(Minghui.org) I am a 16-year-old Dafa practitioner and a sophomore in high school.
My parents are both veteran Dafa practitioners, so I grew up with the Fa. When I was old enough to learn, my mother began studying the Fa with me and taught me the Falun Gong exercises. She told me to be a good Dafa child and behave according to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and I accepted all of what she said. Over the past sixteen years, I have grown up and gradually become mature. I give thanks for Master's protection and guidance, which have kept me walking forward on the path of cultivation.
1. Getting Rid of Attachments through Tribulations
My parents were very strict with me when I was little. They watched over my every word and every action. So my character and my activities were very different from most children my age. At the time, I didn't think much about this. However, as I grew up, I wanted to get away from my parents' protection and monitoring and walk my own path.
But I found that I was not able to mingle with other people in the complicated environment and the enticing big dye vat of society. Though I knew that I had something that ordinary people didn't have, I felt lonely inside, since I did everything without friends.
At the same time, bad things in society started to influence me bit by bit. Starting in the fifth grade at primary school, I loved to watch movies and TV and spent most of my time watching them. As a result, I got poor marks in exams.
Master gave me a hint in a dream where I saw a huge skull with a big open mouth seeming to swallow me up. After I woke up, I pondered on that for quite some time. I had to make my own choice to be a cultivator. From now on, I would not practice just because my parents demanded I cultivate. An ordinary child doesn't have that many restraints. As a little Dafa disciple, I had to be responsible for myself and cultivate myself. I had not studied that much Fa by then, but I knew that I must continue my cultivation and that my whole life would be a life of cultivation. Without any concerns or desires, I started to regard myself as a genuine practitioner.
I had been watching movies and TV for three years. There was a fight in my head as I tried to get rid of the illusions in my mind and bad thoughts, but they were so hard to discard. The Fa principles helped me to suppress such wild thoughts. Eventually, in my first year of middle school, I burned all the pictures I had drawn about those movies and TV programs. It was lightening and thundering while I was burning them. It seemed like divine beings were helping me. In my dream that night I crawled out of the mud and flew to heaven on a flying horse.
I finished reading all of Master's Fa in the first and second years of middle school. I saw the wonder and beauty while I was in the Fa and realized how sacred and great the title is of “Dafa Disciple.” I was very proud of it. I became outgoing and had good relationships with people. I did quite well in my school studies as well. Sometimes I felt that I was the luckiest person in the world.
But everything changed in the second year of middle school. My good friends became angry with me without any reason. Those who liked to be around me before all disappeared. I was alone by myself again. I felt a lot of pressure in my school studies and didn't get good grades. I was tortured by the arrival of puberty. When I came home, my parents were no longer kind to me. They reprimanded me with cold complaints. They said that I was not worthy of being a Dafa disciple and would not be able to return to my real home. I felt hopeless.
I didn't say much at home. I had endless complaints but I was not able to tell anyone. My feeling was just like what Master said in Zhuan Falun:
“For instance, one day a person goes to work and the workplace is not doing well. This situation can no longer continue as people are not doing their jobs. The workplace will be reformed and use contract workers. Surplus staff will be laid off, and this person is one of those whose rice bowls are suddenly taken away. How will he feel? There are no other places to earn an income. How can he make a living? He does not have any other skills, so he sadly goes home. As soon as he arrives home, an elderly parent at home is ill and in serious condition. Getting worried, he will hurry to take the elderly parent to a hospital. He will go through a lot of trouble to borrow money for the hospitalization. He will then return home to prepare something for the elderly parent. As soon as he comes home, a school teacher will come knocking at the door: "Your child has injured someone in a fight, and you should hurry up and take a look." Soon after he takes care of that matter and comes back home, just as he is sitting down, a phone call will come, telling him: "Your spouse is having an affair with someone."
Questioning My Worthiness
I started to ponder whether I was worthy of being a Dafa disciple. It was very difficult to ask myself this question. Whenever I had to ask, my tears fell. I had no other choice but to get an answer from the Fa. With such a question at the back of my mind, I did not feel good even when I was studying the Fa. This time I studied the Fa systematically and understood some Fa principles that I had never recognized before. I came to know the seriousness of cultivation in the Fa-rectification period and that the path practitioners walk is full of hardships and tribulations, and we shoulder a big mission. The Fa that impressed me most was this sentence:
“The Fa is merciful to all beings, but at the same time it's solemn and dignified.” (“Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference”)
This was the second choice I had to make: Whether I was satisfied with the beauty Dafa had brought to me while going through small conflicts, or whether I was determined enough in cultivation to go through tribulations and hardships to accumulate virtue as a Dafa disciple. This led to the question: Was I worthy of being a Dafa disciple?
With the Fa principles in my heart and righteous thoughts in my mind, I made up my mind to cultivate until completion. Xinxing tests made me more mature and I enlightened to more Fa principles while studying. I became steadier and let go of many attachments. My cultivation entered into a new stage.
During the summer holiday of my third year in middle school, I went to the U.S as an exchange student with a group. I planned to take this opportunity to clarify the truth to my classmates, but I was distracted by the outside world. I didn't achieve my goal, but instead I gave a bad impression to people. I was very upset after I came home and had a heavy burden on my mind. I was not able to clarify the truth in an open and dignified way, and I had fear. I was afraid that people would not understand this or that. As a matter of fact, I was afraid that people would not understand me. So I pretended that I was lofty and hoped others would pay attention to me. As a result I felt more lonely and empty. I dragged through the whole summer holiday and the entire third year of middle school confused.
In the first year of senior middle school, the environment changed a lot. I left home and entered a school that was far away from my home. I shared accommodations with my classmates and didn't go home until weekends. The class I was in was all top students. I became the dumb one, though I had been a very good student in junior middle school. The heavy work load and my strong sense of inferiority made me depressed, and I began to slack off. Besides, nobody encouraged me, so I didn't do the exercises or study the Fa much. I became even lonelier.
My Bad Habits Exposed
Trying to escape from the pressure and loneliness, I formed two bad habits of oversleeping and daydreaming. As soon as I started to study, sleep would overcome me and I didn't know where it came from. As soon as my head touched the pillow, I fell asleep. When I woke up, I was not willing to get up and closed my eyes and continued lying in bed. Daydreaming was addictive and I was not able to let it go. When I had free time, I daydreamed and when I was busy, I still daydreamed. I was always in a daydream and could not focus. I would invent a long story and enjoy the action as the characters played out the story. My heart would follow all the ups and downs and was greatly moved. I also found excuses for my doing so, such as that the stories were not too deviated...
Driven by these two bad habits, I lived within my own world and willingly destroyed myself. But still in my heart I had a very faint righteous thought and didn't want to miss the opportunity of cultivation in Dafa. I felt powerless and felt like I carried a heavy burden and stumbled in the darkness.
One night in my first year of senior middle school, I was informed that my grandmother had passed away. This was a stick warning. My grandma believed in Dafa but she was not serious in cultivation. Though she had studied the Fa and did the exercises, she was not able to let go of her attachment of seeking comfort. After I returned to school from the funeral, I was worried about myself and in a state of panic. My heart trembled even when I heard lightening. Because I had strong human attachments, I behaved like a coward. I was worried that I would not be able to return to my kingdom when the Fa-rectification time came to an end. I was struggling between reason and sentiment, and found that I had this element deep down in my heart – selfishness.
Because of selfishness, I yearned for so-called freedom and happiness; because of selfishness, I didn't dare to validate the Fa or face up to the evil; because of selfishness, I became numb, slick and tried to show myself off. A selfish person cannot really protect himself, but rather protects various notions and attachments that formed when he descended down to this world and during the six-fold path of reincarnation. Selfishness must go out with the destruction of the old cosmos. The new cosmos will require us to be like a lord with compassion and dignity and to be selfless:
“From now on, whatever you do, you should consider others first, so as to attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism.” (“Non-Omission in Buddha Nature”, from Essentials for Further Advancement)
Making the Commitment to be a True Dafa Disciple
I had to now make a choice for the third time, which was whether I should be like a practitioner in the old cosmos and only look after myself, or be a Dafa disciple of the Fa-rectification period and let go of personal concerns and save sentient beings. It seemed that I had to make the choice, but I was not able to let go of the bad habit of daydreaming. I felt I was not able to cultivate, let alone save people. One weekend, I had a dream. I was surrounded by thousands of military forces and horses. The mountains and a wide field were full of cavalry. The horn blew and the horsemen and horses came running towards me while their murderous shouting shocked heaven and earth. Suddenly I remembered Master and shouted, “Master!” The sound created a big wave just like an atomic bomb blast and swept through all of the cavalries, and the horsemen became black dust and then gradually disappeared. It was like what Master said:
"When disciples have ample righteous thoughts
Master has the power to turn back the tide"
("The Master-Disciple Bond" from Hong Yin Vol. II)
I regained my confidence from this dream. I knew that as long as I was determined in cultivation, I would pass the tribulations and hardships.
It was the school summer holiday again. This time I had a full schedule. Besides the normal after school classes and training, I had more important things to do – catch up with the Fa-rectification process. For the first several days, the interferences were huge. I was not able to concentrate for even a second when I was studying the Fa. Figures from the stories I used to daydream came in groups and attacked me. The fast forward button in my mind was triggered and all the stories ran mixed together. But I had patience, and I made up my mind to cultivate, no matter how hard it was. I fought with them for several days and then I had another dream. I saw that my sentient beings were being persecuted by an evil spirit who had only one eye and was bloody all over its body and who lived in a “Yu Shi” (bathroom). It jumped up on me when it saw me and shouted to me that I should devote my eyesight to it. I was terrified and awakened.
I thought about the dream and realized why Master showed it to me. When I was not able to keep up my xinxing and was daydreaming, I was like in the “Yu Shi” ("house of desires," the same pronunciation as "bathroom" in Chinese). When I indulged myself in the scenes of movies and TV soap opera programs, the evil spirits then took my eyes and used them as their own. When my attachments of lust and desire were triggered by the figures of my imagined characters, the evil spirit then stole my essence of qi and formed a human body, though it had no root.
After the dream, I felt uplifted and full of energy in my whole body. I was able to focus when studying the Fa. The human attachments that I had such a hard time letting go of were some distance away from me now.
I returned and became a Dafa disciple again after I spent the whole summer reforming myself. I was again one of the top students in my classes. I didn't feel lonely any more, though I was still doing everything by myself as usual. A Dafa disciple in the Fa-rectification period doesn't have time or the leisure to enjoy ordinary life.
2. Telling People about Falun Gong and the Persecution and Saving Sentient Beings
I had fallen far behind other practitioners in speaking to people about the persecution and Falun Gong. When I was younger, though, I was active and successful in talking to people about it when I came upon people innocently. They were very happy and gladly withdrew from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and they praised me for my knowledge.
While I was still in junior middle school, the teacher asked the class to vote for students who were good enough to become a Communist Youth League (an affiliate of the CCP) member and that the top five must join this CCP organization. I asked my classmates around me not to vote for me and sent forth righteous thoughts at my desk and asked for help from Master. The voting result showed that I was the sixth choice and had only one vote less than the fifth highest rank.
On the day of the induction ceremony, many classmates said that students had joined the Youth League, but not from their hearts. I said to the two students beside me, “Nowadays few believe in the Communist Party.” They agreed and I then persuaded them to quit the CCP. They happily accepted. Another heavyset fellow and a tall student were also ready to withdraw from the CCP as soon as I talked to them. The heavyset fellow liked to be near me, and even though he was a bit mentally slow, his main consciousness was not foolish at all. He believed in what I said. The tall student's parents had the software to break through the Internet blockade. She knew a lot about the CCP and agreed to quit the party without any resistance.
During one winter holiday in senior middle school, I attended an after school class with Niu Niu, with whom I had grown up. During lunch, we went to my rented flat to take a break. She was outgoing and spoke her mind. She liked my simple character and chatted with me about her childhood. One day I told her that I was once bullied by a male classmate but I didn't fight back and kept it to myself for three semesters. She said that I was too cowardly. If it was her, her parents would surely go to see the teacher.
So I told her stories about my parents. During the Cultural Revolution, my grandma was held in a cow shed and was not able to breastfeed my dad. When he grew older, he often left good food for other members of the family. He was weak all the time. After he married my mom, he contracted hepatitis B and constantly saw the doctor for seven years. My parents did not dare to have children. From there I talked about the CCP's political movements, and Niu Niu said that the CCP was really bad. We chatted for a while and then I brought up the real topic. I asked her, “Do you know how I came into this world?” She shook her head. I told her that my dad recovered from hepatitis B after he practiced Falun Gong and then my mom got pregnant. So Dafa gave me life.
Then Niu Niu asked about the CCP's lies. So I told her stories, from the beginning of Dafa being taught, its great popularity and growth, to the organ harvesting crimes committed by the CCP in the persecution of Falun Dafa. She was shocked. She also asked me questions about evolution and atheism. I explained the truth to her from scientific perspectives that she could understand. At last she asked me if she could withdraw from the CCP, because she would feel uneasy in her heart if she didn't quit the party. I told her to visit the withdrawal website and make an application. She readily agreed.
During the summer holiday in my first year in senior middle school, I went to a teacher's home to learn painting, where I met Xiao Mo, a second-year student in junior middle school. She thought I was lovely because I had a baby face. I chatted with her on many topics. I found she was a bit lonely and didn't like to stay at home or be with classmates. She said that for quite some time she had felt extremely lonely and wanted to commit suicide because she felt that life was meaningless.
When we chatted about our history teachers, we touched on the historic facts that were covered up by the CCP. I was hesitant about whether I should tell her the facts about Dafa. On second thought, sentient beings came for the Fa. If I didn't tell her right now, when would I tell her? I then went to the topic directly and said to her, “I'll tell you a truth, that Falun Gong has been wronged by the CCP.” She said that she had seen the phrase “Heaven will eliminate the CCP” written on paper money.
I told her that it was right and would like to explain to her why. She quickly got it before I finished my explanation. She asked me questions, one after another, and I answered them. She could understand why “The heavens will eliminate the CCP” because she had learned traditional Chinese culture. She thought Dafa was good. I gave her some materials to read.
The next day she wanted to withdraw from the Young Pioneers, another CCP affiliate. She said, “If it is right, it will not become wrong. If it is the truth, it will remain the truth. Heaven is watching over what people are doing. I believe my choice is correct.” She asked for my telephone number and said that she would contact me if her classmates wanted truth-clarification materials. In this way she would accumulate some virtue for herself. She said she liked my purity and wanted to have a belief. She hoped that she would meet me again in her next life time. I was touched by her childlike innocence.
When a life is saved, the knowing side of the person is immensely happy.
3. Coming to Obtain the Fa One After Another and Cultivating Diligently Together
Lian was my best friend in junior middle school. After I clarified the truth to her, she carefully selected an alias and withdrew from the CCP. We were very close after that.
Lian liked to show off and easily went to extremes, but she was very frank. For quite a while she cried when she was alone because she had some problems with a boy, and she confided in me. At the beginning, I felt sorry for her and was moved in my heart. But I studied the Fa a lot and improved my level. I started to look at Lian's problems from a new perspective. I tried to encourage her with traditional orthodox culture and to give her ideas to solve her problems from classical stories. Nevertheless, her emotions were up and down. I spent a lot of time with her. My parents, teacher and classmates didn't understand why.
My parents thought that I shouldn't waste my energy on this useless issue. My teacher thought I neglected my studies because of this matter. My classmates thought I was odd. But I continued doing what I wanted to do and tried to be responsible to Lian. Gradually she improved and looked at her issues from a higher perspective.
Maybe the old forces saw that Lian had the intention to cultivate and wanted to stop her. She suddenly fell in love with another boy. Her family was not happy with her and she faced many challenges and was on the verge of collapse.
I started to look within. It must also be my problem if someone close to me experienced such a problem. I dug out many attachments that I had. I sensed some remote memories. Lian and I reincarnated together and never separated. After millions of years we came to this world one after the other to fulfill our vows in this period of time.
"Those who really have a predestined relationship and can enlighten will come one after another, entering the Dao and obtaining the Fa. They will distinguish the righteous from the evil, obtain true teachings, lighten their bodies, enhance their wisdom, enrich their hearts, and board the boat of the Fa, sailing smoothly. How wonderful! Strive forward with every effort until Consummation." ("Enlightenment" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
I started to explain some of the Fa principles to Lian. From time to time I shared with her my enlightenment. She became calm gradually and eventually lost her feeling for that boy. She said to me, “You must have changed a lot of people. At least you have changed me.” I replied, “I can only change myself. It is Dafa that has changed you.”
Lian started to practice Dafa on May 13, 2011. She had very good inborn quality and could see Falun, energy mechanisms and gong columns etc. At lunch she would put her head down on her desk and listen to the Fa, and other students thought she was sleeping. She saw that Master put her in an isolated dimension and gave lectures to her like in a movie. Lian put Dafa lectures in her MP4 where there was already a lot of ordinary things that she was attached to. I told her that we should keep Dafa pure. She immediately deleted the other things from her MP4 when she came home. She said, “Notions are nothing when we have righteous thoughts.” From her words and actions I found where I had shortcomings. When I was not diligent, she would share with me.
Lian and I are in separate schools now. But we don't forget to remind each other to cultivate diligently.
I am young, but I have the good fortune to cultivate in the Fa-rectification period and fulfill my vows.