Remaking My Life as a Dafa Cultivator - Part I
(Clearwisdom.net) I used to consider myself a veteran practitioner as I started cultivating in Dafa in 1997. But during Fa-rectification cultivation, I am the kind of practitioner Master described as, "stumbling and falling one time after another." ("Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. International Fa Conference")
I went to Beijing to validate the Fa on July 20, 2001, but I was so scared that I could not understand the Fa on the basis of the Fa. I was illegally arrested and detained many times. In the winter of 2000 I turned away from the Fa under coercion. Between the spring and summer of 2001, I gradually awakened. With Master's merciful encouragement I rejoined Dafa again and started along a genuine path of cultivation. Looking back on this difficult experience, I can feel the hardships with which Master offers salvation to sentient beings. I can also feel Master's great compassion very deeply. Master gave me a new life and rescued me from the old universe; no words can express my thanks to Master, and no words can express the happiness and the glory of a being who has obtained new life through Dafa cultivation.
1. The key of keeping righteous is to study the Fa
In May of 2001, I had just awakened from evil enlightenment. With extremely strong fear, regret and some other complex human attachments, I had difficulty beginning to study the Fa and cultivate again. Thought karma, warped notions and old force substances interfered with me all the time. I felt upset. Thus, I began to memorize the Fa, memorize Master's articles, and memorize "Hongyin." I utilized all of my spare time, such as walking, working, after waking up and before sleep to memorize the Fa. I did not want to leave the evil any room. I did not completely understand what Fa-rectification cultivation was then, so I spent a lot of time studying Master's new scriptures.
"I suggest that everyone set his mind to reading ten times the book I wrote, Essentials for Further Advancement, which you call scripture." ("A Heavy Blow" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
What does it mean to "believe in Master?" In my mind, if I do what Master says, that is "believing in Master." On this basis, I decided to read each of Master's scriptures and lectures ten times. At the beginning I could realize nothing, so I looked inward to check whether I was sincere to study Fa. I forced myself to calm down to study Fa. The more I studied the less selfish ideas I had. Gradually the connotations of Dafa began to reveal themselves to me. I knew that this was Master encouraging me to keep on studying. As time goes by I can feel the wonder of melting into the Fa and realize the process of Fa-rectification. Master continually guides me along the path of cultivation. I constantly cultivate in a maze, but concrete practice has proven that the Fa contains everything. I don't need to see other dimensions. Through studying the Fa and genuine cultivation, I understand the historical arrangement for me, and the present arrangements of the old forces for the entire local district and me. Dafa is boundless
In order to eliminate harmful attachments, I studied Essentials for Further Advancement numerous times. Reading "Towards Consummation" I finally found out my fundamental attachment. Reading "Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s)" I discovered the heart of being attached to enlightenment. Contrasted with what Master said about the exhibition of the old force's xinxing, I discovered the same thing in me, which had not been corrected yet. In this way I detected a lot of the attachments that had led me astray earlier. I kept on digging, and finally found the source of my wicked understanding: my original intention to cultivate was to obtain things that could not be obtained among ordinary people. The manifestation of this was my upholding myself, being unable to give up my own interests, embracing selfishness and refusing to let it go, wanting to gain more from Dafa but pay less, etcetera.
During this period of correcting myself, the articles from the Clearwisdom website editors, and fellow practitioners' experience sharing articles helped me a lot. I thank my fellow practitioners and the editors. What you have given to me is priceless. I still have the feeling that Master has arranged the fastest path for Dafa disciples. As I repeatedly read the articles with Master's comments and the articles from the Clearwisdom editorial section, I realize that the content expressed in these articles is also what Master wanted to tell us. Some sections and some stories from them remain deeply engraved in my mind.
Because I studied the Fa a lot and read a lot of Clearwisdom articles, I made great progress. Many practitioners' experiences have melted into my own cultivation. I have a feeling that I can appreciate others' thoughts. As I see the attachments of other practitioners, I also find my own attachments. On the basis of other practitioners' understanding of Fa, I can extend my own understanding of Fa. Following other practitioners, sometimes my thoughts can enter other dimensions, and I clearly see a lot of truth from other dimensions. Amidst the righteous faith, righteous thoughts and righteous behavior of my fellow practitioners, I realize my own defects, I can strengthen my righteous faith and thoughts on the basis of the Fa, and I can encourage myself to take righteous actions. From fellow practitioners' experiences of looking inward, I learned how to dig out my fundamental attachments. Now I can look inward for everything happening to me without any hindrance.
Getting Rid of Fear
When I again walked into cultivation in 2001, the biggest obstacle I confronted was fear. When I studied the Fa later I realized it had something to do with old force arrangements, but one who genuinely cultivates Dafa will not be restricted by fear. Master said,
"The fact is, those who can't step forward, regardless of the excuse, are concealing fear. 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")
I used to be a timid person. I was so sensitive that I always keep a strong mindset to protect myself. During the period that the evil persecution was rampant, I was struggling with fear every day. I physically and mentally suffered from the pressure of the evil factors in other dimensions. Added to this I had the pressure from society, my family and my workplace. Especially since I still had warped notions, I felt it hard to breathe every day. I could not lift my head. I was so fragile that I could lose consciousness with just one blow. But finally I made it! Although I was struggling and stumbling in cultivation, I can say that I am an upright cultivator now. I have often shared with fellow practitioners who suffer from fear. I said, "If I can make it, others can also make it." These words come from deep in my heart. My experience is a miracle created by Dafa. The practice has testified to how great Master's benevolence is, and how honorable Dafa is.
Waking up our fellow practitioners and getting them back onto the path of cultivation
When I was confused with wicked understandings, a lot of practitioners around me in my district also got wicked understandings. After I regained the correct awareness, I realized that I should smooth over the mistakes I made. I wanted every Dafa disciple who used to hear my wicked understanding speech know that I was wrong. Only steadfastly cultivating Dafa was the right thing to do. But fear kept stopping me from doing this. When I wanted to go out, I had to fight against fear. Each time that I defeated it and went out was a time that I walked out of humanness. At the hardest moment I held only one thought: "no matter what the result will be in future, at present Master still gives me opportunities. Then I should do whatever I can for Dafa."
I told every fellow practitioner I met, "I was wrong in the past, and now I have started to cultivate again." (Regardless of whether the practitioner had a wicked understanding or not, I spent quite a long time to communicate with the practitioners with wicked understandings. Once a practitioner regained his or her main consciousness, we would go together to help another practitioner. This way, all of the practitioners around me who had wicked understandings regained clear understandings of the Fa. No matter how difficult it was, I felt Master's help and guidance. Master was the source of my strength.
Due to Master's compassion, I was able to awaken and gain salvation again. I communicated with the confused practitioners from this perspective, filled with gratitude.
Master's benevolence made it possible for me to welcome the spring of my life. The compassion stays with me all the time. Not matter how strong the fear is, once I remember Master's compassion I always have righteous thoughts and strength. We should treat practitioners that have gone astray kindly. There is a reason that we came to this world together; perhaps their true selves placed their hopes in us to help awaken them.
Stepping out and distributing truth-clarifying materials
Since the persecution destroyed our local cultivation environment, people had not seen Falun Gong materials for a long time. I realized my own responsibility for the loss that I caused, and made up my mind to change the situation and make up for the loss. I had one righteous thought: "I must change the current situation." After overcoming the strong feeling of fear, another practitioner and I (who had once embraced evil realizations like me), went out to post Falun Gong truth-clarifying materials. I brought the materials back from a nearby town, but was unable to get in touch with this practitioner. Once again I fought my attachment of fear. Controlling my thumping heart I told myself, "I must do it, even if I have to do it by myself." With this righteous thought, the practitioner suddenly appeared in front of me. At this moment, tears appeared in my eyes, and I understood that Teacher had already mercifully arranged everything. He was waiting for me to come up with the righteous thoughts.
We set up a schedule and a plan. I sent forth righteous thoughts, but had not a moment's peace in my heart. In the evening, my husband suddenly brought up that he wanted to sleep in another room. I understood that it was Teacher's mercy, which had cleared another obstacle for me. In great fear, at 1:30 a.m., I took the truth-clarifying materials and went out. I sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the fear. I distributed almost all of the truth-clarifying materials over a large area. The last one was posted near my home. After I finished, I went home. My clothes were wet, but I felt very relieved. When I sent forth righteous thoughts, my heart was still thumping very fast.
Over the past few years, after constantly distributing materials, telling people the truth, and distributing materials to remote areas, my fear has been eliminated a great deal. In the process of clarifying the truth, I understand that once I can recognize the attachment of fear, do not accept it, and willfully eliminate it, I can refuse to follow the path of the old forces arrangements. Teacher said,
"The old forces don't dare to oppose our clarifying the truth or saving sentient beings. What's key is to not let them take advantage of the gaps in your state of mind when you do things." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Boston")
I am aware that the key to doing any job for Falun Gong is that our hearts must be based on the Fa. Whether I intend to save sentient beings, or if I have mixed personal pursuits - pursuit of fame, of consummation, the fear of lagging behind, unwillingness, or other notions - it won't work. This is the difference between altruism and ego, as well as the difference between the old and the new universes.
Falun Gong practitioners are strong and indestructible
The process of changing from having traveled along an evil path to becoming clear-headed again is a process of dramatic change. Now I treasure the Fa and the opportunity to cultivate even more. After awakening from slumber on the evil path, we gradually organized a system to contact each other and transfer materials in our local area. During 2001 and 2002 when the dark clouds heavily oppressed the nation only a few practitioners ventured forth to distribute materials.
One day, a practitioner who was in charge of transferring materials told me that he did not want to distribute materials in a particular area because of fear. I could understand him, because some practitioners in that area had betrayed some fellow practitioners before. Hence, we hesitated to contact the practitioners there, and had almost lost touch with them. I searched within myself and found that an unwillingness to contact them was because we did not trust them. I recalled how Teacher treated me with mercy and did not want to give up on me. I also recalled how when I was still on the evil path, a practitioner on the "wanted list" and under great danger, believing in Teacher and in me, took me into her home and had a long talk with me. Now I was protected by the Fa and blessed by Teacher's mercy, but would not help other practitioners because I wanted to protect myself. I was afraid of losing personal gain. I was being very selfish. We used to be one body; I should trust fellow practitioners. With Teacher and the Fa with me, what am I afraid of? The Fa gives me righteous thoughts.
I accepted my responsibility to go there, and in the meantime memorized Teacher's words,
"As a Dafa disciple, your steadfast, righteous thoughts are absolutely unshakable, because your renewed being is formed precisely amidst the Fa-rectification." ("Dafa is Indestructible" from Essentials for Further Advancements II)
I felt that I was very big, and the fear vanished. From then on, no matter how scared I was, I would repeatedly recite this one of Teacher's sentences; hence I would be able to clear my mind and strengthen my righteous thoughts.
On meeting the practitioners in that area for the first time, I realized that Teacher had arranged it. I was glad that fear did not hold me back. The practitioners there had become isolated because they had betrayed other practitioners. They felt regret and remorse. They wished to see fellow practitioners, but were afraid to do so. Their complicated mentality resembled mine when I had just awakened from the evil path. I gave them Teacher's lectures and articles from the Clearwisdom website. I also conversed with every single one of them, telling them about my experiences after I awoke from the evil path. We also recalled Teacher's mercy, the selflessness of Dafa, and how difficult it was to obtain the Fa. Everyone gained a better picture of the evil arrangements of the old forces. I told them how I overcame difficulties myself, and encouraged them to lay aside their feelings of guilt and let go of their attachments to fear.
On sharing one after another with them, I understood what Teacher really means in the Fa when Teacher talks about tolerance and understanding. Sometimes I felt that I was not helping them, and that they were in fact helping me, because my righteous thoughts and belief were strengthened every time I talked with them. With Teacher's help I once again transferred righteous thoughts and righteous belief in the Fa to others. Together we grew. In the years that followed, the practitioners in that area experienced ordeals, but they were all able to do well.
2. Thoroughly rejecting old force arrangements
In the fall of 2001 I went to Beijing for the third time to appeal for Dafa. I held up a banner on Jinshui Bridge and shouted out the words that I had been wanting to say for a long time, "Falun Dafa is good," "Falun Dafa is the righteous cultivation way," and " Restore my Teacher's reputation!" I was unlawfully arrested, but I refused to collaborate with the evil. After a month I was released. Walking out of the detention center I did not have any feeling of happiness. From this incident I discovered more attachments. I was arrested because I failed to have a clear understanding of the Fa.
After returning home I dove back into the current of Fa rectification. I studied the Fa diligently to look for my loopholes. Fellow practitioners' compliments made me feel even more uncomfortable. I thought that being persecuted by the evil was giving Dafa a bad name. There's nothing to feel proud of even if I did well sometimes. From the Fa, I deeply understood what Teacher says in the article,
"A Dafa disciple completely opposes everything arranged by the evil old forces." ("Dafa Is Indestructible" in Essentials for Further Advancement II)
This piece of the Fa is all-encompassing and multidimensional. It refers to our every single thought, word and behavior. I truly understood that the old forces' arrangements were nothing to be afraid of at all. With Teacher and the Fa, Dafa practitioners' righteous thoughts could reject all evil persecution. The evil also must not restrict Fa-rectification and truth-clarification. With this clear understanding of the Fa, the arrangements of the old forces were repeatedly eliminated in the light of the Fa and Dafa practitioners' righteous thoughts. I felt true to both our whole body and to myself.
On the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP's) sensitive day (July 20) I was studying the Fa, but somehow I felt sleepy. My 9-year-old son was sitting by the window. He suddenly told me, "Mom, quickly send forth righteous thoughts now. Very soon, some police will come and search here and there!" He pointed at the dressers where I had some Dafa materials. I immediately started to send forth righteous thoughts. After a while my son told me, "All clear. They are gone!"
A few days later I heard from some fellow practitioners that they had seen a police car parked right in front of my apartment building. They thought I had been arrested. The police said afterwards that they could not find me. I understood that I was in the Fa; therefore, Teacher would not let the evil persecution happen.
I have rejected the evil arrangements countless times during the past few years. I have heard about numerous plans for persecution of me, but actual persecution never happened to me again.
My understanding regarding the meaning of righteous thoughts and sending forth righteous thoughts
Sending forth righteous thoughts is one of the three things our Master requires us to do well. During my cultivation, I have come to realize that possessing righteous thoughts is essential, and the process of sending forth righteous thoughts is also a process for us to improve our understanding of the Fa, correct ourselves, truly walk out of humanness and become gods. It is a process of transforming from self-centeredness into altruism. At the beginning, because of my limited understanding of the Fa principles regarding sending forth righteous thoughts, I did it to avoid persecution; gradually I understood that sending forth righteous thoughts can also help lives to become free of evil spirits and gain salvation. It is also for us to completely deny all destructive arrangements of the old forces and to carry out Master's wish to offer all sentient beings benevolent solutions. Thus, as we assimilate into the Fa, we obtain wisdom and elevate our xinxing level, which directly determines how effective we are in eliminating the evil and using our divine powers.
I have not experience any supernormal abilities during my cultivation process. Yet from the Fa and the Clearwisdom website experience sharing articles that I have read, I can still recognize many of the old forces' arrangements and incidents of interference in my current life, as well as some pre-destined relationships between me and my friends and family. After I understood all these, I started to send forth righteous thought to help them break away from the evil arrangements and turn toward playing a positive role amid the Fa-rectification. I perceived it as harmonizing and completing the Fa principle of being compassionate to all sentient beings.
There was a period of time when I came to understand that we should clarify the truth to beings in other dimensions. I used to send forth righteous thought for hours at a time then. And at the beginning I would tell the beings in other dimensions that the Fa could rectify the whole universe and that it would be good for them to assimilate to the Fa. As I said this, I could not help shedding tears most of the time, as if I could feel their response. Of course, to those evil ones clinging obstinately to their courses, I had no hesitation to eliminate them. Because Master has taught us,
"The Fa is merciful to all beings, but at the same time it's solemn and dignified." "So for the beings of the old cosmos, and this includes all the elements of beings, when it comes to the Fa-rectification and what I choose, all beings' harmonizing and completing things according to my choices and contributing their best ideas and approaches--not to change what I want, but to harmonize and complete things according to what I've said--is the best thought a being in the cosmos could have." ("Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference")
Exposing local crimes against Falun Gong practitioners
In November 2003, when an article with Master's comments titled, "Expose the Evil Happening Locally to the Local People" was published on the Clearwisdom website, a new phase of Fa-rectification arrived. We knew that it was time for us to proactively eliminate the evil factors and strengthen and broaden our truth-clarification efforts. While we were preparing for the materials to expose the local crimes against Falun Gong practitioners, some of us had concerns, because it was not easy to create a stable environment from such a vicious one. Many practitioners had contributed a great deal. If we expose the wicked police and bad people, wouldn't the evil be infuriated and become more rampant?
With regard to this issue, while we were collecting evidence and writing articles to expose the evil happening locally, we intensified our Fa-study and had more experience sharing among practitioners so that we could keep up with Master's Fa-rectification process. We also strengthened our efforts of sending forth righteous thoughts. Through group sharing we came to understand that exposing the evil is to shock and restrain it, so that people who were afraid to read our flyers before could come to learn about the seriousness of the persecution happening right in their own midst. We hoped this would remove the poisonous lies in their minds. In the meantime, we had no resentment and hatred, but only compassion toward those police officers who had committed evil deeds, because our sole purpose is to save sentient beings. We looked over and over inside ourselves for any notions of revenge, hatred or contention, and checked to see if we were acting completely for the good of others. With a pure and unified mindset, we made the first edition of flyers exposing the local crimes against Falun Gong practitioners.
After distributing the flyers, we sent forth righteous thoughts as a whole body at high frequency to eliminate the evil factors that controlled everyday people and the police. It has been proven that if we walk on the path arranged by our Master, the effect is extremely good and there are no tribulations. A policeman who was our primary target was removed from his position and almost lost his job; those listed on our flyers felt depressed and dared not to do evil things at will. A 610 Office employee even happily told others, "My name was not on that flyer." Thereafter, he indeed no longer continued doing bad things toward practitioners. Instead, he helped us once in a while.
Because we disclosed the huge amount of money extorted from the practitioners, someone questioned the police department, "Why did you fine the practitioners and where is the money now?" And the police replied, "Who dares to touch that money? We were told to keep it in a safe."
The impact of our flyers was tremendous. Not only the evil police, but everyday people came to learn the truth of Falun Gong. As a result, our environment became even better. And those practitioners who had initial concerns have witnessed the power of Dafa. I believe one of the most important factors for achieving such a good result was because practitioners' gave up their ego-driven notions, tried their best to assimilate into the Fa, harmonized and completed the whole body and did it with our true compassionate hearts and minds. Master has told us,
"For Dafa disciples as a whole, in the process of validating the Fa, when you work together in concert, the Fa power is great." ("Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference")
We made a few more issues of flyers exposing the remaining evils locally. Because we walked steadily along the path of Fa-rectification as a whole body, everyone's xinxing level, enlightenment quality and understanding of the Fa improved a lot. No big persecution incidents exist in our area and our external environment has become more relaxed as well.
March 12, 2006
(To be continued)