Treasuring the Time for Cultivation
(Minghui.org) How many discretionary hours does the average Dafa practitioner have in a single day? If a normal workday consists of eight hours (plus a one hour commute), and we sleep six hours per night, do household chores for four hours (cooking, washing, cleaning, and taking care of the family), and use one hour for miscellaneous activities, we're left with only four hours out of a 24-hour day.
Of these four hours, we still need at least an hour to eat, drink, and use the restroom. We thus have only about three hours left. If we sleep for seven hours instead of six, then we have only about two hours per day of discretionary time.
Master Li said,
“...this eons-old history has all been to await the final moment that is today. This time is, in reality, but the blink of an eye or the wave of a hand,” (from “Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference” in Teaching the Fa at the Conference IX)
Master also said,
“This instant is precious beyond measure. Completing the last leg of this journey well is what's most magnificent.” (from “Teaching the Fa in the City of Chicago” in Teaching the Fa at the Conference VII)
Master taught us,
“Only those Dafa disciples who fall behind in Fa-study will display a lack of diligence and feel dejected during this period of time, even to the extent that they don't know how precious this time is and don't seize the time to do what Dafa disciples should do.” (from “Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Atlanta Fa Conference” in Teaching the Fa at the Conference IV)
Some local practitioners spend an inordinate amount of time taking care of their flowers or plants after work. Some practitioners waste hours a day watching TV or become completely absorbed in their smartphones or playing electronic games.
What are TVs, smartphones, and electronic games?
“This is aliens’ technology, and demons are utilizing it to get you hooked, get you to abandon everything you have, and have you devote yourself to it. It’s wasting your life, yet you are loath to put it down! Even from the perspective of being human you are not right, let alone in cultivation.” (from “Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference”)
Our time and energy are very limited. If we spend even 20 minutes per day watching TV, we would have 20 minutes less for each day's cultivation practice. If we did this every day for a year, we would have effectively wasted more than 100 hours, or the time we could have used to read Zhuan Falun ten times!
Think about it: many practitioners waste more than 20 minutes each day. Spending additional time on things not related to cultivation can lead to severe interference or cause us to go hopelessly off course in our practice. In the history of the universe, how will this wasted time be recorded?
Although some practitioners study the Fa and practice the exercises, they mostly live an everyday person's existence. They think, “Master told us that we can practice more if you have time, and practice less if we don't have much time.”
If one studies one lecture less per day, he would have studied Zhuan Falun 40 times fewer in a year. If a person with similar inborn and enlightenment quality as another reads Zhuan Falun from cover to cover once a week, and another person reads it through once a month, won't there be a huge difference in their realms or levels after ten years?
If we don't treasure the remaining time we have to cultivate ourselves, we will experience more interference, and our cultivation states will suffer.
I know a retired practitioner who took a job that required a lot of her time and effort. Over the years, she became more and more like an everyday person and even cursed at others. She later died of cancer.
A local practitioner in his seventies had good inborn and enlightenment quality. His hepatitis disappeared shortly after he began practicing Falun Gong. He later got attached to playing video games, became lax, and read Dafa books less and less. Since his original lifespan as an ordinary person was over, he died of cancer.
Regardless how high a person's level is, he may fall to the bottom if he relaxes the requirements for himself and indulges in everyday people's pursuits. There are many such examples.
If we don't use Fa principles to guide our thinking and actions, or if we don't treasure the remaining time we have left, we may gradually become the same as an everyday person without even realizing it. It's also possible that we'll invite various illnesses and tribulations into our lives. Master told us that he will not help everyday people eliminate their karma.
Master continually stresses the importance of treasuring the opportunity to cultivate. Using more of one's time to cultivate is treasuring this once-in-an-eon opportunity. If we don't pay attention to this, the old forces and meddling demons may take advantage of our loopholes.
Some practitioners truly treasure their time. I know one elderly practitioner who is very steadfast in her cultivation. One day she said to me, “I'd rather skip a meal than not study the Fa, do the exercises, or help people quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).”
She wholeheartedly studies the Fa each day and has never skipped the exercises. She also spends a lot of time raising awareness of the CCP's persecution of Falun Gong. Thus, the swelling in her belly has disappeared, she has eliminated her attachment to resentment, she's no longer timid, and she has strong righteous thoughts. Treasuring our time for cultivation is the best way to move ahead diligently and to raise our levels.
Some practitioners silently recite Master's poems while riding the bus. Some study the Fa during their work breaks. Some listen to experience sharing articles while doing their household chores. Some need to sleep only three to four hours per day.
Since we came into this world to assist Master in Fa-rectification, we should cultivate ourselves diligently. In our daily lives, we should use our time and energy wisely to study the Fa, practice the exercises, and clarify the truth.
Treasuring our time is cherishing the opportunity to cultivate. Those who have jobs have only a few hours of discretionary time each day. If they relax the requirements for themselves, their cultivation will definitely stall.
If we don't put our hearts, time, and energy into doing the three things well, it will be very hard for us to save sentient beings!