Adherence to Truthfulness Brings Real Joy
(Minghui.org) Falun Dafa practitioners know the power of having strong righteous thoughts – a power that can only come from the Fa.
I understand from Master’s teachings that I should treat myself as a true practitioner and genuinely cultivate. I have been practicing Dafa for more than 20 years and have read Zhuan Falun countless times. But it’s only now, after I eliminated the untruthful part of me, that I have a true appreciation for the important role truthfulness plays in my cultivation.
One can’t really have righteous thoughts without first being truthful. When one speaks the truth and acts in a truthful manner, the power of one’s righteous thoughts will naturally come forth, garnering respect and acceptance from others. This power can also inoculate one against any undesirable influences in our cultivation.
When a recent matter of serious concern to every Dafa practitioner in Australia arose, everyone got together to discuss what could be done in response. Clarifying the truth about Dafa, writing to government officials, and sending forth righteous thoughts continuously were some of the things we quickly put into action. However, the situation did not appear to improve after some time. Some practitioners, including myself, began to feel frustrated and discouraged.
Right about that time, I had a dream which I remember vividly. I was at a Fa conference venue where I was sitting outside alone observing practitioners inside through a glass door. I felt ostracized. Suddenly, Master was standing behind me. I told Master how hurt I was at the unfair treatment, to which Master kindly responded from the perspective of the Fa. When I woke from my dream, I could not remember a single word of what Master said to me.
I was informed that day that preparations for our national Fa conference were about to kick off, and asked if I would work with a team responsible for the conference articles. With my dream still fresh in my mind, I was happy to oblige. I thought that explained my dream, and I gave it no more thought. Not until the occurrence of a series of later events did I begin to appreciate Master’s immense mercy.
Not long after, I was on a phone call with a fellow practitioner I was in regular contact with. We always help each other and frequently exchange our cultivation experiences. I told her about my experience this past year in overcoming what I thought was not a minor xinxing test – in situations where I had faced false accusations against me, and when I had been bothered by the human attachments of some practitioners. Instead of words of comfort and support, she said to me, “Sometimes it appears that false accusations are leveled at you, but the real reason could well be that you have treated other practitioners the same way in the past.” She cited a few examples she had encountered lately and how they could also apply to me. I could not bring myself to agree with her.
I said out of habit, “I am actually quite a simple person.” She shot straight back, “You always say you are simple but I don’t feel that you are at all. It’s a fault of yours that has bugged me all these years I’ve known you. I personally place great importance on the value of truthfulness, and on this you and I have a fundamental difference which I have trouble accepting.”
Tears began to cover my face, and in a shaking voice I asked, “I don’t know what it is. If I do, I would definitely get rid of it.”
She said, “It’s your way of dealing with some things. You sometimes ignore your own principles. I find that very hard to accept. You have not treated me that way but you have with other people. I fully expect that you will one day treat me like that too. You have put more emphasis on your cultivation of ‘Compassion’ and ‘Forbearance’, but not enough emphasis on the cultivation of ‘Truthfulness’. I replied, “If that is the case, I will start paying more attention to cultivating ‘Truthfulness’.”
Since that heart-to-heart exchange, I have come to appreciate more the frank and well-intended discussions we are able to have between practitioners. I found out later that she was, at the time, working hard on cultivating ‘Compassion’ and ‘Forbearance’ in order to be more effective in reaching out to government officials via letters. We are now supporting each other even more, and the benefits are showing.
Behind My Untruthfulness
“When you find the real reasons within yourself, if you dare to face and acknowledge them, you will see that the matter instantly changes and the problem disappears.” (“ Teachings at the First Conference in North America”)
Around the same time, a fellow practitioner and I were discussing a project decision that we knew a third practitioner would not agree with. She said, “We will let her know once we have time to discuss with the others and reach a decision.” “Okay,” I said, “but let’s not tell her about it.” “No,” she said, “we must tell her.” I hesitantly went along with her, “Oh, you are right. We must let her know.” The moment I said that, I was aware that I was being untruthful. I could see the reason for wanting to be untruthful: I wanted less hassle in terms of going back and forth about the decision and had a negative view about this other practitioner who would very likely be disagreeing with us.
While at work at the kindergarten, I happened to see a five-year-old girl eating by herself outside the classroom while the other children had all finished and gone inside. To make her feel better, I said to her, “You are my favorite girl!” Out of nowhere, another girl appeared beside her. I did not want this girl to feel hurt, so I blurted out, “You are also my favorite girl!” I knew instantly I was being untruthful again.
I like the first girl, because she always helps me pack up toys and does whatever I tell her. She is my favorite girl. As for the second girl, I wasn’t very familiar with her. I was being untruthful just to please her.
In the ensuing days, I had more than once noticed being untruthful when cooking for my semi-vegetarian husband. For example, when I wanted to make the pies taste better, I diced some ham, fried it with oil, and mixed it in with the vegetables. That way, you could not really taste the ham and my husband loved it. I would not have realized that kind of action constituted untruthfulness had I not been on the look out for it.
My husband would not have known had I not told him. I confessed to him all the little untruthful things I had done in the past and apologized to him. He was pleased for me and teased, “It’s not hard to tell the truth, is it?”
Being a Westerner, my husband usually sticks to his principles. When our opinions differ, he usually points it out politely or with humor, but doesn’t insist on his own opinion. Since I have always had my way, I have overlooked the importance of rectifying that untruthful part of me.
This morning, while studying the Fa with another practitioner, I came upon something.
Master has said:
“But the mind of the phony Buddha or phony Bodhisattva is extremely bad and is after money. It is born in another dimension. With the ability to think, it knows a bit of the principles and does not dare to commit major wrongdoing, but it does dare to do minor bad deeds.” (Lecture Five, Zhuan Falun)
I was shocked and a little scared. Since I have caught myself doing many “minor bad deeds,” would I also become a “phony Buddha or phony Bodhisattva?” I have been writing truth-clarification letters, but would the messages in these letters have the power to save people?
Discarding the Untruthful Part of Me
I called the practitioner who first alerted me to my problem and said, “I have found that untruthful part of me. Your well-meaning criticism has worked wonders.”
After that, I searched my memories for anything that was untruthful and rectified them one by one either in my mind or in my actions. It has been a most enlightening experience, and I have never felt more relieved. When the untruthful part of me is discarded, the real and truthful part of me is reborn.
As we descended through the different levels of the cosmos to this human level, we have gradually moved further and further away from Dafa. This deviation weighs down on us much like common stress does. But that burden has now been partially taken away from me. For a few days while I was at home, I was constantly bouncing on my feet because I felt so happy and carefree. Although in my 50s, I suddenly turned into an innocent and wide-eyed little girl.
I can now get along much better with my Western workmates at the kindergarten. Like them, I can now be myself and act freely from my heart. It’s a mental state I have long coveted. It proves true what Master said, “What we lose is actually something bad.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
I can now speak openly to my fellow practitioners, my family, and my workmates. Fellow practitioners could also feel the genuine change in me.
In the two weeks that I have been concentrating on identifying and discarding the untruthful part of myself, I have become more grateful for Master’s hints as well as another dedicated fellow practitioner’s help. She studied the Fa with me every morning and patiently shared with me her understanding of the Fa. Along the way, I have also uncovered and readily cultivated away my other attachments such as jealousy, the mentality of showing off, and the tendency of going to extremes.
If I had not managed today to abide by ‘truthfulness’, what I thought I have accomplished in my cultivation of “compassion” and “forbearance” is in fact rather empty. Master said:
“This characteristic, Zhen-Shan-Ren, is the criterion for measuring good and bad in the universe. What’s good or bad? It is judged by this.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)
By the standard of the Fa, an untruthful person certainly cannot be said to be a good person, let alone a genuine cultivator.