The Difference Between “Reading” and “Studying” the Fa
(Minghui.org) My school superiors one day asked me to sit in on a class being taught by a model teacher. The teacher looked around the room after reading a short essay and said, “All those who feel they can recite the essay, raise your hand.”
About 85% of the students raised their hands. When the teacher asked two students to recite the essay, they were able to do so. The teacher then smiled and asked, “Can you now tell me the general meaning of the essay?” One of the two students was able to do so, while the other was not.
Upon recalling this class, I suddenly remembered a paragraph in a sharing article on the Minghui website. In the article, three practitioners had just finished reading the section on “guanding” in Lecture Four of Zhuan Falun.
One practitioner turned to her left and asked, “What is guanding?” That person said, “I don't know.” The practitioner then asked the person to her right the same question. The practitioner replied, “Guanding is to enhance your energy potency.” This was not the right answer.
I know some veteran practitioners who've read Zhuan Falun hundreds or perhaps even a thousand times. However, how much of even the superficial meaning of Zhuan Falun do they understand?
What is guanding? What's the reason why some practitioners don't increase their gong? What's the process that transforms the white matter and black matter into each other?
I feel it's imperative that we comprehend what we're reading. I've recited the Fa for several years. My understanding is that reading, transcribing, and reciting are all “forms” of studying the Fa. The most important thing is to understand the Fa through these forms.
Although one of the school students in the above example was able to recite the essay, he was unable to understand its meaning. Isn't this similar to the two practitioners who read the section on guanding, but did not understand its meaning?
“We should look not only at the tools’ appearance, but also at their effectiveness.” (Zhuan Falun)
I believe that we shouldn't emphasize only reading or memorizing the Fa (the “tools”), but truly focus on understanding it. Then the “effect” will be different.
During the past several years, I've recited the Fa by reading each sentence and seeing if I understood its meaning in the context of the paragraph that I was reading. I found that I was able to recite the entire paragraph after doing this just a few times.
Reciting the Fa should be based on understanding the content of what we're reciting; it's not merely an exercise in memorization. Actually, reciting the Fa represents only one of many forms of cultivation. The most important aspect of reciting the Fa is our degree of understanding.
Now, when I read Zhuan Falun and fellow practitioners' articles, or run into some conflict, the Fa's principles immediately appear in my mind. It's in this way that the Fa teaches and guides me in my daily life.