(Clearwisdom.net) During my eight-year cultivation path and validating the Fa, I have experienced many hardships. Bathed in the light of the Fa, and with the merciful protection of Teacher, I have experienced great changes that helped me mature as a particle of Dafa. I am healthy, have improved morally and have risen to a higher spiritual realm.

Teacher has stressed repeatedly the importance of improving our xinxing. Dafa practice directly targets people's hearts, and cultivation is rapid without any shortcuts.

1. Abandoning Fear in Validating the Fa

The "attachment of fear" is a big obstacle to our cultivation and to the Fa-rectification. It is an enormous attachment that a Fa-rectification period Dafa practitioner has to eliminate. Fear not only prevents us from achieving consummation; more importantly, it can immerse us in human notions, preventing us from walking out to tell the truth and save sentient beings. Fear thwarts us from fulfilling our responsibilities as Fa-rectification Dafa disciples, frustrates the expectations of sentient beings, and disappoints our great wishes, made before the dawn of history.

Teacher told us:

"Yet for cultivators, fear or lack thereof proves [one's] humanity or divinity, and it is what differentiates cultivators from ordinary people. It is something that a cultivator must face, and the biggest human attachment that a cultivator must remove." ("Study the Fa Well, and Getting Rid of Attachments is Not Hard")

As long as we melt into the Fa, have righteous thoughts and actions, and walk straight and steadily on the Fa-rectification path, we will certainly overcome fear.

I have changed from being fearful to no longer being fearful, and through today have steadily validated the Fa.

When the evil began to persecute Falun Gong in 1999, the environment suffocated people. School officials often held mandatory meetings for all teachers and other employees, where they gave orders on how to slander Dafa and persecute practitioners. They forced all teachers and employees to write "guarantee statements," pledging that they would not practice Falun Gong. At that time, when I heard the telephone ring upstairs or next-door late at night, I became uneasy (the secretary resides upstairs and the principal next door). Yet, in my heart, I firmly believed in Teacher and Dafa. Therefore, I began to tell the truth and save sentient beings.

First I clarified the truth to the students. I told them about Falun Dafa during class and said that everything about Falun Dafa publicized on TV was slanderous and fabricated. When I finished telling them, many students enthusiastically applauded. Nevertheless, my legs were trembling a little, and my heartbeat accelerated. This is how I was during the early stages of telling the truth, but I was adamant and clarified the truth in every one of my classes. Of course, I matured in my ways of telling the truth. Now, I tell the truth openly and honorably. I am self-assured, bold, handy, and I do it with justice.

When clarifying the truth, I also experienced upsetting but not dangerous incidents. Some parents who did not understand the truth reported me twice. One reported me to the city 610 Office. Another one reported me to the school. They threatened that they would report me to the Education Committee. I thought about Teacher's lectures, calmed my xinxing, and looked within to find any shortcomings in my methods of telling the truth, and whether I truly told the truth to save sentient beings. I hardly think about whether I can reach consummation (of course I have the wish to achieve consummation), how high a level I can cultivate to, or how high a Fruit Status I can reach. I just follow Teacher's requirements, and tell the truth to the best of my abilities. I can do this because I hold righteous thoughts, understand that Teacher accepted responsibility for me, and turned two dangerous situations into safety for me.

I mainly clarify the truth face to face. I also post truth-clarification materials and deliver truth-clarifying cards. I mainly clarify the truth to students, but also to colleagues, classmates, friends, relatives and strangers. I have explained the truth to nearly 1000 people so far. Dafa gives me the wisdom and capabilities, and Teacher mercifully protects me, so I can move forward steadily, improve my xinxing, eliminate fear, and steadily come through to today.

2. Removing Fame and Interests and Melting Into Dafa

For Dafa practitioners, the attachment to fame and interest also exists. Whether or not we can remove the attachment to fame and interest relates to whether we can achieve consummation. More importantly, it decides whether we can do the three things well with our hearts, especially with respect to telling the truth and saving sentient beings. The inability to let go of the attachment to fame and interest will certainly make us hesitate, hold back in telling the truth, and not be diligent. Isn't it because of fear that some fellow practitioners are unable to step out to clarify the truth? I believe that fear is a derivative of the attachment to fame and interest to a large degree.

Teacher said:

"As a matter of fact, when you agonize over infringements upon your reputation, self-interest, and feelings among everyday people, it already indicates that you cannot let go of ordinary human attachments. You must remember this: Cultivation itself is not painful--the key lies in your inability to let go of ordinary human attachments. Only when you are about to let go of your reputation, interests, and feelings will you feel pain." ("True Cultivation" from Essentials for Further Advancement)

"Washing away attachments to fame, sentiment, and gain, What hardship can hinder the divine," (Hong Yin II, provisional translation subject to improvement)

"Cultivate away fame, material interest, and emotion, Reach Consummation, ascending the firmament" (Hong Yin)

After several years of cultivation, I understand clearly that as long as we diligently study the Fa, melt into the Fa, and clean the impurities from our minds with Dafa's principles, we will be able to take the teachings as teacher, recognize our attachments, take a step back and find it boundless. Then it will not be difficult to let go of fame and interest.

Below, I will share with you how I let go of the attachment of fame and interest in my cultivation.

To a teacher, a job title is very important, because it has a direct effect on income. The higher the title, the greater the difference in wage. The competition for the title is also intense. When I competed for a high-level title, there was only one position that year, but four qualified teachers. I felt that my background was the most fitting among the four of us, although one teacher was older than I (the other three were about the same age). I believed that he should have his chance at it, so I did not apply. In the end, the school put his name forward, but the provincial review committee did not accept his nomination because his thesis did not have adequate distinction. During that year, a precious quota at our school was wasted, and it was discussed quite a bit among many teachers. The next year, I also did not apply. Many teachers asked me why. I told them calmly that he had seniority and should be the one reviewed first. In the third year six teachers qualified and there was again only one position. That year, the school secretary also happened to be among those qualified to apply. The school official knew that I had already not applied during the past two years and felt that they should recommend me, but, what about the secretary? Therefore, the school officials asked the Education Committee to award an extra quota. (I heard about this later). I thought that there were two quotas, applied and was approved. I became the youngest high-ranking teacher of our city (county level city) that year.

After I was selected as a high-ranking teacher, I did not apply for the annual award of excellent or outstanding teacher. I thought I had already gotten all I deserved, and I should not pursue this.

My teaching level and teaching results are renowned in our city. Those taking the classes I teach are always among the best in the college entrance examination, and they have won first place in our city many times. Alas, when I first practiced Falun Gong, my teaching results took a nosedive in three classes I taught. My school set a rule that if the teaching subject falls behind the last 1/3 of the exam results for the whole city, the teacher will be punished, so at one point my wages were cut. When I was told, I felt that the wage cut was steep and it affected me deeply. I could not hold back my tears.

Then, I thought about it. I worked harder after I began practicing Falun Gong. Why did this happen? I thought that nothing was accidental for practitioners. Such a tremendous downgrade must have a reason. I felt that there must be some attachments that I hadn't eliminated.

I calmed down when looking inside. I realized that I didn't cry because of losing several hundred yuan, but because of losing face. Isn't loosing face an offshoot of "reputation?" I also found a tremendous amount of bad thoughts. For quite some time, because of my excellent teaching results, officials praised me, students admired me, colleagues envied me, and society recognized me. Unconsciously, the feeling of being always in the right was pleasing to me and this feeling grew. For a while I thought that I was right, knew better, was skilled, had great abilities, and looked down my nose on teachers whose students did not achieve good exam marks. Only when I looked inside did I find all these negative thoughts. I became anxious. After I found these attachments, I viewed them one by one, and eliminated them. When I continued my normal study and work pace, my teaching results ascended again. The attachment to fame and interest had surrounded me, was squeezing my heart, and penetrating my being. I now understand that it absolutely could not be kept.

3. Unbinding Attachment to Affection in Living

My attachment to affection was the most difficult one to remove, especially the affection for family.

Teacher said:

"What is human? Sentiments and desires fill the body." ("Distinction Between Human and Enlightened Beings" from Hong Yin, version B)

"Those who are attached to affection for family will definitely be burned, entangled, and tormented by it. Pulled by the threads of affection and plagued by them throughout their lives, they will find it too late to regret at the end of their lives." ("Cultivators' Avoidances" from Essentials for Further Advancement)

I also feel that affection is a large stumbling block on our path to godhood. It prevents us from taking big steps forward and advancing. It is difficult to eliminate, but must be removed!

Below, I will share with you how I let go of affection.

My husband and I were classmates from primary school to high school, and our sentiments were intense after marriage. He is smart, capable, reliable, trustworthy, and handsome, behaves well and is of elegant style. Just because of all the above, I adored him before practicing Falun Gong. When he worked in another city, I was often in a state of anxiety. I feared that he might have an accident when riding his bike, that his life was not fulfilled, that he wasn't penny-wise, that he had an affair, and so on. I was terribly suspicious and apprehensive all day long when hearing anything or when my imagination worked overtime. I cross-examined him often and sometimes I also kept track of his money. I annoyed him, and I also became tired of this.

After I became a practitioner, I understood that my attachment to him was also an attachment to affection, and a way of losing my own self. Cultivation involves finding the true self. I realized I had to let go of the strong attachment to him. I studied the Fa diligently and assimilated to the Fa. After about one to two years, I took this relationship lightly and finally gave up the attachment to affection. I knew it was because Teacher saw that I was serious about letting go, so he helped me remove the bad elements in other dimensions. Now he and I have an untroubled and harmonious relationship.

Since the persecution of Falun Gong began in 1999, the evil forces repeatedly tried to use this attachment of mine to "test" and interfere with me. Since I saw through this plot, it did not succeed.

In the early days of the persecution, someone reported to government officials that I practiced Falun Gong. My husband worked in the government, and the officials asked him to persuade me to give up the practice. One day he came home with a paper with an article written by a former practitioner who had turned against Dafa (a postgraduate candidate). I knew what he was thinking, "The postgraduate candidate has stopped practicing. Why do you still practice?" I read it and found it to be complete nonsense. After he left for work, I burned the paper. He also talked to me many times. Then I told him about the miraculous changes Dafa practice had brought to me, that I recovered from many years of incurable female health issues, turned from anxious and hot tempered to gentle (as witnessed by him), and that I practiced "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance." What was wrong with that? He said that the Chinese Communist Party was terrible in dealing with people and that it would implicate him and our child. I told him not to worry about it.

When parents of students reported me twice, the school officials talked to him first. I felt that this was strange! Why didn't they come to me first? I understood some time later. The evil wanted to use him, because I was very attached to him once. He talked to me about the terrible consequences, asked me not to spread the truth, and to practice secretly at home. I explained to him many times why Dafa practitioners had to clarify the truth, and he also understood and told me to be careful.

Not long ago, he told me why he did not force me to give up practice. When he had talked to me about the practice, he hoped that I would give it up. My answer came as a shock to him. He had asked me, "How come you are not listening to me?" I said, "I listen to you about everything (I normally listen to him about everyday matters and things that do not affect the practice), but in this matter (practicing Dafa), I can't listen to you." He felt strange and wondered what Zhuan Falun was talking about, and yet he felt attracted to it. Therefore, one day when I was not home, he read some of Zhuan Falun. He said that he did not find that there was anything bad written in the book. He saw that it teaches people to be good. He thinks that one should have freedom of belief. Therefore, he did not force me to give up the practice.

Next I will talk about my daughter's studies.

My daughter is intelligent, which her teachers from primary school to high school have recognized, but her academic record was not outstanding in high school. Looking at it from an ordinary person's point of view, it was because she wanted to have fun, and did not study hard and diligently. She was near us in middle school, so we supervised her closely. She could still enroll at a national top-level high school of our city, even with her relatively low marks. In order to gain experience, and become more knowledgeable, we sent her to the national top-level high school in our province. Because she was far away from home, we supervised her less, and her desire to have fun was greater. She was an average student, no matter how much we asked her to study hard. It was useless and we could not get her interested. She even fell in love in the final year of high school, and persisted in her way of life. As a result, she failed to qualify for undergraduate college by a few marks.

Why did this happen? I looked within and found that my attachment caused it. I always hoped that my daughter would enroll in a top university, find a relatively good job in the future and find a good husband. This intention was so strong that it became a strong attachment. I understood Teacher's Fa that everyone has his own fate, but I couldn't let go of it. Sometimes I removed it superficially, but it still was hidden deep in my heart. Sometimes I even thought, "I am a Dafa practitioner. I have good fortune. I also cultivate well, and do well in telling the truth. Teacher will certainly arrange a good university for my daughter." I was so attached! Wasn't I conditional to Dafa and Teacher? The old forces saw it, so they interfered. "You want her to enroll in a good university? We let her play and fall in love." Before the university entrance exam, they even interfered using sickness. She was always healthy, but a month prior to the exam, she did not suffer from a big illness but she had a slight illness that was ceaseless and had no end. Before the exam, she even felt that her chest was stuffy and she was short of breath. She almost fainted when at the examination location. I also realized it was interference, and sent forth righteous thoughts, but it did not work. Since I did not abandon the attachment, how could it work?

My attachment to affection for my daughter really harmed her, but I finally awakened. When my xinxing met the standard, things immediately took a favorable turn. Now my daughter is repeating her subjects, and she understands that she has to study hard (I told her the principle of no loss, no gain many times). Her school results showed great improvement.

Because of Dafa's power and Teacher's merciful protection, my xinxing is constantly improving. It is truly, "With attachments left behind, the lightened boats sail swiftly." ("The Knowing Heart") However, I still find that there is a large gap when I compare myself with fellow practitioners who do well, especially when I compare myself to Dafa's requirements for us at different levels. I must be more diligent, and continue firmly in Teacher's Fa-rectification process, so I can follow Teacher to reach consummation.

I am grateful to Teacher, -- Heshi.