(Minghui.org) On this special occasion of World Falun Dafa Day, I would like to express my gratitude for Master' salvation and share my experience of obtaining the Fa and cultivation.
I started to practice Falun Dafa in 2012, when I was 24. I was raised by my grandparents because my parents divorced when I was little. Under my grandparents' influence, I learned many traditional values. I always believed there existed a law superior to mankind, though I didn't know what the law was. I simply held compassion in my heart.
My college major was French, since I wanted to work with tourists. It gave me a chance to read writings from both Eastern and Western culture, including the Bible and Buddhist scriptures. The more I read, the more questions I had, and the more confused I became.
One day, a professor who taught us about Buddhism said with a dubious smile, “Let me share a story with you. This is what Sakyamuni said. He said in 5,670 million years a future Buddha, Maitreya, would come to save people. If you live that long, you should follow Maitreya.” The professor laughed, and so did my classmates. However, I felt electrified. I thought it was great and that I must follow Maitreya in the future!
After graduation, I worked as a tour guide at Wutai Mountain, one of the four famous sacred Buddhist mountains in China. However, I found that the true essence of Buddhism was gone, and the only thing left was the ancient architecture. The “monks” were simply workers who wore monks' robes. They received tourists during the day and changed into everyday people's clothes in the evening. How could a sacred Buddhist site be turned into such a place? Where was the pure land of Buddhism I was looking for?
In 2009, I was hired by a foreign trade corporation to work in an African country. Though it was a foreign country, the people I worked and socialized with were all Chinese. We watched CCTV via satellite dish, and our Internet browsing was limited to a Chinese website.
Because of the time difference, I often chatted on Skype with a former high-school classmate who worked at night in China. He was part of a production crew that made a farcical anti-Japanese TV series. He told me many historical facts they learned. It turned out that what we were told in school about the war against Japan was fabricated by the Chinese Communist Party. It dawned on me that the Party had lied and hidden the true history of the war and economics. I decided to dig further. My classmate told me I had to use censorship circumvention software and use Google as my search engine. This was the first time I had heard that our Internet was censored in China. I had lived in Africa for almost two years, but had never used Google.
Searching on Google, I found all kinds of facts related to the Cultural Revolution, the Great Leap Forward, the famine, the persecution of Falun Gong, and other topics. I watched False Fire, a documentary on the truth behind the self-immolation hoax on Tiananmen Square. I couldn't believe my eyes! It turned out that I had believed lies all these years! I downloaded the video and showed it to my colleagues. All of us were angry. I was even more surprised to read reports about organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners for profit. I believed the Party's ridiculous persecution of good, lawful Falun Gong practitioners, and believed the brutal torture of these innocent people, but I couldn't believe humans could commit such a crime like seizing organs from living people. After reading all the evidence and analyzing all the information I found, I had to regretfully conclude that organ harvesting was true.
I wanted to know the truth, so I downloaded Freegate, an anti-censorship software, onto an external drive.
After I returned to China, I immediately indulged myself in sensual pleasures as compensation for my boring life in Africa. I often had dinner gatherings with my friends and got drunk. The materialistic but immoral life in China was a sharp contrast to the simple, honest, free, and relaxed life I lived in Africa. I asked myself, “Why are the African and Tibetan people happy even though they live in poverty?” I finally found the root of the unhappiness in China. It's the lack of spiritual belief. The Chinese Communist Party destroyed our traditional beliefs through numerous political movements since 1949, and deliberately warped our thinking with atheism and materialism.
I realized I had to get out of the ideological restraints and find our lost beliefs, but where could I find them? In early 2012, I read a lot of Western research findings that proved evolution was false and reincarnation was true. The supernormal phenomena in qigong could be proven by scientific research. What is taught in religion is true. My question about belief was actually a matter of cultivation.
But how could I cultivate myself? Where could I find a teacher? I knew Buddhism wouldn't work. I had personally witnessed the situation on Wutai Mountain. I read books from other religions, but didn't feel they were for me. I thought about qigong: qigong is a kind of cultivation practice. A Taiwanese friend sent me a link to a website. It was Falun Gong. I hesitated at first, but I realized that so many people in Taiwan and Western countries practice Falun Gong. Many of them have doctoral degrees and are scientists, and they persist in this practice despite the persecution in China, I thought Falun Gong must be a great qigong. I decided that I should read it.
I used my anti-censorship software to access the official Falun Gong website and found dozens of books. The title Lectures in the U.S. attracted my attention. I thought, “Falun Gong's master is teaching so many students with high levels of education,” so I clicked the link to check it out.
The entire time I read the content, I felt I was charged with electricity. My questions about life were answered. I was both excited and shocked. The human civilization, the forms of existence of other dimensions, the profound cultivation of the human body, the great law of the universe that allows one to cultivation to fruition... All the answers to the questions I had for years were there! Master answered them all in plain and simple language.
I finished reading the book in one sitting. It was 3 a.m., but my mind was so clear! I finally found the master to follow in cultivation! I must cultivate in Falun Dafa! Excited, I knelt down, pressed my hands together in front of my chest, and said, “I beg Master to take me as a student. No matter how much I have to suffer, I'm determined to follow you to cultivate Buddhahood in this life!”
Master wrote in Lecture One of Zhuan Falun,
“One should return to one’s original, true self; this is the real purpose of being human. Therefore, once a person wants to practice cultivation, his or her Buddha-nature is considered to have come forth...”
“When one’s Buddha-nature emerges, it will shake ‘the world of ten directions...”
“This characteristic, Zhen-Shan-Ren, is the criterion for measuring good and bad in the universe. What’s good or bad? It is judged by this.”
“Some people evaluate themselves with the declined moral standard. Because the criteria for assessment have changed, they consider themselves better than others.”
“As a practitioner, if you assimilate yourself to this characteristic you are one that has attained the Tao—it’s just such a simple principle.”
I was so excited when I read this. Zhen-Shan-Ren (Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance) is the genuine law! I finally found it! As Master said, I thought I was better than other people because I felt I was compassionate, but I was far short of the true standard. I told myself that I must become a genuine cultivator.
I began to follow Master's teaching of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance in my everyday life, and to be honest in my words and actions. I no longer argued with people or shifted responsibility to others. I learned to look inward for my own faults when facing conflicts. I worked hard at my job and didn't calculate my personal interests. Two bosses who had hired me owed me thousands of yuan. I was worried about the company's losses but didn't take my personal loss seriously. My colleagues told me, “The saying 'One shouldn't have the heart to harm others, but must be vigilant so as not to be harmed' doesn't seem to apply to you. If everyone could practice Falun Gong, our society would be great!”
I was respectful and patient with my grandparents and took care of them. A few months after I started my cultivation, my grandpa got sick and became bedridden. I took care of him so that my father and aunts wouldn't have to take care of him after work. I had to feed my grandpa during the day and turn him once in a while. Grandpa became incontinent, so I had to help him.
His personality completely changed after he got sick. He couldn't control his temper and became very irritable. No matter how hard I tried to take care of him, he always complained, cursed at me, and was unsatisfied. When I fed him, he wouldn't cooperate, and sometimes spit the food out at me. I didn't get upset. I treated all the incidents as tests for my xinxing, and I continued to feed him with a smile.
One time, I read my precious book Zhuan Falun to grandpa. He said, “Go away! Read your book somewhere else.” I thought he must be in a bad mood, so I closed my book and continued to attend to him. The next day, grandpa told me, “I was wrong yesterday. I shouldn't have said that. I apologize to Master!” He put his left hand on his chest and looked very sincere. I was surprised. I told him, “Grandpa, Master is here to save people. He treasures everyone. He won't be mad at you.”
Grandpa passed away ten months later. I had a clear dream about him one night. He looked very young. He said, “Thank you for telling me Falun Dafa is good! I'm leaving for a great place. You must tell your grandma Falun Dafa is good!” After I woke up, I told Grandma about my dream. She had the same dream. Her description of Grandpa was exactly the same as in my dream.
Falun Dafa has given my life meaning. I no longer feel empty or lonely. My heart is pure. My health is great. I live a meaningful life every day. I have quit smoking and drinking. I used to have problems with my cervical vertebra due to years of playing video games. My neck hurt and made a cracking sound when I turned my head. The problem was gone only a few days after I began my cultivation. I had a heart disease since I was young, and my heartbeat would become irregular if I stayed up late at night. I saw several doctors, but none of them could cure me. I haven't had an irregular heartbeat since I began cultivating.
Udumbara flowers still blooming after three years
According to Buddhist scriptures, when udumbara flowers bloom, the future Buddha, the Holy King Who Turns the Wheel, will descend to the world to save people. In 2014, I found udumbara flowers on a squash in my home. I peeled off the skin to keep the flowers. The squash skin is now as dry as wood, but the udumbara flowers have been blooming for three years without any water or nutrition.
As I cultivated myself, I gradually enlightened to deeper understandings of the Fa. Time in heaven is different from time in the human world. The time span Sakyamuni told his disciples, 5,670 million years for Maitreya' arrival, must be 2,500 years before the introduction of Falun Dafa in our dimension. Buddhism talks about predestined relationship. My 5,670 million years of longing finally came true!
Thinking back, if the former Communist Party leader hadn't persecuted Falun Gong practitioners, I'm sure many of my classmates would have started their cultivation in Dafa after they heard the story our professor told us years ago.
“Between the boundless heaven and earth, who am I?I don't remember how many lifetimes I've been throughAmidst hardships, helpless confusionMy heart, awaiting, so wearyWeather-beaten, I shed tears at nightUntil the moment I saw the TruthUntil I sought and obtained the DafaWhich pierced the ears like thunderI came to understand who I amAnd realized I should hasten my steps on the divine path” (Who Am I? from Hong Yin III)