Improving Through Reciting the Fa
(Clearwisdom.net) I started to practice Falun Dafa in 1995. Today, I want to share my experience of reciting the Fa. I learned to look inward through reciting the Fa, and as a result, I experienced real improvements.
I used to be very competitive and always wanted to do better than others in every area. I developed many bad habits over the years, especially jealousy and a competitive mentality. Although I tried to pay attention to these areas during the first 10 or so years of my cultivation, I did not experience much change. Whenever anything happened to touch upon these attachments, I could not do well. Through reciting the Fa in recent years, however, I have gained a deeper understanding of the Fa principles and have felt a huge change.
1. Getting Rid of the Show-off Mentality
I started to recite the Fa five years ago. Initially, the result was not very good due to my strong attachments, and I still could not recite the Fa continuously. However, within the past year, I have been able to recite the Fa continuously without breaks. I recite the Fa the first thing in the morning, and in the evening, I also find the time to recite the Fa. I often practice the exercises in the evening, and then send forth righteous thoughts at 12:00 a.m. before going to bed. I have also participated in several projects to save sentient beings, so I don't have much time during the day, but I have persisted in following this routine, and I feel that I have gained much improvement as a result.
For example, one day when I was reciting "The Mentality of Showing Off" from Lecture Six in Zhuan Falun, I felt that I gained a new understanding.
"Because of practicing cultivation among everyday people, a lot of our practitioners cannot release many of their attachments. Many attachments have already become second nature, and these people themselves cannot detect them. This mentality of showing off can manifest in any situation; it can also surface when doing a good deed. In order to gain fame, personal profit, and a little benefit, some people often brag about themselves and show off: "I'm very capable and a winner."" (Zhuan Falun)
Before this day, I had not noticed that I had a show off mentality. Even though I had read this paragraph many times in the past, I hadn't thought that it had anything to do with me. While reciting the Fa on this day, however, I suddenly realized that Master's words applied to me, although it still felt vague and unclear.
The things that happened later that day, however, helped me improve a lot based on the Fa. I went to a fellow practitioner's home, where six or seven people were making a banner to mark the anniversary of July 20. When I entered the room, practitioner A said: "We need someone to make the characters. You can start with the easy ones and leave the difficult ones for me." I started to do it. After I finished several characters, practitioner A said that the rest of the characters were difficult.
Then practitioner B came over and helped a little bit, but then left the rest to me. In the past, I would take over and finish the task myself. It was my show-off mentality--thinking that I can do better than others--that had caused me to behave that way, and so I let others rely on me. Now I realized that I should not do it that way, but should work together with others instead. I smiled and said: "This is cultivation. I'll show you how and you can do it." As a result, the practitioner B did very well and finished the work with me.
I also noticed that practitioner A was very busy. Many people were asking her for help, so she did not have time to make the characters. But per her request, the making of the characters had to wait for her. I behaved in a similar way several years ago, when we were printing the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. At that time, everyone was relying on me to handle many details. If I did not come, other people could not continue with printing. I just wanted to take care of things and help others out, but I did not have a correct understanding based on the Fa. My strong attachment to doing things covered up my attachment of showing off.
After finishing everything, I shared my understanding with others. Practitioner A was very shocked. She felt like I was talking about her. She said that she had been looking inward to get rid of her mentality of feeling inferior and had never realized that she also had a show-off mentality.
2. Sharing with Fellow Practitioners Based on the Fa
Another advantage of reciting the Fa is that I can often think of Master's words when things happen.
For example, some practitioners like to talk about others and do not cooperate well with others, and sometimes even influence other practitioners to do the same. The coordinator was concerned and asked me to go with her to visit one such practitioner. That practitioner started to talk about the problems with other practitioners in our area. He over-emphasized the problems and did not mention anything about looking inward. His words were full of complaints and accusations.
He then asked the coordinator to explain to him what righteous thoughts are because his understanding was too vague. I suddenly remembered Master's teaching from the "Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005."
"A student was beaten so badly that her legs were smashed and broken into pieces, and they didn't set her bones before applying a cast. It never even occurred to the student that she would become handicapped because of this. She didn't pay any attention to it at all. She just studied the Fa every day, and her righteous thoughts were very strong. When she was able to sit up a little bit, she started to do the exercises. The doctors told her that her bones had been smashed and fractured in several places, and that the cast had been applied before the bones were set. It was all done by those people in the prison hospital. She didn't pay any attention to it and just told herself, "I want to cross my legs and do the exercises." She pushed herself and did it even though it was extremely painful to do. As time went by, she no longer felt any pain when she crossed her legs. The end result is that she has recovered. She can now jump up and down without any problem, and she's just like a completely normal person. (Applause) If any of you can conduct yourself like that, the old forces will absolutely not dare to touch you. Whoever can be like that will be able to make it through when encountering tests. What are "righteous thoughts" about? That is what righteous thoughts are about." ("Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005")
After sharing based on the Fa, we all improved. Righteous thoughts are our Fa weapon and treasure given by Master. How can we reply with simple words? This would amount to making up definitions of the Fa and is very dangerous.
3. Getting Rid of Human Attachments and Denying Old Forces' Arrangements
I learned that in order to continue reciting the Fa, we first have to get rid of many human attachments. With too many attachments, one cannot recite the Fa, because when one's thoughts are very chaotic, he or she cannot calm down and recite the Fa.
For example, at the beginning I was very attached to ordinary daily life and could not let go of many things. The little things of everyday life, like family issues, worried me. Not only could I not calm down, but I also could not find enough time to recite the Fa. Every day, I was very eager to do it but could not get it done. Even if I found the time to sit down, after a long time I could not memorize even a small paragraph. Many habits and notions needed to be discarded and corrected, especially my attachment to comfort and sleepiness.
Also, I realized that reciting the Fa helps with studying the Fa more solidly. When encountering hardships, we can then maintain righteous thoughts and make breakthroughs quickly.
For example, one time I had the symptoms of a stroke. I started to develop a fever, my left eye could not close, I could not move and lost ability to taste, and saliva dripped from my mouth. Because of the Fa in my heart, I was very firm in my belief that practitioners do not get sick and was very clear that the evil must have taken advantage of my loopholes to persecute me. I denied this persecution, looked inward and also sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the persecution. I was also not moved by the symptoms that I was experiencing. I did whatever a practitioner should do, thereby denying the persecution through my actions. These symptoms soon disappeared.
In conclusion, continuously reciting the Fa has helped me to do the three things well. I have improved a lot and benefited a lot. I truly hope that everyone can put down attachments and human notions and recite the Fa, so that all of us can finish the great mission of saving sentient beings.