Western Practitioner: Thoughts on Believing in Oneself
(Clearwisdom.net) I have encountered two instances lately where Dafa disciples have said something that came from a discouraged, negative, belittling mentality that sounded like the practitioner was flinging herself to the bottom, equating herself entirely with bad human attachments. I would like to share what I found after these two experiences and urge fellow practitioners to ask themselves a question that may help us make breakthroughs: Do we really believe in ourselves?
The first instance came while reporting on the Divine Performing Arts Chinese Spectacular. Reporters and editors from different continents all came online to transcribe, write, edit and post articles about audience reactions. A reporter was just coming online and said something highly discouraging about herself, that she was no better than humans who behave poorly. She nearly apologized for her low level to everyone online at the time. I immediately responded by assuring her that she would get through whatever test she was encountering. I said I was sure those belittling things were not true about her. She is a Fa-rectification Period Dafa Disciple, how could they be true? Another practitioner also responded in agreement with me saying that "the old forces use discouragement against us."
The next instance came at group study when a practitioner shared a shortcoming she noticed and then said something like, "But that's just me being ordinary again. I'm so horrible!" She laughed slightly. She was light about it and others brushed it aside with a smile. I recognized the mentality of discouragement and of not believing in ourselves, not regarding ourselves as sacred beings who have accomplished many things in Fa-rectification and who are on the path of Godhood. These comments are slight gaps in our one-body's xinxing but can be easily exploited. They can send a practitioner on a downhill journey toward despair, fear, pain, feeling overwhelmed with pressure, and ultimately into a negative state where one could undermine Dafa unintentionally. I quickly told that practitioner "No, that's not true."
Master taught us more about our cultivation way in the "Lecture Given to Australia Practitioners in 2007" saying words to the effect of,
"Even those who have cultivated very well show human attachments on the surface. The well cultivated side cannot manifest in the human world, there is nothing to manifest...Everyone has shortcomings, otherwise how could you cultivate? If you tell me this person does not have shortcomings I will not believe you. If you tell me he has shortcomings I will believe you."
Bad-mouthing ourselves is not the same as being strict with ourselves and holding ourselves to a high standard. After I heard these comments, I looked inside. I was struggling with the fifth exercise, with moving from half lotus sitting to full lotus and breaking through fear and pain that I knew was only a film between my current state and deeper ding. I realized that I did not truly believe I could sit in full lotus for one hour every day the way my fellow practitioners do. When I let go of that notion, the exercise became a joy that I now look forward to as a way to truly improve myself and feel the Fa's radiant energy.
I further realized I did not completely believe that what Master describes in "Zhuan Falun" as "transformation of mind and body" is actually happening to me; that if Master has transformed me that I only have these piddly mounds of karma that appear as tests called doubt, anxiety, anger, and fear. I have experienced extremely few supernatural phenomena and I am surrounded by ordinary people most of the time so I sometimes feel "ordinary" and not capable of meeting the standard of a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple. This amounts to not trusting Master and not believing in the Fa as I understand it.
It may seem like we are negating our egos when we put ourselves down. It may feel like we've overcome big-headedness and are somehow safe from thinking too highly of ourselves. I believe a calm look back at our paths will show us that whatever complex feelings or conflict have arisen are simply chances to raise our levels; that we should thank whoever or whatever brought us this chance to improve. We should not be attached to seeing results of our cultivation since we fundamentally cannot while living in the human world. This is not an excuse to give demon nature free reign, but encouragement to say that cultivation is hard. As long as we upgrade our xinxing, we are on the right path and are being diligent.
Master has affirmed that Dafa dizi are magnificent, not egotistical or pompous, but confident, upright, magnificent beings. Let's walk our last leg of the journey with grace and confidence and unshakable faith in the Fa.
These are my understandings, please share yours and point out any shortcomings. Thank you.
Category: Journeys of Cultivation