(Clearwisdom.net) Looking back on many years of cultivation, I feel that I have just staggered along. If not for Teacher's blessing, I would not have gotten this far! Looking at the problems which arose from these years, I realized that many times I forgot to cultivate. On the surface, I had been learning, but I did not learn it by heart and did not follow the Fa to cultivate myself seriously. Teacher told us,

“You all need to do this now. Start cultivating yourselves.” (Be More Diligent)

Teacher was reminding us that we should not forget the most basic thing, cultivating ourselves even during the Fa-rectification period. I'd like to talk about my understanding of cultivating ourselves.

Several days ago, I returned to City A and had a sharing with fellow practitioners. I had worked there for many years and had a good relationship with practitioners. They said to me with good will, “Last time before you went back, you pledged that you would join the group to send forth righteous thoughts in City B. Why have you broken your promise?” I felt ashamed, and I thought of Teacher saying, “What I least like are those who are all talk and no action.” (Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference)

Looking from the surface, I was busy in City B. I often wrote sharing articles during my time off from work. I thought that if I joined the group to send forth righteous thoughts, I wouldn't have time left to do those things. Besides, there were other fellow practitioners doing it. Just let the elderly practitioners do it since they don't work. I thus saw nothing wrong with not participating. As I recall, my state wasn't very good. I was extremely drowsy when studying the Fa, and I often overslept and didn't send forth righteous thoughts. I had difficulty writing articles and encountered interference. I made mistakes repeatedly in personal cultivation.

A practitioner said, “Everyone was sending forth righteous thoughts, so the evil factors were trying to find a place to hide. As you did not do it, they’d just come to hide in you.” I then understood why I was in that state. Afterwards, I thought that I really had to think about why I couldn't seriously treat this as cultivation and why I broke my promise. Why did I consider myself special? On the surface, I didn't attach great importance to sending forth righteous thoughts and was not involved in the overall action with fellow practitioners. When I looked inward, I found out that I didn't cultivate myself.

In fact, everything in Fa-rectification cultivation is part of our cultivation process. If I do not accomplish it and just think or talk about it, I'm really not cultivating myself and not following Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Actually, I had sent forth righteous thoughts alone and had good knowledge of it. I had read many sharing articles and also advised fellow practitioners to send forth righteous thoughts for a long period of time. I spoke about it with eloquence and quoted copiously from many sources and seemed very convincing. But I made a critical mistake--I only used the Fa to tell others to cultivate themselves and did not cultivate myself. Without cultivating myself for a long period of time, I didn't know that deviant thoughts had interfered with me. I couldn't distinguish good and bad and thus came to see incorrect thoughts and concepts as my own.

Recalling my cultivation over the past two years, I didn't eliminate human mindsets such as thoughts of lust. I kept committing the same mistakes. In fact, I did not think of myself as a cultivator. I was lost in the big dye vat of this world and misled by illusion. I forgot to cultivate myself and forgot my responsibility as a Dafa practitioner. I saw others' attachments very clearly; and when I shared with others how to eliminate lust, I spoke clearly and logically. But I was in a very difficult situation of my own. I made mistakes again and again with remorse. I always felt that I couldn't let it go. Now it appears to me that I just did not attach enough importance to it and carry it out. I did not think of cultivating my every thought, so I couldn't make it out of the tribulations.

I found out that when I really look inward and cultivate myself, my heart is filled with gratitude and joy. I began to be serious about sending forth righteous thoughts with the group and considered it as my responsibility. For the first few days, I found it difficult, but I recognized that overcoming the difficulties is a process of cultivating myself. The situation began to improve gradually. On the issue of lustful thoughts, I told fellow practitioners about the bad things I had done. I decided to begin with my every thought and not to indulge it. Bit-by-bit I did it. I did not relax even when it seemed that it did not surface. In the past, I usually let it accumulate until I was unable to get through it.

I know my true nature is longing to assimilate to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. I really want to become one of the Dafa disciples “who are honest and simple, sincere and down-to-earth.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference”) In fact, my nature rejects the bad thoughts, ideas and many kinds of attachments and has antipathy towards them. It is only because this world is full of corruption and karma that we are being contaminated all the time, and our true nature is being wrapped up and invisible. I understand now that I need to always be mindful and think of myself as a practitioner so that my true nature will be in charge. Only by constantly assimilating to the Fa and cultivating according to the purity of the Fa, can it be called true cultivation.

I found that I had a misconception that was long-standing in my cultivation. When I looked inward in an attempt to find the reasons why many of my attachments were so hard to eliminate, I realized that I had an impure element—wanting to avoid being persecuted!

It has been eleven years since the persecution started, and I have witnessed many brutal things. I found many fellow practitioners, including myself, to have inadvertently formed a concept, that not to be persecuted was the goal of cultivation. Whenever a fellow practitioner was persecuted, we would try to find the practitioner's attachments which had not been eliminated. We thought we should try to get rid of the attachment, so as not to be persecuted. Later, we realized that we couldn't find the reasons why practitioners suffer from tribulations; we could only find our own reasons unconditionally and cultivate ourselves. But many practitioners still have not changed their thoughts and see avoiding persecution as the focal point of their thoughts.

When I shared with fellow practitioners about this issue, I said that we had forgotten the real purpose of cultivation. It is to assimilate to the characteristics of the universe, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and to return to our origins. When our starting point is not pure, then it is false cultivation; false cultivation is doing things not according to the Fa. Without the power of the Fa, how can we effectively remove our attachments?

As a Dafa practitioner, no matter whether there is persecution or not, I should cultivate seriously, remove all attachments, and purify myself in order to meet the standards of the new universe. Dafa's requirements have never changed. When we correctly conform to the basic point of cultivation, we will not be in a passive state of always reacting to tribulations, and the attachments will not be so hard to eliminate.