PureInsight | September 9, 2002
I have often found myself lingering in a state where I focus on improving my performance and efficiency in the work I do for Fa-rectification but placing less emphasis on cultivation. By merely focusing on the work involved in Fa-rectification, I had not only discounted the effects of truth-clarifying work to save sentient beings, but I also became complacent and remained at a certain level in cultivation. I would like to share my experiences on how I have been able to let go of some of my human thinking during Fa-rectification cultivation.
Be Responsible to the Fa in Truth-Clarifying Work
When I lived in China, I was detained in jail because I went to appeal for Falun Gong in Beijing. Also, my lack of understanding of the Fa, combined with my attachment to sentimentality, led to acute conflicts with my family. It seemed as if I was no longer the obedient daughter they once knew. The conflicts became so intense that my parents sent me to a hospital for a complete examination. Under the influence of the propaganda and the 24-hour brainwashing TV programs, my folks could not understand why I would rather serve time in jail than write a guarantee to renounce Falun Gong. From the perspective of ordinary people, my parents felt they no longer knew their daughter, who would now refuse to write a guarantee when they were on the verge of a nervous breakdown. It struck my parents with horror that I became so determined in practicing Falun Gong that I ignored their pleading. My parents thought that I was mentally deranged, just like the Falun Gong practitioners portrayed by the propaganda on TV. Under such circumstances, it was virtually impossible for me to clarify the truth to my family. But when I arrived in North America, I regarded it as my foremost task to unceasingly clarify the truth to my family.
I told them about the benevolence, justice, virtue, and morality that humans have long forgotten. I told them the truth of history. I told them of the teachings that gods imparted to human beings to enable them to reach enlightenment and complete cultivation. I told them the limitations of science. Although I tried very hard to bring out the compassion and righteousness in their nature, it was very difficult for my family to take big strides in accepting my words. My family accepted the importance of benevolence, justice, virtue and morality, but they did not believe in cultivation and the existence of gods. Meanwhile, they continued to be on guard, fearing that I might endanger myself, or my human interests. They also feared that I might one day purge all of my human sentiments, including affections toward my family during cultivation. The primary cause of their fear was that I refused to write a guarantee to renounce Falun Gong despite their sincere and desperate pleadings. They thought that I was either abnormal, or ready to discard my affections for my family to become a nun. The latter possibility was a huge fear for my parents. I once became so impatient that I began to reprimand my family in the letter. In addition, when the letter arrived, the Public Security Bureau happened to start investigating and harassing my family. Naturally, my letter became a fuel that ignited the fire. My whole family counterattacked and verbally abused me in the reply. They enumerated the pain and danger I brought to the family, and began to curse Dafa. When I read the curse on Dafa from my family, I seemed to witness their lives slipping into hell. The thought that I had ruined the success of truth clarification in one instant due to my impatience brought me heartache. To think of the difficulties I have gone through in order to study abroad brought me tears. I finally lost control. I threw myself to bed and burst into tears. I thought to myself, “Oh, Master! Why are humans so difficult to save! My family is beyond the possibility of salvation!” Just as this thought flashed in my mind, I suddenly turned my head and saw Teacher's photograph, where Teacher sits solemnly in a chair. My mind turned blank. All the tears congealed on my face, and I stopped crying. I remembered how Master had saved me. When I was unable to overcome my tribulations, Master has led me, taught me, and endured for me. When I fell along the way, he criticized me. When that did not work, he encouraged me. Failing the encouragement, he again criticized me. It was so difficult for him but he still persisted in saving his disciple.
I recollect that initially when some fellow practitioners with supernormal abilities wrote about us being kings and lords of our own worlds, I felt I could not identify myself as a lord of a world. Faced with difficult challenges in cultivation, I felt I could barely pass as an average practitioner. Once, when I was in sitting meditation in front of Master's photo, I had a sudden feeling as if something had changed. I felt so miserable that tears began to flow down my cheeks like a fountain. My divine side suddenly felt the great mercy required of a lord of a world, my human side cried uncontrollably. Before, whenever I could not pass a test, I felt as if I was a disappointment to Master and myself. Now I suddenly felt that I was standing in front of all sentient beings in my world. I had betrayed their trust. In the face of their anticipation, I realized I had let them down. When they really needed salvation, I, as their lord, was too complacent to extend a helping hand. There is no greater remorse than failing to meet the expectation and hope placed upon me by the sentient beings of my world. In that instant, I truly felt the selflessness of the higher beings. In the universe, the kings absolutely exist for their sentient beings, that being the duty of kings, as well as the reason for being a king. At that moment I genuinely realized a bit of Master's mercy. In the past, I always felt that I could never repay Master for the mercy he bestowed upon me. Now I realized that Master never expects us to repay him. Each king must be able to sacrifice himself for the sentient beings in his realm, and no king expects the sentient beings to repay. That is the state of affairs of all life in the universe. Formerly, I only understood that because Master was so merciful towards me that I felt infinitely grateful. Now, as I finally realize the greatness of the sacrifice by Master for every sentient being, my respect, admiration and esteem for Master cannot be expressed even in the language of gods, although I do not know what the world of gods is like. I only know that I will spare no expense to achieve what Lord Buddha requires of me, so will other sentient beings. I understand that Lord Buddha wishes nothing but the best for all sentient beings, and I shall do the same. I really realize the greatness of the gods, and that they cannot bear to see anyone being mournful. No matter how confused I am in the midst of human society, things will be different once Buddhahood is attained. Regardless of the level of attainment status, each and every god shall be selfless and be an eternal, unadulterated guardian of the universe.
Although this intense feeling diminished, and I quickly returned to the state of an ordinary person, the experience was branded into my memory. During this period, I began to say to myself, “Just as long as I can save people, I am willing to do anything. It does not matter how great of a concession I have to make in order to save sentient beings.” I felt as if a knife pierced my heart as I let go of my human notions. I wrote a letter of apology to my family in tears. I did not mention any of the foul language in their previous letter to me. Instead, I admitted my own impatience. I wrote, “Recently, I felt very weary and I became a little impatient with my own family. I regret that I had failed to display any compassion of an ordinary person. That should not have happened. It was all my fault.” This short letter had unexpectedly become the turning point of my truth clarification work toward my family. My family finally saw the genuine compassion of a practitioner, as well as my affection towards them. They began to calm down, and developed trust in me. They no longer believed the fraudulent lie of the Chinese government that a Dafa practitioner supposedly “severs the loving bond because of cultivation insanity.” They no longer proceeded with a grievance against their daughter. From that moment on, they ceased to refute me for the inconvenience I brought upon them but quietly endured it without any complaint. Finally, I told them the story about Lord Buddha descending to Earth to save the humans. I told them of the dangerous plights that the Chinese people, my relatives and friends were facing. Although they were all silent, they began to pass the truth clarification materials I gave them amongst relatives and friends, and helped clarify the truth of Falun Gong.
After going through this experience, I realized that it was difficult for me to let go of my human mind and sentimentality towards family. Because it is most difficult to let go of sentiments for family members, the cultivators in the past sought escape in the temples. Letting go of the attachment to sentimentality towards my family was good because I was able to sacrifice for the future lives of a myriad of beings. Would any god be unwilling to do that? I sigh whenever I recall the time I threw myself on my bed crying incessantly. It was just one heart of an ordinary person that I had to detach. What a disappointing cultivator I had been!
In hindsight, I had also purged some other attachments and various ordinary human thoughts when I clarified the truth about Falun Gong to my family. For example, at first, I did not tell my family all the Fa that Master had taught as a wakeup call. This was because I have a tendency to become complacent with my own family. In addition, I seemed to have a superiority complex when I clarified the truth to my family. I often showed off my knowledge of the Fa in my letters to them. After I saw what my attachments did to my truth clarification work, I began to abandon my show-off mentality. I began to realize that I have to be responsible to them by telling them only the Fa they could understand at the time. Very often, I refrained myself from telling them the Fa of higher levels for fear of ruining their chances of acquiring the Fa. Gradually, I was able to express myself with a more moderate tone, and with less ordinary human attachments. Nowadays, before I say anything to my family, I will first ask myself, “Am I being responsible to the Fa if I say this or that? Will I create any misunderstandings and create a loss for Fa if I say this and that?” It showed that I did not respect the Fa enough when I revealed the laws of heaven to everyday people. After undergoing a period of cultivation in Fa-rectification work, I surpassed many of my attachments although I still have some remaining sentiments. But most importantly, I have begun to place the Fa before everything else.
How the Old Forces Are Using the Imperfections within Practitioners to Cause Interference
I have been interfered by sleep and fatigue during Dafa work for a period of time. Although I have tried to deny the interferences by sending forth righteous thoughts, I have not been able to truly break through the interferences from the root.
One day after studying the Fa in a very pure state and sending forth righteous thoughts for a long period of time, I suddenly understood the root cause of the interferences from the perspective of the Fa. I started to use my divine side to see how the old forces exploited my uncultivated side to interfere with my Dafa work.
Everything in this world is arranged for the Fa even though it appears as if the old forces arranged their own plans of manipulating sentient beings and Dafa cultivators.
A cultivator aims to eliminate all human sentimentality, desire and lust. All human attachments belong to these three categories. For instance, human being’s happiness, anger, sorrow, and joy, are sentiments. A human being’s desire to sleep falls into the category of desire although it is a normal desire for ordinary people. The evil will exploit all of human desires for interferences. In addition, lust is another category of desire that leads to severe interferences.
Although I knew that all human sentiments are delusions, it was when I cultivated myself to a higher level of the Fa that I began to truly regard them as delusions.
For instance, every time I was hit by the desire to sleep, I firmly, truly, and really felt that I had to sleep. It is impossible for me not to sleep. But do I “need” to sleep? No, that was a physical interference. A higher intelligence is trying to control my brain and body system by telling me that I “needed” sleep. It is the higher intelligence that is interfering with Dafa work by telling me to go to sleep. Any sentient being wearing a human skin will find it difficult to eliminate the interference, even if the sentient being was a god that has descended to the human realm. The only way to purge interferences is to bring out our divine side, which is capable of seeing through the cause and effect of the interference. With that in mind, I began to send forth righteous thoughts again, and finally broke through the interference over night.
Since I started to cultivate in Dafa, I continued to encounter the demon of lust. Sometimes I was able to overcome my attachment to lust, but other times I could not resist the temptation. I had always felt ashamed afterwards when I succumbed to the demon of lust. I felt very ashamed especially when I felt myself advance in cultivation but failed to overcome my attachment to lust. As a Dafa disciple, how can I not be able to overcome a simple test of lust? I felt extremely ashamed especially when I was aware that Gods were watching our each and every action. Sometimes I would hit myself hard with self-criticism for days. Now I understand that the feeling of shame is another human sentiment. Gods do not have such feelings as shame. From the perspective of gods, the test of lust is just one of the many tests that a cultivator needs to pass. A Dafa cultivator is entitled to the feeling of regret for not being able to overcome these binding physical interferences, but never a feeling of shame. A cultivator should regret not studying the Fa well and not cultivating his xinxing well, instead of developing an attachment to shame. Actually, the feeling of shame is a type of interference, a low-level interference within the three realms. The low-level demons exploited our human heart for all kinds of sentimental interferences. Sentiment does not exist in the minds of gods.
When low-level beings attempt to interfere with our Dafa work, all factors within the three realms help to create delusions. This is why a human being could feel no restraint, “No one forces me. I really want this. I really need this. I really love this. I am happy to have this.” It is the delusions that make such a dirty place as the three realms appealing to human beings. To Dafa cultivators, it is one set of huge tribulations to cross. Regardless of one’s cultivation level, it is difficult for a Dafa disciple to get rid of the delusions before he acquires a divine body. This is because the human side is too weak to fight these demonic interferences. I remember Master had told us before that we could regard the interferences as someone else when you encounter any demonic interference in meditation. Still I found it very difficult to overcome their manipulation. Before I knew it, I had succumbed to the demonic interferences. Now I have truly seen through the condition and state of the interference, so I can truly regard it as someone else. As cultivators, we all know that “sentiment, lust and desire” are actually very inferior and filthy. It is the delusions of joy or happiness that keeps people attached to desires. The fact is that a life without any attachments to sentiments is a truly free life. That is the truth of life. Naturally, these are only understandings at my current level of cultivation. During the process of overcoming these demonic interferences, I truly realized only the Fa was the foundation of everything. All will become meaningless without the righteous faith and a thorough understanding of the Fa. Only the Fa can eliminate all attachments. Only the Fa can lead us to see through the nature and the mentality of the old forces, as well as their arrangements. The Fa sees through all delusions and forges ahead.
Human Sentiments in Dafa Working Groups
When I participated in Dafa working groups, I observed anger and complaints from fellow practitioners, as well as their negative impacts on the group Fa study. Fa-rectification work is usually broken down into small groups and the work is assigned based on everyone’s talents and skills. The regular agenda of each group meeting is to perfect the Dafa work, but everyone has a different opinion on how to perfect a project and everyone reveals individual attachments while performing Dafa work. When I observe an attachment in a fellow practitioner, I would usually point it out and express my own opinion on the subject, so would other fellow practitioners. After all, we are all cultivators and would bring lots of human attachments to Fa-rectification work. These human attachments could easily make a simple issue become a complex one. We may be wrong when we point out an attachment in a fellow practitioner. Even when we are right in our opinion, the fellow practitioner in discussion is often unwilling to admit his flaws in front of everyone, and responds to the accusation by counter-attacking other practitioners. It is because the fellow practitioner in discussion does not see his flaw, or that he has not purged his flaw. After all, it takes some time before one can completely eliminate an attachment.
When we fail to reach a consensus, or when the verbal conflicts become intense, we will end up discussing the same issue over and over again. Once I became very irritated when I tried to point out the flaws of a fellow practitioner, or when I tried to accuse a practitioner of his flaw. In other words, I had fallen into the level of human sentiments. Since I had already seen through the delusions, I immediately realized that the demon was creating interferences within the group. Next, I began to send forth righteous thoughts. During the process, I saw the demonic interferences floating upon my heart like powder, so I gently wiped my heart clean. When everyone finished sending forth righteous thoughts, I admitted my own flaws in front of them. I explained to everyone that I didn’t err in my opinion of the Fa-rectification work. Instead, I have erred when I lost my temper. There is no excuse for losing my temper. It is absolutely my fault that I had been manipulated by my sentiments, and created a loophole for the low-level beings to exploit. This is typical demonic interference within the three realms. When a group is unaware of being manipulated by low-level beings through human sentiments, the group will forever stagger in the same place. It is obvious evidence that we fail to place ourselves within the Fa.
When everyone became aware of the problem and openly admitted their own flaws, the energy field of the group improved immediately. Even though we were still in the process of resolving a long-standing issue, the atmosphere had become very positive. Everyone in the group realized that Fa-rectification work was cultivation practice, and cultivation practice was the most sacred thing in the universe. Everyone came to the understanding that the existence of a problem revealed everyone’s respective attachments. Once we were able to eliminate our attachments, we no longer held fast to a specific solution. Everyone became flexible about the solution again. Meanwhile, I felt the enormous compassion of Teacher. Gods do not hold fast to any type of solution. Gods only have infinite compassion and endurance for sentient beings. We should aspire ourselves to attain to the state of a God. The greatness of a Dafa practitioner does not lie in the perfection in our work, but in our willingness to eliminate our attachment to selfishness in order to save sentient beings. A sentient being does not necessarily acquire the Fa because of the perfection in our Fa-rectification work. The Fa aspect of a piece of Dafa work surpasses the human eyes and human thoughts. An ink portrait created by a fellow practitioner persecuted in jail may be more mind-shattering than anything else due to its purity in the Fa.
My earnest wish right now is to pay attention to cultivation practice and to eliminate all of my human thoughts. I hope to be truly responsible to the Fa and to the new cosmos that Teacher created for us.