(Minghui.org) It's been over 20 years since Falun Dafa was first brought to the public. As time goes by, I found some that practitioners are gradually departing from the Fa. Most of them did not leave because of the persecution, but because they were unable to consistently study the Fa. They left because they could not keep up Fa study, doing the exercises, and looking within steadfastly.
I have also noticed that many practitioners who have remained steadfast in the persecution have shown, to different degrees, manifestations of slacking off. They were able to do the exercises consistently even after being brutally beaten. They were brave and diligent. After they were released, they fell asleep when they studied the Fa, they only occasionally did the exercises and refused to walk long distances to clarify the facts. The principles of the teachings have not changed, and Master remains compassionate. What happened to these practitioners? I realized that without a sincere will and attitude, one will find it difficult to be enthusiastic and solid on one's path of Fa-rectification cultivation.
I would like to share my understandings on why this has happened and how we can all become diligent again.
First of all, we must turn sensibility into rationality in our understandings of the Fa. When we first obtained the Fa, we were excited and zealous like ordinary people. We were curious, wanting to find out what supernormal abilities and benefits we would gain from the practice. As the feeling of novelty wore out, what was left was blandness and loneliness. Day after day, year after year, we tried to give up our attachments and do well in conflicts. We see the strict standards of the Fa without seeing paradise, we feel the tests everywhere without feeling any supernormal abilities. If we cannot view the Fa with rationality and respect from the bottom of our heart, we won't last long. We will not be able to sustain our practice on impulse and passion. We need to know clearly that the purpose of life is to return to one's true self and to assist Master to rectify the Fa. Only then can we stay steadfast, without any doubts.
Secondly, we must be thinking of our sentient beings. Mankind is selfish while divine beings can give up everything they have for their beings without second thoughts. That is selfless compassion. If we practice for ourselves, we will suffer and complain and gradually give up. If we do it for our sentient beings, we will progress diligently, be tolerant when things get hard, and gradually assimilate to the Fa. The motivation and purpose of studying the Fa must be pure, so pure that there isn't a the slightest room for self. Then we will not fear death and will refuse to slack off.
Thirdly, we should firmly believe in the Fa. When a practitioner cannot study the Fa clearheadedly and know the truth of the universe, he will become confused, shaky, and withdraw. On the other hand, when we have a good understanding of the Fa, our righteous thoughts will emerge naturally, and such righteous thoughts are unshakable. All the slacking off comes from not having righteous thoughts and steadfastness. Master said "Isn't any form of pressure a test to see whether your faith in the Buddha Fa is fundamentally strong? If you still are not fundamentally resolute in the Fa, everything else is out of question." ("For Whom do You Practice Cultivation?" from Essentials for Further Advancement) )
Fourth, we must be aware of the attachment to comfort and treat the practice seriously. Everything in this world can be an interference and a test, if we slack off, the attachment to comfort can sneak up, numb our minds, irritate us, and make us restless. It's a bad habit that will prevent us from reaching the end of the path of practice. Cultivation practice is a serious matter, it is like swimming upstream; you go backward if you don't go forward.
Fifth, we should be like we were when we first started the practice and not stop being diligent. An ordinary man is only diligent for a short time and then is plagued by laziness forever. To practice without the will of persistence will make you fall back into being an ordinary person. Whether you can be persistent is a test itself in the practice. It is a test to see whether you have righteous thoughts and whether you are steadfast. Only those who stay with the practice will have the opportunity to reach consummation.
Last but not least, practice is not based on impulse and should not be like a slogan. Cultivation practice is rectify our hearts, strengthen out minds, and to persistently study the Fa and follow the principles of Dafa. This is the only way to see the inner meanings of the Fa, to experience the miracles, and to validate the Fa. No matter how much we have learned, it is only a scoop of water in the sea. No matter how long we have practiced and suffered, it is just but a mere moment in the history of universe. Continuing the practice and being persistently steadfast is the only way to pass the tests.