Cultivating Xinxing Solidly While Doing the Three Things
Greetings to our revered Master!
Greetings, fellow disciples!
I would like to thank Teacher for giving Falun Gong practitioners in China an opportunity to exchange cultivation experiences and insights and enhance our cultivation over the Internet. This is the fourth time I have written an article about my personal cultivation experiences, during which I overcame my fear of not being able to write well due to my limited education, the attachment to fame associated with wanting my article to be chosen, and the attachment to zealotry associated with finding my article chosen. This time I shall write with the purest mind to present Teacher with my experiences of cultivating myself solidly via studying the Fa and doing the Three Things.
1. Doing the Three Things Is the Process of Cultivating Solidly
After the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to persecute Falun Gong in China, a fellow practitioner, Amanda (pseudonym), was enthusiastic in clarifying the truth. I was very envious because she did so much for Falun Gong and cultivated well. Then she passed away due to illness. We were heartbroken. I had repeatedly studied the Fa, sent forth righteous thoughts, exchanged cultivation insights, and searched inward with her. Amanda studied the Fa frequently and sent forth righteous thoughts daily on schedule. But when it came to searching inward, she confessed she was clueless. She couldn't identify the root cause of the tribulations she suffered, nor did she know how to improve her xinxing. She said it was too late and passed away with regrets.
It was a shock and a wake-up call for me. I realized the seriousness of cultivation practice. Only when I study the Fa, search inward, and cultivate solidly will I be cultivating solidly. Teacher said,
"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" in Hong Yin)
"... you must study the high-level Fa thoroughly and know how to practice cultivation." ("What Has Teacher Given to Practitioners?" in Lecture Three of Zhuan Falun)
I realized that studying the Fa is fundamental to one's cultivation practice. I decided that I must study the Fa, gain the Fa, and follow the Fa to truly study the Fa.
When Teacher told us to do the Three Things, he had already arranged for us our respective paths of cultivation. We must fulfill our responsibilities, complete our missions, save our sentient beings, and eliminate all attachments, human notions, and desires through doing the Three Things.
"If a Buddha waved his hand once, all of humankind’s diseases could be wiped out; this is absolutely achievable." ("The Supernormal Ability of Precognition and Retrocognition" in Lecture Two of Zhuan Falun)
Teacher is the creator of the new universe. Teacher can accomplish anything with a thought. Why does Teacher ask us to do the Three Things and save people? It is because Teacher is giving us opportunities to achieve things for ourselves. Teacher is showing His compassion and infinite grace. When I enlightened to the above understanding, I made up my mind to cherish my opportunity to cultivate. I decided to study the Fa more. I had to examine my starting point—getting the Three Things done is not the same as cultivating myself. It is during the process of doing the Three Things that I get to cultivate myself solidly. When I clarify the truth, hand out truth-clarification materials, and coordinate with fellow practitioners to get Dafa work done, I must eliminate all the human notions that have surfaced and rectify my mind. The process of doing the Three Things is the process of cultivating ourselves.
2. Cultivating Myself through Distributing Truth-Clarification Materials
One day we formed two teams of two to distribute Shen Yun DVDs in four different large villages. I was paired with an older fellow practitioner. All the villages we traveled to had only two lanes, one paved concrete and the other dirt. It is more difficult to walk on the dirt path. In two villages I tranquilly walked on the dirt path. It is Teacher that produced Shen Yun directly. It is a Fa tool to save people. I felt blessed to be able to distribute the DVDs. By the time we got to the third village, I started to feel that it was unfair. We are no longer young. Why didn't she suggested we change lanes? I started to complain and criticize her.
The next day she called me out. She said, "Stop fussing. You have completed the task. Why are you still complaining about the past? Must you show your sacrifice to everyone?" At the time I told her I was glad she had pointed out my shortcoming, but I was still upset. In fact, I became all the more upset after she left: "'I' walked on the dirt path. 'I' paid for the taxi. Now 'you' are criticizing me???" I was very upset, but I remembered Teacher's words:
"Our practice has a focus and truly points out those attachments. By abandoning them, one will make very rapid progress in cultivation." ("Consecration" in Lecture Five of Zhuan Falun)
Teacher's words woke me up. Teacher saw my attachments and took advantage of this trip to let them surface. He was pointing them out through the other practitioner's comment. I searched inward and found many human notions, such as resentment, selfishness, my attachment to comfort, denial of criticism, and my desire to protect my self-interests. It was not my true self that was upset. It was these attachments that were causing me to be upset. Why did I protect them? Why didn't I eliminate them quickly?
I also reflected upon her second comment about showing off how I had sacrificed. I searched inward deeply and realized that my mind was not on the Fa. I asked myself if I was showing off. We are only Teacher's messengers distributing Shen Yun DVDs. We ought to be selfless to save people. I believed my original intention was righteous. However, she felt I had acted like it was all about myself. Although I didn't do it intentionally, Teacher must have seen that I was showing myself off and that I was attached to fame and recognition. Teacher had her point them out so that I could eliminate these attachments. Teacher has spent a lot of time and effort on me! Only when I eliminate my human notions and bad elements and upgrade my xinxing will I be doing the most sacred thing.
Why was I sensitive to what people said about me? Why was I so sensitive to my feelings? The truth is that I am egocentric. I have been selfish. I failed to dissolve myself completely in the Fa. Meanwhile, the old forces were using my selfishness to create gaps between practitioners in order to stop us from distributing Shen Yun DVDs. I remembered a promise I had made to Teacher: “No matter how fellow practitioners might treat me, I shall let go of myself so as not to do anything to create disharmony between me and another practitioner, let Teacher down, or satisfy the old forces.”
I later apologized to her. We have been working well together. I truly thanked her for her selflessness and candor. She has been helpful to my cultivation practice.
3. Cultivating While Clarifying the Truth
While clarifying the truth, I have eliminated many human notions. I run into all sorts of people when I explain the facts. One day I was clarifying the facts to a mother and daughter in front of a city hospital. The daughter, who looked after her mother, started to shout insults at me before long. She shouted dirty insults at me. A passerby decided to intervene, saying, “You don't have to listen, but there is no need to insult her.” I was very put down. I felt sad that I was not able to save her and that I didn't have enough compassion. I was also depressed at being so humiliated.
I searched inward afterward. Before I started practicing Falun Gong, I had a strong ego and was vain. What had happened was by no means a coincidence. It was geared towards my human notions. I asked Teacher to reinforce my righteous thoughts to help me eliminate these attachments. Since then, my experiences clarifying the truth have gone well.
One day three other practitioners and I traveled to a farming village to clarify the truth in person and hand out Shen Yun DVDs. An older practitioner and I took care of two streets in this large village. The first street was good. Nearly everyone we spoke to quit the CCP and/or its two affiliated student organizations they were once members of. When we got to the second street, many villagers came out. Many spoke their mind and some were negative. The other practitioner and I kept sending forth righteous thoughts and asked Teacher for reinforcement so that they wouldn't commit any sins against the Fa. The other practitioner asked, “Shall we continue?” We both said, “Let's continue!” After all, we were there to save people. When we got to the very last household on the street, only a man was at home. He was very receptive and decided to quit using his real name. However, I forgot his name as soon as we left. She asked, “How could you forget his name?” I thought, “You forgot, too. I clarified the truth, so you were supposed to remember the man's name.” But I immediately detected that the thought was wrong. I should never complain. I replied sincerely, “Next time I will remember names wholeheartedly.”
When I got back home, I searched inward after I studied the Fa. I identified my attachments that surfaced during the trip. I was overcome with zealotry after the first street. Then I lost my composure when many people flocked out of their houses on the second street. I dared not walk into any store because I was afraid. I blamed the other practitioner when we both forgot the man's name. These attachments created a mountain that would hinder me on my cultivation path if I didn't get rid of them.
4. Cultivate Each Thought
I recently installed the operating system for several computers and ran into problems. This had never happened before. I couldn't solve some of the problems for a long time.
It was not normal; even when I was a tech rookie, I didn't run into so many problems. All the computers we have bought are Fa tools. How could they develop problems if they are chosen to be used for the Fa?
I searched outward and checked if the owner of the computers was cultivating well. I searched inward occasionally and superficially. As a result, nothing changed. Eventually I had to contact our tech support. After many such problems, another practitioner doing the same thing and I were both frustrated.
One morning a fellow practitioner and I studied the Fa together that helped me see the truth. Teacher said,
"With any project or any task, if you decide not to do it, then don’t do it; and if you do decide to do it, then you definitely have to do it well and carry it through to the end. If you do otherwise, how shall the time you wasted go down in the annals of history? Whatever is not brought to completion amounts to a failure. That is not to say, however, that a certain task has to be carried out according to your own ideas and only if it succeeds will you build up mighty virtue. Rather, it is in the act of your cooperating and the thoughts that follow, and in how you go about things in the process of collaborating, that count as the cultivation process." ("Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference")
After I finished that passage of the Fa, I realized that my one unrighteous thought had been the root cause.
Tech support often reminded the two of us to read articles about computer technology. I was not interested. I got sleepy when I read them. Actually it was no notion that caused the problem. I even told the other practitioner that I didn't want to learn about computer technology any longer because what I already knew would suffice. When I ran into problems, I would contact the tech support. It was my unrighteous thought that caused these interferences and wasted many people's time. I truly regretted this. Teacher said,
"...one gets into trouble because one’s own values and mind are not correct or righteous." ("Spirit or Animal Possession" in Lecture Three of Zhuan Falun)
Where did the incorrect notion come from? I searched deeply and identified the following: First, I had been so busy doing the Three Things that I did not study the Fa or send forth righteous thoughts wholeheartedly. I had been doing the Three Things like a non-practitioner. Second, my heart was not on the Fa. As a result, the old forces' selfishness led me to leave the difficult work to others. I didn't want to make the efforts because I was seeking comfort. Third, I became complacent with what I already knew. I didn't follow Teacher words, “...in whatever you do you should carry it through to the end, do it well.” (“What is a Dafa Disciple”)
Fourth, I was lazy and didn't want to use my head. I did things with human thoughts and did not have righteous thoughts. The evil elements took advantage of the loophole by keeping me too busy to do the Three Things.
It is truly a treasured tool for a cultivator to seek inward. If I didn't identify these attachments and rectify myself in time, I would have put myself in a very dangerous state. That I was very busy on the surface was a sign that I had deviated from the Fa. I had been installing software like a non-practitioner. I had stepped onto a path arranged by the old forces. It was because I was selfish. No matter how many things I have done, I still have not cultivated myself. Teacher said,
"We have said that good or evil comes from a person’s spontaneous thought, and the thought at that moment can bring about different consequences." (Zhuan Falun)
It is indeed important to watch our each and every thought.
5. Cherish Fellow Practitioners' Feedback
Before I started to practice Falun Gong, I was very proud and didn't take criticism well. If I made a mistake, I could not eat or sleep well. I had a strong attachment to fame, vanity, and showing off. I would not be happy unless I could do well at work, win the respect of my manager, and be praised by others. A few years ago there was a disconnect between my Fa study and my cultivation practice. I didn't know how to follow the Fa. I thought I was cultivating myself when I “did” things to clarify the truth. Studying the Fa was one thing, but cultivating was another. I didn't know how to use the Fa to guide my cultivation. When fellow practitioners pointed out my attachments, I despaired, especially when I felt I had contributed a lot to clarify the truth. I would be overcome with feelings of injustice and grief. I even formed negative opinions about those fellow practitioners that pointed out my attachments.
As I studied the Fa more, especially when I started to memorize the Fa, I realized that I would not be a cultivator if I just studied the Fa but didn't obtain the Fa, or if I just did the Three Things but didn't cultivate myself. I was awakened while studying "Teaching the Fa in Canada, 2006." I knew Teacher was talking about me, so I memorized all the relevant passages in the lecture. It helped me eliminate many attachments associated with resenting negative feedback and pursuing praise. I slowly learned to listen to and even cherish fellow practitioners' feedback. This is truly a process of cultivating myself solidly.
One day I made a suggestion in the car while a fellow practitioner and I were distributing materials to other practitioners living in rural areas. The other practitioner said, “You should not be easily manipulated by any proposal of 'movement' or 'advocacy.' Your main consciousness is not strong enough.” I didn't talk back, but I was slightly offended. Yet I realized almost right away that it was my attachment to denying feedback at work. It was the attachment that was offended, not me. I began to recite Teacher's Fa associated with rejecting criticism. I realized that it was also associated with the attachments to fame, zealotry, showing off, and ego. I re-searched inward and realized I was indeed easily manipulated. Sometimes my main consciousness was not strong enough. I had a lot of fears and concerns. They have interfered with my attempts to do the Three Things. I thanked Teacher wholeheartedly for pointing out my attachment through the fellow practitioner, as well as for the practitioner's selflessness and candor.
One day I attended a group Fa study. Before we began, I summarized how I searched inward when I ran into a recent problem. Before I had even finished, a fellow practitioner interrupted me, saying, “You remain in your personal cultivation. You should let go of yourself to harmonize the one-body and complete Teacher's goals.” I felt she had misunderstood me and was too quick to pass judgment, but I did not defend myself.
After I returned home, I searched inward and asked if I was too attached to myself, failed to cooperate with fellow practitioners, or meet Teacher's wishes. I was astonished by what I discovered when I searched inward.
This year I've often traveled to rural areas to share cultivation insights with rural practitioners. There are 37 townships and towns, but there are not many practitioners, and fewer have stepped forward to clarify the truth. In many townships, practitioners have been unable to form a group. I have shared cultivation insights with them about doing the Three Things and even maintained their computers. I often remind myself to treat the Fa as teacher when I share my personal insights with them. However, I feel anxious for them. When talking to them, I was condescending and showed off my personal insights. I felt superior when I fixed their computers. I was showing off my skills, which were given by Teacher. Those skills were created to be used for the Fa. If I don't do well, I will not be able to complete my mission. How can I show off those skills? It has been the attachment to showing off at work. I thanked Teacher wholeheartedly for arranging such a wonderful practitioner to cooperate with me. She often points out my attachments. Teacher! I have cost you a lot of time because I have so many attachments.
I realized that I would be able to eliminate the attachment associated with taking criticism as long as I let go of myself and kept the Fa in my heart. I reflected on both positive and negative comments and discovered many problems I was unaware of. As long as I continue to cultivate, I will continue to upgrade my xinxing. I must cherish negative comments.
6. Cultivating to Eliminate Fear
I discovered that my biggest obstacle to cultivation is fear. My mind went blank, my knees went weak, and my heart would leap out of my chest when I was afraid. The fear was uncontrollable. Before I did anything, I thought of the worst because of fear. I felt danger was imminent. I knew it would be my biggest test to overcome fear.
When I distributed truth-clarification materials for the very first time, I only took three copies with me. I was on a bicycle and traveled across town. I felt eyes watching me everywhere. Finally I managed to hand out two copies—drenched in sweat. I thought, “I am probably not going far. One foot in front of the other. Let's see how far I can go.”
As I studied the Fa more, especially when I started to memorize the Fa, I realized that I cannot arrange my own cultivation path and I must let go of myself. I must follow Teacher's words and the path He has arranged for me. I must stay on the path and walk the path well. I must overcome the deadly test of fear. When I enlightened to the Fa, I dissolved myself into the one-body and started to hand out the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party and Shen Yun DVDs. Teacher has arranged opportunities for me to purge my fear. Indeed, I have eliminated much fear through searching inward and cultivating solidly. Fear of being reported, fear of running into police patrol cars, fear of dogs, fear of bugs, fear of hardship, etc., I have overcome. I am able to do the Three Things calmly. It was a challenging process, yet the process manifested Teacher's protection and the supernormal power of Falun Gong.
In June 2011, the local 610 Office set up a forced brainwashing facility. They tried to put me in it, but failed. However, fear overwhelmed me again. Unrighteous thoughts kept popping up. I studied the Fa and sent forth righteous thoughts more frequently, but fear remained. I was overwhelmed with all sorts of bad thoughts. What was the root cause?
Since I was little, I have been frail and prone to illness. I have been always been timid. My second oldest sister is three years older than me. She always bullied me. I avoided going home after school because of her. Because of this long-term bullying, I became introverted and timid and lacked confidence. I had hundreds of ideas in my mind but put few into reality. Searching inward revealed that it was thought karma. The old forces used it to interfere with my cultivation practice. The thought karma would be at work when I studied the Fa, sent forth righteous thoughts, or practiced the exercises. As a result, I could not enter tranquility. When I was about to do the Three Things, it would surface and scare me. For the longest time, I didn't realize the old forces had been using it to persecute me. I thought it was pure thought karma. This time Teacher exposed it to give me an opportunity to enlighten. The old forces had been using my predestined relationship with my sister to drag me down and destroy my cultivation.
"Of course, we don't acknowledge any of the things that the old forces arranged--I as your master don't acknowledge them, and Dafa disciples of course don't acknowledge them either." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference")
To say is one thing, to do is another. I realized that I must let go of myself and walk on the path Teacher has arranged for me. When I decided to clarify the truth and hand out Shen Yun DVDs, Teacher encouraged me. When I came to "Whoever Practices Cultivation Will Attain Gong" in Lecture Eight of Zhuan Falun, Teacher manifested a supernormal state for me. My head was empty at the time. I felt enveloped with powerful energy as though I had transcended this space-dimension. The shock was beyond words. Teacher said,
"Lu Dongbin once made a statement: "I’d rather save an animal than a human being." Indeed, it is extremely difficult for people to be enlightened since everyday people are deluded by ordinary human society." ("Whoever Practices Cultivation Will Attain Gong" in Lecture Eight of Zhuan Falun)
I felt Teacher's immense compassion from the bottom of my heart. Teacher has made enormous sacrifices for us lost human beings. Words cannot express my feelings and gratitude. I could not stop crying until I had finished that section of the Fa. Since then I have never been afraid again. I felt Teacher must have removed the element of fear. As I write this paragraph, tears are streaming down my face. I would like to thank Teacher for His immense compassion!
I have many attachments yet to be purged. I feel I could have done better in assisting Teacher in saving people, but I will try harder. I shall study the Fa and do the Three Things wholeheartedly so as not to have Teacher worry as much for me. I would like to return to my true home with Teacher. Teacher, you have saved my life many times from danger. Thank you again!