Changing Conventional Thinking, We Will Find Bright Flowers After Passing the Shady Willow Trees
(Minghui.org) One night I was chatting with practitioners on the Internet. I had just typed several words when the left side of my stomach started to ache badly all of the sudden. After finishing our discussion, I added the following line at the end: “My stomach hurts badly right now, and it is hard to bear.” After I sent out that message, I sat down to send forth righteous thoughts. But I was thinking of my truth-clarification project, so I could not calm down and my righteous thoughts were not strong. After a while a practitioner replied with the following: “You should send forth righteous thoughts to get rid of your stomachache.” By now I had finally let go of my project and focused on sending righteous thoughts. However, my stomachache worsened. Originally it was the left side that hurt, but now my whole stomach hurt. At the same time I felt sick and wanted to throw up. I felt that I was about to pass out. Finally I was not able to sit up. I had to bend down to forcefully press on my stomach with my hand. I attempted to do this to release the pain. Meanwhile my brain was working very fast: “What’s the reason behind this problem?” Then suddenly I realized that when I wrote my message to the practitioners, in my conscience I sought comfort from them. I behaved like an ordinary person: In the past, whenever I didn’t feel good, if a relative or friend stayed beside and comforted me, no matter whether it worked or not, I would feel much better in my mind. After I realized this attachment, I immediately sent forth righteous thoughts: “Remove the need for comfort from others. I am a higher being and therefore do not need this.” Amazingly, once this thought came out, my stomach immediately stopped hurting. There was no pain at all and it was as if nothing had happened.
All the sudden I had a new understanding of Master’s words:
“For a long time now some students just haven't gotten rid of their fundamental attachments! And as things have piled up, at the end they aren't able to overcome them and their tribulations get big. When problems occur, instead of searching for problems in their xinxing, fundamentally improving themselves, or truly letting go of the matter and coming through in an open and dignified manner by another route, they focus on the thing at hand--"Goodness… why is it that I still can't overcome this thing? I've done better today, so it should have improved a little. Tomorrow I'll do even better and it should improve some more." He can never let go of that thing. On the surface it appears that he's letting it go--"Look, I'm doing well now." You're doing well now but you are doing well now for its sake. You aren't doing that for the purpose of doing what a true Dafa disciple should do!” (“Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference”
I recalled an experience that happened several years ago. I had just arrived in this city and did not know anyone, and also had no family here. One day I went out to have my shoe fixed. While waiting for the work to be done, I sat down to clarify the truth to the man who was fixing my shoe. Then two younger men came along and wanted their shoes fixed. One of them had a scary appearance. I was scared, so I shut my mouth. The two guys sat down to chat with the man who was busy fixing the shoes. My mind was busy thinking: “On the one hand, since we've met each other, there is a predestined relationship between us and I should tell them the truth. On the other hand, that guy has a scary appearance and looks like a bad guy,” so my mind was not calm. Later I broke with my conventional thinking when I heard one of them talking with an accent from my hometown. I then started to talk to him and told him the truth about Dafa. I also told him about my harsh experience of being persecuted. During the course of the conversation, the other man beside him quietly stared at me very seriously. I was not calm and was afraid he would report me. I knew that it was a bad thought but I could not get rid of it. All of the sudden one thought came to my mind: “I am saving them. How can people report or harm the person who wants to save them?” Once that thought sprang forth, my mind immediately became calm. Meanwhile the man with the scary appearance suddenly calmed me down with a very soft voice, “You don’t need to be scared. In this city nobody will treat you badly. Once you do your job well, no one will interfere with whatever you believe.” Hearing that, I felt something that was hard to describe. Later we became friends and I kept in contact with them for a period of time.
For a long time when I was handing out truth-clarification materials, I constantly held onto this thought: “I am saving people. Nobody is allowed to persecute me or interfere with me.” Each time I gave out the materials, I always sent out the following righteous thought: “Eliminate all the evil which might persecute me and interfere with my handing out the materials.” Whenever I saw people, I would directly send forth the word “Mie” [“eliminated”] to cover that person and eliminate the evil elements behind him which might manipulate him to persecute Dafa practitioners. I did not think at the time that what I was doing was not right. One day when I was handing out materials, I thought this way again, when all of a sudden I recalled my past experience with the scary man. By then I realized that my original thought had a shortcoming: In my subconscious, I thought that sentient beings were my enemies, and I was pushing them in the opposite direction. I thought people would report me when they saw me handing out materials. I thought of them in a negative light and so wanted to eliminate evil instead of having a compassionate mindset. After realizing this, I changed my mind that day: I am saving people. The knowing side of people is thirsty, and they appreciate being saved. Nobody would report me and nobody would have negative thoughts toward me. At that time I felt that a huge dimension was opened up and displayed before me. A peaceful, calm and serene mind replaced the old stressful feelings that I used to have.
I recalled an experience from years earlier. After I was temporarily released from prison and still under surveillance, I followed my parents to live in at our home in the countryside. My parents did not want the villagers to know my situation to avoid being laughed at – especially being laughed at by people who had a bad relationship with us. One neighbor and also our aunt had had a bad relationship with my family for a long time. The hatred between the two families ran very deep. My parents warned me again and again not to tell them about my situation. For a while I was affected by ordinary notions and did as my parents wanted. However, in my mind I knew that I should tell them the truth. I spent a long time to break up these notions. One day when my parents were not home, I chatted with the aunt who sat outside the door enjoying the sunshine. I chatted with her and told her the facts about Dafa. I had just finished saying a few lines and then the aunt said, “We all knew Falun Gong was very good, especially your uncle. Whenever he heard that overseas Falun Gong practitioners had some activities, he was very excited and very supportive.” She also told me her brother practiced Falun Gong before the persecution, but after the persecution started, he dared not do so. Among all of the brothers he was the best and the most obedient to his mother. I was really surprised: I worried and hesitated so long to clarify the truth to her, but I achieved surprisingly good results. Later the aunt told others many times that I was the kindest and the best in the family. I realized that this was her way of supporting and positioning herself with Dafa after she learned the truth.
Previously when printing Dafa informational materials, I printed out two pages with the correct colors using my new printer. Suddenly the yellow color would no longer print. I cleaned the print head several times but still it would not work. What was going on? I logged onto the Internet and asked for assistance but could not get a quick reply. It was already afternoon, and I had planned to put up Shen Yun DVD posters in the evening. So I sat down to send righteous thoughts: “Remove all the elements which are interfering with the printer’s normal operation.” I felt tired as if my nerves were highly stressed. After sending righteous thoughts for a long time, I tried the printer again but it was still the same. I was worried: How come it was not working? Then I looked within: Yellow is the Buddha school’s color; however my printer could not print out yellow. Did that mean that my Buddha nature was not sufficient and that I had too many human attachments? Suddenly I realized that my attachment of lust had not been completely removed and it shot out of my mind occasionally. Most of the time I knew to eliminate it, but sometimes I could be dragged by it for a while before I being able to realize it. So I sent righteous thoughts to get rid of lust and desire. I became calm. Then I tried to print again and the yellow color printed normally. I was able to carry out my plan to put up Shen Yun DVD posters outside.
Recently in my cultivation I have realized more and more that pursuing solutions to try to resolve a problem does not work. The harder I have thought, the more tired I feel and finally I become exhausted. Once we change our rigid conventional notions and jump out of this framework to find the reason, then we will find bright flowers after passing the shady willow trees.
The above are some of my cultivation understandings. If any of them are not proper, please do not hesitate to point this out to me.