Attaining the Fa Despite Hardships, Cherishing the Opportunity to Follow Teacher
(Clearwisdom.net) Before practicing Falun Dafa, I was pursuing fame and profit, just as most ordinary young adults do nowadays. I had no interests other than being comfortable and earning plenty of money and was hoping for an award of 5 million yuan. When working at a factory, I always believed that I contributed more than I was paid for. I felt that the position was below my dignity and ability and that my life was a drag. I hated to work. Because of my bad temper, I did not get along well with the supervisors or my colleagues. Actually, I had not realized that my moral level was at a low point and was the same as that of most people in society. In addition, I was addicted to many unhealthy habits. I suffered from some strange diseases and had become a medicine junkie. None of the medicine I took daily was doing any good and I was miserable.
Later I was contracted to run a store in our factory. Contrary to my usual reluctance and caution, it took immense courage in an effort to win the contract award at the competitive meeting. Afterward, I realized that the courage came from my predestined opportunity to attain the Fa.
An elderly lady was assigned to work with me. At first, I didn't think that she was anything special apart from being of good temper. After we had worked together for a month, we talked. She said, "You are so young, yet take so much medicine daily. I am so old and yet I take no medicine." I told her about my illnesses. She spoke to me of her past illnesses. She had suffered from acute spontaneous prolonged vertigo and hearing loss, which at times resulted in loss of consciousness and extreme pain. Yet, during the past two years she had no more vertigo attacks and no longer took any medication. Besides, she looked more energetic than younger people! I was fascinated by what I heard and asked how she had accomplished this. She explained that she began to practice Falun Gong two years before. This was music to my ears, as I had to take so much medicine all my life. I asked myself, "What could I have accomplished had I been healthy?"
That was the first time I heard of Falun Gong and I asked her why she did not tell me earlier. She smiled and said: "When I came to work with you, I put the book Zhuan Falun in your desk drawer and hoped you'd find it and read it. It looks like you did not notice it." I remembered that I had seen this book, but had not touched it because I somehow felt frightened. It was probably my thought karma that prevented me from reading it and attaining the "Fa".
I took the book out of the drawer and hoped it would cure my illnesses. I was in a hurry to learn Falun Gong. She advised that I read Zhuan Falun from beginning to end and then decide. I read the book carelessly within a day, and skipped much. But, I remembered one thing that Teacher said and that was that one would become "young forever" through cultivation. Although my brain was filled with the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) depraved theories, I somehow believed what Teacher said with those two words and felt happiness. Then, my colleague taught me the Falun Gong exercises. At first, I could feel the rotation of the Faluns on my palm and arms and had some feelings, such as tingling. I took Zhuan Falun back home and let my wife also read it once. She thought well of it, but was reluctant to cultivate. Later, when she saw that I was clumsy in doing the exercises, she decided to learn them and then teach me in privacy.
We started to do the exercises at home. At the beginning, although I could not sit in the full-lotus position, and in the half-lotus position my leg stuck up at a high angle, I did find improvement. Gradually, my left leg came down lower and one night I tried to lift my right leg and put it above my left leg. Immediately, I was in extreme pain and I had to stop. A moment later, I tried again and maintained the position for 4 or 5 minutes, but it was painful. I was bathed in sweat. Yet, I suddenly sensed my channels open. When finally doing the full-lotus position, I felt very comfortable. Since that time, I have been able to meditate in full-lotus position.
One evening, after practicing Falun Gong for close to one month, it was as if I had caught a severe cold. My entire body was very cold. I had a headache and a cough. Some practitioners had mentioned this and suggested that it was to eliminate one's karma and when listening to Teacher's audiotapes it would pass. So, I listened to the tapes and fell asleep while listening to the second tape. When I woke up the next day, all the illness phenomena had disappeared. This shocked me! Just one month before I attained the Fa, I had suffered the same symptoms. My family suggested that my resistance was down and I had to do something about it instead of taking medicine. That illness turned for the worse and I was given infusions for more than two weeks. When comparing the two, I realized that cultivating Falun Dafa made the difference.
Not long after, I sprained my foot when I went downstairs. It was very painful. I immediately thought that this was for eliminating karma and everything should be fine. Soon after, the pain disappeared. One day, I rode a motorcycle on a curvy road. A truck stopped in the center of the road because of an accident. I went to the right side to pass. A guy on a bigger motorcycle rushed towards me and hit my right pedal and my right leg. I did not feel any pain and did not lose my temper. He was scared to death though and apologized. I calmly asked him to drive more carefully in the future and to not choose the wrong side of the road. After that, the pain in my right leg, which I suffered from for many years, was gone. The place where he hit was previously the most painful side. Actually, an X-ray had shown osteophytosis.
Everything that happened showed me that all that Teacher had said was true and I decided to cultivate for life. Happiness filled my heart and I often sang. I got along very well with others at the workplace and in my family. I no longer took any medication. When sleeping, I always dreamed of beautiful places like mountains and waters.
In those early days, I was actively doing the exercises but did not realize the importance of Fa-study and rarely read the Fa, although I did feel comfortable after reading the Fa. Later, Teacher published his article "Environment." One day a fellow practitioner gave it to me. I read it but was still reluctant to go to the group exercise site in the park. The following day, I was in an anxious state and it became worse over time. Finally, I decided to go and participate in the group activity. Suddenly all my anxiousness disappeared. I persuaded my wife to participate too. The practitioners welcomed us warmly. When hearing that we would do exercises on Monday, Wednesday and Friday and study the Fa on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday, I told myself that we came to do the exercises and not read. We could read the book at home! At that time, I did not understand how crucial Fa-study is.
Regardless, we continued to be part of the group activities, which was of extreme significance for our cultivation. Later I enlightened that the anxiousness had been a message from my enlightened spirit that must have heard Teacher's summons. Teacher told all practitioners to cultivate diligently and vigorously. The group Fa-study and group exercises are of the same importance for veteran or new practitioners. No matter where they are, they must take it seriously and cherish it.
When we studied the Fa, did the exercises, discussed and shared something in a group, our minds changed fundamentally. Previously we thought only of healing illness and keeping fit. We realized that this is true cultivation. We cultivate to return to our true origin. In the pure land of Dafa, through the positive reinforcement of the principles and helping each other, everyone improves much faster. This is impossible through personal cultivation at home. The two years or so of group Fa-study and doing the exercises laid a solid foundation, and rooted Dafa's principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance deeply in our hearts. This was the foundation for us to follow Teacher firmly and clear up misconceptions about Falun Gong during the evil persecution, and to walk well in the Fa.
In retrospect, my experience of cultivation in the Fa was certainly a prearranged path. We descended into the three realms from our true origin and after thousands of thousands years of waiting and expectations, suffering unaccounted for hardships during our incarnations, we finally met up with Falun Dafa. Teacher said,
"When I spoke to students in China, I said that many people don't realize it. That is, you may feel that, just like anything else in your normal life, you just happened to attend this class, but in all likelihood you went through hardships in order to obtain this Fa over the course of several, or even a dozen, or dozens of previous lives. It's just that you haven't realized it. Some people had lost their lives so that they could obtain this Fa." ("First Fa Teaching Given in the United States," San Francisco Bay Area - October 5, 1996)
Since I started practicing Falun Dafa, I dreamt about my many incarnations. In one dream I was beheaded. In another dream I was a Chinese military man injured by the Japanese army during World War II. I even was different kinds of monks wearing red or gray.
Some of us may know that there are people who were cared for by Teacher even before attaining the Fa. I believe I may be one of these people. When I was very young I was encouraged to smoke by friends, but could not as I had stomach pain when smoking. Once, I thought that a bowl of white wine was water and drank it, which resulted in a few days of stomach pain. This was to warn me not to smoke or even drink a little wine. I learned several movements from a kind of qigong, which caused a headache for an entire day. One time I drank a cup of tea brewed up by some kind of qigong, which resulted in severe pain in my abdomen. Every time I committed a bad deed, I would get some kind of sickness and a bad conscious. However, when I did a good deed, I received a reward. This made me think that I should not commit any bad deeds.
When I looked back over what I did before cultivation, I was frightened. Teacher said,
"In fact, today's human race would have been destroyed a long time ago if it weren't for the Fa-rectification. The standard of the human race's thinking is already at a level lower than hell." ("Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference")
The morality of human society has slid down to a low level, but people still enjoy their lives. The nature of a being should be able to understand the precious Dafa. Once the chance comes, he or she would eagerly attain the Fa.
When writing my experience, it was as if everything had just happened yesterday. I remembered everything with deep pleasure, from the bottom of my heart. In Dafa cultivation, we should not be bitter. We are bitter only if we have not assimilated to Dafa well, if we have not removed our attachments, if we don't believe in Teacher and the Fa firmly or when we have not looked at the evil persecution with righteous thoughts. We should remember how difficult it was to attain the Fa and how fortunate we are to have attained the Fa. Let's cherish the opportunity, remember the sacred promise we made to Teacher, follow Teacher and strive forward vigorously, to return to our true origin!