(Clearwisdom.net) On December 25, the Clearwisdom website published an article entitled "Military Applicants in China Are Asked if They Practice Falun Gong"(http://www.clearwisdom.net/html/articles/2009/12/25/113345.html). When I read, "Several applicants have been asked if they practice Falun Gong, what they think about the practice, how they heard about it, if their neighbors practice, if they have relatives overseas, etc." I suddenly had the fear that the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) wicked means would scare away people and deprive them of the chance of being saved.

Then I read on, "Since the CCP came into power, it has relied on military force to maintain its rule. Now it is hard for the regime to recruit 'trusted' soldiers because more than half of the Chinese population have been persecuted by it. Even after a strict investigation of the applicant's political background, the CCP doesn't trust the recruited soldiers. As a Chinese saying goes, 'Harming others is just as bad as harming yourself. 'Take a life, repay with your own life; Borrow money, repay with your own money.' The CCP is very afraid of the day it will have to pay for all the crimes it has committed." Reading this, I knew I was wrong and my fear was unfounded. I had a wrong mentality. For a cultivator, our first thought after an incidence is critical. My first thought was negative and I was thinking like an ordinary person.

Everything that happens in the human world follows the principles of mutual generation and mutual inhibition. Everything has a kind side and an evil side. As a cultivator, we must choose the kind side. Because cultivators have energy, by choosing the kind side, we are strengthening this side and improving things. Master said,

"'Tathagata' is what human beings call someone who's come with the truth and the power to do what he wants, whereas real Buddhas are guardians of the cosmos and are responsible for all righteous elements in the cosmos." ("Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference," Guiding the Voyage)

If our thoughts are not righteous, and our field is occupied by negative elements, how could we be responsible for the righteous elements?

On the other hand, ordinary people tend to look at things negatively. This is what ordinary people do to solve a problem. They first recognize it, analyze it, and finally try different solutions. There is nothing wrong with this approach for an ordinary person. But for a cultivator this is the wrong method. Master said,

"Human society never had true principles to guide it before, so man has not resolved his problems via shan. Instead, man has always resolved things through fighting and conquest, and that has thus become man's norm. If man wants to become divine and transcend the human state, then he must forsake that frame of mind and use compassion to resolve things. " (Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference)

Clearing our moods and changing our ways of thinking

How do we change our ways of thinking? Master said,

"Since human beings have sentimentality, being upset is sentimentality, so are happiness, love, hatred, enjoying doing one thing, resenting doing another thing, preferring one person to another, hobbies, and dislikes. Everything belongs to sentimentality, and everyday people just live for it. Then, as a practitioner and one who rises above and beyond, one should not use this approach to judge things, and one should break away from them." (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)

My current understanding is that emotions are manifested in my mind as different moods: anxiety, happiness, resentment, and so on. As a cultivator, our state should be peaceful and compassionate. Any strong mood is a deviation from the right state. We must clear them and change our ordinary human habits. We should also dig deep inside to find the roots of such moods and what attachments we still harbor. Gradually, we will reduce fluctuations in our moods and become closer to a divine state.

Another thing we should watch out for is having a negative attitude toward people and things that ordinary people tend to take. This is definitely not the mindset of a cultivator. One day, I encountered three or four people on separate occasions who were speaking negatively of another person. They used very harsh words. I thought this must not have been a coincidence; it was a reminder for me. Did I treat others unkindly? Then I remembered that the weather was cold a few days earlier, and I was angry at my husband for being careless with our child, forgetting to give him a hat or close the window. As a result, our child had a cold and a fever. I didn't say anything to my husband directly, but complained to a few people that he was not a good caretaker of our child. It is a serious matter for a cultivator to speak negatively of another person. Actually I could have taken a positive attitude and reminded my husband kindly. I think he would have accepted my suggestions and done better in the future. At the same time, it is also not a bad thing for my child to endure a little illness karma. One incident can be viewed from both a positive angle and a negative one. It's up to us which approach we choose to take.

Need to practice and strengthen the new way of thinking

In our daily lives, we don't doubt that water will come out if we turn the faucet, because we see it happen every day. But we don't think about or practice some Fa principles every day, and our understanding is usually superficial. Because we don't often practice the principles, when we encounter a problem, we don't usually react appropriately. For example, we all know that everything that happens to a cultivator is a good thing, but when something seemingly negative happens, we forget the principle and try to solve the problem with a human mindset. If we develop a habit of thinking and analyzing the situation whenever something happens, we will change our human mentalities over time. We can ask ourselves why what happened was a good thing or how we could turn it into a good thing.

These are a few understandings of mine. Please kindly point out anything incorrect.