(Minghui.org) I started practicing Falun Gong in February 2012, but I had visited Falun Gong websites and read Falun Gong books online as early as 2009 after someone recommended that I install FreeGate, an anti-censorship software program for secure and fast Internet access. That was also when I realized that the Chinese Communist regime has been concealing so much information from the people in China.
FreeGate Led Me to Falun Gong
Once I started surfing the Internet via FreeGate, I accidentally came across news about Falun Gong and was shocked to find out that the Chinese Communist regime was secretly incarcerating people who practice Falun Gong and killing them in order to harvest their organs and sell them for profit! I was compelled to find out more about Falun Gong.
I remember finding Falun Gong's official website, Minghui.org. The next thing I knew, I finished reading all of Falun Gong's books. [Note: All of Falun Gong's books are free for download.] I was becoming increasingly excited because I realized that cultivation practice really does exist and a person can reach Consummation through cultivation practice!
I had read Taoist and Buddhist books before and liked them, but they failed to explain what cultivation practice really is. Only Falun Gong's books have verified that cultivation practice really exists. I immediately started learning the Falun Gong exercises by following the free instruction video online. I also shared with my family what I had found out about Falun Gong.
However, I became skeptical when my family passed on rumors to me about Falun Gong [rumors that had been started by the Chinese Communist Party to justify their persecution of the practice]. I stopped in less than four weeks because I did not have a steadfast faith in Falun Gong and Teacher yet.
I felt very disappointed when I fell prey to the rumors. I thought I had found a genuine cultivation practice, only to be told it was false. I stopped practicing Falun Gong and was disappointed in life.
I visited Minghui.org again via FreeGate in February 2012, because I wanted to check for updates. There had not been many changes on its website design and layout. I scanned the home page quickly and was gripped by the word “Teacher.” All of sudden a voice in my heart kept calling, “Teacher.” I could not explain why, but I decided to practice Falun Gong again that day.
At first I found myself still skeptical about Teacher, but I was determined to practice Falun Gong because I really wanted to pursue cultivation practice. I spent nearly all of my free time studying Falun Gong's teachings. I would listen to Teacher's lectures while taking the bus or out walking. I found myself no longer skeptical about Teacher after a few months.
Learning to Do the Sitting Meditation in the Full Lotus Position
I was practicing the sitting meditation one day. It hurt so much to sit in the full lotus position that I wanted to stop immediately. But I thought, “This is nothing in comparison to the pain Teacher has endured for us!”
As I continued to study the Falun Gong teachings, it became clear to me that Teacher has endured the majority of the pain for us. The pain and tribulations we experience represent only the tip of the iceberg.
After reading Zhuan Falun (Falun Gong's main study text) many times, I began reading Teacher's new articles. They elevated my understanding of cultivation practice. There is nothing else in the world that I would ever want to read over and over again.
My Body Is Cleansed
I am not a particularly sensitive person, but I did smell a fragrance resembling that of incense at Buddhist temples when I first started practicing Falun Gong. I also felt heat, electricity, and numbness in my hands at first.
One day I suddenly experienced symptoms resembling a cold. I was not sure what to do because I wasn't sure if Teacher would look after me. After all, I had started practicing Falun Gong on my own. Besides that, the Chinese regime broadcast hate-filled propaganda against Falun Gong around the clock when it announced its ban on Falun Gong in July 1999. Even though I had studied the teachings, the regime's propaganda still had an effect on me. So when I “appeared” to have a cold, I immediately thought of the false content in the propaganda.
My mother immediately told me to go see a doctor because I had always been very frail since I was little. I ignored her nagging, and I was completely well after three days without taking anything.
Cultivation Practice Is Not a Way to Escape from the World
My family did not object when I started practicing Falun Gong. Perhaps they thought I would only be interested for a short while then stop again.
My father believed I only pursued cultivation to escape from the secular world. He was right in his perception. Once I realized that cultivation is a solemn matter, I wondered if I would be able to commit myself to it.
I believed some of Teacher's teachings, but rejected others. I knew it was because I was trying to find a way to escape from the world. I was ashamed of myself when I read articles written or narrated by practitioners who were farmers with limited education but had a pure mind and a steadfast faith in Falun Gong and Teacher. I realized that my education had become an obstacle when I judged and evaluated Falun Gong as a cultivation practice based on my education.
Forgiving My Mother
I always had problems with my mother. I often had nightmares about fighting with her only to wake up in anger. After I started practicing Falun Gong, I tried not to talk back to her because Teacher teaches us to be tolerant. However, I was still angry with her even when I managed not to argue with her. I found myself unable to forgive her for the harsh way she raised me. I felt I could forgive just about everyone, except my own mother.
Eventually I realized that there must be a reason why I was her daughter. I must have done something bad to her in my previous life. That was when I began to feel compassion for her.
My mother has witnessed the change in my attitude towards her. She has commented that I've become nicer to her and that my temper has improved. Once I explained to her that it was all because of the teachings of Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, she began to improve her attitude towards Falun Gong.
My mother is actually a tragic result of the education of the Chinese Communist regime. Like many parents in her generation, my mother orders her children to obey her and refuses to listen to her children's opinions. Chinese women that grew up in the 1950s and 60s are not feminine at all. It is a strange phenomenon only found in China. It is all because of the Communist Party's ideology. My mother is just a victim.
Identifying My Attachments
As I continued to practice Falun Gong, I realized that I was very attached to reaching Consummation and I was very afraid of developing attachments. The latter made me become overly vigilant and nervous. I was afraid of making bad decisions in my cultivation and being criticized. As a perfectionist, I had avoided trying a lot of things in order to avoid failure or criticism. I ended up doing nothing at all, which had made my life very boring. Being a perfectionist had taken a toll on my cultivation as well.
“We should focus on a broader range of things instead of minor trivia. Cultivation practice should focus with openness and dignity on a broad perspective.” (Zhuan Falun)
It was not until recently that I realized that I was attached to avoiding making mistakes in my cultivation. I was afraid of not cultivating well. Bad habits die hard. I have recently realized how difficult cultivation can be. As a perfectionist, I sometimes feel depressed when I fail to pass a test related to mental discipline. It is particularly difficult when I cultivate alone and have no other practitioner to talk to. Maybe I should stop depending on having another practitioner to discuss things with.
I do not know why it was arranged for me to cultivate alone. Maybe it is a test to see if I can remain diligent in my cultivation when I am alone.
My Fundamental Attachment
Fortunately there is Minghui.org. I did not visit it often at first. When I did visit the site, it was to look for Teacher's new articles. Lately, I have been reading every article about cultivation practice every day. I always find my own attachments in other practitioners' articles, including my past and present attachments.
“...some have come to study the Fa because they could not find their purpose in life. They are attached to these notions which they are unwilling to change.” (“A Dialog with Time,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
I decided this might be my fundamental attachment. I had always been pessimistic and melancholy. I didn't know the meaning of life. I had sought answers in Buddhist scriptures and Taoist books, but it was mostly because I felt empty inside and wanted to find the meaning of life.
I had clarified the truth about Falun Gong, but I did it out of selfishness. I did it in order to reach Consummation. I didn't do it out of compassion. Therefore, I was upset when I ran into people who were not receptive. I felt they were preventing me from reaching Consummation. I even blamed them for being poisoned by the Chinese regime's propaganda.
When I searched inward, I realized that I didn't want to be responsible for them.
But when I really wanted to save a person, Teacher would make an arrangement to send the person to me. Sometimes all I had to do was to think of clarifying the truth about Falun Gong to an acquaintance and he would come visit me in a few days. If I truly wish to save a person, I will succeed even when I am not eloquent. After all, Teacher and righteous divine beings will help me.
But if I do not have the sincere wish to save a person, the effect is usually less than satisfactory.
I am increasingly aware of the power of Falun Gong. Previously I had never been able to persevere at anything. I always had a very short attention span. But I have persevered in practicing Falun Gong. It is definitely because of Teacher's help.
Finally I would like to thank those practitioners who developed the FreeGate software. I would not have been able to find out about Falun Gong without it. I hope that more people will use the software to bypass China's firewall and find Falun Gong's books online so that they can decide what Falun Gong really is.