(Minghui.org) I began practicing Falun Dafa in 1999 and have changed for the better in many ways. I used to be selfish; my motivation for practicing cultivation was not to save people but rather to escape the cycle of reincarnation and to reach Consummation.

I learned martial arts when I was young and fantasized about being a hero. I believed in reincarnation and had a lot of questions about the meaning of life.

I found the answers to all my questions in Zhuan Falun. Within three months, the health problems that had plagued me for years were gone. But, I was still attached to achieving Consummation.

Master said:

“If you don't cultivate yourself based on the Fa, you can't cultivate higher by just enduring persecution, much less reach the standards for a Dafa disciple.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference” from Teaching the Fa at the Conference V)

However, I completely missed the point that Master wants us to be altruistic.

I Was Imprisoned

When the persecution first started, I wanted to be a hero. I mistakenly thought that one must endure tests through persecution in order to reach a higher level and to consummate. When I unfurled a banner on Tiananmen Square, the police beat me, took me to a detention center, and tortured me.

My motive for enduring the torture was entirely selfish: I thought that I would reach Consummation by suffering. All my thoughts and actions while I was being persecuted were focused on Consummation. I was hung up and beaten unconscious several times. My spirit was finally crushed, and I complied with the police. After I was released, I felt my life was over and simply could not face the persecution.

In the harsh environment of the detention center, an everyday person's mind will become disturbed. For a Dafa disciple, the environment can pollute and muddy his thoughts. The forced brainwashing has pushed some practitioners away from Dafa. The mental and physical torture used on practitioners are designed to destroy one's dignity and trust between people.

One practitioner who refused to comply was imprisoned in a solitary cell. He was forced to memorize articles that slandered Dafa. He suffered a mental breakdown and had difficulty taking care of himself after he was released.

My Motive for Avoiding Persecution was Selfishness

Under constant mental and physical torture, one must have solid faith in Dafa; otherwise, one may stray from the path of cultivation. After I was released, I was afraid that if I were tortured again, I would just give up and go along with the policemen's demands. In order to avoid being arrested again, I thought that I should not do anything. In order to protect myself, I didn't join any truth-clarification activities. When other practitioners tried to help me, I refused to listen. I had lost all confidence in myself and was unwilling to risk being persecuted again.

I felt that I would never be able to cultivate diligently again, no matter how I tried. I felt that my spirit was damaged beyond repair and that I had lost the opportunity to cultivate. I thought, “It doesn't matter, my enlightenment level was low anyway, so I would never have cultivated to a high level.”

Because of my misunderstandings of the Fa, I missed many opportunities to clarify the truth to people. When local projects needed help, I would just get involved passively and do as little as possible. I barely did the three things. I felt sad.

Breaking Through

I felt as though I were encased by some dark, negative substance that was holding me back. I knew that I could be a great enlightened being if I could just break through this negative thing. At that time, it was my understanding of our cultivation levels.

I later realized that my understanding came from the old universe. I went along with their so-called tests, and I did not do everything I was supposed to do, which is to save people. Instead, I was going along with and cultivating within the old forces' arrangements. I was placing obstacles in my own cultivation path.

When I came to this realization, I noticed that some other practitioners also had similar thoughts and behaviors. Some of them were slacking off due to misunderstandings of the Fa, and some had even given up and stopped cultivating. Some were doing the three things passively. I also did the three things, but I wasn't enthusiastic or trying to save people proactively. I knew that something was wrong, but I didn't know what it was or how to do better. When I talked to fellow practitioners, the only reason was “fear.” However, when I look back now, I realize that the fundamental issue was that I had only a shallow understanding of the Fa.

Finally Understanding Our Responsibilities

Master said in “Fa Teaching at the 2013 Greater New York Fa Conference”:

“Dafa disciples have a mission, and that is why you are called “Dafa disciples.” Your goal is not your personal Consummation. It is to lead a large group of lives to Consummation. So you must go and do that.”

When I began practicing Falun Dafa, I did not think about or understand the magnitude of what it means to be a disciple during the Fa-rectification period. I didn't understand the importance of going beyond just cultivating ourselves to helping Master save people.

When the breakthrough in my understanding came, the focus of my cultivation changed, and I finally stepped onto the path of altruism, saving lives, and the new universe. At last, my motive for cultivating changed from one of selfishly taking care of myself to unselfishly doing whatever I could to save people.

Stepping Forward At Last

In 2015, I decided to file a lawsuit against former Communist Party leader Jiang Zemin. Even from an everyday person's viewpoint, filing these lawsuits is the right thing to do. I did nothing wrong, yet I was tortured. We practitioners should use the law to appeal for Dafa, and the appeals are legal under Chinese law. From another angle, I realized that Master is giving those practitioners who haven't stepped forward another chance to do better and to deny the old forces’ arrangements.

Master said:

“When you're able to walk a righteous path, that means your righteous thoughts are strong, you're doing things according to Dafa's requirements, and you're doing things according to Master's requirements, then you are negating the old forces, and you are walking your path in a righteous way.” (“Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference”)

Master's teaching gave me confidence. If I do things according to Dafa's requirements, then I am negating the old forces. I believe that I can fulfill my responsibilities, and I often remind myself that I'm a Dafa disciple.

Breakthrough In My Understanding

From reading the Fa, I realized that my thoughts while I was imprisoned were the old forces' arrangements. Instead of immediately eliminating them, I went along with them. Throughout the years, I always felt guilty about my complying with the police. This situation is exactly what the old forces want. They try to use practitioners' wrong thoughts to destroy them. My being tortured was not part of the Fa. Master does not need practitioners to be tortured in order to save people.

I realized how profound Dafa is and that my lack of confidence during the persecution stemmed from my failure to solidly believe in Master and the Fa. When I truly focused as I read, I saw deeper levels of the Fa, and many obstacles in my mind were dissolved.

My thoughts became righteous. Reading the Fa enhances my confidence, and I no longer feel anything is difficult. I feel that as long as I do things according to Dafa's requirements and work with fellow practitioners to do the three things well, Master will help me.

Coordinating To Save People

When I notice that a practitioner is not doing well, I help them. I coordinate with other practitioners to plan projects. We help fellow practitioners to improve in their cultivation and to form a strong whole body, which helps us to clarify the truth and save people.

In my area, a loose group consisting of multiple Fa-study sites has been formed. We work together so that everyone in our area and in nearby areas will be quickly informed when a practitioner is arrested, so that we can immediately help. Coordinating also allows us to share any new ways or technologies to talk to people about the persecution.

We've been able to create this nurturing environment because, as a group, we have improved our understanding of the Fa. After my understanding of the Fa deepened, I actively joined projects. My motive in helping is no longer selfish; I now only wish to save people.

Before I made a breakthrough in my understanding, my wife was in charge of the project to rescue local practitioners. She often had to talk to the police or prosecutors. Because I was worried about her safety, I usually argued with her. I thought she did things impulsively and there were some technical loopholes in the way she did things. For example, when she drove our car to the police station or to the court, I would complain and say there were surveillance cameras; our license plates would be recorded, and we would be followed.

My worries and the conflicts I imposed on her gave her pressure and interfered with rescuing fellow practitioners. Now, I actively help her and complement her shortcomings. My wife and I focus on keeping our thoughts righteous because we know that we are doing something very sacred.

At last, I feel truly connected to the Fa. Whenever I find that a project needs extra hands, I'm very happy to help. I truly understand the meaning of taking hardship as joy. I now understand that we are helping Master rectify the Fa, and I have the energy to endure any hardship.

At last, I've broken through the shell of selfish personal cultivation and truly become altruistic! Even the respect I have for Master is different; it has become more sacred and pure.

I've changed from someone whose only motive to cultivate was to succeed in Consummation to a Dafa disciple who only wishes to save people.

These are some of my cultivation experiences. Please correct me if I've said anything wrong.