PureInsight | July 4, 2005
[PureInsight.org] Sometimes, after I had been doing Falun Gong truth-clarification work for more than ten hours, fellow practitioners would pay me great compliments, such as "your xinxing was upgraded to a new level" or "your enormous dedication to the Fa is truly admirable." I have always told them that I didn't feel I had upgraded my xinxing by working more hours, but I don't think they understood me. Recently when I studied the following passage of the Fa, I realized what I had wanted to convey.
Teacher said, "Mentally overcoming tribulations is the key to truly improving one's level. If one can make progress just by suffering physically, I would say that Chinese farmers suffer the most. Shouldn't they all become qigong masters, then? No matter how much you suffer physically, you do not suffer as much as they do, who work both hard and painstakingly in the field everyday under the baking sun. It is not that simple a matter. Therefore, we have said that to truly improve oneself, one should genuinely upgrade one's mind. Only then can one truly upgrade oneself." (From "Transformation of Karma" in Lecture Four in Zhuan Falun.)
I am not a farmer, but Teacher has nailed down my problem with his fine illustration. I have been educated in English for more than a decade. Although my command of English may not be on par with someone who grew up in an English-speaking country, I am very comfortable with writing in English and translating Chinese articles into English. Doing English translation work for Falun Gong truth-clarification work is almost like performing physical labor to me. In fact, it is comparable to a farmer hoeing his rice paddies. Teacher said, "Mentally overcoming tribulations is the key to truly improving one's level." (From Zhuan Falun) I understand perfectly that doing English translation work itself does not improve my cultivation level. For example, it is easy for me to spend ten hours translating a long, technical article into English, but it is difficult for me to humbly accept fellow practitioners' edits on my translation or to forgive fellow practitioners who delay the publishing of my translation work!
I have also noticed that many fellow practitioners with higher educational backgrounds share the same attachment with me: We apply our academic and professional knowledge and experiences and work very hard on the truth-clarification work, but that's just physical work. Oftentimes, we will consciously avoid mental tribulation while doing the truth-clarification work. Here are a few examples:
We are willing to stay up night after night for months to develop a software program for the truth-clarification work, but that's just physical work. But we are unwilling to spend a few hours to provide technical support to fellow practitioners that we know will give us mental tribulations and xinxing tests.
We are willing to brave against all kinds of adverse weather and spend many hours outdoors to promote Falun Gong or clarify the truth about Falun Gong, but that's just physical suffering. When we are not willing to cooperate with the coordinators of these events and insist on having our own way, we fail to overcome the mental tribulations.
I don't think that we will necessarily improve our xinxing by doing more truth-clarification work. If we avoid mental tribulations while doing the truth-clarification work, then we are merely suffering physically. If we do a lot of truth-clarification work but avoid mental tribulations, we will not improve our cultivation level just like a farmer will not become a qigong master by working hard in the fields.
I believe that many fellow practitioners share a similar sentiment: I do not fear the hard work of interacting with everyday people for the truth-clarification work, but I cannot take it when fellow practitioners criticize what I have done. This is just like Teacher has said.
Teacher said, "How can you increase gong simply by practicing the exercises a bit longer when the arms are sore from being raised and the legs are tired from standing? How can you increase gong with only a few more hours of exercise? […] It does not help upgrade one's level." (From "Transformation of Karma" in Lecture Four of Zhuan Falun.)
I have become increasingly aware of the importance of differentiating physical labor from mental tribulations. The reason is two-fold:
First, the old forces' dark minions will not stop harassing us because we do more truth-clarification work or suffer physically. It is our human thoughts and attachments that they are picking on. If we merely put in a lot of hours doing truth-clarification work like a farmer but harbor our attachments and fail to overcome xinxing tests, they will have a lot of excuses to exploit our attachments. There is a Chinese saying, "Without any attachments, a heart becomes steel." It means that, when a cultivator does not have any attachments, his heart will be as strong as steel and can resist all kinds of demonic attacks. Take climbing stairs as an analogy of improving our cultivation levels. Spending a lot of time on the truth-clarification work but avoiding xinxing tests is like treading on the same step on the staircase day after day. We will never be able to climb upstairs in this fashion. We will fall into the small worldly paths, thinking that we can improve our cultivation levels by suffering physically or that we will reach Consummation by doing a lot of work for the Fa. The truth is that we will only fall prey to the old forces' arrangements and hamper Teacher's Fa-rectification if we fail to eliminate our attachments and start overcoming mental tribulations.
Second, Teacher has taught us that we must attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism. Therefore, I think we are not cultivating ourselves for our own sakes, but for assisting Teacher with his Fa-rectification. When it comes to the task of eradicating all evil that damages the Fa, I will be more capable of fulfilling my responsibility if my xinxing level is higher because when my xinxing level is higher, I will have greater supernormal capabilities and my righteous thoughts will be purer.
Each time I read the facts of persecution against our fellow practitioners in China, my heart is overcome with regret. I regret that I have avoided many opportunities to upgrade my xinxing. As a result, I have failed to attain a higher xinxing level and have failed to eradicate more of the evil that persecutes my fellow practitioners. In fact, by avoiding mental tribulations, I have harbored my attachments and nourished evil.
We all wish to contribute to the truth-clarification work. However, it will not do if we simply put in more hours but fail to overcome mental tribulations.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2002/10/4/18754.html