Strengthening My Will to Forbear
(Minghui.org) Since the beginning of my cultivation, I have worked very hard on a particular truth-clarification project. At times I was so busy I felt I was reaching my limit and it was really hard, but I always had a fundamental inner strength and ability to push through.
Late last year, it fell like that inner strength failed me. I still carried on for the most part for a while, being relatively productive and working long and hard, but it felt as if a solid pillar within me—a pillar of will and forbearance—was starting to fracture.
Over the past year, I’ve gone through periods of feeling extremely weak and inadequate. I've gone through times of not doing much truth-clarification work at all and not being quite as diligent in my cultivation.
It made me question whether I could cultivate, whether I could make it. With a Fa so great—with something so important that the entire future of all of existence depends on it—I was unable to forbear such minor hardships. I felt I was no longer able to live up to the Fa. I could make it through some hardships, but I buckled in a big way under others.
After several months like this, one evening while I was meditating I came to a realization.
I was starting to feel the pain in my legs. I knew I wasn’t going to put them down, but I wanted to forbear with greater dignity than rocking back and forth and grimacing wildly as I was. I wanted to have enough self-control to remain somewhat serene, something I was able to do better when I used to run a practice site in a public place.
It made me realize there was something physically missing inside of me in another dimension that used to be there. I can only describe it in a sort of metaphor as an adamantine pillar, the pillar of my will.
I used to hold onto this pillar when the “great waves” would “shift the sand” (from Lecture 6, Zhuan Falun). I would get tossed around a bit by the waves and it was hard to hold on and I was uncomfortable, but that pillar kept me solidly, fundamentally in place.
I think this “pillar” was separated away with the part of me that has cultivated well.
Without the pillar, I found myself floundering around when the waves came. It took so much effort to forge that pillar (perhaps in previous lifetimes, as well as in this life), that I didn’t want to put the work into forging another one. But that’s exactly what I have to do. I have to start again. I have to build my will again, piece by piece, I have to forge a new pillar at a new level.
I am having to start over again, but it’s not really starting over again. The pillar I had before got me to where I am now, and the new pillar will get me to an even higher realm.
When I feel weak or like I can’t face a challenge, instead of getting swept away by a wave, I need to strengthen my will—to add a piece to my new pillar. It’s a mental endeavor on this level, but I think it’s something physically existing that I’m building up in another dimension. That's the best way I can describe it, though it's hard to describe.
I still forget this sometimes and get swept away – it’s something I need to always remind myself of. Though I stumbled a lot throughout the past year, I never quit. My determination was tested and it is solid.
Though I still feel my forbearance is lacking in a lot of ways and I wonder if I’m living up to the requirements of the Fa and really holding myself to a high standard, I have gained more confidence that I am solid in my cultivation and I will continue to strive toward a higher standard and strengthen my will as Master helps me temper it.
Category: Improving Oneself