PureInsight | November 19, 2012
[PureInsight.org] Emotions are like the colorful sunshine in the world, and people live only for them. The principles of everyday people form their standards of behavior, in which they fight and struggle with joy and worry. Filial duties are traditional virtues of the Chinese people—it is considered right and proper to respect the elderly and esteem one’s parents. But as a Dafa disciple, one should instead enlighten to the principals of the Fa and leap out of the principles of ordinary people to become a Dafa cultivator.
Some older Dafa practitioners fulfilled their filial duties in their past lives and entrenched the concept of filial duty in themselves through experiencing the warmth of family bonding. This now reflects in their demands towards their children and vice versa—if their children are filial to them, they are satisfied and happy, but as soon as their children are not filial, they complain, sulk, and even get angry. As a result, many families’ conflicts became more and more acute to the point that there were even disagreements toward Dafa and rejection of cultivation practice. Consequently, some of the older fellow practitioners’ cultivation environments became tougher, which caused them to worry and become perplexed and even inflicted a negative impact upon the three things that they needed to do. Why did these circumstances come about? There are three reasons.
The first reason is that they were unable to extricate themselves from emotion. Their constant focus on familial bonds made them unconsciously demand that their children be filial to them, so that they would feel wholly immersed in the warmth of family bonding. Grudges, resentment, and a sense of unfairness would arise to the point that they could not get over it when they were unable to discipline themselves according to the principals of cultivation.
Master has said: “Why can human beings be human? It’s exactly because humans have emotion. People just live for emotion. The affection among family members, the love between a man and woman, love for parents, feelings, friendships, doing things for friendship’s sake—no matter where you go you can’t get out of emotion. You want to do something, you don’t want to do something, you’re happy, you’re unhappy, you love something, you hate something—everything in society comes completely from emotion. If you don’t sever emotion, you won’t be able to cultivate. But if you do break out of emotion, nobody can affect you, and ordinary attachments won’t be able to sway you. What replaces it is compassion, which is nobler”(Zhuan Falun).
There is nothing accidental in cultivation. All of the things that don’t go well in one’s life are directly related to one’s xinxing improvement; looking within should be unconditional. It’s not that only troubles caused by outsiders can be considered good things for improvement while being at odds with one’s children is always considered a bad thing. One cannot fundamentally be considered a true cultivator if they are trapped in emotion without being aware of it. Since emotion permeates everything within the three realms, as long as one cannot jump out of it they will be restricted by it and unable to surpass the three realms. Only when one can let go of emotion can one truly cultivate and improve oneself continually toward higher levels until one finally succeeds in cultivation and achieves consummation.
The second reason for these conflicts is being trapped in ordinary people’s principals. Deep inside one always feels that their children are raised with such painstaking effort and hard work that it stands to reason that one should be respected by one’s children. Children should of course be obedient and filial to their parents, or else their parents would feel a lack of respect and be uneasy in their hearts. What’s more, if one’s children lose their temper and get angry at their parents, then the parents may feel that it’s like biting the hand that feeds them. Naturally, one then feels a sense of unfairness, gets angry, and just cannot get over it, completely forgetting that they are a Dafa cultivator.
Master has cautioned us about this in “Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan:” “The very act of using human thinking to stress who’s right and who’s wrong is in itself wrong. That’s because you are then using the logic of ordinary people to evaluate yourself, and using that logic to make demands on others.” Master has also made it clear in Essentials for Further Advancement in “Cautionary Advice” that: “If you do not change the human logic that you, as an ordinary human, have formed deep in your bones over thousands of years, you will be unable to break away from this superficial human shell and reach Consummation.” Cultivation is serious and the requirements of the Fa are strict; only when things of humans are put down, can things of gods be acquired.
The third reason is that the notion that filial duties are unbreakable can sometimes obstruct one from upgrading their xinxing. Filial duty is considered to be a traditional virtue of Chinese people; as such, precepts like “Among the hundred virtues, filial piety comes first” and “Being filial is being loyal,” etc., can easily be perceived as immutable. Once children infringe upon this perception, they are considered to be wild, hard to control or deal with, disobedient, and unfilial. Unpleasant situations thus come about and conflicts intensify. One’s xinxing then drops instead of improving.
Master has pointed out precisely in the beginning of Lunyu that: “‘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.” The notion of filial duty is of course no exception; it is also a notion of human beings that can be taken to an extreme. To cultivate Dafa with all your heart, you need to remove this notion and break through its clutter, improve your xinxing, and ascend to a higher level.
Some fellow practitioners may be unwilling to accept this idea. Their thinking is like this: Isn’t the demon nature of today’s children easily indulged to undermine upright human relations? Shouldn’t Dafa disciples refute this downward trend in society? Doesn’t it run counter to the filial ethics of Chinese people? Actually, it’s not so for a cultivator. For an ordinary person, this principal is right, but as a cultivator, one should not be confined to it. One will always be an ordinary person if one is firmly entrenched in ordinary people’s notions. One must always treat oneself as a cultivator, especially when one meets with tribulations that involve children. One should treat their children with the same compassion as they would treat any other person. Just as Master taught us in “Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital:” “Cultivation is first and foremost. I just said that if you aren’t able to suppress it, if you can’t look inward and search within yourself when you encounter tensions or conflicts, if you can’t change yourself and remove human attachments, then you won’t have parts that are fully cultivated and that become divine, and what you do can’t be called cultivating. So you need to constantly cultivate the part of you that hasn’t been fully cultivated, such that it achieves divinity and is fully cultivated, and you must be strict with yourself—only then is it cultivation. Otherwise, what’s the point of cultivation?”
After breaking through different barriers under the guidance of the Fa’s principals, one will come across opportunities to teach one’s children calmly and benevolently. A good approach is to integrate this filial notion into daily life and let it exert its influence in a subtle way through talking and manners. Let your children be moved with feeling, enlightened with reasoning, inspired with proper ideas, and guided with upright actions. Planning ahead and cultivating a sense of spiritual propriety is a good way to do this. Master said: “Of course, while we’re cultivating in the ordinary world we’re supposed to respect our parents and be good to them, just as we should teach our kids and discipline them. In every situation we should be good to others and be kind to people, let alone your family members. We should treat everyone the same, be good to our parents and our kids, and always be considerate of others. Then your heart isn’t a selfish one when you do that, but a compassionate one—it’s compassion” (Zhuan Falun). Likewise, as disciples in the Fa rectification period, being kind to our close relatives as well as to all sentient beings is something we should be able to achieve in our cultivation.
Through enlightening to the Fa principals and leaping out of the principles of emotion to improve one’s xinxing, one’s children will inevitably identify with Dafa’s goodness after experiencing their parent’s goodwill and benevolence. They will then naturally pay respect and fulfill filial duties to their parents from the bottom of their hearts. As such, the notion of filial duties is sublimated instead of being abandoned or weakened. More importantly, one’s cultivation will advance to a higher level—it’s really like killing two birds with one stone, so why not do it!
If there is anything inappropriate, please point it out compassionately.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/node/112799