Fulfilling My Mission Under Master’s Infinite Grace
(Minghui.org) It's been five years since I started practicing Falun Dafa. I didn’t know at that time that I had found the supreme Fa of the universe and that I'd be given the enormous opportunity and honor to become a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple, under the grace of our most compassionate Master.
During these five years, I’ve gradually learned that our responsibility is huge as we are responsible for the salvation of the people of the world, once Buddhas, Taos and Gods that descended to obtain the Fa. But also for the beings inside our universes, since our body is a huge cosmos filled with magnificent beings we need to save.
And of course, as Master explained to us, cultivation is the key. If you don't cultivate well not only will you not manage to save the high-level beings who descended here because you don't meet the standard, you will also ruin your own beings and realms. I have directly experienced this on my own.
Anger Can Destroy Your Realms
Along the journey of cultivation, one of the things I enlightened to, unfortunately kind of late, was that when you have thoughts not in line with Dafa’s principles you should not accept them, even if sometimes they may seem true or logical. You must eliminate them fast. Because if you accept them, and you start “talking” to them in your mind, they will grow stronger and stronger and it will be harder for you to get rid of them.
Master said: “When all messages, living beings, and cells in your body are obtaining gong, the Assistant Soul is certainly obtaining it as well...” (“Whoever Practices Cultivation Will Obtain Gong,” Lecture 8, Zhuan Falun)
In my limited understanding, the same thing happens with the negative thoughts and attachments... If you don't cut them off, they receive energy and it becomes harder to get rid of them, especially when you think they are part of you. How could Master help you if you go along with these thoughts and think they are part of you?
Talking about nurturing bad thoughts, my worst enemy in cultivation has been emotions, anger especially. Although I know that feelings play the role of demons for a cultivator, although I know anger is an emotion a cultivator should not accept, when facing certain situations I used to think that... anger is not right but sometimes it is justified. So, I grew a demon in my mind.
I am working for The Epoch Times. I always thought that our articles should be very good, so that people can appreciate and respect us, this way being easier for them to accept the truth clarification articles. Therefore, when somebody made mistakes regarding the articles, I used to get angry, as I thought his/her mistakes were affecting or even ruining our work of saving sentient beings. This was especially so when it was about articles through which I knew we would reach new groups of people. But one day I received a lesson I would never forget. I would like to share it with you, as maybe it will be useful to other practitioners.
One day, I went with a colleague of mine that was in charge of filming to a protest that was far away from the office. It was held by a group of people we hadn’t reached before. It took us a lot of time to get there, to talk to people, to take interviews and so on. We returned to the office and I wrote the article trying to make it as good as possible, so the people at the protest would really appreciate it. After the long effort, the article was ready. But the editor had the idea to rewrite the first paragraph in such an awful manner that I felt the article was shameful. That moment I was not angry, but in a rage, feeling that the person who did this ruined all my efforts and all the work was in vain. I didn't argue with that person (not because I refrained myself as I should have done, but because that practitioner was not there), but the anger didn't leave me alone all day long and it burned like a fire inside me. In the evening when I arrived home, I had a vision that level after level of my realms were being crushed, destroyed. I can't describe in words the feeling I had. I knew all my beings in those realms were not saved because of my indignation.
“Some people do not have a very strong Main Consciousness and will comply with the thought karma to commit wrongdoing. Such people will be ruined and drop in levels. Most people, however, can remove and resist it with very strong thoughts from themselves (a strong Main Consciousness). With this, it indicates that this person can be saved and can distinguish good from bad. In other words, the person has good enlightenment quality. My fashen will help eliminate most of such thought karma. This situation is seen frequently.” (“Your Main Consciousness Should Predominate,” Lecture 6, Zhuan Falun)
That's what might have happened. Because of the anger, I felt the realms where I couldn't stay were destroyed. Or, hopefully, I was just offered a preview of what embracing anger can do. I was desperate. I started crying and implored Master for help, to stop the destruction of those worlds and the death of the beings there. Then, the vision stopped.
Unfortunately although I received such a strong lesson, over the years I allowed anger to manifest in me, because I considered it somehow justified. It grew strong and I couldn't make it disappear and from time to time I fell again.
So, recently, I received a second lesson: I was at an event where I was supposed to take some interviews. It was late in the evening and I was tired. At a certain point somebody said something that offended me and at that moment I felt the anger growing. Of course, I realized that I am a practitioner and I shouldn't allow it to manifest, and that it is a test and I need to look within instead of getting all worked up, but it was too late. After just a few seconds of anger, before having time to stop it, I heard a big noise: the electrical panel of the building, (the transformer), exploded. So we remained without power and the event was canceled.
It was the second time when Master showed me the destructive effects of anger. I didn't manage to completely resolve this problem but I am working hard in this direction. I no longer want to accept the thought that others’ mistakes give me the right to be angry although the mistakes may indeed impact our work. Sometimes I succeed, sometimes I do not. But I hope with more study and with the help of our venerable Master I will win the fight with this demon called anger. I would like that my fellow practitioners know how dangerous it is to indulge such a feeling.
Fear Can Kill
Last spring, I went hiking in the mountains. At the beginning the path I was walking was fine. The weather was nice, the grass was green... beautiful. But as I was going higher up the mountain, it was no longer green and nice, and the path was covered with snow. I kept walking anyhow thinking that it wouldn’t become any worse. But it did. At a certain point I found myself on a very sloping valley. The path was invisible and I was stepping on melting snow, on a very inclined valley. Wherever I set my foot, the snow did not support me but slid down into the valley. I was in danger of falling. I was alone with no one to help me around. And I started to feel scared.
At that moment I remembered what Master says :
“With this fear, it may indeed bring this person some trouble. Once you are scared, it is an attachment of fear. Isn’t that an attachment? Once your attachment surfaces, shouldn’t it be removed? The more you fear it, the sicker you will look. This attachment of yours must be removed. You will be made to learn from this lesson so that your fear can be removed, and you can advance.” (“Cultivation Insanity,” Lecture 6, Zhuan Falun)
So I told myself that I should refuse to accept fear in my mind. I kept going toward the top of the mountain. There was no way back, for I would have fallen. Fear often tried to overcome me but I did not accept it. When I reached the top, from where I was going to descend on a more accessible route, I clearly heard a voice that said: "If you were afraid, we would have killed you!"
Look Within, Not Outside
Unfortunately, although I knew a cultivator should only look inside to find his/her own shortcomings, not at what other people do, many times I used to be unhappy that some practitioners don't do enough or that sometimes they don't do a proper job. I used to be very critical. But Master kindly reminded me that that's not what a practitioner should do.
So, one day, when I was returning home, I looked up to a building and saw, through a large window, two people sitting still not making a single move. I stopped and looked, intrigued by the fact that those people were like two statutes, without moving a bit. I started to wonder: What are they doing? Are they watching TV? If so, why don't they talk to one another from time to time, and so on... I spent a few minutes watching them. And an idea came to me: Watching what other people are doing made me stop walking. I have enlightened to the fact that in cultivation you should concentrate on how to advance steadfastly and vigorously, not on what other people are doing. Otherwise you'll lose time and energy, and you will be delayed in walking your cultivation path and fulfilling your mission. I thanked our Master for this valuable lesson.
Another mistake I made in cultivation was that when I encountered interference in my Fa-rectification work I sometimes sent righteous thoughts without looking inside, although Master said that interference without a reason is not allowed. So the following thing happened to me: Every evening when I returned home from work, the stray dogs near my block started to bark at me, loudly. I refused to be afraid of them and sent righteous thoughts. This happened a few evenings, one after another. One evening the barking dogs almost reached me and I felt in danger of being bitten. They were close to me. That moment I thought: There must be a reason they are allowed to do this. I must look within.
The moment I had this righteous thought, I looked at the dogs: although still barking, their tails were wagging and they were looking friendly at me. They stopped barking and left. They have never bothered me since. I understood from that experience that whenever I encounter problems, I shouldn't content myself with sending righteous thoughts to eliminate it but I also have to look within.
Power of the Righteous Thoughts
At the very beginning of my cultivation, when I understood that our mission is to save sentient beings, the first thing I did was to hand out truth-clarification flyers to people on the street. At that time I was full of notions that prevented me from doing this well. My gong wasn't high enough to dissolve evil factors that prevented people from obtaining the truth and probably the demons also interfered, trying to discourage me and make me give up. So, almost all the people I met on the streets refused to take flyers from me. Until one day, an idea came to me: Why don't I send righteous thoughts? So, I started to send righteous thoughts and, “surprise”, suddenly almost all people were taking the flyers and thanked me.
I've seen the power of righteous thoughts many times. The most obvious was in the situation when our colleagues experienced technical problems with the video/recording equipment at events. Most of the time, only a few moments after we started to send righteous thoughts they were able to fix the problem.
One day I was at a truth-clarification activity along with another veteran practitioner. It was a little bit after noon and just a few people passed by. And even fewer stopped to talk to us. Suddenly it started to rain. It was a cold rain and we were freezing. Despite the cold we refused to give up and go home. We found some shelter under a tree determined not to leave. And surprise... People on the street started to stop by and talk to us. They all received the truth-clarification flyers and signed the petition we had with us.
I understood from that experience that when we are making sacrifices we increase our virtue, we upgrade our xinxing, we impress the higher beings and so we are allowed to save more sentient beings.
I had another stunning experience related to sacrifice and compassion last year in Munich. It was November, Monday morning I think, a day after the Fa conference in Munich and we were having a truth-clarification activity in the central market of the city. It was snowing in the morning. When I arrived, there were only a few practitioners doing the exercises. My first thought was: Wow, it's snowing so hard, I will get soaked. I'll have no place to change my clothes, it’s going to be tough. I realized immediately that this was not a righteous thought, I eliminated it and joined my fellow cultivators for exercises. Ten or fifteen minutes later it stopped snowing.
All day long we did the exercises by rotation and gave flyers to people and clarified the truth to them. By the end of the evening, after long hours on the street in such cold weather, I guess practitioners were tired. I felt that the truth-clarification activity was at a deadlock. Fewer and fewer people were talking to practitioners and fewer and fewer of them were signing the petition to stop organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China. Suddenly one of the organizers called for practitioners to come and do exercise five. Despite the fact that it was so cold and the day was so long, a few practitioners took off their shoes and started to meditate. A few moments later I felt an incredible wave of compassion filling the market. I can't describe to you in words how beautiful it was. I wasn't the only one that felt it. The people around changed their attitude. Suddenly they stood in line to sign the petition. I even heard some people saying: God bless you!
Don't Try to Solve Problems, But Try to Eliminate Your Attachment
In the past, it was hard for me to deal with the cold. But in the office I had a colleague who, in the winter, no matter how cold it was outside, used to widely open the windows. Besides the fact that I was cold, I was very upset by the fact that she was doing that although she knew perfectly well that I was cold and that it was bothering me a lot. No matter how many times I asked her to stop, she kept doing that. One day, tired of getting upset and failing all my tests I decided: Okay, I'll handle the cold without getting angry with her. That's it, I won't be upset anymore. And I wasn't.
A few minutes later, our coordinator came and asked her to move and work in another room if she insisted on keeping the window open, which she did for a while. So, the problem stopped only when I changed, not before.
To conclude, one day while in meditation, Master gave me a magnificent vision. It's hard to describe it in words: It was like a sky “had flourished” in front of my celestial eye, filled with millions of shining stars, brilliant and beautiful. And in front of such a magnificent scene, all the xinxing conflicts and frictions that used to torment me seemed petty and meaningless. I understand now that I no longer should complain about others or be afraid of hardship, but instead I have to concentrate on cultivation, so I can return home to the beautifully shining cosmos that I belong to, not alone, but with all the sentient beings I have to save and with my mission accomplished.
(Presented at the 2017 European Fa Conference)