Eliminating the Mindset of Carelessness by Cultivation Practice
Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
One day, when I was reading Zhuan Falun about a practitioner who took his son for a stroll after dinner down the Qianmen pedestrian street and bought a lottery ticket, I had a new understanding of the last few sentences of that paragraph that I would like to share.
“After returning home, the more the father thought about it the more it didn’t feel right. So he decided to simply give money to the people who were holding the drawing. But then it occurred to him that the drawing would be over by now, and the individuals would just divide up the money he gave them and pocket it. In the end he decided to donate the money to his own workplace.” (The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I thought to myself that, if I were that practitioner, I would have returned the money and not have thought about it so deeply. I would not have considered the fact that those who sold the lottery tickets would have probably kept the money for themselves. I would have thought, "Well, I have already returned the money to you, so now I won't lose any “de” [virtue] from winning this bike." That made me realize that I am careless--paying the money back just to pay it back, that is, doing things just for the sake of doing them. I had a heart of negligence or carelessness.
In fact, I’ve always been careless, even back when I was a student. When I was in junior high, I had a lot of homework every day. At first I was conscientious and stayed up until 3 a.m. to finish. At the end of the semester, I was so tired that I didn’t want to do it anymore, so I became negligent. The teacher assigned us homework to write out new vocabulary words three times. I would tie three pens together and, by writing once, could make three copies. That meant I could finish my homework before midnight. I felt super proud about it.
I then started to take other things less seriously and started looking for more shortcuts. When I had to prepare for an English test before studying abroad, I signed up for a review class, where the teachers showed us how to predict what might be on the test. So I focused on guessing what would be covered on the test. Even though I guessed fairly correctly, my test results were not good enough to pass. Later, I had to review on my own for a month, focusing on English itself and not on the exam. The second time my score improved by 20 points. This kind of carelessness and taking shortcuts is part of “Party culture” and is not righteous. It will come back to haunt you in the end.
When I was studying abroad, I met a Korean practitioner who told me this story: Her husband had bought her a pair of shoes, but they didn't fit, so she took them back to return. When her husband had bought the shoes, they were on sale. But at the time she returned them, the promotion was over. As a result, she got the refund at full price. She told the store that the refund was more than what she had paid initially, but the store said that they could only refund the money according to the price displayed on the computer. She donated the extra money from the refund to subscribe to the Epoch Times newspaper and had it sent to the merchant.
A few days later after I heard this story, the same store refunded me three dollars extra. Based on the fellow practitioner’s experience, I did not tell the merchant and just donated the money shortly after. At the time, I was super proud of myself, comparing it to the lottery situation.
But then I thought about how I had gone to donate the money as soon as I left the store, because I was scared that I would lose “de.” This was a reflection of my selfishness and my careless mentality of trying to take shortcuts. I was just mimicking another practitioner and not thinking about whether or not what I was doing aligned with the Fa principles. Imitation is not cultivation. How could it be that simple?
Last December, I noticed a few certificate numbers of people who had quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its youth organizations in my notes. I was very happy and went on the Epoch Times' Tuidang website to look for those certificates. What I found really surprised me.
When I was a student, I often went to tourist sites to clarify the truth in my spare time. When I helped tourists from China quit the CCP and its youth organizations, to save time, I used only two pseudonyms: De Fu (Obtained Fortune) or Ping An (Peace). When I checked the certificate serial numbers, at least three of them were invalid. The site volunteers commented: “Master said when creating a pseudonym for someone, it should be treated seriously.” Because I had entered “De Fu” and “Ping An” several times in one day, the volunteers thought this was irresponsible and didn't count them. I felt terrible; it was all due to my carelessness and negligence and my tendency to take shortcuts.
I quickly replied to the site, apologizing and explaining that I really did help those people quit the CCP and its youth organizations. Eventually, those invalid numbers were verified and counted. Looking back, I remember I sent to the tourist sites in the mornings and rushed to school in the afternoon. Every day, I had to ask that Korean practitioner to help me go to the Epoch Times Tuidang website to register those who'd quit. I wonder, of all those people that she helped me input, how many were not registered successfully? I really regret it.
Once I read a sharing article by a fellow practitioner. The article quoted “For Whom do You Exist?” in Essentials for Further Advancement:
“In dealing with relevant, important matters, if a life can really assess things without any preconceived notions, then this person is truly able to take charge of himself. This clearheadedness is wisdom, and it is different from what average people call “intelligence.” If a person cannot do that, then he is dictated by acquired notions or external thoughts. He might even devote his entire life to struggling for them; but when he gets old, he will not even know what he has been doing in this lifetime. Though he has achieved nothing in his lifetime, he has committed innumerable mistakes while being driven by these acquired notions. Therefore, in his next life he will have to pay for the karma according to his own wrong deeds.”
“This clearheadedness is wisdom, and it is different from what average people call intelligence.”
It struck a chord, and the difference between wisdom and cleverness was revealed to me. My current level of understanding is that clearheaded intelligence is true wisdom and that cleverness is not wisdom and could even be misused by people with ill intentions. This clearheadedness is also a manifestation of a strong main consciousness. We should know what we are doing, make our own choices, and, most importantly, be able to convince ourselves that what we do will leave no regrets.
Now here’s the question: Why do I choose to work in the media? I always tell other practitioners that I really like the cultivation environment where I work. One day I realized that it was based on the fact that I needed someone to push me to cultivate, not like that of a parent forcing you to do something, but more like encouraging me. I often do the exercises with my friends at noon and in the evening. Once when my friend went on a business trip, I immediately slacked off. I was very lazy and found it difficult to start doing the exercises. When I did do them, I was super proud of myself. But it happened again the next time I tried to start doing the exercises. Once when I was the only one who was doing the exercises, I was not able to have a calm mind at all, and eventually, I finished with my eyes open the entire time. Why was this? What was wrong with me? Who was I doing the exercises for? Who was I cultivating for?
One day, I went to a friend’s house for dinner and talked about how my mind was too active for me to control. My friend’s mother asked me, “What are you cultivating for?” I was shocked! I had never thought about this before!
So I thought about it: Was it for the sake of having a healthy body? But I never got sick. To be a good person? But I hadn’t done anything really bad. In order to assist Master in Fa-rectification? Yes, truly, but that idea was too big to directly align with my daily routine. Then I knew: It was to be able to assimilate to Dafa!
Yes, it is for me to assimilate to Dafa and not to simply follow my mother or to practice with friends just for fun or to hear others praise me. In cultivating Falun Dafa I am cultivating both my mind and body. The exercises transform my benti. That is why I do them. I do the exercises for myself, not for the sake of finishing an assignment someone else has given me. The exercises that Master taught me clears the heart, purifies the body, and corrects any incorrect state. It is not for me to have an hour of free time to think about useless things, to have my mind wander, or to be tired and take a nap.
I even didn’t realize these very fundamental principles. I feel that the Fa-rectification process has reached a new period, where more and more practitioners have been able to rationalize the difficulties and tribulations that they encounter, to see if they are in line with the Fa, and if not, to correct them in a timely manner. Many practitioners can catch even the smallest unrighteous thought, from which they can very diligently get rid of their attachments.
I have tried to find an excuse for myself on multiple occasions, saying, "I understand the Fa principles, but I just can’t do it." Thinking deeply, I realized that I understand the Chinese meaning of the Fa at the surface, but I can’t apply this to my daily actions. Did I ask myself, “What does the Fa really mean? Is my behavior in line with the Fa? Why can’t I do it? Where am I blocking myself? Why am I doing things that are contrary to Fa principles? What is keeping me from following Master's Fa?”
Finally, I would like to share my recent understanding of compassion. A lack of compassion will be manifested as jealousy, disrespectfulness, a feeling of unfairness, and negative thoughts about others. It is often said that that the people and things around you will be affected by your emotions. When I was studying the Fa, I saw this in Falun Gong:
“We should have a compassionate and merciful heart. When we handle things with a compassionate and merciful heart we are less likely to cause problems. Take self-interest lightly and be kindhearted, and your compassionate heart will keep you from doing wrong. Believe it or not, you will discover that if you always have a spiteful attitude and always want to fight and contend, you will even turn good things into bad ones.”
As you may have noticed, when people are upset or fighting with others, their movements seem stiff, they can’t concentrate, and they can’t pay attention to details. I realized that when I was upset, all I could focus on were anger and unfairness. I couldn't pay attention to the details or even pay attention at all. I just wanted to quickly finish the things that I had to do--with no sincerity--and then hurry on to the next. Haste, it turns out, makes waste. In contrast, when I am compassionate, I put others first and can calmly and quickly find the solution to the problem, often without any mistakes. I can feel that Master is helping me and giving me the wisdom. I recommend reading or listening to the Minghui Weekly when you feel anxious.
I hope everyone is clear-minded, kind, and pure.
Thank you, great benevolent Master!Thank you, fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2018 NTD and Epoch Times Fa Conference)