My Understanding of What It Means to Have a Pure and Serene Mind
(Minghui.org) I’ve read Master’s lecture about having a pure and serene mind countless times. Master said,
“The real reason why you can’t quiet your mind is not due to your technique, or because you haven’t found the secret to success; but rather, that your mind, or what’s inside of your heart, is not pure. It’s going to be hard to still your mind if you don’t get along with others in daily life and you do selfish things for emotional reasons, or out of worldly wants and attachments, and you can’t get over those things or take them lightly. And yet some people try to just battle through all of the errant thoughts that keep arising as they practice, and try to just will them away, rather than believe that it’s about purity. But that is what it comes down to.” (The Ninth Talk, A Pure and Serene Mind, Zhuan Falun)
However, I seem to forget these teachings in my daily life which means that I haven’t really taken them to heart. When I read Master’s teachings about this, I just read the Fa but I did not obtain the Fa. Recently, I had some new understandings about this lecture which I would like to share.
A Serene Mind Enables Us to Do the Three Things Well
When I study the Fa my mind wanders. My thoughts are full of desires and attachments and I forget that studying the Fa is solemn and sacred. Although my eyes are reading Zhuan Falun and my mouth is saying the words, my mind is thinking about other things. As a result, I skip words, or even add words. Afterwards, I can’t remember what I read. How can I be shown the deeper meanings of the Fa?
I thought, “Why did my mind wander off again?” I reminded myself, “I don’t want all those attachments and distracting thoughts. These are not mine. I want to learn the Fa with a pure and serene mind and nothing is allowed to disturb me. I’m a practitioner, how can I let emotion or sentimental attachments disturb me?”
Master told us clearly, “Contrast that with the following view: coming to this world is like staying over at a hotel, which we quickly leave after a short stint.” (The Ninth Talk, A Pure and Serene Mind, Zhuan Falun)
As practitioners we should be working towards attaining higher levels. Studying the Fa is solemn, and we must be respectful of Master and the Fa! We need to get rid of all our distracting thoughts and emotional attachments. Only then will the Fa’s true contents be shown to us. When my mind is in line with the Fa and my main consciousness is strong, these emotional attachments and distracting thoughts are naturally eliminated. At those times, I feel surrounded by a strong field of energy, my body feels warm, my thoughts are pure and I only wish to learn the Fa.
Sometimes as I read, the content of the Fa will suddenly be shown to me. At other times when I study and compare my behavior with the requirements of the Fa I discover that I have a lot of attachments, even well-hidden ones which I wasn't aware of. I have the blissful feeling of being able to truly obtain the Fa. I feel remorse for my wrongdoings. Sometimes I feel the responsibility of our missions and the urgency of saving people.
The more I study, the more I wish to study and the more clear-headed I become. As I study the Fa, I also feel whatever is interfering with me is being disintegrated and the mundane troubles, benefits and relationships have nothing to do with me. When I’m able to study the Fa with a pure mind, I feel that I’ve become one with the Fa, my body starts to change and my life is being elevated to a higher level.
I’ve experienced this when I practice the exercises. When I don’t think about other things and I don’t have distracting thoughts, when the music starts, I’m able to enter the state of practice immediately. My body automatically follows the energy mechanisms to move. After I complete the 5 sets of exercises I feel very relaxed and happy. The troubles of the mundane world, my tiredness and the physical pains all disappear. This is especially so during the 5th exercise, the meditation. When I get into the meditation posture and hear Master’s voice, my mind and body will gradually enter the state described in the teachings:
“As you sit there you will feel wonderful and very comfortable, as if you were sitting inside an eggshell.” (“Chapter III Mechanics and Principles of the Exercise Movements-The Fifth Exercise,” The Great Way of Spiritual Perfection).
However, in this degenerating world where public morals are quickly sliding downward, the many temptations such as social media are also luring cultivator’s hearts. If we did not have the guidance of Dafa, the protection of Master and strong determination, it would be hard for us to avoid being affected and polluted by these mundane matters. When we are practice the exercises, we are usually not able to attain the state of, “...keep our minds clear, clean, and free of intentions or any thoughts.” (“Teaching the Fa and Answering Questions in Guangzhou,” Zhuan Falun Fajie)
For example, once when I was practicing the 2nd exercise my mind was full of distracting thoughts. It was so bad that I could not hear Master’s instruction to move to the 3rd position. I only realized that I was still in the 2nd position when Master asked us to proceed to the 4th position!
I’ve also experienced this when I’ve meditated. As soon as I began meditating, all sorts of thoughts ran through my mind. Could this be considered practicing the exercises? Could anything good come out of the practice when I have such an impure mind? Was I still fit to be considered a practitioner? I felt very regretful towards Master!
It’s the same when I send forth righteous thoughts or clarify the truth. If I don’t have distracting thoughts, don’t have fear but instead have strong righteous thoughts, my energy field is pure. If I’m able to attain this pure state, the negative beings will be afraid and they will naturally be disintegrated. The effects of my truth clarification will be good and I’ll be able to help save more people. If not, not only will I not be able to save people, I may even cause persecution to happen!
Looking Inward Is a Precious Tool
Most of the time, however, I’m not able to maintain a pure and serene mind. This is not something that can be attained just by wanting it. Whenever I do the three things, some bad thoughts keep surfacing and I feel troubled. Sometimes, when these bad thoughts appear, I forget that I’m a practitioner and try an ordinary person’s means to resolve it. But no matter how hard I try, nothing works. When I suddenly remember that I’m a practitioner I remember what Master said,
“Any time you experience disruptions of any sort, you should proactively think about what caused them and what you still need to let go.” (The Sixth Talk, How Practicing Provokes Evil, Zhuan Falun)
“For a cultivator, looking within is a magical tool.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IX)
I will stop, look inward and reflect on myself.
When I examine myself I find a lot of my attachments. Sometimes when I clarify the truth I fear that I might be persecuted; my attachment of fear is still very strong.
I’m also still attached to my appearance, which I know is an attachment to lust. I also complain that others don’t acknowledge how well I’ve done or thank me for what I’ve done for them. This is the attachment of wanting praise as well as hatred, jealousy and validating oneself. I worry about my reputation being damaged. I feel it’s not fair when I see others doing better than I; these are attachments to personal gain and fame and jealousy. I like to be praised and admired by others, this is the attachment to showing off.
Sometimes when I talk about events with ordinary people or practitioners, I do not guard my speech. I’m also still attached to family relationships, being lazy, wanting to be comfortable, afraid of troubles, etc.
Through continuous Fa study, using the Fa to guide myself, and continuously looking inward, I remember that I’m a practitioner. Whenever I have problems, I try to follow the standards of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance to resolve it. I realized that when I do this I’m able to let go of my attachments. I feel that my xinxing is also improving. With fewer attachments, the disturbances and my bad thoughts are diminishing and my energy field is becoming more pure. I’m able to concentrate better when I study the Fa. Now I seldom skip sentences or miss words. My speed of memorizing the Fa is also increasing. Master will also show me some inner meanings of the Fa. It’s become easier to enter a serene state when I practice the exercises. When I send forth righteous thoughts it’s easier to focus and my bad thoughts are reduced. I seldom lose my concentration or lower my palm.
During the cultivation process, I truly experienced and understood that: only when we remember that we are practitioners, become one with the Fa, listen to what Master said and follow his teachings will we be able to attain a pure and serene mind and be able to do the three things well.
Kindly let me know where I can improve.