Letting Go of Oneself and Truly Cultivating in Dafa While Promoting Shen Yun Shows
(Clearwisdom.net) Falun Dafa practitioners in our city have recently been devoted to promoting Shen Yun shows. I collected their experiences to share with everyone.
A. Studying the Fa
I did the five exercises after work. When I silently read the formula, I felt my whole body was shaken. The meaning behind the formula suddenly dawned on me. Wasn't it telling me how I should promote the Shen Yun show? It was simple. I didn't need to think much, but just follow the mechanism that Master has set up.
Such things happened often. The Fa's principles continued to dawn on me as I studied the Fa more. I often gained new understandings and felt warm energy, but I couldn't always tell exactly what the understanding was.
I recently was promoting Shen Yun shows in a mall. I studied the Fa everyday, and from every lecture of Zhuan Falun I read, I gained more understanding about how to sell tickets and how to make improvements from reading the Fa.
One day, I went out to sell tickets after doing the exercises and studying the Fa, and there were very few people in the mall. I tried my best to engage everyone passing by, but they all seemed indifferent. I sent forth righteous thoughts, but things didn't change much. I quickly realized that there must be something wrong within myself. I began to look inward. A sentence flashed in my mind, “Studying the Fa with attachments is not true cultivation” (“Towards Consummation” – Essentials for Further Advancement II). It dawned on me that even though I had studied the Fa in the morning, I did so for the purpose of selling more tickets. I studied the Fa with pursuit, attempting to use Dafa to accomplish my goal. My goal of selling more tickets was to validate myself through Dafa. What a terrible human way of thinking!
I hurried to send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate this attachment. Things changed accordingly. More people approached me with interest in the show. I realized we should study the Fa unconditionally. If we can't see the meaning of the Fa during study, we must have been obstructed by ourselves. If we intend to pursue something from Dafa with attachments, it doesn't work no matter how much we study.
“If you, as a cultivator, only part with things superficially while deep down inside you still stick to something or cling to your own vital interests that you don’t allow to be undermined, I’d say to you that your cultivation is fake! If your own thinking doesn’t change, you cannot advance even one step and are deceiving yourself.”
“When humans want to protect themselves, their thoughts arise from selfishness—a self-serving desire. They don’t want suffering, but only happiness and good fortune.” (“Lecture at the First Conference in North America”)
As I looked inward to see if I was clinging to my own vital interests, I gradually realized that “self-protection” insinuated into my life deeply. Without knowing it, I treated it as myself. It even played a role when I was studying the Fa and doing Fa-validation projects. It misled me. I realized that I studied the Fa because of “self-protection,” knowing the old forces would interfere and persecute me if I didn't study the Fa. The root of it was the attachment to myself. It was the old forces' nature of selfishness.
The universe in the future will be unselfish, but I have been clinging to my selfishness and trying in vain to ask Dafa to protect this selfish me. My Fa-study was completely different after I eliminated this attachment. As soon as I quieted down, I began to see the Fa's principles. I would remember Master and Dafa when I ran into problems. I learned the profoundness of looking inward and improving my heart nature. I experienced the solemness and mighty power of righteous thoughts. I gained an understanding of denying the old forces' arrangement. I feel gratitude to Master from the bottom of my heart!
B. Looking Inward; Cultivating One's Heart Nature at Every Moment
A fellow practitioner had asked for a ride. As I was driving, she called another practitioner. They had some disagreement during their conversation. The fellow practitioner in my car said, “Cover up.” After I dropped her off, I headed to the mall to sell tickets. However, I took the wrong road and ended up heading in the opposite direction. I knew there was something wrong with my mind. I began to look inward and suddenly remembered what the fellow practitioner said, “Cover up.” I indeed found a “cover-up” in my heart.
“Or you’ll be there in that nice community, stealthily tossing a flyer here and a flyer there, acting as if you’re ashamed to be seen doing that. Sure, some people do hate junk mail and the like, but there will always be some approaches that don’t resonate with certain people. You have to make a distinction: this is something huge—everyone is waiting to be saved!—so as long as you don’t overdo it, people will understand. We really do have some people who have done a great job, who have gone about things in a very natural and poised manner in upscale neighborhoods. And when they’ve spoken with people, they have been quite at ease. Instantly the other party has been delighted, just as if they’d been waiting for you. That really is the case. There has been a great deal of groundwork done in advance. All that’s missing is your carrying things out with righteous thoughts. Yet you haven’t had the righteous thoughts that it takes.” (“Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference”)
I have studied this paragraph many times. Every time and without hesitation, I categorized myself in the group who have a “natural and poised manner,” I have never felt that I did it “stealthily” or was “ashamed.” I didn't realize until that day that although I appeared natural and poised, I still had stealthiness in my heart. I hurried to eliminate my “cover-up” intensively. The black substance in my heart was soon gone. It turned golden and shiny.
I felt interference from something shady before I went to sell tickets one day. Distracting thoughts came to my mind. I sent forth righteous thoughts targeting this interference. It became lighter, but it wasn't completely gone. I looked inward but couldn't find anything. Our ticket sales group has three people, so one person can go and send forth righteous thoughts nearby. One time, I went to a quiet place to send forth righteous thoughts. When I went back to the sales counter, my fellow practitioners told me they hadn't been able to find me anywhere. They had seen me head one way, but I ended up coming back from the other direction. I joked, “I walked through another dimension. That's why you couldn't see me.” One fellow practitioner said, “OK. Don't brag.” Her words shook my heart. I found why I felt distracted that day: I like to brag. I suddenly felt relieved that Master told me what it was through my fellow practitioner. I eliminated it further that evening and I was completely clear-minded afterward. Having been influenced by the Communist Party culture after living in China for years, I had a bad habit of bragging and didn't realize it until it was pointed out to me.
My manager at work asked me do something one day, which I considered a waste of time. I felt uneasy, but I realized there was something wrong within myself. I searched inward and found that I had been regarding myself as extraordinary. I liked to do sophisticated jobs that showed how important I was. Master saw my heart and arranged for me to take care of unimportant and simple things with nitty-gritty details. I began to do the job with extra care. I felt warm and comforting energy flowing in my body. It lasted a long time.
Such things happen everyday. As soon as I feel uneasy, I look inward. No matter what happened, I look inward for my own fault as to why I feel uneasy. It seems to have become my basic instinct. I no longer judge right or wrong from the appearance. Even when I hear a conversation completely unrelated to me that disturbed my mind, I look inward immediately to see why my mind was disturbed.
One day, I read four experience-sharing articles in a row from the Clearwisdom website. I think they were great sharings. Every article seemed to be talking about me. I used to be unwilling to apologize. Now I realized that it was my fault and I sincerely apologized to my fellow practitioners, who I have hurt intentionally or unintentionally.
C. Sending Forth Righteous Thoughts
Sending forth righteous thoughts is one of the three things that Master asked us to do. One time, our Fa-study group sent forth righteous thoughts in the middle of our Fa-study. As soon as I recited the formula in my heart, my mind went blank in a fraction of a second. The whole process of sending forth righteous thoughts was peaceful but stately. I could only feel the strong and warm energy rushing out. I knew clearly that I was sending forth righteous thoughts, and that was all. I didn't have a single distracting thought.
I sent forth righteous thoughts intensively one time. After a while, I felt like my head disappeared into the golden light. As I continued, I felt my body melted into the golden light, too. After half an hour, I felt a myriad of golden rays around.
After I formed the habit of looking inward, I began to send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate my attachments as soon as I found them. I could clean out many attachments on some days. I can clearly feel the existence of attachments and the change after cleaning them out. I often feel a warm energy flow in my body, sometimes for a whole day.
I went to sell tickets one day. Passersby showed no interest. I tried my best to talk to everyone, but they wouldn't stop to listen. I felt nervous, even afraid. I realized that there was some interference. When I looked for the source of the interference, I felt some black substance. I sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate it. The black substance became thinner and thinner and eventually disappeared. People began to listen to my introduction to the show. Those interested approached by themselves.
Sometimes I didn't have to put my mind on sending forth righteous thoughts when I was selling tickets. My energy was cast over when I talked to people about Shen Yun. One time, a woman was interested in buying tickets, but she wanted to talk to her family first. As she walked out, I sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the factors blocking her from watching the Shen Yun show. I could feel my energy enter her field. Something black fell out of her field. One or two seconds later, she turned around and said she didn't need to ask her family. She wanted to buy the tickets right away.
D. Perpetual Gratitude Towards Master
My strongest feeling during my cultivation has been my endless gratitude towards Master. All has come from Master. All glory belongs to Dafa. Remembering Master's grace forever is our righteous thought.
I found a loose tooth on Sunday evening. I felt very bothered and wanted to send forth righteous thoughts. But I got busy and forgot about it. When I remembered it around noon on Monday, I felt ashamed because everything on the path of cultivation is good, no matter if it appears to be good or bad. If Master had arranged to make me lose a tooth, a huge debt must be paid. I felt at ease and stopped paying attention to my tooth. I thank Master, regardless of whether I lose this tooth or not.
Sending forth righteous thoughts is the key Master has bestowed on us. So many Dafa practitioners in China are under persecution. So many projects need help. I didn't send forth righteous thoughts for them, but did it for my own comfort. How selfish I was! I let go of this attachment. My time should be spent sending forth righteous thoughts for the Shen Yun shows and for saving sentient beings.
E. Completely Denying the Old Forces' Arrangement
One day when I came back from selling the tickets and had just parked my car near a highway, a car exiting the highway crashed into my car from behind. I felt that my neck got twisted, and my ribs hurt. Master's teaching from Zhuan Falun about a Falun Dafa practitioner in a car accident flashed in my mind. I drove to the side of the road and got out of my car. The other driver was stunned. He kept asking me if I was OK. I told him that I was. I found that my car was fine, too, and I told him that he could leave. When I returned to my car, I began to think: I was hit even when my car wasn't moving. It must be telling me that I have been stagnant for too long; I must hurry and move forward. I studied the Fa when I got back home. I found my attachment to “self-protection” and eliminated it, and as a result I made a big step forward in my cultivation.
One morning, my stomach started to hurt when I was preparing to go sell tickets. I eliminated the interference by sending forth righteous thoughts and felt much better, but it wasn't completely gone. I had to use the restroom again when I got to the mall. I decided to ignore the pain. I told myself repeatedly, “I put Master on top of everything.” I felt enormous energy flow in my body. It got stronger and stronger. The energy became so strong around noon that it made my arms and legs shake. We sold a lot of tickets that day.
It snowed one day. There is a turn that I have to make right after exiting the highway, but the road at the turn was covered with ice. My car slid on the ice and started dashing towards a ditch in the opposite direction, and at the same time another car exiting the highway approached me. At this critical moment, only one sentence flashed in my mind, “Master, please save me!” My car suddenly made a turn by itself and drove to the right side of the road--I didn't even turn the steeling wheel!
I started sending forth righteous thoughts when I got to my workplace. The first time I did it, I was still thinking of eliminating the interference and persecution by the old forces. Before I sent forth righteous thoughts again around noon, Master's teaching about completely denying the old forces' arrangement unfolded before me. I gained a new understanding of it, felt relieved, and sent forth righteous thoughts the second time. My goal wasn't to avoid having tribulations, but to take responsibility to eliminate the evil that was interfering with and blocking Master from saving sentient beings. It was what Master asked us to do. I sent forth righteous thoughts for half an hour. I felt like my head and my body disappeared and turned into golden light.
It is actually pretty simple to completely deny the arrangement of the old forces. A person who cultivates himself holds Master and Dafa in his heart. That's what he thinks of when facing a tribulation. He doesn't give any thought of how to get out of the tribulation arranged by the old forces. Such a Dafa disciple can't be hurt by anyone. Looking inward is a Dafa disciple's nature and is his/her process of cultivation. Sending forth righteous thoughts is a Dafa disciple's responsibility and mission, not a way of avoiding tribulations.