What If We Don't Experience Any Benefits from Practicing?
(Minghui.org) When I read the China Fahui articles, I notice that practitioners usually begin by talking about how they've benefited from practicing Falun Dafa. Some talk about how they've recovered from illnesses, others say that they've become better people, or that their wisdom has expanded, and so on. Some mention that after hearing how practitioners have benefited, they also began to practice.
I've done the same thing. When I went to Beijing to speak out against the persecution, I told officials how Dafa has benefited me, both physically and spiritually. Because Dafa has given me so much I felt that I needed to speak up.
When I thought about it, I realized this kind of attitude is still thinking about Dafa with a human mindset. However, this is not the goal of cultivation practice.
People Have Strayed from True Spirituality
In China, most people will do anything for money, and their every thought is focused on making money. When something they've invested in seems to be making a profit, they invest more. Even in regard to spiritual belief, instead of seeking to be better people, they worship Buddha to satisfy their material interests instead of seeking to improve themselves.
Since Chinese people have been cut off from their traditional culture, few know that spirituality and worshiping the Divine are sacred acts. Some people complain when they do not get what they want after praying or burning incense to a Buddha. Some swear at Buddha when they feel that their worship made no difference or that their illnesses persist.
When an entire society is focused on making money and pursuing material benefits, very few realize what genuine cultivation practice is. As a result, some people worship Buddha to avoid disasters, and some pray to have their wishes fulfilled, like making more money or to have a healthy child. Very few know what it means to look inward and cultivate oneself. Even monks in China are paid these days.
What If We Do Not See Benefits?
I have practiced Falun Dafa for about 20 years. Because of the persecution, some practitioners have died, some lost their jobs, and some practitioners' families have been torn apart. When the persecution was very severe, I asked myself, “We've all endured so much. If I don't benefit from practicing Falun Dafa, will I continue with it?”
I pondered this for a long time. I know that cultivation means that we have to get rid of our attachments and that we should do this proactively.
In the “Book of Job”in the Bible, Job was wealthy and his family was happy and flourished. God allowed Satan to test him by taking away his wealth and family, but Job did not complain; when God allowed Satan to test him again by making him suffer tremendously, Job remained loyal and did not curse God. In the end, God rewarded Job with even more wealth and gave him back his family.
I feel that this story shows that one should believe unconditionally. As Falun Dafa practitioners, we should act much better than Job.
Letting Go of the Attachment of Pursuit
When we came to this human world, our original nature was deeply buried by all kinds of human notions, and we may feel that what we pursue is reasonable. Surrounded by people who are constantly pursuing money or the next big thing, our thoughts can easily become contaminated. We may even consider these thoughts part of us and we're unwilling to let them go. These thoughts of pursuit are human notions and not our true nature, but they can manipulate us and prevent us from succeeding in cultivation.
Our true selves are selfless, but pursuing a carefree, happy life is rooted in selfishness. When we indulge the attachment of pursuing material things, we feel happy when that is satisfied. If we feel that we have not benefited from practicing Falun Dafa, we may question why we are cultivating or even begin to have doubts about Master.
We need to calm down and study the Fa, but we shouldn't just go through the motions. We should clear out any distracting thoughts. When we are able to calmly focus on every word, we can absorb the teachings. Master has taught us many Fa principles but is up to us to understand them and put them into action.
In Zhuan Falun, Master said,
“Supernormal abilities are only by-products of one’s cultivation process; they represent neither the level and the height of one’s level, nor the power of one’s gong potency.”
Since enjoying good health and a carefree life are not an essential part of cultivation, we should not pursue them. Instead, we should focus on becoming better people.
When we cannot meet the requirements of the Fa, we won't be able to do the three things well and it will be difficult for us to save people. If we get distracted by pursuing material things and forget why we are cultivating, we may stray further and further away from the Fa.
If we do not recognize and eliminate these attachments, we may nurture them and the make the situation even worse.
Every tribulation is an opportunity for us to cultivate and improve. In Hong Yin Master wrote,
“To consummate yourself, reaping Buddhahood,Let joy be found in hardship.”