Practitioners Should Internalize the Teachings While Reading the Fa
(Minghui.org) I'm a relatively new practitioner. Master told us many times to study the Fa well.
“So if you wish to do still better, then study the Fa well, for only this makes it possible and only this will allow you to complete your historic missions.” (“Dafa Disciples Are Fulfilling Their Missions,” Team Yellow Translation)
“I hope you will study the Fa more, do more to let the truth be known, and each do well on your own path of spiritual cultivation.”(“Greetings to the South America Fa Conference,” Team Yellow Translation)
Every time I read these two teachings, I noticed the words, “studying the Fa well” and “study the Fa more.” I’d like to share some of my understandings.
I used to think that studying the Fa well meant reading Zhuan Falun and Master’s new writings a lot, as well as hand-copying and memorizing the Fa. I began pondering what “studying” the Fa means, since it's one of the three things that Master asked us to do as practitioners.
“When one chants the Buddha’s name, one must do it single-mindedly with nothing else in mind until other portions of the brain become numb and one becomes unaware of anything, with one thought replacing thousands of others, or until each word of ‘Buddha Amitabha’ shows up before one’s eyes. Isn’t this an ability? Can one do this at the very beginning? One cannot. If one cannot do it, one will certainly be unable to achieve tranquility. If you do not believe it, you can give it a try. While chanting the Buddha’s name repeatedly with one’s mouth, one’s mind thinks about everything: "Why does my boss in the workplace dislike me so much? My bonus for this month is so little." The more one thinks about it, the angrier one becomes, while one’s mouth is still chanting the Buddha’s name. Do you think this person can practice qigong? Isn’t this a matter of ability? Isn’t it an issue of your mind being unclean?” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
Are we able to read Zhuan Falun single-mindedly? Do we focus on each word when we read? If not, then we are not studying the Fa well.
I used to be satisfied if I finished studying a few lectures a day, thinking I had done enough. I certainly enlightened to some Fa principles, but my mind often slipped away. When I turned a page my lips were moving but sometimes I didn't know what I was reading. My thoughts were elsewhere.
The things that occupied my mind were, “I have not completed such and such task today. My paycheck direct deposit has not arrived at my bank account yet. How many people have I clarified the facts to today? Why was it so difficult to persuade this person to quit the Party and its youth organizations? I do not agree with that practitioner on something. How could she treat me like that... so on and so forth.
It sometimes occurred to me that these thoughts were interfering with me, and I needed to reject them. By the time I finished expelling them I had already read several pages. How could I internalize what I was reading? Could these interfering thoughts guide my cultivation?
In my understanding, we cannot just complete the five sets of exercises, clarify the truth, and read one lecture of Zhuan Falun every day and feel satisfied that we've fulfilled our responsibilities.
I know that many fellow practitioners seem to quickly read Zhuan Falun and are content to finish one lecture per day. They tend to pursue quantity and speed by reading hastily and carelessly. Sometimes they don't even know what they're reading.
Practitioners have shared on the Minghui website that only when we treat Master and Dafa with sincerity, humility, and veneration can the Fa be displayed for us. So when I read the Fa as fast as I read a newspaper, am I able to internalize every word and sentence?
“Also, I wanted to tell you all that I have infused the mighty power of the Buddha Fa and my various abilities into the book, into this Fa. Be it the videotapes, audiotapes, or the book—as long as you watch it, listen to it, or read it, you will experience changes. As long as you read it, you will be able to stave off illness. As long as you cultivate, your body will undergo fundamental changes. As long as you persist in cultivating, you will develop abilities. And you will see, hear, and feel Dafa’s boundless blessings.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Founding Ceremony of the Singaporean Falun Dafa Association,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. I)
A fellow practitioner recently suggested that I try reading Zhuan Falun aloud, word by word. This way I am clearly aware of what I’m reading. My third eye then opened, and I could see scenes in other dimensions when my heart was calm. While reading Zhuan Falun aloud, I see numerous Buddhas in layers upon layers behind each character.
Putting The Teachings Into Action
When I first arrived in the U.S., a relative took me in because I had no money. The relative helped me get my life started, such as buying a car, opening a bank account, renting an apartment, etc. I found a job that paid well and was relatively easy, but I quit because the relative needed my help in the restaurant she just opened.
The job at the restaurant was very demanding. I had to work very long hours cleaning the stove and pots and cutting meat. My back hurt so badly from standing for seven straight hours every day. I was exhausted when I got home at midnight. In addition, I was on call and had to return to the restaurant immediately when needed.
Compared to my first job, the restaurant job was more demanding but paid less. I felt uneasy and resented the way I was treated. In China, I worked in an office, but here in the U.S., I was a laborer.
I also resented my relative for using me ruthlessly. She spared her daughter from lifting anything heavy or doing the exhausting tasks, and instead gave them all to me. In addition, I occasionally had conflicts with coworkers and strangers. I began to feel as though I were reaching my limit physically and mentally.
I called my parents in China. My dad said, “You must bear hardships that everyday people cannot bear. You have been spoiled by the communist way in China and managed to get everything without bearing any hardships.” I suddenly realized that Master was using my father’s mouth to talk to me. I obviously had a problem.
That day, as soon as I opened Zhuan Falun, I read:
“Qigong practice requires one to value virtues, do good deeds, and be kind. One should conduct oneself this way in everything and under all circumstances. Whether practicing qigong in a park or at home, how many people think this way? No one knows what kind of qigong some people practice. While practicing and swaying the body, one mutters, "Oh, my daughter-in-law doesn’t respect me. My mother-in-law is so terrible!" Some people even comment on everything—from their workplace to state affairs. There is nothing that they will not talk about, and they will be quite upset if something does not agree with their way of thinking. Would you call that qigong practice?” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)
Wasn’t this talking about me? Our practice cultivates practitioners, 24 hours a day. When I had bad thoughts, and my xinxing was low, I was behaving like an everyday person. How could the Fa cultivate an everyday person?
I continued to study the Fa and look inward. I learned that when I quietly tolerated hardship I was eliminating karma, and others were giving their virtue to me. I learned that many practices required multiple lifetimes to succeed in cultivation. By practicing Falun Dafa I could succeed in one lifetime, so what did this little bit of hardship matter? I need to pay attention to my xinxing at every moment and be kind.
After I had this realization I adjusted my mindset and passed the test. I continued working for my relative. My back stopped hurting, and my relative began treating me nicely. Through my third eye I saw that a big chunk of bad substance was removed from my body.
I saved up $20 and bought a new pajama set. The next morning, I found a hole in the pajama pants, which obviously came with the product. I wanted to return it but on second thought, wouldn’t I be taking advantage of others by returning something I had already worn? It was a small hole. I could mend it. It wasn't a big deal.
I encountered similar situations. My understanding was when problems arise and my mind is not calm, or when I constantly think about something or some person, it is time to read Zhuan Falun.
I slowly read each word. I make sure I internalize what I read, and read with a calm mind. This way, the Fa gives me guidance.
“I hope that both veteran and new practitioners will be able to practice cultivation in Dafa and succeed in it! I hope that after going home everyone will make the best use of his or her time for genuine cultivation practice.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
In my understanding, our lives were given by Master. Every person and every situation in our lives helps us raise our xinxing. Everything happens for a reason. We can find solutions for our issues in the teachings.
Rather than complaining about an uncomfortable situation or getting upset, we would be better off reading the Fa slowly and carefully and looking for our own shortcomings. Only when we keep doing this and follow Dafa’s requirements can it be counted as cultivating. In my understanding, this is practicing real cultivation, and only Dafa has such power.
When we run into xinxing tests, we must study the Fa, and our actions must follow the Fa’s requirements. We will then pass the test.
In my personal understanding, only when we read Zhuan Falun with our hearts can we be regarded as Falun Dafa practitioners who are saving people. Otherwise we're merely everyday people accumulating blessings and would have wasted all of Master's efforts. Only by practicing real cultivation and raising our levels are we walking on the path toward godhood.