(Clearwisdom.net) It has been 14 years since Master started teaching the Fa in 1992. Although I started practicing Falun Dafa in 1994, Master has always been watching over my cultivation and protecting me during the past 12 years. There have been mistakes, regrets, and lessons. Compared to the diligent practitioners, I didn't do well enough. But I would like to share some of my recent thoughts and experiences with fellow practitioners.

1. Differentiating "True Self" and "Fake Self," "True Him" and "Fake Him," and Cultivating Better and Saving Sentient Beings

When we study the Fa well and do all the three things well, our main consciousnesses are clear-minded. However, when we don't do the three things well enough, especially when the body is being severely persecuted and shows symptoms of "sickness karma," non-righteous thoughts can easily surface in our minds. This is the time one must use the Fa's standard to measure whether or not the thoughts are from the "true self." The "true self" is the one who came to this world for the Fa and is a Dafa practitioner in the Fa-rectification period. The "true self" came here to save the sentient beings. Otherwise, it is the "fake self." One should completely negate and eliminate the "fake self" without any hesitation. One should ask Master to help strengthen one's righteous thoughts and should only walk the path arranged by Master.

In interacting with our families and clarifying the truth, one should always use righteous thoughts to differentiate the person's "true self" from the "fake self." One shouldn't be driven by human notions or puzzled by the person's "fake self" or swindled by the dark minions and rotten ghosts. When my husband went out on business and left me and my child at home alone, my child sometimes had very bad temper towards me. At the beginning, I didn't view it from the Fa's perspective and treated the issue with human notions. I felt, "It was hard to give birth to this kid and it took me so much effort to raise him, but he is still not nice to me when his father is not home. Not only does he not help me with housework, but he also bullies me." I was so sad that I even complained about this to the grandmothers. This was because of human notions. I treated this as a ordinary mother-son conflict in the human world.

Master said,

"Since your cultivation has been arranged systematically and time isn't that plentiful, there can't possibly be anything that's coincidental. Everything has been tightly arranged. Don't treat those seemingly accidental and trivial things that you encounter in your daily life as accidental, because there can't be many strange things happening to you and you can't go to another dimension to practice cultivation--you wouldn't be able to improve your heart and mind that way." ("Falun Buddha Fa, Lectures in the United States")

I realized that everything in our daily lives, including some very ordinary things, is a reflection of the Fa cultivating practitioners. As a practitioner, one should always view issues and treat everything from the Fa's standpoint. After I understood this, I started thinking about this issue from the Fa's perspective. I no longer felt sad. When my son showed temper towards me, I confronted the evil spirits that manipulated him, "I'm a Dafa practitioner in the Fa-rectification period. My cultivation path is arranged by my Master. I don't allow you to use my karmic relationship with my child to persecute and interfere with me. No matter how much I owed the child before, Master will arrange a benevolent resolution for me and will not allow any other lives to interfere with or arrange things for me." When I said this to my son, he grumbled, "Why are you saying this to me?" I immediately realized that this was the dark minions and rotten demons talking. They were still trying to fool me, but I saw through them. So I said, "I want to talk to you. You use my child to interfere with and persecute me, so I have to tell you through my child, too." In the meantime, I helped my child to study the "Fa" more and strengthen his main consciousness so he wouldn't be controlled and manipulated by the dark minions and rotten demons. (While negating these evil forces, one has to remember to study the Fa diligently and look inward to find attachments and shortcomings.) When everything was in place, the situation in my family changed and my child seldom showed temper towards me any longer.

Similarly, when one clarifies the truth and meets people who don't want to listen to the truth or who say something unpleasant, one should differentiate between the person's "true self" from the "fake self" and not be fooled or driven by the deception. Human beings in today's world all came to this world wanting to be saved. The "true self" is eager to listen to the truth to be saved. Only the person's "fake self," which is created by human notions and karma or controlled and manipulated by the dark minions and rotten demons, would refuse to listen to the truth and say unpleasant things. Master said,

"They think that they are very smart. Sometimes when they do something, they think that their mind is doing it. As a matter of fact, their notions are dictating them and controlling them. Those people don't have their true nature." ("Falun Buddha Fa, Lecture at the Fa-Conference in Canada," Toronto, May 23, 1999, provisional translation subject to improvement)

2. My Understanding of Negating the Arrangement by the Old Forces

Sometimes one can have contrary thoughts. For example, when one doesn't feel well physically, if a thought that is not in line with the Fa comes up, one should immediately recognize that this thought is not righteous and not from one's true self and reject it! That is negating an the old forces' arrangement. All their subsequent arrangements would be cut off right at that point. And of course there wouldn't be any consequences of their arrangements. If when the wrong thought surfaces, one not only does not negate it, but also continues to follow the thought or doesn't realize the negative impact of the idea or thought, it will lead one along its arranged, incorrect path, step by step.

Oftentimes, practitioners who follow the old forces' arranged path go astray. Some of them even show dangerous signs physically, and some even lose their lives. What's critical is that they didn't realize the consequences when they first stepped on the evil arranged path. When the wrong thought was strengthened and they walked far down along that path, they deviated further and further from the Fa, and it became harder and harder to come back.

We had a local practitioner who went out of town for temporary jobs after the persecution started in 1999. He was gone for three and a half years. Although he made up for his absense and studied all of Master's lectures during those years, he started having "sickness karma" in March 2005. At first he thought it was just karma-elimination. Later, he couldn't stand it and was hospitalized. He said, "Let me just go to the hospital to have it stabilized." In five months, he went from being a practitioner who refused to go to hospitals to having the thought of going to hospitals to solve the problem. Several days before he passed away, I went to visit him in the hospital. His body was occupied by many terrible images of animals and ghosts. If only he could have eliminated and negated the thought when it came at the very beginning, all of this wouldn't have happened. I have realized more and more strongly the importance of studying the Fa as Master asks us to. We should also keep up with the advancement of Fa-rectification and steadfastly walk the cultivation path that Master arranged for us.

3. Cultivation Is Not Child's Play; It's a Serious Matter

A friend visited my office the other day. When I offered her a cup of water, she said she had a cold and didn't want to infect me. I said I wasn't afraid and that I could fight off her germs. Two days later, I started having cold symptoms. At first I didn't realize that it was my own fault. As the cold symptoms got worse, I started thinking deeply about it and realized that it was because I wasn't taking cultivation seriously. Due to my attachment of showing off and the child's play mentality, I was taken advantage of by the dark minions and rotten demons and got lots of "germs." After realizing this, I asked Master to help strengthen my righteous thoughts to completely negate the old forces' arrangement and eliminate the attachment to showing off and the mentality of child's play. Several days later, all my symptoms were gone. Having cultivated this far, we should be more and more diligent and set strict standards for ourselves. Every single thought should follow the Fa's requirements. Otherwise, it could cause unnecessary troubles and losses.

What I've expressed are my own recent understandings. Please kindly point out any shortcomings. Heshi.