(Minghui.org) I know I haven't been very diligent in my cultivation for the last several years, especially after I entered graduate school. My learning and living environment was very comfortable, and I seized that opportunity to pursue an easy life. I slept late and spent a lot of time shopping online and off, playing games, and chatting. When my mother pointed out my improper state, I used the lame argument that the students in the dormitory were all like that. I euphemistically called it “conforming to everyday people.” My conforming to everyday people status thus amplified my attachments of a mind of lust, seeking profit, comfort, and so on. I basically was not in a good cultivation state. When I found my problem and knew I had really stumbled, what was I to do?

From the author

Greetings, Compassionate Great Master!

Greetings, Mainland China and fellow practitioners around the world!

I began Dafa cultivation with my mother in 1998 when I was 11 years old. Under Master's compassionate care, I have grown into a young Dafa disciple. During the course of more than ten years of cultivation, I experienced ups and downs, yet they were very precious. During this period, I submitted a few articles to several Fa conferences, but I will not repeat them here. I want to share some of my cultivation progress since the beginning of this year.

My Attachments and Slacking Off in Cultivation Caused a Huge Loophole – Believing in Master and the Fa Enabled Me to Survive a Life and Death Tribulation

One night in February of this year while I was doing the second exercise, I suddenly had chest pains, along with temporary hearing loss. I then could not balance myself and fell down. With that kind of pain along with my fear, I really felt like I was going to die. I realized right away that this was a tribulation to take my life. I immediately sent forth righteous thoughts to negate the evil persecution and asked for Master's blessing. This serious sickness karma lasted for an hour and then gradually subsided. I sent forth righteous thoughts without stopping and I told myself, “I am a Dafa disciple and only what Master says counts.” I also asked for Master's blessing. That night my mother helped me to send forth righteous thoughts for a long time to completely negate and disintegrate the evil persecution of me. By the next morning I was back to normal.

In this unexpected situation, my first thought was that I was a practitioner. I immediately sent forth righteous thoughts to negate and disintegrate the evil. With my steadfast belief in Teacher and the Fa, the old forces were unable to destroy me in this surprise attack. They changed their strategy and used long-term sickness karma to interfere with me in an attempt to wear down my cultivation willpower. I began having sickness karma for extended periods, and I experienced daily tribulations where I often felt abnormal discomfort in my heart. I had chest and back pains, accompanied by breathing difficulties and dizziness. For several nights, I didn't sleep well. Even when I did fall asleep, I was awakened frequently with heart palpitations.

As I understand it, looking inward is the fundamental difference between Dafa disciples and everyday people. Under the extreme limitations of my physical and mental condition, I began looking within for my problems. I actually knew I hadn't practiced diligently for the past several years, especially since I entered graduate school. My learning and living environment was very relaxed and I had yielded to pursuing a comfortable life. I slept late every day, and I spent lots of time shopping online and off, playing games, chatting, etc. When my mother pointed out my improper state, I lamely argued that other students living in the dorms were doing the same. I euphemistically called it “conforming to everyday people.” My attachments of playing, lust, personal gain, and seeking comfort were amplified through this long term preoccupation. The time I spent on seeking fun things greatly exceeded the time I spent on studying the Fa, and I couldn't concentrate when I studied it. Some days I only read one or two pages, or not at all. I let slip sending righteous thoughts. I was inevitably out of sync with Dafa and I was basically separated from my cultivation state. My lack of diligence in cultivating provided artificial nourishment to the demons that had spread unchecked in my field, and provided the old forces with grounds to persecute me. At this time, I had deep discussions with my mother and found many of my attachments, loopholes, and shortcomings. I was awakened.

I had found my problem, but my stumbling was huge. What was I to do? Master said,

“Don't worry, and this includes some of those who've stumbled. Just hurry up and get up.” (“Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference”)

Knowing my loopholes and attachments, I was determined to mend my ways. However, when I really wanted to get rid of those attachments and corrupt ideas, I found that they had become extremely stubborn. It was like the attachment of browsing on the Internet shopping for clothes. At first if I did not want to browse the Internet, I would feel irritated and unwell. If I didn't have enough resolve, I would be sucked in and want to look further. I would keep reading the website for half an hour or even an hour. Then that would make me fall into a trap set by the evil. I later gradually realized that the evil used my attachments to make me involuntarily give in. Isn't doing things involuntarily the same as being unable to control yourself? Isn't it when your own main consciousness cannot control yourself, your attachments dominate you? I realized that if this trend continued, it could become very serious! I was determined that regardless of how irritated I was, I would not visit the clothing website. I persisted for some time and my attachment became less and less. I now basically have gotten rid of this attachment.

During the tribulation of sickness karma, I became aware of many of my strong human mindsets such as fear, having a grudge, being demanding, etc. Being fearful was the worst of all. Since starting cultivation, although I had the symptoms of sickness karma from time to time, as long as I had a firm grasp of a clear mind, it would be over, and it had never been so huge that it touched upon the test of a life and death situation. Thus, when I experienced the tribulations this time, I thoroughly exposed my fear of death. When I suffered to the extreme, death appeared in my subconscious more than once, especially when it first manifested. I was so afraid of death during that time. I was frightened even when I heard my mother's phone conversation with her friend, mentioning, "She died so young." After I calmed down, I realized that this was due to my fear of death. I understood that it was a good opportunity to cultivate away this mindset. So whenever fear appeared, I forced myself to face the fear. I told myself that I was a Dafa disciple and I had nothing to fear. At the same time I firmly denied the evil and disintegrated it. Sometimes when I could no longer suppress my fear, I would repeatedly recite Master's poem,

“Should you have fear,
it will seize upon you
If thoughts are righteous,
evil will collapse
The cultivator’s mind
is loaded with Fa
Send righteous thoughts,
and rotten demons explode
Gods walk the earth,
validating the Fa” (“What’s to Fear?” from Hong Yin II)

After I persisted for over a month, the fear greatly weakened and it no longer had any effect on me.

Through the tribulations of sickness karma, I really felt that I had made some progress in my mindset and enlightenment quality. Through this painful lesson, I had an unprecedented clarity and recognition of the essence of life: I am a Dafa disciple and my life is with the Fa. The only meaning and purpose of my existence is to cultivate, to help Master rectify the Fa, and to save sentient beings. All the things in ordinary human society were just the elements I needed to complete my mission. They had no real significance and, ultimately, would be abandoned. Also, when I was in the worst pain, I had a thought from deep in my heart: I only listened to Master as to whether I needed to endure or whether it was persecution imposed upon me from outside. If I owed something to those who had persecuted me, I would just obey Master's arrangements to give back whatever I owed. We are now in the Fa-rectification period, and if I had any previous agreements with the old forces that did not agree with Fa-rectification, they were all null and void. If I did not do well and thus was interfered with by external factors, I would remedy myself and firmly reject the so-called arrangements of tests. In short, only what Master said counted. My existence was only to assist Master to rectify the Fa and to save sentient beings, and I asked for nothing else. I also realized that I indeed hadn't done enough in clarifying the truth for the last several years. Since my survival was at stake, I had to take real responsibility for Dafa, sentient beings, and myself.

Master saw that I wanted to save sentient beings, and he opened my wisdom. One day while I was doing the exercises, I suddenly thought I could provide others with the means to overcome the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) Internet firewall so that people could access the truth about Falun Gong. I condensed the directions into a few words on a small strip of paper. The following day I went to school to print out many copies of the small strips and bought some envelopes. I then went to the supermarkets and parking lots to distribute them. I also made some truth-clarifying materials on small self-sticking papers and pasted them on buses, bus stops, fences, parks, handrails, bulletin boards, etc. The result was good.

When I read the Minghui website, I learned about many elderly practitioners who had been using cell phones to clarify the truth. I asked a fellow practitioner to help me buy a cell phone for that purpose. Every time I went out, I would bring the truth-clarifying papers, self-sticking notes, and the cell phone with me to clarify the truth.

On one occasion, my mother and I went to a village to post truth-clarifying materials. We pasted them on telephone poles and on the wall along the main road as we walked. After returning home, while we were sending forth righteous thoughts, I saw the following: Along the main road to the village we took, there were people standing on both sides of the road separated by a few meters. They wore strange black clothing with a high hat. Each person held a glass, while I stood in the middle of the road. They seemed to be celebrating for me. I found it very strange, because my celestial eye hadn't opened. I had never seen such a clear picture. After finishing sending forth righteous thoughts, I told my mother what I had seen. Mother was very encouraged and said that it was a celebration and thanks from the sentient beings who had been saved. Master was encouraging us!

Eliminating the Attachment of Emotion for Family Members through Tribulations

When the CCP started the persecution of Falun Dafa in 1999, my father began to oppose my mother practicing Dafa instead of supporting her as in the past. He often fought with my mother and me and tried to force us to give up our practice. Besides my mother being imprisoned by the Chinese Communist Party twice, many aspects of life involving money and honor made my father hostile toward Dafa. He thought that my mother's cultivation was harmful to the family. All those years, mother and I persisted in clarifying the truth to him from various angles, using direct and indirect ways. We made it clear to him that our family suffered from unwarranted persecution because of the unjustifiable persecution. We strove to do our best in all aspects of life to show the goodness of Dafa. However, Father blindly listened to the evil Party propaganda and focused on the loss of his perceived interests and thus had hatred towards Dafa and mother. Over the years, he had burned the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, torn up Dafa books, and smashed Dafa pictures. He even went to the forced labor camp to asked them to not release my mother, saying something like: “She hasn't changed and needs to be imprisoned a few more days.” This year I have made it absolutely clear to him that I was also cultivating in Dafa, and he became even more hostile towards Dafa and us.

About one month ago, Father suddenly burst into the bedroom mother and I shared and picked up a picture frame with Master's photo in it and smashed it. He took out the picture from the frame and shredded and then burned it. At the time, Mother was in the kitchen cooking and did not have time to come help. I tried to stop him and tried to get the photo back but without success. Mother and I were almost on the brink of collapse. This time Mother did not maintain her xinxing and immediately asked for a divorce. I was also in a rage and immediately went along with Mother. I also said that I would live with her. Seeing this situation, my father had no room for maneuvering and immediately agreed. However, this time mother still couldn't let go of her feelings for Father and was choked with tears. My anger was still lingering and I immediately drafted a divorce agreement. Finally, Father left the house angrily.

After Father left, Mother and I gradually calmed down. We sat side by side and shared our thoughts: Was what we had done like Dafa practitioners? Teacher said,

“Nothing happens in cultivation without a reason. When incorrect states and bad human conduct surface among us, those things have come to target human attachments. We don't acknowledge the old forces' arrangements, but, when we fail to do well they will exploit our gaps. So, perhaps it was that a particular place needed to be targeted in that manner, and that was why an incident happened.” “For a cultivator, looking within is a magical tool.”

(“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference”)

When mother and I calmed down, we both looked inward to find our own attachments. I found I had a strong affection for my family, as well as fear, resentment, and combativeness. With so many human notions, how could the old forces not exploit my loopholes? Mother also was aware of her feelings for Father, as well as the serious human mindset of being controlling and competitiveness. In reality, she had strong feelings for him. All these years, the two of us practitioners were unable to mend the bad thoughts and concepts of an ordinary person. Fa-rectification is coming to an end and yet we still were unable to extricate ourselves from the family hardships. And in the final analysis, what we had done was really bad. Because our sentiment for Father was so deep, the old forces were able to manipulate him to manufacture tribulations as “tests,” which led to his committing crimes against Dafa again and again all these years. Father's sinful conduct was grave and he could face a tragic end.

However, we were only focusing on his negative side and thus resented him, were disappointed in him, had no idea how to help him, and considered him incorrigible. We hardly realized we were the root cause of his committing crimes against Dafa! When Mother and I came to realize it, we felt ashamed and remorseful for being in a poor cultivation state. There had to be a reason why Father and two Dafa disciples had a predestined relationship in this life. There are countless sentient beings behind him waiting for salvation! When Fa-rectification comes to an end and the truth becomes known, how will we face him and the sentient beings he represents? Aware of this, Mother and I started sending forth righteous thoughts continuously to clear up sentiment, fear, and hate in our own fields and thoroughly clear our family practice environment to not allow any external factors to interfere with or persecute us. We also cleaned up our own minds and the bad factors controlling Father, to prevent the old forces from using our loopholes as an excuse to persecute and destroy sentient beings. Mother and I felt our own awareness of the Fa principles and had an increasingly clearer understanding of the Fa. We no longer were dragged down by our emotions and sad. Instead, we felt our compassion expanding. With help from fellow practitioners, we recognized the reason why Dafa practitioners should not divorce and thus set aside the attachment of divorce, and focused instead on sending forth righteous thoughts to negate and clear up the evil.

In subsequent communications with my father, Mother and I apologized to him for Mother raising the idea of divorce and me going along with it. But Mother insisted that she did not agree that he could destroy the picture. Mother and I again made known our determination to cultivate in Dafa. As the evil could not do anything else, Father never mentioned this incident after he came home. This crisis was thus resolved.

The lesson of this family tribulation is exceedingly grievous. Our loopholes allowed the evil to take advantage of us and brought serious losses to Master and Dafa, and committed monstrous crimes to sentient beings. Afterwards, we knelt in front of Master's photo and sincerely repented our mistakes, promising to try harder to cultivate ourselves well, save those sentient beings, and mend our family cultivation environment in order to make up for the mistake.

During 14 years of trials and hardships in my cultivation, I am well aware of my gross inadequacies in cultivation, and I am far behind those fellow practitioners who cultivate diligently. I do not entirely deserve to be called a “Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple,” a title that Master has bestowed upon us. I am grateful for our compassionate Master not giving up on me. Master, I will never be able to know how much you have cared for and endured for me along the way! I will cultivate diligently and do the three things well to thoroughly assimilate to the Fa and to harmonize what you want us to do, to be worthy of your compassionate salvation of sentient beings and be worthy of my vow in coming to this world.

My understanding is limited. Please kindly advise if there is any incorrect understanding.

Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!