(Minghui.org) I had an old colleague who had been practicing Falun Dafa for many years. I heard that many great things happened to him after he started practicing, but I never thought of myself doing so as well.
I caught up with him around the Chinese New Year in 2013, after many years. I was amazed that he was so healthy and spirited.
“I also want to practice Falun Dafa!” I blurted out. I didn't even know where that thought came from. But to my own surprise, after I dived into the practice, I never stopped.
I'm so glad that I didn't miss my chance.
Growing up in an atheistic society, I had no religious background. I explored many religious teachings, but none of them touched my heart. So when I started practicing Dafa, I had no idea what cultivation practice was about.
Master emphasized in the teachings that we should truly cultivate ourselves. But how do I truly cultivate myself?
In my understanding, first of all, I should diligently study the Fa and do the exercises. I tried my best to do all five sets of the exercises and read Dafa books often.
The more I study the Fa, the more I want to study it. I didn't have many hard copies of Dafa books at that time, so I downloaded all 44 books from the Minghui website and printed them out.
I read the books in chronological order. After I finished reading them, I felt that my mind had been cleansed.
I used to pay close attention to the physical changes in my body. But now I understand that in Dafa cultivation, cultivating one's xinxing is first and foremost. As a true cultivator, I should follow the xinxing standard befitting a cultivator in everything I do.
I visited my parents in another city during the 2014 Chinese New Year. Because of fear, I didn't bring Dafa books with me, but only brought an MP3 player with Master's lectures and the exercise music.
I indulged myself by enjoying life. Although I still did the exercises and listened to Master's lectures, I did it like completing a task. I often fell asleep while listening to the lectures. I also stopped memorizing the Fa, which I had started a few months before.
After I returned home from vacation, I felt that my cultivation state was lacking. I still did the exercises and read the books, but I didn't have the feeling that I was making rapid progress every day.
I was given a test of lust in a dream. I didn’t remember that I was a cultivator until the end. I suddenly woke up and deeply regretted that I didn’t pass the test.
In another dream, I was sliding down from a high place. I wasn’t nervous or anxious, but was instead quite joyful. After I woke up, I was very upset with myself.
I became alert after the dream. I asked myself, am I a true cultivator?
During that period, I didn’t have much success when talking to people about the persecution and persuading them to quit the Chinese Communist Party. I realized that if I didn’t cultivate myself well, I wouldn’t be able to save sentient beings.
While talking to another new practitioner, she said that true cultivation is not doing lip service. This was exactly my problem. I felt very ashamed. Sometimes even after I understood something or enlightened that I should do something, I did not do it. I judged things based on my notions, not the Fa. After all, my faith in Master was lacking.
I made up my mind that I had to change myself. The first item on my action list was to get up early to do the exercises.
In fact, when I first started cultivation, I woke up at around 3:30 a.m. every day, which I had never done before. A practitioner reminded me that Master was waking me up to do the exercises, but I didn’t believe it at all. I thought that rising so early would harm my health. I felt that, as a beginner in cultivation, my body would not be able to stand it if I slept so little every night. Even though I woke up in the wee hours every morning in my early days of cultivation, I never got up that early to do the exercises.
I realized that I didn’t believe in Master. If this was something Master wanted me to do, I surely should be able to make it.
I tried my best to get up early in the morning. Although I couldn’t persist in doing so every day, I still got up much earlier than before. More surprisingly, I never felt discomfort from lack of sleep. Instead, my mind was clearer and sharper, and I felt more energetic. The happiness I once had when I first started practicing Dafa had returned.
I also noticed another change in myself. Whenever I encountered something, I remembered that Master was with me. I was delighted that I truly cultivate now.
My work schedule became busier. It turned out to be helpful for me to get up early to do the exercises, since I had to go to work early as well. Despite the busy and stressful work, I didn’t feel tired. I was very energetic, and felt that my body became lighter and lighter.
I was assigned a task at work with extended hours. I subsequently became lax in Fa study, and sometimes did not study the Fa for several days at a time.
Without solid Fa study, I became confused on how to handle the complicated relationships among my colleagues. I was frustrated that even after cultivating for a while, I did not know how to deal with conflicts.
I tried to follow the Fa's requirements, but realized that I did not know how to align myself with the Fa. I thought of different Fa principles, but I did not know which one to follow. I felt very uneasy.
I calmed down and looked within. I found that I was stuck on that particular problem. When I studied the Fa, I was seeking a solution. Fa-study and doing the exercises became a formality, and my mind wasn't clear.
I also found excuses to skip memorizing the Fa because I felt it was too difficult.
I was shocked to realize my problem–the attachment to comfort. I wanted to cultivate comfortably, and did not want to suffer hardships.
Master said in “Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference in Australia,”
“What I ask you to do is to surpass everyday people, to ascend even higher—that is to say, to be an even better person, a person with higher moral values. Only in this way can you ascend through cultivation practice.”
I suddenly understood that as a true cultivator, I have to reach above and beyond everyday people. I have to elevate my thinking and look at things from a higher level.
I feel so grateful for Master's salvation. I still have many attachments, but I will cultivate diligently and catch up.