Reflections on Reciting the Fa and Cultivating Xinxing
Experience sharing at the 2009 Canada Fa Conference
[PureInsight.org] Greetings Teacher. Greetings fellow practitioners.
I began to practice Falun Gong in May 2000, and I have been cultivating for nine years in Teacher’s Dafa.
On September 1, 2008, the Toronto branch of the Tianti Bookstore opened. At that time, I had not been to the bookstore, but the name of the store, “Heavenly Ladder,” inspired me a lot.
Teacher said in “My Version of a ‘Stick Wake-up’:” “The gods on high all say that I have given human beings a ladder to heaven.” The Fa that Teacher imparted is a ladder to heaven. Practitioners are the ones who are climbing up this heavenly ladder. However, surprisingly, I felt that I was far away from this ladder. I had to look up in order to see it. It was not as if this heavenly ladder went from near my foot up to the heavens. I did not feel like I wanted to climb up the ladder. I did not have that kind of feeling. I didn’t feel it in my heart—and this really shocked me!
Reflecting on this, I realized that during my cultivation over the past few years, I didn’t integrate the fundamentals of the practice; rather, I got in the habit of thinking that doing things was cultivation and treating doing things as being diligent. Even though I had been reading the book and studying the Fa daily, because of my mentality of doing things, Fa-study had become less important. Sometimes, when I was studying the Fa, other ideas about how to do things invaded my mind. After I thought about this, I found that my understanding about Fa-study was that it was important because it enabled me to do the things that I was doing. I did not treat this Dafa as a ladder up to heaven. Therefore, I did not have a ladder, nor was I in the realm of being able to climb up. I lacked that kind of feeling and that kind of consciousness. What happened in my previous lives is unknown to me. In these lifetimes, in order to obtain this Dafa, I must have endured tremendous hardship. However, when I obtained this Fa I did not treasure it. For what reasons did I not treasure this Fa? Because I was attached to my abilities, wisdom, strong mentality and good enlightenment quality. I thought that with those characteristics, I should be able to cultivate well and reach completion. I put Dafa in the secondary place and put my abilities in the first place.
Thinking over my life, in order to have a good position among ordinary people, I went to school. I went to different schools at home and abroad, and I had been studying for more than twenty years. Now, the Fa that Teacher imparted allows me to reach completion, and yet, how much time have I spent studying the Fa? Actually, my education interfered deeply with my enlightenment quality. One is lost among ordinary people. One is holding on to one's ego and one can't see the preciousness of the universal Fa. One can't feel the divine power of Dafa. This is one’s greatest sorrow and also my biggest sorrow.
After I had realized these things and changed my mind, I began to look forward to studying the Fa—something I had never experienced before. I wanted to store Teacher’s Fa in my heart and memorize it. I had one thought, which was to recite Zhuan Falun. I wanted to study the Fa by reciting the Fa. I understood that it is a lot of hardship to recite the Fa; however, no loss, no gain. With every bit that I memorized, I was able to gain and improve. I still do what I’m supposed to do in my day-to-day life, but what’s different now is that I make time for truly studying the Fa, to recite one to two pages of the Fa. I did not pursue quantity or speed. My feeling is that if one is not afraid of hardship, nor afraid of contributing to Dafa, then one can memorize the Fa and use the Fa to guide one’s cultivation. This brings out kind thoughts, our Buddha nature, and righteous thoughts and actions. Only then will Dafa display the Fa principles to you. Teacher will keep enlightening you. You will have new enlightenment and new realizations as well. Therefore, when one truly recites the Fa, one shouldn’t be rushed or think about the speed. If one is at a certain level, one’s speed will be at this level as well. Therefore, step-by-step, I came to realize that I have been climbing up the heavenly ladder that Teacher gave me.
When I was reciting the Fa page by page, I had to recite the part that I had already memorized. Every week, I had to recite from the very beginning. Every day, I spent at least two hours on the public transit. That’s the time I’m free, so I began to make use of this time to recite the Fa. When I was reciting the Fa at home, I sat in the lotus position and closed my eyes. I either recited it quietly or aloud. At that time, it was as if everything disappeared; there was just Teacher’s Fa, myself, my soul, and the fundamental source of my life. I am often shaken by Teacher’s compassion and by the Fa’s divine power. My tears fell non-stop.
Six months later, when I was able to recite Lecture Nine, I did not feel that it was the ending, but rather the beginning. From that point on, I have been reciting the Fa over and over. I finish reciting the nine lectures every week, nine chapters of Zhuan Falun, 60 sections in total. Every time I finish reciting the Fa, I take out Zhuan Falun and read the same sections once to correct mistakes I may have made while reciting the Fa.
Reciting the Fa is a form of studying the Fa, and requires a lot of concentration. I often stop to think about something, and I think a lot. Therefore, during the process of reciting the Fa, one always holds oneself against the standard of the Fa and so, without realizing it, one begins to look within. After a while, I found that some of my attachments that had been difficult to eliminate, such as lust, competitiveness, and so on, were easier to let go of.
For example, every year we do a performance assessment where I work. Every year, we have to rate ourselves, and the weight of our self-assessment is 10 percent. I used to think that since I am a practitioner, I should do better than others in all respects. Therefore, I always rated myself as either “meets” or “exceeds” work performance expectations. However, financial performance accounts for 20 percent and the score given by the person who assesses our performance is 70 percent. With these things factored in, my score had always been average, which was below my expectations. After I began to recite the Fa, my mentality changed. I could take it lightly and came to realize that I had been attached to receiving high scores without looking within to see where I hadn’t done well. In my most recent assessment, I was not attached to it any more and so I kept looking within to see my shortcomings. In the area where I felt like I had fallen short, I selected, “Needs Improvement.” I had completely let go of my competitive mentality. Surprisingly, when I saw the results of the assessment, I had gotten all high marks!
With reciting the Fa I sometimes thought, “Cultivation has become so clear: I recite Teacher’s Fa and then follow it.” The more Fa a practitioner cherishes, the less attachments he has and his physical body changes along with it. What I can feel is that I sleep less than before, the optimal state in doing the exercises has appeared more and more, and I’m leading a more relaxed life. Before, every morning, after sending forth righteous thoughts, I always went back to bed to take a nap. After reciting the Fa a few days in a row, I couldn’t fall asleep even when I lay back down in bed. I was even worried about it: I had to work twelve hours. After only having had five hours of sleep, how was it going to work out? Master says in Lunyu, “Everyday people will forever crawl within the boundary delimited by their own ignorance” (Zhuan Falun). Not until the fourth day did I understand. After one gets rid of attachments, it is as if a bottle has floated up—one lives a more relaxed life.
The evil is afraid when a practitioner keeps increasing his righteous thoughts through Fa study. This can be seen when clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings. For example, when I clarified the truth to people in Mainland China, the evil Chinese Communist Party (CCP) would block my IP address after one or two months. I would then open a new IP address, which took a few days to become valid. When I was reciting the Fa, my IP address had been in use from one or two months. At that time, I thought that I must keep a close eye on it and thought that the CCP would block my IP again! However, three, four, five months have passed and I still have not been blocked. I came to understand that the reason it can’t block my IP address is a reflection of me continuously strengthening my righteous thoughts through Fa study.
The last chapter of Zhuan Falun took me quite some time to memorize. The reason for that was that I had the attachment of being anxious and because I lacked an understanding of the inner meaning of the Fa. For example, Teacher said in the section of “Mind-Intent” in Lecture Nine, “When a practitioner does something specific, it is his or her supernormal abilities that do the work.” He also said, “For a practitioner, one’s mind-intent dictates supernormal abilities to do things. For an everyday person, one’s mind-intent directs the four limbs and the sensory organs to work…” (Zhuan Falun).
I didn’t have a very good understanding of that Fa principle. I did not have supernormal abilities. I also thought that the less supernormal abilities I have, the better. After a lot of effort, I began to think, “I’m a practitioner who is using her four limbs and sensory organs to do things. How well did I study Teacher’s Fa? Suddenly, I remembered Teacher’s lecture on how to use righteous thoughts in “Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference:”
Sometimes when you folks think about an issue you form a type of habit—“I want to do such and such thing… here's how I'm going to do this thing… here's how I'm going to do that thing." You ponder over it a lot and, well, to the point that you feel you've covered everything in a satisfactory way. But when you get down to doing that thing, the real, actual situations can vary in a lot of ways and your plan won't actually work (laughs). And when it doesn't work, you start to ponder it again. That's not how you should do things. Have righteous thoughts! However you think something should be handled, just go ahead and do it, and when you run into problems you will naturally know how to solve them. If your righteous thoughts are strong, everything will work out smoothly and it's guaranteed you'll do well.
Why do I tell you to do things this way? It seems passive, right? But that's not true, because the side of you that's been successfully cultivated knows everything, and no matter how you do it, it will work, and no matter how you do those things you'll be able to do them well. So you just need to have the thought. When you know what to do, just go ahead and do it, and while you do it your wisdom will continually come forth, because at that time the side of you that's been successfully cultivated will fuse together with the side of you here. That's a God, who's omnipotent! So of course a small issue will be resolved in no time, and your wisdom will come forth--it's different then! And if you get stuck Master will give you wisdom (laughs). (Applause)
After I thought about Teacher’s Fa, I enlightened to the fact that even though I did not have any supernormal abilities, Teacher has separated the part that has been cultivated well for us. The part that has been cultivated well has become divine and is extremely powerful. When one has righteous thoughts, the part that you have cultivated well demonstrates supernatural capabilities. How strong one’s righteous thoughts are is related to how much of one’s supernormal capabilities the divine side will display. Therefore, when recalling what I have done in the past, I used to trace it back to my abilities, knowledge, and technological skill. Actually, it is not. It all came down to my righteous thoughts.
If one has very strong righteous thoughts, one will do well and what one does will be miraculous. If one has very few righteous thoughts, one can't do things well, and miracles can't be displayed. If one can’t study the Fa well, one lacks righteous thoughts and has strong attachments. Then, when one does something, one will run into problems. The divine part has stood still, and gods will certainly not pay attention to the human thoughts that are displayed. Gods will only allow miraculous effects to be displayed if one has strong righteous thoughts. Ordinary people’s four limbs, sensory organs, capabilities, means, knowledge, technology and so on are part of being human. However, the way gods’ interventions exist has to conform to the format, status and Fa principles of ordinary human society. Whoever a demon wants to kill, it needs to create an incident—someone will get hit by a car, fall from a building, or so on. Therefore, none of a practitioner’s skills or knowledge is what really allowed a practitioner to accomplish something. The root cause was righteous thoughts, which came from studying the Fa and cultivating mind-nature.
If practitioners in China lack righteous thoughts when they face the evil, they will not be able to subdue the evil. This demonstrates how important righteous thoughts are. On the contrary, practitioners from overseas, in keeping up with the progress of Fa-rectification, must do things more professionally. While conforming to ordinary human society to the maximum extent, it is easy to overlook the importance of righteous thoughts. This results from attaching importance to ordinary human means and can happen if one does not pay attention to Fa-study. Especially when promoting Shen Yun shows or NTDTV, if we were to rely solely on ordinary people’s means, we would not accomplish what we had set out to do. Ordinary people could promote Shen Yun and also achieve success, but the results would not be up to a practitioner’s standard. The reason lies in cultivation: the returns an ordinary person receives and a practitioner receives are different, so the standards are also different.
In the Fa-rectification period, ordinary people and divine beings exist in the human world at the same time, and there are more gods than human beings. My understanding is that gods must use divine thoughts to save people. There are a few million people in Toronto, and a few hundred thousand are Chinese people. We need to save them. When we promote the Shen Yun show, we have our own media, we organize all kinds of activities, but we must also use our righteous thoughts.
Ordinary people are the weakest. A practitioner’s righteous field can change people easily. If practitioners hold true thoughts, they can change people. However, it does not matter if they are buying Shen Yun show tickets or subscribing to NTDTV; it is all within the scope of ordinary people’s day-to-day shopping. There are people who were against what we were promoting, but under the effect of our powerful righteous thoughts, they changed their minds and bought something from us. But the prerequisite is that we must have righteous thoughts and our righteous thoughts must be pure.
I was afraid that we couldn’t reach the quota for NTDTV subscribers. However, through Fa-study, I came to understand that this fear could only bring trouble. Therefore, I thought that there are 500,000 Chinese people in Toronto that need to be saved, which is far more than the number that Rogers stipulated for us. I ought to have only one thought in my mind, which is to try my best to save more Chinese people compassionately. The so-called “quota” is an illusion. Don’t worry about it! Only by getting rid of fear, can our righteous thoughts be pure and display their power!
I heard that for every new subscriber we gain for NTDTV, it increases NTDTV's income. I then thought, “This is truly wonderful!” I was very excited. When I recited the Fa, I reached the section regarding consecration. “While chanting the scripture over there, some monks are thinking in their minds: ‘After consecration, how much money will I be paid?’” (Zhuan Falun)
I was shocked. I understood that my righteous thoughts were not pure enough again. For NTDTV to earn income is reasonable enough, but I should not be moved and should not treat it as the most important issue. Those are not righteous thoughts, and they will most likely bring negative results.
After July 20, 1999, Teacher pushed all practitioners to the positions where they are supposed to be. My understanding is that the side that I have cultivated has mighty power and is connected to my righteous thoughts. In addition, Teacher has been urging us to study Fa more, study Fa more. How come? It is for us to strengthen righteous thoughts, make use of them, and display them to save people—this is such a great task!
I went to a tourist spot to hand out truth-clarification materials with a senior practitioner. We were about 10 meters apart. That senior practitioner was quietly handing out materials very quickly. I spoke English, I spoke Chinese, and I exhausted all my means, but I still handed out materials much more slowly. Some looked straight ahead when they passed by me and refused to take materials from me. When they passed this senior practitioner, they took them from her. What’s the reason? Righteous thoughts. Teacher has said, “Those who develop supernormal abilities are usually at both ends: Children do not have attachments, and neither do elderly people—especially elderly women” (Zhuan Falun). Therefore, her field and her righteous thoughts were very pure and upright. She could change people without any intention. Once she began to use her righteous thoughts, she could display her mighty powers.
In the past, I had lots of complains towards people who refused to take my truth clarification materials. I lacked compassion. On my way back home from a tourist spot, I was reciting the Fa when I reached the section, “Whoever Practices Cultivation Will Attain Gong.” It says, “In the past, there were many monks who would sit for decades. In history, the record for the longest sitting time is over ninety years. Some even sat longer than this. Even with thick dust deposited on their eyelids and grass growing on their bodies, they would continue sitting there” (Zhuan Falun).
I then thought, this practitioner who sat for more than 90 years, maybe he is not even a practitioner in this lifetime. To prepare for today’s Fa-rectification, he had suffered so much and had to go through cultivation one lifetime after another. I suddenly thought that he may be someone who did not yet know the truth. Maybe he was the one who refused to take the truth-clarification materials from me! It is so pitiful that he is lost. He is poisoned by the evil CCP. He is deceived by it. Can we not save him? When thinking about that, I couldn’t hold back the tears from falling down my face. Therefore, when I run into this kind of person again, it will not move my heart. I will just think, this time he didn’t take it, but he might take it next time. We have other ways to save him.
I just started reciting the Fa, so my enlightenment is very shallow and maybe incorrect. I will keep striving forward, remember Teacher’s words, follow them, and climb up the ladder to heaven that Teacher has placed for us.
Thank you, Teacher. Thank you, fellow practitioners.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2009/5/18/59623.html