PureInsight | July 5, 2004
[PureInsight.org] Teacher has said many times in the lectures that we should study the Fa regularly and study the Fa well. I am fully aware of the importance of studying the Fa, so I have tried to squeeze time to study the Fa every day. But sometimes, when I become overwhelmed with housework, truth-clarification projects, and everyday affairs, I skip Fa study for a few consecutive days. I would give those tasks the higher priority, and would study the Fa only when I finished them. I often could not finish the projects in one day, or I would finish them late at night. Then I would feel too tired and sleepy to read Dafa books. Sometimes I would be so tired that I would doze off after reading only a few pages. I repeatedly told myself that I must defeat the demon of sleep, and I indeed struggled to battle with the demon of sleep. This may sound like a touching story, but later I started to ask myself, "Why did I spend my valuable time for Fa study to battle with the demon of sleep?" In my heart, do I truly think that nothing is more important than Falun Dafa? Teacher has repeatedly emphasized the importance of studying the Fa. Why haven't I minded Teacher's words? I cannot be a good practitioner if I ignore Teacher's words. What is the meaning of my life? What is the most important thing to me? Surely the truth-clarification projects are very important, but I will achieve little if I don't put myself under the tutelage of Teacher.
This thought cleared up my mind. Since Dafa is the most important of all things, I should not study the Fa at the end of each day. Instead, I should study the Fa in the morning when my mind is most clear. Thus I decided to study the Fa the first thing in the morning. However, I ran into different types of interference when I studied the Fa in the morning. In the beginning, my husband would keep nagging when he saw me studying the Fa in the morning. He thought that I should spend my valuable time looking for a job, and that studying the Fa could not help me in this regard.
Eventually I told him, "I chose to stay in the United States to cultivate in Falun Dafa. It is more important than my own life. Like a Chinese proverb says, 'Having heard the Tao in the morning, one can die in the evening without regrets.' If I should die today, I wouldn't want to bring anything with me except the Fa." Since I told him that, he doesn't nag me anymore.
Sometimes there are urgent Dafa projects or everyday work that need to be done in a hurry. I used to turn on the computer and work on these urgent tasks as soon as I woke up. I told myself that I should finish them quickly so that I could have spare time to study the Fa. But what would often happen was that by the time I finished these tasks, a whole day had passed and I had no time left for Fa study. Nowadays, I think differently. I ask myself, "If I knew I was to die shortly, what would I want to do first before I died?" Of course I won't die, and this might not be a right way to motivate myself to study the Fa. But every time I ask myself that question, I feel a sense of urgency to study the Fa. I feel I must study the Fa immediately and everything else comes second. Everything has a deadline, including cultivation. The reality of the deadline of our cultivation practice prompts me to study the Fa right away. Fa study may not seem to have a deadline on the surface in a sense that no one would check my progress. It is my prerogative how much I study the Fa every day or whether I study the Fa at all. It is easy to slack off on Fa study. I have now come to realize that there is a deadline for Fa study as well as cultivation.
When I study the Fa with a calm mind, I often feel that I am melting into the Fa. I am improving without even noticing that I am improving. Take truth-clarification as an example. In the past, I clarified the facts about Falun Gong just for the sake of clarifying the facts. I didn't want listeners to interrupt me with any question, and I paid scant attention to their reactions. If a person didn't understand the truth about Falun Gong right away and argued with me, I would become peevish and kept debating until he became silent. My husband often said that I didn't cultivate my forbearance and that even non-practitioners tolerated more I did. He would humble me, "Even the people that don't practice Falun Gong could stop bickering and listen to what you had to say, but you couldn't stop bickering."
In the past, when I saw a Chinese person , I would immediately start to think how I should clarify the truth about Falun Gong to him no matter whether I knew him or not. I didn't truly think of offering them Teacher's salvation out of my compassion. I used to think that as long as I stuffed them with the facts about Falun Gong, they would be saved. But in actual fact, sometimes when I told people the facts about Falun Gong, they would develop negative thoughts about me. For a period of time, I didn't know what to do. I became very selective about the people I clarified the truth to. It wasn't because I worried others might treat me uncharitably, but because I was concerned that I might push them to the opposite side of Falun Gong because I was completely tactless at approaching people and clarifying the truth about Falun Gong.
Since I began to study the Fa in the morning, I felt that my heart was becoming more tender. The feeling of compassion filled me and sometimes I would weep. I felt as if every word and phrase from the Fa could bring forth my compassion. Both my compassion and wisdom started to come out. In the past, whenever I was about to clarify the truth, I would become nervous. "I am now going to tell them about Falun Gong. What will they think of Falun Gong? What will they think of me?" I would keep thinking about what would be the best way to clarify the truth to them before I actually started it, so I would often miss the opportunities to clarify the truth, or I would approach people in a very abrupt and startling approach. Now that I think of it, what's to be nervous about? I am just one of the many overseas Chinese, except that I like practicing Falun Gong. I like practicing Falun Gong and some people like jogging. I shouldn't have set a barrier between other people and me just because we have different interests. In the past I would talk to others for one purpose only --- to clarify the truth about Falun Gong. If not for clarifying the truth, I wouldn't bother to talk with non-practitioners. Now I feel completely different about talking to other people. I now feel that interacting with people establishes Yuan of kindness. [Yuan: the predestined, a predestined relationship or connection.] Since I changed my mentality, people I meet these days are now more receptive to the truth of Falun Gong. I also try to be natural in my manners of speaking. I try not to change the subject abruptly to Falun Gong and press people to hear me out. I once attended an English class at Harvard Medical School where most of the students came from China. Once our teacher asked each of us to tell a story that struck us most. I told the class I was tormented to hear that an associate professor at a college in my hometown was now incarcerated in a mental hospital as a prisoner of conscience because she was unwilling to give up her belief in Falun Gong. I also told the class that when I called her husband, his voice brimmed with anguish as well as fear. My teacher gasped, and all the Chinese students in the class were speechless. I told the story in very natural voice, because I was merely answering a question.
I also talked often with a visiting scholar from China. In each conversation I would find an opportune moment to talk a little bit about Falun Gong. He had never said anything in response or acted offended until one day he finally started the subject of Falun Gong. He asked me two questions he had about Falun Gong. Those two questions were the very questions that used to vex me in the past, but this time I was cool as a cucumber. I am confident that my answers have, to a certain degree, helped him clear up his misunderstanding about Falun Gong.
First he asked, "Your Teacher only finished high school." I answered with a smile, "It does not matter whether he only finished high school or he attended any school at all. Mr. Li Hongzhi has invented a cultivation practice that has helped 100 million people become healthy. His books are highly acclaimed and read by people all over the world. Those who have read his books have since wanted to become better people and have stopped doing bad things. What's the big deal about scientists with Ph.D. degrees? Their publications are read only by people in their respective fields. People of different professional fields won't bother to read them. Besides, scientists are usually ignorant of everything outside their field of study. What's the big deal about being the general secretary of the Chinese Communist Party? Jiang Zemin may be a general secretary in China, but he becomes nothing when he is outside Chinese soil. He even faces over a dozen lawsuits filed by people around the world." After a while I added, "My Teacher didn't want to attend college because the current study of science limits and dulls one's mind." He agreed solemnly.
After a while he asked me a second question, "I heard that your Teacher lives in the USA. What does he do for a living?" I said, "I never thought about this question, and frankly I don't know the answer. I follow His teaching of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance, and practice the Falun Gong exercises. That's all." I then asked him, "Everyone who comes to the USA manages to make ends meet, including my Teacher. What's so strange about that? How come the millions of Chinese in the United States don't need to answer this question, except my Teacher? Some people created a vicious rumor that my Teacher has sought to accumulate wealth through dishonest means. The truth is my Teacher has made all of his books available online for free downloads. How can he possibly accumulate wealth through dishonest means by doing this?" I was very peaceful and natural throughout the conversation as if we were just chitchatting. Studying the Fa every morning as the first priority has helped me break through a major barrier in clarifying the truth. Now I feel that it is very natural for me to clarify the truth. When I prioritized truth-clarification work over studying the Fa, I was making matters worse.
Teacher said, "'The Buddha Fa' is most profound; among all the theories in the world, it is the most intricate and extraordinary science." (From "Lunyu" in Zhuan Falun.)
Falun Dafa can eliminate all kinds of confusion. I will forever uphold the good practice of studying the Fa in the morning.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2004/6/10/27449.html