From Despondent Back To Diligent

Guofeng, Taiwanese Dafa Discip

PureInsight | March 5, 2006

[] [Los Angeles Fahui 2006]
I have always believed that every day I spent my 24 hours on a full,
tight schedule. An article written by a dizi from China Mainland was
published on the Minghui
website on Jan. 17. In the article, she described her daily schedule,
which made me aware of the gap between this diligent dizi and myself.
Her schedule is: from 4am to 7am, five sets of exercises, including
sending forth righteous thoughts at the proper hours and reciting
Hongyin, Hongyin II, and Lunyu. Wash face and prepare breakfast after
sending forth righteous thoughts at 7:00am. Go over reciting Fa during
the breakfast. Settle down to study Fa from 7:30am to 12:00pm: new
jingwen first, then three lectures of Zhuan Falun. Print and bind up
material in the afternoon. Go out to tell the truth in the evening,
then come back to read Minghui weekly.

Analyzing the despondent and the diligent from the respect of Fa

In his jingwen, "The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should
Be," Master says, "And yet a small number of students - veteran
students, even - have to differing degrees exhibited a despondent state
and slackened in their resolve to be diligent". Recalling the past one
year, I have indulged in such state of despondence several times. Many
other practitioners also felt they have indulged in the state of
despondency and couldn't help it. In fact, the Master has pointed out
clearly in "Teaching the Fa at Atlanta Conference" (2003), "Dafa
disciples who cannot catch up the Fa study will show the state of not
being diligent, despondent, or even worse, don't know how to cherish
time, and don't make best use of time to do what Dafa disciple should
do. " It is obviously that the only way to change the state of being
despondent is to make best use of time to study Fa. In "Teaching the Fa
at Canada Conference" 2005, the Master says, "As a Dafa disciple, if he
can do everything within his responsibility, then he is diligent."

In the second version of "Explaining the Content of Falun Dafa," there
is one paragraph saying, "I hope Dafa disciples can take the Fa as the
teacher, eliminate the interference and cultivate steadily. This is
diligent." In "Teaching the Fa at the New Zealand Conference" (1999),
the Master says, "To upgrade yourself continuously and read the book
continuously is to be diligent." In the lectures around the world
during the past ten years, the Master has been encouraging us to study
Fa and to study Fa well, while to my shamefulness, I didn't attach
importance to it. I felt regretful in the face of Master's benevolence
and salvation.

What we practice is Falun Gong. In Lecture I of Zhuan Falun,
Master mentions, "Falun can operate and rotate automatically." "Because
Falun rotates constantly, it cannot be stopped." In Lecture III of Zhuan Falun,
the Master mentions the energy field of righteous cultivation by
saying, "it can rectify such abnormal conditions." I felt that being
despondent is a state of abnormality, which shouldn't be manifested on
Dafa disciples. If we can study Fa steadily and assimilate Dafa, the
mechanism of falun's rotating constantly can rectify the abnormal
cultivation state of being despondent.

As for myself, the state of being despondent is manifested in the following aspects,

Couldn't take Fa study seriously

I fortunately obtained Dafa in 1999 and was attracted by its profound
and boundless meanings. I made great efforts to study the Fa and
practiced the exercises seriously. I started my journey of cultivation
from being a good person to a practitioner by following what our Master
teaches us. At the initial stage of learning the tranquil cultivation
exercise, I couldn't sit with both legs crossed. To prolong the time of
sitting, I sat with both legs crossed as long as studying Fa or
watching video of Fa lectures, stately and piously, as if the Master is
teaching the Fa in front of me, and I listened to the Master
respectfully. However, I have gone down the drain in recent two years.
What I persisted was only the form of Fa study. From the fact of not
sitting with both legs crossed while studying the Fa, I can feel that
my feeling of respectfulness to the Fa is lessening. I was busy with
many Dafa projects and couldn't get around to reading the Fa. The heart
of studying the Fa gradually loosened, so how could the meaning of the
Fa appear to me?

Recently I encountered a "bottle neck" while studying the Fa. After
looking inside, I found that the reason that I couldn't study the Fa in
a tranquil state was that long time cultivation made me attach to the
form only. The attachment of pursuing the meaning is mixed with Fa
study. I self-contently believed that I had been very familiar with the
book because I could even locate the Master's words in the book. In
fact, it is because I treated Dafa from an ordinary people's point of
view. Now I remind myself to "go back to zero" while I study Fa, that
is, to regard it as if I am reading the book for the first time while
obtaining the Fa. I felt that there were really bright flowers and
another village ahead. My heart felt much more assured.

The attachment of seeking comfort and neglect of practice

At the initial stage of learning to sit with both legs crossed, I
suffered a lot. In the first several months, I could only persist 30 to
40 minutes. Then I committed my mind to cultivate the tranquil exercise
by binding my legs with belts, thus forcing myself to persist one hour.
In the first 3 days, I really felt painful to the heart, then gradually
went into the most pleasant stage. I removed the belts one year after I
obtained the Fa. On one lunar New Year, I tried to sit for one hour and
a half. Near the end, I could hardly bear the pain. Under the extreme
pain, I opened my eyes and saw the bright moon and numerous stars in
the sky, thinking: if I can't even bear such little pain, how can I go
on with my cultivation? By following the sentence "When it's difficult
to endure, you can endure it. When it's impossible to do, you can do
it.", I got through it. During the preceding years, I persisted in
practicing five sets of exercises every day. During the past couple of
years, however, I didn't make progress but went backwards and slacked

I often gave myself an excuse for not going to the practice site: that
is, I was busy telling the truth till it was too late the night before.
Gradually, it became my habit not to go to the practice site in the
early morning. In fact, I used Dafa to cover my attachment of seeking
comfort. I was busy every day, but my spiritual state couldn't compare
with before because I neglected the practicing. Telling the truth
without having to practice is just like description mentioned about
Bigu in Zhuan Falun, "People work without having to eat. How could that be allowed?"

Once in a group Fa study, a fellow practitioner mentioned an old man
above 80 years old, who still persisted in practicing at the practice
site every day even on the days when he was busy with bereavement for
his blood son. I was ashamed of myself after hearing of this and felt
my obvious shortcomings. That old fellow practitioner not only showed
his definite belief in Master and firmly parted from the affections
among family members, but also showed his style of being strict with
himself and responsible to the cultivation. In order to catch up as
soon as possible, I've recovered practicing at the practice site every
day, thus my state improved a lot.

Miss the time of sending forth righteous thoughts or did not take it seriously

In the preceding years I would rarely miss the four sharp hours of
sending forth righteous thoughts. Since last year, however, I
occasionally missed practicing in the early morning because of my
desire to sleep and missed the time of sending forth righteous thoughts
together with fellow practitioners all over the world. What's even
worse, this state kept going on day after day. Just like one
description about the demon of lust: "As long as you regard yourself as
a practitioner, you will remember it right away and be able to restrain
yourself, and you will then be able to pass this test. If you fail the
test the first time, it will be difficult to pass it the second time."
The sequence of not attaching importance to sending forth righteous
thoughts is: I was absent again and again at the critical moment when
Dafa disciples all over the world were using this magic weapon to
eliminate the evil.

Additionally, I spent long time at the PC table dealing with Dafa work
and telling the truth. As soon as the time for sending forth righteous
thoughts was coming up, especially, five minutes before the time, I
couldn't give up my work at hand. In 2005 Teaching the Fa at the
Conference in San Francisco, the Master says, "Before 07/20/1999 and
after 07/20/1999 are two completely different periods and states, so
you are cultivating only if you do all these three things. You are not
cultivating if you do only one thing, neither can you upgrade yourself.
Therefore, Dafa disciples must do well." My current feeling is: the
environment is very important. Don't study Fa or send forth righteous
thoughts in front of the PC, the telephone or the cell phone to avoid
being detracted from mind-intent focus.

Did not want to participate in group Fa study or experience sharing.

I actively participated in various group Fa study in the preceding
years and enjoyed discussing with fellow practitioners earnestly.
Gradually I didn't want to participate in the group Fa study as each
day went day. Going to take part in group Fa study comes from only one
pure wish -  "I want to go", however, there are hundreds of excuse for
not going, such as heavy rain, long distance, no time, no gain, few
people, too dull, too many reports, and too little sharing. I always
tried to find excuses to cover my strong attachment of not going to the
group Fa study. To dig down further, I found that this attachment came
from several sources: reluctance to hear suggestions and criticism,
reluctance to face my own shortcomings earnestly, disappointment at
some practitioners who don't come out, feeling helpless at pushing
detailed projects, etc. As a consequence, I didn't cherish the
cultivation environment and locked myself in the ivory tower.

Due to the lack of discussion with fellow practitioners for a long time
as well as the heavy burden of a lot of Dafa work, the gulf between
fellow practitioners and I gradually enlarged. Being jealous or
suspicious substituted for trusting. Complaining and blaming
overwhelmed encouraging and being concerned. I could only see the
shortcomings of others. I was self-opinionated and reluctant to give
in. After accumulating the badness and being accustomed to it, the work
of cooperating and coordinating was not smooth any more. Nobody
corrected me even when I understood the Fa wrongly and did wrong deeds.
I was gradually further and further away from the overall level. I
didn't even notice that my xinxing was degrading constantly. Fortunately I turned back in time and did not lag behind for a very long time.

A long period of being despondent will make people dumb. How, then, can
one be diligent again and come back to the correct cultivation state?

Studying Fa and cultivating xinxing are fundamental

Just as the tranquil cultivation exercise requires one to enter into
tranquility, not only sitting with both legs crossed; Dafa work is xinxing
cultivation, not only doing things. There are many projects for
validating Dafa. Every practitioner has many things to do. The process
of doing the deeds actually is the process of testing the xinxing
of practitioners. Can you look inside of your heart in the face of
contradiction? Can you give up your personal opinions and give your ear
to fellow practitioners? Did you cultivate your benevolence and take
the salvation of sentient beings as your thought? During the past six
years, it seemed that I did a lot of things for telling the truth, but
after thinking carefully, I found that my xinxing
upgrade was limited. I did a lot but cultivated little, which is far
away from what Dafa requires of us. In "Teaching the Fa at the Florida
(USA) Conference," the Master says, "If a practitioner's thinking is
away from the Fa, then the evil will chisel in." In Jingwen "Towards
Consummation," it is clearly pointed out that "The only way to prevent
the old evil forces from taking advantage of the gaps in your mind is
to make good use of your time to study the Fa."

Persistence and perseverance

Temporary interests might last only five minutes. Fishing and throwing
out the fishnet from time to time is the seedbed of despondence.
Whenever I read "Cultivating xinxing at every moment" in the poem "True Cultivation," the first words that went into my eyes are "at every moment." In Zhuan Falun,
I saw the word "constantly" in a sentence "To tell you the truth, the
entire cultivation process for a practitioner is one of constantly
giving up human attachments." I noticed the word "truly" in sentence
"truly regard yourself as a practitioner". I felt that the three points
"at every moment," "constantly," and "truly" are the most fundamental
requirements for diligence, which reminds me of the importance of
perseverance and persistence in cultivation.

Concern and encouragement from fellow practitioners

We say "fellow practitioners." "Fellow practitioners," just as its name
implies, means to practice together. Many practitioners were interfered
with by illness karma or indulged in despondency. One of the reasons is
that the fellow practitioners around him didn't offer help in time. As
to the fellow practitioners' illness karma interference, I can speak
with fervor and assurance from Fa-principles. However, my tone and
compassion are not sufficient so no benevolence of consideration for
others can be manifested, but only indifference, like watching a fire
on the other side of the river. In fact, when an individual is in the
state of going astray and being helpless, the concern and encouragement
or righteous thoughts support from surrounding practitioners can help
him out of the state of being despondent, thus coming through the
difficulties earlier. Dafa disciples are one body and every disciple is
like a particle, so if an individual particle is not pure and has
loopholes, the overall strength will be weakened. The whole body can be
indestructible only if the particles accommodate and complement each

Let's mutually encourage each other by remembering a paragraph of Fa in "Teaching the Fa at 2005 San Francisco Conference:"

"The fact is, you are cultivators, and you can't afford to cease being
diligent no matter what kind of circumstances you encounter. The more
relaxed the situation may change, the terms of cultivation and the
cultivation state required of you will never change, and for this
reason you cannot let up."

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