Have We Found Joy in Hardship?
(Clearwisdom.net) Teacher said,
"To consummate yourself, reaping Buddhahood,
Let joy be found in hardship.
Physical pains count little as suffering,
Indeed, cultivating mind is hardest.
Each and every barrier must be broken through,
And everywhere does evil lurk.
Abundant troubles rain down together,
All to see: Can you pull through?
The world's miseries endured,
One departs the earth a Buddha."
("Tempering the Will" from Hong Yin, translation version A)
Teacher has taught us to find joy in hardship. Have we been able to do this? I have been practicing Falun Gong for 10 years. Every time I face a difficult test, I think of this poem and try to be strict with myself. I have had trials and made errors, but I have followed Teacher's teachings and treated hardship as joy.
When I started to learn the Falun Gong sitting meditation, my body was so stiff that my knees were high up in the air. I was in a lot of pain when I tried to sit in the single lotus position. However, I managed to sit in the position for 30 minutes the first time. When it was nearly 30 minutes, I felt as though time had stopped. At times I felt like passing out and crying, but I managed to endure the 30 minutes. Six months later, I could finally sit in the single lotus position with both knees flat on the ground. It was not until three years later that I could finally sit in the full lotus position. The first time I sat in the full lotus position, I practiced the sitting meditation for 30 minutes. Yet it was not worth mentioning compared to those fellow practitioners who are more capable in enduring hardship.
During cultivation in the Fa-rectification period, I have also suffered a lot of hardship. I try my very best in clarifying the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong. Sometimes when I faced demonic tribulations, it felt very painful. But then, I thought of fellow practitioners who were imprisoned for clarifying the truth about Falun Gong and tortured to death, or those who have become disabled from the torture. Then, I immediately felt that the hardship I was experiencing was nothing. When I thought of the hardship Teacher has endured to rectify the universe and to save us, I no longer felt the hardship. When I read in "Minghui Weekly" about fellow practitioners who have suffered the most severe persecution, I was a little intimidated by the persecution, but later I used it to motivate me to stay diligent in my cultivation. I feel that I, as a Falun Gong practitioner, must abide by Teacher's words and must never back down because of fear. A fellow practitioner told me once that she was afraid when she read about the persecution of practitioners and confessed that she feared she might be next. Isn't that an attachment? It's a strong attachment to selfishness! Teacher has asked us to walk well the path of Fa-rectification. How can we allow ourselves to fear the persecution?
I ought to eliminate fear from the origin of life. If cases of persecution increase, we should do the three things better to end the persecution. If we are afraid of validating the Fa, the old forces will take advantage of the loophole. There is a story about three pirates boarding a cruise ship with 90 passengers. Two of the 90 passengers tried to fight the pirates and were killed. The rest of the 88 passengers were too afraid to fight. Finally when the three pirates looted all the valuables, they sank the ship and, thus, all the passengers drowned. Think about it. How can 90 people be defeated by three men? Isn't this the way of ordinary people? They are afraid of losses out of selfishness. But who can protect their lives?
"Cultivation is cultivation, and cultivation is about getting rid of one's attachments, putting a stop to bad human behavior and all kinds of fears, including the human attachments of being afraid of this and being afraid of that." ("Pass the Deadly Test")
"If a cultivator can let go of the thought of life and death under any circumstance, evil is sure to be afraid of him. If every student is able to do this, evil will of itself no longer exist." ("Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s)" in Essentials for Further Advancement II)
In order to end the persecution as soon as possible, we must be able to endure hardship and let go of fear. We must walk well the path of Fa-rectification and transcend the level of ordinary people.
In the Fa-rectification period, Teacher will help us with everything as long as we have steadfast faith in the Fa. I have faced many tribulations, but Teacher has helped me pass all of them. When I wished to clarify the truth to people in order to save them, Teacher made arrangements. When I ran into trouble due to my attachments, Teacher helped me overcome the trouble once I detected my attachments and rectified my mentality. As a result, those difficulties didn't cost me any tangible losses. I have been validating the Fa and protesting the persecution of Falun Gong for nine years. I may not have done well. Sometimes I went to extremes, failed to be rational or harbored strong attachments when I did the three things, but compassionate and magnificent Teacher has always given me hints and watched over me. No words can describe my immense gratitude towards Teacher. If not for Teacher, how could I possibly have journeyed this far? This is the reason why I have a steadfast faith in following Teacher to rectify the Fa. Compared to what Teacher has given me, I have done virtually nothing.
Finally I would like to remind fellow practitioners and myself of one thing: In the final golden hours of the Fa-rectification period, don't be afraid of hardship. Comfort will not help us pass any test or upgrade our levels. Teacher said,
"If your will is not firm,
The hurdles are like mountains.
How will you transcend this mortal life?" (from "Severing" in Hong Yin II)
As long as we have a steadfast faith in Teacher and the Fa, treat the Fa as Teacher and never waver in our faith, Teacher will be able to help us in every possible way and we shall be invincible. Fellow practitioners, a lot of hardship is nothing. Teacher said,
"The mighty virtue of Dafa disciples gloriously illuminates the universe." ("Greetings")
The Fa-rectification is near the end. Don't lose this opportunity that comes only once in eternity!
Please kindly point out anything erroneous in my understanding.