Greetings, esteemed Master and fellow practitioners!
When I was 10 years old, which was 10 years ago, my family emigrated from China to Canada.
When I first came to Canada, my father, who is not a practitioner, asked me to recite and copy 20 pages of English words, so that I could improve my English proficiency quickly, while my mother asked me to copy several pages from Zhuan Falun daily. At that age, I did so without any complaint.
My English improved quickly. After copying all of Zhuan Falun, I continued to copy the Fa for several years, which included Master's publications Essentials for Further Advancement, Essentials for Further Advancement II, Hong Yin, Hong Yin Vol. II, and Hong Yin III.
Before emigrating from China I attended elementary school for three-and-a-half years. I did not lose my Chinese language skills, because I copied the Chinese versions of Master's books. However, I did not know much about cultivation or the meaning of life.
In my family, my grandmother was the first to obtain the Fa. My mother told me that, when I was little, I always listened to the Fa and did the exercises with my grandmother.
At the age of three, I came down with a high fever and my grandfather wanted to take me to the hospital. When they could not agree, my mother asked me if I wanted to go to the hospital. I pointed to the television, indicating that I wanted to watch Master’s exercise instruction video. By the time I watched the video and completed all the exercises, I had recovered.
When I was seven, my mother and I were hit by a motorcycle as we were crossing the street. I ended up under the motorcycle. My mother pulled the motorcycle off me and said in my ear, “You are a little Dafa disciple, and everything will be fine. Falun Dafa is good,Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.”
The driver of the motorcycle asked us if we should go to a hospital. I waved my hand and told him in a shaky voice, “I am fine, I am fine. You should go to the hospital since your knees are bleeding.”
I had no notions, and my heart was pure at that time. When I grew older, my attachments started to surface and I gradually understood the seriousness of cultivation.
When I first came to Montreal and saw the Divine Land Marching Band in a parade, I thought it was spectacular and sacred. During every parade, I wore a yellow Dafa T-shirt, followed the parade on the sidewalk, hummed the Dafa songs, walked with light steps, and carried Dafa truth-clarifying materials to hand out. I wondered when I would become a member of the Divine Land Marching Band.
The practitioner in charge of the Band asked me to play the flute when I was 14 years old. I was so happy and excited because my wish was granted. At practice, I found out that it was not that simple. When I went to practice the first time, everyone ignored me, and I felt sad sitting there watching while others practiced. I did not know what to do, so I thought of not joining the Band.
When 15, I was very fortunate to attend the Toronto Minghui School. It so happened that another young practitioner played flute in the Band. During that summer, I learned how to play all the songs and was allowed to participate in the parade. At every parade, I was moved to the outside row, since I was young and handsome. There were videos online and my photo appeared several times. In time, the attachments of zealotry and showing off were exposed.
Then I was asked to play the piccolo at the beginning of 2015. The piccolo is more difficult than the flute, because you have to move your fingers faster. It also makes a lot of high pitched tones. I was the only one in the band who played the piccolo, so I felt quite proud. Other practitioners told me that, since we had the piccolo, it sounded much better.
My attachments of zealotry and showing off got stronger. When others pointed out my shortcomings, I seemed to accept them, but deep in my heart I was hurt and resented these people. I only liked to hear praise and compliments and could hardly accept criticism or acknowledge my shortcomings.
“Getting an earful of other people’s flattery about how capable she was, she would also not respect qigong masters from righteous schools. If someone said something bad about her, she would be upset. This person’s attachments to fame and self-interest were all developed. She considered herself better than others and extraordinary. She mistakenly thought that she was given the energy to become a qigong master and make a big fortune, while in fact it was for her to practice cultivation. Once the attachments to fame and profit were developed, this person’s xinxing level had actually dropped.” (Zhuan Falun)
Although I understood Master’s Fa, it was not easy to eliminate my attachments to showing off and zealotry. They emerged again when I was selling Shen Yun tickets.
Three of us were selling tickets at a booth late one afternoon: myself, a Westerner, and another practitioner. The Westerner was tired since she had been there for the entire day, so she took a break.
At first, I was not confident that I could handle everything by myself. I was distributing flyers to the passersby and asked them to watch the short Shen Yun introduction on the TV. Very soon, several people wanted to buy tickets, which kept me very busy. That night I sold eight of the most expensive tickets.
It was almost time to close our booth when I called my mom to tell her this good news. I hoped that she would praise me, but she said, “Cultivation depends on one’s own efforts, while the transformation of gong is done by one’s master.” (Zhuan Falun)
I should have known that my mom would not praise me. However, it did disturb me. Master said, “For a cultivator, all the frustrations he comes across among everyday people are trials, and all the compliments he receives are tests.” (“A Cultivator is Naturally Part of It” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
Master's Fa brought it home that I should always keep a humble state of mind.
When I studied Lunyu, Master said, “It was Dafa that created time and space, the multitude of lives and species, and all of creation; all that exists owes to it, with nothing outside of it.”
This Fa truth showed me how tiny and immature I was. Besides, that little skill was given to me by Master to show the beauty of Dafa, not to show off. The Band is one body, everyone has a different role, and everyone is indispensable. Only when we cooperate with each other can we reach the best result of saving sentient beings.
Last summer I got a job at LaRonde, the biggest amusement park in Montreal. To get this job I had to write a resume, take a test, go for an interview, do role-playing, and be trained.
Actually, LaRonde had already hired me last year, but I worked only a few days. They called me several times when I was busy with Fa-validation activities, and I had to refuse. You can only refuse to take a shift three times before you lose the job. Because of Fa-validating activities, I refused more than three times.
I thought I would not be hired again, but they contacted me in March and asked if I was interested in working there. I was, but the training schedule coincided with the New York Fa Conference. The training is a must: no training, no job. Besides, there were many applicants. I struggled with whether I should go to the Fa conference or the training.
“Cultivate Dafa with all your heart,Nothing could be more important.”( “Gaining the Fa” from Hong Yin)
My mom recited the Hong Yin poem, “Gaining the Fa,” when I shared my dilemma with her. She said that it depended on my priority: was it Dafa or making money?
It sounded right, but the attachment to money was difficult to eliminate. If I worked for the summer, I could make enough money for my tuition.
“Thus, our practitioners should be like this even less so, as a practitioner should follow the course of nature. If something is yours, you will not lose it. If something is not yours, you will not have it even if you fight for it. Of course, that is not absolute. If it were as absolute as that, there would not be the issue of committing wrongdoing. In other words, there are some unstable factors. But as a practitioner, you are in principle protected by Teacher’s fashen. Others cannot take away what is yours, even if they want to. We therefore believe in following the course of nature. Sometimes, you think that something should be yours, and others also tell you that it is yours. Actually, it is not. You may believe that it is yours, but in the end it is not yours. Through this, it can be seen whether you can give it up. If you cannot let it go, it is an attachment. This method must be used to get rid of your attachment to self-interest. This is the issue. Because everyday people are not enlightened to this principle, they will all compete and fight before profits.” (Zhuan Falun)
I clearly saw my attachment to profits. “Just by staying unaffected you will be able to handle all situations.” (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in the Midwest-U.S. )
I let it go and decided to go to the New York Fa conference. Everything else would be arranged by Master. What Master arranges for me is always the best. After I returned from the New York Fa conference, LaRonde offered me a full-time position.
I have distributed Shen Yun flyers on the weekends with another young practitioner for five years. At first, we did not want to be involved in this project, because we had to get up early in the morning. Winters in Montreal are very severe. Sometimes we fell down due to the ice and snow and got hurt. I felt sorry for myself. Sometimes we found all kinds of excuses not to go.
My mother repeatedly said: “You have no problem getting up early to make money, so how come you can’t get up to distribute flyers? Time is so pressing and you are still sleeping. What you are going to do if you cannot fulfill your mission and complete your vows to Master? Everyone else will go home with Master since they have completed their cultivation. You will only cry.”
Hearing this made me clear-minded. It was laziness and the attachment to comfort. Ordinary people even say that comfort is worse than alcohol. Laziness is also demon nature. As cultivators we need to eliminate our demon nature.
“So, for Dafa disciples, things overall have become ever more relaxed and comfortable. But as things get more comfortable, the pressure lessens; and when the pressure is lessened, it's apt to lead to a desire for comfort, to wanting a little more ease, to relaxing a little bit, and to seeking some relief. But the reality is, each Dafa disciple's life has been tightly wed to, like links in a chain, his cultivation. So when you relax yourself, it amounts to relaxing in your cultivation.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference”)
When I reflected on my Fa study, I realized that I read very fast. That was not a good thing, as very often I read the Fa wrong or omitted words. Besides, I needed to catch up in doing the exercises as well.
When my mom asked me to get up for the exercises early in the morning, I was not clear-minded. I really slacked off. Also, when I gave out flyers, I did it very fast since I wanted to finish quickly and go home.
I did not have good xinxing, was not responsible for my sentient beings, and lacked compassion. In giving out the flyers, it is not just how many flyers you give out, it is more what kind of state of mind you have when you do it. That is the key element in whether we can save sentient beings.
“As I have shared with you before, you are not in fact saving those people for Master’s sake, and neither is it done for others. You are saving them for yourselves, for very possibly those are to be the future sentient beings of your paradises, or are to belong to your expanse. You can’t let it become that when you return to your rightful place, you are like a commander-in-chief without an army, with it completely empty there, just one lone figure occupying that massive cosmic body. Buddhas aren’t supposed to be impoverished; they should be wealthy. The lives there are your riches, and only with them will your paradise be able to thrive. They all count as riches—every life counts as riches.” (“Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa-Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference ”)
When our heart is within the Fa, and if we place saving sentient beings as our priority, Dafa will show its power and sacredness. Everything is done by Master.
I did not cultivate well. For so many years I did not understand the essence of cultivation, focusing only on the superficial. Compared to those diligent practitioners, I am far behind. And I am even farther behind compared to Master’s requirements. However, I know our compassionate Master does not want to leave behind a single practitioner. Whenever I study Master’s Fa, I can feel Master’s encouragement and enormous compassion.
“In the past, cultivators would remove attachments one after another. But in your case, almost all of your attachments remain while they are weakened and lessened one layer at a time, weakened and lessened continually, further and further. That’s the approach that I have taken with you, and it allows our Dafa disciples to live normally among ordinary people prior to achieving consummation and to save people in a normal manner while being one of them. At the same time, precisely because your human thoughts haven’t been fully removed, it allows you to cultivate against their interference, and if you can stay alert and cultivate yourself at all times, and fulfill your responsibilities as a Dafa disciple, that is mighty virtue and is simply extraordinary. And that is your path.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference”)
I want to expose all my attachments, so I will be reminded that I have to let them go, do the three things well, and cultivate well.
Thank you, esteemed Master and fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2016 Canada Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)