Taking this opportunity, I would like to reflect on my recent experiences.
Fa Study in Chinese
When I join a group Fa Study, I keep a mint or candy in a handy place, because a bout of deep coughs might come out suddenly without my control.
My first experience of this violent cough was when I just started to read the old “Lun Yu” in Chinese with a Chinese practitioner. I managed to finish one paragraph in between coughs. I wondered why and noticed that the paragraph contained a phrase “discerning good from bad”. Do I really know what is good and what is bad? I have been compromising and friendly with others, but never had a firm ground to say this is right. Then I have realised that Fa provides me the ground to say what is right and what is wrong.
Since this experience, I pay attention to the section of Fa when I cough a lot, because this would indicate my shortcomings.
My latest bouts of deep coughs came out when I was reading the following section:
I’m skeptical when I hear people claim that they can still the mind just by reciting a Buddha’s name. If people think, for example, that Pure Land Buddhism is as simple as reciting Buddha Amitabha’s name, I doubt they’ve tried it. I would say that stillness is a matter of mastery, and not as easily found as people claim. It doesn’t come easily in any spiritual discipline. (Talk 9, A Pure and Serene Mind)
Immediately I realised that Master is telling me that I am not focusing on Fa properly. I would not be able to recite Buddha Amitabha’s name with an empty mind. This applies to my exercises as well. I may not be able to empty myself completely, but I should not let human thoughts interfere with my Fa study and exercises.
I followed a rather winding path in my Fa Study. I was born and brought up in Japan and I obtained Fa in the UK. Historically, Buddhism scriptures on paper were brought to Japan, and the Japanese adopted the Chinese characters (referred as Han Dynasty letters) as their written language. I can recognize most of the old Chinese characters, but I cannot pronounce them accurately, nor understand the sentence grammatically.
About 15 years ago, When I first listened to “Zhuan Falun” in Chinese, I felt it was profound. At the same time, a notion of “come back” emerged in my head. It was well before I started to understand “who I really am” as a Dafa disciple, and I had no idea where the notion came from. However, it kept me going to read the Fa in Chinese. Also, a Chinese practitioner said to me “you just forgot”. This little comment was very encouraging to keep me going to study Fa in Chinese.
Getting back to my true self
The other day, when I was reading “Zhuan Falun” in Chinese, two characters 扭曲niu qu , meaning “warp” or “distort” jumped out from the rest of the characters. These two characters made me realise that I am warped, not in line with Fa. Cultivation is meant to rectify the warped body, warped thinking, and warped mind.
Recently, one Chinese practitioner shared a story of an elderly practitioner in Japan. She was limping and became quite disabled. She directly asked Master what was going on in her body and had the understanding “Don’t worry. Your body in another dimension is fine.” This story touched me. For all those years, I have felt a big blockage in my body. In other words, my body has been heavily warped. This blockage became my attachment. The concept of “my body is fine in another dimension” helped me to see my blockage objectively from a higher perspective. I experience discomfort as a process to gain a pure white body. I should take my blockage lightly.
Recently I had some issuesissue with the UK tax office. It seems the computer-generated system and the staff at the tax office cannot accommodate my issue. I was given a huge penalty due to their misunderstanding. I asked an accountant who was the initial cause of the issue to sort out the problem, but they asked for an extra sum of money to write a letter to the tax office. Before they sent the letter to the tax office, I checked the content, and I gave them advice, which must have taken extra time for them. When I received the bill from the accountant I felt “unfair” and annoyed about paying their bill. I shared it with a practitioner, and she pointed out that perhaps I owe money to someone in the past and must pay it back. This was quite a fresh insight. I felt ashamed of myself because I was constantly looking outward and feeling “unfair”.
The incident reminded me of a similar situation that occurred in the past when we were setting up an account for a charity for a Dafa project. The initial three Trustees, including myself, all went through money-related tests in one way or the other. This incident could be another test to check my attachment to money.
Sending Forth Righteous Thoughts
A few weeks ago, we set up a stall at a local festival and joined a small parade, doing exercise demonstrations with a handful of local practitioners. The weather forecast was very bad, and some of the other events were cancelled. I received an email from a stall organiser, warning us to follow their instructions in the event of severe weather. A couple of new practitioners came to Fa Study the day before, and I shared about the effect of Sending Forth Righteous Thoughts on bad weather. One of them said he heard that “positive thinking” could change the environment, so he was comfortable with the idea. Anyway, we all send righteous thoughts for 15 minutes with my translation of Chinese verses. The sun shone after that.
In the evening, a veteran practitioner arrived to stay in my house overnight. We did lots of sharing and catching up, then we joined global sending forth righteous thoughts. That was very powerful, and I felt so positive that anything can be rectified on the earth. Apparently, the other practitioner had the same experience at the same time.
The weather on the day was still threatening and we set up a stall in the pouring rain, but the rain stopped after a while, and by the time of the parade in the afternoon, all the villagers and visitors had a great time under the sun.
The Power of Dafa
There is a Fa study group and a practice site in my hometown. Recently, two elderly Caucasian people walked into my practice site. They liked the energy, and the idea of cultivation. One is a Roman Catholic lady, and the other is a retired gentleman. The Roman Catholic lady straight away supported us to raise awareness on persecution. The gentleman has a very good understanding of cultivation. He goes through pain and agony just by doing simple standing exercises. Sometimes he is in tears, but he perseveres saying “This is all good for me to release bad stuff”. I feel very humble and learn a lot from them. They both come to Fa Study session in my home as well.
Those two new people are on the process of understanding the Fa. They both got “Falun Gong” book, but not “Zhuan Falun”. However, they come to Fa Study to read “Zhuan Falun” in my house. The Roman Catholic lady is very diligent. She comes to Fa Study without fail and remembers exactly which page we finish on each session.
Master said in his recent lecture: It was at the behest of the Creator that Gods created human beings. Different Gods created humans of different appearances according to their own images, so there are people of the white race, the yellow race, the black race, and so on. Their only difference is in the outer form, and their inherent life was all given by the Creator. That’s why they share common values. The Creator asked the Gods to create humans so He would use them at the end times to save all beings in the cosmos, including Gods.(Why There Is Mankind, 6th paragraph)
The Roman Catholic lady is promoting these “common values” to people. And people are reacting to these “common values” when they receive lotus flowers from her.
In the past, people with different religious backgrounds or systems joined my sessions briefly, but they did not stick to the Fa. I feel the situation has changed a lot. I observe the “boundless” nature of Dafa which penetrates people’s hearts beyond any cultural background and creed.
It is a great honour to be a Dafa disciple at this time of Fa rectification period. As long as I read Fa sincerely, send forth righteous thoughts diligently, and improve my xinxing, I believe Master arranges everything for me to fulfil the vow.
Please point out any misunderstanding or shortcomings of this sharing from Fa point of view.
Thank you, Benevolent Master,
Thank you, Fellow Practitioners.
(Submitted to the European Fa-conference 2023 in Paris)
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