Eliminating Acquired Notions and Returning to Our Origins
(Clearwisdom.net) I discovered recently through studying the Fa that one of my notions has been blocking my improvement for a long time. When I was dealing with a situation, I first thought of its negative effects and used that to guide and constrain me, even in my cultivation.
For example, when my husband wanted to go jogging along the lake after dinner on a winter evening, my first thought was he'd better not go since he might slip and fall into the lake. When I heard about bad things on the Internet, I didn't want to have a computer until I really needed it for accessing Dafa websites. Before I did anything, I thought of all the bad factors in how I would deal with them before I actually did it, so I believed that I was a clever and cautious person among everyday people. This was truly just cleverness and not wisdom.
This mindset also applied to my cultivation. Since I had seen the disadvantages of Christianity and Buddhism, when I began to practice Falun Dafa, I judged it from all angles. I did not practice it until I confirmed that it was truly good.
Of course, doing things like that had some advantages within certain limits and levels. I had strong desires of lust, but I knew the consequences of violating that, so I restrained myself and did not make that mistake. When my husband had an affair, I thought of revenge by spreading the news in our workplace, as we worked for the same company, but I knew it would defame Dafa since I was known for my firmness in Dafa within my company. So I forced myself to let it go, but my cultivation was tiring.
The disadvantages of this mindset were obvious. When I was about to do the meditation, my first thought was about pain from double-crossing the legs, so how could it not be painful? When I came back home late after doing Dafa work, I first thought of my husband's questioning. How could he not ask, then? Before I started to clarify the truth, I first thought about what to do if he did not believe what I said. The result would be predictable there, too. Since the opening of the celestial eye can cause demonic interference from one's own mind and Master had seriously talked about this, I have never envied practitioners with supernormal abilities, but to the other extreme, I stayed away from supernormal abilities all together. Thus I was not able to do well when sending forth righteous thoughts. How could I use my supernormal abilities, then?
"It seems that people can never learn positive lessons from history. Instead, they always learn from negative lessons for the sake of their own self-interests." (The Buddha Fa and Buddhism, Essentials for Further Advancement)
When I studied this part before, I did not understand it, but now I know this is my problem. This mindset blocked me from improving in my cultivation. I was not able to fully give up myself to the fullest extent, and instead I always held back, and I was not able to harmonize with the Fa totally. Although I had been doing the three things, I had my own thoughts and would protect myself instinctively. Before doing anything, my attachment to pursuit had attracted demons. In my cultivation, I worried about the outcome and did not know what to do. I measured cultivation with my human notions, so I felt really tired.
This mindset actually comes from the golden mean. I don't have ups or downs but stay undefeated. This strong sense of self-protection blocked my cultivation after the persecution started on July 20, 1999. Especially after many diligent practitioners went against Dafa after their detention, I warned myself to stay in the middle. I was thus relaxed and no longer diligent. Master had benevolently reminded me in my dreams. Once I went up to a level in the heavens, and two divine beings from a higher level called me, "Go higher!"I said, "I dare not to."I was afraid that I might fall down if I failed to go up. Later in another dream, Master also reminded me that however much you give is however much you get. Although I understood, I was not able to break through.
Before doing any Fa rectification work, I first thought of the possibility of being arrested and tortured. After I heard about the cruel methods of torturing practitioners, I knew that I could not bear it to a certain extent. I always measured how much I could do with human notions, so I felt confused. Master said,
"The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts."(Drive Out Interference, Essentials for Further Advancement II )
Although I felt bitter and tired in my cultivation, I had the heart to keep moving forward. Master saw it, and he gradually opened up my wisdom through the Fa and broke the shell blocking me. Later Master arranged for me to meet two practitioners who helped me break through.
When I think about it now, it was all human notions. I was not really in the Fa. A person's endurance has limits. If a practitioner thought about cultivation with a human mindset, the evil would persecute you harder, and you would reach your limit eventually. You were actually trying to prove yourself instead of validating the Fa.
I also found out that although I was honest and kind superficially, I still tried to protect myself and suspected others. I didn't practice Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance one hundred percent.
I have felt that all these years I had made a cocoon to restrict myself and all my acquired concepts, and I wrapped myself up in it and walked around and around inside it. Now I have broken through it and I am reborn.
In life, nothing sought,
In death, regretting naught;
Washing away all wrong thought,
Buddhahood, with less adversity, is wrought.
(Nothing Kept, Hong Yin)
I came to the realization that cultivation is actually simple, and it should not be exhausting us, but we should just do as Master said and believe what Master has taught. The Fa and Master are here. I am a Fa particle and came to validate and harmonize the Fa, not to validate myself. Without the Fa, I am nothing. I should give up all of myself to the greatest extent, completely dissolve into the Fa and return to my origins.
After I understood this, the first thought that came to me was depression and regret. I felt that I had wasted so much time. Later, I discovered that this depression and regret also arose from the attachment of validating myself. I should be happy that I came to see those things.
The above is my understanding. I hope that this can help fellow practitioners with similar notions.