PureInsight | December 3, 2007
[PureInsight.org] I was deeply touched when I read Cave in the Snow.
The book is about a twenty-one-year-old English girl, Vicki MacKenzie,
who went to India alone to seek the Buddha Fa and met the eighth
generation Khamtrul Rinpoche of Tibetan Buddhism. She then shaved her
head as a sign of her dedication. She is one of the very few westerners
to become a nun. After following her master for eight years, she went
to live in a small temple to concentrate on cultivation for six years.
Every winter she went into isolated contemplation for six months. When
she was 33, she began twelve years of solitary meditation in the
Himalayas at a height of four thousand one hundred meters.
She rarely went down the mountain during this time. She meditated four
times each day for three hours each time. She never lay down to sleep.
During the six months of winter, the temperature was as low as 20 to 30
degrees Celsius below zero and she wore only an overcoat. Wolves, snow
leopards, and bears often visited her. Yet she said she never felt
alone or frightened.
Their cultivation system was very arduous and it took great
determination to be a monk or nun. Besides being bound by a great many
commandments, these cultivators needed to attend special complicated
religious services and recite passages from scriptures. Besides
undergoing harsh external forms to block temptation and attachments,
they also sincerely searched out their subtle self-thoughts that lay
deep down inside.
Cultivation is serious. It doesn't matter what form it takes, the
process must have tribulations and tests. A cultivator must possess
great determination since genuine cultivation has to break through many
tribulations. Cultivation in Falun Dafa does not stress forms and
external commandments. Instead, Dafa cultivators remain in human
society and in the material world. They cultivate their inner minds so
that they do not waver in the ups and downs of the world, while
maintaining and improving their xinxing.
If we were to become monks or nuns, we might be able to get rid of some
of our attachments in a short time, but maybe not the roots. Before
Dafa cultivation, I had gone on fourteen day fasts twice, drinking only
nutrition drinks. During these times, I could easily attain tranquility
during meditation. I found out that my appetite for food was reduced,
my body felt purified, and my thoughts cleansed. But, afterwards, I
still spent a lot of time and effort on my meals and snacks
(coffee, cookies, cold and hot drinks). Besides, I still had lust,
desires to watch television and listen to music, and so on. It is easy
to be deluded.
We assimilate to the form of everyday people's society in our
cultivation practice, but we do not behave like everyday people. We do
not avoid this big dye vat of human society so that we can expose our
many attachments and get rid of them from their roots. Even without
arduous suffering in the remote mountains, it actually harder to
cultivate one's mind. One can very easily degenerate if one cannot
I used to love music and the fine arts. I lived in romantic
circumstances, which actually was an excuse for lack of restraint. When
I encountered setbacks, I became dispirited and my mood became so
agitated that I couldn't control myself. Too much material comfort
makes one weak, as Vicki MacKenzie said. It is not only makes one weak,
but really makes one degenerate. One shouldn't indulge one's desires.
Our forefathers had said: â€œOne can be upright if one has no selfish
Compared to the ancient times, modern people are either willing or
being forced to accept too much information. Our everyday lives are
flooded with information. We are being bombarded with invisible things
such as electric waves, sound waves, etc. It is hard for one to calm
down in such an environment.
Now I live as simple a life as possible and I find I have much more
time available. My appetite for food and water are reduced. I
experience joyfulness during my meditation. Cultivators can definitely
maintain a peaceful mind in this clamorous mundane world.