Finally Reaching a Clearer Understanding of What Cultivation Means
(Minghui.org) I started to practice Falun Dafa on February 12, 1999. Master opened my third eye when I was doing the second exercise. When I saw the Falun that Master had given me, I cried. I knew that I finally found what I had been searching for.
Changing My Notions
Master said in Zhuan Falun Volume II: “There are two types of people, namely, those who are extreme and those who take the middle road.”
When I first read this, I realized that I was the extreme type. On the outside, I seemed to be very diligent, but I knew that my understanding of the Fa tended to be extreme. I often used human notions in my understanding of the Fa.
After the persecution began in 1999, I was sentenced to four years in prison for practicing Dafa. While imprisoned, I reflected on my cultivation state: I realized that my going to extremes came from my strong sense of “self” or ego. As such, I always thought that I was absolutely correct. I also seemed to think that I was better than other practitioners. I knew then that I had to change these notions.
After I got out of jail, some practitioners admired me. I realized it was because I still had an attachment to fame. I decided to eliminate this attachment and I gradually became more humble.
One extreme notion I had was about marriage: I always thought that getting married would lower one's level.
Master said, “You definitely won’t drop down because of getting married—that won’t happen.” (Lecture at the First Conference in North America)
Finally, I was able to humbly listen to others. One practitioner said that being able to cultivate while married is a path prepared for future cultivators and that the complicated environment within marriage is also good for our cultivation.
Listening to them helped me change my notions. It became even clearer when I read in Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Houston:
“I have left for you factors that will enable you to live among everyday people. I hope that some of you among our disciples who are young still establish families and start careers. If in the future the whole world were to come to study the Great Law and no one were to establish a family, then human society would end and would no longer exist. That wouldn’t work. Also, young people have to leave descendants, and you must leave a cultivation method for the new humankind of the future.”
I eventually married a fellow practitioner.
Clearer Understanding of Cultivation
After we married, my husband and I made an investment and we were able to live off the income just from the interest. I encouraged my husband to quit his job so he could spend all his time on Dafa projects. Even though it seemed that I was being unselfish, it was in fact because of my sentimentality toward him. Gradually, more and more of my attachments were exposed.
For six months, we did not get any interest from our investment. My husband said that he would look for work, but he stalled, and we were financially dependent on my giving private lessons. At the same time, it seemed that my husband ignored me whenever I asked him to do something, both for Dafa projects and for our day-to-day living. However, he seemed to do whatever other practitioners asked of him.
For instance, I asked him to fix the printer, but a week went by and he did not do it. Another time I asked him to fix our iron, but after an entire month, he still had not looked at it. I was so upset that I no longer wanted to talk to him. My feelings toward him changed from disappointment to despair. My resentment became stronger and stronger. Instead of using this as an opportunity to cultivate myself and eliminate my attachments, I became upset.
A practitioner who worked with my husband on Dafa projects tried to talk with me, but the more she talked the angrier I got. I usually clarified the facts every night by using a cell phone, but that night I couldn't calm down enough to do it when it was time. I was too angry.
I clearly knew something wasn't right. I asked myself, “Why am I being interfered with?” I knew it was because I hadn't eliminated an attachment.
When I opened up Minghui, I saw an article about an explosion in a natural gas mine. At the moment of life and death, a practitioner chose not to run away. Instead, he ran inside and saved over 20 people. Although it was a great story to use for clarifying the facts, I felt that the article wasn't well written.
I felt that we could use the story to clarify the facts and that I could re-write it to make it more readable. My cultivation state wasn't very good, so I asked Master to help. It was 3 a.m. when I finished writing. My mind suddenly became very calm. All my anger and resentment were gone. My husband woke up and complained that the light woke him. I quietly said, “It's time.” We did the exercises together.
I realized that cultivation during the Fa-rectification period is different from personal cultivation. When my intention was pure—to improve the article to help save people—Master took away my resentment.
From then on, I became more diligent. Instead of first letting such conflicts intensify, and then being forced to cultivate, I now try to take the initiative to cultivate myself.
Studying the Fa
After I got married I felt that my cultivation became more difficult. My attachment to ease was exposed. Immersed in the family environment, I tended to relax in my cultivation. My husband and I also had conflicts. I had to take care of our child, but at the same time avoid getting wrapped up in emotion. I also had less time because I had to take care of our child. As a result, I often got sleepy when I studied the Fa. I decided to hand-copy the Fa.
I asked my husband to take care of our child so that I could hand-copy the Fa for a few hours. This time, while I copied the Fa, my child did not disturb us when it was time to send forth righteous thoughts. Before, my child often disturbed us by sitting on our legs or playing with our hands.
I also started to memorize the Fa. I had done this before, but this time I even tried to memorize the punctuation. Afterward, I felt that I found the enthusiasm of “cultivating with the heart I once had.”