Young Practitioners, Please Cherish Time and Cherish Yourselves
(Minghui.org) I struggle a lot in my cultivation and have not become as diligent as I should be.
Recently, I gained some new understandings from Master's recent Fa lecture.
“Of course, as Dafa disciples, you have gone through these many years of trials and tribulations. I have been saying that those of you who have come through the '7/20' persecution in 1999 are remarkable, and Gods already cherish you very much. Therefore, as disciples yourselves, you should also cherish yourselves and the paths you have walked on, and discard the dross.” (“Fa Teaching at the New York Fa Conference on the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Dafa’s Introduction to the Public”)
Miracles and Regrets
Another practitioner I know, who is only in his 30s, recently passed away. After examining his body and searching his home, the police and doctors ruled out the possibility of homicide or suicide.
I was shocked by his death. Like him, I also live by myself and we both began to practice Falun Gong before 1999. Because of the persecution, we only knew each other and did not know other practitioners. We were not diligent, but we tried to help each other.
Last year he had two physical episodes that resembled a stroke. I visited him and sent forth righteous thoughts for him. Meanwhile, I had some negative feelings, criticizing him for not passing these tests on his own. Nonetheless, his second test was brief and he became clear-minded within three days. He even reminded me to do the three things well. I did not think much of it, thinking he was fine. Also, since he was young, I was not concerned about his longevity.
But facing this hardship, I was very sad. That practitioner didn't even have an opportunity to ask for help. It seemed like a bad dream: at such a young age, how could he just depart like this?
I felt bad because I hadn't helped him much. I asked Master to forgive me and hoped I could go there to move his Dafa materials to a safe place.
When I arrived, the police already cordoned off the scene and no one was allowed to enter. So I began to send forth righteous thoughts. Later, staff members from a funeral home arrived. Because they needed some help, I volunteered and was allowed to enter. However, with so many police officers around, I could only stay near the entrance.
Later on, one officer suddenly asked if I knew how to recite [Buddhist] scriptures, hoping I could do so for that practitioner. I considered this an opportunity. I nodded and put my hands together in heshi and began to recite the formulas for sending forth righteous thoughts.
When I went in the room, I found that the other officers had already left. I went around and placed all the Dafa materials I saw in my bag. I was worried because there was another box of materials, but it was too much for me to carry.
By that time, one officer came back with an empty backpack. “A coworker brought it here, but he no longer needs it. You can have it if you want.” I thanked him and, after he walked out, I immediately put all the Dafa materials into the empty backpack.
As I left with two full bags, no officers stopped me. This was unusual because no materials were supposed to be taken away until the case was closed.
When I got home I opened the two backpacks. I saw Zhuan Falun and other Dafa books. I was very grateful for Master's help.
I learned a lot from this practitioner's death. First, I learned that it's important to cultivate myself and not focus on other practitioners' shortcomings. I used to think that this practitioner had many attachments. In fact, my problems are no fewer than his. I did not spend much time doing the exercises every day. In addition, I am lazy and am attached to comfort and lust.
Another is the notion of feeling safe due to having youth. In fact, cultivation practice is serious, and we either sink or swim. I want to remind other young practitioners: we must not assume that things will be fine just because we are young. We must do all three things well including doing the exercises.
The third is grief I experienced after that practitioner passed away. I felt lonely and wanted to cry. I had regret and often blamed myself, wishing it was just a dream.
Now I know that many of these thoughts were interfering with me. As long as I could focus on Fa-study and remind myself that I am a Dafa disciple, the situation would get better.
In fact, this is also a test of whether I fully believe in Master and the Fa.
“Even if things do get very grave and you don't know where your own problem lies, you can't be without righteous thoughts. No matter what the circumstances, your fundamental faith in Dafa cannot waver, because when [your faith remains strong], even if you can't fully understand something or you haven't done something well and didn't pass a major test, or even if you lost your human body and left this world, you will nevertheless achieve Consummation. (Applause) That's because Master does not acknowledge this persecution, and that thing was done to you by the persecution. So you must make sure to heed this. At that moment, if you suddenly switch sides and turn bad in that instant, then everything of yours might be finished. Your righteous thoughts must be strong enough, and even when you haven't passed a test well, you cannot waver on the most fundamental issue.” (“Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005”)
No More Depression
Sometimes I feel that I know many Fa principles, but have just been unable to follow them. Occasionally, I am reminded that time is very limited and I become a little scared, thinking I am unable to fulfill my vows. Instead of catching up, I become depressed.
Master's recent lecture, “Fa Teaching at the New York Fa Conference on the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Dafa’s Introduction to the Public”, made me feel comforted, as if returning home. I could feel Master's compassion and I also asked myself why I had been so pessimistic in the past. Were the negative thoughts from me or were they forced upon me by the old forces? After all, I walked through so many years of Fa-rectification period cultivation.
I can no longer allow that depression to control me and affect my doing the three things. Whatever happened is in the past. I just have to cherish time, cherish myself as a Dafa disciple, and cherish sentient beings.
I sincerely hope other young practitioners can do the same.