Notes of Cultivation: Being “Cleansed” (Part Three)

– Looking Back on My Cultivation Journey
Tian Zhen

PureInsight | December 29, 2020

[] Sometimes I think about my cultivation, especially while studying the Fa or reading fellow practitioners’ experience-sharing articles. When I read Fa teachings about righteous thoughts and actions, negating the old forces’ arrangements, seizing the time to save sentient beings, and various Fa-truths, I usually think of my current xinxing, thoughts, and actions or an incident in the past. Compared to the criteria and requirements of the Fa and to the power of some fellow practitioners validating the Fa and saving sentient beings while faced with tribulations, I see how far my xinxing and actions are from the standards and how disappointing they were when I faced tribulations.

Sometimes I look back at my past cultivation journey, usually certain parts instead of the whole path. However, no matter how I look at it, I cannot see much that is gratifying in my twenty-plus-year cultivation journey. Almost everything eye-catching are flaws, regrets, mistakes, and big falls!

This troubles me more and more. It also compels me to look more deeply into my past cultivation and find the reasons why I left so many flaws and regrets along my cultivation journey, so I can learn lessons from the past and walk a better path in the future. I found that the reason is actually obvious and quite simple: all the flaws and regrets were caused by my human attachments, or to be more precise, by my main consciousness failing to gain enough righteous thoughts and wisdom from the Fa to restrain my human thinking and attachments.

In the beginning of Lecture One of Zhuan Falun, Master explicitly reveals, “I’ll tell you a truth: The entire cultivation process for a cultivator is one of constantly giving up human attachments.” As I see it, this sentence of the Fa seems plain and easy to understand, yet it unveils a genuine heavenly secret, the essence and core of cultivation, the Fa-truth that we must continually and strictly follow along our cultivation path. At different levels, the standards for giving up human attachments are different, and the manifestations also differ. Even cultivators’ knowledge and understandings of human attachments per se differ at different levels. However, on any level it is extremely important and fundamental for cultivators to eliminate human attachments. I have gained my own insight into this point through my personal cultivation.

My understanding is: this process of “constantly giving up human attachments” is also part of the process of being “cleansed”, and the process of being “cleansed” involves cleansing and eliminating karma and other aspects to ultimately achieve the goal of “fulfilling lives” (Teaching the Fa in Washington D.C. in 2018). Fundamentally, all these are done by Master, and only Master can do them. Looking back at my cultivation journey, I can see that I have been “cleansed” in the Fa step by step. Yet those flaws and regrets, no matter how big or small or how badly I wish they had not occurred, have all become facts. They are also part of what manifested in this human world during the process of my life being “cleansed”.

In the environment of mainland China that has been complicated and corrupted by the old forces, compared to other ordinary people, I already almost had a pure heart and few desires before cultivating in Dafa. I took fame, fortune, and qing pretty lightly, and I had no addictions or bad hobbies. Therefore, before the persecution, I did not encounter resistance in many aspects of cultivation. In other words, I did not fall for the societal temptations that could hinder my cultivation.

However, the old forces made the principle of mutual generation and mutual inhibition in the three realms absolute. They made arrangements for every Dafa disciple that would not be acknowledged by Fa-rectification and the new cosmos. I am not excluded, so in my cultivation I have inevitably met with difficulties imposed by the old forces. The difficulties have mainly to do with two stubborn human attachments that I have, one of which is fear. My other attachments are weaker and, at least as I see it, have had a minor negative impact on my cultivation. Yet these two attachments are an exception and have played an impeditive and destructive role along my cultivation journey. The tribulations I went through after the start of the persecution were largely directly related to these two attachments. This is what I saw after looking back and examining my cultivation journey. I know that this was an evil arrangement imposed by the old forces in the name of “testing” me, and I also clearly know that Master’s higher arrangements can outwit those of the old forces.

Fear and Regrets
“Fear can cause one to make mistakes, and fear can cause one to lose a predestined opportunity. Fear is a death trap on a human being’s journey toward divinity” (The Essentials of Diligent Progress Vol. III: “Pass the Deadly Test”). One cannot just easily stride over this “death trap”. The bigger the fear, the larger the trap seems. If one does not have strong righteous thoughts and cannot let go of life and death, how could one easily stride over the “death trap” openly and nobly? A cultivator is not afraid of death because of strong righteous thoughts stemming from his or her assimilation to the Fa and ascension in the Fa, which is not directly related to human boldness or bravery. Righteous thoughts can repress and eliminate fear and enable a Dafa disciple to effectively counteract the persecution, save people, and validate the Fa. But when one lacks righteous thoughts, fear will gain the upper hand, and human thoughts and attachments will play a negative role, compromising one’s wish to validate the Fa and potentially leading a cultivator to make mistakes and fall. Therefore, whether one can stride over the “death trap” of fear is fundamentally an issue of whether one can repress one’s human attachments with righteous thoughts.

Fear interferes with different cultivators to different extents, especially in the persecution. During the period of personal cultivation before the persecution, I did not think I had fear because back then no elements in cultivation revealed it to me. This contributed to the misconception that cultivation tests are not hard to pass. However, Master has said in “Seeing True Nature” from Hong Yin Vol. II, “In the face of tests, true nature is seen”. When evil swept the world, incarcerated me, and manipulated vicious people and those not aware of the truth to threaten, persecute, and torture me, my fear was aroused, exposed, and directly played a destructive role in my cultivation.

When the persecution began, I did not have obvious fear. Instead, I felt depressed and was astonished that Dafa was rampantly attacked nationwide by the regime, yet I did not know what to do. I went with some other practitioners (all of whom seemed to be faithful and determined in Dafa) to Beijing on October 1, 2000 in the hopes of standing up for the Fa. I had a steady state of mind and did not feel worried or fearful. This mind-set continued even when we arrived at Tiananmen Square. At the square, Dafa disciples everywhere were being beaten and arrested by the CCP’s police and taken away by force. The whole place was covered by an evil and treacherous atmosphere. We followed the lead practitioner’s advice and started speaking out in unison, “Falun Dafa is a righteous Fa! Falun Dafa is wronged!” I found that my voice was not loud enough, and at that very moment I started to feel a lack of courage and confidence in myself and that I did not have strong righteous thoughts. Nothing specific was on my mind, but I could feel fear starting to hinder me. Immediately we were illegally arrested, crammed into a bus, and taken to a police station where we were separated. I was interrogated, tortured, and detained. By then I had been cultivating for nearly four years, but after all it was my first time being physically and mentally tortured so viciously. Back then I also had a pretty shallow understanding of Fa-rectification cultivation and the persecution launched by the old forces in the name of “testing” us. I also had the attachment to fear. Therefore, I failed to treat the persecution with righteous thoughts. Instead, I was passively tolerating it, worrying that I might be tortured more cruelly and suffer more pain. I even feared that I might be tortured to death on the spot. Again and again I recited poems from Hong Yin in the hopes of enhancing my righteous thoughts, yet fear had already gained the upper hand. Feeling fearful and helpless, I said to Master, “Master! I cannot take it anymore!” I felt like I was pushed to the limit of my endurance and had no choice but to compromise with the evil.

“I know it clearly that the human body, the human flesh body, has its limit in its ability to endure during persecution!” (Teaching the Fa in Washington D.C. in 2018). While being tortured, my physical endurance was far from being pushed to the limit although I felt that way for several reasons. The first reason was that I was somehow confused and did not know what to do since I had never been treated so viciously and violently before. But I am sure that was not the fundamental reason and should not be used as an excuse. Many fellow practitioners did very well even when they were persecuted for the first time during the early phase of the persecution. They also never had a similar experience, but they did not compromise with the evil. Then why did I not do well? The second reason was that fear planted by the old forces played a destructive role. This kind of fear is mostly about dreading physical pain. The mentality of dread manifested even before the persecution, especially in doing the meditation exercise. I just did not consciously realize it. Before the persecution, I never lasted a whole hour with my legs fully crossed in meditation. The most I could hold was about forty minutes before changing to the half-crossed position to relive the pain. I did not want to endure the hardship and did not have strong righteous thoughts and will. I also was not strict enough with myself. I was particularly scared by physical torture while being persecuted. Master has said, “Some disciples said: ‘What’s there to fear? My body would still sit there even with my head cut off.’ When you compare them it’s clear at a glance how well they cultivate” (Essentials for Further Advancement:Huge Exposure”). The old forces had their excuse for the arrangement: while cultivating in such an immense Fa, would it work if there were no tests and tribulations? Would it work if there were no difficulties? Is there not Dafa guiding you? Only when you overcome fear with righteous thoughts gained from the Fa will we acknowledge you. This is directly related to the third and most fundamental reason: back then I had not obtained invincible righteous thoughts in cultivation and thus failed to restrain my human factors, especially fear.

Master has explicitly expounded, “If every Dafa disciple can think and act righteously as he goes about things and can look at things with righteous thoughts under any circumstance, none of you will become afraid when facing persecution. If that is how you are, who would dare to persecute you! If a person is completely in the Fa no one can touch him. Isn't that having the ability to protect yourself? As a matter of fact, with regard to the veteran students [that started] prior to the persecution, I raised all of you to your positions. As long as you can go about things with righteous thoughts and righteous actions you can protect yourselves perfectly well, and that applies as well for new students that joined later” (Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005).

As a disciple who obtained the Fa prior to the persecution, undoubtedly I was also raised to my position, but back then I was still far from mature in cultivation on the surface human side. My attachment to fear was not eliminated through cultivation; instead, it simply lurked around. Because my righteous thoughts were not strong enough, various concerns especially fear gained the upper hand. Consequently, I was largely in the human state. Instead of protecting Dafa’s dignity, I was more concerned with avoiding further harm and being killed. Putting aside life and death was out of the question, and so was going through the tribulation. It was impossible for me to do well because my xinxing and realm had not reached that high a standard. Before the tribulation, I did not know or believe that I had such detrimental fear, that I had not reached the realm of putting life and death aside, that I had not laid a solid cultivation foundation, or that I was still far from the standard of being adamantine. Because I had not reached the realm of being indestructible, when the old forces’ destructive test struck me head-on, I was crushed into pieces, falling all over the place.

I can never believe that I left such a horrible stain on my cultivation path. Yet it is a fact, one that should not be overlooked or neglected! During all these years, it has been a pain in my heart, and I find it hard to forgive myself. Master has made it clear to us, “Don't leave any stain or regret on the path that you walk when you validate the Fa and during this period when you establish your mighty virtue. Those can never be erased” (Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference). “Can you imagine what it means for a cultivator if this stain isn’t washed clean?” (Essentials for Further Advancement II: “Path”). After this lengthy history, at the last and most critical moment, I suffered such a devastating setback in the first tribulation of life and death shortly after Fa-rectification cultivation started. Dafa disciples are supposed to become guardians of the future cosmos, but I compromised with the evil in this human world! What a shame! It is actually more than that. Faced with tribulation, I should validate the Fa, yet I failed. Instead, I tarnished Dafa. How large is this sin and guilt? I never dared think about it. What I also do not dare think about is whether beings in the cosmos were eliminated because I compromised with the evil. If so, what a tremendous loss that would be!

“If a cultivator can truly let go of [the fear of] death, then that death will forever be far removed from you. But this isn't something you can will to happen — it's a point that you cultivate to in the Fa, one at which you become that kind of being. When the persecution in Mainland China started, if all of the Dafa disciples had managed to act fairly righteously like now, the persecution would have never gotten off the ground, and those evil things would have been destroyed instantly. The human world is no place for them to make a display of evilness” (Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York). However, the persecution has gotten off the ground and brutally continues. As a Dafa disciple, I contributed to that, which I can never deny. My case demonstrates how viciously and brutally the old forces “test” Dafa disciples and how extremely destructive it is!

During the course of cultivation nearly four years before I was faced with the tribulation, why did I not obtain ample righteous thoughts from Dafa to restrain my human thoughts, especially fear, and later enable me to pass the tribulation well? Was it because I was not diligent enough back then? Upon reflection, I can say for sure that back then I was not among the most diligent cultivators, but I did not slack either. I paid much attention to Fa study and xinxing cultivation. But because I failed to attain strong enough righteous thoughts in cultivation, I was still not diligent enough. Through Fa study and further reflection, I came to understand that the old forces obstinately decided long ago that the tribulation and part of my cultivation beforehand must unfold base on their “script”. I failed to deny their evil arrangements.

Master has said in Fa Teaching at the New York Fa Conference on the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Dafa’s Introduction to the Public, “Using the old forces’ words, mainland China is like the Supreme Daoist’s dan-tempering furnace, and that fire must burn fiercely so as to forge true gold.” If the persecution had failed to get off the ground, it would have meant that we were already “true gold”. However, because we did not reach the standard of “true gold”, the persecution took place inevitably, the fire in the “furnace” started burning, and Master used it to forge “true gold”. Back then, I was still fairly immature and did not attain enough righteous thoughts to enter a state of “one righteous mind can subdue one hundred evils” (Zhuan Falun). Furthermore, fear lurking within me unnoticed. When the old forces’ so-called test swept through every corner rampantly, I could not avoid that kind of tribulation and test.

After being persecuted, I fell into a pretty bad state, feeling very low and depressed. The fellow practitioner who introduced Dafa to me was not in a good cultivation state even before the persecution and was obviously interfered by human attachments. After the persecution started, her cultivation got even worse. Several people I was familiar with bred crooked thoughts, among which two were extreme. One of them said to me that it is time to put cultivation aside and lead an ordinary life. She handed me a fake new scripture. Back then, I did not visit the Minghui website and could not immediately check its credibility, but I found it odd after reading it. After a while, I determined that it was fake. Later I found out that she led police to ransack some Dafa disciples’ homes in the name of helping them “transform”. The other one turned into the evil’s accomplice, assisting them in slandering Dafa, and suddenly died at the age of thirty-one. Before the persecution, I would have never thought that the old forces designated phony cultivators among those whom I often met and interacted with. They appeared sure-footed and diligent! Amidst the “chaos” and treacherous atmosphere created by the old forces, there were daily tests of faith in the Fa, whether to continuing cultivating, and even life and death. However, I saw that many fellow practitioners around me still had strong faith in Master and Dafa. They were constantly under tremendous pressure from their families, workplaces, the evil 610 Office, or local police stations. They experienced very bitter xinxing tests of faith and even life and death, but they tried their best to resist all interference, overcome their fear, and step out to validate the Fa. Under Master’s protection and guidance, I was not misled by those who went astray. I received help from other fellow practitioners and pulled myself together in a short time.

The group that went to Beijing to validate the Fa consisted of eight or nine adults including me, a small child, and a baby. Back then, I did not pay much attention to how many people there were. Aside from the young man who led the group and his wife and daughter, I was unfamiliar with everyone else and met them for the first time right before going to Beijing. Everyone in the group suffered direct persecution. To my great surprise, I later found out that I was the only one in the original group who still cultivates in Dafa! After being illegally arrested at Tiananmen Square, I lost contact with them for several years. When I finally saw some of them a few years later, they had all already stopped cultivating and were involved in the pyramid schemes. The leader was the same one who led the group that went to Beijing. He used to work a decent job. As he mentioned, before going to Beijing for the first time, he had put in his resignation letter. His wife told me that he had already been to Beijing before we went together. Back then, he was very determined and dedicated and suffered quite a lot. Many people tried to transform him, but to no avail. Later he suddenly “enlightened” all by himself (as I see it, he developed deviant understandings and went astray), believing that we should stop cultivating and instead lead an ordinary life. He then started a pyramid scheme with the rest of the group that went to Beijing. Judging by their words, I could tell that they did not believe Dafa can rectify the human world. The couple praised the pyramid scheme with poetic words and pointed to some people around them, mentioning that they used to practice Falun Gong and were now also doing pyramid schemes. Then they encouraged me to join them and invited me to listen to their evening lecture. I figured, alright, I will see what they talk about. No big deal. They will not be able to confuse me. Perhaps after listening to them, I can find a way to advise them to return to Dafa. I thus went with them. Many people in the hall listened enthusiastically. It seemed like the couple held some position because they were the key speakers giving a product demo. Later some audience members took the podium and made speeches filled with strong cravings and attachments to wealth, status, and reputation. I found it hard to endure, did not want to listen anymore, and left with disappointment. While at the couple’s house before attending their lecture, I met one of the ladies who went to Beijing with us. She looked depressed and said a few negative words about cultivation. I could feel what was haunting her: confusion, a sense of helplessness when faced with the persecution, and hesitation to abandon cultivation. I knew that fear was one of the key reasons why they went astray, but I failed to find the right words to say to them in the moment. Upon seeing that they were so engaged in the pyramid scheme, my heart became heavy. I thought it was hard for me to make a difference since they had deviated too far. I have never seen them again ever since and do not know whether they have returned to cultivation. I felt so fortunate that I did not veer off track, but I also felt sad and could not help but blame myself for failing to awaken them when they were terribly lost. This is another major regret of mine.

During the ten years after I pulled myself together, I walked a fairly steady cultivation path, doing the three things pretty regularly and always putting effort into Fa study and xinxing improvement. I significantly elevated in cultivation, and my righteous thoughts became much stronger. I made and handed out truth materials, clarified the truth, helped my students and others quit the CCP, and so on. I occasionally had concerns, but nothing seriously interfered with me doing the three things. I was never illegally arrested despite circumstances sometimes appearing dangerous.

About ten years later in July 2011, I was granted a US tourist visa and prepared to come to the United States with some fellow practitioners. However, due to various reasons, the evil regime’s Public Security Bureau and Domestic Security Bureau learned of our travel agenda by tapping some of our phone calls. Fearing that some of us might come to the US and join the media run by Dafa disciples, they illegally stopped us while we were going through customs at the airport and then detained most of us for thirteen days. While being detained, I reminded myself to negate the persecution, to be selfless, and to consider the fellow practitioners involved. However, I failed to completely do things as I wished. Before releasing me, several cops ransacked my home and confiscated Master’s portrait, two printers, and a laptop. I kept sending forth righteous thoughts hoping that they would not get their way, but I was obviously not fearless and did not have a calm mind with ample righteous thoughts. How could my righteous thoughts be effective? The one who led the cops to ransack my home had persecuted other fellow practitioners very viciously. Later he attempted to blackmail me into disclosing some so-called information that they wanted. I refused to answer his questions, and he ended up with nothing. However, back then I only focused on resisting the evil’s pressure and did not have enough compassion to clarify the truth to him. I also did not have the mighty virtue to dissolve the evil factors controlling him. During the thirteen days when I directly faced the evil and those controlled by it, I met different types of cops: some followed their supervisors in order to make a living; some seemed irrational and could not tell virtue from vice due to the evil Party’s brainwashing; some babbled hypocrisy from shallow understandings of Buddhism; some emanated cruelty and malevolence as they were too attached to wealth and power or were directly controlled by the evil. While I faced them, fear nonetheless interfered with me, and I failed to clarify the truth with dignity to deter the evil and save those who deserved salvation.

The old forces had likely foreseen that I would not be able to eliminate fear and other attachments and attain ample righteous thoughts during the ten plus days of tribulation, so they arranged an even greater tribulation. This may be the main reason why I was persecuted again three months later. In October 2011, I went to Beijing with three fellow practitioners to meet other practitioners. When the door opened, we realized that we “accidentally” bumped into a bunch of gangster-like cops in plain clothes who had already broken into those practitioners’ apartment and arrested them. On the surface, it happened so suddenly and unexpectedly. In retrospect, we realized Master hinted multiple times in multiple ways and even gave direct warnings. But back then the old forces simply prevented us from enlightening to the hints and warnings and hastily herded us into the tribulation they had designed. Afterward, the fellow practitioner who led us to Beijing expressed multiple times that he was sorry because he believed he had caused me that tribulation. In fact, I think it barely had anything to do with him. The fundamental reason was that the old forces exploited a loophole on my end to impose the tribulation upon me. Otherwise, it would not have happened.

In the detention center, I felt that I had matured since the last time I was persecuted. When I was taken to the interrogation room, I had no idea what they would do to me. I guessed that they might torture me brutally, yet I was well aware that countless eyes in every dimension were watching me. Master and righteous Gods watched to see if I could make it, while evil beings waited to vent their hatred or have a good laugh at me. I had a strong feeling that this was another extremely crucial moment, so I said in my mind to other dimensions, “All evil beings, do not even think about it! I would never compromise even if you torture me to death! I came here to validate the Fa and save sentient beings. How could I tarnish Dafa again? I will not ruin sentient beings by letting you get your way!” I did not think about anything else and just felt that I was directly facing the evil. Maybe the old forces had some excuses and wanted to take my life or manipulate vicious cops to torture me severely… But none of that should ever be acknowledged, and ultimately only Master decides everything. The evil cannot get away with whatever they want. I stopped thinking and continued to send forth righteous thoughts. I refused to answer any questions or sign anything, and I did not look at any documents, including the written judgment. They never tortured me during the entire month of detention.

One month later, I was sentenced to two years at the labor camp and transferred to Xinan Labor Camp in Daxing District, Beijing. After being taken there, I was forced into a series of physical exams. Outside the examination room, a cold and vicious-looking chief sat with a junior jail guard standing beside him, waiting to take me to their unit. I was later told and also witnessed that this chief was the cruellest jail guard in that unit and brutally persecuted Dafa disciples. Upon seeing me, he squinted and asked, “Are you not afraid of death?” He then stared at me with a chilly and provocative expression. The question was surprising but not raised without reason: under those circumstance, was I not faced with a test of life and death? Even I kept asking myself in the detention center, “Have I put life and death aside?” At that moment I immediately understood what was going on: “The evil is manipulating him to ask me this question. Do they want to have a good laugh at me? I will not fall into their trap!” I thought simply saying “no” was irrational. I was aware that I still had fear and had not completely put life and death aside. I was sure the old forces and low-level beings controlled by them could also see very clearly and thus used his mouth to ask me. There would be a loophole for the evil to exploit if I just said “no” out of bravado. Yet I did not want to say “yes” either. I truly still had fear, but why should I “confess” to the evil? Would that not be like bringing contempt upon myself? I also felt that it was insensible to remain silent for he may think I was odd or scared. Therefore, I said, “I probably have not yet completely put life and death aside, but I will do much better in the future.” This was my response on the basis of my xinxing level at that time. He was speechless for a while, seemingly surprised by my answer, and failed to respond.

While facing persecution by the evil Party’s police, some fellow practitioners have no fear, resentment, or competitiveness. Instead, they clarify the truth to the police with righteous thoughts and compassion. Not only did they halt the persecution and prevent those who would have committed evil deeds from mistreating Dafa disciples, but they also saved those potential perpetrators. One cannot achieve that without a high xinxing level! I deeply understand from experience that in the evil’s dens (police stations, brainwashing centers, detention centers, prisons, etc.), in those dangerous settings where one may suffer physical and mental pain and even death, one cannot possibly do so well and be so righteous without having obtained ample righteous thoughts from the Fa and having restrained one’s human side. If one can do so well and be so righteous, then one is genuinely validating the Fa! Yet I did not do that well. Although I did not compromise with the evil, I failed to completely eliminate my human thinking and obtain strong righteous thoughts and enough compassion to save the jail guards by clarifying the truth to them. I clarified the truth to many detained ordinary people and persuaded them to quit the CCP, but I did not clarify the truth in depth and persuade the jail guards to quit the CCP due to various concerns: difficulty finding a good topic, not having enough time, too many people being around, and fear that the person would have concerns and not let me continue. Sometimes I felt that the person was too badly poisoned by the evil Party and would not want to listen even if I tried. These were all human notions, including a mix of fear and other attachments. I thus lost those chances one after another. Every jail guard had seen and interacted with several Dafa disciples by then, and many of them had gotten to know some of the truth. Even so, I had my own responsibility to clarify the truth to them, which I did not fulfil very well, missing many opportunities to save people.

Gauging by the standards I should have met, refusing to compromise with the evil is far from enough. It is also not enough to merely clarify the truth to some of those around me. I should have put into practice what Master said: “Indestructible righteous faith in the cosmos’s Truth forms benevolent Dafa disciples’ rock-solid, Diamond-Like Bodies, it frightens all evil, and the light of Truth it emanates makes the unrighteous elements in all beings’ thoughts disintegrate. However strong the righteous thoughts are, that’s how great the power is” (Essentials for Further Advancement II, “Also in a Few Words”). I should have obtained the compassion and wisdom of a cultivator of the cosmos’ Great Law; tried my best to save everyone around me, including the police; and validated the Fa in a dignified and upright manner. I failed to do so, and what was left were regrets.

Through Fa study, I understand that the old forces must have gotten their excuses for inserting this fear from my temperament: “The whole cosmos is on the edge of destruction. As a Dafa disciple, you want to succeed in cultivating in the Great Law and achieve Fruition Status on that high a level. If there were no tremendous difficulties, how could you establish great mighty virtue, and how could we acknowledge you?” This is one of their mentalities. In fact, the emergence of the old forces and what they have done are the extreme and inevitable manifestation of the old cosmos’s ultimate degeneration. The difficulties in Fa-rectification cultivation are caused by the pre-existing defects of the old cosmos as it heads for destruction and are consequently unavoidable. Strictly speaking, this is not scary because Dafa can dissolve difficulties no matter how tremendous they might be. The righteous thoughts, compassion, and wisdom that we have attained from Dafa can fundamentally weaken, restrain, and eliminate our human attachments and defects — regardless of whether the old forces imposed them upon us. Master will also resolve and balance all the complicated debts and relations in different dimensions. All these will enable us to effectively validate the Fa. Yet in my case I did not effectively restrain my fear and other human mentalities and consequently failed to meet the standards, rather than validate the Fa with no regrets.

“The old forces have arranged for all Dafa disciples a set of their things, so if a Dafa disciple doesn’t follow Master’s requirements, he must be following the old forces’ arrangements. The old forces are in essence gigantic trials and tribulations that accompany you at all times, focused on whether in Fa-rectification Dafa disciples are able to step forward” (The Essentials of Diligent Progress Vol. III, “Be Clear-headed”). “If I told you that even every step you take as you walk, and that even how big your stride is, were arranged, you might not believe it. But even the number of times you would scream while being persecuted and how many blows you would be dealt were arranged by them. Of course, the presence or absence of strong righteous thoughts in a cultivator can change these things, but not by much. They know your state of mind very well and even how much you can bear” (Fa Teaching Given at the 2014 San Francisco Fa Conference).

These two passages from the Fa trigger my recollection of the persecution I encountered for the first time back in 2000, especially how I reacted when the police tortured me and the pain and sense of helplessness I felt on this human surface… While torturing me, the most ruthless policeman cursed Master and Dafa in order to make me feel more psychological pain. He bluntly told me that he would crush me both physically and psychologically because I otherwise would not give up Dafa. The old forces had clearly foreseen my state of mind and even how much I could endure. They therefore arranged for evil beings to persecute me at the pre-designated time and location. This is not just the first time I was persecuted. When I was persecuted the next two times, to what degree did I walk Master’s arranged path, and to what extent did I follow the old forces’ arrangements? To look even further, this does not just concern the persecution that I went through. When I was not directly persecuted, to what degree did I walk Master’s arranged path, and to what extent did I follow the old forces’ arrangements? Upon reflection, I am even more deeply troubled. This inevitably raises another alarming question: Throughout the course of cultivation, can I guarantee that I will eliminate the old forces’ interference and control and completely walk Master’s arranged path?

Why did I not do so well and leave those regrets along the journey? As cultivators of Dafa, why can some fellow practitioners always do really well and meet the standards, but I cannot? What does this fundamentally indicate? Does it imply differences among lives? Is it because the origin of my life is not high enough? Is it the unavoidable manifestation of the old cosmos’ pre-existing defects in my life? Or is it the old forces’ inevitable destructive test for me due to the old cosmos’ pre-existing defects? If so, then why did the old forces’ evil arrangements actually happen on me? Is it ultimately related to my origin? Even though the old forces’ have their vicious arrangements, how could a being from an extremely high realm leave such regrets, especially the shame of compromising with the evil? How could that be possible?... This cannot be a simple issue!

While pondering this, I also found another attachment: I am somewhat concerned that the origin of my life might not be high enough. In fact, I am well aware that the origin of a life is predestined and that pondering and pursuing with human curiosity and dissatisfaction is nothing but a pointless attachment.

Then why could my fear or other human attachments make me lack righteous thoughts and actions? This is directly related to my enlightenment quality at the time. If someone pointed out that I had poor enlightenment quality, I would not be convinced or admit it. “Me? Poor enlightenment quality? How come?” But now, after looking back at how I passed those tests, looking back at my mentalities, and what I said and did in those moments, I am literally speechless. I would be undoubtedly deceiving myself if I said I had good enlightenment quality back then. Failing to do well was a direct reflection of subpar enlightenment quality. If my enlightenment quality had met the standard back then, would fear have interfered with me so badly? Definitely not. Master has said in Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference, “As Dafa disciples, as I said in the past, you were all kings in the heavens; where did your ability go? People say you’ve come from a high level, so you should carry some of those elements and have some of that wisdom. Where did that ability go?” Right, where did all my abilities go? Was it because I did not cultivate well enough that they were restrained by my human attachments?

 “Be solid and firm like diamond, or granite, and then nothing can affect you — evil will be afraid at the mere sight of you. If upon encountering trying circumstances your thinking can be truly righteous, then, when faced with the evil’s persecution and when faced with interference, just one sentence of yours fortified with steadfast righteous thoughts can instantly make the evil disintegrate (applause), and it will make those who are being used by the evil turn and flee, it will make the evil’s persecution of you dissolve, and it will make the evil’s interfering with you disappear without a trace” (Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. International Fa Conference). What an admirable Dafa disciple this is! This is a Dafa disciple who genuinely displays and validates the Creator’s Fa and wisdom in the human world and the entire cosmos! Actually, this is also a requirement and standard that Master has set for Dafa disciples. Yet how far away my xinxing and actions back then were from this requirement!

I cannot help but ask myself, “Can I do well now? Have I met the required standard now?” There will no longer be tribulations similar to those in the past to “test” me. But as long as human attachments still remain, there is the possibility of tests or tribulations arising. They might just take different forms. There is never wiggle room for the realm and standard that a Dafa disciple must reach in the Fa. Furthermore, the standards are getting higher.

Speaking of regrets along my cultivation journey, they surely are not limited to just these. There must be other regrets, big or small, some that I know, some that I do not know, and some that I cannot see at all. Yet all that has passed is gone and impossible to change. This is the reality that I must face.

Of course, Master has also said in Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Vancouver, Canada, in 2003, “If in your mind you take it to be so grave it'll create another situation where you feel pressured by regret and worry, and then you will sink into the attachment and you won't be able to break out of it. The whole cultivation process of a Dafa disciple is a process of removing human attachments. No matter what it is you've experienced, as soon as you realize the problem just correct it immediately; if you fall, just get up and continue to do what a Dafa disciple should do. In that case the mistake you made will just be counted as a test you didn't handle well during your cultivation, you can try to get through it next time, and there will be more opportunities for you to pass the test again. That's all.”

This is Master treating His disciples with the greatest compassion. I try not to sink into the new attachment of being regretful, but I am also not relieved by reading this Fa passage. I clearly know that not meeting the standards and doing well enough at the final moment of Fa rectification would entail even graver regrets.


Chinese version:





Add new comment