Observations from My Cultivation

A Dafa Practitioner

PureInsight | November 25, 2002

Observation 1:

Recently, I've witnessed several quarrels between fellow practitioners on a local Fa promotion team. Although I'm not part of the team and I was able to offer them my suggestions in a kind way and help them reconcile privately, it really bothered me when they bickered among themselves. I felt very anxious that they resolve the differences, and was very worried and sad for the team. Tonight, I looked inward trying to identify the reason why their conflicts bothered me so much. I remembered Teacher's words in the "Falun Buddha Fa, Lecture at the Conference in Singapore," "If you can examine yourselves on every matter you come across, I'd say that you're really remarkable and that nothing can impede you on your path to Consummation. Yet when we run into problems, we often look outwards—'Why are you treating me this way?'—and feel that we've been treated unfairly, instead of examining ourselves. This is the greatest and most fatal obstacle for all living beings. […] If a person can do that, I'd say that on this path—on this path of cultivation—and for the eternity of his existence, nothing can stop him. It's truly the case." "Not only should the two people with the friction examine themselves, but also the bystanders who happen to observe the incident should examine themselves. Then you'll really improve by leaps and bounds." I realized that I hadn't studied the Fa as diligently as I should. That's the reason why I've been stagnating at the same level for such a long time, and why I keep encountering similar tests.

I felt sincerely that I should pay more attention to my own cultivation. I should also keep a peaceful mind, and correct my attitude. I determined my goals for cultivation and wrote them down so I don't forget them:

 Truly study the Fa in peace, send righteous thoughts, and clarify the truth. Meanwhile, do not forget to practice the exercises.
 Make a true effort to understand Dafa's profound meanings with my heart. "Following [the Fa] in everything, Compliance is cultivation." (From "Solid Cultivation" in Hongyin.)
 Truly cultivate compassion to attain the level of an enlightened being, a realm of pure righteous selflessness, as well as enormous compassion, infinite mercy, genuine freedom, and full control.

Next, I decided that I needed to get rid of the many attachments I've picked up in the human world, as well as the bad habits I've had for years, in order to attain to my goals. Therefore, I listed all the attachments that surfaced while I tried to be the peacemaker in others' arguments, and wrote them down in my cultivation diary:

 I had a pursuit for a comfortable and easy life. Therefore, I did little help other people.
 I talked too much, but listened little to others.
 I looked outward and complained about others' attachments. I rarely searched inward for my own flaws.
 I was tolerant of myself, but not others.

I believe that, when his true nature emerges, a genuine Dafa practitioner will know how to effortlessly perfect the holy missions in the Fa-rectification period.

Finally, I'd like to share Teacher's words with everyone as an encouragement for us all. In "Upgrading Xinxing" in the Lecture Four of Zhuan Falun, Teacher said,

"As practitioners, you will suddenly come across conflicts. What should you do? You should always maintain a heart of compassion and kindness. Then, when you run into a problem, you will be able to do well because it gives you room to buffer the confrontation. You should always be benevolent and kind to others, and consider others when doing anything. Whenever you encounter a problem, you should first consider whether others can put up with this matter or if it will hurt anyone. In doing so, there will not be any problems. Therefore, in cultivation practice you should follow a higher and higher standard for yourself.

Observation #2:

A week later, many tribulations occurred in my life, one after another. Each tribulation was more heart wrenching than the previous one. Although I managed to smooth things over with a peaceful heart, I could not stop thinking of them afterwards. When I finally discovered the two most persistent attachments exposed in these most painful tribulations, I confided in my closest fellow practitioner. I never expected that instead of encouraging me in my cultivation, she would add even more pain to my tribulations. Although I thought I was close to overcoming these tribulations by locating the root cause, I actually made the situation even more complicated and difficult.

Why on earth would I encounter these tribulations? It's because of my shallow understanding of the Fa. I'd deviated from the righteous cultivation path and went to extremes in my cultivation practice. I thought, 'As long as I can contribute to Dafa, I would give up everything in my life.' The result of going to extremes is that I have been living in economic hardship. Although I can still get by, and regard the tribulations in my daily life with a peaceful heart, my reduced circumstances cause many difficulties in my personal cultivation practice. Therefore, I can speak from my own experience that we should mind Teacher's words: do not go to extremes during our cultivation practice. Teacher has told us many times that (paraphrasing) we should cultivate in an upright and dignified manner and conform to everyday people to the greatest extent while we cultivate. In addition, while others treat me unfairly, I should tolerate their behavior to keep expanding my capacity for tolerance. Meanwhile, I should seek inward and ask myself in retrospection if I could do better, display more compassion, and be more considerate of others. It's only when I can accomplish this that I can live up to the title of a genuine practitioner.

I enjoy cultivation. How wonderful it is to be a cultivator! Deep down in my heart, I'm very clear about that one thing. No matter how hard cultivation may be, as long as I remember that I'm a cultivator, and am willing to discipline myself with the Fa at all times, I'll be able to maintain xinxing, avoid conflicts, and reduce a major conflict to a minor one, and eventually to nothing. Sometimes there is another voice in my ear: "How difficult it is to cultivate!" Well, it's difficult because sometimes I just don't see my own attachments, and become so sorrowful when I feel I've been severely hurt by others. It's difficult because even under these circumstances I still need to say, "It's nothing!" with a smile to those who have hurt my feelings.

Cultivation practice may be very difficult, but I've decided that I came to this life for Dafa, so I shall never give up. All I need to do is to take every step firmly on the road of cultivation. It's not the amount of my contribution to Fa-rectification work that matters. It's not the level of my personal cultivation that matters. What really matters is that: We are Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples. Our every demeanor and every word will affect the reputation of Dafa, and the whole body of Fa-rectification work. The most recent "To Fellow Practitioners" says, "Every Dafa disciple will have understandings of Fa-rectification and every specific element of Dafa work that are not completely the same from person to person. Every thought by every Dafa disciple is being watched by countless Gods. When encountering something, everyone might have considered things quite thoroughly and carefully based on individual understandings. If we can think about whether it is possible to reach the result that we want to achieve using the other party's suggestion, consider their ideas before ours and carry out the task together as one, then this thought is displaying our realm. The Buddhas, Daos and Gods in the heavens see this as very important, yet as for how this specific task is carried out, it actually becomes secondary."

A few months ago, a fellow practitioner shared a short story from Zhengjian. In it, a group of cultivators is hurrying to a mountain to seek a God, hoping to take a God qualification exam. On their way to the mountain, they see an elderly lady with a crying baby in her arms. The woman asks each of them to pick a peach from a tree for the hungry baby. All of them refuse to lend the poor old woman and the baby a hand because they are in a hurry to find the God in the mountain and take the exam. They decide that they simply cannot spare any time or energy for the miserable old lady and little baby. Then Zhou Yi Gong passes by. He decides that the exam can wait, that he must help the elderly lady and the baby. So he climbs up the tree, and the moment his hand touches the fruit, he is brought to the cave before the God who was disguised as the old lady. The God takes him as a disciple because he has proven that he is qualified for the realm of consummation.

I wanted to share this story with all fellow practitioners one more time because I think the moral of the story is very important. Even though we are shouldering very important missions, we must not forget for one moment to keep a righteous mind and to cultivate our compassion. It's only when we genuinely, constantly cultivate compassion that we will be genuinely compassionate toward all sentient beings, and be truly able to offer salvations to all beings.

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2002/11/10/19019.html

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