(Minghui.org) I deeply feel that Fa conferences are most sacred. Fa conferences are a form of cultivation left by Master, providing us with an environment where we can share our cultivation experiences on a large scale.
After I was told about the Chicago conference, I shared my understandings with local practitioners. I thought that each one of us should take a look at our own cultivation states before the conference, and take time to reflect, and write our experience sharing articles. We should have a variety of sharing articles at a Fa conference, and write about our experiences without any pursuits or concerns. It doesn't matter if we spend time writing an article that ultimately is not selected. As practitioners, it's our responsibility to report our cultivation experiences to Master, and share them with fellow practitioners.
The Minghui website has published many experience sharing articles, some of which discuss how writing sharing articles are a cultivation process. Every time we have a conference in Chicago, I look at my own cultivation state. I wanted to write something this time about how Master has guided me on every step of my cultivation. When I picked up the pen, however, I realized that there was no language that can fully describe my feelings.
Then I remembered one Fa principle Master talked about in “Teaching the Fa at the Eastern U.S. Fa Conference,”
“...because when Dafa guides you through cultivation at various levels, you’re only able to understand it in your mind, but can’t express it with words. It becomes distorted as soon as it gets into everyday people’s linguistic thinking—before you even utter the words, once it gets into the editing process of everyday people’s linguistic thoughts, it’s already different. That’s why once you talk about it, it’s no longer the real meaning of that realm. You might have realized this as well. So you can only understand it in your mind but not express it with words. But why are you able to talk about your experiences and understanding? That’s because what you talk about are things of the lowest level and on the outermost surface, or things from your past. Of course, what new students talk about are their current experiences, because what new students talk about are bound to be things at the surface.”
Looking back at the path I’ve walked since 1995, after I obtained the Fa, every single step has been arranged by Master.
“Cultivation depends on one’s own efforts, while the transformation of gong is done by one’s master.” (Zhuan Falun)
When I have difficulty doing something, only by following Dafa can I overcome the difficulty and make progress. Without Master’s compassionate protection and meticulous arrangements, I couldn’t have done anything. In fact, everything is done by Master.
The First Truth-clarification Phone Call I Made to China
I had a naive thought when the persecution first began. The decision-makers in China didn’t know Falun Gong well. That’s why they mistakenly persecute Falun Gong. What should I do? How can I tell them that Falun Gong is good?
Several persecution accounts were being published on the Minghui website. Seeing so many practitioners being illegally arrested one after another, I was very worried. What could I do to stop the persecution? Master saw my heart, so He gave me a hint that I should make truth-clarification phone calls to China.
When I was preparing to go to bed one night at midnight in March 2000, I suddenly received an email from a practitioner. He didn’t say anything in the email, only left me with a phone number to a Procuratorate in China. I didn’t think about why I received that email; the only thing on my mind was that I should make this call. When I thought about this again after many years, I realized that nothing happens by accident. Master had arranged for this fellow practitioner to send me that number.
I went to the Minghui website and found the latest report. Seven practitioners had been arrested at a practitioner’s home in Chengdu. When the practitioners’ family members went to the police station and asked about them, the police officer told them that because Falun Gong practitioners had gathered together, they were committing a crime. I thought that perhaps the staff at the Procuratorate didn’t know the facts, and that such illegal persecution must be stopped.
When I picked the phone, however, I felt something very dreadful suddenly pressing down on me, and I felt short of breath. This was a very uncomfortable feeling that I’ve never had before. I didn’t know why at the time, but several years later when I shared this with other practitioners I realized it was the evil from other dimensions trying to prevent me from making that phone call.
I really couldn’t understand why I felt so uncomfortable at that time, and was scared just making a phone call. Should I make the call? If I didn’t, I could immediately go to bed. After all, the practitioner who sent me the number didn’t say I had to make the call.
Despite my wavering, I knew deep in my heart that I didn’t want to give up so easily. I knew that Dafa was the most righteous and the best practice, and it shouldn’t be persecuted. I wanted to tell people with my own experience that Falun Gong is good! At such a critical time, if I didn’t stand up and safeguard Dafa, if I didn’t even bother to make a phone call, how could I repay what I’ve gotten from Master and Dafa?
My discomfort became more and more intense. I sat by the phone and battled with myself for a long time. I finally made the decision that I had to make this call. Miraculously, as soon as I dialed the number, the discomfort went away. I later understood that Master had eliminated the evil in the other dimension for me as soon as my righteous thoughts emerged.
I dialed the number and told the person who answered about the arrest of the Chengdu practitioners, and asked him, “The police said that as long as Falun Gong practitioners are together, they are committing a crime. Is this true?” That person didn’t answer my question. Instead, he began to ask me questions, “Do you practice Falun Gong? What’s your name? Where do you come from? How many people in the U.S. are practicing Falun Gong?”
I answered a few questions at the beginning, but then I realized that I shouldn’t disclose any of our information to him, so I said, “Don’t ask me any questions. You should investigate the injustice I just told you about.” He said, “You should ask the police department about that.” He then told me not to practice Falun Gong and repeated a few of the regime's slanderous statements.
I told him that there is no membership in Falun Gong. Everyone gets together and does the exercises because they think the practice is good.
I told him that I had precancerous lesions before I began practicing, and when I was given the Falun Gong book, I really wanted to read it. As I was reading the book, my illness went away, and then I began practicing Falun Gong. I went on to tell him that every Falun Gong practitioner is cultivating him or herself to be a good person, and they’ve never thought of overthrowing anyone’s political power.
The man stopped me and repeated, “I’ve told you, stop practicing Falun Gong. You are a Chinese citizen, and you have to follow our country’s law wherever you are. How long have you been in the U.S.?”
I answered, “No matter where I am, I won’t stop practicing Falun Gong. I’ve been in the US for more than ten years, and I could have become U.S. citizen a long time ago, but I’ve never wanted to give up my Chinese citizenship. But according to what you just said, I’ll really have to think about applying for U.S. citizenship. I also hope you do things according to your own conscience. You will have to be responsible in the future for whatever you are doing now.”
After I hung up the phone, I felt very bad, as I felt that I didn’t show enough compassion for this person. Since I was raised within the Party’s culture of fighting, what I said had a heavy tone of competitiveness. I wasn’t able to let that person know the truth and beauty of Dafa.
I looked within, and I realized that besides a competitive mentality, I also had fear deep in my heart at the time. Now, from the perspective of Fa-rectification, I think the fear is also related to my knowing side that saw the battle between righteous and evil in other dimensions.
I also recalled the experiences I had during the Great Cultural Revolution. I knew that there would be another round of political persecution, and this time the target was the most sacred Dafa and the practitioners who follow Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, who strive to be good.
After this phone call, I made up my mind. I can give up my Chinese citizenship, but by no means will I give up practicing Falun Gong.
When I went to work the next day, I told my colleagues what was happening in China and asked around about how to apply for U.S. citizenship. My boss asked the company’s treasurer to help me. The treasurer filled out the application form for me. I signed my name and mailed it. Everything went very smoothly and the approval notice arrived unexpectedly fast. Others thought that it was a miracle. I thought to myself that now no one will interfere with my Dafa practice.
After I became a U.S. citizen, I went all over the world to validate the Fa, and participated in all kinds of events to raise awareness about the persecution. I went to many major cities in the U.S., as well as many other countries, from Canada to Taiwan and Hong Kong, from Russia to Iceland, from Switzerland to Germany. Wherever I wanted to go, I would be there. There was some interference with every trip, but if I followed the Fa’s requirement and tried my best to do my ordinary people’s job well, Master always arranged the best results for me.
I later realized that Master had arranged everything for me. The U.S. citizenship was given by Master so I could safely go to different places in the world to validate the Fa. At that time, many overseas practitioners were still international students. Because of their VISAs, there were many places they couldn’t go. But since I didn’t have that problem, I could go to anywhere I wished.
From a non-practitioner's standpoint, my trips seemed to be filled with suffering. Sometimes I baked under the sun or got wet in the rain, and sometimes I suffered cold on a snowy days. If I couldn’t find an inexpensive restaurant, I suffered hunger and thirst. Sometimes I shared living space with dozens or hundreds of practitioners in a basement. However, no matter how hard it seemed on the surface, the real suffering, that I couldn’t even imagine, was all endured by Master.
Managing Dafa’s Resources Well--Saving More People
With the development of new technology, the scale of our truth-clarification efforts to China has also dramatically increased. But then comes the question of funding resources. In Dafa cultivation, we don’t collect any funds from anyone. Every practitioner does things from their own hearts. I don’t have much money, so I try my best to live a simple life. After paying my monthly bills, I save as much money as I can for projects that deliver the truth about Dafa into China.
Master has helped me resolve so many karmic debts from past lives, and then provided me with a stable job, which enables me to practice cultivation in a way that conforms with everyday society. If I hadn’t practiced Dafa, I wouldn’t have existed in this world. What’s the point of being attached to my job or income?
After I started Falun Dafa cultivation practice, I knew very clearly that if I followed the path arranged by the old forces, I could have died four times. But with firm faith in Master, I passed those tests. I believe that what I was allowed to know was very little, and there must have been much more danger that I can’t yet know about. Whatever resources I have right now, all belong to Dafa and were arranged through Master’s painstaking effort. So I really cherish them, and use them in the places where I think most need it.
I also realized that when I enlightened to a certain Fa principle, the supernormal power of that principle will manifest for me. For example, when I use more and more money on Dafa projects, I still have that much money. When I need money to go to a Fa conference or for other things, I am never short of money, even though my salary has not increased substantially for many years. It seemed to me that someone was managing my sparse income for me. As long as I use the money in the right place and don't waste anything, there is always enough.
When I thought I’d removed my attachment to personal interest, Master showed me that I still had this attachment.
I once received a tax-exemption notice of $4,000. I felt very happy and went to the accountant who usually filed tax-return paperwork for me. However, the accountant told me, “You can throw it away in the trash can. Your salary falls in the low-income range. If you file a tax-exemption for that $4,000, we'll have to use another method to calculate the tax you pay. You'll probably end up paying more tax.” I immediately realized that it was my attachment to profit that was at play.
Another time I was told that a store had discounted clothing. Many of my clothes no longer fit, and I need some decent clothes to attend Fa conferences, and for Shen Yun promotion activities. So I went to that store. I saw one set of clothes that looked good at the entrance, and the size was right for me. I checked the price, and it was also very cheap.
But with the attachment to profit, I wasted two hours in the store, looking for something cheaper and better. In the end, I only bought the clothes that I saw at first glance.
After I left the store, I felt very bad. I suddenly remembered what Master said, “People only pursue self-interest and will harm others for a tiny bit of personal gain.” (Zhuan Falun) However, I’ve never applied that sentence to myself.
When I made up my mind to remove my attachment to profit, I found that the way I looked at things also changed. I began thinking more about other people. In the past, if I saw anything, I wanted it at a discount, and I kept thinking about it, even while doing the exercises.
Master said: “One is thinking: "Prices are going up. I have to go shopping after finishing the exercise. If I don’t hurry up, things will be more expensive." (Zhuan Falun)
What I thought was, “There was something 70% off, so I have to go shopping after I finish the exercises. Otherwise I'll miss the deal.”
I felt very happy at first when I bought things that I needed at a discounted price. But afterwards, I never felt happy about it again. Instead, when I saw a store having a big sale, I felt bad for the owner. How can he make any money that way? It is so hard to do business. And being human is really suffering. I should really do the three things well and save more people.
I am now no longer affected by such things. Humans are humans; they can never escape the cycle of reincarnation and karmic retribution. Dafa is the only hope sentient beings have to be saved. But because of my attachment to profit, I wasted so much time instead of doing the three things.
Through Fa study, I also enlightened to the understanding that time is also Dafa's resource. It's extended by Master through unimaginable suffering for us to save more sentient beings.
Master said in “Teaching the Fa at the Washington, D.C. International Fa Conference,” “Cherish the present time and make the best use of it—this time is meant for the disciples.”
Master also said in “Teaching the Fa in the City of Chicago,”
“So many years have passed over the course of history, the Three Realms have existed for so long, and so many sentient beings have come here over time, but all hopes are being placed in this one moment out of all the ages. This instant is precious beyond measure. Completing the last leg of this journey well is what's most magnificent.”
Thank you, compassionate and magnificent Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners who've walked through all the hardships with me and are still holding hands with me despite all the xinxing conflicts we’ve had in the past!
(Presented at the 2013 US Midwest Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)