Learning to Face Tribulations with Compassion
(Minghui.org) I began practicing Falun Dafa in February 2007. I attended a Nine-day Workshop and read Zhuan Falun. I realized how bad and wasteful my lifestyle was, and how I brought harm to myself. I felt fortunate to have found Dafa, and have a chance to correct myself. I was determined to practice diligently.
The Battle Between Good and Evil Co-exists in One Thought
A year after I began practicing, a fellow practitioner offered to take me to the truth-clarification site. I did not quite know what truth-clarification was, but decided to go.
As soon as I arrived I greeted the practitioners there. I noticed the display on the sidewalk. The display had photos and information about fellow practitioners in China being brutally persecuted. I felt very sad.
However, an odd feeling surfed and I actually laughed in my heart. I was surprised by my reaction.
I helped with truth-clarification that day. On my way home I thought, “What should I do? Should I continue doing truth-clarification?” I decided to face my problem and remove the bad thought when it popped up.
I began to help with truth-clarification, but the weird reaction kept coming back. I did not yet know how to open up and talk about my experiences with fellow practitioners.
Master Li Hongzhi said,
“We have said that good or evil comes from a person’s spontaneous thought, and the thought at that moment can bring about different consequences.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
In my understanding, when I saw the images and information about the persecution, my righteous thoughts which made me sad and the bad thoughts which made me think it was funny existed simultaneously. Doing truth-clarification would certainly take a lot of compassion, but it would be accompanied by a lot of bad thoughts as well. I decided that I needed to face them and actively reject them.
“As I see it, in the form of this physical dimension, the human brain is only a processing factory. The actual message is sent forth by the Primordial Spirit. What is transmitted, however, is not language, but a message of the universe that represents a certain meaning.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
In my understanding, if a thought is a message of the universe being processed into this physical dimension, then in cultivation practice, the moment a good thought or a bad thought is generated, wouldn’t a battle between good and evil take place in the small universe of our human body? How many lives would be involved in that thought? And how should every circumstance and every thought be handled in cultivation?
I understood cultivation is a very serious matter, because it involves so many beings and whether they can be saved.
Stop Hiding Because of Fear
I grew up with a lot of fear. Because my grades were poor, I feared going to school. I always felt miserable and didn't want to be humiliated in front of my friends.
Before I began practicing I avoided situations that could trigger my fear. I knew things had to change. For example, when it was my turn to read the Fa aloud or share understandings, my heart would pound so hard it felt as if it would jump out of my throat. This also happened when I helped promote Shen Yun Performing Arts.
One day, I teamed up with practitioners from Daegu and Busan to promote Shen Yun. One practitioner and I handed out pamphlets while the other talked to people.
The event was more crowded than we thought, and the practitioner from Busan became nervous. She began stammering and making mistakes. Trying to improve the situation, I stepped up and explained to people that she was nervous. I also said a few things about Shen Yun.
I realized I did not speak because I wanted to help her, but because I wanted to cover up my fear by stepping up and speaking in front of people. I felt bad when I realized this.
I told myself, “Why do you want to cover it up so much and hide behind others when they made a mistake?” I was determined to change. I must not avoid these situations anymore.
“You will be made to abandon all those attachments that cannot be given up among everyday people. As long as you have them, all of those attachments must be removed in different environments. You will be made to stumble, whereby you will become enlightened to the Tao. This is how one goes through cultivation practice.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
From then on, I prepared to talk about my experiences at every group study. Even though I was too nervous to say anything most of the time I gradually began to speak.
I identified a lot of attachments besides fear during the process and improved my xinxing. I felt speaking in front of people is a process of cultivation. As my cultivation improved, I became aware of how to speak. As I understood it, verbal expression was not only determined by eloquence, but also by xinxing.
Fragrance vs. Perfume
After working for The Epoch Times in Daegu for some time, I moved to Seoul to work in Circulation. Looking back, my decision was a little extreme. I worked in Circulation for a long time. Sometimes, my mentality wasn’t righteous.
I remembered what Master said,
“We should look not only at the tools’ appearance, but also at their effectiveness. Ancient Chinese medicine was very advanced, and present-day Western medicine will not be able to catch up with it for many years to come.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)
I felt that as long as one could assist Master in saving people, one’s insignificance was no longer important. In fact, it was because of my attachment to the surface that I felt the abjection.
Most Chinese people who live in Seoul live in Daerim-dong. Since I distributed the paper there I became acquainted with several workers and merchants in the area. One day, I saw garbage on the ground and picked it up. I had a sudden thought, “I’m picking up garbage. I’m doing a good deed. Wouldn't others say I’m a good person?”
While I threw the garbage away I questioned my motive. “Is what I’m doing really a good deed? Picking up garbage is a good deed, but deep down I was doing it to show how good I am. Perhaps my compassion is fake. I'm focused on doing good deeds, that thought is asking for a reward.”
When I examined myself, I saw I was doing good deeds with intention. Aren't we supposed to cultivate without pursuit?
One day I had the following understanding. A flower does not know it's emitting fragrance. The emitting fragrance is its nature.
I came to the same understanding of cultivation. When one’s xinxing and morality are elevated, one’s compassion will naturally manifest. There is no intention involved, therefore no condition is attached and no returns are sought. Just like the flower, one will do good deeds without knowing it.
Facing Hardships with Compassion
I was in charge of getting rally permits in Daerim-dong. One day, the police officer in charge of giving out permits phoned me and asked me to make a mosaic photo of the persecution. I couldn’t find any photos, and I didn't think it was important.
The deadline drew near and I went to apply for the permit again. That officer refused to give it and yelled at me. He told me the rally would be okay without a permit, and told me to go ahead and have the rally.
I argued with him. I did not get the permit, so I started walking out.
A female officer who knew me ran after me and said, “You are not doing this for yourself. You represent Falun Dafa. You cannot behave this way.”
I still did not pay attention to her words, and I walked out.
We encountered many problems making arrangements for the rally without a permit. I went back to the police station but the officer refused to give me one.
I looked inside and found I had the mentality of competition. I realized I could not solve this problem unless I eliminated my attachments.
It was hard for me to pick up the phone. I called the officer and said, “I was wrong. Please forgive me.” He said, “Yes. You were wrong.” He then laughed, told me to make the photo mosaic and bring a picture of it to the police station.
I did what he asked and we got our permit. The officer became supportive of Falun Dafa.
I learned from this incident that, when conflicts arise no matter how right we think we are, we cannot try to solve the problem until we eliminate our attachments. I was sure I was right and forgot to look inside for my attachment. Cultivation practice is a process of identifying and eliminating our attachments. Our problems are solved during the process.
“Some people say: ‘While a Tao is one foot tall, a demon would be one yard high.’ That is a false statement made by everyday people. A demon will never be higher than a Tao.”(Lecture Five, Zhuan Falun)
“How can one’s qi dominate that of another person? Qi cannot heal illness at all.” (Lecture Two, Zhuan Falun)
Handling problems with attachments and facing tribulations with demon nature can only make things worse. When I changed and faced the problem with compassion, the situation became smooth. I understood that kind thoughts carry positive energy which helps us break through tribulations.
After I realized the time for cultivation was extended, I slacked off. I tried to firm up my will to cultivate, but it didn't last long. I knew it was not the only reason for my slacking off.
Now I realize the reason I couldn't remain diligent is because I did not correlate with the starting point of Master’s requirements. If my starting point correlated with the old forces’ requirements, then no matter how badly I wanted to negate the old forces’ arrangements, it would not serve any use.
If I'm attached to when our time to cultivate is over and to lead a comfortable life, but at the same time try to negate the old forces’ arrangements, this would correlate with the old forces' selfishness.
“There is another way to change one’s life, and this is the only way: It is that this person takes the path of cultivation practice from now on.” (Lecture Two, Zhuan Falun)
When we follow Master’s Fa principles, the old forces lose their power. We should follow Master at all times.
In my understanding, saving sentient beings is the key! Only when our starting point of cultivation is to save people can we advance more diligently in this special period.
(Experience Sharing Paper at the 2019 Korean Fahui)