The Seriousness of Cultivation
(Minghui.org) I am a relatively new Falun Dafa practitioner, having taken up this cultivation practice in 2015. I have been doing the three things but often feel that something is missing. However, I have come to understand the issue of fundamental attachments and the seriousness of cultivation.
Treating Cultivation With a Human Heart
When I began to practice cultivation, I did not know how to cultivate solidly. I had a sense of showing off and felt that I did well. I knew that as a cultivator I needed to look within, but most of the time I just went through formalities. When going through tribulations, I tried to search within but felt I did not really find what I was looking for. Even though I cultivated away some attachments, I still felt I was not that solid. At critical moments, I also had thoughts came up that were not befitting of a cultivator.
“Spiritual practice is extremely demanding and a serious affair. Even just being a little careless might prove to be your undoing and ruin you in no time. So it’s imperative that your thinking be right.” (The Sixth Talk,Zhuan Falun, 2018 translation)
Master's teaching has profound inner meanings. I had read it many times but still did not have a good understanding of the serious nature of cultivation, and I could not abide by the strict standard of Dafa’s requirements.
I knew the importance of doing the exercises but had a difficult time persevering. The alarm rang one morning, but I did not get up. Then, the alarm fell to the ground, and the loud sound made me jump. I realized Master was reminding me, so I got up.
One of the three things is to save sentient beings. Thus, I began making phone calls to China to bring awareness of the persecution suffered by Dafa and its practitioners. When calling, I could feel Master's energy reinforcing me.
However, I still felt that I was just doing things and even pursued virtue. I felt good about doing the work, but I did not truly put in the effort. It showed, and not many people agreed to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). When I watched fellow practitioners attending training and being devoted to their Dafa work without any selfish thoughts, I realized that their results were outstanding.
Since I live outside of China, I do not feel the pressure of persecution compared to what practitioners in China experience. However, I was persecuted in another form–by the attachment to lust. I was not able to be consistently diligent, so how could I experience a breakthrough? I asked myself why I cultivated and where my source of motivation was.
Only after I studied the Dafa teachings consistently did I realize that I had been treating Dafa cultivation with a human heart. I felt cultivation in Dafa is outstanding, my master is a great person, and that as long as I did well in cultivation, I could show off someday.
“Some truly see the Fa-principles of Dafa; while many other students have found with their human notions various yearnings and wishes in Dafa, and, compelled by these human attachments, they have come to practice cultivation in Dafa.” (“Towards Consummation,” Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I was looking at Dafa with human attachments and notions. My fundamental attachments prevented me from truly learning the Fa from the basis of the Fa. This also affected my motivation and diligence.
Master never gave up on me even though my enlightenment quality was rather poor. I participated in an activity and went to a place where Master was nearby. I felt a strong sense of energy enveloping me when I was there. But, I had a sense of melancholy: I did not cultivate well, my enlightenment quality was poor, and I did not know how to cultivate solidly. I realized that I lacked conviction and that I was afraid of hardship, afraid of losing sleep, afraid of leg pain while meditating.
My life, my very being is a particle of Dafa. This is a chance of eternity, I have to do better. I made up my mind to do better.
From that day on, I have gotten up every day at 4 a.m. to join the group exercises. I sleep for about four hours a night, but my state is better than when I slept all night. After the exercises, I go home to make phone calls to China. I keep reminding myself to treat sentient beings with the most compassion.
I now understand the importance of whether one can firmly cultivate, resolve to practice solidly, and understand the Fa on the basis of the Fa. Cultivation is extremely serious. If one slacks off, one will be easily interfered with and taken advantage of by the old forces.
I am thankful that Master did not give up on me. I will cherish every minute and second. I will diligently catch up to the level of my fellow practitioners.