did I do things simply to get things done? Did I replace sacred cultivation with doing work using everyday people's notions? Did those practitioners that had few tribulations truly reach Fa-rectification and Teacher's requirements for us?" Fellow practitioners, the evil ghost will extend its life, mercilessly ruin sentient beings, and inhumanely torture practitioners who are sentient beings' only hope if we just cut ourselves a little slack. Teacher doesn't acknowledge the old forces and their arrangements. So how can we, the lives based on the Fa, allow the evil ghost (the Chinese Communist Party), originally from the Western world, to do whatever it wants to kill sentient beings?
Think about it. For the first time, our benevolent Teacher has selflessly presented the principles of the cosmos to human beings. Teacher pulled us out of hell. Teacher accommodated us, the ignorant lives. Teacher gave sentient beings the hope of reliving our lives. Falun Dafa has profound meanings, beyond any words. Non-practitioners might not understand how difficult this is. Yet, as Teacher's disciples, can't we realize it? Teacher does not care about the mistakes that we made before. Teacher does not want money from us. Teacher only wants our hearts to be pure and compassionate. Think about it. Who helped us improve? Who has been protecting us? Who eliminated our karma that we had accumulated in past lives? Teacher has given us too much. It is impossible to list everything that Teacher has done for us.
Teacher said in "Fa Teaching at the 2007 New York Fa Conference," "I have said that Master has compressed everything into the Fa, but as of today not that many of you have yet grasped the weight of those words." Is it a warning or a hint or an expectation from Teacher? How much did we understand it? I only came to realize that as Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples, our responsibilities are huge! Our cultivation is very sacred and solemn. I have to ask myself, "With Teacher's patient words, was I able to truly look inside unconditionally? Did I melt into the Fa? Did I change my essence? Am I a Fa rectification disciple that Teacher wants? Did I do the three things in my everyday life? Have I harmonized with the whole body and cultivation environment?"
Teacher said, "Everything through the ages, came about for the Fa" ("Just a Play" from Hong Yin II) The old forces used the evil Chinese Communist Party to launch the so-called test of Falun Dafa disciples. Some fellow practitioners have attachments to fear. This actually originates from the old cosmos' selfishness. This attachment has slowed down many fellow practitioners. What are you afraid of? The loss of money? The loss of your social status? The possible impact on your family? Aren't these simply fame, physical interests, and sentimentalities that Teacher has asked us to relinquish? Teacher also said, "As soon as you have even the slightest thought, 'Oh, this sentence makes sense...' when that thought flashes through your mind, the possessing spirits in that book will get on your body. ("Placement of the Mysterious Pass" from the Fourth Talk of Zhuan Falun) Some fellow practitioners were afraid that other people might see them or catch them when they were distributing truth-clarification materials. They couldn't help thinking that they would get sentenced to imprisonment if they got caught. With these unrighteous thoughts, the possessing spirits might have gotten to them.
Didn't these actions and thoughts show that they had acknowledged the old forces' arrangements? The old forces do not want to change themselves. Their purpose is to stop the Fa-rectification. But Teacher takes control of everything. We all have Teacher's Law bodies looking after us. We also have righteous gods safeguarding us. What we're doing is the most righteous thing in the whole cosmos. All the gods are watching us. We need to remember Teacher's Fa to strengthen our righteous thoughts. Who dares to hurt us?
Some fellow practitioners do not dare to keep truth-clarification materials at home. They are afraid that those materials could be found and used as proof for the evil Party to persecute them. One thought can differentiate an everyday person from a god. Doesn't that thought show that they did not completely believe in Teacher and the Fa? Whenever we have unrighteous thoughts and whenever we hear anything that makes us frightened, we need to immediately restrain our mind with righteous thoughts. We need to recite the Fa more. Aren't these opportunities for improvement?
In our daily lives, some fellow practitioners weren't able to balance the relationship between Teacher, Falun Dafa, practitioners and sentient beings. We need to know that true safety comes from Teacher and the Fa, and our own righteous thoughts and righteous actions. We need to cherish every opportunity that Teacher gave us for cultivation and improvement since they will be gone forever if we loose them.
We all clearly know that the only purpose of Falun Dafa practitioners coming to this world is to return to our true selves and assist Teacher. Therefore, we don't need to worry too much. The path for us to follow is very narrow and therefore we cannot deviate from it. I remember the story which talks about a cat catching fish. When fishing, the cat tried to catch a dragonfly and then a butterfly. Eventually, he didn't catch anything. In our cultivation, if we hold on to the old cosmos' notions and everyday people's attachments to fame, physical interests, and sentimentality, we are bound to use human notions to look at the Fa and cultivation. This provides the old forces with a place and a reason to stay. It gives them an excuse to persecute us. When we have more everyday people's notions, we have more trouble. Therefore, only by completely believing in Teacher and the Fa can we do a good job with the "three things." In order to achieve this, we must have a solid base of Fa study. Fa study is the essential guarantee for our improvement and reaching consummation. Teacher has always told us in his lectures that we need to study the Fa, study the Fa and study the Fa more. In my cultivation during the past few years, whether I was able to get enlightened to anything or not, I always remembered Teacher's asking us to study the Fa more. The Fa is the lighthouse on our cultivation path.
Teacher told us that we live in a realm of delusion. In fact, Teacher disclosed a secret in the word "delusion." What delusion can confuse us Falun Dafa practitioners who are walking towards godhood? In the realm of delusion, what can slow us down? All the so-called practical physical interests are not real. All the complicated predestined relationships can be harmonized by Teacher's immense compassion when we melt into Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance. It is critical for us to constantly use the Fa to correct our distorted notions that were formed and accumulated in our previous lives. We have to brave out of the human constraints. Without Teacher's great Fa of the cosmos, we wouldn't have a way out. I came to realize that, during our cultivation, if we don't take the path that Teacher arranged for us, we will take the path that the old forces arranged for us. There isn't a third way. This is a precious opportunity. Teacher said in "Teaching the Fa in the City of Chicago," "This instant is precious beyond measure."
Teacher also said in "The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be:"
"I know that after you become clear on this you will quickly catch up, 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."
Previously, some fellow practitioners in our area were excitedly spreading and reading the novel The Cosmos's Calamity. When their attachments were kindly pointed out, they didn't use the Fa to judge their thoughts and actions. Instead, they continued to spread the novel. Why did Teacher have to explicitly remind us of this? Every one of us should ask ourselves, "Is this only related to those practitioners that were involved in spreading and reading the novel?" Everything happens for a reason. We need to examine ourselves and see whether we took responsibility to safeguard the Fa and stabilize the cultivation environment in our area.
There were other occasions when some fellow practitioners did something that didn't accord with the Fa or Falun Dafa practitioners. Yet, did the others kindly and sincerely remind them of their mistakes? Let's look at "One Should Search Within Oneself When Swayed" which is one of the articles "From the Editors" on the Clearwisdom website: "We suggest that all the practitioners who have read but failed to correctly position the relationship search within themselves and see whether they, after so many years since their attaining the Fa, have realized the importance of Fa study, whether they have truly learned to study the Fa with calm minds, and whether they have genuinely understood what cultivation is all about, and how to cultivate." Some fellow practitioners thought that, since they had never read the novel, this article didn't really pertain them. However, let's ask ourselves why some of us couldn't always catch up with the Fa-rectification progress. Why weren't we able to always do the three things well every day? When can we achieve the state of doing well with the three things no matter what happens? I don't intend to criticize anybody. I'm only hoping all of us can improve when we have conflicts among us. We cannot let the old forces take advantage of us or interfere with our normal cultivation life.
Let's read Teacher's warning again from "Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference:"
"Don't think that since Master is always merciful you can take Master's mercy for granted! There are standards for Dafa disciples, and the Fa has standards. It's not like everyone can just goof around together and pass muster."
Fellow practitioners, Teacher is pulling us upwards. Teacher expects us to save more people. Teacher has been waiting for us. Will Teacher place us in heaven if we don't cultivate or don't cultivate well? Remember there are still so many sentient beings that are deceived by vicious lies. Remember our fellow practitioners suffering in forced labor camps and prisons. Do we have any excuse for taking our time? Wake yourself up and wake up our fellow practitioners!
Let's remind each other that we cannot hesitate on our way home. Let's strive forward diligently together during the final stage to godhood.