Studying the Fa and Cultivating the Heart
(Minghui.org) I started practicing Falun Dafa, with my mother's help, when I was a child. It has been more than 20 years, but only recently did I realize that I had only been hanging about near the entrance and had not yet begun to really cultivate.
Though I grew up with the Fa, I had not truly obtained the Fa. When I went astray in my cultivation, Master benevolently guided me back every time, but I still find it difficult to stay consistently diligent in the practice.
I am deeply ashamed of myself and hope that, by writing down and sharing my experience with other practitioners, my human attachments and notions will be exposed and I will become more diligent in my cultivation.
Getting Rid of Attachments
I am a college student and have formed many bad habits over the years that interfere with my studies and with assimilating to the Fa. Without realizing it, I mix in everyday people's methods, thoughts, and motivations when it comes to Fa study.
For example, I sometimes try to summarize a passage or sentence when I study the Fa or catch myself thinking that I have already read and understood this part. Incorrect thoughts such as these interfere with me. I was impatient and restless at Fa study and realized that it had become a problem with my cultivation.
When I read the Fa, deep down, I was seeking to gain some understanding of the Fa principles and to understand the deeper meanings behind the words. When I was experiencing tribulations or going through xinxing tests, I studied the Fa more, which is, of course, a good thing, but my motive was not right.
I saw studying the Fa as a way to resolve my problems, to have a comfortable life, to be able to show off in front of other practitioners, and to have everything work out perfectly for me. I was not taking Fa study as an opportunity to assimilate myself to the Fa and to truly cultivate. The result was that I often felt exhausted and burned out throughout the day.
I used to spend a good half of my day studying the Fa, and I also went out to talk to people about Dafa every day. After going to classes, I had little time or energy to do my schoolwork. I often went to bed after midnight or until I couldn't stay awake any longer and would get up at 5:00 a.m. the next day to study the Fa. This was my routine for a long time.
Master gave me hints in my dreams that there was a problem in my state of cultivation. I cried and told Master that I didn't know what to do, that I had tried my best but it still wasn't working.
It had become my fixed way of life—how much Fa study I did, how many truth clarification letters I sent out, how many people I spoke to about Dafa, how many hours I spent on schoolwork, when to listen to experience sharings, when to recite the Fa, etc.
I felt that I managed my time well, but when something extra came up, such as another homework assignment, it would stress me out completely. “What do I do? How am I going to finish my homework today?” I was easily upset.
I sensed that my approach to Fa study and everything else was wrong, but I didn't dare to change it. Focusing on the quantity and not quality of Fa study backfired, and, out of exhaustion, I started to slack off.
As I dug deeper inside and asked myself why I studied the Fa, my answer was that, if I didn't, I could easily lose my righteous thoughts. It is so easy to become like an everyday person. It is so easy to become preoccupied with reading novels, watching movies, eating delicious food, putting on make-up, and wearing fashionable clothes—things that people talk about and do all the time.
When I did these things, it left me empty inside, and I regretted wasting my time. Several times, Master guided me back to the right path, and I was diligent for a short while before letting myself go and slipping back into those old habits again.
I have never really faced the root cause of my problem before today. I always got scared of falling behind again in cultivation. I never dared, or wanted, to dig deep and truly find my attachments—to fame, reputation, self-interest, fear, and others—and really get rid of them.
I also didn't take sending righteous thought seriously and didn't clear my field after letting in so many bad things.
Getting Rid of Pursuits in Cultivation
A sharing article on Minghui.org that I read recently helped me realize a problem that has been troubling me. I have been studying the Fa for as long as I can remember and have been so lucky to have had Dafa to guide me since I was little.
But pressured by the persecution and the influence and brainwashing of the communist party's lies, I didn't know how to cultivate my thoughts and actions according to the Fa.
How have I changed since I started cultivation? I asked myself this question over and over again but somehow have never have been able to come up with a good answer. I felt my morals weren't any better than anybody else's and my academic performance certainly wasn't extraordinary.
My grades are average because I often play with my cell phone in class, read novels, and didn't take homework seriously. How can my body be changed if I am still attached to comfort and do not do the exercises? Just like an ordinary person, I'm overly concerned about losing weight and looking good, and I don't consider myself a Dafa practitioner.
My heart is not righteous and I couldn't tell my true “self” from the fake me.
Gradually, the attachments and desires of the fake me got mixed into and interfered with my cultivation. The righteousness of my true self was buried, and the attachments of the fake me got the better of me.
But Master picked me up time and time again, gave me guidance, and put me back on the right path. But as soon as I improved a little bit, I became overly happy and started to show off. When I didn't do as well, I became fearful of falling behind and being persecuted.
“Because it forms a field around your body and wraps you up right in the middle, you become separated from Zhen-Shan-Ren, the characteristic of the universe. Thus, this kind of person’s enlightenment quality may be poor.” (Zhuan Falun)
Every time I failed to do well and look inward, I found fear. Looking deeper still, I found my doubts and my not being able to have complete faith in the Fa and Master. However, I always failed to recognize the heart of pursuit.
In fact, Master has always been watching over and protecting me. The first time I spoke to a stranger about Dafa in public, a police officer was standing not far away from me, but he didn't notice anything. When I have the intention to talk to people about Dafa, I always find predestined beings waiting for me right around the corner.
When I have too little time to study for a test, my mind suddenly becomes so clear that I remember the material very quickly and I do surprisingly well. My sickness karma also goes away as soon as I deny it with righteous thoughts. Master has always been looking after me. It is me who has not done well and let Master down.
Getting Rid of My Attachment to Self-interest
I always thought that I had very little attachment to self-interest. That was until a recent incident made me look deeper on this issue. I was running late to take a test because I got the time wrong. While stuck in traffic, I decided to leave everything to Master. I eventually got to the test site a few minutes before it started.
While waiting to take the test after signing in, I looked inward and asked Master to help me find my attachment. Suddenly it hit me: I had an attachment to self-interest, especially on petty things.
For example, the reason I was running late for my test because I decided to stay in the warm dorm a bit longer, rather than wait outside in the cold for the test. But somehow I mixed up the time and almost got there too late.
I am very preoccupied with loss and gain and plan my what I do to benefit me the most. If I can't come up with a plan where I can clearly benefit, then I'll wait and delay my actions, because it's possible to make a mistake if I do it, but not if I don't.
This attachment gets even worse when it comes to money, because I have made mistakes in this area before and have not completely relinquished the attachment to material gains. That has made me fearful of making such mistakes again.
I hold on tightly to self-interest and dare not let go even a bit.
Because my heart is not righteous, I easily get scared and am afraid of all kinds of things. I am attached to what everyday people believe in, such as signs, indications, and dreams. For instance, I get scared if my eyelid jumps or my heart beats faster.
As I write this sharing, I feel that I have truly gotten to the bottom of my problems in cultivation. I have not been truly cultivating; I have been trying to cover up my attachments. If I don't change my notions from the core, then I will not be able to study the Fa with a clear mind.
I have also not denied the old forces completely. Not being able to let go of self is like doing things according to the old forces' arrangements. I have to completely deny the old forces and their arrangements to finally find my true self. Then I will be able to continuously strengthen my main consciousness and truly obtain the Fa.
I need to diligently cultivate myself and not to show off in front of other practitioners due to my bad notions.
These are my personal experiences and thoughts. Please kindly point out anything inappropriate.