(Minghui.org) Through Fa study and sharing with fellow practitioners, I recently gained an understanding of cultivating with righteous Fa-principles. I discovered that something was preventing me from looking inward and causing me to be attached to comfort and reaching consummation (enlightenment). It was a human notion I hadn’t been aware of - resisting suffering and trying to make myself comfortable. I’ve almost always thought of this acquired notion as myself, and I never realized its existence.

I recall when I first started practicing, which was before Falun Dafa was being persecuted. One practitioner was very anxious because others in our Fa study group were experiencing tribulations like sickness karma symptoms and family conflicts, which helped them to improve their xinxing. But she had none of these and wondered how she could cultivate. A few days later, she told us excitedly that her family had finally created a conflict for her and that she had maintained her xinxing. Everyone was happy for her. At that time, when we knew of a fellow practitioner in a state of sickness karma or in a family conflict, we saw it from the perspective of the Fa and were happy for them.

Another situation occurred when we were all quietly doing the sitting meditation. My wife rushed in like a whirlwind, and before I had time to react, she threw a bag of sauce on me. The smell immediately filled the room. My heart was not affected, as I knew my chance to improve had come, and I had no resentment. Back then, there were many such examples.

Now that I think about it, we all had the same attitude towards cultivation. We were all able to practice with righteous Fa-principles. It’s just that we didn’t have a clear concept of what that meant. But after the persecution started, and especially in the last few years, my attitude toward cultivation had almost completely reversed.

When I had physical suffering, I wanted to get over it quickly. When a conflict arose, not only was I unhappy, but I also looked for the other person’s shortcomings to ease my discomfort. I thought I was cultivating, but I wasn’t actually in a state of cultivation any longer. It wasn’t until a recent incident that I was alerted to this.

A fellow practitioner suddenly experienced a sickness karma tribulation, so I went to his home to study the Fa, send righteous thoughts, and share my understandings; he eventually got through the sickness karma. In the process, I took it as an opportunity arranged by Master for both of us to improve. I also looked inward to find the shortcomings in my own cultivation. We exchanged views on the Fa principles and improved our understanding. The unhealthy state of the practitioner was soon corrected. In those few days, I felt that I elevated rapidly in my cultivation, as if there was a mechanism or field that melded me into the Fa and took me upward.

Master said,

“So whether it is good things or bad things you run into, so long as you cultivate in Dafa, they are all positive, to be sure.” (Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005)

I gained a deep understanding of this. I felt the beauty of practicing Dafa, and felt that looking inward and cultivating myself was the most joyful thing ever!

Returning from the practitioner’s home, I began to reflect on why I couldn’t look inward before and always looked outward. What made me do that?

Master said,

“Because human society is a place in which suffering goes hand-in-hand with enjoyment, life does abound with suffering, however wealthy you may be or however high your status. Because pain is hard on people, they try to, consciously or unconsciously, ward off suffering in hopes of leading a more pleasant life. And so it is that in the pursuit of happiness people form ideas about how to avoid harm, how to live well, how to get ahead in society and achieve fame and success, how to acquire more for themselves, how to come out on top, and so on. To this end, as they gain experience people come to form notions about life; and those experiences, in turn, come to fortify these notions as people live out their lives.” (“The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be,” The Essentials of Diligent Progress Vol. III)

After carefully studying Master’s teachings again, I understood that my problem was because I thought going through sickness karma was painful and uncomfortable. Why didn’t I look inward when I had a conflict? It was because the conflict impacted me, and I didn't want to be uncomfortable. I didn’t want others to irritate me, so I looked outward to relieve the uncomfortable feeling.

As an everyday person, looking within for one’s own shortcomings requires resisting the stubborn notions that one has developed over time, and that is very painful to do.

At times, when I was forced to look inward, I did so symbolically rather than digging on a deeper level to eliminate the attachment. In short, I just didn’t want to endure hardship, whether it was physical or mental suffering. I just wanted to live well and feel good about myself.

I always regarded the above thinking and behavior as myself, but I didn’t realize that this was a stubborn postnatally acquired notion, which fights against suffering and wants to be comfortable. This notion has been invisibly impeding my doing the three things.

Now that I think about it, behind the scenes, all my falls in cultivation were caused by this, and I never recognized it. Why couldn’t I completely let go of life and death in validating the Fa, and be a Dafa disciple who sacrificed everything to uphold righteous principles?

When studying the Fa, I could not maintain the correct posture and always wanted to lean on things and be comfortable. I could not guarantee that I would practice every day. Sometimes I felt tired, so I thought, “Let me take a day off.”

I also found that the same notion was at work in my attachment to reaching the end of cultivation. This notion led to thinking that cultivation was very hard, especially in China where there is always the danger of persecution. If persecuted, my body and mind would suffer tremendously, and that would be very difficult. This notion was behind the fear of persecution.

If I find cultivation enjoyable and saving lives urgent, will I still be obsessed with the end of cultivation? Not at all! It was this notion that prevented me from truly cultivating myself with righteous Fa-principles, and was not experiencing the beauty of Dafa, and the great honor of saving people.

I wondered: How can I get rid of this notion? I get rid of it by doing things according to Master’s Fa.

Master said,

“But in reality, what human society takes to be truths are, from the perspective of the cosmos, inversions of truth; when humans go through hardship and suffer it is so that they may pay off karma and thereby have happiness in the future. A cultivator thus needs to cultivate by correct and upright truths. Going through hardship and suffering is an outstanding opportunity to remove karma, be cleansed of sin, purify the body, elevate your plane of thought, and rise in level—it’s an extraordinarily good thing. This is a correct and upright Fa-truth.” (“The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be,” The Essentials of Diligent Progress Vol. III)

If we can truly understand this part of Master’s teachings, that notion will be broken, and we will be able to truly practice in Dafa in accordance with the righteous Fa-principles, and we will be able to feel the sacredness of Dafa, and Master’s mighty compassion.

Only then can we truly understand that good things and bad things are all positive, and we will be able to treat everything that happens in our practice with an optimistic attitude. This is especially true for the current “Zero Out” persecution campaign being carried out by the CCP.

I realized from Master’s teachings that nothing we encounter in our cultivation will happen if Master does not allow it. Many of the old forces’ arrangements that were of no use to Dafa disciples’ cultivation did not occur and were all blocked by Master. I now realize that when Master allowed these to appear, it was to:

“…go along with their ploys and turn their ploys against them.” (Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Lantern Festival)

Master uses these tests to allow Dafa disciples to accomplish the mission of saving sentient beings and establish mighty virtue. When tribulations occur, if we cannot see the problems with righteous Fa-principles, and are instead swayed by our ordinary way of thinking, then we have courted these troubles ourselves.