Young Practitioner: Persisting in Fa Study and Strengthening Righteous Thoughts
(Minghui.org) As a Dafa practitioner who was born in the 1990s, my affinity with Falun Dafa started when I was very young. However, my cultivation path has been bumpy on and off.
I followed my mom in her Fa-study and cultivation. After I entered junior high school, mom no longer controlled what I did, and I only occasionally read the Dafa books or the Minghui Weekly. But I knew in my heart that Master and Dafa was really good.
My third year of studies was really stressful. If I watched Master’s lecture before I left the house in the morning, I felt more relaxed, as if all my troubles had been diminished by the Fa.
When I entered high school, I lived at the school. I put Master’s audio lectures and electronic books on an MP4, which I listened to or read before I went to bed every night.
I cannot remember the date that I officially started to study the Fa, but I know that Master has been guiding me as I was growing up. There are many temptations in this world, and my path has not always been smooth-sailing, but Dafa was rooted in my heart.
There have been times when many distracting thoughts filled my mind, and I could not concentrate on Fa study. I got anxious, as I knew that this was not a correct state, but as much as I tried to memorize the Fa, I could not do so. Remembering Master’s lectures where he stressed the importance of Fa study, I started to copy Zhuan Falun, with the Chinese version first, and then the English version. Although the progress was slow, I was able to calm down as I read and wrote, and gradually I was able to concentrate on my Fa study.
Looking Outward Instead of Inward
For a very long time, my understanding of the Fa stayed at a perceptual level. In my first year at a university, I rushed to Changchun the moment the summer break started. I knew that Changchun was Master’s hometown, and I yearned to experience the grand atmosphere there before the persecution started on July 20, 1999, when many people practiced Falun Dafa. By going there, I thought that I could be ‘nearer’ to Master and gain a better understanding of the Fa.
As I read practitioners' recollection articles, I realized that the university I was studying in used to be the venue for Master’s lectures. No wonder I always felt that the stone lion at the entrance of the school hall had this unusual majesty, yet looked kind, whenever I passed by it. After the astonishment came a sense of guilt. I knew that I was looking outward again.
The unfavorable cultivation state I was in never had anything to do with external reasons, and no external means would help me keep up with the progress of Fa- rectification. I was always finding excuses for my attachments, despite not doing well with the three things.
I decided to study and memorize the Fa more diligently after I entered the university, and that I would set up a Dafa materials production site after I accepted a job. Then, I would clarify the truth once I had produced the Dafa materials. I would ask my teachers and classmates to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its youth organizations after I had finished reading Disintegrating the Party Culture and the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. These were excuses that I used to camouflage my desire for comfort, my laziness, my fear, my reluctance to change from my current status, and my failure to cultivate my xinxing.
Looking within, I often made excuses for my lack of good results when clarifying the truth. I thought that I had insufficient knowledge and an introverted character. In fact, the reason was that I did not have righteous thoughts and I held fear, the desire to protect myself, and the desire to accomplish things. How could I truly exhibit the power of Dafa? When I finally felt compassion when I clarified the truth, people accepted what I said, and some showed support by encouraging me.
Master said, “Everything has been prepared, and all that’s missing is for you to carry it out. Yet you won’t take that step,...” (“Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
Reading the above mentioned Fa, I felt guilty as Master has done so much for us and the path has been paved, but I took so long to take the first step. I have missed so many chances to clarify the truth and improve my xinxing.
Being able to find Dafa in this lifetime and learning the real purpose of life, I can only cherish this chance and spread the brightness and warmth of Dafa to the people around me. Any slight slacking off will be an excuse for the old forces to create a disturbance.
Attached to Television
Since a young age, I loved watching television programs. Once I got hooked onto a television drama, I could forego eating and sleeping. Although I knew that this was an utter waste of time, I was not able to stop. The addiction to television can be comparable to that of alcohol, and the old forces were laughing at me when they saw me engrossed in the drama.
Later, in order to save time, I only watched the episode summaries. Sometime later, I realized that there were many unhealthy elements within those television dramas. That made me stop watching them and instead watch the New Tang Dynasty broadcasts. Remembering that I am a Dafa practitioner helps me resist the temptation.
When someone would mention some television dramas, I watched some of it out of courtesy. However, at times I got absorbed into a certain character or scene in the drama. This made me feel very troubled. As I sent forth righteous thoughts, I also looked within and found that I was captivated by the characters in the drama. When looking within, I realized that I was not serious about my cultivation. Once I understood the attachment, I sent righteous thoughts and got rid of all the videos.
Attachment to Sentimentality
In junior high school, when I interacted with my classmates, I realized that I had a strong attachment to relationships. Being immersed in them was physically and mentally draining. After recognizing this attachment, I rejected it and recited the phrase, “I only want compassion in my heart. I knew that qing comes from selfish origins and by only having compassion can I treat the people better.”
Slowly, my attachment to sentimentality faded. However, when I was at the university, after reading a novel by a Dafa practitioner about a girl who started to cultivate because her boyfriend cultivated, and they became diligent practitioners together, I dreamed of such a relationship.
After I clarified the truth to a guy and he showed that he understood and was willing to understand further, my desire arose, and I started to date that guy. However, something did not feel right, as he was always talking about self-interest. In the end, he even spoke disrespectfully of Master and Dafa. I realized that I had made a big mistake! Therefore, I convinced him to just be friends.
This relationship taught me that what Master has arranged for me is the best and most suitable for my cultivation, and what I need to do is to cultivate myself diligently, and continue to look within to improve my xinxing.
Following the Standard of a Practitioner
We should not be prejudiced against people who have not behaved well, and give up on them or look down on them. When I encountered people who did not receive favorable remarks from others, I worried whether it would be more difficult to clarify the truth to these people. What may be a chance for this person to understand the truth could thus be hindered by these thoughts. Furthermore, these negative thoughts could also cause others to feel inferior.
When at the university, almost all my classmates came from upper class family backgrounds, were good in their studies, and were good at socializing. Sometimes, I felt inferior to them.
I once signed up for a competition. To my surprise, I made it all the way to the finals. Within the list of final candidates, I was the only one who came from a middle-class background. The strong and outstanding performances of the other students during the rehearsal also increased my feelings of inferiority. During the break, I managed to calm down only after the continuous recitation of Hong Yin. In the end, I won the competition.
I felt that my performance was not any better than that of the other participants, so why did this happen? My first thought was Master’s lecture in Zhuan Falun about the person in the office who did not have many capabilities, but ended up becoming the manager of the more capable person. So, was it because the other participants were not destined to win that competition?
As I continued to think further, I remembered Master’s lecture,
“Dafa disciples go about their lives alongside ordinary people as part of the illusory ordinary society, and are really susceptible to drifting along with the tide in their way of thinking, at least in some regards. If you can’t manage to conduct yourselves according to Dafa when you do things, can’t manage to think things over with righteous thoughts, or are not on the Fa in dealing with problems, then you are an ordinary person. There isn’t any difference, then.” (“What is a Dafa Disciple,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
“If you don’t use righteous thoughts to guide yourself, and if you cannot manage to conduct yourself and look at the world and others according to the standard of a cultivator, like a Dafa disciple does, then you are the same as an ordinary person.” (“What is a Dafa Disciple,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
Then, I realized that I used ordinary standards to compare myself with others! I forgot to treat myself as a Dafa practitioner.
After that, due to a conflict with my schedule, I gave the prize for the competition, which was an internship opportunity with a prominent company, to another person. I knew that my performance during that competition was insufficient to merit the prize, so it was just an opportunity that Master used to enlighten me.
Although I did not cultivate very well and there seemed to be nothing much for me to write in my sharing article, I did not give up, and Master kept looking after and guiding me. Practitioners also kept encouraging me.
If you are a practitioner like me, who is on a bumpy cultivation path, please do not give up on yourself or indulge in blaming yourself, as that is just what the old forces want. We must know that Master cherishes us more than we do ourselves.