China Fahui | Dafa Is the Foundation of My Life
Lost in the Human World
When I was two years old my father and grandmother began to practice Falun Dafa. Occasionally, I went to the exercise site with my father. I did not know what it was. I only understood the words Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
In 1999, when I was eight, the communist regime launched the persecution of Falun Dafa. Suddenly everything changed. The school officials and my schoolmates knew my father was a practitioner, and they looked at me in a very strange way. In 2001, I saw the so-called "self-burning" images of Falun Dafa practitioners on TV. I thought what the government said was true. I was very scared.
The police ransacked our home, and my father was arrested and taken to a brainwashing center. I was traumatized. I developed negative thoughts toward Falun Dafa and I wished my father did not practice it.
After being released, my father stopped Dafa practice for the next ten years. During those years, I lived under the communist culture and truly believed in atheism. I was happy that my father did not practice Dafa, and I thought that only by doing so would my family have peace.
When I was in high school, I had depression. I cried all the time and was bitter about life.
Not until later when I started to practice Dafa myself, did I realize that I was so polluted in ordinary people's society. Many bad and decayed substances attached to my body, which made me depressed and hate my life. I did not know where my pain came from. I read a lot, trying to find the meaning of life through philosophy books. I did not find any answers.
Obtaining the Fa
As fate went, my life was changed in 2013.
One day, my father decided to practice Falun Dafa again. When I learned that, the terrifying memories from my childhood overwhelmed me. I was against it and tried everything to stop my father. I intentionally disturbed him when he read the book, and I tried to argue with him from the view of physics, chemistry, and philosophy. Each time, my father easily won by quoting the Dafa books.
At the time I was doing a college internship in a company. I witnessed many conflicts and intrigues among the boss and co-workers. I felt that life was so tiring. I was thinking that it would be really difficult to be a good person in such a complicated society. I then remembered my father told me that Falun Dafa teaches people to be good.
"I don't want to practice Falun Dafa," I said as I approached my father one day. "But I would like to know how to be a good person."
"If you really want to know, then you need to read Dafa yourself," he said.
I knew my father wanted to get me to practice. At that time I was determined not to. I thought, however, that there was nothing wrong in reading the book a little. Let me find out what is in the book, I thought, so I can persuade my father to stop practicing. With that, I agreed to study.
My father said, "Don't think it’s so easy to read this book.” He held out Zhuan Falun. “But I would be really impressed if you finished it!"
I knew he was goading me. I thought I’ve read so many books already—how hard can it be to read one more?
It was indeed difficult to read Zhuan Falun, however, and I often read the words but was unable to comprehend them. Sometimes I fell asleep after just reading a few lines. Meanwhile, I became extremely busy, and I often had to do extra hours at my work and came home really late. Not wanting to lose to my father, I told myself that I needed to finish the book no matter what. So I downloaded an electronic version to my cell phone and read when riding on the subway. I made myself read the book every day. Slowly yet surely, I finished the book after several months.
The evening when I finally finished the last page, I closed the book. I wanted to shout, "Why? Why did I read this book so late, when it has been in my house for so many years!" I regretted wasting nearly 20 years of my life without knowing Dafa!
I suddenly remembered how I practiced the double lotus sitting meditation with my father when I was little. I wondered if I could still do it after nearly 20 years. I tried and I did it! My legs hurt really bad, but I closed my eyes and endured the pain.
"Let all the pain and suffering come," I said to myself. "I will not give up Falun Dafa no matter what!"
Breakthrough in Speaking Truthfully
For a long time, I had difficulty in clarifying the truth to people. I was very afraid other people would think bad of me. So I decided to start with someone I was familiar with: my mother since she had a lot of misunderstandings toward Dafa. I tried to talk to her about Dafa many times from various angles, but she always refuted me.
One day, after another failed try, I sighed. "You know, I am trying to save you," I said.
"I don't want to be saved,” she said, “even if I will end up in hell!"
I was shocked. I felt that speaking to her was so hard. I could not even convince my own mother about Dafa! I was very disappointed. Meanwhile, I knew I must get rid of my sentimentality and try to save as many people as possible.
I looked inward. I found my mother's attitude might be related to my own attachment. Indeed, I chose to do truth-clarification with my mother first because I was too scared to tell other people that I practiced Falun Dafa; I tried to hide my fear instead of expelling it. Looking deeper into this fear, I found I cared too much about my name and reputation. I was afraid that other people might think negatively about me. I was not confident to tell other people that Dafa is the best thing in the world, which also showed that I did not trust Dafa 100 percent. I came to understand that in order to clarify the truth, I must get rid of my fear.
I did not know how to start talking to people about Dafa, however. I then went on the Minghui website and read a large number of articles from practitioners. I recorded the sentences I thought would be useful and I memorized them.
I next planned to try with three of my closest friends. Before a scheduled gathering, I wrote down what I wanted to say to them and memorized every word. I told myself: I must break through my fear, and I will tell them I'm practicing Dafa. On the way to meet them, I sent righteous thoughts continuously to eliminate all the bad elements preventing me from speaking truthfully to them.
During the gathering, I kept looking for an opportunity to bring up the topic but did not find one. When our gathering was almost over, I became really nervous, and I excused myself to the bathroom. Looking into my own image in the mirror, I told myself, "I'm here to save them. Let go of the self!" I felt a sense of calm rush over me.
After I returned to the table, I waited another two minutes. "Actually, I wanted to tell you something today," I said, finally opening my mouth to speak in a genuine way.
One of my friends slammed on the table jokingly. "Why did you have to wait for so long to tell us?"
I understood that Master used her mouth to say this to me. I gathered my courage. "I wanted to tell you that I'm now practicing Falun Dafa."
My mind went blank after I said this. I was waiting for them to jump on me and criticize me. To my surprise, they showed interest and asked me what it was really about. I ended up telling them everything they wanted to know in a natural way. They agreed with everything I said and even quit their Chinese Communist Party (CCP) memberships.
None of the things I kept worrying happened. It is just like Master said:
"When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible. If you can actually do it, you will indeed find: 'After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!'" (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
I finally understood that speaking truthfully about Falun Dafa itself is not really difficult. What's difficult is to have the courage to take the first step.
On the very next day, my mother told my father that she wanted to practice Falun Dafa, out of her own initiative! I could barely believe it when I heard her talking to my father. What a joy!
I realized that my mother's previous attitude existed purely because of me. After I broke through, there was no need for her to keep that attitude. So she changed.
Free from Human Sentimentality
Human sentimentality was one of my first big tests after I began the practice. It was very difficult for me to get rid of it.
"As long as you have them, all of those attachments must be removed in different environments. You will be made to stumble, whereby you will become enlightened to the Tao. This is how one goes through cultivation practice." (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
As soon as I decided to practice Dafa, I met a man who was extremely nice toward me. We soon began to date.
One day, I missed his phone call when I was at a practitioner's home. He got really angry and threatened to break up. I kept apologizing; however, he insisted that I must promise not to get involved with any Dafa activities nor get in touch with any practitioners.
I understood that this was a test for me. It was to test whether I was a true practitioner and whether I could put everything else down. I told him no, that I wouldn’t follow his wishes.
He got angrier and wanted to break up with me right away. I was unable to accept it calmly and started to cry.
He demanded, "Which one do you choose? Me or Falun Dafa?"
It was my biggest fear at that time. I did not want to make the choice.
"This is your last chance,” he said. “We will be together as long as you agree not to practice. You don't need to say anything. You only need to give a nod. I'm going to count to three..."
I was desperate. I thought it was the old force's tricks. They wanted to use him to drag me down. I closed my eyes, crying and begging Master:
"Master, please tell me what to do!"
A voice came to my head: "You know the answer."
I knew I had no other choice: Dafa is my life. It is impossible for me to give it up. With tears rolling down my face, I shook my head. He turned away and left.
I knew I’d lost him. I was heartbroken, and I cried out loudly in the street.
When I finally calmed down, all of the sudden, he appeared next to me. "I'm so sorry. I should not have forced you," he said softly. It looked like nothing had happened.
I knew I passed the test. Furthermore, I understood more on what Master said:
"But true improvements come from letting go, not from gaining." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A.")
Six months later, his parents forced us to separate after they discovered I practiced Falun Dafa. He begged me again to quit Falun Dafa so that we could continue our relationship. I was firm this time: "I will not give up cultivation, even if I have to die!" We separated. He soon dated someone else, which saddened me.
At the same time, my grandfather passed away. Everyone in my family was crying. I cried too. I wasn't very sure whom I was crying for. I was sad for both my grandfather and myself. I then remembered Master's poem:
"Abundant troubles rain down together,/ All to see: Can you pull through?" (Hong Yin, Translation Version A)
It was a long and slow process for me to walk away completely from the attachment of sentimentality. For a period of time after the separation, I had colic pain as soon as I thought of him. The memories with him often appeared in my mind, and I was filled with jealousy and resentment. On a sleepless night, I knelt in front of Master's portrait and sobbed. "I am so sorry Master! I failed. I don't think I can pass this test."
Just then, a friend texted me a cartoon, which told a story:
A man knelt in front of God and prayed for God to bless him. After he stood up and started walking, a small rock fell from the sky and hit him on the head. He cried and complained that God did not protect him. Then he turned around and saw that God, who was behind him with arms stretched, was blocking thousands of huge rocks which would hit him if God was not there.
I understood. Master had been protecting me every second. Master took away the karma I accumulated through all my lifetimes, and I only needed to endure a tiny bit of it. How could I say that I cannot pass this test? Think of how much Master sacrificed for me!
One day, I read Master's lecture:
"My truly cultivating disciples, what I have taught you is the Fa for cultivation of Buddha and Dao. Nonetheless, you pour out your grievances to me over the loss of your worldly interests, rather than feeling upset for being unable to let go of ordinary human attachments. Is this cultivation?"
"You must remember this: Cultivation itself is not painful—the key lies in your inability to let go of ordinary human attachments. Only when you are about to let go of your reputation, interests, and feelings will you feel pain." ("True Cultivation," Essentials for Further Advancement)
I was ashamed of myself. I was determined to cultivate better.
"You know, why is it that many things, many attachments, can't be removed just like that? Why is it so hard? I've always told you that particles make up particles level by level from the microcosm all the way to surface matter. If you took a look in the extreme microcosm at the material formed by what your mind is attached to, [you'd see that] they are mountains, huge mountains, made of hard, granite-like rock, and once they are formed there's simply no way for a human being to move them." "There are many things that you can't do but that Master can. And so how does Master do them? It's not like as soon as we come into contact I'll remove them. When your righteous thoughts are firm and when you can repel those things, I remove them for you bit by bit; however much you can do, that's how much I remove for you and diminish for you." (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference”)
I understood that it was not me who was feeling the pain. It was the fake "me," which was constructed by the sentimentality and karma. The more I reject it, I knew, the more Master will take away from me.
It was still difficult. Whenever I saw couples on the street, I felt sad. For a long period of time, I was filled with sadness. Sometimes, my tears just came down when I was having a meal. I tried to study the Fa, but I could hardly take the words in. I knew I was not at a right state of a cultivator. I shall change, I thought.
One day, my father showed me one of Master's lectures:
"A notion, once formed, will control you for the duration of your life, influencing your thinking and even the full gamut of emotions, such as your happiness, anger, sorrow, and joy. It is formed postnatally. If this thing persists for some time, it will become part of a person’s thinking, melding into the brain of that person’s true self, at which point it will shape his temperament." ("Buddha Nature," Zhuan Falun (Volume II) )
I suddenly enlightened: It was my human notion making me feel painful. My notions made me believe that a woman should be accompanied by and cared for by a man. Without a man, I was supposed to be painful and lonely. I found that what I was really missing was not my ex-boyfriend the person, but the satisfactory feeling of being loved. This notion took control of my emotions. In order to be free from sentimentality, I had to eliminate this notion.
I kept Master's words in the front of my mind:
"Cultivation practice must take place through tribulations so as to test whether you can part with and care less about different kinds of human sentimentality and desires. If you are attached to these things, you will not succeed in cultivation. Everything has its karmic relationship. Why can human beings be human? It is because human beings have sentimentality. They live just for this sentimentality. Affection among family members, love between a man and a woman, love for parents, feelings, friendship, doing things for friendship, and everything else all relate to this sentimentality. Whether a person likes to do something or not, is happy or unhappy, loves or hates something, and everything in the entire human society comes from this sentimentality. If this sentimentality is not relinquished, you will be unable to practice cultivation. " (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
Every time I recited this passage, some bad substance inside me dissolved. Whenever I felt sad, I recited, and I felt better and better. Then, one day, I had a very clear thought: Is there really anything in this dusty human world I cannot part with?
After about two years, I finally passed this test of sentimentality. For me, this test was like a tribulation over life and death. Occasionally, I still experienced a little turbulence, but I had already learned how to cultivate amid it. When I let go of some attachments, the happy feeling inside my heart was simply wonderful. Master always arranged the best for me!
Dafa cleansed my soul. Words cannot express my gratitude toward Master and Dafa. I can only pay back Master by cultivating more diligently and saving more sentient beings.