Cultivation Is a Very Serious Matter
(Minghui.org) Recently, several fellow practitioners in my area suffered physical tribulations. While I was helping them, I realized that some practitioners have some notions that are not aligned with the Fa.
Illusion of Physical Karma
When we were helping fellow practitioners who showed symptoms of illnesses, we often said that those were illusions of physical karma, and that we must see through the illusions. However, if we focus too much on the cultivation state of the practitioner who was experiencing physical karma, we may fall into another illusion.
In some cases, our sharing can help those practitioners with physical tribulations to have a clearer understanding of the Fa and have stronger righteous thoughts. But, after a while, their mindset may go back to the old state, and their human thinking that caused the problem may resurface. When this happens, it’s easy for us to become frustrated, and think that the human thinking is a reflection of the practitioner’s real cultivation state.
However, I now realize that that is an illusion too, as the attachments and human notions we see in fellow practitioners aren’t their real selves, but acquired notions.
“Everyone may have heard of Boddhidarma, who sat before a wall for nine years. In the past, there were many monks who would sit for decades. In history, the record for the longest sitting time is over ninety years. Some even sat longer than this. Even with thick dust deposited on their eyelids and grass growing on their bodies, they would continue sitting there.” (Lecture Eight, Zhuan Falun)
It is as if our notions formed in our reincarnated lives over thousands of years are like that thick dust covering us, and from these notions, a lot of attachments grew, just like the grass that grew from the dust. Thus, our cultivation is like the process of removing the grass and eventually cleaning off the dust.
Without dust, no grass will grow. When we are facing the practitioners who are in a bad cultivation state, we should help them remove the grass and dust, and let their real nature or original self shine through. When we look at fellow practitioners in a positive light, we won't develop negative views or feelings about them and won't be affected by the illusions either.
Helping Fellow Practitioners Based on Their Level of Understanding
I also noticed that when we are helping practitioners in tribulation, we often point out that their thought or action didn’t comply with the Fa, and urge them to make corrections as soon as possible.
However, after a while, when the practitioner didn’t do as we wished, we would develop negative views of them. These includes thoughts such as believing that the fellow practitioner only focuses on doing things without fully understanding the Fa, that he or she doesn't have a solid cultivation base, or that they won’t be able to pass through the tests successfully if they encounter big ordeals.
Although it may be true, let's view this situation from a different angle. If the practitioner has strong righteous thoughts and can correct his/her state in a short time, maybe it won't be necessary for him/her to endure such a big ordeal.
Many attachments are accumulated over a long period of time. Only when the practitioner is unable to eliminate them because of not genuinely cultivating himself/herself for an extended period of time, could the old forces take advantage of the loophole. Just like how it takes time to melt ice, we should be patient in helping the practitioner improve based on his level, and not from our own points of view. We should share our experiences with the practitioner, and most importantly study the Fa with the practitioner.
“The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts.” (“Drive Out Interference,” Essentials for Further Advancement II)
The reason why the practitioner is suffering the difficulty is not because he doesn't understand what we are talking about, but because he does not hold enough righteous thoughts. Righteous thoughts come from the Fa. If we can help the practitioner improve from their current level, and they can take the initiative to correct himself, then he will overcome the difficulty. However, that is for the practitioner to meet the requirement that the Fa has for them, not for them to reach the expectation that we set.
“Let me put it this way: if a Dafa disciple meets with some ordeal or karma shedding, there is surely a reason behind it, and he should try to find the problem on his part. And for sure, after he finds the cause and immediately does well in that regard, things will change for the better, in a positive direction, right away.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2019 New York Fa Conference”)
Helping Practitioners Is Also Cultivating Ourselves
I think we all know theoretically that helping practitioners is also cultivating ourselves. However, practically speaking, we often focus on the practitioner's behavior and ignore our own in the process. We should be careful to not generate any negative thoughts and truly help other practitioners to strengthen their righteous thoughts. I think this is the right path that is arranged by Master.
Anything that happens to us in our daily life, no matter big or small, good or bad, and even what we overheard, is related to our cultivation practice. Therefore, we should always focus on improving ourselves, which is actually all we can do. With our good intentions in place, it is Master who gets things done.
“Cultivation depends on one’s own efforts, while the transformation of gong is done by one’s master. It is good enough if you have this wish. It is the master who actually does this, as you are simply unable to do it.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)
When all of us work hard to improve ourselves and continuously rectify ourselves, we are on the right path. If we can all do this, I think the persecution can no longer be sustained.
“Whatever you experience during your cultivation—whether good or bad—is good, for it comes about only because you are cultivating.” (“To the Chicago Fa Conference,” The Essentials of Diligent Progress VOL. III)
I suggest to practitioners suffering physical tribulations: “Let's always face the problem positively and not try to reject the pain instinctively. Without any difficulty, how can we eliminate our attachments? Those attachments won’t disappear automatically at the end of Fa-rectification. As long as we have not reached the end of Fa-rectification, we always have a chance to correct ourselves.
Recognizing Our Fundamental Attachment
Everyone has a fundamental attachment at the beginning of cultivation. At that time, it was not something wrong. But as we are continuously improving ourselves, eventually we must eliminate the fundamental attachment. Otherwise I don’t think our base point of cultivation is pure.
"Our Falun Dafa will protect practitioners from deviating. How does it protect you? If you are a true practitioner, our Falun will safeguard you. I am rooted in the universe. If anyone can harm you, he or she would be able to harm me. Put simply, that person would be able to harm this universe." (The First Talk, Zhuan Falun)
When I studied the Fa, the words “if you’re a true cultivator” stood out for me. What is a true cultivator? Repelling pain is one of our human instincts. When a practitioner is in pain, his first thought will be “how can I get better soon?” What is the purpose of getting better?
We all know that as practitioners, we should always look within. But there are different reasons behind looking inwards. Some want to make themselves feel comfortable first and some don’t want to waste time in a hospital, but want to awaken the conscience of more people. We already know that one of the characteristics of the old forces and the old universe is selfishness, but Master requires us to always think about others and to awaken the people's consciences, not just reach spiritual perfection for ourselves.
Cultivation is very serious. Let us not be affected by fame, benefit and emotion, and not be deceived by illusions. Our ultimate goal is to not be a human. Let us always remember where we come from, our historic vows, and be a qualified Fa-rectification practitioner.