Getting Back to Our Best Cultivation State
(Clearwisdom.net) “I hope to see you regaining your enthusiasm and getting back to your best cultivation state.” (“What is a Dafa Disciple” from the Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 New York Fa Conference) I had mixed feelings after reading this passage from Teacher. I have recently gone from being lax to regaining my original state of the cultivation, and I would like to share with fellow practitioners.
For a period of time, I've been coordinating a project that handles phone calls to China. Due to the relaxed and comfortable living environment in America, and because most practitioners here respect the coordinators, the job of coordination has been fairly smooth. Unknowingly, I've become lax. About six months ago, I suddenly realized that I was in a state of stagnation, and unenthusiastic about most things. Even though I studied the Fa and sent righteous thoughts with more diligence, I still could not break through this stagnation. I knew something was wrong and I was troubled by it. One morning when I was studying the Fa, I said to Teacher, “I really want to be more diligent, but I just cannot break through this state. Please help me, Teacher.” Perhaps Teacher heard my wish to be more diligent. Ever since that day, my state of stagnation has been chipped away, bit by bit.
First, I shared my experience with another practitioner who is also a coordinator. He agreed with me and said, “Actually, the coordinator's job is quite dangerous.” I had never heard this before. I've always thought coordinators do a lot of work. He continued, “Because coordinators get wrapped up in a pile of work, they can easily overlook their personal cultivation and truth clarification with people. They might get stuck only doing the coordination work.” This reminded me of a Fa principle in Zhuan Falun “The more the junior monk suffers, the easier it is for him to achieve the Unlocking of Gong. The more comfortable the senior monks’ lives are, the harder it is for them to reach the state of Unlocking Gong...” When the persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999, I made a lot of phone calls to China to tell people the truth of Falun Gong. It had been a long time since I had made any phone calls. I gave up calling using the excuse that as a coordinator I did not have to make phone calls as long as I did the coordination job well.
The Global RTC (“Rapid withdrawals from the CCP service center”) Platform upgraded and made some changes. As the group coordinator, I wanted some hands-on experience so that I could understand the operations of the new platform in order to do my job well. In retrospect, Teacher meticulously made arrangements for me elevate my xinxing level.
When I joined the platform, I liked the work right away. Practitioners from around the world gathered at the platform to make phone calls to China. They gained experience by learning from each other, and I was deeply moved by that. It felt like I had come from the rear of Fa-rectification up to the front line. When I first joined, I received a “lecture” from the platform's coordinator for not following the rules. Though I felt very embarrassed, it did not bother me, because I had finally rediscovered my enthusiasm for cultivation. The platform offered the environment that I needed to do the three things. That night, I woke up after only few hours of sleep. I joined the platform before sunrise. After listening to others clarifying the truth to the Chinese people, I could not resist and I began to make phone calls as well. When I announced to everyone that I would make the next phone call, I felt that they all had their eyes fixed on me, as if they did not want me as a coordinator. Many of my human notions surfaced. Thoughts such as “what will the practitioners think of me as a coordinator if I don't do a good job making the phone calls,” or “how can he be a coordinator?” etc. But the environment of the platform is truly good. As soon as I picked up the phone, Teacher eliminated these human notions. The coordinator of the platform said that I was very calm. Little did he know that I was perspiring profusely. Teacher is the one saving sentient beings. When we have the heart for saving sentient beings, Teacher will help us. When making phone calls, I sometimes called people who did not understand the truth or yelled at me. Because I own my own company and am a coordinator for a Dafa project, I don't often run into hardships. The Chinese people that I call don't know who I am or what I do. My cultivation state completely changed after I joined the platform and my xinxing level rose quickly. The attachments to worry, wanting to save face, and competitiveness were quickly eliminated. I understood this statement from Teacher: “It's not that the Fa isn't powerful anymore. It's that the requirements are higher, and that Dafa disciples must do all three things well before they will see improvement.” (Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York) No wonder I could not make a breakthrough even though I studied the Fa and sent righteous thoughts. Once, I called a man and as soon as he picked up the phone he said, “Are you out of your mind?,” then he hung up the phone. A practitioner in Germany comforted me, “Don't mind him, this has happened to me too.” I was not affected by what the man said, maybe because it came so suddenly. I was only thinking about how to save sentient beings. I kept sending righteous thoughts as I called him back. After he answered, I said, “My friend. I'm calling you from America with my own money. I only want you to have a wonderful future, and I do not want a penny from you.” The man calmed down and listened to me. In the end, he gladly quit the Chinese Communist Youth League, and added, “Recently, I have received many harassing calls, so I thought you called to harass me.” He thanked me over and over.
I have encountered interference during this time as well. Because I work during the day and there is a time difference between China and the United States, I could only call China during my spare time in the morning and evening. One morning I woke up early, before sunrise. I did not want to wake my family, so I went downstairs in the dark. I slipped and fell to the bottom of the stairs. I felt something in my left foot but did not think much about it. It was not until I finished making the phone calls that I realized that my foot was quite swollen. I immediately knew that it was interference. I continued to join the platform, studied the Fa, sent righteous thoughts, and clarified the truth. My foot was completely healed a week later. I'm grateful for Teacher's help.
I progressed very quickly during this period of time. Every day, I looked forward to being at the platform with fellow practitioners. It was like when I first learned Falun Gong. Every day, I drove very far to a practice site to do the exercises and study the Fa. I submitted two experience sharing articles, “A Brief Talk on Clarifying the Truth via the RTC Platform” and “What I Understood From Making Three Truth Clarification Phone Calls,” to the Minghui website (the Chinese version of Clearwisdom). The first article was about my understanding of raising one's xinxing level and doing the three things well. The second article focused on how I went from pursuing the number of people who quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations to placing importance on the quality of truth clarification.
Clarifying the truth via the platform brought many changes to my cultivation state. The following is a summary of my experience:
My Ability to Clarify the Truth Improved
I learned how to determine in a short period of time what was blocking the person's mind from understanding the facts. For example, was it because the person could not separate the CCP from China, or because he was an atheist, etc. Then I was able to organize and present the facts that helped the person understand. This avoided talking in a roundabout way and I could go right into the main point. In order to achieve this, I could not be affected by the person's attitude or distracted by his questions, and get caught up in the ordinary person's way of thinking. At the beginning, I was easily led by their questions, and answered whatever they asked. I forgot that practitioners should take the lead when clarifying the truth, and I would end up arguing with the person.
Clarifying the Truth Via the Platform Helped Me Let Go of Attachments
Practitioners who volunteer at the platform know that it is impossible to save sentient beings when we hold on to too many human notions. Being calm helps us with Dafa projects and ordinary people's work, and we are also more effective and capable in solving problems. Our human notions, conflicts, and the inability to coordinate with each other caused many problems. When we let go of our attachments, we are less likely to be involved in conflicts, thus avoiding a lot of problems. When we truly follow Teacher's requirements to do the three things, we will notice changes brought forth by the rise of our xinxing level. I now understand this Teaching from Master:
“...your work in society isn't cultivation, but your cultivation will be reflected in your work in society.” (Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005)
When My Cultivation State Was Lacking, I Was Easily Distracted By Things that Ordinary People Found Interesting
For example, I would spend a lot of time researching the latest electronic products, read about the breaking news, including sporting events and the players, or watch the most popular movies. Teacher said, “In modern society it’s not just seven emotions and six desires, but more like seventy emotions and sixty desires, right? There are desires of every possible sort. Take the attachments and feelings people have towards computers, cell phones, and iPods—was there ever anything like that in the past?” (“What is a Dafa Disciple” from the Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 New York Fa Conference) I knew that my pursuit of comfort and ease was not correct, but I could not get rid of it. After I began to clarify the truth at the platform, besides studying the Fa and doing the exercises, I also had to work. Therefore, I did not have time to pay attention to ordinary people's things. The platform is a righteous place where practitioners from around the world learn from each other how to do the three things well. In this environment, when we see how well others do, we naturally want to catch up with them. All I could think of was how to improve my cultivation state and be more efficient in clarifying the truth. I let go of the attachment to comfort during the process. I'm truly grateful for Teacher's arrangement.
When I look back at my experience, although I made good progress in elevating my xinxing level, I had fallen short of the requirements set by Teacher. Particularly with regards to doing the three things, personal cultivation, and truth clarification. I slacked off during the last stage of Fa-rectification. As a veteran practitioner, I'm sorry for disappointing Teacher. This was a good lesson for me. I want to be diligent in my cultivation, and truly do the three things well, so that I can shoulder the sacred responsibility of a Fa-rectification period disciple and fulfill my vow.