Any Task Can Be a Xinxing Moment

A Midwestern U.S.A Practitioner

PureInsight | April 30, 2007

[] Prior to
practicing Falun Dafa, I was limited in what I could do physically due
to degenerated spinal discs and an injury that damaged my right
shoulder.  Due to the pain, limited mobility, and weak muscles, I
was unable to do things such as mow a yard or gardening that required
picking up bags of mulch or digging holes for planting, and so on. Once
my body was purified through the practice, I realized I had no
limitations in the area of physical exertion.  So, when I bought a
little house I also got a lady size mower to mow the yard and planted
many garden beds.  

The main yard is not particularly challenging, other than that you get
a good physical workout mowing.  However, the ditch to the side of
the house and the back alley's slope are something else.  They are
very demanding to the mowing equipment and to the person mowing. 
Weekly mowing is a must or the grass and weeds become monsters to
remove.  Mowing is a blessing and a chore I have come to dread.

I mow the front and back yard first, which make me tried, hot, and
ready to consider quitting. Then, I mow the ditch that has many
obstacles.  These obstacles tax my bodily strength and endurance,
and make me miserably hot and sweaty.  They can also get the heart
beat really pounding. Lately, I realized that I was getting pretty
worked up mentally when mowing the ditch and that must contribute to
the added physical stress I was having while mowing.  The anger is
triggered as I approached an obstacle, such as clumps of sand due to
rain run off or other erosion, as I would think, "Why hasn't the city
come to fix the ditch?"  Also, my property is off an old highway.
For some reason, people litter in the ditch by tossing unwanted trash
(empty cans, bottles, wrappers, cigarette butts, etc.) from their
vehicles.  I have to pick these items up or, like with paper, mow
over them making a big mess. Litter clean up causes me more work, which
I resent. For the last four years, no matter what I would tell myself I
couldn't get rid of the resentment. I knew this was not a
practitioner's way of thinking.  But, I couldn't shake it.

Wanting to use my time wisely so I could get in more Fa studying done,
I listen to Master's lectures with a portable tape player and headset
for the hour plus that I am mowing.  This repetitive and mindless
work allowed me to concentrate, I thought, pretty well and learn
different Fa principles.  Recently, however, my understanding has
been changing. Specifically, I am examining whether everything I do is
respectful to Teacher and the Fa when I read, listen or watch Teacher.
Yard mowing suddenly did not seem to be respectful while listening to
the course of study Teacher is offering cultivators. Today, I mowed
with no Falun Dafa music or lectures.  I relied on reciting
"Lunyu" from Zhuan Falun over and over, which was easy to do while mowing the main yard.

Once I got to the ditch, I found my attention was divided between
reciting "Lunyu" and my wandering thoughts. So, I just started to
recite the first page of "Lunyu."  That didn't work either, so I
just recited the first paragraph of "Lunyu" over and over.

"The Buddha Fa" is most profound; among
all the theories in the world, it is the most intricate and
extraordinary science. In order to explore this domain, humankind must
fundamentally change its conventional thinking. Otherwise, the truth of
the universe will forever remain a mystery to humankind, and everyday
people will forever crawl within the boundary delimited by their own
ignorance" (From: Zhuan Falun, first paragraph, "Lunyu").

One fleeting thought was "how long will it take me to recite this
paragraph over and over before my 'conventional thinking fundamentally

Tackling the eroded area by the fence with the mower made my anger
surface. While writing this article I realized the anger came from my
wicked and selfish thoughts.  First, I was concerned with a
friend's response when I told her a few years back how lucky she was
that her husband mowed.  Her response: "I would like to use our
riding mowing, but he won't let me."  I thought to myself, "Well,
I bet she wouldn't be making that comment now if she had this ditch to
mow."  That thought catapulted into other worthless (which were
also wicked and selfish) thoughts until I realized these thoughts have
to end. And, I didn't even need to look within as I know this behavior
is jealousy. I was just surprised it surfaced again as I had realized
this over and over before. So, I said to myself, "That thought comes
from jealousy and practitioner rid themselves of jealously. I can let
it go once and for all." I had a real sense I could rid myself of it as
a practitioner.  In addition, I was paying attention to what my
thoughts were while actually mowing the ditch this time.

My anger caused by jealously was what was interrupting my ability to
recite "Lunyu" completely. With this realization and a pure desire to
rid myself of this jealous nature, shouldn't the issue be
resolved?  Wrong, it wasn't long before my mind had wandered off
into jealousy and other attachments.  

Living in a small town, everyone watches everyone else, and reports
back what is observed to their circle of friends.  This is the
normal behavior of gossip for small towns in the Midwest.  Being
on a busy street, many people have the opportunity to see my weekly
mowing.  It is my understanding that I should leave a good
impression as I am a practitioner, but what type of impression is left
when I am all worked up about the ditch and litter? That is why I
thought I should look joyful when picking up litter and not tortured by
the mowing experience.  

Today, rather than waiting until after mowing to get the litter (which
usually doesn't happen as I am too tired to pick it up later) I decided
to just pick it up  best I could while mowing and put it in my
pocket.  I have done that before but I would follow each pick up
with a resentful thought.  This time I didn't. I just picked the
litter up. Suddenly, I remembered, Master saying in Zhuan Falun:

"Some people knew that he was a
practitioner and asked him: "As a practitioner, you don't want
anything. What do you want?" He responded, "I'll take whatever others
don't want."

Seems it is time for me to get out of ordinary thinking and think like
a practitioner.  People don't want this trash, so why not pick it
up?  I kept also saying to myself: "What do you want? What others
don't! I am a practitioner."  As more and more trash was picked
up, my mood changed.  

My ability to think of others came out too.  I began to bend down
to pull up certain weeds that my neighbor is allergic to that grows
hardy and rapidly in the eroded soil in the ditch. Usually, about 95%
of it gets mowed, but when the heat of the end of summer comes I let
the most difficult areas get out of control.  I thought to myself,
"I am just plain lazy as I should keep up these areas regardless of how
I feel."   

My conventional thinking was indeed changing rapidly in the course of
the mowing. I was using my time wisely by reciting the Fa. In doing so,
I was given the opportunity to also apply the Fa.  Since my xinxing
was upgraded with my new thinking, I had extra energy to do extra
things required to better maintain the yard and be a good neighbor.
When I was done, my heart was pounding lightly, and my body heat and
sweat were not extreme, as I would have expected from past experience.
I learned a lot today and believe that "dreading mowing" is a thing of
the past.

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