Eliminating the Pursuit of Gain; Assisting Master with Righteous Thoughts
(Clearwisdom.net) The Minghui website (Chinese version of Clearwisdom) called for articles for the fifth Internet Experience Sharing Conference. Other practitioners encouraged me to summarize my nine years of cultivation experiences, so that all of us could learn not only from a good cultivation experience to gain strength, but also from those things that turned out to be a lesson to avoid mishaps in the future. This Internet experience sharing allowed me to discover my weaknesses and improve them rapidly. I will follow Master and catch up with the Fa-rectification progress--that is what I hope.
I knew from childhood that calling people names and beating them was a bad thing. It would be joy if a person had compassion and was on a correct path, which should be a person's original nature. Growing up in this huge dye vat of twisted social norms and misguided ethics, I had developed many bad habits and many wrong thoughts, coupled with intense attachments. Those were not what I had wished for. I felt detestable and rejected and I tried to get rid of them, but my abilities were not sufficiently strong. Gradually, the mindset of personal gain, the fighting mentality and jealousy, and strong lust overcame me, becoming more and more intense. I did one thing wrong after another. I regretted what I did but was unable to control myself.
During one hot summer I got the idea that qigong or meditation had supernatural powers that might make it possible for me to control my base behaviors. I chose one type of sitting meditation to practice, but could not focus my mind. Since the practice was not based on higher level morality, my practice attempts never advanced to a higher level.
In 1998 I got the opportunity to read the book Zhuan Falun. Opening the title page, I was immediately moved by Master's dignified, sacred, Buddha-like and mercy-exuding image. My wife looked at Master's picture and said, "He does appear to look like a Buddha." The book not only thoroughly explained things in qigong that were unclear, but also addressed methods of cultivation and improvement, and spoke exhaustively on the purpose of one's existence. I completed the book in one night and committed one sentence to memory: "One should return to one's original, true self; this is the real purpose of being human." (Zhuan Falun)
Silently, I shouted from the bottom of my heart, "This is the cultivation I have been looking for. Master Li is a great master. I must do things according to Master's requirements, improve myself, and go home with Master."
Letting go of desires and appealing on behalf of Falun Gong.
"What is the Buddha Fa, then? The most fundamental characteristic of this universe, Zhen-Shan-Ren, is the highest manifestation of the Buddha Fa. It is the most fundamental Buddha Fa." (Zhuan Falun)
I thought that one should do everything in life according to Truth-Compassion-Forbearance if one wanted to become a better person in society. One should always tell the truth and treat people with compassion and tolerance.
I have an advertising company, and the employees have all kinds of personalities. I was worried about getting lured by personal interests, so I kept myself alert by memorizing Master' books and articles. Several times we worked like crazy to complete customers' rush projects, but when it came time for the customers to pay, there were delays, they didn't want to pay the full amount, and sometimes they even withheld payment. Initially I felt wronged and that I was treated unfairly. When there was something that puzzled me I would recall what Master said:
"Did you know that in order to save you the Buddha once begged for food among everyday people? Today, I once again make the door wide open, and teach this Dafa to save you. I have never felt bitter for the numerous hardships I have suffered. Then what do you have that still can't be abandoned? Can you bring to heaven the things deep down inside that you cannot let go of?" ("True Cultivation" in Essentials for Further Advancement)
Once I thought about this, the innermost feelings relaxed. As soon as I let go of my attachment, the situation often appeared to change in my favor. The contradictions vanished.
I knew that was Master's arrangement, and he had used this conflict to improve my xinxing. My xinxing then improved rapidly, making me sense improvements and feel the energy on top of my head. I had several pictures taken when I practiced the sitting meditation at Donghu Lake. Falun and circles of lights surrounding the Falun appeared in each picture. Words cannot describe the joy the practice brought.
Effortless cultivation continued until 1999. Then Falun Gong encountered unreasonable suppression and persecution at the hands of Jiang's regime. Rumors, warnings, and threats were everywhere. Each disciple faced a test. I recall reading the question and answer section of "Teaching the Fa at the Conference in the Midwest-U.S. 1999:"
"Question: Master, please tell us, when Jesus was about to be crucified, what were all of his disciples doing? Master, please relay this to people around the world and in the heavens: We Dafa disciples will absolutely not allow such a thing to happen."
I made up my mind then to be a genuine Dafa disciple.
The persecution situation was getting worse. First, we were forbidden to practice in public, then coordinators were arrested, and finally the media--television and newspapers--slandered and fabricated things against the practice and Master. The relatively diligent local practitioners gathered and agreed during this difficult period to go public and go to Beijing to appeal peaceably for Falun Gong, which was done in other areas. Falun Gong is the righteous law of universe and we should let the world know that Falun Gong is good and Truth-Compassion-Forbearance are good.
When I decided to act, disturbances and hindrances followed one another. My wife was in tears, and my parent tearfully begged me not to go. My business, in the meantime, suffered a big loss, so I spent a lot of time saving my business. I encountered great difficulties. Time passed quickly, and several months elapsed. I had not done a thing for the practice and felt unsettled. One evening I read in Zhuan Falun:
"Cultivation practice must take place through tribulations so as to test whether you can part with and care less about different kinds of human sentimentality and desires. If you are attached to these things, you will not succeed in cultivation."
In 2000, several days before commemorating the July 20, 1999 event, several of us decided to go to Beijing to appeal, but prior to the departure day, a few practitioners were arrested. I decided to go alone. I was a stranger in Beijing, unfamiliar with the streets, and stayed at a hotel close to the trash collection center, teeming with flies. At the hotel, I prepared a banner to display at Tiananmen Square on the 20th of July. The banner read: "The Fa Rectifies the Cosmos!" While attempting to work on this, clouds of flies in the room prevented me from concentrating on my work. Later on I felt at peace. When I looked up I saw all the flies were on the ceiling and did not move. The air was fresh, and I felt Master's presence, to protect me. As long as we do things according to Dafa, Master will be there to protect and strengthen us.
Many practitioners gathered at Tiananmen Square on July 20th. We shouted, "Falun Dafa is good!" I opened the banner, "The Fa Rectifies the Cosmos!" and attracted a lot of attention. At that moment I felt my life ascending in Fa-rectification and in the glory of protecting and validating Dafa.
Purging attachments and providing more people an opportunity for salvation
In 2001, I felt Fa-rectification had entered into a new phase. Practitioners used different approaches to awaken people and let them know what was righteous so they could uphold justice. My understanding was that the more attachments were eliminated, the more one's xinxing would be raised and the more mental strength would be gained. Eliminating all the bad elements in other dimensions behind a person could help save the person.
To let more people become familiar with Falun Gong, I used my advertising company as an advantage to develop all kinds of information booklets for people.
Because of my job, I frequently received projects containing Communist propaganda information from my friends or old customers. I still accepted them initially, even though I was reluctant. Eventually I felt there was something wrong in accepting projects of this kind. We practitioners have energy when we do things. If we accept Communist projects, we will enhance the CCP's dark energy. I explained to my friends and customers that because the regime persecutes the people who have righteous faith and attacks gods and Buddhas and unreasonably suppresses Falun Gong, what the regime says and does are harmful and untrue and are used to deceive people. I resolved not to work on such projects any longer and hoped they would understand and not bring projects like that to me again.
Some questioned me, "Why do you take it so seriously? You can make money from those projects. Why do you care?" Another customer, a company's Party secretary in charge of propaganda, was angry, "We have cooperated for a long time and have paid you several hundred thousand yuan. You'd better think clearly. If you don't accept this project, we will sever our business relationship with you." I knew the consequences but did not regret my decision. I regretted not letting let this Party leader know the facts about Falun Gong.
Dafa is harmonizing and omnipotent. My decision did not have a negative financial effect. After we withdrew from those advertising projects, we started a stainless steel business. My business was getting better than before, and I had more time for Dafa projects.
I had a woman customer, an easy-going person, with a big business in fitness equipment. But she had a hard time accepting the facts about Falun Gong. She thought that the practice or I was involved in politics. Initially I had hurriedly explained the truth to her because I wanted her to understand right away. I realized my problem soon enough--I was doing it without compassion and righteous thoughts. The power was weak, and her many notions formed over time were difficult to overcome. I sent righteous thoughts to eliminate the bad elements behind her and the old forces that controlled her. One day a love affair gone wrong put her into a mental tailspin. She told me, "Not many people these days are responsible; their morals are very bad." I tried to explain, "Morals or the lack of them are a reflection of a nation's society; China is lacking morality because of the CCP-created Cultural Revolution from which all of China still suffers now, even more so than in the past. Everyone feels the pain, and next time I will share with you some songs Dafa practitioners composed.
Later on I gave her a poem to encourage her. She was moved and said, "You practitioners are different than ordinary people." She gradually changed her attitude toward Falun Gong. One day she told me, "My brother has very bad temper and should practice Falun Gong."
I have cultivated in Dafa for nine years, despite the ups and downs. Many things have happened. Cultivating among ordinary people, our attachments puzzle us and sometimes we forget to hold righteous thoughts.
I am very fortunate to have a chance to know Dafa and be involved in Fa- rectification. With Master's compassion and protection, with other practitioners' help and encouragements, my attachments were let go of during the Fa- rectification process. I will do the three things according to Master so that I will be worthy of Master's compassionate and painstaking salvation, and I will be worthy of my prehistoric vows.