Young Westerner Begins True Cultivation
(Minghui.org) I obtained Dafa in May 2015, almost one year ago. Since then I have experienced the true wonderfulness of cultivation. I have had lots of interference while trying to write this article, but I know that this is an important part of my cultivation, so I persevered.
I found out about Falun Dafa while I was looking for information about local Tai Chi classes on my computer. While looking on some online forums, I saw several people mention Falun Dafa, so I decided to find out what it was. When I went to the homepage at FalunDafa.org, I remember feeling upon seeing the golden characters for Zhen-Shan-Ren (Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance). Following the advice of people on the Internet, I read Zhuan Falun. It only took me four days to finish the book, and afterwards I kept reading through the other Falun Dafa texts online. Over the next two months I read Zhuan Falun three more times and finished reading all of Master’s other lectures.
Before cultivation, I had no moral principles to guide me, and I often indulged in lustful behavior. As a young man, I had been led to believe that this was healthy behavior, and I used the modern moral standards to justify my addiction. When I read through Zhuan Falun for the first time, I realized that I had to give up my lustful desires if I wanted to cultivate.
However, this was easier said than done. After three days of failing to control my desire, I fell asleep crying, and I remember asking Master that I would rather have the worst physical pain possible than have to suffer with my attachment.
“Sincerity is a prerequisite if you are to rectify your mind.” (Falun Gong)
With this sincere thought, I felt Master adjusting my body and removing the powerful thought karma from my mind as I went to sleep. When I woke up the next morning I was able to control my attachment and rectify my thoughts with a strong main consciousness. I also read many experience sharing articles from Minghui.org about overcoming lust, and this helped me to strengthen my righteous thoughts. I also studied the Fa everyday.
In a short period of time, I was able to cultivate away my attachment to lust and take it lightly. The joy I felt from finally being free of this attachment cannot be described in words. Instead of falling asleep in agony, I instead would sincerely be repeating the words “thank you, thank you, thank you” over and over again in my heart to Master until I would finally fall asleep.
This experience gave me unshakable faith and boundless gratitude in Master and Dafa. It also gave me a solid foundation to build upon in my cultivation. If we cannot overcome this first attachment, it is my understanding that we are still ordinary people.
Clarifying the Truth
“If a Dafa disciple cannot validate the Fa, then he is not a Dafa disciple. While exposing the evil you are also saving all sentient beings and consummating your own paradises.” (“On ‘The Dignity of Dafa’” from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
Master has made it very clear that Fa-Rectification period Dafa disciples must clarify the truth and save sentient beings. Otherwise, we cannot be considered Dafa disciples. When I read this, I knew that I had to learn more about the persecution and find some way to expose the evil. I knew that this was my responsibility.
I studied many articles and videos online that exposed the persecution and forced organ harvesting of Falun Dafa practitioners in China, and I read lots of experience sharing articles relating to clarifying the truth. I also found the online petition to the United Nations that calls for an end to the persecution and forced organ harvesting. I decided to start by clarifying the truth to my family members, and all of them agreed with what I said and decided to sign the petition. Once my family signed it, I got many of my friends to sign. Now, I take every opportunity to ask people to sign the petition, whether I’m on the train, talking to my neighbor, or meeting with my professor. This way, more people with predestined relationships can hear the truth about Dafa. I also arrange large-scale signature drives at my university.
At first, I felt the attachment of fear trying to keep me from clarifying the truth to people, but when I had that fear, I reminded myself: “I am doing the most righteous thing in the universe by exposing the evil persecution, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with what I am doing.” With this righteous thought I have been able to overcome anxiety and nervousness when telling people about Dafa. Even the evil elements can do nothing but feel respect when they see this indestructible righteous thought.
Promoting Shen Yun
When I went back to college in the fall, I decided to join the effort to help promote Shen Yun in my local area.
One practitioner assigned me the duty of distributing flyers after a show at a local theater. This was my first time helping with Shen Yun, and I did not know what I was doing since I had not received any instruction on how to complete this task. However, I knew that this event was arranged by Master to help me improve my xinxing, so I went ahead with this activity even though I was very uncertain and fearful.
“It’s cultivation, so what gods look at is a person’s heart, not whether he planned some activity thoroughly or comprehensively. Gods don’t look at that. And when things are not very comprehensive, they are in fact happy, for they want to see who among you will make things right when an imperfection is found.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2014 San Francisco Fa Conference”)
I arrived an hour early to the theater, and sat on a bench and sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate my fear. However, I could not eliminate my fear and I only grew more and more uneasy. When the time came for me to ask the management if I could pass out flyers, I could not do it at all since fear had completely seized my thoughts. So, I decided to take a short walk to clear my thoughts since I could think of nothing else to do.
When I got back from my walk, I saw that there was a police officer looking through the belongings that I had left. This shocked me and I asked him what was the matter. He told me that one of the patrons had reported a bomb threat, after seeing me leave to go for a walk. I felt deep remorse and apologized profusely to the officer, and then I went in to the theater and apologized directly to the management. I was very sincere and remorseful, and both the police officer and the management accepted my apology and we all left on good terms.
As I was walking away from the theater, I realized that my fear was gone. What happened to me was more embarrassing and awkward than anything I could have possibly imagined, and yet I lived through it without any repercussions. I enlightened to the fact that my fear was fake, and that my fear had conjured up the tribulation with the bomb threat. I was so happy when I realized this, and that’s when I felt the fear in me dissolve to nothing.
The next weekend I went to a different theater to pass out flyers. This time, I had no fear in my heart and only thought that I was doing the most righteous thing. I easily obtained permission from the security guards to pass out flyers, and at least 50 people learned about Shen Yun that night. While walking back home that night, people at my university were all cheering and celebrating. On the surface, it was because we had just won our homecoming football game. But to me, it really felt like the universe was cheering for me.
Studying the Fa Illuminates the Path of Cultivation
One day while reading the Fa in between classes, I took a short nap. When I fell asleep, I dreamed that I was stuck in a dark maze. I could see nothing, except that I had Zhuan Falun in my hands. When I opened up Zhuan Falun and began to read, a beam of golden light shot out and illuminated a path in front of me. I began to walk on the path, but whenever I would close the book and start walking, the beam of light would gradually grow weaker and almost disappear. I remember that it was very scary when I could not see the path illuminated by the light. But every time I opened up Zhuan Falun to read, the beam of light grew stronger and I could see the path again.
The message from my dream was very clear: I must study the Fa well to walk my path well. Otherwise, I will be lost. In fact, I have seen that this is true. The times when I have not studied the Fa well or consistently are the times when I have encountered the most interference.
Revealing My Attachments
Recently I noticed that many problems have occurred in my cultivation due to my attachments.
For example, I tried to start a Friends of Falun Gong club at my university, but was rejected many times while searching for a club advisor. I even got some emails back from school faculty members expressing negative opinions about Dafa. Not only was I encountering resistance, I also did not feel like I had sufficient righteous thoughts to rectify the situation.
I grew depressed and frustrated, and I felt evil pressure all around me. I then realized that I had not cultivated myself well and instead tried to accomplish Dafa work using human methods and mentalities.
What caused this poor cultivation state? I studied the Fa and looked within, and realized that I had become complacent after receiving praise from fellow cultivators and doing a few things for Dafa. My ego had swelled and I lost my righteous cultivation state. I also saw that I had grown more attached to pursuing comfort. I would often sleep past my alarm and miss class. I also became lazy with my schoolwork and procrastinated until it was too late to do a good job. With such strong attachments, no wonder I had encountered interference!
Since then, I have been focusing on my cultivation, because I realized that I cannot do well unless I put Dafa first. Even Dafa work will become ordinary work if we do not have a solid foundation built on the Fa.
Predestined Encounters On the Train
Because I do not have a car, I often ride the train to go to local Fa study. This would be an inconvenience to most people, but I look at it as an opportunity to clarify the truth to more people. I always bring a few fliers and petition forms.
Because I have this righteous mindset, Master usually arranges for me to talk to people about Dafa on the train every week. The people I talk to are diverse. Some are homeless, some are blue collar, some are students, and some have families. Many people I talk to want to sign the petition or take a flier. One time someone actually came to learn the exercises at my university after I told her about Falun Dafa on the train.
I really cherish every experience I have on the train talking to people about Dafa, because it helps me to purify my mind and heart. At the beginning I noticed that I had many attachments to peoples’ superficial characteristics, such as race, clothing, education, social class, or facial expression. Over time, I let go of these attachments and I can talk to anybody about Dafa, regardless of their outer appearance. This has helped me in all of my other truth clarification efforts and spreading of Dafa.
We have all come for the Fa, and this Fa is so precious. How could we not do well? Furthermore, we have a responsibility to save sentient beings that is written in our hearts. We wrote it ourselves. My only wish is that I can do better in my cultivation. I hope we can all walk the path ahead well.
I have realized that cultivation is the most joyful experience in the universe when we are walking our path well. When we are able to lay down our attachments through diligent cultivation and Fa study, the Fa can manifest directly in our words and actions, and the result is the most righteous actions of a Dafa Disciple, which awe all beings in the cosmos. This is our true state, and we can achieve this through solid cultivation.
Thank you Master!
Thank you fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2016 New York Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)