A Pure Lotus in a Chaotic World
(Clearwisdom.net) I began Falun Dafa cultivation practice in 1996 when I was just five years old. Falun Dafa rescued our family from a miserable situation. My dad had many serious illnesses, which disappeared thanks to Dafa, and my mother recovered from a low-grade fever, from which she had suffered all year round. For me, I grew up with the blessings from Teacher, and the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance have taken root in my mind. However, because I didn't understand the boundless content of Dafa for a long time, and didn't enlighten well to the Fa, I experienced many tortuous situations. Here, I would like to share my lessons.
1. The Fa Is the Most Fundamental
From primary to middle school, I had always been a straight A student. But after I entered high school, my performance became not so outstanding in the gifted class I was in. My classmates showed strong competition, which induced me to pay more and more attention to my courses. I wanted to get higher scores, and slacked off in my cultivation. The more I pursued higher scores, the worse my scores became. Even when I spent as much time as I could on learning my subjects, I didn't realize that I held onto a very strong competitive mentality, which should be relinquished according to the Fa.
I was extremely disappointed and bitter. Without any other means, I began studying the Fa and wished to find some better way, through learning the Fa, to improve my scores. This also didn't work. I still did not understand that I had a strong attachment to these scores, and with my heart pursuing something, I was not getting anything from the Fa.
At times when I was very frustrated, I read an article entitled, "The Key to a Booming Business." The article stated, "Everyday people are very strange. Why was my business doing so well during the economic downturn?" Here is the reason ... " It turns out that this fellow practitioner had used his store as a site to validate the Fa. He just focused on clarifying the truth to people who came to his shop, and persuading people to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations. Predestined people kept coming to his shop, and although he didn't deliberately seek it, his business boomed. Suddenly I realized what was wrong with me. As a Dafa practitioner in the Fa-rectification period, my mind should be on the Fa, and on how to save more people. What I had lost was what was most fundamental.
2. A Lotus Blossomed
My dad, mother and I are all practitioners, and our Dafa materials site at home now runs well. We download Minghui Weekly, a weekly journal, and make other truth-clarifying materials, such as Dafa booklets, stickers, CDs and so on. Each of us is able to work independently. A few years ago however, when we first started setting up the materials site, we had a good deal of difficulty and hardship, and fought against fear.
As early as 2006, my parents had the idea to buy a computer to produce these informational materials. We all thought that it would be good to do, but we couldn't break through our fear. We worried that running a materials production site was not safe and could be discovered by other people. These were human notions based on selfishness. Considering that large materials sites were under great pressure and it was inconvenient to deliver materials a long distance, six months later we finally bought a color ink-jet printer.
With the advancement of the Fa-rectification, we soon realized that such a small printer didn't meet our needs. It ran slow and was not efficient, and we had to depend on other fellow practitioners' templates. Another six months later, we added a computer, followed by a laser printer, which helped us become more self-sufficient.
During the process, quite a few fellow practitioners provided help to us, and one of them impressed me deeply. He always smiled quietly, did things with a mild manner, and spoke softly. Thus, he helped us recognize our shortcomings. He tried his best and used different means to explain everything clearly until I understood. I will forever remember the demeanor of this practitioner.
The process of producing these truth-clarifying materials is itself one of removing attachments. At the beginning, I often made some mistakes when printing. After my father pointed them out to me, I was far from convinced, and even felt wronged and cried. I was afraid of making mistakes and being criticized. When reading the Fa previously, where Teacher told us to look within, I always thought that was meant for others. Yet when my attachment emerged, I realized that all of Teacher's words were geared toward me,
"In your cultivation you can't always look at others. You need to look at yourselves, and cultivate yourselves. When there's a problem, examine yourself and try to find the problem on your part. When you see that something is lacking, figure out how you can do each thing well, keep your thinking right along the way, and manifest the righteous thoughts and righteous actions of a Dafa disciple when faced with challenges--now that is extraordinary. " ("Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students," April 12, 2004, in New York)
After understanding these principles, I knew that no matter what I heard, I must hold back, and not open my mouth, but instead calm down and look inside. It was important to upgrade my xinxing. Only when my xinxing increases can I be more efficient in saving people.
Another attachment of mine, while producing truth-clarifying materials, was the heart of doing things. I wanted to produce more and faster every time, and regarded it as my task. I didn't even want to stop printing when it was time for sending forth righteous thoughts. The result was certainly bad. Something often happened to the machines or they did not work well. Yet when I eliminated my pursuit of doing things, and my righteous thoughts were strong enough, everything worked smoothly, and I also felt wrapped in strong energy and very sacred.
Each truth-clarifying materials site is like a beautiful lotus flower in China. The little lotus flower in our home has lasted more than two years, and I have obtained a lot from it. In the future, I will cultivate more diligently and keep it more beautiful.
3. Eliminating All Attachments and Going Forward
Teacher said last June in New York,
"Some students haven't encountered much in the way of ordeals and have gradually become lax. This means that they have formed attachments to the various temptations of ordinary society, and been dragged down by its lure." ("Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference")
When I read the above words, I shed tears. I was one of those "some students," although I did not have many habits. For example, I didn't watch TV or play games, yet I also was tempted by everyday human lures, such as interesting novels, some detective films, delicious food, and classic poems.
I love reading and reciting those famous ancient poems. The benefit from doing that was that I could quickly memorize Teacher's Hong Yin. But I sometimes wrote some traditional and classic poems which had nothing to do with cultivation. This actually was a human attachment, and enhanced my attachment to sentimentality, plus it formed a bigger loophole.
One day, one of my classmates got a hold of my poems. He spoke highly of them and we happily talked about poetry quite a few times. I even thought that I had found a good friend, who had the same interests, and we exchanged our poems. Because he could not understand my poems which entailed the meaning of cultivation, I even wrote many everyday people's poems for him. Obviously, my attachments to sentimentality and fame had increased, but I was not clear about it.
One day he gave me a poem, which showed that he wished to have a closer friendship (to be his girlfriend). That woke me up. I remembered Teacher's words about young male and female practitioners,
"The boy and girl students in the performing arts troupe normally aren't allowed to just casually intermingle. Also, because they are so young, they are strictly forbidden from dating. Other Dafa disciples need to pay attention to these same issues." ("Fa Teaching at the 2007 New York Fa Conference," April 7, 2007 in Manhattan)
I realized that I had not paid enough attention to this issue. I went to see him and firmly told him my determination. I have since no longer written any ordinary poems.
I enlightened to the fact that when I am not firm on the Fa, an attachment can easily grow in my heart and become a kind of temptation. I think as long as I can hold strong righteous thoughts, and cultivate diligently in the Fa, I will be able to "... quietly cultivate in bleak loneliness, ... " ("Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference") to the end, and return to my true self.