PureInsight | October 15, 2001
A September 18 article on the Zhengjian web site entitled "Exterior Appearance and Interior Meaning" stirred me deeply. Modern people ardently pursue superficial beauty using exterior means like makeup, hair styling, and name-brand adornment. Consequently, the profound subtlety of the phrase, "appearance reflects the heart," is completely lost on everyday people.
I once paid much attention to my appearance. From my hair and general physical appearance to the nuances of my conduct, I went to extremes in paying attention to how others viewed me and desperately desired a good reputation. When I read Zhuan Falun for the first time, however, these attachments seemed to disappear almost immediately. Before even finishing the book, I began to regard my glamorous haircut as unimportant and had it cut. It was impossible for me to have short hair before, but I felt very easy with it due to the change in my xinxing. Like many other disciples, I gradually cared less and less about the pursuit for exterior beauty. I had many imperfections on my face before I began cultivation, but my face became very smooth soon after studying the Fa.
Later on in my cultivation, I became more keenly aware of my natural beauty and was taken by it when I looked in the mirror. It dawned on me then that for modern people obsessed with external beauty, their most beautiful moment is when they look in the mirror. Out of a deeply rooted selfishness, people wish for external beauty as reflected in a mirror. Therefore, their obsession does indeed give them a "beautiful" profile. But in reality, all that is actually reflected are their trivial attachments. The reflection is not beautiful at all. This is what comes of seeking external beauty.
On the contrary, removing attachments little by little gives practitioners an increasingly youthful appearance; their skin becomes more delicate and smooth. In "The cultivation of mind and body" of Zhuan Falun, (Chapter 5,) Teacher writes: "This will happen to our Falun Dafa practitioners. To tell a joke, young ladies always like to apply facial makeup and want to make their complexion fairer and better. I would say that if you truly follow a cultivation practice of mind and body, you will naturally achieve that goal. It is guaranteed that you will not need to use cosmetics."
Sometimes I am sensitive to the connection between subtle changes in my appearance and my xinxing. After practice, for instance, when I wash my face in front of the mirror, I detect changes in my skin and facial features and I realize my xinxing has been upgraded. On the other hand, when I am angry or annoyed, my skin and facial features appear blemished. Therefore, "Hearts tranquil, [the Ancients] had both fortune and longevity" (Hongyin, "Give up Attachments," provisional translation.) When modern people pursue external beauty without upgrading their xinxing, they are acting in delusion. Their appearance becomes increasingly artificial and they slide farther and farther away from the characteristic of the universe, Zhen-Shan-Ren. Only when one assimilates to "Zhen-Shan-Ren" is he or she genuinely beautiful, for then the beauty of the soul radiates through our pores.