(Clearwisdom.net) I began practicing Falun Dafa in 1997. Shortly after the persecution began on July 20, 1999, I started to validate Dafa, clarify the truth, offer salvation to sentient beings by letting people know the truth, and immerse myself in Fa-rectification cultivation. Looking back over these past five years, I feel that I have not done well at all. I staggered along and merely did a few of the things I was supposed to do while under Master Li's benevolent protection. However, amidst it all, my righteous enlightenment and faith in Dafa and Master Li was tempered. Below I would like to share some of my understanding gained during this time.

Dafa created everything, and firm belief in Dafa and Master Li is fundamental for cultivation in Dafa. Entering the new cosmos from the old one, having discarded the old me that was full of attachments, and having cultivated in Dafa to become a new being -- it all sounds easy, and in fact it is not hard to do as long as we are determined in our righteous thoughts. This is because Master Li has given us everything in order for us to become a divine being. Actually it all depends on whether we can firmly believe in Master, believe in Dafa and if we can steadfastly follow Master's requirements.

Of course, cultivation is serious, but it is not difficult if we use righteous thoughts to overcome attachments. Master Li said,

"Cultivation practice is extremely arduous and very serious. If you are being careless for a moment, you may stumble and become ruined at once. Therefore, one's mind must be right." (Zhuan Falun)

Moreover, the old forces have made detailed arrangements for everything pertaining to Dafa practitioners, including each thought and idea that we have. If we are just a little bit careless, the dark minions and rotten demons will exploit our loopholes and persecute us. Therefore, we need to melt every thought of ours into Dafa at all times and in whatever we do.

Those old notions that have formed deep in our bones over the past thousands of years cannot simply be removed with a few words. We need to constantly get rid of them little by little in our cultivation practice.

The prerequisite for righteous thoughts is righteous belief. Firm belief in Dafa and in Master Li is fundamental to cultivation in Dafa. If we have any doubt about the Fa (1) that Master Li taught, then we won't be able to follow what Master said to do. No matter what we think under normal circumstances, there won't be righteous thoughts to speak of during critical moments. Let me illustrate using my own experience. Before I started cultivation in Dafa, I suffered from lower back pain, from which I have now completely recovered. But in the spring of 2004, the pain recurred and it was very sharp. I had to lie down in bed unable to move, and I even needed help when I used the toilet. At the time, while I did realize that it was the old forces' dark minions causing trouble, at the back of my mind, there still lurked the menacing shadow of "my old ailment returning." So, when I sent forth righteous thoughts to deny the persecution by the old forces, I lacked conviction, and my righteous thought was not strong enough. Because I had lingering doubts about the Fa principles Master Li taught, this resulted in me being bedridden for several days. Until one day, some fellow practitioners told me that truth clarification materials were ready for me to deliver.

At that moment, I realized that I must not let the old forces persecute me any longer. I needed to go out and distribute the materials and clarify the truth, and I must not let the old forces interfere with me any more. Once I developed this thought, I jumped out of bed without hesitation. My daughter who was sitting beside me at the time said, pleasantly surprised, "You got up alright this time." I said I had to go out. Because my daughter knew that there were many miraculous things happening to practitioners, she didn't try to stop me. I tidied up a bit, took out my bike, hopped on it and took off as if I never had any back pain. About one hour later, when I finished distributing all the truth-clarification materials and came back home, my back was not hurting at all. This incident itself was clarifying the truth to my family because they witnessed the extraordinary power of Dafa.

At the critical moment when validating Dafa and saving sentient beings, only if we have absolute faith in Master and the Fa, can we develop strong powerful righteous thoughts, and proceed on the path of Fa-rectification cultivation. This is my basic understanding. Please kindly point out anything inappropriate.

(1) Fa: Law and principles; the teachings of Falun Dafa.

Written on October 18, 2004