Paying Attention to Sending Righteous Thoughts
(Minghui.org) Sending forth righteous thoughts was a major challenge in my cultivation. My daily routine, including taking care of my son, my full-time job, and household chores, made it difficult for me to send forth righteous thoughts on time.
I like to read, so it was easier for me to study Dafa's teachings and practice the exercises every day. However, with my full-time job, it was hard for me to find time to send forth righteous thoughts at all. To make things worse, I felt that sending righteous thoughts was annoying because I often needed to squeeze it around my schedule.
Searching inside myself, I realized that the fact that I didn't like to send forth righteous thoughts was because I didn't have ample righteous thoughts myself. I was impatient and couldn't stay focused during the 15-minute block of time. My mind was always somewhere else, thinking about my family or my job, instead of sending righteous thoughts. As soon as the 15-minute session was over, I would then feel bad and regretful.
Master had said,
“For Dafa disciples there are just three things right now. One is clarifying the facts. One is sending righteous thoughts--sending righteous thoughts has an effect on your own bodies and things outside of your body. And the other is cultivating yourselves and studying the Fa well. These three things are of utmost importance.”
“So it's of utmost importance. No Dafa disciple can neglect this. Nor can you use any excuse to neglect sending righteous thoughts. That's because if you don't cleanse yourself well you won't be able to do well yourself, and if you don't cleanse yourself well you'll also interfere with others.” (“Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol III)
I read Master's teaching over and over again and asked myself, “Being unable to concentrate when sending righteous thoughts means that I don't do the three things well, so I'm not a real cultivator. Does Master still regard me as a true disciple?”
Master intertwined his teachings with his requirements for us disciples; therefore, everything is blended together, and nothing should be skipped. The old forces will exploit our flaws if we do not do the three things well.
Sending Forth Righteous Thoughts with Undivided Attention
This realization helped me to become better engaged when sending forth righteous thoughts. I also gained a deeper understanding of why I should send righteous thoughts.
Teacher said in Zhuan Falun,
“...can the goal of consecration be achieved? That depends on how he chants the scripture. Sakyamuni said that one should chant the scripture with a righteous mind and undivided attention in order to shake the paradise of his cultivation practice. Only then can a great enlightened person be invited. And only when one of the great enlightened person’s fashen arrives on the Buddha statue can the goal of consecration be achieved.” (Lecture Five, Zhuan Falun)
Memorizing Dafa Teachings
The word “reciting” always appeared before my eyes. I realized that it was telling me to memorize Master's teachings. I tried it before but had stopped due to time restraints.
This time, I decided to memorize a few paragraphs of Zhuan Falun every day. Master always gives me hints when I memorize the Fa, and I am able to achieve a deeper understanding of Dafa teachings this way.
“There is another type of person. Someone was told in the past that he had spirit or animal possession. He felt that way as well. However, upon having it removed for him, his mind still worries about it. He always thinks that the condition still exists. He still thinks that it is there, and this is already an attachment called suspicion. As time passes, this person may bring it to himself again. One should give up this attachment, as this spirit or animal possession no longer exists. Some people were already cleared of these things in our previous classes. I have already done those things for them and removed all spirit or animal possession.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)
By memorizing this paragraph, I learned that Dafa practitioners must maintain righteous thoughts at all times–whether we're clarifying the facts of Dafa to people, or sending righteous thoughts. This worry about certain things didn't originate from my true self.
Balancing Time Between Cultivation and Family
During Shen Yun's promotion, I did not have much time to take care of my son. Not knowing how to balance my time well made me impatient and grumpy, and the relationship between us became very tense.
One night, my son was furious and accused me of focusing on Falun Dafa without caring about him. He took his framed plaque of “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance” off the wall and told me that he no longer wanted it. I was disappointed and sad, yet I did not want to criticize him. I tried to stay calm with Master's help.
I looked inside for loopholes in my cultivation. After a while, I realized that I lacked compassion. I was disappointed with my son because he had stopped studying Dafa's teachings with me a long time ago. He wasted a lot of time playing on his phone and playing computer games. I worried that he would ruin himself.
However, I did not realize that he was somewhat confused because of puberty and his feelings of insecurity. Although he did not study Dafa teachings, he supported me and helped me load Shen Yun fliers into my car. When I was busy promoting Shen Yun or clarifying the facts of Dafa, he helped by cleaning our apartment.
Thinking from his perspective helped me to feel his pain, and that realization almost made me cry. I hoped that I could be more compassionate and patient with him. In addition, I must believe that Master would help him choose the right path.
Maybe one day he would return to Dafa. So instead of worrying for him, I should maintain my righteous thoughts. After rectifying my mind, I noticed that the picture frame had been returned to its original place.
Reading the Fa and Really Obtaining It
Although I practiced the exercises and read Dafa teachings every day, my mind was sometimes not engaged. I wondered whether I was really learning the Fa or whether I was just going through the motions. I asked for Teacher’s help to begin reading Dafa teachings and obtaining it at the same time.
“True cultivation practice depends fully upon your heart. As long as you practice cultivation and are sure-footed and determined in practicing cultivation, we will treat you as disciples. It is unfeasible for me not to treat you this way.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)
“Can you be considered a Falun Dafa disciple if you just practice these few sets of exercises everyday? Not necessarily. This is because true cultivation practice must follow the requirements of the xinxing standard that we have established, and you have to truly upgrade your xinxing—then, it is true cultivation practice. If you only practice the exercises without improving xinxing and without the powerful energy that strengthens everything, it cannot be called cultivation practice; neither can we treat you as Falun Dafa disciples. If you go on like that without following the requirements of our Falun Dafa and behave yourself as usual among everyday people without upgrading your xinxing, you may still run into some other troubles though you practice the exercises.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)
I read this part several times and realized that it was me who was at fault in the first place. I was only browsing this chapter assuming that Master took everyone who read his teachings as his disciples. I had failed to understand the Fa beyond the literal meaning.
If we do not maintain righteous thoughts and treat everything with righteous thoughts, how can we improve our xinxing? Negative thoughts only add negative factors to ourselves and make us complain, compete with each other, and exhaust our energy.
Master is looking after us all the time, no matter where we are and what we do. Everything is within Master's arrangement. Thus, I should not have felt impatient or failed to find time to send righteous thoughts in the first place.
Some Wonderful Experiences That Teacher Arranged for Me
On a sunny Sunday, I decided to take my son to the lake. Although I would rather go out and promote Shen Yun, I decided to take a break from Dafa projects to spend time with my son. We passed by three elderly ladies who were sitting on a bench, and one of them suddenly asked me, “Can you help me to stand up? I just need you to pull me up.” So I did. She thanked me, and we continued walking.
However, I soon realized that I should give this lady a Shen Yun flier. I turned back and chatted with her for a few minutes. She had a big smile on her face and said, “Shen Yun! I have seen a poster, but I don't remember the time and place of the show.” She was very interested in the show and thanked me for giving her a flier. I was very happy for her.
I needed to run some errands one afternoon. I should have driven there since I did not have much time, but I decided to walk. After sitting in the office all morning, I needed to breathe some fresh air. Right after I stepped outside the office building, I ran into a former coworker whom I had not seen in ten years. I talked to her about Shen Yun and gave her a flier, and she happily accepted it. If I had taken my car, I would have missed her. Master had arranged this opportunity for me.
On another occasion, I asked my son to help me put Shen Yun materials into mailboxes. He complained about his leg and did not want to walk with me. I ignored his negativity but sent righteous thoughts.
I also treated him with great compassion. At the same time, I asked Master to help me. I said to my son, “Don't worry. You know the importance of this. If you open your heart, Master will help you.” He decided to go with me. After a while, he admitted that his legs stopped hurting, and we quickly distributed all the fliers.
Master's compassion is boundless. I must always maintain compassion and strong righteous thoughts, let go of my human attachments, and save sentient beings. Only in this way will I become a true Dafa disciple.