Cherishing the Cultivation Path and Taking Solid Steps
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings, great Teacher! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I am fortunate to practice cultivation during this Fa rectification period, a once in a 10,000-year opportunity. I often tell myself to cherish this rare and precious chance. As I looked back on my cultivation path I discovered there were times when I was searching, when I was lost, when I was confused and also when I was diligent. I was lost among ordinary people for a few years, even after I had encountered Dafa. During the little more than a year since I have returned to Fa rectification cultivation I have been able to move forward because Teacher kindly looks after me, and fellow practitioners have made selfless sacrifices.
I want to report my circumstances to Teacher and share my experience with all of you.
Ever since I was young, I have always enjoyed reading qigong books and cultivation stories. My biggest dream was to meet a good teacher, go into the mountains, and begin cultivation. As I grew older, during the peak of qigong's popularity back in the 1980s, I learned many different types of qigong. After I had studied Dafa, I realized that some of them were sham practices. I spent lots of money on them but didn't improve much.
One day in 1992 I read an introduction about Falun Gong in the China Youth newspaper, which said that [Falun Gong] was a high-level cultivation way of the Buddha School, and that one could achieve a very high [spiritual] level through Falun Gong practice. I wanted to learn it right away. Unfortunately, it wasn't yet my time. Not until 1998, after I had read Zhuan Falun, did I know that I had found a good Teacher. The book answered many of my questions, and I obtained the true Law of the universe and began to practice Dafa.
The period between November 1998 and July 20, 1999, was the happiest time of my life. I studied the Fa and did the exercises with other practitioners on a daily basis. The practitioners in our area had not studied the Fa long enough when the persecution began. We knew Dafa was good, but we didn't know what to do. Teacher told us to step forward, but we didn't know what that meant. We dared not speak to each other very much when we met because of the intense pressure surrounding us. Many people gave up Dafa.
I stayed home and spent several years half-heartedly living the life of an ordinary person. I always remembered Dafa, but I didn't have access to Teacher's articles or any positive reports regarding Dafa. When I conducted occasional searches on the Internet, I only found the Communist Party's slanderous articles attacking Teacher and Dafa. I felt awful, because my life had no direction.
In May 2005, I obtained a software to break through the Internet blockade. I was finally able to access the Minghui/Clearwisdom website. Words cannot express the excitement I felt. The Dafa website lit up my heart. Tears streamed down my face as I read Teacher's articles, stories of fellow practitioners' magnificent feats of safeguarding the Fa, and the glorious path of Fa rectification. Everything became crystal clear. I decided to return to Dafa and practice cultivation. Later that night I felt my entire body turning clockwise and counter-clockwise while lying in bed. I knew that Teacher was adjusting my body. Teacher does not want to give up on any disciple. Teacher looks after us as long as we want to truly practice cultivation.
After I returned to Dafa, I studied Teacher's new articles and gained a clear understanding regarding everything that is happening and the mission of Fa rectification period Dafa disciples. Teacher tells us,
"A Dafa disciple who fails to achieve the effect of safeguarding and upholding Dafa has no way of reaching Consummation, because your cultivation is different from that of the past and the future. Therein lies the magnificence of a Dafa disciple."
"Did you know that Fa-rectification disciples who aren't able to come through the Fa-rectification period will not have another chance to cultivate."
("Fa-Rectification Period Dafa Disciples" from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I knew that I came into the human world to obtain the Fa and rescue sentient beings. I can only be doubly diligent in order to make up for the years I wasted to fulfill the predestined opportunity of 10,000 years.
I realized that doing the three things and helping people to quit the Party are the magnificent mission that history has bestowed upon us. Everything we will become in the future are included in these things. I immediately began to clarify the truth to my friends and others and asked them to quit the Party. It could be that I was too pushy and their minds were filled with self-interest. The outcome was not good. Later they refused to listen when I broached the subject and said I was hindering the furthering of their careers.
My friend, Jing, however, began to practice Dafa. Although she began the practice relatively late, her xinxing improved rapidly. We soon fully devoted ourselves to Dafa practice. I bought a printer and began to make truth clarification materials. The small materials production site at my home was among the many that flourished in the area. The truth clarification materials worked well to spread the truth and for rescuing people. Jing knew more about computers than I did, and we worked together to download and edit flyers. I was so excited when we printed the first truth clarification flyer, but I didn't know how to hand it out.
One night when I left home with several unwrapped copies of "Minghui Weekly," I felt as if eyes were watching me everywhere I went. I walked for a long time, but I didn't hand them out. We now make various types of truth clarification materials, pamphlets, bookmarks and VCDs. They now look quite elegant.
I often posted or handed out materials in the daytime. I carried dozens of flyers or stickers in my bag, and I gave them to people or posted them wherever I went. I did it in such a natural manner that people don't pay any attention to me. We handed out flyers in the area near our residence because lots of acquaintances lived nearby. Once, it was past 2:00 a.m. by the time we had finished wrapping the pamphlets. We distributed all of the materials in the area. To avoid waking my neighbors, I took off my shoes and walked up the stairs. We finished at dawn. We were a little tired but exceedingly happy, because we gave hope to sentient beings.
Jing and I take "Fa" study seriously. We are now reciting Zhuan Falun for the third time. We also study and recite Teacher's new articles repeatedly. Teacher's Fa appears in our heads whenever we encounter a problem. Solid Fa study is the fundamental guarantee for our cultivation. We have also tried different methods to clarify the truth, and we study other methods used by fellow practitioners that are published online. We began by handing out information, posting stickers, writing "Dafa is good," clarifying the truth face-to-face, and sending text messages via a mobile phone. Now we write phrases on Chinese paper bills to spread the word to people. We are willing to try any method useful in truth clarification.
We have lots of truth-clarification experience using a cellphone. At first I sent text messages using my own cellphone and I didn't think about safety. Later I learned the importance of cellphone safety. I bought an old cellphone and a phone card to clarify the truth. We wrote messages such as "Dafa around the world," "The Self-immolation was staged," and "Dafa is persecuted," among other things. We collected cellphone numbers in various ways and sent dozens and sometimes hundreds of messages each day. It's quick using the "group-send" function of the cell phone. Usually there is no response. The people who do respond mostly swear at us. I felt bad initially when I got such responses, but now my mind is calm and I feel bad for the sender.
Sometimes people ask me, "Is what you say factual?" or "How can we further understand the truth you tell us?" It's hard to thoroughly clarify the truth using text messages. I thought, "The effect of overseas Dafa practitioners calling people in China to clarify the truth was phenomenal. We practitioners inside China can do the same thing." I called some of the people who answered my messages. Of course, I sent forth righteous thoughts first and took safety measures. I found that people listened with interest when I called them, and one girl who had returned an insulting message said, "Oh, I understand it now," after chatting with me for more than twenty minutes. I asked people who can access the Internet to leave their email addresses and I subscribed them to The Epoch Times.
We began printing truth clarification phrases on bills and also asked people to quit the Party. We put wax over the words as other practitioners had suggested. Practitioner Ms. Zhou sometimes went to her acquaintances and got one, five, and ten-yuan bills. I printed the characters on the bills and gave them to other practitioners. Two practitioners who had recently begun practicing Dafa didn't know how to distribute truth clarification materials or how to ask people to quit the Party, but they were happy to use money with truth clarification phrases. [Note from the translator: under the special circumstances in China, where there is no freedom of speech, people use any means possible to spread the truth and uphold basic human rights. The methods they use include printing words on paper bills, painting words on walls, tapping into TV systems, etc.]
I always carry bills printed with truth clarification phrases, and it's become easy for me. Once I used ten of these bills to pay a cellphone bill. Later I thought, "An ordinary person would probably be intrigued if he received one or two bills with truth clarification phrases, and he might then pass them around, but would he be annoyed if he got a whole bunch of such bills at one time? Perhaps it could even prevent him from being saved." From then on, I used at most, two or three truth clarification bills at one time. Large numbers of truth clarification bills left our small truth clarification site.
As Fa rectification has progressed to this day, many Chinese people are still lost in lies, and they harbor deep misunderstandings and bear hatred toward Dafa. Sometimes I think, "Is it effective to do it this way? When will we be able to show all of these deceived people a way out?" But I remembered Teacher's words,
"Don't overlook any of the things that Dafa disciples do. Your every word, every flyer, every keystroke, every telephone call, and every letter is having a huge impact." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Midwest-U.S. Fa Conference")
I remember one story from the Minghui Weekly of a boy who threw stranded fish back into the ocean. Someone asked him, "Can you save all of the stranded fish?" The boy answered, "But this one fish cares." I often recall this story. Maybe I cannot rescue all deceived sentient beings, but each person who is rescued does care. I believe that, as Fa rectification pushes forward, it will be just as Teacher has said,
"The current state of things owes precisely to those things not having been cleared away yet, to there still being many people who are lost because of the lies, and to there still being many who are unwilling to learn the truth. But this state is constantly melting away, much like ice does." ("Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital" in 2006)
The effort of all practitioners in the world makes it possible to offer more people salvation. It is sentient beings' hope that we hand out each truth clarification flyer with our sincerity and kindness.
I work as a teacher and understand that my students and colleagues have great predestined relationships with me. I teach more than ten non-science classes on campus. I think Teacher has arranged this opportunity for me. I have told each class about the Mark of the Beast and asked them to withdraw from the Young Pioneers. Most students agreed.
I often tell stories in class about retribution and reincarnation. I ask them to remember Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and to be good people. I didn't openly clarify the truth in class, however, due to fear. I think in the future I have to do so with wisdom. All of my colleagues knew that I used to practice Dafa but gave up later. After I again started to practice Dafa, out of safety concerns I didn't publicize it among my colleagues. We all live in the same building and I often make truth clarification materials at home. I usually send them emails and information packages but rarely clarify the truth to them face-to-face.
My husband is a Party official and vehemently opposes my Dafa practice. He doesn't understand why I have to hand out materials to rescue people. From the perspective of an ordinary person, I can spend money on other things, and he cannot comprehend why I would spend so much money on buying computers and printers, and risk arrest to hand out flyers. What's the point? We have argued many times. Once he used really bad words and even hit me. He had always been kind to me before. I was so upset after he hit me, I cried and refused to eat. I said to Teacher in my heart, "Teacher, please punish him and give him a toothache. Please give him a good lesson so he won't dare to disrespect you in the future." I thought that I had endured the tribulation, but afterwards when I calmed down I realized that my competitive mentality was quite pronounced. On the surface I thought that asking for him to be punished was for his own good, but in fact I couldn't let go of the fact that he had hit me. I didn't have the compassion of a cultivator.
My father is also a veteran Party member and knows all about the Party's ruthless tactics. He opposed my going out to clarify the truth even more than my husband. My father was worried that I would be arrested, and that it would affect my entire family. He burned the truth clarification materials I gave him and refused to quit the Party. Because of my relationship with them and concerns of my own, I didn't do a good job of rescuing my family. I adjusted my mentality during numerous family conflicts and remembered Teacher's words,
"With righteous thoughts,
save the world's people.
I just don't believe their consciences
are irretrievably lost." ("For the Good of the World")
Now my heart is serene when my husband insults me, and I continue to clarify the truth. Regardless of what has happened, it is a predestined relationship that has made us become a family in this life. I will treat my family members with righteous thoughts until the end, and I hope they will awaken to the truth one day.
The Minghui website was a great source of help to me during my Fa rectification cultivation. I knew few practitioners, and I stepped forward relatively late. At first I felt lonely and envied places where lots of practitioners could share their experiences, study the "Fa," and work together to clarify the truth. Later I realized that everyone has a different cultivation environment and walks a different path. I have some computer skills, and I have a good job and am financially secure. I have not publicized my identity as a Dafa practitioner, and Teacher arranged this environment for me. I have to cherish this path and take solid steps forward. I am so lucky to be able to access the Minghui website on a daily basis. Am I not sharing with all Dafa practitioners around the world each day? What else could I ask for?
Guided by the Minghui website, new practitioner Jing and I improved quickly together. I can often find many shortcomings, and some are deeply hidden attachments. I find them through reading other practitioners' experience-sharing articles. I then realize my attachments and eliminate them. At first we didn't know how to clarify the truth and I took some detours. We borrowed good ideas from fellow practitioners that were published on the Minghui website, and our home-based material production sites ran smoothly. We are now more rational and mature in making truth clarification materials.
I read Minghui articles about fellow practitioners helping Teacher to rectify the Fa, remaining determined under the brutal persecution, and I couldn't help but cry. Sometimes though, I envied them and I felt they did a great job and overcame tremendous pressure. I thought practitioners working at major material production sites made bigger sacrifices and played a key role in rescuing sentient beings, and that they must have more mighty virtue than me. I had slacked off several years ago and didn't become diligent until recently. If we make too many truth clarification materials, we can't hand out all of them. All of us have to work. I was certain that I might not cultivate to as high a level as other practitioners. Through Fa study and reading experience sharing articles I realized that this thinking is dangerous, because I was regarding doing things as cultivation and enduring persecution as mighty virtue. In fact, if we don't cultivate based on the Fa, by enduring persecution we cannot achieve a higher level.
I realized that although our production site is small, it fits the need of Fa rectification. Although we don't make too many materials, we cherish each copy. The truth clarification materials also came for the Fa. When we cultivate well and put our heart into it, each flyer is a Fa weapon that rescues sentient beings. Isn't it great that we have not been exposed or persecuted? We should cherish it even more and do well with what we should do. Why would I envy those who are persecuted? That is not the path we are to walk, and Teacher has not arranged for us to cultivate in prison.
After I improved my understanding, we paid attention to safety but also did our work without fear. I was convinced that my life came for the Fa and I must fulfill the purpose of my life. The evil will certainly be eliminated in the Fa rectification. If we are truly solid like diamond, the evil cannot run away from us fast enough, so how would it dare to come and persecute us? Through Fa study and experience sharing articles I improved my xinxing and understanding step by step. I felt strong energy when sending forth righteous thoughts. It's been very smooth for us doing truth clarification work under Teacher's protection.
I access the Minghui website daily but never thought about sending in an article. During the 2006 Chinese New Year, I read many fellow practitioners' greetings to Teacher in which they expressed their determination to follow Teacher to rectify the Fa. I was touched. I said to Jing, "We have to send Teacher a birthday wish this year." When I saw our greeting published in May I was ecstatic.
My experience sharing articles and short reports were later published on the Minghui website. I deeply feel that Minghui is Dafa practitioners' website and it belongs to all practitioners in the world. The heart of every practitioner who truly practices cultivation is connected to all others. I am a particle of Dafa. Guided by Dafa and helped by Minghui, from a previously frightened young woman I grew into a determined Fa rectification period Dafa disciple. I have the responsibility to harmonize Dafa. I thank Minghui and fellow practitioners for their selfless contributions.
Many of my attachments were exposed during Fa-validation. I didn't take the truth clarification materials seriously and I thought it was all right as long as the materials were made. Later I read about other practitioners using the best materials to make truth clarification pamphlets and how people loved to read them. I was ashamed and I put more heart into the work from then on.
Sometimes I feel diligent as I basically operate independently at my home-based production site--from buying the equipment to making the materials. I felt some veteran practitioners were not doing as well as I was, and I felt great about myself. I slacked off, and the pursuit of comfort emerged. Sometimes I didn't want to go out and distribute information. I was drowsy when studying the Fa, and I sought excuses for myself. I liked doing the sitting meditation but not the active exercises, because I went for the easier set of exercises. When I read about other practitioners looking inward for their fundamental attachments I thought I didn't have this problem. I came for cultivation and I take money and reputation lightly. Later during cultivation, I found that my fundamental attachment is "selfishness" from the old universe. It is deeply hidden and appears in every thought when problems arise. I believe I will suppress and eliminate it until I achieve what Teacher requires of us: "...to attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism." ("Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
I try my best to be strict with myself and feel that I'm constantly elevating through Fa rectification cultivation. My xinxing and level are improving step by step, and I feel wonderful when I do the sitting meditation. My celestial eye is closed. In the past year, Teacher communicated with me several times in my dreams. I remember them vividly. In the first dream I saw I had to take an exam. Other practitioners had finished taking the exam, but I still had many questions to answer. I knew that Teacher was reminding me to cherish this opportunity and make up for the time I had wasted the past several years. Later, when I passed a xinxing test, I saw myself in another dream trying to go home. The path was narrow and dark. I was afraid of walking on my own, but I persisted. The path became very wide and I saw beautiful pavilions and palaces. I know that Dafa practitioners must persist, and no matter how difficult it is, the most wonderful things are waiting for us. When I am diligent, in my dreams I see myself flying rapidly upwards or sitting on a horse, flying. I know Teacher is encouraging me.
In conclusion I want to share Teacher's article with fellow practitioners. I hope every Dafa disciple who has taken up Fa study will cherish this opportunity of 10,000 years and take solid steps on the path during this magnificent historic period. We shouldn't let Teacher and sentient beings down, as they place great hopes in us.
"Dafa disciples are magnificent, because what you are cultivating is the ultimate Great Fa of the cosmos, because you have validated Dafa with righteous thoughts, and because you have not fallen during the massive tribulation. Dafa disciples' doing Fa-rectification has no precedent in history. In the magnificent, grand feats of validating the Fa with rationality, clarifying the truth with wisdom, and spreading the Fa and saving people with mercy, each Dafa disciple's path of Consummation is being perfected. At this great moment in history, every steady step is a glorious historic testimony, and is incomparably-magnificent mighty virtue. All this is being recorded in the history of the cosmos. The magnificent Fa and the magnificent epoch are forging the most magnificent Enlightened Beings." ("The Disciples' Magnificence" from Essentials for Further Advancement II)