First on List of Priorities: Respecting Master and the Fa
(Minghui.org) Many practitioners believe in Master and the Fa without a doubt in their mind and heart. However, there are practitioners who wonder about what truly having faith in Master means, and what we should be doing to truly respect Master and the Fa. My thoughts centered around these issues for a while, and I want to share with fellow practitioners my understanding.
Respecting teachers is inherent in China's ancient traditional culture.
Yan Hui, a devout disciple of Confucius, was studious and fond of learning. He was open-minded, possessed great virtue, and was very disciplined. He showed great respect to his teacher and was studious day in and day out.
Yan was humble and said that although he was not clever, he took to heart and followed what he was taught. Yan Hui was later regarded as an exemplary disciple because he showed profound respect towards Confucius.
Shaozheng Mao challenged Confucius and advocated deviant doctrines. Many of Confucius’ students were swayed by his philosophy.
Yan was asked why he had not attended classes held by Shaozheng.
“He who teaches me for one day is my father for life,” he responded. “Master Confucius follows the mandate of Heaven and encourages benevolence and moral virtues, showing people the righteous way. There is plenty I still need to learn. Why should I leave him?”
There is another classical story about Zeng Zi showing respect to Confucius. Zeng worked as an assistant for Confucius.
Confucius asked Zeng if he had heard about the qualities that virtuous kings demonstrated when educating people. Zeng quickly got up, stepped to the side, and replied with great respect, “I’m not clever enough, so I beg teacher to teach me these principles.”
What he did was considered very appropriate in showing respect to his teacher, and he set an example for others to follow.
Failing to Honor Master and Dafa
Practitioners benefited a lot from Falun Dafa before the onset of the persecution. Master purified their bodies and endured enormous hardships to protect them. However, some gave up Dafa after the persecution started. Some went to practice other disciplines, some wrote statements to denounce Falun Gong, and others wrote statements giving up the practice under torture or threat. Some swore at Master and Dafa when ordered by police, and some others betrayed Master and sold out fellow practitioners at critical moments.
Our compassionate Master has refused to acknowledge the persecution of practitioners, but the old forces would go after them and Fa guardians would not let these practitioners go unpunished, as they have all witnessed the hardships and sacrifices Master has endured in saving us.
Many practitioners published solemn declarations online to admit their wrongdoing, but they did so for the sake of doing it and not because they truly repented.
Some practitioners were detained several times. As soon as they were detained, they promised to give up Falun Dafa. After they were released, they returned to Dafa. However, they kept repeating the same mistakes and failed to look within to find out where they had gone wrong.
Cherishing and Respecting Fa study
“… when there aren’t major things at hand and it won’t cause major problems for others – then it’s right to set everything else aside and study the Fa. For example, to avoid interference while you study the Fa, you can switch your phone to 'voice mail' mode” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Atlanta Fa Conference” from Teaching the Fa at the Conference IV)
Master told us not to answer phone calls while studying the Fa, because nothing is trivial in cultivation. However, many practitioners treat Dafa books very casually. During Fa study, they drink water, chat, and do not treat studying the Fa respectfully. They do not know that in Heaven when gods study the Fa, they all kneel down and hold the book in front of their chests with great respect.
A fellow practitioner's head got hurt by accident and kept bleeding. He remembered that he is apractitioner and did not go to a hospital for treatment. When he got home, he offered incense to Master, but his head was still bleeding. He wondered why.
Then, he realized that he did not show the proper respect to Master by wearing only a pair of casual shorts and no shirt. Immediately he changed into something more respectful and offered incense again. His head then stopped bleeding.
Treasuring Dafa Books
An elderly practitioner in our area is very diligent in doing the three things. However, he experienced serious sickness karma and his life was in danger.
A fellow practitioner who could see things through his celestial eye came to visit him and found that his sickness karma resulted from him not showing the proper respect to Master and the Fa.
He studied the Fa at a dinner table and when he finished, he casually put the book aside and started eating, and accidentally the book was soiled by the food.
Truly Showing Respect
We live at a time when traditional culture and values have been destroyed and society is morally depraved. We must continuously watch our actions and behavior.
Practitioners must take note of even minute details, as nothing that happens in cultivation is too small. Only then can one assimilate to Dafa and return to one's true self. Only by taking Master’s wish as our wish, Master’s aspirations as our aspirations, and truly harmonizing what Master wants, can it be considered truly respecting Master and truly having faith in Master and Dafa.
Kowtowing and offering incense and fruit alone is by no means truly respecting Master.
Milarepa, the main character in a Tibetan story, was ordered by his teacher to rebuild towers after he was told to demolish them. This teacher often beat him and abused him verbally. Still Milarepa held firm faith in his teacher and showed great respect.
As Dafa disciples, have we truly done well in having faith in Master and the Fa, and showing our respect? Have we truly followed Master’s teachings? Can we honestly say that we have a clear conscience?
Cherishing the Precious Opportunity
Master has arranged our cultivation path and given us everything, including our lives. Then, why can we not let go of attachments? Can we ascend to the Heaven's with our human attachments?
What have we done that is not based on the Fa? We were jealous and undermined each others' work, argued who was in the right or wrong, and failed to cooperate with one another. We failed to pass tests or make breakthroughs because we held onto our attachments.
For holding onto our human notions, Master, in order not to leave his disciples behind, endured excruciating pain and suffering for us. Master really wants to see us improve our xinxing and elevate in the Fa.
If we fail to let go of our human attachments and fail to regard the Fa as top priority, then how can we possibly improve our xinxing?
Some practitioners cling to the ways of everyday people, instead of following the Fa principles. Thus, they have a difficult time passing any test, and many opportunities for xinxing improvement were lost.
Even though they study the Fa every day, they are not truly cultivating in Dafa and are wasting precious time.
Keep Looking Within
An ancient proverb tells people, “Find solitude to think about your own shortcomings and don’t gossip about other people’s weaknesses.”
When we fail to look within and say things that we should not, we will not only intensify conflicts, but will acquire karma as well, and the old forces will harm Dafa disciples. Most importantly, if we fail to look within and cultivate our xinxing, we undermine Master’s Fa-rectification.
Master wrote, “Neither heaven or earth can block my road of Fa-rectification But disciples’ human hearts can” (“Troubles,” Hong Yin III)
What should we do as Master’s disciples? Should we waste the time and life Master has given us to seek fame, gain and emotional ties in human society, or truly and solidly do well the three things Master told us to do?
Honoring Our Contract
Some practitioners saw that Master has many contracts signed by Dafa disciples who had volunteered to descend to the human world. Each contract was written on a silk scroll. Each scroll showed clearly what a Dafa disciple would do during Fa-rectification, including sending righteous thoughts.
Dafa disciples have different responsibilities and at the end of each contract there was a line in bold: “Abide by the promise. Never break the promise.”
Those who had signed the contract but did not participate in the Fa-rectification would incur enormous sins, because they broke their promise to the Lord of the universe. These contracts remain valid until the end of the Fa-rectification.
There is an “hourglass” next to each contract and when all the sand has moved to the other side, the Fa-rectification would come to an end. There is indeed not much time left. We truly need to catch up!
Dafa disciples have experienced countless hardships and dangers throughout each of their lifetimes. Master has protected them throughout each lifetime, so that they can obtain the Fa in this lifetime. Thus, every disciple should not miss this precious time.