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Having a Distracted Mind Provides Opportunities to Improve

Oct. 26, 2023 |   By a Falun Dafa practitioner in China

(Minghui.org) When fellow practitioners share with one another, they often talk about studying the Fa with a serene mind. In my understanding, whether one can calm down and achieve a serene mind to read the Fa is the same as whether one can enter tranquility when meditating. To achieve a serene mind when reading the Fa, it is almost the same as cultivating one’s mind in daily life: it is a process of discovering one’s attachments and notions, and getting rid of attachments.

However, when difficulties arise in calming the mind when studying the Fa, many practitioners simply consider it disturbance, instead of trying to find the root cause. Finding the reasons as to why one cannot achieve a tranquil mind provides valuable opportunities to improve one’s xinxing.

Below I will discuss some of the problems I’ve often encountered when studying the Fa.


I often became distracted when reading the Fa. After refocusing my mind, I was easily distracted again. Many practitioners have also had this problem.

I was usually distracted for two reasons. The first was that trivial things in daily life bothered me, such as, “What housework should I do after studying the Fa? How should I do it? And how long will it take me?” I refocused my mind again and again, but everyday distracting thoughts kept recurring. My attachment to my ordinary life was hindering and bothering me. To resist the distraction, I asked myself, “Which one do I really want to improve – my xinxing by studying the Fa, or my ordinary life?” As soon as I asked myself this, my mind would calm down, although distracting thoughts kept recurring. I took this as an opportunity to strengthen my righteous thoughts and improve my xinxing. As my xinxing kept improving, the distracting thoughts lessened.

The second reason was that I had an incorrect mentality when studying the Fa. I considered studying the Fa as a task that I had to do, without paying attention to putting the Fa into my mind. As soon as I realized this, I paid more attention to studying the Fa with a focused, sincere and tranquil mind, soon resolving the problem. Many practitioners simply refocus their minds, without examining their mentality, and thus miss many opportunities to improve.

Hidden Attachments

My mind sometimes replayed past experiences, which often had me feeling trapped for a long time. Other times, I imagined something that had never happened to me. When I stopped these thoughts, they continued to resurface.

I simply considered these distracting thoughts as interference, as they diverted my mind from focusing on studying the Fa. After it happened several times, I noticed that it was my hidden attachments that caused these distracting thoughts.

I examined these replays of past or imaginary experiences to see if they were hints on where I needed to improve, or if I had done something wrong. I carefully analyzed them against the standards a cultivator should follow. Some images annoyed me and made me angry, and some made me think of certain people whom I disliked. Through this process many attachments were exposed to me. When these images came to my mind when studying the Fa again, I used them as opportunities to find many more attachments.

Feeling Sleepy

There was a time when I became sleepy soon after I started reading the Fa, so much so that I would fall asleep as soon as I closed my eyes. I didn’t realize that it was interference from the sleep demon. I simply took a nap when I felt sleepy and continue to read the Fa after I woke up. However, I couldn’t complete the amount of reading I intended to.

It was not respectful to read the Fa this way. I knew I must read the Fa with a focused mind, so I used various means to resist the “sleepiness.” I applied medicated oil and essential palm oil on my face, washed my face with cold water, and so on.

I continued doing this for three or four days, but it didn’t help. Instead, I became sleepy and nauseous. However, I held one thought: “Nothing will stop me from completing my daily Fa study. I must study the Fa with a serene mind, and let the Fa enter my mind.”

When I applied the medicated oil on my face it irritated my eyes, so I washed my face with cold water, and kept reading diligently. After reading a few lines, the sleep demon appeared in front of me. It bowed to me with respect, and said, “I admire you.” It then stepped back until he was at a distance from me, before turning around and leaving. This was a very polite way of leaving during ancient times.

From then on, I never felt sleepy again when studying the Fa. If I was sleepy before reading, as soon as I picked up Zhuan Falun, the main book of Dafa, I became refreshed immediately.

I believe that when experiencing interference in cultivation, we should not simply regard it as obstacles. The instances of interference happen for a reason. They temper us and provide us with opportunities to improve in cultivation.

Interference from Human Notions

When reading the Fa with human notions preying on the mind, they will present biases and hinder our understanding of the Fa. Once, while reading the Fa, a notion I had since childhood appeared in my mind, “The value of a life is not judged by its size. To be the best of oneself brings up the best value of his life.” As soon as it appeared, it formed a separation between me and the Fa, and occupied my mind. Thus, I could not absorb the Fa I was reading.

It startled me and made me realize that this notion was preventing my reading the Fa. As soon as I cleared it from my mind, the separation between me and the Fa disappeared. And I started to absorb the Fa I was reading.

Some practitioners around me read the Fa every day, but when they encounter problems, they still deal with the situation based on their experiences and notions. Not only do they not realize their problems, they even talk among practitioners about how they dealt with the situation, saying, “When encountering problems, if you don’t know how to solve them based on the Fa, you can use human principles to guide you because human principles are also created by the Fa. When you act according to human principles, you are also acting according to the principles of the Fa. It is thus also conforming to the Fa.”

When hearing this for the first time, I thought that there was some truth to it. But, when I thought about it more, I came to understand the problem: “If one keeps following human principles, they will always be human.”

When these practitioners were questioned about whether their acts conformed to the Fa at work, they would say, “Work is work, life is life, and cultivation is cultivation. Don’t mix them up.”

Although they read the Fa every day, they are not following the Fa. When we read the Fa, we must pay attention to discarding human notions. Only by reading the Fa with a sincere and serene mind, can we gradually eliminate our notions.

Studying the Fa with a Sincere and Serene Mind

Studying the Fa with a sincere and serene mind is the state we should be in. However, as cultivators, we still have attachments and notions that need to be exposed and discarded, and various problems that need to be resolved. We will experience interference, and these will provide us with opportunities to improve. We should pay attention to find out the reasons behind the interference, and not miss the opportunities to improve when the Fa points out our attachments.

To walk well on our final leg of cultivation, we must persistently study the Fa every day, put the Fa into our minds, and assimilate to the Fa. Master saved us from Hell. In my understanding, there wasn’t much difference in the starting levels of our cultivation. However, how we pay attention to studying the Fa and assimilating to the Fa will lead to different cultivation states.