(Minghui.org) Anna and I are both university lecturers. She is easygoing and the other practitioners consult her if they have issues. Another practitioner Zen said the first time when she saw me, she felt that I was very serious. After we talked, she discovered that I was friendly.
Having cultivated for more than twenty years, apart from talking about my cultivation with practitioners, I seldom chat with people.
Zen’s words caused me to reflect on myself. I was not deliberately unfriendly. It’s just that I had no thoughts. But why did my being quiet make people feel that I was not approachable?
As a teacher I’m responsible and meticulous at work. I felt that having cultivated for so many years, even if I was once polluted by communist party culture, those elements should have long been cleansed. However, that is not true. Communist Party culture is mixed with my thoughts, and infiltrates everything.
I’ve been a teacher for nearly thirty years, so I am used to speaking with an authoritative tone of voice. Some people may feel that I am higher level than them. When I pointed out practitioners’ cultivation issues, I realized my tone of voice was stern, similar to how I talked to my students. I did not speak gently nor did I think about the practitioners’ feelings. I thought that I was being responsible to those practitioners. Anna once said that I was overbearing and still had communist elements. I felt that I was just honest.
However, I realize I look outward and habitually compare and comment on everything. Behind this habit is a very strong attachment to competing with others.
I recently noticed I only eliminated the attachments I thought I should get rid of, but I deliberately kept others. This is cultivating by choice, which is similar to what the old forces do.
No wonder I always felt that my cultivation progressed slowly. I thought that I was cultivating but within the boundaries I set.
I did not completely heed Master’s words. Although I studied the Fa, I was not able to assimilate to the Fa. When I sent forth righteous thoughts to get rid of the evil, I also protected it (by protecting my own negative things). When I clarified the truth, I chose which people to speak to. I also did not do the three things well. Thus, I saw that my cultivation had loopholes.
Resting on My Own Laurels
I have cultivated for so many years and always studied the Fa. Why do I still have these problems? I discovered other practitioners also had similar issues.
I remember that in Journey to the West, Sun Wukong (Monkey King) made a bet with the Tathagata Buddha that he could jump out of the Buddha’s palm. When he somersaulted towards the horizon and saw five big pillars, he stopped since he thought he left the Buddha’s palm. He did not realize those five pillars were the Buddha’s five fingers. In the end, he did not jump out of the Buddha’s palm.
What made him stop? It was his notion. He thought that the Buddha’s palm was only so large.
We may have eliminated many notions during our cultivation. However, we also have other notions that cause us to rest on our laurels. We are being controlled by these notions but don’t know the issue. This kind of state is part of our cultivation process because we all started from the mundane level and did not understand the Fa. We must use the teachings as our guide to help us get rid of all our shortcomings. We cannot just keep remaining in this current state of cultivation.
In November 2022, due to the spread of the COVID-19 pandemic, it seemed the whole city was positive for the virus. After the outbreak ended, a practitioner came to my house to invite me to join their group Fa study. However, I did not go because the time was not convenient for me. But the main reason for that was because I did not think joining the group Fa study would help me. I preferred to read the Fa by myself.
Benevolent Master saw that I was stuck in this area and could not get out of it so he arranged for a series of events to warn me. At the start of the year, I could not log onto Minghui.org. I could not submit my New Year’s greetings to Master. However, when Master published his new article, I was able to connect to the Internet. After I downloaded the new article, the connection went down again; I could only connect to the Internet once a week during that period. After downloading the new articles, the Internet connection went out again. I sent righteous thoughts but the situation did not improve.
One day I went to a fellow practitioner’s house for some other business. That practitioner invited me to join their small group Fa study again. I realized that I had been isolating myself. I should coordinate with the other practitioners. After that, I was able to log onto Minghui.org successfully.
For World Falun Dafa Day this year I planned to send greeting cards to Master. I helped a few older practitioners make their cards and while we talked I was told another practitioner said I was a spy. I laughed out loud. After I returned home, I thought about the allegation. I thought about how I had just asked Master to help me connect with other practitioners and now this happened.
I recalled what Master mentioned during the Fa-Teaching Given to the Australian Practitioners lecture. A spy is able to exist because our own energy fields are not pure. This is a cultivation issue, so we should look within. When I examined myself I discovered that I had a mentality of looking down on other practitioners. Behind it was an attachment to competing with others, which is the communist mindset.
That night I dreamed that I returned home. In the past, I had to climb the stairs but this time, someone led me to an elevator.
I bought a pair of sandals in the summer. The first time I wore them I discovered they did not match. I realized that I had an attachment to seeking perfection. When I bought the sandals I clarified the truth to the sales person. When I recalled that I persuaded two people to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) that day, I realized that the sandals were worth the money.
A practitioner needed Dafa books and I wasn’t able to find the practitioners I contacted in the past. I decided to make the books myself so I asked another practitioner to help me with the book cover. When I began stapling the pages together I discovered four pages deviated a lot from the other pages. I recalled that one of the sandals was deviated on one side. Now these pages were badly deviated. I must really think about this problem. At that moment I remembered Master said, “Buddhism goes so far as to say that you are “lapsing into evil ways” when you look for outside help or blame your circumstances.” (The Ninth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I realized that I had a habit of looking outward. Every time I received Falun Dafa books from other practitioners I always found something wrong with them. I really could not stand looking at the defects and always blamed the practitioners for not putting their hearts into doing it and not paying attention when they produced Falun Dafa books. I never thought about how difficult it was for those practitioners to make those books, and I did not look inward.
When we sent righteous thoughts at our small Fa study group, I noticed some practitioners had different movements at the end. When I exchanged my thoughts with them, they felt that we should ask the Minghui editorial team. The reply we received is that there are no other movements at the ending. When I saw the response I felt ashamed, and this instantly woke me up. We should just do as Master asked us to. What Master said is the Fa. We have no right to “perfect” it. I was so full of myself. That is too dangerous! I have really deviated greatly from the Fa.
I discovered that I was controlled by the notion of “being strict.” I treated cultivation matters with mundane logic. After I had these realizations, the next morning I meditated and I experienced for the first time the feeling of having a quiet mind.
I now understand that we need to listen to Master’s teachings and not add in our own notions. We need to assimilate to Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance unconditionally. No matter what happens, we must first cultivate ourselves. We must view people and matters from a positive perspective. We need to have compassion.
This is my limited understanding at my current cultivation level, and I hope other practitioners can use my experiences as a reference and take fewer detours in their cultivation.
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