(Clearwisdom.net) Since practitioners in China have started doing the exercises together at 3:50 a.m. nationwide, I have been reflecting on the problems I have within myself. Since starting cultivation, I have frequently failed to perseve and do the exercises every day. While doing the exercises, I often don't do them according to the requirements of Fa. I either couldn't do the sitting meditation for as long as required because my leg slipped down, or I couldn't keep my mind clear. I almost gave up practicing the exercises at the start of the persecution until commencing again in 2005. Thus the transformation of my physical body was very slow. Though I was not old, my body had many symptoms of age. I easily got tired. I had poor memory. I had difficulty doing physical work. Even now I have great difficulty getting up at 3:50 in the morning.

Before I started cultivation, I had no perseverance whatsoever. I would start a job and then stop. Though I made up my mind every time to continue a job until it was finished, I always ended up stopping in the middle. I didn't change myself fundamentally. Not long ago I again made up my mind to change myself. At the time I was enlightened that the Fa is omnipotent and can dissolve a person's attachments and that I could persevere in cultivation. But all sorts of attachments came up: the heart of seeking comfort, laziness, and unwillingness to bear hardships. They were preventing me from cultivation and I felt I couldn't break through them. Even when I did, I found I was still unable to persevere. Eventually I was not able to continue practicing the exercises every day. I felt guilty and ashamed of myself.

I felt that I could not change my behavior because I had been always like this, from childhood to adulthood. I was not even able to complete a small job in ordinary society, and cultivation is such a big task. How could I continue like this? I knew I shouldn't, but I lacked confidence. When I found I didn't do the exercises for one or two days, I would again lose my confidence.

This continued until recently when I read an article on the Minghui/Clearwisdom website and realized that all this was actually arranged by the old forces. They had arranged these things before our cultivation began. They even arranged our previous lives to shape our characters and make us feel that we are what we are, and thus draw the conclusion that we are like this and cannot change. The old forces thus would achieve their purpose of interfering with our determination and confidence in cultivation.

As soon as I realized this, I started to negate it. Every day I made an effort to change, but still I felt I was unable to do what I hoped to do. I felt as if no matter how hard I tried, I was unable to make it.

Last night when I was lying in bed, suddenly I realized: Haven't I taken the substance that had been interfering with my determination and perseverance in cultivation as a part of myself and as a part of my character? Indeed I had. I had been thinking that I had shortcomings in my character. When I took those things as part of me, everything I did was from the point of my human life, not from the Fa. Though I had tried so hard to change myself, I felt that I was not able to fundamentally change..

I also enlightened that, although each being has his own unique characteristics, all beings share a fundamental common characteristic, which is that each life is in accordance with the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. All the characteristics, shortcomings, and other traits which are not in accordance with the characteristic of the universe--Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance--are not part of our original selves. The process of cultivation is to get rid of all these shells and disguises and return to our original true selves. Did I practice "Ren" (Forbearance) if I was not able to bear hardships, to persevere and to bear under pressure? Master wrote in one of his poems: "What's given up is not oneself " (from "Discarding Attachments" in Hong Yin II ) If I cultivate away those elements that prevent me from bearing hardships and persevering, then don't I assimilate to the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance?

While writing this article, I realized the meaning of the Chinese character "Heng"--our heart should be steady and unchanging like the Sun, Moon, Sky, and Earth. The two strokes "=" refer to Sky and Earth, the upper "-" can be understood as "Sky", the lower "-" as "Earth", the middle stroke when writing in simplified Chinese is "Sun" and in traditional Chinese is "Moon," which means "time and space." Master said "The human body is a small universe"(Zhuan Falun, Chapter Four, 2000 translation version) If our heart is steady and everlasting, then we are in accordance with the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance. Then, the related universe will be eternal and everlasting. So this "Heng" is very important in terms of cultivation. It determines the lives of the beings that have been developed during a person's cultivation. The first and foremost prerequisite of being "Heng" is that we must practice "forbearance" and "tolerance."

Previously I thought that some other attachments were not fundamentally character-related and were somewhat insignificant and would not affect our cultivation. I felt that as long as you got rid of them, that was good enough. While my attachment of no perseverance and unsteadiness was a fundamental shortcoming, it was a matter of whether I could cultivate or not. It was a core problem which would determine whether I could complete my cultivation. So later on when I failed to do the exercises every day (I did well in studying the Fa and clarifying the truth every day), I would feel very upset and thought I was not able to cultivate.

But on that same night I also realized that every attachment during cultivation, whether it is big or small, should be discarded. Whichever attachment you cannot let go of will prevent you from reaching consummation. Every attachment can be a risk for you because you can either succeed in passing it or you can fail in not passing it. If you think an attachment is big and hard to get rid of, don't you recognize the attachment and strengthen it in some way?

Because of one test I failed, I lost confidence in myself and in cultivation, and then where was my confidence in Master's Fa? Before the end of the Fa-rectification and before Master abandons us, we have no right or reason to give up on ourselves first. Nor can we make any conclusion that we are not able to cultivate to completion. Don't you realize that this thinking and conclusion are forced upon us by the old forces? Don't we fall into the traps that were arranged by the old forces? Before the end of Fa-rectification, we have no reason to give up or lessen our efforts. Master keeps giving us opportunities so that we can start again and do everything well. What we should do is grasp the opportunities Master creates for us and try again. We shouldn't get stuck where we fall down and then fail to move forward.