Let Go of Human Notions and Walk on the Divine Path
Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I am an influential person in my field of work, which is filled with an abundance of intellectuals. When the Minghui website started to solicit contributions to the Sixth Internet Experience Sharing Conference for Practitioners in China, I dared not pick up my pen because I felt I was doing poorly in all respects. Later I shared with fellow practitioners and I realized that even though I had many attachments and shortcomings, the process of writing an experience sharing article is that of looking within myself, summarizing my actions, and rectifying myself as well as that of cultivating my heart, improving myself, and validating the Fa. Finally I decided to summarize my past experiences and identify my problems and shortcomings. I would like to share my cultivation experiences during the past several years.
1. The Difference Between Humanness and Godhood Is Only One Thought
I started practicing Falun Dafa in 1997. Before that, I had experienced big ups and downs in my life. Not long after I started working, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) attacked me. I was criticized by the Youth League members and classified as an "internally controlled member." I even wanted to commit suicide when I was helpless with despair. After the Cultural Revolution, I won numerous awards for excellent performance at work. Despite the flowers and applause, I felt the bitterness and pain in life. My heart was seriously hurt while fighting for fame and other self interests. Moreover, I was overloaded at work and various diseases almost took over my life. I suffered congenital aplastic anemia, which later led to my organs shutting down. I questioned the meaning of life. I was puzzled and lost. I tried some qigong practices, but in vain. I placed my hope in Buddhism, but found that monks were pursuing money. I lost heart. Three practitioners happened to introduce Falun Gong to me at that time, and I was fortunate to start practicing in February 1997. I finished reading Zhuan Falun without interruption. I felt strongly that I had found what I had been looking for. I was determined to cultivate in Dafa until I succeeded.
At the beginning, due to so much karma, I could not even sit still without crossing my legs. My feet were extremely stiff and my knee joints were deformed. My legs looked like they formed the shape of an X when I walked. Gradually I was able to do the single-leg crossing, but I still felt extreme pain. Sometimes I was in so much pain that even my heart felt as if it were trembling. However, as soon as I finished the meditation and left the practice site, I felt a refreshing breeze gently touch my face and my heart felt extreme delight. Two months later, all of my diseases were gone and my entire body felt light. I enjoyed feeling free of illness for the first time ever.
Several months later, I was able to practice sitting cross-legged, but I felt a swelling pain all over and could only sit like that for a few minutes. One day at the practice site, when I was about to cross my legs, I heard three bangs that sounded like gunshots. My enlightenment quality was very poor at the time. I didn't realize that Teacher was adjusting my feet and legs and removing my karma. My human notion surfaced and I thought something was wrong with my feet. It was clearly visible that my feet were troubled. It is true: The difference between humanness and godhood is just the difference of one thought. My thought at that moment led to different consequences. As a result, I suffered much pain in later days. Immediately I could not touch the ground with my left foot. When I did, I felt extreme pain and my knee joints would pop loudly. The other practitioners had to take me back to my home.
During the day I listened to Teacher's Fa lectures nonstop. Because I maintained my xinxing well, Teacher soon rectified my body. I felt like I was sleeping on a huge Falun, rotating constantly. Three days later I discharged many dirty things from my body. During that time, the swelling in my legs and feet was greatly alleviated. My relatives also tested my xinxing during that period when they expressed worry about me and tried to persuade me to see the doctor. My younger sister told me that when she lived in the countryside she had seen a person who had the same symptoms that I had. As a result of that person not seeking medical treatment, he became handicapped. I was very determined and told my sister, "I am a Dafa disciple. I am a practitioner. This is not an illness. I am eliminating karma." I firmly believed that I could break through the pass as long as I believed in Teacher and Dafa.
I lay in bed and could not move my feet. My left leg joint was very swollen, and even the slightest movement was extremely painful. I knew it was because of my karma accumulated throughout different lifetimes and that I should treat it with righteous thoughts and endure what I should endure. I decided not to go to the hospital or to use any ordinary methods. I firmly believed in Teacher and the Fa. I kept reciting Teacher's poem:
Tis not that the journey of cultivation is painful,
Karma from generation upon generation is blocking you.
Steel your will,
And become a Buddha who keeps forever the human body.
("Cause and Effect" from Hong Yin)
Thanks to Teacher's compassionate protection, about 20 days later, I could walk again. Teacher arranged for me to study in a very diligent Fa study group. During the period of my eliminating the karma, practitioners frequently came to see me, shared their cultivation experiences with me, and encouraged me to break through the tribulations. As soon as I could walk with a limp, I went back to the Fa study group. The following evening, I read Lecture One of Zhuan Falun with my fellow practitioners. We shared cultivation experiences and exchanged our understandings about the Fa. We were bathed in the Buddha light and felt an atmosphere of serenity and compassion. My body was soon rectified. After that, I could sit in meditation for one hour. Now I walk fast and light and my legs do not look like an X anymore. My friends and relatives witnessed how I changed. In the meantime, they witnessed the wonder and supernormal power of Dafa. I felt I was at the happiest and most wonderful moment in my life.
2. Let Go of Human Notions and Validate the Fa
On July 20, 1999, the CCP initiated a brutal crackdown against Falun Gong. The CCP spread rumors and slanders all over the country through media propaganda every hour of the day. We went to the provincial government to appeal for the right to practice Falun Gong. We firmly believe that our Teacher is innocent and great. We firmly believe there is nothing wrong in following Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Despite armed police officers and whistling police cars and evil propaganda broadcasting everywhere, we were not afraid at all. At approximately 4:00 p.m. that day, officers forcefully pushed practitioners into the police cars. We shouted, "There is nothing wrong with being a good person!" They took us to a stadium in the suburban area. Everyone was ordered to register. At approximately 7:00 p.m. we started practicing the exercises together as usual. Under Teacher's compassionate protection, I returned home safely at midnight.
When I arrived home, my daughter told me that my friends and colleagues had called me again and again. They were worried about me and afraid that I would be hurt. They did their best to persuade me to stay at home. I couldn't hold back my tears in front of Teacher's picture. I was determined in my heart that no matter what happened, I would firmly cultivate Falun Dafa.
To validate the Fa, many practitioners from different parts of the country went to Beijing to appeal for Falun Dafa, sit in mediation, and unfurl banners on Tiananmen Square. Some practitioners in our Fa study group also went to Beijing or the newspaper agency to convey the truth about Falun Dafa, but later they were all detained or sentenced to forced labor. I admired them very much and felt that I should also speak up for Dafa. However, at that moment, human notions surfaced: I was an influential person in society, and my husband and son were timid, so I was afraid that they wouldn't be able to shoulder the burden. I gave up the idea of going to Beijing. Under huge internal and external pressure, I was in agony and couldn't sit still, though I still insisted on studying the Fa and practicing the exercises every day. Teacher's Fa echoed in my mind, one sentence after another. Teacher scooped me up from hell and cleansed me. Teacher led me, a human being full of karma, to walk on the divine path of cultivation. As a true cultivator, how could I sit here and keep silent while Teacher was being slandered and defamed and Dafa was being persecuted? Why didn't I dare to speak up for Dafa? I blamed myself and felt guilty. I had to disintegrate these internal and external barriers that prevented me from stepping out to validate the Fa.
In June 2000, after sharing with several fellow practitioners, we decided to go to Beijing to validate the Fa. One day in late June, we went to Beijing by train. As soon as we walked out onto the platform, a police officer stopped me. He asked me, "Are you a Falun Gong practitioner?" I said grandly without hesitation, "Yes, I am. (I didn't know how to rationally deal with that kind of situation at that time.) Falun Gong purified my soul and body. Isn't that good?" Immediately another practitioner and I were taken to our local government's liaison office in Beijing. Later we were taken back to the local detention center. We kept on studying the Fa and practicing the exercises every day while we were detained. We also made the best use of our time to clarify the truth to inmates and police officers. One month later, we were released.
After I returned home, I realized that my family had suffered a lot after I went to Beijing to appeal for Dafa. My husband fell out of bed in the middle of the night while he was asleep. My daughter had a nosebleed that was difficult to stop. My son came down with a fever that lasted for a long time. During that time, almost all of the practitioners who went to Beijing to appeal were persecuted. Most of them were fired from their jobs or had deductions taken from their paychecks so they were paid only a limited amount for living expenses. I prepared myself in my mind for this. At that time I didn't know that we should completely deny such persecution. I was afraid that my husband wouldn't be able to bear it, so I told him what I expected . My timid husband said resolutely, "Since you have already stepped forward, from now on we will face the difficulties together." His words gave me so much comfort. One day I explained the truth about Falun Gong to a police officer who was responsible for our community. He asked my husband who was standing beside me, "What do you think?" He said without hesitation, "I support her and understand her belief." During the past ten years, my husband has stood beside me while I validated the Fa. This changed my thoughts about our marriage. I used to believe that I was better than he and that we were not well matched. Now I believe he is the best fit for me. The gods arranged for him to help me assist Teacher in validating the Fa. We are grateful for our predestined relationship. It's his fortune to have become the husband of a Dafa practitioner.
Not long after I was released from the detention center, word spread and it caused a stir at my work. Though my supervisors knew me well by my performance and quality of work, they still felt pressure from their superiors. I made the best use of my time to tell them the truth about Falun Gong and gained their great sympathy and understanding. Finally, under Teacher's protection, they didn't cause me any trouble. In the meantime, I explained the truth about Falun Gong with great patience and a peaceful mind to a police officer who monitored me. I told him that Falun Dafa is a great, high-level cultivation way of the Buddha school. I told him about my great improvements after I started practicing Falun Dafa as well as the happiness that Falun Dafa brought to my family. I told him some stories of fellow practitioners who improved their spiritual level after practicing. I told him that Falun Gong is a pure field. I told him that our Teacher taught us to look within while in conflict, and our Teacher doesn't want anything from us--he just wants our hearts to be good. I said what was broadcast on TV and in the newspaper was all slander and rumors. The more I told him about Falun Dafa, the more excited I was. He was shocked. From then on, he never caused me any trouble and protected me secretly.
3. Disintegrate the Barriers and Save People with Compassion
Working with so many intellectuals, I always felt it extremely difficult to persuade people to quit the CCP. One time I made an appointment with a friend who was knowledgeable and cared little for fame and self-interest. I was well prepared before meeting him. I didn't expect him to be so seriously poisoned by the CCP's lies and propaganda. He was resentful when I brought up the topic. He urged me to change the topic. At the moment I was very sad and disappointed. From then on, though I kept on doing the three things, I always felt restricted and couldn't clarify the truth freely. It seemed that an intangible rope was binding me and preventing me from marching ahead.
What was that rope? I figured it out while rolling in pain and looking within with my broken heart. It was my acquired notion. It was the selfishness that protected me from being hurt. Due to my experiencing rocky times in my life, I had developed a strong sense of self-protection, which had been deeply rooted in my mind. My attachments of fear and hesitancy were exposed completely while I was persuading people to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations.
"The more you put you first or mix in [factors of] self, the less mighty-virtue you have, and that's why it is less likely that you succeed at things or do them well. Dafa's things should be the most sacred, and that's why the less you have of your own notions and involve your own factors, the better you can handle them and the more likely you are to succeed."
("Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students")
I realized that I would not be effective in persuading people to quit the CCP while I held human notions and the attachment of hesitancy. From then on, I let go of all my notions and held on only to the thought of saving people and giving goodness to people while clarifying the truth to them. In the meantime, I also felt free of pressure and barriers. Actually, it is unnecessary to get prepared beforehand. As long as I have righteous thoughts, I can speak fluently. Moreover, I can clarify any questions that arise. In most cases people agree to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations.
Once I clarified the truth to a friend who worked in scientific research. My heart was sincere in trying to save her and we talked from 10:00 a.m. until 6:00 p.m. Neither of us wanted to end the conversation. She talked about her painful life experiences and I talked about my painful pursuits in life. I talked about the cultivation of Falun Dafa, which made me understand the truth of life. I talked about my great physical and spiritual changes after practicing Falun Dafa. I talked about the cruel persecution as well as the prophecies and warnings that heaven is eliminating the CCP. As I encouraged her to quit the CCP, she listened to me attentively. Magically, she had reactions during our conversation. Teacher's fashen was adjusting her body. She immediately agreed to quit the CCP and soon started practicing Falun Dafa. Not long after she started practicing, two hospitals concluded that her Stargardt's Disease had disappeared. She experienced the supernormal power and wonder of Dafa on a deep level. Now she perseveres in studying the Fa and practicing the exercises.
We are living in a material world where human morality is declining rapidly. In such a world with so many mortal beings, people's craving for material things never seems to be satisfied. Many people are troubled and have questioning hearts. They even feel empty inside. I could figure out their attachments and trouble as I talked with them. I helped them break the illusion through the principles of Dafa. I also talked about my own perception of life through cultivation. They felt that I could touch their hearts. Sometimes they felt their hearts were shaken. For instance, when my niece was home on vacation, I clarified the truth twice to her and persuaded her to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations. She received a doctoral degree and worked in another city. Later she told her mother (my younger sister), "It feels comfortable to talk with my aunt. Sometimes I feel my soul is shaken." Actually, I know that all of this was done by Teacher, not me. It's Teacher's mighty power that touches the bottoms of their hearts and shows them the truth. If I left Dafa, I would become vulnerable and insignificant. What would I do then? This is Dafa's mighty power and Teacher's mighty power.
One time I clarified the truth to a cousin who misunderstood Dafa and had practiced another qigong school. At the beginning she was resentful of my words but I was not dissuaded. I went to visit her several times despite the hot weather, trying to persuade her to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations. Finally she was moved and agreed to quit the CCP. One day she called me and told me a bit of good news about her father (my uncle), who is more than 80 years old. His thigh bone and shin bone were fractured and studded, so he walked with great difficulty. The following day after I told her about Falun Gong in her home, her father could climb the stairs by holding onto the rail. She said, "I think it's because of you."
The above example is not the only amazing story. Here is another: One time I clarified the truth to a classmate, who was already 60 years old. She happily agreed to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations. One day she was in an accident with a car. A minivan hit her and knocked her several meters away. She was bounced back underneath the van by a magical power. After a while, she crawled out from beneath the van. Her family thought she could not have survived the accident and took her to the hospital. It was a wonder that the exam showed that her brain and internal organs were not seriously injured. She recovered after she was in the hospital for less than one month. As soon as I saw her, she said excitedly, "It's you who saved me!" I said, "No, it's not me. It's Teacher and Dafa who saved you!"
I let go of human notions, disintegrated the internal and external barriers, and clarified the truth to friends, relatives, and colleagues with compassion. So far, I have successfully persuaded more than one hundred people to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations. However, I am not doing well in persuading strangers to quit the CCP. But I believe that along with the process of Fa-rectification, I can break through and save more sentient beings as I study the Fa and improve my heart.
4. Look Within While In Conflict
As Fa-rectification continually pushes ahead, the environment seems looser than ever. My human attachments gradually surface while in conflict with fellow practitioners.
My niece's step-mother is a practitioner. She had experienced a failed marriage and later she was badly hurt while in conflict with my niece. For a period of time she couldn't let go of her past. One time she talked about her past experience and conflict with my niece. At that time I was in a hurry, so we didn't talk further about it from the perspective of cultivation. Moreover, I had just gone through the interference of a sickness demon and was afraid of being interfered with again by her attachments. I was very worried. I pointed out her problem in a commanding tone and said she shouldn't be attached to the past or be resentful of ordinary society. I also told her, "You should look within." Another time, she mentioned to me again about her conflict with my niece, in quite a bit of detail. I was intolerant and blamed her, "Let it go. It is all over. Why are you still troubled by these trivial things in your past? Are you doing true cultivation or sham cultivation?" My words irritated her very much. She couldn't get over it, so she called me and asked, "You told me to look within. Why don't you look within?" Her words awakened me. Yes, I should also look within. What on earth was happening to me? What human attachments was I still holding on to? Later I studied the Fa attentively and all of a sudden I understood: This was to expose my mentality of showing off and not being compassionate. I was too opinionated. I was not patient and calm enough to listen to others. I did not put myself in her shoes to understand her difficulties and pains. How could I open her heart when I was not compassionate and tolerant? I always judged others by my own rules and standards. I only wanted to change others and not myself. Having been poisoned by the CCP culture for a long time, I had developed a strong mentality of showing off and competition. I liked to be in a high position instead of keeping a low profile. Therefore, the nature of selfishness and ego were exposed completely while I was in conflict with fellow practitioners.
After looking within myself this time, I came to deeply realize that life could be elevated through selflessness. That is, wherever we are, we should treat everyone with our compassion and consider others in every single thought. We should be more compassionate and tolerant of our fellow practitioners and harmonize with each other well.
As Fa-rectification continually pushes ahead, a large amount of evil has been eliminated and our cultivation environment is getting looser. Gradually I developed an attachment to ease and comfort in this earthly world. I felt very painful and tired in the past period of cultivation, so I thought about letting up. One time during an experience sharing in the Fa study group, I talked about my recent cultivation state and some thoughts about it. Unexpectedly, a practitioner interrupted me and said, "How could your pain compare with what Teacher has suffered for us? You have too much karma. Teacher has eliminated it for you and developed such a loose cultivation environment for you. Is this for you to enjoy ordinary life? It's for you to make good use of your time to study the Fa and save more sentient beings." Hearing these words, I wanted to defend myself, but I held back. Returning home, I felt uneasy and heartbroken while giving up my attachments. I thought of Teacher's Fa:
"For a cultivator, looking within is a magical tool."
(from "Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference" )
Which of my attachments did my fellow practitioner's words target? I thought for a while. In recent days, I had not been as strict with myself and I was letting up in my practice. I felt sleepy when studying the Fa. The effect was not good while I was clarifying the truth to people. Teacher hinted to me several times, but I was still not awakened. Today compassionate Teacher used a fellow practitioner's mouth to whack my head and wake me up:
"The will to be diligent never bowed "
("Steadfast" from Hong Yin II)
Since the beginning of Fa rectification, Teacher has suffered much for us. However, the evil persecution is still going on and so many sentient beings are still waiting to be saved. We haven't yet completed our historic mission and responsibility. What reason do we have to let up? Teacher warned us,
"The closer it gets to the end, the more you cannot let up; the closer it gets to the end, the better you must study the Fa; the closer it gets to the end, the stronger your righteous thoughts must be. "
("To the Canada Fa Conference")
After looking within, I figured out my fundamental attachments. I felt at ease the following day. During the lunch break, I saw many pink petals unfolding and then revealing four Chinese characters: "Bo Da Jing Shen"(pinyin, means "the most profound"). It is true. Buddha Fa is the most profound. Human principles and divine principles are opposite. The human way of thinking is to look outward and seek outward, while the Buddha Fa requires us to look within and cultivate ourselves. Recently I studied Teacher's "Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan." I am clearer at this point: None of the conflicts we have are a coincidence. They are all good opportunities for us to improve. From the bottom of my heart, I appreciate that fellow practitioner reminding me. I am grateful for Teacher's compassionate hint.
Even the most beautiful language still couldn't express the wonder and magnificence of Dafa. No earthly means could adequately express our reverence for Teacher's saving grace. Buddha's grace is infinite. In this very end of the end moment during the Fa-rectification period, we should be ever more diligent and do the three things well with our pure hearts. Only then can we live up to Teacher's compassionate saving and live up to the honor of being Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples.
If you find anything inappropriate, please correct me with your compassion. Heshi.