Studying the Fa with a Calm Mind
(Minghui.org) I started to develop signs of aging, including age spots on my face and hands, blurred vision; my side would ache after a long walk, and my knees hurt after climbing up stairs. I was also unable to calm my mind when studying the Fa. I realized that my cultivation state was off.
A few years ago, I started to have trouble seeing Chinese characters clearly while correcting Dafa books. I had to get reading glasses, and often wore them for Fa-study. However, upon seeing others who were older than me reading the Fa without glasses, I knew it came down to the fact that my personal cultivation was a bit off.
At the time, changes at home meant that the environment there wasn't ideal. The TV was on at all times, and it was hard to escape the images and sounds as long as I was at home. I wasn't permitted to go out whenever I felt like it anymore, and if I didn't ask my husband's permission to have visitors over, he would give me a dirty look or speak to me angrily.
I felt a bit lost. At times, it was hard to hold my temper. However, when I thought about how Master Li had suffered for us, I managed to endure, although I felt quite upset inside. At times, I found it difficult not to fight with my husband, and I would want to leave him afterwards. However, after thinking things through, I realized that I wouldn't be able to save my family members if I based my decisions on pursuing a happy life in ordinary society. That isn't in line with what Master Li requires of us. They must also have been Master's family members in a prior life. In order to obtain this Dafa, they sacrificed a lot, lifetime after lifetime, even to the point of losing their lives.
As a practitioner, I knew I should look within and cultivate well. When I kept my mind on the Fa, I was able to look within in all situations. If I did not, I would start to experience physical discomfort. Then, negative thoughts would start to play on my mind, leading me to slack off in doing the exercises and studying the Fa diligently. I also started to watch TV programs, though I felt regret afterwards. I was very worried about my cultivation state, and my knowing side kept asking Master Li to help me cultivate more diligently.
When my child went on vacation, another practitioner and I used their place to study the Fa at night. We also did the exercises together every morning, and sent forth righteous thoughts.
One night, after we had sent forth righteous thoughts for an hour, she suggested we read a chapter of Zhuan Falun together before going to bed. As we read the Fa, I realized that I hadn't brought my reading glasses from home. The book at my child's place was written in traditional Chinese characters, not the simplified characters I was more comfortable reading. I got stuck on some characters from time to time and also had trouble reading the characters from top to bottom, instead of left to right.
I kept squinting my eyes to see better and had difficulty pronouncing words properly. When I couldn't figure a character out, the other practitioner would prompt me. I would concentrate on that character so as to remember it for next time, but this made the other practitioner think I didn't know the next word, so she'd prompt me again. I started to become agitated and lost track of where I was up to on the page. I really wanted to explain to her what was going on, but was afraid that if I offended her she would stop reading with me.
All I could do was to wholeheartedly focus on every word in the book. I felt as if I used my whole mind to figure out how to pronounce each word. I knew I shouldn't get agitated otherwise it would affect my voice. So I slowed down and began to read very slowly. When I read slowly, my voice was very calm, and words that, initially, I couldn't recognize, I could recall from earlier on in the chapter.
Reading in this manner, each and every word melted into my mind. As I read each sentence, an area where I didn't fully comply with the Fa popped up in my mind. The more I read, the more I wanted to read, and the more serene I became. After we finished reading one lecture, the other practitioner said: “Your voice was very soft and peaceful, it was free of the aggressiveness that comes from Communist Party culture.”
I came to understand that by wholeheartedly studying the Fa, I had achieved what Master requires of us when reading the Fa. After studying a chapter of the Fa in this manner, I felt that I was immersed in the Fa, twenty-four hours a day. No matter what I did, I viewed things with a righteous attitude.
After group Fa-study the next day, a practitioner from another city suggested I say a few words. I declined for the first time ever, because I felt that I hadn't cultivated well. In the past, even when I wasn't invited to talk, I would get up and talk, persisting to talk on and on. When I was cut off by another person, I'd do the same to them, then carry on. Regardless of whether I was in line with the principles of the Fa or not, I'd just keep talking. Thinking back, I regret the trouble I caused for other practitioners.
After I finished studying the Fa, I went to visit a fellow practitioner. When he saw me, he started talking to me in a sarcastic way. I didn't say anything. He was a bit surprised, as I'd normally talk back. After a while, he started talking about a conflict between other practitioners. I felt that he was talking about others behind their backs, so I said to him: “Please don't speak that way. Every practitioner has some attachments to work on, it is understandable.” But he kept going, which made me start to develop some resentment towards him. But I recognized this attachment and caught myself.
“… when two people have a conflict and a third person sees it, even that third person should think about whether there are any problems on his part—“Why did I happen to see it?” This is all the more so for the two people involved in the conflict. They should examine themselves even more, since they need to cultivate themselves internally.” (Teaching the Fa at the Eastern U.S. Fa Conference)
It seemed to me that I was looking at myself in the mirror; that is, what I saw in him was how I had been behaving. When he saw that I didn't respond, he began to point out a lot of my shortcomings. I sincerely accepted all of them without a single argument and thanked him afterwards. He thought that this change in me was amazing. I told him that I had to go, but before I left, he said that this was the first time I had been so humble. Upon hearing this I felt regret at having hurt others in the past.
That afternoon I went with two other practitioners to visit another practitioner who had just emerged from a tribulation relating to illness karma. We sent forth righteous thoughts together, and I felt like I was surrounded by energy. Wherever my energy reached, I felt all evil was eliminated. We had planned to send forth righteous thoughts for half an hour, but we did so for over an hour without feeling tired. Prior to this, when I sent forth righteous thoughts, I wasn't able to calm down, my eyebrows would contort, and I used all my energy. I would feel really tired afterwards, without feeling like my righteous thoughts were very effective.
We sent forth righteous thoughts together for over an hour and studied the Fa. I felt very focused afterwards and the eyes of the practitioner who had the illness karma became very clear. We truly appreciated Master's help.
One of the practitioners wanted to share something, but she spoke very aggressively. The other practitioner who was there began to scold her with an unkind face, waving her arms about while she was talking. We were all shocked by her behavior.
Right away, I realized that was how I used to behave. Under the banner of “helping the other practitioner,” deep down, I was behaving in a way that was infused with the culture of the Chinese Communist Party. I used to talk in a very aggressive manner, pointing my fingers at others. In being combative with others, I was so desperate to release the hatred in myself. As a result, I ended up harming others without realizing it.
I have benefited greatly from calmly studying one lecture of Zhuan Falun. Thank you, Master!