Did I Truly Respect Master and the Fa?
(Minghui.org) The first time I read the following paragraph I didn't really understand what Master meant.
“The disciples who practice cultivation in Falun Dafa must remember that you absolutely should not take the Fa merely as ordinary human academic scholarship or as something for monks to study, rather than actually practicing cultivation. Why do I tell you to study, read, and memorize Zhuan Falun? To guide your cultivation! As to those who only do the exercises but don’t study the Fa, they are not disciples of Dafa whatsoever. Only when you are studying the Fa and cultivating your heart and mind in addition to the means of reaching Consummation—the exercises, and truly changing yourself fundamentally while improving your xinxing and elevating your level—can it be called true cultivation practice.” (“What is Cultivation Practice?” Falun Dafa Essentials For Further Advancement )
Although Master stated them very clearly, I just couldn't grasp the Fa principles. I had no idea what true cultivation was. Studying the Fa and practicing the exercises every day was my understanding of what it meant to cultivate.
I felt sleepy whenever I picked up Zhuan Falun. I begin to read out loud. Sometimes I stood or knelt while reading until I broke through the interference. But then new interference came; rampant thought karma kept popping up in my mind whenever I studied the Fa. Through Fa study I realized that this interference came from karma accumulated from my previous lifetimes, it wouldn't let me go easily and tried to interfere with me. I knew that I had to overcome it or be pulled down by it.
I adopted the method of reading the Fa quickly to prevent this interference. I did this for years. Another practitioner pointed out that I read too fast and I should slow down. I said that although I read fast, I never missed any words. I thought that I clearly understood the Fa principals and was improving quickly. However, my attachment to complacency quietly expanded without my knowledge. I did not understand that my improvement was a generous gift from Master.
Master warned us,
“In practicing cultivation, you are not making real, solid progress on your own, which would effect great, fundamental changes internally. Instead, you rely on my power and take advantage of powerful external factors. This can never transform your human nature into Buddha-nature.” (“Cautionary Advice” Falun Dafa Essentials For Further Advancement )
I felt that Master was talking about me. This made me realize that my human approach could work to a certain degree, but it did not really eliminate my karma. This was why I was still disturbed by various thoughts. The worst thing was that when I listened to other practitioners reading the Fa, interfering thoughts still kept surfacing. I knew that anything that interfered with Fa-study played the role of a demon. How could one employ a human approach to eliminate karma and demonic interference? Master already told us the only way we could improve and elevate in cultivation.
“In truth, the spiritual journey is none other than an ongoing process of learning to let go of the things of this world that we may be attached to.” (The First Talk, Zhuan Falun )
Although I had read this Fa more than two hundred times, I had not grasped its true meaning. My character had not truly elevated and I still had all sorts of thoughts and attachments.
In 2013 I dreamed that I saw a large Dafa ship coming to pick me up. I happily shouted, “The Fa ship is coming!” I suddenly realized that I was holding large black bags in each of my hands. The bags were filled with my favorite things. I wanted to take these things back with me.
As I turned around to put the bags down, I immediately thought that the Fa vessel would set sail and I would miss it. I quickly dropped the bags and boarded the ship. I knew that Master was giving me a hint to help me eliminate my human attachments quickly, for any human notions can’t be brought to heaven. I asked myself, “If I hang on to attachments, how could I fulfill my mission to save sentient beings? Would I reach the consummation standard set by Master?”
I memorized Master’s Fa and kept it in mind, but I failed to do what Master said,
“Examine each and every deed” (“Solid Cultivation”, Hong Yin, Translation Version B)
Sometimes I was unable to enlighten to even the superficial meaning of the Fa. I felt ashamed and embarrassed, but I didn’t improve my inadequate cultivation state. I knew that whatever I did learn was due to Master’s infinite compassion! Only by absorbing more Fa and improving the depth of my understanding, would I be able to break through my state to improve quickly. I saw Master’s Fa principals after I had that thought.
“Meditation and good posture were part of one’s education, and when writing, people were mindful of their breathing and directed energy to different areas of the body. And in each of the trades and professions people sought to empty the mind and breathe properly. This was simply the way of things throughout society.” (The Seventh Talk, Zhuan Falun )
This time, I clearly knew what to do. I thought that even an ordinary person pays attention to his posture, let alone a Falun Dafa practitioner! I needed to sit upright and hold my Dafa book up while reading. Respect for Master and the Fa is reflected in every small act.
It was not enough to achieve that just in form, I had to also do it from within. I stopped reading quickly. Instead I focused on each word Master taught. I kept in mind,
“..studying the Fa and obtaining the Fa” (“Comments Regarding the Fa-Rectification Made at the Falun Dafa Assistants Meeting in Beijing,” Explaining the Content of Falun Dafa)
I guarded my thoughts every time I studied the Fa and reminded myself, “Your main consciousness needs to dominate. You are studying the Fa; don’t let any thoughts interfere.”
As my cultivation state improved, so did my appearance. Many people were surprised to hear my real age when I clarified the facts about Dafa. I told them that Falun Dafa cultivates both mind and body; one will naturally look young while practicing Dafa.
Truly Practicing the Exercises
Although I was able to enter into tranquility when I practiced the sitting meditation, I could not calm down when I did the standing exercises. I was not even aware of this for a long time.
A year ago, when I did the first exercise, “Buddha Stretching a Thousand Arms,” I recited, “Shenshen Heyi,” (The mind and body join together). I suddenly felt how splendid and wonderful Falun Dafa is.
I asked myself, “Why did I experience such a wonderful feeling at that moment?” I realized that I seldom calmed down when I practiced the standing exercises. I usually had random thoughts and this had become a habit. I never achieved the state of “mind and body joining together,” or at least not completely. I never thought to correct myself. My mind usually drifted along with the thought karma. I just practiced the exercises on the surface.
As a cultivator I had not reached the state of, “mind and body joining together” required by Master.
When I realized that “mind and body joining together” was a principal Master showed, I recalled that I had often been interfered with by thoughts while practicing. It was wrong for my mind to keep slipping into human thoughts. It was almost equivalent to practicing an evil way. More seriously, it was being untrue to Master and the Fa.
The most serious thought karma interference happened a few years ago when I was performing the second exercise. As soon as I began the exercise, I started to think about writing an article. I did not realize it was wrong. When I later became tranquil during the standing exercises, I once again experienced the grandeur of Dafa, just like the first time I practiced the exercises. How many times have I achieved this tranquil state in my 20 years of practice!?
I carefully examined myself to try to find the reason. I realized that when I first began practicing, I was filled with piety, admiration, humility and joy. I practiced the exercises every day.
Over the years, I had become too familiar with the practice. It was too easy for me to obtain the Fa. It had been effortless, and this was entirely due to Master's compassion.
Doing the exercises and reading the teachings every day had replaced true cultivation practice. I did them like finishing a task: performing two hours sitting meditation and one hour of the standing exercises every day. The broad and profound meaning of practicing Dafa exercises was no longer there.
I realized that this was also a very serious manifestation of lacking respect for Master and the Fa. It was far from Master’s requirement,
“Study Fa, obtain Fa, Compare in studying, compare in cultivating, Examine each and every deed, Accomplishing is cultivating.” (“Solid Cultivation” Hong Yin, Translation Version B)
Therefore, I was in the state of, “When Practicing Doesn’t Bring Results” (Zhuan Falun) for a long time.
Master pointed out, “Accomplishing is cultivating.” I regained the piety, humility and diligence I once had. Every time I practiced the standing exercises, I reminded myself, “You are a Dafa disciple, cultivating the most sacred Fa in the whole cosmos. No thoughts are allowed to interfere. I must have a pure mind to practice each movement.”
I enlightened that each exercise was Master’s Fa, and not only had the Fa’s power, but also the Fa’s inner meaning. Only by calmly practicing each exercise without being interfered with by any thoughts, can one experience the meaning of each exercise. When I was able to achieve “mind and body joining together,” the profound inner meanings and mighty power of the Fa was reflected in my body. Elevating is not hard. The difficulty lies in one’s inability to let go of one’s attachments.
After calmly studying the Fa and practicing the exercises, I felt the power and meaning manifested by the Fa.
“Your ability to center yourself and still your mind reflects your spiritual progress.” (The Ninth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I finally gained some understanding about this.