Practitioners Should Let Go of Depression and Despondency
(Minghui.org) More than 17 years have passed since July 1999, when the persecution of Falun Dafa started in China. Although diligent practitioners have made good use of this time to cultivate themselves and save more people, many practitioners, myself included, have become depressed and feel frustration because of the ongoing suppression.
How can we address this issue?
The Root of Depression
In “Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Houston,” Master said,
“Very early on, in India there was a disciple of Brahmanism cultivating. He was quite diligent in cultivation and he cultivated in solitude in the mountains. One day a hunter tracked down a deer, wounding it with an [arrow] shot. This deer ran off [to where the cultivator was], and he hid the deer, protecting it. Alone in the mountains, he was very lonely, so he started to take care of the deer. Humans, if they don’t pay attention, can get attached, and indeed the human feeling of pity and attachment to emotion were both poured on this small deer. With time he became very attached to the deer, and eventually the deer became his closest companion. As a result, he put all his energy into the deer, and when he meditated his mind couldn’t become calm; he would be thinking about what to feed the deer. He slackened his resolve to stride forward.
“A few years later, the deer suddenly died one day, and he was greatly pained. He always thought about the deer, and even less could he make diligent progress. By this time he was advanced in his years, and if you aren’t a cultivator, your life can’t be prolonged. He could no longer cultivate and his life ended. When his life came to a close he didn’t think of the Buddha Law; he was still thinking of the deer, and because of this, after he died, he reincarnated as a deer.”
The lesson is profound.
There could be many reasons for our depression, despondency or frustration. In order to walk out of this depression, we need to be clear about the causes behind it.
In my understanding, there are at least two contributing factors, one is an attachment to the length of time of the Fa-rectification and the other is external interference.
Attachment to Time
Ever since the suppression started, I tended to read Master's Fa lectures, scanning for hints that might indicate when the persecution would end. I was also attached to situations in everyday society, hoping they would be more favorable for Dafa.
In “Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference,” Master said,
“However, judging from the present situation and how much I've done, as well as the present state, the days of this set of things they have arranged are numbered, right? Everyone is calling for the arrest of that archfiend Jiang. As soon as it is arrested, this thing will end, and it is just this soon.”
I was always glad to read this paragraph, hoping that this day would come sooner.
However, I did not pay much attention to Master's words right after that,
“Dafa disciples should not stay attached to time and should not neglect to go about doing the things you should do. I keep prolonging this time to give it to you and have you do things quickly!”
The Chinese Communist Party held major conferences in China recently and I had expected some changes favorable to Falun Dafa from these meetings. These thoughts show that I am attached to time and that I rely on everyday people to do things for Falun Dafa.
Another challenge for us practitioners is external inference.
In “Fa Teaching at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference,” Master said,
“The old forces wouldn’t venture to directly persecute Dafa disciples at present—none of the larger beings that assume a form would venture to do that. Then what sorts of things are doing that now? Things like worms, bugs, bacteria, and all kinds of foul things like that. Sending righteous thoughts is extremely effective in these cases! They are annihilated in large batches. But there are a lot of them, given how big this cosmos is; and the cosmos consists of many layers. So after you have wiped these things out, shortly after, before long, they might infiltrate again, and you need to eliminate them again. So you need to keep sending righteous thoughts like this, and persist with it for some time, before you will see obvious results. Don’t lose confidence just because, after feeling good following a while of sending righteous thoughts, things don’t seem to go well again. I can tell you that they are using this approach to wear you down—to whittle away at your strong sense of conviction. So you need to be alert to these things.”
Master has told us to send forth righteous thoughts and eliminate interfering elements. But sometimes we may not have done well in studying the Fa, or we were distracted by trivial matters. This may seem accidental, but gradually they could compromise our righteous thoughts and lead us to depression.
We have to be really serious about the above mentioned issues. Otherwise, though they may look insignificant, they may actually be ruining our cultivation.