1. Fortunate to Acquire the Fa
I am an older Dafa practitioner. Over twenty years ago, a fortune teller predicted my destiny and told me I could only live for 68 years. I was very stressed at the time, but I also felt that I that I could get past that age.
While I was anxiously looking for the path to divinity, in July 5, 1995, I was very fortunate to acquire the Fa. I knew this was what I had been waiting for over thousands of years. I melted into the Fa, firmly believing in Master and the Fa, and have never had any doubt about Dafa.
I totally got rid of the thoughts and interests of the past. Every day, I feel joy and fulfillment. I am within the grace of Dafa all the time.
The Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners caused huge tribulations for my family. Yet despite the CCP's horror and cruelty, I did not fall down. My husband (also a practitioner) was illegally sentenced to 20 years in prison for tapping into the cable TV network to break through the CCP lies about Falun Gong. Although he is still imprisoned in Shandong Province, I do not have any doubt or confusion about what is right.
Although I did not pass every test with righteous thoughts and actions, I finally broke through all the tribulations. With Master's guidance during the Fa-Rectification period, every day I did the three things Dafa practitioners should do. I felt I was keeping up, and other practitioners thought I cultivated well. But not long ago, I had two big tribulations regarding life and death, which greatly shocked me. After I looked inward, I found that I still had many human notions which prevented me from advancing diligently.
During that period of time, Master kept enlightening me and encouraging me to advance diligently. I knew I had fallen behind quite a lot. The serious lessons woke me up. I understand that as long as I firmly believe in Master and do the three things well with righteous thoughts and a divine state of mind, I can break through all the tribulations and gain Master's salvation. Below I want to share my experiences and understanding with fellow practitioners.
2. Firmly Believing in Master and the Fa to Break Through the Illusion of Sickness Karma
On August 23, 2012, when I was sending forth righteous thoughts, I suddenly had a phrase in my mind, “It is difficult to guarantee that one's life will not come to an end at the predestined time.” I understood that Master was enlightening me since I was 68 then. I felt since that I had cultivated the Fa, the old forces' arrangement did not count anymore. I did not take it too seriously but I did not firmly deny the old forces' arrangement in my heart. Two days later, the evil really came to take my life.
On the night of August 25, 2012, I was sleeping deeply. Suddenly the evil grabbed my heart very tightly and did not let go. In the dark, I could not see anything. I sat right up with a huge pain in my heart, chest and back. I was hard to breathe and it felt like my heart was about to stop beating. The symptom was really like acute myocardial infarction. I immediately sent forth strong righteous thoughts, “I am a Dafa disciple during the Fa-Rectification period. No one can move me.” I also shouted, “Master, please help me! Please help me!” After a minutes, I felt relieved. I was very grateful for Master's salvation.
My head was still dizzy and soon I fell asleep again. In my sleep, I felt Master opened up the Laogong acupuncture point on my left palm. Then my palm emitted a big light ball full of golden light. I thought maybe this was a Fa instrument to eliminate the evil elements.
The next morning after I got up, I still felt a little pain in my chest and back. With Master's compassionate protection, I broke through a big test of life and death. I kept thanking Master.
On September 1, 2012, the evil came again. At night, I suddenly felt my back was very hot. It felt like a burning iron on my back. At the same time, my chest felt icy cold, and the air I breathed was freezing. The huge difference between cold and hot was hard for me to bear. Meanwhile, my head was dizzy and it was hard to control my body.
I gathered all my strength to stabilize my main consciousness and shout my name to clear my head. At the same time, I asked Master to strengthen me. Although I could not speak, my main consciousness shouted clearly, “Master, please help me. I am in a tribulation.” I also kept reciting any Fa paragraph I could remember. I recited “Lunyu” the most. I firmly believed in Master and the Fa and I felt steadiness and less fear in my heart. I used righteous thoughts to deal with everything happening to me.
Then I thought I should use righteous thoughts to forge my indestructible body. My fear immediately disappeared. I felt that I was a divine being and my body became bigger and bigger. I warned the evil elements that dared to persecute Dafa practitioners in the Fa-Rectification period that they were headed for destruction. I shouted Master's words, “Having heard the Dao in the morning, one can die in the evening.” (“Melt Into the Fa”, Essentials for Further Advancement) I remembered Master even said, “You will live as long as this universe.” (Falun Gong) So I also shouted that I'd live as long as this universe. All of a sudden, I felt Master completely eliminate all the evils by just waving the hand.
Everything went back to normal. My face turned blue and did not recover for a month. I understood that Master bore the huge tribulations for me once more and I was very grateful to Master. I cried and had no words to express my gratitude toward Master. I can only strictly follow what Master told us to do to be a true practitioner.
After I passed the test of life and death twice, I constantly reflected on why the evil could persecute me and why the evil dared to touch me. I think it was all caused by my own shortcomings. Any human notions can become an excuse for the old forces to persecute us.
The first time when I was persecuted by the old forces, I did not fully deny them. In my heart I still had the idea of having the tribulation at 68 years old, when I should have completely denied the old forces with my first thought. As Dafa practitioners, our paths were arranged by Master and only Master's words count. During our cultivation, our every thought should be within the Fa. I did not pay attention to my cultivation and did not fully listen to Master. After the tribulation, I finally woke up and started to look inward again.
I had been practicing the exercises just like doing gymnastics. In ten years, I only got rid of a tiny bit of my human notions and attachments. My attachment to and focus on my everyday life accounted for several times more than my cultivation and Fa-study. I totally indulged in attachments to reputation, personal interests and sensations. I liked to listen to pleasing words. When I found a bargain, I liked to take advantage of it. When my granddaughter ranked first in her school exam, I also felt very proud. My human notions were too heavy. This was not cultivation, and the consequence could be very dangerous.
3. Look Inward with Wrenching Pain
Master taught us,
“So, when you meet with ordeals, it is the perfect opportunity for you to improve. If you are able to look inside, that trying situation will become instead an opportunity, something to overcome and a chance to enter a new state. Why haven't you looked at things that way? As soon as you meet with an ordeal, you push it away. As I said, even if you quarreled over validating the Fa and saving sentient beings, or you heard some unpleasant comments, those were all for your improvement, because your improvement comes first. Without your improvement, nothing can be achieved, and that includes saving sentient beings. If you fail to improve and achieve Consummation, where will the sentient beings that you save go? Who will take them? Why not look at things that way?” (“Fa Teaching at the 2008 New York Conference”)
Master's Fa woke me up like a heavy hammer. If I did not look inward during cultivation, it was not true cultivation. I asked myself what we came to the world for. After the tribulations, I stayed at home for over a month to look inward and examine myself, study the Fa and send forth righteous thoughts. How do I walk the path of cultivation righteously? I understand the key is to look inward. If I do not cultivate myself well, my universe will become unrighteous. Then where would the sentient beings I saved go? It is a sin if I do not cultivate myself well.
It was wrenching pain when I clearly knew something was another's fault but I still had to look inward to find my own shortcomings. During conflicts among family members or practitioners, if I did not understand the high level Fa principles, I would consider it as accepting other's faults as my own. How could this not be painful? But when we compare ourselves with the Fa principle of the universe, we understand how it is our fault. The process of getting rid of attachments cannot be comfortable. But after the pain I felt the joy of improving within the Fa.
I never knew how to look inward and did not put much effort into cultivating xinxing. If I truly cultivate myself following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, I will obtain great compassion. No evil beings or factors will dare to come into my dimensions and they will be eliminated automatically.
For a while, I felt sleepy while studying the Fa, practicing the exercises and sending forth righteous thoughts. This is a serious problem during cultivation. It is equal to not doing the three things. I discussed with fellow practitioners to find the root cause, which was selfishness.
I am a coordinator of a local area. When I found that the fellow practitioners had some problems, I did not point them out, fearing I would hurt their feelings. But actually I was afraid of hurting myself and hurting my human notions. Whatever I did, I could not let go of myself. Sometimes I did the three things with attachments, human notions, shrewdness and cunning. This was not to validate the Fa. Many times I actually validated myself. When I found the attachments and human notions and got rid of them through cultivation, I no longer felt sleepy while studying the Fa.
4. Study the Fa with Focused Mind
“Do you know what has become of Fa-study in many places? In some areas it has lapsed into a formality. When some people read Zhuan Falun they are not concentrating, but rather, thinking about other things, and not able to focus their attention on cultivation. It thus amounts to wasting time. And not just wasting time—instead of it being the time when they are to be elevating, they are using their minds to think over issues and things that they shouldn’t concern themselves with, and thus, not only aren’t they elevating, but on the contrary, they are often dropping in level. If you don’t study the Fa well, there are many things you will not be able to do well.” (“Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference”)
From Master's Fa, I understand that studying the Fa is also a process of purifying oneself. Practitioners can improve themselves during Fa-study and every unrighteous thought and notion will be removed. If we do not study the Fa with a focused mind, our levels will decrease. Every word in the Dafa books is Master's Law Body, Buddha, Dao or god, even the letters are gods. If we do not study the Fa with a focused mind, it is disrespectful to Master and the Fa. Then the Fa won't display the Fa principles to us. So we must read every word and sentence clearly during Fa-study and should never add or leave out any words.
Before, I studied Zhuan Falun once every week and studied Master's Fa Lectures and New Articles at home and at group Fa-study. But during Fa-study, I often became distracted and just followed the formality. I was afraid of getting behind on the quantity, but I did not pay attention to the quality and it did not have a really good effect. Sometimes I felt very busy every day and also felt tired. This was actually because I did not have energy from the Fa. I could only achieve assimilating with the Fa, understanding the Fa and guiding my cultivation by studying the Fa with a focused mind. I no longer pursue the quantity of the Fa-study and have started to study the Fa with a calm and focused mind.
When I truly studied Zhuan Falun with a focused mind, I was surprised to see that the Fa principles were displayed layer by layer, especially the principles of how to cultivate the xinxing and how to improve in levels. I benefited from this and improved a lot. Master told us,
“With such an enormous Fa here, the Fa will be with you when your thoughts are righteous, and this is the greatest assurance.” (“Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan”)
Now I study the Fa with a calm mind every day. I let go of the attachment to pursuit and understand that I will get what I am supposed to get while truly studying and understanding the Fa.
Every day I read four or five lectures from Zhuan Falun during the daytime. At night, after I finish sending forth righteous thoughts at 6 p.m., I start to watch Master's Fa Lecture video “Fa Teaching Given to the Australian Practitioners.” I have already watched the video eight times within nine days. Before I go to sleep, I listen to the Fa Lecture again. For 24 hours a day I am within the Fa, and the evil cannot take advantage of me.
I also send forth righteous thoughts for an extended time. I usually take half an hour, sometimes fifty minutes to send strong righteous thoughts with a pure heart to eliminate all the evil beings and factors which interfere with me. At the same time, I eliminate all the rotten matters generated by the human notions in other dimensions. The effect is very good.
After those tribulations, I no longer dare to be lazy. I know my extended life is for cultivation. Master said,
“But there’s just one condition. The time that your life is extended for beyond your predestined, original course of life, that time is solely for you to practice. If your thinking goes even a little off track it’ll put your life in danger, because your course of life ended a long time ago.” (The First Talk, Zhuan Falun)
So I focus on cultivating my every thought, assimilating to the Fa, becoming selfless and thinking of others first while doing things. Now I am able to tolerate the pain. I must cultivate to be selfless so I can enter the new cosmos and go back home with Master.
While writing this article, I remembered Master's Fa lecture to older practitioners in “Fa Teaching Given to the Australian Practitioners.” Master's Fa really woke me up. I understand that if senior practitioners don't use the limited time to truly cultivate and let go of all human matters, attachments and notions, our cultivation will be for nothing. I will never forget Master's worries for us, his compassionate and serious warning to us. I hope other senior practitioners can watch Master's Fa Lecture video one more time.
I am almost 70 years old. Without Master's compassionate protection, I could not have broken through all the tribulations to follow Master today. I learned painful lessons from my tribulations. Master taught us,
“A cultivator's goal is to go beyond the human world and achieve the Consummation of his being. When he is attached to getting worldly things or to self-interest he can't reach Consummation. When a cultivator cultivates in this world he is to get rid of all sorts of human attachments, and only then can he become a divine being. Otherwise, any attachment or any element in the human world that weighs on your mind becomes a lock that fastens you down and prevents you from leaving. That's why when you validate Dafa and save sentient beings you cultivate yourself at the same time.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2005 Manhattan International Fa Conference”)
Above is just my personal understandings. Please kindly point out anything inappropriate.