(Minghui.org) In my almost ten years of Fa-rectification cultivation, I have noticed that we often tend to accept various arrangements, tests, or notions that don’t come from Dafa or from Master, but from the old forces. And we often don’t realize that we are undertaking the tests set up by the old forces, or validating their actions and interference, instead of rejecting them fundamentally.
In more serious cases, extremely complicated situations can appear both for the practitioner, as well as the sentient beings around him (affecting their chance to have a future).
Let me give you some concrete examples to illustrate the problem.
Drowsiness While Studying the Fa
After a period of time in which I skipped Fa study many times, I wanted to regain my diligence and do well in cultivation again. So I started studying more, but each time I picked up Zhuan Falun, the following phenomenon occurred: I immediately became very drowsy and dizzy, which I continued to struggle with for over half an hour.
After struggling, I recovered and could study normally. This repeated day after day. I thought that because I had lagged behind in Fa study and hadn't been diligent for some time, that this was some kind of test I had to face and that it was a kind of karma. In short, I felt that it was a weight I needed to shoulder because of my poor cultivation state.
So I kept underwent the test again and again for several days in a row, enduring the daily struggle.
Seeing that I didn’t enlighten to the matter, Master arranged the following situation: One day, my mother (who is also a practitioner) came to study in the room that I was in, and when that state of drowsiness came on me it also came on her. My mother was instantly alerted when she felt it coming, since she had never had this kind of problem before, and she immediately began to send forth righteous thoughts, seeing that I was in the same state of drowsiness.
At that moment, she saw through her third eye a female deity whom she described as being very beautiful. When the deity saw that my mother had seen her and was sending forth thoughts, she turned to someone else above and made a sign meaning, “She saw me and she is sending righteous thoughts, I must leave now.” So the deity left and the state of drowsiness also disappeared from the room. I felt it depart at that moment.
I believe that the goddess was one of the old forces persecuting me, that it was she that created the artificial state of drowsiness. I had accepted it as a kind of inevitable phenomenon, a piece of karma, and I endured the hardships she had arranged for me. Basically, I was following the old force arrangements and taking the same test over and over again.
Seeing that I did not enlighten to this, Master showed me the attitude I should have as a Dafa disciple – like that of my mother – a very firm attitude. I also enlightened that from the beginning I should not have accepted such a so-called “test.” I should have refused to engage in it and eliminate the problem, as my mother did, using my divine powers.
Why bear that hardship again and again if I had already understood my mistake and was in the process of becoming diligent? The old forces wanted me to suffer for my mistakes, a characteristic of the old ways of cultivating that was done through suffering, which actually wasted my time – such a precious resource in this period – as well as my mental energy. But that was not the way Master wanted things to happen. The old forces were able to do this because of my lack of understanding of the Fa principles and because I myself accepted their arrangement as part of my cultivation.
I have seen fellow practitioners captive in all sorts of difficult situations of long-term persecution because they have followed old force arrangements, confusing them with the path that Master arranged for them. They unwittingly chose to endure the hardships imposed on them, instead of identifying the problem on the basis of Fa principles, positioning themselves correctly in relation to the situation, and fundamentally refusing to go down that path, eliminating the problem with righteous thoughts.
Master said at the at the 2004 Chicago Conference:
“Of course, we don’t acknowledge any of the things that the old forces arranged--I as your master don’t acknowledge them, and Dafa disciples of course don’t acknowledge them either. (Applause) But after all, they did do what they wanted to do, so there’s all the more reason for Dafa disciples to do even better and cultivate themselves well in the course of saving all beings. When you encounter ordeals during your cultivation, you have got to cultivate yourself and look at yourself--that doesn’t mean acknowledging the ordeals arranged by the old forces and trying to do well amidst the ordeals they’ve arranged, that’s not the case. We negate even the very emergence of the old forces and everything that they’ve arranged; we don’t even acknowledge their existence. We’re fundamentally negating all of their things, and all of, and only, the things you do while negating and getting rid of them is mighty-virtue. It’s not that you’re cultivating amidst the ordeals they created. Rather, you are to walk your own path well while not acknowledging them, not even acknowledging the elimination of their ordeals’ manifestations. (Applause) So looking at it from this angle, what we need to do is completely negate the old forces. Dafa disciples and I don’t even acknowledge the manifestations of their last-ditch efforts.”
Accepting Incorrect Notions
The following is another example in which the old forces tried to exploit the gaps in my understanding.
At one point a practitioner spread among the group the idea that if you help a fellow practitioner who is being persecuted and has a lot of hardships, you practically end up carrying pieces of that hardship for him. Without realizing it, I accepted this concept and at one point, when I was sending righteous thoughts to help a practitioner from another country – I don’t remember exactly in what form he was persecuted, but it had something to do with sickness – I felt pain in the same part of the body that he had problems with.
At that point, I identified this deceptive notion accumulated some time ago and I enlightened to the fact that I do not have to accept such a thing, because it is persecution after all. Why should I accept the idea that I have to endure something because I help a fellow practitioner when Master does not recognize from the beginning the persecution and the right of the old forces to intervene in the Fa rectification and in that practitioner's cultivation?! When I eliminated this misconception and sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate all the negative elements and beings that interfered with me and that practitioner, the pain immediately disappeared.
These notions are often arranged by the old forces themselves in order to have us take their path, and we end up in all sorts of complicated situations.
I remember how a fellow practitioner had been deceived to believe that a person very dear to her needed to die in torment in order for her to get rid of a certain attachment she had. Or how another colleague thought it was necessary to pay karma right in the middle of a truth-clarification activity, even though the incident – which involved several ordinary people abusing him – affected the activity and Dafa’s image. There are many examples of this kind.
Unlike the old forces, Master always arranges things benevolently, so that we all learn from these situations in a constructive manner, although sometimes they seem very complicated (because cultivation is difficult). But we do not suffer losses among sentient beings, and the image of Dafa is not negatively affected in any way. Instead, the old forces do not take these things into account but only see their own selfish goals.
Now is the Fa-rectification period and we cultivate in special conditions, very different from those in the personal cultivation period. We should always see and judge things in this light.
Discerning Master’s Arrangement from the Old Forces’ Tactics
At one point my mother stood for an entire month at a booth to sell Shen Yun tickets. There were very few people to help and she needed to be there almost non-stop. The mission was difficult, her legs were swollen, but, she was helped by Master and completed the project well. Shen Yun was then a huge success in our country.
As soon as she got home, however, she had heavy bleeding that lasted for several days, and she had to stay in bed. She was eliminating karma. But it didn’t interfere with anything at all. As I understand it, this was Master’s benevolent arrangement, since that elimination of karma and purification of the body came immediately after the mission, not during it. And she felt very well after that.
Master wants us to save sentient beings. This is our first priority in Fa-rectification. Would Master arrange for us, for example, just before or during a Fa promoting activity or a Shen Yun promotional event, etc., to have a massive elimination of karma that would stop us from doing our sacred duty? I do not think so. Only the old forces would arrange such a thing.
And if you are at the event or just before the event and the pain starts to take hold of you, do you accept or reject the arrangement? How do you understand it? Do you see it as part of your personal cultivation and as a karma elimination that must be endured? Even if it stops you from doing your duty as a Fa-rectification disciple? Some arrangements do not come from Master and we certainly do not have to validate them, even after they happen.
If it would have been arranged by Master, you would have paid your karmic debt on a day you had no Dafa activities, not in the middle of such a sacred and important event for sentient beings. We need to look much deeper into what is going on in our cultivation – based on the principles of the Fa – and be careful on which paths we unconsciously choose.
The Old Forces Have No Part in Our Cultivation
I remember that a veteran practitioner once raised the following issue. He said that he had noticed a dangerous notion that could theoretically arise because of our misunderstanding of the Fa principles.
For example, if a practitioner who has the responsibility to go out on the streets in China and clarify the truth believes that since he still has strong fear in his heart, he risks being sent to prison because the old forces will exploit this attachment, then he is fundamentally wrong in the way he views the problem.
Apparently, this sounds quite logical: Since he still has this strong attachment, then one should expect that the old forces will take advantage of it, because Master told us that this is how they operate – they take advantage of our attachments.
But the truth is that even this thought means an acceptance of the arrangements of the old forces, or more precisely an acceptance of their role in our cultivation. Yes, Master explained to us how the old forces act, but he also told us to fundamentally deny their involvement in the Fa rectification, as well as in our cultivation.
In my opinion, when those deceptive thoughts pop into our minds, the correct approach would be: “Yes, I know I’m still very scared in my heart, but it’s cultivation after all and I’m confident that the Fa will help me to eventually remove this attachment of fear and I will try my best to overcome it and cultivate. I will not let this fear stop me from clarifying the truth, which is my responsibility in the Fa rectification. I have Master who protects me and I will not accept such a deceptive thought. I will not be afraid of the old forces, because I do not recognize their role in interfering with my cultivation, even if I were the most fearful practitioner in all of China.”
With such thoughts, I don’t think there would be a problem even if the practitioner is still very scared inside and still has a long way to go to completely eliminate this attachment. And every time he goes out to validate the Fa and faces his fear, he will become stronger, the fear will be weakened and, finally, he will not be affected by it.
At a fundamental level, the story is not about our power to eliminate attachments, but about the power of the Fa to do so. Is there any attachment that the Fa cannot remove? We need to trust the Fa. The Fa refines the practitioner, not the other way around. In fact, we do not get rid of fear ourselves, the Fa eliminates that substance of fear after we face it and try to follow the Fa in our actions. So we should be calm and confident, not be afraid to face the problems we have in cultivation, and let the Fa rectify us, while we earnestly do our part to cultivate ourselves.
The story of our cultivation is about the power of the Fa that turns us into diamonds, not about our power to do so, which is just an illusion and a form of cultivation with intention. And the old forces have no right to have any role in our cultivation or in the process of our maturing, no matter how long or short it may be.
Only Master Can Arrange Our Cultivation
At one point, the Chinese embassy in my country organized an event in a luxurious hotel, and many important political leaders were invited. Our plan was to hand them a book exposing the CCP’s forced organ harvesting as soon as the guests left the conference room. I was sitting in the waiting room in front of the salon where the event was taking place. Security agents, staff members, the press, and others were there. The pressure from other dimensions was huge. I couldn’t concentrate on studying even Lunyu, and I couldn’t concentrate on sending forth righteous thoughts either, I felt enormous inner pressure.
In the midst of this extreme situation I managed to hold on to one main thought: This is not about my personal cultivation. It doesn’t matter if I’m not strong enough to cope well with this pressure from other dimensions. I’m not here to undertake tests. Rather, it’s about those sentient beings and their opportunity to be saved, so no one has the right to interfere with me in this regard, even if my xinxing is not up to standard.
With this thought in mind, denying the old forces’ right to intervene in this undertaking, I managed to complete the mission and reach those sentient beings, even if I failed to be above the interference itself. Only Master has the right to arrange my cultivation and decide when and how I should be tested; no one else can do so.
The Approach I Now Take When Faced with Interference
My understanding is that, often, the intervention of the old forces occurs when we repeatedly fail to look inside, fail to judge things according to the Fa principles, and ignore the hints from Master about the problem. If instead, we manage to follow Master more closely and pay more attention to our Fa-rectification cultivation, there is less interference.
Regardless of the gaps we have, the old forces do not have the right to intervene in our cultivation. Only Master has this right and Master should be the only one to correct our mistakes. The old forces try to disturb the Master-disciple bond, which is sacred, and try to impose their things on us.
And although they do this when they find loopholes in our cultivation, we should firmly deny their right to do so in our hearts, no matter how serious our mistakes.
When Master says “it’s not that you’re cultivating amidst the ordeals they created,” I am thinking of a tendency that many of us have in certain difficult situations, which, in fact, springs from a self-protective mechanism: we try to rectify ourselves to solve the problem at hand and get over the problems faster. This equates to cultivation with intention and is also a form of recognition of the test imposed by the old forces.
When I become aware that a difficult situation is caused by the involvement of the old forces as a result of my attachments, I take the following approach: The first thing I do is to try to calm down and look inside to see where I am not complying with the Fa, a factor that also triggered the persecution. Once I find my problem, I try to eliminate it and assimilate to the Fa, but I don’t do it to pass the so-called “test,” or to solve the problem from the surface, but because of my sincere heart for the Fa and the desire to become one with the Fa. After that, I approach the situation as I believe Master teaches us: by denying the role of the old forces in this affair and eliminating the problem with righteous thoughts.
“When disciples have ample righteous thoughts, Master has the power to turn back the tide.” (“The Master-Disciple Bond,” Hong Yin Volume II)
It is true that living in such dense illusion, we tend to forget that we are Dafa disciples and have great powers. If we could rectify our thoughts and act in accordance with the Fa, no one and nothing could stop us. We must reject these arrangements that want to make us feel weak and small. With a single righteous thought, we could dismantle the difficult situations that have been imposed on us.
Moreover, who are we? We are Dafa disciples from the Fa-rectification period. We have historical missions: we must save sentient beings. Predestined people are waiting for us to act. So the mission must come first in our minds and hearts, no matter what other responsibilities and plans we have in the human world. I think the essence is how we position ourselves regarding the Fa rectification. Nothing could be more important than this aspect.
We have obtained the Fa and we have the honor of being Master’s disciples, what could be more precious than this? We are representatives of different cosmic bodies and countless divine beings have placed all their hopes in our success. We must not disappoint them or Master. We need to be stricter with ourselves and make the best use of our remaining time.
These are my understandings at my current cultivation level.
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Category: Improving Oneself