Greetings Master and all fellow practitioners,

I just turned 16 this year and have been practicing Falun Dafa with my mother for 7 years. I decided to write an experience sharing article on my cultivation as a young adolescent disciple to share the problems I have been faced with as a teenager and how I overcome them.

As every young practitioner grows up, their parents encourage their children to practice alongside them. Practicing as a child is not easy, as many may already know. We do not find the exercises particularly enjoyable or studying the Fa pleasurable. Most little practitioners would very much prefer to go outside to play. However, we all know that we must fit time in for cultivation every day in our daily routine.

It was hard for me to accomplish these simple tasks every day as I became lazy and procrastinated instead of doing what I know I had to do. I busied myself with the telephone and computer as many ordinary teenagers do. Eventually there came a time when I realized that I had not been cultivating solidly as a practitioner should do. Realizing this problem was the first step to improving my self-discipline. Opening Zhaun Falun, I decided to read carefully and tried to concentrate very hard on every single word. That's when I came across the topic of thought karma, which reminded me that it was not my own thinking tempting myself to do something else. Today, I still find it hard to freely go and study the Fa or exercise but from a little encouragement from my mum and fellow practitioners, I'm glad to say that I'm gradually improving.

Clarifying the Truth to my Peers

Next on the to-do list, is to clarify the truth frequently. The majority of my life is spent at school, so it is hard to always go out and clarify the truth regularly with my mum so I came to the conclusion that I would clarify the truth right where I was, at school. Obviously, I would not disrupt my lessons by doing so but I would clarify the truth to my peers by telling them about recent parades or activities I had participated in and why I went. Telling my friends about my faith is not easy, as you can easily be dismissed and the conversation would move on. From experience, I have discovered that touching upon the subject every other day can gradually increase their knowledge about Falun Dafa and raise awareness.

When going to friends' houses at the weekends or holidays, my mum always encourages me to take along a Nine Commentaries paper for their parents to read. This also is a method I have been using to clarify the truth to those around me.

Alcohol, Drugs and Cigarettes

Today, human moral standards are spiraling down so much that the issue of alcohol, drugs and cigarettes regularly hits the assemblies at school. As a practitioner, I know these are bad and would do no good in helping along my already arduous cultivation. However, the subject is not ignored by my friends who are very much willing to try. It saddens me when I see my friends are being carried down by the declining moral standards but I know that I cannot change their minds, the same that I can't take their cigarette or alcohol from their hands. Being a friend, I can only put forward my own opinion.

Teenagers today like to host parties and it is during this time when their demonic nature starts to show the most. They like to sneak alcohol in for underage drinking, they like to smoke and socialize intimately. I have been to a few of these events but found myself quite uncomfortable by the atmosphere of cigarette smoke and drink. However, I do occasionally turn up to such parties, as in the past I have been able to inspire some of my friends to not drink as they have realized that my opinion is much stronger than the peer pressure around us. I stay there to help my friends maintain their dignity and socialize but do not join in their smoking or drinking activities.

I have at times been tempted to drink but have not as I like to keep my righteous thoughts strong and resist but I'm also lucky as my close group of friends enjoy encouraging me not to drink or smoke and no longer tempt me. Some friends do not drink excessively anymore as they have seen through my actions that things can be better without the confidence boosters.

Reputation and Popularity

For those who have seen the classic teenage films, reputation can be extremely important to most in school. It is vital for teenagers to maintain a good reputation with others to make themselves feel good and for popularity. As a practitioner, I hold little importance to this matter but still keep a good reputation with everyone otherwise I would be excluded from groups and not be able to clarify the truth to everyone.

To be popular today, teenagers require one boyfriend or girlfriend and lots of friends and since moral standards have declined, sexual intercourse between the couple does come across the mind. Like the alcohol issue, I cannot tell my friends what to do, but again put forward my opinion of how I think it is wrong for sexual intercourse to be introduced before marriage. My friends have accepted my view and admire my loyalty to my faith and my courage to resist temptation.

However, as a teenager myself, I have been tempted by boys in the past and present. My view on this matter as a practitioner and a teenager is that I will not accept a boyfriend unless he understands why I do not have sex before marriage and that I would treat him no more than a good friend.

My cultivation has these standards as it is hard to keep it untainted by everyday people's issues. I am aware that most teenagers believe that their life can be fulfilled by materialistic things without the need for spiritual guidance; therefore, I try to help those around me see the benefit of Falun Dafa as this is the true fulfillment of my life.

Thank you.