In "Lecture at the US East Coast Conference (New York, March 27-28, 1999)," Teacher said the following regarding practising outdoors during the winter:
"When it gets too cold, you should wear gloves for the exercises. Don't freeze yourselves. Actually, practitioners won't get frostbite, yet some people have while practising the exercises. Why did that happen? Think about it everyone. Dafa can't force a person to practise cultivation--it has to come from one's own heart. Because during cultivation practise there are always many new students coming to learn about Dafa, they don't have such good or high enlightenment quality, or such high levels, and they haven't been through many tests, so we can't yet say that they've come here to practise cultivation. In other words, when we can't yet treat them as genuine disciples, if they get frostbite, won't it have a severe impact on the Fa? Because they're just at the beginning level, and have just joined, it hasn't been determined yet that they're cultivators. If they get frostbite when they're testing it out, what a huge impact it will bring. New students keep coming to practise cultivation. Therefore, none of you all can do that. Since some students insist on doing that, they get frostbite. In fact, in one regard, it helps them eliminate karma; in another regard, it's used to have them enlighten to this." ("Lecture at the US East Coast Conference")
During the last few years of my cultivation, I always thought these were cautious words to new practitioners who haven't enlightened to a high level, haven't focused their minds on cultivation, and are not yet true practitioners. So if they got frostbite, they might impact Falun Dafa. In recent study of the principles of Falun Dafa, I suddenly found that my understanding was completely wrong. Not only did I not understand the deeper meanings, I didn't comprehend the surface meaning of the words.
During the last few years I have read "Lecture at the US East Coast Conference" countless times, but I failed to understand what Teacher was saying. When practising outside we should wear gloves if it's too cold. Teacher wasn't just telling the new practitioners. It was meant for all practitioners. Practitioners won't get frostbite from the cold. Teacher told us this in consideration of the new practitioners in order to prevent negative impact to Falun Dafa. We always study and learn from each other, and the new practitioners will try to imitate what they see. Teacher said,
"If they get frostbite when they're testing it out, what a huge impact it will bring." "Therefore, none of you all can do that." ("Lecture at the US East Coast Conference")
This is not just for the new practitioners. We should wear gloves when it's freezing outside, it's for the new practitioners and for Falun Dafa. We can't just take care of our own practise and ignore others. We can't ignore the impact we have on the whole body of practitioners and the practise of Falun Dafa itself just to show off our cultivation state. Some people practised without gloves outdoors without realising what Teacher was telling us. Teacher also said,
"Since some students insist on doing that, they get frostbite." ("Lecture at the US East Coast Conference")
Before the persecution started, didn't some veteran practitioners and contact persons get frostbite? Without realising what Teacher said, they thought, "This can't be. I am not a new practitioner. I have a certain degree of understanding of the principles. Shouldn't genuine practitioners not get frostbite?" It's because they didn't really understand Teacher's words. Yes, genuine practitioners won't get frostbite. This understanding is not wrong. But why did that happen? Teacher is using this method to have them enlighten to this. That they shouldn't do this practise without gloves. I am beginning to realise the importance of studying the principles with a calm mind. When my mind is not calm, I can't even grasp the surface principles.
We should follow what Teacher told us to be in accordance with Falun Dafa, and walk the path that Teacher assigned for us. We shouldn't indulge in our own practise and not think about our impact on Falun Dafa. Aren't we in fact one body? Shouldn't we consider others? Teacher told us to do so for the betterment of the sentient beings! We should let go of our selfishness, learn to think of others, and eliminate the obstacles preventing ordinary people from obtaining Falun Dafa.
In regard to this, I thought about many practitioners' attitudes toward safety, for example like wearing gloves in winter while practising.
During the last few years, the Falun Gong website Clearwisdom.net has posted many articles regarding safety issues, which I never took into serious consideration. I thought that cultivation is about getting rid of attachments and improving mind nature (xinxing), and there's no such thing as a safety issue. We should focus on our own mind nature, and not focus too much on the surface. I mistakenly thought that emphasising safety issues is having doubts toward Falun Dafa.
If I calm down and think about it, whether or not I am fearful is not determined by my actions. The key element is letting go of my selfishness, and stepping forward to validate the Fa (universal law, the teachings in Falun Dafa). The process of "validating oneself" is hard to detect when it happens, because one would indulge in it and think that they have a righteous thought.
But I am slowly coming to the understanding that safety issues are not what they seem to be on the surface. It looks like human techniques, but taking safety into consideration does not mean that a practitioner is fearful. It's being responsible for Falun Dafa, for letting the sentient beings know the truth, and reducing potential damage toward the practitioners!
During the past few years, after countless tribulations between life and death, choosing to be an ordinary human or a god, and eliminating the distractions and persecution with righteous thoughts... all of these made me steadfast in my own understandings. I wanted to guard my understandings and state of being. Unconsciously I felt that my enlightenment quality was high, that I was being intelligent, and that my understanding of Fa-rectification was clear-headed. Now I realise that I really was not clearheaded. Viewing the problems from the standpoint of the Fa is the most important goal. We are here to validate Falun Dafa, not ourselves. Placing too much emphasis on the importance of sending forth righteous thoughts would seem like being on the right path and being a genuine practitioner at first, but this is not correct.
The lessons are numerous. Extreme personal behaviours can impact many people, especially for practitioners who are a bit more diligent than others. The evil will take advantage of practitioners' extreme understandings and actions to impact the whole body. When we share our experiences, we share the cultivation of our mind nature and self examination. How many practitioners have been persecuted because they followed some fellow practitioner's extreme actions? How can we say we are not at fault?
These are some of my personal understandings. I hope fellow practitioners would kindly point out my mistakes.
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