Not long ago I helped out a fellow practitioner in distress. I have learned a lot from this and would like to share my experience with my fellow practitioners. Please kindly point out anything inappropriate in my humble insights.
At the end of 2003, I ran into a female fellow practitioner whom I called Anqi. I am a few years older than Anqi. We each have a child and the four of us formed a weekly Fa study group where we exchanged our cultivation insights. Sometimes we worked together to do the three things(clarify the truth, send forth righteous thoughts and study the Fa). We both cherished this relationship Teacher had arranged for us. For the past five years, we have learned from each other and stayed diligent in our cultivation practice. Together, we have prevailed over many obstacles and difficulties in our cultivation. We have been through thick and thin and have never quarrelled.
For the past six months, it has been difficult to keep up the weekly group Fa study mainly because Anqi was unable to make it. After the Fa study, she mostly complained about the pressure from her family and child. For example, her son's poor academic performance, her son playing with his mobile phone, her son sending text messages to girls at school, etc. Her husband blamed her for everything and reproached her for their son's behaviours and made bad comments about Falun Gong. One problem was followed by another. No matter how hard she tried to study the Fa, send forth righteous thoughts or search inward, her situation did not improve. The domestic problem even expanded within the family.
I always had some poor opinions about Anqi since I knew her. What I disliked most about her was her arrogance. I thought she thought too highly of herself, but she could not endure hardships. But I also knew that I, as a Falun Gong practitioner, must not judge her or her problems. Moreover, I knew I too had the same attachments. I just disapproved of the tone she used and the way she conducted her affairs. Actually, this is because of my jealousy, competitive mentality and the way I look down on other people. I had known that I have these attachments, but I never really made up my mind to eliminate them. I had actually complained about her behind her back.
It was no surprise that I might have tried to help her search inward or offer advice, but I actually blamed her for these problems. I thought she failed to cultivate well and caused her son to slack off as well. Sometimes I thought she deserved it and was glad she was now reaping what she had sowed. After a few weeks, she made very little improvement on resolving these problems.
It was not until a few days ago that I suddenly realized that these problems that she had faced for a long time could not possibly have been caused only by her. I must have been responsible for them as well. In addition, we have helped each other and kept each other company during the perilous journey of the Fa-rectification. She helped me when I was in distress. One wonders how many past lives we had known each other! Now that she is facing so much tribulation in her life, I am sending such negative thoughts towards her. Am I not assisting the evil elements from other dimensions?
As soon as I realized this, I immediately sat in the full lotus position and sent forth righteous thoughts. Regardless of our cultivation status, I will not allow any evil life from other dimensions to separate another fellow practitioner and me. I shall completely disintegrate all the interferences, evil spirits, rotten demons and evil elements of the Communist Party that persecute fellow practitioners and interfere with us when we do the three things. I also tried to connect myself to Anqi and eliminate all the bad thoughts, notions, attachments and thought karma in our dimensions. Next I began to treat her problems as my own with a genuinely selfless heart for the very first time. (Actually, it was not difficult to do this. As long as we truly mean to cultivate ourselves, Teacher will remove the bad elements from us in other dimensions.) I put myself in her shoes and calmly analyzed what she might have done wrong. How can I really reach her? How do I present her problems in a way she can accept? I thought long and hard before I spoke to her.
One day I received another email from her. She spoke of her miseries as usual in the email. In addition, the situation had turned worse. She felt she could no longer face her husband. She could no longer endure the pressure. She felt she and her son had both collapsed. She asked me for help. She had never begged me for help before using this tone. I immediately asked to meet her in person. In the past, she complained a lot and led the conversation. This time I took the lead by sharing the problems I face at home and my experiences as a cultivator with my child. Next I solemnly pointed out the loopholes of her recent Fa study. Meanwhile, I tried my best to encourage her to search inwards and reinforce her righteous thoughts. I didn't prepare for this speech, but I discovered that my thoughts kept expanding and the Fa became increasingly clear to me. I also found my righteous thoughts growing strong. When we said our farewells, she nodded in agreement looking as though she had understood me.
The next day she showed up in our group Fa study looking confident and happy. The sad and defeated experience had disappeared from her face. She said with strong righteous thoughts, "I finally understand. I regarded problems in life as bad things. I tried to resolve the problems by studying the Fa and doing the three things. I studied the Fa with pursuit. As a result, the more I pursued, the worse my situation turned. Whether I face a good or a bad thing, it is a good thing for a cultivator. Teacher taught us about this. It is our my notion at fault." I was truly happy for her.
One day later a thought flashed in my mind when I was sitting in the full lotus position. Oh, I shared the same problem with Anqi. For a long time I had regarded physical discomfort, thought karma and all the difficulties and problems in life as bad things. As a result, I had felt depressed to some extent and slacked off in my cultivation. I failed to understand: the early stage of my cultivation was so easy and wonderful. Why is it getting increasingly difficult? This question had troubled me for a long time and my hair turned gray because of this. But I had been too proud to share my problems. Fellow practitioners might have thought I had been doing well, but I had been feeling miserable.
The root cause is that I had failed to understand the essence of cultivation. I had held onto humanness with one hand and onto divinity with the other. I was afraid of losing my interests. I was accustomed to regarding any unpleasant things as bad. Therefore, I tried to do things carefully and perfectly in order to avoid any unpleasant events. I had also studied the Fa with pursuit in order to improve my situation via cultivation. How can I call myself a Falun Gong practitioner with such a filthy mind? Seriously put, I had been searching outwards and had been cultivating along the evil path!
I am truly thankful that Anqi had identified a big attachment for me. I have studied a lot of Falun Gong books and articles. I had thought hard to identify what had obstructed me from progressing in my cultivation practice, but I failed to arrive at a deeper understanding of the Fa or least not as clearly as now. I thought I was helping Anqi, but she had helped me more in the end. Teacher must have tried to help me in this fashion and hinted to me that helping others is helping myself. When I improve my xinxing (heart and mind nature, character), other things, such as my understanding of the Fa, I will improve as well. It is important to be truly selfless, let go of self and eliminate the distance between practitioners in order to form and improve as one body.
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