A Second Look at “I Knew the Fa Principles But Could Not Follow Them”
(Minghui.org) I often come across a quote in many practitioners' sharing articles: “I knew the Fa principles but could not follow them.”
When practitioners shared their cultivation experience among themselves, I also hear the same sentiment.
I was puzzled by the problem for a while. But with some serious Fa study and solid cultivation, I think I have realized a few things and would like to share them here. Please point out anything inappropriate.
1. Not Truly Understanding the Fa Principles
We all know that Master's teachings are in “simple principles and language”(Fa Teaching at the 2013 Greater New York Fa Conference).
Master uses the plainest, easiest to understand language to talk about many inscrutable high-level principles so that people can learn the practice and understand the Fa. But the literary understanding of the Fa is limited to the Fa's manifestation at the human level, according to each person's education, cultivation, notions, and attachments. Each person's understanding cannot comprise the Fa's complete, true connotation at the human level, let alone the Fa's true meaning at higher levels.
Only a true cultivator can gradually understand Fa's true meaning. Master said,
“A cultivator can only understand the specific manifestation of the Buddha Fa at the level that his or her cultivation has reached.” (Zhuan Falun)
When you truly understand the Fa's connotation at the level your cultivation reaches, your realm of thought will have reached that level and your actions should certainly conform to the Fa's requirements at that level.
When we say that we understand the Fa's principles but are unable to act accordingly, we are actually only understanding the Fa's superficial meaning instead of the Fa's true meaning, as it is presented to cultivators. Why did we feel that we could not follow the principles? It is because we have too many attachments and they are too strong. How could we possibly understand the Fa's high-level meanings when we have so many human attachments?
Master also told us that
“For a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple, personal liberation is not the goal of cultivation: when you came, saving sentient beings was your great aspiration, and that is the responsibility and mission history has bestowed upon you in Fa-rectification.” (The Essentials of Diligent Progress, VOL. III, “Let Go of Human Attachments and Save the World’s People”)
Every practitioner understands those words, but each person behaves differently in their cultivation. Some practitioners could truly understand the importance and urgency of saving people and diligently do truth-clarification work every day; some felt that they had to do it since Master said so – otherwise, they could not reach consummation, so they did it with the mindset of finishing a task; some did not pay attention to truth-clarification at all, so they never did; some still could not step forward because of their fear.
Why? It is because every practitioner's cultivation level is different and their realms of thought are different. Each person understands the Fa's principles differently. If you only understand the Fa's superficial meaning at the human level, you are unable to meet the requirements from the Fa as a cultivator. If you truly treat yourself as a cultivator and understand the Fa's principles as a practitioner, you would feel the glory of a Fa-rectification disciple who can assist Master with Fa rectification; you would realize that clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings is a privilege that Dafa gave to us.
We've all experienced trillions of years of hard work and tremendous suffering to become Dafa disciples today, who can help Master with Fa rectification and saving people. No matter what kind of tribulations we encounter, it should not block us from truth-clarification and saving people. We should treasure this priceless cultivation opportunity, which won't come again in a thousand years. How could we possibly even think about not doing well or being unable to follow through?
When we feel that we cannot act according to the Fa, we must realize that it is due to our limited cultivation levels. The only solution is to study the Fa more and to truly cultivate ourselves. Only when we improve our cultivation level will we be able to see the Fa's manifestation at that level. Only then will we naturally be able to meet the Fa's requirements at that level.
2. Not Wanting to Follow the Principles
Some practitioners who encountered this kind of situation were stuck because they had impure intentions when they became practitioners, and did not truly believe in Dafa. Their cultivation was not for returning to their true selves; instead, they sought a better life. Even though they studied the Fa and did the exercises every day, they could not understand the Fa's true meaning because of their attachments, and were thus unable to truly cultivate themselves.
These practitioners also said that they understood the Fa principles but could not act accordingly. But this wasn't a matter of ability, so much as it was a matter of intentions: They fundamentally had no wish to follow the Fa's principles. Some of them study the Fa every day and they could speak eloquently about Fa principles at length, but they did not really believe in the Fa.
For example, Master told us, “True cultivators have no illnesses.” (Explaining the Content of Falun Dafa, “Explaining the Fa for Falun Dafa Assistants in Changchun”)
Every practitioner understands this principle, but some practitioners do not believe it. When they feel uncomfortable, they regard it as an illness and use everyday people's methods to treat it. They did not believe in Master nor the Fa, because they did not truly understand the Fa principles.
A practitioner who truly understands the Fa would not be suspicious of it. But these practitioners who did not truly cultivate themselves and understand the Fa would come to suspect the Fa. Naturally, they could not do things based on Fa's requirements.
When we do not do well in our cultivation, we must look inward. Is it because of a bad cultivation state or did we just not want to act according to the Fa's principles? If it was due to a bad cultivation state, we just need to quickly adjust and improve ourselves through more Fa study and solid cultivation. If we just didn't want to, we should be alert and not let this precious cultivation opportunity pass by.
One way to measure true cultivators is to see if they can do things based on the Fa's requirements and if they do what a true practitioner should do. We should not simply use the excuse of “understanding the Fa principles but not following through” to block us from looking inward.
The reasons that we did not do well or could not do well are our shortcomings in cultivation and our attachments. When we truly improve ourselves through solid Fa study and cultivation – when we have fewer attachments – the power of the Fa will shine through. By then, this matter of “understanding but not doing” will be a non-issue.
For a cultivator who walks on the path Master has set out, any tribulation in the human world is an opportunity for us to elevate, to build up mighty virtue and to redeem ourselves. We should seize these precious and unprecedented opportunities to speed up in our cultivation and do what a Dafa disciple should do, so that we will fulfill our sacred missions.