Practicing Falun Dafa as an Elementary and High School Student
(Minghui.org) I am a 20-year-old Falun Dafa practitioner, born in January 1998. Within my family, my uncles and aunts were Falun Dafa practitioners while my mother was not. However, my mother supported and believed in the goodness of Dafa. By the time I was two or three years old, I had become a frequent visitor to my uncle’s home. My uncle would often ask me, “Where is Master?” Each time I would point to Master’s picture hanging on the wall and reply, “Master is here!” I count myself fortunate to be born into a family of Dafa cultivators.
My parents separated when I was in elementary school and I was left in the care of my grandparents, who were not Dafa practitioners. From fourth to fifth grade of elementary school, I fell into bad company and started participating in gang fights. I learned to bully the weak and was also bullied in turn. At the same time, I continued to get outstanding academic results, drawing both envy and scorn from my schoolmates. I spent much of this period living in fear and depression, till a fellow classmate and her mother reintroduced Falun Dafa to me and my mother. Both my mother and I finally decided to become Dafa practitioners, and the four of us spent afternoons studying the Fa and practicing the exercises.
This decision was to be the turning point in my life. After cultivating Falun Dafa, I began to distance myself from my delinquent schoolmates and stopped participating in gang activities. Although my grades remained the same, my teachers and classmates started noticing my calmer, gentler demeanor. A former classmate, who later became a fellow Dafa practitioner, told me that everyone had initially been skeptical. “This pretense can't last more than a few days.” But last it did, under the righteous and morally upright influence of Falun Dafa.
After graduating from elementary school, I managed to obtain a place at a renowned high school. Per usual practice, my mediocre high school entrance examination results would have placed me in an average or below average class. However due to special circumstances, the school held an additional grading examination soon after our enrollment. We would be segregated into high and low performing classes based on these results. The evening before this important exam, I practiced a few math problems before studying the fourth lecture of Zhuan Falun. After the results were published, I found I had been placed within the top liberal arts class, which had only 40 places. With its higher standards and excellent learning resources, I now stood a higher chance of getting into a good university. On recollection, I now know that this was all arranged by Master.
Students in my high school were strictly managed and subjected to a high-intensity learning environment. During those difficult years, Dafa became my main source of support and strength. This was especially so during my first year of high school. Although I was expected to rank among the top 40 in school, my daily grades placed me closer to the 50th percentile. I was only able to score 60 out of a full score of 150 for my worst subject, mathematics. The strain from the difficult coursework, strict school schedule and unfamiliar environment nearly drove me mad. Fortunately, my uncle paid frequent visits in order to provide me with much needed support. He would drive to my distant school with home cooked food and accompany me during lunch breaks. I remember breaking down in his car one day from all the stress and difficultly. My uncle advised me to study the Fa whenever I felt troubled.
As Master taught us,
“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)
This phrase became my mantra, strengthening my belief in Dafa and supporting me through those difficult times.
I have a small learning computer, which was bought for the express purpose of studying the Fa. During my first year in high school, I designated 20 minutes of my lunch break to studying the Fa. At night, I would spend another 20 minutes studying the Fa after lights out. I managed to sustain this routine throughout my three years in high school. Dafa opened up my wisdom, while I adhered to the requirements of the Fa and studied hard. By the end of my first year in high school, I was ranked among the upper percentile. During our final year mock graduation exams, I obtained second or third place in the entire cohort, to the surprise of both my teachers and classmates. Immersed in Dafa, I transitioned to my senior year and the more advanced curriculum with ease, in contrast to my peers and seniors.
My cultivation levels also improved drastically. Whenever I encountered a conflict with my classmates, I would search within, cultivate my speech and avoid participating in gossip. A friend later confessed that my behavior had influenced her so greatly that she began to spend less time on gossip and her thinking became more upright. Because my cultivation path was arranged by Master, I only needed to focus on cultivating well and fulfilling my responsibilities as a student. As such, I managed to retain my optimistic and relaxed attitude even during my final year in high school. This caught the attention of another friend, who recounted how carefree I looked despite all the stress we were under.
My junior high school classmate and fellow Dafa practitioner had also entered the same school as me. Under Master's arrangement, she got to know a teacher at the school who was also a Falun Dafa practitioner. The teacher loaned a key to the school office, and in that way we managed to find a suitable place for group Fa study and exercise. We did the exercises and studied the Fa together early each morning, in the afternoon after lessons had finished, and even during our evening self-study periods. My rapid advancement in cultivation resulted in corresponding improvements to my academic performance.
My roommate happened to be a friend I had known since elementary school. Having witnessed my dramatic improvements, her curiosity grew till she finally gathered the courage to ask me about it one day. She was shocked when I attributed my change to Falun Dafa. I had told her the truth about the persecution of Dafa once during our first year of high school, but at that time my roommate had remained unconvinced. This time, I proceeded to clarify the truth about Dafa and the persecution and saw the light of understanding dawn in her eyes. She began to express interest in taking up the practice. In this way, the three of us formed a small Fa study group and cultivated diligently throughout our high school years. We shared our experiences and learned from each other, raising our levels in the process. During our college entrance examinations, we all obtained more than 600 points and entered prestigious universities.
I am somewhat ashamed to report that in the relatively relaxed environment of the university, I became less diligent. With less time devoted to studying the Fa, my attachments to the obsessions of everyday people grew. However, I am certain that my purpose in life is to be a Falun Dafa practitioner. I am determined to return and regain a pure cultivation state, validate the Fa and walk the path arranged by Master.