PureInsight | October 31, 2005
[PureInsight.org] I am a veteran practitioner of the Fa-rectification period. I would like to talk about endurance in cultivation.
If something new appears, it usually attracts one's interest. After a person applies himself/herself to something, he/she will find out what is new and all the details and curiosities. However, this period usually is over soon and comes with a feeling that one already knows enough. If it is supported by the opinion from outside one's self, such as uncritical praise, this can lead a practitioner to an incorrect cultivation state.
I would like to illustrate this by a story, which I read recently on the PureInsight website. In the old days there lived a philosopher named Socrates. One day he said to his students: "Do you think you can each morning swing your hand 300 times like this? "Of course," all the students answered as one, "There could be nothing simpler as swinging the hand like this each morning." In one month Socrates asked them again: "Who swung his hand 300 times this morning?" A few of the students raised their hands. After one year had passed he asked again: "Who swung his hand 300 times this morning?" Only one raised student raised his hand and that was Plato. Later, Plato became Socrates' best disciple.
Cultivation is not difficult – it consists of persisting in looking inward and removing the attachments we see. Once we slacken in our persistence, the attachments can cause us to deviate in our cultivation.
The role which we play during the Fa rectification is actually not difficult. Clarifying the truth to people, sending letters to China, visiting media, creating web-pages, writing articles, appealing in front of embassies – all of these are very simple things. If we are in the right state of mind they will bring their fruits. However, it is important not to stop after the first success or failure with the first published article or after the first report broadcast on the television.
I would like to give an example of endurance and righteous thoughts. Each Thursday evening we hold an appeal in front of the Chinese embassy in Bratislava. At the beginning of this year, there was a summit with the American and Russian Presidents. The safety measures were rather severe and they wanted to cancel our protest in front of the embassy. One man from the police even visited me personally and tried to persuade me to move our protest to some other day. My argument was that they already know us. It was not a question of security with the visit from the Presidents and maybe the protest will help stop the persecution. He couldn't answer. I kept this righteous idea that the appeal will take place there. As he was leaving, I asked him to send us a written statement. He didn't. My righteous thoughts didn't allow him to do it and on a human level he probably felt that it would not be in line with the law. As we arrived there that day, there were many policemen on the street. We unfolded our banners and soon one of the policemen came and asked us to leave. He said he would be fired if we stayed there. He looked like a good-natured man, but I felt somehow it was a test. I told him that we are doing this because of the persecuted people in China and we refuse to leave. This strong thought probably fetched his leader, who declared that there is absolutely no danger whatsoever from us, and that we could stay there. We stayed so that President Putin could see us holding a protest in front of Chinese embassy. But this was not the goal. I only wanted to show that if one keeps a strong righteous thought even a difficult situation may be resolved in a favorable way. It is one aspect of endurance. Endurance and righteous thoughts were in this case most important.
Sometimes when I meet with a difficult situation, I say to myself, 'Unfeasible is feasible, impossible is possible.' When my righteous thoughts are really strong there is no situation which cannot be solved. With a strong belief in Teacher and the Law, one can overcome all the difficulties. Sometimes it is enough to let go of something as what reason would I hold on to it? These human things will be over in an instant and what remains afterwards? The sentient beings put their hopes with us, so we cannot disappoint them. We must do what we should do up to the last moment.
I will mention one more example regarding one's state of mind. It took me a long time until I found courage to pass out flyers in the trams. I don't travel by the trams [streetcars] often, usually only to go to and return from the exercise site. So, my motivation to tell the people about Falun Gong is even greater. I often stood in the tram, with a handful of flyers questioning. Will I give them out? Will they refuse me? What if somebody knows me? Nobody gives out flyers here..." All kinds of thoughts appeared. To overcome them was at the end not difficult. It was enough to just stop and think of my thoughts, my feelings, my impressions, my, my, my... So, I started to think about others more than about myself, "…with that flyer I can really help them." Once a person overcomes something he/she can do it always. Afterwards it is just a question of endurance – will he/she persist in doing so and even if difficulties appear? I think that persistence in these situations plays a key role.
Especially during larger scale projects there often comes about interference in the form of tiredness, other duties needing to be attended to, illness karma, and so on. In cultivation there often appears doubts, desires, feelings and they are sometimes very intense. Practitioners meet with these things more often. Only by persisting in studying of the Fa can practitioners achieve and their mind can be filled with the Fa. Then human things will not have a place in it and this is my understanding of the state of "being in the Fa".
These are just a few of my views on the issue of endurance, which I captured in this experience sharing. But, the real deep understanding of the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Endurance sometime remain out of sight for me. However, I believe that with endurance I will I be able to come closer and closer.
What I stated is only my personal understanding, if you noted some deficiencies, please kindly point out.