Righteous Thoughts Are Strong When There Are No Human Notions
(Clearwisdom.net) Recently, Master wrote several articles urging practitioners to be diligent in their Fa study, in saving of sentient beings, and in cooperating with other practitioners. I would like to use this opportunity to report on what I have done over the past year in cultivation so that I can get some feedback from fellow practitioners.
1. Removing human notions and increasing righteous thoughts through reciting the Fa
As a young practitioner I have a job, a family, and Dafa activities. How can I conduct all of my responsibilities well? If one is not careful, the desire for fame, money, sentimentality and the many forms of human notions will develop. Furthermore, with attachments to showing off, lust, and a desire to be better than others, etc., how can such a person validate the Fa? How can such a person qualify as a disciple of Dafa? In "Dissolving Into the Fa" (Essentials for Further Advancement), Master indicates that a man is like a container. He becomes what is in the container. More specifically, Master says:
"As a practitioner, if his mind is filled with nothing but Dafa, this person is definitely a genuine cultivator."
I think that a genuine practitioner should memorize the Fa. Thus, he will always have a proper reference upon which to base his actions. Many fellow practitioners have reported on the Minghui/Clearwisdom website that they are able to recite the Fa. Their xinxing has improved substantially as a result.
Around the year 2006, I began to recite the Fa. I started by going paragraph by paragraph through Master's teachings. It was a very slow process. I covered less than two pages a day. However, I continued my efforts regularly. This year I was able to recite entire sections and finally, I was able to recite entire chapters. When I started from the first chapter on up, I naturally remembered more about the first few chapters than about the last few chapters. Hence, I also tried reversing the order of my readings, starting from chapter nine and moving backwards to chapter eight, seven, etc. Although I am still not very proficient in reciting, I notice a significant weakening in my attachments and my mind is much quieter than before. When a human thought appears, a corresponding piece of Fa will show up to suppress it. Whether I am resting or working, the Fa will emerge in my mind. As a result many human notions have been expunged.
In reciting the Fa, interference comes from thought karma and ideas picked up in life. While reciting the Fa, one's mind may wander into something else. I think this is part of the process of assimilating to the Fa. When there were too many random thoughts passing through my mind I would stop reciting. Instead, I sent forth righteous thoughts to clear out the interference. I also asked Master to help me. This way my recitation improved getting better and better and my confidence in doing so improved as well.
I think the process of reciting the Fa is connected with the process of assimilating to the Fa. It is also a valuable process to improve our characters. In my practice, I notice that when memorizing a section of the Fa, there is a corresponding xinxing test. It always relates to removing attachments and generating a deeper understanding of the Fa.
I remember very clearly a direct xinxing test. While working on memorizing the section of Lecture 4 discussing karma conversion, I had a client ask me to do a job. It was a job he promised to do for someone else. He asked me to do it for him at a very low price. Furthermore, after the work had started he added additional tasks and verbally promised to pay for them. When it was time for him to pay, he refused to pay for all of the additional tasks. Anger took hold of me immediately, but the following words from Zhuan Falun also appeared in my mind :
"In conflicts, the issue of transforming karma is involved. Therefore, in dealing with specific conflicts we should be forgiving instead of acting like ordinary people."
I knew that this fellow was doing what he did to help me improve my character and he came to me to learn the facts about Falun Gong. I changed my attitude and calmly told him about Dafa while accepting his pay. He was receptive to what I said. Although financially I took a loss, there was a corresponding gain in my xinxing.
Teacher has asked us to follow the Fa teachings and treat them as if they are our Master. I understand that the only way for a being to move into the new universe is to assimilate to the Fa. Furthermore, every Dafa disciple is linked to a gigantic group of beings and a colossal firmament of systems. This is why the consummation of Dafa disciples is the most magnificent event in the universe. In this unprecedented cultivation during the Fa-rectification period, achieving a selfless state along with focusing on saving sentient beings will provide the groundwork for acquiring unparalleled virtue in the future universe.
Every achievement we have comes from the Fa. Hence, a good understanding of the Fa should take priority along with removing human notions which block assimilation to the Fa. I believe that focusing on the Fa is crucial, because with proper focus, for anything we miss, Master will be able to give us greater directional guidance.
2. Harmonizing the whole body, looking within and removing more human notions
Due to the type of work I do, I am more familiar with computers than many other practitioners. I have been able to help with computer repairs and technical support. At an early stage I felt pretty good about the support I provided and enjoyed making it known to other practitioners. Later, I realized that I was attached to fame. All of us are trying to spread the Fa and different people are contributing in different ways. Any attempt to glorify one's personal contribution is a selfish notion. I am glad that I have recognized this attachment.
A fellow practitioner brought me a laptop to repair, because it lost its display. I thought that the computer may have had a broken link in its graphic/video card and placed it on a chair without paying much attention. The next day I stood on the chair to reach for an object and I ended up cracking the display unit. I thus took the laptop to a repair shop. Sure enough, the video card needed repair but the display unit had to be replaced. Thus, the cost was substantially more than repairing the video card. While I blamed myself for being careless, I did not pay much attention to the incident, because I was not short of cash.
Later, I told a fellow practitioner about the incident and she asked me to look inward to find a cause. I did not believe that I did anything wrong, because I paid for everything. However, after I heard what she said I knew there was something missing in my understanding of the Fa. She explained to me: "As Dafa disciples, our money is for supporting Dafa activities. Hence, we must spend it carefully. In talking to the Australian Dafa disciples, Master indicated that it would be more desirable if the money spent on travel could be used to save sentient beings. The total funding for Dafa activities is very limited. When we have to spend more because of accidents, we will improve our xinxing state if we look inward to understand the real lessons to be learned."
This fellow practitioner kindly pointed out what was lacking in my understanding without being critical. The intention was to help all of us to improve as one body. I used to think that I could spend my own money anyway I liked, but such an action can provide an excuse for the old forces to harm us. As I continue to ponder this subject, I realize that I am most fortunate to have such helpful fellow practitioners.
As Fa-rectification moves into its last phase, what Master has told us is becoming clearer and clearer. I feel that fellow practitioners are coordinating better, are more rational in what they do, and are able to look inward when there is a problem. When there is a conflict, practitioners will calmly discuss the issues involved and resolve it in private. To me this is a sign of maturity.
3. Cultivating compassion, clarifying the facts and saving sentient beings
From the lectures by Master I understand that every event throughout history was done in preparation for the spread of Dafa. The three realms was created for this purpose. The purpose of every person on earth is to learn the Fa and to enable the Fa to save themselves and others. However, after many reincarnations, the purpose is no longer clear.
To avoid losing any individuals with a predestined relationship I play Shen Yun DVDs and DVDs about the persecution in my retail store. I clarify the facts about Falun Gong to every client who comes to my store and advise them to perform the three withdrawals. If a client is in a rush, I give him/her a Shen Yun DVD. When asked what is in the DVD, I tell them that it contains the value and beauty of our traditional culture in songs and dances not found elsewhere in our country at this time. When asked, "Why do you give it to me?" I say, "Because you are a kind and compassionate individual deserving what is good." They normally are pleased and thankful for receiving the DVD.
We face many kinds of people in society. When we give them the facts, some will be accepting, some will remain silent, some will disagree, and some will become angry. As a practitioner in a school of compassion (a Buddhist school), our focus is to save sentient beings and not to focus on their responses. Clearly, different people will respond differently. We must learn to accept them all with compassion. I recall that Master said that when he was giving lectures, there were people enjoying the lectures as well as people who were scolding him in their hearts; but Master did not care about the responses. As disciples, we should follow Master's example. We should be kind, sincere, rational, and compassionate in our attempt to clarify the facts about Falun Dafa to people.
The process of clarifying the facts to people is also a process of improving one's character and increasing righteous thoughts. The presentation must be rational and logical. Every ordinary person carries attachments. Some have their own questions and standpoints. We need to be familiar with important truth clarifying documents including Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party and Disintegrating Communist Party Culture in order to provide proper answers. We should not be concerned with how well we present or answer questions, we should simply be sincere and focused on saving sentient beings. Over time we will improve in both the presentation of facts and in the answering of questions.
One time I met a rental car driver who was a long-time communist party member seriously poisoned by the CCP culture. He became angry upon hearing about quitting the Party and he completely rejected the possibility of organ harvesting. I immediately changed the topic, because one cannot force another to change their minds on a topic of which they have firm opinions. To do so will generate conflict instead of agreement. Hence, I changed the subject to the cultural revolution, the Tiananmen Square massacre, and to well known cases of corruption by high-level communist officials. He began to retract, then calmed down and acknowledged that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was in decline. Then, I mentioned to him the lies proclaimed by the CCP about the "self-immolation" incident and how Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance was being widely accepted worldwide. Finally, I told him that there was retribution for our deeds whether they were good or bad. He appeared to accept what I said, so I told him that he could list the name Zhang Qing instead of his real name to withdraw from the CCP. He then agreed to my suggestion.
While clarifying the facts about Falun Gong I encountered many types of people and some interesting incidents occurred. Not long ago an elderly Buddhist monk came to my shop and asked for a financial contribution to build a temple. He was 82 years old. I asked him what good would that do? He said it would bring good fortune to the next generation. I then said, "A monk should not be concerned with earthly affairs. Why should you care about the next generation?" He replied, "On a small scale we talk about the next generation. On a larger scale we are dealing with all life." I told him that I was a practitioner in the Buddhist school studying Falun Dafa. He replied, " My teacher told me that the practice of Falun Gong could achieve very high levels. It is not for me to comment, because my current study can achieve only a low level." I said to him, "You will receive much benefit by remembering 'Falun Dafa is good' and 'Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.' "
Anyone we encounter must be someone with a predestined relationship. When we are focusing on saving sentient beings with compassion, we shall be able to see that all beings are suffering, going through many reincarnations without knowing what to do. At this period in time, great catastrophes are predicted. Although Master has substantially reduced these catastrophes to many many small ones and extended the Fa-rectification period to give us more time, many beings who fail to "wake-up" will face destruction. I hope all Dafa disciples recognize the urgency of saving sentient beings.
Not long ago I was on official business to visit an athletic department. A large body of students came by. It occurred to me that if these students missed the opportunity to know the facts about Falun Gong, it would be a deplorable affair. I had more than thirty Shen Yun DVDs with me and I passed them out to all of the students. Their purpose of coming to this world is to learn the facts about Falun Dafa and they will be saved when they side with the Fa.
Dafa disciples are people on their way to becoming gods. They are to assist Master in saving sentient beings and to complete their historical mission. During the Fa-rectification period and under Master's guidance every practitioner is following his or her path of cultivation. This article that I have written is to summarize what I have been doing in recent years and to exchange ideas with fellow practitioners. I still have many attachments and am still unable to harmonize my family matters. In fact when my wife saw my writing, she was unhappy about how I spent my money on preparing truth-clarifying materials. I know this is one of the obstacles I need to overcome. There has to be a human attachment that I need to remove.
Please point out anything that is improper.