Reflections on Reciting the Fa and Cultivating Xinxing
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings Master, greetings fellow practitioners.
I began to practice Falun Gong in May 2000, and I have been cultivating Dafa for nine years.
On September 1, 2008, the Tianti Bookstore, Toronto Branch opened. At that time, I had not been to the bookstore, however, the name of the store "Heavenly Ladder" inspired me a lot.
Master said in "My Version of a 'Stick Wake-up (2004)'": "The gods on high all say that I have given human beings a ladder to heaven." The Fa that Master imparted is a heavenly ladder. Practitioners are the ones who are climbing up this heavenly ladder. However surprisingly, I suddenly felt that I was far away from this ladder. I had to look up in order to see it. It was not as if this heavenly ladder went from near my foot up to the heavens. I did not feel like I wanted to climb up that ladder. I did not have that kind of feeling and didn't feel the wish and that surprised me!
Thinking about it, I realized that during my cultivation over the past years, I didn't integrate the fundamentals of the practice, rather, I got in the habit of treating doing things to clarify the truth as cultivation, treating doing these things as being diligent. Even though I had been reading the book and studying the Fa daily, because of my mentality of doing things, Fa-study became less important. Sometimes, when I was studying the Fa, other ideas about how to clarify the truth invaded my mind. After I thought about it, I found that my understanding towards Fa-study was to make sure that I didn't fall short in doing things. I did not treat this Dafa as a ladder going to heaven. Therefore, I did not have a ladder, nor was I in the realm of climbing up. I lacked that kind of feeling and that kind of consciousness. What happened in my previous lives is unknown to me. In this life, in order to obtain this Dafa, I had endured tremendous hardships. However, when I obtained this Fa, I did not treasure it. What was the reason, why I did not treasure this Fa? Because I was attached to my abilities, wisdom, strong mentality, and good enlightenment qualities, I thought by having those characteristics, I should be able to cultivate well and reach completion. I put Dafa in the secondary place, and put my abilities in the first place.
Thinking over my life, in order to get a good position among ordinary people, I went to school. I went to different schools at home and abroad, and I had been studying for more than twenty years. Now, the Fa Master imparted allows me to reach completion, yet, how much time have I spent on studying the Fa? Actually, my education interfered deeply with my enlightenment quality. I was lost among ordinary people. I was holding on to my ego and I could not see the preciousness of this universal Fa. I could not feel the divine power of Dafa. This is my greatest and also my biggest sorrow.
Given the realization and change of my mind, I began to look forward to studying the Fa, something I had never experienced before. I wanted to store Master's Fa in my heart and memorize it. I had one thought, which was to recite Zhuan Falun. I wanted to study the Fa by reciting the Fa. I understand that it takes a lot of hardships to recite the Fa, however, no loss, no gain. With every bit that I memorized, I was able to gain and improve. I still do what I'm supposed to do in my day-to-day life, but what's different now is that I use my time for truly studying the Fa, to recite one to two pages of the Fa. I did not pursue quantity or speed. My feeling was that if one is not afraid of hardships, nor making sacrifices, memorizing the Fa is to assimilate to the Fa and use the Fa to guide my cultivation. This brings out kind thoughts and Buddha nature. It is righteous thoughts and actions. Only then will Dafa display the Fa principles to me. Master will keep enlightening me. I will have new enlightenment and realizations as well. Therefore, when I truly recite the Fa, I can't be hasty or think about the speed. If I am at a certain level, my speed will be at this level as well. Therefore, step by step, I came to realize that I have been climbing up the heavenly ladder that Master gave me.
At the time when I was reciting the Fa page by page, I recited the part that I had already memorized. Every week, I did recite from the very beginning. Every day, I spent at least two hours in the public transit. That's the time I'm free, so I began to make use of this time and recited the Fa. When I was reciting the Fa at home, I sat in a lotus position, and closed my eyes. I either recited it quietly or loudly. At that time, it was as if everything disappeared, it was just Master's Fa, me, my soul, the fundamental source of my life. I often am shaken by Master's compassion and the Fa's divine power. My tears ended up falling down non-stop.
Six months later, when I was able to recite Lecture Nine, I did know that it was not the end, rather the beginning. From that point on, I have been reciting the Fa time after time, I finish reciting the nine lectures every week. Every time after I finish reciting the Fa, I take Zhuan Falun, read the chapters once, to correct my mistakes when reciting the Fa.
Reciting the Fa is a form of studying the Fa, and is a kind of a highly attentive thinking activity. I often stopped to think about something, and I thought a lot. Therefore, during the process of reciting the Fa, I have to always hold myself against the Fa, and without knowing it, I began to look within. After a while, I found that some of my attachments, which were difficult to eliminate, such as lust, competitiveness, and so on, were easier to let go of.
For example, every year we do a performance assessment at work. Every year, we have to rate ourselves, and the weighing of our self-assessment is 10%. I used to always consider that: I'm a practitioner, and I should do better than others in all respects. Therefore, I always rated myself as either "meet" or "exceeds." However, in terms of the financial performance, the one weighing 70%, my score had been on average, below my expectations. After I began to recite the Fa, my mentality changed. I can take it lightly and came to realize that I had been attached to the score in this category, without looking within to see where I didn't do well. In the recent assessment, I was not attached to it any more, I kept looking within to see my shortcomings in doing self-assessments, and the area where I fell short, and then I selected "Improving." I have completely let go of my competitive mentality. Surprisingly, when the assessment came out, I got a full mark!
With reciting the Fa, I sometimes thought, cultivation became so clear, which is, to bear Master's Fa in mind, then follow it. The more Fa a practitioner keeps in mind, the less attachments one has, one's physical body changes along with it. What I can feel is that I sleep less than before, the optimal state in doing the exercises has appeared more and more, and I'm leading a more relaxed life. Before, every morning, after sending forth righteous thoughts, I always went back to bed to take a nap. With reciting the Fa, a few days in a row, I couldn't fall asleep any more after going back to bed, I was even worried about it: I have to work twelve hours, by only having five hours sleep, how was it going to work out? Everyday people will forever crawl within the boundary delimited by their own ignorance. Not until the fourth day, did I understand. After one gets rid of attachments, it was as if a bottle is floating up, one lives more relaxed, that's also why an Arhat always smiles.
Concerning clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings, when one keeps increasing righteous thoughts from the Fa, the evil is afraid. For example, when clarifying the truth to people in Mainland China, the evil Chinese Communist Party (CCP) often blocked my IP address after one or two months. I opened a new IP address, which took a few days before it became valid. With reciting the Fa, my new IP address has been in use for one to two months. At that time, I thought that I must keep a close eye on it and thought that the CCP would block my IP again! However, three, four months have passed and now it's the fifth month and I still have not been blocked. I came to understand that, actually, the reason why it can't block my IP address is a reflection of my continuously increased righteous thoughts from the Fa.
The last chapter of Zhuan Falun took quite some time to memorize. The reason for that was because I had the attachment of being eager to finish my Fa recitation quickly and because I lacked an understanding of the inner meaning of the Fa. For example, Master said in the section of "Mind-Intent:"
"When a practitioner does something specific, it is his or her supernormal abilities that do the work."
"For a practitioner, one's mind-intent dictates supernormal abilities to do things. For an everyday person, one's mind-intent directs the four limbs and the sensory organs to work." (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun, Translation Version 2000)
I didn't have a very good understanding of that Fa principle. I did not have supernormal abilities. I also thought, the less supernormal abilities I knew, the better. Therefore, I never asked why. After a lot of effort without success looming, I began to think, I'm a practitioner, but I'm using four limbs and sensory organs to do things? How well did I study Master's Fa? Suddenly I remembered Master's lecture on how to use righteous thoughts, Master mentioned :
"Sometimes when you folks think about an issue you form a type of habit--"I want to do such and such thing... here's how I'm going to do this thing... here's how I'm going to do that thing." You ponder over it a lot and, well, to the point that you feel you've covered everything in a satisfactory way. But when you get down to doing that thing, the real, actual situations can vary in a lot of ways and your plan won't actually work (laughs). And when it doesn't work, you start to ponder it again. That's not how you should do things. Have righteous thoughts! However you think something should be handled, just go ahead and do it, and when you run into problems you will naturally know how to solve them. If your righteous thoughts are strong, everything will work out smoothly and it's guaranteed you'll do well.
Why do I tell you to do things this way? It seems passive, right? But that's not true, because the side of you that's been successfully cultivated knows everything, and no matter how you do it, it will work, and no matter how you do those things you'll be able to do them well. So you just need to have the thought. When you know what to do, just go ahead and do it, and while you do it your wisdom will continually come forth, because at that time the side of you that's been successfully cultivated will fuse together with the side of you here. That's a God, who's omnipotent! So of course a small issue will be resolved in no time, and your wisdom will come forth--it's different then! And if you get stuck Master will give you wisdom (laughs). (Applause)" ("Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference" 2003)
After I thought about Master's Fa for a while, I enlightened that even though I did not have any supernormal abilities, Master has separated the part that has been cultivated well for me. The part that has been cultivated well became divine and is extremely powerful. When I have righteous thoughts, the part that I have cultivated well will demonstrate supernatural capabilities. The stronger my righteous thoughts are, the more supernormal capabilities my divine side will display. Therefore, when recalling what I have done in the past, I used to trace it back to my abilities, knowledge, and technical expertise. Actually, it is not. It all came down to my righteous thoughts. If I have very strong righteous thoughts, I will do well and what I do will be miraculous. If I have very little righteous thoughts, I can't do things well, and miracles can't display themselves. If I can't study the Fa well, I lack righteous thoughts and have strong attachments. Then, when I do something, I will run into problems. Because my divine part will be restrained, gods will not pay attention to human thoughts. Only if I have strong righteous thoughts, divine thoughts, will gods display its miraculous effects. Ordinary people's four limbs, sensory organs, capabilities, means, knowledge, technology and so on are part of being human. However, the way they exist has to conform to the format, status, and Fa principles of ordinary human society. Whoever a demon wants to kill, it needs to create an incident - someone gets hit by a car after leaving the house, falls down from a building and so on. Therefore, none of these are the root cause for practitioners to accomplish something. The root cause is righteous thoughts, which comes from studying the Fa and cultivating xinxing.
Practitioners in China, when they face the evil and lack righteous thoughts, they will then not be able to subdue that evil. This demonstrates how important righteous thoughts are. Practitioners overseas, with the progression of Fa-rectification, do things more professionally. By conforming to the ordinary human society to the maximum extent, if one does not pay attention to Fa-study, our own or even our entire body can easily overlook the importance of righteous thoughts. This results from being attached to the importance of and using ordinary human means. Especially when promoting Shen Yun shows and NTDTV, if ordinary people were to do it with their methods, they would have achieved great success. But if our righteous thoughts are not strong enough, by solely relying on ordinary people's means, we will not accomplish what we set out to do. The reason lies in cultivation, the return one gets are different from those of ordinary people, and therefore, the standards are different.
In this Fa-rectification period, ordinary people and divine beings exist in the human world at the same time, and there are fewer gods than human beings. My understanding is that gods must use divine thoughts to save people. There are a few million people in Toronto, and hundreds of thousands of Chinese people. We need to save them. In the beginning, when we promoted the Shen Yun show, we used our own media, we organized all kinds of activities, but in essence, we must also use our righteous thoughts.
Ordinary people are the weakest. Practitioner's righteous energy field can change people easily. If practitioners hold true thoughts, they can change more people. However it does not matter if they are buying Shen Yun tickets, or subscribing to NTDTV, it is all within the scope of ordinary people's day-to-day shopping. Even though for people who were against what we are promoting, with our powerful righteous thoughts, they had to change their mind and dealt with us. But the prerequisite is that we must have righteous thoughts and our overall righteous thoughts must be pure.
I was afraid that we couldn't reach the quota for NTDTV subscribers. However, in Fa-study, I came to understand that this fear can only bring trouble. Therefore, I thought, there are 500,000 Chinese people in Toronto that need to be saved, which is way over the number that Rogers stipulated for us. I ought to have only one thought in my mind, which is, to try my best to save more Chinese people compassionately. The so-called "quota" is an illusion. Don't worry about it! Only by getting rid of my fear, can my righteous thoughts be pure enough and display their power!
I heard that for every new subscriber we gain for NTDTV, it increases NTDTV's income. I then thought: "This is truly wonderful!" I was very touched. When I recited the Fa, the section of Consecration, it said,
"While chanting the scripture over there, some monks are thinking in their minds: "After consecration, how much money will I be paid?" (Lecture Five, Zhuan Falun)
I understood that my righteous thoughts were not pure enough again. For NTDTV to receive revenue, that is reasonable enough. It's okay to know it, but I should remain unmoved, and should not treat it as the most important issue. Those are not righteous thoughts, and will most likely bring negative results.
Master said, after "July 20, 1999," Master has pushed all practitioners to the positions where they are supposed to be. My understanding is that the side that I have cultivated has mighty power and is connected to my righteous thoughts. In addition, Master has been urging us to study more Fa, study more Fa. How come? It is for strengthening our righteous thoughts, making use of them, and displaying them, in order to save people, this is such a great expectation!
I went to a sightseeing spot to hand out truth-clarification materials with a senior practitioner. We were about 10 meters apart. That senior practitioner was quietly handing out material very quickly. It did not matter whether I spoke English or Chinese and exhausted all my means, I still handed out materials much more slowly. Some looked straight ahead when they passed by me and refused to take materials. When they passed this senior practitioner, they took it from her. What's the reason? Righteous thoughts! Master said,
"Those who develop supernormal abilities are usually at both ends: Children do not have attachments, and neither do elderly people--especially elderly women." (Lecture Eight, Zhuan Falun)
Therefore her field, her righteous thoughts were very pure and upright. She could change people without any intention. Once she began to use her righteous thoughts, she could display their mighty power.
In the past, I had lots of complains towards people who refused to take my truth clarification materials. I lacked compassion. Another time the same thing happened to me. On my way back home from a sightseeing spot, I was reciting the Fa, and I was on the section of "Whoever Practices Cultivation Will Attain Gong," it states:
"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)
I then thought, this practitioner who had been sitting for more than 90 years, maybe he is a practitioner this lifetime. He has suffered so much for today's Fa-rectification, had to go through one cultivation after another. I suddenly thought that he may be someone who did not know the truth, maybe he was the one who refused to take the truth-clarification materials from me! It is so pitiful that he is lost. His mind is poisoned by the evil CCP. He is deceived by it. Can we not save him? When thinking about that, I couldn't help but crying. Therefore, when I run into this kind of person again, I would no longer be affected by his refusal. I just think, "This time you didn't take it, you might take it next time. We have other ways to save you."
I just started reciting the Fa, so my enlightenment is very shallow and maybe incorrect. I will keep striving forward, remember Master's words, follow them, and go up the heavenly ladder that Master has provided for us.
Thank you, Master, thank you, fellow practitioners.