(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings Teacher! Greetings fellow practitioners!
I'm a Falun Dafa practitioner from a small town in northern China. I started to practice Falun Dafa in 1998. I've been practicing Falun Dafa for ten years. Ten years feel like a second. When I look back at my cultivation path, I have so much to say.
I still remember when I first learned about Dafa. I was so excited. I immediately started to practice Dafa and I strove forward diligently. Back then, I was hungry for the Fa and I improved my xinxing level very fast. I completely turned into a new person. Then the persecution started on July 20, 1999, and my progress forward slowed down right away. Cultivation became more difficult. During that period of time, I fell down, sometimes very hard. Later, with Teacher's guidance, I became more clear-headed with the Fa principles. Relying on my righteous thoughts cultivated out of Fa-study, I braved through in my validating the Fa. I also had glorious experiences with saving sentient beings.
Here I'd like to take this opportunity to share my experience during my Fa-rectification cultivation. I hope we can improve together and do a better job in the final stage of our cultivation.
1. About getting rid of the notion of life and death
When the evil persecution first started on July 20 1999, I experienced something that I wasn't very clear about.
During the "April 25" incident and when the persecution started on July 20, 1999, I went to Beijing twice to appeal to higher authorities for justice for Falun Gong. I recited Teacher's poem "Nothing Kept" from Hong Yin when facing the roaring police cars and armed policemen. Teacher saidin this poem,
"In life, nothing sought,
In death, regretting naught;
Washing away all wrong thought,
Buddhahood, with less
adversity, is wrought."
I wasn't afraid at all. If those armed police fired at me, I wouldn't even close my eyes in front of their guns. I just felt proud that I could do something to safeguard the Fa. With my xinxing level back then, I thought I was able to let go of everything in everyday society, including my life. However, I didn't understand why I developed so many attachments of fear after I went back home, when I was pressured from all directions because of the evil's rampant persecution. I was afraid that people might not understand me or they might say Dafa is not good. I was afraid that I would be illegally arrested and humiliated and tortured. When I realized that I had such a strong attachment of fear, I was afraid that I wouldn't reach consummation because of that.
Later, as I continued to cultivate, I came to realize that I didn't really reach the state of letting go of life and death that Teacher talked about. Life and death are two words. Back then, I was only able to let go of death. In fact, it is very simple for a sentient being that learned the truth of the cosmos to let go of death. However, it is very difficult to let go of life. When there is life, there are attachments. Without rational understandings on the Fa or concrete experiences of braving through tribulations, it will be very difficult to try to let go of these attachments. In order to remove attachments, we must put our hearts into Fa-study.
When I recited Teacher's poem "Nothing Kept" again, every word has new meanings to me as if I had never read the poem before. I saw my gaps. Actually, in the past a few years up until now, I still haven't completely let go of life during my Fa-rectification cultivation and saving sentient beings and removing attachments.
With more Fa-study, I also came to realize that one other reason that I was confused is because I wasn't clear with how our cultivation with Falun Dafa works. To my understanding, when we reach the requirements of a certain level, Teacher will "...separate the portion that you've cultivated from the parts that you haven't." (From "Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Europe") Therefore, there will still be various kinds of attachments coming out of the part that hasn't cultivated. Then we'd feel as if we haven't removed our attachments at all. I came to realize that I was confused since I looked at my cultivation with Dafa from an ordinary person's perspective.
2. Act righteously
Another thing that I feel strongly about during my cultivation is that Dafa practitioners need to act righteously in ordinary society. Then people will naturally realize that Falun Dafa is righteous. The fabricated stories by the evil will have no place to exist then. Otherwise, if Dafa practitioners do not act according to Teacher's requirements, we wouldn't be able to save sentient beings. Even worse, we might ruin them. People might not really know what Falun Dafa really is. Thus, they'd watch us. Whether we can do well or not directly impacts how people view Dafa or think of Dafa.
I was an actress. In our small town, people all know me and therefore I can influence many people. Because of this, I have been very strict with myself and I always remember what Teacher said in Sage, "... he is full of great aspirations while minding minor details." (from Essentials for Further Advancement) I always remind myself that I need to act righteously and I shouldn't let Teacher and Dafa down. I want to help all the people that know me to see Truth, Compassion, Forbearance in me, so they can develop positive thoughts toward the Fa. Meanwhile, I think this is being compassionate towards the sentient beings that have predestined relationships with me.
Before I practiced Dafa, I was very attached to fashion. I had my nails polished and hair dyed. I wore a lot of make-up and I was trying to be sexy. With the improvement of my xinxing, my distorted notions were rectified as well. I realized that what we wear should go along with our heart, which is being truthful too. As a cultivator, our hearts are becoming more and more clear and noble. Thus, our clothes and make-up should be simple yet decent too.
In 2005, my workplace organized an outing. The bus that we rented was not large enough. Therefore, they added a few benches in the aisle. I was there early, so I got a window seat. Those who came late had to sit on the benches. I noticed one of them was our receptionist who was an older man. People around him were chatting with each other. None of them had the intention to give him their seat. I moved over and said, "Let's switch our seats." The one-way trip was about two hundred and seventy miles. I sat on the bench all the way through. If I hadn't practiced Dafa, I wouldn't have given away my seat. But since I'm a practitioner, I'd feel more uncomfortable if I just sat in my window seat.
On our way back, I got on the bus early and saved a seat that's close to the door for him. When he came, the only seat left for me was the bench again. However, I didn't get tired from the five hundred and forty miles' trip. I was in my forties. We were out for a whole day and I sat on the bench for so long. But I felt very light in my body. Dafa is magnificent!
Since I've been acting righteously, my boss and coworkers all know that Falun Dafa is good and they all respect me. Once, my boss drank some wine and was very excited. The room was crowded. He said to all the people in the room, "You should learn from Alian. She doesn't mind getting shortchanged. She doesn't fight with others. She doesn't complain about difficult assignments. Very nice! Very truthful, compassionate, forbearing!" Immediately, all the people laughed. When seeing all of us laughing, he said very seriously, "Why are you laughing? I'm telling the truth under the effect of alcohol." People laughed harder since they all agreed with him.
During the past several years of the evil persecution, people who know me have always been trying very hard to protect me. I knew it was because those lives still have compassion in their heart and therefore they recognize and long for truth, compassion, forbearance. From this, I feel the solemn side of the Fa.
I had very low xinxing level before. I carried a lot of karma with me. I was about to be eliminated. Yet, I was purified. Now I shine with flames of compassion. I can never hold back my tears whenever I think about how I became a life with righteous thoughts and righteous actions and how I have been following Teacher to save sentient beings. Teacher has been "Handling human affairs of every sort, Burdened with all of heaven's troubles." ("Cold and Alone Up High" from Hongyin) In my heart, nothing can describe my thanks and respect towards Teacher and the all-encompassing and eternal Fa-principles that created the new cosmos.