Cultivate Every Thought
(Clearwisdom.net) Dear Master, dear fellow practitioners!
Despite a busy everyday life I passed my twelfth year of Dafa cultivation. When I look back over my cultivation path I found that every single thing in my life was part of my xinxing cultivation. My every thought is a choice between being a human and a God.
1. Motherhood Exposes Attachments and Helps Me Improve
Being the mother of four children affords me many good cultivation experiences. I feel deeply that my children are my best fellow practitioners. They help me expose my hidden attachments and their purity is a mirror for my human thoughts and impurities.
Each time someone says that he feels thirsty, my three-year-old son will stop playing, quickly open the fridge and get a drink. Sometimes he spills the drink for rushing. If I am in the middle of doing housework, I would chastise him without a thought. Then, he would look at me with his innocent, nervous but curious eyes that made me recognize my rude behavior. He is actually rather enthusiastic and the most helpful person in my family. If I calm down and think of his selfless behavior and passion, I get embarrassed. Despite being a practitioner, I often ignore the virtue of the child because I'm busy with housework and see his enthusiasm as making a mess. I don't know how to appreciate the child's selflessness and warmth. This made me realize that I made the same mistake during Fa-rectification work. I always think too much of the result and forget to appreciate the virtue of each practitioner who wants to cultivate and displays a heart of gold.
About my joining a media project: I am one of the veteran practitioners who was part of the media endeavor from the beginning. After two years of this kind of volunteering, I see myself as an experienced specialist. I began to pick on others' news reports. My various human notions-laced comments hurt other practitioners unconsciously. I failed to see the practitioners' progress and their wish to improve. My son helped me see the harm this did to Fa- validation work, because I took working for the Fa as cultivation.
Many times when I was in a hurry to go out, my second son helped his younger brother to slowly put away the toys, without caring about my yelling or scolding. Although this happened over and over, my son continued at his slow speed. I felt provoked and blamed him and scolded him, using bad words. But my son never resents me, always smiles and says, "I love my mom most." At first I thought it was his character, because he is the quietest of my four children. He is also the most honest one, but seems not as bright as the others. During conflicts among the brothers, he is always the most tolerant and never takes revenge.
One day I found that I lost patience with my second child. I felt guilty about what I had said and about my behavior. It is his gentle and tolerant character that smoothes the relationship between the children, which helps me a lot. Nevertheless, I criticized him from a materialistic standpoint. I worried about his being not as smart as his older brother. But actually, a sentient being with higher xinxing is much closer to Truthfulness-Benevolence-Forbearance, the characterstic of the universe. Isn't he reflecting my lack of compassion and tolerance by his behavior? Isn't he helping me improve myself?
The same thing happened during Fa-validation work when trying to rescue sentient beings. I often evaluate and co-operate based on people's ability. I don't look within and excuse this with being busy on tasks assigned by Master. Actually, every single Dafa disciple has an important role in Fa-rectification. We cannot judge practitioners by their worldly abilities, their ages and based on technical ability. But, I am still not quite clear about this principle and am bouncing back and forth. Most of the time I could not behave like my second son. I was unable to smooth relationships during conflicts with practitioners because of my ego.
For quite a while, my eldest son spoke rebellious words and displayed rebellious behavior, appearing to be the behavior of an adolescent. He always threatened that he would not study the Fa any longer. I became worried and gave him more attention. I felt that he no longer was so good-hearted and obedient as when he was younger and didn't like helping me anymore.
As our conflicts increased, I was left with a really bad headache and began to study the Fa intensively. I took my eyes off my son and looked within. I found that my criticizing him daily was a problem of mine, chastising him for his impatience, selfishness, and high-handed behavior, which actually were all my shortcomings. I bring such an innocent child so many problems! He used to help me a lot by taking care of his brothers, but I never thought to thank him. I never appreciated or learned from his inborn virtues. Wasn't that a special way Master used to remind me? When I apologized to him from the bottom of my heart and tried to change my behavior, my eldest son no longer rebelled and began to treat his cultivation seriously again.
I have similar problems as a coordinator. When I became attached to my tasks, I would forget what other practitioners had done and how much they endured. Thus, I didn't know how to cherish, appreciate and thank others. Isn't that a bad old cosmic factor that separates us and prevents us from being upright? If I couldn't realize this and continued to deny this, how can I be part of the one body with all practitioners?
Three of my sons were born after I began to cultivate in Dafa. I tried to lead them to use the toilet the day after they were born. My non-practitioner husband laughed at me and said how could a 2-day-old newborn know to use the toilet? Shortly after he said this, my infants showed that they knew how to cooperate in this respect. And they could always make me understand what they wanted. What's more, the infants seemed to know my time for saving sentient beings is limited. They automatically stopped or refused my breast milk when they were between seven and eight months old. Thus, I could go out more often. I realized that Master was reminding me all the time: As a practitioner, I must be modest.
All my human opinions are shallow and wrong before Dafa. If I could be as pure as an infant, I would also have super abilities, be enlightened and do everything efficiently.
2. Cultivating Speech for Our Experience Sharing Conference
I have collected speech drafts for the Experience Sharing Conferences for many years. We canceled our Canadian Experience Sharing Conference last year for many reasons. Though we lost our deposits, many disciples still relaxed and said we were too busy. They did not mind that we canceled the conference and thought, "We don't have to worry about this now!" I was there, but didn't feel anything wrong.
This year we found that many cultivation problems became more prominent. Many projects faced great difficulties. When looking within, we realized that the difficulties were due to our lack of integrity. We should find the root cause and see the truth clearly. We found that cultivation communication among practitioners had become working communication. Our Fa study groups grew smaller, and some disappeared. Exercise sites were scattered here and there. Discussing the Experience Sharing Conference, practitioners seemed uninterested. Even a couple of days before the Canadian Experience Sharing Conference, despite much information and communication from the Falun Dafa Association and volunteers calling for speech drafts from every practitioner, there was hardly any response.
Master said that we should look within when encountering any problem. As a member of the task force, a person responsible for collecting drafts, I should look within more than others. When I looked inside, I was astonished to find loophole as large as my own cosmos and all kinds of slack behavior in cultivation.
I still remember the first few years of my cultivation. I was then so diligent. I was reluctant to put down Dafa book once I picked it up and started reading. And I did the exercises in the park all-year-around. When it was time for an Experience Sharing Conference I would write an article, and it did not matter whether or not they were going to use it. Difficulties never stopped me. I don't remember when I stopped studying the Fa and doing the exercises diligently. An Experience Sharing Conference just became one of my projects and made me busier than usual
Although I took part in many Fa-validation projects, that cannot be an excuse for not cultivating in the format Master arranged for us. I finally understood that I wasn't diligent any longer and needed to make a breakthrough. But how?
I remembered that when I first began Dafa cultivation, veteran disciples told me that Master recommended to practitioners in China to read Buddha Milarepa's cultivation story. I would follow whatever Master said at that time and immediately located this story. I finished reading it with tears running down my face; my will of being diligent became extremely firm. I decided, "I want to be as diligent as Buddha Milarepa, not afraid of suffering and cultivate into a Buddha in this life."
The Buddha Milarepa story has faded from my memory. I followed Master all the way in his Fa-rectification and built up some virtues. Because I live among everyday people, some subconscious but terrible human thoughts took hold of my mind. I dared to mentally bargain with Master and no longer took cultivation as such a sacred and solemn thing. This is just like a spoiled child beginning to negotiate with his/her parents. On the other hand, I also helped Master in the Fa-rectification. My work is hard and difficult. I told myself that it's forgivable if I sometimes failed to measure up to Master's requirements. Because these thoughts were deeply embedded in my mind, it was difficult to expose them. They became huge obstacles to being a diligent cultivator.
After recognizing these shortcomings I began to treat myself as a new practitioner. I put away all the so-called "credits" and read the story of Buddha Milarepa again. It felt so different reading the story again ten years later. I had previously simply seen a good cultivation example in this story, but now I saw the insufficiencies inside me. For instance, Buddha Milarepa's master wanted him to succeed, so he forced him to build houses around hills. Houses were built and destroyed again and again. Milarepa was wounded by the stones; the scene was a misery. His master still criticized and beat him sometimes. Though Milarepa thought of a shortcut and met with failure, he listened to his master's words all the time. That's why his master called Milarepa the best disciple he ever had and taught him all the cultivation truths.
Compared to myself, I seemed to be paying for a lot during all the projects and suffered a lot. But I understood now that Master had arranged all those things for my cultivation, just like Milarepa building the houses. How could I feel proud because of the credits I accumulated?
Master wants us to achieve a higher level of fruition. So what we do will not be as simple as building houses. We have to publish newspapers, build up a TV station and set up shows. Master doesn't care about the results of those projects, just like Milarepa's master didn't care whether or not he built the houses. Our Master wants to see our disciples' genuine mindsets: Do they truly believe in Master, are they respectful toward Master, are they true disciples and are they diligent? If one test is not enough, there will be the second, third, fourth and fifth.
Because we fell into the maze we forgot all this. It is like developing attachments to how big our house would be, how wonderful it would look, how many stones we moved and how much effort we put in. We begin to feel that we build these houses for Master, and we put in a lot of effort and thus Master must treat us well and mercifully. He would definitely make us a Buddha. Those terrible thoughts resulted in "building houses", which are our pursuits. We do not follow what Master says and even bargain with him.
Cultivating while preparing an Experience Sharing Conference is a form of Dafa cultivation arranged by Master from the beginning of his Dafa teachings. If there were Experience Sharing Conferences prior to the CCP's suppression of cultivation, and drafts were required from every practitioner, who would not have written an article? Everyone paid great attention and would have written an article, because that is the way arranged for every practitioner. The evil tested us in a devastating way. They first destroyed the cultivation format Master has taught. The environment for group study and group exercises inside Mainland China was damaged.
Now, the Minghui Website is trying to overcome difficulties and opened an online Experience Sharing Conference for practitioners in China. There are thousands of Experience Sharing articles published after breaking through the Chinese Regime's Internet blockade. Practitioners inside China are also trying their best with their righteous thoughts and actions to build up an environment for group study and group exercises. We disciples abroad cannot use the pretext of being busy with project work and thus accept the persecution from the old cosmos. We have to adhere to everything Master arranged and requires of us.
I have experienced a lot to cultivate even during a simple task like writing sharing articles. Every time I wrote an article for an Experience Sharing Conference or any other sharing, it exposed my human thoughts. When I am happy while writing, I discover my boasting and zealotry. When I am reluctant to write, I discover the embarrassment and fear of losing face, as well as a superior feeling to being a veteran practitioner. If my article were not chosen, I would harbor feelings of arguing and jealousy. If the article is chosen I would become arrogant. It is just as Master said, "There are numerous human attachments." ("Lecture Seven," Zhuan Falun, 2000 Translation Version)
Exposing my attachments made me aware that I am still cultivating myself. I also feel that Master is helping me get rid of those dirty thoughts and substances. I can see the Fa at different levels displayed by Master.
From now on I dare not slack off again. I will treat myself as a new disciple and try seriously to finish everything Master requires. I will persist and reach the ultimate standard for disciples of the Fa-rectification period. I will not let down Master's merciful salvation.
Thank you for letting me share with you. Please kindly point out any inappropriate thoughts.
Thank you, Master! Thanks, my fellow practitioners!