(Clearwisdom.net) I started my cultivation in 1996. I have experienced tremendous changes in my body and mind and firmly believe in the greatness of Falun Dafa. With such a firm belief, I have walked my cultivation path to the present day. Although I have been a practitioner for over ten years, I still feel embarrassed about my cultivation. My understanding of Dafa is still shallow, and I have not truly understood the meaning of cultivation and its seriousness. I often make mistakes that make me feel very upset.

Our benevolent Master has not given up on me. He continuously gives me hints, protects me, and offers me chances, one after another, which allow me to cultivate well. I cannot imagine how much Master has sacrificed and endured for me during my cultivation. Only recently have I made some breakthroughs in my understanding of the Fa. It is as if I have just woken up from a dream and found my way. This big change is the result of my systematic Fa study and of my having truly put my heart into studying the Fa.

Now I would like to share with fellow practitioners about the major problems that I have had in my cultivation. Owing to my limited cultivation level, some understandings may not be right. Please kindly point them out.

Keeping a strong main consciousness during cultivation

I am forty-two years old, but my thinking still lingers in the state of a big child. For example, my thinking is relatively simple. When encountering a problem, I cannot think it through thoroughly. I do not like to use my brain and often behave irrationally and irresponsibly. When working, I am not thoughtful and often forget things. I lack my own opinions and cannot effectively deal with issues I suddenly encounter, and so on. After I started my cultivation, I thought that I belonged to a group of those who, as pointed out by Master, do not have complex thoughts. I thought this meant I could cultivate easily; so I felt I was very fortunate. I failed to realize the various shortcomings that existed in my personality. I had let these weaknesses of mine freely rule my main consciousness. This became a huge obstacle in my cultivation. As a result, my cultivation fell into a poor, lingering state. Only recently have I realized that these shortcomings do not truly represent me, and they are the old forces' arrangements. When these shortcomings are reflected in my thinking or behavior, a prominent feature is my lack of a strong main consciousness. This is the biggest obstacle to my cultivation. I should completely negate it, eliminate it and rectify myself.

Because I became complacent and I was not good at thinking, I rarely tried to think about and learn from the problems I encountered in cultivation. As problems came up, I either felt at a loss or became numb. I felt that I was muddle-headed all the time. This cultivation state was really awful.

Over a long period of time, I appeared to have paid attention to studying the Fa, as I studied the Fa every day and read Zhuan Falun again and again; however, I could rarely gain new understandings. So I read the Fa as if I were drinking plain boiled water [a Chinese way of saying that one has learned and felt nothing]. When sharing with fellow practitioners, I almost had nothing to say; my mind was empty, and I acted like a bystander. When reading fellow practitioners' experience sharing articles, I found that these practitioners had a very clear understanding of the Fa, and could use the Fa to analyze their own problems. In this way they could eliminate their impurities and elevate their xinxing. I admired them very much. I saw that I had fallen behind. But what exactly were my gaps? How could I change my cultivation state? I had not thought about the issue carefully. I felt at a loss.

In the past two months, I have read all the Fa lectures that Master has given since July 20, 1999. In this way, I have come to understand many Fa principles and gained insight into the problems that I have had. I found a serious problem with my Fa study, that is, my main consciousness was not clear. I was like "a little monk who chants the scriptures with his mouth but not his mind." This was prominently reflected during my reading the Fa. If someone interrupted me or I paused the reading, I was not able to find the section that I had just read because I did not have any memory of it. In this case, I had no choice but to read that part from the beginning. Once while I recited Lunyu, I gradually began to recite the words from other articles of Master. After I finished, one young practitioner beside me said sternly, "When you recited Fa, you did not use your mind at all. You did not even know what you were uttering." The fellow practitioner's words made me astonished. It was, in fact, Master who was letting that practitioner point out my shortcoming. However, I did not think too much about it at that time.

In fellow practitioners' experience sharing articles, they often mention that reading the Fa out loud is an effective way to study. I just blindly copied that method. I tried to read out loud, but I failed to pay attention to the actual effectiveness of doing it that way. Oftentimes, when I finished reading a paragraph, I could not remember anything. So I had to go back and silently read that paragraph again; only then did I retain some understanding from it. Sometimes I felt that I needed to make a strenuous effort in my reading, and I felt very tired, but I still forced myself to continue reading. So I thus walked into another zone of misunderstanding. "So when you study the Fa, don't just go through the motions. You have to calm your mind when you read it, and truly study it. Don't let your mind sneak away from you. Once your mind wanders off, you'll be studying in vain." ("Fa-Lecture at the Conference in Florida, U.S.A.") Master has already clearly told us how to study the Fa. Only recently have I realized that what is critical during Fa study is to have a clear main consciousness, stay focused, and know what I am reading. I need to learn the Fa with a clear mind, and only in this way can I achieve a good result.

Because my main consciousness was not strong, I had, for quite a long time, been in a muddle-headed state when practicing the exercises and sending forth righteous thoughts. I was severely interfered with by miscellaneous thoughts, but I could not find a way out. One day this year, after I finished studying the Fa, I suddenly realized that only the Fa can rectify everything. I then memorized the section, "Your Main Consciousness Should Predominate" in Zhuan Falun. During sending forth righteous thoughts at noon, my mind was very clear, which was something that I had rarely experienced. I was very excited. In the subsequent days, I repetitively recited this section of the Fa. My practicing the meditation exercise and sending forth righteous thoughts had obviously improved. I felt the power of the Fa.

My bad habits of being careless, often forgetting things, behaving irrationally and irresponsibly, and so on, have brought a negative impact to my life, work, and validation of the Fa.

I realized that I should not be affected by this wrong mentality. I needed to expel and disintegrate it. So I added a thought when sending forth righteous thoughts, that is, negating all the old forces' arrangements and disintegrating all the elements that the old forces have imposed on me.

Purging all of the evil Party's poisonous elements and starting my genuine cultivation

Ever since I was an elementary school student, I started to be influenced by the propaganda and education of the evil Communist Party culture. Accordingly, I developed a habitual way of speaking, acting and thinking. Especially when I was at work, in order to deal with the upper management's inspections, I often worked in a rushed manner to create the false impression of being a "good" worker, so as to gain a "good" reputation and obtain more material benefits. In China, the phenomenon of faking, boasting, and lying exists everywhere, but I had not realized that I was also among those who had been affected by it.

After I started to study the Fa, I felt that the Fa was so good that I determinedly wanted to be a genuine Dafa disciple. I strictly required myself to act according to the Fa. I eliminated many attachments. My everyday schedule was filled up with work, Fa study, practicing the exercises and validating the Fa. I felt that my life was fulfilled and I had cultivated myself very diligently. After the persecution began on July 20, 1999, in the midst of the tribulation imposed upon Dafa, the gaps that had existed in my cultivation were revealed one after another. I made mistakes and stumbled again and again. I caused much damage to Dafa and felt very upset about it.

Last year, I started to work with a fellow practitioner in validating the Fa. This practitioner has pointed out a lot of my attachments. Each time I received such feedback, I sincerely accepted it, but I still had not changed much. After I remained in this state for a long time, the practitioner became very worried about me. One day, I decided to write down all of my xinxing issues. After I noted over ten shortcomings in one shot, I felt as if I had finished something big. I suddenly became relieved. In the following days, I summarized my issues every so often. After I did this for about one week, I found that my change was still very minimal, so I gave up this method. Obviously, I had separated my searching inward from actual cultivation, but I had not realized this problem back then.

One day, the fellow practitioner said to me, "I cannot see Truthfulness and Compassion in you." I was very astonished. I thought I had been following the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance to cultivate myself. Why did the practitioner not see Truthfulness and Compassion in me?

Recently, I finished reading the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. I then realized the manifestation of "faking" that the evil Party culture imposed on me. It seemed that I had done everything with the intention of showing it off to the fellow practitioner. This was just like a student behaving well for the sake of showing it off to his teacher and getting the teacher's praise. Only recently have I realized that my mindset of doing things was not pure. First, I had a strong pursuit for fame. Second, I did work for the sake of finishing it, like an assignment. It was not the case that I, from the bottom of my heart, thought that the work should be done. I had not wholeheartedly put myself into the work, so I could not achieve satisfactory results. I remember that the fellow practitioner once said to me, "If you take everything you need to do as part of your cultivation, you can then do it well." At that time, I did not completely understand the fellow practitioner's words. Only recently did I understand the implications of this thought. It was also recently that I came to understand the real meaning of Master's article "It is Not a Job, but Cultivation Practice." (Essentials for Further Advancement)

I found that my previous searching within myself was just an empty exercise and I had not practiced it with my actions. I had not cultivated myself at all. As a result, I could not see my changes and improvements. The purpose of searching inward is to find shortcomings and eliminate them; only in this way can I improve myself and fundamentally change myself. I have just understood the deep meaning of:

"Let each and every thing be measured against the Fa. Only then, with that, is it actually cultivation." ("Solid Cultivation" in Hong Yin)

I have just started to have a clear understanding of cultivation.

After I finished this writing, I felt a calmness that I have never experienced before. I have finally found the problems and interfering factors that have plagued me for a long time. I need to expose the evil and eliminate it with righteous thoughts. I realize that my cultivation will enter a new phase. I will no longer feel puzzled and numb. I will cultivate myself with a rational and clear mind. I will eliminate the obstacles, cultivate myself diligently, and double my effort in remedying the losses that I have caused.

July 13, 2007