On the Path of Cultivation
(Clearwisdom.net) "Cultivation is your own affair, and nobody else can do it for you." ("Determination" from Essentials for Further Advancement) Everyone has his or her own cultivation path. Even young children who cultivate together with their parents eventually have to determine their own path.
In 1996, while my mother was very ill, she learned Falun Dafa and regained good health. I was only nine years old at the time and was fortunate to also become a Dafa disciple. However, during the following several years, because I was too attached to playing, I was on the borderline between a cultivator and a non-practitioner. This situation lasted until I was 17 years old and going to high school. Facing the pressures of study, personal emotions, feeling confused toward life, and all kinds of physical discomforts, prompted me to again pick up the book Zhuan Falun, which I had put aside for a long time. I started to understand Dafa with my own independent mind as a grown-up, and indeed realized that cultivation is the only path that could lead me home. Thus, I started to cultivate seriously.
Although for many years I did not cultivate diligently, I knew that Master never gave up on me and had been protecting me all along. Dafa had already been deeply rooted in my heart. Whenever I went too far while facing the seduction of the human world, there was a force drawing me back to Dafa and guiding me.
On May 13, 2008, I bought a printer and started to create my own truth-clarification materials. Because I did not study the Fa diligently, and my attitude toward printing materials was not correct, after just two months I was arrested and detained in the local detention station. There, we were locked behind many steel gates and monitored 24 hours a day. Whenever we did the exercises, the guards pressured the inmates on duty to beat and curse us.
Facing these horrors, things I had never before experienced, I was initially afraid. Whenever I heard the gates open and close, my heart beat faster and faster. I remember the first time they put handcuffs on me was because I sang Dafa songs. Several inmates carried me to the hallway outside. They held down my arms and legs and cut off my beautiful long hair. I cried and felt that I did not do well. With the help of a fellow practitioner, I started to memorize the Dafa articles left by other practitioners. At the same time, I looked inside and adjusted my mentality. After half a month, they took away the handcuffs.
On October 2, because we insisted on doing the exercises, another two practitioners and I were tortured with needles while handcuffed. The first time, another practitioner and I sent forth righteous thoughts and got our hands out of the cuffs. The guards saw it from the monitor. They came back annoyed and replaced the handcuffs. Once they left, we got our hands out again. Then, they brought back two pairs of even tighter handcuffs. In our minds, we asked Master to support us and strengthen our righteous thoughts, and we got our hands out again. So, they bound our feet instead.
Facing such evil, I and another two practitioners in the same cell continued to send forth righteous thoughts every hour of every day. We continued to memorize the Fa, clarify the truth to other inmates, teach them to sing Dafa songs and write letters to clarify the truth to the guards and the director of the detention center. Our righteous thoughts became stronger and stronger. I did not think about how to get out any more. Instead, I calmed down, looked for my loophole and thought about how to do the three things well in the detention center. With the improvement of my xinxing, the environment started to gradually change.
At that time, I had not excreted waste for 16 days. My stomach bulged fiercely, my face looked purplish, and I could not even sit down. An inmate who knew the truth said sympathetically: "Little sister, it isn't worth it. Why not just give in? Why bring so much trouble to yourself?" Some people did not understand me. I was the youngest Falun Gong practitioner in the detention center so they asked why I didn't want to focus on my job and date boys, and why I was so determined to practice Falun Gong. I smiled and told them: "Some people spent their whole life looking for Dafa. Some people did not find the Fa until most of their lifetime was gone. But I found Dafa twenty years before many others. Aren't I much luckier than them?"
Whenever thinking about Master right next to me, I felt extremely happy. How could coercion change the heart of cultivators? Many times, I told the guards who persecuted me: "If one day the earthquake comes, the wall right in front of you is about to fall, if at that moment you can remember the truth that I told you, remember that Falun Dafa is good and Truth-Compassion-Forbearance is good, you will be saved, and everything we did today is worthwhile." Some guards, after hearing this, told me seriously: "I thank you sincerely for this."
Once, my brother and sister brought my father, in his 60s, to visit me. Looking at their worried faces, I only emphasized one thing: "Dafa practitioners can give up anything, including their lives. How can we be stopped by the threat of death? I will continue to practice." At that time I thought that I had given up everything, and I could not be interfered with by personal feelings. I was sentenced to one year and nine months of forced labor. They took me to the hospital three times for physical exams and tried to send me to the labor camp three times. Every time, the physical exam indicated that my health was too poor, and the labor camp refused to accept me. Staff from the detention center even wanted me to take medicine before the physical exam, trying to make it so that I would look healthy enough for the forced labor camp to accept me. I exposed their evil intentions to forced labor camp staff. With the protection of Master, after five months, I safely returned home.
I was twice arrested. Once, I was taken to the detention center. The other time, I was taken to a brainwashing session. Although I did not do anything against Dafa, I still walked the path arranged by the old forces. During this extremely precious time, I did not seize the time to save sentient beings, but let practitioners around me and practitioners overseas spend their time and efforts to rescue me.
Looking inside, I asked why I was persecuted again and again. My first problem was that my personal cultivation was not solid. Because I was always busy studying or working, I did not form a whole body with other practitioners. And because of the laziness and attachment to comfort, I did not pay attention to do the exercises. While studying the Fa, I often focused on the quantity, but not quality. Sometimes I was diligent, but after a while I became lazy again. Thus, once facing the hardship, I did not immediately recognize the problem from the Fa, and it gave the excuse for the old forces to persecute me.
Then, I realized the importance of memorizing the Fa. As a young practitioner, I have the advantage of memorizing the Fa. It only requires persistence. If I want to be a mature practitioner, I have to work hard to keep Dafa in my heart. Only by doing that, can I do the three things well and qualify as a practitioner during the Fa-rectification period.
My second problem is the attachment of lust. Since I was very young, I had longed for a happy life and romantic love in the human world. With the pollution from society, I became worse in this regard. Although I understood that I should remain pure and incorruptible, I still tended to get in touch with good-looking men. I even felt warm when someone treated me well. These were also reflected during the truth clarification. Sometimes I was under so much interference, I felt everyone was in love with me. I read quite a few articles on Clearwisdom regarding lust and desire, however, I could not get rid of my feelings, and I was also very annoyed.
Every time before I was persecuted, I experienced this kind of interference, sometimes quite severe. When I was in the brainwashing session, the authorities sent young men of my age to chat with me continuously about life and future plans, in order to decrease my righteous thoughts so that they could "reform" me. Looking inside, I did not pay enough attention to this part. Although I knew that I was wrong, I still held human notions while trying to be a god. Most importantly, I did not realize that these notions are not the real me, and I did not rectify my every thought. As a practitioner during the Fa rectification period, I carry such an important mission of helping Master and saving sentient beings. At this precious moment of saving people, if I could not even get rid of this attachment, how could I do the three things well? Getting rid of lust and completely purifying my mind are the first steps for me to take to become a mature practitioner.
Thinking carefully, I found that my fundamental attachment is still that I long for a happy life in the everyday world. I wanted to improve myself and change my fate while cultivating Dafa. One time when I was arrested and taken to the brainwashing session, I was very confused. In the past two times, I was not diligent enough, so I was arrested. However, this time I had been studying the Fa and doing the exercises every day, and I did the three things well, so why I was arrested again? As I asked myself this question, a big attachment was exposed.
The persecution I suffered during the past two arrests created a strong fear in my heart. I did not clarify the truth face-to-face as often as I used to. When distributing truth-clarification fliers outside, I was also quite afraid. I was a little indifferent toward saving people. Sometimes bad thoughts came to my mind, but I did not treat them seriously. On the contrary, I thought that as long as I study the Fa and do the three things, I would not be persecuted. With the fear and the attachments of using Dafa to protect myself, it was already not respectful to Master and Dafa. Although I did the three things well superficially, it was out of selfish motivation, and I did not sincerely consider the sentient beings in my heart. That was the arrangement of the old forces.
The Fa rectification is already at the final stage, and practitioners have been through the most difficult period. This period of time is for practitioners to save sentient beings, how could the evil interfere with it? Our compassionate Master saved us from hell, how fortunate we are! What could we not let go?
I thank Master for the compassionate salvation. During the following days, I will try my best to be a mature Dafa disciple and do the three things well. Then, I can let Master feel more relieved, and I will not fail my prehistoric vows. I also thank practitioners from Clearwisdom- you have been working hard for years to create such a beautiful cultivation home for us.