Cultivation Practice Focuses on the Heart, Not the Form
(Minghui.org) In a recent article, "I Learned to Harmonize Work and Family with My Mission to Save People," a practitioner from Missouri shared how he balanced cultivation practice, work, and life. He was able to remain diligent no matter where he was and what he had to do.
This article made me think a lot. Since I began to practice Falun Dafa more than 20 years ago, I have studied the Fa every day and gained lots of understandings. From time to time, I found my cultivation path smooth and I assumed I was able to act based on the Fa. When looking back and thinking it through more deeply, I found that my understandings were rather limited. For example, I tended to focus on what to do and what not to do. That is, I tried to behave like a practitioner instead of cultivating my heart and fully assimilating to the Fa.
Below are a few examples.
In the early days of cultivation, I took a simple and blunt approach toward many issues related to marital life and work. For instance, as soon as I began to practice, I stopped having sex with my husband in order to solve the problem of lust. I thought because cultivation practice is the most important I should allow no room for interference. This caused conflicts and my spouse later tried to stop me from doing the exercises. Instead of looking within to find loopholes in my xinxing, I considered this interference a test or even demonic interference. In the end, my husband had an affair. I still did not think about what I had done wrong and considered it his fault.
It was not until much later that I realized my problem. In “Who Dares Renounce Human Attachments?” in Hong Yin, Master wrote,
“It takes cultivating the mind,severing desires,casting off attachments,”
My understanding of this passage is that cultivating the mind is fundamental, while severing desires is the form. If one just focuses on the form and goes to an extreme, the result will not good. In fact, Falun Dafa improves our mind nature and the form is the best in the human world. If we do well, people will appreciate the righteous behavior related to our xinxing improvement. But this requires fundamental improvement, and changing oneself from the inside to the outside. It is just as Master described in Lecture Three of Zhuan Falun,
“'The Buddha-light illuminates everywhere and rectifies all abnormalities.'”
A similar situation existed at my workplace. On the surface, I worked hard and always finished assignments from my manager on time and without complaint. But in my mind, I just wanted to finish my assignments early so I would have more time for Fa study. With that mentality, I did not put my heart into my work and just wanted to get it over and done with.
Master told us to be good people no matter where we are. That means I should put my heart into the things I do and do them well. In fact, although work itself is not part of cultivation practice, how we handle situations can show whether we are genuine practitioners.
After the persecution started in 1999, I went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Dafa, thinking I could forsake anything, even my life, for Dafa. Looking back, I noticed I still had deep sadness in my mind. That actually came from human notions. Just imagine if an everyday person goes to appeal, would he or she be willing to give up everything? The purpose of appealing is simple: to resolve a problem. Why should we assume there would be any loss? Practicing Falun Dafa should bring blessings. We should not acknowledge the suppression or assume that there will be negative consequences.
In fact, that mentality came from my human notions and it is related to the old forces' arrangements. With that mindset, I lost my job and some practitioners even lost their lives. That is not what Master wants, but it happened because we acknowledged it.
As Fa-Rectification Period Dafa Disciples, our working environment and life are not accidental. We should do well so that a large number of sentient beings can be saved. To achieve this, we have to first let go of attachments and human notions.
Attachment to Time
After so many years of cultivation practice, some practitioners have recently become attached to time. Some just want to avoid an everyday job and lifestyle, believing that those things are a waste of time. Some practitioners stopped looking for jobs, thinking that their savings should suffice until the Fa-rectification concludes. I think this type of behavior is inappropriate.
Being a practitioner means we need to constantly improve ourselves and help Master save people. Plus, we are Dafa disciples, and our path will be a reference for people in the future. That means we should be open-minded and do things in an open and dignified manner. Only when we let go of selfishness will we be able to truly assimilate ourselves to the Fa.
Not Going to Extremes
In Zhuan Falun, Master said,
“We consider this cultivation way to be 'digging into a bull’s horn.' Why is it said to dig into a bull’s horn? When Boddhidarma began to dig into it, he felt that it was quite spacious. When Patriarch II dug into it, he felt that it was not very spacious. It was still passable by the time of Patriarch III, but for Patriarch IV it was already quite narrow. There was almost no room to move further for Patriarch V. By the time of Huineng, Patriarch VI, it had reached a dead end and could move no further.”
Now I have to come to understand that, as Dafa practitioners, we should not confine ourselves with our own thoughts or understandings. Otherwise, we may be unable to move forward. This could cause various issues to surface.
I have seen situations where practitioners were arrested or suffered from illness karma. If we could really cultivate our hearts and cultivate well, there would be fewer losses.