It's Never Too Late to Begin Cultivation Again – Negate All Old Force Arrangements and Follow Master Even More Diligently
(Minghui.org) I first obtained the Fa in 2000. Since then there was a period of just over five years that my cultivation stood still. Even so, Master watched over me and never left my side. My sharing here is proof that it is never too late to walk away from any arrangements the old forces made. During this time to save sentient beings, Master is waiting for each of us to fulfill the vows we made.
When I started cultivating again, it was if Master lifted me up from where I was and placed me back exactly where I was supposed to be. The following is how all of the past arrangements were destroyed through Master’s saving grace of not acknowledging the old forces' arrangements and through our fellow cultivators steadfastly cultivating as one body following Master’s will.
In “Coercion Cannot Change People's Hearts” Master says,
“The steadfast, righteous thoughts of a cultivator transcend all human understandings, transcend all human thinking, and can never be understood by everyday people. At the same time, they cannot be changed by everyday people, because humans are not able to change Enlightened Beings.” (Essentials for Further Advancement II)
Master is always with us, but when we have too many ordinary human attachments, the old forces try to play on and use them to lead us back to the deluded world filled with illusion, selfish desires, and emotional complacency.
Leading up to when I first obtained the Fa in 2000, I was interested in all types of practices and methods for healing and fitness. I ended up losing my job and things started to go down the wrong path. I knew I needed help, so I drove 11 hours to see an old friend and mentor. Before I left his home he handed me a file folder. Inside was a printed copy of the Great Consummation Way of Falun Dafa that he had gathered off the Internet some years before and filed away. He told me that I should go home and read it.
The majority of reading I had done up to this point in my life, at 24 years old, was just the books I had to read in school. But this time something appeared to be different. It was as if I had been given a sacred gift, a hidden treasure, after years of a long drawn-out journey. So halfway home I stopped at a restaurant to have a bite to eat, opened the folder, and began to read the table of contents. Everything I had been seeking and wondering about in life was lying right before my eyes. As I read further, my eternal longing met up with eternal answers, and my mind began to slowly awaken and become clear again.
As soon as I got home, I searched for more about Falun Gong and discovered that there were practitioners in my hometown. I called the contact number for the local group , but the phone kept disconnecting. I would call the practitioner back and the line would sound fuzzy and then disconnect again. The old forces were trying hard to prevent me from going any further. Finally the practitioner and I were able to get through and make arrangements to meet in the parking lot of the mall near my home so that she could give me a copy of Falun Gong and Zhuan Falun.
I read Falun Gong from beginning to end and did all the exercises as explained step by step and illustrated by Master. When I did the sitting meditation for the first time that night, I remember seeing myself through an eye looking down above me. Master had saved me from fearing it and told me during Fa study just a short time before:
“Oftentimes, some people become frightened at the moment when their Celestial Eye opens. Why are they frightened? It is because people usually practice qigong at midnight, when the night is dark and quiet. As a person practices, he may suddenly see a large eye before his eyes, scaring him abruptly. This scare is unusually great, and he will not dare to practice qigong after that. How frightening! A blinking eye that is so big is looking at you, and it is vividly clear.” (Zhuan Falun)
I could immediately understand what was going on and was not surprised at all. Afterwards, it was as if I had just awakened from a long, long dream. I had been given a new set of eyes and was seeing things for the very first time. Although this time, it was as if I was seeing things in High Definition. Never had things been so clear. An unlocked memory and story of ancient times gone by was paving a way for my return – my return to my original home, to my original nature.
As I continued reading the Fa, I would simply follow what I understood. I wanted to be a true practitioner and so immediately took the wooden tablet I had in my room to the large garbage bin outside my apartment building to throw it away. I then threw away all the books that I had about learning how to heal other people’s illnesses to become rich and famous.
All the bad things that were in my life immediately ceased to exist. After studying the Fa and doing the exercises for the first time, I had no desire to do any of the bad things I had been doing. It was as if I had become a brand new being and entered into a brand new body with a brand new mind. Everything had been washed clean. This was the beginning of my journey as a Dafa disciple.
For the next four years I seemed to be a diligent practitioner. I went to Fa conferences, group practice and study, parades, truth clarifying activities, and the Chinese Consulate; I called and faxed truth clarifying materials to China and assisted in setting up the Epoch Times office. I was doing, doing, doing.
In fact, I got caught up in doing things and thought that, because I had done so much, that I had gained so much. I began measuring what I was doing and how great and grand the things I was doing with who I was as a practitioner. I kept drowning in my attachment to doing and failed to listen to other practitioners' ideas, because I thought that what I was doing was better and more important. I started thinking that, because I was a Westerner, fellow Chinese practitioners could not understand me. I was zealously cultivating, thinking the things that I was doing would keep on getting me closer to where I needed to be in Fa-rectification. In the process I would listen less to fellow cultivators’ feedback and thought that they were against me or held some kind of judgment of me and that this was their problem.
I soon began slacking off in doing the exercises, and during Fa study my mind would become cloudy. Sometimes I would compete when reading with other practitioners, only listening closely when I was reading and not listening so closely when others were reading. At times, it was as if I could only hear the Fa if it was my voice reading it. As time went by and my heart and mind became less diligent and focused on the Fa, I slowly faded back into the ordinary world to do ordinary things as an ordinary person, and I stopped cultivating.
It was not until some four years later during Christmas time while doing some shopping in the mall that I ran into the fellow practitioner that had originally handed me my first copies of Falun Gong and Zhuan Falun. This time, however, she was not standing outside in the parking lot, but inside the mall, the same mall that where we had met some years earlier. This time she was there to sell me tickets to see Shen Yun and offer me a golden ticket back to the Fa!
I saw Shen Yun for the first time in 2008. It was during the divine performance that I could once again see everything that was dark and filthy become transparent, bright, and clean. I was left in tears, awakening to the journey and wanting to return home to the familiar celestial realms during the show. It was here that I made the oath in my heart and mind to begin cultivating again.
Not too long afterwards I fell and tore the ligaments in my right knee. A doctor recommended surgery and said that I would never walk the same again. During this same period, I was debating group therapy at the hospital to deal with past internal troubles. I was unemployed and was left to decide how things would turn out. Because of steadfast faith in the Fa, today I can sit in the full lotus for the meditation and can walk my path even more steadily both physically and mentally.
Almost a year after buying the tickets to see Shen Yun, I pulled out all of Master’s lectures that I had stored away and began reading. I went to the Minghui website to catch up on all the lectures I had missed over the previous 5 years and continued to study the Fa. It was soon apparent to me that the things I had cultivated previously were not lost. Master reminds us in “Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital” (2006):
“Thus, during the cultivation process, as soon as a cultivator has successfully cultivated a part, with his realm being elevated and him passing some test, that part is immediately partitioned off in a manner unconstrained by time. (Applause). [That part] no longer has any contact with the human world, and it is partitioned off by a huge amount of space and time. For example, it might be partitioned off to a time millions or tens of millions of years later. Could you contaminate him, then? He's beyond reach. He might be mere inches away, but the enormous time and spatial differences result in this dimension not being able to interfere one bit with the part of the Dafa disciple that has been successfully cultivated. I am just illustrating the idea‐‐it's partitioned off. So as parts are continually being fully cultivated, they are continually partitioned off. As parts continue to be fully cultivated, they are continually partitioned off; the part that hasn't been fully cultivated, meanwhile, constantly undergoes cultivation until the point where nothing remains and everything has been successfully cultivated. That is the cultivation path you are to take.”
I went back to my university to join fellow cultivators in group practice and soon discovered that Shen Yun ticket sales were well underway. They welcomed me back as if I had never left and invited me to sell tickets.
So before I knew it, and with Master’s reassurance that with one righteous thought we can clear away a hundred evils, I was now giving back to sentient beings what I had received a year before – a golden ticket to be saved. This happened most of all because fellow cultivators remained diligent alongside Master and worked so very hard to come together as one body and not leave me and others behind.
The selling of Shen Yun tickets during the Christmas season immediately brought the sacredness back to why I was here: to continue assisting Master and working together as one body with fellow cultivators to save sentient beings.
One day I was on my way to the mall to sell Shen Yun tickets when my keys got locked inside the car. It was in the middle of winter and quite cold outside. So I thought I would go inside and call another practitioner to come and pick me up. While waiting for the practitioner, I began to study the Fa. I soon realized that this was actually interference because I was not only going to be late to sell tickets but I was the first person to set up the table for ticket sales. I then thought to myself, “I have never really intentionally used my supernormal abilities before, but this arrangement is not right.” Master has spoken in the Fa about the man who did experiments on plants and discovered they have feelings:
“He has conducted different experiments, including testing the capability of long-distance remote controls.” (Zhuan Falun)
I realized that it was not necessarily supernormal abilities but rather my innate abilities that I would use. So with this thought in mind I simply went outside to my car, the door opened, and I called the practitioner to say, “Never mind picking me up.” I went to the mall to set up the table and sell tickets. I realized that this was Master encouraging me to remain diligent and to go on to save more sentient beings.
Looking back at the time my cultivation stood still, I have come to understand that Master was watching over me during the entire time—and even before I obtained the Fa. It was Master who had everything perfectly arranged. I have currently come to understand ever more clearly through the Fa that it was because of my vow made with Master millennia ago that I came here to save sentient beings. The Fa will rectify anything as long as we diligently follow the things Master asks of us during this time: study the Fa, send forth righteous thoughts, and clarify the truth. Because of the three things that Master asks each of us to do, I am able to be here, again joining the ranks of Fa-rectification Dafa disciples.
Fellow cultivators of the past and/or present, let's negate all the old forces' arrangements and thoughts that time has run out or that there are no more opportunities to cultivate or do even better. We should embrace every moment during this time and do our best to reach out and bring back every single cultivator who has fallen behind or is in the midst of falling behind. Master assured us during the “Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference:”
“Disciple: Some Dafa disciples in China won’t step forward after having been persecuted, but, having disciples who lag behind will drag out the Fa-rectification process. Could we ask Master to enlighten us on this?
“Master: They won’t delay it, for time waits for no one, after all. It’s just that Master is continuing to provide opportunities, and we can wait for you during the process in between. However, the true, great, final moment cannot be delayed.”
I will close with one of Master's poems from Essentials for Further Advancement II:
“The Knowing Heart
With Teacher guiding the voyage, the Fa saves all beings,
One sail is hoisted, one hundred million sails follow.
With attachments left behind, the lightened boats sail swiftly,
With a preoccupied human heart, crossing the ocean proves arduous.
The wind and clouds suddenly change, and the heavens seem to crumble,
The mountains shake, the seas churn, and the ferocious waves billow.
Follow Teacher closely, steadfastly cultivating Dafa,
With attachments too strong, bearings are lost.
Some flee for their lives, deserting capsized boats and torn sails,
As the mud and sand are completely sifted, gold shines forth.
Grand talk counts for naught when it comes to life and death,
Actions reveal what is true.
When the day of Consummation arrives,
The great disclosure of the truth will leave the world in amazement.”
Category: Returning to Cultivation