Western Practitioner: Benefits from Cultivating Falun Dafa
I was first introduced to Falun Dafa in September 1999 but it wasn't until March 2002 that my path in cultivation began. However, this is my first time writing an experience sharing article and I feel privileged to have this opportunity to express my gratitude to Teacher and Dafa.
Until the time that I started practicing Falun Dafa, I had spent almost twenty years and a lot of money on various alternative remedies and treatments just to help me "feel better." But as time went on, I found it harder and harder to control my bad temper and moodiness and my tolerance level was at an all time low. I had come to the conclusion that this was just my temperament and I couldn't do anything about it despite my desperate attempts. In the meantime, I was spending twenty hours a week in a gym, which seemed to give me some relief, temporarily at least.
In March 2002, I accompanied my mother, who has practiced Falun Gong since September 1999, to the UN 2002 Annual Conference for Human Rights in Geneva. I have to admit my reason for going wasn't totally heartfelt and I didn't go there with a happy heart but I certainly returned happier. From the moment we arrived at Dublin Airport I felt the warmth and kindness of the Irish practitioners who met us there and looked after us once we arrived in Geneva. The whole event was a truly moving experience and a turning point for me.
After that, I started practicing all five exercises daily and reading Zhuan Falun and made every effort to follow the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance. Of course, there were many issues I couldn't understand at first. As time went on, I was beginning to understand the true meaning of life.
Immediately, I noticed changes in my character. My bad temper and moodiness were fading; there are still times when I fail in that respect, but I learn from them and strive to do better the next time. Teacher said:
"Someone says: 'It's really hard to be tolerant, and I've got a bad temper.' If your temper is not good you should change it, for a practitioner must be tolerant." (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun, People with Great Inborn Quality page 378)
People around me also noticed the changes in me. My nephew who was eight at the time, once said to me "I know why you don't get angry anymore. It's because you practice Falun Dafa."
Over the past few years, I have travelled to many counties far and near to teach the exercises to anyone who wants to learn. I have never missed this wonderful opportunity to clarify the truth, teach the exercises and provide them with the exercise instruction video and a copy of Zhuan Falun. I have benefited a great deal from Dafa and so it's my responsibility to share this glorious gift that has been bestowed on me.
I've had many tribulations and tests during the course of my cultivation, some I have passed well, and others not so well. Teacher said:
"When a tribulation arrives, if you, a disciple, can truly maintain an unshakable calm or be determined to meet different requirements at different levels, this should be sufficient for you to pass the test." ("Expounding on the Fa" in Essentials for Further Advancement)
Whenever I'm going through a difficult test or tribulation, I recall what Teacher said:
"Going through hardship and suffering is an outstanding opportunity to remove karma, be cleansed of sin, purify the body, elevate your plane of thought and rise in level, it's an extraordinarily good thing. This is a correct and upright Fa truth." ("The Closer to the End, the More Diligent you should be")
Over the past several months in particular, I experienced many difficulties in my cultivation and felt that I was stuck at that one level. Some of my attachments had remained for a long time and it was now time to eliminate them and dig them out from the root.
My attachment of fear was deeply rooted and I must eliminate it. Teacher taught us:
"Those with good comprehension will know [to think:] 'Since I cultivate what's there to fear? I have heard the Law, I have read the books, and I understand all of the principles. What should I still fear?' It's such a simple and solid thought, but it's actually brighter than gold." ("Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Houston 1996")
Another attachment I am aware of is my attachment to perfection, I am afraid of being criticised, lest I fail to do things the first time.
As the years have passed, I have become more and more steadfast in my belief in Teacher and Dafa. I will continue to do the three things more diligently than ever and strive forward during this precious time.