(Minghui.org) I first began my cultivation journey in 2008 after my daughter, who lived in another state, kept ringing me and insisting I read a particular book she had just found.

As I was busy at the time with my acupuncture practice, I wasn’t all that enthusiastic about taking time out to read a book. A few months later, I paid her a visit, and she put the book she had been insisting I read into my hands and told me to take it home with me. I looked at the cover, which was a lovely blue, with the words Zhuan Falun printed in gold, and somehow felt at peace. I agreed to read it.

Not long before I first began to read it, however, I had a health scare.

A small mole on my upper arm had suddenly started to grow rapidly and had turned from light brown to dark. Friends and family had noticed it as well and were insisting I go to the doctors. I felt that was not the course to take – I had no faith they would be able to help me.

Then, when I read Zhuan Falun for the first time, I instinctively knew Master Li Hongzhi [the author of the book and the founder of Falun Dafa] was the one to put my trust in, so I did.

A few weeks later, I woke up one night with a strange sensation on my arm where the mole was, just like someone was bending over my arm and using a laser on the mole. The next day, the mole looked and felt different, and over the next day or so, it formed into a scab and fell off, leaving clear pink skin. I knew it was Master Li who had saved me, and I will be forever grateful.

As I continued reading Zhuan Falun over and over from start to finish, I realized it was no ordinary book, and I wanted to follow the teachings. Such simple yet very profound principles to follow—Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Learning to change my thinking was not easy, though, and every time I failed to pass a test, I felt as though I was letting myself down. I tried to learn from the mistakes I made, and it was possible sometimes, but many times it just seemed too hard.

Then I would recall Master’s words:

“When it is difficult to endure, try to endure it. When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible. If you can actually do it, you will indeed find: "After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!"” ( Lecture Nine from Zhuan Falun)

Oftentimes I have been disappointed in myself, because I know I have sometimes slacked off. But increasing my time for Fa study has helped when it has been extra tough.

Karma Must Be Paid For

I have suffered many physical tribulations throughout my cultivation—some even very serious. But I have remained steadfast on my path to becoming a better person, and, instead of taking them as disease symptoms, I have approached each tribulation as a way of eliminating karma and not something to be afraid of. If you have the karma—it has to be dissolved, and that usually involves a painful process.

Throughout the past ten years, my thought processes have evolved, and I am able to view others with more compassion, knowing that if you are alive on this planet you must be suffering, too. Cultivating yourself is truly a way to dig yourself out of the mud, and it may be the only way.

It is so important to just pick yourself up and be more determined to succeed. The lessons are neverending—it is a life journey to succeed in cultivation—and I know I will remain determined to do better. I will do better.