My Cultivation Experience As an Assistant
Greetings, Master. Greetings, fellow practitioners.
I'm a practitioner from Spain. I obtained the Fa in 2004. I would like to share with you my cultivation experiences throughout these years, especially my experience of being a teaching assistant at a practice site.
A teaching assistant must have a sense of responsibility
When I first started cultivation, a coordinator asked me to organize a practice site. I immediately got together a group of people to do the exercises at my place. Shortly after we went to practice in a park. I watched Master’s exercise video many times, hoping I to learn it well. When I went to the practice site in Madrid, I carefully observed veteran practitioners’ movements and how they taught the exercises. After that, I improved quite a lot.
Being a teaching assistant gives me the opportunity to learn to become a coordinator. As a teaching assistant, I must be consistent in organizing Fa study and doing the exercises in the park and not be absent. I must meticulously and patiently teach others the exercise movements, introduce Dafa with compassion to new practitioners just starting to do the exercises, and help them enthusiastically.
During this process I also gradually discovered my attachments, such as complacency. Sometimes I thought, “I am doing the exercises so well, it must be obvious to them.” Other times I secretly showed off how I could do the double lotus position while others could not. But I forgot that they had come to learn the exercises for the first time—how could they manage the double lotus position right away? I, on the other hand, had been practicing for a long time!
Once a person who was about to have an operation asked me whether her body in other dimensions would be affected if she had something removed during surgery. This person had come to the practice site only recently. I told her my understanding, including a few important aspects that she needed to consider. She was very grateful. When I was alone, I recalled how well I had done, what kind of knowledge and wisdom had enabled me to give such a good explanation, how intently she had listened, etc. It was so subtle that it almost went undetected, but in the depths of my heart there was complacency. Digging a little deeper inward, there was also showing off. I even told another practitioner about it.
I realize that when I tell others about Dafa or answer their questions, I must not brag. When I do things like that, others can detect it. Now whenever I speak, I try to rein in the attachment of showing off and speak with compassion.
Treat new and veteran practitioners with kindness
Sometimes I met people who wanted to know about Falun Dafa. They had been practicing other things and loved to talk about their understandings. I think we should not argue with them. It is best to give them time to get to know Dafa better. When they start reading the book, they will know for themselves what Falun Dafa is. We are Dafa disciples who have been cultivating for a while. We understand the truth about Dafa, while newcomers know nothing about Dafa. If we talk to them with the attachments of showing off or competitiveness, it will create barriers for the newcomers in their understanding of Dafa. In fact, many of us were in the same situation not long ago. We were also once ordinary people. When we tell them the truth with compassion, they will understand Dafa more quickly. It is also an opportunity for us to cultivate “forbearance” and improve our characters.
Once when I was reading the Fa in the park, a lady came to find out more. She interrupted my reading. I answered her brusquely and told her to return a bit later to learn the exercises. As a result, she did not return. Later, when I realized that I had behaved very badly, I felt very sad. For a long time I remembered that lady. My attitude may have cost her the opportunity to obtain the Fa. I felt great remorse.
A few years passed. Thanks to Master, this lady reappeared a few months ago at the beach where we were practicing. She was elderly and had lots of aches and pains. This time I compassionately introduced Falun Dafa to her in great detail and patiently taught her the exercise movements. Since that day, she has come to the exercise site every day. Her health has improved a great deal. Now she has started reading Zhuan Falun.
As a teaching assistant in recent years, I encountered another situation. (When I was writing this sharing, I recalled that I did not do well.) During group exercises in the past, I frequently corrected practitioners’ movements. For example, some practitioners moved faster than Master’s instructions and did almost the entire exercise with their eyes open. During the third exercise, their hands did not move up or down simultaneously. When I corrected them, they often seemed unhappy, so I decided not to correct the movements of any veteran practitioner. They had been practicing for so long; if they didn’t want to be corrected that was their business. But when I looked inward, I saw that that was not the righteous thing to do. The problem was that, when I pointed out others’ mistakes, I did not remind them out of compassion but rather corrected them with the hidden attachments of showing off and seeking fame. Also, I did not truly think of others, for example that when veteran practitioners were doing the exercises, they probably did not want to be disturbed. Whatever the reason, I had to look inward at myself and share this issue with everyone.
I must take into consideration that while learning, some practitioners are not as coordinated as others. They cannot learn the movements instantly or do them with accuracy. Some are elderly, and they need to be treated patiently. As time goes by, they will become familiar with the movements and be more precise. If we correct them impatiently or consider ourselves superior, the effect will be negative. But if we talk to them with kindness, they will feel the harmonious field and will continue practicing.
One day, a lady in her 70s turned up because her yoga teacher son was so sick that he could not walk. She had gotten some information about Falun Dafa and found our practice site. Her own health was not great, either. She had pain all over. In the beginning she tried hard to learn the exercises, hoping to teach her son at home so that he could get better. In the end she did better and better. Her health improved dramatically. She started reading the Fa and she looked younger and younger. Now she attends the exercise session every weekend.
Coordinate well through looking inward
In the past I thought that I was a veteran practitioner who had obtained the Fa the earliest in Marbella and that “only I could teach the exercises.” Through regular Fa study, I realized that that thought contained many attachments, such as showing off, seeking fame, etc. I decided I wanted to get rid of that thought. When I did, our group saw a big improvement at Dafa events in the park and our petition signature collection activities.
During past truth clarification activities, I always saw where other practitioners fell short and felt bad. I felt that I did better than everyone else. Sometime I even butted in when others were clarifying the truth. I also criticized practitioners who hesitated to clarify the truth. When I looked inward and saw my attachments of showing off, looking down on others, complacency, etc., I realized that each practitioner has his or her own path. Everyone has his or her own time or way to do things that need to be done. As my thinking changed, our group’s overall coordination improved a great deal.
Our time is limited and we all live far apart. Regardless, we make efforts to attend twice a week group Fa study and sharing on Sundays and Thursdays. Group Fa study is the key to better coordinating the team. Through Fa study and sharing, we've deepened our understanding of the Fa and resolved questions and conflicts encountered in our cultivation, which has made the team more harmonious. The change in our team drew more people to learn about Dafa during the weekly group exercises and activities.
Clarifying the truth to everyone that I come into contact with
At the start of my cultivation, I knew that one of the things that a cultivator must do is to clarify the truth to save people. In the beginning it was difficult for me to take this step because I am very shy. I feared being turned down. But I knew that it was Master who asked us to save sentient beings while existing in this world. I realized that as long as we do things with a pure heart, people will readily accept the truth and thank us, because they are waiting to be saved. So I clarified the truth to and collected petition signatures from everyone I met. I used different methods to tell them the truth over and over again. According to each person’s individual circumstances and ability to accept, I told them about the CCP’s persecution of Falun Gong from different angles, and I told them about the beauty of Dafa, asking them to join our group exercises in the park.
Once there was an important political event in my city, a conference for a political party. Participants included the party’s general secretary and other politicians. My wife and I decided not to miss this opportunity for them to know the truth about Falun Gong and the persecution in China. So we went to the venue. We prepared many copies of truth clarification materials beforehand, hoping we could deliver the truth to those VIPs.
In the beginning I was a bit worried. There were so many security measures and so many people wanted to approach them. Could we do it? At the time I did not know the importance of sending forth righteous thoughts and did not think of doing it. But I thought I could not miss this opportunity to clarify the truth to these influential people. So I mustered up my courage to walk up to a VIP of the city government and clarify the truth to him. When the event was over, I walked towards the president of this party. Miraculously, through the crowd I effortlessly arrived in front of him. I had the opportunity to speak to him and give him the truth clarification materials, which he promised to read later. Afterwards I immediately went to look for the party’s general secretary. I also succeeded in finding him. I asked him to read the material that I gave him. I told him about persecution taking place in China, and he thanked me for the information. That experience gave me more confidence. Master has arranged the path for us. As long as we do things, Master will help us.
Admitting to and trying to get rid of my fundamental attachments
I want to mention especially some fundamental attachments that prevent me from being more diligent, such as laziness, fatigue, and the attachment to food. I am ashamed, so I think I must admit these attachments in front of everyone, because I know doing so can help me get rid of them faster.
Having re-read my sharing and looking inward, I feel that, from the beginning of my cultivation I could have done better and been more diligent. I have many more shortcomings. I must measure myself against much higher requirements and improve my character.
Thank you, Master. Thank you, fellow practitioners.