Awaken Quickly and Join Group Exercises--To Younger Practitioners Who Have Not Paid Enough Attention to Doing the Exercises
(Clearwisdom.net) I began practicing Falun Gong in 1996 at the age of 16, having been introduced to it by my family members. After 1999, because I was not very diligent and had not studied the Fa well, for a long time I was only practicing half-heartedly. Due to my attachment to comfort and all other kinds of human attachments, I have also made many mistakes a practitioner shouldn't make. Even now, as I think back, I feel deep regret in my heart. Sometimes the regret even leads me to think that perhaps I am a being unworthy of Dafa's salvation. Yet, despite the confusion and regrets, our compassionate Master has always sent diligent practitioners to come to me and help me catch up with the enormous wave of Fa-rectification.
Here I would mostly like to talk about my understanding concerning doing the exercises. In 1996, when I first began practicing, I was only in my first year in high school. Like many other younger practitioners, I did not began cultivation out of a desire to get rid of illnesses. As a result, in the beginning, although I was able to study the Fa thanks to the influence of my family members, I did not pay a lot of attention to doing the exercises. Before 1999, I also did not attend the group exercises very often.
Because I didn't do the exercises for a long time, my body was not transformed to high-energy matter. Although I did not have any illness, in the last few years I often felt fatigued. I was doing the three things that Master spoke about, but most of the time I wasn't able to get up early and rarely sent forth righteous thoughts at 6 a.m. I also didn't manage to do the exercises everyday.
When I read articles on Clearwisdom about Mainland Dafa disciples getting up at 3:50 a.m. to do the exercises together, I was shocked. I felt that I had a long way to go. I was both ashamed and anxious. Although in my heart I wanted to lift up my spirit and join the morning exercises, when morning came, I was dragged down by the demon of sloth. With my attachments, I even found an excuse for myself, saying that I had gone to bed too late the night before, and if I got up at 3:50 a.m., I would only get less than three hours of sleep. I also told myself that I wasn't in the habit of getting up early and that it would take a while for my body to adjust. I set my first goal to get up at 5:50 a.m. to send forth righteous thoughts. In my heart, I knew this was not a correct state, and sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate interference by the factors of the old forces, but the most fundamental, microscopic particles of my being didn't have righteous thoughts. I had an overly simplified view of this tribulation, thinking it was only a matter of not getting up in the morning. As a result, I was able to do well only some of the time. I began to lose faith in myself.
One night, when I was reading Lecture Nine of Zhuan Falun, I suddenly saw that the character for "practice" (as in "cultivation practice") was missing one stroke. I was astonished. I had read this book countless times, why didn't I notice this before? Suddenly I understood that this was Master's enlightening: I was lacking in practicing the exercises! At that moment, I felt extremely guilty. I realized that I had not treated this matter seriously in the past. Our compassionate Master has given me so many hints. If I still couldn't do well, I really would not be worthy of Master's salvation!
It dawned on my that my inability to get up in the morning was not just a matter of laziness. It was not a simple matter such as not getting up in the morning. Instead, I had not truly understood the Fa principles! If we only studied the Fa but did not do the exercises, then we had not conformed to the requirements of Falun Dafa. "If you do not follow the requirements of the Fa, you are not a practitioner of Falun Dafa." (Lecture Two of Zhuan Falun) As soon as I realized this, I felt that I had walked a very dangerous path in the last several years. Although I called myself a Dafa disciple, did my actions really meet the requirements of a Dafa disciple? I was determined to not waste more precious time.
That evening, I set an alarm for 3:40 a.m. The next morning when it went off, I woke up immediately. My mind was very clear, and I didn't feel sleepy or tired at all. At 3:50, I started doing the exercises. Before, because I didn't do the exercises enough, when doing the second exercise, my shoulders were always sore. I was even fearful of the position "Holding the wheel above the head." However, this time when I was doing the second exercise, I felt that my "heart is harmonized and body lightened" ("Rong xin qing ti," from the Formula for the Second Exercise; The Great Way of Spiritual Perfection). The wonderful feeling was beyond words. After the fifth exercise, I sent forth righteous thoughts, showered, and ate breakfast. I also had half an hour to study the Fa before going to work. The entire day, I felt very good, and my mind was at peace, too. Before, I used to feel guilty because I didn't do the exercises or study the Fa in a timely fashion.
While writing this article, I felt very ashamed of myself. Fa-rectification is near the end, and doing the exercises is no longer an issue for most practitioners. Yet it took me until now to fully understand the matter. At the same time, I see some younger practitioners around me who are also struggling to get up in the morning. They even set up several alarms in the morning, but still cannot get up. Seeing this situation, I wanted to write down my experience to share with everyone. We should not allow ourselves to be stuck in the state of "not being able to get up." We need to truly understand the Fa from our hearts and follow the requirements of the Fa in everything we do. When we are able to do that, the power of the Fa will manifest.