Western Practitioner: Improving After the Experience Sharing Conference in Los Angeles 2013
(Minghui.org) Leading up to the conference, I wished to participate in large projects run by practitioners, such as the NTDTV and Epoch Times global media or Shen Yun promotion. In the conference hall, where the crowd of practitioners gathered, I would hear things like “I was working for NTDTV before I went to Fa study.” Such ordinary-sounding remarks irritated me. My attachment to jealousy flared up.
Being a new practitioner, prior to the conference I had only interacted with practitioners in my local area. So, I was unprepared for the range of personalities gathered at the conference. Thinking that I'd done well in my cultivation, I wondered how some people at the conference could qualify to work on a media project or attend this conference.
I immediately realized that these thoughts were improper, and that I needed to correct myself. “Maybe these people are exceptional, and I am hearing their few surface attachments because I am attached to working on big projects and to the progress I’ve made in cultivation,” I thought.
Upon returning home and starting work at the Epoch Times, I came to realize that in certain regions some projects may be understaffed, and some projects are staffed by volunteers. I now understand that I should not be so bothered about someone wishing to donate their time and energy to these projects, simply because they don’t reach my personal expectations.
“Of course, when there’s something that needs to be done in a Dafa project, you should set aside your own things as much as you can to get done what the project needs done. That is the first priority. So you need to cooperate. When completing that task, however, you will bring to it your own manner of handling things, which is a reflection of you walking your own path in cultivation. Master acknowledges this, and there’s nothing wrong with that.” ("Fa Teaching at the 2013 Greater New York Fa Conference")
Gaining an Understanding about “Sickness Karma”
One thing that caught me off guard was seeing someone keeled over in their seat during the conference. The person seemed to be suffering horribly from a sickness of some kind. I pondered this and asked other practitioners about it. They told me there are still people who attend Falun Dafa events hoping to “have their illnesses cured,” serious illnesses at that.
From the Fa, I understood that ordinary people cannot have their illnesses cured for no reason. How could the person I saw hope to be cured by seeing Master at a conference? At the time, I did not think much more of it. I assumed everyone understood this point.
Upon returning home from the conference, while choosing which of Master’s lectures to read, I “randomly” picked one off the website. While reading "Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Singapore," I realized why I had seen this person keeling over in pain, and that my selecting this lecture was arranged for my improvement.
“'Dafa isn’t for getting healed, yet with ailments in my body I, as a cultivator, can’t cultivate and develop gong.” What to do, then? They knew: “Oh, I won’t think about it, then. I won’t ask Teacher to heal me and I won’t think about having my health problem fixed. But I know that as long as I cultivate, Teacher will definitely heal me.” Part of their minds still think [about their ailment]. Have they changed fundamentally? No.” ("Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Singapore")
Before I began to practice Falun Dafa, I was constantly bothered by nasal issues and often picked my nose; I couldn’t stand having the feeling of congestion or dry mucus in my nose. I also squeezed the pimples on my face, neck, and back, as their presence irritated me. Although there were not a great many of them, they were not attractive and it hurt my pride.
A year or so after I began cultivating, my nose quit running nonstop, and my skin improved slightly. I would think to myself: “I have made some headway in my cultivation. I am far from the ordinary person I was before, so why is this not taken care of completely? Oh well, it will happen when it needs to.”
Despite realizing that my karma was being eliminated through these conditions, every now and then I would still view the symptoms in an ordinary human way. I had been hiding my attachment to these types of minor things, trying to ignore the symptoms but nonetheless waiting for Master to take care of my “illness.”
Thus, it was by no accident that I had picked that lecture to read. It was for me to come to this realization.
From this, I came to realize that if Dafa disciples wish to reach Consummation, they must abandon their attachment to all kinds of illnesses and irregular “medical” states, no matter how minor the affliction may be.
Diminishing Attachments to Self, Fame, and Showing Off
Weeks before the conference, I was told that practitioners in my city would be participating in the waist-drum section of the parade, and that anyone could borrow a drum, practice, and participate. I was delighted.
I had read Master's poem about the waist drum team in Hong Yin II:
Gods in Fa
Each thump-thump of Fa Drums is Zhen-Shan-Ren
In the Three Realms, eliminating evil and saving the world’s people
Majestic presence and righteous thought shake the gates of heaven
Rotten ghosts—where can they run
("Waist-Drum Team" Hong Yin II)
I put in a lot of effort practicing at home and memorized the above poem. I learned quickly, and practitioners complimented me that I was capable and learned fast. I tried to my best to keep their words in proper perspective, but still was affected.
When they corrected my technique or my pace, I felt a little anxious and deflated for a minute or so; when I got over this feeling, however, I felt much better and learned from what they had told me. I believe I didn't feel right because I was so proud of my ability, and my pride made taking criticism difficult.
On the day of the parade, due to my height, I was placed in the front of the procession. I was warming up, practicing, and considering how I had been given this opportunity to play a larger role now that I was in the front. Slight, weak thoughts of showing off and fame and inflated self were mixed in with it.
Because I did not walk well in unison with other, more experienced drummers, I was soon moved a few rows back, out of plain sight. I felt the slightest pang of loss, but then suddenly felt joy deep in my heart: I was certain that I was no longer strongly attached to fame or my personal contributions to projects, and this was not a large issue for me any longer.
I could not reply to the other practitioners in Chinese, so I smiled and nodded, walking to where they pointed, and did my best to play well in the parade.
Going to a large-scale experience sharing conference and participating in related activities there was definitely a beneficial experience for me.
I now understand more how tightly intertwined my process of personal cultivation is with Fa-rectification, since I obtained the Fa only two years ago. I am more firm in cultivating myself solidly and taking on more Fa-rectification projects. With my attachment to bigger projects diminished and a more mature realization of the role I should play, I have been able to participate more in local projects for Shen Yun promotion and the Epoch Times.
“And that wish is considered the most precious one. So people will help him. Even in such a tough environment, he hasn’t gotten lost and still wants to return, so people will help him, they’ll help him unconditionally, and they’ll help him with anything. And why can we do that for cultivators but not for ordinary people? That’s why.” (Zhuan Falun)
What I have enlightened to is that what I wanted before was derived from my attachments to my own capabilities, showing off, and an ordinary person's mentality. If I were still so attached to these projects while working on them, my attachments might swell up more, reducing the quality of my contributions and interfering with others.
For practitioners who have the opportunity, I would definitely recommend going to a conference. I found it extremely beneficial, and it is one of the forms Master has left for us to help us cultivate.
If there is anything incorrect in my thinking, please point it out.
Category: Improving Oneself