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For Those Who Lost Their Way Like I Did: Don't Give Up

September 18, 2014 |   By a Falun Dafa practitioner from Jilin Province, China

(Minghui.org) For a long time, I have considered myself a Falun Dafa practitioner. My friends and colleagues also think so, yet my mentality is ordinary, and my actions are not based on the Fa. I even used the Fa to make excuses for myself. I studied the Fa and did the exercises, but I wasn't a true practitioner.

I was attached to fame, wealth and so many other things that they are too numerous to mention. I had loopholes that the old forces took advantage of, and I was persecuted once again. At the time my son was preparing for college entrance exams, and I was flooded with many feelings.

I knew that Falun Dafa was good but I had so many fears. I was afraid of humiliation in jail, suffering beatings, being persecuted to death, that my family would suffer, and that I would be scorned by society. I signed a statement against my conscience that I would give up Falun Dafa. I knew that this wasn't true, and that I was deceiving myself as well as others.

I was afraid to do anything after I was released from jail. It didn't feel right if I only studied the Fa and did the exercises. I should clarify the truth, but I was afraid. In the end I stopped doing anything. I cited my busy work schedule as a reason and read novels to escape.

I wasted precious time that Master had provided for us with his suffering and sacrifices. I was controlled by the old forces and did things that even human beings shouldn't do, let alone a cultivator.

Master kept giving me hints no matter how far I had fallen. Practitioners frequently came to talk to me.

The following was a common nightmare of mine: I was living in an earthen home and a big flood, a violent storm and a mudslide washed away the wall protecting it.

For each step of slightest progress I made, I got encouragement in my dreams such as visiting my university classmates and telling them about Falun Dafa and the persecution, or climbing up the stairs to their apartments. However, I couldn't make a fundamental change, as I couldn't shake my indolence and attachment to comfort and ease.

Practitioners visited me yesterday and said, “Are you going to continue to wallow in the mud? We practitioners won't have another opportunity to practice if we fail this opportunity. Your husband and son will suffer as well. They were doing so well before.”

They knew that my husband used to study the Fa with me, but now curses other practitioners. My son helped me distribute informational flyers when he was young, but now is disgusted when Falun Dafa is mentioned.

They continued, “You say that it only counts when you have a change of heart. It doesn't matter what others say. But when are you going to wake up?!” I quibbled with them over semantics.

They said, “The most important thing is whether you truly believe in Master.” I finally got it. I questioned myself. I thought I believed but I really didn't.

What I have in human society is what I treasure the most: family members, my job, social status and reputation. I saw Dafa as a form of therapy when I was unhappy with those things.

I held on tightly to Dafa because I thought I would then be able to survive any calamity, thinking that I had earned the status of a Falun Dafa practitioner as long as I read the book Zhuan Falun. Although I claimed to have practiced for many years, I never felt that I had assimilated to the Fa.

What a deep regret it would be, if I had come close to the Fa but was never in it? How dangerous would it be, if I thought I was cultivating but I really wasn't? “At the end of the day, you haven't studied the Fa enough. Study the Fa, study the Fa...” Practitioners' kind words rang in my ears.

I should really think about my situation and see what a dangerous path I'm on. I'm only deceiving myself by not fulfilling my prehistoric vows. How will I have a place in the future universe? I thought I was so great. After all, I had done the exercises, read the book, and told some people about the persecution. Therefore, I would be spared from future calamities, right?

I didn't want to change myself. Everything had to go my way, otherwise I would be upset. How are these notions any different from those of the old forces? I was cold and indifferent, and had no compassion for the future of the world's people, as all I cared about was the safety of my family and myself.

I dreamed last night that I went back to my elementary school. The teacher took me in. I had all kinds of feelings when I woke up. I knew that it was a hint that I had another chance to become a genuine practitioner, one step at a time.

I know that there are other practitioners like me who have also lost their way. If we lose this precious predestined opportunity to practice Falun Dafa, we will regret it. Do we really want to sit on the ground crying when other Falun Dafa practitioners complete their cultivation? At that moment, we may be too sad to even shed tears.

Let's work hard together, be steadfast and make solid progress on the divine path that Master has arranged for us. Let the joy and gratification of salvation accompany us on our way back to our true homes.

I hope that I will be able to say, “Master, I have tried my best. I can call myself a Falun Dafa disciple with a clear conscience.”