Striving Unceasingly to Be a Qualified Disciple
(Clearwisdom.net) I acquired the Fa in 1998. During the past ten troubled years of cultivation, I am proof of huge changes that can happen because of Dafa. I can testify to many miracles, which make me determined to continue the practice. In the meantime, I have encountered many things that directly attacked my heart. I used righteous thoughts to block out interferences and cultivated my mind in order to survive difficulties. Today I put aside the idea that I am not good at writing and I take this conference for sharing experiences as a chance to report to Master! As I wrote, I again felt the mercy and protection of Master toward his disciples. This is a great encouragement for me to be more diligent. Also during this process, I found attachments that were not eliminated and needed to be worked on.
1. Acquiring the Fa
Before practicing Dafa, I was a patient that struggled with all kinds of diseases--rheumatism, bursitis in my shoulder, hypertension, cholecystitus, a gastric ulcer, pyelonephritis, and infantile paralysis (polio) that had left my right leg two inches shorter than my left since childhood. I lived with all these diseases for eight years. I thought about dying many times but could not be cruel enough to leave two young children behind. It was so difficult! My parents acquired Dafa and practiced at that time, so they kindly persuaded me to practice as well. However, my inborn quality was so poor that I didn't listen to them. This lasted for about six months.
In May 1998, I went home during the holidays. My mother held the book Zhuan Falun and said calmly, "Take this book back with you. No matter what you decide, I will stop trying to persuade you." At that moment, looking at my mom's gentle face, I almost burst into tears and agreed. All she wanted was to help me, and therefore I had only one thought: No matter whether I could be cured or not, I would let it be. First, I wanted to learn not to get angry. (It was easy to make me angry because of all the suffering my diseases caused me.) So I replied, "I won't take the book this time, let me clean up my home first. (Because I had practiced other exercises before). I will pick up the book in three days."
Then I rode my bike back to my home. As soon as I stepped inside, I felt especially relaxed and comfortable. It seemed like I no longer hurt, even though I had not read the book or practiced yet. Instantly, all my diseases were gone--it was that quick. Does Falun Gong really perform miracles? I did not understand this because I had not learned the Fa yet. Three days later, my parents explained it to me with what it said in Zhuan Falun:
"One should return to one's original, true self; this is the real purpose of being human. Therefore, once a person wants to practice cultivation, his or her Buddha-nature is considered to have come forth. Such a thought is most precious, for this person wants to return to his or her original, true self and transcend the ordinary human level." (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun, 2000 translation version)
From then on, my diseases disappeared and my body felt light. It was just like Master said:
"In the past, you would be tired if you walked a few steps, but now it is very easy no matter how far you walk. You feel as if being pushed while riding a bike, and you are not tired when going upstairs--no matter how many floors there are. It is guaranteed to be this way. (Lecture Eight, Zhuan Falun)
Before when I climbed stairs, I needed all kinds of help to hold on. Now I can climb 30 steps with a single breath. Before, I could only walk very slowly and hunched over. Now I can not only walk fast but also upright. My sallow complexion became pink. Everyone around me was astonished. I knew that it was mighty Master who had rescued me, took me back from hell, purified my body, gave me a brand-new life, and made me understand how to return to my true nature. I believe in Master, in Dafa, and I believe that this is an oasis.
2. Going Through Sickness Karma
After entering the door to cultivation, I experienced one test after another. There were tests of lust, emotion, fame, fortune, and sickness. Everything depends on whether or not and how much we believe in Master and the Fa. One time, I started to prepare dinner after work. I put the pot on the stove and gave an apple to my younger daughter. Suddenly, I felt so dizzy that I had to lie down. Then I could not move, not even my neck. I felt dizzy and nauseated when I tried to move. My younger daughter said, "Mom, can you read the book?" I replied, "I would like to, but I cannot open my eyes. It seems as though the house is turning over and over when I open my eyes." My younger daughter took Zhuan Falun and said, "I will read it to you." In the middle of all this, my husband came home. He said, "Is it because of your high blood pressure?" I replied without thinking, "High pressure? Maybe it is low pressure."
I wasn't thinking when I said that. After I said it, however, I suddenly realized that it was Master who cleaned up the root cause of this disease. So I told him, "It is all right. I will be fine in a few minutes. Go and prepare dinner." After five minutes, I recovered and was fine and got up to continue cooking.
This test examined whether I firmly believed in Dafa. Because I had been ill for so long, it was testing me to see how much I wanted to get rid of those diseases. Just like Master said, "If you cannot relinquish the attachment or concern for illness, we cannot do anything and will be unable to help you." (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun, Version 2000) Those who not practice might think that this is unbelievable. Though with this test, I witnessed the power of Dafa.
3. Clarifying the Truth
Before I acquired the Fa, I was an introverted person. I was not good at talking and always blushed when I had to talk to others. After becoming a practitioner, others thought that I seemed to have changed. I could not help but to use the change in my personality as a testimony for Dafa. I talked to people wherever I went. Relatives, friends, neighbors, co-workers--most of them noticed how different I was and were sincerely happy for me. Some even followed me and learned Dafa.
After I had practiced for about a year, the evil Chinese Communist Party began to persecute Dafa. Despite the rumors and lies spread to every corner, I didn't change my mind. No matter what happened, I wanted to cultivate Dafa. I kept on learning the Fa, did the exercises, and spoke up as usual. I worked in an office at a warehouse and interacted with a lot of people, from those that worked in different management sectors down to hundreds of warehouse workers. I took every opportunity to clarify the facts to managers, team leaders, and warehouse workers. At first, some were a little bit afraid to listen to what I had to say. Later, the more I spoke, the more they were willing to listen. Wherever I went, there was always someone who said, "Come over and tell us a little bit more." There were also people who said, "It feels very comfortable to be with you." I organized my assignments very well and was able to find some slots to go to the assembly line and substitute for others for a while so that I could explain the true situation to them.
One day out of the blue, the thought came to me that I had finished clarifying the facts in this warehouse. Then it was announced that there was competition for a certain warehouse position. Even though I passed the exam, I could not stay in the same position. I had to move to another warehouse. So I was transferred to another, bigger warehouse. I knew it was Master's arrangement. I started to clarify the facts in the new warehouse. I spoke with 40 to 50 people before it was time for me to retire. However, the factory always refused my request for retirement. Then I realized that almost half of the people in that warehouse had not yet heard the facts. I put aside my wish to retire and started to clarify the facts to the other half. When I was almost done, my request for retirement was approved.
This is also our responsibility as Dafa disciples, no matter where we go. Master had said in "Fa Teaching at the 2007 New York Fa Conference:"
"Right now, one important thing that needs to be attended to is the matter of how to save more sentient beings, and it is something Dafa disciples are to accomplish during their current process of achieving Consummation. This is Dafa disciples' mission, a duty that cannot be shirked, something that they must do and must complete."
After I retired, I started to clarify the facts to relatives and friends. Whether they lived far or near, I bought a gift and visited them. One person I had not seen in 30 years. I took the train to see her and persuaded eight persons in her family to withdraw from the Communist Party. Whenever someone gets married or someone makes funeral arrangements, I try to participate as much as possible. While clarifying the facts, I try to appeal to people's conscience so that they can recognize the evil nature of the Communist Party and know that Falun Dafa is the righteous Fa.
4. Eliminating Fear
When I was almost done clarifying the facts among my acquaintances, my next step was to talk to people on the street. This time my fear emerged, and no matter how hard I tried, I still could not bring myself to go out in public and do this. All these years, I never felt that it was difficult to clarify the facts whenever I needed to. How come this time I did not know what to say in front of a stranger? For a long time, the words in my mind suddenly disappeared when I stood in front of others. I had to watch people passing by one after another because my mouth just did not open. This lasted several months. The old forces took advantage of me during those months. I had high fever for one week. When I recovered, my teeth began to hurt. I studied the Fa and started to reflect on why I was so afraid of speaking up? What was I afraid of? Was it that hard to step forward? Thinking about it thoroughly, I concluded that the only reason it could be was selfishness. I was afraid to lose face and have others report me. All I wanted was to protect myself. Master told us to cultivate selflessness and altruism--how could I be like this? So I made up my mind to go out. I thought in my heart: "Master, your disciple wants to save people today. Please strengthen me and grant me wisdom."
The first time, I asked another practitioner to go with me. As we walked down the street, I felt that I was not ready. The other practitioner started right away to tell the facts to a person passing by. Shortly after that, to another one. Seeing her so graceful and calm, I saw how far away I was from this fellow practitioner. So I "forced" myself to put down those normal human thoughts and gathered all my courage to tell the facts to strangers on the street. Because my heart was not fully ready, the first pedestrian refused to withdraw from the Communist Party. Human thoughts took control of me and I was comfortable with their refusal. I had to eliminate those thoughts, so I continued with determination. Within two hours, I had persuaded eleven people to withdraw and finally made a breakthrough.
In telling the facts face-to-face, I bumped into all kinds of persons. Some were easy to persuade, and some were not. Some said "thank you" while others said dirty words. I encountered many different situations. During this process, I got rid of many human thoughts, such as thoughts of competition, delight, vanity, fear, and more. Each time I returned home, I summarized my experience to see where I needed improvement and how many hearts were saved. Through face-to-face truth-clarification, I realized that some things cannot be stopped by just saying them. Saying that I am not afraid is not enough, I must train myself through tribulations.
5. Fa Study Group
In our cultivation, Master has asked us to study the Fa in a group. This can benefit and improve us as a whole entity, uplift our xinxing and help us understand the Fa principles. Therefore, practitioners all treasure this group study environment. I participated in three study groups every week. These groups consist mainly of older people. Each group only has one young person, at most two.
When I first started, most of the practitioners were in their 60s or 70s. Some were illiterate and there were also new practitioners. When everyone read one paragraph in the Dafa book, they all read very slowly. Some read haltingly and could hardly finish. I read fast and smoothly. However, some seniors did not like this and said that they could not hear well or understand the meaning because I read it like a textbook. Their eyes could not follow along that quickly, either. They got behind and didn't know which lines I was reading. With no other choice, I had to read slowly, one word after the other. This made me anxious at heart because I could not finish one lecture a day. Even one lecture in two days was too fast for them. Even during experience sharing, I was asked to speak slowly. Sometimes I had to repeat myself. In this situation, my normal human thoughts emerged: I didn't want those practitioners who had trouble reading or speaking to read long paragraphs. Sometimes, after we exchanged a few words, I could not help but chime in to rush them to finish the reading. When sharing experiences, I disliked that the seniors were so verbose and so slow and I was afraid of wasting time. I carried these attachments of being anxious, showing off, emphasizing quantity, and being disgusted during group study for a long time. Sometimes I even thought of giving up.
Later on, through Fa study, I realized all those were attachments and human thoughts. I didn't think about the reason why we studied the Fa. Wasn't it for enhancement? This is the best opportunity to improve oneself. If we only study the Fa and do not apply it, simply studying the Fa for the purpose of studying, then we separate Fa study from our cultivation. We become solid and steadfast through studying the Fa and sharing experiences. I knew that I should have a merciful and tolerant heart. When my heart was in the right state and others read, they seemed to read smoother. It did not even seem that they were reading slowly any more. Only then did I became interested in listening to senior practitioners read the Fa. Because they read everything word for word, it seemed like they knew the meaning of each word when they articulated it.
I had another understanding that, at the surface, our young practitioners seemed to study more of the Fa and more quickly while senior practitioners studied less of the Fa and more slowly. However, from the understanding of the Fa and cultivation, at some point, young practitioners may not be compared with the senior ones. In other words, seniors don't have that many attachments. Therefore, no matter what they encounter, they remain calm, and they move forward steadily, step by step, in the course of their cultivation.
6. A test of xinxing
It might be easier to endure physical pain but it is really difficult to pass a test of one's xinxing. At the moment when one's human mind is affected and attacked, if one does not refute it or find a shortcoming in the opposite party, it seems impossible to get over it. The longest test that I went through was with my older daughter. It lasted more than three years, but, in fact, she has been helping me. However, I did not realize this for a long time, because I always thought that I was right.
After my daughter went to college, whenever she came home during the holidays, we could only get along well for about ten days. Then we always started to quarrel with each other until she went back to school. Last year she graduated, so she did not go back to school. Thus, our conflicts escalated. We quarreled almost every day. It seemed impossible to get through a day without fighting. Sometimes I cried like a child and totally forgot that I was a practitioner. Actually, I was even worse than a normal person. At those moments, I could not see my own attachments and even denied that I had any when others pointed them out. I didn't know why the conflicts had escalated to this point. I was so angry that I complained to my parents, both of whom are practitioners. My father asked me more than once why my daughter was like that and said that I needed to look inside. My mother said that my daughter had been helping me and that I did not appreciate it--I just made trouble. I had been wondering: It was so obvious that she was wrong. How come everyone blamed me? Did I get it wrong? I watched Master's "Fa-Teaching Given to the Australian Practitioners" many times. It was Dafa that removed the hurdle in my mind and enlarged my heart. It taught me that I should put myself in others' shoes. This is how conflicts get solved. Only a pure righteous heart that truly is kind to others could turn this situation around. One day my daughter was cutting vegetables. While she was preparing the food, she began shouting at me as she held the kitchen knife. What she said was really nasty. That time, however, I didn't forget that I was a practitioner, and knew that I could not destroy her. As soon as this thought appeared, she stopped and said lightly, "Mom, I'm sorry. I don't know why I always make you angry. I don't know why."
It looks like my problem was because I didn't look inward and missed the chance to upgrade my xinxing. Now, I have totally let go of it. As long as my will is on the right track,and I do things according to the Fa, things can turn around immediately. This long-term tribulation was finally over and I had passed this test. Since then, I am more calm when things come up.
Recently, I worked with Practitioner A on a project for Fa-rectification and saving all beings. Things went very smoothly and the project got bigger and bigger. Then some human notions emerged. Another practitioner said, "You do whatever you want to, don't force others to do it; everyone has their own cultivation path." Several days later, two coordinators came and pointed out the shortcomings of the project and how it could be improved. Had this happened before, I would have been very unhappy. This time, I was calm and listened to their suggestions quietly. In the meantime, I looked inward and found that this project was wrong according to the Fa principles. Then why did fellow practitioners pick this up again and again? It seemed that the problem was not with the project but with our thinking. After the coordinators left, I discussed with Practitioner A that we need to look inward. As we had worked on this project, my ego had swollen: I was overjoyed, was attached to showing off, finishing a task, being anxious to get it done, forcing others to do things, etc. It would have been so dangerous if all these loopholes had been taken advantaged by the old forces. It was Master who tried to enlighten us. He doesn't want to leave a single disciple behind. Everything is done by Master. Master said:
"Master affirms what Dafa disciples have done. As long as you are doing things out of a wish to validate the Fa and save sentient beings, I will affirm all that you do. And when you go do those things, there will be my Law Bodies or gods there to amplify it and make what you do yet more magnificent and extraordinary, and they will assist you." ("Fa Teaching at the 2008 New York Conference")
When I wrote this article, I suddenly found my attachments that I had been seeking for a long time. I realized Fa principles that I had not understood before. I also felt uplifted. By writing this, I was able to summarize and reflect on the time that has passed and see where I need more improvement and how far I am from fellow practitioners. May Master put his mind at ease: I will continue to strive unceasingly and be a qualified disciple.