Adjusting the Starting Point, Breaking out of Constraints, and Redressing Myself
Greetings, venerable Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I am grateful to Master for choosing me, for letting me find my true self and for becoming a "Dafa disciple"--the supreme title in the whole universe.
1. Abandoning Fame, Gain, and Qing and Going to Beijing to Validate the Fa
Many fellow practitioners have gone to Beijing to validate the Fa since the evil persecution started. Because of my strong attachment to fame, gain, and qing, I invariably felt scared at the mention of going to Beijing to validate the Fa, and found excuses for my not being able to step forward. I would tell others, "Cultivation is all about cultivating ourselves. Whatever others say about us, we just ignore them. If we all went to Beijing, leaving our homes unattended, we would have failed to maximally conform to the state of human society. How would everyday people regard us?" After Master's poem, "The Knowing Heart" was published I realized that I had understood it wrongly because of my own fear, and that it was right to go to Beijing to validate the Fa.
It took me about six months from the moment I realized I should go to Beijing to the time I actually bought the train ticket. I cried many times during that period. The evil environment at that time led me to conclude that once I got to Beijing, I would be arrested and beaten, and I would lose my job and family (I did not understand the Fa truths correctly and acknowledged the old forces' arrangement. As a result, I was arrested and beaten, and lost my job later). I cried when I thought of the love I had for my husband. I cried when I thought of my lovely child, and I cried when I thought of the plight I'd be in if I lost my job. Nonetheless, each time after I cried, I became firmer: I will go to Beijing all the same. So, after each cry, I felt that a large chunk of qing had been removed from my dimensional field. When I actually started going to Beijing, I felt calm, serene, relaxed, and happy. I did not have fear at that moment, and I had truly let go of fame, gain, and qing. Now I understand that I could never, ever fully know how much our venerable Master has done for me!
2. Adjusting the Starting Point and Breaking Out of Family Constraints
I used to be quite irritable and argumentative. During the period of personal cultivation, I worked hard on Forbearance. I went through the transition from forced tolerance with resentment and grievance to being able to tolerate with a calm mind. In my home, my husband took care of the grocery shopping and cooking. When I just started practicing, my husband requested that I do the practice at home and not go out. So, back then I seldom went out, except when I had to go to work. There was no way that my husband would let me go out to the practice site or do Fa-validation work.
After the Fa-rectification period started, I had no more source of income, as I had lost my job. I'd often felt guilty, as I thought, "I don't contribute a penny at home now, and yet my husband still treats me so well." So whenever my husband lost his temper over something, I'd remind myself, "As long as you let me study the Fa and do the exercises, I can even tolerate your being mad at me." (I paused at the tolerance level of personal cultivation.) In fact, this thought was encouraging him to become angrier at me. As a result, my husband became more irritable, and began to accuse me of being selfish, of abandoning our home and my job for my own cultivation. At times, he even used coarse language at Master and Fa. Whenever this happened, I felt hurt. I could no longer keep cool and began to argue with him based on human principles. Slowly I developed fear toward my husband and was afraid that he would become cranky.
Master said in his lecture,
"Except for newer students, from July 20 of 1999 on, Master hasn't created any personal cultivation tests for you, and that's because overall your personal cultivation has changed in every respect so that it's in the direction of saving sentient beings and validating Dafa." (Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference)
Since Master did not arrange any tests for personal cultivation, my husband's interference must have been the result of my attachment, which the evil had grasped onto as a pretext for persecution. The evil then felt emboldened to control my husband and interfere with me.
I started clearing out the evil interference by sending forth righteous thoughts, but my husband did not change. I knew it was because I was not in the right cultivation state. I started looking inward and faced myself. I started to redress myself by checking myself against the Fa. I stopped being my old self--caring only about my Fa-study and ignoring my husband completely. I started talking with him about his work and told him, based on human truths, that losing his temper easily would harm his health. I advised him to learn to keep calm and take good care of himself. I began to care more about him and no longer crossed him.
One day, with a merciful hint from Master, I realized where I had been trapped. The thought was not right that I should feel guilty because I lost my job. I had not done anything wrong! Cultivating Dafa was my faith, and speaking the truth was a normal state that all humans should observe. There was nothing wrong in going to Beijing to validate the Fa--that was my right. Petitioning is a civil right the Chinese Constitution allows, and I did not break the law. I should have been allowed to live a normal life after returning from Beijing, and I never wished to be out of step with human society. It was the evil that would not allow me to speak the truth, and I was forced to lose my job. Dafa disciples have the courage to speak the truth about their faith and are able to let go of their fame, gain, and qing to validate the greatness of Dafa. They are simply remarkable and admirable! My husband should not have treated me the way he did. After I adjusted my thinking, I started to clarify the facts to my husband, and as a result, he began to change.
I could do Fa-validation work only when my husband was not at home. I did not dare to go out when he was home. Occasionally I did go out, but I had to give him an excuse, lest he was not happy. I'd always thought that my husband did not want me to go out in the very beginning, and now the evil was persecuting us, so he kept an even closer watch over me. Besides, I didn't have to do the food shopping, so there was really no reason for me to go out. Thus, human notions prevented me from going out to do some important work, and I felt anxious about it.
One day, a fellow practitioner made it clear to me, "You are not coming out when you are needed. Aren't you following the path the old forces arranged?" I seemed to understand it all of a sudden. That's right, I thought. I always feel that my husband is watching me closely, I don't have a reason to go out, and I am afraid he is going to be mad at me--isn't that an acknowledgement of the old forces' arrangement? I was doing the most magnificent and sacred thing in the whole universe. All beings have come to this world for the Fa. Since my husband and I were predestined to be together in this life, the knowing part in him should have supported me. It was all because of my notion that he was watching me closely that caused him to be controlled by the evil and that caused his human side to interfere with me. I was harming my husband! I should help him.
Thereafter, I sent forth righteous thoughts every day when I saw him, "Eliminate all evils and elements existing on his surface and in his origin that play negative, counter-productive roles in Fa-rectification." Because I redressed my thinking, my husband changed. He became milder and no longer watched me so closely. I could do almost anything I wanted to do. Besides, I discovered that whenever he was controlled by evil elements, it was invariably due to my attachment. So, I would immediately look inside, redress myself, and clear out the evil. Whenever I did well in assisting Master in Fa-rectification, saving all sentient beings, and personal cultivation, my surroundings would change for the better. My mind was changing everything around me.
In this process, I discovered my fear (fearing that my husband would be angry if I went out), my anxiety caused by fear (anxious to do things), and my false pride (shown when I argued with my husband). So whenever these attachments came out, I would try to contain and get rid of them. Now I am able to control them, as there aren't many of them left.
3. Eliminating Resentment and Redressing Myself
One practitioner was badly persecuted by the evil, so many fellow practitioners went to send forth righteous thoughts for her. Two of them were the ones responsible for distributing truth-clarification materials. Since we were operating on a one-to-one basis, only one practitioner knew the name of the persecuted practitioner. On our way back, I whispered to practitioner A, who knew, "Please don't give out her name if others ask." "What do you mean? Why don't you trust others?" she replied, her tone upset. "You just know how to tell others to look inside. What about yourself?" With those words, off she went, apparently offended. I felt embarrassed and wronged in front of so many people. But I managed to compose myself, aware that feeling wronged and embarrassed was an expression of vanity, an attachment that should be let go of. When I got home, I searched inside, but failed to find anything. I thought to myself, "I didn't do anything wrong in reminding her for the safety of a fellow practitioner. Perhaps she misunderstood me. I'm busy now, and I will talk to her later when I have a chance." With that, I gave it no more thought.
A few days later, another practitioner told me, "You'd better go talk to practitioner A! She's still upset. Looks like there's a deep misunderstanding between the two of you." I saw the gravity of the problem at once--she got me all wrong and that could be a gap the evil would exploit for persecution. I don't have time now, but I'll send forth righteous thoughts for her, I thought. So I did, "Eliminate all evil that is causing her to misunderstand me and separate us as a whole body. We are Master's disciples and we'll overcome our attachments in the Fa. We'll never allow the evil to persecute us. May righteous thoughts entrench practitioner A." No sooner had I finished saying Fa-rectification formulas than a thought flashed through my mind, "Don't try to help practitioner A. She's so petty." I knew immediately that it was the evil's doing. I told it solemnly, "Though you surfaced in my mind, you are not me. You are the evil that tries to keep us apart and cause misunderstandings between us. Now you want to separate us and let us have resentment toward one another. You are trying to stop me from sending righteous thoughts for practitioner A and you want to persecute practitioner A. You won't have it your way! I'll uproot you from my mind."
So I kept sending righteous thoughts for practitioner A for two days. And when I met practitioner A again, she told me she was very nearly taken away by the authorities the day before. I knew that my sending the righteous thoughts had worked and that was the power coming from the Fa. And later, with a hint from Master, I realized that I had attachments when I told practitioner A not to reveal the name. I had the attachments of suspicion (I suspected that practitioner A would reveal it when asked), fear (I was afraid she would reveal it) and mistrust. The trap set by the evil was that it took advantage of what I had said, which appeared to be protective of a fellow practitioner, and yet contained a lot of human attachments, and incited a misunderstanding in practitioner A. The evil aggravated that misunderstanding by causing her to be upset, and used that gap to persecute her. Meanwhile, the evil had hoped to arouse my resentment at practitioner A, so as to weaken our collective strength by separating us.
The power of the righteous thought was that despite practitioner A's irritation at me, I eliminated the thought that had wanted to cause resentment in me, even though I had wrongly believed I had done nothing wrong and she kept holding grudges against me. Seeing through the evil's trick, instead of resenting her, I used righteous thoughts to strengthen her. I learned from the experience that when you believe you are right, you are already looking outside instead of cultivating yourself. Nothing's by chance and everything is your own creation. Find the attachment and get rid of it. We fellow practitioners are a whole body. We shouldn't hold grudges against one another. Instead, we should entrench one another with righteous thoughts.
4. Studying the Fa with a Pure and Calm Mind
One night, practitioner C and I were doing Fa-validation work. As the day was about to break, her gums began to bleed. So we started sending forth righteous thoughts, eliminating evil elements that were making trouble for her. The bleeding stopped, but not for long. It started again, more seriously. I felt that something was wrong. It was the Lantern Festival that day and she would later go see her mother-in-law. If she bled like that there, what would people think? Was it going to be used to tarnish Dafa? So I said to her, "You'd better beg Master to strengthen you, look inward and find the excuse the evil has used for persecution. You'd better redress yourself soon."
Hearing my words, practitioner C told me that she could now recall always reminding herself, "I need to study the Fa more, otherwise I'll be persecuted." This was because she read a lot of articles from the Minghui/Clearwisdom website in the past six months that said certain practitioners were persecuted because they didn't study the Fa enough. After sharing with me, she realized that her thought contained fear (fearing she would be persecuted) and selfishness to protect herself with Dafa. We concluded that this was a manifestation of disrespect for Master and Dafa. The purposes of studying the Fa are to assimilate ourselves to Dafa and redress ourselves according to the Fa. So we set about eliminating those two bad attachments in her dimensional field and the selfish thought, as well as all the evil elements persecuting her. The bleeding in her gums stopped immediately. In her later Fa-study, she identified and eliminated that selfish thought as soon as it appeared, and set right the purpose of her Fa-study. Her gums have never bled since.
5. Letting Go of Admiration for a Fellow Practitioner's Firmness in the Face of Persecution
Upon seeing practitioner D being seriously persecuted, I thought that practitioner D was really remarkable! She was so firm and kept studying the Fa in the face of such persecution. If I were her, I couldn't have done it. A few days later, I felt ill, with serious cold symptoms. I searched inside myself, and didn't find any attachments. I started sending forth righteous thoughts, but it didn't help much. It was getting worse by the day and lasted two weeks before I felt I couldn't let it develop like that and talked to a fellow practitioner. That practitioner said, "I feel you admire practitioner D for her firmness in facing persecution. The thought 'I wouldn't be as firm as she was' was not right. Isn't that the same as envying imprisoned fellow practitioners?"
I agreed with the practitioner that my thought was not right, but I couldn't figure out how it was wrong based on Fa principles. With Master's merciful hint, I realized the following: Practitioner D was physically persecuted because she had attachments that had been exploited by the evil. She and others who were imprisoned were actually walking on the path arranged by the old forces. Admiration for them means acknowledging that they did well in cultivation. Are they really on the right track? Am I acknowledging the old forces? Admiration itself means acknowledging imprisonment. We are Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples. We have the power of gods and Buddhas. As gods among humans, how can we be held and persecuted by the evil?! We are capable of destroying those evil beings with a thought! We should break through the old forces' arrangement and strive forward on the Fa-rectification cultivation path Master laid for us. In doing the three things well, we should keep adjusting ourselves by searching inside and producing miracles in saving all sentient beings.
6. Some Cultivation Understandings
Each human attachment, and each thought that's not in the Fa, has life and is capable of controlling human beings. The way to set right one's thinking, to identify that thought, to overcome it, and to take control of oneself, is to look within oneself for solutions. When you hear something, see something, or come across something, you need to check and see if your heart is moved. If you are tempted, think and move along it, then you are enlarging your attachment. On the other hand, if you resist it--when the human truths or notions and human attachment come out, you immediately eliminate them, thinking "I don't want you"--then it'll be gone.
Why do you feel happy when you hear praise? Is it because your vanity and desire for fame are met? Why do you feel unhappy and upset when others point out your shortcomings? Is it because your human desire to only hear good things about yourself is exposed? When you are defending yourself and asserting yourself, you are already being pulled by your attachments and notions, and you've given yourself up to them and let them take over. In our cultivation, we should be willing to face our inadequacies and compare notes with fellow practitioners based on the Fa. We should understand why something is not right from the perspective of the Fa, and know the right thing to do. We should find out which thought or notion is not in tune with the Fa, and try to redress ourselves by eliminating it.
November 10, 2005