I have been cultivating for some years, and the broad and immense inner meaning of Dafa kept unfolding whenever my xinxing was elevated. I often felt that I had not cultivated at all. Teacher is so compassionate. Whenever I was able to find a little bit of my shortcomings, Teacher helped me up. Without Teacher I would not exist. On the path of cultivation, we have gradually gotten out of the selfish nature of the old universe and moved toward Godhood under the compassionate care of Teacher and after overcoming fear bit by bit. This is not a fairy tale, but a fact which is happening right now.
-- By the author
The annual Internet Experience Sharing Conference for Practitioners in China is drawing near. I wrote this sharing about more than a year's worth of experiences and hereby report to Teacher and share with fellow practitioners in order to harmonize the Fa and elevate together.
Looking Inward, Tribulation Is a Ladder for Improvement in Cultivation
I am a young practitioner. My parents used to cultivate in Dafa but were forced to give it up because they could no longer bear the extreme pressure after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to persecute Falun Gong. Since they had been poisoned by the CCP propaganda and were driven by fear, they pressured me into giving up my cultivation, so the cultivation environment at home has never been good.
I myself drifted with the current for a period of time. Deep in my heart, however, I longed to cultivate Dafa nobly and righteously. My parents thought if I got married, I might give up my cultivation. They pressured me about this. Since I still had lust and affection, which needed to be eliminated, as well as human attachments and affection to family members, I was under extreme pressure all the time. However, I knew very clearly that, should I marry an everyday person, my cultivation path would be even harder.
Teacher did not abandon me. I gradually melted into the one body again and met Practitioner A, who was about my age, and he asked me to marry him. Practitioner A's way of thinking and his life experiences were totally different from mine, yet I could accept a lot of things. Furthermore, at that time I was not quite clear whether, as a practitioner, I was suited to have a family. Very quickly, we experienced a lot of things together. During the process I discovered how wonderful it is to cooperate and also learned that Practitioner A's family had some misunderstandings about Dafa because of the persecution he had suffered. He, too, was pressured to start a family. After we had several long talks, we agreed to form a family. But we did it so we could do the three things better, allow both families and relatives to have a better understanding of Dafa and us, as well as to cooperate better when clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings. Therefore, on the surface we were husband and wife, but, in essence, we were fellow practitioners.
We had very pure hearts and were responsible for the Fa and ourselves. Very quickly, we bought a house. As we started preparations for the wedding, we came across a problem. Many of the guests were hard to meet. They did not know the truth about Falun Gong because of the status of my parents. I wanted very much to use this opportunity to let them learn the truth. After we talked about it, Practitioner A suggested we invite practitioners that could clarify the truth to our guests and hand out Shen Yun DVDs. I thought the idea was terrific, but at that time a lot of human thoughts emerged. On the one hand, I hoped that my parents would not see anyone clarifying the truth during the wedding. It would not look good. On the other hand, I worried about fellow practitioners' opinions of me. I also thought about the safety issue when distributing Shen Yun DVDs at such a public occasion.
Eventually, I thought of Teacher's words,
“With something as significant as saving sentient beings you should just do what you are supposed to do, going about it in a composed manner. When you encounter things that don’t sound so good or that aren’t what you hoped for, don’t take it to heart, and just nobly and confidently do what you are supposed to.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting”)
I realized that I must improve my xinxing level. Therefore, I let go of all my human thoughts and arranged our wedding according to what Practitioner A had suggested. On the day of our wedding, a lot of practitioners were present and were arranged to sit at different tables, so that they could clarify the truth to the guests and they gave almost every guest a Shen Yun DVD. Some of the guests even quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations!
In order to match the wedding celebration, fellow practitioners put Shen Yun DVDs into the envelopes with the wedding design. This actually ran counter to the Clearwisdom rule that the cover of Shen Yun DVDs cannot be altered without permission. When my parents later found out that we distributed so many Shen Yun DVDs, they flew into a rage. My father even wanted to report it to the authorities and ask the restaurant manager to look for the practitioners who had handed out the DVDs through their security camera. He also told me to explain the situation to Practitioner A.
After sharing with Practitioner A and other local practitioners, we decided to send forth righteous thoughts continuously. Practitioner B, who was one of my relatives, went to my parents' home to clarify the truth first. He told them how serious the persecution of Falun Gong was and the harm it could bring them and their families if they framed others. He also told them that, if they harmed a practitioner, it would bring harm to them as well. Meanwhile, he tried to appeal to my parents' kindness. At last my parents gave up their plans. When Practitioner A and I returned home, our problems were already a lot less. When my parents called us, I told them that what we did was a good thing for people and it was worth doing it. We intensified the strength of our sending forth righteous thoughts, and the bad factors were eliminated very quickly.
After we married, Practitioner A was not home most of the time due to his work. In addition, we had constant conflicts in our life together because we were thinking differently. I thought he was selfish, was not considerate of others, and had no sense of responsibility. He thought I paid too much attention to myself and had too many human thoughts. Our most serious problem was that we both put ourselves high above others, protected and validated ourselves, looked down upon others, and often liked to nitpick about other people's shortcomings. As a result, we were not as diligent as we had agreed to be, but interfered with each other. The old forces used our attachment to lust in order to create conflicts between us in an attempt to create a separation.
At the beginning of our conflicts, I cried and argued with him angrily, and I also nagged him about his shortcomings. I failed to realize at that time that I did not have any compassion, nor did I try to understand and be tolerant of a fellow practitioner. Instead I emphasized my own feelings, wanting to be correct, and forced my own understanding onto other practitioners. When my human thoughts emerged, I did not want to suffer such a pain.
At that time Teacher's Fa always emerged in my mind,
“You have grown used to focusing on other people's shortcomings, and never take examining your own self seriously. When others' cultivation one day meets with success, what about you? Isn't Master hoping that you are cultivating well?” (“Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles”)
Thereafter, I felt that I was not really like a practitioner and that I had let Teacher down. I knew that, according to the Fa principles, I must look inward and not focus on others.
However, it was easy to recognize something, but it was very difficult to put it into practice. Living in this human world for many years and having been guided by the CCP media, I had some very deep-rooted notions. I always thought that a man should do more housework and take meticulous care of his wife. However, Practitioner A's thinking was simple, and he had fewer notions than I. He knew little about the ways of the world, so most of the time he failed to do what I expected. Therefore, I lost my balance, and ordinary human attachments, such as to reputation and self-interest, unconsciously emerged. I compared my family with other families and noticed that I, who used to be in a fairly good financial position, suffered a lot of hardship after getting married. I also felt that I did not get the understanding and respect I had expected. Since I had still failed to let go of lust, Practitioner A asked me to have sex with him. It disgusted me, and I thought that he did not uphold the agreement we had made before our marriage. Besides, we were also confronted with the conflicts of our two families. I really felt like:
“Abundant troubles rain down together, ” (“Tempering the Will” from Hong Yin)
However, instead of looking inward and letting go of my attachments during these tribulations, I always complained about Practitioner A and always measured him with Dafa, but not myself. Repeated sharings also proved to be fruitless, so the conflicts continued. I sat on the bank of a lake with tears in my eyes and felt extremely bitter in my heart. At that time, it felt as if Teacher was beside me and compassionately gave me a hint: Because it is a path toward heaven, it is very difficult. I realized I must let go of my attachments because I have chosen cultivation, and cultivation is a very serous matter. When I studied the Fa on returning home, I read about how to deal with conflicts and improving xinxing in Lecture 4 of Zhuan Falun. I had been very familiar with this content, yet all of a sudden it became strange to me, and I felt very ashamed. I knew it was reminding me that I had to be in line with Teacher's guidance, and I decided to change myself.
From then on, I assumed more responsibility regarding housework and had no more regrets. I also showed more interest in my husband's life. I forgave him from the bottom of my heart and helped him to handle all sorts of needs his family had. I also took meticulous care of his mother. Whenever conflicts occurred, I reminded myself to be kind and compassionate. As a result, all our family members praised me for my deeds and quite a few of them gradually learned the truth about Falun Dafa. Some of them even obtained blessings in their life. We knew it was the result of Teacher's compassion and the virtue of Dafa. It was really like Teacher said,
"The Buddha-light illuminates everywhere and rectifies all abnormalities." (Zhuan Falun)
As a genuine cultivator, I need to follow the requirement of Dafa and look inward until it becomes automatic. Whatever tribulations I come across, no matter how uncomfortable or unpleasant they may be, I must cherish the opportunity to get rid of my human attachments. I must seek out my attachments and measure everything according to the Fa and rectify myself, since tribulations help me to elevate my cultivation level. As a matter of fact, all bad things are also good things.
Treating Cultivation Seriously and Believing in Teacher and the Fa During Tribulations
After getting married, we were not too well off financially. Practitioner A's family was not well-off, so we had to depend on his and my salary. My father-in-law had some debt, so we also needed to support his relatives.
One day Practitioner A told me that he noticed some problems with the products his company produced. His boss knew about the problems, but did not inform anyone. Instead he asked them to work overtime. Other practitioners in the company did not know about it. I discussed this with Practitioner A and said that practitioners, wherever we go, must be beneficial to society. We should never ever do anything that could discredit Dafa and harm others. Cultivation is a serious matter, so as practitioners we must be responsible to the Fa and ourselves. For the benefit of the other practitioners in that company, Practitioner A and I decided that he would not quit his job quietly, but that he and the other practitioners would talk to the leaders of the company. Together they then advised the leaders not to continue to produce these products and explained to them: “He that mischief hatches, mischief catches.” Since the company management did not want to listen, Practitioner A and the other practitioners left the company. Practitioner A was unemployed, and our family finances worsened. However, we believed in Teacher and Dafa. Teacher said,
“Even if the sky were to fall, a cultivator's righteous thoughts would stay unshaken--that is cultivation.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students”)
We must continue to do the things well that we must do.
After he quit his job, many things happened, and sometimes I felt as though the problems bristled with difficulties. The boss of that company spread rumors that Practitioner A had left the company after stealing the company's interests. Practitioners held different opinions, and sometimes they treated us based on their misunderstandings. Practitioner A began to look for a new job but was not successful for quite some time. Not long after that, the CCP arrested a lot of the local practitioners. Sometimes, I even felt that my own dimensional field was not clean and I was very depressed. Practitioner A wanted to find a new job as soon as possible. At one point, he had a strong mentality of wanting to accomplish a task. I tried to talk to him to calm him down, but I also worried about him. Not long thereafter, the practitioner who was helping Practitioner A look for a new job was arrested. Several other practitioners who had direct contact with us were also arrested. We were under increased pressure.
On the surface the difficulties were enormous. We knew very clearly that letting go of our attachments during conflicts was heart-wrenching, but, as practitioners, our righteous thoughts should not waver. We must keep every thought of ours righteous. We took part in the local Fa study, shared with the local practitioners, paid attention to cooperation with fellow practitioners, and intensively sent forth righteous thoughts. When we noticed some misunderstandings or bad tendencies among practitioners, we tried to share with others with the intent to harmonize our one body. Gradually, we noticed that our dimensional field became clearer and brighter, and with that, the rumors died down.
Practitioner A let go of his attachment to finding a job and spent more time studying the Fa. The situation began to change, and he found an ideal job very quickly. We knew this had happened because of Teacher. When Teacher noticed that we had elevated our xinxing, He helped us and removed the bad substance from us.
Letting Go of Selfishness Through Cultivation, Harmonizing the One Body and Elevating Together with Fellow practitioners
After joining the local Fa study group, I noticed that the situation was not that optimistic. Most of the practitioners there were intellectuals who had formed a lot of concepts and notions through science over a long period of time. They found it hard to break away from the notion of “Seeing is believing.” Besides, the experience of being persecuted caused a lot of practitioners to have a strong fear mentality, thus they failed to really step forward and join the activities to clarify the facts. Regarding materials, they basically still remained at the stage of “waiting, relying on others, and asking for ready-made materials.” A lot of practitioners could not consistently attend the Fa study group. I understood that it was Teacher who arranged for us to go there so that we had the opportunity to share with fellow practitioners and elevate together.
Some practitioners complained because they thought they were betrayed or harmed by fellow practitioners. Though they knew that Dafa was good, they had difficulty parting with these feelings, and they still failed to reach the state of firmly believing in Teacher and Dafa. Practitioner A and I spoke with a practitioner and told her that Teacher had been looking after her all the time. Even during the period when she had misunderstandings about Dafa, Teacher still gave her hints. We also used our own examples to share with this practitioner. We talked about the seriousness of cultivation and that we have to rationally walk on the path of cultivation. We also talked about letting go of human attachments, the requirement to study the Fa a lot, but not with human methods. We encouraged her to strengthen her righteous thoughts. After sharing, we noticed that she looked lost in her thoughts. I thought that we needed to continue sharing like this.
At our Fa study group, Practitioner C came from another area, and she was in part responsible for processing materials. She did everything very fast, thus she really worried about the condition of our Fa study group. Originally, she had planned to lead practitioners to do some truth-clarification work. Every time after we read the Fa, she spoke with us about Clearwisdom articles. She used this opportunity to remind us to keep up with the Fa-rectification process by drawing upon her experience while she did the three things. Thereafter, Practitioner C provided us with some truth-clarification materials and paper currency with information written on it and asked us to take whatever amount suited us. I thought, since we had Practitioner C, who was highly experienced, our Fa study group seemed to be secure. Therefore, I shifted all my responsibilities onto Practitioner C, including processing the truth-clarification materials, sharing with fellow practitioners, and being the person who pointed out any cultivation problems. Without knowing it, I became one of those practitioners who were “waiting, relying on others, and taking ready made materials.” Therefore, I fostered my attachments of selfishness, reliance and seeking comfort. The factors of the old forces noticed this situation and began to create separations among us. Practitioner C had big differences with Practitioner D, and told us that she was really very busy and might not have time to come to our Fa study group anymore. All of a sudden we lost our source of getting materials. I visited Practitioner C and asked her not to be moved by human attachments and tried to persuade her to come back to our group and to continue to help the practitioners in our group. She frankly told me about her daily life, and I noticed that she was really busy shuttling between several Fa study groups. Besides, she also went to places near where practitioners were detained to send forth righteous thoughts and produced truth-clarification materials. She was really extremely busy. Upon learning all this, I asked her if I could help her. She showed me the procedures for producing the paper currency with written information. First of all, we needed to wash and clean the bills, dry them, and press them flat. The next step was to print truth-clarification information on them. Then we needed to wax the paper bills and tie them in bundles. She hoped that I could share her workload doing this. I thought about the practitioners who had been arrested for processing these materials. Could I be at risk as well if I helped to do this? I realized very quickly that it was my selfishness and wanting to protect myself. I really should share this responsibility. I talked to Practitioner C and told her that I wanted to help. When I returned home, I tried to print truth-clarification bills, and the results were pretty good. I knew it was Teacher who encouraged me. Gradually, I took over the project from Practitioner C. The process of printing information onto paper money was also a process of cultivation. First of all, I had to remember that I could not misuse Dafa's money. I had to pick out the bills that were worn out, damaged, or too filthy to print on and then exchange it for the equivalent amount of new bills. To achieve a better quality, I often talked to my Fa objects, sent forth righteous thoughts, and read the Fa to them. Therefore, the printing went smoothly every time. I cherished every bill as being a life and made it into a flyer that contained Dafa information. I selected proper contents and then printed it onto the paper money. Whenever I noticed an ink stain, I cleaned it up, dried it, and reprinted it. When I applied wax, I took meticulous care to ensure that the truth-clarification information was still fresh even after a long period of circulation. I also sent forth righteous thoughts to make sure this bill would reach all the people with a predestined relationship. As practitioners we should not have separations among us, so I spoke with Practitioner C and Practitioner D. At the same time, I realized that their conflict happened in front of me, and I also needed to find the part that I must relinquish. During the process of sharing with fellow practitioners, I felt that I must stick to one principle. I have to be tolerant toward fellow practitioners, not force my opinions onto them, not make accusations against or complain about them, and not look down on them. Helping fellow practitioners is also a process of cultivation. We must get rid of the attachments of anxiety, jealousy, relying on others, and selfishness. We must also guide our words and deeds with Dafa and elevate with fellow practitioners.
Cultivate Ourselves Well to Bring the Sentient Beings a Bright Future
During the process of clarifying the truth, I realized more clearly that, should I fail to cultivate well, I would be unable to fulfill my mission and save sentient beings. Sometimes the opportunities were available but either I could not open my mouth and talk or failed to save people when I did open my mouth. Every practitioner is responsible for a certain area. My understanding was that everyone and everything in my life belongs to my area of responsibility. For example, my residential area and the surrounding areas, my work place, as well as my relatives and colleagues. I met a lot of young students because of my work. Often, I wanted to clarify the truth to them completely at ease, however, I was simply unable to open my mouth and my mind was blank. I knew it was a manifestation of failing to pay attention to studying the Fa.
At the end of one semester, I clarified the truth in a class I felt pretty good about. I talked about topics from evolution to many unsolved mysteries. However, I came across interference very shortly. Several students challenged me and laughed at my ideas, saying they were different from the official knowledge. My heart was moved. These students were apparently interfered with by the evil factors, but I failed to calm down and send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the bad factors behind them. Instead I was trapped in humanness and was governed by anger and emotion. Though I did not go into a rage, I could not finish telling all the students the facts and only briefly mentioned a few of them. I even felt wronged afterward.
I was really shocked by this incident and realized that it was far from enough to only clarify the truth. During the process, we also need wisdom to unlock the hearts of different groups of people. At the same time, we need great benevolence and great forbearance to deal with sudden insults and personal attacks. We must remain unmoved, continue to save sentient beings, and maintain a firm believe in Dafa and thus not lose our course. Should I fail to cultivate well, the manifestation of my human attachments and the irrational response would be a disaster to sentient beings. Why couldn't I treat these issues seriously? Actually, Teacher talked about it long time ago.
“Validate the Fa with rationality, clarify the truth with wisdom, spread the Fa and save people with mercy - this is establishing the mighty virtue of an Enlightened Being. ” (“Rationality ” from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
It was really my mistake. After this incident, I wrote an article and posted it in a spot for everyone to see and apologized for my shortcomings. Thereafter, I showed concern for my students just as in the past and continued to find opportunities to clarify the truth to them.
Sometimes when clarifying the truth to the students, I noticed that those who were usually considered naughty were the ones who accepted the truth more easily. This proved to me that we must not clarify the truth with any notions or attachments to treating different people differently. Sometimes, we need to have more patience and benevolence when we clarify the truth. Only then can we untie the knots in their hearts. This requires a higher standard for our cultivation.
One day when I was holding a class about traditional Chinese culture, one student refuted my opinion and said that the traditional Chinese culture made China weak and therefore a target for foreign powers to bully. Another student thought he would lose face if he could not answer my questions, so he was very unhappy, and he also was dissatisfied with me. After that, both of them went to some kind of training and did not attend my class. Many other students also did not come to my class for various reasons. I was worried and begged Teacher for help and tried to find a way for all students to be able to listen to my truth-clarification. I also knew that I must have benevolence and show all my students that I was concerned about them and did not object to their attitudes. Teacher did help me. During my last class, all my students showed up, and I seized the opportunity to clarify the truth as much as possible. I patiently stated the harm the CCP ideology had done to our nation as well as the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong. When I saw the student who had refuted my opinion, I encouraged him to be a good person with a conscience in our society. He was very much moved and repeatedly said that he agreed with me. He also told me that he was grateful to me for telling him these things and that he would remember everything. I was pleased, because another life had been saved. I thanked Teacher for his help. When seeing the student who had been dissatisfied with me, I advised him to be more mature and calm when dealing with issues in society. He was also moved and settled malevolent relationships with benevolent solutions. With the support of Teacher, I helped several dozen people to withdraw from the CCP and its affiliated organizations.
Last year I took over a class of students who supposedly behaved poorly and their moral standards were very bad. Therefore, no teacher liked the class, saying the class was “evil.” I followed Teacher's words and treated these students with compassion and managed the class without any notions nor tricks, but patiently taught them and showed concern for them. After I took over this class, it turned around. First of all, they all showed up for my class and only seldom missed a class. Secondly, they all tried hard to finish their assigned homework and felt close to me. After class, whenever they saw me even from a distance, they all greeted me in unison. At the end of the school term, their exam grades on the subject I had been teaching them were better than in their other classes, and not a single student in my class failed. They even got the highest grades among their many classes. Some students told me that no one had ever really showed any concern for them in such an environment until I took over the class.
When I clarified the facts, many people understood and accepted it. Some students told me solemnly after they had learned the truth, “I promise to withdraw from the CCP and its affiliated organizations.” Later, I cooperated with Practitioner A and sent text messages to my colleagues and students. Not long after that, I learned that some of my students also told other students the facts. I was really grateful for Teacher's compassion and the grace of Dafa!
Some of my good friends had problems at home. Someone, who was considered quite good, had an affair with another woman and consequently the family was on the verge of being torn apart. While I helped them to mediate a solution, I brought them the truth and the beauty of Dafa. These two, who both had strong personalities and were diametrically opposed toward each other, took Dafa as their code of conduct. It helped them to solve a lot of conflicts. However, the man could not let go of his mistress, so the crisis still existed in this family. The process of my mediation was also a process of cultivation. Before I practiced Falun Gong, I was one who abhorred evil as a deadly foe, so I was indignant about the harm this man brought to his family because of his affair with another woman. As a result, when I talked to him, I was emotional. I knew that was not right, so I tried very hard to understand him. I thought that he was kind, so I tried to bring out his kindness. However, not long after my mediation, which almost solved their problem, the conflict between this couple emerged again, because the woman thought that her husband still hadn't fully forgotten his mistress.
On the one hand, I realized that it took time to solve this conflict, but on the other hand, maybe this other woman had a predestined relationship and needed to hear the truth about Falun Gong, thus I decided to visit her. Even though I had this thought, my human side still disapproved of her. These notions were hindering me, and after I spoke with fellow practitioners, I thought I must elevate myself. All sentient beings came for the Fa, and having a karmic relationship with my good friend might have been her opportunity to learn the truth. I let go of my acquired notions of like and dislike and wrote her a letter. During the process, I repeatedly improved my words, because I wanted to make sure that my letter would show her my sincerity and give her a reason to analyze the issue, which was for her own good. She replied, and during the exchange of our correspondence, I gradually noticed her trouble, and therefore I really had compassion for her. At last, she apologized to my good friend, and the two parties settled a malevolent predestined relationship with a benevolent solution under the Buddha's light. When the woman saw her husband happy again living with his child, she had tears in her eyes.
Teacher published several articles that all emphasized the importance of cultivating ourselves well. I think I must study the Fa more and study it well so that I can unfold the greatness and the beauty of Dafa by myself, as well as bringing all sentient beings a beautiful future.
I have been cultivating for some years, and the broad and immense inner meaning of Dafa keeps unfolding whenever my xinxing elevates. I often felt that I had not cultivated at all. Teacher is so compassionate. Whenever I was able to find a little bit of my shortcoming, Teacher would drag me upwards. Without Teacher, there would be no me. On the path of cultivation we have gradually gotten out of the selfish nature of the old universe and moved toward Godhood under the compassionate care of Teacher and after overcoming fear bit by bit. This is not a fairy tale, but a fact which is happening right now.
Now the environment for cultivation in China is quite different from that in the past, but the criteria for us to be more diligent is by far not less. I hope that all practitioners can walk on the path arranged by Teacher, harmonize with what Teacher wants, save more sentient beings, and really become the guarantee sentient beings can trust.
Thank you, Teacher! Thank you, fellow practitioners!