Memories from My Journey of Cultivation
(Minghui.org) In May 1996, my mother received a phone call from a former classmate who told her about Falun Dafa and encouraged her to give it a try.
My mother had just been diagnosed with late-stage gastric cancer. So with nothing to lose, she went to a park the very next day and learned the Falun Dafa exercises and soon regained her health.
Although I didn't encounter any big tribulations prior to starting Dafa cultivation, it was not that easy. I had to choose between Dafa and another practice without having heard of either one.
In the winter of 1997, my mother came to Beijing and stayed with me for two months. Every day she urged me to practice Falun Dafa. At the same time, my coworkers were pushing me to practice the Guanyin cultivation sect.
Master Li Hongzhi said:
“It wasn’t easy for just about any Dafa disciple to gain the Fa initially. This isn’t to say that someone was blocking the door, watching and stopping you from entering. It often manifests as xinxing tests that examine how your mind reacts—that see how your mind reacts and handles itself on the matter of whether to gain the Fa. Some people are indeed able to overcome it. Before, many students knew that when I was giving classes in China, as soon as I ran a class at a given location, there was sure to be a class of sham qigong being held within one hundred meters. Evil doesn’t want people to gain the righteous Fa...” (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in the Midwest-U.S.)
Cultivation was a new concept for me. I now understand that interfering factors were trying to keep me from learning the Fa. My mother did not talk about Falun Dafa rationally, while a group of highly educated young journalists, designers, and senior intellectuals were trying to drag me into their practice.
I eventually asked for a photo of the teachers from each practice so I could make a choice. I opened the Falun Dafa book and thought Master Li looked familiar. Then I looked at the Guanyin sect master and noticed that his eyes were different sizes – he looked strange! I decided to practice Falun Dafa.
The Power of Dafa
After my mother left, I practiced by myself. In the first few months, I often felt a Falun (law wheel) correcting my movements. I studied the book Falun Gong and realized I was doing them wrong.
My body was very sensitive at the beginning, and I could feel many Falun rotating all over my body. I also experienced many different cultivation states in a very short time. It was just as Master Li said,
“Thousands, tens of thousands, even hundreds of millions of different manifestations of gong as well as manifestations of the Fa will appear.”(Teaching the Fa at the Assistants’ Fa Conference in Changchun)
However, I could only understand Dafa superficially. All I knew was that Falun Dafa was good. I then introduced the practice to my friends. Even though they did not pick it up, they understood that Dafa was good, so after the persecution initiated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began, they did not object to my practicing it.
I came to the U.S. on March 28, 1999, and started my journey of genuine cultivation.
The Persecution Begins
Three weeks after I arrived in the U.S. in 1999, the April 25 incident occurred, then the persecution started on July 22, 1999. I was shocked. All the Chinese language TV channels were broadcasting CCP programs that maligned Falun Dafa. I watched for a while and found lots of holes in their reports.
After thinking about it, I decided to go to Washington, DC, to protest the CCP's groundless persecution of Falun Dafa. I peacefully demonstrated outside the Chinese Embassy and met practitioners from around the world.
I asked a young couple why they were there, and the husband answered calmly but firmly, “No matter what happens, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is right!” I was moved to tears. It was due to our faith that we were able to take our first step toward validating Dafa.
Master Is Here Now
Time flies, and it is now 2018. It was a great honor to prepare meals for Shen Yun performers for 13 days earlier this year. One morning, however, I woke up with a headache and felt nauseated. I was anxious and worried I couldn't deliver the food on time that day.
Time was of the essence, but I still decided to meditate for an hour. After I finished, all my discomfort was gone.
In the past, many heavenly secrets could not be written down and had to be passed down verbally, heart-to-heart. Now we have Master walking among us and we have Zhuan Falun, and The Great Way of Spiritual Perfection -- how fortunate we are!
Clarifying the Truth in Chinatown
I was perhaps one of the first practitioners who started clarifying the facts about Dafa in Chicago's Chinatown. We have been talking to people about the persecution for years, either outside the Chinese consulate or in Chinatown.
Sixteen years have passed, and I cannot remember how many people we have spoken to or how many shifts we have taken. The truth-clarification site in Chinatown is like a stage of history in the spotlight, constantly providing opportunities for people to learn the truth at this special historical moment.
Once, an elderly Caucasian woman sat among us during the sitting meditation and told us her bone pain was gone when she was in our energy field.
Another time, a young passerby thanked us for being there. He said he was also a practitioner but hadn't stepped forward to talk to others due to fear; he wanted to do better.
A Taoist master and his disciple told us that they had observed us for a very long time and exclaimed, “Your master is indeed great!” The disciple later saw a Shen Yun show.
Cultivating My Heart
I had certain expectations and plans for my life. I used to want my life to be a certain way and do exactly what I was able to. But there was a big gap between the desire and the reality. When I saw someone who was not as capable but was leading the life I longed for, I became jealous and resentful. Through Fa study, I have eliminated a layer of jealousy, but after a period of time, I discovered that my jealousy still existed; it was deeply hidden.
One day I looked inside to examine my thoughts and remembered that Master said,
“...a person absolutely cannot change others’ lives. You can’t even control your own life, let alone the lives of others. No matter how hard a person tries, he’s merely walking down the path of his own existence.” (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Europe)
“...everything is pre-arranged...” (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Europe)
Since everything is prearranged, why would I be jealous of others? I suddenly came to realize that all attachments were trivial and meaningless.
“...once you take up Dafa, whatever it is you encounter--good or bad--it is a good thing (applause), for it came about only because you cultivate in Dafa. Some students experience all sorts of hardships after taking up Dafa. If you didn't cultivate, those tribulations would lead to your destruction. But precisely because you do cultivate in Dafa, even though the pressure you face is great when the hardships come at you earlier than they would have, and the tests of your xinxing are tough to pass--and sometimes the tests may be huge--when all is said and done, those hardships are all things you need to overcome, they are accounts you need to settle, tabs that you need to pay. (Audience laughs) Aren't they great things, then? So whether it is good things or bad things you run into, so long as you cultivate in Dafa, they are all positive, to be sure.” (Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005)
I believe that every human being is wearing a mask and no one knows who they really are. We are spectators and performers at the same time. Sometimes we have invested so much in the acting that we tend to forget our true selves behind the mask.
In fact, whenever our human thoughts are triggered, it is a good opportunity for us to look within and rectify ourselves. When we can truly raise our xinxing and remove our attachments, the precious time that Master has extended for us is not wasted.