Emerging Out of the Old Forces' Trap
(Minghui.org) Before I heard about Falun Dafa in 1994, I had learned many other qigong systems, and even some evil practices. From 1994 to July 20, 1999 (when the persecution of Falun Dafa began), I read Zhuan Falun only a few times, but some part of me knew that Dafa was good and could allow people to reach consummation. Due to interference from what I had practiced before, I did not truly step into Dafa. The other practice was in my mind, and I was in the state of practicing an evil way. I was conceited, and I kept telling fellow practitioners about my understanding while in this state. I unwittingly caused damage to Dafa, but I didn't realize it. I thought doing various things was the same as cultivating. I had done many surface things, but did not solidly cultivate myself. I could not bear fellow practitioners pointing out my mistakes, and unknowingly went down the path arranged by the old forces. Teacher said in “Be Clearheaded,”
“If you, as a student [of Dafa], do not follow Master's requirements, it is definitely no simple thing. The old forces have arranged for all Dafa disciples a set of their things, so if a Dafa disciple doesn't follow Master's requirements, he must be following the old forces' arrangements. The old forces are in essence gigantic trials and tribulations that accompany you at all times, focused on whether in Fa-rectification Dafa disciples are able to step forward.”
1. Unclear on Fa Principles--Falling Into Traps
In 2001, I developed a skin condition. I felt very uncomfortable and had endless itching day and night. I didn't sleep well for six to seven years and didn't realize that it was caused by interference from the old forces. I thought that since I had practiced so many messed up things, and finally began practicing Falun Gong (in fact I was not genuinely practicing) that if I fell down and went to the hospital, others would blame Falun Gong for it, and it would cause a negative impact on Dafa. Therefore I had a firm thought of never discrediting Teacher and Dafa. Because of my discomfort, I could not read the Fa with focus, nor could I negate the old forces persecution. Instead, I fought with human thoughts every day. I sent righteous thoughts every day, and sometimes I felt a bit better afterward. Sometimes I regarded it as elimination of karma. Later I checked myself, and compared with fellow practitioners' states. I discovered that no one else practiced with so much bitterness and fatigue as I did. I used all means, but the more I wanted to escape from this state, the more I failed to come out of it.
During this time Teacher had been caring for and encouraging me. One day I dreamed that a person fell into a trap. After I woke up, I wondered why they fell into the trap. I read Teacher's Hong Yin II,
All beings, quickly come to!
Traps have been planted in the heartland
‘Tis for the Fa that all have come
Why are you not sensible?
I suddenly understood, I did not study the Fa well, only paid attention to the format and quantity, but did not study with my heart. I did not have a clear understanding of the Fa principles, and fell into the traps planted by the old forces.
2. Ascending in Dafa, True Improvement
Teacher said in “Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference,”
“Some people who used to have illness did recover as soon as they started cultivating Dafa, and they really were cured. But, in order to remove your attachments and test whether or not you have what it takes, the old forces cause you to have pain wherever the focal point of your former illness was, or have a relapse, with the symptoms even being the same, all to see whether you believe in Dafa. How are you to handle it when that happens? Human or divine—the difference lies in one thought. If what arises is a righteous thought, and you take the position that all of this is false, that it’s the old forces meddling, and you remind yourself of how long you’ve cultivated Dafa for and that no such thing is possible, if that thought truly comes from within, instantly the problem will vanish. But this isn’t just something you say and then are able to achieve. That kind of unwavering righteous thought comes from within you, and it is not superficial or just lip service. Suppose some people think, “Oh, Master told us what to say, so that’s what I’ll say,” yet your heart is unsteady, or you are just doing it for Master to see, and have not reached that realm yet. In that case, when that thought of yours does come forth, it will not be able to budge them and have the strength to defeat the old forces’ things. So it won’t work. Only with a righteous thought produced by cultivation will it turn out well.
Precisely so that you can handle such things well, I have never stopped telling you to sincerely study the Fa and do real cultivation, for once the righteous thoughts are strong, you will truly have the god-like might to split a mountain in half—split it with but one thought. Just see if the old forces dare to meddle then. When your righteous thoughts arise, nothing can block your path. It is thus primarily students who haven’t been very diligent, who don’t study the Fa frequently, or whose minds are elsewhere while studying Fa who have been interfered with the most and persecuted the worst. That’s always the case. The Dafa disciples who have cultivated well, however, truly cannot be interfered with—not even in the least. Moreover, their righteous thoughts are strong, and they are helping others at the same time. They are truly helping Master rectify the Fa.”
So I began to memorize the Fa in October last year. The interference was great in the beginning. Bad thoughts often came out, and I rejected them, extinguished them, and eliminated them. I thought that regardless of what the old forces arranged or what agreements they had with me in the past, I must deny them today, and walk the path arranged by my Teacher. I persisted in memorizing the Fa, before reading through the Fa every day.
I also increased the time of sending righteous thoughts, using one hour each day to clean up the bad elements in my mind and field. I previously avoided sending righteous thoughts. When it was time to send righteous thoughts, I said to myself that it would be better to study the Fa more! Actually it was the interference of the thought karma. I didn't send righteous thoughts well, nor did I study the Fa well. With the strengthening of memorizing the Fa and sending righteous thoughts, I felt I had some improvement, however my physical body did not improve, and my condition becae more and more serious. I considered this to be false. I firmly believed in Teacher and Dafa no matter how uncomfortable I was and left my fate to Teacher.
In memorizing the Fa, Teacher continuously pointed out the Fa principles to me, told me to look within during ordeals, and removed attachments including being unable to listen to unpleasant words. I memorized sentence by sentence, as Teacher taught me sentence by sentence how to be a genuine practitioner. The more I memorized, the more I enjoyed, and I became more firm. I really improved my cultivation state, and my physical condition became better and better.
3. Changing Notions and Forming One Body
With the sublimation in the Fa, my notions also changed. My home is the best environment for me to truly practice. I previously had frequent conflicts with my husband (a fellow practitioner), and I easily exploded when he pointed out my shortcomings. I later changed my mind-set, truly regarded him as a fellow practitioner instead of a family member, and cherished our cultivation environment. When he pointed out my problems, I accepted it and thanked him from within, and turned our family environment into a genuine cultivation environment.
My home is set up to produce truth-clarification materials. I previously made these materials with great hesitation, only to reduce fellow practitioners' workload. Upon seeing the computer and printer, I felt so scared, as if they were a bomb in my home. Sometimes I asked myself, "What's wrong with having them here?" Now I just like to harmonize what Teacher wants, and do what Teacher asks us to do. I must do better and better in fulfilling my vow and saving sentient beings.
I was previously unwilling to be in contact with practitioners that I looked down on. Due to my continuous memorizing of the Fa, I began feeling that fellow practitioners were all better than me, and that I needed to improve. With no more resentment or accusations, we have gradually formed one body, and truly let go of ourselves to cooperate with others. We are cooperating better and better, and the path of saving people has widened for us.
It is really great to memorize the Fa. I am able to measure everything with Dafa, truly improve myself and look within. I now have a clear understanding of the Fa principles, and a better physical state. Once again thank you Teacher!