PureInsight | October 18, 2004
[PureInsight.org] I live very close to work. It takes only 15 minutes to walk from my home to my work. So I often walk to work. Several days ago, my wife and I were going to meet after work so that we could go shopping together. She was supposed to drive by my work and pick me up there. I went downstairs at our agreed time, but her car was nowhere in sight. I paced back and forth, anticipating her car showing up at any minute. While I was waiting for my wife, my colleagues in the same building kept passing me by, leaving the building for home. I thought of just walking home and meeting her there, but I was worried about the possibility of our missing each other so I decided to continue waiting. After about 40 minutes after our scheduled time, my wife finally showed up. She explained that she had left home a long time ago but was stuck in a traffic jam.
In hindsight, I realized the incident would have never happened if I wasn't overly dependent on the car as our means of transportation. I thought it would have been faster to have my wife pick me up by car rather than to walk home, but the result was exactly the opposite. My dependence and laziness manifest in many other ways. For example, there are a lot of small things that I can take care of easily and quickly both at home and at work. But I often try to put off doing them as long as I can. I sometimes go to great lengths to write down all of the small things that I need to do on a piece of paper to remind me to finish them, but I still keep procrastinating. Take another example. I often have new ideas about clarifying the truth about Falun Gong. I send my ideas to a group of fellow Falun Gong practitioners via emails and then depend on them to carry out my ideas. Sometimes I even start to make uncharitable judgments on those fellow practitioners if none of them respond to my emails. Little does it occur to me that I might need to be the person that initiates the effort or actively finds help to carry out my ideas. Other times I become agitated or even repulsed by everyday people's shortcomings or fellow Falun Gong practitioners' attachments. I often expect them to make improvements on themselves first while forgetting that I am a cultivator and that I ought to search within to see if I have the same shortcomings or attachments.
Another problem I have discovered is that I tend to think that clarifying the truth about Falun Gong depends on many external variables. For example, as a man with low income, I envy fellow Falun Gong practitioners with higher incomes. I keep imagining how much truth-clarification work I could help with if I had a high income. Because my wife has not started to practice Falun Gong, I often use it as an excuse to justify the fact that I have not gone out more to clarify the truth directly to the world's people.
I remember a story in a high school textbook about two monks in China. One monk was poverty-stricken and the other was wealthy. One day, the pauper monk said to the wealthy monk, "I would like to go to Nanhai (translator's note: a legendary Buddhist utopia) to obtain Buddhist scriptures. What do you think?" "Do you have any money for the trip?" "I will simply carry a water jug and a bowl with me and walk to Nanhai." The wealthy monk replied, "I have been trying for years to gather enough alms to rent a boat for the trip to Nanhai, and I haven't even started the trip yet. I would like to see you beg your way to Nanhai!" A year later, the pauper monk returned from Nanhai and told the wealthy monk about his trip. The wealthy monk hung his head in shame.
Now that I think of it, there is more than one way to clarify the truth about Falun Gong. I do not have to rely on a high income, a computer of the latest model, a stellar command of English, or for all of my family members to be Falun Gong practitioners before I clarify the truth about Falun Gong. As I start to look around, fellow Falun Gong practitioners around me have always managed to contribute to all kinds of truth-clarification work for Falun Gong when they are determined to do it. But a favorable environment will not necessarily create or reinforce a Falun Gong practitioner's determination to contribute to the truth-clarification work. Some fellow Falun Gong practitioners with successful careers have even become overly dedicated to their everyday work and consequently slack off on their cultivation practice.
A genuinely diligent cultivator will make the best of what he has to clarify the truth about Falun Gong, spread his righteous spirits and offer the world's people Teacher's salvation, no matter where he goes.
Falun Dafa encompasses everything and omits nothing. Everyone is capable of cultivation practice under its tutelage in every environment and situation. Everyone will be able to complete his cultivation in Falun Dafa as long as he has the determination. Falun Dafa has this power, except we are unaware of it.
Two of my relatives in China are also Falun Gong practitioners. One of them was subjected to illegal detention because he refused to give up practicing Falun Gong and because he went to Beijing to clarify the truth about Falun Gong. For a period of time after he was released, he felt defeated because he had not attained the right understanding about the persecution. He eventually overcame the mental obstacle and resumed clarifying the truth about Falun Gong despite his financial difficulty and the risk to his personal safety. The other relative used to be a very diligent Falun Gong practitioner, but he failed to step out and clarify the truth about Falun Gong because he wanted to protect his family from any potential harassment or harm from the Chinese police. Later he and his family immigrated to North America. Although he is now living in the land of freedom, he has become too busy providing a comfortable life for his family to resume his cultivation in Falun Dafa.
The moral of these stories is that we all determine our own respective cultivation paths. In this secular world, a maze fogged by fame, wealth and sentiment, how does a cultivator tell the truth from the illusions, and how does a cultivator find a real path out of the maze? If a cultivator can remain impervious to the secular illusions and keep the Fa on his each and every thought, he will be able to conduct himself according to the Fa and walk out of the maze under the guidance of the Fa. By following the Fa, one is actually validating the Fa. A path out of the maze without any help other than the Fa must be the most direct and righteous path for a cultivator.
When I feel fellow practitioners are not warm to others, or when I have conflicts with them, I should not expect them to make improvements first. When I feel my cultivation state is less than satisfactory, I should not expect to get fellow practitioners' attention and, thus, their help by complaining or groaning. When I encounter these situations, I should always think of the Fa first. I should remember that when we are willing to assimilate to the Fa unconditionally, the Fa would enable us to harmonize everything. When I feel I have done my best but things do not turn out as I expected, I should always think of the Fa first. I should remind myself to keep doing what a Falun Dafa practitioner should do in the Fa-rectification period and to clarify the truth about Falun Dafa without any attachment to the result.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2004/9/27/29273.html