(Minghui.org) I began cultivation when I was very young, following my parents in studying the Fa teachings and doing the exercises. But when I grew older, I went to a boarding school and gradually lost the cultivation environment. I only picked it up whenever I came home for breaks or holidays.

A Serious Reminder

I realized the seriousness of cultivation when I developed sickness karma. It reminded me that it was time to diligently cultivate and I could no longer go with the flow. I never clearly faced the fact that I am a cultivator. Everything I did in the past only had one purpose--to avoid persecution.

Finding My Problem

One day I watched a TV interview of a fellow practitioner, who said that, when he began cultivating, he went to the picture of Master and kowtowed three times to show that he was committed to cultivation. At the time, I thought: “Is that necessary? Nobody's stopping you, just cultivate. What's with the formality?”

It was only recently that I realized that that was exactly my problem. Since I began cultivation as a young child, I did not feel that there was a starting point. But now I am grown, and I have to be deliberate about my actions.

Another young lady also shared her experience. Since she also started cultivating when she was young, she now often asks herself, “Why do I cultivate? Do I want to cultivate for myself or just copy my mother?”

I never seriously thought about why I cultivate. Sure, I didn't give up even when the persecution was severe, but why? Was it just following in my parents' footsteps? Or feeling that Master is the best? Am I understanding things rationally or am I just acknowledging them superficially?

I realized that I had never developed a clear awareness of separating myself from an ordinary person in thought and behavior. I never had a clear awareness of my identity as a cultivator who had to adhere to the three principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

Letting Go

I had a vivid dream a year ago. In the dream, I saw a huge incense burner, and many fellow practitioners were burning incense around it. When it was my time to do it, I picked up the incense sticks, but whenever I picked them up, they broke. 

Seeing me struggle, Master came over to me. I could not even cry. Master smiled at me and quietly said, “Let go.”

Master's words resonated like thunder, and I realized that Master wanted me to let go of my attachments to become a true cultivator.

Am I a true cultivator? Do I cherish my cultivation? Do I care to do better? Master did say that he did not care for formalities, but for the change in people's hearts. I never went through a formality and just followed my parents; I did not take things seriously myself. It is time for me to have a change of heart.

I am grateful for Master's protection over the years. He has waited for me, reminded me, and helped me enlighten to the Fa.

Cultivation is serious. A Falun Gong practitioner's path is different from that of an ordinary person's. When a practitioner makes the decision to truly cultivate, his path becomes his choice, his destiny. I need to truly rectify myself and become a true Falun Gong practitioner. I will walk on the path arranged by Master and carry out my duties as a practitioner, do the three things well, and cherish this precious opportunity!