Enlightening after Tripping and Falling -- One will be able to validate Dafa only after first cultivating well
I happily obtained Dafa in July 1997. During my 14 years of cultivation, I have been so grateful for the improvements in my thinking and in my health. I have also had difficulties and frustrations and sometimes felt at a loss. In my most righteous states, I have experienced our benevolent Master's kind protection while validating the Fa, getting rid of human mentalities, and firmly practicing cultivation. After so many years, there is much that I could say about my cultivation experiences. Initially, I did not know where to start in telling my story. After thinking for a while, I decided to report to our Master and exchange these experiences with fellow practitioners about the miracles I encountered in my cultivation practice.
I. Stepping into the practice of Dafa and immediately experiencing miracles
Because I was not healthy, I had to take medications throughout the day. Sometimes I had to be treated with acupuncture. Several years passed and still I did not see any improvement. I was terribly distressed. I attempted several different treatments that others told me about and hoped for a cure, but none of them worked. Later I heard that Falun Gong had miraculous healing and fitness effects. I looked all over for a place to learn and then, in July of 1997, I found Falun Gong in my hometown.
The first morning I went to the practice site to do the exercises, I heard the exercise music and felt very comfortable all over. I was very excited and wanted to cry. After I finished the fourth exercise, an amazing thing happened: I felt that my whole body became light and that I was floating. I could not help but say out loud, “This gong is extremely good. I have never felt so comfortable.” In the evening, I went to a fellow practitioner's home to watch the videotapes of Master's Fa lectures in Dalian. While watching the video, I suddenly felt a sliver of light flashing through my brain. Instantly, all the symptoms of those illnesses that had been torturing me for years such as headaches, dizziness, and dry rhinitis were all gone. Less than a month after I began the practice, several of my health problems such as mammary gland hyperplasia, annex inflammation, headaches, dizziness, dry rhinitis, allergies, and cervical spondylosis all completely cleared up. Since then I have been very healthy. Everyone who knew me noticed changes in me and said that I looked younger and more energetic. When I told them it was because of practicing Falun Gong, they felt Dafa's extraordinary effects and some of them also began to practice Dafa.
II. Looking inward and getting rid of the attachment of being afraid of criticism
Through reading the book and sharing experiences with fellow practitioners, I began to realize that Falun Gong is not an ordinary qigong but a Buddhist Dharma and a cultivation practice. I realized that, since it is a cultivation practice, it is therefore a very serious endeavor. At that time I was not familiar with cultivation and had no idea about how to cultivate. I only knew that Dafa was good. I behaved according to Dafa's requirements. I often thought to myself that if I decided to practice cultivation, I should do it well and do it genuinely. However, when I encountered some conflicts, I still could not handle myself appropriately.
I remember that one day in early 1998, Practitioner A (who was a practice site coordinator like me) told me that the spouse of another practitioner, who had just started the practice not long before, was distraught because their child had a fight with some other children. Practitioner A wanted to ask several fellow practitioners to go to that new practitioner's home to study the Fa together. At that moment I did not agree and thought that, since the practitioner's spouse did not practice cultivation, they should send that person to the hospital. Practitioner A insisted on getting several practitioners together and, against my recommendation, going to the new practitioner's home to study the Fa. The next morning at the group practice site, in front of over 30 practitioners, Practitioner A criticized me, “Are you still a coordinator? You don't even want to do such a thing as help fellow practitioners.” I wanted to explain. She continued, “Stop explaining. Other practitioners quickly agreed to go with me when I asked them. So we went there and it had a good effect.” Just hearing these few words made me feel very embarrassed. I stood there among all my fellow practitioners and my face felt warm and then cold. I felt very uneasy and wanted to leave. But I was afraid it might affect everyone doing the exercises. I did not know what to say so only said briefly, “Let's do the exercises.” Right after I started the tape recorder, I saw Practitioner A slam the door and leave.
Everyone else just stared at me. I shook with anger and could not do the exercises at all. I sat on the floor, with nothing in my mind but thoughts of anger. One practitioner said to me, “This [tribulation] is to let you upgrade your mind nature. It will not be right if you get angry!” I knew that I should not get angry and I also knew that it was meant for me to improve my mind nature. However, I still felt angry that I had been misunderstood and mistreated. I felt that she was bullying me. I thought to myself that this practitioner was wrong and I was right. I did not want to be the coordinator anymore, nor did I want to deal with her anymore. I felt better after deciding that.
I did not attend Fa study the next evening. I stayed at home and studied by myself. When I took out the book Zhuan Falun, before I opened it, Master's words reflected in my mind: “one should not fight back when being punched or insulted” (Zhuan Falun). I thought to myself: I understand the Fa principle. But how come it was so hard to do it well?! It was so difficult to endure such embarrassment. I thought it over and over and finally asked myself: Do you still want to practice cultivation? How could such a small thing keep me from practicing cultivation? I thought to myself: Sure. I should continue with my cultivation practice. I must continue! I then forced myself to join the group Fa study. Although I was physically present, my mind was not focused, as I still felt embarrassed and angry. For several days, I still could not settle down. In fact, I did not look inward. Then, one day on my way to work, I stumbled and it was only then that I realized that the problem was caused by me.
I knew that I should seriously look at my attachments: being afraid of others' criticism, being afraid of losing face, jealousy, not being open to others and not considering others when encountering something, being too attached to self, let alone not knowing how to truly promote and validate the Fa. When I realized my attachments, a warm heat radiated down my body and I felt very relaxed. I knew that Master had taken away those bad substances that bothered me. I wrote a long letter to Practitioner A that same day and sincerely admitted my mistakes. In the evening, when I was doing the sitting meditation, I suddenly felt my body continue to expand. I felt as tall as the Heavens, incomparably noble. Through this experience, I truly understood the principle that if one wants to practice cultivation, one must genuinely cultivate oneself. No matter what kind of conflicts one encounters, one should maintain one's own mind and cultivate one's heart. Only then is one genuinely practicing cultivation and only then can one upgrade one's mind nature.
III. I became even more determined in my cultivation practice while enduring persecution
After July 20, 1999, our environment of cultivation practice was damaged. The work unit gathered all practitioners in a big meeting room and ordered everyone to take a stand against Dafa. We were forced to hand in our Dafa books. In this unexpected situation, I did not know what had happened and was at a loss. Although I had been cultivating the Fa for almost two years, my understanding of the Fa still remained at a surface level. I studied the Fa each day, but I only learned the most superficial principles. I did not have an in-depth understanding of the great Dafa and its deeper meaning. Many other practitioners also did not have a deep understanding and thus many of us succumbed to the pressure and stopped practicing.
In July 2000, I was illegally detained in a local detention center for making copies of Dafa materials. In the detention center, I often looked up towards the sky and silently called out: “Master! I will not write anything for them (referring to the police in the detention center) and I will not let Dafa down.” One night right after I went to sleep, a compassionate voice murmured in my ear, “Go home! Go home!” This voice repeated this twice. I sat up abruptly and shouted, “Master! Master!” Since then I have become even more calm because I understand now that Master's law body is right next to his disciples.
After returning home, my work unit talked with me several times and told me to write a guarantee statement. If I did not follow their orders, I would be dismissed from my job. I thought it over calmly and then wrote an open letter to the leaders at all levels in my work unit and told them how Falun Gong teaches people to be good by following the principle of Truth- Compassion-Forbearance. I also told them about my mental and physical changes after practicing Falun Gong. At the end of the letter, I formally wrote a solemn statement, noting that everything that I may have said or written before that was against Falun Dafa was invalid and added that I would firmly practice Dafa until the very end.
During the reign of terror, we could no longer find any Dafa books. We could not study the Fa, and fellow practitioners could not exchange their cultivation experiences with one another. I could only rely on my previous Fa study foundation. In fact, each practitioner who firmly commits to cultivating Dafa will have Master's benevolent protection at all times. In order to let others know the truth about Dafa, like other Dafa disciples throughout the country, we used a variety of methods to validate the Fa, including distributing and posting truth-clarification materials and clarifying the truth face-to-face. We covered many miles in our efforts to save sentient beings, leaving our footprints wherever we went.
Since I had not spent much time in Fa study, I did not have a clear understanding of the Fa principles. I thought doing more things would be counted as cultivation. In early summer 2003, I had diarrhea. At first I did not pay much attention to it. As usual, each day I distributed truth clarification materials and persuaded people to withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations. Although I did not notice any difference, I lost a tremendous amount of weight, and others told me that I did not look like myself anymore. I went to my hometown and my relatives asked why I looked like that. I began to think it over: I truly needed to look inward and find out what was going on with me. As a Dafa disciple, I should have not only been firmly practicing Dafa, but also needed to validate Dafa through my behavior and not leave any negative impression about Dafa because of my poor physical condition. But I went too far and ended up going from one extreme of not caring very much about my appearance to the other extreme of excessive fear, thus forming a new attachment. I exchanged my understanding with fellow practitioners; one practitioner one day and another practitioner the next day, looking outside myself to find a solution to the problem. I could not settle down in my Fa study and look inward. Because I did not have a clear understanding of the Fa principles and could not use the Fa to guide me, I therefore had no choice but to passively endure the pain. Later, my condition became very serious and I developed blood in my stool. This lasted for two years. I felt hopeless but was unable to make any changes.
Finally, in the spring of 2005, several of my fellow practitioners found me and we studied the Fa together and then exchanged our understandings of the Fa. Thus I began to realize where I was wrong: At first I always thought that I did not spend enough time in Fa study and did not cultivate well enough, and because I had some loopholes, was experiencing such problems. Later I decided to truly cultivate myself well and carefully study the Fa. However, no matter how I cultivated myself or how I studied the Fa, I did not experience any fundamental changes. Through exchanging cultivation experiences with other practitioners, I realized that I was holding an attachment of pursuit and was thus stuck at the level of personal cultivation. I remember Master said in “Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Europe,”
“The key is a person’s mind. Our Dafa cultivation aims exactly at one’s mind—to cultivate is to cultivate the human mind. If your mind doesn’t change everything else you do means nothing. Outward acts mean nothing.”
I understood that I had been using a human mindset to treat my own problem: being afraid, worrying too much, and being afraid of losing face. Deep in my heart I still had the attachment of complaining. After finding these attachments, I felt much better and truly felt clear-minded. It was really as the book Zhuan Falun describes: “one’s gong level is as high as one’s xinxing level.” The bowel disease that tortured me for over two years suddenly disappeared. Once again I stepped on the road of validating the Fa with a light heart.
IV. Sentient beings are waiting for us to save them
During the process of doing the three things well, we all knew that studying the Fa well was the foundation and guarantee of successful truth-clarification and saving people. Before the Olympic Games in 2008, our Fa study group spent half a day in Fa study, sending forth righteous thoughts at the top of each hour, and then spent the rest of the day going out to clarify the truth and save people. We did not have any thought that we might be persecuted. At that time, a kind neighbor told us, “Staff members from the security department were monitoring you guys. Be careful.” My fellow practitioners and I strengthened our effort in sending righteous thoughts by increasing the frequency and determination of sending forth righteous thoughts. We were absolutely firm in our efforts, completely denying all arrangements by the old forces and disintegrating the evil factors that would persecute practitioners and interfere with the salvation of all sentient beings. We continued as normal with our Fa study and truth-clarification activities, prudently walking on the path of validating the Fa.
In order to help other small study groups keep up with their Fa study, we would go to fellow practitioners' homes over 10 miles away three times every week. In order to be most efficient with my time, I would start off after sending forth righteous thoughts at noon. I always rode my bike, whether it was a hot, sunny day or a windy day. Moreover, I would not always take the same route. My main purpose was to meet predestined people. One day I rode on a small, curving country road. I saw a father and daughter carrying a basket of wild vegetables walking towards me. I pretended that I needed directions and began to talk to them. I asked, “Have you heard about withdrawing from the CCP and its affiliated organizations?” They curiously asked what it was about. I then told them about saving one's own life by withdrawing from the CCP. I also told them the truth of Dafa. The father was very excited and said, “I used to be a soldier. Because I had an upright character and did not like how the CCP was dealing with things and was also excluded by others, I quit and returned home. To tell you the truth, I am very clear on what the CCP is. What's wrong with those people who practice Dafa for the CCP to persecute them like that!” Then both of them happily withdrew from the evil CCP and its affiliated organizations. I gave them copies of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party and truth-clarification CDs. They asked, “Can I make copies of this and distribute them?” I said, “That would be great!” They thanked me and said goodbye. Seeing that they were so happy, I really wanted to cry: How many people are waiting to learn the truth about Dafa? During such a hot time of day, they would go to the fields to pick wild vegetables. In fact, their being there at that time was arranged by Master so they could be there to wait for me. I called out in joy, “Master, Master! I want to express my sincere appreciation on their behalf for your benevolent salvation.” I also told Master that I felt guilty for not being diligent enough in my cultivation practice before.
Another time I walked along the river to a fellow practitioner's home. I noticed that not far away was a construction crew building a small bridge. Over 20 people were eating lunch under the tree. There was a parking lot nearby. I thought to myself: What should I do? So many people are waiting for me to save them. I wanted to walk over but I was not in a stable condition. I silently asked Master to strengthen me and in the meantime I sent forth righteous thoughts to disintegrate all evil that would interfere with me saving sentient beings. Then I walked over to them with an upright attitude and said, “Hi, how are you! May I know who is the supervisor?” A person said, “He is in the tent.” I found the supervisor and firmly stated my reason for being there: “I was just passing by this area and wanted to tell you some very important news, a very important event that relates to each person's future.” He urgently asked, “What is that?” I asked him, “Aren't there many disasters now?” He said without hesitation, “There are too many.” I then told him the truth about the school buildings that clasped during the Wenchuan earthquake, leading to the tragic deaths of many children. I told him about the Nine Commentaries and how to have a safe life by withdrawing from the CCP and its affiliated organizations. It might be that he had some concerns when I asked him to withdraw from the CCP and its affiliated organizations because he said that he had not joined any of them. But he asked me to give him a copy of Zhuan Falun. He understood that there were still over 20 people waiting for me to save them. With his permission, I then went over to the crew to tell them about Falun Gong. I told them that the bogus television report about the so-called “Tiananmen Self-immolation” was directed by the CCP and was a lie. I told them that people should distinguish between good and evil, and that they should quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations, including the Communist Party, the Youth League, and the Young Pioneers, and thus they will have a good future. Then I gave them the Dafa materials that I had and told them, “These truth-clarification materials are used to save lives. Cherish them. Pass them to others after reading them and others' lives will also be blessed.” Some agreed to withdraw from the CCP and its affiliated organizations right then and there. Those who did not took some materials. I knew that, as long as they read those materials, they would know the difference between what is good and what is evil. Those people who learned the truth would act as a kind of medium, telling others and spreading the word about Falun Gong.
Once I met a senior Party member while I was clarifying the truth. After I clarified the facts to him, he accepted the truth and withdrew from the evil CCP and asked me to give him a copy of the Nine Commentaries and many other materials. I told him about my work unit while I was clarifying the truth to him. One day, I suddenly saw him at my workplace. He saw me and quickly said, “I have been looking for you for several days. Please give me another set of materials. My nephew took the materials you gave me.” Seeing him so anxious, I could sense the urgency of saving people. Sentient beings are waiting for us to save them!
The past ten years of cultivation practice have allowed me to deeply realize that as long as we follow Master's teaching to do the three things and study the Fa well, we will not be confronted with any difficulties that we cannot pass. As long as we have righteous thoughts, we will see miracles when saving people.