Returning to the Basics of Cultivation Got Me Out of a Downward Spiral
(Minghui.org) I was very diligent in my cultivation from the time I started to practice Falun Dafa until Shen Yun Performing Arts left the Czech Republic in 2016.
After that, my cultivation really slowed down, but I wasn't exactly sure why. Now I think it was due to my inability to tolerate criticism because of my attachments to reputation and comfort.
It probably started during the all-consuming preparations for the show. I started thinking about taking a break and getting some rest. After the last show, I felt tremendous relief but, at the same time, my sense of Master's compassion, which had been omnipresent and all-fulfilling, seemed to have disappeared.
I then started to feel alone and physically and mentally exhausted. But I wasn't overly concerned, because I was sure that, as my character elevated, I would again feel the unstoppable power of Dafa.
I didn’t know that it would be a longer and harder detour than I expected. When I did the exercises, I couldn’t calm my mind and was disturbed by many thoughts. I couldn’t concentrate when I meditated and never felt energized, so my attachment to comfort and my desire to relax grew stronger.
More than a month after the show, my fiancee and I started preparations for our wedding. By end of these exhausting preparations, I again started to think about relaxing after the wedding.
This time, the attachment to comfort manifested even more than before.
After the wedding, my inability to concentrate got even worse. When I tried to meditate, I almost went to sleep, I couldn't align my hands correctly during the second exercise, and I had to push myself to read Zhuan Falun. My righteous thoughts were very weak.
When we were preparing for the Shen Yun show, Master arranged it so that I had fewer obligations at work. After the show, I lost my work ethic and stopped doing a good job. It wasn't that I avoided problems; on the contrary, I took on the problems of the whole company, making myself out to be a hero.
At the same time, I did not take the right approach when trying to handle the problems. I failed to communicate well with other employees. I tried to fix problems as quickly as possible, thinking that solving problems quickly on a production line meant I was doing well. When failures on a machine happened at the end of my shift, I didn’t want to stay there any longer, rationalizing that it could be interference from the old forces.
Through writing out this experience, I understand now that this thinking—stemming from my attachments to reputation, comfort, and pursuit—was exactly what the old forces used to persecute me for a long time. These attachments manifested as a desire to get rid of problems quickly, which actually created more and more problems for me. I began to feel frustrated, pessimistic and irritated. I began to blame others. However, as a cultivator, I knew that the problem was within me, but I wasn’t able to calm down and look inward.
The turning point came when I hit rock bottom. I saw that I was no longer behaving like a cultivator.
I said to myself, “I need to calm down. Otherwise, my head will explode from this mental pressure.” I realized that I could not change everything at once. Though I had forgotten how to cultivate, I needed to get back to the basics of being a good person. I told myself, “You should stay at work longer if necessary and not leave the work for others.” I remembered a Fa principle that things that appear to be correct in the human world are wrong by Heaven's standard. I remembered Master's words,
“Seen from a high level, while you may think you are advancing forward, you are actually moving backward. Humankind thinks that it is developing science and making progress; it is, in fact, only following the law of the universe. Zhang Guolao, one of the Eight Deities, rode backward on his donkey. Few people know why he rode backward on his donkey. He discovered that going forward is moving backward, so he rode the donkey the other way around.” (Zhuan Falun)
I realized that I needed to do things in a manner opposite to what is done in the ordinary world. I needed to slow down and do things gradually, one after another, to be a good worker and display the goodness of Dafa. I further looked inside and found my competitive mentality, selfishness, and attachment to pursuit.
The day after I realized all this, my boss stopped to talk to me while making his rounds. After a bit of discussion about work, he said to me out of the blue, “You've gotten into a difficult situation. It will take time to rectify it.”
I realized this was encouragement from Master.
From then on, I was able to focus my energy on improving the working process instead of putting out fires one after another. In the next few months, there were no major problems, so I did not lose time on work, and the staff’s view of me was changing. I didn't mind when I had to stay longer at work if it meant making things easier on others.
I began to enjoy helping employees simplify the process, though I had to overcome many challenges because of their initial lack of trust in my ideas. The situation has turned around over time, and I became an integral part of our company and an important pillar for my boss, who now also gives me difficult and urgent tasks. I’m able to manage all the tasks my boss assigns me, and sometimes I also take part of my colleagues' work.
Since then, the company has grown more prosperous–productivity numbers are in the green, and our sales have broken new records.
After looking back, I became more aware of Master's words about gradual progress in cultivation and that, while the change in situation could start at a certain point (for example, immediately after we realize a deviation in our behavior), it is still on us to carry it out, and the result will eventually appear in full glory.
Thank you, Master, for guiding me in my cultivation.
If there is anything wrong in my sharing, please point it out with compassion.
Category: Improving Oneself