The Pursuit of Comfort – a Cancer That Can Destroy a Practitioner’s Will to Cultivate

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I had noticed this specific section of Master's teaching of the Falun Gong principles, the Fa during the early period of my cultivation:

"Human beings are very difficult to save. There are always about five or ten percent of the people in each class who cannot keep up with the others. It is impossible for everyone to attain the Tao. Even for those who can continue their cultivation practise, it remains to be seen whether you can succeed and if you are determined to practise cultivation. It is impossible for everyone to become a Buddha. True Dafa practitioners will undergo the same experiences by reading this book, and they will be able to obtain whatever they deserve all the same." ("Lecture Two" of Zhuan Falun)

I should admit that I had not actually understood the meaning of that paragraph then. I only knew that one needs to make diligent progress in cultivation. With my continuous Fa study, together with truly cultivating myself during the Fa rectification cultivation era, I have increasingly realised the profound meanings of this paragraph.

Master has told us a long time ago of the various states we may encounter on our cultivation path. An individual who cannot cultivate with determination and merely cultivates superficially, this person will be unable to truly complete Fa cultivation, shed the human shell, and achieve Consummation.

During my interactions with other practitioners during the past two years, I have noticed a serious situation - that is, some practitioners have become increasingly attached to comfort and forgetting just how serious the persecution in China really is. Several practitioners have recently referred to this phenomenon in their experience sharing articles. It can be said that currently the pursuit of comfort is not just an isolated phenomenon among Falun Dafa practitioners; like a tumour, it is being nourished and spreads. Once it takes root, it has achieved its ultimate goal of destroying the practitioners’ determination in cultivation, dragging the practitioners down, and making all of their cultivation efforts fruitless.

Perhaps some practitioners may wonder if I have exaggerated the issue. No, I have not! The practitioners I have known had been able to conduct themselves according to Falun Dafa's standards between 2002 and 2003, when the evil was the most rampant. They had persevered in their cultivation and taken offering salvation to sentient beings as their responsibility. However, when the evil beings have become fewer and fewer, and when the cultivation environment has become increasingly relaxed, motivated by the pursuit of comfort, they have slacked off in their cultivation and started to gradually slide downward. They are permitting the demons to drag them down, to the realm of the ordinary people.

Some practitioners have become attached to their businesses, and what is on their minds is all about making money. Some often accompany their non-practitioner friends to go to restaurants and drink, even drinking alcohol at times. Some of them play mahjong (a Chinese game) and computer games to entertain themselves as they are financially tight and do not have satisfactory lives. Some female practitioners have used their valuable time that should have been used for cultivation to go shopping and buying luxury clothes. Some elderly practitioners have become attached to their children’s employment, marriages, etc.

There are also some practitioners who get attached to ordinary people’s desires and lust; they become irrational, being influenced by the emotional love between a man and woman. None of these practitioners' cultivation states, being saddled with these problems, are good. They have not studied the Fa enough and have placed most of their emphasis on how to lead ordinary people’s lives.

Seeing them behave as such, I feel acutely worried. They are letting the opportunity for Dafa cultivation slip away. I feel bad in my heart. I often think, "With such a great Dafa and with such a great Master, why do we still not value these opportunities? How can we get so attached to things in the ordinary society? How can we just live for these petty interests, for renown and fortune, or for the ordinary people’s sentimentalities? Even a wise, ordinary person can see that everything in the ordinary society, no matter how good it appears to be, is just transitory, and people cannot bring them into life when they are born or take them when they die, let alone Dafa practitioners who have understood the principles of the cosmos. How have we become so lost?"

After I calmed down and thought these things over I realised what has made us to not cultivate diligently and to slack off is our pursuit of comfort that we have not let go of intensified this over time. The interfering demons have exploited this attachment during the ending period of our Fa rectification cultivation. The pursuit of comfort has made us reluctant to practise the exercises and study the Fa, and instead has made us to become lazy and watch television. During the acute phase of the persecution, this attachment made us develop the attachment of fear, and unwilling to validate the Fa. It made us stay at home, practising the exercises without being noticed.

This attachment made us fear hardships and prevented us from letting go of selfishness and thus disabled us from completely immersing ourselves in truth-clarifying work and the endeavour to offer sentient beings salvation. It made us give priority to our losses and gains in ordinary society. We only wish to gain and do not want to make sacrifices. We are afraid of losing the things in ordinary society. This attachment has made us unwilling to cooperate with other practitioners and improve together. It made us concentrate on our individual Fa study and exercises as well as the pursuit of Consummation. The attachment to comfort has really done much harm to the practitioners! It has hidden itself in our every thought; in our wanting to pursue ordinary people’s comforts, or in our becoming satisfied with the [perceived] good things of ordinary society, which we have obtained from Dafa. This attachment thus makes us complacent with the current status and unable to clearly remember Dafa disciples’ missions and unconditionally validate the Fa.

Some practitioners said they are unable to cultivate themselves diligently because their financial conditions are not so good. Faced with such heavy family burdens, how could they have a peaceful mind in their cultivation and have the mind to validate the Fa? In other words, they want to cultivate themselves only after their conditions get better. Is this, in fact, caused by their ordinary people’s attachment to comfort?

Master had said,

" will you practice cultivation if you do not have any worries or troubles? How can you do the exercises comfortably and restfully? How can there be such a thing? That is what you think, from the perspective of everyday people." ("Lecture Four" of Zhuan Falun)

Master has already told us the Fa principle - that everything in the ordinary society is determined by karmic relationships, and the ordinary people’s happiness and hardships all result from the karmic cause and effect and are all caused by people themselves. Being Dafa practitioners, we should be able to clearly understand this principle, calm our minds, be satisfied with what we currently have, eliminate our desires, elevate our character and level of understanding (xinxing) amid our own respective cultivation environments, and turn the things that we have encountered, whether good or bad, into opportunities for raising our xinxing and cultivate ourselves until the end. As a matter of fact, when we are truly able to achieve this state, the tribulations that we face will not last that long, as the principle of the universe is regulating everything. With our continued improvement, the negative elements will be increasingly incapable of restricting us, and our cultivation environment will become increasingly better. Otherwise, if we do not have a strong mind of cultivation, even though the environment has become better, we may still get attached to all the things in ordinary society and be unable to cultivate ourselves diligently.

Many of the practitioners close to me are in very good financial circumstances. They are financially sound; their children lead satisfactory lives; they have plenty of time, and even have no need to do daily house work. However, they have become attached to their comfortable lives in ordinary society and they indulge themselves and cannot free themselves from that state. There are also practitioners whose family burdens are heavy and they do not have very satisfactory lives, but they always maintain the standard of a cultivator. Their diligence in cultivation has not faded, and their will of rescuing people is extremely strong. Whether or not a practitioner can cultivate him or herself diligently, therefore completely depends on his inner thoughts during cultivation while the external environment is not important. A person who has become attached to comfort, whether or not his or her living conditions are good or bad cannot cultivate him or herself diligently.

My personal understanding tells me that it is quite dangerous for a cultivator to not let go of his or her pursuit of comfort. Under the influence of this attachment, our will to cultivate will fade away and be replaced with ordinary people’s desires. We may use the excuse of "complying with ordinary people’s states" while pursuing fame and money and give in to emotions. In the end, after we stumble badly we will then wake up; only then will we think about whether or not we have gone down the wrong path. But by that time, when we want to come back into cultivation, we may have already found that we have lost the precious cultivation opportunity, and it is already too late for regrets.

Cultivation is a serious matter. We really should not get attached to the so-called happy life of ordinary people. Are those the things we want? Even though we have obtained those things, they are just transient; after death, we will still have to go through the cycle of reincarnation and will never be able to get out of it. How can that be the meaning of our lives’ existence?

Today we are fortunate to have become Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples. All our fortunate gains are not reflected in our enjoyment of that bit of the ordinary people’s comfort. There are even greater virtues awaiting us. By assisting Master in rectifying the Fa and offering salvation to sentient beings, we can truly achieve Consummation and enter the incomparably beautiful new cosmos. That is one's life’s highest glory and extraordinary honour, which many lives in the cosmos want to have but they cannot.

Fellow practitioners: Master has repeatedly said that Dafa disciples are great, so we should quickly let go of our attachment to comfort. We should not just simply continue our cultivation but must truly cultivate ourselves in the Fa and achieve consummation; only this is the real purpose for our lives.

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