Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
In just a blink of an eye it’s already been 16 years since I entered the door of Falun Dafa cultivation. With Master’s compassionate care, I successfully passed the college entrance exam and was admitted to a decent university. Below I share my cultivation experiences during my freshman year.
1. On-campus Cultivation
One Should Strive to Study the Fa as Much as Possible Regardless of the Environment
Leaving home to go to college was my first experience living on my own, and I was suddenly surrounded by non-practitioners. Even though there were no other practitioner on campus, compassionate Master always watched over me and encouraged me to study the Fa as much as possible.
Out of concern for my roommates, I didn’t openly study the Fa at the beginning of my freshman year. Every night I lay in bed listening to Master’s teachings on my MP3 player, but I always fell asleep before I finished. Knowing that I was being disrespectful to Master and the Fa, after two weeks, I decided to bring my Dafa books to school. However, the dorm got very noisy as soon as I sat down on my bed to study the Fa. I tried my best to eliminate the evil factors interfering with me, but there seemed to be too many of them. In spite of this, I was determined to study the Fa in my dorm whenever I was not in class, because I felt only Dafa could provide the support I needed. Gradually I noticed big changes in my environment. Now everything quiets down the moment I pick up my Dafa books.
Identifying My True Self
During this past year, I had trouble getting along with other people. Sometimes all I thought about was how bad other people were. I even tried to avoid interacting with fellow college students, which led to their not understanding me. I was very annoyed.
Through Fa study I came to realize that those negative factors that led to my difficult relationships with other people were, in fact, my human notions and thought karma at play, just as Master taught:
“The notions that are developed will obstruct and control a person for the remainder of his life. A human notion is usually selfish—or worse—and thus generates thought karma which, in turn, controls the person. A human being is to be governed by his master soul (zhu yuan-shen). When your master soul becomes lax and is replaced by notions, you have unconditionally surrendered, and your life is now under their control.” (“Buddha Nature,” Zhuan Falun Volume II)
I began to specifically send forth righteous thoughts to target my negative thoughts. As soon as I detected them in my mind, I worked hard to remove them. Now these factors are becoming fewer and fewer, and I truly feel my true self is playing a dominant role.
Positioning My Fundamental Basis Well
When I was still in high school, my biggest concern was finding a way to study my school work more effectively. Through Fa study I enlightened to the fact that a Dafa disciple should strive to be a good person in all kinds of environments. As such, it was my responsibility and mission to validate the wonderfulness of Dafa through my academic performance. With such an understanding, I was able to experience a miracle in which Master helped enhance my wisdom and enabled me to excel in the most difficult college course, “Monetary Banking.” I got very nervous after the professor told us that the final exam questions were designed to separate the top students from the rest of the class. I kept studying the Fa and gradually calmed down. However, I got anxious again on the morning of the exam, worrying that the questions might be too hard. At that moment, Master hinted to me again that anything I encountered was for my cultivation and I should position my fundamental basis righteously. As a result I finished the exam with ease and was told three days later that I had scored the highest grade.
Through this experience I feel that nothing is accidental. As long as we let go of our attachments and use our righteous thoughts and act righteously, what belongs to us will not be lost.
Letting Go of My Attachment to Sentimentality
We were required to undergo military training early in our freshman year. During that period of time I felt exhausted every day and also became extremely homesick. As a matter of fact, I called my parents every day. So as soon as we resumed normal class schedule, I took advantage of every possible weekend to go home and stay with my parents. I became upset when my school occasionally had activities scheduled on Friday nights, which meant I couldn’t go home. I called my mom, crying and complaining about the situation. She said to me, “You should look inward and try not to go against your cultivation environment anymore.” I thought to myself, “What was wrong with me that I always wanted to go home?”
My attachment to home also invited misunderstanding and prejudice from my classmates. One night I had a dream in which I was told that my fellow students detested me exactly because I always wanted to go home and relied on my mother for everything. After I woke up, I realized that was a hint from compassionate Master. I came to see that my excuse of wanting to go home to study the Fa actually exposed my attachments. First of all, I was worried that I’d fall behind in my cultivation if I spent too much time with my non-practitioner classmates, which showed that I lacked confidence in Master and the Fa. Second, I always sought my mother’s advice when encountering difficulty in my cultivation, which was a manifestation of my dependence on other practitioners. I knew then that I was too attached to sentimentality.
2. Summer-Break Cultivation
Setting Stricter Requirements for Myself at Home
For a long time I always thought that there was no need for me to hold myself to the same high standards once I returned home from school. After all, my parents didn’t criticize me no matter how I behaved. Therefore, I slacked off whenever I went back home.
Things were quite different the first summer after I finished my freshman year in college. My mom began to work full-time and my dad’s job only got busier. As a result, I was the only one at home during the day. What bothered me most was that nobody cooked lunch for me. I was so upset that I argued with my dad one day. My dad, normally a very mild and amiable person, couldn’t put up with me anymore. Mother called me aside, saying, “You’re a cultivator. How could you lose your temper?” I tried to defend myself, “I have no lunch to eat and nobody to talk to every day. I feel very lonely and frustrated.” She replied, “You really should look inward and think about this situation. Why is it that both your dad and I got busier when you started summer vacation? Isn't this is an opportunity for you to improve yourself? Don’t you see that you've never treated yourself as a cultivator at home?” She continued, “Moreover, you are no longer a minor. Dafa disciples should do well no matter where they are. Your father is not a practitioner. If you behave badly in front of him, what kind of message are you sending him?” Mom’s words made me much more clearheaded.
Benefiting from Taking Part in Group Fa Study
Compassionate Master arranged a practitioner auntie to look for me as soon as I started my summer break, and I began to attend group Fa study the second day of my break. I knew Master's hopes that we young Dafa disciples not waste time and study the Fa more.
I enlightened that I should play my role as a Dafa particle and help other young disciples to improve together. Master arranged for me to study the Fa with a nine-year-old little disciple. She was very naughty and sometimes misbehaved badly. I talked to my mother about her, “Maybe I should give up on helping her?” Mom replied, “Don’t forget that fellow practitioners are like a mirror. Don’t you see that her behavior is no different from yours at home?” I realized that what Master had arranged for me, I had no right to push away, since there was a lot for me to cultivate as well.
Sometimes I couldn’t help but reprimand the little girl for misbehaving, but the scolding never seemed to work. Through Fa study I realized that the results were not good because I didn’t show her enough compassion. So I began to change my tone and gradually she was more attentive and obedient. Now she has changed a lot and is no longer naughty at Fa study. At the same time, I began to pay attention to cultivating myself while at home.
3. My Experiences Clarifying the Truth to My Fellow Students
I was very hesitant to talk to anyone about Falun Gong during the first six months of my freshman year. Then I decided to start with my dorm mates. Once our entire dorm went out to eat and I planned to take that opportunity to tell them what Falun Gong was all about, only to find that I didn’t know how to start the conversation. Strangely, nobody wanted to go back after dinner was over, and everybody lingered around even though there was not much to chat about. I knew they were waiting for me to talk, so I finally gathered up my courage to speak about the facts of Falun Gong. To my surprise, they all applauded me when I finished speaking, telling me, “Don’t you worry. We all support your practice. You are so kind.” I felt ashamed upon hearing this, wondering why it took me so long to talk to them. I realized that, as a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple, I should use every opportunity to tell people the facts about Falun Gong in my daily life and work.
After going through the first year of cultivation in college, I came to the realization that no matter how warped and chaotic our surroundings are, there is no need to worry about being interfered with no matter what the environment. Under Master's compassionate arrangement, everything will be rectified as long as Dafa disciples have the sincere wish to save people. As long as we have the Fa in our minds, no obstacles can hinder our return. We have all come for the Fa, especially us younger Dafa disciples. We can no longer afford to slack off and must encourage each other to be more diligent during the last leg of our cultivation journey.
Above are just my personal experiences. Please point out anything inappropriate.