Cultivating During Fa-Study
(Clearwisdom.net) In ancient times, people often read with a mindset of, "Read the book one hundred times and you will naturally understand its meaning," and without wanting a detailed understanding. I realized that I have sometimes had the same mindset during Fa-study. However, I don't think it is appropriate to study the Fa in this way, because thought karma, human notions, and distracting thoughts may dominate.
People in ancient society had higher moral standards than people do nowadays. They had simpler minds and quieter hearts. They also emphasized a tidy appearance and an upright demeanor when reading books.
We Dafa practitioners live in a modern society. We have more interference from thought karma, human notions, and distracting thoughts. Therefore, an additional step is necessary. We should eliminate all interference while studying the Fa. We should study with more attentiveness, and we must really be studying. In this way, we can study the Fa and gain understandings from the Fa. This is why many of us have felt great improvement from memorizing the Fa.
Studying with a focused mind is the basic method to eliminate interference. It is also the result of cultivating ourselves during Fa-study. Sometimes human notions interfere with us, and we don't even notice it.
One day in 2004, I was reading one of Master's lectures. After reading a few paragraphs, I closed the book and tried to remember what I'd read. To my surprise, my mind was totally blank, and I couldn't remember a thing. I was alarmed and decided to read it one more time. This time I read only one paragraph. I closed the book and still didn't remember what I'd read. I repeated it many times, and then I could remember all but one sentence. I opened the book and found that this sentence talked about the two purposes of religion. I read it one more time, closed the book, and again I couldn't remember what the two purposes were. I repeated the process until I could remember everything in that paragraph. Even though it took me more than an hour, it did make a deep impression on me. I can recall the two purposes of religion even to this day.
From that incident, I found that I held the notion of, “Read the book one hundred times and you will naturally understand its meaning.” With that notion, I wasn't concentrating on truly studying the Fa. My Fa-study was usually a formality and wasn't very effective.
When reading the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party for the first time, some language in certain paragraphs appeared competitive to me. However, after I re-read the same paragraphs again with a calm mind, I realized that I was the one with the competitive mentality. I also realized that some Chinese Communist Party (CCP) culture elements had been in my mind when reading the Nine Commentaries for the first time. When I had read the words used by the CCP, the elements of fighting and hatred from this Party culture arose in my mind. If I didn't have these Party culture elements, then I wouldn't have felt fighting and hate-filled emotions when reading those words used by the CCP referenced by Nine Commentaries.
Through this, I also realized that I sometimes had bad notions while studying the Fa. Due to my human thoughts and notions, I felt that some sentences in the lectures were stated with a certain tone or attitude. However, this perception was actually a distorted reflection of my own human thoughts and notions. We should not only increase our attention, but also keep a calm mind during Fa-study. Otherwise, we might understand the Fa in a distorted way.
One practitioner in our group Fa-study reads fast and loud. Other practitioners were feeling uncomfortable while listening to her and didn't want to study the Fa with her. It's certain that those practitioners should look within. But the practitioner who reads fast and loud should also look within, as something within her might be causing the fellow practitioners' reactions.
I felt very comfortable listening to one of the other practitioners read the Fa. Listening to her read calmed my mind. She crossed her legs in a lotus position and read in a soft voice. Her voice was not loud, but clear. She maintained a calm tone throughout Fa-study.
I also believe that we should have a tidy appearance and an upright demeanor when reading the Fa. In my experience, if I maintain an upright sitting position, the more I read, the more clear my mind becomes. If my sitting position is random and not straight, I always feel a bit sleepy and can't receive the Fa wholeheartedly. A few times when I studied the Fa for a long time while sitting in the double-lotus position, I felt a strong energy clearing up all the remaining negative elements in my field, either during or after the Fa-study. My Main Consciousness was clear and alert, too.
More and more practitioners have been establishing Fa-study groups recently. During the process, we shouldn't study the Fa as just a formality. We should really study the Fa and cultivate ourselves in a group environment. If we don't eliminate our own human thoughts and notions, we may interfere with each other and have a negative impact on the study group. This might be the reason why we sometimes study the Fa better in an individual setting and don't want to participate in group Fa-study.