Recovering from Mistakes On the Cultivation Path
(Clearwisdom.net) On one occasion, I took an evil cultivation path. During my cultivation process, I had the attachments of seeking Dafa's protection and validating myself. Moreover, I didn't accept the Fa as the teacher. Instead, I treated another practitioner as my role model. Seeing that this practitioner, previously steadfast in his belief, was "transformed," I followed suit. I was swayed by the evil Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) lies, false compassion and sentimentality, and strayed from the Fa.
What should I do? Could I still cultivate? Will Teacher still accept me? I found the answers to these questions in the Fa. I gradually pulled myself together and went back to the righteous cultivation path. Since then, many fellow practitioners have helped me with my cultivation. I thought previously that many practitioners were on the wrong path. Teacher gave me the opportunity to correct the wrongdoing that I committed in the past, and I did not want to miss this opportunity. I decided to deliver Dafa books and other truth-clarification materials to former practitioners who had fallen behind. Teacher's Fa principles can awaken practitioners in this situation, and help them to return to their cultivation path.
1. Walking the Cultivation Path Arranged by Teacher with a Clear Mind and with Wisdom
After I was "transformed" and released from the forced labor camp, I felt good about my cultivation. I misled other practitioners and caused them to enlighten along the evil path. I thought that I was saving them. Teacher gave me many hints, but I didn't want to admit that I was wrong, or perhaps I was afraid to face reality, but I was still in a state of confusion.
I remained in this state until the day I read Teacher's words:
"As for the people who have been 'reformed,' it was arranged in history that they would persecute the Fa this way. No matter how well they acted when arrested or beaten, all of that was setting the stage for their leaping out today to persecute the Fa and confuse students." ("Suffocate the Evil" from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
Teacher also said:
"These people have relatively large amounts of karma and they have fundamental attachments to [things of] humans, so in the midst of absurd lies during the so-called 'reforming,' they have, in the interest of their attachments and to justify their behavior, gone along with the lies and willingly accepted evil 'enlightenment,' while pretending they didn't want to. If this kind of person then goes and deceives other students, he will have committed the sin of damaging the Fa. All who have been supposedly 'reformed' are people who couldn't let go of their attachments to [things of] humans and who stepped forward with the idea that they might be lucky." ("A Suggestion" from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I was shaken and frightened. My actions were so wrong! I was so disappointed with myself. What should I do? Could I still cultivate? I had these and other unanswered questions on my mind. I knew that Teacher's lectures can help to answer those questions. I read through all of Teacher's lectures from 2000 to 2002 nine times, starting from Guiding the Voyage.
After this round of Fa study and purifying my mind, I was more sober and clear-minded. I found answers to my questions in the Fa, and experienced what Teacher said in "Drive Out Interference", (Essentials for Further Advancement II) "The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts." I understood why I took the wrong path in the past. I hadn't recognized the evil nature of the old forces and the Chinese Communist Paryy (CCP). I thought that detention at police stations, detention centers and forced labor camps would raise my cultivation level.
I looked inward and asked again "What should I do? Can I still cultivate? Will Teacher still accept me?" Once again, I found answers to these questions in the Fa. Teacher does not acknowledge anything arranged by the old forces.
"Even though the old forces do exist, if you don't have those thoughts they can't do anything. When your righteous thoughts are strong enough the old forces can't do a thing." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia")
Teacher also said:
"Master won't abandon you, and you mustn't lose confidence. There are still opportunities, and I'll save you no matter what. Now do you still lack confidence?" ("Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference")
I thought long and hard about this. Teacher's words encouraged me to change from feeling inferior and depressed, to being clear-minded and rational. I would not let the old forces destroy my will. I should not miss this opportunity that I had waited for, for thousands of years. I gradually pulled myself together and went back to the righteous cultivation path. Thank you Teacher, for saving me from hell again.
With other practitioners' encouragement and assistance, I set up a Dafa materials production site. One day, I downloaded a brochure from the Clearwisdom website. The brochure described the vicious conduct of "transformed" former practitioners. I was shocked, and thought that even if they no longer practiced Falun Gong, these former practitioners should not have been so cruel; why did they physically attack other practitioners? At first I felt guilty, since I went astray before and had helped to "transform" other practitioners. I led other practitioners to the wrong path and slandered Teacher and the Fa. I tried to comfort myself with the thought "I never beat other practitioners." Unexpectedly, I saw my name in the brochure.
At that moment, I became angry and irrational. I wanted to find out who the author was, and inform him that I had returned to the right cultivation path a long time ago. I have done so many things to validate the Fa and save people. Why didn't the author consider other people's feelings? Suddenly, I realized that I was wrong. Why was I thinking so much about myself? Where was Dafa positioned in my mind? Why did I put so much emphasis on my own loss, gain, honor, disgrace and self-respect?
"If you haven't done things well you should seize the day. You don't need anyone to affirm you, and you don't need to do things to show anyone. When you are able to live up to your conscience, Master sees it." ("Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference")
I calmed down and thought about it. This incident revealed that I hadn't completely eliminated the attachment to self, and that I didn't firmly put the Fa ahead of everything else, under all circumstances and environments.
Before the Olympic games, the CCP was trying to tighten its control over practitioners. I felt a little uneasy at first, and stopped producing truth-clarification materials, but later realized that this was wrong. We should do things based on what Teacher wants, not on what the evil factors want. If we used various methods to appease the evil factors and old forces, then we walked the path arranged by them.
Teacher told his practitioners:
"You have gone through great trials and hardships to arrive at where you are today. By all means, you shouldn't let your heart and mind bob about like duckweed, stirred at the first hint of wind." (Teacher's comments on the novel The Cosmos's Calamity)
Do we regard our belief in Teacher and the Fa as the top priority, or the evil factors instead? This is a matter of principle. I restarted my copy machines, and began producing truth-clarification materials again. I followed Teacher's teaching in "Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital" "carrying the Fa in your mind, doing whatever needs to be done, and doing whatever you wish to do, as long as Dafa needs it." I began distributing truth-clarification materials, and talked to people about Dafa.
Just like Teacher said, the evil factors are afraid of practitioners. We should play our role of validating Dafa with dignity, saving people and dissolving the evil.
2. Improving My Understanding of the Fa Principles by Validating Dafa
When I first went out to explain the facts about Dafa, my motivation (at least partially) came from human sentimentality and my desire to defend against injustice. The more I studied the Fa, the more I realized the magnificence of Dafa and the seriousness of cultivation. Cultivation is not a game. We must unconditionally believe in Teacher and the Fa, and really cultivate our hearts. It is unacceptable to have the least bit of complacency and falsehood. Practitioners have different inborn qualities and situations, and Teacher arranges their cultivation paths accordingly. However, the criteria of Fa used to gauge practitioners' cultivation levels are the same. All practitioners are required to be strict with themselves and to cultivate diligently.
When we do the three things, we need to make sure that all our thoughts and actions are righteous and can meet the high standards required of Dafa.
"It is very difficult to do this, so it is not that as long as one wants to achieve this goal, one can achieve it. Only when one's xinxing and de have been upgraded can one achieve this goal." (Zhuan Falun) [Note: de = virtue]
I understand the Fa principles: Cultivation is difficult, and it is something that we need to treat with the utmost conviction and vitality.
I have been a practitioner for over 12 years. I wanted to share my thoughts a long time ago, but felt that my previous actions were far from what Teacher asked us to do, so I didn't want to write about my experiences. I realized that this thought again placed my self as the top priority, and I wasn't following the principle of always putting the Fa as the top priority. Teacher approved this experience sharing method, and writing experience sharing articles is a good opportunity to validate Dafa. Hopefully this article will help those former practitioners who are still waiting at the crossroads to return to Dafa.