(Clearwisdom.net) I am a veteran practitioner and I learned Falun Dafa in 1996. I am ashamed of my lack of diligence and have had a hard time passing tests along my cultivation path. I would like to share my understanding after recently studying the Fa.
"Study Fa, obtain Fa,
Compare in studying,
compare in cultivating,
Examine each and every deed,
Accomplishing is cultivating." ("Solid Cultivation", Hong Yin)
Teacher taught us how to practice cultivation. In life my behaviors have deviated from the principles and I failed to integrate these principles into my daily life. Therefore, at times I am no different than an ordinary person. The interaction between ordinary people focuses on these values: "I will be good to you if you are good to me and I will not be good to you if you are not good to me." A cultivator should not behave in this way. Teacher has repeatedly emphasized that we should look inward when we encounter a problem, and we should search inside ourselves even when observe the conflicts of others. Why is it that we have not been able to live up to the standard of a practitioner? Because we have not studied the Fa enough. It is easy to say that we should look inward, but if we do not study the Fa, or do not study the Fa deeply, we won't be able to find our shortcomings and improve. When we look inward, we can find our attachments. We should also use the Fa to guide us and cultivate away our attachments so that we may assimilate with Dafa. Only then is our cultivation solid.
Everyone has his/her own family and social relationships, which are environments for cultivation. I live with my extended family. For various reasons, my sister, myself, our children, and my sister-in-law all live with my parents. All of my family members practice cultivation, so fellow practitioners think that my family provides a very good cultivation environment, which is indeed true. We do not interfere with each other when we want to study the Fa or practice the exercises. But, we also have conflicts in our daily life, and when this happens we sometimes think that the other person should look inward because he/she is a cultivator. It is not easy to eliminate our attachments because we have not been studying the Fa well.
I have a very outgoing personality and when I talk I tend to neglect other people's feelings. I can easily hurt others and I have conflicts. I don't get along with my sister-in-law because we both have very strong personalities. Usually in ordinary society, a woman and her sister-in-low don't get along. But because we are both cultivators, we bury our grievances deep in our minds. They are not exposed until they become stirred up by a conflict.
A while ago my sister-in-law and I had a argument over a trivial matter. The situation got out of control and we vented our old grudges which had accumulated throughout the years. After it was over, I immediately realized that there was something wrong with me. It did not matter whether I was right or not, my words and actions were at the level of ordinary people. I did not act like a cultivator, and I failed to rely on the Fa to guide me in my actions. The next day I cried while I was looking at Teacher's picture. I shed tears because I had not been diligent, I did not deserve to be a Dafa practitioner, and because I had disgraced Dafa. I knew what I had done the day before was wrong. I started to search within myself. I discovered that I was very jealous and carried the mentality of fighting and being superior. I clung to my human attachments. How could that be considered cultivation? I was even worse than an ordinary person. I did not want to act like an ordinary person, I wanted to let go of all human attachments and become a genuine Dafa practitioner. When my sister-in-law came home that night, I told her I was sorry as soon as she entered the house. She was so moved that she held me and cried. She had also searched within herself and also felt that she had done something wrong. After that, my mind was calm, and I felt that I understood cultivation. If I make a mistake, I should look inward, find my attachments and eliminate them. This is the kind of behavior Teacher wants to see in his disciples. That's what cultivation should be. When I look inward, a tribulation is no longer a tribulation, it becomes an opportunity for me to improve myself.
After this incident, when I studied the Fa, I studied with my heart, rather than as if completing an assignment. Therefore, I have maintained a very good cultivation state. Whenever I ran into a problem, I first searched within myself. I put myself in others people's shoes, looked more at others' merits rather than their weaknesses. Whenever I did something I referred to the Fa to guide me. When I truly accomplished this my surrounding environment became harmonious, because I was changing, looking inward, and practicing genuine cultivation. Because I had studied the Fa well, I was able to achieve this. Cultivation is a very serious matter. If you have only read the books and practiced the exercises you may not be considered a Dafa practitioner. Only by examining each and every action and improving your moral character by looking within, is it considered cultivation.
At the final stage of cultivation, let us look more at others people's merits rather than their weaknesses. We must constantly look inward. Teacher has repeatedly stressed that we must look inward. We must let go of our human attachments and understand what cultivation is about, and for whom we cultivate, then we will be able to easily let go of human attachments. I sincerely hope everyone will search within themselves for attachments, strive forward more diligently, and seize the time to save sentient beings.
Please kindly point it out if there's anything incorrect in my understanding.