One of the characteristics of Falun Dafa is that a person can cultivate without having to leave the secular world. I used to be confused about how this could be accomplished but I had some insights on this recently. I noticed that fellow practitioners were wondering about the same thing and I wrote this article to share my ideas.
I changed a lot physically and mentally when I first started to practice Falun Dafa. I lost interest in a lot of things that used to interest me, such as national and international politics, my career, everyday entertainment, as well as soccer, which used to be my favourite game. I also no longer had much interest in making small-talk with my co-workers and friends. Gradually, they all left me alone. As a result, I felt lonely and was happy only when talking to my fellow practitioners. Before the persecution began, I went to group practice and studied the Falun Gong teachings almost every day because in those days the environment was great for practitioners. My friends and colleagues thought I was no longer concerned with human emotions after I started practising Falun Gong.
Eventually, through my continued study of the Falun Gong teachings, the Fa, I realised I was not behaving righteously. I came to understand that it would be better to maximally conform to the way of everyday people while cultivating instead of behaving like a lay monk or a nun. I realised that if I didn't come into contact with the general public, there would be fewer conflicts and fewer chances to improve my heart. Without tribulations I wouldn't be able to improve my realm and level. (Actually, these thoughts contained a measure of ego and selfishness). I started to make friends with people intentionally and talked to them about my ideas. I reminded them of the principles "Truth, Compassion and Tolerance" whenever we made small talk. I worked more and sought less in return. In response, my environment improved and my colleagues and friends acquired a positive attitude towards Falun Dafa.
After the persecution began in July of 1999, through further study of the Fa and doing well in the three things, I found my deep-rooted selfishness. I understood the meaning of "being compassionate to sentient beings". Dafa disciples during the Fa-rectification period are saving sentient beings. We should consider the people of the future. We are cultivators who live in ordinary human society, but our hearts are beyond it. It is our job to provide all sentient beings with positive understandings of Falun Dafa so that they will recognise their predestined relationships with the Fa in the future. If they don't have a predestined relationship, at least they should come to understand Dafa and not have negative thoughts about it, which will give them a chance to enter the new cosmos that is based on the principles of "Truth, Compassion and Tolerance". We have to ensure that all people, no matter who they are, will think of Dafa disciples as good people. Even though we work hard at our jobs and make sure that our family is harmonious, we should always do what is required of us and not seek rewards. We may look just like everyday people, but our minds are different. No matter how harsh the conditions are, we should always keep a peaceful mind during tribulations or conflicts, even if we are very busy. We have to follow Teacher's requirements to cultivate ourselves and get rid of our attachments in all kinds of environments.
I enlightened to "a great way without form". I cultivate in the human society as if I were just a guest. I follow Teacher's arrangements, which are to cultivate within a web of people who have predestined relationships with me. No matter how many attachments other people may have, if Teacher's Fa hadn't purified my soul, I would be one of them. Teacher is compassionate with us and watches over us from an extremely high level, although we are afflicted with karma. He doesn't feel disgusted with or dislike us, he gives us hints and steers us in the right direction all the time; he is not willing to give up on us even when we don't do well in our cultivation. We should take this as an example and treat sentient beings with a compassionate heart.
When I keep this in mind, the behaviour of the general public doesn't annoy me anymore. Instead, I feel sympathy for them and want to help them. I have hope that they will improve. I don't only think of myself and therefore I don't feel so lonely anymore.
If my family or friends need help with anything, I will do my best to help and express my concerns. As a result, they don't feel that I lack human emotions and trust me. It has therefore become easier to tell them about Falun Gong and convince them to quit the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated organisations, as well as spread the principles of "Truth, Compassion and Tolerance" to them. My mind is no longer so disturbed when I have to deal with other people as part of my daily routine because I know that they have a predestined relationship with me.
On the other hand, I know of a practitioner who thinks that since Teacher has asked us to maximally conform to the way of everyday people, he/she should work hard and seek fame in human society. He/she also acts like a good father (mother), a good husband (wife) and a good friend to his/her classmates or colleagues. He/she thinks that this is what it means to harmonise the environment and family. But he/she doesn't have enough time to study the Fa and do the exercises. He/she seldom does the three things. I don't think that this is correct either. He/she hides his/her attachments with the pretence of conforming to regular society.
If we don't study the Fa and don't follow the Fa in our daily life, we cannot improve ourselves amidst the tribulations of the human world and it is not cultivation. It doesn't mean that this person conforms to regular society, but rather that the person behaves like a regular person. Because he himself is deeply lost in humanness, he does not know he is attached to everything in the human world, including fame, profit, education and the future of his child and the daily routine of his family members.
Some practitioners are not rational and talk to people about difficult concepts such as consummation, Gods, Buddha's and the future. This may alienate them and cause them to withdraw from us. It does not follow the requirements of the Fa. It can even damage Falun Dafa's image. These practitioners disturb the cultivation environment, and cause people to misunderstand the practice. I think, when we consider the image of Falun Dafa and are responsible to the sentient beings we are also being responsible to ourselves.
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