"Cultivating" While "Practicing"
(Clearwisdom.net) I would like to thank benevolent Master for giving me this opportunity to share my experiences with everyone. The following are some of my experiences.
It was in February, 2004 that I started cultivating in Dafa. Speaking frankly, at that time I only knew that people who practice Falun Gong were good, honest people. I must thank Master for arranging Mr. Cai and Feng'e for me when I just started practicing Falun Gong. They used their own time to accompany me in reading Falun Gong teachings and doing the exercises. This allowed me to start gradually understanding Falun Gong. This lasted until the Asian and Pacific Area Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference held in Singapore. I was assigned to a group with several diligent Taiwanese practitioners. While sharing experiences with them, I was surprised to learn that what I was practicing is Buddha's Fa. By practicing the exercises and reading the teachings one can cultivate to become a Buddha! It seemed from then on I started consciously paying attention to the people and happenings around me. (Before, other people had always said that I was a person "not interested in mundane affairs." I wasn't interested in anything around me. The goal of my life before was not to allow the common customs to pollute me and I liked it that way. I intended to try hard to be that way for all my life) On that day when I came to understand, I started to have trouble with my visa. But at that time I did not know how to cultivate. Now when I recall my path, it was really that only with fellow practitioner's help I was able to pass each of the tests. I stumbled along, and did not actively use each of the tests to eliminate my attachment. I remember that at one time, I even asked a fellow practitioner, "How do you know when it is ordinary people's mentality?" He said, "Read Master's books more. You will then be able to recognize them." At that time I thought ignorantly, "Nonsense. Is people's thinking the people's mentality? I don't understand." I was lucky that I kept practicing Dafa. Even though I was not in the Fa all the time, I still diligently wanted to become a Buddha, even though I was not very clear about how to cultivate.
One day in 2006, some fellow practitioners asked me to lead a chorus team. I really didn't know what to do. At the beginning, I was not willing to accept the position. One reason was the late practice times. If we practiced every Sunday, I would get home very late. Another reason was that what I was thinking about all day long was a set of piano teaching materials and how to teach piano. If I started to teach chorus, I still had to think about teaching piano, even though when I just began working at the university I taught two years of vocal music. But because I liked the piano teaching, I pushed off the vocal music teaching, and for 15 or 16 years I had not thought about it. If I started teaching again, I thought it would bring me a lot of trouble. But it was strange that during that period, there was always someone from the chorus team who kept talking to me about it, until one day I recalled Master's words about how Dafa disciple's skills were given for Dafa. I then developed some understanding on that topic. From that night on, I started teaching the chorus team.
(1) Facing Difficulties
At first, what I faced was a group of people without specialized training. They did not have vocal music backgrounds and did not have special skills. After I taught the first class, I went home with a lot of thoughts. In college I choose the better ones among the specialized students to teach, and I could not even guarantee the result then. Here I had to teach without making choices. If I did not try hard, what would be the result? However, I knew that I should not be selfish. I wanted to do better, and even better. When flowers blossom, there is no need to worry about them having no colors. I taught one class after another, and gradually the team started to have the feeling of a chorus team, but in my mind I knew that I wanted them to be even better.
(2) Facing the Challenge of XinxingAfter the chorus team started to improve, I knew that doing it this way was correct and we needed to be persistent. But some things started to surface. What I was facing were neither students nor the members of a professional chorus team. They were individual practitioners. I often forget that for this group, I should not demand them to be here at the specified time, and I could not force them to practice each of the homework assignments well and punish them otherwise. There was only the requirement of xinxing. If one comes to understand, he will do it and if he does not understand, he will not do it. I can only cultivate myself and I should not order the other practitioners to do things. But it was not easy to understand this point. That day, I bluntly said to the team members: "Next time we must start at 7:30 sharp. You don't have to come in if you are late by 10 minutes. Even ordinary people taking classes need to be on time. Should we be on time as practitioners who follow a higher standard? Why are we this way? I am really not used to it!" After that I started teaching the class. After the class ended that day, on my way home, I yelled at two fellow practitioners, "How can it be this way? You come when you want and you go when you want. I had to wait here by myself and I had to hold my xinxing to deal with them with patience, and I had to do it without pursuit. Where is your consideration for others?" I kept dumping my complaints and grievances on them. But they only smiled and did not argue with me. That night I was angry, "Why as practitioners do they only request things of others, but they do not want to do well themselves?" I had completely forgotten that I am also a practitioner wanting to cultivate to a selfless enlightened being, and I was helping others to elevate while forgetting to cultivate myself.
That night I was very depressed and I asked myself if could I continue my cultivation and did I want to keep cultivating? Of course the answer was yes. One day while I was doing the sitting meditation, Master's words appeared in front of me and one of the phrases was to cultivate while doing things for others well. Master also said,
"Amidst the complex environment of everyday people and its interpersonal xinxing frictions, you are able to rise above and beyond--this is the most difficult thing. It is hard in that you knowingly lose your vested interests among everyday people. Amidst your critical self-interests, are you moved? ..." (Zhuan Falun)"Today we have made public to you this great practice. I have already delivered it to your doorstep. It is up to you whether you can practice cultivation and make it. If you can do it, you may continue your cultivation. If you cannot do it or cannot practice cultivation, from now on you can forget about practicing cultivation." (Zhuan Falun)
Tears ran down my face, "How bad my comprehension is! I had failed the test Master had carefully arranged for me to elevate my xinxing. After that lesson, I stopped complaining and I truly understood that my cultivation path was to cultivate while "practicing" and to "practice" while cultivating myself. I then started to accept my cultivation path with pleasure and I was no longer afraid of or complained about the difficulties on my cultivation path. I clearly realized that anything can change when the time comes but I will firmly cultivate Dafa and that will never change. I will not stop my cultivation steps for any reason.
I want to be a nurturing spring breeze, quietly letting the places where the breeze has blown over turn green and be prosperous, and to truly be the quietly nurturing rain!
Again, thanks to benevolent Master and thanks to the members of the chorus team who have given me the opportunities to cultivate and grow, and thanks to the fellow practitioners who have quietly helped me to elevate.
Thank you, Master!
Thank you, fellow practitioners!