On the Road to Becoming One with Dafa
(Minghui.org) I started my cultivation more than five years ago and have since traveled a sacred, difficult, and most wondrous journey. When I look back at my path, I see the mighty power of Dafa that can fundamentally change an ordinary person who is lost in delusion, and help him become a cultivator on the road to attaining the righteous enlightenment of selflessness and altruism.
Gaining the Fa
Drifting along in modern society, the “big dye vat” as Master calls it, I was a young person who had no higher purpose in life, just chasing intense moments and becoming ever more selfish in the process. I enjoyed partying a lot and had the tendency to go to extremes, neglecting school, family, and other responsibilities. At one point, my life turned around completely.
It all started with a book written by a Canadian doctor, recommended by my mother, which talked about all sorts of new and interesting concepts, like energy channels, the power of meditation and so on, all backed up by scientific research and theories. I wasn't yet a spiritual person, but it quickly got my interest, and I started to research more, and soon ended up reading other teachings. I realized that although the doctor had some good points, what those people were talking about was without a doubt a higher science.
So, I became accustomed to basic notions like karmic retribution, cultivation, and the master-disciple bond, and also came to understand that the divine truly existed. At that point, reaching it became my main purpose in life. Nothing seemed more important. As I was opening up more and naturally changing myself, I sensed that the divine was watching over me and closely guiding me. In a short while, my mother, who in the meantime had started practicing Falun Dafa, introduced Dafa to me, so my search was quickly over. After I realized how fortunate I was, I felt deep reverence and gratitude toward Master.
I read all of Master's teachings within about three months. During this time, I was constantly in awe and veneration, realizing what was going on and what our compassionate Master was doing for us sentient beings. I understood that we were on a most important divine mission and living something unprecedented in the cosmos.
I also felt the urgency to seriously get involved in assisting Master in saving sentient beings. So, in my fourth month of cultivation, Master guided me to join the main project in our country and arranged for me to stay involved with fellow veteran practitioners, which helped me strengthen my righteous thoughts.
Stepping Into Cultivation
At the beginning of my cultivation, I faced different kinds of strong attachments and rigid notions. For example, since what I found in Dafa far exceeded all my expectations, I was very excited, but this excitement soon led to zealotry. Master warned about this phenomenon in Zhuan Falun:
“Once they learn our Falun Dafa, they will understand at once many questions in life that they have wished to understand but could not answer. Perhaps along with their minds being elevated, they will become very excited—this is for sure. I know that a genuine cultivator will know its value and cherish it. Yet this problem often occurs: Due to human excitement, one will develop unnecessary zealotry.”
This phenomenon manifested in my case by my frequently talking more than I should have about higher principles with non-practitioners. Although I knew about the Fa teachings regarding this problem, I often realized the mistake only after it was committed, since a strong attachment seriously clouded my mind at those moments.
Another problem was that I thought I should use each and every occasion to clarify the truth to people, because that occasion may never return. It sounds like a righteous thought, but taking it to an extreme wasn't a good idea, since I sometimes forced the circumstances to clarify the truth. Master tells us to clarify the truth with wisdom, so we should do it in a way that people can accept and find natural, and not awkward in any way.
As I see it now, since the above were states that manifested at the beginning of my cultivation, Master was protecting me from going off-track and causing serious damage, while I elevated my xinxing in those regards.
A selfish heart put in the middle of such a grand and sacred mission will surely be reflected in one’s actions.
Clarifying the truth became my top priority from the very beginning, and I started doing more of it, understanding the importance and urgency from Master's teachings. In the eighth month of my cultivation, I realized that my motives for clarifying the truth were not pure at all.
Master talks in Zhuan Falun about how the great enlightened ones regard saving people:
“In offering salvation to people, there is no condition or consideration for cost, reward, or fame. They are thus far nobler than the heroes of everyday people. They do it completely out of their benevolent compassion.”
I realized that I had a very selfish notion. Since I entered Dafa late and this grand affair was near its end, I wanted to do more to assist Master and clarify the truth prior to the finish, and I knew what immense mighty virtue is involved in this undertaking. Although I rationally understood the vital importance of clarifying the truth to sentient beings, in my heart I was doing it mostly for me, not for them. Not to mention the fact that I wanted to be counted as a Fa-ectification period Dafa disciple.
The moment I enlightened to this, I felt so ashamed, yet relieved that I saw my muddy heart, since that is cultivation, after all. It involves looking within with honesty and having the sincere desire to change, to assimilate to the Fa.
It is true that cultivators don't pursue money or fame in the human world, but at a certain level they may seek the same things at higher levels, such as mighty virtue, celestial status, and the like, things that have nothing to do with this sacred mission of ours. We came here to assist Master in Fa-rectification and save sentient beings, not for personal glory and honor.
Putting things more seriously, I basically wanted to use Dafa to satisfy my selfish human desires instead of humbly putting my life in service of the Fa. Or, in other words, I was validating myself, not validating the Fa. As I see it, our futures are already in Master's hands, so we should also let it into our hearts and just do well the three things that we were asked to do. Cultivators obtain things naturally, not by humanly pursuing them, a principle that is clearly stated in the Fa.
On the Road to Becoming One with Dafa
Master has always compassionately guided and directed me when I was going off track in cultivation. The hints were more explicit at first, but as I constantly matured in the Fa, Master allowed me to enlighten more and more on my own.
For example, one day when I first started cultivating, I was doing the sitting meditation with my headset on, while the TV was still running. Although I understood that I should endure the pain of sitting in the lotus position so that my karma can be eliminated, that day I wasn't willing to do so. After only a brief period of time, I put down my legs and took my headset off. At that exact moment, I noticed there was a famous British show about cars on TV, and one of the presenters said to the other, “If you would have stayed for six months in a prison in China, I would have understood that you wanted to stretch your legs.” I was shocked and immediately realized that this was a hint from Master. I felt ashamed. From that moment on, I took things seriously in this regard.
Another time, one of my fellow practitioners was going through a difficult period. The xinxing conflicts she faced were intense, and she was enduring great mental suffering. I understood rationally that this was part of cultivation, and we each have different amounts of karma, but it pained my heart, and I felt sorry for her. That night, I had a dream in which Master came to visit the headquarters of our truth-clarification project. The fellow practitioners were all busy preparing the table for the event. As I was carrying a chair into one of the rooms, I found Master there, talking to this fellow practitioner who was in grave suffering.
She was telling Master, “Master, I can't take it anymore; every cell of my body is burning.”
To which Master replied (something like), “You can do it, just go on and continue reading the book.”
As Master was saying those words, I could feel his immense compassion—the divine compassion that has nothing to do with human feelings—something so sacred that I was moved to the core of my being. The next day, I realized that, having seen my heart, Master was showing me what true compassion is. This experience not only strengthened my righteous thoughts towards cultivation but also encouraged the fellow practitioner who was in pain to persevere, knowing that Master was by her side, since I told her about the dream the next day. How compassionate of Master!
On another occasion, I was visiting my mother, who lived in another country. At one point, looking through her Dafa materials, I came upon a piece of paper that contained a question and answer from the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York:
“Disciple: I have bad thought-karma. I have refused to acknowledge it all along and I have been trying to get rid of it. But it's been a long time and I still haven't managed to get rid of it. I am able to tell that it is not me.”
“Teacher: If it's something truly bad, then eliminate it. And sometimes there is another approach that has good results, and it's not necessarily an extreme way to handle it. You can have this thought: ‘During the Fa-rectification of the cosmos, I can make a reasonable arrangement for those of you who don't interfere with my validating the Fa; I can have you become beings in the future. Those of you who seek a benevolent resolution should leave me and wait in my surroundings. If you really cannot leave me, then don't have any part in interfering with me. In the future I will be able to achieve Consummation, and I will offer you a benevolent resolution. Those who are completely bad, who still interfere with me and who cannot remain will, according to the standards, have to be eliminated. Even if I don't eliminate you, the Law of the cosmos won't let you remain.’ If you have that thought, it is tremendously merciful to some of those extremely low-level beings, and it will make it easy to eliminate those who still interfere. The Fa-rectification of the cosmos has standards. If you do it that way no one will have any grounds to challenge you. The principles are clear, as those who are supposed to be eliminated are to be eliminated. And yes, when it comes to many low-level things you may eliminate them completely—there's no problem with that in terms of the principles. But when you handle it as I just described, no being can say anything in objection. Those who continue to do bad things will have no justification whatsoever, and whatever is supposed to be done will be done.”
Since I found that piece of paper, I looked within, wondering if this had anything to do with me. I couldn't find anything and forgot about the incident. One morning, not long before this, I had a dream that I was trying to meditate but was going into a powerful daze, no matter how much I made efforts to concentrate. In fact, I also had serious problems concentrating while I was awake. I became upset about this and called out to Master to ask why this was happening to me. At that moment, I saw the image of an old goblin–an evil creature who looked very viciously at me. It scared me, as I could feel its evilness.
When I woke up, I realized what had just happened. A goblin was seriously disrupting me during my exercises and meditation, and not for a short period of time. It had never occurred to me that it was interference, as I always thought it happened because I had a very weak power of concentration. My first thought was to send righteous thoughts to eliminate the goblin. But after this thought, I remembered the piece of paper with the question and answer, and it struck me... Master was teaching me that my first thought should be to save sentient beings, not destroy them, even if they are doing harm to us. I was so moved by Master's compassion. Dafa disciples should think of others first in everything we do, even in such circumstances. However, we are on a most important mission, so if those beings refuse to position themselves correctly, we have no choice but to eliminate them.
A Little Particle of Dafa
As I gradually matured in cultivation through studying the Fa and direct experience, more and more of the immensity and sacredness of Dafa was revealed to me.
Master said in Essentials for Further Advancement that we should “...validate Dafa as a correct and true science, rather than preaching or idealism...” He also said that we should practice cultivation knowingly and with full awareness.
I came to realize that things in cultivation should be treated very rationally and analyzed thoroughly. We shouldn't go about them without thinking or in a forced manner.
For example, one may become engaged in endless mental fights with his thoughts or attachments, and even be drained of energy because of this. I have seen this happen quite a number of times. When we don’t apply the correct Fa principles to the situation, and instead try to force our way through it without analyzing and understanding what is happening and how we should react according to the Fa, we are surely headed for a dead end. It is all very scientific. When we apply the correct principles, there will be certain precise results. Master gave us all the keys in Zhuan Falun. We just need to earnestly study the Fa.
In cultivation, there is always the question of validating the Fa versus validating ourselves. It is a choice that we constantly make one way or another. When we are separated from the Fa–because we choose to validate our human notions and attachments–the might of Dafa can't manifest through us. This has a direct effect on the things that we are doing in Fa-rectification. But when we do things for the right reasons and are in line with the Fa, then all goes smoothly, and miracles will happen.
I once found out about a social media platform where people asked and answered questions about all sorts of things. Since this place could be directly accessed from China, one can imagine that there was a great battle going on there on the topic of Falun Dafa. Many questions had negative connotations, with some of them being extremely vicious, and the answers were as well mostly slanderous. Different quotes from the Fa were also being manipulated and used to back up some of this slander. The place was a den full of evil that was poisoning people and ruining their futures, as well as tarnishing Dafa's image. Some of our fellow practitioners were there doing a good job, but they were outnumbered. Some of the questions were not properly addressed, and people continued to come and read the slander. The number wasn't small.
So I got involved and tried to fill the gaps as quickly as I could, working around the clock, with the thought that people should have at least one truthful answer per question so that they could have an opportunity to be saved. I started to answer, but some of the questions were not easy to address, so I avoided the difficult ones and focused on the others. At one point, I realized my gap and had the thought, “Is there anything Dafa can't resolve in this world? Are there any questions that the wisdom of Dafa can't answer?”
After that righteous thought, I went to my computer and directly addressed the difficult questions. Master gave me the wisdom to respond to them very quickly and in a way that left me amazed after I was done. I could sense the enormous wisdom of the Fa manifesting through me, as my heart was in the right place. When in everything we do, we make it about Dafa, not about ourselves, surely things will shine brightly.
On another occasion, we were sharing our experiences after a group Fa study session. We discussed how we can better improve as a group since sometimes we are harsh with each other when we have differing opinions. When my turn to talk came, my words came from my heart. I felt the powerful energy in my words. They were like thunder and had the most wondrous feeling at that very moment. Dafa's wisdom–“the wisdom of the Creator,” as Master tells us in Lunyu–was again manifesting through me, and I was amazed as I spoke. The answer was comprehensive, balanced, and approached the problem from different angles.
We are Dafa disciples, the most sacred title in the cosmos, emissaries of the divine with a holy and enormous mission. How such beings react and regard themselves, as well as their attitudes when presented with different situations, is essential, in my opinion. Since we are small particles of Dafa, we should embody that level of sacredness and dignity. When seeing myself becoming one with Dafa, many things I come across are no longer judged in the light of personal tests.
For example, one day, having come to New York for a Fa Conference, I was passing out flyers next to the place where practitioners organized a rally to clarify the truth. There were all sorts of activities, and Dafa music was playing loudly. At one point, a young girl accompanied by a man passed by, and I handed her a flyer. After taking it, she surprisingly started to dance inappropriately very close to me, to the music. At that moment, I had the thought: you shouldn’t treat a Dafa disciple like that; it is not dignified. The moment I had that thought, she immediately stopped, smiled at me, and went to see the Dafa activity. When such a righteous thought emerged, how could she continue? I didn't consider it even for a second to be a personal test. I completely rejected such a manifestation, since it involved Dafa's dignity. I am a particle of the Fa, who was also actively clarifying the truth, something so sacred.
Another time, as I was doing the sitting meditation, I had the sacred feeling that I was one with Dafa. I was in Dafa, not outside trying to get in, and I had the understanding that all the attachments and bad things that manifested in my path were simply things I should calmly drive away, since they had nothing to do with me. I was a pure particle of the Great Fa of the cosmos.
I don't have such strong righteous thoughts most of the time. But I do rationally understand that I should try my best to uphold Dafa and see myself as a Dafa disciple in everything I do. That is the right direction. Master said in Lunyu:
“Any cultivator who is able to become one with Dafa is an enlightened one—divine.”
On the Road to Becoming One with Dafa
During my five-plus years of cultivation, I have been involved in many truth clarification projects and activities and always treated them as the highest priority, although my heart wasn't very pure at the beginning. I came to realize that it is not only about doing a lot of activities but also a matter of xinxing. Are we doing this out of personal interest and pursuit, or from a selfless heart?
Cultivation is, of course, a process of constantly eliminating attachments. If we can't keep up the pace, even though we are doing a lot of activities, we still can’t reach the beings at higher levels that we should, since we have to be at a certain level for them to accept our salvation, as Master explained to us in the Fa. So always staying at the same level is not really an option.
That being said, my understanding is that we should work hard in clarifying the truth, since the matter is urgent and the number of people reached is extremely important. We should never become complacent with what we do in this respect.
“I can’t help but think about the fact that our Dafa disciples are up against a world of 7 billion people. And even though we have a lot of Dafa disciples in China, they are up against a population there of 1.5 billion.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2015 New York Fa Conference”)
I am now working seven days a week, with some exceptions, on the main truth-clarification project of my country. We are short of manpower, so there is a lot of hard work, pressure that comes in waves, xinxing conflicts, and opportunities. Being part of a project that clarifies the truth to a large number of people (400,000 in the past year) is not an easy task, but difficult as it may be, it is an honor and an immense joy to be able to assist Master day after day in this grand undertaking.
Another important project involves truth-clarification on Facebook. In the last two to three years, we have reached hundreds of thousands in our country, and also managed to reach tens of thousands in four other countries where there are no practitioners, or very few.
In promoting these online materials, we sometimes get negative comments. Responding to them and trying to untie the knots in people's minds is in itself a veritable cultivation process. I saw that when we appeal to the good side of that person, as Master instructs us to do, and have the sincere wish to save him, in most cases things go well. There are also exceptions, unfortunately. I came to be very mindful when dealing with such cases, since the matter involves the very existence of those beings. I have matured in this regard, but have also made some mistakes along the way due to my attachments. Whenever I handle things wrongly because of my attachments and lack of wisdom, I ask Master in my heart to help those sentient beings get another chance.
When I am out in society, I try as much as I can to clarify the truth to people when interacting with them. That thought is constantly in my mind. But, as opposed to how I did things at the beginning, I am more rational now, don't speak on a too high a level, and try to understand the person in front of me and adjust my approach so that I can reach his heart.
Another important experience for me was when the Chinese Embassy in my country organized an event in a luxury hotel. Most of the leaders of our country were invited. The plan was to hand them one of the organ harvesting books immediately after they got out. We planned to stay in the waiting room in front of the salon where the event took place. The area was filled with security guards, press, etc., and the pressure from other dimensions was very high. I couldn't concentrate enough to study, not even Lunyu, or even to send righteous thoughts, and I was very nervous. In the middle of all of this, I strongly maintained one thought: This isn't about my personal cultivation. It doesn't matter if I am not strong enough to handle this pressure well, as I am not here to take tests, it is about those sentient beings and their opportunity to be saved. So no one has the right to interfere with me in this regard, even if my xinxing isn't up to par. With this righteous thought in mind that negated the old forces' interference in this affair, I managed to fully complete the mission and reached those sentient beings, even if I didn't manage to be above the interference per se. Only Master has the right to arrange my cultivation and decide when and how I should be tested, no one else.
Becoming True Gold
Master said at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference:
“...how many people will truly be able to meet the standard for a Dafa disciple’s consummation? Sometimes I’m really not optimistic. The Fa-rectification is bound to succeed; that’s certain. And for sure there will be Dafa disciples achieving consummation. But how many? I’m really not that optimistic at the moment.”
In my understanding, a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple should really be outstanding, stir the admiration of divine beings, not just human ones, and should prove to be genuine gold. So the demands are high, but not so difficult to attain if we are diligent, since we have the Fa, and Master has arranged the path for us so that we can make it to the end if we do our part well. I haven't managed to balance the three things well due to having a lot of truth-clarification work and because of my attachments, so I didn't keep up with my Fa study and exercises as I did at the beginning. This in turn affected my progress in cultivation and my effectiveness in saving sentient beings. But I am now in the process of regaining my pace.
As I see it, we must be very strict with ourselves, have solid discipline and constant righteous thoughts, and not become lax in certain areas while doing well in others. I know that a halfhearted practitioner is not befitting Dafa, so I have to eliminate more of my selfishness and become truly diligent in all regards. This journey can’t be finished with the mindset of personal cultivation, with strong human thoughts and attachments, and with a strong sense of ego. Putting Dafa first and totally dedicating ourselves to completing this grand mission should be the starting point of true Dafa disciples.
I would like to finish my sharing with a small story. One evening, not long before gaining the Fa, I was sitting on the sofa and contemplating my life's path. I came to realize the gentle way in which the divine took care of me and helped me, step by step, to get on the right track and not let me fall. I had a feeling of profound gratitude and was thankful from the bottom of my heart. A moment later, I took a piece of candy from the table and saw to my surprise a message written on the wrapper, “When all the stars stop shining, my love for you will light up the world.”
It really moved my heart, but only after gaining the Fa did I understand the deeper meaning of this message: Seeing that the cosmos was at its very end, out of compassion for sentient beings, Master decided to do the Fa-rectification and give us a new life when there was no hope at all. It was Master's message to us sentient beings, and it filled my heart.
Thank you, Master, thank you fellow practitioners!
Category: Journeys of Cultivation