Persevere in Group Fa Study and Walk the Path of Cultivation Well
(Clearwisdom.net) Master has told us many times that a practitioner should look inside no matter what conflicts or matters he or she runs into. Looking inside is the key--we can overcome any difficulties as long as we are determined to return to our true selves.
I am a veteran practitioner of over ten years. Looking back, I regret not looking inside every time conflicts occured. I tend to look outward and find others' shortcomings. Just like a flashlight, as a fellow practitioner put it, "It always shines on others not on itself, and is always right on target." How come I was right on target every time when I looked at others? I suddenly understood: These are my own attachments being reflected back to me! I was right on target because those attachments were mine! I gasped and found that I had obsessively worried about others being taken advantage of by the old forces, without realizing I was the one who needed to wake up. From then on, regardless of whether something was a good thing or a bad thing, as long as I saw it had something to do with my xinxing, I strengthened my righteous thoughts to expose the bad substances and deeply-hidden attachments in me. Only then could I remove them and improve.
Eliminating Interference from Family and Cultivating Myself Well by Attending Group Fa Study
For a period of time, I was forced to leave home and become homeless in order to avoid persecution. After I returned, my family watched me very closely. I had to study the Fa and do the exercises secretly. However, I understood that Dafa practitioners must attend group Fa study, so I often went to a fellow practitioner's home after finishing all the housework. When my family asked me where I was going, I said I was going for a walk. One night I came home very late, and my husband questioned my whereabouts. I told him openly and with dignity that I had gone to attend group Fa study. He said, "Nobody should be up so late. Don't bother others anymore." I said, "Where should I go then? Should I let them come to our home?" He said, "OK" without thinking much about it. So I said immediately, "I'll have them come to our home starting tomorrow."
I had always been hoping to establish a Fa study group at my home, but the reality was that it was very tiny and filled with stuff. While I was thinking about solutions, I was suddenly given the opportunity to borrow an apartment for a long period of time. This is how the Fa Study group was established. This was exactly like what Master said, "It is good enough if you have this wish. It is the master who actually does this..." (Zhuan Falun, Lecture One) Isn't it Dafa's mighty power and Master's compassion? I came to understand that as long as our thoughts are on the Fa, anything can be accomplished.
I also encountered xinxing tests during Fa study. Some of the practitioners read fast without mistakes, while others read very slowly with mistakes and wouldn't listen when others tried to correct them. My heart was disturbed, and I adopted a very judgmental tone. This cultivation state lasted for a long time. Why did this happen? I looked inside and realized it was my own attachment. I calmed down and sent righteous thoughts to help the practitioners read. Indeed, the practitioners did not make any further mistakes. I came to understand that cultivation in Dafa is indeed very solemn, and that we must conscientiously read every character without any mistakes. As practitioners understand it, behind every character there are numerous Buddha, Taos, and Gods. In my opinion, punctuation marks are also part of the Fa. It's not easy to convey commas and periods in our tones while reading. But if we fail to take into account the question marks, pause marks (only in Chinese), and exclamation marks in our tones, then why did Master put them in the book in the first place? So, in my humble opinion, we should read the book exactly the way Master wrote it.
I also noticed that every time our group came to the section on "Cultivation of Speech," it was always my turn to read, no matter how many practitioners were present. I didn't give it much thought until I realized that it was Master reminding me to cultivate my speech. From then on I became strict with myself and tried not to say things that I shouldn't say. But still it continued to always be my turn to read that same paragraph. I continued looking inside and finally found the reason: I used to joke around a lot. After beginning cultivation, I still didn't realize it was an attachment that should be removed. I didn't realize cultivation practice was serious and that I should conduct myself with a higher standard without speaking casually. As soon as I realized this, it was rarely my turn to read that paragraph.
As I understand it, no matter which paragraph we are reading, it is bound to guide our cultivation practice. It is either targeting our xinxing or expecting us to gain a deeper understanding of the issue. I have gradually improved by studying the Fa this way. With Dafa's guidance, fellow practitioners' help, and Master's hints, my xinxing has improved and broken through difficulty after difficulty at home. In the past, I couldn't study the Fa at home or at others' homes. It was hard for me to even imagine saving sentient beings in the countryside. But now everything has changed drastically. This is Dafa's mighty power. I understand that Master has seen my heart, helped me remove all the obstacles, and arranged everything for me.
Looking back, I understand that, whether you can step forward or not is not something that anybody can interfere with. Because what we're doing is the most righteous, and everyone on our path should offer their help. The key is whether or not you want to step forward. What interferes are your own attachments, even though you may use other excuses to try to cover them up. If you want to remove the bad thoughts, then you need to have the utmost determination and tell yourself: "No one is allowed to stop me; I just want to save sentient beings." And look what the result will be! This is just like Master has told us in the Fa:
"In fact, that is how it is. Why don't you give it a try when you return home. When you are overcoming a real hardship or tribulation, you try it. When it is difficult to endure, try to endure it. When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible. If you can actually do it, you will indeed find: 'After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!'" (Zhuan Falun, Lecture Nine)