Cultivation Is About Changing Ourselves
(Minghui.org) There was a sculptor who wanted to carve Buddha statues so he chose two rocks from a rockpile. The rocks he selected were very happy, because they knew that they would be carved into solemn and sacred Buddha statues.
When the sculptor first began hammering on and carving the rocks, they were happy and excited and willing to endure the pain. But after a long time, one of the rocks became unhappy. It felt the sculptor was taking too long. The sculptor had been carving fine details because the requirements for a Buddha statue are high. But the rock couldn’t see how it was changing.
The rock changed its mind and didn’t want to be carved, because it felt that it was too uncomfortable to change. But it was not willing to be returned to the rockpile either. It then remained in that uncomfortable state.
We know from studying the Fa that the old forces and the lives of the old cosmos do not want to change. Our lives also originated from the old cosmos. Master wants to transform us into lives of the new cosmos, so we need to proactively change ourselves and assimilate to the Fa. We need to adapt to the requirements of the new cosmos, and put the principles of the new cosmos—Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance—into action in our daily lives.
Are We Willing To Change?
Some of the veteran practitioners I know have experienced abnormal physical conditions, which have gone on for months or even years. They continue to do the three things but have begun to feel tired and sometimes bitter. Some seem to have lost their direction. It’s as if they’ve forgotten how to cultivate.
They pay close attention to studying the Fa and doing the exercises. Then they drag themselves, weighed down by abnormal physical conditions, out to clarify the truth.
Others do look inward and find a lot of attachments, but they do not change. They read Minghui articles and are moved by the wonderful experiences. They apply the author’s understandings and experiences to their own situations, but the methods do not help improve their physical conditions.
Some ask other practitioners to help send righteous thoughts, but they don’t see the effects of righteous thoughts. They try everything they can think of to get out of the tribulation but can’t seem to eliminate the attachment that’s causing it.
Other practitioners have always believed in the Fa and insist on doing the three things regardless of their physical condition.
“It was Dafa—the Great Way of the universe—that created the cosmic body, the universe, life, and all of creation. Any life that turns away from Dafa is truly corrupt. Any person who can align with Dafa is truly a good person, and will be rewarded and blessed with health and happiness. And any cultivator who is able to become one with Dafa is an enlightened one—divine.” (“On Dafa” in Essentials For Further Advancement)
If a practitioner can really assimilate to the Fa, how can his body have symptoms of illness? Some practitioners just don’t seem to know how to assimilate to the Fa. Assimilation means that something that is different gradually becomes similar or identical.
Do We Truly Believe in Master?
As cultivators, we must truly internalize the Fa and use it to guide ourselves and change ourselves, instead of reading the Fa while stubbornly remaining the same. I feel that if a person doesn’t want to assimilate to the Fa, he does not truly believe in Master and the Fa.
If we refuse to change, then isn’t it like viewing Dafa as a theory? Even though some practitioners lengthen the time they study the Fa, in their minds they are still studying the Fa in order to solve their problems. This is studying the Fa with pursuit.
Master said in 1995 that cultivators,
“...should be aware of a most prominent problem: They study Dafa in the same way that everyday people study theoretical writings, such as selecting relevant quotations from renowned people to examine their own conduct. This will hinder a cultivator’s progress.” (“Learning the Fa” in Essentials for Further Advancement)
Some practitioners think that the articles published on Minghui are very good so they learn from those. When they read that someone with a physical condition recited the Fa about benevolent solutions, they recite it, too. Some see that fellow practitioners recite the following Fa to negate the old forces,
“We negate even the very emergence of the old forces and everything that they've arranged; we don't even acknowledge their existence.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IV)
In order to overcome their tribulation they also recite it.
Those who copy others’ methods wonder why they don’t work for them. One reason is that there are no shortcuts in cultivation. Another reason is that, after reciting the Fa, the practitioner in the article truly assimilated to the Fa.
Let’s ask ourselves, after reciting that part of the Fa, have we assimilated to the Fa and changed, or are we only learning the Fa but still stubbornly hanging onto our attachments?
Maybe practitioners have made some changes, but it’s still not enough. Master said,
“...they always compare themselves with humans and with their own past, but fail to examine themselves with the requirements of the Fa at different levels.” (“A Dialogue with Time,” Essentials for Further Advancement)