My Understanding of Cultivating “Solidly”
(Minghui.org) I always remind myself to stay focused and clear my thoughts when memorizing the Fa. While memorizing On Dafa,I recently realized that I had been leaving out the entire phrase, “in real ways.”
The original text says:
“People’s explorations are necessarily limited to this material world, and the methods are such that only what has been recognized is studied. Meanwhile, things that are intangible or invisible in the human dimension, but that do objectively exist and do reveal themselves in real ways in this immediate world—such as spirituality, faith, divine word, and miracles—are treated as taboo, for people have cast out the divine.” (On Dafa, Zhuan Falun)
Nothing is trivial in cultivation. I wondered why I couldn't stay focused even when I was memorizing the Fa. Why did I keep skipping the part, “in real ways”? If I can't stay focused when studying the Fa, isn’t this like the saying, “The novice monk only chants the scripture with his mouth not his heart”?
So, although on the surface it looks like I was studying the Fa, I was not truly internalizing the Fa.
I recently read the The Great Way of Spiritual Perfection again and found that when I did the hand gestures during the fifth exercise, I didn't follow Master's instructions: “When the hand is extended, turn the palm to face forward.” (“Chapter II, Illustrations and Explanations of the Exercise Movements,” The Great Way of Spiritual Perfection). I wasn't sure how long I had been doing it wrong.
Master warned us:
“Let each and every thing be measured against the Fa.Only then, with that, is it actually cultivation.”(“Solid Cultivation,” Hong Yin, Translation Version A)
I have made similar mistakes in studying the Fa and doing the exercises. When I thought about it more deeply, I realized that the root cause was my attitude toward cultivation. I have not done what Master asked of us, which is to truly measure every action and thought against the Fa.
In this complicated society, our cultivation is intertwined in everything we encounter in our daily lives, regardless of how big or small the matter seems. We really have to focus in order to eliminate all of our hidden attachments.
We usually feel that we are prepared to take on the big tests and tribulations, but we easily let things slide when it comes to “small things.” For example, I was waiting for the elevator yesterday, and just as it stopped at my level, I heard people talking in the hallway. They had just locked their door and were coming to take the elevator. I quickly got in and pushed the button to close the door instead of waiting for them.
As the doors closed, I could hear them just outside the elevator. They were only a few seconds late. I immediately realized that what I did was not compassionate; I was selfish and did not want to wait even a few seconds.
I behaved even worse than an ordinary person. I didn't want to be bothered with having to chat with strangers, so I was not compassionate and was unable to act in a dignified manner.
Another incident caused me to examine myself. I was walking out of a building, and as I pushed the door open a young woman walked right in without saying “Thank you,” or acknowledging me. She did not even look at me. It was as if I were there to open the door for her. I was not happy. When I thought about it later, I realized that it was silly to let such a trivial thing affect me. How could a practitioner let something as trivial as that bother them? Didn't this occur to show me that I was not tolerant, and that I was competitive? It bothered me to lose even a little bit of self-interest.
My competitive mentality sometimes surfaces. On the surface, it may be because another person walks a little faster, is dressed more fashionably, or looks better. These things reflect my human notions and attachments to competitiveness, jealousy, lust, needing to feel superior, and the Communist Party's idea of being “equal.”
When we practitioners compare cultivation experiences, we talk about cultivating solidly. We are all very clear on the Fa principles and know that we need to cultivate ourselves.
There have been other situations. For example, when we went to a restaurant, one of the dishes we ordered did not come with the rest of the meal. We asked the waiter to check on it, but it still wasn't ready. We told the waiter, “We're also almost done and ready for the check, why don't you just take it off the bill?” The waiter said, “It's almost done. I won't be able to conceal it.” The dish came soon after.
Our intention was not to avoid paying for the dish, it was just a “trick” we used to expedite things. This not being truthful, compassionate, or tolerant. Yet, as practitioners, we follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, so it's not good for practitioners to use petty tricks for gain, even in small things.
I realized that Dafa practitioners have even more reason to be “full of great aspirations while minding minor details” (“Sage,” Essentials for Further Advancement). Every little thing can reflect our human notions that we haven't yet eliminated. So we should truly look inward to find the attachments we still have, and relinquish them. We need to be even more diligent and strive forward vigorously.