Absorbing Each Sentence When Reading the Fa
(Minghui.org) For several years, I was struggling with my cultivation state. Although I read the Fa regularly, I did not fully absorb the words I read. My main consciousness was not strong enough, and I had too many human attachments. I was disappointed with myself.
A few years ago, I recited Zhuan Falun from memory. In the beginning, I benefited tremendously. My attachment of lust significantly reduced, and I could pass various cultivation tests with ease. Later on, however, as I developed fluency in reciting the Fa, my mind began to drift when reading or reciting.
It seemed to me that my cultivation had gotten stuck in a bad cycle. Sending righteous thoughts became a formality. On one hand, I knew I must do it as a practitioner, but on the other hand, I really did not wish to. As a result, my mind drifted everywhere as I was supposed to be clearing my mind and sending righteous thoughts. As soon as the time ended, I would immediately stand up and do something else. Gradually, I also lost interest in reading other practitioners' sharing articles on Minghui about memorizing the Fa, as I did not feel they would be helpful to me.
My daily reading of Zhuan Falun dragged on. I was often busy with work and house chores during the day. At my planned Fa reading time in the evenings, I would start browsing our media online instead. After going through the main news, it would be around 10 p.m. Not long after I started reading Zhuan Falun, I would get very sleepy. I would then tell myself to have a short rest. However, once I decided this, I would often sleep until the morning. Thus, not only would I miss the midnight righteous thoughts sending time, but also I did not have enough time to do the morning exercises.
Over time, I became more and more frustrated. I could not achieve a tranquil mind during the exercises. I would tell myself, Okay let me only do half of the exercises. I will adjust my state of mind tonight. Predictably, that night would be the same as the prior nights.
I tried to change. Occasionally, I would spend time in a better state, but soon after I would regress as before. An underlying issue was that I lacked perseverance when doing the exercises.
I also tried clarifying the truth about Falun Dafa to people, yet I was rarely able to convince anyone. I ended up staying home and helping print truth-telling fliers.
All the while, I knew that I was not cultivating well and tried to look inward. Why can't I cultivate diligently? I would ask myself. How can I make myself cultivate diligently?
Years passed. I wished I could cultivate diligently and consistently regretted not doing better. I even tried what I thought was my biggest effort: I decided not to sleep, but sit in front of my computer memorizing the Fa at night, only dozing off when my body was too tired to continue. However, I was only able to sustain this for a week. I also tried keeping myself from sleeping on a bed by sitting on the couch or a mat on the floor, but I always ended up sleeping soundly. My sister told me I was being far too extreme.
Since I was not able to truly absorb the meaning when reading the Fa, I spent a lot of time browsing the Internet. My leg calves became swollen in 2013. My symptoms eventually disappeared, but only after I looked inward and identified my attachment of resentment. Last year, my left leg became swollen. I knew it was caused by my bad cultivation state: I was not studying the Fa well, often skipped the midnight global righteous thoughts sending, and spent too much time surfing the Internet, even if I was reading our media. I also had many, many human attachments.
Finding and Eliminating Attachments
Why was I like this? What was my main attachment? I looked inward some more. Finally, I pinpointed that the base point of my cultivation was selfishness. I will get rid of my selfishness once and for all, I told myself.
But, this was not easy. My thought karma disturbed me from peacefully studying the Fa. I would still read Zhuan Falun without fully processing the text. Furthermore, I could see my attachment of jealousy clear as day but was continually unable to eliminate it. Why was my cultivation so difficult?
My leg swelling eventually subsided after several months, once I sent righteous thoughts every midnight for an hour for a month. To continue working on eliminating my thought karma, I also started memorizing Master's “Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference” in Collected Fa Teachings, Vol IV. This article in particular gives clear guidance on the process of eliminating attachments. I recited the respective paragraphs repeatedly. Still, through this, I knew that the key to my cultivation was to understand Zhuan Falun.
Earlier this year, I read a practitioner's sharing article. The fellow practitioner said that when he studies the Fa, he does not pay attention to the amount he reads. Rather, he requires that each word of Zhuan Falun appears before his eyes when he recites this Book. I was enlightened upon reading this and inspired by other related sharing about repeatedly reading each paragraph in Zhuan Falun.
My thought karma was strong, acting to separate me from Dafa and severely disturbing me as I attempted to study the Fa. When I read Zhuan Falun one paragraph after another, it was not enough to eliminate my strong thought karma. Consequently, I would often not absorb the meaning of a chapter despite reading it in its entirety. To combat this, I decided to read each paragraph repeatedly until my mind was not floating somewhere else, and each sentence truly sank in. Then, and only then would I move to the next paragraph and do the same.
When I adhered to this, I would not be able to make it through many paragraphs during a two-hour sitting. Still, I did not mind. I was not aiming for quantity, and I knew that the most important thing for me was to truly absorb the meaning of the Fa. As I improved in this regard, my mind also became focused when I sent righteous thoughts. Sometimes, I was even able to send righteous thoughts for more than 40 minutes while maintaining fully focused throughout.
Nowadays, studying the Fa is no longer a drag; rather, it is enjoyable. Sometimes, there are a few minutes before the time of sending righteous thoughts when I pick up Zhuan Falun and choose a paragraph to read several times.
Still, I have not reached the cultivation state which I would like. I feel that a big disturbance exists, and that I have a strong attachment of fear when distributing truth-telling materials. Nevertheless, I have found a way to break through many of the issues keeping me from moving forward, and I am confident that by taking a diligent path I will continue to improve.
I am so grateful that Master has never given up on a disciple like me who has not always cultivated diligently. I am grateful to my fellow practitioners for their experience sharing articles. I am writing down my own sharing, hoping to benefit practitioners who may be facing similar issues to mine.