A College Student Matures in Cultivation
(Clearwisdom.net) Greeting Master! Greeting fellow practitioners!
I started Falun Dafa cultivation with my family in early 1999. I remember practicing the exercises with the practitioners in the morning and then sharing experiences during the day. We cultivated our xinxing diligently and recited the Fa. The persecution started right when we were enjoying this wonderful cultivation environment.
1. Getting Out of the Shadow of Fear
When I was in junior high, I was loaded down with school work, my parents were doing business out of town, and gradually I began neglecting Fa study and exercises. In my heart I knew that Falun Dafa was good and I also clarified the truth about Falun Gong to others, but few people believed me. It was very hard. My parents had been arrested before and my relatives didn't understand why I still practiced. They often came to my home to pressure us, so I tried to avoid them.
In school I wrote an article entitled, "I am most grateful to Master Li," and because of it my teacher called me in for a conversation. While talking to her the air was full of fear. I couldn't talk and my body was shaking. Because I hadn't studied the Fa well, the fear controlled me and I didn't do well in clarifying the truth about Falun Gong and saving sentient beings.
In high school my math teacher was also a practitioner and she encouraged me to cultivate diligently. Although I was loaded with school work and I didn't have much time, I put Dafa as the first priority. I sent forth righteous thoughts at lunch time and then went to the cafeteria to clarify the truth. I recited Hong Yin while walking up stairs and did the exercises on top of the building. I meditated and studied the Fa while others napped at noon. In the evening I finished my homework and send forth righteous thoughts at midnight, and then went to bed. During the school break I read Dafa books and the Minghui Weekly at home and copied good articles to compare myself against those practitioners. I shared the truth clarification material which promotes traditional Chinese culture with students. One time my teacher also read the article. Later when I sent forth righteous thoughts publicly in the dorm room, my classmates would say to others, "Stop talking. She is practicing." All my good friends quit the CCP's affiliated organizations, and they also helped me to clarify the truth of Falun Gong to others. In our last year of high school we needed to fill out a college application. I wrote "No Party Affiliation" in the field of political status. My classmates all followed my example. I am very happy for the saved sentient beings. At the time, I understood that we can create a good environment when we believe in Master and the Fa.
During my last year of high school I went to the city for art training. Although I had a lot of school work, I knew that I was a Falun Dafa practitioner and should treat the exam calmly. I didn't check my score after finishing every test. Both teachers and classmates said my mindset towards the exams was good. I used this opportunity to clarify the truth about Falun Gong. Because I was very shy, I didn't do a good job. I was jealous that teachers were nice to others and it affected the results of the truth clarification. I was severely interfered with by the attachment of fame and the thought karma of lust, especially when studying the Fa, doing the exercises and sending forth righteous thoughts. I was very upset. Later I had the thought that everyone is a relative of Master. We have to take advantage of this opportunity to cultivate and cannot destroy sentient beings. I need to cultivate myself well, and then I can save sentient beings. How could I lose focus facing the mission of saving sentient beings at this critical historical moment of transition from the old cosmos to the new one?
"Purging evil as if but whisking dust away." ("A Will That Ebbs Not") The old forces' arrangement is nothing. I often recite "Journeying Via The Way" and "Abiding in the Dao" to purify myself. I do not sing every people's songs, don't read magazines, and use the Fa to rectify myself. I distributed truth clarification materials to nearby residential buildings and clarified the truth about Falun Gong to my landlord and roommates during the last art test. Gradually the mission of saving sentient beings has become part of my everyday life. My righteous thoughts became stronger and were not interfered with by the attachment of sentimentality. Just like Master said,
"And human notions change,
The degenerate things purged,
Brightness now shines forth."
("Born Anew" from Hong Yin)
My xinxing has improved and my thoughts towards saving sentient beings have become more righteous. I use righteous thoughts to clarify the truth about Falun Gong. If others don't listen to me, I look inward and check whether I am studying the Fa with a calm mind. If someone reports me or curses at me, I check whether I have an attachment toward protecting myself and the vanity of saving face. If others look down on me, I check whether it is caused by my attachment to finishing the task or the attachment of anxiousness or seeking fame and self interest. Those attachments caused me to not have wisdom, to not have enough strength in my words so that they won't move people and Dafa's power can not manifest and sentient beings will not be saved. If I realize the attachment, I will get rid of it. There is no need to validate myself, I just need to cultivate myself.
2. Don't Miss Sentient Beings Who Should be Saved and Leave Regret
As I progressed in Fa study, I came to understand that sentient beings are the real victims of this persecution. They are kings or lords from different spheres of the cosmos, not just normal lives. They were brave enough to descend to the three realms because of their conviction that Fa-rectification would surely succeed. If we do not save them, the sentient beings from their cosmic bodies will all be destroyed. Master granted us the universal Dafa unconditionally and sacrificed so much for us. What excuses do we have not to save Master's relatives and share the worry with Master? Could any unselfish enlightened being pursue physical pleasure in this human world? I think I should use my free time at college to do the three things well. That is my duty.
One time I clarified the truth about Falun Gong to a female student in the class room. She said, "I will not join the CCP after hearing what you said. Actually one person told me that before, but she didn't ask me to quit the CCP. She cared for me a lot, which touched my heart." This reminded me that we also need to leave compassion with sentient beings, not simply want to save them. Many college students are very independent. We should not be afraid of failing to convince them. We should treat the strangers as relatives and greet and talk to them kindly, spreading the truth with compassion, pure hearts, persistence and confidence.
Gradually I started to successfully persuade several people to quit the CCP in several weeks to persuading over ten people in just several hours. In the process, I got rid of many human attachments. I did however gradually neglect sending forth righteous thoughts. One time, I was distributing truth clarification materials very well in a school and the attachment of doing things arose. I was discovered by an administrator and sent to the police station. In the police station, I looked inwards and found out that I didn't put my heart into Fa-study. I could not recite the Fa, or send forth righteous thoughts while walking like before. I was sleepy while meditating, and as a result I could not use my supernatural powers freely. I developed a strong attachment to doing things and didn't have the right thoughts toward my sacred mission. I was not respectful to Master and the Fa like before. I started to validate myself instead of the Fa and became complacent, which could destroy me and sentient beings. I felt very sorry to Master. I did not use the wisdom Master gave me so I told Master in my heart, "I must listen to Master and eliminate the old force's arrangements." In the afternoon a policeman said, "The National Security Team will come to handle the case in a while. We don't deal with this. You are still a student. If you tell us your college, you can go as long as someone comes to take you. If you do not tell us, you will be arrested or sentenced to jail." I used the opportunity to clarify the truth to him. Because I was anxious to get out, I asked my teacher to take me back.
My teacher later wanted me to guarantee that I would no longer do this. The leader of our department also said to me, "I heard you have a good score and are an honest person. We don't interfere when you learn Falun Gong to cultivate your nature, but don't spread Falun Gong." He used my work and sentimentality to "persuade" me and wanted me to write a guarantee, promising not to practice. The leader of the college also talked with me and said, "I heard that teachers from your department all like you and you are very strong. After a few sentences you started to talk about Falun Gong. It's true. I have prepared two days for this and it will work, but you have to give me verbal assurance. Otherwise, I can not explain it to the superiors." I thought that I would not give in this time and asked Master for help. After a several minute stand-off, a PHD student came in and said to me, "Belief is a freedom. When I was in college there were people who practiced Falun Gong. Don't be afraid. It's not good to promise anything." The leader then said, "You can go to eat first. You are the first one I have ever seen be so hard to change."
After seeing the Shen Yun performance, I felt that the whole world joined in the jubilation. I really wanted to pass the Shen Yun DVDs to others but fear attacked me. Later I read one of Master's teachings,
"When I say 'the appearance stems from the mind,' by that I also mean that the difficulty stems from your overstating the importance of the matter itself and seeing yourself in a lesser light. Don't take any such things to be a big deal, for with something as significant as saving sentient beings you should just do what you are supposed to do, going about it in a composed manner. When you encounter things that don't sound so good or that aren't what you hoped for, don't take it to heart, and just nobly and confidently do what you are supposed to. If you don't let the evil's interference sway you, bad factors won't arise from you, the evil will become trivial, you will become towering and massive, and your righteous thoughts will be ample. That's truly the case. " ("Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting")
I felt relaxed right away and went to clarify the truth. I met a female student who was also a practitioner. We studied the Fa and did exercises together. We clarified the truth jointly and handed out DVDs. One student submitted the DVD to the college. The leader of the college said to me, "My attitude toward you has been criticized by my superiors. Would you not distribute this in the college? " I said, "Teacher, please take a look. It's promoting traditional Chinese culture. It is really wonderful." Later I wrote a letter to him and he replied, "I understand you are disclosing the persecution and are not making trouble for the government," and also gave me a book, and said, "I was very impressed with you. You are gentle like water, but you have a strong will like dripping water wearing through rock." Thank you for Master's protection all the way.
One time I participated in rescuing fellow practitioners. There was bad weather but it didn't move our hearts. A fellow practitioner told me that her daughter is also a practitioner who lives near our college. With Master's arrangement, the four people formed a study group. We also clarified the truth at plazas, train stations and shopping centers. With a righteous field, many people said that the Shen Yun Performing Arts is good. There is a foreigner who likes Shen Yun and wanted to share it with his friends. One of my teachers also watched Shen Yun, said that it's good and felt very good after watching it. I think those are the encouragements given by Master. I also found many of my shortcomings while working with fellow practitioners. Their pure hearts touched me as they cooperated with me silently when I had an idea. I was impatient, but they talked moderately and were very sincere toward Dafa. Later I enlightened that I need to clarify the truth more calmly and rationally.
3. Cultivating Myself Well and Dissolving Conflicts
I can look inward when facing others, but in front of my mother, who is also a practitioner, all of my attachments were exposed. I didn't always treat myself as a practitioner and always wanted to push my ideas onto others and cause conflicts. During the summer break I shared experiences based on the Fa with my mother and we cared for each other during the first few days. Later I became upset because of a small thing. I know I should treat my mother as fellow practitioner, but when the conflict surfaced, I still stuck to the notion of who was right and who was wrong. For example, my mother wanted to throw away the leftovers. I said forcefully, "Do you remember fellow practitioners said Master finished up the dumplings which were half-eaten by a practitioner? Why don't you learn from that?" My mother became upset too and said, "I cannot finish it. How can you force me to eat it?" So I ate the leftovers. But that didn't change her after several times. I finally stopped talking like that. I felt that something was not right. Why did this kind of thing always happen? It's because I did not improve? Later on my mother said, "Master never forced us to do anything, he always teaches us using his own actions." I realized the influence the party culture had on me and said, "I can do it, you have to do it too."
"Thus, your actions will be a reflection of the state of your cultivation. When you are working together and you feel wronged or get angry, it's hard at that moment to reflect on your role in the matter or look within and realize what your state is or what attachment triggered that event. The majority of the time it's that [you are upset about] your suggestion not being adopted or that you looked down on someone. The manifestation of these two attachments tends to be the most intense." ("Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference")
I nonetheless didn't want to apologize due to trying to save face. Later on I saw a little girl apologize to her mother twice. Her mother said that it was not her fault. I felt ashamed in front of such a pure heart which was willing to take responsibility. If a practitioner cannot admit his or her mistake, can he/she improve? Later a fellow practitioner came by and my mother said she could not finish her food. The fellow practitioner said, "You must be too tired from work." Just one sentence showed her state of tolerance and understanding others. I found my gap. Later I visited a fellow practitioner. It was getting a little late and I said, "I need to go home. Otherwise my mother will worry." I was touched by my own words. I used to be a self centered person who was careless about others' feelings. I often felt that my mother's sentimentality was too strong and that she worried a lot. I thought that I shouldn't be bothered, and I should not be moved by her. Instead I comforted her and told her that she could send forth righteous thoughts for me when she was worried. When I talked a lot while clarifying the truth during shopping, my mother said she admired my patience. Before, she often thought that I talked too much. I said that she talks too little and so others do not have a good understanding yet. Now I do not pick on her any more. My mother said she had been through a very hard time when printing truth clarification materials, but now she is too relaxed. She realized that we need to eliminate the old force's interference using righteous thoughts. From all of this I experienced,
"While working, your tone of voice, your kindheartedness, and your reasoning can change a person's heart, whereas commands never could!" ("Clearheadedness" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
One time I pointed out practitioner A's problem with the way she did one of the exercises. She was angry afterward and said, "Cultivation is cultivating yourself. Why are you always focusing on others?" She also pointed out many of my shortcomings. I thought I should correct my issues since she pointed them out to me no matter what her attitude was. I smiled and left. In the evening when we studied the Fa together, she said she should not connect her bias towards me with today's issue and said it was good for her to point out her problems. However, she also said that I did not look inward. I remembered that Master said,
"...even if you are defending and explaining yourself with the best of intentions--still just validating yourself." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York")
If there is a problem, I will correct it. I smiled and didn't say anything. I went to bed at midnight and got up at 3:50 a.m. to do the exercises, but did not feel sleepy. I also did not feel pain after the one hour meditation. I experienced the wonder just like
"Present, but the heart elsewhere--
Perfectly reconciled with the world."
("Abiding in the Dao" from Hong Yin)
Later I heard other practitioners say to practitioner A, "Why are you are tired doing the exercise? You can take time. As long as you have the determination, you will have a breakthrough." I felt the compassion of other practitioners. There was no criticism, complaint, or arrogance in her words.
"As I mentioned before, when you speak to others with your own goals in mind, wanting to change or persuade them, no matter how reasonable your words are, other people will have a hard time completely accepting them. Nor can the words move people's hearts. Why? Let me tell you: It's actually because the words you say contain all of your thoughts." ("Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Switzerland")
I think it's what I need to cultivate. The practitioner was angry at me because I deserved it. I need to get out of the level of self cultivation, feeling good about myself. I hope I can get rid of all my attachments, that is what Master wants.
4. Righteous Thoughts Manifest Power
One time I went to another college to distribute truth clarification materials. When I reached the third floor, things went very well. My complacency then arose and I relaxed on sending forth righteous thoughts. I was then found by an administrator who took away all my materials, but I had no fear in my heart. I knew I was doing the most righteous thing. I talked with her kindly and asked her to return the materials to me. She was very fierce and said, "If you don't leave, I will send you to the Security Section." I saw that she had a security camera. How could I not know it ahead of time? It must be my loophole. I came back and sent forth righteous thoughts, and studied the Fa. I felt very guilty. I brought trouble for Master because I had attempted to validate myself, so I didn't do well. I thought that I could not allow sentient beings to commit crimes against Dafa. I need to correct problems wherever they occur. I needed to save her. The truth clarification materials were for saving people. I went to the administrator, sending righteous thoughts along the way. but she insisted on not returning the material back to me. Suddenly her husband came over and handed them to me. I again experienced
"When disciples have ample righteous thoughts
Master has the power to turn back the tide"
("The Master-Disciple Bond" from Hong Yin Volume II)
Master also arranged the best for my academics. When there were too many people trying to choose the selective class, I would wait there and clarify the truth to others. Later this class had over 100 students and I had the chance to meet many students. Sometimes I went to their dorms to clarify the truth about Falun Gong. It's very easy to connect the truth clarification with the content of the class.
Sometimes I am anxious to look for things. With Master's hints, I can find them quickly. Sometimes I planned to go out to clarify the truth and the weather forecast said it would rain, but it would turn out to be a good day. Sometimes I felt like I knew what others were thinking and I could easily remove their mental blocks while clarifying the truth. We can not allow our moods to decide when to study the Fa, or feel we can relax because we reach our goal. I think we need to use righteous thoughts and responsibility to control ourselves, cultivate ourselves more diligently and have a gentle appearance with a strong mind. We will go wherever we are needed and "Move or Become Still According to the Energy Mechanisms," while cooperating silently like one body. We can finally reach the state of opening up all the energy channels.
We are very fortunate to be able to obtain the Fa among the countless sentient beings, and have a predestined relationship with Master and become His disciples. Although we have many shortcomings, Master chose us as particles of Dafa. We can only purify ourselves constantly and keep Master and the Fa in our hearts, thinking of the fellow practitioners and sentient beings, so we will have no regrets at the big trial in the future.