Feeling Dispirited for Slacking off in Cultivation
(Minghui.org) I used to be very diligent in clarifying the truth about Falun Dafa at work and in the neighborhood, and many people learned the truth about Dafa from me.
Then I started to slack off. One night I watched a movie. I was excited at first but then I felt guilty and could not read the Fa, feeling that I could not face Master. My mind was filled with the plot of the movie. I decided to go to bed, hoping to do better the next day.
The next morning I could not get up to do the exercises or send forth righteous thoughts. Then I did not talk to anyone about Dafa on the way to work. Since I did not read the Fa or sent forth righteous thoughts, I worried that I would lack power when I clarified the truth. I hoped that things would change after reading the Fa that evening.
Instead of picking myself up after falling down, I got upset, because I could not let go of my attachment and do the three things that day. I asked myself, “How can I face Master?” To push my feelings of guilt aside, I watched more movies and got busy with WeChat, a Chinese social media application similar to Facebook.
Filled with Guilt
From reading the Fa, I knew that practitioners make mistakes in cultivation, and that it is not a big deal as long as we make up for it.
Being downhearted would make the evil happy and make Master sad, but I just could not get over feeling disheartened. Yes, I was able to be diligent for one or two days, but then was overcome with guilt for spending too much time on WeChat.
While blaming myself, another night was wasted, and I kept watching movies. Then, the consequence was that I lost control of myself.
It became more difficult to be diligent, although Master had said that the time is limited. I was anxious and guilt-ridden and kept blaming myself.
Master said that every practitioner represents a giant celestial body. While fellow practitioners were doing so well, I have wasted so much time. How can I rectify my celestial body? Fellow practitioners have saved so many sentient beings, but I have slacked off for so long. How can I fulfill the oath I made in history?
“He didn't do well today, but aren't you old forces still persecuting people? I'll have him do things over tomorrow, and definitely have him do them well!” (Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Lantern Festival)
I read the above and realized that Master said it in 2003, but it is now 2017. Even if I do well now, how much time do I have to make up for my mistake?
Instead of picking myself up, I thought about how I have heard the Dao, but if I cannot reach consummation, I will not have another chance to cultivate. I felt hopeless, as I was the one who would have to assume the blame.
I was filled with remorse, but I did not want to give up cultivation. Master has said everything so clearly. I could not live an everyday people's life, fighting for fame and money. I would rather die if I had to live like that. This went on for two years.
Lacking a Good Understanding of the Fa
Recently, I had a discussion with a fellow practitioner, which helped me realize that the reason I was distressed was that I lacked a good understanding of the Fa.
Master has told us that the old universe goes through the process of formation, stasis, degeneration, destruction. When it is the time for degeneration, the old universe cannot save itself, so it will go from bad to worse and finally be destroyed.
However, in the future universe, Dafa will harmonize and renew the degenerated lives. That is to say, even in the new universe, the lives will not be always perfect. As we cultivate in the human world, mistakes are inevitable.
One cannot imagine how bad we were before we began to cultivate under the guidance of Dafa and became good. In validating the Fa, one will make mistakes. It is impossible to avoid all mistakes. The process of validating the Fa is a process of falling down, but getting up with the help of Dafa and turning into a better life guided by Dafa.
“You have to allow him to make mistakes and give him the opportunity to correct his actions--that is what's magnificent about our Fa.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference” from Teaching the Fa at the Conference V)
Thus, no matter how big or how small the mistakes are, I should not feel depressed. Mistakes are inevitable in cultivation, and we should not think that a certain mistake is unforgivable.
“What does 'the Buddha Fa is boundless' mean? It has unlimited ways; It has plenty of ways to save people, according to each person’s situation.” (“Teaching the Fa at a New York Meeting,” Lectures in the United States)
The key is that we should not give up on ourselves. It is useless to think about whether we have enough time or not.
Tackling Wrong Thoughts
A few years ago, I thought about transcribing the book Zhuan Falun by hand as a means of more effective Fa study. I let it go, however, because I thought that the Fa-rectification might end soon, so I should focus on reading instead. However, if I had started then, and only did one page every day, I would have finished the entire book twice by now.
Master controls everything, so who says that we are running out of time? Time is limited, and we should cherish the time, but we should not go to the other extreme. Even if there really is not enough time, it would be better to do well now than do nothing.
In cultivation, I paid special attention to social interactions and wanted people to have a good impression of Dafa. If I did something wrong, although Master has explicitly talked about it, such as getting mad, watching a movie, missing sending forth righteous thoughts or doing exercises, I could not forgive myself. I would think that I did not deserve to be a practitioner, because I had damaged Dafa’s image.
Because of these attachments, the evil old forces made me feel guilty and thus I lost the courage to start over and do better. Without courage, I got worse and felt ashamed.
The old forces tried to enhance my desire to be perfect. But how can everything I do in cultivation be perfect? Mistakes are inevitable. The old forces use this to destroy a practitioner. It makes you give up on yourself and quit cultivating.
Fellow practitioners, if you feel like the old me, please let go of this attachment. Maybe we did miss a lot of opportunities and did waste a lot of time. But if we bravely face ourselves and rectify ourselves with the Fa, then we are validating the Fa and validating the wisdom of Master and the Fa.
Please do not get confused by the old forces' tricks, because Master said: “The truth is, I treasure you more than you treasure yourselves!” (“Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s)” from Essentials for Further Advancement II)