Remain Clearheaded in Cultivation Practice
(Minghui.org) One local practitioner with his inner eye open had severe health problems a few months ago. He became bedridden and was unable to take care of himself. This practitioner has always firmly believed in Master [Li Hongzhi] and Falun Dafa. He was diligent in studying the teachings, clarifying the truth, and sending forth righteous thoughts. Many amazing things had happened to him. We all thought that he had a strong righteous mind.
When other practitioners and I went to visit him, we reminded him to look within for any shortcomings and correct them. But he kept telling us what he had seen through his inner eye and what he had done. He mentioned how capable he was and that his level was above everyone else. When we talked about xinxing improvement, however, he did not have much to say.
His mind was sometimes clear and sometimes confused. I felt that evil elements were controlling him. Even though he said that everything he had was given by Master and how much he respected Master, a lot of what he said deviated from the Fa. To me, his problems were that he was attached to his supernatural power and that he felt superior to everyone else, which had led him astray.
Looking at his situation made me wonder about my own cultivation. Master told us:
I enlightened that supernatural power cannot replace xinxing cultivation.
Seeing things in other dimensions can be novel and attractive. Even though they can reinforce our faith in cultivation, they may also capture our attention because they look so real. Xinxing cultivation, on the other hand, is not tangible or visible. Sometimes you feel it and sometimes not. It could be more difficult for practitioners with their inner eye open to cultivate since they have to resist temptation from what they see in other dimensions.
Master told us when he talked about the origin of human beings:
“As more lives come about, people enter into community with one another, and some grow selfish and no longer worthy of the realms they are in. And so they must fall to a lower plane, since they are not allowed to remain where they are. But then, in that new realm, they may again change for the worse and not be allowed to remain, whereupon they drop again. And the cycle could keep repeating itself until, in the end, they fall to the human plane.” (The First Talk, Zhuan Falun)
Master also told us the story of an arhat who dropped in level after developing the attachments of zealotry and fear. High-level beings drop in their levels when their xinxing drops. The Fa has different requirements at different levels. One's supernatural power cannot keep one at a certain level if his xinxing does not meet the requirement of that level.
Master also said:
“But true spiritual practice is about working on the mind, or character.” (The First Talk, Zhuan Falun)
“Let me tell you, cultivation comes before practice. Cultivation is first and foremost. If you don’t take the cultivation of your xinxing seriously and don’t pay attention to virtue, then you won’t have any energy to speak of!” (“Teaching the Fa in Beijing at the Zhuan Falun Publication Ceremony,” Zhuan Falun Fajie)
Master's Fa applies to all practitioners, including the ones with their inner eye open. Practitioners who have supernatural power or can see with their inner eye are not necessarily at their highest cultivation level. They still need to cultivate their character. Every practitioner, with or without supernatural power, has to cultivate him or herself well.
Master told us,
“Any time you experience disruptions of any sort, you should proactively think about what caused them and what you still need to let go.” (The Sixth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
Although we do not recognize the vicious persecution, we still need to examine our xinxing when encountering problems. Any of our strong attachments could give the old forces excuses to persecute us. I would like to share my understanding of being clearheaded in three areas: lust, healing illnesses with supernatural power, and attachment to ego.
Some time ago, an elderly practitioner's wife passed away. After that happened, he developed very close relationships with several ladies his own age. They often visited him. Even though he did not have affairs with any of them, this showed that he might still have the attachment to lust; otherwise, these ladies would not come to him.
This practitioner was also close to an unmarried female practitioner. He called her “little sister.” He stayed overnight at her home so they could “share experiences.” What he did was not appropriate, and it was a reflection of his xinxing. We should be alert to such growing sentiments.
Master told us:
“I have talked before about the old forces' interference. Have you thought about the following? [Sexual desire] is one of the factors [they use] to hold you back! What do the old forces and the old cosmos see as the gravest thing? Lust, [in the form of] sexual activity outside of marriage.
“In other words, these things are extremely serious to them. So the old forces and all of the gods in that cosmos will not defend anyone who violates the prohibition on this, anyone who doesn't do well in this regard; in fact they will push you downwards. They know [and think to themselves], "Li Hongzhi, you won't abandon your disciples, so we will make you abandon them." That's why they have the students who have made mistakes make more mistakes, over and over, and in the end do wicked things and go to the opposite side. "We will fill his head with crooked understandings and make him damage Dafa. Then we will see if you still keep him." And you know, that is what they have done. Do you think all those who have "enlightened" along an evil path really wanted to go toward evilness? There are reasons behind all of that.” (Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles)
I believe that some practitioners' tribulations were caused by their attachment to lust even though the tribulations manifested as going astray, sickness karma, enlightening along an evil path, or detention.
Practitioners without their inner eyes open need to see through the riddles in the human world; practitioners with their inner eyes open need to see through the riddles in other dimensions. Some of what we see in the human world are real, and some are not; what we see in other dimensions may not be real, either.
The old forces are immortals with power. They can produce all kinds of illusions to baffle practitioners. They can clearly observe practitioners' attachments to create false scenarios to trap them and persecute them. Anything that happens in the human world may appear coincidental but could be arranged by the old forces. All of what they do means to destroy us. The above is one example, and we need to pay attention to such issues.
One practitioner used his supernatural power to cure people's illnesses. As a result, Master took back the things given to his body. He then knew that he had been wrong and became afraid. He begged Master for forgiveness and was pardoned.
“Healings are another thing that we don’t allow you to do. Anyone learning Falun Dafa is strictly prohibited from giving people treatments. We are teaching you how to progress to higher realms, and we don’t want you to form new attachments or harm your body.” (The Third Talk, Zhuan Falun)
“If you do healings, my spiritual bodies will take back all of what your body was given for your spiritual refinement. We can’t let you rashly ruin such valuable gifts while you chase after worldly goals. You are not one of us if you don’t follow what Falun Dafa teaches. So your body will be reset to an ordinary state and all of the bad things it once carried will be returned to you, since you are choosing to be an ordinary person.” (The Second Talk, Zhuan Falun)
Ordinary people used all kinds of ways to get practitioners to heal them. They praised the practitioners or gave them gifts. It was likely that these practitioners had the attachment to healing people, so it was actually an opportunity to get rid of such the attachment. If the practitioner's cultivation was not solid, however, he might become zealous and unable to control himself. He put aside Dafa's principles and did healings, which practitioners should never do.
He might have stopped healing after he was punished without truly acknowledging his wrongdoing. If so, he did not seriously look into the root cause of his problems and their consequences.
Healing is not a trivial mistake. It induces karma and contaminates bodies that Master already cleansed. It also violates the principles of human beings paying back their debts and interferes with people's lives as arranged by high-level beings. As a result, it might provoke high-level beings to cause trouble for these practitioners. It would also mess up the cultivation path that Master arranged for practitioners, which is a serious matter.
The fundamental reason that these practitioners knowingly committed wrongdoing is because they did not pay attention to cultivating their xinxing.
Letting Go of Ego
Master told us,
“And all of the human ideas, as well as the variety of sources from which those ideas stem, that are bound up in that human thinking will serve to interfere with the person. Whichever kind of life form your thinking aligns with, that life form will immediately have an effect on you.” (“Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
Some practitioners felt good about themselves, which led their ego to expand. Evil beings that were aligned with their attachments were invited to reinforce their attachments. These practitioners lost their reasoning abilities and fell under the control of evil beings. They sometimes could not remember what they said and went astray.
“The inner eye is something that many spiritual teachers have spoken of. However, it should be remembered that the Way reveals itself according to each person’s level of spiritual attainment. And so any individual will only be able to see things that correspond to his stage of progress; higher realities will neither be visible to him nor believable. And so he may think that what he sees, at his level, is absolutely true. And until he has reached higher realms himself, through practice, it will be hard for him to imagine that still higher things exist or are possible. So his level of attainment acts as a limiting factor, as it limits his realm of thought.” (The Second Talk, Zhuan Falun)
Practitioners with their inner eyes open can only see limited things due to the limitation of their xinxing. Before we reach consummation, what we see is limited; otherwise, we could not cultivate further.
Master told us:
“So whatever happens, you should keep your composure as a practitioner and base what you do on Dafa, to really get things right. Keep in mind that if you gain any particular power, or if all of your powers are freed, it came to you from practicing Dafa. If you put your own powers above Dafa, or think that the insights you’ve gained with enlightenment are right, and that you are greater than Dafa, then I would say your fall has begun, you are in danger, and things will only get worse. You are really in trouble in that case, and all of your spiritual efforts may end up for naught. Not handling these things well could lead to your downfall and ruin your practice.” (The Six Talk, Zhuan Falun)
Practitioners driven by their attachments felt really good about their abilities. Did they put Dafa in second place and put their supernatural power above Dafa? If so, that would be really dangerous.
We need to be able to tell where our thoughts originate. The thoughts not in line with Dafa are not from ourselves and could have been forced into our minds by other beings. Some attachments and thoughts that we cannot control are imposed on us by the evil to destroy us. Our shortcomings in cultivation lead to these forms of interference and impediments. Master is waiting for us to improve.
It is time to wake up! Don't be lured and distracted by supernatural powers or by scenes in other dimensions. That is, always remember the foundation of cultivation, which is looking inward. We need to put our egos aside and examine our cultivation state to find where we are not in line with the Fa and which of the Fa principles we are not clear about. We should improve ourselves on the Fa to dig out the root cause of our problems.
This sharing is based on my personal understandings. Please point out anything inappropriate.