PureInsight | April 19, 2019
Greetings to Great Benevolent Master,
Greetings to my fellow practitioners,
I obtained the Fa in 2004, but the excitement and thrill I felt at the beginning did not last for long. I was soon worn down by things in ordinary life and did poorly in my cultivation. I retired last Feb. and thought I could finally catch up on my cultivation, but instead I met a series of trials and tribulations. Luckily, with Master’s protection I did not remain discouraged but stepped forward even more bravely and actively. I finally recovered the feeling of cultivating with the heart I once had. During this period, there was nothing so grand and spectacular that it could move people to tears. However, the more we approach the end of time, the more I feel that our cultivation lies exactly in our every thought and action. Cultivation is serious. Minor as a thing may be, we cannot really consider it trivial. Not only can we not treat it as something of little importance but we also have to do it well to make big things happen.
I would like to share my experience and understanding during the past two years of cultivation. Please correct me and point out anything you find improper.
1. Eliminating Attachments to Eating and Sleeping
Although eating and sleeping are minor things, they usually take up too much of our time.
I became a vegetarian before I practiced Falun Dafa. I did a lot of research and spent much time on things related to eating, hoping to have a healthy body. One day I suddenly asked myself, “Why all this trouble with being a vegetarian?” Not until I obtained the Fa and began practicing did I realize from the Fa the relationship a cultivator has with eating. Master mentioned in Zhuan Falun, “In order to fill his stomach, he ate whatever was available to him; he was not particular about what he ate as he just wanted to fill up his stomach and was without attachment to any particular food.”
Ever since then I have let go of many attachments to eating and made my life simpler. Any edible food suits me just fine regardless of whether it is tasty, nutritious, too chilly or too hot, organic or inorganic. Master talked about this in Teaching the Fa at the Conference in New Zealand, “If a cultivator is concerned about eating hot food, fearing that it leads to excessive internal heat, that’s an attachment. Plus it’s not quite like that, anyway. As a cultivator, you have to understand the Fa on the basis of the Fa and think about yourself with higher principles.”
Later I found that some practitioners around me eat very little. It even does not matter at all whether they eat or not. They skip eating to save time for Fa study or truth clarification. Compared with them, I still have much room for improvement.
As to sleep, I used to be a heavy sleeper. I fell asleep as soon as I lay down on the bed but had to struggle to get up. What used to happen in the early morning was that the alarm clock would ring several times every five minutes but I still couldn’t get myself out of bed. A few months ago I found that Master was getting stricter with my sleep. Whenever I sleep longer or lie down for an afternoon nap, I would wake up suddenly to read the time such as 1:44 or 14:44. One day I failed to get up on time for morning practice. Later, I suddenly woke up and saw the time, 5:44, on my cell phone. In Chinese the numbers “544” are pronounced similarly to the words “I die.” This realization frightened me so much that my sleepiness vanished right away. However, if I maintain my sleep time around 4 hours a day, I would not see those terrifying numbers!
We often receive messages from Shen Xun groups after midnight. I even found someone sending messages after 2:00 in the morning one time. I often wondered if these fellow practitioners did not need to sleep. I did not come to realize that I lag far behind those diligent practitioners on the issue of sleep until I read an experience sharing article written by a Taiwanese practitioner one day.
If we can reduce the time we spend on eating and sleeping, minor as they may be though, and use it for studying Fa, reciting Fa and truth clarification, are we also letting small things achieve great things?
2. Do Not Miss Things Big or Small as Opportunities to Actively Looking Inward
Master said in A Congratulatory Letter to the Fa Conference of Taiwan, “Cultivation is about working on the human mind and heart; it is about cultivating oneself. Only when you are able to examine yourself, looking inward amid problems, conflicts, difficulties, or when being treated unfairly, is it true cultivation. And only by doing so will you be constantly improving, staying on the right course of your cultivation journey, and progressing toward consummation!”
Master also taught in Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles, “Cultivation is about looking inside yourself. Whether you are right or wrong, you should examine yourself. Cultivation is about getting rid of human attachments.”
Looking inside no matter one is right or wrong, and still looking inside when faced with unfair treatment is not easy. Especially when we feel ourselves being wronged, it is difficult to calm down and look within. Maybe we cannot find attachments at that time, but we should not let it pass as a trivial thing. Maybe we can pinpoint the attachments when we think through the event again after some time. Take a conflict that happened to me during my last year’s stay in the mountain for example. I didn’t fully realize what my attachment was until one year later.
Early this year I spent some time looking closely within for my own attachments to “fame, fortune and sentiment.” I revisited some previous tests that I didn’t pass well. After two thorough and unconditional rounds of looking inward, I found attachments that “I did not even know of their existence while not looking, but got quite surprised at while looking within!” Let me provide an example. Before Shen Yun performed in Taichung this year, I bought a ticket for a fellow practitioner. However, after two days, she said she was having sickness karma and would like me to refund the ticket. I didn’t know how to return the ticket once bought and murmured to myself: Why was she always calculating for her own interest? In fact, I also knew then that there must be something in me that I should work on since I came across this situation. But I couldn’t seem to locate any attachment and just let it pass.
However, when I decided to dig deeper, to temporarily let go of the right and wrong on the surface, and instead look within to see whether I also have the attachment to personal gain, I carefully thought through again all the things, no matter how big or small, related to personal gain during the past few months. For example, the NT$500 we each paid for the class reunion banquet the other day was so expensive! But being a vegetarian, I hardly ate anything! In addition, the lunch box we ordered at our Fa-study site last time had less variety and a smaller serving compared to that I ordered at the same price of NT$70 while working as staff during the Shen Yun show. Several days ago, when I went to the Taiwan Bank to change some money into Hong Kong dollars, I found the exchange rate was 1 US dollar to 29.1 NT dollars, cheaper than that of last year, 1:30.5. That is, buying one US dollar meant earning one NT dollar. Should I exchange some more US dollars? ... And there’s more: Ever since I found that a major local supermarket has 40% discount on their fresh produce every few days, I often think about how I may get good bargains. I can even figure out the times and days they would have a 40%-off sale. I would be very glad if I managed to buy some things then because that means I had some good deals.
I criticized the practitioner for always pursuing her own interest. But looking through these thoughts and actions of mine, I realized that I was the one who calculated for my own interest. Isn’t this the attachment to “profit”?
After realizing these big and small attachments in my daily life, I keep rectifying myself. I know my xinxing has elevated. However, what surprised me most was my material body also underwent a significant change. My body suddenly started having a surge of warm currents every now and then several times a day during Fa study, practicing exercises, sending forth righteous thoughts or even during meals or doing chores. Sometimes the energy went from my head to my body like guanding; sometimes the energy spread from my abdomen to my limbs; sometimes the energy was very strong and I felt warm all over my body, even to the point of sweating and itching all over; sometimes the energy was weaker and I only felt warm for a short while. This condition continued for over two months.
I couldn’t stand cold since childhood and my limbs froze in winter. No matter how many clothes I wore, my two hands still felt like popsicles. After cultivation my feet started warming up a little but my hands remained frozen, sometimes even after practicing the five sets of exercises! However, when the surges of warm currents started washing through me, my original constitution changed: Cold no longer bothers me and even my “popsicle-like hands have defrosted! I finally got rid of the cold that had bothered me for some forty years.
Master said in Zhuan Falun, “Once you upgrade your xinxing, your body will undergo a great change. Upon xinxing improvement, the matter in your body is guaranteed to transform.”
Nothing is a coincidence. Everything we see, hear or come across, no matter how trivial it is, points out for us what we need to cultivate.
3. Take Every Detail of Truth Clarification Seriously
Truth clarification is a big thing, but every little detail in it should not be neglected either. When I go to the tourist spots to clarify the truth, I would carefully dress up so that everyday people have a good impression about Dafa disciples. I would put on the clean and neat outfit that’s required by our group and also some makeup and lipstick. This is one of those truth-clarification activities that are visible to everyday people, while other activities are not seen by them, such as mailing truth-clarification letters or transmitting color messages containing truth.
When I write the addresses for those truth-clarification letters at home, I would deliberately write the words on the envelopes very neatly and carefully attach the stamps squarely so that the sentient beings who receive our letters have a good impression. The other day I was talking about this with a fellow practitioner. He said that he would study Fa before writing on envelopes and send forth righteous thoughts throughout the entire process of writing the envelopes. I felt embarrassed for myself and impressed by him at the same time. It’s safe to say that my handwriting is better than his but my dedication and attention is far less than his. I only paid attention to what’s visible while he focused on the invisible aspect. What a difference between our efforts!
I brought my daughter with me to join the parade in Hong Kong on July 20, 2018. At noon an announcement was made that those who held the big banners were to gather at 12:30 after lunch. I didn’t hold a big banner this time and thought of taking my daughter to shop in a supermarket nearby after lunch since it was a rare chance for her to come to Hong Kong.
After we finished shopping and were about to step outside the supermarket, I suddenly got serious cramp in my feet. My soles were like two clenched fists and acute pain followed. I couldn’t move at all as if fastened to the ground. I told my daughter to wait a while for me without telling her why. I asked Master for help, negated the interference, and looked inward immediately. I found that I did not take seriously this activity of truth clarification and saving sentient beings in Hong Kong. After rectifying my mind, I sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the interference. A few minutes later I could walk again, not disturbing anyone.
Once a female practitioner shared what happened to her during a Hong Kong parade. She murmured something to herself because she didn’t agree with the way the male practitioner in front of her holding the banner, and then she tripped and fell hard right away.
Small things like these make me understand better that, no matter in which project we are involved, everything related to saving sentient beings is very serious, no matter big or small.
4. Let Family be My Help
When I first retired early last year, after obtained understanding from my family, my mother-in-law agreed that I had six months to do things that I wished to do, as a gift for my retirement. Therefore, I stayed regularly at Sun Moon Lake truth clarification spot, joined the parades in Hong Kong, attended the Fahui in New York, and went to stay at the mountain for three months.
As it turned 2018, the environment in my family started to change. Although my husband and children were quite independent, my father-in-law’s dementia is getting worse and his ability to take care of himself continues to worsen. He often makes a mess of himself and around our house and my mother-in-law gets mad about this. My mother-in-law not only has diabetes, her knees often hurt so much that she has difficulty walking around. Even the doctor couldn’t find the cause for her pain. Although one of my sisters-in-law, who is single, lives with us, she needs to have a dialysis three times a week and can barely take care of herself. Another sister-in-law, who is married, living diagonally opposite us, is usually busy with work because of her heavy financial pressure. After repeated consideration, I decided to overcome all obstacles and difficulties to continue staying regularly at the tourist site to clarify the truth every other week. I would also insist to join the Hong Kong parades within a year and stay for the rest of the year and do other projects that I can participate from home.
After I decided to continue staying regularly at the tourist site under such unfavorable circumstances, the Minghui website carried a timely article. It described that a practitioner in China was turned in by his neighbor and the reward was $600 RMB.
Then, I used the article to clarify the truth with my family.
I told them in detail yet mildly why I go to the tourist site. Eventually they really understood that I was trying to save people. I also told them firmly that if they support me to do such good deeds and save lives, they would certainly have a share of the reward in the future. Later I found that the sister-in-law living diagonally opposite us would help my father-in-law take a bath, and the other elderly sister-in-law living elsewhere would drive my father-in-law to the hospital for follow-up checkups. They both help thus easing much of my burden.
On the day before I go to the tourist site, I would make sure they have enough nutritional supplements and health and medical supplies for the week. I would also prepare enough money for their living expenses. After taking care of all these small things within the family, I can then feel assured to do my big thing of clarifying the truth at the tourist site.
5. Taking Care of Small Things to Pave the Way for Big Things
Besides taking seriously things big or small on the path of cultivation, we should try to prevent small things from getting in the way of our doing big things. For example, joining Hong Kong parades or staying at the tourist site to clarify the truth are big things. Taiwan is relatively close to Hong Kong, compared to practitioners in Japan, Korea or other Southeast Asian countries, and it’s more convenient for us in terms of expenses and time. However, I often hear some practitioners are held back by some petty things in life, which is really a pity.
At this pressing moment of saving lives, how many more opportunities do we have to join the parades in Hong Kong, to clarify the truth at the tourist sites, to promote Shen Yun, to validate the Fa and to save sentient beings? Can I afford to miss out time after time on the opportunities to achieve big things while being blocked by small things such as agonizing over or worrying about this or that?
Maybe during our cultivation there is nothing so grand and spectacular that can bring people to tears. However, ordinary and solid small things may still pave the way for a splendid path! We have reincarnated repeatedly life after life, undergone such a long time and experienced so many hardships and tribulations to come this far today! At this last fleeting moment, I would like to encourage my fellow practitioners to cultivate diligently together! May we live up to Master’s mercy and compassion. May we fulfill the mission that we vowed to do.
Thank Great Benevolent Master.
Thank my fellow practitioners.
Chinese version: https://www.zhengjian.org/node/248119