Cultivating Myself by Eliminating Human Notions
(Minghui.org) I began practicing Falun Dafa in 1998 but later became lost in the everyday world for a long time. Even though I studied Master's teachings over and over, my selfishness made it difficult for my real self to come forth. I seldom really cultivated myself. Instead I “cultivated others” by evaluating fellow practitioners using my superficial understandings of the Fa principles.
After tripping and falling several times, and by thoroughly revamping the cultivation path I had been walking for more than a decade, I have clearly seen my own fundamental attachments. I have become aware of what is really important in my life. I have strengthened my main consciousness without being affected by postnatal ideas. And I feel that I have improved greatly in my cultivation.
Eliminating Human Notions When Rescuing Fellow Practitioners
A fellow practitioner who was involved in truth-clarifying projects with us was arrested in 2015 for filing a criminal complaint against Jiang Zemin, the former head of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). We were told that he would be detained for 15 days but neither his family nor his lawyer would be allowed to visit him.
This practitioner’s mother was a Falun Dafa practitioner, but his father was not. Not wanting to annoy the police, his parents chose not to contest the “no visits” policy. When I heard this, I urged them to tell the police that their son should be released in less than 15 days. Fifteen days passed. When they went to bring their son home, they were told that he couldn’t be released, because his was now a criminal case. At this time I had an attachment of resentment for his parents.
The lawyer decided to go to the district prosecutor's office to sue the detention center and the police department. Many practitioners supported him by sending forth righteous thoughts outside the office. I asked the arrested practitioner's mother to clarify the truth to the prosecutor, but she said she was sending forth righteous thoughts. That made me unhappy, so I said, “All the practitioners in the car outside are sending forth righteous thoughts. It is your responsibility to clarify the truth.” That upset her and she said we should listen to the prosecutor and not be rude. I shot back, “You are just making an excuse for your fear.” That just made things tense.
At home, I was still complaining about her to myself. I was annoyed and upset. After calming down, I thought it over carefully: “There is nothing wrong to want to save people, but why did I just ask her to clarify the truth? Wasn't I there as one of his family members? Why couldn’t I do it myself? I complained that she had an attachment of fear, but what about me?” I really regretted that I had not considered her situation, which I then recalled.
She had been persecuted several times after going to Beijing to appeal and now her son had been arrested. She also had to deal with complaints and accusations from her non-cultivating family members. Just think how much pressure she was under! I just blindly imposed my own ideas on her. It seemed that only by meeting the standard as I saw it did she conform to the Fa. How selfish I was! Is this what Master wants? Isn’t it the manifestation of the evil Party’s culture when I impose upon or force others to do something? Looking inside, I was ashamed.
Looking inward more deeply, I discovered a deeply hidden “fear” at play. I was scared that the arrested practitioner might give the names of other practitioners, including me, because of an inability to endure threats or torture. What a big example of my “selfishness” was covered up! I was shocked and told myself, “I must change myself.”
Master said: “And human notions change, The degenerate things purged, Brightness now shines forth.” (“Born Anew” from Hong Yin)
I realized that, without imposing on, blaming, or complaining, I should really put clarifying the facts into practice. I decided to write a letter, as if the arrested practitioner's parents had written it, to all departments concerned to inspire their kindness.
The next day, I sincerely apologized to the fellow practitioner’s mother and then we shared a bit. A practitioner then read the letter to the fellow practitioner’s father, seeking his advice. The purpose of my doing things this way was to clarify the truth to the father so that he could further understand his son and wife. Also, we wished to show him our respect. While reading the letter, the practitioner couldn’t help crying. The father agreed with our approach.
We took that letter with us when we went to every department involved in the case. We explained the facts whenever we could. We left a copy of the letter with office staff when it was not possible to talk with those in charge. Everything was progressing in a good direction. Later, my fellow practitioners said, “The letter is very well written and sensible.”
I knew that all this was done by Master. As long as our thoughts are in accordance with the Fa and our starting point is pure, Master will give us wisdom so that we can write effectively.
Getting Rid of Human Notions and Denying the Old Forces' Persecution
While visiting her son in the south at the beginning of June 2017, our coordinator was arrested while handing out truth-clarification materials. It was a shock to us all. The first thing that came to our minds was to protect Master's photo and Falun Dafa books. We went to her home and moved Master’s photo and Dafa books to a safe place. Someone else sent in a report to the Minghui website about what had happened and reminded us to send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the persecution.
At this time, practitioners who knew this coordinator quite well started to talk about her shortcomings. They felt she was pushy and controlling and acted as if she were better than others. After sharing among us, we realized that nothing is accidental in cultivation. Only when we look inside and upgrade ourselves can we turn bad things into good things. We reminded each other that we had to strengthen our main consciousness and not look for faults in others. If we did this, the old forces would not have an excuse to aggravate the persecution.
We all realized this, but only by putting it into practice could we really cultivate ourselves. We spent 24 hours sending forth righteous thoughts. While sending righteous thoughts, I sometimes felt sleepy or had negative thoughts about the practitioner that had been arrested. Subconsciously, there seemed to be something that drove me to think that she deserved to be locked up since she had been so pushy and demanding. I was startled by these thoughts and realized that the old forces were behind this logic!
She had been handing out truth-clarification materials to save people, not something someone should be arrested for. The police said they would release her if she wrote a guarantee statement, which she absolutely refused to do. That earned her my infinite respect. I sent forth righteous thoughts and felt that they could actually reach her dimensional field to eliminate the evil.
The coordinator was illegally detained for 30 days. Other practitioners, her family members, and the lawyer cooperated to secure her release, while she maintained righteous thoughts. Most important, of course, was Master's protection.
It just so happened that the Minghui website had posted an audio version of the article entitled “Critically Ill Practitioner Recovers in Three Days upon Group Elevation.” I listened to it and became more aware that, in assisting fellow practitioners who have been arrested or those suffering from sickness karma, we should unconditionally look inside. The practitioner who was persecuted had her own situation. But all practitioners in the area should eliminate any human notions and allow our cultivated selves to be in charge. The persecution will then have no roots, and the false picture of being persecuted will be dispelled because we are a united whole.
I have also realized that the disintegration of the persecution is the question that we all have to answer. If we each actively eliminate our attachments, the tribulations will be less severe for the practitioner who has been persecuted.
When the practitioner was released, many other practitioners spoke highly of her because her release was a result of her righteous thoughts. When we met, I saw that she did indeed appear to be a leader. But this touched my attachment, which led me to remind the group coordinator that we should be responsible for this fellow practitioner and arrange for a sharing with her as soon as possible in case her attachments hindered her from improving.
I was also depressed and asked myself: “Why does her performance worry me so much? What attachment does Master want me to remove as a result of this incident?” While sending righteous thoughts, Master suddenly let me realize that it was my impression of her. Back when she was detained, that attachment of mine was suppressed, but it was not really removed. When she returned, the suppressed attachment was revived. The reason was that I still had not improved a bit. Even if she had some weak points, Master would arrange for her to recognize it. Did I need to worry about her due to my attachment?
I suddenly felt cheerful, as if a big weight that had been pressing on my heart was instantly melted. Thank you, Master, for your compassionate hint and arrangement for my improvement.
Changing Human Notions When Dealing with Family
When she was a child, my daughter studied the Falun Dafa teachings with me and memorized many poems in Hong Yin. She often accompanied me to distribute truth-clarifying materials in residential apartments. In high school, she also dared to clarify the facts about the "Tiananmen self-immolation" incident to her political science teacher. Until her third year of high school, she did the Falun Dafa exercises with us. After she went to university, her homework and social activities took up a great deal of her time. In the end she no longer read Dafa books or did the exercises. Even worse, she didn’t understand why I encouraged people to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations. She was getting further away from the Fa and this really worried me.
After her graduation, my daughter came home to prepare for her postgraduate exams. I originally thought that I could ask her to read the Fa again during the summer vacation. But whenever I mentioned something about Falun Dafa to her, she would wave me away. When her grandparents asked her to have a dinner with them, she wasn’t willing to go. She even disliked talking with her cousins, saying that she was too busy to do anything with them. She often mocked me about my unstylish clothes, looked at me with disdain, and talked down to me. I carefully tried not to bother her and suppressed my emotions.
“But normally when a problem arises, if it does not irritate a person psychologically, it does not count or is useless and cannot make him or her improve.” (Zhuan Falun)
Argument after argument, I felt uneasy again and again and tried to tolerate it by suppressing my emotions. Once, when I thought she was looking at me with disdain, I couldn’t put up with it anymore and criticized her. Eventually we stopped talking, which made the atmosphere at home very tense.
One day, my husband asked our daughter to attend a dinner with family friends, but she rudely refused and acted disrespectfully.
That made my husband so angry that he spoke very harshly to her. My daughter cried and the atmosphere at home became even worse.
This time I was alert and looked inward.
“As a practitioner, one must then conduct oneself by following this characteristic of the universe rather than the standards of everyday people.” (Zhuan Falun)
I thought, “How can I be controlled by human notions? How can I forget that I am a practitioner and behave like a sentimental mother? From an everyday person’s perspective, my daughter’s behavior has hurt me. Does she not appreciate what I have sacrificed for her? I am deeply hurt and upset. But as a practitioner, I should remove all these human notions.
“In our home, the home of a Dafa practitioner, my daughter feels uncomfortable and is not in a good mood. Isn’t that a reflection of a field of cultivation that is not harmonious? When we don’t upgrade ourselves, my daughter’s knowing side is worried about us. My daughter is helping us cultivate by revealing our attachments. Why didn’t I realize this? I am not thanking her from the bottom of my heart like I should. Instead I am using my parental authority to subdue her! My daughter appears to be selfish and indifferent, but isn’t this really a reflection of me?”
Looking inside, I discovered that I seldom sought out my relatives and friends whom I had already clarified the truth to for fear that they would waste my time. If I didn't improve and still insisted that others change, how could that be right?
I realized that I was not sure-footed in my cultivation.
After I found my own problems, my daughter completely changed the next day and she didn’t have any further arguments with us. Cultivation practice is really mysterious!