Cultivating Our Buddha Nature

Yan Qiang

PureInsight | April 21, 2003

[] Teacher has always taught us that Falun Dafa is a Fa that requires us to cultivate our minds, and that we should assimilate to the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance" with a strong main consciousness. Although I have been trying to conduct myself with the Fa's principles in my daily cultivation practice, it seemed like I regarded the Fa's principle in the same way as the laws of society. In other words, when my xinxing (or mind nature) hadn't reached a level where I would naturally conduct myself with Fa-principles, I would cunningly try to get away with violating the Fa-principles to pursue personal gains. Although it may not have been obvious to anyone else that I left the righteous path of the Fa, I had actually concealed my Buddha nature with my selfish attachments. Fortunately, I have recently purged this attachment through cultivation with a strong main consciousness.

I am a Canadian resident. Because I used to receive unemployment benefits, I am qualified to apply for scholarship funding offered by the Canadian government. All applicants must have an interview with the decision-making officer, who selects the most qualified candidate based on their conditions. From an objective perspective, it was almost impossible for me to get that scholarship funding, considering my family income, educational background, and other conditions. Yet at that time, I really wanted to get the scholarship money. I even kept sending forth righteous thoughts, hoping to eliminate all demonic interference that might obstruct my wishes. I somehow felt that if I should fail to get the scholarship money, it would have to be caused by demonic interference. I also decided that Teacher would surely arrange the granting of the scholarship. During the interview, I exaggerated many of my answers to make my application more favorable. By the end there was not much truth in my statements. Since I had done a detailed research on their policy of approval prior to the interview, the officer was very pleased with my specially tailored answers. I passed the first round of interviews, which meant I had a 90% chance of getting the grant.

Despite my thorough preparation, I was pleasantly surprised at the outcome of the interview. On the bus back home, I was completely overcome with joy and triumph. I was also very pleased with my ability to quickly accommodate myself to new circumstances during the interview, an interpersonal skill that I learned in everyday society. I also celebrated the absence of demonic interference in my heart.

Then suddenly, I remembered the sincerity in the officer's eyes. I remembered how much he had trusted my words -- my exaggerated words. Guilt started to take over my mind. When the bus made its next stop, I realized that I had taken the wrong bus and was headed in the opposite direction from my home. After getting off the bus, I suddenly saw that I had become completely lost in the human world, just as I had gotten lost on my way home now. I was lost because I had covered up my Buddha nature with selfish desires. I decided that I had not been determined enough to cultivate Dafa from the bottom of my heart; therefore, my main consciousness did not take over to support my compassion when the temptation of personal benefit appeared. Take this application for the scholarship fund as an example. I thought of only getting the scholarship money, and nothing about the interests of the Canadian government. In my mind, the government was a huge resource that would never dry up, so I needn't worry about draining its resources. I took it for granted that the government should help and support me. Therefore, when I gave dishonest answers on my application to the scholarship fund, I did not think for a second that I would hurt anyone's interests with my lies. After all, the concept of a government was too abstract for me to associate with my tangible life. Now that I think of it, actually every entity is a life.

I began to picture the Canadian government as a big old bear that is sincere and kind, and I had failed to return its kindness. Instead, I had cheated the bear and had taken advantage of its gullible, trusting nature, in an attempt to rob it of some benefits which I did not deserve. When I made a mental picture of the Canadian government as a kind old bear, I felt a mighty compassion restored in me. I suddenly saw some of the unpleasantness the large Canadian government must face, and how each citizen must help and cooperate with it to overcome this negative side. For instance, with a limited amount of welfare resources available to only some of its citizens, the Canadian government must be able to rely on our honesty when we apply for social welfare, so that the benefits can go to those who need them the most. The exaggerated answers on my application might help me secure the scholarship money, but it would very likely cost the opportunity of even less fortunate people. Thus I would harm not only this nice big bear, but also those other people. An even worse mistake I made was to abuse righteous thoughts in eliminating any interference that might undermine my hungry pursuit of personal gains.

Actually, before applying for the scholarship fund, I knew that I should comply with the principle of truthfulness, but I was so attached to the scholarship money that I could not bear to think of missing the opportunity of getting the scholarship fund just because I had to tell the truth in the interview. I even sought Fa-principles to justify my selfish pursuit of the scholarship fund, and to ease my conscience. For instance, I would persuade myself that I was only doing my best in harmonizing with everyday people's society, or harmonizing my family by helping resolve their financial problems by using the scholarship fund. That was when my Buddha-nature was covered with my attachments to personal benefit and self-interest. When my Buddha nature was restored, I immediately regretted having walked astray from the path home. After this, I felt my main consciousness exceptionally predominant and determined in cultivation. I knew that nothing was more important than returning home with Teacher, or than sticking to the path that would bring me to my original true self. It also became clear to me that my heart must be righteous, and that I mustn't try to attain personal gain when I send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the old forces' interference, or when I think I am walking on the path arranged by Teacher.

After I arrived at home, I shared with my non-practitioner husband my idea of thinking for the Canadian government. At first, he did not agree with my idea, for he thought it was ridiculous that little people like us should think for the government. After I explained the principle of truthfulness to him with the analogy of the kind old bear, I could see a thought of shame and also approval in his eyes. I knew in that moment that his Buddha nature and compassion had also come forward.

I withdrew my application to the scholarship fund. I also corrected my resume before I sent it out for job applications. I took out all the exaggerated, untruthful parts that might help me land a job but might mislead my potential employers. With each I lie removed from my resume, I knew that my prospect of employment might become dimmer, but my determination to return home with Teacher had become all the stronger. I felt so peaceful and glorious in my heart.

I have learned from my recent cultivation experience the preciousness of Buddha-nature. Cultivation practice is not about avoiding "breaking the law" of the Fa and secretly getting away with breaking the law. We should maintain a clear main consciousness so that our Buddha-nature will come forward and motivate us to assimilate to the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance" from the bottom of our hearts.

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