Am I Genuinely Cultivating in the Fa?

A Dafa Disciple in New Zealand

PureInsight | December 21, 2015

[] Recently, a fellow practitioner from our local area entered into a comatose state. In order to negate the old forces persecution on that fellow practitioner, we decided to hold group sessions to send forth righteous thoughts. But in the end that practitioner still passed away. When he died, he appeared very calm as if he was just asleep.

When we were sending forth righteous thoughts, Master showed me such a scene: the fellow practitioner’s body was placed inside a greyish transparent rectangular box. Every practitioner at the scene was generating a kind of fluid and this matter was flowing into the box. Some practitioners’ matter seemed very heavy and voluminous, while others’ appeared clear and thin. When getting deeper into the field, I noticed that a great amount of old forces were being eliminated, yet at the same time, new old forces were forming. I kept seeing such a scene.

I became worried and tried hard to look inwards for my problems. I found I had many attachments such as to seeking fame, showing off, fighting and lust, etc. At the same time, I kept asking Master to let this practitioner recover from the coma. In the end, however, I noticed that the old forces seemed to be very excited; their selfishness was very apparent. I also noticed that Master could only sigh.

From what I knew about this fellow practitioner, I could say that he was very positive in many aspects as a Falun Dafa cultivator. He was open-minded and warm-hearted, and he worked in a media project. When our local coordinator organized people to go out of town to hand out truth clarification materials, this practitioner was very active; he also brought food and cooked for others. This practitioner was also very active in the recent campaign to sue Jiang. Such apparent diligence and selflessness won much praise from other practitioners. Yet he couldn’t make it in the end. I felt as if hit by a heavy blow. I started to seriously reflect on myself. I felt lost and ashamed of myself.

Later on, I read the story of monk Bianji. Master helped me understand another principle from that story.

Monk Bianji was very smart early on and he had a very high moral standard. When Monk Bianji left home to become a monk, he cultivated diligently and became well-versed in Buddhism; his written articles were so amazing that even his mentor, the great Tang Dynasty monk, Xuanzang, praised him. Monk Bianji later helped Xuanzang to translate some Buddhist scriptures that he had brought back from India. Bianji was treated very well by his mentor. Yet such a brilliant young monk faced his death by execution, when he eloped with Princess Gao Yang.

When I read this story in the past, I just treated it as a warning to all those who indulged in lust. This time, I started to think more deeply about it. Bianji must have appeared very diligent to those around him; many monks, including his mentor, praised him. But under the surface, we see another side to Bianji; his attachment to human emotion was hidden from others—this eventually led to his death.

I saw some elements of myself in the story—I read the Fa almost every day and never missed a group Fa study session; I understood the “three things” a cultivator must do; I knew to look inwards whenever I encountered troubles and knew my mission as a Dafa practitioner; I also sent forth righteous thoughts in front of the Chinese consular building and other Fa validating events. Others saw me as a very diligent practitioner. However, deep inside, I had all kinds of interference and confusion, and was even dragged down by human lust. I found it challenging to improve my cultivation state and I simply lacked a strong will to maintain a righteous mind at all times.

After reflecting on the story of Bianji, on myself and on my fellow practitioner passed away, I began to ask myself: “Am I really cultivating in the Fa? Or am I just like Bianji with many hidden attachments? Have I treated my attachments seriously, including the so-called trivial issues?” I suddenly realized that many of my hidden attachments were always popping up in my mind, even though they may not be exposed to others. And whenever my hidden attachments were revealed, I would remain passive. Nobody would notice my attachments, but in my mind, I would develop things such as brutality, hatred, lust, anger and other human sentiments. Sometimes those attachments would just pop up briefly in my mind, and usually I would ignore them. I also noticed that the more I appeared diligent to others, the more I became lazy in my private life. I slacked off; I became very passive and easily agitated, and I wanted to live an easy life. I would even degrade myself to the standard of ordinary people or even worse. Gradually, I degenerated into being like an ordinary person seeking a comfortable life.

After reading the Fa multiple times, I came to realize the following three major issues.

Human Emotions and Lust

I was born in the 90’s and started to practice Falun Gong together with my parents, when I was young. In the book Zhuan Falun, Master mentioned the issue of lust. I also read many stories on the Minghui website about human emotions and lust, but I didn’t pay much attention to them, as I was still young and I didn’t have any strong desire. But as I became an adolescent, I began to feel the interference arranged by the old forces. At first, the interference was not that severe; gradually, however, it grew stronger and more frequent, especially as I entered college and later as I began to work in society. The old forces took advantage of the so-called normal adolescent behavior and magnified my human lust to interfere with me. When I first arrived in New Zealand, my attachment to lust was under control, as I kept strong righteous thoughts most of the time. But as time went by, I began to slack off and as a result, the old forces began to interfere with me. When I was interacting with fellow practitioners of the opposite sex, I tended to get very intimate; the hormones inside my body seemed to be very active and I would even fantasize in my mind about some intimate scenes—it was just a mess. Sometimes when I was alone by myself, my attachment to lust would propel me to do dirty things to comfort myself. I even developed an excuse for myself: “I am young and single, while many other fellow practitioners are already married.”

From studying the Fa, I realized that human emotion and lust were part of ordinary people’s life; yet such attachments are like death sentences for a cultivator. There is nothing wrong for ordinary people to get married, as it’s how human society progresses. But when a person starts to do dirty things to comfort himself, this is a sin that will drag the person to hell, because that person has just degraded himself. Nowadays, people are indulging in the so-called hedonism; they want to satisfy their desires and lust. This is a genuine sin, as it goes against the human moral standard and established traditions. Monk Bianji was killed due to his attachments to lust, and now, I was still holding similar attachments and seeking a comfortable and enjoyable life. Wasn’t I ruining myself? And ruining the sentient beings that are waiting for me to save them? I could have been dragged down into deep trouble with such attachments if Master had not alerted me with various incidents. I had also noticed that whenever I was making some breakthroughs in my personal cultivation, the old forces would again create interference for me through my attachment to lust. A fellow practitioner of the opposite sex would appear and get very close to me and we would get overly intimate; but in the end, we would always separate, as we went our own ways. I had experienced many such incidents and it just seemed that such interference would never end. Whenever I started to send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate such attachments, I would feel some heavy stuff on my chest—it was really an excruciating experience. I found that my attachment to lust had even led me into depression and I didn’t want to do anything as a result. Whenever I ran into the person I had just separated from, my mind would start to think of all kinds of things, even though I tried to avoid seeing the person and appeared calm on the surface. Afterwards, I would develop some kind of hatred when I ran into other problems in my daily life, as I felt that I couldn’t accomplish anything.

The Heart of Pursuit

When I read Master’s Fa lecture in Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference, the following passage held my attention:

“For a long time now some students just haven't gotten rid of their fundamental attachments! And as things have piled up, at the end they aren't able to overcome them and their tribulations get big. When problems occur, instead of searching for problems in their xinxing, fundamentally improving themselves, or truly letting go of the matter and coming through in an open and dignified manner by another route, they focus on the thing at hand—‘Goodness… why is it that I still can't overcome this thing? I've done better today, so it should have improved a little. Tomorrow I'll do even better and it should improve some more.’ He can never let go of that thing. On the surface it appears that he's letting it go—‘Look, I'm doing well now.’ You're doing well now but you are doing well now for its sake. You aren't doing that for the purpose of doing what a true Dafa disciple should do!”

I was shocked; wasn’t Master referring to me?

If someone had told me before that even though I was reading the Fa, looking inwards and doing Fa validation things, deep in my heart, I still had some kind of pursuit, I would have firmly denied it and claimed with certainty that I was doing exactly what a Dafa practitioner should do. Such a claim would seem to have come from my heart. Yet, I had been puzzled in my cultivation for a very long time, thinking, “Why am I always experiencing tribulations?”

Now I’ve come to realize that my heart of pursuit came from an insincere attitude towards the Fa and Master. It wasn’t easily exposed and was hidden deep inside myself. I know that I should do whatever Master asks me to do; as long as I was doing things according to the Fa, Master would help me out. But I didn’t realize my heart of pursuit and was thinking: “As long as I do a good job, all my troubles will be gone; as long as I do a good job, I will definitely get a decent job; as long as I do a good job, my life will be smooth; if I do a better job today, I will have few tribulations tomorrow,” etc. While influenced by such warped notions, I found that those troubles and difficulties in my life weren’t resolved at all but instead worsened. The old forces then took advantage and made me doubt the power of the Fa and Master. When I was sending forth righteous thoughts for the fellow practitioner that had just passed away, my looking inwards was tied to my strong hope for the practitioner to come around. I was asking Master to help me when I was seeking inwards, so, wasn’t I merely seeking inwards for Master to see? I asked myself, “Am I genuinely cultivating in the Fa?” I appeared like a diligent practitioner with a strong faith in the Fa and Master, but in reality, I had twisted those things that Master had asked us to do into something that would only satisfy my own desires and goals. I hid myself behind such things, not realizing that my own heart of pursuit was a major blockade on my path of cultivation.

Falling Victim to Egotism

One day, I was talking to a fellow practitioner about my thoughts on how to use videos to help validate Dafa. I started to complain about things that I had done before and also express high hopes for the future. I even said: “If I was a match stick, I’d rather burn myself 100 percent in the process of Fa rectification; I won’t be satisfied if I just get burnt 50 percent.” The fellow practitioner didn’t show any sign of excitement upon hearing my words, but calmly replied: “Yes, you’ve got good ideas. You shouldn’t think so highly of yourself though.” I was completely touched by these words. I calmed down immediately, stopped talking and began to reflect on myself.

In the past, if someone had told me that I had a big ego, I would definitely deny such accusations with lots of excuses; I would say that I was an introverted person, very casual in nature and didn’t like to talk too much, Iet alone argue with others, because it would feel too tiresome. When I was with my parents or work colleagues, I usually preferred to be the “assistant”; others would say that I kept a low profile and was a good listener, etc. In the book Zhuan Falun, Master says, “Cultivation is something you do right in the thick of tribulations. They’ll test whether you can sever your emotions and desires, and they’ll see if you can take them lightly.” When my heart was not touched by external tribulations, I could not easily recognize the attachments that I had.

I now realize that my egotism was formed when I was young. I liked to read history books; especially stories about great characters, which always encouraged me. When I was in middle school, I dreamt of becoming a great figure so that everyone would remember me. As the moral standard had declined so much in China, everyone was only interested in money and other material gains. I therefore said to myself, “I have to develop a great goal while I am still young.” I became self-appreciative and started looking down on everyone else. After I started practicing Falun Dafa, I somewhat treated truth clarification and saving sentient beings as a means to express my own political views. I tended to emphasize the wickedness of the CCP and enjoyed talking about democracy to people. I didn’t focus too much on the truth clarification for Falun Dafa. As a result, I struggled with external interference. My father pointed out the problem of my ego many times and studied the Fa on that topic with me. I did change a little bit, but I had never come to realize that the notion of “developing a great goal as a human being” was actually the most significant attachment that I had to let go.

Later, after I left China and arrived in the West, my egotism made it difficult for people to accept me into Dafa projects and it also made it difficult for me to find the right role in various local truth clarification projects. I became depressed and started to complain that no one understood me.

The fellow practitioner who calmly said that I shouldn’t consider myself so highly helped me realize my egotism issue again. My so-called “great life goal” was actually centered on a selfish ego. I was always thinking about what things I needed to do for myself and always emphasized my ego, which is driven by human emotions. What happened to Dafa and Master? I’ve always regarded myself as someone who had a strong faith in the Fa and Master, but now I see that whenever I ran into difficulties, my mind was full of ego and I completely forgot about the Fa and Master. How could this be called a strong faith in the Fa and Master? I asked myself, “Am I genuinely cultivating in the Fa? What I’ve been doing is nothing but satisfying my own selfish desires; seeking fame and gain, and trying to hide the CCP culture that’s in my mind. Am I still Master’s disciple?”

In the article titled Rationality, Master says, “Validate the Fa with rationality, clarify the truth with wisdom, spread the Fa and save people with mercy—this is establishing the mighty virtue of an Enlightened Being.”

I now realize that it’s actually not the Dafa projects that need me; in fact, it’s me who needs to get involved in those projects to cultivate myself, accomplish my mission and establish my mighty virtue. Why was I so picky then? Why was I so stubborn in my own choice over which projects I wanted to take part in? Wasn’t it an attachment as well? What I feel Master wants is the righteous thoughts of every disciple. Such righteous thoughts include rationality, wisdom and compassion; they are absolutely not those human emotions that are excited temporarily by the so-called “great personal goals”.

For a very long time, I have been trapped inside my own egotism. I dealt with my cultivation tribulations from the perspectives of my own human notions and attachments. I maintained a superficial understanding of the Fa and didn’t get down to learning the Fa out of rationality.

When I was writing this article, my physical body experienced a strong cleansing. I am sure Master was helping me clean out all those elements that didn’t comply with the Fa in various dimensions. I have realized that when one exposes one’s attachments through Fa study and looking inwards, one is also being cleansed of the degenerate material that doesn’t comply with the Fa.


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