Enlightenment Amidst the Maze: Respecting Master and Cultivating Diligently
[PureInsight.org] I remember that when the persecution first started, we did not have our own media. The truth-clarification materials we distributed were prepared by us local practitioners. Once in Toronto, I saw many practitioners spending time correcting a small printing error in the materials. The error was: “Zhen-Shan-Ren” was printed as “Zhen, Shan and Ren” according to English grammar. Some practitioners said we should follow Master exactly on how to write these words and not be affected by English grammar. Then we held a discussion on it. In the end, the majority of the practitioners agreed that, as Dafa disciples, we should follow Master’s words under any circumstances. Otherwise, if we change a little here today and change a little there tomorrow, our actions will damage the Fa in the future. Therefore, all of us, regardless of age, began to hurry covering the extra “and” with white tape. I cannot remember how many materials we corrected—thousands at least. At that time, several practitioners including myself did not fully understand this, thinking it was overdoing something insignificant—how can a meaningless conjunction make such a big difference and even damage the Fa?
I did not understand it until much later. First of all, the critical thing was not whether that exact word changed the meaning, but how much we respect Master and the Fa. One practitioner reminded me using Master’s words from Zhuan Falun, “The actual transformation process takes place in other dimensions and is extremely complex and intricate. There cannot be one bit of error. It is just like a precision instrument that will be out of order as soon as you add a foreign part to it.” Zhen-Shan-Ren is the characteristic of the universe, the highest manifestation of the Buddha Fa. It is the foundation on which the universe is built; all three principles are equally important. Were something inserted in the middle, it could lead to deviation.
Later, I read the cultivation stories of Milarepa. His master asked him to build a house, dissemble it, then build it again and dissemble it again. Later, his master even denied having asked him to build the house. In the end, it turned out that the house itself did not have any practical use; his master was using it to test his determination in cultivation. From the perspective of cultivation, this process of building a house and dissembling it is very necessary. Therefore, no matter what Master says, we need to do it, regardless of the necessity at the human level. We need to understand that anything Master has arranged for us is good for our cultivation.
After that, I was gradually enlightened to a principle: as a practitioner, no matter how smart or how capable you are, and no matter how much you have done to promote the Fa, whether you have a pure heart and determination in cultivation is critical. Without a pure heart, it does not matter how much you have accomplished; this is a fundamental test throughout the entire journey of cultivation.
Another aspect of respecting Master and the Fa is to cultivate ourselves well based on the Fa. I remember a story about another practitioner.
Before the persecution started, one day during group discussion after reading Lecture 3 of Zhuan Falun, a practitioner—a PhD candidate in a well-known university—shared his understanding. He said, “We just read the section of ‘Reverse Cultivation and Gong Borrowing’ and Master said, ‘It was more difficult for a young person to conduct himself or herself well. Maybe you would have found this person usually very good, caring little for fame and self-interest, when he did not have many abilities in ordinary human society. Once he became well-known, fame and profit would easily interfere. He would think that he still had a long way to go in life, and he still wanted to make every effort to achieve some goals of ordinary people. (Zhuan Falun)’ I was thinking, right now I am just a student without many capabilities. Later on, when I have fame and money, those attachments may surface.” I was very touched by his words. This practitioner was using the Fa to discipline himself and even thought about attachments that may arise in the future.
Later, that practitioner became a professor in a well-known university in the U.S. He was also married and his wife is also a practitioner. From the perspective of an everyday person, he has reached the goal of life in both fame and accomplishments.
One day, several practitioners including me went to his city to attend some Dafa activities and temporarily lived at his home. His life style was surprisingly simple. I considered myself as paying more attention to a spiritual life instead of a material one, but his life was much simpler than mine. Although living in the U.S., a wealthy country, and working as a college professor, this practitioner was still strict with himself and remained diligent in cultivation. At that time, he and his wife were able to recite Zhuan Falun very well. In addition, when Dafa projects needed money, they supported them without hesitation. When other practitioners needed help, they also kindly helped. I saw them happily living like that every day.
I know many overseas practitioners and some are wealthy and some are not. But regardless of their financial status, many of them are cultivating diligently. They live a simple life and save money for projects that validate the Fa and save sentient beings. I was deeply touched every time when seeing these practitioners, and they motivated me to be more diligent. I have learned to cultivate solidly without many words. I also learned not to pay attention to my accomplishments in the past (those were actually done by Master), but, instead, always discipline myself with higher standards. I deeply feel that my righteous thoughts at critical moments did not come out by themselves, there has to be a solid foundation of lengthy and diligent cultivation. Although a thought may look simple, very often it came only after the practitioner has passed many tests.
To respect Master and the Fa means to consider ourselves tiny and insignificant. We are indeed tiny and insignificant. If Master had not come for Fa-rectification, or come to save us with compassion, how can we exist today, let alone have this sacred cultivation opportunity? I would like to conclude this sharing with one of Master's poems from Hong Yin Volume II:
“In One Thought
Confident and magnanimous, I rectify the colossal firmament
Huge is the adversity that accompanies me
as I journey Heaven and Earth
Credit and honor are not what is on my mind
As I rectify heaven, rectify earth, and rectify all lives
True thoughts, a grand wish, and diamond-like will
Recreate with one thought the enormity
The thirteenth day of the fifth month, the lunar year of Gui Wei”
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2010/1/10/63632.html