A New Practitioner in the US: Cultivating in a Big Family
(Minghui.org) I am a Western practitioner and am 67 years old. I began practicing Falun Dafa in 2014 along with my eldest daughter. I read the book Zhuan Falun straight through and knew that it was a true book of cultivation. We soon found other practitioners in our city and began learning the exercises, attending Fa study and participated in truth clarification activities.
The first two years of my cultivation, I experienced many things. I could vaguely see some things with my celestial eye, I experienced feeling light and energized in my body. Master purified my body and I could sense many changes. After many xinxing tests I began to be a better person.
In 2015 my daughter moved to New York and I stayed and helped with my two grandchildren 20 and 21 years old. I have a large family, there are six children and now 19 grandchildren and 5 great-grandchildren. When my youngest daughter called from Alaska asking if I could go to help her with her new baby, I knew that Master was making a way for me to cultivate and help my sentient beings. Two of my daughters and their families had moved to Alaska and so I drove the 2,500-mile journey along with my 20-year-old grandson.
I realized this would mean that I would be cultivating on my own and there is only one other practitioner in Alaska and she is in high school. I immediately realized that it was up to me to do the three things and to stay diligent. When living with ordinary people I found that I really needed to be determined to cultivate and keep a righteous mind because all kinds of attachments and notions began to surface.
As Master says:
“So, as you cultivate in the society of ordinary people, you are either being polluted by ordinary society or you are changing ordinary society. ” (Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005)
I began to struggle a lot with diligence and soon saw I had a big attachment to ease and comfort and many times skimped on my exercise time. I failed many times in cultivating my speech and sometimes fell into old notions and emotions. I was very concerned to see some of my grandchildren who seemed very spoiled, disrespectful and lazy. Sometimes it seemed I was just constantly correcting them and not at all keeping a heart of benevolence and kindness which Master says we should always have as a buffer. Instead, I would get upset and have conflicts.
One day my 14-year-old grandson told his mother he thought grandma didn’t like him. This really shocked me and after looking within I realized I didn’t like the things he did, the way he wore his clothes a certain way, his haircut, the music he listened to--all of which are sadly the norm at this time when society's’ morals have changed. But if I am to represent Dafa to my family and be a better person, I need to have compassion and to see things from a higher level. I saw that a lot of my irritation with them was my own qing. I wasn’t at all being tolerant or benevolent.
When I changed my heart then things changed for the better. Now if anything comes up and I get irritated it is within me. In fact, this has been true all along. When there are conflicts, arguments, disagreements etc., I always know there is something in me, something I need to change or let go of.
“The Buddha-light illuminates everywhere and rectifies all abnormalities.” ( Zhuan Falun)
About a year ago I began to have tribulations in my legs, especially my left leg. I began to have a limp when I walked. I also had pain in my feet. This has affected my being able to do the sitting meditation and I cannot even sit in half lotus. I also had other tribulations with rashes that come and go. For quite some time I have felt that there were some things wrong in my cultivation and that I had some knots. I have looked within, and many attachments and notions came up. I had a fear of illness, I was pursuing changes in my surface body, I was concerned with reputation and what other people, especially practitioners, would think.
Because I am a newer practitioner, I know that our bodies are continually purified, there is also karma elimination and these things should be viewed as good things. I had always had the notion that if I was sick, in pain or having trials that it was because I had done something bad.
Looking deeper these past months, I realized that how I perceive the Fa and Master is very important and that we should have no omissions. I had a dream that I was writing down my thoughts as I do sometimes, and as I was writing, the page turned into Master’s face. It came alive and I realized I was writing on his face and was very shocked. For a long time, I knew that this was a hint that I am not really from my heart seeing Master and the Fa as I should. Deep in my heart, I had some lack of faith and trust. Through studying the Fa, I have since enlightened to many of these fundamental attachments.
I also realized that I am to let go of these things.
“When problems occur, instead of searching for problems in their xinxing, fundamentally improving themselves, or truly letting go of the matter and coming through in an open and dignified manner by another route, they focus on the thing at hand--"Goodness… why is it that I still can't overcome this thing? I've done better today, so it should have improved a little. Tomorrow, I'll do even better and it should improve some more." He can never let go of that thing. On the surface, it appears that he's letting it go--"Look, I'm doing well now." You're doing well now but you are doing well now for its sake. You aren't doing that for the purpose of doing what a true Dafa disciple should do!” (“Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference” from Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. III)
I also realized that I just have not been keeping righteous thoughts and these things have become gaps in my cultivation. No wonder I have had these long-term tribulations.
I recently read this in a lecture from Master:
“If [you] act in a truly righteous manner, nothing will dare to lift a finger against you. (Applause) It's easy to say, but for cultivators, it is very tough to do as you cultivate, and Master sees that. But there is a point I want to make: No matter what, have righteous thoughts and act righteously, and there will be no test that you cannot pass.” (Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005)
The Fa is boundless. Master said,
“The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts.” (“Drive Out Interference” from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
These are my understandings thus far. Please point out anything that is not correct.