Cultivating Myself in the Process of Validating the Fa
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings, revered Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
In 2004 when the First Internet Experience Sharing Conference for Practitioners in China took place, I submitted an article summarizing the first five years of my cultivation. Now that four years have passed, I'd like to report to Master and share with fellow practitioners how I continue to cultivate myself at work and how I save sentient beings.
In the spring of 1998, I registered a company with several partners in a foreign country. My partners had already started to work in that country, so I obtained a passport. As I was waiting for my visa to be approved, by chance I came across Falun Gong. Within 10 days, I read all of Master's eight Falun Dafa books that were available at that time. I was completely in awe and my excitement was beyond words. I came to know the true meaning of being a human being and I decided to stay in China to spend the rest of my life cultivating this great practice.
As soon as I started to practice Falun Dafa, I immediately relinquished my attachments to fame, material interests, and sentimentality. I guided my life with the Fa principles and felt content. When I eliminated my attachment to my son's academic performance, he got accepted by a top-notch middle school. I was also unexpectedly assigned a very nice apartment unit when I had not cared about getting one. Master gives us the best arrangements as long as we carry ourselves as true cultivators. However, I stumbled when trying to balance work and cultivation, and there were times when I went to extremes. I once told my friends, if asked, that I would be more than happy to clean the streets. Some of my friends and relatives came to a better understanding of Falun Gong after witnessing the positive changes in me, whereas, others couldn't comprehend what I did and thought that I wasn't being responsible for myself and my family. I also intentionally distanced myself from my friends. In the spring of 2001, I was so attached to the end of Fa-rectification that I even quit my job. That summer I began to focus all my time on making "truth-clarification" materials. My husband didn't cultivate and he couldn't understand why I quit my job, which led to interferences in the production of materials due to the loss of my income. Moreover, my resignation invited plenty of misunderstandings from friends and relatives. Three years passed in an instant.
After diligently studying the Fa, I gradually came to realize that my understanding of the Fa was a bit extreme. Master said:
"In our discipline, for the portion that cultivates among ordinary people, it's required that we cultivate in the ordinary world, and keep to the ways of ordinary people as much as possible. We're not asking you to really lose any material things. It doesn't matter how high your official rank is, and it doesn't matter how rich you are: the key is whether you can let go of that attachment." (The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I realized that my shallow understanding of the Fa not only hindered my improvement but also caused misunderstandings among non-practitioners.
Once my understanding improved, I got a job with the help of a friend. This job required computer and statistical skills, but I only knew how to type and edit simple word files on the computer. I had no extensive knowledge about statistics at all. After two weeks on the job, I was still lost. I was extremely anxious and my husband advised me to quit. I thought to myself, "As a Dafa practitioner, I want to validate the Fa through my work. Why it is so hard for me to pick up the knowledge I need? It must be that my attachments are hindering me."
I remembered that Master said, "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." ("Drive Out Interference," Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I calmed down and began to study Zhuan Falun. I discovered my problem: I had a very strong attachment to validating myself in the process of validating the Fa. I have been a very earnest learner since I was little. I had very good grades and I am a very competent worker, so I was keen to show off and was very pleased with myself when I received compliments from others. Because I took a new job beyond my field of expertise and I wasn't able to do it well, I was very frustrated, fearing others would think I was dumb. I completely forgot my mission to save sentient beings and I was only concerned about my reputation. "It was arranged for me to work in this company so it must be that there were predestined people here for me to save. How could I be so selfish?" I eliminated my attachments and made up my mind to save sentient beings. I felt my body become very light after studying the Fa and enlightening to this attachment of mine.
The next morning I went to my office and turned on my computer to begin a new day. I was surprised to find I could do the statistics job with ease. I only spent two hours on the work that usually took me a whole day to figure out. I also felt that my mind was extremely clear and unencumbered. This occurred on the 15th day of my job. I was so excited. This would not have been possible had I not cultivated in Dafa with Master's help.
I also familiarized myself with other aspects of the company, including supplies and materials. I took the responsibility of tracking the warehouse and inventory. Not long after, I began to manage the company's construction vehicles as well. I was doing several jobs all by myself. The boss was very surprised: he couldn't believe that I could handle so many jobs simultaneously that even a younger person couldn't handle. This all laid a good foundation for my truth-clarification.
In the year I spent with this company, I strictly held myself to a practitioner's standard at all times. My boss's wife worked as a cashier in the company. She had numerous ailments and a really bad temper. Before my cultivation, she would have been the last person that I would have wanted to talk to. At one point, she missed work several days in a row and I learned that she was sick. I knew this was a good chance to clarify the facts to her, so I brought some CDs to visit her after work.
I told her about the changes that I had experienced after beginning my cultivation. She looked into my eyes as she listened attentively. Even before I finished, she said, "I trust you and I want to learn." From that day on, she entered the door of Falun Dafa. Whenever she had an opportunity, she would exchange cultivation experiences with me. Her sick mother, who is in her 80s, was once bedridden and her family was preparing for her funeral. I gave her an amulet(1) that said, "Falun Dafa is good" and asked her to pass it along to her mother and teach her to recite, "Falun Dafa is good." Two weeks later, she told me with delight that her mother had completely recovered. Three years have passed and her mother is still with us and in good health. This incident enabled my boss and colleagues to have a positive understanding of Dafa. I also realized that in the process of saving sentient beings, we cannot be hindered by postnatal human notions.
A year later, I took a new job as a salesperson. I soon became familiar with the products and the clients and their markets. I worked hard and often clarified the truth to other workers during lunchtime. Later on an incident made me consider resigning. In order to cheat customs officers, the manager asked us to alter the sales records. As a practitioner, I will never tell lies or fabricate things. However, I wasn't sure how I should respond to my manager, who as a non-practitioner only cared about the company's profits. Since I couldn't figure out a good solution, I submitted my resignation to the manager.
The manager wouldn't approve my resignation. He called me many times requesting a face-to-face conversation. I knew this was a test I could pass only by improving my xinxing. But what should I do? It was was diligent Fa study that untied the knot in my heart. Master said in "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles:"
"Then why is it that in recent times, suddenly all kinds of cultures, theories, and social phenomena have come about? This is the result of the various gigantic cosmic systems' things manifesting themselves in the lowest level, the human world, and their reason for doing this is so that they might be chosen."
"Have you thought about the fact that, if the many occupations and the many fields seen today were brought here from those distant systems of beings, and Dafa disciples are cultivating in this setting, with Dafa disciples cultivating in different occupations, then isn't it just like rectifying [those systems] with the Fa? Isn't that acknowledging their existence? Isn't that saving them?"
"In other words, what gods want are not the formats that mankind uses, but for you to utilize the formats here and ascend. When you elevate by making use of these formats, you are validating Fa, validating gods, and saving sentient beings, right? (Applause) Dafa disciples' cultivating in the diverse occupations is acknowledging the beings in those systems, and it is saving all those lives."
Master also said in "Non-Omission" in Essentials For Further Advancement:
"The Fa has different requirements for cultivators at different levels. Sacrifice is evidenced by one's being detached from ordinary human attachments. If a person can indeed calmly abandon everything with his heart being unaffected, he is actually at that level already. Yet cultivation practice is to improve yourself: You are already able to abandon the attachment, so why not also abandon the fear of attachment, itself? Isn't abandonment without omission a higher sacrifice?"
I suddenly enlightened from Master's teachings. I realized that as a practitioner, I should hold myself to strict requirements based on the principles of Dafa and at the same time fulfill our grand historic mission to save sentient beings. Only by cultivating oneself well in society can one save sentient beings and rectify everything. I knew that I should seize this opportunity to clarify the truth to my manager. Before my meeting with him, I kept sending forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the old forces' interferences.
When the manager asked me why I wanted to quit, I told him that I was a Falun Gong practitioner and I explained in detail the principles of Dafa and how practitioners should behave accordingly. He sat there and listened to me carefully. He then told me, "Through my contacts with you, I do feel you're very different from others. Your behavior assures me that Falun Gong is a good practice. I'm more than willing to work with you." He expressed his respect for my belief and his appreciation of my character. He said he would never engage in such fraudulent activities again and hoped I would still work for him. I agreed. I installed software to break through the Internet blockade on his office computer and gave him some information materials regarding Falun Gong. Afterwards, my work environment improved and I could openly study the Fa or visit Dafa websites when I was not busy. I also clarified the truth to colleagues, and some of them then started cultivation.
I managed to get in touch with many of my former colleagues, friends, and managers. They all admired me for my good health, vigorous spirit, and proficient work abilities. They saw that I was no longer that same narrow-minded person, but a hard-working and kind woman. They became very receptive when I clarified the truth to them.
I realized that only by calming down to study the Fa and rectifying mysel, can I do well in clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings.
Lastly, I'd like to share with everyone the following passage of Master's teachings that I recite daily to encourage myself to become more diligent:
"No matter how much I say, you still have to walk the path of cultivation yourselves. To walk this path well and progress to its end--nothing is more extraordinary. I say that because during the journey you will have hardships, tests of every sort, unforeseen ordeals, and you will have unexpected interference from all kinds of attachments and emotion. The interference will come from family, society, good friends, and even fellow cultivators. And along with this there is interference from changes in the state of human society and from human notions that were formed in society. All of those things can drag you back to being like an ordinary person. But if you can break through all of it, you can advance towards godhood. So as a cultivator, what is truly remarkable is when you can be steadfast and have righteous thoughts so firm that nothing can sway you. Be solid and firm like diamond, or granite, and then nothing can affect you--evil will be afraid at the mere sight of you. If upon encountering trying circumstances your thinking can be truly righteous, then, when faced with the evil's persecution and when faced with interference, just one sentence of yours fortified with steadfast righteous thoughts can instantly make the evil disintegrate (applause), and it will make those who are being used by the evil turn and flee, it will make the evil's persecution of you dissolve, and it will make the evil's interfering with you disappear without a trace. One thought born of righteous faith is all it takes. And whoever can hold firm that righteous thought and go the distance will become a magnificent god forged by Dafa. (Long applause)" ("Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. International Fa Conference")
Amulets - In China, practitioners sometimes clarify the truth by giving people something small to wear or cherish, bearing a few words reminding them of the goodness of Dafa.