South Korea: Becoming a Diligent Falun Dafa Cultivator
(Minghui.org) Greetings, esteemed Master and fellow practitioners!
Becoming a Falun Dafa Practitioner
I am a middle school teacher in Busan. I had a weak constitution from the time I was young and suffered from many health problems, including stomachaches.
As a child, I practiced Buddhism with my parents. When I began my university studies, my mother came down with a serious illness and my family got deeply involved in Buddhism. Given my mother's illness, I spent a lot of time at home. After that, I withdrew socially and mainly devoted myself to cultivating my heart.
When I heard about Falun Dafa in August 2012 from an acquaintance, I immediately bought a copy of Zhuan Falun and started practicing.
When I first opened Zhuan Falun, I was stunned. I read the entire book in two days. It answered questions I'd had for a long time. I was not able to calm down for a few days because I realized that “this book that reveals heavenly secrets is now in the world.” My mind was unsettled.
I also watched the exercise instruction video and learned the movements. Soon after I started practicing Dafa, my stomach started to bother me and my karma began to be eliminated. At the beginning of the winter vacation, my entire body ached for three days. Remembering the Fa teaching, I realized that Master was purifying my body:
“When you feel very uncomfortable, it indicates that things will turn around after reaching an extreme. Your whole body will be purified; it must be completely purified.” (Zhuan Falun)
Ever since then, I've done the exercises every single day.
The Importance of Fa Study and Looking Inside
Ever since I started practicing Dafa, the students in my class and those I tutor have become more attentive and nicer. They study hard without me having to remind them. Master said, “...“The Buddha-light illuminates everywhere and harmonizes everything.”” (Zhuan Falun)
However, when I was busy and did not study the Fa for a few days, the children and the situation started to go downhill. The students who were doing well before became disrespectful. I'd forgotten that I needed to improve in my cultivation and had to look inside.
“If you don't study the Fa your righteous thoughts won't be strong; if you don't study the Fa the changes on the surface will be slow for you and your role in containing the evil in society will be weak.” (Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005)
After I read this, I realized the importance of Fa study and tried to study Zhuan Falun and Master's recent writings every day, no matter how busy I was.
I came to understand that Dafa is truly great and that Buddhism can’t be compared with it. I practiced alone and I didn’t tell anyone about it. I still did not know how to save sentient beings and clarify the truth about Dafa. Besides, the many religious notions I'd formed controlled and disturbed me, and it took years before I truly let go of them.
Doing the Exercises and Studying the Teachings with Other Practitioners
Over the past five years, I became a loner and felt that there was something missing and that I had a big omission in my cultivation.
My regrets grew slowly, until one day the Minghui website, which I usually ignored, caught my attention. There was news about cultivating, the persecution in China, as well as local Fahui information, exercise sites, and contact information. Although I was introduced to group practice, I thought that it had nothing to do with me. I could do the exercises at home, because I knew all of the movements.
I suddenly became curious about the nine-day Falun Dafa classes and Fa study. Although I am very shy and therefore uncomfortable in unfamiliar situations, I called two people who were holding a group Fa study and experience sharing meeting.
In the middle of January 2018, I finally had the courage to attend the indoor exercise site at Dongraegu.
It was awkward to read Zhuan Falun in a group at first. However, sharing with practitioners after studying the Fa was a great help in improving my xinxing. Finally, I could compare myself to others when it came to studying the teachings and cultivating and I could participate in the group cultivation environment.
After I joined the group exercises, I was able to correct my movements. I was also able to feel the energy field that I couldn’t sense when I practiced alone. Even though it was cold in the winter, I didn’t feel it, and some days I did not feel anything even without wearing gloves.
I found my attachment to being afraid of losing face in front of strangers. And I realized that this is a cultivation practice that thinks about others rather than oneself. So I began to call out to people in my mind, “Please look at us and wake up from the delusion.”
Letting Go of Past Religious Notions and Practices
Because I practiced alone, I didn’t know about sending forth righteous thoughts and that there was a set time and formula. I thought that I had practiced Dafa for more than five years, but had I truly followed the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance? Did I really believe in Master and the Fa?”
From day one when I obtained the Fa, I believed that I would follow the Dafa principles all the time, but I realized that I was still unable to leave behind the notions I still harbored from past religious practices.
My mind was pursuing a ‘healthy body’ and ‘inhibiting evil,’ and there was a deeply-rooted pursuit and attachment to comfort and indifference. I did not look inside every time there was a problem, because I was caught up in the current of everyday society. Thus, I did not get rid of my attachments in a timely manner. They were deeply hidden.
Once I joined the group cultivation environment, I enlightened to what Master's Fa told me, “Doing the three things well is what’s most important for a Dafa disciple.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the New York Fa Conference Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Dafa’s Spreading”)
After that, I became impatient. Although I studied the Fa well, I was afraid that the Fa-rectification period would end before I had the chance to do well sending righteous thoughts. Even though I knew that I should let go of that notion, I cried repeatedly because of all my past thoughts and remarks. I then realized that it was better to let go of regret and do my best to move forward.
Clarifying the Truth
As suggested by a fellow practitioner, I began my truth-clarifying efforts by putting Falun Dafa brochures in 100 mailboxes in my apartment building. But I still did not truly go out and distribute Dafa fliers. Whenever someone saw me putting the brochures into a mailbox, my fear emerged. I stopped and did not continue until everyone had left. My show-off mentality, fear, and inability to face issues all surfaced.
I finally overcame my reluctance to distribute Dafa informational materials after realizing that practitioners in China are being persecuted. I started to hand Dafa brochures to taxi drivers and people at the grocery store.
A fellow practitioner told me that I should talk to my students about Dafa. Since I had been a teacher for 26 years, I could certainly do that. However, when the new school year started, some students would move on to other classes and I would miss the opportunity to tell them about Dafa.
That left me with only two weeks to clarify the truth to them. But for them to accept the truth, I knew I should familiarize them with such topics such as respect for life, and human rights abuses. I thought that videos about Dafa would be helpful, as well as introducing Chinese traditional culture, including the Shen Yun performances.
I set up a two- and three-hour lessons. Time was of the essence, so I asked several teachers if I could use some of their class time. I sometimes taught for six hours at a time without a break.
There was a lot of interference, such as when the video didn’t work. Thus, when I took my laptop to the classroom, I sent righteous thoughts and told it that it was a Fa implement and I needed its help. In the classroom, I constantly sent righteous thoughts to clear other dimensions.
Teaching the Dafa Exercises to Teachers and Students
After February of that year, I started telling people that I was practicing Falun Dafa. I told the principal, teachers, and even the night guard. I told them about the practice and clarified the truth.
If they wanted to learn it, I told them about the closest exercise site or told them to get the exercise video. When a few teachers asked me to teach them the exercises, I arranged to hold a class every Tuesday after school.
I also set up a student club called “Healthy Qigong.” We meet once a month for about an hour and a half, during which I introduce the teachings and the practice and explain that practitioners live by the Dafa principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. One student even recommended the practice to his teachers, noting that it would be good for their health.
Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance International Art Exhibition
It was a good opportunity to clarify the truth during the “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance International Art Exhibition” at Busan City Hall. It was summer vacation, a great opportunity for the students because they aren't in class.
After consulting with the art teacher, I gave all the students a vacation assignment to attend the exhibition and then write an essay about it and attach a photo. Many students went to the exhibition with their family, relatives, and friends. The essays they turned in after the vacation were amazing. Their understanding had improved after listening to the commentary on the paintings and reading about Falun Dafa when surfing the Internet.
After seeing the art exhibition, it seemed that the students became better behaved. Even though we didn’t talk about it, the students who learned the truth from seeing the pictures pointed out human rights violations, criticized the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and became interested in Falun Dafa.
Shen Yun Promotional Activities
I was surprised to learn that Shen Yun Performing Arts was coming to Busan. I could finally see the performance and participate in the promotional activities from February until the show in April
After promotions started in earnest, we gathered in the morning every weekend to study the Fa. In the afternoon, a small team went to various places in Busan to put up posters. At first, I found it difficult to drive my car to areas I was unfamiliar with.
Master said, “...saving sentient beings are things Dafa disciples must do.” (“To the Midwest Fa Conference in Minnesota” from The Essentials Of Diligent Progress Vol. III)
After reading Master's Fa, I put down my fear of facing difficulties. As I was involved in various promotional activities, I learned that Dafa work is also cultivation.
On the day we were scheduled to make posters or learn marketing techniques, I was so nervous that I was trembling. I was afraid that if I refused, I would lose face and worried about what people would think of me. That was not the mentality of saving sentient beings, but a show-off mentality, and this attachment had to be eliminated. This was also cultivation, and even though all those disturbances and obstacles were standing in my way, they could not break my will.
I still had a fear of 'rejection' when promoting Shen Yun at school. There were times when a teacher reacted with indifference, but some teachers bought tickets for their parents and children. I realized that “Master has already arranged the seat for predestined sentient beings.”
Many people came to see Shen Yun, and most of them had positive things to say about it afterward. A teacher who praised the show even promoted it to his friends.
When I was promoting Shen Yun, I made an appointment with a dealer to go to a BMW store in Haeundae in the afternoon. It was pouring rain. It takes more than 40 minutes to get to Haeundae from the school where I work, and I was worried that I would be late for the appointment. I sent righteous thoughts continuously and arrived on time. It seemed like a dream, and it was at that moment that I realized the power of righteous thoughts.
Participating in Dafa Activities
I attended the 19th World Falun Dafa Day gathering on May 13th in Seoul. I wore a yellow T-shirt that said “Falun Dafa” on it and white trousers. I went with fellow practitioners and felt the strong energy field.
Before the parade, I experienced severe pain in my eyes. I felt like I was blind and found it difficult to walk. When the wind blew my hat off, I chased it into the path of an oncoming car. If the practitioner in front of me hadn’t stopped the car, I would have been run over. Since I participated in such a big event to save people, Master gave me a chance to reduce my karma, and practitioners congratulated me. Whether it was interference from the old forces or karma elimination, I overcame the tribulation.
I participated in an event to help stop the persecution at Seoul Station Square on July 20, 2018. In the parade, I held a photo of a male practitioner who had been persecuted to death in China. My eyes really hurt, but I thought of the young man who died as a result of the persecution. I realized that I was too comfortable in my environment, as I felt pain even with small things, and I didn’t strive forward vigorously.
Because it was lunchtime on a weekday, there were many workers on the street and it was a good time to clarify the truth.
Participating in a Media Project
When I attended the group Fa study in January, it was recommended that practitioners work for the Epoch Times. All of our projects, especially the media, were shorthanded, so I started to help with translation work. In April I took the reporter training and now write articles for the media. I am a teacher during the day, so I usually have to write at night. I am surprised that the next day after writing an article and going to bed at two or three a.m., I am full of energy, not sleepy or tired, and my heart is more stable.
Master said, “If you can run the paper well, you will have a more powerful effect saving sentient beings and validating the Fa.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting” from Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. X)
In the world today, people get most of their information from the media. I am grateful to Master, who gave me the opportunity to validate the Fa and clarify the truth through a media that has become increasingly influential in peoples’ lives.
However, this is also cultivation. Many attachments surface, such as competitiveness, jealousy, and the show off mentality. If I study the Fa with a steady mind, constantly look inward, get rid of attachments, and keep righteous thoughts, then I can do well in the media work.
I've realized that all Dafa projects are cultivation opportunities and that I must look inside whenever there is a tribulation. In the meantime, I will be diligent in order to eliminate omissions caused by my lack of awareness of the Fa. From now on, I will cultivate my every step and do my best to do the three things well and be a true Fa-rectification Dafa disciple.
(Presented at the 2018 Asia Fa Conference)