China Fahui | Enlightenment on “The Appearance Stems From the Mind”
(Minghui.org) I was an intellectual with a typical, empirically based thinking mentality. This became a great hindrance in my cultivation. As a result, I have encountered several tests in cultivation in the past year, but managed to pass them with righteous thoughts after sharing with practitioners from the perspective of the Fa.
I subsequently had a breakthrough in my cultivation. I have also had some insights into the Fa principle of “...the appearance stems from the mind.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting”) that I would like to share with practitioners. Please point out anything inappropriate.
Do Not Go Against Sentient Beings
I am in charge of a local branch company with its headquarters in another city. I had some conflicts recently with the headquarters in terms of how to manage the company.
One afternoon I was notified by the general manager that I would be removed from my position, and that headquarters would send the replacement soon. He said he would come to see me the next day and let me know the reasons.
This happened very suddenly and I was unprepared for it. Looking within, I realized why. Plus, looking back on my cultivation state in recent years, I was not surprised that the problem appeared. It was not accidental.
The branch company grew very quickly with good business under my leadership. I knew the Fa gave me wisdom and a good environment to validate the Fa and save sentient beings. I took every opportunity to persuade people to withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). However, I did not fully embrace cultivation in my everyday work and life. I was merely doing things for the sake of doing them.
I was not able to study the Fa attentively for a long time, and I developed more and more human attachments in my work. I felt I was very important and my ego expanded. I became more and more attached to fame and personal interests.
The old forces took advantage of my loopholes and created the conflicts with ordinary people for me. It caused direct interference in the cultivation environment and in saving sentient beings. I knew the tests came and I had to pass them. I stayed calm after I found out my attachments. I told myself to let go of the attachments to reputation and to be a good cultivator.
The general manager gave me three reasons for removing me from my position. It was due my practice of Falun Dafa, talking to staff about Falun Dafa and the persecution, and asking them to withdraw from the CCP. People at headquarters worried that it was politically risky. The other reasons were groundless and the general manager said it was mainly due to my belief.
I became angry while listening to the general manager. It was an unexpected emotion. But my mind remained clear. I now knew it was not an issue of personal cultivation. I did not allow the old forces to take advantage of those who did not yet know the truth, by allowing them to commit crimes against Dafa.
I calmed down a bit. “Headquarters has no right to interfere with my belief,” I said. “My colleagues and I set up the local branch company out of nothing. It has developed to quite a scale as of today. We have not used a penny from the headquarters. Legally, the headquarters is entitled to take over a local branch, but the local branch has the right not to cooperate. If you fire me because of my work performance, I will let go of my personal interests and follow your arrangement. But if it is due to my personal belief, I will absolutely not accept it.”
The general manager said he could understand my point, but he was unable to change the decision himself; it was a decision from the board. I completely calmed down. I took this opportunity to tell him the facts about the persecution and the meaning of withdrawing from the CCP. Finally, he agreed to withdraw from the CCP and said that he would relay my message to the board.
I shared with my wife after I came home. She also thought it was a test to see if we had let go of our attachments to fame and personal interest. We could give up our interests, but we would not cooperate with the evil for its persecution and let the sentient beings commit crimes. She shared the same view as me.
Several days later, the headquarters sent people to forcibly take over. The staff in the local branch, however, sent them back. I tried to call the chairman of the board, but there was no answer. The conflict escalated.
I did not know where things went wrong. I looked within and found that I still had fear. I was not up to the standard in terms of safeguarding the Fa, so I reinforced my righteous thoughts and did not give in at all.
One afternoon, the chief operating officer from the headquarters came to my office with a lady. He came on behalf of the board chairman to deal with the issues. He said he had heard a few things and wanted to investigate.
I went over the situation with him and stated my position. He introduced the lady to me.
“This is my friend,” he said. “She is a Falun Gong practitioner, like you. She is very kind and I respect her very much. I felt very strange when I heard that the situation in your company was a mess. Why is the Falun Gong practitioner here different from what I know? So I called my friend. She said either what I heard was not the truth or you are not a Falun Gong practitioner. She wanted to come with me to have a look herself. I see everything in your company is very orderly. After talking with you, I am relieved. But you need to improve the way you solve problems. Please have a chat with my friend because you have things in common.
“I would like to talk to some other staff here and then report to the board chairman. He is worried about the situation here. He suggested that I report to the police directly if I was unable to keep things under control. But it is not necessary now.”
He left my office after he finished. The lady was still in my office.
I shared with the practitioner. She asked me how I viewed this incident from the Fa’s perspective. I emphasized how I negated the persecution. She shook her head.
“You are right to negate the persecution,” she commented. “You are very determined in cultivation. That is not a problem. The problem is that you go against everyone.”
I did not quite understand her.
“The old forces have taken advantage of your loopholes in cultivation,” she said. “They persecute you by utilizing ordinary people who have bad thoughts in their minds. Indeed, we should negate the persecution in our actions and eliminate the evil factors behind them with righteous thoughts. But the ordinary people themselves are not the evil. They are sentient beings waiting for salvation. Do not go against them. Otherwise, how can you save them?”
I was speechless. Yes, she was right. I had not done well in ordinary society, to the point that ordinary people committed crimes against Dafa. I should not regard them as evil and go against them. Instead, I should save them with compassion. They are pitiful. I should be responsible to them.
I felt lighthearted when I was clear about my issue. I shared more with this practitioner. We realized that Master had arranged her to help me and dissolve the tribulation for me. We were deeply moved by Master's compassion.
Soon the chief operating officer returned.
“I have spoken to the board chairman. He is no longer worried about the branch here. We can leave. Please give him a call.”
The board chairman changed his attitude completely when I called him. I apologized to him for what I hadn't done well. He praised my character and expressed his trust. Later, I had an opportunity to see him in person and clarify the truth to him.
I was not able to persuade him to withdraw from the CCP but he confirmed that he would not interfere with my personal belief. I realized I did not do well in clarifying the truth to the headquarters staff. Superficially, it was because I was not in the same city and did not have much contact with them. Actually, my xinxing was not up to par. I focused on my work and did not really think of saving them, even though I was with them. Occasionally, I wanted to save them, but gave up because I did not want them know that I was a Falun Gong practitioner.
Everyone in the headquarters knew that I practiced Falun Gong through this incident. I felt relieved, and had a stronger sense of saving them. I managed to help the chief operating officer and a deputy general manager withdraw from the CCP. I turned a bad thing into a good thing.
So whatever we come across in our cultivation are opportunities for our improvement and for saving sentient beings—as long as we deal with them from the Fa’s perspective and with righteous thoughts.
On a Young Practitioner
One day I received a call from the chief of the local Domestic Security Division asking to meet with a young practitioner in my company. Immediately, I realized that it must be something to do with his lawsuit against Jiang Zemin. I asked the young practitioner to leave the company immediately.
I shared this with my wife. She thought since we practitioners dared to sue Jiang with our real identities, why should we not dare face harassment from the police? The lawsuit against Jiang was a turning point. It was for practitioners to openly face the evil and proactively dissolve the persecution. So why should practitioners avoid meeting the police? Why should practitioners not show the police their determination in suing Jiang Zemin in a dignified manner?
If this could arouse the police's sense of justice and make them no longer commit wrongdoings, weren't the police given a chance to be saved?
Actually, Dafa practitioners have the responsibility to walk their cultivation paths well and righteously, and to leave a good reference for generations to come. It is not a good cultivation state if practitioners hide themselves when the evil comes, especially in the last leg of the Fa-rectification when the evil has become less and less. Practitioners should rectify what is not right. This is the cultivation state a Dafa practitioner should be in.
I totally agreed with my wife’s points. I shared with the young practitioner who had some fear at the beginning because he had not practiced for long. His righteous thoughts awoke while we were sharing. He decided to face the chief of the Domestic Security Division himself to express why he had filed the lawsuit against Jiang.
After the sharing, practitioners sent forth righteous thoughts for the chief. The young practitioner called the chief for an appointment. He happily told practitioners that the chief was polite and nice to him on the phone and reckoned that the evil factors were cleared by practitioners' righteous thoughts.
Practitioners did not develop any complacency in the seemingly relaxed environment. They studied the Fa with the young practitioner and shared with him for several days before the meeting. He looked within and found his attachment to a good life and his lack of determination in cultivation. With practitioners' help, his righteous thoughts became stronger and stronger. He said that he would talk about Falun Gong and the persecution to the chief.
Practitioners suggested that I accompany the young practitioner for the appointment to make sure he was safe. I could clarify the truth to the chief as well. Other practitioners would send forth righteous thoughts outside.
The young practitioner had strong righteous thoughts in the meeting. He sent forth righteous thoughts to dissolve the evil factors behind the chief and then told him why he had filed the lawsuit. I sent forth righteous thoughts silently. As soon as he finished, the chief started to “educate” the young practitioner with the CCP's warped theory and even slandered Dafa and Master.
I sent forth righteous thoughts to stop him and interrupted him by telling him my views. At the beginning, I went head-to-head with him and the atmosphere was tense. I then adjusted myself and tried to let go of my resentment and competitiveness. I tried to talk to him with compassion in the hope of saving him. Also, I tried to clear the evil elements behind him that prevented him from listening to the truth and to awaken his main consciousness in listening to the truth.
The atmosphere gradually became calm and we had some common points. He agreed that Falun Gong had health benefits, the constitution allowed citizens to freely believe, and the CCP was a dictatorship and very corrupted.
Gradually, I learned his hold-ups and clarified the truth accordingly. Under the long-term influence of the CCP's atheism, he did not believe in the existence of gods. He thought Falun Gong was just a spiritual support, and that someone would become obsessed if he believed in it too much, he said.
I told him that the majority of people on earth have beliefs. Many outstanding scientists believe in the existence of gods and are Christians. I asked him if he still thought they were idiots.
He thought Falun Gong practitioners were involved in politics and were taken advantage of by the overseas “anti-China forces.” I told him that many family members of the CCP's high-ranking officials have passports for other countries. They are indeed foreigners. Can they represent Chinese people's interests? In a way, they are actually the anti-China forces.
We talked for over an hour. He had to admit many of the facts. Finally, he said that under communist rule, people have to either migrate to other countries or obey the CCP. He also expressed his dissatisfaction with the CCP in many aspects, but he had to follow it because he had to make a living and raise his family.
He was an atheist and did not believe in karmic retribution. So I stopped on this topic because I did not have ample righteous thoughts and compassion. I did not save this being. It was my regret.
Practitioners shared after the meeting and agreed that if the xinxing of the related practitioner was up to the standard, he or she should clarify the truth to the police directly, and practitioners as a whole should cooperate and send strong righteous thoughts to dissolve the persecution. In this incident, practitioners as a whole sent forth righteous thoughts during the whole process, and the chief of the Domestic Security Division was unable to behave evilly.
We also realized that we should not be too attached to the results. We just clarified the truth with compassion and cleared the evil factors behind the police. As to whether the being could be saved, it was up to him. The young practitioner changed a lot after this incident. He was more confident in cultivation and his cultivation state improved a lot.
“The Appearance Stems From the Mind”
I passed two big tests after I went through the above incidents and let go of my long-existing attachments of fear and personal interests. I also had a deeper understanding to the Fa principle of “the appearance stems from the mind.”
The gradual realization of the Fa principle “the appearance stems from the mind” was actually a process of getting rid of human mentality and looking at things with righteous thoughts. My mind used to move with the happenings around me. For example, when the persecution was severe, I had stronger fear; when the environment became relaxed, my fear became less. This was actually the human mentality.
I only believed in what I saw, and forgot that I was a cultivator. We have Master and the Fa. Master is controlling everything in the Fa-rectification period. As long as I remember that Master and the Fa are with me all the time, Master has the final say in everything, regardless how the environment changes. If my heart does not move, who else can move me?
“All of you are already aware of the principle of mutual-generation and mutual-inhibition. If you are not afraid, the factor that would make you afraid will cease to exist.” (“Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s)” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
“Should you have fear,it will seize upon youIf thoughts are righteous,evil will collapse”(“What's to Fear?” from Hong Yin Vol. II)
These Fa principles interpreted “the appearance stems from the mind” from different angles for us. We cannot understand the logic of cultivation if we see things from the perspective of ordinary people. If we do, we will regard everything that happens as a result of coincidence, and regard the fake phenomena that we see as the truth, thus moving our hearts. If we see it from a cultivator's point of view, it will be a different story. Our mindsets determine the phenomena. If we change our mindsets, the phenomena will be different.
In the past, people with different backgrounds, professions, or attitudes affected me a lot when I was clarifying the truth to them. I only talked to those who I thought were kind. As such, I was afraid to talk to many people, and sometimes talked to people with fear in my mind. The results were not good.
After I understood the principle of “the appearance stems from the mind,” I started to reinforce my thought of saving sentient beings on purpose. I reminded myself constantly that every person in the world is a precious being who came here for salvation. If they behaved badly when I clarified the truth to them, I eliminated the evils factors behind them with righteous thoughts. I should save the real beings themselves with a compassionate heart. Their knowing sides will make the right choice.
When my righteous thoughts guided me in clarifying the truth to people, I had less interference and more wisdom.
I could then see more clearly our cultivation path in the Fa-rectification period with more wisdom, and my belief in Dafa was further reinforced. I saw many practitioners in different tribulations that they were unable to overcome. Some just bore them helplessly. Some gave up the tests. Some looked outwardly for reasons. Even some enlightened along evil paths. Though every practitioner has a different cultivation path with different tests and different circumstances, the root reasons are the same, their belief in Dafa is not up to par and their eyes are blinded by the appearances.
Everything in the cosmos was created by Dafa. If practitioners are truly assimilated to the Fa, what test can they not pass? If they are not able to rectify themselves in the Fa when they come across tribulations, have doubts in their minds, or become negative and feel helpless, these factors can eventually become the causes of them parting cultivation. This is another understanding I came to on the Fa principle of “the appearance stems from the mind.”
In addition, I paid more attention to my thoughts and actions. I tried to keep righteous thoughts every minute. When I had bad thoughts, I did not indulge them, but tried to suppress and get rid of them.
“And all of the human ideas, as well as the variety of sources from which those ideas stem, that are bound up in that human thinking will serve to interfere with the person. Whichever kind of life form your thinking aligns with, that life form will immediately have an effect on you.” (“Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference”)
I became more aware that I should genuinely cultivate myself. Cultivation is cultivating the heart and mind; if my mind is in the Fa, I will have ample wisdom and righteous thoughts to see clearly how I should walk my cultivation path. If I cultivate away my attachments, I will not deviate from the Fa, even if I have attachments. If my mind is righteous, fake appearances will not be generated. My pure and righteous mind when on the Fa is my real wisdom, which will let me see clearly how I should walk my cultivation path.
I have experienced Master's compassionate protection many times. Master also warned us in his newly published article “On the Responses to the Piece About Assistant Souls”:
“Amidst a troubled world and when cosmic laws are in disarray, Dafa disciples are acting out of compassion to save lives, which of course include those within their own domains. All beings will certainly be given chances as we go about offering salvation, with some of them being given prolonged chances. During the process, some beings will indeed turn around and become good, yet there will also be some who aren’t good enough in the end, and those need to be cleared out. You have in fact been doing such things throughout your cultivation, and as your master I have been doing these things for you as well.”
Reading the related Fa, I experienced Master's immense compassion on sentient beings again. At the same time, I felt very honored and moved. Master required his disciples to have the same compassion and broad hearts in helping Him rectify the Fa and save sentient beings. Looking back at my cultivation path I have walked so far, my gratitude to Master cannot be described in any language. I shall cultivate more diligently to be worthy of Master's compassion to me.