(Minghui.org) I started practicing Falun Gong in 1995. Given that I have cultivated for such a long time, I should have continuously measured my thoughts, actions, and words according to the Fa. Instead, it took me 20 years to realize that I was helping fellow practitioners cultivate, instead of cultivating myself!

Looking Outward Instead of Within

Although I had practiced Falun Gong for 20 years, my xinxing did not meet the requirements of a practitioner. Because of neglecting solid Fa study, I looked outward instead of within. As a result, I began to encounter conflicts.

During conflicts and at other times too, I evaluated fellow practitioners in my mind: “This practitioner has not aligned with the Fa as well as another practitioner. That person is not a solid practitioner, and the other one is too much like an average person.”

Then, while meditating, I realized that my cultivation was not solid, but I still thought that I was helping fellow practitioners cultivate themselves. It was almost as if the Fa principles were targeting them and had nothing to do with me.

While visiting another practitioner’s home, I commented on everything, from where they placed Master’s photo to how they treated the Falun Gong books.

What I said sounded correct on the surface. It appeared that I was reminding these practitioners to respect Master and the Fa, but actually I was showing off. It was a case of cultivating on the surface, but not looking inside.

Other practitioners tried to endure, then tried to communicate with me, and in the end no longer associated with me.

A Wake-up Call

I finally realized that I lacked solid Fa study, and I started to read all of Master's publications. Yet I still had not discovered the root of my problem.

Once while doing the sitting meditation, I saw a thick ruler and a thread in another dimension for two or three seconds. I could not figure out what this meant.

After reading an article on the Minghui website, I understood the hint I'd been given: I used the Fa as a ruler to measure practitioners. (The Chinese word for “thread” has the same pronunciation as the word “current,” hinting that this was my current cultivation state.) I realized that I looked outward rather than inward and I also thought that I was better than other practitioners.

When I identified my problem, I felt great regret. I wondered how I could make up for the loss. Later, a fellow practitioner visited me at home and asked me to help print 20 Falun Gong brochures. I knew that Master was giving me the opportunity to make amends.

I completely changed and no longer looked down upon others; instead, I cultivated myself diligently.

Real and Solid Cultivation

A practitioner, who used to be our area’s contact person, and I visited the Beijing petition office to appeal for justice for Falun Gong, and we were illegally arrested. We were taken to a brainwashing center, and after we were released, we became homeless to avoid further persecution.

In the detention center, the other practitioner was forced to sit on a small stool for long hours until her buttocks became black and blue.

She had begun to practice Falun Gong two years earlier than I and had attended Master’s Fa-lectures several times. I brought her Falun Gong materials, DVDs, and other items once a month. I respected her a lot.

However, no matter how I tried to convince her, she refused to file a criminal complaint against Jiang Zemin, former head of the communist regime, for initiating the persecution in 1999. I thought that her fear was holding her back, and therefore, I looked down on her. Not until I was writing this article did I realize that although I filed my criminal complaint against Jiang, my fear was no less than hers.

This same practitioner is very good at producing Falun Gong informational materials. Among other things, she always pays attention to every last detail in making elegant pendants because she has a detailed mind and works with great attentiveness. She has done so much, but she never shows off.

Thinking about all of her good points, I felt ashamed. I realized how important it is to focus on a fellow practitioner’s good points and identify one’s own shortcomings. This is the way that we improve together and advance in cultivation.

Master told us:

“Cultivation is about working on the human mind and heart; it is about cultivating oneself. Only when you are able to examine yourself, looking inward amid problems, conflicts, difficulties, or when being treated unfairly, is it true cultivation.” (“A Congratulatory Letter to the Fa Conference of Taiwan”)

“When you experience any kind of interference, if you can manage not to get overly focused on the particulars of what is happening and thereby keep yourself unperturbed, then you will be able to emerge from it all, and you will have even greater mighty-virtue.” (“On the Responses to the Piece About Assistant Souls”)

I finally understand what real and solid cultivation is and how to achieve it, how to truly look within to find the root of my attachments, and how to let them go.