A Small Difference On the Surface Can Mean a Big Difference in Realms for Cultivators

Sometimes when I read or listen to fellow practitioners’ experiences, I have a feeling that their understanding of the Fa is really good! Compared to them, I seem to fall just slightly behind. However, although on the surface it seems like just a small difference, in the microcosm it’s a huge gap.

I still remember that when I was the coordinator for our area, for a period of time, fellow practitioners liked to listen to me share. Because I could talk on and on vividly and captivatingly, the atmosphere was lively. I felt so good when I heard the praise and saw the admiring gazes from fellow practitioners. They all said I cultivated well and enlightened well and my realm was high. But was that true? When I calmed down and looked back, I felt very bad. On the surface, I did the Dafa projects with vigor and vitality; I did it wholeheartedly. But it was revealed to me that I was validating myself and showing off, which is a characteristic of the old cosmos’s beings. Fellow practitioners didn’t see it, though. The solemnity of cultivation doesn’t manifest on the surface; instead, it is that one assimilates to the standard of Dafa quietly and solidly. Master talked a lot about this in many lectures, and I realized he was revealing the different realms that the new cosmos’s beings should reach. These realms could only be enlightened to through solid cultivation. Once you enlighten to it, you can conform to the different requirements that Master has set for Dafa disciples at different realms within the Fa-Rectification period. Therefore, sometimes although it appeared that we all did the same thing, there was actually a big difference in minds and realms.

Today when I talked with fellow practitioners, I paid much attention to whether my every single word and thought were for others and Dafa, not for myself. Although this self-awareness seemed only a little bit different, it took me years to realize this.

Last night I talked with a beautiful female customer of mine on the phone. She told me that her husband was out of town for a business trip and she was home alone. I was bewildered and nervous upon hearing this. We didn’t have much business to discuss but we spoke for over half an hour. Finally, I forced myself to say goodbye. I asked myself if I wanted to do go visit her. No! Then why did I talk so long? If the other party had been a man or an ugly woman, would I still have talked that long? I thought I had already let go of the attachment of desire and emotion, but I really hadn’t. It was just that I hadn’t experienced such a test yet. Master said in “Abiding in the Dao”: “Present, but the heart elsewhere— Perfectly reconciled with the world. Looking, but caring not to see— Free of delusion and doubt. Listening, but caring not to hear— A mind so hard to disturb” (from Hong Yin). I enlightened that Master was talking about a realm. I was only a short distance away from that realm. However, this “short distance” was so hard to cross that it was as if it were ten thousand miles away.

This afternoon, another beautiful customer of mine that I know very well was quarrelling with my sales person about the price of a product. When she saw me, she grabbed my arms, leaned towards my body, and acted in an inappropriate manner. She kept calling me “brother” and asked me for a lower price. People all looked at me. Although I looked upright at that moment, in my heart I was hoping she would lean on my shoulder for a little longer.

Cultivation, what is cultivation? When things come unexpectedly, I finally can see my gap in realms. At that very moment, it is a fight between good and evil! If one can’t cut off the attachment and assimilate to Dafa, he will stay in the realm of ordinary people on that issue. Some practitioners said: “I don’t have the attachment of lust. It’s just sometimes when I see a pretty lady on the street, I can’t help taking a look.” In fact, this look already marks the difference in realms. Perhaps it is just that “look” which prevents one from returning to one’s origin. There is a story in Buddhism: A daughter is about to reach consummation, but before she leaves, her mother begs her to take a final look back at her. At that moment, the daughter doesn’t completely let go of the attachment of emotion, so she looks back at her mother. As a result, she falls down. I think this story was written for Dafa disciples today. What is one’s realm? There is no blueprint or role model to compare it too. Dafa disciples are the models for other beings in the new cosmos. Dafa disciples’ mighty virtue will last as long as the new cosmos. Each cultivation step and realm must meet the high standard of the new cosmos. Shouldn’t we be very serious about cultivation?

Once I asked a practitioner whether he went to meet another practitioner. He said no. I asked why. He said there was something in his mind that didn’t want him to see that practitioner. So I asked whether it was due to a conflict in the past or a disagreement. He said it was neither of them, but something hard to describe. I knew that although “something hard to describe” was just some vague feeling, in another dimension it might be a mountain and that thought could control you. Can you tell the difference in other dimensions between “meet without misgivings” and “have roadblocks in the mind”? Moreover, I found that practitioners formed different social circles. Practitioners within the circle talked freely and could solve conflicts very quickly. However, it would be a totally different story between practitioners in different circles. Due to different perspectives and disagreements, gaps developed among practitioners. Although practitioners all understood that this was arranged by the old forces and they should break through the gaps, no one was willing to step out first. They still claimed: “I am not against him. Master said there shouldn’t be gaps between practitioners. If there is such a gap, it is all because they don’t cultivate well. My actions are in line with the Fa. I didn’t do anything wrong.” I also had such an experience. The hardest part is that when this happens, one doesn’t look inside, and thus he is controlled by human thoughts for a long time. If one looks inside and lets go of the human attachments immediately, he will notice the big difference in the realms.

As I was writing this article, I remembered an experience I once shared with another practitioner whose third eye was open. I had already talked with her several times before. I pointed out that some things she had led other practitioners to do were not in line with the Fa, and she should stop. I thought I was in line with the Fa and I was being responsible to the Fa and practitioners. However, she didn’t accept it and we had a quarrel. Afterwards, I rethought it several times. But I still thought I was right. Therefore, for a long period of time I insisted I was right. Actually, insisting one is “right” or “wrong” is already going down the path arranged by the old forces because it creates a big gap among practitioners. Later, I watched Master’s video “Fa Teaching Given to the Australian Practitioners” again and again. I started to realize the root of the problem with that practitioner was within me. Master taught us not to fight for ordinary people’s things, and only when one lets go of human attachments could one obtain divine things. Master also said that if we pointed out other people’s problems with a pure and compassionate heart, the other party would be moved to tears. I was shocked. Who was I cultivating? My heart was so impure that my sharing emphasized myself and carried resentment toward that practitioner. All my talk was “you… you….” So, many “human” notions were hidden inside my words, so how could she accept what I said? Without assimilating to the Fa, my words didn’t contain the power of the Fa; as a result, they couldn’t convince people.

After I truly rectified myself and improved on this issue, I met that practitioner again accidently. We pointed out each other’s shortcomings, and this time our talk was very harmonious. My heart was truly for the Fa and for her own good. I told her all that I wanted to say. I could feel the warm current of compassion and caring flowing in my heart. Every word I said was pure without any element of “self.” In the end, she held my hands with tears in her eyes and said: “I am also a practitioner. I have tests to pass, and I make mistakes too. What you said is really good. I like to hear you talking to me like this.” I almost burst into tears. In my heart, there was nothing except the thought of “for her good.”

On the surface, the problem we were dealing with was the same, but the results of the two talks were totally different. What does it mean? I realize that sometimes on the surface, it might appear only a little bit different, however, you need to put in a lot of solid cultivation to make up that difference!

Every time when I watched the video “Fa Teaching Given to the Australian Practitioners,” I was always touched by the part when Master pointed his fingers to his chest with a sincere expression and earnest wishes and said: “Cultivation, cultivation, it is the true improvement of yourself… It is the improvement of your heart, only when you yourself improve can you become a divine being” (Unofficial translation). Every time I watched it, I felt sad and wanted to cry. Master has given so much to Dafa disciples that it is beyond description. Master’s worrying about of the slow progress of disciples’ cultivation made me feel restless and ashamed of myself. During this final period of Fa-Rectification, I shall cultivate well and never be unworthy of Master’s grace! I will make my understandings of the Fa principles more mature, use the standards for consummation to measure myself with, and deal with every day, every thing, and every thought seriously. When the time for cultivation ends, I will be able to say calmly and truthfully: “My ability of endurance has reached its limit. I don’t have any regrets. I have done everything I vowed to do!”

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