Overcoming Mental Obstacles
(Minghui.org) I began practicing Falun Dafa in 1998. After stumbling in cultivation, I made a breakthrough and pulled myself through. Here, I would like to share my experience with other practitioners in the hopes that it can help those who may face similar obstacles.
When I first started to practice Falun Dafa, I could endure a lot of hardship. For example, while doing the seated meditation, despite being in a great deal of pain, I could continue for the duration. I also studied the Fa diligently. I was strict with myself in improving xinxing; for example, as soon as a bad thought surfaced, I could catch it.
After the persecution began, the foundation I'd built through one year of Fa study helped me maintain my faith in Teacher and Dafa. However, because I was a fairly new practitioner, and due to my attachments, I stumbled twice.
The first stumble was related to lust. I previously thought that I would never fail in this respect. So when I really stumbled on this, it felt like a dream and was very hard to believe.
Afterwards, I felt a lot of regret, but I could not overcome this mental obstacle. Later this mentality resulted in quite a few issues, including my being persecuted, arrested and imprisoned.
The second stumble occurred when I was imprisoned. I was deprived of sleep for a long period of time. Eventually, I could no longer maintain my righteous thoughts, and I wrote the four statements (similar to the three statements) to renounce Falun Gong. The guard even had me write: “I give my honor.”
I realized that other practitioners who also renounced Falun Gong knew they had made a mistake, but they lacked the courage to overcome the mistake. It was probably due to that statement.
After a while, I had the courage to go to the prison director's office to declare that what I'd written was against my will. I declared that those statements were null. The director asked, “Did you say that you gave your honor?”
I said, “I have no human honor, but rather a divine being's honor.” The director had nothing to say.
The director never gave me a hard time. I managed to pass this test unperturbed, and it didn't leave me with any mental obstacles.
However, I couldn't completely get over the first stumble, even though it had happened a long time ago. Before I failed the lust test, I felt that I was always in high spirits. No matter what I did right or wrong, I always treated it with a proper attitude. But now I could not regain that pure feeling.
When I became really frustrated, all kinds of bad thoughts flooded in, like: Just give up. Go browse some pornographic websites.
I knew that those thoughts were bad, and they were interference from thought karma. But when I was weak, it would gain the upper hand. As a result, several times I went along with the thoughts. Afterwards, I deeply regretted it and made up my mind to do well the next time. With many such ups and downs, this became a very difficult test for me. It almost destroyed me and I nearly lost hope.
One day, I saw two kids fighting. Even though the fight looked fierce, they were at peace in less than five minutes. It was as if they hadn't even fought.
I was moved. Children are so pure, and they do not retain negativity in their hearts. It is only because we adults have very complicated minds that the psychological impact of an event stays with us. And this psychological impact can make one continue to fall down and not be diligent.
One day, I came across an article on the Minghui website, entitled “Falun Dafa Practitioners in the Eyes of an Enlightened Being”. It mentioned that this issue of mental obstacles is due to a lack of confidence in oneself and it is also a manifestation of not believing in Teacher and Dafa. This is true.
“It doesn't matter that you fell down, it doesn't matter! Quickly get up!”
“Master won't abandon you, and you mustn't lose confidence. There are still opportunities, and I'll save you no matter what. Now do you still lack confidence?” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Lantern Festival”)
I said to myself: “I have found the root cause! I should have confidence in myself. I should believe in Teacher and Dafa. The psychological effect is an attachment, and I should let it go.” I felt a lightness in my heart that I’ve never experienced before.
Though it took me quite a while to break through this mental obstacle, I truly came to find the peaceful feeling I had when I first started practicing Dafa. Cultivation is no longer a big burden for me. I was able to sit in meditation for an hour again yesterday. I knew that Teacher was encouraging me. He has never given up on me.
In the old cultivation ways, when one made a big mistake, one could not cultivate anymore. If we can overcome our own mental obstacles and get up quickly after we fall down, then nothing can stop us on our cultivation path. Isn't this something that we leave for future cultivators? Doesn't something bad then turn out to be good?