The Magical Tool of Looking Within
(Minghui.org) I know that true practitioners of Falun Dafa must look within. It is as Teacher said, “For a cultivator, looking within is a magical tool.” (from Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference)
If we fail to study the Fa well, not only will we be unable to look within, we will also not understand the Fa principles clearly. If we always align ourselves with the Fa, identify our shortcomings, and constantly correct ourselves, we will be walking the path arranged by Teacher. Now, I would like to report on my cultivation experience of looking within.
Looking Within and Getting Rid of Sentimentality, Desire, and Lust
On several occasions, I had heard fellow practitioners share their understandings about sentimentality, desire, and lust. Some practitioners were not only confused about these issues, but they were also too ashamed to talk about them--especially older, married practitioners who were unable to let go of their desire for their spouses. Several years ago, I too, was in such a cultivation state. However, after diligently studying the Fa, I enlightened to the fact that nothing I encounter is coincidental. It is my human attachments that create my environment, the substance at the most microscopic level of my being. This is the reason why I must diligently cultivate my character.
Teacher said, “If something is not within the scope of a time-field, it is not restricted by that time.” (Zhuan Falun）Everything in the Three Realms, including the human body, consists of molecules. When the more microscopic particles of our innate body transcends the Three Realms, we will no longer be restricted by the time-field of this dimension. As soon as I was clear about this Fa principle, I started looking within to identify my attachment to desire and lust. At first glance, it seemed like I was quite pure in this regard, since I was already old. However, when I looked within, I found that my attachment to desire and lust still existed at a more microscopic level of my being. For example, I enjoyed looking at certain ladies and men because they matched my concept of “beautiful” and “handsome.” Sometimes I would make comments about the men and women in the pictures. I liked to dress well, however, when I looked deeper within myself, I discovered that I still had an attachment to dressing well, which I often covered up with the excuse, “But, I am protecting Dafa's image.”
One time, my daughter was staying at a hotel. When I saw a nude picture on her bathroom wall, I asked her to take it down. She said, “Mom, your heart should not be moved. It should be like you hadn't see anything. Your reaction is an indication of your level.” I felt my face flush and my heart beat faster; I was ashamed of myself. I knew Teacher used my daughter to remind me to cultivate myself better in this regard. Although Teacher required me to reach the realm of “Looking, but caring not to see--Free of delusion and doubt,” (“Abiding in the Dao” from Hong Yin) I was very far away from it. When I dug deeper, I identified many other notions that I had accumulated over numerous lifetimes, but had not yet removed during my cultivation. Some of these degenerated notions stemmed from the culture of thought of the Chinese Communist Party; some from the elements arranged by the old forces, and some from myself. But whatever the case, they existed as a part me because I had not cultivated myself well.
After I identified their roots, I asked Teacher to strengthen my righteous thoughts as I was determined to rid myself of these corrupted substances. When I enlightened to a certain level of the Fa, teacher opened my wisdom at that level. From then on, I set up a daily schedule for sending righteous thoughts. At 7:00 a.m., I sent righteous thoughts specifically to eliminate those corrupted substances. Besides the four coordinated times for global righteous thoughts, I sent righteous thoughts every hour. I paid a lot of attention to my every thought and action. Whenever I noticed an unrighteous thought in my daily life or in my dreams, I would correct it. I knew that these thoughts were not my true self. After a period of time, my character improved and my field was cleaner.
“You should always be benevolent and kind to others, and consider others when doing anything. Whenever you encounter a problem, you should first consider whether others can put up with this matter or if it will hurt anyone. In doing so, there will not be any problems. Therefore, in cultivation practice you should follow a higher and higher standard for yourself.” (Zhuan Falun)
I tried to do well in my daily life and always put my husband first. One day, I thought to myself, “It would be great if he lost the desire to be physical with me, yet still enjoyed good health.” Shortly after, his interest indeed had waned. From this experience of looking within, I enlightened to the fact that it is our great fortune to be Teacher’s disciples! As long as we follow what Teacher tells us to do, put aside our self interests, look within, and truly cultivate ourselves while doing the three things well, Teacher will give us the best of everything.
By looking within, I learned how to negate the old forces
For me, getting rid of fear was the most difficult part of my cultivation. I had many disturbing thoughts and I imagined countless scenarios where my life was in imminent danger. This happened because I had not studied the Fa well nor had I understood it at a rational level, thus I was not clear on the Fa principles. That is why it was so hard for me to understand how to look within, how to practice genuine cultivation, what the old forces are, and how to negate them. I took my human attachments and bad thoughts to be my true myself. Although I was fulfilling Teacher's three requirements, I went about them in a passive way and even considered them as three daily chores to accomplish. I felt helpless and thought that I had not cultivated very well. For a long time, I was plagued by unfounded fears and all sorts of unrighteous thoughts. I felt as if I were trapped inside a circle arranged by the old forces. It was due to this state of mind that I was arrested for clarifying the truth on October 11, 2005, and placed in a detention center for 15 days. After I had calmed myself down and looked within, I realized that the root of my problem was that I studied the Fa and did the three things superficially, thus I had not assimilated to the Fa. Since my main consciousness and righteous thoughts were not strong, I unknowingly walked on the path arranged by the old forces, instead of the righteous path that Teacher had arranged for me.
After looking inside myself, I became more determined than ever to have righteous thoughts. I thought to myself, “No matter how many loopholes or attachments I may have, no one has a right to persecute me. No matter what agreements I may have made with the old forces, from today onward, I will make a clean break with them. Since Teacher has removed Dafa practitioners’ names from hell, I will reposition myself as Teacher's disciple.” Since that day, I could clearly feel the wonder of looking within.
After I was released, I studied and recited the Fa a lot. Gradually I was clearer about the Fa principles. I truly calmed myself down and looked back to examine the cultivation path that I had traveled thus far. I asked myself, “Why can't I assimilate in the Fa and do three things in an upright and dignified way? What human attachments are blocking me on my cultivation path?
“But they made a special dial for the Fa-rectification, and in every dimension they have done certain things surreptitiously. They have even involved the world's people, and planted this kind of dial in humans' bodies. That is why when [the dial] moves, shifts in the state of affairs for human beings on Earth take place. It's exactly because those things are at work. During the Fa-rectification those things are all in the process of being cleaned out, so they no longer play a decisive role.” (Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles)
Through Fa study, I came to understand that the old forces arranged what they did under the pretext of testing Dafa practitioners. They took advantage of the agreements that Dafa practitioners made with them throughout history, as well as Dafa practitioners’ inborn substances. Those arrangements became obstacles that seriously interfered with practitioners. For example, some practitioners passed away due to sickness karma, some enlightened along an evil path, some were sent to labor camps, some were entangled by family matters, some were forced to take care of their ill parents and children and were thus preoccupied with endless housework; some couldn’t put others first and were embroiled in endless arguments with fellow practitioners, and so forth.
After studying the Fa and looking within, I clearly saw that there are only two cultivation paths: one is a divine path that Teacher had arranged for us and the other is a path arranged by the old forces to undermine Dafa practitioners. It is extremely important for a practitioner to completely negate the old force's arrangements and walk on the righteous path arranged by Teacher!
“But all the same, Master doesn't acknowledge them. And you shouldn't acknowledge them either. Do things well in an upright and dignified way, negate them, and strengthen your righteous thoughts some. "I'm Li Hongzhi's disciple, I don't want other arrangements or acknowledge them"--then they won't dare to do that. So it can all be resolved. When you can really do that, not just saying it but putting it into action, Master will definitely stand up for you. What's more, there are lots of Fa guardians around Master, there are lots of Buddhas, Daos, and Gods, and there are even greater beings, and they will all participate, because forced persecution that's not acknowledged is a crime, and the cosmos's old laws don't allow it either--irrational persecution absolutely is not allowed, and the old forces don't dare to do it if that is the situation. So you should do things as righteously as you can.” (Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference)
After memorizing Teacher's words and reciting them often, I found myself acting in line with the Fa principles.
Not acknowledging the old forces is not just saying to oneself, “I don't acknowledge the old forces;” rather, it is putting one's understanding of the Fa principles into action. Whenever the evil was rampant and my fears and unrighteous thoughts surfaced, I would recite Teacher's words and send righteous thoughts to negate the old force's arrangements. I would think to myself, “I am Teacher’s disciple, so I am protected by Teacher and have absolutely no relationship with the old forces. When the old forces are rampant, it is an opportunity for Dafa practitioners to eliminate them.” Now, I am clearer about the Fa principle of negating the old forces, though I still have a long way to go. I will continue to do better and better because the Fa and Teacher are here with me. Teacher, please rest assured that I will do well. I know that you have put a lot of effort into helping me remove my many human attachments.
Looking Within in a Timely Manner
Recently, a fellow practitioner asked me to install an operating system on her computer. I thought: “I haven't installed an operating system for several months. Moreover, her home is very far from the nearest town. If I ran into some difficulty during the install, what would I do?” I quickly realized that this was not my thought; it was the old forces who took advantage of my thought karma and interfered with me and my sacred duty of saving sentient beings. I told myself, “I will not fall into your trap, old forces,” then I sent righteous thoughts to eliminate them. At that moment, I also thought of Teacher's Fa. I knew that Teacher had arranged everything for us and that all we needed to do was to have righteous thoughts and follow through on his arrangement. After adjusting my attitude, I got ready to leave. When I arrived at the practitioner's home, I discovered that there was no CD drive on her computer and the disk for her operating system was brand new; thus I didn't know what to do. I started to think, “Since her home is so far from town, if I am unable to install the operating system today, it will bring a lot of trouble to her family.” I immediately looked within and realized that I was afraid of making a mistake; afraid of being hurt, and afraid of losing face—if the install did not go as planned. I thought to myself, “These human attachments must be eliminated today!” I adjusted my attitude and started working on her computer. Although her computer was old, it was amazingly fast. I not only finished installing the system within two hours, but I also taught her daughter, who was at home at the time, how to do future installs. Teacher has indeed arranged everything for us. Thank you, Teacher!
One day, I went to the countryside with two fellow practitioners for a group experience sharing. An 80-year-old male practitioner stared at us for the whole time. At one point he turned towards me and said, “Your innate bodies have reached the pure-white body state. I can see that.” When I realized that the other two practitioners had not heard what he said, I immediately asked myself, “Why did he talk to me about this and not the two other practitioners? Is this a coincidence?” Teacher told us to always look within. I could tell that the old practitioner’s words targeted my human attachments. At that moment, I realized that I liked to hear good things about myself; I was attached to fame, I liked to show off, and I even developed demonic interference from my own mind. I thought to myself, “Only Teacher knows how well we are cultivating, therefore how could other practitioners see it; how could they be allowed to see it?” Cultivation is very serious. If we fail to look within ourselves, we will lose the opportunity to improve ourselves in cultivation.
Only after looking within did I realize that if we follow Teacher's Fa and put others first, Teacher will open up our wisdom. Although I still have many human attachments, I also have a magic tool for getting rid of them: looking within—which is a gift from Teacher. I will look within; truly cultivate myself, do the three things well, purify myself completely, and return home with Teacher. Thank you, Teacher for your saving grace!