Breaking Away from Human Shells and Practicing Genuine Cultivation Diligently
(Minghui.org) I have been on the path of cultivation for over a decade. I have sometimes been very diligent, and from time to time I have been moved by fame, personal gain and sentimentality. I stumbled a few times along the way. However, I always felt that there was a layer or a shell that surrounded me, blocking me from being as diligent as I felt I should be.
It was not until one year ago that I started asking myself: What is cultivation? Am I practicing cultivation? Am I practicing genuine cultivation?
I've read numerous sharing articles written by fellow practitioners and was often moved by their solid belief in Dafa, as well as their purity and compassion. I asked myself why I could not reach such a state. I understood the Fa principles well enough, I thought.
It was not until recently that I made breakthroughs after I studied the Fa a lot. I finally let go of three human shells: notions about life and death, disbelief in the Fa, and atheism. Now I really understand what cultivation is and the seriousness of cultivation. As a result, I am able to truly cultivate myself and elevate as a practitioner.
I would like to share with fellow practitioners so that we can improve together, catch up with the Fa-rectification, accomplish our prehistoric wishes, and honor our vows together.
Truly Letting Go of Attachments
I have always been a very sensible person. When I read Zhuan Falun for the first time, I finished reading it in one day; it helped me make better sense of the world. I knew that practicing Falun Dafa is what I came to this world for.
Over the past decade, I stumbled here and there on the path of cultivation. My state of cultivation was not stable. Finally I became numb. I wanted to make breakthroughs, but they never lasted long. I was worried and helpless.
I decided to spend a lot of time studying, copying and reciting the Fa. I prepared several notebooks and copied Master's recent Fa lectures. I also read a lot of Master's Fa lectures.
Elevating Through Intensive Fa Study
I tried my best to be totally immersed in the Fa while studying the Fa. Last winter recess, I studied the Fa with my child. We spent about nine hours reading Master's lectures given from 1999 to 2011. We recited poems from Hong Yin III at night.
At the very beginning I was distracted and couldn't concentrate. Gradually I could enter a tranquil state while studying the Fa. I enlightened to a new understanding when I studied the following paragraph:
“The molecules that make up man’s molecular cells are comprised of atoms, and atoms are comprised of even more microcosmic particles, with the energy of particles being greater the more microcosmic they get. We know that when a human body is buried in the earth, its cells, which at the surface layer are comprised of molecules, can rot away. But molecules cannot rot away, can they? Even less so can atoms, right? Then where has that part of you gone? If all of man’s thoughts were simply the product of his own mind thinking at this surface layer, then how is one to explain the things that people sometimes unexpectedly say? It is not always the case that what you say comes only after careful consideration; instead, it is sometimes the you at different levels, spanning from your particles at the surface layer to those comprising you deep in the microcosm, that is at work. The entirety of your being is simultaneously comprised of particles spanning from the most microcosmic of levels to those at the surface, so your being is not merely this extremely simple, superficial layer of cells. In the context of a person’s being, then, the loss of this superficial portion is merely the loss of a layer of outer skin. With reincarnation, a new outer skin is taken on. The true you cannot be rotted away by burial in the earth. That soil cannot break down atoms, or even molecules, for that matter. If one’s atoms were broken apart, it would result in a massive explosion. The force of a nuclear explosion that’s the scope of a human body would be enough to destroy a city. Isn’t that true? Then, where do you go [at death]?” (“What is a Dafa Disciple”)
From this, I suddenly became aware that life and death is not related to me. I felt that I had elevated to a higher realm.
Removing the Attachment of Life and Death
When someone would mention a person who passed away, I'd always viewed it as an earthly thing from a human perspective. But now, after I understood the principle of life and death from the Fa’s perspective, I viewed it differently: it's just a predestined relationship.
Finally I let go of this attachment, which had covered me in layers like a shell. My thinking also changed as a result.
The test of life and death can be passed through much Fa study. The shell of attachment formed over thousands of years to block my path of cultivation. I also understand why I couldn't reach the standard of the Fa many times, even though I thought I understood the Fa principles.
I also came to realize why some practitioners are so steady and diligent on their paths of cultivation, and so compassionate in saving sentient beings. It's because their every thought aligns with the Fa. They have transcended the realm of human beings and are assimilating with the Fa and saving people as divine beings. They have truly reached that realm.
During my past years of cultivation, it seemed that I was in a house looking out of the window at some scenery, but I never walked out the door. No matter how much I thought about the outside from inside the house, or how much I saw through the window, it was all only fiction, disconnected from the real world.
Now I was finally able to walk out the door and into the real world, away from the imaginary one.
The test of life and death was just like this door. Breaking through the door is only the start of genuine cultivation.
My body had an electrifying feeling when I understood this Fa principle. At that point, I knew I was able to be as diligent as my fellow practitioners. Finally, I knew how to practice cultivation. I was ashamed of myself for taking more than a decade to enlighten to this.
I hope my sharing can help other practitioners who are in the same state as I was. Let go of this shell and do not miss the chance to genuinely cultivate!
Removing Atheism and Disbelief in Dafa
After breaking free, my way of thinking changed too. I was able to align myself based on the Fa. While sending forth righteous thoughts, I felt my body was enormous and able to embody a universe. My abilities became stronger. I could send forth righteous thoughts for more than one hour at each set time.
Fa study is very important. Especially for those who are lagging behind, without much Fa study, it's impossible to get rid of the thick shell and be able to truly improve in the Fa.
I am now memorizing the book Zhuan Falun. At first, I recited one paragraph after another, and then I turned back to recite all the paragraphs under each section until I was able to recite the whole section without looking at the book. Then I went to the next part. I spend three to four hours reciting the book whenever I can. During the process, I can sense the wonder of Fa study.
While I was reciting the section “Why doesn't your gong increase with your practice”, I felt the layer or shell of disbelief in the Fa dissolve. While I was reciting Hong Yin III, the layer of atheism went away. Finally I realized that three big mountains that had blocked me from cultivating in the Fa had collapsed.
I experienced huge changes both physically and spiritually shortly afterwards. I was able to align myself with the Fa on any occasion. I think that's the principle of the universe.
It's Not Difficult to Get Rid of Human Attachments
Why do some practitioners find it difficult to get rid of human attachments? I think it's because of two reasons: 1) they are unable to distinguish human attachments and notions from their true self, and 2) their human attachments and notions are stronger than their true self.
When human attachments, notions and our true self are mixed together, we can make true self stronger and become diligent by studying the Fa a lot. However, after a while, human attachments become stronger again, and then you might follow them to do things as an ordinary person.
One might find oneself in such a cycle if one is blocked by these shells. Only when one breaks through these shells can one truly become divine and powerful and thus easily get rid of other human attachments.
Letting the True Self Triumph Over Human Attachments
One time a practitioner shared with me his experience in a forced labor camp. He said, “I knew how to behave at the time, but I just couldn't make it and had no righteous thoughts. Master gave me hints again and again. I understood the Fa principles, too, but I just didn’t dare to go ahead.”
Actually, when one’s human notions are too strong, even if one reads Dafa books, understands a lot, and can eloquently talk about the Fa principles, it is not enough.
Sometimes when I read practitioners’ accounts of how to face the evil calmly, save people compassionately, and send righteous thoughts with mighty power, I feel that I am only one step away from him or her. It seems that I am able to do the same, but in fact I am very far away from him or her. It's the practitioner's field of righteous thoughts that takes me there.
For those practitioners who are doing great, the shells of their human notions were broken a long time ago. They have reached that high realm. They are really assisting Master and saving people.
Since I let go of these shells, I have been able to get rid of other attachments and notions easily whenever they surface.
Recently there was a skills test at my workplace. Everyone brought copies of materials on small slips into the test room as usual. I did the same in previous tests and gave myself an excuse: there is no time to learn ordinary things; I'd better save the time and read Dafa books instead.
Such behavior does not align with Dafa, so this time I studied the materials before the test. When my workmates gave me the small slips before entering the test room, I was very calm and didn't accept them.
This time I had no mental struggle at all because I thought I was just doing what I should do as a Dafa practitioner. All lives in the universe are watching me; I must behave correctly.
From now on, I will rectify my behavior at all times so that every thought of mine aligns with the Fa. I will purify myself in the Fa and improve solidly.
Eliminating Attachments By Sending Righteous Thoughts
Some attachments can be eliminated by sending righteous thoughts by having one’s divine body become huge and letting go of human thoughts while sending righteous thoughts.
When unclean thoughts surface, one should identify immediately what they are, where they come from, and the root of the attachments. Sending forth righteous thoughts is sacred. I would think, “Why do these unclean thoughts dare to show up here? Eliminate them immediately.”
After a period of time, I could sit for longer and become more tranquil while sending righteous thoughts.
From my experience, I understand that our abilities come from the Fa. Each of us is one particle of the Fa. When one assimilates to the Fa, the power of Dafa will manifest through him or her.
Only when one truly improves and lets go of human shells can one truly become powerful and have righteous thoughts. As I understand it, the most important element is to let go of one’s human shells first. For me, this was the watershed moment.
Only then was I able to walk out of the realm of humanity, make breakthroughs in the Fa, and truly improve myself. I found myself powerful enough to split a mountain with one thought. I also sensed my elevation of realm in the Fa, manifestations of Fa principles, and openness of divine powers.
Letting the Divine Side Dominate
What is a human being? What is a divine being? What is a Dao? What is a Buddha? It is about one’s cultivation level and realm. One is a divine being when one passes the test of life and death, which, as I understand it, is also like a shell that encloses us.
When we still have this shell, our human notions dominate. When we let go of this shell, we are divine beings. During xinxing tests or tribulations, if we are clear-minded and powerful and guide ourselves using Fa principles, we will not be immersed in the level of human beings and thus can overcome the tribulations.
The pain of getting rid of human attachments is actually the pain of not being able to let them go. That is, we do not want to let them go. We are grasping at the divine side while grasping at the human side. It is the reason that makes us unable to be diligent for long periods of time.
After a period of genuine cultivation, I've truly improved in the Fa. I found many fellow practitioners in our area who are stuck in the same cultivation state as I had before, so I shared with them how I made these breakthroughs and how my realm changed thereafter. I hope they can make breakthroughs as quickly as possible and truly improve in the Fa.
As I understand it, only when we form one indestructible body based on the Fa can we truly save people and accomplish our mission. It is what the evil most fears.
The above is my personal understanding from what I know at my level. In this last phase of Fa-rectification, I will devote myself to saving as many people as possible and fulfill my prehistoric vows of assisting Master in Fa-rectification.