My Cultivation Experience
My name is Quincy Yu. I am now a Ph.D. student studying Computer Science at the University of Toronto. I have been practicing Falun Dafa for over two years now, and I'd like to use this opportunity to summarize my cultivation experiences in the past year.
1. After the April 25 incident, I often read news and experience articles of other practitioners on the web. The practitioners in Mainland China showed great Compassion and Tolerance even when they face such extremely brutal persecutions, their firm belief in the Great Law deeply touches me. Would I be able to endure such torture? At the beginning, I didn't even dare to ask myself this question. But later, as I thought more about it, I realized that I couldn't avoid this question forever, since in order to reach consummation, every practitioner has to give up all attachments and be able to pass this kind of test. Then how can I improve my ability to endure so that I can pass this test? I thought to myself: when I couldn't endure it any more, I must remember, I really don't have a choice, if I cannot reach consummation, then what awaits me is the eventual extinction of body and soul. That pain would be incomparably more severe than this. But somehow, all this thinking doesn't seem to solve the fundamental problem. Then one night, I went to bed right after I read an article about how the practitioners in China were being tortured. In bed, I couldn't help turning this over and over in my mind. When I tried to imagine the pain of having bamboo sticks piercing through the fingers, all my fingertips seemed to become numb. While I was trying to figure out how I could overcome this kind of tribulation, a sentence from Zhuan Falun pumped into my head all of a sudden: "As long as you upgrade your Xinxing, you will be able to overcome them unless you do not wish to do so. You will be able to make it if you want to do it". It made me realize that by wondering if I could endure this kind of pain, what I was doing all this time was trying to find a way to solve the problem on the surface without realizing what its essence is. The problem does not lie in whether or not I have enough endurance, it depends on just how firm is my belief in the Great Law. My life is created by the Great Law, everything of mine is created by the Great Law, including my endurance. If I cannot pass this tribulation, it is because I don't really want to pass it, and not because I don't have the ability to pass it. When I thought of this, I came to a deeper understanding of the great Compassion of Master Li "You give it a try while overcoming genuine hardships or tribulations. When it is difficult to endure it, you try to endure it. When it looks impossible and is said impossible, you give it a try then to see if it is possible. If you can really make it, you will indeed find, "After passing the shady willow trees there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!"". Master Li said that "I've already said that I have hardly any requirement for you. Everything is unrestricted-only your heart matters.", and isn't this village given to us by Master Li when he saw our sincere hearts? I always think about how painful it would be for me when I suffer from tribulations, but I hardly thought about how much Master Li has endured for me. And yet what I had endured was merely paying back a tiny portion of my karma, while Master Li is enduring for me to offer me salvation. But Master Li almost never mentioned it, instead, in one of his lectures, he said that "In the future, you will all find out, as long as you reach consummation, you will discover then of your own greatness and that your teach has also treated you fairly". Master Li mentioned the greatness of those practitioners who can reach consummation first, and as to all the things that Master Li had done for us, he only used the words "treated fairly". I truly cannot find any language to express this selflessness and altruism, broad and profound mind and great compassion of Master Li that I have just realized. When I though of these, I seemed to have gained a better understanding of what Master Li said in a lecture about "Tathagatas all have their own Glazed Paradise ... He is the king of his Glazed Paradise, and what he uses for administration is complete compassion, not the kind of administrative means used by humans".
2. I realized that in a sense, the sufferings of the practitioners in China are also a manifestation of the Great Law showing benevolent compassion on all beings. It is giving the practitioners who have not satisfied the requirements of consummation yet an opportunity to catch up. It is also giving the kind-hearted people in the world who have not heard of the Law a chance. Therefore, I further understand the importance of spreading the Law. While participating in spreading the Law, how I can correctly handle the relationship among schoolwork, studying the Law and spreading the Law became a difficult problem that has puzzled me for a long time. I tried to make up timetables for myself, set up plans for what to do each day. For example, I would plan the number of hours I would spend on doing schoolwork, studying the Law and spreading the Law each day. But I soon discovered that it doesn't work. For one thing, many things cannot be finished within the estimated time, and what's even worse is that my mind has become less and less tranquil. I was in a state of irritation everyday. When I was doing schoolwork, I would think of how much work for spreading the Law I haven't done yet; when I study the Law, I would think of how much schoolwork I have left to do; and when I worked for spreading the Law, I would think about studying the Law. It has become a vicious circle. I couldn't do anything well, and I was always frustrated. Later I realized that setting timetables for myself like this is trying to use the ordinary people's way to solve the problem, but the root of the problem is not time arrangement, it is my heart. If I could not set these relationships right in my mind, extrinsic means can never solve the real problem. Master Li said: "...If you want to be a good cultivator, you must start from the basics, you need to be a good person first. A good person should be a good person everywhere, then you must accomplish the tasks given to you by your boss well, since you are doing your duty to the society, it must bring such an effect". He also told us that "In fact, your graduate study, your study for your degree will definitely not be affected by your study of the Law. Your study of the Law will definitely not be affected by your study for your graduate degree." Then how come I feel that there seems to be a conflict? I then discovered that actually I wasn't paying attention to how to best spend my time. I always like to leave things until the last minute, and then become anxious when the deadline approaches. In the past, when other people pointed out this problem to me, I would always say, how can I help it that I was born with a slow nature? As a result, this dilatoriness makes things accumulate gradually, and when I find myself unable to handle it any more, I did not search inward, but blamed everything on spreading and studying the law had taken too much time. Is this not blaming Falun Gong for all the troubles caused by my not following Master Li's teachings? I began to try to restrain myself, and the situation started to improve. When I balanced the relationship correctly, I further realized the power of the Great Law. Studies that used to take a long time, I can now finish in a shorter time, and my endurance for stress and pressure has increased so that it becomes easier for me to remain calm. A month ago, I had an exam, where I had to defend a literature survey I wrote in front of four professors. I had to know the content of the 70 or so research papers I cited in my document. When there were only a few days left before the test, the time for studying was really tight, I learned of an event to spread the Law, which would take an entire day. At the time, I just thought that this event is really important and that I should participate. So my mind was really calm, I did not get anxious worrying about not having enough time to prepare for the exam. And in the end, the event was a great success, and I passed my exam successfully. My study was not affected at all. Before I started to cultivate, I was a very nervous person. Facing this kind of exam, I would have become so nervous even several days before to the point that I couldn't eat or sleep. But this time, I was able to relax, ate and slept well. It is truly like what Master Li said: "When you truly give up that attachment, you will discover that the situation may improve. All of a sudden, you will be relaxed, your body will change, and you feel your entire body is light. When you look back, you realize that you are short of nothing, it is like the Chinese saying: After passing the shady willow trees there will be bright flowers and another village ahead! Suddenly, all the good things will come".
3. I discovered that spreading the Law is also a great opportunity to improve my Xinxing. During the process of spreading the Law, many of my attachments get exposed, and whenever I am not careful, I would easily forgot that it is cultivation and got myself drawn into doing the things itself. For instance, I was helping Minghui to translate some articles for a while. Later they re-arranged the translation team and asked me if I'd like to join. I had an exam approaching at that time and I also had other things to do, so I sent them an email saying that if they truly cannot find anyone else, then let me know. However, a short while later, then sent me an article to proofread. I thought, well, they are at least considerate, they only asked me to proofread and not do a complete translation, as proofreading usually takes less time. But not long after I finished proofreading, they sent me another article and asked me if I could translate it. I said yes at the time, but was feeling more annoyed. I already told them that I was busy, how come they still give me so much work to do? Just when I was turning this over in my mind, I learned that it was actually a misunderstanding caused by the recipient of my email forgetting to forward it to the practitioner who is coordinating translation works. They both apologized to me immediately and told me to let them know when I am busy, they would try to find someone else to do the work. Only then was I able to let go of my resentment. Later by chance, I heard from another practitioner that the practitioners working on Minghui were extremely busy, during that time period, they probably could only get two to three hours of sleep each night. Upon hearing this, I was so ashamed of myself. When they were so busy, they didn't even raise a single complaint. If I refused to do the work, they probably had to do it themselves, yet they were already so busy, but they still thought of reducing my workload first. They were always thinking of others first. I was in fact not really that busy, but whenever there is even a tiny increase in the workload, I would first think of pushing it to others. From the beginning to the end, I only thought of myself, when did I consider others? Compared to them, I fall too far behind.
4. Right after the Chinese government's crackdown on Falun Gong last July, I was very enthusiastic about spreading the Law and upholding the Law. But after a while, I began to feel helpless, there was very little we could do, and the little things we did didn't seem to make any difference. We seemed to have spent lots of effort, but nothing came out of it. I couldn't help thinking a human being is too paltry to be able to do anything. On one hand, I was furious over the brutal persecutions suffered by our fellow practitioners in China, but on the other hand, I felt that I had all the enthusiasms in vain, there was nothing I could do but to wait for Master Li to rectify the Law. Later I was inspired by an article on the web talking about one's reflections on the story of Yu Gong moving the mountains. Since there were two mountains blocking the road in front of Yu Gong's house, he decided to move them away. He started to dig away the mountains one spade at a time. Others laughed at him as they think it would be impossible, and that it could never be done. But Yu Gong said "It doesn't matter. If I can't accomplish it, my sons, grandsons and grand grandsons can continue. If we do this perseveringly, sooner or later, it'll be done." At last, his actions touched the enlightened beings, they helped him to move away the mountains overnight. We are now cultivating, when we are doing something for the Great Law, if it looks like something had a good outcome, it is not because what we did, but it is Master Li's law body who arranges everything. Moreover, we don't know what are the states of many things in other dimensions, and what are their effects. And when we are doing these things, we are in fact cultivating ourselves. Master Li is looking at our hearts. Am I not doing things with a strong attachment of pursuit if I got myself wrapped up in achieving certain goals, and became downhearted when I couldn't, and don't want to do it any more? How can I achieve good results when I do things with such a wrong state of mind? I ask myself before I do each thing, what mentality do I really have? Is it for achieving certain goal, or is it out of compassion and for others to learn and gain the Law? If I have the right mentality, I will no longer feel that what I do is meaningless, because even if the person I am trying to introduce the Law to doesn't support us or cannot help us, letting him/her know what Falun Dafa is, is giving him/her a chance to position himself/herself better in the universe in the future. At least there is one more person hearing about Dafa. Yu Gong's heart is at the right place, which has touched the enlightened beings, making impossible into possible. I am a cultivator, has my heart satisfied Dafa's requirements for me? Have I fulfilled my responsibility? When I straightened out my thinking, I suddenly discovered that there are not too few, but too many things we can do and need to do. Thinking back, I realized that my heart wasn't really quite at the right place, and there were many things I should have done but didn't. All that is happening in China right now is not merely a tribulation for the practitioners in China. It is targeted towards the Great Law, not towards any individual. We are cultivating as a whole, each genuine practitioner has an unshirkable duty to uphold the Law. Master Li would not want to leave any practitioner behind, those who have already reached the level of consummation are using their endurance to awaken the common people and waiting for the practitioners who have not reached the level of consummation to catch up. I think that this big test does not rely on any individual to pass it, but rely on we passing it as a whole. My not making enough efforts in my cultivation becomes one of the factors that contributed to making this tribulation lasting longer. The Great Law's requirements for us is no longer just to make individual improvements, in addition, it is truly time for us to be selflessness and altruism, and genuinely melting into the Law. Let's "make further advances together, there are bright prospects ahead".