(Clearwisdom.net) I began practicing Falun Dafa in December 1997. Despite cultivating for nearly 12 years, I believe that I am far from meeting the requirements of the Fa because of my poor enlightenment quality. Under Master's care and protection, I have been able to stumble through all kinds of tribulations. My strongest feeling is that we should study the Fa well.
In every lecture and every article, Master reminds us to study the Fa well, to really study the Fa well. I know the importance of studying the Fa well and have reminded fellow practitioners that we should study the Fa diligently every time I shared experiences with them. However, I was limited to a perceptual understanding. Only when I started to recite Zhuan Falun did I truly realize the importance of studying the Fa.
1. When Studying the Fa, One's Main Consciousness Should Be Clear So That One Can Study the Fa with One's True Self
I remember in 2005, the Minghui/Clearwisdom website started to publish many experience sharing articles about practitioners reciting Zhuan Falun. I was very touched after reading them and thought I would start to recite Zhuan Falun. (Actually, as early as 1998 I started to recite the Fa, but regrettably I did not realize the importance of reciting Zhuan Falun. I did not break through the interference and stopped after reciting only two pages.)
Being well educated and having read Zhuan Falun more than 100 times in 1998, I knew exactly the content of each lecture. But when I started to recite Zhuan Falun from memory, I found that it was far from what I had imagined to be an easy task. I had felt that I was already very familiar with Zhuan Falun, but when I started to try to recite it, I found that this was not the case. Sometimes I failed to repeat a sentence accurately no matter how hard I tried. The more I tried and failed, the more anxious and frustrated I became. Whenever this happened, I either sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate my thought karma and interference, or I would try to continue. Paragraph by paragraph, I finished reciting the entire book once in eight months. I then started again and have almost finished reciting it for the third time.
The process of reciting the Fa is also a process of cultivating and assimilating to the Fa. I have been able to eliminate some thought karma and interference. My main consciousness became more clear and my true self continues to revive.
The changes were gradual. The first change was my attitude towards group study. Before 1999, I was reluctant to join group study, because when I was reading, I felt like it was not my true self reading. Although I could read without any errors, it felt like something controlling me when I read. Thus, the effect was not as good as when I was reading at home. But I had to participate in group study since it is what Master had told us to do. After I started reciting the Fa, every word that I read in group study now penetrates into the depths of my brain. I have truly reached the state of "You should study with a concentrated mind, and you must really be studying." ("To the Australia Fa Conference" 2006)
I noticed a similar change when I studied the Fa by myself. Before I started reciting the Fa, I had to use a bookmark to mark my place. Now I am truly studying the Fa myself, and I know exactly where I stopped. For example, I often need to change CDs when I am preparingtruth-clarifying materials. When I stand up to change a CD, I have to stop my reading. Now my main consciousness knows exactly where I have left off.
The second change I noticed is my temper. I used to lose my temper over very trivial things. Although I regretted it afterwards every time, I still lost my temper the next time I encountered a similar situation. I felt very bad about it, until one day I felt a change. I can control my emotions now, and I do not lose my temper easily.
2. Study the Fa Systematically
In "Teaching the Fa at the Assistants' Fa Conference in Changchun" Master said,
"The reason you haven't studied the Fa well enough is not that you haven't studied or that you don't spend enough time on studying--it's that you study with an ordinary human mindset. You pick out those parts that meet your psychological needs. You think those are good and you selectively read them. If you skip those parts that you think don't meet your needs, have nothing to do with you, or even don't agree with your own notions, and you read selectively, then you will never be able to ascend in cultivation. Although some matters that I discussed in Zhuan Falun might not seem to have anything to do with your cultivation or your xinxing, the book covers things at different levels and in different forms. Even when it appears as though I'm talking about gong, to tell you the truth, what I'm discussing includes things related to xinxing. The book is systematic. It won't work if you skip even one chapter. If you can't change that mindset of yours it will truly impede your improvement, impede your Consummation."
Ever since the persecution began in July 1999, I have rarely studied Master's lectures from before that time. I always felt that the old lectures all told us to spread the Fa and we didn't need to spend too much time reading them now. One day this spring when I was downloading Master's lectures, I read the instructions for downloading and wanted to organize my e-books following the same order. After organizing the e-books I suddenly thought I wanted to read all of Master's lectures once in chronological order.
I was stunned when I read Falun Gong. I did not realize that I had a poor understanding of some fundamental things in cultivation after practicing for more than ten years. For example, Master said in Falun Gong: "Jealous types look down upon others..." ("Cultivation of Character," Chapter III) I used to have a strong attachment of jealousy. After I started cultivation, the attachment diminished, and I paid less attention to it. I realized my attachment of jealousy was still very serious when I read the above quote. When I see practitioners not acting according to the requirements of the Fa, I look down on them. My thoughts were, "How could they cultivate so poorly?" I only knew how to look for fellow practitioners' shortcomings instead of looking inward to find my own. As a result, I have not achieved the profound compassion that Master requires.
I felt that I had come to a better understanding of cultivation after reading all of Master's lectures, but it was not nearly enough, so I read them two more times. Only then did I feel that I had touched the surface of cultivation. When I encounter a problem, I immediately know what Master said and what the Fa requires. Naturally, I will do what Master tells us to do. I do not interpret Master's lectures with a narrow mind, nor do I argue with fellow practitioners using Master's words.
3. Only by Studying the Fa Well Can We Truly Validate the Fa
The following incident may sound like a joke. Once a practitioner asked me, "What is validating the Fa?" At the time, I was not clear myself, so I told her, "Doing the three things well is validating the Fa." What I said was not wrong, but since I did not understand it from the Fa's perspective, I did not validate the Fa well or do the three things well.
In fact, only by truly studying the Fa well and striving to understand and meet the Fa requirements in each realm can we truly validate the Fa. Otherwise, even though we work very hard to do the three things, it is validation of self and not the Fa.
April 20, 2010