(Clearwisdom.net) I would like to share my thoughts and experience about cultivating steadfastly.
Mistakes and Lessons
I began practicing Falun Gong in 1996. Three years later, when the persecution started, I stopped studying the Fa diligently. I was arrested several times because I did not have strong righteous thoughts and had many attachments. After the last arrest, I was incarcerated in a forced labor camp for three years. These lessons gradually helped me become clear-minded. Correct understandings depended on righteous belief and righteous thoughts in Master and Dafa. Such righteous thoughts come from diligent Fa-study and steadfast cultivation.
Over the past years, I have witnessed the persecution of practitioners around me. I understand that they were able to be persecuted because of loopholes in their xinxing and from their not being steadfast in cultivation. Some practitioners even died. One coordinator in our area was determined in Dafa practice. She was released in an open and aboveboard manner several times after she was arrested. Once, more than ten police officers surrounded the building where she lived, attempting to break in and arrest her. She had no fear and sat in the room sending righteous thoughts. The police could not get in and left in the evening. Unfortunately, this same determined practitioner developed a strong attachment to validating herself while coordinating, which caused long-term conflicts with other coordinators. She was later again arrested, sentenced, and currently is still in prison.
An older practitioner once went to Beijing to validate Dafa on her own. She did many things to validate the Fa. However, she did not act rationally in her personal cultivation and while clarifying the truth. Her neighbors thought she had a mental problem. Practitioners shared their opinions with her, but she did not change. Later on she suffered from sickness karma and died. This practitioner was not diligent in Fa-study and cultivation. She had not practiced the exercises for many years and only read Zhuan Falun once or twice per year.
As soon as there are loopholes in practitioners’ cultivation, the old forces will take advantage and start persecuting us. Negating the old forces is not something we can merely give lip service to. It needs to be applied in daily cultivation. Many incidents of persecution are directly related to our inadequate cultivation.
Many cultivators have searched painstakingly for the truth. Today we are so fortunate to have met Master and have obtained Dafa. In order not to disappoint Master’s high expectations of us and to offer more sentient beings salvation, we must cultivate ourselves well.
Study the Fa Diligently
We are all aware of the importance of studying the Fa. But how can we study the Fa well?
Studying the Fa well is not only for self improvement; it is for saving sentient beings. If we do not clarify the truth to save sentient beings, no matter how much we study the Fa at home, we will not raise our level. Secondly, we need to have a serene mind while studying the Fa. This is the basic guarantee for success in our cultivation and Fa-validation. While studying the Fa we need to clearly recognize that any thoughts that distract us from focusing on the Fa are not our own. We need to eliminate them. Thought karma will show up in different forms. The purpose of thought karma is to derail Fa-study and keep our mind away from the Fa. This is a painstaking cultivation process. We need to do it in a persistent way. Our righteous thoughts will become stronger and stronger. I think that this is the most important aspect in our cultivation – to study the Fa well.
Searching Within Constantly
No matter what conflict one faces, one should always search one’s xinxing and try hard to improve, thus enabling one to rapidly advance in cultivation. Practitioners following this path often cultivate solidly and steadfastly do the three things. By contrast, practitioners who do not follow this path often improve slowly and leave many debts on their cultivation path. After a while the debts accumulate and become a huge test or tribulation, which causes interference in their Fa-validation.
Searching within is built on the foundation of good Fa-study. When facing conflicts one can use the Fa to identify shortcomings and eliminate them. Some practitioners said, “I don’t know how to search within. I can’t find the issue.” I think this happens because they did not study the Fa well enough. Practitioners should often examine their cultivation progress and cultivate clear-mindedly in the Fa. Dafa has boundless wisdom and mighty power, which can solve any Fa-validation and cultivation problems.
I've also found another issue. Some practitioners have been active in validating the Fa and have done a lot of work for Dafa in past years, but neglected to cultivate themselves, which limited them in their cultivation. In turn, it impacted the effect of their Fa-validation efforts. Studying the Fa well will not negatively affect Fa validation. It will increase our righteous thoughts and make Fa validation easier and more successful. In fact, I was this way in the past. After learning several lessons, I gradually understood and knew how to cultivate myself.
One should search within and eliminate attachments as soon as they are found. Some attachments are easier to eliminate while others are not. Sometimes it takes several rounds to gradually get rid of attachments. Some practitioners are bothered when they are unable to get rid of their attachments. One has to first understand the Fa principles. Once that is done, one would be able to recognize the attachment and let go of it. Forcing oneself to let go of attachment is also cultivating, but it is harder and relatively slower. For example, many practitioners are troubled by the attachment to lust. They cannot completely get rid of it. One might want to view it this way: in gods’ eyes, a human body is dirty and contains dark karma; as practitioners, this is not worth our being attached to it. If one thinks this way, the attachment to lust will be weakened. The way to eliminate other attachments is similar.
Enhancing Cultivation, Saving Sentient Beings
Dafa disciples undertake the great mission of saving sentient beings. Thus, cultivating diligently while saving sentient beings is our cultivation path. Only by moving forward along this path will we be able to walk righteously and rise to higher levels. While clarifying the truth to people, one can encounter anything. How we let go of our attachments and compassionately offer sentient beings salvation is a process of our painstaking effort and cultivation. While working with fellow practitioners one needs to let go of self, cooperate with each other, play a role in saving sentient beings and enhance our cultivation through dealing with conflicts.
While saving sentient beings we need to continuously study the Fa and cultivate steadfastly in order to become gradually mature and better undertake our Fa-rectification mission.
I would like to quote Master’s teaching for our mutual encouragement:
“Precisely so that you can handle such things well, I have never stopped telling you to sincerely study the Fa and do real cultivation, for once the righteous thoughts are strong, you will truly have the god-like might to split a mountain in half—split it with but one thought. Just see if the old forces dare to meddle then. When your righteous thoughts arise, nothing can block your path. It is thus primarily students who haven’t been very diligent, who don’t study the Fa frequently, or whose minds are elsewhere while studying Fa who have been interfered with the most and persecuted the worst. That’s always the case. The Dafa disciples who have cultivated well, however, truly cannot be interfered with—not even in the least. Moreover, their righteous thoughts are strong, and they are helping others at the same time. They are truly helping Master rectify the Fa.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference”)
Please point out anything inappropriate in my understanding.