My Understanding of Emphasizing Virtue in Cultivation
(Minghui.org) Fellow practitioners and I had recently talked about how old schools of cultivation are interfering with Falun Dafa disciples.
It appears that many practitioners have isolated themselves from the secular world, which, of course, makes it harder to save sentient beings. In addition, non-practitioners—and even their family members—often fail to understand us and the things that we do.
Many people, especially Chinese, think that living in isolated temples in tall mountains, is one of the hallmarks of a true cultivation way. However, practitioners need to be very clear on this point, otherwise we might not meet Dafa's requirements.
Master told us that no past cultivation school is able to serve as a reference or guide in our current cultivation practice. The old forces claim that they're only familiar with traditional cultivation methods and schools. Thus, they dare to damage Master's painstaking arrangements. If we are not clear about Dafa cultivation, we might fall prey to the old forces' arrangements, instead of following Master's arrangements.
Some practitioners feel that our path of cultivation is nearing the end. They're filled with angst, impatience, and fear. However, being anxious about some future event cannot, in and of itself, improve one's character.
For example, our Dafa-related media should be rooted in the ordinary world. Yet, key personnel have avoided interacting with everyday people for so long that it's now hard for their media projects to gain a foothold in society.
Being isolated from the secular world can cause one to look at things from a very subjective angle. Not only would we have less contact with everyday people, but we would also find it harder to understand them.
Some practitioners are afraid of being negatively influenced by ordinary society, thus they stay to themselves. Whatever these practitioners do is often misunderstood by the people around them. Isn't this counter-productive to our mission in the world?
If we take discarding traditional forms as a criterion for cultivation, we would not care about the future, nor would we be able to calm down and learn from everyday people. In addition, our realm and ability to save sentient beings would not improve. Then, how can our experiences be used as a reference for future generations?
Master always stresses virtue in His teachings. I recently enlightened to the fact that virtue is a very important part of Dafa cultivation. However, many practitioners don't seem to take it seriously.
“Some qigong masters say, 'It’s pretty easy for somebody who doesn’t care about virtue to do bad things after he gets abilities.' I’d say that’s wrong. It’s not like that at all. If you don’t care about virtue, if you don’t cultivate your character, your abilities won’t come out one bit.” (“The Second Talk,” Zhuan Falun)
“How many people are there who have proper thoughts when they do qigong exercises? When a person practices qigong he has to take virtue seriously, do good things for others, and be kind—he should discipline himself this way in every action and in every circumstance.” (“The Third Talk,” Zhuan Falun)
Think about it. If we don't care about virtue or improving our xinxing, we're apt to become attached to various forms of cultivation instead of the essence of cultivation. If this was the case, wouldn't our cultivation amount to nothing more than a change of lifestyle?
Going to extremes not only negatively effects Dafa, it also makes it harder to clarify the truth, save sentient beings, and eliminate the evil in other dimensions.
Master taught us,
“If you are always compassionate and friendly to others, if you always consider other people when you do things, and whenever you have issues with other people you first think about whether they can take it or whether it will cause them harm, then you won’t have any problem.” (“The Fourth Talk,” Zhuan Falun)
I also enlightened to the fact that thinking of others first, is a prerequisite to being a good person in society, and a necessary step in improving our character. Under the guidance of Dafa, one starts out being a good person, continuously ascends, and eventually reaches a divine realm. Can this be achieved while being a part of ordinary society? Of course it can!
When a problem comes up in our cultivation, is it because we didn't pay attention to virtue, didn't think of others first, or didn't act like a good person with a high moral character?
Our practice cultivates one's main consciousness while living in the ordinary world. Getting rid of attachments doesn't mean giving up our normal way of life. Everyone and everything in this world came here for Dafa. Our work and family environments represent small cosmoses, which are established by Dafa.
It's exactly in these environments that we can ascend, enlighten to divine truths, save sentient beings, and validate Dafa. If we push these lives away; if we insist on avoiding ordinary people—due to our human attachments—then these lives or cosmic systems will have come here in vain.
In addition, to be a good person, one cannot be attached to time. If Master didn't extend the lives of this dimension, and if His cultivation system was not brought out to the public, this plane of reality would have been destroyed a long time ago.
Our lives are being extended because we practice Dafa. Doesn't this represent a new beginning, instead of an ending? Since the old universe is definitely going to end, why would we still be attached to time?
I enlightened to the fact that we should think of our eternal status, what we'll become in the future, and for all eternity, if we follow the principles ofTruthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
Some practitioners think: “There's very little time left before Fa-rectification, so I must hurry up and act like a good person!” Aren't' these people behaving themselves well only because there's “little time left”? Isn't their sole intent to save themselves?
What will they do after this cosmic episode concludes? Will they finally feel relieved and relaxed? “Whew! I just made it in the nick of time!” Is a good person good only when it suits his needs or desires? Being a good person for all eternity should be the goal.
We can't cultivate ourselves with any pre-conditions attached. Whatever realm we'll reach in the future was made possible by following Dafa. There are no short cuts in cultivation practice.
Actually, we did not come here to conclude anything. We want all lives to continue their existence in the new universe. We want to help all sentient beings become better, along with us.
So, in a sense, we're like parents. Won't we be responsible for the sentient beings in our own future universes? Doesn't this represent an eternal, new beginning, instead of an ending?
Viewing things from this perspective will help us calm down so that we can learn new things in the world, initiate contact with ordinary people, and make long-term business goals.
Isn't Shen Yun Performing Arts a long-term project? Isn't Master providing us with an example of how to view things in the ordinary world? Why can't we learn from Master? Is it because of the influence of old cultivation schools and our attachment to time?
Shen Yun consists of a group of professionally trained practitioners. However, they still have to attend lectures and take exams, in order to learn everyday peoples' knowledge.
If Shen Yun was based on the teachings of old cultivation schools, and if the project was run by practitioners—like other Dafa-related projects—wouldn't most of us think that practicing dancing skills was an attachment? Then, wouldn't it be impossible for Shen Yun to reach international standards?
Isn't it our attachment to old cultivation schools' ideas, and our attachment to time, the main reasons why practitioners involved in Dafa projects make very little effort to improve their professional skills?
If we could view our long-term project goals without the interference of old cultivation schools, without various human notions of cultivating in isolation, and without the attachment to time, wouldn't we feel that there are countless sentient beings that still need to be saved?
We would further realize that our professional and social skills need to be improved in order to effectively interact with and save the people at each social strata.
If we all thought this way, not only would we stop being anxious about when the Fa-rectification of the human world will begin, but we'd sincerely hope that its arrival could be delayed, in order to save more sentient beings!