Through Ten Years of Cultivation, Everything Has Been a Good Thing
Greetings to Master,
Greetings fellow practitioners:
When I improved my character I made a decision to write this article. I have thought about writing an experience sharing article for the last few years, but I always gave up because I did not have righteous thoughts. When I read the many experiences which related to writing experience sharing articles on the Clearwisdom website this year, I was touched, and thought that each Dafa disciple will be a king or a master in a small universe in the future. If each of us were to write down our experiences in an experience sharing article, wouldn’t the entire history of Fa-rectification be recorded? In other dimensions, it is also the process of clearing up the evil.
Master and fellow practitioners, here are my cultivation experiences.
Look inside, cultivate character all of the time
I learned Falun Dafa in April 1999. When I was first learning the practice, I envied other practitioners who seemed to have very few human thoughts, and I wondered why I had so many attachments. I finally came to understand that difficulties were not the problem, but that one must upgrade xinxing in cultivation. Therefore, over the last ten years of cultivation, I have tried my best to watch my every single thought, and have placed emphasis on clearing up selfishness. Selfishness is just like a wall, and many attachments are derived from it. Selfishness is the fundamental cause which has led the old universe into degeneration and destruction. We must achieve selflessness and altruism so that we can truly harmonize and assimilate to Master’s universe. When I am being selfish, my body is full of pain. This is because I am stubbornly going against the nature of the universe. To eliminate selfishness, I need to adjust myself, and think of others first, then everything will go smoothly.
Master highlighted the problem of Dafa disciples becoming easily upset when criticized in "Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan." Recently, some things happened while I was working with other practitioners that showed me that I, too, have the attachment to not being able to accept criticism.
One incident involved a situation where I seemed to be right, but the other practitioner was upset. I felt a little bit sad. I explained that I didn’t mean to be uncaring, but right away I did not feel right inside. Wasn’t I thinking about the problem from my viewpoint? Why didn’t I think about the problem from the other practitioner’s viewpoint? The other practitioner was very busy, and yet I expected others to accommodate me. In addition, the karma I owed needed to be paid back in every aspect. I didn’t treat the fellow practitioner kindly in the past. Was I really without any problems? Digging deeper, I became frightened. I have so many bad attachments, such as the pursuit of comfort and making excuses to shirk responsibilities. I should really thank my fellow practitioner. If she hadn’t behaved that way, I would have continued to deceive myself. When people criticize us or give us suggestions it is because they want us to do better. Then when we do better the projects we are working on can be completed in a better fashion. Others speak out because they’ve seen problems within us. From the cultivator’s standpoint, aren’t they being very kind? We react because the suggestion is presented in such a way that it does not conform to our way of thinking. When we react we push away the chance for improvement. This is unfortunate. As soon as we expose our attachments, others will behave as if nothing happened. In this case, when I realized my attachment, my state of mind was upgraded, and my body became lighter and more comfortable. Suddenly everything changed for the better. Now I realize that when I am unhappy, I have a problem, and it’s a good opportunity to find another attachment. As long as we can look inside and change ourselves, bad things can always become good things.
I witnessed some conflicts between practitioners. The practitioners were divided into two groups with differing opinions. The practitioners I trusted and depended on were in one group. I was biased toward this group and had my own unfavorable opinions about the other group. My opinion of the group I did not know was that they did not have enough righteous thoughts, and thought about problems from the point of view of non-practitioners. This made me unable to appreciate what they had to say and I became anxious, wondering if I should also voice my opinion and urge them to back off.
Later, I tried to calm down and understand that group of practitioners. Every practitioner is responsible for the Fa, and there is no hierarchy among practitioners. When a fellow practitioner does not understand something, it will be useless to order him to do something, because he does things according to his own understanding of the Fa. When everyone is truly modest, accepting of others' opinions, and thinking about how to do things better, then things will be done successfully. The practitioners’ behavior was just like a mirror, reminding me of my own behavior. When doing things, I tend to think I am right and I do not listen to other people’s opinions. I was actually putting myself in a higher position than others.
" As long as Fa-rectification requires it, you should do it well, and there's no room for negotiation. And don't get conceited because of your roles, and don't think you're different from others. You're each a particle. And in my eyes nobody is better than anyone else, since I scooped all of you up at the same time. (Applause) Some are more capable when it comes to one thing, others with another--you definitely shouldn't let your thoughts run wild based on that. You say that you have such great abilities and so on and so forth, but that was all bestowed upon you by the Fa!"("Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference")
When following Master’s Fa, I worked to rid myself of any factors that validated myself when something was done well. If the Fa requires something, failure will not be allowed. These are all manifestations of the Fa. Everything is Master's arrangement. What can an ordinary person create without the Fa?
In addition, Master had mentioned that when witnessing a conflict, the third person needed to consider whether he also had a problem. I seized the opportunity to look inside. I found that I was not cultivating compassion well enough. Without compassion, can a person be a cultivator? When a conflict was serious, I would get angry and behave like a bad person. Master said:
"A wicked person is born of jealousy.
Out of selfishness and anger he complains about unfairness towards himself.
A benevolent person always has a heart of compassion.
With no discontentment or hatred, he takes hardship as joy.
An enlightened person has no attachments at all.
He quietly observes the people of the world deluded by illusions."
("Realms," in "Essentials for Further Advancement")
I realized that compassion was very important. Without compassion, a practitioner is just an everyday person plagued with the attachment of jealousy, one who can never cultivate to achieve the Right Fruit in cultivation. On the contrary, a practitioner who always considers others first is the happiest. He will always be kind and good, assimilate to the characteristics of the universe, and be truly free.
Saving sentient beings and clarifying the truth
I work with Sound of Hope radio doing truth clarification. The first time I heard the Taiwanese news from Sound of Hope, I felt like I had been struck by lightning. This work is my vow, I therefore persist in doing it without letting up. Several years have passed, and we have steadfastly reached stability in terms of truth-clarification through this media. Routinely producing news has become a must in my daily life.
In addition, I was asked by fellow practitioners to use my professional expertise in political science to write articles exposing the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Later, I wrote the articles spontaneously. When important events occurred, I would be inspired and automatically ideas would appear in my mind and I could not help but to write them down. If I did not write them down to validate the Fa and save sentient beings, I would not have been fulfilling my vow. Therefore, no matter how busy I am, I find time to write articles.
Looking back over the years of cultivation, I realized that when saving sentient beings, if we always consider the whole body and the overall situation, we will be able to devote ourselves to Dafa work, because this is Master's arrangement. In recent years, practitioners have had all kinds of different ideas, and I would like to do more and different work. I really feel that explaining the truth also requires one to be focused, and if examined carefully with the Fa, it would be more effective if our truth clarification work matched our expertise. On the other hand, of course, we should do more if we have energy to spare. We need to consider every aspect.
There are exchange students from mainland China at the university I work for and I need to tell them the truth. I write letters to them, urging them to quit the CCP, and also tell them the facts about Dafa. There’s an interesting phenomenon that takes place in this process. Some of the mainland Chinese students repeatedly run into me. We may pass each other while at school, or when eating out off campus. We may see each other more than 3 or 4 times a week. Sometimes I don't see my colleagues for a long time, yet I often meet the mainland Chinese students at school. I truly feel the reason I see them over and over, is that their knowing sides in other dimensions urgently want to understand the truth, and saving them is our responsibility.
While explaining the truth, if I am not in a good cultivation state, I have strong attachments to gain and loss, and competitiveness, and I really hope the people I am talking to quit the CCP immediately. I become anxious, start thinking like an ordinary person and sometimes I even begin to argue with them. When someone quits the CCP verbally but not truly from their heart, they cannot be saved. Therefore, I watch my mindset carefully when clarifying the truth. Basically we have to have good intentions toward people and be full of compassion. When I think of Master’s compassion for all sentient beings, I realize that I am just a carrier to help them understand the truth. Master has brought this person to me to be saved and when I hold this in my heart, my attachments to loss and gain vanish. I also put emphasis on eliminating an aspect of selfishness—the attachment to protecting myself when explaining the truth. When I am in a good state, with strong compassion, devoid of selfishness, always confident that people can be saved, then the result of saving people will be very good. Usually 7 to 8 people out of a group of 10 will agree to withdrawal from the CCP. Consequently, if we want to do well in saving sentient beings, we must cultivate ourselves well.
Cultivating in Human Society
Dafa is boundless; therefore, we can cultivate in human society and save people from different social classes. I have tried to put an emphasis on doing the three things, and take my job lightly. Miraculously, I always do my ordinary job well. I understand that as long as we walk our path well, Master will open up our wisdom, and we will naturally perform well. To show my respect, I have complied with Master’s teachings, tried my best to help classmates, and studied earnestly. I always got good grades, and this helped the people around me to have a proper understanding of Dafa. I have accomplished the three things well, while fulfilling ordinary people’s expectations. I take ordinary daily life lightly; therefore, the path has become broader and broader.
Recently, there have been many articles related to using supernormal powers on the Clearwisdom website. My personal understanding is, as long as we have strong righteous thoughts, supernormal powers can be used freely. Once there was a problem with my computer, and that problem seemed peculiar. When I typed one word a different word appeared on the screen. I sent forth righteous thoughts right away and communicated with my computer, and hoped that it could overcome the interference and work again. After sending righteous thoughts the first time, the problem was solved by 50%. When I sent forth righteous thoughts again, the computer worked perfectly. I wasn’t surprised, and felt it was quite normal. Dafa disciples have had many of these experiences. I remember a fellow practitioner had mentioned in a Clearwisdom article, "When we truly believe in supernormal powers, it’s like turning on a faucet. When we turn it on, the water will naturally come out, and no one will doubt if the water is going to come out or not." In the book Zhuan Falun, Master said that practitioners use supernormal powers to do things. In fact, every true Dafa disciple has many supernormal powers. Only when we truly change our ordinary human notions, can we use our supernormal powers endowed by Master to eliminate the evil and save sentient beings.
On my path of cultivation, I have come to fully appreciate that having attachments is not a big problem. All we need to do is to face the attachments and eliminate them, then all bad things will become good things.
"But in reality, what human society takes to be truths are, from the perspective of the cosmos, inversions of truth; when humans go through hardship and suffer it is so that they may pay off karma and thereby have happiness in the future. A cultivator thus needs to cultivate by correct and upright truths. Going through hardship and suffering is an outstanding opportunity to remove karma, be cleansed of sin, purify the body, elevate your plane of thought, and rise in level--it's an extraordinarily good thing. This is a correct and upright Fa-truth."("The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be")
I have an attachment of not wanting hardship in cultivation. I don’t want to endure more hardships. I have another notion. I wonder why I can’t eliminate all of my attachments and jump out of an ordinary human level. I know that everything I do will be successful, and there won’t be any obstacles. Yet, I stubbornly fight with my human attachments and feel a lot of pain. This thinking is still based on selfishness. It is the attachment of pursuit. I try to eliminate the attachment with an attachment while hoping I can cultivate comfortably. But this cannot be done without righteous thoughts for qi is only qi.
Master told us that while cultivating Falun Dafa we are practitioners, not gods. I understand that we may have human attachments up to the last moment before consummation. Master said to separate ourselves from our aching legs while meditating. My understanding is we shouldn’t be moved by pain and suffering. Master said: "we need to always have a compassionate heart and calm mind." (Zhuan Falun) As long as we try our best to be stable, peaceful, and hold a compassionate and calm mind, we will strive forward in cultivation. It is not realistic to ask for the elimination of all human thoughts and attachments while still being human. That is a kind of pursuit—the pursuit of having a good and comfortable life. In fact, if we constantly learn the Fa well, look inside and do the three things well, we can turn every bad thing into a good thing. If we think too much, it will become an attachment.
It has been ten years since I started to cultivate. I truly thank Master for saving me. An ordinary person like me who was full of karma found the reason for living, which is to return to my original, true self. I can walk on the path of godhood and save sentient beings. The process of cultivation is actually very normal for it involves striving to do everything I should do. Of course, I still have a lot of shortcomings, such as the pursuit of comfort and ease, and sentimentality, and I also haven’t completely eliminated my hopes and aspirations for this life. But I firmly believe that as long as I am constantly refined in Dafa, everything can be truly changed, and I will fulfill Master's arrangement.
Let us all improve together. Let us carry out Master's words, "The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be."
Thank you, Master!
Thank you all!