(Clearwisdom.net) During the first year after I obtained the Fa, reading formed the foundation upon which my cultivation, and indeed, my life was based. The most precious time of my day, and the time of day I most looked forward to was the evening when I could sit down to read.

I would typically read through one lecture in Zhuan Falun, and then try to read something additional, such as a part of a lecture or learn some of Master's Fa in Chinese. I remember how incredible it was that such a simple act could completely change and uplift me in such a short time. As I would study the Fa, understandings and profound changes to my being would unfold. I could truly feel that Zhuan Falun was a ladder to heaven and I was climbing higher and higher the more I studied and assimilated its contents into my heart.

On some occasions, as I would put the book down and look out over the city lights from my apartment window, I felt I was not even part of this Earth. I could clearly see the realities of this dimension, the meaning of human life and the purpose of my being here at this time during the Fa-rectification.

Many months ago, however, things began to slowly change for me. More and more responsibilities for Dafa work arose, and the local practice environments began to fade as practitioners became more busy with their work.

I still knew the importance of reading, and so remained diligent in studying the Fa everyday, but looking back now, I see that my concept of studying the Fa had, ever so slowly, become more mundane and shrouded with human concepts of "studying" and "reading enough." At times it would be better, at times it would be worse, but overall, my sense of reading shifted; whereas before it had been the most important and sacred task I could do and in my heart it was a truly precious gift. More recently, however, studying the Fa has taken on a growing sense of human "responsibility," as if it were just something I had to do each day, like a household chore. Additionally, a notion of studying the Fa merely as a necessary support to my other Dafa work, rather than as a sacred and necessary endeavor in and of itself began to form in my mind. My conscious mind still saw studying the Fa as "necessary," but the sacredness and the sense of studying the Fa being a precious gift had faded, being replaced more and more with an obligation to a common task.

My cultivation and Dafa work progressed fairly well. As a cultivator, I would stumble at times, look within, enlighten to a problem and then move forward, having rid myself of another attachment. Still, I've had a sense for many months that there is a larger step I needed to take in order to keep pace with the Fa-rectification and to fully and completely play my role as a Dafa particle. But I just didn't seem to be able to take this step...or worse, see what step it is that I needed to take.

Additionally, I'd found that I'd been having trouble doing the basic things, such as getting up in the morning for practice, reading through at least a complete chapter of Zhuan Falun each night, rectifying the environments around me with a righteous mind/field, etc. In my mind, I tell myself "I need to read more," but time and time again, being eager to tackle Dafa work, and ensure it all progresses well and gets done, I've continued to study more as a chore than as precious time that I should treasure. Although, there are times when I study Fa well and break through barriers, more and more I get a sense that I am stumbling through my cultivation rather than progressing diligently in a righteous manner and in accordance with the requirements of Fa-rectification at this time.

Recently, we had an intensive reading session in our area. We read three chapters of Zhuan Falun on the first day. During the first chapter, I was very sleepy and had to struggle through the reading. During the second chapter I continued to be a little sleepy, but my mind began to become more and more clear. As we read the third chapter, my mind became very sharp. I could once again, sense the preciousness of this opportunity to study Fa and the profound ways in which this simple act truly changes my being in profound ways.

After that first day, my life completely changed. I felt my being was automatically in the Tao. My thinking was clear and I knew what I needed to be doing. My energy was strong and I did not waver. My mind was calm and clear enough to see each moment as it arose and approach it from the standpoint of a cultivator, rather than just stumbling through the moments of the day, sometimes cultivating, sometimes not, and not terribly clear.

We finished reading Zhuan Falun by the early afternoon of the third day. This intensive reading reminded me of how sacred and precious the opportunity to study the Fa is. It is truly a ladder to heaven and the foundation upon which our cultivation and all Dafa work should be built. As Master said in the Washington DC Conference: "Under any circumstance, in any period, and no matter how busy you are with your work, you can't stray from your Fa-study, as this is what fundamentally ensures that you'll continue to improve and reach Consummation. You can't do Dafa work without studying the Fa, or it would be an everyday person doing Dafa work. It has to be Dafa disciples who do Dafa work--this is something required of all of you" (Lecture on the Fa at the Washington, D.C. International Conference [7/21/2001]).