(Minghui.org) While doing the exercises the other day, I felt a sharp pain in my chest. This had never happened before. My first thought was, “My body in a different dimension is being purified.” With this thought, the pain disappeared after just a few seconds.

This incident reminded me of what Master has said, “...good or bad comes from a person’s initial thought, …” (“Improving Xinxing,” Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)

When we encounter problems or tribulations in our cultivation, our initial thought plays a very important role in determining what happens next. If we see them as opportunities that Master gives us to improve ourselves, the result will be way more positive than if we treat it as old forces' interference.

Two Different Scenarios

Let's say we were out telling people about the persecution and saw dark clouds gathering and rain coming. One may think, “I am saving sentient beings and all righteous beings will cooperate. Even if it rains, it will rain after I am done talking and have returned home.”

Another person may think, “This is interference from the old forces. I will send forth righteous thoughts and eliminate all that's interfering with me saving sentient beings.”

Things may work out in the end for both, but the two different ways of thinking lead to completely different feelings. The former feels privileged, while the latter feels pressured.

Let's look at another example. A practitioner cultivates diligently and has a pure heart to save sentient beings, but all of a sudden he experiences a lot of pain in his legs and cannot walk. His initial thought may be, “This is encouragement from Master. He is purifying my body so that I can improve.” He feels very fortunate.

He thinks this way because Master has said,

“Only when you, the Dafa disciples, don't conduct yourselves well do they dare to do things. That's when they have an excuse to target you. Under normal circumstances they don't dare to do such things.” (“Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference”)

He knows that the old forces do not have any excuse to interfere because everything he does is based on the Fa. So, although it is very painful, it must be a good thing.

Or he could think that it is the old forces' interference: “This is just an illusion. I do not acknowledge it and will eliminate the persecution imposed on me by sending righteous thoughts.” Either way, his pain may disappear quickly.

The two thoughts may seem similar, but the states of mind and the feelings are definitely different. In the former, the practitioner's first thought was appreciation for Master. In the latter, he feels pressured that the old forces might exploit his loophole—his focus is on the difficulties in cultivation and saving sentient beings. The former is happy, while the latter is being worn down.

Our Loophole

In our experience sharing articles, the story usually goes like this—the practitioners' common reaction when facing a tribulation is “negating the old forces' arrangements.” (“Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference”) Then they look inward and find attachments. With Master's help and strengthening, they remove the attachments and overcome the tribulations.

But herein lies our loophole—even when we “negate,” we still fall into the old forces' traps and go with their arrangements. Because as soon as we “negate,” we have acknowledged the old forces and their arrangements. That's why some practitioners wonder, “I'm always sending righteous thoughts, but why do the problems and tribulations never stop?”

In simply trying to push back, block, and eliminate the “interference,” we may be able to handle one or two tribulations at a time, but if eight or ten show up at once, we won’t be able to.

The key is to stop being passive and to start to practice positive thinking. Of course, we also need to actively look inward and get rid of our attachments instead of waiting until problems occur.

Actively Getting Rid of Attachments

As cultivators, we all have attachments—if we didn't, then we wouldn't have to cultivate. When attachments surface, it is our opportunity to recognize them and get rid of them. Having attachments and even showing our attachments are no reason for the old forces to persecute us.

When our attachments surface, if we can actively look inward and truly cultivate ourselves, then we are walking down the path according to Master's arrangements, and the old forces will not be able to interfere.

However, if we don't try to get rid of the attachments, then “whatever you're attached to, that's what the evil beings will strengthen, ...” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference”) Aren't we then providing the grounds for the old forces' interference?

The Power of Positive Thinking

Positive thinking makes all the difference. With the righteous thought of “I am a Dafa practitioner, and I am taken care of by Master. This is the best arrangement, and everything is going to work out,” one can overcome anything. With negative thinking, one positions oneself as the victim and probably will always be at risk of being persecuted.

To always have righteous thoughts and positive thinking, we have to focus on the Fa, instead of always worrying about the old forces. When one thinks about it, one is giving it a reason to exist in one's field.

The most important thing is to study the Fa well. Some practitioners think that “studying the Fa” is some task that we need to carry out, and as long as we spend time reading the book, then we are good. That is a huge mistake. If we don't pay attention when we read the Fa and hold ourselves to the standard of the Fa, then we have not gained the Fa.

If we always look inward, cultivate ourselves, and do the three things as Master asks, then we are bound to improve in our cultivation. At the same time, we don't need to focus on negating and eliminating old forces' interference, because it won't even be able to touch or interfere with us.

We should focus our energy on the positive—studying the Fa, cultivating ourselves, and doing the three things—it is that simple. Just as Master has said, “Just by staying unaffected you will be able to handle all situations.” (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in the Midwest-U.S.)

This is my personal understanding and thoughts. I ask fellow practitioners to kindly point out anything that's extreme or inappropriate.

I only hope that we can all stay on our paths of cultivation steadily and righteously, and do better in helping Master in Fa-rectification, save sentient beings, and fulfill our vows as Dafa practitioners.