Being Diligent in Cultivation, Doing the Three Things Well
Greetings, Benevolent Great Master!
Greetings, Fellow Practitioners!
Because I didn't think I cultivated well enough and was afraid of losing Fa study time and time for practicing the exercises, I did not participate in the "First Mainland China Falun Dafa Practitioners Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference on the Internet." By the second online conference I had realized that the process of summarizing my own cultivation experiences and writing articles for the Minghui/Clearwisdom website is also a way of cultivating. By writing and sharing, I can discern my shortcomings and find ways to correct them. This is a Dafa practitioner's responsibility, so I wrote an article. Although it didn't get published, I did what I should be doing and found my shortcomings, thus I felt no regret. I gained much through the experience.
As I write this article this time, at the third opportunity, I clearly understand the important legacy our articles are leaving during this critical historical moment. Whether or not it will get published is not important; the important thing is that every Dafa practitioner should actively participate in validating Dafa so that we can form one harmonizing body.
1. Before I Began Fa Cultivation
Prior to attending junior middle school, I pondered a lot, often times staring into a puddle. Somehow I felt there was a world in the puddle. Who knows, there might have been people in there looking at the surface of the water, like the way we look at the blue sky and white clouds. I felt that all the people surrounding me were illusory. I felt I was being tested, and the feeling was strong.
Later, I transferred to another school. I was a teenager at that time and made the decision on my own, because I could learn English at the new school. I excelled there and managed to enroll in a prestigious high school, followed by admission to a prestigious university. Looking back, I was aware of a kind of force pushing me forward. Some university classmates practiced qigong. I followed their example and practiced several kinds, but I didn't feel anything extraordinary.
I had strong attachments to personal recognition, reputation, lust and authority (thankfully my attachment to money was not very strong). My struggle with lust was particularly heavy. It had bothered me for over twenty years. Last year I was finally able to eliminate it.
2. Being Fortunate to Begin Fa Cultivation
I was introduced to Falun Dafa in April of 1999. One of my coworkers happened to mention qigong on a bus. I said I had practiced some qigong as well, but it had not done much for me, so I gave up. He said, "You can try Falun Gong. It's very good. There are people everywhere who practice Falun Gong." I was surprised, "Falun Gong? How come I've never heard of it? Are there really that many people practicing it? The name sounds Buddhist?" He said, "Falun Gong is a cultivation way of the Buddha School."
Out of curiosity I decided to read the book before trying any exercises. I read the whole book Zhuan Falun from beginning to end without stopping. Much of the content felt familiar. It answered many of my questions and helped solve many puzzles I had about the universe and human life. I got to know many things I had not previously understood. Zhuan Falun is a book from Heaven. This is exactly what I have been looking for.
Since then I have walked the cultivation path of Falun Dafa along the road to my true origin. I realized later on that many people in the city where I lived in the 90s knew about Falun Gong before I did, and yet, I had never heard of it. So this has to be some kind of predestination -- who should get to know the Fa and where -- it is all prearranged. Or, it could have been the old forces' arrangements to prevent me from knowing the Fa earlier. No matter what, Master eventually saved me. I fully felt Master's compassionate salvation.
3. Cultivating Diligently; Doing the Three Things Well
Due to the deeply rooted and all-pervasive political indoctrination of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), particularly after hearing and noticing some bad publicity and actions toward Falun Gong, I was afraid of being impacted. Therefore, I only studied and practiced the Fa at home, and never stepped out to clarify the truth. Recalling this, I feel deep regret, especially with regard to "April 25", 1999. I did not go to the peaceful appeal at Zhongnanhai, and even persuaded another practitioner not to go, saying that the political environment was not normal, and other such comments.
As we all know, the persecution officially began on July 20, 1999. Despite the media's slandering of Dafa, I never gave up on Fa study and practicing the exercises. But sometimes I struggled with lust and anger and felt severely frustrated. I knew Dafa was good, but I was never able to step out to validate Dafa. Sometime later I met many overseas Dafa practitioners silently distributing truth-clarification materials at an overseas airport [when I traveled abroad]. Many of my coworkers were afraid to read the handouts and refused to accept them. I accepted them and read the information every time somebody handed me something. When my coworkers saw someone accept a handout, they then started reading them, too. Many people got to know the truth of Falun Dafa this way.
Early in 2003 I was finally able to view the Clearwisdom website and read many of Master's lectures. I greatly regretted my ignorance. I finally understood the important responsibilities and missions of Dafa practitioners. I started to truly correct my attitudes, and without hesitation stepped onto the path of assisting Master in the Fa-rectification period.
Because I had not stepped out for Fa-validation -- although I had begun Fa study prior to July 1999 -- I needed to work on personal cultivation and Fa-rectification concurrently. After continuously studying the Fa and reading fellow practitioners' experience sharing articles, Master's immense compassion truly moved me to tears.
"Untold have been the hardships; some fifteen years
Little could anyone know the pains and worries of rectifying Fa
All is for naught if living creatures can't be saved
I shan't stop until it has covered realms vast and miniscule" ("Hardship" in Hong Yin II, Translation Version A)
I became aware that it is just as Master has said to us -- obtaining the Fa is not easy for anyone. I obtained it because of a karmic relationship. My being able to begin Fa study prior to July 1999 was due to Master's compassion. Master has endured so much for somebody like me, with my strong attachments to personal recognition, lust and anger, and yet made it possible for me to walk into cultivation. I must cultivate and advance diligently to deserve the sacred title, "Dafa practitioner during the Fa-rectification period."
While studying the Fa and improving my xinxing, my attachments to jealousy, zealotry, fear, lust and comfort were revealed and eliminated. I continued to purify myself. During these years, although I never met Master in person and I practice in isolation and was never able to see anything in other dimensions, I firmly believe in Dafa and Master and look inward to eliminate my attachments and correct my thinking and actions. I try my best to study the Fa and practice the exercises, clarify the truth and send forth righteous thoughts. I take full advantage of the time I have and properly arrange my cultivation time, work and everyday life so all is well balanced. I'm very grateful of and cherish Master's compassion and benevolence. I have made huge improvements during the past three years. Because I was behind for several years, I will be able to catch up with the advancement of Fa-rectification if I make extra efforts.
(1) Every night I study the Fa and practice the exercises. I read Zhuan Falun and other lectures for several hours and feel happy. Initially, I focused too much on the amount of time I spent and how much I could read, because I wanted to emulate fellow practitioners who read the book over one hundred or two hundred times. Now I am able to study the Fa calmly. I progressed from only practicing one exercise every night to practicing three to five exercises at present. It is difficult to keep doing this.
(2) Clarifying the truth: because I'm able to access the Clearwisdom website, I was able to establish a family Dafa materials production site in 2004. I mainly focus on distributing different materials. I went from being nervous about distributing materials to calmly doing it. I know this is due to my continuous Fa study and absorbing the experiences practitioners have shared on the Internet. Diligently studying the Fa and clarifying the truth is not an ordinary activity; it is Dafa practitioners doing divine things and "assisting Master." Only if we continue to study the Fa and learn from other practitioners and from our past experiences are we able to ensure our safety and prevent the evil from taking advantage of us.
In the residential areas of the city I mainly distribute articles on the persecution, Jiuping and software for breaking through the Internet blockade. Sometimes I mail truth-clarification letters as well. During the past three years I have always put Dafa first. My most important thoughts revolved around Dafa every day. On a weekly basis I look for opportunities at work and outside of work to distribute truth-clarification materials. From the end of 2004 to the present I had mailed over a thousand letters and distributed over two thousand CDs and disks, over five thousand brochures and flyers and several hundred stickers. When I distribute these items I focus more on effect instead of quantity. I usually focus on one section in a building at a time and memorize which one. And after a while I go back there to distribute materials again.
When persuading people to make the "three withdrawals" (withdraw from the CCP, the Communist Youth League and the Communist Young Pioneers) I maintain a cultivator's demeanor of kindness. My initial understanding was that distributing the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party is one of the most effective ways for people to learn the truth, and I did not ever feel that it was getting political. After reading Master's article, "We are Not 'Getting Political'," I felt very much in harmony with what Teacher said. This doesn't mean that I have high enlightenment quality. This shows how important it is to study the Fa well. Only when one keeps striving forward and studying the Fa diligently will one be able to stay clear-headed amidst the puzzles set up by the CCP. So far I have helped over a hundred people, including my friends, relatives, classmates, neighbors, taxi-drivers and strangers to withdraw from the CCP. Earlier this year, following my continuous truth-clarification efforts, all of my family members have withdrawn from the CCP and its affiliated organizations. But I know I still need to continue to improve myself.
(3) Sending forth righteous thoughts is extremely important. In the past, I would do it when I thought of it. When I couldn't remember, I didn't do it. But now I maintain strong righteous thoughts during the four set times for global sending forth righteous thoughts. In addition, each time prior to distributing truth-clarification materials I send forth strong righteous thoughts to eliminate any evil. When I want to ensure smooth distribution without any evil interference, after reciting the verses I add one more thought, "Clean up the environment and strengthen other practitioners." In order for the sentient beings to cherish the truth-clarification materials, I also add, "Safety and the most effective outcome."
My environment became better and better with my increasingly strong righteous thoughts. In the past I often ran into people [who could potentially alert the authorities]. Now, I rarely see people around when I distribute truth-clarification materials. When I wanted to enter a locked building once, a person with a key card passed me and opened the door, I followed. A year ago I was thinking, "Wouldn't it be nice if I could meet a fellow practitioner!" Soon after that, through Master's arrangement, I met a fellow practitioner on a bus. He eventually told me that for several days he had hoped to meet a well-educated practitioner. That is how we met. Our righteous thoughts helped us. Master arranged our meeting. Now we meet on a regular basis to share our thoughts and Fa-experiences.
No matter where I am, in the office, at home, on the street, in a bus, in a meeting or at other places, I always send forth righteous thoughts whenever I have the opportunity. I first cleanse my mind, and then I eliminate the evil in other dimensions. I firmly believe that what we are doing is the most righteous thing in the universe. Nobody can interfere. As long as we maintain righteous thoughts and righteous actions, the evil will be eliminated.
(4) Publishing articles: ever since July of last year, when I started sending articles to the Clearwisdom website, more than ten of my submissions have been published. They include articles on how to clarify the truth, suggestions with regard to sending forth righteous thoughts, thoughts about cleaning up the evil specter, and experiences and thoughts on persuading people to withdraw from the CCP. I realize that it's every Dafa practitioner's responsibility to send articles to the Clearwisdom website. There are three reasons: first, writing can help us focus our thoughts about our cultivation state and identify problem areas. From this perspective, writing and sending articles to the Clearwisdom website is, in my judgment, part of our cultivation. Second, the Clearwisdom website has become an important window for fellow practitioners to share experiences in this special time. So, writing for Clearwisdom is a reflection of our being responsible to the Fa. Third, experience-sharing articles have the potential to help fellow practitioners' cultivation.
In particular, since the crimes at the CCP's secret camps were exposed, I understand that the crimes are so horrifying and inhumane that it has gone beyond what ordinary people can mentally endure Heavenly Laws will not allow these atrocities to continue. This is the evil's final, frenzied struggle. It is not only aimed at Dafa practitioners in Shenyang City and the Northeast provinces, it is targeting all Dafa practitioners. Despite this, the more frenzied the evil is, the more clear-minded the Dafa practitioners are. We should all do the three things very well and eliminate the evil. So, I immediately sent an article to the Clearwisdom website with my suggestion for more vigorous efforts to clarify the truth and send forth righteous thoughts. It was published. From now on, I will continue to write and contribute to the Clearwisdom website, put the Fa first and work with fellow practitioners to harmonize the website well.
4. Rectify Ourselves and Strive Forward
Master taught us,
"Pause for a moment of self-reflection,
and increase your righteous thoughts
Thoroughly analyze your shortcomings,
and progress with renewed diligence."
( "Rational and Awake" in Hong Yin II , Translation Version A)
Although I have given up playing the computer games that I used to play overnight before I started cultivating, have given up checker games and let go of the attachments to renown, recognition, money, lust and other habits, and feel that I've advanced rapidly, I still have room to improve, compared to other practitioners. For example: I never participated in group Fa-study and exercises. This is the best cultivation way Master taught us, as in a group setting we can assimilate together and correct one another. We can influence one another and strive forward together.
I do not practice the five exercises every day. I'm not sure whether I practice the exercises accurately. My sitting meditation is usually not long, thirty to forty minutes. The longest one was fifty minutes. This might be a sign that I'm not very calm when practicing and my xinxing needs to improve further. I didn't do enough face-to-face truth clarification. I don't do enough housework at home, and other things.
I hope the new practitioners and those practitioners who haven't been diligent cherish Master's compassion of extending the time again and again. Time is very precious now. Only when we always treat the Fa as Teacher and correct ourselves to do the three things well can we form a harmonized whole, catch up with the advancement of Fa-rectification and fulfill our historic great vows. Let's strive forward as One Body.
I wrote this article to share my thoughts and experiences with fellow practitioners. This is limited to my own level of understanding. Please kindly point out any mistakes.