PureInsight | February 28, 2020
Greetings venerable Master!
Greetings fellow practitioners!
When Shen Yun’s curtain lifts and Master’s voice sounds in the venue, “Follow me to descend to the human world to save sentient beings,” I instantly feel Master’s immeasurable mercy passing across the universe and penetrating my whole body. I feel my body trembling, my eyes wet, and my long-standing vows echoing in my heart. Both my body and mind have experienced the unspeakable ease and joy of karma elimination and salvation.
Looking back at my cultivation practice over the past twenty-two years, I am so grateful to be under Master’s constant care. Today, I would like to share with fellow practitioners my recent experiences in cultivation practice.
I. Believe in Master and the Fa, Pass the Life & Death Test
In late 2016, I experienced a tremendous physical tribulation. I could not eat or sleep through the night due to stomach pain. One month later, I started to lose weight. Within a few days I lost dozens of pounds, and I looked like a skeleton.
The severe pain shifted from my stomach to my lower back in the tailbone area. At that time, my consciousness started to become clouded, and my body was extremely weak. Yet, one thought was very clear in my mind: I do not acknowledge the arrangements of the old forces; I want to return home with Master. During the indescribable pain and jumbled threads of thoughts, I focused all my strength on one thought – I am Master’s disciple; the old forces are not worthy of testing me. Even if there is a loophole, I will be able to rectify it in the Fa.
Local practitioners sent forth righteous thoughts with me. We studied the Fa and did the exercises together. Seeing that I was not so clear-minded and unable to finish reciting “Lun Yu”, some practitioners were very concerned and even thought of sending me to the hospital. My non-practicing family members worried about me very much and were planning to forcibly take me to the hospital.
However, I clearly knew that I am a practitioner and that Master had already purified my body to an illness-free state. All the suffering I experienced was an illusion. They were also good things, meant for me to improve my xinxing, transform karma, and upgrade my level. I thus told my family that since I was clear-minded and could speak for myself, even if I am sent to the hospital, the hospital would respect my decision if I insisted on not being treated. I also told them that there is no difference whether the person goes to the hospital or not if his life is not meant to end yet. By not using medication, the person will only suffer a bit and therefore eliminate some karma in the process. However, if the person has already reached the end of his life, the hospital will not be able to change the result either. On the contrary, the life of a practitioner can be changed. Master has rearranged the way of cultivation practice for us. Only by walking on this path can there be hope of salvation. In this case, forcibly sending me to the hospital would make me lose the only hope, causing real harm to me. I said to them that if they really cared about me, please chant, “Falun Dafa is good! Truth-Compassion-Tolerance is good!” and beg Master to save me. My family members respected my choice and started to say, “Falun Dafa is good! Truth-Compassion-Tolerance is good!”
At the time, I could only do the sitting meditation with a soft mat on my back. The pain in my body far exceeded the pain from crossing my legs in the double lotus position. Therefore, I was more willing to do the sitting exercises than the standing ones. However, as a practitioner, I knew that I should finish the five sets of exercises every day. Although I was extremely weak, in unbearable pain, and could not even hold the wheel for two minutes while doing the second exercise, I was determined. With support from Master, I managed to finish the entire standing exercises although I was wet with perspiration all over. Afterwards, I would shiver in fear at the thought of doing the second exercise. I would postpone the exercise until the afternoon, but in the end I kept encouraging myself to be persistent and would eventually finish all the exercises every day.
Master said in Path from Essentials for Further Advancement II, “A cultivator has no role models. The path each person is to take is different, because each person’s foundation is different, the sizes of their various attachments are different, the characteristics of their beings are different, their jobs among everyday people are different, their family environments are different, and so on. These factors determine that each person’s path of cultivation is different, that how they get rid of their attachments is different, and that the sizes of their tests are different. Therefore, amidst the manifestations of things it’s very hard to find a path that others have made, and it’s even less possible for a person to get a ride down one.”
I knew very clearly that I should be righteous in both mind and action, but the process of recovery was much slower than I had imagined. The old forces seemed to deliberately prolong the tribulation to lessen my confidence and righteous thoughts. I kept telling myself not to be discouraged. Although I could not live up to my own expectations and had procrastinated along the way of cultivation practice, I had, after all, followed the powerful wave of Fa-rectification until that moment. I knew I must follow Master on the path to return home.
I felt I was reborn piece by piece. The pain started in the stomach, then moved to my right lower abdomen, then my heart, kidneys and lungs, and eventually my limbs. Each stage was very painful. In the process, I could only lie down in one position, and I could not fall asleep. My head was like a train running with tens of thousands of murmurs resounding. Almost all of my hair fell out. I yawned a lot. I had a scratch on my forehead. Since my immune system was completely down, the scratch became infected. In short, all physical functions of my body had ceased except the part to sustain my life.
Every day, I insisted on studying a lot of Fa, practicing the exercises, and looking inwards. From the start of my cultivation practice to recent years, I found all my attachments, bit by bit. I saw that I did not have the kind of purity and refinement I had at the beginning of my cultivation; I was not as strict with myself as I was in my daily life. When conflicts occurred, I tried to figure out the problem but did not really look within myself; sometimes, I let it go on the surface but not in my heart. I found that I treated doing things as cultivation practice, and in the process of doing things, I became anxious and had the heart of validating myself instead of the Fa. I saw that I started to seek comfort and the enjoyment of ordinary people, and I would not listen to criticism and resented many things.
Take resentment for example: it shadowed the path of my cultivation practice and was hard to eliminate. I considered myself an easygoing person. I would rather take a loss myself instead of let others suffer, but I did not realize that this kind of generosity and kindness was not compassion cultivated from eliminating selfishness. Deep in my heart I wanted to be recognized. I hoped that people would praise me, and I was afraid that people did not know how much I had suffered. It boiled down to the attachment to reputation. When a conflict occurred, I would feel that I was not wrong and instead had sacrificed a lot. Then I would feel greatly wronged and treated unfairly. I could not help complaining to fellow practitioners. The more I talked about it, the more upset I became. I had been in such a state for a long time. Although I was aware of the attachment, I did not prioritize getting rid of it. My cultivation stayed on the surface. Once I realized how bad this attachment was, I decided to eliminate it. When sending forth righteous thoughts, I added the thought of getting rid of the attachment of resentment. I believe it is a living entity in other dimensions and can be disintegrated by righteous thoughts.
I also realized I had another problem of being careless. I rushed in doing many things and felt that it would be fine as long as the general direction was right. I did not put my heart into the details pointed out by my fellow practitioners, nor did I try to find the attachment behind it. I did not pay much attention to what I heard or came across in everyday life. I even thought that my mind was generous because I did not fuss on small things. In fact, it was because I had not formed the habit of looking inwards. A lot of so-called trivial things we encounter in life and at work are actually to cultivate our stubborn heart. Without careful attention, we may miss opportunities for improvement, which the evil may use as excuses to carry out its persecution. Master taught us in Fa Teaching at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference, “However, you shouldn’t treat the little issues you have like they are nothing. The evil will seize upon any gaps. Many practitioners have even passed away on account of little things; it really was due to something very minor.”
Local practitioners organized group studies and sharing with regards to my situation. They found attachments among the group such as their dependence on me in Dafa projects, and many had the thought that I cultivated very well and treated me as a role model. They also found various negative thoughts.
Since the tribulation lasted about half a year, and it seemed there was no great improvement on the surface, I was worried. The greatest pain was that I did not know which attachments the old forces had exploited to persecute me, nor did I know if I could pass the test. In the midst of extreme pain, the thought of simply giving up my flesh body drifted through my mind. Fortunately, I was able to overcome it with righteous thoughts and become firm to follow the path that Master has arranged.
Afterwards, I did not ponder over my attachments anymore; instead, I ascertained that I had been a genuine Dafa disciple who had walked through my cultivation path for twenty years, clarifying the truth, saving sentient beings, getting rid of attachments, and upgrading my xinxing. Therefore, the old forces were not worthy of testing me. Even though I have many attachments, they will be removed upon walking the path of cultivation arranged by Master.
Gradually, I began to recover, and my weight began to increase from 70 pounds to over 110 pounds. New hair also grew in. The skin on my hands and feet shed, and then new skin grew. In this rebirthing process, my heart was filled with both gratitude and regret since I could not imagine how much Master had endured for me. I just hope that I will cultivate more diligently so that Master will no longer worry about me.
After this tribulation, I've really realized the seriousness of cultivation. I felt that I had not cultivated my heart well in the past twenty years, especially in recent years because I did not know how to look within. Practitioners should have developed a mechanism of looking within instead of pushing things out and defending ourselves when conflicts occur. Only when one considers oneself a practitioner at all times, looking within and rectifying every thought, can one walk on the right path to the future. Master said in, Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A., “But even so, if our righteous thoughts are very strong, then we're in line with a law in the cosmos, and this law holds in both the old cosmos and the new one: a being's choice is up to him, even if he made some kind of vow in history. At critical moments it's still up to him what he wants to do.”
Master does not acknowledge the arrangements of the old forces, who are simply not worthy of testing us. As disciples, as long as we take only the path of cultivation arranged by Master, we will be able to completely negate the arrangements of the old forces. To thoroughly negate the arrangements of the old forces requires us to strictly look inwards according to the standards of the Fa. We should work hard to improve our xinxing and remove attachments. This is the way to truly take Master’s arrangements.
II. Negate the interference from the old forces and dissolve divisions
Master said in Realms from Falun Dafa Essentials for Further Advancement, “A wicked person is born of jealousy. Out of selfishness and anger he complains about unfairness towards himself. A benevolent person always has a heart of compassion. With no discontentment or hatred, he takes hardship as joy. An enlightened person has no attachments at all. He quietly observes the people of the world deluded by illusions.”
After the tremendous tribulation and endurance of pain, I started to feel that I have really begun to ascend from the realm of “selfishness and anger and complaint about unfairness towards myself”. With the barrier of karma and the interference of human mentality, I feel that both my body and mind have experienced unspeakable ease. For a period of time, whether it was interference I ran into or conflicts that occurred in cultivation practice, I felt extremely comfortable.
Then Master rearranged my cultivation environment for me. I left the simple, pure, and small city for a relatively bigger and more complicated city on the West Coast for the Epoch Times.
Before I left, fellow practitioners warned me not to go because the cultivation environment was too complicated. I considered it carefully from the perspective of a practitioner and realized that my path of cultivation is Master’s arrangement. Only by taking the path planned by Master can I fulfill my mission. I should not avoid facing difficulties. I reminded myself to measure things from the standpoint of Dafa and only do things that a Dafa disciple is supposed to do. I also realized that only by following the right path and dealing with things with “the righteous enlightenment of selflessness and altruism” as requested by Master can I live up to Master’s expectations (from Falun Dafa Essentials for Further Advancement: Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature).
However, when I encountered various resistance and interference during the project’s advancement and saw all kinds of human mentality and actions, when I came across something that was not right according to the Fa, I found my heart was stirred up from the bottom, and I began to generate some negative thoughts and resistance. I even started to complain to other practitioners involved. What happened in this human dimension was that quite a few contracts that should have been signed were suddenly postponed, or clients changed their minds. I became depressed.
One morning, after group study of the Fa in The Epoch Times office, I was ready to go and meet a client. When I approached my vehicle, I saw bird droppings all over both sides of the front doors. A fellow practitioner on my team joked, “What’s wrong with you? How come the birds picked your car?” My heart was stirred up, and I thought, “Yeah, what’s wrong with me? What is Master trying to tell me?”
I recalled an article published recently on the Chinese Epoch Times website. It mentioned that in order to prevent the three major media from clarifying the truth, the Chinese Communist Party has infiltrated into those media to create conflicts and internal confusion. I realized that in the process of pushing the project forward, when some fellow practitioners did not cooperate and behave like practitioner, I did not respond with genuine compassion and kindness. The negative thoughts generated had actually fallen unconsciously into the traps of the old forces, causing divisions to gradually form.
Master taught us in Further Understanding from Falun Dafa Essentials for Further Advancement, “What you do then, with a pure heart, will be the best and most sacred.” I noticed that my own mentality had deviated from purity. Although I had tried to communicate with fellow practitioners frankly and point out the problems, I still unconsciously conveyed some negative thoughts. It could be traced to selfishness since I had actually tried to clear myself and show my own innocence. It is precisely what the old forces wanted to achieve. I told myself in my heart that I should cultivate my speech from now on and never spread anything negative. I recalled in sales training how an everyday person talked about getting rid of negative thinking. He said that even if you feel you are completely innocent, for instance, somebody hit your car in the parking lot, you should not think it has nothing to do with you because you can choose how to respond. If you respond calmly and rationally, you are using positive thinking; otherwise if you become very angry and irrational, then you are using negative thinking. As a practitioner, we should follow Master’s teachings and treat everybody compassionately, including fellow practitioners. At the same time, we should look within and find our own attachments.
At a weekly sales meeting, a local practitioner read Master’s teachings about divisions from Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference, “ Disciple: How have the divisions among fellow cultivators come about? And what can be done to dissolve them?
Master: When human attachments collide, and people refuse to look within, with each viewing things with human thinking and looking down on the other, divisions will form over the course of time. And just like ordinary people, they will cease to get along. Instead, look at things with righteous thoughts, and if both parties can manage to search for their own shortcomings, and truly each do better, then you will see the other party change and that person will be looking for his own shortcomings. If you can do that, there won’t be any divisions coming about. Dissolving the divisions is no different. You both cultivate the same Fa, and you both have the same predestination. So if there’s something you simply can’t get over, then have a heart-to-heart discussion with the other person and really be willing to acknowledge any shortcomings of yours that he may point out. Won’t the problem be resolved, then?”
Yes, to eliminate the divisions, we have to look inwards and cultivate ourselves and be kind to others. In cultivation, according to the standard of the Fa, we should rectify every thought, every word, and every behavior of ours and jump out of the trap of selfishness of the old cosmos. In my dreams, Master also reminded me of sending forth more righteous thoughts by showing me how powerful my own righteous thoughts could be even in the human dimension. I realized that divisions occur because the old forces take advantage of practitioners’ human mentalities. If we can send forth righteous thoughts and simultaneously upgrade to a higher level of understanding of the Fa, the divisions will disappear.
As Dafa disciples, we inevitably become complacent because we are the disciples of the Lord Buddha and because we became Dafa disciples in the Fa-rectification period. There is an old saying, “Mature rice is always bent over.” Dafa disciples are all capable, yet Master has given each of us different abilities in the process of validating Dafa, saving sentient beings, fulfilling our mission, and honoring our sacred oath.
I am very grateful for such an opportunity to calmly reflect on my own cultivation process because cultivation is to improve. When stuck in a state for a long time, we will inevitably become indifferent and even self-centered. I hope that at the last moment of this Fa-rectification, all of our Dafa disciples will be able to treat cultivation rationally. Everything is based on the Fa; good and evil is the standard. We should no longer be used by the old forces to form divisions; instead, we should purify our cultivation environment and form an indestructible whole body.
Thank you, Master. Thank you, fellow practitioners.
Please kindly point out anything improper.
Chinese version: http://www.zhengjian.org/node/245195