Breaking through Selfishness to Live a True Life
Greetings, fellow practitioners around the world!
I would like to report to Master as well as share with fellow practitioners my experience of improving in the Fa.
With the Right Motivation, My Skills Improved Rapidly
I began learning Falun Dafa in 1998. When I left my hometown to work in another place, I found myself cultivating alone. Although I felt that Dafa was something that I had been waiting for my entire life, I was not very diligent and still held onto some human attachments that I did not want to give up.
At that time my competitive mentality was pretty strong and I could not pass xinxing tests. Whenever a tribulation came, I would forget that I was a practitioner. Sometimes I behaved pretty much just like an everyday person. I had a tendency to avoid conflicts, and, as a result, in one year I changed jobs five or six times.
I was half-cultivating like this for a year when the persecution began. The majority of the practitioners I knew went to Beijing to validate the Fa, but some gave up practicing due to their attachment to fear. Due to my human notions I was one of those who could not step forward to clarify the facts of this persecution.
Finally, in the second half of 2002, with a hint from Master, I realized that I should also go to Beijing to validate the Fa and to fulfill my historic vow. However, my motivation was a selfish one, as I was afraid that I would be left behind in Fa-rectification. Even so, Master still compassionately took care of me the whole way. Because I did not have a good foundation in studying the Fa, I did not know how to send forth righteous thoughts and eliminate the evil persecution. I was just relying on a human mentality to make it through and I felt that, since I had chosen Dafa, then I should firmly walk on its path.
Later in Beijing I was arrested and sent back to my hometown. I was illegally sentenced to five years in prison, and, over the years, I almost died several times. But with Master's protection, I was able to make it through and pass some tests.
After I got out of prison, the local Falun Dafa material production site was in need of manpower, and so, wanting to help, I walked into a new cultivation environment. I knew clearly the weight of the work. I forced myself to be diligent, and I started to memorize the Fa. In the beginning I was very slow, but I did not give up. It took me eight months to finish memorizing Zhuan Falun for the first time, and I felt I was a completely different person. Many of the random thoughts in my mind were gone, and I was able to achieve a tranquil mind. Little by little I was able to find many of my fundamental attachments and eliminate them. I realized that Dafa disciples in the Fa-rectification period must unconditionally assimilate with the Fa and attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism. Therefore, one must eliminate all human notions and attachments. None of these things belong to our true selves. Without Dafa and without Master's Fa-rectification, the earth in this period of human life would have been gone a long time ago. I feel that, not only does our personal cultivation belong to Dafa, but also our physical bodies are part of Dafa's resources. Thus we have to use this body to validate the Fa in the ordinary world, while maximally conforming to the ways of ordinary human society. I also enlightened to the point that we must follow Master's requirement to do the three things well and only by doing so are we truly safe.
"If you, as a student [of Dafa], do not follow Master's requirements, it is definitely no simple thing. The old forces have arranged for all Dafa disciples a set of their things, so if a Dafa disciple doesn't follow Master's requirements, he must be following the old forces' arrangements." ("Be Clearheaded")
I knelt down in front of Master's picture and vowed: Master, all of me was re-created and given by you. In order to validate the Fa and save the sentient beings, I will go wherever I am needed.
Because I strengthened my motivation, Master opened up my wisdom. For instance sometimes when I encountered computer technical difficulties, the mouse would oddly move by itself. It would click here and there and teach me what to do. With Master's help, in a very short time I learned how to copy discs, produce all kinds of truth-clarification materials, do simple editing, install operating systems, fix printers, get online with cell phones, change the IMEI in cell phones, make voice calls, etc.
When I was diligently memorizing the Fa daily, my mind was very clear and I was able to learn the skills quickly. I used these skills to help many practitioners install operating systems so that they too could access the Minghui/Clearwisdom website to read Master's Fa lectures as soon as they were published. Many times my attachment to zealotry would appear, or I would want to validate myself and think that I was smart. When these thoughts came up, I would ask myself, "Who are you? Is that really you thinking these thoughts? In fact, everything is done by Master." When I was able to distinguish between these thoughts, it would be eliminated at once. However, they would often recur and I remembered I felt quite troubled by this. By repeatedly studying Master's lectures from all around the world, I realized that it was because Master pushes these dirty thoughts/karma more and more towards the surface. As long as I insisted on eliminating them, eventually they will be completely eliminated.
Fellow Practitioners Are Mirrors Reflecting My Cultivation
Sometimes I also help with coordination, and this gives me an opportunity to deal with practitioners with all sorts of different xinxing. In the beginning, I was often moved by fellow practitioners' human notions. I would be happy if they listened to me, and if they didn't listen to me or talked back on me, then it would make me feel terrible for several days and I'd just want to ignore them. I would think, "Who cares! Cultivation is up to him, and who cares if he cultivates or not!"
Through studying Master's Fa, gradually I learned to search within myself and discovered that nothing happens accidentally. Since Master arranged my path, then there must be things that I needed to eliminate. It must be because that something is missing in my part of the universe and Master is helping me to reform it in my cultivation. In this world and within the three realms, all truth is inverted. When fellow practitioners are not treating me well, they are actually helping me to improve. Their human notions that have not been eliminated are just like mirrors. These mirrors can show their shortcomings but, more importantly, can also reflect my shortcomings right back at me.
Gradually I learned that when unpleasant things happen with a fellow practitioner, I should think, "Do I have his (her) attachments? Why is he (she) treating me like this? It must be because there are human notions that I need to eliminate." When I look at the issues from this perspective, the knots in my heart unravel very quickly. I found that my assimilation to the universe was faster and I became more calm.
Master taught us,
"Now when we clarify the truth to others you all feel that we should treat sentient beings with compassion, then all the more so should you be compassionate among our Dafa disciples." ("Teaching the Fa at the Washington D.C. Fa Conference," July 22, 2002)
When I feel that I am still far away from Master's requirement of being compassionate I often quietly recite Master's Fa. Especially whenever I encountered a xinxing tribulation, I would recite the Fa to clear those muddled thoughts or human notions interfering in my mind.
When I first joined the material production site, I sometimes felt unbalanced about our poor living conditions and I often remembered fondly the "rich" times when I had a well paying job. However, another practitioner's experience solved that for me. An elderly aunt was kicked out of her home because she insisted on practicing Dafa and her husband did not want her to. She lived by picking up unwanted things from the trash. One day she gave us a lot of money so we could make more Dafa materials. She had saved this money over a long time. I was shocked and ashamed of my previous thoughts! She was barely making a living, and the only thought in her heart was to save sentient beings. Compared to her, I felt so insignificant. I realized I must continue to look inwards and measure myself against fellow practitioners and I must also be able to achieve this selflessness.
"Study the Fa and gain the Fa,
Focus on how you study and cultivate,
Let each and every thing
be measured against the Fa.
Only then, with that,
is it actually cultivation." ("Solid Cultivation," Hong Yin, Translation Version A)
I can take hardship as joy most of the time now.
Enlightening to the "Boiling Frog" Story
When I was in middle school, I read a story about an experiment performed in an American university. The story told how a frog was thrown into a pot of boiling water, and the frog immediately jumped out. Then, the same frog was put into a pot with cold water that was slowly heating up. At first, the frog happily swam in the water. As the temperature of the water went up, the frog finally realized the danger he was in but it was already too late. I always remembered that story, and after I began practicing cultivation,
I'd often remind myself to not be "boiled" by living in everyday people's society. Especially after July 20, 1999, the old forces and evil factors have put all kinds of pots out to test practitioners.
Many fellow practitioners stayed very righteous in the intense environment of certain prisons. But when they got out, they gradually let down their guard without even realizing it. Some got attached to fame and were busy climbing up the ladders of success; some got attached to gain and were so busy doing business that they had very little time for Fa study or sending forth righteous thoughts; some could not resist the attachments to lust and desire, and sadly their attachments were magnified even more strongly by the evil old forces, which eventually caused some practitioners to go astray in cultivation.
Some fellow practitioners even lost their lives to sickness karma. Others gave up Falun Dafa and went over to the opposite side in the prisons and brainwashing centers and lost the opportunity they had been waiting for for thousands of years. I think all of these things can happen when we get too relaxed in our cultivation.
"You have all seen that in today's society negative things abound, and they spur on people's attachments and affect their minds and souls, continually dragging the world's people downwards. It is terrifying. Dafa disciples are human cultivators, not gods that cultivate, and so as people who cultivate, they will be interfered with to some extent. If they cannot handle themselves well, then they are just like ordinary people; and when interfered with, their behavior will be much like that of ordinary people. Some students haven't encountered much in the way of ordeals and have gradually become lax. This means that they have formed attachments to the various temptations of ordinary society, and been dragged down by its lure." ("Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference")
I feel that to do well at the end of our cultivation path, we must truly follow Master's requirements and study the Fa a lot, solidly cultivate ourselves, and constantly remind and warn ourselves to keep straight on the narrow path. Only when our minds are filled with Dafa will the evil old forces, in searching for our gaps, not be able to take advantage of us. When we do sometimes not enlighten to something and fall, we then have to get up quickly, search for the fundamental causes in ourselves, and correct them in a timely fashion.
Closing the Gaps among Fellow Practitioners and Cooperating with the One Body
Practitioners have different kinds of human notions, and all have attachments to be eliminated in cultivation. As a result there are often conflicts among practitioners. Sometimes these unresolved conflicts cause gaps, which are magnified by the old forces, leading to even greater tribulations and losses to Dafa as a whole.
Our regional coordinator and I had conflicts. She was always suspecting that I would do something wrong, and sometimes in return I would think about how unfairly she treated me. The evil factors exacerbated the unresolved tribulation and made fellow practitioners gossip about us with each other. Soon, the gossip that was being spread was a completely different story. The gaps among us all were getting larger and larger, to the point where we basically were just were doing our own things and ignoring each other. After I studied Master's new lecture "Be More Diligent," I suddenly awakened and realized that I had fallen into the old forces' trap. I continued to search deeper and deeper and found many of my attachments.
During the October 1 break, I shared with the regional coordinator and she was also able to find her own shortcomings. The evil substances in the other dimensions between us then disappeared. Actually, the reason that this persecution is still going on is partially due to the fact that, as practitioners, we still have human notions that we have not been able to eliminate, and, due to these human notions, the old forces have taken advantage of this.
As cultivators who are walking the path to divinity, we should not have any strong differences among us. I hope fellow practitioners in other areas who still have gaps among them can quickly search within and truly put down their untrue selves. This way we can fulfill what Master has taught us.
"Advance together, ever diligent, To a glorious future."
("One With the Fa," Hong Yin)
The gods in the heavens definitely do not blame each other. They only quietly make up for each others' shortcomings. When conflicts happen, often it is because we are too attached to ourselves and want to force our own thoughts onto others. This happens because, basically, the fundamental principle of the old universe--selfishness--is still having an effect on us. We are trying to validate ourselves instead of validating the Fa. If we can clearly think about it, then, really, is there anything we cannot give up? We have been waiting for millions of years and finally the time is now and we have been taught this Fa. We know we definitely cannot take our attachments to heaven, so we must treat our cultivation very seriously.
I hope that my fellow practitioners in Mainland China, especially the coordinators, will be able to put self aside and follow the principles of selflessness and altruism, so that we can all play our roles as Dafa disciples in the Fa-rectification period, not disappoint the sentient beings in the universe who have pinned all their hopes in us, and not disappoint our Master, who compassionately saved us.