From Walking “Close” To Dafa To Walking “Into” Dafa
(Minghui.org) Greetings to esteemed Master and fellow practitioners!
The first time I heard about Falun Dafa was when I was 18 years old and participated in a 9-day instructional seminar. As I had met only adult practitioners, I was lucky that a Falun Dafa club was established at my college and I could associate with practitioners closer to my age.
“When I spoke to students in China, I said that many people don’t realize it. That is, you may feel that, just like anything else in your normal life, you just happened to attend this class, but in all likelihood you went through hardships in order to obtain this Fa over the course of several, or even a dozen, or dozens of previous lives (applause). It’s just that you haven’t realized it. Some people had lost their lives so that they could obtain this Fa. As you go about cultivating, I earnestly and kindly teach the virtue of goodness to you and provide guidance, for I know who you were in history and I know you have sacrificed a lot to obtain it today. I would be letting you down if I didn’t teach you this way.” (“First Fa Teaching Given in the United States,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. I)
I was fortunate to have attended the classes. Through studying the Fa, I came to understand that the mission of a Falun Dafa practitioner is to bring the truth about Dafa to people. So, I told my classmates about Dafa. Almost all gave me positive feedback.
Through interactions with people, I understood that to help people understand the truth, one does not have to be a skilled speaker. The key is to connect with people’s hearts, hold compassion, and have faith in Master and the Fa. As long as one has the heart to truly practice cultivation, everything will improve and the outcome will be good.
There’s a restaurant near my college where many tourists from China eat. As the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched the brutal persecution against Falun Dafa in 1999, it was important that they heard about that cultivation practice, as they have been lied to by the CCP.
Although I didn’t know how to clarify the truth at the beginning, I just held a sign saying that Dafa is good, for Chinese people on the buses to read. Many took pictures, read it, and finally heard the truth.
In the beginning, many of them, including the tour guide, held a bad attitude toward practitioners. But, we were not moved and continued to display the information. We greeted each of them with a smile. When it rained we held an umbrella for them at the door of the bus. They were moved by our kindness, which encouraged us. Soon the tour guide changed his attitude, bowed, and gave us a thumbs up.
Walking Close to Dafa But Not Into Dafa
Although I had participated in a lot of Dafa projects, I had never honestly reflected on my own cultivation. I failed to use everyday opportunities to improve my behavior, and I didn’t study the Fa well. As a result, my character didn’t improve, and meaningless notions took root in my heart. Fear took hold, and my attachments multiplied.
When I first began the practice, I felt a strong energy flow when I meditated. But, after some time, my attachments and notions got the best of me. They popped up when I meditated, and I became sleepy when I studied the Fa. I slacked off and failed to pass the test for several years. I felt miserable about it and regretted missing so many opportunities to help people learn the truth about Falun Dafa.
“...you must consider yourself a cultivator! You should take it upon yourself to study the Fa! If you do not study the Fa, how can you do this thing? You may say that you can. Relying on a human’s cunning mind and quick-wittedness to do things, it is guaranteed that you cannot do it. Why? You can do it in business or work among ordinary people, but you cannot do it in this thing, because the words you say have no energy and are not aligned with the Fa. (“Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference,” Team Blue Translation)
After reading the above Fa, I realized that for many years I walked close to Dafa but had not truly walked into Dafa. I didn’t actually cultivate my inner self and improve my xinxing. It was like hanging around the door of cultivation but not entering it. I thought about it and asked myself, “Do I stop and search my heart when I encounter conflicts? Do I look inward to see if I have the same problems I see in others? Do I remember Master’s words when I run into tribulations?”
“Cultivating gong has a pathmind is the wayOn the boundless sea of Dafahardship is your ferry” (“Falun Dafa,”Hong Yin, Translation Version A)
Somehow I forgot that hardships were precisely the “ferry” that leads practitioners forward in their cultivation. Yet, to avoid conflicts, I tried to be a “good kid” and meet the expectations of others. But, was I that way in my heart, or was it just a facade? Without hardships, how could I improve? This inner reflection brought me to the conclusion that for a long time, I had covered myself with a blanket of delusion.
Soon after that discovery, I read an article on Minghui.org titled “The Lament of “Untruthfulness.” It sent a jolt through me. I had always believed that I treated people with the principles Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance as spelled out in Zhuan Falun. But after reading that article, I realized that “untruthfulness” still existed in my heart and that Master was watching and waiting for me to assimilate to the principles that he taught.
Nothing Happens by Accident
I had a coworker who always argued his point until others gave up and agreed with him. Although I maintained a harmonious relationship with him, I didn’t like his attitude, and my heart was moved by negative feelings toward him. Sometimes his words made me so upset that I wanted to fight or “have a talk” with him. Behind my facade of kindness, I blamed and resented him. I wanted to point out all his shortcomings and make him speechless.
Eventually, I saw that my competitive mentality was very similar to his. If I didn’t have that mentality, how could his behavior move me? Nothing happens by accident. Maybe his being there was Master’s arrangement meant to help me to learn from him and improve myself.
“How can you practice cultivation without these hardships? If everyone is good to one another without conflicts of interests or interference from the human mind, how can your xinxing make progress by your only sitting there? That is impossible. One must truly temper and upgrade oneself through actual practice.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
Often, I become aware of my own shortcomings only after seeing them reflected in others. What’s interesting is that after I find my attachment, my negative feelings disappear. When I recognize my untruthful, unkind, and intolerant traits, I tell myself and Master that I don’t want them. If I really have a hard time letting them go, I study the Fa more. With my resolve, reinforced by Fa study, I can let go of anything.
“As long as you upgrade your xinxing, you can overcome them. Unless you, yourself do not want to do so, you can make it, provided you want to overcome them. Therefore, from now on when you come across a conflict you should not consider it a coincidence. This is because when a conflict occurs, it will take place unexpectedly. But that is not a coincidence—it is for improving your xinxing. As long as you treat yourself as a practitioner, you can handle it properly.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
Finding my own shortcomings made me understand Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance more profoundly. I missed a lot of cultivation opportunities in the past because I did not look inward honestly.
I want to share a paragraph from Master's Fa to encourage all of us,
“This is the genuine Fa whose preciousness is beyond compare and that for hundreds or even thousands of years human beings have wanted to know and yet no one would teach to them. It is the nature of human beings that when you are seeking precious things, if you obtain just a little bit, even just one sentence, you will treasure it most carefully. You won’t forget it your whole life. But when something more precious comes your way, or even when I give it to you on a platter, you [might actually overlook it because you] felt it came so easily—and because of that, some people might not treasure it. Humans do have the propensity of not treasuring things that came easily. However, I can tell you that there is no other way [of teaching you this Fa]. I would not have everyone travel everywhere to look for me. I can only give you all these things and let everyone know and let more people know, connecting once again the predestined relationships. I can only do it this way, and it is up to you whether you cherish it or not, as you do have the predestination that it takes. People have analytical abilities, so you can judge for yourself whether the principles here are good. I think that Buddha nature is present in each and every person, so you should arrive at your own understanding.” (“First Fa Teaching Given in the United States,” Collected Fa Teaching's, Vol I)
Thank you, Master!Thank you, fellow practitioners!