Gods in Heaven Don't Panic--True Cultivation Means All Actions Conform Closely to Dafa
My husband (a fellow practitioner) was constantly muttering about me spilling water on the ground while washing; dropping things to the floor while cooking; allowing noodles and flour falling to the floor; low quality food, etc. At first, I was annoyed by his muttering and told him indirectly that he was nagging. Later, I just ignored him, but felt really bad about his comments. Mistakenly, I thought I was practicing tolerance.
Teacher often says that all attachments should be eliminated. My being impetuous was an attachment--no wonder during the past few days I did so many things wrong. When I prepared a manuscript, I misspelled some critical words, I sent out the wrong manuscript, I didn't bring along the package I was supposed to deliver, and I put on my clothes inside out. Surely, I was not acting like a practitioner. Teacher arranged for a fellow practitioner to tell me, “Gods in heaven don't act like a panicking person.” After hearing these words, I realized my problem.
-By the author
Revered Master! Fellow practitioners!
“This is because true cultivation practice must follow the requirements of the xinxing standard that we have established, and you have to truly upgrade your xinxing—then, it is true cultivation practice.” (Zhuan Falun Lecture Three, "I Treat All Practitioners as My Disciples")
I have cultivated for more than ten years. I often hear fellow practitioners ask, “Every day we talk about true cultivation. What is it really?” In the past I thought this was a question asked by those who didn't know how to cultivate. Today, I started writing this article and realized that I also didn't fully understand this term. In fact, I have many questions about it.
I really did not have enough discipline following the teachings of Dafa or a sufficiently serious attitude towards practicing Dafa. This happened because I did not fully understand that cultivation is very serious. For example, when I did the exercises, I was not keeping the same pace as the music, and my movements were incorrect. Similar problems occurred when I studied the Fa. While I was reading, my mind wandered off. As a result, I had no noticeable improvement in my character, even though I read Zhuan Falun many times. Furthermore, I didn't act like a practitioner when completing a job, and I ignored the comments others made about my sloppy work. My husband reminded me almost daily that I was doing a bad job. I spilled water on the ground while washing, dropped things to the floor while cooking, allowed noodles and flour to fall to the floor, and the dishes we prepared weren't that good, and more.
At first, I thought that my husband was being annoying, and nagging. Later, I ignored him but felt really bad about his comments. I mistakenly thought I was practicing tolerance. Today when I read the article, “Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa,” I noticed the words,
“Some people, once they run into actual problems, have no interest in overcoming them, as they only want to be happy; when there are problems between them and others, they don’t search inside themselves, and will admit no wrong even when they are at fault.” ("Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference")
I understood that these words were directed at me. I seriously studied the Fa and looked inward. I also understood that I had been impetuous, a serious attachment yet to be removed. I recognized that I can't reach consummation with this attachment. Teacher often says that all attachments should be eliminated--no wonder during the past few days I did so many things wrong. When preparing a manuscript, I misspelled some critical words, sent out the wrong manuscript, didn't bring along the package I was supposed to deliver, and I put on my clothes inside out. Surely, I was not acting like a practitioner. Teacher arranged for a fellow practitioner to tell me, “Gods in heaven don't act like a panicking person.” After hearing these words I realized my problem.
I had been anxious and had impatiently handled my job. I wanted to finish a job quickly without regard to its quality, which led to many errors. People have different characters. Some are careful, some are careless, some are patient, and some are impatient. The key is not to go to extremes. Otherwise, there could be a significant loss. Teacher said,
“Though people think that they are in charge of themselves, deciding what they want to do, the truth is, they are merely pursuing certain feelings as a result of postnatally formed habits and attachments that stem from their likings.” ("Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference")
Indeed, just like Teacher said, I was pursuing a quick completion, and this is a human notion.
An impatient person may not think very clearly and is unable to anticipate what might happen or how people might react to what he does. Problems can show up while clarifying the facts. Upon receiving a negative comment, or being rejected, an impatient practitioner is likely to raise his voice or wave his hands. Such a reaction is negative and is in accordance with the old forces' arrangements. Teacher said,
“When a person is not rational, or is venting anger, negative elements are taking effect. Everything is alive, and those things include evilness, desires, and hatred, among others. So in such situations they naturally take effect.” ("Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference")
In the spring of this year, I was talking to a woman in front of a billboard by the roadside. She was a retired employee from a company that went bankrupt. We got along very well and I thought it would be easy to save her. However, when I mentioned withdrawing from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), the Youth League, and the Young Pioneers, she appeared upset and said in a loud voice, “You say this party is bad but it is paying me. You like to cultivate, you can do it at home. Don't say things against the party outside your home.” I also became upset, and raised my voice to argue with her. At this time I noticed a tall guy with a cell phone who was trying to move closer to me, and I immediately lowered my voice. Shortly afterward, a police vehicle arrived, and a police officer got out and stood in front of me. I realized that the tall fellow had reported me to the police. I instantly switched our topic to selling houses. The woman was helpful and collaborated with me. I then realized that it wasn't wrong to clarify the facts. The old forces could not oppose that. I changed my negative attitude. Hence, the evil spirit could not harm me. This police officer had nothing to say and left. I then quietly called the woman to the side and advised her to withdraw from the CCP and its organizations. I am truly grateful to Teacher for protecting me. Teacher said,
“Cultivation depends on one’s own efforts, while the transformation of gong is done by one’s master.” (Zhuan Falun)
Indeed, it is Teacher who handles everything.
The above incident revealed my impatience, which caused the evil side of me to appear. This negative side almost destroyed my sacred mission of saving sentient beings. Teacher has told us,
“I often say that if all a person wants is the well-being of others and if this is without the slightest personal motivation or personal understanding, what he says will move the listener to tears. I have not only taught you Dafa, but have also left you my demeanor. While working, your tone of voice, your kindheartedness, and your reasoning can change a person’s heart, whereas commands never could! If others are not convinced deep down inside but only superficially comply, they will still conduct themselves according to their own will when no one is around to see them.” ("Clearheadedness," from Essentials for Further Advancement)
I now have a deeper understanding of the above statements. They indicate which mindset we should have when we clarify the facts. For example, we should not try to complete it as a job, focus on getting more people saved, try to increase our virtue, etc. Instead, we should be compassionate, speak in a friendly tone, and tell people only facts, which they can accept. This is how we should save them. If we want to save more people, we should study the Fa and improve our character. This is true cultivation, which is needed to save people.
In the process of clarifying the facts, my human notions often appeared as a negative factor. In the first few years I looked down on Christians, which caused them to react negatively to what I said. The end result was that I got angry and acted just like an everyday person. Teacher taught us that in order to save someone we must do so with his attachments in mind. All human notions tend to block us from moving forward. We only need to ask people to withdraw from the CCP and its organizations in order to remove the mark of the beast, and to recite sincerely, “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good. Falun Dafa is good.” Later, when I met Christians I told them, “Believing in God is good. Jesus Christ is a righteous god. However, his teachings have been distorted by man. In your bible it is also stated 'My people should remove the mark of the beast. Because people with this mark will be punished and burn in hell'.” I then explained to them what the mark of the beast is. I also told them that they have the freedom to believe whatever they want to believe. However, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is the most fundamental characteristic of this universe, and it controls everyone. If they violate this characteristic, it will not help to pray to god. Some Christians awakened. They have been Christian for many years but their illnesses remained. They were baffled, and I told them that they needed to withdraw from the CCP and its associated organizations.
How we act and cultivate ourselves in our daily lives will have an affect on maintaining a balanced family life. This is important because it can bring forth a harmonious environment for cultivation or many conflicts, which might adversely affect our cultivation. In the past, I used human notions when I dealt with family problems, which lead to conflicts among my sons and daughters-in-law. I had many distractions in my cultivation. My family is large and consists of two sons, their wives, and two grandchildren. The two daughters-in-law have strong characters and a tendency to compete with each other, which generated so much conflict that they no longer talked to each other. They had to communicate through me. When it was time to celebrate the new year or a public holiday, they did it by themselves. My husband and I didn't know what to do.
Although the conflicts were between my in-laws, I knew this was no accident and some changes were needed in my cultivation. As I looked inward, I noticed that I had been telling one daughter-in-law about the shortcomings of the other one, causing them to look down on each other. I also failed to handle problems fairly, which caused them to compete rather than cooperate with each other. Actually, it was I who needed to change.
I invited my sons and their families to come for dinner on my birthday, and I made sure that they did not bring any gifts. At the dinner table I said to them, “The conflicts you experienced were caused by me. I failed to follow what Teacher said and caused a misunderstanding between you. From now on, we should focus on our own shortcomings and the strengths of others. As brothers you should try to understand and care for each other, so that when a problem occurs you know who to ask for help. I won't serve as an intermediary any longer. We should have a harmonious family. A family with practitioners should be admired and not laughed at by people. I should be the first to carry out what I just said.” My daughter-in-laws said, “Mom! Don't worry. We didn't do well, but we will change.” Their conflicts were gone after that, and they have since been friendly with one another. My husband and I have been able to focus on studying the Fa and doing the exercises without being distracted. This is the result of true cultivation.
In “Abandon Human Attachments and Continue True Cultivation” from Essentials for Further Advancement, it states,
“Cultivation practice is magnificent and solemn. Whether you can give up your particular human mindset is a major test that you will have difficulty passing, yet you must pass.”
I think the process of cultivation involves giving up all human notions. For thousands of years we have been holding on to human notions. It is our human side that has kept us within the Three Realms. During cultivation the first thought is the most important, because it reflects our inner world. A cultivator should apply the Fa to examine whether his or her first thought is in line with the Fa and immediately correct it if necessary. An everyday person will judge his thoughts based upon human standards. Hence, he will continue to hold on to human notions. Some misled cultivators may use Teacher's words to defend why they hold on to human ways,
“...maximally conform to the ways of the ordinary human society... ” (“Dafa Is All-Encompassing” from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
The Minghui website published an article entitled, “Purchase firecrackers and set them off.” When I read it, my first thought was to wait for the media to announce the death of Jiang Zemin and then set off firecrackers. Yet, there was no announcement, and we didn't want the evil people to say that we were spreading rumors. Quite a few fellow practitioners agreed with this idea. After further sharing, I recognized that this was all human logic and not in line with the Fa. Teacher wants us to immediately disintegrate the evil, because Fa-rectification waits for no one! Hence, before organizing a large group, my husband and I went ahead and purchased firecrackers and set them off. We did it three times and the effects were great. My character had improved, I had gained greater wisdom, and was inspired to write more articles.
My understanding is limited. Please point out anything that is improper.