1. The Importance of Cultivation

When I started practicing Falun Gong, I didn't have a clear understanding of the practice, so I didn't make a priority of Fa study. I was a student, and most of my time was spent studying schoolwork. I only went to a Fa study group on the weekend, thinking that it was just something I had to do.

I tried be a good person - not out of my good will or trying to improve myself, but to impress Teacher. I created a "wall" of cultivation and hid behind it. When I heard other practitioners praising me for being a good practitioner, I was overwhelmed by the praise. I was wasting precious time with my built-up ego.

I built a mental barrier between myself and others, thinking that I wasn't an ordinary person, and that I was superior. I acted differently than non-practitioners, causing bad results when I clarified the truth about the persecution. I avoided attending activities among practitioners, thinking that I was better off studying the Fa. Though I was doing what Teacher asked us to do, I was trying to show off, and was not validating the Fa.

Now I've realized why Teacher told us to conform maximally to the ways of everyday society while cultivating. Our way of cultivating is a great way without form. We shouldn't in any way avoid other people, otherwise, we will not be able to improve our character while facing conflicts and clarifying the truth. Realizing this, I began to act naturally when I spoke to people, and it became easier for me to find opportunities to clarify the truth. This is truly the mighty power of the Fa.

2. The Importance of Belief

Growing up as an atheist, plus the interference of thought karma, created great hindrances for me in the practice, and great loss too. At the beginning of this year, I was determined to correct myself. Thought karma came down on me like a tidal wave; my brain felt like it was in a pressure cooker, and I was very disturbed by all the thoughts. I could only hold on to one thought: I must study the Fa, practice, and follow Teacher.

I passed the ordeal through frequent and continuous Fa study. Teacher's compassion and Dafa's mighty power were truly amazing. The first few days I was determined to memorize the Fa, and no matter where I was in the book, I always enlightened to something. Fa continuously showed me its divine meaning and I felt that I was the luckiest person in the world! I gradually learned the importance of believing in Teacher and the Fa. Teacher talked about an elderly woman who was struck and dragged by a car in "Zhuan Falun". One thought makes all the difference in the world. This was an incredible event, yet can't be proven to ordinary people. We want to leave this world of illusion, and the only way to do so is through our firm belief in the Fa.

This morning my back started to hurt; it was a side effect from surgery. I knew that the pain would transform my karma into virtue, but I still couldn't help complaining. I laid down for a little rest, and read articles on the Clearwisdom website. The articles reminded me that I wasn't sick since I was a practitioner. I realized that I didn't have to rest, so I got up and did some housework, and then my back didn't hurt anymore.

3. Not Going to Extremes

I had a tendency to go to extremes. After I learned the practice, I didn't want to bother with anything else, thinking that the only thing I needed to do was to practice intensively. I created a lot of trouble for myself. I was in fact hiding my attachment of wanting to be lazy. I understood more deeply why Teacher had us practice amid ordinary people. Every practitioner who does well in the practice can have a positive influence on the people around him, and at the same time clarify the truth more effectively. I am trying to be more sociable and not go to such extremes. This has helped me to clarify the truth at work and among friends. By this process, I can see my attachments and eliminate them, which then drives me forward on the path of cultivation.

4. Harmonizing Family and Work

For a while, I didn't pay much attention to my work and family. My head was occupied with how to validate the Fa and thinking that I was diligent in my practice, but actually, I had deviated from Teacher's instruction. During this time, my husband complained that I was being selfish, but I couldn't accept his comments. I didn't want to be bothered with the work needing to be done in the house, so my husband had to take care of everything. I thought that I was not attached to human notions, but in fact, I had no compassion and was not being considerate. I realized that I lacked compassion and was not thinking about others whenever I could.