1. True Elevation, Not for Show
I started cultivation in 1997. From the time I was a child, I had always wished to be beautiful and regal, so I have tried to do all I could to turn myself into a person based on that beautiful standard - I expected to be the best at everything. Gradually, I established the strong attachment of vanity. I'd become complacent when others praised me, likewise I would feel unhappy when others criticized me. To maintain my perfect image before others, I wouldn't allow myself to say one wrong word or do one wrong thing. Whenever I did something wrong, I always tried to think of ways to make up the difference or cover-up the mistake.
Once I became a practitioner I better understood that my vanity and desire for recognition were only superficial and of no substance. Looking to others for praise is against the principles of the characteristics of the universe. "Zhen-Shan-Ren is the Sole Criterion to Discern Good and Bad People" (Zhuan Falun)
Even though I wanted to be a good person, I was moving in the opposite direction from the Fa.
When I discovered what my problem was, I became so open-minded that I was very relaxed and light. I no longer worry about personal gains and losses. I am not modest just for show nor do I get upset by tribulations. I wouldn't want to put on a show of being good natured while harboring resentment inside. Thinking about "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance", guides me to know how to deal with things. I used to be very loud and flamboyant; now I am peaceful and forgiving. People say that I have changed--I realize that it is an elevation of life, not a superficial flashy substance.
2. Memorizing the Fa
In 2002, I was illegally detained in a police station and later imprisoned for the first time. During my detention I was with three fellow practitioners--we encouraged each other. These practitioners had been there for more than half a year, but they were all in a good state, as they could recite many of Master's articles. So I followed them; learning to recite Master's articles. As I can now clearly recall, the first article I learned was "Towards Consummation". One practitioner taught me to recite it word for word--consequently, it wasn't long before I could recite the whole article.
In the process of memorizing Master's articles, I found how inadequate I was in studying the Fa. Before then, I could only recite Hong Yin and a few of Master's articles. We would be full of regret for not learning enough when we needed the Fa, just as what Teacher said, "When I taught the Fa I told you before about all the problems that might occur during this malicious and destructive examination. It is indeed difficult for those who haven't truly done cultivation to come through this. Now you can see why I've often told you to read the book more, right?! The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts."
(Essentials for Further Advancement II, "Drive Out Interference")
I was determined to memorize the Fa, so within a period of one year I could recite well all of Master's articles and Fa teachings between 2000 and first half of 2003. Without memorizing the Fa, I don't know if I could have gone through that period of time that was even worse than hell, and consequently I was able to righteously walk out of that evil place.
Later on I began memorizing Zhuan Falun. I used to have human notions that it was impossible to memorize such a thick book. Later on, after I had read sharings from very many practitioners on memorizing the Fa, I made up my mind, warning myself, "Don't carry human notions; when the memorizing is going slowly, do not get upset; when the memorizing is going faster, don't become complacent; no matter how long the memorizing takes, do not give up." Finally, it took me four months to memorize Zhuan Falun. During that time, I would spend 4-5 hours memorizing three small paragraphs, but sometimes I could memorize several pages in same amount of time. However, I told myself to eliminate elements and thoughts that interfere with memorizing the Fa, dissolve into the Fa--this must be done in memorizing the Fa.
3. Solidify Righteous Faith in Cultivation
Looking back at when I first started cultivation, whenever I felt uncomfortable, I'd feel good knowing that accumulated karma was being eliminated. And it was a good thing. Whenever I came across a tribulation, I'd remind myself that as a cultivator it's a good thing, an opportunity for elevating xinxing. Thinking about this, all human notions would be gone--feeling upset, agitated, angry, worried, or trapped.
However, during the years of persecution of Falun Gong, the attachment to comfort sometimes took control. So whenever there was discomfort, the thought of taking a rest took over. Some emotional things crept in even though I knew that the problem should be taken care of seriously and promptly. The thought of "oh, just let it go for a while" took control, causing some of my demon nature to hang on for quite a while. Subconsciously, I took some hardships in my daily life as unfair and I always complained about it to others. And at the same time I blamed myself for not being good enough, wondering why I wasn't getting any better after cultivating Dafa these many years.
Calmly thinking about this, I became more aware about not really having enough righteous faith in Dafa, in other words, I didn't have a strong upright attitude. I was not treating myself as a real Dafa practitioner--when confronting problems my human notions took first command.
As far as cultivation is concerned, Teacher has explained the Fa quite clearly. If we still cannot comprehend that human notions are in the way; if we cannot overcome, that would be the problem of our righteous faith. At least, now I know, as we have come to this day, when confronting any problem, as long as I can keep this thought-- "I am a Dafa practitioner", or "this is a good thing", or "I must meet the standard" and so on, then I will be able to do better than what I have done. Furthermore, when I am doing well in clarifying the truth, that is when I am treating myself as a truly righteous Dafa practitioner.
January 26, 2009