(Clearwisdom.net) In my cultivation over the past 15 years, I've gained more appreciation for the miraculous nature and the profound meaning of Dafa with time. I would like to share some of my experiences of cultivating in the Fa-rectification period with fellow practitioners.
1. Validating the Goodness and the Glory of Dafa
Exposing the staged Tiananmen Square self-immolation incident and the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners, as well as distributing the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, help people to see the true nature of the CCP. However, these actions do not convey the grander truth about Dafa.
"So in other words, the intention before wasn't to eliminate that malevolent CCP even though it had done every conceivable evil deed, created that wicked Party culture, and murdered countless people and other lives." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2005 Manhattan International Fa Conference")
In my understanding, it is not enough for us to merely clarify the truth about the persecution. We should also demonstrate the goodness and validate the greatness of Dafa, showing people that Dafa is a higher science. We can do this by cultivating well, performing well in our daily life, and using our work environment to showcase the beauty and the majesty of Dafa through music, painting, media, education, and so on. Teacher has arranged a cultivation path for each of us, so each practitioner should use their specific professional medium to save more people.
When the persecution had just begun in 1999, I was a low-level clerk and felt a tremendous pressure while explaining the facts about Falun Gong to the people at my workplace. By conducting myself strictly according to the high standard of the Fa and gradually improving, I was later able to get a job as a manager at another company. I found it easier to clarify the truth to my colleagues and clients from a management position. Some of them even started to practice Falun Gong due to my positive influence.
Through the process of clarifying the truth, I noticed that people were more receptive to hearing the facts when I used personal examples to demonstrate the goodness of Dafa.
2. Understanding the Fa and the Process of 'Choice' on a Deeper Level
"You know what? Just on the one issue of cultivation alone it's so complex at the cosmos's lower levels. But it becomes simple at higher levels, where there's no longer any concept of cultivation but only the concept of karma elimination. At levels higher up, all troubles are to pave the way for ascending to Heaven. And at even higher levels, concepts like eliminating karma, enduring hardships, and cultivation no longer exist, and it's just a choice! This is the principle at high levels of the cosmos: you think someone is good enough, so you choose him-- that's the principle. "Cultivation? We didn't arrange cultivation for him. What's cultivation? We just want to cleanse it, cleanse it step by step, all the way up. Cleanse it--it's as simple as that!" Yet when manifested at different levels, it becomes paving the way, having troubles, enduring hardships, eliminating karma, cultivating, and so on, cultivating one way, practicing another way." ("Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference")
I lacked a deeper understanding of cultivation in the past. For example, I found it hard to understand the reasons behind publishing the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, or showcasing the Divine Land Marching Band and Shen Yun Performing Arts. I thought: "We just need to study the Fa and cultivate our xinxing. Why are there these things that seem to be irrelevant to our cultivation?"
Later on, I realized that my problem was due to my limited understanding of the Fa. Dafa encompasses everything and leaves nothing out. Everything has its origin in and is derived from Dafa. So as long as some form is beneficial to spread Dafa, we should make use of it. For example, we use the Internet to break the CCP's information blockade in order to widely distribute the facts about Falun Gong, while Shen Yun Performing Arts uses Chinese classical dance as a form to save people.
"But there are more people who aren't so clear on this, and you have this short-term thinking, namely, "When Fa-rectification requires something, we'll do it. When it's over with, we're done." But that's not how things work. When Dafa disciples do something, it is never solely for that one thing. With whatever you do, you need to consider the present as well as the future, and you need to consider the task itself as well as anything related to it. Right now this cultural format is being used to save people and validate the Fa, but won't this format be left to the future? Won't it be given to the people of the future to follow?" ("Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference")
Our chosen professions are also part of our cultivation, but I often found myself treating my work as inconsequential and temporary. Through continued Fa study, I realized that when we choose a certain profession, a certain culture, a certain tool, we are walking a path of cultivation that will be used as a reference for the people of the future. At the same time, we are also saving beings in a broader sense and in a wider form.
3. Eliminating an Incorrect Notion Completely Changes Everything
In the process of my cultivation, I have come to realize the importance of eliminating all incorrect notions.
"Whether it be working on advertising for The Epoch Times, operations and management, or seeking financial support, in each and every regard there exists the question of whether you are able to handle things with righteous thoughts. Of course, at the same time the overall situation also involves old-force factors that are steering certain things. But isn't that a case of their exploiting your gaps? If you can all handle things correctly, there will be no exploiting of gaps. Sometimes you may feel that the evil is not being wiped out fully, and you wonder how come it is surfacing again. Well, if you could achieve Consummation after just cultivating for one day, and become a Buddha on the spot, it wouldn't amount to cultivation. It really is hard to clean out those notions and bad things that you have formed while leading your daily life, and you need to change those habitual things that have formed. You have already formed a way of thinking such as that, and so you have to look into your manner of thinking and correct things there if you want to avoid more problems. You might be wondering, "But haven't I already cleaned those things out?" Indeed, when you send righteous thoughts the field does become bright and clear. However, the moment you get up, what's in your head is in fact human thinking, and when you think about something or do something, you quickly lapse and go back to where you started from, and that thing [you cleared out] is there again. And further yet, if your mind and thoughts aren't even steady when you send righteous thoughts, you will be clearing out and eradicating bad things over here while at the same time producing them over there." ("Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting")
We should not only pay attention to how many fliers we distribute or how many activities we participate in, but also think about how many human notions we have gotten rid of, how many beings we have truly saved, and whether our methods are effective or need improvement.
"Gods at very high levels have a Trinity. At different levels there are different concepts and understandings of the Trinity. At very high levels where there are physical forms, Trinity is the composition of True Body, True Spirit, and Thought--that's the Trinity. That's how it is at very high levels. At even higher levels it's no longer the case, though--there, thought and body are one, there's no distinction." ("Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Vancouver, Canada, in 2003")
From studying Teacher's lectures, I came to understand that we should judge our each and every thought by the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, which is crucial in order to change our environment and eliminate wrongful notions that were established over thousands of years of reincarnation in the human world.