Learning to let go of a human mindset and catching up with Fa Rectification cultivation 放弃常人心 跟上正法進程|
Learning to let go of a human mindset and catching up with Fa Rectification cultivation 放弃常人心 跟上正法進程
PM05: R Gray – Sydney
Greetings Master, greetings fellow practitioners.
My name is Gray I am 29 years old and a practitioner from the UK. I would like to share about a few experiences I have had over the last couple of years, and realisations I have had about righteous thoughts and lessons I have learnt from thinking too much with a human mindset.
I obtained the Fa in London in 2008, when I was 22. Before I began cultivation in Dafa I had been practising meditation for about 4 years, and during that period of time I looked into different religions including Christianity and Buddhism. I first began practicing meditation when I was around 18 and I had several experiences with my third eye, and energy fields. These experiences compelled and intrigued me until I began cultivation practice in early 2008.
I remember the first time I read some Buddhist texts I was with a friend, and I read the term ‘cultivator’ for the first time. After a little bit of reading I decided to do some meditation, and after a little while I saw a scene in another dimension. This was in a cosmic setting, and I saw an enlightened being appear in front of me. They were standing with their arms outstretched in a clear round energy field. They looked at me and said: “A cultivator cultivates their own world.” Then in front of their legs a small earth like world appeared.
I was a little surprised and slightly moved by this experience and after a short while I opened my eyes and exclaimed to my friend: “I know what a cultivator is!” It was not until after I began practicing Falun Dafa, that I understood the true significance of that experience.
Around this time, I was also promoted to my first management position when I was 19, working in retail as a deputy manager. Although I did not always enjoy this job, the role helped give me confidence and develop tendencies and skills which I have drawn upon many times since obtaining the Fa.
I began working for Epoch Times in the UK in 2011, and had lots of opportunities to learn, look inside and help progress EET towards better financial stability and having a greater impact in the UK. When I look back I remember some things went well, while some things were more challenging. One of the biggest challenges I faced was being the only western practitioner in the UK trying to work full time for EET. Of course I was not alone, and worked quite closely with the DJY sales team in the Epoch Times Office. At the beginning things went reasonably well, and in my third month EET had a breakthrough - this was the first time in the UK EET had broken even financially for one month.
Being in an environment surrounded by Chinese practitioners taught me a lot about compassion - within a short space period of time, my understanding of party culture and the effect this has had on people changed drastically. This is not to suggest that the DJY office environment was full of these elements - however the environment at times was very tense and posed unique challenges. When I started working in the office I had envisioned a really harmonious environment, the reality was more than a bit different.
At the time I tried my best to help the office environment and practitioners, and I discovered some long standing tribulations that had existed for almost 10 years. There were some particular frictions and situations that led to some Chinese practitioners confiding in me. They shared that they felt demoralised, hopeless and some practitioners that had worked there for many years even shared that they wanted to leave. At the same time, there were also some barriers between the main coordinators of EET and DJY.
Being the only westerner in the office, I also shared quite extensively with western practitioners in the UK, about understandings of how to help to try change the situation. During this period, I felt I was being righteous and doing things for the right reasons. But I allowed myself to get more and more drawn into distractions that increasingly took my focus away from actually focusing on doing sales. I often felt like I was in the middle between Westerners and Chinese and could not understand why there was so much conflict. Some of the situations led to a feeling and sense of being in the middle of an immense cosmic battle, and one I started to feel I could not do anything about. This culminated in the main EET coordinator standing down, because of the conflicts.
I have realised, that while many of the scenarios and situations had tangible reasons behind them and brought to head some things which have now fundamentally changed - ultimately I did not handle things with pure enough righteous thoughts. I allowed myself to think far too much with a human mindset, and I was caught up in with what I thought was superficially right and wrong.
I would like to share a quote from Zhuan Falun Lecture Six:
“As a practitioner, if you always think that it is an illness, you are actually asking for it. If you ask for an illness, it will come inside your body. As a practitioner, your xinxing level should be high. You should not always worry that it is an illness, for this fear of illness is an attachment and it can bring you trouble just the same. In cultivation practice one needs to eliminate karma, and that is painful. How can one increase gong comfortably? How can one otherwise remove one’s attachments?”
I found my situation quite similar to this; because I was not earnestly trying to remove my attachments and take things lightly I created a gap where I was actually inviting the tribulations. Because I was thinking with too much of a human mindset, in my heart I sought comfort and simplicity and as such the environment became tense and difficult.
The process also revealed attachments to myself and my ego, and how these attachments can manifest when I put myself before my responsibility of saving sentient beings. Writing this sharing has given me the opportunity to look inside and realise a lot of my fundamental attachments come from myself.
Just after I started working for Epoch Times, I got married and began a new chapter of my life as a married man. Because of strong attachments to myself, I found it difficult to let go of attachments to lust and desire and this contributed to another tense environment at home. This was completely avoidable - here I had longed for harmony and settling down, and what I got was frictions and upheaval.
This attachment to myself, and how I like to do things is deep rooted. Because I worked in management from a young age, I became quite used to doing things my way. While helping to build confidence, it also built up a dependency on me doing things. This can have its strengths, and at different times has allowed me to help pro-actively in coordination roles with Hongs Fa and projects including Shen Yun, EET and the Art Project.
While often, without realising it I have put my things ahead of others. I have found being attached to doing things my way is actually a reflection of not truly trusting the Fa. This I have realised is a manifestation of being focused on personal rather Fa Rectification cultivation where saving sentient beings is key.
After I left Epoch Times in 2012, after just under 1 year I felt like I had failed. On the surface I appeared complimentary towards the situation and practitioners, however I held on to stubborn attachments and feelings of resentment. I went through a period of time, where I did not go to Fa Study as often and stepped back from some projects.
During this time, I really struggled to look within and let go of these attachments and it caused me a lot of xinxing problems. Master said in Zhaun Falun “Every test or every tribulation is related to the matter of either progression or regression in cultivation" - during this time, I believe I was getting worse rather than forging ahead.
When Shen Yun promotions started again later that year, I felt I needed to catch up, remember my responsibilities and start being more pro-active again. However, my mindset was not pure and I had not learnt the recent lessons I needed to learn.
As Shen Yun promotions began, I became more and more involved at a coordination level- at one stage I was directly or indirectly coordinating 7 to 8 different teams. At the time I was working full time, I had sonant meetings nearly every night while trying to join the morning Fa Study sonant as much as I could. I felt like I never had enough time, and for a while, it was normal to only sleep around 4 hours a day, sometimes more and sometimes less. This I think would have been manageable, however I never felt like I had enough time and got into a routine where I could only manage 1 or 2 exercises at a time and did not do enough Fa Study.
Because my routine was not strong enough and I had not eliminated some of my notions, I had formed a gap and sensed this was being exploited. During a couple of promotions, I noticed there were conflicts among practitioners, and at times the environment did not feel right. I felt more pressure than I had in previous years and started to doubt my abilities as a coordinator.
An incident also happened which weighed heavily on my heart. I failed to correctly update a spread-sheet, for a one day event that I had organised in connection with a trade show. I had arranged for a small team to go to the event on the wrong day. The mistake was realised on the evening of the actual event, when finalising all materials. Normally I would pride myself on being very-organised, and this is something that had never happened before when helping coordinate projects.
I was really shocked that this could happen, and immediately realised this was my fault and did not know what to do. I contacted the event organisers the next day to apologise, but felt very uneasy about the situation. Over the next week or two, I thought about this situation a lot and realised this was my gap and loophole. I blamed myself and my cultivation state. This was again a manifestation of human thinking with a human mindset - I was unable to see this was an opportunity to strengthen my righteous thoughts and make a breakthrough.
I had reached a state where I doubted my cultivation state and my abilities as a coordinator. In early 2013, I wrote an email to the main Shen Yun and FXH coordinators - asking to step down from my role. On the surface, this superficially appeared as though it was the right thing to do, but I have realised this was a manifestation of my mindset and unwillingness to face the situation with righteous thoughts.
That decision led me on a path, where I lost my confidence, with feelings of depression and a sense of un-worthiness. These feelings led me to stop wanting to be around practitioners and eventually for a few months stop practicing altogether. This was the toughest period of my cultivation journey so far, where at times I felt really low and I slacked off with my behaviour and conduct - at times quite drastically.
I never felt like I wanted to quit, however I did not feel like I had the strength, courage or conviction to carry on. At times over the past few years, some of the processes I have been through have been very unnecessary, and I have stagnated a lot. I would like to apologise to Master, for not grasping the opportunities provided to me as a Dafa Dizi.
Master said in the 2014 New York Fa Teaching on World Falun Dafa Day:
"What Master is most concerned about is that at present a number of you have become not diligent. When the persecution first began you were full of vigor, and you turned around that entire situation. But as circumstances have eased up, you have instead slackened. Cultivation… There’s a saying, and it’s one I’ve shared with you before: “Cultivate with the heart you once had, and success is certain.” The reason many people didn’t succeed in their cultivation was because they weren’t able to make it through over the long haul. They might have felt lonely or bored, or they might have become so familiar with something or have grown so accustomed to something that they didn’t want to do it anymore. Anything can cause a person to become lax. So you should continue to be diligent. In the past, there would be sudden tests for cultivators even at the very last step. If you grew increasingly lax, you certainly wouldn’t be able to pass that test."
I feel Master has continually encouraged me to cultivate with the heart I once had and I realise I must do better in recognising these chances. Last year, after picking myself up and coming back to the UK group environment I had the opportunity to go and work in the New York EET office for a few months. This was a great experience, in a fantastic cultivation environment which allowed me to stabilize a good routine and focus again on wholeheartedly saving sentient beings.
While in New York, the first time I joined the morning Fa Study group in the office, during FZN I again felt Masters great compassion and merciful encouragement towards me. Towards the end of FZN, I saw a large group of practitioners in another dimension, all sitting on lotus flowers with their palms erect, and after seeing this for a short while I saw another scene in the clouds. Here I saw a heavenly army, standing in the clouds with golden armour facing off against a dark energy field.
I took this as a hint from Master, to keep going and to catch up with Fa Rectification cultivation. I know I must do better and focus on doing the 3 things with a purer state of being.
Writing this sharing has been very helpful, and a great opportunity to look inside. My realisations are however, limited by my level and understanding. If you have noticed anything inappropriate, please compassionately point it out.
I would like to thank Master for the compassion, support and guidance I have constantly been shown and thank practitioners for listening today.
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