Improving on My Cultivation Path When Facing Trivial Issues
(Minghui.org) Greetings esteemed Master, and fellow practitioners:
I would like to share my experiences and lessons learned during the past two years so that we can improve together.
I work for the Chinese language Epoch Times (Dajiyuan), as I live in a remote area, and my work hours are based on the U.S. time zone. Therefore, I don't participate in large group activities. Nevertheless, Master told us that everything happens for a reason and that this provides us with opportunities to cultivate. I believe that trivial things that happen on a daily basis are for us to learn and improve ourselves.
You Can Make It, But You Need to Run
Last year I was returning from Switzerland to Germany. After I bought the ticket I realized that there were only three minutes for me to catch the next train. Not wanting the stress, I asked for a ticket for a later train. The young man selling the ticket said with a straight face, “You can make it, but you need to run.”
This was a wake-up call. Master was hinting that I have routinely been doing the three things for a long time. I felt trapped in a state where I couldn’t make a breakthrough. I realized that I had become lazy and desired comfort. It was just like taking the train: I did not want to be rushed. In fact, I was no longer diligent in my cultivation, and that I had to run to catch up.
I had been a practitioner for 20 years but I wasn’t diligent. I did not do the exercises everyday and was always making excuses. Even after I knew that I must seize the time and be more diligent, it still took me a year, in which Master had to hint, so I would do the exercises every day.
Master hinted one time. It was when I was pumping gas at a gas station. I tripped over the gas pipe, and as I was falling down, my years of cultivation flashed through my mind, like a movie. I didn’t know why, but I got a very clear message – exercise. I felt ashamed for not being able to follow such a basic requirement as a veteran practitioner and needed Master to worry and constantly remind me.
A Bottle of Inferior Detergent
I was reporting on Shen Yun’s performances. It wasn’t easy and this project was helping me advance in my cultivation. The Epoch Times' standard for reporters became stricter, so I got more and more nervous. I worried that I couldn’t do this important job because I was lacking in my cultivation.
Last winter a bottle of inferior detergent taught me a lesson. I used a lot of it and it just didn’t do the job. Then I understood – I didn’t want to be that bottle of detergent, which looked like detergent but did not function well.
I knew that there were very few reporters who were qualified to report on the Shen Yun performance. I was lucky to be assigned to this sacred job, and I shouldn't’ fail it. Otherwise I was just like the detergent -- not doing the job. It would be an enormous sin, as I neglected to fulfill my vow.
“While you might think that, “Hey, whatever the case, I’m doing Dafa things!” that’s not in fact so. You are actually just enacting the form of it, and you are not managing to save those people you should be saving, nor are the things that require you to all cooperate having the impact that they should.” (“Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
Master's Fa woke me up, and I told myself that I couldn’t just do things as if involved in a routine task.
Lesson Learned from Memorizing the Fa
Our Fa study group decided to memorize instead of reading the Fa everyday last year. Between the three of us, one practitioner was very quick in memorizing the Fa, but she made a lot of mistakes. She needed to be corrected frequently. It took the other practitioner longer to memorize the Fa but she almost never made mistakes.
After a while, I began to wonder what was wrong with the first practitioner and what was the lesson that I was supposed to learn. I knew that I had the same issue and Master was magnifying my problem through the practitioner’s act, so that I could see clearly where I lacked in my cultivation.
I saw the attachments to eagerness, quick success, not wanting to spend time and do real work, as well as wanting to be opportunistic and take my chance.
It reminded me of something a German practitioner said to me last year. At the time she was teaching me how to work online. She was a well-organized person who was endowed with logical thinking. She taught me carefully, hoping that I would understand the principle at each step. I was impatient thinking why did she take so much time to explain something I already knew. Before she could finish her words, I was pushing different keys. In the end I no longer could follow her train of thought, nor did I learn anything.
The practitioner got worried and suggested that Chinese people had such problems. She had told me several times that I wasn’t focused and didn’t pay attention. On the surface I apologized, but in my mind I didn’t agree with her. In Chinese practitioners’ eyes, I worked hard and payed attention to details.
Now, I understand that the German practitioner was right in her assessment of me. I had not realized that when I thought that I had paid attention and thoroughly carried out what needed to be done, I was in fact being self-righteous and arrogant. I was happy with half of the job done, and sometimes even took pride in it.
I thought about the Shen Yun artists. If they had to practice 100 times for one movement every day, I imagine that they could master it after 10 times. But for the perfect moment on stage, they repeated the movement 100 times each day to ensure that there was absolutely no room for a mistake.
The most frequent praise I heard from the audience was that the artists were perfect and incredibly precise. The audience believed that the artists must be well trained and devoted to this a tremendous amount of time and effort. I knew at the moment that without the foundation of repeating the movement 100 times, they couldn’t have presented on stage a flawless show.
Later I shared with the two practitioners in my Fa study group. We all agreed that we need to eliminate the attachments to quick success and doing half the job.
Seriousness of Dealing with Others
Recently I gave the proofreading work of our newspaper to a different group. The practitioner who was doing the work questioned why I had reassigned the work.
The workflow of our newspaper recently changed and this practitioner asked me earlier whether this change would increase my workload. It did, but I knew that it was something for me to cultivate, so I told her that I would change my way of work and work with her.
A week later the editor in chief asked me whether it would be easier if we just gave the editing to a different group and not make changes in the workflow. I was in agreement and the editor went ahead and made the arrangements.
I tried to explain it to the practitioner, whom I have never met, but she was very angry. She warned me that I must be serious about things I did and that I must keep my word, as Dafa work wasn’t child’s play. “If a person did not keep his promises, there is no place for that person,” she said. In the end she said that no one would communicate and work with me if I kept this up and I must be very careful.
I knew that Master was hinting through the practitioner’s mouth. The words were like a hammer and made me look within. I seemed to have ignored my promises to others and was a true believer of “to say is one thing and to do is another.”
I didn’t feel bad or think it was a big deal if I didn’t keep my promises. It didn’t even register in my head the fact that I went back on my words. I would easily promise my child to buy something and forget about it or to attend an activity and just not show up.
I can’t imagine what would happen had we breached our contract with Master before we became Dafa practitioners. I knew at the moment that I must take this issue seriously. After being scolded by the practitioner, I stayed up that night and finished an article I promised her.
Improvement in Cultivation
I knew that I didn’t work hard enough in my cultivation. Sometimes I saw so many attachments in me, that it was frustrating. I knew that I shouldn’t feel that way and remembered what Master said,
“Destiny’s been setCultivating in FaRead the book moreConsummation’s near,” (“Ease the Mind,” Hong Yin, Translation Version C)
Master has already told me that what I needed to do was to truly study the Fa and be diligent in my cultivation. If I failed one test, instead of staying down and blaming myself, I must get up and keep moving forward.
(Presented at the 2019 German Fa Conference)