Transcending the Convention of Human Notions (Part 1)
(Minghui.org) As the Fa-rectification is extended time and time again for us to cultivate and rescue more sentient beings, I've come to notice that some practitioners are still straggling, while others have become even more lax. Some of us have even begun to lose faith in Master's words and the fact that the Fa-rectification will end. Over the course of these last sixteen years, what used to be self-evident truths began to fade for some.
Why do we see such regression in our cultivation?
I believe that many practitioners lack a thorough understanding of the Fa's requirements at different levels and are thus stuck with their human notions. They are mired in attachments, yet fail to look within. They only know to complain about the interference from the old forces, thus missing precious opportunities to truly cultivate their xinxing and advance to the next level.
As a result of their inadequate understanding of the Fa, some practitioners are afraid to step forward to save sentient beings. While many others have filed lawsuits against Jiang Zemin for launching the persecution, these practitioners still have yet to join the movement to bring the former Chinese dictator to justice.
Today, I'd like to elaborate on three issues: the importance of studying the Fa and relinquishing our attachments, the importance of having a correct understanding of the old forces, and the urgency of bringing Jiang to justice. In a nutshell, my own experience suggests that only by having a deep understanding of the Fa can we transcend the convention of human notions and wholly dedicate ourselves to saving people.
1. On Studying the Fa Thoroughly and Eliminating Attachments
We all know that our attachments are eliminated successively, layer by layer, until we reach the most surface layer of our being. And that's fine. However, it becomes a problem when we are chronically stuck at the same recurring attachment.
Even after so many years of cultivation, I think that many of us still don't fully understand the Fa's requirement for us at different levels. We still hold on to many human thoughts and human notions, which keep us from maturing further in cultivation and give the old forces an excuse to exploit our gaps.
“...you need to study the Fa a lot. Otherwise you won’t know the inner meanings of Zhen, Shan, Ren at different levels, and then you won’t be able to truly practice Zhen, Shan, Ren in your conduct.” (Teaching the Fa at the Assistants’ Fa Conference in Changchun)
A solid base in personal cultivation is a prerequisite for anything we do to assist Master and rectify the Fa. We absolutely cannot lower our standards; otherwise, our paths will be filled with interference from the old forces. We have to have a clear understanding of these standards so that our human side will not get lost or be easily swayed by the attitudes of everyday people.
The Attachment to Lust
From my perspective, this is a cardinal attachment that we must completely eliminate. Our minds should be free from this type of thought at all times; it should be impossible for us to be moved by lust at all.
Many practitioners have fallen because this attachment kept coming back to them, and that just won't do. We all know the standards for the practitioners in Shen Yun–that is the standard we must follow if we are to help Master and save sentient beings. There can be nothing less.
When we encounter tribulations and difficulties in cultivation, it’s very easy to complain about the situation and begin to hate things. But as cultivators on the path to divinity, we cannot bring something like hatred along with us. In fact, it's a very dangerous notion to maintain; many practitioners have dropped in level because they couldn't overcome their hatred.
There is no easy way out in cultivation; all cultivators will have to suffer hardships, and often at the hands of everyday people. And as cultivators, we need to be able to overcome these tribulations with an open heart.
For instance, I was treated like a doormat at my workplace. My colleagues would take advantage of me by asking me to do the jobs that nobody wanted to do. I chose not to complain and focused on finishing the job. After several years of cultivating, I no longer find this a bother.
Focusing on Cultivation
In my daily life, I've learned to let go of many hobbies and other attachments. Outside of my normal job, I study the Fa, do the exercises, and focus on upgrading my xinxing. I do not involve myself with the karmic relationships among everyday people so that I don't gain more karma, and I've found that my mind has become calmer and purer as a result.
We really have to truly cultivate our xinxing–only then will we have fundamental changes in our physical bodies and benti. Otherwise, what will we rectify the Fa with?
At the same time, the standards for elevating our xinxing are the same ones that we need to reach in order to establish a foundation. Without a solid base in cultivation, we will definitely encounter tribulations in Fa-rectification.
Paying Attention to the Issue of Demonic Interference in One's Mind
Master has mentioned this problem several times in Fa teachings. In my experience, this type of interference becomes prevalent after practitioners reach a certain level in cultivation. Many, including myself, start to become attached to supernormal capabilities.
When hearing or seeing things from other dimensions, we begin to use this information to guide our actions. As a result, practitioners often stumble in cultivation and drop in levels.
One practitioner, for instance, saw that a relative of his would soon be in danger. He sent righteous thoughts to eliminate the danger, and felt good about it afterwards.
I think this is a reflection of the attachment to human emotions. As cultivators, we should stay away from such things. They could be interference or illusions created from our own attachments.
Another practitioner saw with her celestial eye that she was a high-ranking official who had killed someone in a past life. She was then told that she had to suffer in order to repay the karma. Accepting this notion, she soon passed away.
There are many cases like these. If we don’t cultivate based on the Fa, things in other dimensions can easily manipulate us. We should always remain unmoved no matter what we see in other dimensions.
Such interference might be an arrangement from the old forces or a test of our understanding of the Fa. Whether we can pass the test or break through the interference depends on how solid our cultivation is, so we should never become lax in our cultivation or lower our standards.
Cultivating One's Speech
Many practitioners didn’t pay enough attention to cultivating speech and made irresponsible comments about other people's cultivation. They suffered tribulations as a result of the karma that they unknowingly incurred this way.
Think about it–why does it matter if other people make mistakes? It only shows that we still have human thoughts and our hearts are moved.
On the other hand, when we notice other practitioners' attachments, we should still point them out with compassion, since that is our responsibility as fellow cultivators. But that does not necessarily mean that they will accept it, and that's fine.
Even if they don't understand it, we shouldn't be moved or blame them for having the attachments.
Some practitioners are attached to how well others cultivate. But we are still all cultivators and not divine beings. We all have attachments and make mistakes. Even if others have reached enlightenment, they've just reached the end of their cultivation path, and that is their business. There is nothing for us to become attached to.
Maintaining the State of “Wuwei”
When I went to Beijing to stand up for Dafa after the persecution started, I was arrested and mistreated. There had been times when I felt wronged and complained about the situation. But soon, I was able to identify those emotions as human thoughts and got rid of them. I was able to maintain a peaceful heart and did not worry when everyday people couldn't understand me.
Without any pursuit, I gradually made progress in cultivation and saved many people.
I understand that we should maintain the state of wuwei when we cultivate at a higher level. When we are truly compassionate, we wouldn’t be affected by the outside situation. No matter what others say about me, or how they misunderstand me, or how the situation in society develops, I can still maintain a peaceful and compassionate mind.
From a higher level, being angry is the manifestation of demonic nature. If we look at things from this perspective, it will be easier to identify our demonic characters when our hearts are moved and become upset during a conflict. This will help us in adjusting our minds and improving our xinxing.
Other People Change When We Change Ourselves
When I have breakthroughs in my cultivation, I often encounter changes in the situation of my clarifying the facts to people–stubborn people gradually begin to yield, and I am able to save more people than before.
There are two examples. I have an uncle who was a longtime member of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). When I told him about the persecution several years ago, he didn’t listen at all. I talked to him again recently and asked him to quit the CCP, but he still didn’t want to do it.
I wasn’t affected by him, and continued to talk to him with a peaceful mind. I told him that the nature of the CCP is opposite of the traditions of our Chinese culture and moral values.
To my surprise, he agreed to quit the Party at the end of our conversation and even announced his decision at his workplace the next day. This led me to realize the power of true compassion. Sentient beings will wake up, distinguish good from bad, and be saved with the power of our compassion.
I met a person at a friend’s home who was very arrogant and despised Dafa practitioners. Despite his attitude, I wasn’t affected. I simply stopped talking to him when it was evident that he wouldn't listen.
On the way home, at the bus station, he suddenly held my hands and said, “Please help me quit the CCP.” I think it might be my compassion that changed him, which allowed the beings behind him to act so that he could be saved by a Dafa practitioner.
Cultivating as We First Began
At the beginning of our cultivation, many practitioners could maintain a peaceful and pure mind. But because of the persecution, many became negative and didn't have the feeling of elevation when they studied the Fa.
In fact, we should still cultivate with the happy and optimistic heart we once had; we should cultivate with an open mind and strong will toward higher levels.
(To be continued)