PureInsight | June 17, 2018
[PureInsight.org] It's been five years since I obtained the Fa. I didn’t know at the beginning that I had found the supreme Fa of the universe, nor that I would be bestowed with this enormous opportunity and honour to become a Fa-rectification period disciple, under the grace of our most compassionate Master.
During these five years, I’ve gradually learned that our responsibility is huge, as we are responsible for the salvation of the people of the world—those who were once Buddhas, Taos and Gods and who descended to obtain the Fa. We are also responsible for the beings inside our universes, since our body is a huge cosmos filled with magnificent beings that we need to save.
Master said in “The Issue of the Celestial Eye”, Lecture 2, Zhuan Falun, “A grain of sand is thus just like a universe, with people having intelligence like ours, along with planets, mountains, and rivers. It sounds quite inconceivable! If so, think about it, everyone: Is there sand in those three thousand worlds? And are there another three thousand worlds in any one of those grains of sand? Then, is there sand in those three thousand worlds? Then, are there still three thousand worlds in any one of those grains of sand? Accordingly, at the level of Tathagata, one is unable to see its end. The same is true with human molecular cells.”
I truly understand that cultivation is the key. If we don't cultivate well, not only will we not manage to save the high level beings who descended here, because of not meeting the standard, but we will also ruin our own beings and realms. I have directly experienced this myself.
Anger Can Destroy Your Realms
Along the journey of cultivation, one of the things I have enlightened to—although unfortunately rather late—is that when we have thoughts that are not in line with Dafa’s principles, we should not accept them, even if sometimes they may seem true or logical. We must quickly eliminate them. If we accept them and start “talking” to them in our mind, they will grow stronger and stronger, and it will then be harder for us to get rid of them.
“When all messages, living beings, and cells in your body are obtaining gong, the Assistant Soul is certainly obtaining it as well”, said Master in Lecture 8 of Zhuan Falun, “Whoever Practices Cultivation Will Obtain Gong”.
In my limited understanding, the same thing happens with the negative thoughts and attachments. If we don't cut them off, they receive energy and become harder to get rid of; especially when we believe that they are part of us. How can Master help us if we go along with these thoughts and think that they are part of us?
Talking about nurturing bad thoughts, my worst enemies in cultivation have been emotions— especially anger. Although I knew that feelings play a demonic role for cultivators and that anger is an emotion that a cultivator should not accept, when facing certain situations, I used to justify my anger. So, I grew demons in my mind.
I work for The Epoch Times. I’ve always believed that our articles should be very good, so that people can appreciate and respect us. This way, I thought that it would be easier for them to accept our truth clarification. So, when a team member made mistakes regarding any of our articles, I used to get angry, as I thought that those mistakes could even ruin our efforts in saving sentient beings. My anger flared especially when it involved articles that I knew would help us reach new groups of people.
But then, I received a lesson that I would never forget. I would like to share it with you, as perhaps it will be useful. One day, together with a colleague who was in charge of filming, I attended a protest, far away from our office. It was held by a group of people who we hadn’t reached before. It took us a lot of time to get there, to talk to people, and to interview people. When we returned to the office, I wrote our article, trying to make it as good as possible, so the people at the protest would really appreciate it. But the editor wanted to rewrite the first paragraph in such an awful manner, that I felt that the article was shameful. I was beyond angry; I was in a rage, in fact, feeling that the editor had ruined all my efforts and that everything had been in vain. I didn't have an argument with the editor (not because I refrained myself as I should have done, but because the practitioner was not there), but the anger didn't leave me alone all day long and burned like a fire inside of me. In the evening, when I arrived home, I had a vision that levels after levels of my realms were being crushed and destroyed. I can't describe in words the feeling that I had. I knew that all my beings in those realms had not been saved because of my indignation.
Master said in “Your Main Consciousness Should Predominate”, Lecture 6, Zhuan Falun, “Some people do not have a very strong Main Consciousness and will comply with the thought karma to commit wrongdoing. Such people will be ruined and drop in levels. Most people, however, can remove and resist it with very strong thoughts from themselves (a strong Main Consciousness). With this, it indicates that this person can be saved and can distinguish good from bad. In other words, the person has good enlightenment quality. My Fashen will help eliminate most of such thought karma. This situation is seen frequently.”
That's what might have happened. Because of the anger, I felt that the realms where I couldn't stay at were destroyed. Or, hopefully, I was just offered a preview of what embracing anger can do. I felt desperate. I started crying and implored Master for help, to stop the destruction of those worlds and the death of the beings there. Then, the vision stopped.
Unfortunately, although I received such a strong lesson, over the years, I still allowed anger to manifest in me, because I considered it somehow justified. It grew strong and I couldn't easily make it disappear. From time to time, I fell again.
So, recently, I received a second lesson: I was at an event where I was supposed to interview some people. It was late in the evening and I was tired. At a certain point, somebody said something that offended me and at that moment, I felt anger growing. Of course, I remembered that as a practitioner I shouldn't allow it to manifest and that it was a test. I knew that I had to look within instead of getting all worked up, but it was too late. After just a few seconds of anger, before having time to stop it, I heard a big noise—the electrical panel of the building (the transformer), exploded! We remained without power and the event had to be cancelled.
It was the second time that Master had showed me the destructive effects of anger. I haven’t managed to completely resolve this problem, but I am working hard in this direction. I no longer want to accept the thought that others’ mistakes give me a right to be angry, although the mistakes may indeed impact our work. Sometimes, I succeed, other times, I do not. But I hope that with more Fa study and with the help of our venerable Master, I will win the fight with this demon called anger. I would like for my fellow practitioners to know how dangerous it is to indulge in such a feeling.
Fear Can Kill
Last spring, I went hiking in the mountains. At the beginning, the path I was walking on was fine. The weather was nice and the grass was green... just beautiful. But as I continued higher up the mountain, the path became covered in snow. I kept walking though, thinking that it surely wouldn’t get any worse. But it did. At a certain point, I found myself on a steep sloping valley. The path was invisible and I was stepping on melting snow, on a very inclined valley. Wherever I set my foot down, the snow did not support me, but slid down into the valley. I was in danger of falling. I was alone, with no one to help me. And I started to feel scared.
At that moment, I remembered what Master said in Cultivation Insanity in Lecture Six, of Zhuan Falun, “With this fear, it may indeed bring this person some trouble. Once you are scared, it is an attachment of fear. Isn’t that an attachment? Once your attachment surfaces, shouldn’t it be removed? The more you fear it, the sicker you will look. This attachment of yours must be removed. You will be made to learn from this lesson so that your fear can be removed, and you can advance.”
So I told myself that I should refuse to accept fear in my mind. I kept going toward the top of the mountain. There was no way back, for I would have fallen. Fear often tried to overcome me, but I did not accept it. When I reached the top of the mountain, I clearly heard a voice from the more amicable path I was about to take to descend, which said, "If you had been afraid, we would have killed you!"
Look Within, Not Outwards
Unfortunately, although I knew that a cultivator should only ever look inside themselves to find one’s own shortcomings, and should never look at what other people do, many times, I have become unhappy at other practitioners. I thought that some practitioners didn’t do enough or that they didn’t do a proper job... I used to be very critical. But Master kindly reminded me that that's not what a practitioner should do.
So, one day, when I was returning home, I looked up to a building and saw, through a large window, two people sitting motionless. I stopped and looked, intrigued by the fact that those people were like statutes. I started to wonder, “What are they doing? Are they watching TV? If so, why don't they talk to one another from time to time…” I spent a few minutes watching them. And an idea came to me—watching what other people are doing had made me stop walking! I have enlightened to the fact that in cultivation, we should concentrate on how to advance steadfastly and vigorously, not on what other people are doing. Otherwise we’ll lose time and energy, and we will be delayed in walking our own cultivation path, and in fulfilling our mission. I thanked Master for this valuable lesson.
Another mistake I made in cultivation was that, when I encountered interference in my Fa rectification work, I sometimes sent forth righteous thoughts without looking within, although Master has said that interference without a reason is not allowed. So the following thing happened to me— every evening, when I returned home from work, the stray dogs near my block started to bark at me, loudly. I refused to be afraid of them and sent forth righteous thoughts. This happened for a few evenings, one after another. One evening, the barking dogs almost reached me and I felt in danger of being bitten. They came close to me. That moment I thought, “There must be a reason they are allowed to do this. I must look within.”
The moment I had this righteous thought, I looked at the dogs—although still barking, their tails were wagging and they looked friendlier. Then they stopped barking and left. They have never bothered me since. I understood from that experience that, whenever I encounter problems, I shouldn't content myself with just sending forth righteous thoughts, but must look within.
Power of Righteous Thoughts
At the very beginning of my cultivation, when I understood that our mission was to save sentient beings, the first thing I did was to hand out truth clarification flyers to people on the street. At that time, I was full of notions that prevented me from doing this well. My gong wasn't high enough to dissolve evil factors that prevented people from obtaining the truth and probably the demons also interfered, trying to discourage me and make me give up. So, almost all the people I met on the streets refused to take flyers from me. One day, an idea came to me, “Why don't I send forth righteous thoughts? So, I started to send forth righteous thoughts and to my surprise, suddenly, almost everyone was taking flyers and thanking me.
I've witnessed the power of righteous thoughts many times. The most obvious is when our Epoch Times staff experience technical problems with video or recording equipment at events. Most of the time, the problem is fixed only a few moments after starting to send forth righteous thoughts.
One day, I was at a truth clarification activity, along with another veteran practitioner. It was a little after noon and quiet. Very few people were stopping to talk to us. Then suddenly, it started to rain. It was a cold rain and we were freezing. Despite the cold though, we refused to give up. We found some shelter under a tree and were determined not to leave. Then to our surprise, people on the street started to stop by and talk to us. They all received the truth clarification flyers and signed the petition we had with us.
I understood from that experience that when we sacrifice, we increase our virtue and upgrade our xinxing, and we impress the higher beings, so we are allowed to help save more sentient beings.
I had another stunning experience relating to sacrifice and compassion, last year in Munich. It was November, the day after the Fa conference in Munich. We were holding a truth clarification activity in the central market. It was snowing in the morning. When I arrived, there were only a few practitioners doing the exercises. My first thought was, “Wow, it's snowing so hard; I will get soaked. I'll have no place to change my clothes and its' going to be tough... I realized immediately that this was not a righteous thought, so I eliminated it and joined in with the exercises. 10 or 15 minutes later, the snow stopped.
All day long, we did exercises in turns, gave flyers to people, and clarified the truth. By the end of the evening, after long hours on the street in such cold weather, I guess practitioners had become tired. I felt that the activity had hit a deadlock. Fewer and fewer people were talking to us and the same with signing the petition to stop organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners in China. Suddenly, one of the organizers called for practitioners to come and do the meditation. Despite the fact that it was so cold and the day had felt so long, a few practitioners did take off their shoes and start to meditate. A few moments later, I felt an incredible wave of compassion filling the market. I can't describe in words, how beautiful it was. I wasn't the only one who had felt it. The people around us changed their attitude. Suddenly, they stood in line to sign the petition. I even heard some people saying, “God bless you!”
Don't Try to Solve Problems; Try to Eliminate Attachments
In the past, it was hard for me to deal with the cold. But in the office, I had a colleague who, in the winter, no matter how cold it was outside, used to widely open the windows. Beside the fact that I was cold, I was very upset by the fact that she was doing that although she knew perfectly well that I was cold and that it was bothering me a lot. No matter how many times I asked her to stop, she kept doing it. One day, as I was tired of getting upset and failing all my tests, I decided, “Okay, I'll handle the cold without getting angry with her. That's it, I won't be upset anymore.” And I wasn't.
A few minutes later, our coordinator came and asked her to work in another room if she insisted on keeping the window open, which she did for a while. So, the problem disappeared, only when I changed myself; not before.
To conclude, one day whilst in meditation, Master gave me a magnificent vision. It's hard to describe it in words: It was like a sky had flourished in front of my celestial eye—filled with millions of shining stars; brilliant and beautiful. And in front of such a magnificent scene, all the xinxing conflicts and frictions that used to torment me seemed petty and meaningless. I understand now that I should no longer complain about others or be afraid of hardship, but have to instead, concentrate on cultivation, so I can return home to the beautifully shining cosmos that I belong to—not alone, but with all the sentient beings that I have helped save and with my mission accomplished.
Thank you, Master!
Thank you, fellow practitioners!
Chinese version: https://www.zhengjian.org/node/239986