Have We Tried Our Best to Save Sentient Beings?
(Clearwisdom.net) When I wrote down this title, tears started to roll down my face, uncontrollably.
I am deeply moved by so much that Master has done for sentient beings; no language in the world can express Master's almighty graciousness. I am so deeply touched by those practitioners who are steadfastly stepping forward, on the route that Master's arranged, with no fear or flinching when facing evil. I am deeply touched by those fellow practitioners who are fulfilling their vows even in this vicious persecution environment, and I am deeply touched by those practitioners who would rather lead thrifty lives and use their limited savings on Dafa truth clarification materials.
A few years ago, a practitioner from another area came to my place after I got home from work in the afternoon. When I saw her, I told her that I would cook and we could have dinner together. She said that I didn't have to cook for her as she had already eaten. Afterwards, the practitioner who lived with me told me that she had a lot of steamed bread, so she just had some streamed bread that night, and she used most of the money she had saved on truth-clarification materials. I cried, and felt bad because I was not doing well enough.
How much had I tried in this aspect? Even though I used one third of my income on truth clarification materials, what about the other two thirds? I used them in my personal life, being fashionable. I bought new clothes and jewelry that I liked when I saw them, and I even went out and had my hair done, spending a few hundred yuan each time. The money was all spent on those luxuries, and attachments like this had become second nature. If I hadn't kept studying the Fa, I wouldn't even have sensed that it is an acquired unrighteous behavior. Eventually, I eliminated that attachment during Fa study over the following years, and sometimes I could not figure out what to buy when my friends took me shopping. I clearly realized that I had gradually eliminated those desires for material things. I clearly know that if I can save 10 yuan, I can buy a pack of printing paper for the truth-clarification materials, and the truth written on that paper can save numerous sentient beings.
When seeing some fellow practitioners who have fixed their hair in a fashionable way, and even changed their hair color, I only smile and think, "Why would they ruin their pretty hair with stuff like this?" When seeing the fellow practitioner who shared my room constantly buying new clothes, I saw the shadow of myself being ignorant years ago. Then I would joke with her, saying, "The closet will explode if you add one more thing." She would reply with embarrassment, "Yeah, I can't keep doing this any longer." I believe that the fellow practitioner and I should realize during Fa study that the desire of being fashionable is also an attachment that needs to be eliminated. What a great thing it would be to use all that money in saving sentient beings!
In articles recalling Master's graciousness, some fellow practitioners said that Master's very simple clothes, two suits, a pair of leather shoes, were very old but very clean and comfortable. In order not to waste class time, Master ate instant noodles. I was told that some practitioners sold their houses, and spent the money on saving sentient beings, and some other practitioners sold their home-grown eggs, and used the money on truth clarification materials. We surely should not go to extremes, yet we should not be reluctant either. We should comply with the general public's standards of living. Yes, clean and comfortable and natural, not overly fashionable, will make others feel comfortable and at ease with us.
"Human morality is declining a thousand miles a day, and everyday people are all drifting along with the current. The farther away from the Dao, the more difficult to return through cultivation." ("Practicing Cultivation After Retirement" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
By studying the Fa, I realized the urgency of saving sentient beings. I then I started using two thirds of my income on truth clarification materials. Even though we don't care how much money we spend in cultivation, and no matter how much money we have spent, the mighty virtue is all the same. Those gods and Buddhas don't place value on the quantity, but on how much heart we use. It might be because the old forces saw this, then intended to interfere with me. For example, with the sudden flood that turned a town into a disaster area, seeing the victims, I did not have peace of mind for a while. But the evil didn't succeed; I wasn't moved by the evil to work on those things at the expense of Dafa work. Instead, I worked even harder on the three things that we should do well, and ever since then, I became a tiny flower in the "flowers blooming everywhere."
I tried to be a responsible daughter. When I was at my parents' home, I tried to balance everything. I sent some money home and helped build a new house. While I knew that my parents were suffering hardship, more sentient beings are suffering hardships too, and they are still waiting for our offer of salvation. Trying to help them learn the truth is truly helping them out of their hardship.
During the past six months, money has been tight. The old forces tried to interfere with our cultivation in this aspect, and sometimes when I felt that cultivation was truly hard, I knew it was because I thought of it using a human mindset. Master said,
"Some people go by how they feel in practicing something. What does your feeling account for? It is nothing."
"When it is difficult to endure, try to endure it. When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible." (Zhuan Falun, 2000 translation)
It's true that whatever we feel in cultivation is not the ultimate truth in cultivation. Whenever we look back at our cultivation, those hardships are nothing. We didn't really lose anything, and the important part is that we have obtained things that even gods would envy. Whatever we have done has all been done for ourselves, and gods and Buddhas see it all.
I recalled once sharing with a fellow practitioner. I said, "We have to make the best use of our time to do well with what we should do, and we can't be tied by thoughts of fear. We should go out to validate the Fa. We can't be left behind by practitioners from other areas, and we should study the Fa and cultivate as well as they do." She said, "It's not going to work to be anxious about this. Master will arrange things for us." I could sense fear in her words, but in the meantime, I also saw my own fear, even though I didn't sense my fear at that moment.
Have we tried our best to save sentient beings? My fellow practitioner said that I was pursuing virtue. I felt very peaceful after hearing that, as I knew that cultivators don't have attachments to those virtues and achievements. I have been through wind and rain in the past years. I know what I am doing, and our only responsibility is saving people. But her reminder is not a coincidence; Master reminded me via her words not to forget to cultivate my heart when offering salvation to sentient beings. We have to do all three things well, and balance everything at home and in society.
These are just my personal ideas; I would like to have suggestions and advice concerning anything that is incorrect! Thanks!