Today, I studied Master Li's lecture, "Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference". Master said,
"When I teach the Fa infrequently though, what worries me most is not the hardships or ordeals you face, which you know to be plenty hard. They are not the hardest thing; after all, however trying hardship may be, it's over after you get through it, and at that point things are clear to you. Rather, to quietly cultivate in bleak loneliness, unable to see hope, is the hardest of all. Doing any form of cultivation entails undergoing a trial such as this and a path with such features. Only if one can persevere and continually forge ahead does it amount to true diligence."
While reading this part, I cried. I recalled my past cultivation experience in which I had really struggled with my loneliness. Sometimes I overcame it successfully but sometimes I lost. There were no other practitioners in my area and I basically had to cultivate all by myself. After daily work and study, I studied the Fa, practiced the exercises, sent forth righteous thoughts, read the Minghui website, printed truth-clarifying materials and posted them.
In the beginning, I was very diligent. However, gradually, the loneliness started to interfere with me. I became unwilling to study the Fa, do the exercises or send forth righteous thoughts. Even when printing or posting truth-clarifying materials, I had the attachments of completing the tasks and the attachment of pursuit.
While on the Minghui (Clearwisdom.net) website, I only looked for the articles I thought were interesting. Sometimes, when there were no new articles from Master, I didn't want to continue reading anything.
I knew this was not right, and felt sad. But I could not lift up my spirit and forge ahead diligently. After reading Master's lecture, I realized that I was not able to overcome loneliness and didn't believe in the Fa firmly enough. Because my thoughts on cultivating diligently were not strong enough, I was too lax.
Master told us the Fa on loneliness at his "Lecture at the First Conference in North America".
"Unendurable loneliness is most dangerous to humans, and it's also the greatest tribulation in practicing cultivation."
"You have no idea that loneliness can ruin everything for a person. In the past, what did monks depend on in their practice of cultivation? Why were they able to succeed in cultivation? Their greatest hardship was loneliness. What hardship did they have to endure? It was the hard-to-endure loneliness. Why could a person who went up to a mountain to practice the Dao succeed in attaining the Dao? Worldly people were enjoying glory, splendor, wealth, and rank. Even poor people, who weren't enjoying glory, splendor, wealth, and rank, also had kith and kin, and enjoyed earthly pleasures. The monks cultivated hard in the mountains by themselves. Without any contact with other people, that loneliness, which is hard to endure, can wear away a person's many attachments and various desires."
This lecture was given during the period of personal cultivation, before the persecution began. In those years, I could go to the exercise site every day and join group study. There were practitioners around all the time. Thus I did not pay attention on cultivating away this attachment and did not fully understand Master's words at that time.
I understand now that since everyone's path and situation is different, the trouble each of us runs into is different, and each person's difficulties are also different. Relatively speaking, everyone will face the test of loneliness. When it comes, it will test whether we have a strong will, if we can hold up our xinxing (character, heart and mind nature) and righteous thoughts, if we can walk our cultivation path well, and if we can diligently do the three things (study the Fa [the teachings of Falun Dafa], send forth righteous thoughts and clarify the truth about Falun Dafa and about the persecution to the world's people)
In fact, as long as we practice, Master is always beside us. But there will be tests of loneliness along our cultivation paths nevertheless.
I hope all practitioners can enjoy the fruits of "always cultivating as if you were just starting will surely result in achieving your ultimate rank." ("Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference")
My understanding is limited, please point out anything inappropriate.
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