PureInsight | July 25, 2005
[PureInsight.org] I believe that my mindset and my cultivation state during the 2005 Chicago Fa conference was by far better than that of any other Fa conference I had attended since 2002. I was not attached to sitting near the stage to have a better view of Teacher. Instead, I was able to listen to fellow practitioners' papers from the back row with a tranquil and relaxed mind. I didn't attend any truth-clarification work meetings because I knew my group's meeting was not really necessary and it was held simply because other groups were having meetings before the Fa conference. In the past I attended the meeting anyway just to show other practitioners that I was also one of the "core practitioners." Instead, I practiced the Falun Gong exercises at the hotel and went to bed early. I felt very energetic throughout the Fa conference and could concentrate very well. I felt when listening to the speakers at the Chicago Fa conference a cleansing of my mind, which became like a clean and clear brook. These fellow practitioners were extremely busy with different truth-clarification work, and yet they were able to meet the Fa's requirements at different levels when they encountered xinxing tests and demonic tribulations. I was astonished by our disparities. Compared to them, I felt I was not determined enough to let go of my attachments.
I feel the Chicago Fa conference was extremely rewarding and inspiring to my cultivation practice. After returning from the Chicago Fa conference, I realized that I always seemed to have more respect for the Fa conferences in Chicago. The following is the problems I have found after I seriously searched inward.
A Low Expectation towards the Fa Conference in My Area
I realized that I always had a low expectation of the quality of papers presented at our local Fa conference. Why? I realize now that I held on to the notion that practitioners from my area are capable of doing great things, but incapable of genuinely cultivating themselves. It follows that our local Fa conference features mostly "cultivation experience" sharing papers, which generally end up merely as "work experience" sharing papers.
Is it true that our local practitioners neglect to cultivate themselves?
I happened to recognize one of the practitioners who presented her paper at the Chicago Fa conference. I saw her for the first time in a motel in Florida when we were checking in. Because I saw her arguing with another practitioner in the lobby of the motel, I was left with an impression that she had not cultivated her speech. She appeared to me as a tough, confrontational and mean woman. Later I learned that she had done a lot of great things during her truth-clarification work, so I naturally put her in my category of practitioners who do great things but do not cultivate. When I heard her sincere thoughts she shared with us at the Chicago Fa conference, I realized that she knew her flaws and had been striving to become a better cultivator.
The old forces had demons from Hell reincarnate as Chinese prison policemen who beat some Falun Gong practitioners to death because the old forces see some attachments in them and thought they had the right to deny them their lives and cultivation practice. If I easily give up on my local fellow practitioners and label them as "friends of Falun Gong" or even abuse them verbally because they have not cultivated well in front me, won't I be committing the same terrible sin as the old forces?
Teacher said, "Do you think a Dafa disciple's cultivation path is supposed to accommodate your fear, your pursuit of comfort and ease, and all your desires?" (From "My Version of a 'Stick Wake-up'")
Judging Fellow Practitioners Will Result in Conflicts
I have always thought the Chicago Fa conference is better than the Fa conferences in other cities because I have enormous respect for a Chicago Falun Gong practitioner from Chicago's Falun Dafa Association. I had heard a few of his experience-sharing papers and observed his humble attitude towards other practitioners. I believed that because he cultivates well, his cultivation practice would motivate other practitioners in Chicago to strive forward in their cultivation practice as well.
Now I realize that my respect for him was based on a comparison between practitioners in our local areas and him. Teacher has never taught me to judge good people and bad people through comparison. Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is the only criterion to discern good and bad people. Besides, this mentality is already a conflict itself and it will surface when an opportunity arrives.
Teacher said, "For example, there are conflicts among one another, such as 'you're good, but he isn't good,' or 'your cultivation is good, but his isn't.' These are conflicts themselves." (From Zhuan Falun)
For a very long time until now, I have been criticizing some practitioners but praising some other practitioners behind their back "in the name of exchanging cultivation experiences with my "buddy" practitioners. All of sudden, I realized that I didn't even remember that the most important thing Teacher taught us in Lecture One is that Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is the only criterion to discern good and bad people, not my notions, attachments or emotional feelings. Sometimes I would even criticize a local practitioner because he/she has not seemed to make much progress for years. This is also a wrong notion.
Teacher said, "[…] they always compare themselves with humans and with their own past, but fail to examine themselves with the requirements of the Fa at different levels." (From "A Dialogue with Time" in Essentials for Further Advancement.)
I should not compare one practitioner with another, nor should I compare a practitioner with his past. A cultivator is making good progress if he is able to meet the requirements of the Fa at different levels. After all, Teacher said,
"Because our practice is one in which the Fa cultivates practitioners, this means that some situations will arise from gong and the Fa. In the course of practice, different levels produce different situations. Someday or after my lecture today, some people may enter into this state: They cannot eat meat, and meat smells sickening. If they eat it, they will want to throw up." (From Zhuan Falun)
Teacher has arranged our cultivation paths for us. If we meet the requirements of the Fa at different levels, we are walking well on our cultivation paths that Teacher has arranged. Who do I think I am to ask fellow practitioners to follow "my" requirements? It is just like the story of big apples and small apples Teacher told us about in the Dalian Fa lectures. When I see a fellow practitioner struggling with a seemingly trivial xinxing test, perhaps he has already endured a lot and "the water bowl" is so full that he must replace it with a large bowl to add even a small drop of water. But of course I cannot see the entire cultivation path that Teacher has arranged for me or other practitioners, so I cannot understand why he is struggling.
Teacher said, "Therefore, they claimed that they would not do anything since they could not see the karmic relationship of affairs, that is, whether those matters were good or bad, or what karmic relationships existed." (From Zhuan Falun)
I must never interfere with fellow practitioners' cultivation practice again with my unsolicited criticism or praise.
Teacher said, "The only thing you have a role in is saving people, and you have nothing to do with using human means and human principles to punish or pronounce judgment on people. This is a fundamental issue!" (From "Teaching the Fa in the City of Chicago")
I must never try to punish or pronounce judgment on fellow practitioners with my criticism, verbal assaults, or an unfriendly attitude again.
I was truly awed by some practitioners' cultivation experiences presented at the Chicago Fa conference. When they faced severe xinxing conflicts that directly touched their core attachments or notions, they did not tone down their cultivation practice or quit any truth-clarification project. Instead, they endured the pain of facing and removing their attachments like Teacher has taught us, and they eventually overcame the severe xinxing tests in the middle of the important truth-clarification work. That is why I greatly admired them as genuine cultivators. They truly have met the Fa's requirements at different levels during the Fa-rectification! That is cultivation practice of a disciple in the Fa-rectification period!
As for me, I have repeatedly allowed myself to act like an everyday person during large xinxing tests. I have even quit from a few truth-clarification projects at their most difficult times because I didn't get along with one of the volunteers, although I was fully aware that they were in dire demand of help. Worst of all, I have repeatedly done so.
Teacher said, "If one who fails the test does not care about it, it will be harder to pass later. It is definitely this way." (From Zhuan Falun.)
I am exactly like what Teacher has described above. Because of my poor enlightenment quality, it did not occur to me until now that I should read between the lines. Obviously confessing my past mistakes will not change the facts that I have failed to pass many xinxing tests, but I think at a minimum my regrets and my confession will reinforce my thoughts about them. And when the same xinxing test arises again, I have a much better chance to endure the torment and pass the test.