(Minghui.org) Greetings, Benevolent Master. Greetings, fellow Philadelphia area practitioners.

I want to begin by thanking our local practitioners for all of your diligent efforts to follow our Master’s arrangements. I obtained the Fa here in Philadelphia five years ago, thanks to your efforts. Thanks to the Liberty Bell practice site and thanks to so many of our local practitioners who helped me when I first began.

Raised up by Master, Sliding Down with Human Thoughts

At the 2016 New York Fa Conference, in the righteous field of 10,000 practitioners, I became awake and alert. Master’s words brought forth my main consciousness and dissolved the fog and the groggy pull of the attachment to comfort, guilt, and fear of doing poorly that had surrounded me. It was such a relief! The suffering of being separated from the Fa, of doing poorly in cultivation, of gradually returning to the state of an ordinary person, was terrifying. And I was relieved to finally have a clear mind again.

Since that time, I’ve watched my cultivation state fluctuate up and down, day to day, week to week. In one moment I’m a devoted Dafa disciple and in the next moment I’m an ordinary person. Back and forth. Up and down. For me, and maybe for other practitioners, the change happens gradually and subtly at first and then becomes lightning fast. In the positive direction it’s like an escalator. If I walk determined toward the entrance, read the Fa, do the exercises, send forth righteous thoughts, and clarify the truth, I place my feet on the first step and I’m quickly swept upward on the escalator, instantly raised up by our compassionate Master. Like a miracle.

In the negative direction it is like a slippery slide. It starts out slow and almost imperceptible. Foggy steps toward the slide, a human thought, giving in to an attachment, skipping Fa study or sending righteous thoughts, I place my feet precariously on the edge and I quickly slide down to humanness.

One example was during the Shen Yun promotion in 2015. It was time to hang door-to-door mailers. I was making excuses for not going out, and giving in to attachments of comfort and sentimentality, attached to my kids and afraid to leave them. Because my mind was not right, interference came in the form of a crisis with my cousin. I dropped everything and took care of her for a week, missing the chance to hang mailers, missing Fa study, missing righteous thoughts. Because of failing that test, more severe interference came the next week in the form of my son falling down the steps and getting a concussion. Again, I dropped everything and only took care of him. My mind was full of human notions and attachments, and I didn’t do the three things. After three weeks the doctor said his body was healed, but because I still did not regard the situation from the perspective of the Fa, he began to have sudden mental problems, running into the street and trying to hurt himself. I again regarded it all with human notions and without realizing it, an entire year went by that I had barely cultivated.

Mater has told us over and over that cultivation is serious and that the Fa is boundless. Slipping down the slide is so dangerous and the losses caused in the Fa rectification are enormous.

Master taught us:

“So some people are not too diligent, cultivating but not really cultivating. But have you thought about it? You once signed a contract with me when you came to this world, vowing to save those sentient beings. You could then become a Dafa disciple, and you could then do this thing. But you did not fulfill it. You did not completely fulfill your vow, and you cannot even save those beings allotted to you, those you undertook to save, behind whom are countless sentient beings and gigantic groups of beings. What is that?! Is that simply just a matter of not cultivating diligently? That is an extremely serious crime! An unparalleled crime!” (“Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference”)

But when we manage to be diligent, the miracles are greater than we can comprehend.

Remembering the Fa, Fulfilling My Vow

When I was a young child I could feel that I had just forgotten the truth of the universe that I had known before being born. I was looking forward to when this human life would be over and I would know it all again. I remember feeling like it was going to be a long time to get through this life before regaining what I had lost.

Although I do not remember the vow I made in pre-history, I made a vow in this lifetime. In 1994, when I was a teenager, I was walking on the street one day and I suddenly stood still and began to cry, I was so overcome by the suffering and illusion I saw all around in the human world. I felt desperate to know how to help wake people up and make things right. I always felt that I was born with a mission, but I couldn’t find the path. In that moment, standing on the sidewalk, I vowed to God, “Show me the path and I will give myself entirely, steadfastly, to fulfilling it.”

When I read Zhuan Falun, I recognized it immediately as everything I had forgotten when I began this human life. Soon after obtaining the Fa I remembered the vow I had made as a teenager. I was so relieved that my years of wandering and searching were over and the rest of my life would be spent fulfilling my vow.

Enlightening to the Seriousness of a Dafa Disciple’s Mission

Despite remembering this vow, despite the many miracles of Dafa’s power I’ve experienced, and despite all that Master has given me, I continue to struggle with diligence. Human notions, and attachments to comfort and sentimentality create interference that stops me from fulfilling the truth clarification efforts Master has arranged. I have looked within and many times asked myself why. Master has opened the gate so wide and given us such a simple path. If I understand this Fa, if I remember my vow, if I know what I should do, why can’t I just do it!

Why can’t I? It is fundamentally an issue of whether I can truly enlighten to the seriousness of my responsibility as a Dafa disciple.

Specifically, I have not enlightened to the seriousness of helping Master to save sentient beings during the Fa rectification. This is a big problem because it means that my motivations for cultivation and truth clarification are not on the Fa. I cultivate with a human mindset to not let Master down, to not feel guilty, and not feel embarrassed or ashamed among fellow practitioners. With a human mindset I know that Dafa is good, I know that I am a predestined practitioner, and that I have to do what Master asks of us. Because of this gap, I clarify the truth with ordinary human thoughts of “living up to my obligation,” and not because I am thinking about helping save sentient beings. And when I slack off, I have the human feeling of guilt, shame, and fear of not being a good person, but not a thought for the losses I may have caused. Even now talking about it, I’m talking about an idea, just the words, and I can tell that I don’t have a real understanding of it in my heart.

So, on the one hand, I recognized the Fa immediately the moment I read Zhuan Falun. But on a higher level, I haven’t recognized it at all because I haven’t enlightened to the seriousness of being diligent or the vastness of the consequences of failing to fulfill my mission. I hope that now that I can see this fundamental gap I can begin to improve.

The Benefits of Our Group Sharing Environment

I was very reluctant to write a sharing article. I didn’t feel worthy of sharing my experiences. But the form of writing experience sharing articles is another compassionate gift from Master to help us along in our cultivation. Reading practitioners’ sharing on Minghui.org, listening to the Minghui Radio podcasts, and sharing with practitioners during truth clarification work has helped me to look within and has encouraged me to be more diligent. Thank you, Master, for this group cultivation environment where we can encourage each other to improve and work as one body.

In the time remaining, I hope we can all fully devote ourselves to the one body effort to assist Master in the Fa-rectification. Sentient beings are counting on us to fulfill our vows.

Thank you, Master. Thank you, fellow practitioners. Please kindly point out anything incorrect.

(Presented at the 2016 Greater Philadelphia Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)