Rejecting Negative Thoughts
(Minghui.org) Greetings, esteemed Master and fellow practitioners.
Sometimes, it is difficult to keep a stable mind and not be disturbed by negative factors that tell me that nothing is being accomplished. It is telling me that my efforts in saving people are not making an impact and that it is difficult to reach people. Actually, my trying to save more people on a large scale makes me feel that I cannot complete my mission as I should. This is not a correct state, because it makes me passive when doing things.
Cultivating without any pursuit gives the best results. However, because of incorrect thoughts, negative things are also getting an opportunity to enter my field. After a while, it might make me feel uncertain about myself, and a question enters my mind: “Is my cultivation going in the right direction? How do I know if I'm doing what is right?”
I have read many stories about practitioners who were very diligent in their cultivation and very active, but they still passed away because many attachments had not been cultivated away. These attachments were hidden to everyone, including the person him or herself. How do we know whether what we do is good enough?
The lack of a determined heart to cultivate just as in the beginning brings out bad thoughts and makes me doubtful. They whisper that I better slow down and live a full life in this world, do less of the Dafa exercises, and do whatever else is fun. This is the result of negative factors entering my mind, sowing doubt at a certain time during my cultivation. When I encounter these types of thoughts, I become aware of them and know that my main consciousness is awake and recognizes the problems.
Eliminating negative factors during the first five minutes of sending righteous thoughts is very powerful and helpful. After a while, the negative thoughts in my field disappear, and, at the same time, I become more sure of myself and strong in my cultivation. I realize that this is what Teacher told us in Zhuan Falun and that we will be tested time and time again to see if we are determined in our cultivation.
“At a certain point in time, you will be made unable to discern clearly whether something is true, whether your gong exists, whether you can practice cultivation and make it, or whether there are Buddhas and if they are real. In the future, these situations will surface again to give you this false impression and make you feel as though they do not exist and are all false—it is to see whether you are determined.” (“Your mind must be righteous” in Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)
I realize now that this is a part of my cultivation. I have to improve my xinxing so that bad things can be removed and my level can rise.
In this complicated environment of everyday people, I find that I do not always behave like a practitioner.
I do not always hold compassion for all beings and fellow practitioners. This also makes it difficult to move on, because it may create negative thoughts about others and myself. Therefore, sending righteous thoughts will bring about greater compassion for practitioners and all beings. There are times when I try to make compassion a habit, hoping that I can always maintain this state. However, it became clear how difficult it is to keep myself in that state. I often forget about compassion, especially when living my life in this world of illusion.
I also know that this is because my level has not reached the purity of a diligent and steadfast practitioner, and I should focus on cultivating my xinxing. Entering deep tranquility when meditating is not a problem, but there's not always the sense of compassion I should achieve.
When doing the fifth exercise, the attachments of another practitioner came to my mind. I could not understand why this person acted the way she did. Immediately after having this thought, I realized this was not correct and that my mind should not create any negative thoughts; rather, it must be empty.
Then, a crying child appeared, a boy of about 10 years who looked very pure. I wanted to help him and went closer. While looking at him, I could sense everything he was thinking, and he also knew all that was on my mind.
Then, I knew that this child cried because of the attachments of the same practitioner I had thought about. This boy was not condemning this person, but he felt helpless for being unable to find a way to help eliminate this practitioner’s attachments.
Looking deeper into this boy's mind, I realized that he was even crying for me, for the negative feelings I had towards this practitioner. He showed me that it was creating more karma and difficulties in my cultivation and to the one body. He saw that my heart was not one of compassion but one of condemnation, and that was the reason he cried.
I could see that he felt terrible and deeply anxious for not being able to help us, and he held deep worry for me. Watching this pure boy made me feel ashamed, and tears covered my face. The difference between me and the state of that boy was enormous. He had nothing to do with me or that other practitioner; he only worried about both of us and wanted to help us to give up our attachments.
The compassion he displayed was something I had never experienced. It will be difficult to reach it in this human dimension, but I must do my best. At the least, I must try to forgive everything and everyone, and be thankful when treated unfairly.
To improve in my cultivation, I need to have a heart of compassion instead of condemnation when I see attachments or things that appear to be wrong. I should try to find a solution to help others or let them see their problems. That is true compassion toward others.
Saving More Sentient Beings
Because time passes quickly, I often think of ways to reach more people. Participating in a parade seemed like a good way for many people to learn about the beauty of Falun Dafa. Thus, I contacted the organizer of a nearby town’s annual parade, in which we had already participated five years ago.
The organizer was very happy to have the Tian Guo Marching Band back in the parade. When I met him, I saw that he he still had three lotus flowers hanging on his wall from five years ago.
It would not be easy to organize this parade because of the Shen Yun performance one and a half months before the parade. Besides, I wanted to build a float on which several practitioners could do the fifth exercise. At the last parade five years ago, we pulled a small wagon, and a practitioner was sitting on it in the lotus position. This year, I wanted to make it more beautiful.
My wife did not like the idea, because we had just bought a brand new car, and I wanted to build the float around that car. She worried that we would damage it, but I promised that we would be very careful. It was all new to me, and I did not want to occupy other practitioners’ time because of Shen Yun, so I started to work on it by myself.
Because of the promotion effort for Shen Yun, the work on the float was delayed. After the Shen Yun performances, it became clear how much still needed to be done. There were also many other things, such as hotel arrangements and food for the marching band that had to be arranged. We needed other practitioners to get involved. When the deadline drew near, I grew more anxious. It came to a point that my forbearance was at its limit and my state was not stable anymore. There were moments when I wished I had never started building this float.
This was an indication of my xinxing level. I regretted the moments when I was a little hard on other practitioners and even everyday people. I hoped that they could forgive me. During this difficult time, I dreamed that a huge ship was waiting a short distance from us. It was so huge that I couldn't see the top, back, or front. It was not in the water but on the ground. Together with my family and many, many other practitioners, we were trying to persuade all people we encountered to believe in Dafa. We tried to convince them to get on this ship that would bring them to eternity. Practitioners were in a hurry, and many people had already taken their places. We all knew there wasn't much time; once the ship started to leave, the opportunity to save the people in that area would be gone. There would not be a second chance. Every person I could persuade gave me an unbelievably happy, warm feeling.
I believe that this dream was to encourage me to go on with the work and not slow down. There are still so many people walking around who have not learned the truth.
Remembering all my troubles, I think that they were arranged to test my xinxing and endurance.
I see my shortcomings when facing difficult situations, even when I lost my temper. All of them were caused by my attachments. Cultivating without difficulties is not cultivation. I try to achieve and maintain a harmonious state of compassion when encountering difficulties.
The parade went very well. When I saw people’s happy faces and applause when they saw practitioners making an effort to let them know about Falun Dafa, the difficulties and problems I encountered vanished as if they had never existed.
(Presented at the 2017 European Fa Conference)