The Road Back to Heaven

Zheng Hao

PureInsight | November 4, 2022


1. Understanding Two Stories (Being Sent Down to the Human World)

When reading “Journey to the West” when young, I often felt Monk Sha was treated unfairly. Out of the main characters, the wrong committed by Monk Sha seemed to be the smallest, but the punishment he was given was quite severe. Monk Sha only shattered the Jade Emperor’s glass cup, but he was beaten 800 times, sent down to the human world, and was pierced more than 100 times in his torso every seven days by flying swords. At that time, I thought, “Does it need to go this far? What kind of treasures have the heavens lost? Why is there such a severe punishment for breaking a glass cup?” Later, I read another story on the PureInsight website. There was a boy living in the heaven. One day, he misplaced a bodhisattva’s Fa tool, and he was also sent down to the human world, and reincarnated life after life. At that time, my first thought was also that the punishment was overly harsh. However, after letting go of my attachments during the process of cultivation, I suddenly understood these two stories.

Master said, “When you see someone not having righteous actions, in fact it’s that he doesn’t have enough righteous thoughts, since a person’s mind guides his actions. When your righteous thoughts are strong enough your actions will definitely be righteous, and when the righteous thoughts aren’t strong enough the actions won’t be righteous.” [1]

This is my understanding: The lives at different levels in the heavens, their thoughts align with the standard of that level’s Fa. Their conduct normally will not be incorrect. Mistakes in their behavior are because of their thoughts deviated. Take a notion of mine for example: “Why must the Fa tool be placed that way? Isn’t it also fine to put it this way?” In other words, the true reason for that life to be sent down to the human world is not for breaking a glass cup or misplacing a Fa tool, but because that life is no longer pure anymore and no longer aligns with the standard at that level. Then, if only the surface behavior is corrected, then next time, it might be a jade cup that is shattered, instead of a glass cup. The problem can no longer be solved from a fundamental level.

During cultivation, we often mistakenly believe we said or did something wrong, and that brought about the tribulation, but that is not it. Saying or doing something wrong is only the surface. At this time, we should be guided by Dafa and find the deviated thought that caused us to say or do that wrong thing. Only by assimilating to Dafa can we fundamentally resolve issues.

2. Respecting Master and Believing the Fa, Cultivating the Heart and Getting Rid of Attachments

During cultivation, one hardship I face is the hardship of finding attachments. From discovering stubborn thoughts to accurately finding the roots behind the attachment, I needed to go through a very long and arduous period of thinking. Because I work so hard to find the attachment, I also conscientiously get rid of them.

Whether each time I can meticulously find and get rid of my attachments, I use that to measure whether I am respecting Master and believing the Fa. It is my understanding that to truly respect Master and believe the Fa is to follow what Master says.

This is how I removed notions about illness. I used to have serious germophobia. Every day, I washed my hands countless times for those viruses and bacteria that I cannot even see. Because of this issue, I had serious conflicts with family members, and I wasted much time and many opportunities to cultivate myself and save other beings. I resolved to improve myself. When I truly began to look and cultivate from within, the cultivation mechanism Master gave me began to show its power: it occurred to me that it is a perspective from science that viruses and bacteria can cause people to become ill. Master said, “But let me tell you that science is a religion too, and it’s a well-established religion.” [2] Through cultivation, we all know that what truly causes people to become ill is karma. Do I choose to believe Dafa, or do I choose to believe science? If I choose to believe the religion of science, then wouldn’t I not have seriously treated the issue of no second cultivation way? Even more seriously, if I think viruses and bacteria can cause me to become ill, it is actually that I do not believe Master has helped me cleanse my body. It is equivalent to asking, “Is this Dafa real? Is what Master says real?” This is doubting Master, it is greatly disrespecting Master.

Because I looked at this attachment very thoroughly, it was also removed very thoroughly. Later, during the most severe time of the pandemic, it did not interfere with my steps toward saving people. After I was able to do this, I came to realize what Master said, “All of you are aware of the principle of mutual-generation and mutual-inhibition. If you have no fear, the factor that would make you afraid will cease to exist.” [3] Master truly gives the best to us. After removing the attachment of illness, even according to old universe’s principles, there is nothing that the old forces can grab onto to persecute us.

This is how I removed the resentment. This attachment was with me for a long time. I was not able to sense it, and later it became bigger and bigger, and it even began to manipulate me and prevented me from studying the Fa. Master saved me. Master inked a line from the Fa deep into my thoughts, “A person is like a container, and he is whatever he contains.” [4] I became clearheaded: my mind contains resentment, aren’t I a bad person then? How could I cultivate into a bad person? At the beginning, I separated this attachment from myself. Because this attachment was too big, I could not completely remove it all at once. However, after continuously cultivating, I could see it was becoming weaker and weaker, until later I could eliminate it amid many messy thoughts.

This is how I removed the attachment of jealousy. For a period of time, I was very jealous of fellow practitioners who did the exercises a lot and who had transformed their body, particularly some older practitioners. If they had dark hair, I would always approach to look at the roots of their hair. If they were white, that meant the hair was dyed, and it was as if I could breathe a sigh of relief; if it was dark, that meant those practitioners cultivated well, and then I felt a bit dispirited. I knew this was jealousy, but I did not know how to remove it. One day, I remembered the difficulty Master faces to save us. Master works so hard to save us, He must hope that we can all succeed in cultivation. Therefore, if fellow cultivators cultivate well, then I should be happy for them. In addition, aren’t I here to assist Master? Master hopes that we can all succeed in cultivation, and then if I see some fellow cultivators’ shortcomings, then I should also find a way to help them succeed. Thinking in this way, I found that the attachment of jealousy slowly melted away, until it disappeared. It turns out that what can melt jealousy is compassion.

As I gave up more and more attachments, I found that they have the same root, and this root is selfishness. Master said, “Yet the black qi is not the fundamental cause of an illness. It is because there is a being in a deeper dimension that generates this field.” [5] I enlightened that the selfishness is the root of attachments. On the other hand, attachments are feeding selfishness.

3. Purify Self Further   

While elevating through cultivation, the standard for respecting Master and believing the Fa is also elevating. I realized my own ignorance and arrogance. There was an arrogant self behind some thoughts that had already become second nature. For example, I say, “I have removed so many attachments.” I am cultivating amidst delusion, what kind of power do I have to remove those substances as stubborn as granite that have formed over thousands of years? I am only like the Foolish Old Man moving the Mountains, digging through the soil of attachments. Master saw my sincerity and determination. Ultimately, it is Master who helped me move away the big mountain that is my attachment.

For example, I say, “Through clarifying the truth, I have saved this many people.” Yet I am relying on Master to save them. Who can I save? I am only doing this little bit on the surface. It is Master who is truly saving this life from the root.

For example, I say, “I have enlightened to a certain Fa principle.” Master said, “in Falun Gong, it is the Law that cultivates people.” [6] When I cultivated away a certain attachment and elevated, Dafa manifested the Fa principles to me which I should know at my level.

Everything is done by Master and Dafa.

Then, what are we cultivating? I enlightened that what we are cultivating, from beginning to end, is to respect towards Master and belief in the Fa.

Based on this bit of respect and belief, Master is bringing us on the path upwards.

If we lose this respect towards Master and belief in the Fa, it’s equivalent to voluntarily leaving Master and going on the path that the old forces arranged. “One walks one's own path.” [5] At this point, Master can only sadly look at you. For those who can come back, Master will look after them; for those who are too wrapped up in delusion, have strayed too far, they may even have their physical bodies dragged away by the old forces.

4. Getting Back the Heart We Had at the Beginning

One day, a fellow practitioner planned to hang truth clarification materials on people’s doors with me. I was standing by the side of the road, listening to the Fa as I was waiting for the practitioner. I heard a sentence like this, corresponding to this part in “Zhuan Falun”, “We normally cultivate from what is lower to what is higher right up until the unlocking of gong or completion of cultivation. This reverse cultivation was for those elderly people who did not have enough time to cultivate upward from low to high. It would be faster for them to cultivate downward from high to low. This was a phenomenon created at that time.” [5] I was fixed there, wave after wave of heat permeating my whole body. I felt so many emotions in my heart. It was like I had walked a long, long road: sometimes I walked fast, sometimes I walked slowly, I often went the wrong way, and sometimes I got lost. It was Master, it was Dafa that always guided me. Dafa eliminated every confusion and improper thought. A door opened wide with a loud sound. At this moment, as if my microscopic body and I united as one, and I saw profound and vast world. That was my original place, the place where I came from.

It was like in Shen Yun’s opening piece, at the end of the universe, Lord Buddha’s benevolent and awe-inspiring call comes from the horizon. For the sake of all sentient beings, we gave up without hesitation our godly halo, using a god’s life and our vow signed with Lord Buddha, we came down with Master to help him rectify the Fa. Starting from that point, we chose Dafa, and became lives chosen by Dafa; starting from that point, we and the old forces have a fundamental difference. Not respecting Master and not believing in the Fa is the old forces’ influence.

I brought a respect towards Master and belief in the Fa with me here. Throughout the process of me coming down through the multitude of layers, no matter how much dust I was covered in  each layer of the universe, the thought I had at the beginning, because I have Lord Buddha’s strengthening, in the depths of my being, on the firmament, is a glittering, never-extinguishing radiance.

Then, why don’t I preserve that thought I had at the beginning, and cultivate from what is higher to what is lower?

My understanding of cultivating from low to high is removing attachments one by one, like grabbing all the black qi, and in the end, the spirit that generated the black qi—myself (selfishness)—has nowhere to hide.

On the other hand, cultivating from high to low is having one’s divine side take the lead and grab selfishness all at once. Because one’s own universe began to wither, one’s selfishness, like a possessing skeleton or inseparable ulcer, attached on one’s true self. It is very difficult to differentiate between them, and we often treat it like ourselves. It even wants to cultivate too, but it is cultivating for its own consummation; it is also clarifying the truth, but it is doing so therefore that it is not left behind.

I enlightened to one meaning of Fa rectification cultivation: Under revered Master’s strengthening, to use my true self that has enlightened on indestructible righteous thoughts cultivated through Dafa to calmly and fearlessly personally destroy selfishness and all related impure elements and deviated arrangements made by the impure elements used by the old forces, as well as the old forces themselves, and to untie all relevant sentient beings with compassion that can melt steel.

I had new understanding of how to negate the old forces from the root. Master said, “I am rooted in the universe. If anyone could harm you, he or she would be able to harm me. Put simply, that person would be able to harm this universe.” [5] My understanding is my true self is always by Master’s side. This is a place the old forces cannot touch at all, and the old forces’ deviated arrangements for selfishness will all disintegrate along with the disintegration of the old universe. Master said, “Having done it to this point, all the beings have also seen that everything the old forces wanted to do can’t resolve things, since those things have no roots.” [7] I enlightened that the old forces are only concerned about their arrangements, and they are not concerned with the outcome of this matter, nor are they concerned with how many lives will be destroyed. Only our Master is being responsible for the future of the universe and all sentient beings.

Master said, “Meanwhile, our school of cultivation gives hundreds and thousands of things all to your Main Soul to truly enable you to obtain gong yourself.” [5] I have finally found myself. Compassionate Master has treated me as a disciple and looked after me all these years, and until today, I only just became Master’s disciple. Sending forth righteous thoughts is no longer to clear out the old forces' persecution of me. Instead, as a disciple created by Dafa, use the divine powers bestowed upon me by revered Master to firmly safeguard Dafa, to clean out the lives not respectful to Master and Dafa; begin to make use of one’s own divine side when clarifying the truth, and use powerful divine thoughts to communicate with sentient beings’ most fundamental origin. As a particle of the Fa, I have a god’s ceaseless power, which comes from Dafa.
Now, looking back at my cultivation process, always working hard to cultivate respect towards Master and belief in the Fa also carries impure elements. Because there is disrespect, so one cultivates respect; because there is lack of belief, so one cultivates belief. Master said, “Dafa is the wisdom of the Creator. It is the bedrock of creation, what the heavens, earth, and universe are built upon. It encompasses all things, from the utmost minuscule to the vastest of the vast, while manifesting differently at each of the cosmic body's planes of existence.” [5] As a living being in this universe, what kind of guts do I have to dare measure what is belief in the Dafa that is the bedrock of creation, what the heavens, earth, and universe are built upon? What kind of guts do I have to dare measure what is respect towards the supreme King of ten thousand kings who created countless heavens? As an insignificant life that was created by Master and Dafa, glorifying Master and Dafa is my life’s true wish.

5. To Cherish    

I know deeply that I am very far from Master’s requirements. Master has fully given every truly cultivating disciple everything we need in cultivation, but we still need to put it into practice during true cultivation. I do not know how to cultivate compassion that can melt steel. Master saw that I had a wish to elevate, so He bestowed wisdom upon me and allowed me to see a heavenly secret contained in Master leading all disciples in creating the 5,000 years of traditional culture. Master gave me a heart that allowed me to realize Master’s massive compassion from within the heavenly secret.

For example, Su Shi has a phrase, “I long regret that I’m not in this body, when can I forget all this activity”, as well as the expression “not be able to restrain oneself”. This is reminding people that people often will become lost and that they’re not living for their true selves, and is enlightening people to find their true selves.

For example, the phrase “to set one’s mind at rest” is telling people that it is the relationship between cause and effect and the amount of karma that determines the blessings and misfortune, the losses and gains in one’s life. What people pursue and are attached to are often times a waste of energy, and people themselves have to pay back the karma generated due to this. I enlightened that people need to remove all attachments.

Master said, “Do you know what a magnificent thing it is for Dafa disciples to Consummate? Master has to take care of everything all around you. Is there any need for you to worry about anything?” [7] Thinking about this passage of Fa, my heart aches. Through the dynasties and generations throughout history, from ancient times to now, which master has explained things to his disciples to this degree? What is there for me to worry about? What attachment is there that I cannot let go of?

Master said, “Dafa is the wisdom of the Creator.” [5] As big as the cosmic body and universes, as small as a word in the human world, nothing is not permeated with the Creator’s wisdom and care. Master said, “Returning to tradition puts you on the path to Heaven.” [8] In fact, in the 5,000 years of divinely bestowed culture, each sentence and each word contains the password to return to heaven. Many beings have entrusted themselves to Lord Buddha, looking forward to the lost sentient beings finding the road back home. I understood one layer of inner meaning of compassion: to pave a path for sentient beings to return to heaven.

I truly understood what it means to cherish, to cherish everything in this world, to cherish every life that came to this world, including cherishing this human body, being able to personally hear Lord Buddha spreading the Fa in this dharma-ending period with this human body. This is an enormous blessing given by Master! Doing the three things well is the best way to cherish this human body.

[1] Master Li Hongzhi’s Teaching: “Collected Teachings Given Around the World, Volume III: Fa Teaching Given at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference”
[2] Master Li Hongzhi’s Teaching: “Teachings at the Conference in Europe”
[3] Master Li Hongzhi’s Teaching: “The Essentials of Diligent Progress II” Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s)
[4] Master Li Hongzhi’s Teaching: “The Essentials of Diligent Progress” Melt Into the Fa
[5] Master Li Hongzhi’s Teaching: “Zhuan Falun”
[6] Master Li Hongzhi’s Teaching: “Falun Gong”
[7] Master Li Hongzhi’s Teaching: “Teachings Given on Lantern Festival Day, 2003”
[8] Master Li Hongzhi’s Teaching: “Hong Yin V” Creating Anew

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