New Practitioner: Cultivating Dafa is the Path of Returning Home
(Clearwisdom.net) I began practicing Falun Dafa in the second half of 2007. It was when I went with my husband to work in a southeastern European country that I started watching New Tang Dynasty TV and became fond of its programs. I then learned about a media called "See China" from TV, and I began reading news via its website.
Initially I only read the categories of News, Health, Immigration, etc. I was not interested in cultivation stories. Back then there was a story published about a couple who was being persecuted in China because they practiced Falun Gong. I never bothered to read through it, and I was only aware of what it was about through the section titles. Then one day, the story talked about the author having studied at Cambridge. I was curious to find out why such a smart person would practice Falun Gong and not give it up in the face of persecution, so I followed the story. Perhaps it was because the author and I were of the same generation, I found her story very appealing. Right after I finished the story, I decided to read Zhuan Falun. I printed out the book from the Internet, and I instantly realized its value. Later on I also experienced physical tribulations that were mentioned in the book when Master purified my body. Due to my limited understanding, I was skeptical at the time.
In early 2008 we went back to Hong Kong after my husband completed his job in Europe. When we returned home, I got rid of the protection items acquired from Feng Shui teachers. These techniques were meaningless to me since I had decided to practice Dafa. I used to go to fortune tellers after the Chinese New Year, and I followed the practice of astrology. I stopped these things as well. But I didn't start doing the Falun Gong exercises in public right away. The excuse I had for myself was that I was busy taking care of my husband, who had just gone through hip surgery. Deep down, I knew the real reason was because of my fear. But I also couldn't let go of the desire to practice Falun Dafa. Finally, one weekend in late 2008, we woke up early in the morning and went to the park nearby to look for the exercise site.
It wasn't until February 2009, during a parade protesting the persecution that I truly felt that I was a Dafa practitioner. After spotting two Chinese Communist spies taking numerous pictures of the scene, I asked myself, "Even the Dafa disciples from China are not afraid of them, why should I be?" So I took off my sunglasses and fearlessly walked among the others in the parade. Afterwards, I got to know a fellow practitioner. She loaned me all the lectures from Master and told me to read them chronologically. I liked reading them a lot. Part of it was because of my own desire for knowledge.
Later I realized that if I wanted to be a true Dafa disciple assisting Master in Fa-rectification, I should start clarifying the truth in public. I picked a site close to where I (years ago) discovered the book Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. However, I encountered the test of cultivating away my competitive mentality the very first day. I didn't pass the test. The event made me realize the seriousness of cultivation practice.
One day a girl from Beijing, whom I recently met, called. I used to be interested in politics before cultivation, and I was in full support of Western countries' democracy. We started chatting and soon our conversation switched to the topic of democracy. The more I talked, the more excited I became. I thought I was clarifying the truth to her. However after hanging up the phone, my heart beat rapidly and I couldn't concentrate on doing the exercises at all. I asked myself, "Why did you become so excited when talking about democracy? You have started cultivation practice. Do you intend to bring these attachments with you to heaven?" Slowly I calmed down. For the first time, I felt Falun--one at the location of my heart and one rapidly rotating at my right temple. I thought, "Master is taking care of me!" The happiness of finding a true home in life was beyond words.
I used be calculative with money. Nature served me well as I had previously worked as an accountant. One time I went with some fellow practitioners after morning exercises to a Dim Sum restaurant. It turned out to be a great deal as the restaurant offered a 50% discount to off-peak customers who paid their bills by 11:00 a.m. I liked it so much that I decided to take my husband there. Soon after we had an opportunity to go. We went to the restaurant around 8:00 a.m. that day. When the check came, the bill was twice what I expected. I was surprised, but I didn't see any errors. I paid the bill, went downstairs, then up again to double check with the cashier. We went through item by item. Nothing seemed wrong, so we left.
As soon as I got home, it dawned upon me that she should have given us the 50% discount, as it was only 9:00 a.m. Unable to stand the fact that we were overcharged, I said to my husband, "We need to go back to find her." My husband replied, "Remember, you are a Falun Gong practitioner." I immediately realized that Master was giving me a hint. Finally I let go of the attachment to money. The cashier must have treated us as tourists, as my husband is a Westerner, and I didn't speak Cantonese. Had Master not turned off my "shrewdness" and instead given me plenty of time to think it through, I couldn't have passed the test. I later read "Lecture Eight" in Zhuan Falun. In it Master said,
"In this complex environment of everyday people, you should be clear-minded and knowingly lose in term of interests. When your self-interest is taken by others, you will not go to compete and fight for it like others. With different xinxing interference, you will suffer losses. In this difficult environment, you will temper your will and upgrade your xinxing. Under the influence of different ill thoughts from everyday people, you will be able to reach above and beyond."
I was afraid of mosquito bites, and sometimes I'd be awakened by the itchiness in the middle of the night. So my bedside was always equipped with ointment. One day I realized that ointment was also medicine, and that I shouldn't use it. Since I did the exercises outdoors at a park, I was more prone to getting bitten, and I once had more than ten bites on my hands. Yet ever since I stopped applying ointment, I no longer felt the itchiness, even when I was bitten. I was so excited that I spread around the story as a miracle. One day a fellow practitioner replied, "Master has undertaken it all for you." I instantly felt ashamed of myself.
Master always arranged fellow practitioners with a predestined relationship with me to interact with me so that they could give me hints at critical times. When I first started cultivation practice, I adored veteran practitioners a lot. A fellow practitioner pointed out that I should, "Take the Fa as the Teacher and not follow someone instead of the Fa." When I was counting all my attachments that I needed to cultivate away, such as competitiveness, jealousy, and vanity, a fellow practitioner said, "All [my] attachments are rooted in selfishness." When I failed xinxing tests and made my desperate comment about cultivation as a path of no return, a fellow practitioner immediately corrected me by saying, "Cultivation is a path of going home."
One young Western practitioner, who came to Hong Kong to validate Dafa, was a veteran practitioner and very diligent. I idolized him such that while doing the exercises or sending forth righteous thoughts, I was distracted by the thought of how to make his work and life easier so that he could stay. A fellow practitioner reminded me, "Our individual cultivation towards consummation is the number one priority. Everyone has his own cultivation path, which is arranged by Master, and it needs to be completed by himself." Another practitioner directed me to "Lecture Four" in Zhuan Falun,
"Someone may say, 'I'll earn some more money to settle my family down well so I won't have to worry about anything. Afterwards, I'll practice cultivation.' I would say that this is your wishful thinking. You are unable to interfere with the lives of others, and neither can you control others' fates, including those of your wife, sons, daughters, parents, or brothers. Can you decide those things?"
Sometimes when I clarified the truth in public, I'd be asked by Hong Kong police officers to show my ID. I didn't know how to handle the situation until one fellow practitioner told me, "Practitioners do not lie. However if you don't want to be searched or passively cooperate with the persecution, you can put it politely this way, 'I have an ID, but it wouldn't be in my best interest to show it to you. If you recorded my ID, would you be responsible for my safety in the persecution when I go back to China?'" It really worked. The officers nodded and walked away every time I responded in this way.
I was a curious person and liked to talk, and I didn't pay much attention to cultivating my speech. A fellow practitioner amiably reminded me that my negligence in cultivating speech might complicate a situation for fellow practitioners who were going through tribulations. One time a tourist guide didn't let his customers accept the truth-clarification flyers I handed out. I said to the tour bus "Falun Dafa is good. Good deeds beget good consequences, and bad deeds beget bad consequences." Frankly, I was only thinking, "Bad deeds beget bad consequences" at the time. A fellow practitioner immediately pointed out that because I wasn't compassionate, the words might have the opposite effect on the people I wanted to save.
When I discovered the preciousness of Zhuan Falun, I also made an English copy for my husband. Later he said, "When you first mentioned to me the greatness of the book, I instantly realized the seriousness of the situation. I knew you'd cultivate and spend more and more time on it. I didn't want to interfere. Everyone should have the right to decide the kind of life he or she wants to lead."
I felt sorry that my husband hadn't yet joined Dafa cultivation, and I knew if I didn't cultivate well, I'd push him further away. While I tried to get rid of my bad temper, I also shared with him my thoughts each time I faced a xinxing test. Through this process he could really understand my cultivation journey. I believed if he went through the experience with me, he wouldn't find it too hard to adjust to the fast pace of my changes. It turned out just as he predicted, that I became less and less interested in things I used to love doing, such as reading the newspaper, watching TV, swimming, and going to bars. Instead I spent more time learning the Fa, doing the exercises, and clarifying the truth. All of a sudden he developed the hobby of playing lawn bowling and was even busier than I was. A couple of times I felt defeated when I failed xinxing tests, but he was the one who encouraged me. I asked him, "Have you seen any improvement in me after cultivating so long?" He replied, "Yes. You've become more gentle, and you care less about money. Your skin looks better and your eyes are brighter." Sometimes I saw him telling his friends how good Falun Dafa is, gesturing to them how to do the exercises. I knew his aware side wanted me to cultivate well. Since I started my cultivation practice, his acid reflux, tinnitus, and allergies have disappeared.
I used to have some close girl friends from Tianjin, who later moved to Australia, Europe, and the U.S. I sent them the book Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, but most of them didn't care much. I thought that as long as I had my fellow practitioners, it was ok if they didn't understand me. I later realized that I must have a deep predestined relationship with those who became close friends of mine in this life. I shouldn't only interact with my fellow practitioners and ignore these friends. I need to harmonize the Fa and rectify the field around me. My friends tended to chat with me about their lives over the phone. If I switched to such a serious topic, they wouldn't get used to it, so I started writing to them via email about why Chinese people need to quit the party and the importance of it. The majority of them had quit, and I didn't give up on the remaining ones.
I also did the same with my ex-coworkers back in China. One emailed me back saying that he received a similar phone call from overseas and that he had already taken the advice and quit. How I wanted to cheer for my fellow practitioners. I was so proud of being part of such an exceptional team.
Just when I finished reading all the Dafa books and lectures last July, my husband received a new project, and we had to go back to the same country in Europe for another two years. My fellow practitioners in Hong Kong helped me with preparing truth-clarification materials, buying an exercise-music player, and lending me electronic Dafa books. I knew the sentient beings I ought to save were there waiting for me.
After moving, and without fellow practitioners, I visited the Minghui website (Chinese version of Clearwisdom.net) every day. I was often moved to tears by reading the candid, in-depth experience-sharing articles written by fellow practitioners.
When I was clarifying the truth in Hong Kong, I didn't have enough compassion. I expected people to initiate their own process of quitting the party, instead of offering to help. When I look back, I realized that Master offered salvation to me when I was still an ordinary person with filthy thoughts. How could I not be compassionate toward sentient beings? So far I have successfully persuaded over twenty Chinese businessmen here to quit the party.
I was able to find a local fellow practitioner. Often times she sent me truth-clarification materials as soon as she was done with the translation. I wanted to introduce Dafa to the people here, who are kind and simple-minded. I also downloaded the music and songs created by Dafa disciples to my MP3 player. I play the music in my car, and my husband sings along. It is such a wonderful feeling to be blessed by Dafa every day.