The Importance of Clearing Out Stray Thoughts
(Minghui.org) For a long time, I was bothered by the fact that I could not keep calm when I did the exercises. My mind was filled with all kinds of stubborn thoughts. Just as I pulled my wandering mind back, it drifted away somewhere else. Sometimes my main spirit was not clear either, and I would doze off from time to time.
At the beginning I did not pay much attention to this, and the situation became more and more serious. After struggling with it for a long time, and with Master’s help, I have at last made a breakthrough. I would like to share my experience with fellow practitioners.
Let me start with a dream that I had a few days ago, in which Master was giving me a haircut. I was sitting on a wooden stool, wearing a nice dark suit, a bright tie, and a pair of shiny black leather shoes.
Master said that, if the hair got on my clothes, it would be very hard to get off, so he wrapped a big piece of cloth around me and started to cut my hair.
Master used a glittering pair of shears to cut my hair. When he showed me the hair he’d cut off, I was shocked to see that it was not normal hair—the strands looked like inch-long steel wires, very tough and stained with rust here and there.
Master shaved my head but left a few short, different colored bristles in an inconspicuous spot in the front. Everything in the dream felt vivid and real.
When I got up to do the exercises the next morning, to my great surprise, I could totally focus on the exercise music with a clear mind. It was a miraculous feeling that I’d never had before.
I understood that Master had cleared out the interfering external messages and the thought karma in my mind. My gratitude to Master was beyond words. At the same time, I felt so ashamed because I could not clear away the impure thoughts in my own mind and had allowed them to become stronger and stronger, until they became a big tribulation that I could not overcome on my own.
Master's hint led me to reflect very carefully upon myself. I realized that from the very beginning, I had never taken my problem seriously, and I even allowed my mind to wander with all sorts of thoughts.
Before Master Gave Me a Hint
I had always enjoyed doing the exercises, and when my mind was relatively calm and focused, I was able to come up with great solutions to the problems I encountered at work or in daily life.
I have been involved in editing for the Epoch Times. When I had to write an article, I would straighten out the information I had, draw up an outline, and even sort out the descriptive phrases to use in the article while doing the exercises. When I finished the exercises, I could write the article without much effort.
At that time, I saw this as my own ability and felt rather pleased with myself. In fact, the state I was in was not much different from practicing an evil cultivation way as Master described in Zhuan Falun. I had given rise to the distracting thoughts myself and let them wander wildly, and the evil had taken advantage of that attachment and magnified it.
Just as Master showed me in my dream, my hair had turned into tough steel wires, each one like an antenna that received all kinds of messages and delivered them into my head. No wonder all kinds of thoughts appeared in my mind when I did the exercises: things about the past, the present, the far away, the nearby, the good, the bad, and so on.
Because I held onto a lot of attachments, it was very easy for those external messages to be tuned into. My mind was just like a wireless radio, and my attachments would seek out the channels they identified with to receive external messages through the antennas. That seemed to work all too well when I was doing the exercises.
Even though I was doing the exercises with the music and Master's instructions, my mind had drifted far away. When I was doing the sitting meditation, my mind kept wandering away, and sometimes I was still in my own fantasy world when the exercise came to an end. Occasionally, I even dozed off. I had similar experiences when I studied the Fa. Sometimes I was not aware of what I was reading.
Taking the Problem Seriously
After sharing with other practitioners, I realized the seriousness of the matter and that it put a big question mark on my cultivation. I realized that I paid too much attention to everyday people's things instead of giving top priority to cultivation.
Just like the hint Master gave me in my dream: I was wearing a nice suit and shiny leather shoes. Wasn't it a reflection of my pursuit of personal gain and superficial appearance? I may be considered successful among ordinary people, with a PhD degree, a desirable steady job, a happy family with well-behaved children, a nice house and cars... However, all these things made it very easy for me to be trapped in all kinds of attachments.
With the help of fellow practitioners, I started to study the Fa more and more and tried to focus my mind while doing the exercises. I kept encouraging myself with Master's teachings and placed Dafa as the top priority in my life.
However, because I had slacked in cultivation for a long time, it was not easy to catch up. I kept saying to myself: “I want to cultivate in Dafa, I want to change, and cultivation is the most important for me.”
As soon as my mind started to drift away, I would pull it back, and by and by I was able to keep a relatively calm mind. It was then I had the dream that I described earlier.
I am profoundly grateful to Master. Of course, I also saw in my dream that Master took away almost all the bad stuff, but still left a few bristles on my head. I know those were left for my cultivation. Thank you, Master, for your most compassionate arrangement. I know that how I walk the remaining cultivation path is up to me.