A Young Woman's Cultivation Insights
(Minghui.org) I am a young Falun Gong practitioner. I stopped practicing Falun Gong for a long timeI, but have started practicing again. It was a difficult journey returning to Falun Gong. I have a daytime job, so I do the three things in my spare time. I haven't done a good job clarifying the truth directly to people. I have not done anything extraordinary, but would like to share my humble cultivation insights in three different areas.
1. Becoming Independent and Identifying My Acquired Notions
My parents are veteran Falun Gong practitioners who started practicing Falun Gong before 1999. I had always known that Falun Gong is good, but I didn't start practicing Falun Gong until I started my first job after school. I actually started because I gave in to my parents' "persistent persuasion," so I was never motivated to study the Fa or practice the Falun Gong exercises. I was always asked to study the teachings of Falun Gong or practice the exercises. I was dependent on my parents to keep up telling me to do so. Yet as I studied the Fa more, I became impressed with Teacher's profound and deep teaching. I began to gradually eliminate my attachments and upgrade my xinxing. I also started to do the three things. I feel every step I have taken so far is because of Teacher's compassionate protection and elaborate arrangements. Yet I can perceive that the efforts Teacher has made to help me might represent only the tip of the iceberg. I would like to take this opportunity to thank our compassionate and revered Teacher for never giving up on me, such an undeserving student. I must strive to cultivate myself well so as to save more people and fulfill my responsibilities.
I have stopped depending on my parents in terms of studying the Fa and practicing Falun Gong exercises, but still show signs of dependence. For instance, I would give up on clarifying the truth about Falun Gong to my coworkers if they were not receptive. I would tell myself to work on other things, such as sending letters, sending text messages, or calling strangers. As for my coworkers, I would send forth righteous thoughts wishing fellow practitioners would run into them and clarify the truth to them. In terms of some colleagues who are friends of my parents, I would ask my parents to clarify the truth to them. When I ran into problems in life that I didn't know how to handle as a cultivator, I would ask my parents for their advice. I formed a habit of not reflecting upon myself because my parents would give me an answer. When I ran the risk of being reported to the police as I clarified the truth to people, I thought my parents would rescue me and have me released.
I have stopped depending on my parents, but I still have difficulty clarifying the truth to my colleagues. I depend on fellow practitioners to do it for me. I avoid facing my own problem. In fact, I avoid clarifying the truth in a way that I am not good at. Instead—to compensate—I try to clarify the truth in some other ways I feel more comfortable with. Yet what I should have done is face my problem. This is what I find most difficult. I asked myself, "Why are you not willing to clarify the truth to people directly?" Obviously, I am afraid, but this may not be the root cause. I tend to become very serious, nervous, and tense when it comes to things important to me. My heart starts pounding and I lose my composure. Would a great enlightened being be like me? I have many other notions. For example, I assume my colleagues will not care about what I say because they are much older. I assume it will be more difficult to persuade intellectuals. These acquired notions are layers and layers of a shell that prevents me from advancing my ability to clarify the truth better. Despite the difficulty of identifying acquired notions I carry, now that I have identified them, I must alter my way of thinking at the fundamental level. It is only then I can truly enhance my understanding and conduct myself according to the Fa.
2. Stop Being Complacent and Impetuous While Providing Technical Support
I started learning how to install software from a local Falun Gong practitioner last winter. (I will refer to her as Amy.) Amy said she has taught many fellow practitioners how to install software, but everyone eventually stopped learning. I could only afford time to learn during the weekends, so she would make weekend appointments with fellow practitioners who needed software installed on their computers, so I could join them and watch. I started to install software for fellow practitioners by myself two months later.
I tend to slack off. I found installing software interesting at first. I worked hard because I wanted to help more fellow practitioners have the ability to prevail over the communist regime's firewall and surf the Internet freely. After a while, I started to wish that no one would ask me to install software so that I could rest during the weekends. Now I know these thoughts were not mine. They were laziness and complacency speaking. Installing software provides a good opportunity to enhance my tranquility and perseverance. Sometimes I was anxious to get it done quickly so that I could rest or do other things. Sometimes I did not concentrate because I was chitchatting with fellow practitioners. Sometimes I was lost when I ran into unusual problems during the software installation. Sometimes I was not confident in myself. Sometimes I was skeptical of the power of the Fa. I would most likely make mistakes under any of these circumstances. I had to start all over again in some cases. Sometimes it would take half a day or an entire day for me to complete what takes Amy only several hours to finish. Amy also commented that I need to be tempered more.
It is crucial to protect personal information when I install software for different Falun Gong practitioners. My mother was worried at first that I might accidentally compromise fellow Falun Gong practitioners. I guarded my xinxing and cultivated my speech. I tried to keep my mouth shut. On the other hand, I have learned wonderful things about fellow practitioners. They have cultivated their xinxing well, denied the old forces' arrangements when they clarified the truth, and continue to upgrade their xinxing levels. When I looked at my fellow practitioners, I finally comprehended what Teacher said in a poem. Teacher said,
"The paths of cultivation are varied
But none is outside the Great Law" (From "Unimpeded" in Hong Yin II)
I developed a deeper understanding on many of Teacher's books and articles. I have learned that we will each enlighten to the Fa no matter what we do. The key is to upgrade our xinxing while we do the three things.
I am getting better at installing systems. I can also provide technical support for many different media and hardware. In fact, fellow practitioners have already compiled the know-how and made them available for Mainland Chinese practitioners. All we need to do is to read and learn.
I have come to realize that it is very important for us practitioners in our 20's to help with the truth-clarification work. Many of us started practicing Falun Gong when we were little. We can do things that many middle-aged or mature fellow practitioners find challenging, especially in regards to technology. We have less burdens in life. We really should take advantage of our strengths to assist Teacher in His Fa-rectification and carry out the important responsibility of clarifying the truth about Falun Gong.
3. The Issue of Marriage from the Perspective of a Young Man in His 20's
I have a lot to offer based on the conventional standard. I am reaching 30, but I am not dating. There has been gossip among my relatives, friends, and colleagues that I am becoming an old maid. The truth is that I was very confused as to how to comply with the ordinary society in terms of marriage. I have prevailed over the temptations of love. It was a painful process, but it is described perfectly in one of Teacher's poems. Teacher said,
"What’s given up is not oneself
But instead the folly of delusion" (From ""Discarding Attachments" in Hong Yin II)
The Old Forces have arranged temptations of love and lust. I may have prevailed over the test of love, but I still struggle at times with the temptation of lust .
When a relative of mine started practicing Falun Gong two years ago, she set me up with a young man. He started practicing Falun Gong as early as 1996. Like me, his entire family practices Falun Gong. The only challenge is that he lives in a different city. It appeared as though we were a perfect match despite the geographic distance. I was attached to romance at the time, so I thought we ought to fall in love first because love should be the foundation of marriage. I found it absurd to marry him in haste. In fact, our mothers were more enthusiastic in keeping in touch than the two of us were. My entire family made a trip to his city and agreed that we should get married. However, I only exchanged a few text messages with him before I stopped all contact.
I had a dream once where only his mother came to pick me up on the wedding day, but he and his father did not show up. The wedding cost them a fortune, but I felt anxiety instead of joy. [It is customary for the groom to arrange and pay for the wedding in East Asia.] I was nervous because I was not ready to get married. When I woke up, I thought he and I both had problems. I had no idea what his problem might be, but I knew I had too many notions and was not ready.
My mother called his mother in June to inquire about him. His mother spoke of marrying us again. After all, neither he nor I are getting any younger. I was too extreme a few years ago; I decided to remain single because I thought the Fa-rectification would come to an end soon. Now I see that avoiding the subject will never solve the problem. I have to face it eventually.
Now that I have let go of the convention of romantic love, I no longer believe that love must be the foundation of marriage. Since we can validate the Fa through all forms, we can validate the Fa better if we get married. If we can cultivate well as a married couple, we will comply with the ordinary society without sacrificing our cultivation. Why not?
I was also worried about job prospects. If I marry him, I will have to move to his city, find a new job, and adjust myself to the new city. Will it take up or even waste my time? Will I have to stop doing the three things during relocation? If getting married is not what Teacher has arranged for me, then I will take a detour in my cultivation. There is not much time left for us to cultivate. I would make it more difficult if I waste any time on marrying him and relocating to his city.
I was confused, but I wanted to move forward. I decided to visit him again and exchange our understandings. My father, however, insisted that he should come see me because we already paid him a visit. His mother passed my father's suggestion to him. She said he is willing to come, but he cannot come right away because he is busy with work. He has been busy ever since.
I once thought, "If it is Teacher's arrangement, why do we live in two different cities?" After a while, I started to see many of my attachments had been exposed during this process. It is through this process that Teacher enabled me to identify my own attachments. This is what really matters. Getting married or not is secondary.
There are many Falun Gong practitioners my age, yet many of us are single because of various reasons. Some are confused on the subject of marriage. I believe it is the old forces that have caused these problems. If Falun Gong were not banned and persecuted in China, none of these problems would exist today. Many practitioners, after marrying non-practitioners, were pressured to choose between Falun Gong and marriage. Some gave up practicing Falun Gong. Falun Gong practitioners from different regions of China have difficulty meeting each other because of the persecution, let alone marrying each other. People who do not practice misunderstand Falun Gong, thinking that it does not support the institution of marriage because of the large number of single Falun Gong practitioners.
I spent a lot of ink on the subject because I would like to present the transformation of my mentality and the real challenges. I think marriage is but a form. It is more important to know who you are and what you are doing. There is a solution to every problem if you know who you are and what you are doing.
I have been met with many trials in the past few years. It took me a long time to become self-motivated in cultivation. Everyone has his or her own destiny. If my mother cultivates well, that does not mean I cultivate well, or vice versa. I should not have been dependent upon my parents. Sometimes I find myself improving on the surface, yet holding onto the same old notion underneath. No attachment will be removed unless I truly cultivate my mind and heart. I often feel frustrated with myself when I fail to be diligent in my cultivation or feel remorse when I fail and make mistakes when I lacked righteous thoughts. Sometimes I cannot even look at Teacher's photo, and promise Him that I will prevail. I often call myself "average person." But I have heard "the Tao," and I will never "practice it on and off." I shall persevere to the end.
When I read fellow practitioners' articles today, I suddenly felt I was falling way behind. I can see that they think selflessly and altruistically; conversely, I think of my own cultivation and compare my xinxing level with others. There are so many things to share. I promise to present my cultivation experiences and insights better next time.