The Sincere Initiative to Look Within
(Minghui.org) I recently realized that if people do not clearly understand how precious Dafa is and how serious cultivation practice is, they cannot take the initiative to truly look inward to cultivate themselves.
I have practiced Falun Dafa for 20 years. The period of time prior to 1999 (when the persecution began) was the personal cultivation stage, and I was able to follow Dafa’s requirement to look inward at that time. Even though I didn’t have a very strong foundation in cultivation, I was still able to direct myself to look within in a timely manner, find my attachments, and get rid of them.
After the persecution started, however, I mistakenly believed that all the difficulties were created by the old forces, and that I should negate all of them. Therefore, I was always pushing away and opposing the difficulties.
I misunderstood what Master said:
“Except for newer students, from July 20 of 1999 on, Master hasn't created any personal cultivation tests for you...” ("Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference")
Thus, I stopped working hard at cultivating myself. When I did look within, I was not very serious. Small tests often accumulated into large tribulations, and this caused me to have illness karma. I was then forced to look within, and I sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate all the interference. I was able to overcome some challenges that way.
Looking back, I see that my xinxing was not high enough. It was Master who suffered for me and helped me overcome the tribulations. Otherwise, I could have lost my life.
Now I have a better understanding of Master's words:
“Cherishing your human side enables you to enlighten to and ascend in the Fa.” (“Expounding on the Fa” from Essentials For Further Advancement)
I didn’t realize the importance of self cultivation during this period of working amid the persecution until a few months ago, when I shared experiences with some fellow practitioners. I realized that even though it is after 1999, we should not slack off in the cultivation of our individual selves; instead, we should be all the more serious and careful with it. This was very enlightening and made me determined to be serious about self cultivation with every little thing.
However, this was easier said than done for me. Although I had the heart to do so, often times when I encountered xinxing tests, I automatically tried to push the problems away and did not look inward. Once I would slack off from looking within, I would fail the test. I couldn’t break through this state until I read Master's “2018 Fa Teaching Given in Washington, D.C.”
I read this lecture four times within a few days after it was published. When I read it the fifth time, with a pure heart of respect for Master and Dafa, its broad and profound Fa principles started to show in front of my eyes. For the first time, I realized, on my own, the preciousness of being a Dafa practitioner in the Fa-rectification period, the importance of Master leading us to establish traditional culture, the seriousness of the mission of assisting Master to rectify the Fa, and the deep meaning behind Fa rectification. I understood the significance of cultivating myself well and completing the mission.
A thought came from the origin of my life: “I must look within when encountering problems.” From then on, I paid attention to every detail of my life. I now see fellow practitioners and other people as mirrors of myself, reflecting myself when I see their shortcomings. I can clearly see that I also have the issues that they have. Some are less severe than theirs, and some are more severe.
My habit of pushing all the problems outward kept me from looking within. I firmly sent out a thought: “Everything that doesn’t align with Dafa is arranged by the old forces without Master’s permission. Such things are not from my innate nature, so I completely negate them. Eliminate!” I noticed that when I don’t see these attachments as part of me, as completely separate them from me, I can be alert and eliminate them in a timely way.
As I continue to look within, I feel that the bad things in me have become smaller and smaller. When I’m in the best state, I can recognize anything that is not righteous in every single thought. I can quickly find them and eliminate them. Now I’ve developed the habit of automatically looking inward.
As I have actively looked inward, I have also increased the time for Fa study and tried my best to study with full focus. If sometimes I don’t have a lot of time for Fa study, I insist on the quality of my Fa study, reading every sentence with my heart. As my xinxing improves, my attitude becomes purer, and the profound meaning of Dafa continues to reveal itself.
To be honest, in the past 19 years, I could feel only little improvements. I kept on failing and couldn’t move on. However, in the past month, I felt that I have returned to, or even surpassed, the cultivation state I had before 1999. My level has seemed to increase every few days. Putting myself in Dafa makes me feel settled, happy, and full of gratitude to Master.
“Neither heaven nor earth canblock my road of Fa-rectificationbut disciples' human hearts can”(“Troubles” from Hong Yin III)
I need to be more strict with myself, take the Fa as teacher, be diligent, and do the three things well.
Thank you, Master!