(Clearwisdom.net) I saw the importance of studying the Fa well from what happened to two Falun Dafa practitioners around me. Only by studying the Fa well can we proactively break away from the old forces' arrangements so that our cultivation no longer fluctuates along with their arrangements. We should advance diligently in the Fa at all times!

Practitioner A is a veteran practitioner who began Fa study in 1992. She was very diligent in cultivation prior to the onset of the persecution, and all her illnesses disappeared as a result. However, after the persecution started she felt very heavy in heart, and due to constant harassments developed serious symptoms, which have brought her much suffering. When the situation was really bad, she almost could not study the Fa and do the exercises, let alone doing the other two things required of us. Her condition continued to deteriorate until 2006, when she chose to undergo surgery. As it turned out, this experience became a turning point in her Fa-rectification cultivation. She has changed much since then.

She seemed to have been under the influence of the old forces from July 20, 1999, until the surgery and had found it very difficult to break away from these arrangements. Even though she spent most of her time daily studying the Fa and never allowed herself to slack off doing the exercises—except for those days when she was too weak to stand up—she was unable to comprehend the principles in the Fa. She knew she had serious attachments to fear and emotions. Her mind was constantly troubled by fear; she simply could not let go of the fear. Other practitioners talked with her and sent forth righteous thoughts, telling her what made her fearful was not her true self and that the tribulation she was suffering was persecution, not an elimination process of karma. (When the persecution started, she believed that it was individual practitioners' tribulation and it was something we should bear.) Later on, although she gradually understood that it was persecution and we should deny it, she still could not overcome the tribulation.

This situation lasted five years. She still held on, occasionally more clear-headed than at other times. Her mind seemed to have been tightly closed. She would read every one of Master's Fa-lectures and every edition of "Minghui Weekly," but she still could not free herself from the physical and mental tribulation she was suffering. When it was too much for her to bear she would think, "That's it! I don't care any more. If I die, then so be it!" Her thought patterns worsened her physical condition.

Fellow practitioners around her believe that we have come to assist Master to rescue sentient beings, not to suffer the persecution. No matter how many more human notions we have yet to abandon, the old forces have no right to use them as an excuse to persecute us. How can we abandon our human body at time when we are needed to rescue sentient beings!

The fellow practitioners also thought about her family members, who are non-practitioners. What would they think if anything happened to her? We must deny the persecution. If it was too hard for her to bear, then she should go to the hospital first.

While she was being treated at the hospital, fellow practitioners encouraged her to firmly negate the old forces' arrangements and assertively admonish the old forces: "I need my human body to accomplish my mission as a Dafa disciple. I want to keep my human body. No matter what pledge I had made with you in the past, they are all void. Master, I only acknowledge the arrangements you have made for me. Please strengthen me. I leave myself in your hands."

She eventually had surgery. Because she had made it very clear what she wanted and what she denied and had asked Master to take care of her and had let go of everything, and with fellow practitioners sending intense righteous thoughts toward her, the surgery was successful. Following that, with Master's arrangements, she joined a Fa-study group. Gradually she regained the mental composure she had prior to the onset of the persecution. Her righteous thoughts became stronger and stronger. Because she truly felt Master's protection, she was eventually able to let go of her mentality of fear and to relax her mind that had been so troubled over the years.

One thing needs to be made clear: hospital treatment did not cure her. The reason she was able to pass the test of life and death is that she had truly let go of her attachments at the hospital and had given herself over to Master's arrangements and kept a calm mind.

Sometimes she finds it extremely difficult to distinguish between persecution and a test she needs to pass. After sharing thoughts together we have come to understand this: it is true that circumstances during Fa-rectification period can be quite complex because of interference from the evil elements; however, we can still tell the difference between persecution and tests through Fa-study. As we understand Master's Fa, karma is no longer much of an issue for Dafa disciples. The long-lasting tribulations or serious tribulations are all persecution by the evil. We thus believe that we should always send forth righteous thoughts and deny all the arrangements the old forces have made and firmly follow Master's arrangements. So long as we follow only Master's arrangements, we will pass all tests through cultivation in the Fa.

Practitioner B began Fa study in 1998. Not long after, the persecution started. She knows Dafa is good and always tells people the persecution is wrong. However, due to enormous pressure and the changes in her life, she stopped studying the Fa and doing the exercises. Nevertheless, she always believes in her heart that Master is good and Dafa is good. She used to have a comfortable family. She and her husband got along very well. However, her husband got involved with another woman in 2001 while he was working elsewhere. By then practitioner B had already given up practicing Falun Gong and Fa-study and had completely forgotten to look within herself. She sincerely hoped that her husband would come back to her, but the situation went from bad to worse. In the end she did not get her husband back, even by threatening to commit suicide! Her husband moved out and went live with his lover in the city, until his arrest for a criminal offense.

Practitioner B went to visit her husband after his arrest, but he did not even acknowledge her and demanded a divorce. He only acknowledged his lover as his wife. After Practitioner B came back she behaved like a deranged person and found a lawyer to settle the divorce. Her heart was broken. She had to raise their two children on her own and was in tears every day.

She lived like this for five years and would not let go of her emotions during those five years, an existence the old forces had arranged. In the end, Master arranged for her to move to an environment where she was able to meet more fellow practitioners and join a Fa-study group. After that she began to cultivate diligently.

Through sharing opinions with fellow practitioners, she eventually understood why she had suffered so many tribulations in those five years. She was determined to let go of her stubborn attachments. However, she still felt something heavy in her heart and found it hard to get rid of -- her former husband's memory. She asked Master to help her saying, "Master, I shall advance diligently. Please help me to dig him out from my heart! Master, I won't let you down." Indeed, she cultivated diligently and the heavy load was removed from her mind. In the past, she never took sending forth righteous thoughts seriously, but now, in addition to the four regular daily times we send forth righteous thoughts, she does it more often. In order to send forth righteous thoughts at midnight, she does not go to bed before then and studies the Fa until it is time for sending forth righteous thoughts. She gets up again at just past 4 o' clock in the morning to do the exercises.

From the changes observed in these two practitioners over the last five years, we all clearly understand that what happened to them were arrangements of the old forces. Master said,

"I'll tell you. Today's people can't perceive their own warped thinking because the very nature of people has changed. No matter what cultivation way is adopted, you can only change what they can be aware of, but not what's warped in their very nature."

"Their not achieving their goal doesn't mean that our students can no longer make it. Everything can be made to meet the standard during the Fa-rectification. I told them not to do this a long time ago. For any being, let alone human beings, no matter how high a being he is, as long as he's a being within the cosmos, I can rectify him during the Fa-rectification, from his fundamental nature, from the origin of his existence, and from all the elements that constitute his being, eliminating the impure and turning those things around. I told them not to do this. They didn't listen, even though I taught them the Fa, because they didn't believe all of the truth."

"So they would rather destroy everything than not have the necessary standards be met." ("Teaching the Fa at the Great Lakes Fa Conference in North America" in Guiding the Voyage)

What happened to these two practitioners has clearly verified what Master said. If these two practitioners had been able to keep a clear mind and had proactively broken away from the arrangements of the old forces, they would not have wasted five years and would have been able to advance diligently much earlier in the Fa-rectification era Master has planned.

I have also come to understand that if you really feel helpless in a desperate situation in your cultivation, you must always remember to ask Master for help. Only by firmly believing in Master can we get rid of the "granite" our habits have created. It is not easy to distinguish the arrangements of the old forces, but as long as we firmly and clearly negate them and give ourselves completely to Master's plans, we shall be able to advance and solidly cultivate ourselves until reaching consummation.