True Cultivation Entails Diligence and Looking Within
Greetings esteemed Master and fellow practitioners:
I am a 13-years-old Falun Dafa practitioner. At this sharing conference, I wish to tell fellow practitioners my experiences when looking within.
Firmly Believing in Master and the Fa
When I was about to take a shower, I slipped, fell and the back of my head hit the floor. After a few seconds, I opened my eyes and my mind felt blank, numb and painful.
Since I had had a dream about falling down, I was confused. I wondered if I had fallen or if I woke up from my dream. However, I had really fallen, which frightened me.
“We have said that good or evil comes from a person’s spontaneous thought, and the thought at that moment can bring about different consequences.” (Zhuan Falun)
After taking my shower I still felt out of place, so I looked within. I found that I still had a show-off mentality. I denied this attachment and wondered why I still felt numb. I realized that I had the attachment to fear because I remembered an article where it said that if the back of the head was hurt, the eyes would be affected, and it could cause blindness. That was my fear.
I was worried and did not regard myself as a cultivator who would be taken care of by Master. Then, my vision appeared to become a bit blurry. Was this what I had been asking for? I had just read an article on the Minghui website about sending forth righteous thoughts. I discussed the issue with my mother, and she agreed that the numbness was an illusion, which should be denied.
It was time for sending forth righteous thoughts. I decided to clear away all the evil and denied the illusion when I was cleansing my mind during the first five minutes. My head no longer felt numb. When I started to send forth righteous thoughts and silently recited the “mie” word, I could feel that my silent recitation actually sounded loud, as if it were really like what is described in the “Editorial: The Essentials to Sending Forth Righteous Thoughts and the Schedule for Sending Forth Righteous Thoughts at Set Times Around the World (Update 2)”. The Mie word was so strong that it's “as large as the cosmic body, encompassing everything and leaving out nothing in any dimension”.
This was a lesson to be remembered. I had not gotten rid of my fears, nor had I firmly believed in Master and the Fa. I first looked at any trouble from an ordinary person’s perspective. This gap was taken advantage of by the old forces.
“Stick Wake Up”
I started to cultivate with my mother soon after I was born. I was seven years old when my mother was persecuted and taken away by the police and I lost my cultivation environment. I could not resist the temptations from the corrupt environment and developed human attachments. My good innocent nature was covered by a filthy false self and attachments. After arriving in the United Kingdom, I did not really cultivate diligently. Seeking comfort and fun kept me from studying the Fa and doing the exercises.
I often felt my attention wander during Fa-study, the exercises and when sending forth righteous thoughts. It was a shame that I was rarely a better person, instead, I became an ordinary person. I was not diligent, did not cultivate, looked outwardly, and did not do the three things well. I hoped that I would do well in the future, but after a period of time, I forgot what would be best for me.
This year I was lucky to attend the New York Fa Conference, where Master said:
“Dafa disciples are Gods who have descended to the human world with the responsibility to assist Master in saving sentient beings, shouldering the responsibility of saving sentient beings in the lower realms. You may think it does not matter if you personally do not cultivate well, as if it were like the forms of cultivation in the past. So some people are not too diligent, cultivating but not really cultivating. But have you thought about it? You once signed a contract with me when you came to this world, vowing to save those sentient beings. You could then become a Dafa disciple, and you could then do this thing. But you did not fulfill it. You did not completely fulfill your vow, and you cannot even save those beings allotted to you, those you undertook to save, behind whom are countless sentient beings and gigantic groups of beings. What is that?! Is that simply just a matter of not cultivating diligently? That is an extremely serious crime! An unparalleled crime! You say that you will just call out to Master when the time comes and say, “Master, I did not cultivate well.” Is that the end of this? Who can let you pass? Will those old forces let you pass? How serious a matter is this?!” (“Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference”)
From this “stick wake up” I realized that I must be diligent, get rid of human attachments and catch up on the journey of cultivation.
“Looking within is a magical tool”
“For a cultivator, looking within is a magical tool.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference”)
“When you meet with a conflict, it doesn’t matter whether you are in the right. You should be asking yourself, “What on my part isn’t right in this situation? Might it really be that there is something wrong on my part?” You should all be thinking this way, with your first thought being to scrutinize yourself to try to find the problem. Whoever is not like this is not in fact a true cultivator of Dafa. It is a magical tool in our cultivation. This is a distinguishing feature of our Dafa disciples’ cultivation. Whatever it is that you encounter, the first thought should be to scrutinize yourself, and it’s called “looking within.” ” (“What is a Dafa Disciple”)
When I compare myself to the Fa’s standard, I felt that my cultivation state was very poor!
My first reaction reflected my human attachments, such as a tendency to argue, to search outwards for protection, to explain, and to feel that I never make mistakes. I often argued with others, even if I was not in the right. Whenever a conflict troubled me, I tried to escape, rather than look within, get rid of attachments and look for fundamental problems. Through Fa-study and looking within, I found my attachment — trying to protect myself and save face. I did not like anyone to point out my shortcomings.
Looking within showed me that I should study the Fa more, cleanse myself, and resist and deny bad thoughts.
“For a cultivator, all the frustrations he comes across among everyday people are trials, and all the compliments he receives are tests.” (“A Cultivator is Naturally Part of It ” from Essentials For Further Advancement)
When compared to the Fa’s requirements, I was lagging far behind. I felt triumphant when I was flattered. I felt wronged and aggrieved when I was criticized. I did not behave like a cultivator.
Cultivation is no Trifling Matter
When I was in the queue at the college canteen, two girls from a senior class cut infront of me. I thought that everyone was getting their food and no one was privileged to cut in line. Then, I was glad that they would lose virtue. I felt aggrieved, wanting to fight and being narrow-minded. I really got angry, was not compassionate, and did not consider the needs of others.
One of the two girls asked me if I was alright, and I nodded in response. Then, the other girl said that I was lovely. I immediately became very happy with a smile on my face. I was no longer angry.
This incident made me look within for my human attachments, such as feeling aggrieved, fighting, taking pleasure in others’ misfortune, being resentful, vanity, showing off, and wanting to be praised. I did not expect that a seemingly minor incident could reflect so many attachments. Cultivation is not a trifling matter! Each attachment can pull us down, stops us from making progress, and hinders us from doing well with Dafa practitioners’ tasks.
Old Forces' Interference
Practitioners in Britain held a peaceful protest in August opposite the Chinese Embassy against the Chinese regime's stopping Wang Zhiwen from immigrating to the United States.
Despite the heat, I held a banner. Then, I felt cold and weak. My eyes became blurred and I could not see clearly fellow practitioners’ facial expressions. A practitioner advised me to take a break. I went to a restroom and lay down on a couch. A few fellow practitioners came to encourage me.
“Could it be the old forces interfering with me,” I thought after a while, “and stop me from participating in the protest? Perhaps, I should look within!”
Major Attachments to be Discarded
Showing off: I have the attachments to showing off and vanity, which displayed themselves just recently. An article about sickness karma talked about a fellow practitioner being hospitalized, I thought that I would not have gone to the hospital. Thus, sickness came to me, as I had asked for it. Then, when I held a banner, I wished that our photographer would take a photo of me. I did not regard it as a wrong thought, rather, I felt especially pleased.
Desire for comfort: Fa-study and exercises were at different times. Thus, I was interfered with by the demon of sleep. I relied on my mother to wake me up in the morning, but she sometimes failed to do so. Thus, I often missed the time for sending forth righteous thoughts early in the morning.
Respecting Master and the Fa: When I study the Fa, I blow my nose, drink water, sit in a slouched position, and visit the restroom sometimes.
Attachment of watching TV. I used to watch television (TV) to improve my English. Then, it became a habit.
Electronic Products Temptation
Electronic products are of great temptation to humans. They strengthen human’s demon nature and make humans go with the tide. While in China, especially during the two years when my mother was persecuted, I became addicted to playing games and watching TV upon finishing my homework.
Since I came to Britain, I needed to improve my English language skills and learn more about its society. Thus, my parents allowed me to watch English TV programs. On the outset, I felt bored, which changed into an addiction. I turned on the TV when I got up and the programs distracted my thoughts when I was reading Dafa books, sending righteous thoughts and doing the exercises.
“I have just said, everything in this world is attracting you, not letting you obtain the Fa. Not just you, all parents and governments in the world know about this situation, but no one can do anything! This involves not just the issue of people obtaining the Fa. People have also been so affected that they cannot work well, cannot focus on their studies, and they spend a large amount of time on the computer and electronic games—these things tempt you to watch and play them. This is no longer a human state. From antiquity till today humans have not had this state. This is aliens’ technology, and demons are utilizing it to get you hooked, get you to abandon everything you have, and have you devote yourself to it. It’s wasting your life, yet you are loath to put it down! Even from the perspective of being human you are not right, let alone in cultivation.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference”)
Most TV programs contain degenerated substances, although they appear to be good on the surface.
“The way it manifests directly here among human beings can be seen in the outward behavior of today’s youth, who are irresponsible, undisciplined, and lack self-control. They shout and scream, dance bizarrely to music, and play video games. In short, their minds are filled with those things of the so-called modern lifestyle.” (Teaching the Fa at the Eastern U.S. Fa Conference)
Controlled by Television Programs
How can I, a practitioner, be controlled by that degenerated stuff? This was as far as my thoughts reminded me, but it was not enough to stop me from turning on the TV. Because of those seemingly “not harmful” programs, I became sluggish and began to focus on my appearance.
I wondered if my attachment made me voluntarily jump into the mud? It had to stop, but instead of taking the Fa to heart, I was lured by the TV programs and watched more and more. I felt very disappointed in myself.
One day I dreamed that I was deceived by a character in a TV program and my mind told me that I had to put an end to this habit. However, my addiction held me in its grasp. I even switched between English and Chinese language programs.
The demon’s goal was to stop me from assimilating into the Fa. I knew that I must study the Fa more and do the exercises more. If I could do well in cultivation, there would be less interference.
TV was no more than wasting time. Time is precious, and Master is buying time for us, so we could fulfill what we promised. I did not cultivate well and watched too much TV. I was interfered with by thought karma and could not calm down when sending righteous thoughts and doing the exercises. How could I do well in saving sentient beings?
“When we've passed through this part of history and we take a look back, if every Dafa disciple is able to say, "I've done what I was supposed to do," (applause) then that's the most extraordinary. (Long applause) But, there are a lot of students who've done a disservice to themselves, and who haven't fulfilled what they wanted to do and what history bestowed upon them. The good thing is, this persecution hasn't yet ended completely, so there are still chances. As for how to make amends and what to do, that's up to you.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Washington DC Fa Conference” from Teaching the Fa at the Conference IV)
Laziness is of Demon-nature
“One’s Buddha-nature is Shan, and it manifests itself as compassion, thinking of others before acting, and the ability to endure suffering. One’s demon-nature is viciousness, and it manifests as killing, stealing and robbing, selfishness, wicked thoughts, sowing discord, stirring up troubles by spreading rumors, jealousy, wickedness, anger, laziness, incest and so on.” (“Buddha-Nature and Demon-Nature” from Essentials For Further Advancement)
Laziness is a subset of demon-nature. I did not pay attention to this Fa teaching before. While enjoying my summer holidays, sleep overcame me often and I slept until past eight every morning. There were only a few times when I got up for the five a.m. sending of righteous thoughts, and rarely did I do the exercises. Although my mother tried to get me up and about, she rarely succeeded. Yet, I became jealous when she told me that she had done the exercises. Luckily I quickly realized my laziness attachment and eliminated it.
When I looked within, I found that laziness results from a heart of enjoying comfort and not wanting to endure hardship. All this time I did not pay attention to the interference from laziness, and it stopped me from doing the three things well.
After sending forth righteous thoughts the demon which made me feel sleepy kept on telling me to go back to sleep with all kinds of excuses. It was the time to test whether my main consciousness was strong enough.
“Have you ever thought of the fact that practicing cultivation is the best form of rest? You can obtain the kind of rest that can’t be obtained through sleeping. Nobody would say: “The exercises are making me so tired that I can’t do anything today.” One would only say: “The exercises are making my whole body relaxed and at ease. I don’t feel sleepy after a sleepless night. I feel full of energy. It doesn’t seem to bother me at all after a day’s work.” Isn’t this the case? So if someone who doesn’t come out to do the exercises says that he has no time or uses other excuses, I’d say that it’s completely because he doesn’t have a deep understanding of the Fa and lacks the will to make painstaking efforts.” (Lecture at the First Conference in North America)
Tolerance Teaches Seeing Others' Strengths
I read a sharing paper, in which an elderly fellow was asked: “How is the practitioners’ xinxing in your area?” The elderly practitioner replied: “I think every one of them is like a treasure, very precious!”
This remark touched me deeply. The practitioner was tolerant and saw the strengths of others, while I always looked for people's weaknesses. I am very negative and see only what is bad in a person.
One of my classmates was often heard swearing. I held no compassion for her and did not look inside either, but began to hate her and thought how could she be like this. I did not cultivate my speech and complained about her to a friend. The response was not what I expected. This friend said that I was too negative. Actually, she thought that that girl was wonderful and had not noticed what I complained about. I felt ashamed that an ordinary person was tolerant, while I was not.
I should look at the strengths of others, study the Fa more, assimilate to the Fa principles Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, cultivate diligently, and consider others first.
Doing the Three Things Well
Studying the Fa
“Dafa disciples’ ensuring your daily cultivation practice is essential; clarifying the truth and saving people is Dafa disciples’ mission. On the path to Consummation, neither of these two things can be lacking. How well you do them reflects your cultivation state, as to whether or not you are diligent.” (“A Reminder”)
When I compared myself to the Fa, I found that I did not do well. I did the exercises for three days and then relaxed for two days. This was my attachment to laziness and comfort.
Although I have improved, I still do not do the exercises consistently. Sometimes I do not do them because I am busy with ordinary people’s things. I can concentrate relatively well when studying the Fa on my own, but different kinds of thought karma would disturb me during group Fa study. After eliminating one thought another would emerge, and my mind could simply not be clear and clean. Therefore, the Fa could not be obtained even though I was reading it. I still have not read all of Master's Fa teachings. My goal is to fish reading all of His teachings soon.
Sending Righteous Thoughts
My mind is not clean when sending righteous thoughts. I also miss sending righteous thoughts at the four global times. This is really a serious issue, as sending righteous thoughts is one of the things Master asked of His disciples.
My cultivation state has not improved for a long time. I need to deny the interference from thought karma especially since it affects my studying the Fa, doing the exercises and sending forth righteous thoughts. I need to be a true cultivator. Fa rectification is not over yet; I still have the opportunity. I am determined to keep up with the Fa rectification process at a running speed.
Telling People the Facts About Dafa
I go to the British Museum to clarify the truth about Dafa. During the tourist season, there are a lot of people from throughout the world. However, I was unable to talk to people from mainland China for a long time.
My mother tongue is Chinese, so I do not have a language barrier. The main reason was the fear of being verbally abused and ridiculed, as well as the fear of losing face. I took off whenever I saw mainland Chinese tourists. I was well aware of the importance and urgency of saving people. I also understood I have to pass this test. Finally, I got up my courage but my mind was blank, and I had no idea how to go about talking to these people.
Every time I gave Dafa informational materials, including newspapers to students from Mainland China, I felt sad when I saw their expressions full of numbness, indifference, fear and ridicule.
My heart was filled with gratitude to Master whenever I saw these people. Without Dafa, I would also be like them. I know just how lucky I am. I feel even more compassion for those sentient beings. I think if I helped to save my fellow Chinese people, they will not be buried along with the evil party when it is destroyed. Whenever I think about this, my heart is full of compassion, and I hand out Dafa materials. After attaining the right my mindset, the effect of truth clarification was good.
“Right now every minute and every second is crucial. If you miss out during this period of time, you miss out on everything. History won't recur. The history of the cosmos and the Three Realms have gone through so many, long, long years--what have all the beings been waiting for? What are they all here for? For exactly these few years! Yet there are [Dafa] students who are squandering their lives during these few years, not seizing the time. And yet you are shouldering such huge responsibilities for all beings and for history!” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Atlanta Fa Conference” from Teaching the Fa at the Conference IV )
Thank you, Master and fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2016 UK Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)