(Clearwisdom.net) I started cultivating Falun Dafa in 1997, when I was a sophomore at the university. Since I had a very incomplete understanding of the Fa, I did not harmonize well the Fa at the level of everyday society. As a result, I lost the normal cultivation environment that had been arranged by Teacher, and also wasted my precious time in cultivation. At that time, my understanding was to pursue the results of everything I did so as to reach the so-called high standard and get rid of all attachments. I often had conflicts with my family, and I did not have a sense of responsibility. I studied the Fa very often, but I did not use the Fa to direct myself in cultivation. Although I talked better than anyone else about the Fa-principles, I could not live up to the principles. My environment turned worse and worse. I tried very hard to improve myself, however I failed to find the real cause of the problem. I also felt very pained: why was it that for the other practitioners, after they started cultivation, everything became better for them? For me, after I started cultivation, I seemed to understand the principles, but why did I feel even worse than before?

After reading Teacher's article "Take the Middle Way", I realized that I might have the problem of taking extreme actions. I tried hard to change. But since I did not identify my fundamental problem, very soon I went back to my old situation. On July 20, 1999, when I watched the TV programs falsely claiming that Falun Dafa practitioners had caused many family tragedies by their extreme actions, I felt very regretful for my own behavior. (Now I understand that the stories were all fabrications and defamations. It should not be a reason to persecute us, however it is in fact the truth that we have a very few practitioners who do not do well in this aspect and so give the old forces an opportunity to persecute us). At that time, I had a very strong attachment for this problem. Since my main consciousness was not that clear, I gave up cultivation and started to drift along with the ordinary people's society.

Our benevolent and great Teacher did not give me up as an unworthy disciple. In March 2003, with the help of fellow practitioners, I came back to the righteous path of cultivation. This time, I solved the problem that had perplexed me for such a long period of time. I now manage to live an ordinary life, do my job and at the same time cultivate diligently. When I recalled my previous state of cultivation that was totally wrong, I found that because I did not truly understand the Fa, and I was obstinate and easily went to extremes, this led to the problem that had existed for such a long time. I also had the problem of going easy on myself at the crucial point of time.

I also found that we had young practitioners who also had this kind of problem to different degrees. As a result, ordinary people would complain that we did not behave well. I hope to talk about my understanding from my own experience so that others may develop their own valuable opinions.

First, why does this state of going to extremes appear? As a matter of fact, it is because we do not correctly understand what our Teacher told us about the essence of cultivation. Our Fa is cultivated in the ordinary people's society. It is also because we do not grasp well that there are fundamental differences between practitioners and ordinary people.

For thousands of years, what human beings have known about cultivation has been that it is religious, group cultivation or individual cultivation carried out by staying away from the mainstream. Regarding the formalities, cultivators stay away from ordinary people's daily life. Though Falun Dafa may have very few who cultivate themselves as lay Buddhists or lay disciples, human beings believe that cultivation is mysterious and always conflicts with ordinary people's life. This understanding reflects very deeply in our minds at the very beginning of our own cultivation. When we cannot correctly understand what our Teacher told us--to cultivate ourselves by conforming to ordinary society to the utmost extent--a very few of us who do not truly study the Fa, and who are obstinate, very sensational and selfish turn out to cultivate in a way that does not conform to the ordinary people's society. However many of these practitioners do not realize this point; instead they believe that they are determined in getting rid of attachments. It is especially so for those practitioners who do not have a deep understanding of the Fa, or who have just obtained the Fa and have very strong attachments for zealotry, as well as for those young practitioners who have less burden in their everyday life.

In other words, when we do not truly study the Fa well, we do not genuinely cultivate ourselves. Now that we understand the problem, then what should we do to change the situation? It can be very simple. That is to study the Fa truly well, and require a solid upgrading of our own character. I started to use Teacher's Fa to distinguish myself clearly from ordinary people, and to distinguish cultivation from our daily jobs. I no longer used the requirements of practitioners to measure ordinary people. I now understand that their sentimentalities, their attachments for fame and profit is their level of the Fa. They are "human," and I am a "practitioner." It is their normal way of existence and living, because that is life at their level.

After I became clear in understanding the Fa, I no longer found myself frowning upon ordinary people. Everything turned out to be smooth and normal. They also felt that I had changed to be good and could understand others. I no longer studied the Fa whenever I finished my meals. I tried my best to do some chores, I learned to do shopping, cooking and cleaning, and spent time with my parents to talk to them heart-to-heart, etc. I also cared for their physical well-being and what concerned them. In my job, I try to do my job well, and have normal and light-hearted communication with my co-workers. I joined some recreation activities. (We should distinguish what are irrelevant trifles and interference.) I also made lots of good friends. I make good use of my spare time to read the books and practice the exercises. It seems that I do everything that the ordinary people do, I seem to be nothing different from the ordinary people. But inside my heart, I do not scheme against others and their attachments. I feel peaceful and happy and live a substantial life, with a smile always on my face. Previously, I that that I did not do things out of attachments, did not say anything that the ordinary people said, but my heart was full of conflicts, pain and burdens. Now everything has changed. I experienced what Teacher tells us about the beauty of cultivation and the happiness that Dafa has brought to us.

Of course at the very beginning when I made my change, I also felt very uncomfortable. Sometimes I also felt that cultivation was really difficult when I was facing the conflicts, impatience and grievances. However I also felt that it was the solid upgrading of my own character and the path of cultivation arranged by Teacher. Besides I could also understand some of the inner meaning of Teacher's Fa. Previously, no matter how I tried, I could only understand the superficial meaning of the Fa. That kind of feeling is really painful. Now I also have come to realize that, for that kind of wrong state of cultivation, I think it is a selfish cultivation that is fundamentally different from our genuine cultivation required of us by Teacher.

The above-mentioned wrong thoughts and behaviors may be a very rare phenomenon. However if we can truly harmonize well our environment in ordinary people's society, if we can study the Fa well enough to rectify our own bad behaviors and concepts, and understand why others complain that we do not do well, so as to conform to the Fa requirements of this level (not the ordinary people's requirements,) I believe that the kind-hearted people of the world will surely say: Falun Dafa is good. On the contrary, if people say that we are no different from those irresponsible people in society who are selfish, in that case, I don't think we live up to Teacher and Dafa, and we do not live up to our fellow practitioners' great efforts. I believe at the present time when we are asked to clarify the truth, it covers two aspects: one is to expose the evil, and on the other hand it is to exhibit the beauty and dignity of Dafa.

My level is limited, fellow practitioners please rectify anything improper.

Note: Now I can again spend most of my time in studying the Fa, cultivation and Dafa jobs, but I also do well in the things that ordinary people are supposed to do. I am very happy, determined and clear, with no psychological conflicts when I am doing so. Though my parents do not understand me very well, society pressures them and forces them to say some bad things to me. I can face them candidly with smiles and clarify the truth to them. I also find many of my attachments. I believe that if my family does not have a positive understanding of Dafa, it is due to my own problems. It also helps me a lot to read more Clearwisdom articles. Thanks to the overseas fellow practitioners for their great efforts.