How I Became a Practitioner in the Fa-Rectification Period
(Clearwisdom.net) In the autumn of 2002, I obtained the Fa and became a practitioner. From the very beginning, I could feel Falun (Law wheel) spinning in my lower abdomen. I also saw and felt how Falun was adjusting my body. Actually, in 2001 I had already read Zhuan Falun. After reading the book and for the next six months, I saw a giant Buddha in my dreams every night, but I could only see half of Buddha's face, and I wondered why. At that time I had been practicing another discipline that did not offer any goal of cultivating to a high level. As a matter of fact, I had been searching for a discipline that could enable me to cultivate out of the three realms as well as avoiding "samsara" (the six paths of reincarnation). I was really looking for a discipline of mind and body cultivation. I wanted to find a master, but where could I find him? Many times I thought of going to the temple to become a nun, but I could not make up my mind because I was unable to give up my attachments. Within that six-month period, I decided to leave that discipline. I was pretty clear in my mind that there must be a God who takes care of me. One day, all out of a sudden, I became determined to practice Falun Gong, and from then on I have been following the path of cultivation practice.
Right after I started practicing the Falun Gong exercises, I saw Falun working all over me, purifying my body, just as it is described in Zhuan Falun.
In my dreams, I could always fly very high, and one time I flew up to the top of a seven-story building where I saw many people, but I had to fly down to the ground right away, because someone was chasing me. I was thinking that maybe Teacher wanted me to understand that to cultivate among humans, I must eliminate all attachments of ordinary people before I could be elevated. Another time in my dream, I flew to the top of a wall. I saw a man in Ming Dynasty dress from the house. He said, "I am your teacher; I will show you how to practice." I said, "I practice Falun Gong." Then he disappeared. I realized that it was Teacher testing my dedication.
In 2003, I had the urge to read Zhuan Falun over and over again. It seemed that I loved the book so much that I was unable to stop. Every time I finished reading the book, I was able to understand the Fa more. I felt that this is definitely a truly divine book. In my daily life, I require myself to go exactly by what Teacher said and follow the rule, "Don't hit back when attacked and don't talk back when insulted." At work I got along well with my colleagues, just like sisters. Then one day, all of a sudden, they acted like they didn't like me anymore. I cried and cried about it, but that didn't help. In my mind, I quietly recited Teacher's poem from Hong Yin,
It is not that it's painful on the path of cultivation,
Karma of lifetimes and lifetimes impedes;
Steeling the heart, eliminating karma, cultivating xinxing,
Forever possessing a human form is a Buddha.
September 15, 1994
I thought about Teacher's Fa: "Maybe I treated them that way in my previous life, so I am paying for it now." At that time I didn't even know how to look within myself. I merely followed the book as a guide for my behavior, not knowing much about the reasoning behind the Fa. That was determined by the level of my cultivation practice at the time. Now I know more.
In 2004, I changed my work environment to one where I was able to study the Fa more during work hours. I took out Teacher's lectures given before 1999 and read them over and over again. One fellow practitioner helped me a lot. She shared with me about how to cultivate better and how to awaken based on the Fa, so that I gradually learned how to solidify my cultivation practice to guide my speech and behavior.
For a period of time, I often heard fellow practitioners mentioning the word "diligent." When I had time, I did the practice, otherwise I did not. Also, if I did practice, I did it only when my husband was not around. One morning, after waking up, I decided that I should be more diligent, study the Fa more, do the exercises more, and truly meet the requirements of the Fa. Then I began to experience the condition of sickness karma. This seemed to happen every 20 days. It was very uncomfortable, causing my bones to ache, and I had no appetite and could not eat. I understood that it was Teacher helping me to get rid of karma. So regardless of how bad I felt, I persevered; the more I hurt, the more diligently I studied the Fa. The pain was gone in a couple of days. After that, my body and mind felt especially refreshed, my complexion was rosy, and my spirit was doubly energized.
In view of this experience, I studied the Fa more and more, and had more exchanges with fellow practitioners. Time was flying and soon it was 2005. Hengshui City was late in getting the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. There were not many copies available. Just as soon as it became available I got a copy and read it twice. The first time, after reading the part about eating human bodies, I could not calm down for quite a while; it tore at my heart for a few days. The evil Chinese Communist Party has done so many bad things, endangering humans for over a hundred years. Both Gods and humans hate the Party so much that Heaven will destroy it and its members, because they have committed such vicious and huge crimes against Gods and human beings. All those affiliated with the Party, including those who belong to the Chinese Communist Party, the Communist Youth League, and the Young Pioneers, are part of them. If they want to survive, they must quit the Party and its organizations. Since Teacher published "Turning the Wheel towards the Human World," I feel in my heart that the time is quickly approaching. In my dreams I often saw scenes of people being destroyed. During that time, I was busy clarifying the truth to people at work, and I also spoke to my husband about quitting the Communist Party. I got rid of a lot of human notions during this time.
My husband, a soldier in the army, had been poisoned by the Party's lies. I kept talking to him about the greatness of Falun Dafa, about the changes in me, and about how many bad things the Chinese Communists have done in the past. But he said, "I know more than you do, you don't have to tell me; you're playing politics."
My husband was a member of the Communist Party. When I asked him to quit the Party the first time, he got so mad that his eyes almost bulged out of his head. But I remained patient, determined that I wouldn't give up and that I'd keep asking. I knew that I did it out of affection and concern for him. One night I had a dream in which we were out of town. On our way back we were passing by a village where we used to live when we saw that the village was on fire and all the houses were burned down. My husband got badly hurt, with dark grayish burns all over him; he lay on the ground still breathing.
Another week passed by, and I asked him to quit the Party for the second time while he was having dinner. He threw his chopsticks down on the floor and screamed, "Do you still want me to eat!" With no grievance in my heart, I slowly picked up the chopsticks and gave them back to him and said, "I will say no more; eat your dinner." Unexpectedly, he called my mother and younger brother. He asked them to advise me not to practice Falun Gong any more and also threatened them that if I should continue practicing, he'd divorce me. My mother and younger brother called me many times. But I was very clear about the fact that I'd never give up cultivation practice. Of course I was concerned about a possible divorce and worried about who was going to educate our daughter at home. I was afraid of losing the love and warmth of my family, etc. All these human attachments were attacking me, wave after wave. However, my heart for cultivation never changed and still remained firm. That night, my husband did not come home for dinner. My mind was racing.
Another week passed, and my husband saw our daughter's statement to quit the Communist Youth League." He asked her, "You believe it, too?" She replied, looking straight at him, "Yes, I believe it, too, and I am not afraid of you." These words were like a bomb exploding in his head. At that moment, I was so afraid that our daughter would bring us a disaster, knowing that the Communist evil spirit behind my husband would be greatly aggravated. I was cooking dinner in another room at the time and heard my husband saying, "You're not afraid that the school will expel you? I'll tell your teacher to discipline you!" I raised the curtain in the doorway and said to him, "Many teachers in the school are practicing Falun Gong." He heard what I said and wanted to hit me. Our daughter immediately rushed to hold his legs, "Do not hit Mother, I won't let you hit her." I ran outside immediately.
Another week passed. When my husband was in a good mood, I said to him, "In order for you to be saved, I have asked you about quitting the Communist Party. You already know that the Party has done numerous bad things. If you agree to quit it, it won't cost you anything, yet it will ensure the safety of your life. Why not do it?" He agreed. He used a nickname in his statement to withdraw from all the Communist organizations. For almost a month, our daughter and I always sent forth righteous thoughts in the area close to my husband in order to eliminate the evil spirits behind him. While I was advising and encouraging my husband to withdraw from the Party and its affiliated organizations, I was also eliminating lots of human attachments, especially the attachment of affection. I had to treat my husband as an ordinary sentient being in order to save him. I always recited Teacher's Fa in order to encourage myself:
"You will be made to abandon all those attachments that cannot be given up among everyday people. As long as you have them, all of those attachments must be removed in different environments. You will be made to stumble, whereby you will become enlightened to the Tao. This is how one goes through cultivation practice." (Zhuan Falun, Lecture Four, "Transformation of Karma")
I always felt that I was still a new practitioner because I started late, so I had to be more diligent so as to enable me to keep pace with Fa-rectification. In April 2003, Teacher said,
"One has to do with new students: your cultivation process is merged with your Fa-validation process, and in order for you to catch up, your personal cultivation accompanies your validating the Fa, and both of them progress simultaneously." ("Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference," April 20, 2003)
Therefore, I don't dare to slack off a bit. On October 8, 2005, Teacher gave another lecture in which he said:
"Actually, if you think about it, the cultivators of the past didn't dare to slack off for even a second, and that was when it took an entire lifetime to complete the journey. So how can Dafa disciples--who are to achieve the Attainment Status of a being who is saved by Dafa and who have the most convenient cultivation way--not be even more diligent when they are given this most glorious honor of Fa-validating cultivation in a brief cultivation period that passes in the blink of an eye?"("The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be.")
Teacher's Fa always encourages me. My initial motive for cultivating was to be a God or a Buddha. Now thinking about it, I realize how selfish I was. The law of the old universe was in line with selfishness, but to be a great being in the new universe is to be for others. In practicing Falun Dafa, not only do I have to be a good practitioner and cultivate well, but I also have to assist Teacher in validating the Fa and saving sentient beings. This is the real goal and why we are here. For a month's time, I have been continuously explaining the truth of Falun Dafa to the people around me, advising them to quit the Party's organizations. Doing this is for the purpose of saving people. In the process I have gotten rid of the attachment of fear. Meanwhile I never forget to study the Fa, which enables me to do better the work of Fa-validation and saving sentient beings.
On the path of cultivation, I have been continuously going through xinxing tribulations. One night in November 2005, I was coming home from my Fa-study group. It was late, already about 11:00 p.m. I didn't see my husband at home and his new shoes and leather jacket had disappeared. I was pretty sure that he had gone out fooling around with a girlfriend. Jealousy, anger, hate, and grievance took control of my mind. I immediately got on my bike and hurried to my younger sister's house. The reason for going to her house was that she had told me the previous day that my husband had once called her at night, saying that he wanted to talk to her. I tried to eavesdrop outside her house, but I didn't hear anything. I made the trip between my house and hers three times. On the way I was thinking, "Now I am a practitioner; how could I be so narrow minded and suspicious? This attachment has to be ousted. Right, I ought to get rid of it, as the attachment is not really mine." But no matter how hard I tried, I could not suppress it. I tried to call my husband's co-worker but he did not answer my call, which caused me to heighten my suspicion and anger. My jealousy came up again, and I could not let go of it. Eventually, I asked my husband's other co-worker to call my husband. We discovered that he had to work overtime repairing engines. I was then satisfied with the answer and was able to calm down. Because I was tired from all the bicycle trips I had made, I spent the night at my sister's house. Early the next morning, when I got home, I found my tape recorder out of order and the tape for Falun Gong practice tangled up, and also the back window of my house was half opened. I realized that the evil had taken advantage of my attachment.
Teacher said, "So, causing people's minds to waver will bring trouble to the cultivation environment." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York," November 21, 2004) Through this incident, I came to realize that cultivation practice is not a simple matter but a serious one. I began to learn how to look within myself. Why did my husband do what he did? In addition to the quote from Teacher's Fa, I realized that I didn't do well in my own home. I did not balance well enough the relationship between cultivation and family, such as going to study the Fa without first doing the cleaning and making the home neat, and leaving my husband alone at home. As another year went by, I started to have a new understanding on this matter.
Teacher also said,
"Many students understand only that doing the exercises and studying the Fa are cultivation. Yes, with those you directly engage the Fa. But as you go about truly cultivating yourself in your day-to-day life, the society that you come into contact with is your cultivation environment. The work and family environments that you spend time in are both settings in which you are to cultivate yourselves, are part of the path you must walk, are what you must handle, and handle correctly at that. None of these should be glossed over." ("Teaching the Fa in Canada," May 28, 2006, in the city of Toronto)
In reviewing this incident, I see that the most important problem was that my affection towards my husband was too strong. Affection is a thing of humans. I must get rid of it through cultivation practice. What is a God like? A God is good and kindhearted; a God is compassionate, and because of his compassion, he wants to save sentient beings and he wants to come out to verify the Fa. Through the "xinxing" tests, time after time, through the process of clarifying the truth of Falun Dafa to the world's people, my state of mind truly felt heart-piercing, bone-cutting pain. Eliminating affection has been the process of slow washing, brushing, and measuring according to the standard of Falun Dafa. Now, my feelings of affection toward my husband are very light, having been replaced with compassion. Seeing my husband's attachment of affection, I feel that for non-cultivators, life is painful. I feel I am very fortunate as a Falun Dafa practitioner and I am very grateful for our compassionate Master who lifted me out of the sea of pain. The only way I can repay Master is to continuously improve myself in cultivation practice, to eliminate all my human attachments, and to save as many sentient beings as possible.
One night in November 2005, I flew out of planet Earth in my dream. I kept flying until I reached the stratosphere. Then I could not fly any more. I was awakened to the fact that, although I have helped so many people quit the Chinese Communist organizations through my explaining the truth of Falun Dafa, the Fa-rectification has not ended and more people need to be saved. So I flew back down to Earth to continue my task of persuading people to withdraw from the party. One time I was explaining the truth of Falun Dafa and the persecution to one of our factory's assistant managers, but she did not accept my explanation at all. I talked to her again five more times and she still did not agree to withdraw. She said, "I know you're doing it for my sake; it's okay to say it between us, but don't talk to anyone else about it." Afterwards she talked to the manager about me telling everyone to withdraw from the party. The manager asked me to go to his office. First he threatened me and then he tried to scare me, but I was not in any way moved. I talked to him for an hour. He also knew that Falun Dafa is good, but he did not agree to withdraw from the party. Before my leaving his office he smiled anyway.
I talked about this incident to a fellow practitioner who felt that I was perhaps drawing too much attention to my efforts to get people to quit the Party. She said, "Maybe, the assistant manager already quit the party and its affiliated organizations but she didn't want anybody to know and didn't want to tell you either."
What she said shocked me a little. I felt somewhat uncomfortable, thinking that maybe she was jealous about me doing so well in this regard. So I argued with her, "It wasn't like what you said--that person didn't accept my advice at all."
After returning home, the fellow practitioner's words were still ringing in my ears: "You're drawing too much attention to yourself!" Is saving people to be branded as drawing attention to oneself? I was somehow uncomfortable. This reminded me of what our section leader, a non-practitioner, also said: "You should keep it a little quiet, do it selectively. It's inadvisable to say it to just anybody. Didn't you see how so-and-so only did it selectively, without showing off?" Regardless of who said it--fellow practitioner or my section leader--I realized I had to look carefully within myself.
When I was not a practitioner, I often could not control myself and I would spell it out to everybody whenever I had problems. I finally realized that this weakness must be thrown out. Actually, ever since I became a practitioner, I have eliminated a lot of these kinds of attachments. Maybe this fellow practitioner saw that I still had some left, so I need to truly get rid of them all. I must thank her for her unselfishness in pointing out my human mind. Teacher said,
"It's not like Gods see that your idea worked and then they raise your level. Instead, they only raise your level when they see that your understanding of it has improved. This is a truth in the Righteous Fa." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia," November 30, 2002)
On December 8, 2005, ten Buddha symbols showed up in my dream. Just as I was thinking of paying a tribute to one Buddha, a thought came right out, and I exclaimed, "I practice Falun Dafa; Falun Dafa is good!" Those symbols disappeared right away. I realized it was a test of my dedication and the degree of my steadfastness.
One time when I was doing the sitting meditation, I had an idea that one of my human thoughts should be eliminated. That "thought" had been hiding for a week, hurting my heart. I knew it was an attachment. The situation was this: Fellow practitioner A and I had been practicing meditation together for quite a few days. She could sit for an hour in meditation, but for me, half an hour would hurt my legs. She said she could keep me company for a week, and I was very happy for that. Then when fellow practitioner B came, A changed her mind, saying that too many practitioners coming to her house distracted her from deep meditation. For those few days of practicing with fellow practitioner A, I could sit for an hour, so I was very much hoping she would continue to do it with me! However, when practitioner B said that it was better to do the meditation at night rather than in the daytime, neither of them thought of me at all.
Even though I did not go to fellow practitioner A's house those few days, my mind was very uneasy because I was feeling that they wanted to distance me. I said it to myself, "From now on I won't go to her house. Maybe I am not welcome there. Practitioners A and B have a better relationship and feelings towards each other." What kind of thought was this? Nothing but a human notion mixed with emotion. I should eliminate this attachment! Why could I sustain one hour of meditation while doing it together with a fellow practitioner, but could not do it alone? I came to several understandings: Number one, I was lacking strong willpower to overcome pain. This reminded me of Teacher's Fa: "The black substance is karma that can be eliminated through suffering; it can then be transformed into de." (Zhuan Falun, Lecture Four, "Loss and Gain") Number two, wasn't I, who had a strong mind of dependency, using fellow practitioners as crutches? Wasn't I lacking confidence and a sense of independence? Number three: I was only thinking of myself being refused without having fellow practitioners in mind and realizing that perhaps I was wasting their time. How selfish this kind of behavior was! Teacher said, "When a being is considerate of others in doing things and displays tolerance in the process, it's because his starting point is selfless." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York") I also dug out my own human mentality of affection. My being hurt by their refusal was a result of affection--a human emotion. I must eliminate it. I should thank my fellow practitioners for giving me this kind of opportunity to raise my xinxing. After eliminating my attachments, I experienced a feeling of rebirth.
On the path of cultivation practice, my mind has gone through various kinds of xinxing tribulations. To describe it, it would be like a big storm, then after raising my xinxing, the rain stops and a sunny blue sky appears. For every level of my elevation, our great and benevolent Teacher has been there to help me with opportunities to raise my xinxing and to let me see that filthy human mind which is so very low. Gods do not have human minds; and for humans to become Gods, the human mind should be eliminated, even though it's painful to eliminate the human mentality, and it hurts to cut off human affection while searching within. However, after the elevation of levels, the joy is like, "After passing the shady willow trees there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!" (Zhuan Falun, Lecture Nine)
One time, I had some frictions with fellow practitioners. That was one day in April when I had an urgent matter in my family to take care of. I thought of practitioner A who did not have to go to work, so I called her and ask her to take my place in the office for a couple of hours. She came, but was not too happy about it, "Eh! I thought you had some big problems; yet it's only this little thing? Although I don't have to go to work, I am busy all day. I was doing meditation at home!" Hearing what she said, I didn't know what to do; I was thinking of telling her that she didn't have to do it then, but I was concerned that that might hurt her feelings, so I kept quiet and went home. After I got home, I was still thinking about her words. I realized that asking for help is really tough! After all, she is my fellow practitioner! It was like I was getting a big slap in the face that really hurt. Maybe she was helping me eliminate my karma. I knew I should not get angry, for I am a practitioner. I tried very hard to think of Teacher's Fa, "What differentiates us most from ordinary people is, when conflicts and tensions arise, we are able to examine ourselves." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York," November 21, 2004)
In this incident, I could only see the selfishness of a fellow practitioner, but not mine. Actually I was more selfish than she, because I was merely looking after my own business, not her feelings. She was really bothered by the problem of her job; that was why she was not feeling right. I'd like to use a story of cultivation as an example. The story is roughly like this: There was a lay-Buddhist who was doing meditation at home. His children asked him to go out to take care of something. The lay-Buddhist said, "Don't you see I am doing cultivation?" I could only see somebody else's problem not my own; I was always looking outward, not inward, based on the standard of a practitioner. Later on, through Fa study, I gradually understood more about the Fa. Teacher said on November 21, 2004, in New York:
"Some students aren't able to remove their longstanding attachments, leading to their being interfered with by the evil. All of you are thinking that these people are done for and can't make it. Right now you can't look at it like that. Some students have in fact gotten rid of many other attachments, and a lot of attachments are gone and won't show themselves, but those attachments that they haven't cultivated away still show up. Master will definitely have those come out and be affected in conflicts, and will for sure have everyone see that, and the goal will be to have them get rid of those. When you see one, you need to point it out to them. If you don't point it out that is because you have an attachment of fearing to offend others. In that case, they will be made to have clashes and conflicts with you so that both you and him will recognize those attachments. And the goal is to cultivate away those human attachments. ("Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York," November 21st, 2004)
At that time, I had the urge to have a talk with her for the sole purpose of our mutual elevation in cultivation. But this other practitioner said that talking to her would increase the tension on the matter. I was also concerned that if she had such a strong attachment, I could make the matter worse. So I did not go talk to her. For the next few months, the matter remained in my mind, constantly grating on me. I wondered whether this practitioner had found her attachment or not. However, I had been all along admiring her, for she was much better than I. I have realized that frictions among fellow practitioners will only make the old forces happy. The evil looks for loopholes among us. It would love to pull us down. If we can abide by the standards of cultivation, and when problems arise we look inside ourselves, the old forces will naturally be negated. We will then be taking the path arranged by our Teacher.
This is something I have come to understand in the process of my cultivation practice. Some details that I have mentioned are related to my fellow practitioners around me. Should they feel that what I have written is not quite right, their opinions, ideas, and suggestions would be appreciated so that we can mutually elevate our levels.