Greetings Revered, Great Teacher! Greetings fellow practitioners!
I am a recent university graduate from Heilongjiang Province. I began to practice in 1995 and have already been 14 years on the sacred cultivation path, during which time I have deeply experienced the indescribable mercy, dignity, wonderfulness and great kindness of Teacher and Dafa.
Now I'd like to share some of my experiences and shallow understandings gained while studying for my Masters Degree, to exchange views with fellow practitioners, encourage us to strive forward together, and better save sentient beings.
In 2006 I was admitted to a Masters Degree program with Teacher's merciful arrangement. I shared living arrangements with fellow practitioner Wen Zheng (alias); the bedroom is usually shared by four people. We cooperated together in clarifying the truth to the other two roommates. In the beginning, the other two roommates were a bit unwilling to listen due to the influence of the evil party's propaganda. We were not moved. We sent forth righteous thoughts to clear all evil elements that hindered them from listening to the truth, showed them Zhuan Falun and the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, talked to them about Dafa and the evil party. The effect was very good. They agreed to withdraw from the party and its affiliations, and also showed admiration toward Dafa. The environment became much easier all of a sudden, and Wen Zheng and I were able to study the Fa and practice the exercises calmly and freely in the bedroom every day.
1. Turning Our Bedroom Into a Materials Production Site
In 2004, with Teacher's merciful arrangement and fellow practitioners' help and support, I established a small truth-clarification materials production site, moved my computer and printer into the bedroom, and began to produce materials.
In the beginning, I hid this from our non-practitioner roommates. Later through Fa study, I understood that making the materials secretly was due to safety factors on the surface, but it is truly sacred, honest and upright. When I enlightened to this Fa principle, my mind suddenly broadened, I no longer hid it from the two roommates, and started to do it openly. Not only they did not oppose it, but also kindly reminded me of the safety issue and provided me with convenience and protection. Indeed,Teacher said:
"When you change such that your presence is refreshing and uplifting to people, and your mind becomes broad and full of optimism, you will find the things around you to be correspondingly different." ("Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference")
Disturbances also occurred occasionally Once, I had just finished printing the materials and unbound materials sat on the table and chair. Suddenly someone knocked on the door rapidly, not the usual knock agreed upon with my roommates. Startled, I hurriedly and carelessly threw the materials and papers on my bed (I sleep on the upper bunk, so people on the ground can't see things on the bed), pulled out the computer and printer power cord, and opened the door.
Afterwards I looked inside and realized that my point of view was simply not based on the Fa; otherwise I wouldn't have been so anxious. I heard the knock while I was producing the materials, the sound was rapid and loud; the evil was using people to interfere. I should have sent forth righteous thoughts to clear the interference, instead of getting flustered and using human means to protect myself. I found I had strong fear and insufficient righteous thoughts, and hence had a lack of wisdom and ability in handling the matter. I strengthened my cultivation on this aspect, and later the amount of interference I experienced was reduced significantly. When it did occur, I regarded it as an opportunity to improve myself and therefore handled it much more calmly than before.
One day during meditation, I suddenly enlightened to the Fa principle, "focus on how you study and cultivate": when fellow practitioners do well, I shall learn from fellow practitioners, and it also contains the factor that when I do well, I shall help fellow practitioners to improve on that aspect. I realized that Teacher put Wen Zheng and me in the same bedroom not only to let us share and exchange views, but also to let me teach Wen Zheng how to produce materials. I therefore suggested to Wen Zheng that he help me make materials, but he gave the excuse of conditions not permitting. I knew he had worry and fear, so I sent forth righteous thoughts to ask for help from Teacher, encouraged him, and told him stories of diligent practitioners in my hometown assisting Teacher in the Fa-rectification. Not long after, he purchased a computer and printer, and our bedroom became a small materials production site.
2. Distributing Truth-Clarification Materials
At my university there were few practitioners and very few teachers and students understood the truth, so there were large numbers of sentient beings awaiting salvation. I enlightened to the fact that the most effective way to save them was by distributing truth-clarification materials. In the beginning, I distributed them around campus in the evening or early morning. I placed the materials on chairs or on the bleachers in the athletic auditorium where students often sat, glued stickers and materials on notice boards, basketball pillars, park gates, street lamps, on the backs of chairs, etc.
When I distributed the materials, there were also incidents that happened which were surprising but not dangerous. Once, I took over 30 truth-clarification materials and over 20 stickers to school and glued the stickers on exhibition boards and then went to the gym nearby. I had just put away my materials when a police car with blue lights flashing rushed toward me. My heart pounded all of a sudden as I thought "I am finished, I was discovered by evildoers" and the feeling of waiting for arrest froze my whole body. As soon as I thought of Teacher, I was immediately sobered: "I have protection from Teacher, and in addition I did not break any laws; it is impossible for the evildoers to discover my acts."
Once I became sober my righteous thoughts emerged. I asked Teacher for help, continuously recited the Fa-rectification formula, eliminated my fear and negative thoughts and cleared the evil attempting to persecute me. After a few minutes, the police car drove away. Although it was only 4 to 5 minutes, I felt it was a very long time, and when I sent forth righteous thoughts, I felt I became very big, as if many heavenly soldiers were beside me and courageously eliminating the evil. Indeed good or evil comes from a person's spontaneous thought! I once again experienced Teacher's merciful protection and the power of Dafa.
Gradually, I felt that I should go to classrooms to distribute truth-clarification materials, as many buildings were equipped with independent-study rooms or special rooms for exam preparation. In these classrooms students would reserve seats with books or other study materials, and the janitor would not touch them. Through observation, I found there were quite a few people when the door had just been opened in the morning, and it was very suitable to distribute the materials then. There was nobody in the many study rooms in the morning, so I inserted truth-clarification pamphlets, PVC cards, Shen Yun DVD's, and the Nine Commentaries into students' books used to reserve seats on special days such as April 25, July 20 (referring to July 20, 1999 when the persecution began), World Falun Dafa Day (May 13), the Mid-Autumn Festival and New Year's Day. Wen Zheng and I would also print some very attractive stickers and glue them on classroom blackboards or notice boards. The students who saw them all expressed admiration, and said the design was very attractive.
Once, I went to the exam preparation room in the art building, and I had just distributed half of the materials when the classroom door opened, and a schoolmate walked in. He stared at me and asked: "What are you doing here?" I was inserting a pamphlet into a book, so I seized the chance to sit on that seat: "Reading the paper," I said. After replying, I suddenly realized I should be proactive instead of passive, as I had just put a copy of the Nine Commentaries into his book. I asked him, "You study really hard; which school do you want to go to?" He replied, "I want to go to a school in another province." I stood up and said, "I won't disturb you, and I wish you success in your exams for postgraduate school!" As I carried the bag with truth-clarification materials and walked towards the exit, he smiled and said, "Thanks!" and then lowered his head to read. From this I enlightened to the following idea: print "Wishing you success in your studies," or, "Wishing you success in your exams for postgraduate school" on cards, and put the cards on truth-clarification pamphlets; this would make the students feel our kindness, and thus establish a good feeling while reading the pamphlet.
3. Clarifying the Truth to Strangers Face-to-Face
Clarifying the truth to strangers was my weak point, and I could not break through this problem. Teacher said:
"You must cultivate your mind--work hard on your own mind--and find your own weaknesses and shortcomings and then eradicate them." ("Lecture at the Conference in Singapore")
Knowing I had to break through it, after reading Teacher's relevant lectures and fellow practitioners' articles on the subject, I found the root of my weakness: fear. Teacher said:
"Fear can cause one to make mistakes, and fear can cause one to lose a predestined opportunity. Fear is a death trap on a human being's journey toward divinity." ("Pass the Deadly Test")
I made a point to send forth righteous thoughts to clear away the fear, but after a period of time, I still did not dare to speak to strangers, so I asked myself: Do you want to be the student of Teacher Li Hongzhi? Do you want to be a Fa-rectification period Dafa practitioner? If you do, why can't you do exactly as Teacher requires, and why not dare to explain the truth to strangers face-to-face? Why can others do it but you can't? Aren't you practicing Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance? What is there to fear? Teacher said:
"What's there to fear? My body would still sit there even with my head cut off." ("Huge Exposure" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
Why can't I have the compassion to save sentient beings?
With Teacher's strengthening, I received enlightenment during practice: I must break through this barrier in explaining the truth to strangers, not because of anything else other than that I am a Dafa practitioner and many sentient beings are waiting for salvation. I thought I had to grab this opportunity. I first sent forth righteous thoughts, asked Teacher for strength, and then explained the truth to someone who went through the recent Sichuan earthquake . He nodded while he listened, and it was much smoother than I expected. He quickly agreed to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) using an alias. I was very happy, and I knew Teacher was helping and encouraging me.
Since then, I have gradually started to explain the truth to strangers face-to-face.
4. Submitting Articles to the Minghui Website
I used to only read Minghui Weekly, and never thought of contributing articles to Minghui (the Chinese version of Clearwisdom). One day I suddenly realized that I had been practicing for so many years, and I should validate the Fa by writing articles that are "full of substance, and that are accurate, clean, and free of human sentiments." ("Mature") to assist Teacher in Fa-rectification. Once I realized this, I started to write experience-sharing articles. Usually it felt quite easy to write articles aimed at non-practitioners, however as soon as I wrote experience-sharing articles, I felt it was too hard, all kinds of interference occurred, and I always had this thought in my mind: "Don't worry, there are many people sending articles to Minghui daily, it does not matter if there is nothing from you; also, isn't it even better to use your time to study the Fa?" Realizing that that thought was not mine at all, I asked Teacher for help, cleared away the interference, held on to righteous thoughts, and relentlessly strengthened my main consciousness. After about seven hours, I finished my first article for Minghui. Two days later, I saw that my article was published by Minghui and suddenly I experienced a kind of happiness from my heart. This happiness was not a manifestation of showing off, but the joy that came from doing what I was supposed to do, of fulfilling my pledge. Since then have I started to submit articles to Minghui.
Once, an article of mine was used by Minghui Weekly, and I displayed a show off mentality, showing it off to my mother who is also a practitioner, and waited for her praise. Teacher pointed out my shortcoming through my mother's mouth, making me understand that the purpose of submitting articles to Minghui is to share and exchange views, not for publishing, fame or to demonstrate literary talent. From this I enlightened that submitting articles to Minghui is also cultivation.
Recently the Internet blockade by the CCP was especially tight and prevalent, and I enlightened that there was possibly a factor: some practitioners have not realized that participating in Minghui sharing is every practitioner's responsibility. Minghui is the joint project of Dafa practitioners in assisting Teacher in Fa-rectification, and everyone must participate.
We are able to see Teachers' new articles on Minghui, and practitioners' sharing articles, which shows that Minghui is the worldwide practitioners' big Fa sharing conference. It is extremely important and sacred, and regardless of whether you are outside or inside China, you should send forth righteous thoughts for Minghui! You should participate and submit your cultivation experience-sharing articles to Minghui and support Minghui.
5. Enlightenment in Looking for a Job
I graduated in July this year, but I had not been able to find satisfactory work until now (the superficial reason is my specialty, and the so-called good work units all request membership in the CCP). I was very worried, and external pressure also came along with it. Therefore I repeatedly studied Teacher's relevant lectures and read practitioners' sharing articles, and sent forth righteous thoughts to clear away interference, but there was no effect at all. I calmed down, earnestly looked inside, and suddenly discovered my fundamental attachment: my desire for the average man's so-called happy future made my faith in Teacher and Dafa impure. I had the attachment of pursuit while I studied the Fa; righteous thoughts are a sacred ability entrusted by Teacher, but I had actually violated Teacher's injunction:
"But if you use this for something a cultivator shouldn't, it won't work; as soon as the thought arises, retribution will follow or your level will drop."("Teaching the Fa at the 2001 Canada Fa Conference" from Guiding the Voyage)
I was using righteous thoughts to find a good job for myself, when really I should not! Through looking inward, I dug out my attachment and, no longer so attached to my work, the corresponding external pressure was greatly reduced.
My current understanding is: a Dafa practitioner's life is a life of practice, and this life is carefully arranged by Teacher with direct access to the heavens. So long as we follow the cultivation path arranged by Teacher, do the "three things" well and fulfill our historical mission, all happiness can be found in doing this. Regarding the so-called satisfying good work and such in human society, if it is in Teacher's arrangement I will have it, and if it's not then I should not be attached to it, as Teacher gives us the best of the entire universe.
Certainly, this understanding does not exclude the evil interference caused by one who does not do well; this requires clearing things away with righteous thoughts. However, as long as it does not affect doing the three things well and does not interfere in saving sentient beings, I won't pay attention to it. Because the current time is very limited, and the current requirement from Teacher is:
"Studying the Fa well, doing a good job of clarifying the facts, and saving sentient beings are your top priorities." ("To the Midwestern US Fa Conference")
I realized that nothing in the human world will block Dafa practitioners' diligent steps. We must remember Teacher's words:
"Cultivation is hard. It's hard in that even when a terrible calamity strikes, even when evil madly persecutes, and even when your life is at stake, you still have to be able to steadfastly continue on your path of cultivation without letting anything in human society interfere with the steps you take on your path of cultivation."("Path" from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
Teacher also told us the Fa principle that everything we come across is good for our cultivation. Understanding this, I think I will deal with everything using the righteous Fa as the starting point, use this opportunity to abandon my fundamental attachments, assimilate to Dafa, and do the three things even better.
I also realized that on the cultivation path, any "rest" and idleness is irrational, is irresponsible to oneself and to all sentient beings. There should be rock-solid faith in Teacher and Dafa as we strive forward on the path of cultivation. Through these years of practice, I deeply realized that every step forward on the path of cultivation is climbing up one layer of heaven, which is saving sentient beings in that layer of heaven!
Finally, I respectfully quote Teacher's words to encourage us all:
"The closer to the end, the more diligent you should be."
These are some of my experiences and understandings; due to my limited level, if there is anything not based on the Fa, please point it out to me.
Thanks Teacher! Heshi to Teacher!
Thanks fellow practitioners! Heshi to fellow practitioners!