Do Not Neglect The Exercises
(Clearwisdom.net) In the past, I did not pay much attention to performing the exercises. I felt that doing the exercises was not as important as studying the Fa, so I frequently reduced my exercise time and replaced it with Fa study. This was in fact, going to extremes. Although I felt that I was being diligent in cultivation, my state was actually not very good. Among practitioners, I often hear excuses such as: I am too busy and don't have time to do the exercises; I have been doing the exercises for so many years, I only do the fifth one when I get busy; or I am young and healthy, it is okay to exercise less, etc.
When fellow practitioners started advocating for group practice, I began to pay attention to doing the exercises myself. At first, my family was opposed to having me get up early for the exercises. I looked inward for my own shortcomings and tried to improve. I am now able to do the exercises consistently and with little interference. After I get up to send forth righteous thoughts at 6 a.m., I do the first and second exercises, then send forth righteous thoughts at 7 a.m. Following this, I do 30 minutes of the fifth exercise before going to work. I do the third, fourth and fifth exercises in the evening during group practice. I feel that when we held group practice both in the morning and evening in the years before the persecution began, it worked really well, so I do an extra 30 minutes of the fifth exercise in the morning. I study the Fa and make truth-clarifying materials on the computer during work hours, then distribute them during my breaks.
After consistently performing the exercises on a daily basis, my cultivation state underwent a major change: I didn't tire as easily; I didn't feel sleepy and was able to remain in the state of calmness.
I have been illegally arrested three times, and subsequently recognized several attachments, including concerns about my safety, worry about how to keep up with the Fa-rectification process, jealousy, and competitiveness. I would easily become angry and upset. On several occasions, I could not maintain my "xinxing" even when I was aware that I needed to.
Since I began to pay attention to the exercises, there have been fewer random thoughts when I study the Fa, and my righteous thoughts are getting stronger. It has also become relatively easier to be rational and maintain my xinxing. People close to me indicate that my behavior is more balanced. In the past, I always felt that there was not enough time for all my tasks, so I didn't want to spend any on the exercises. Now that I have allocated more time to the exercises, I've discovered that I am actually more efficient and now have more time for other activities.
In several lectures, Teacher responded to practitioners' questions about not having time to do the exercises. My personal understanding of Teacher's response is that if you have time, do more; if you don't have time, do less, but you should make up for it later. Studying the Fa and doing the exercises are similar to the foundation of a large building. One cannot neglect them, nor find any excuses to deal with them casually.
This is my personal cultivation situation that I'd like to share with fellow practitioners.