Restarting Cultivation and Becoming a Genuine Dafa Practitioner
(Clearwisdom.net) When I was young, under the influence of my parents, I liked doing qigong practice and visiting Buddhist temples. In 1995 my father started practicing Falun Gong and gave up all of his former qigong practices. I usually joined with him in the Falun Gong morning group exercises and I especially liked to listen to the founder of the Falun Gong's audio tapes. However, I never took Falun Gong seriously.
Last year I attended an international Fa conference in Washington DC, where I joined in a group exercise for the first time since 1999, the year the persecution of Falun Gong started in China. I was glad that I could do the Falun Gong exercises together with other practitioners again, but I felt very sorry for not having genuinely practiced since I was young.
After I returned from the Fa conference, I started to think seriously, "Ten years have passed. Why has Falun Gong, which I liked so much when I was young, been persecuted so severely for such a long period of time? Is Falun Gong good or bad anyway? I must make my own judgment." I picked up the Falun Gong book Zhuan Falun again and was astounded to realize that "Falun Dafa is good." I was so familiar with such words before, but it was only then that I truly realized their underlying meaning.
The teachings taught by the founder of Falun Gong are purely righteous; they teach people to be good and thus, walk on a righteous path in their life. There have been many of such teachings throughout Chinese history, yet none of them explicitly point out the essence of the path. In my understanding, the path involves genuinely cultivating ourselves by following high moral standards and always considering others before ourselves out of unselfishness and altruism. If this is not good, then what else can be good? This is undoubtedly the most righteous path.
Trusting the the Falun Gong Founder as a Teacher
It was not easy at all for me to pick up Falun Gong again. I thought I had only two options regarding whether to believe in Falun Gong or not: either yes or not at all. If I did not believe in it, I thought I should let it go and be an everyday person entirely. If I believed in it, then I should trust every word of the founder's teachings and do everything he says to do.
I once was confused by a part in a Falun Gong text, and my faith in Dafa wavered. As a result, I indulged in watching TV dramas on the Internet deep into the night every day. My parents were diligent practitioners, and they were very anxious about my cultivation status. I asked them dubiously: "Why do you believe in the Falun Gong founder so firmly?" As a matter of fact, as a person who has experienced the peacefulness and joy brought by Dafa, it is simply impossible for me to go back to being an everyday person. I genuinely have perceived the bitterness of being a non-practitioner, so I must be entirely faithful to Teacher. After a long hesitation I finally decided to walk the path arranged by Teacher.
In my Fa study I found all my puzzles were solved, so I simply studied Fa with a peaceful mind without being afraid that I might run into problems. Whenever I had spare time I would study the Fa on the Internet, holding that I must be diligent so that I could catch up with other practitioners after having fallen behind them for so many years. As I read more my xinxing improved little by little. I also listened to Teacher's audio lectures when I walked or drove a car. My mind and body were cleansed and purified by the mighty power of Dafa. I was unwilling to stop listening. At school I recited the Teacher's poems in Hong Yin when I was free. I had recited some of them when I was young but never really understood them. Now I understood them and was very moved.
Realizing that I have so much to catch up on, I studied the Fa in chronological order. I believed that to understand and accept the later Fa lectures, I must first improve my xinxing by reading the earlier Fa lectures. In some cases, I would deliberately wait some time for my xinxing to improve before I started to read the follow-up Fa lectures. It took me about six months to finish reading all of Teacher's Fa lectures.
As such, Teacher brought me back to Dafa with its mighty power. There is not a standard of measurement for our faith in Teacher and Dafa. Instead, we build up our faith in Dafa through our Fa study and ascend in our cultivation step by step. Some part of Teacher's Fa lectures are very hard to understand but we can understand more and more in the process of our xinxing improvement. Why do I cultivate, what is actually cultivation, why does Teacher bring us such a magnificent practice, why has he brought us to high levels, and what are the responsibilities of Dafa practitioners? I came to know the answers to these questions only after I restarted practicing Falun Gong: I have come to this world to save sentient beings.
My Mind Purified through Fa Study
When I was young, I was very obedient to my parents, but I became irritable and aggressive when I grew up. When I restarted practicing Falun Gong, I could physically sense the karma rampant in my body and brain. I thought I was already too degenerate to do cultivation practice. Now I have a definite answer: studying the Fa is the only way to purify the mind, as Dafa has a power that is unimaginable to the human race.
Having been an everyday person without Dafa for ten years, I had developed a very unstable and sensational personality. When I was low in spirits, I felt like I was in hell. One night not long after I studied the Fa, I was reminded of a matter that made me suffer. I told myself to tolerate it although it was hard to tolerate. I pressed my chest and tried to placate the pain in my heart. I suddenly came up with a thought: "This is actually not real forbearance. How can it be that I am forbearing when I have such a furious mindset? I should be have a peaceful mindset free from any anguish. Only under such conditions can I be genuinely forbearing." Miraculously, the pain in my heart went right away with such thought, and I was filled with peacefulness and joy again. Before, it would have taken me several days to calm down.
I once felt that I had been mistreated, so I burst into tears and even rolled on the bed in grief and anguish. I tried to calm down, but my mind became even more unsettled. Then I got up and started to read Zhuan Falun. After a little while, my negative emotions were gone and the thought karma was eliminated instantly.
Several days ago I was confronted with a problem that puzzled me. I hesitated on how to solve it because I was not sure which was the right solution that Teacher wanted. With an unstable mentality, I started to read the Fa. After reading a short paragraph, I successfully calmed down and found the solution to my issue. I knew Teacher had purified me and rewarded me with wisdom when I studied the Fa.
Improving with My Family
All the three members of my family were quick-tempered. As the only child of the family, I was not respectful or obedient to my parents when I got older, so there were quite a lot of arguments and even fighting among us. I often say, "Had it not been for Dafa, our family might already have broken up." Now all of us will look inside ourselves when we are in conflict with each other and take lightly the things that we would have overvalued if we were everyday people.
It was quite challenging for me to handle my parents' grumbling over me in a peaceful manner. Whenever that happened, I would try my best to control myself, reminding myself that I should be tolerant and compassionate. When I left home to study the Fa with other fellow practitioners, I was always in a joyous mood, but I would return to my restrained mindset after I left from the fellow practitioner's home. I realized it was not righteous, as I always tried to tolerate those ramifications. I should be in a light and joyous mood like when I am at fellow practitioners' homes. Then the restraint disappeared.
As a perfectionist, my mother also demanded others to be perfect too before she practiced Falun Gong. She once flew into a rage with my father over a piece of soap. Now, she can handle issues lightly when she is at odds with others. I admire her strong righteous thoughts and courage since she will tell any person she meets with no hesitation, "Please do remember that Falun Dafa is good.
My father used to be irritable as well, especially when he dealt with his family members. When I did anything wrong, his face would become grim, and he would not speak to me for a long time. In the beginning my mind was very unbalanced, thinking, "Even if I did do something wrong, you still should treat me with compassion." Later I came to understand that I had been wrong to think that way and adjusted my mentality accordingly. As a result, he smiled at me again.
Saving Sentient Beings is a Difficult Task; Only Dafa Practitioners Can Do It
I tried to find out the most effective way of saving sentient beings. When I brought up this question to a veteran practitioner, I was told, "looking inside ourselves." I was very confused by his answer, but I now I understand what he meant. We can save sentient beings if we cultivate ourselves well with strong righteous thoughts. I enlightened that our truth clarification about Falun Gong is not an everyday person's business. In this realm, we need to utilize our divine power or righteous thoughts because it is quite a difficult task, and only Dafa practitioners can do it. The strong and pure righteous thoughts in our truth clarification come from our cultivation.
Teacher has suffered quite a lot for us and spared us so much time for saving sentient beings. We should not let him down and do well what he wants us to do. However, I have usually failed to do well because of all kinds of distractions caused by my human mind. My mother encouraged me, "When you are able to do everything well all the time, you are about to achieve consummation." I realized that I should speed up my cultivation.
Teacher does not want to leave behind a single Dafa practitioner. He always arranges projects to save sentient beings for me. Whenever there is a chance, I will take it with no hesitation. When Shen Yun came, I was arranged by our coordinator to sell tickets, but I did not have a formal suit. So, I looked for one in discount shops and found one that suited me very well. When I sold the tickets for the first time, I had not yet watched Shen Yun, so I had no idea what to talk about with people. Teacher arranged for me to sell tickets with veteran practitioners so that I could learn from them. After I watched Shen Yun, I came to know how brilliant it was, and I thought it was time for me to improve my professional skills as a ticket seller.
We descended to the human world to help Teacher with Fa-rectification and save sentient beings. When we are assigned such tasks, we should implement them with no hesitation or turning back. We can do well only with strong righteous thoughts, which arise only from studying the Fa well, so I have decided to start reciting the Fa.
Teacher waited so long for practitioners like me, who have fallen behind in cultivation. He has suffered for us so much. We should cultivate diligently with strong righteous thoughts. I hope my experiences can be helpful for some fellow practitioners. Please kindly point out anything improper.