Western Practitioner: Cultivating Falun Dafa Is the Best Thing in My Life
(Minghui.org) Falun Dafa is without a doubt the best thing that has ever happened to me. I am constantly overcome with gratitude to Master. There is not a day that goes by that I don’t thank Him in my heart for everything that He has done for me. He truly lifted me out of a pit of misery and despair and showed me how to walk on the path to Heaven.
Just before I became a Falun Dafa practitioner in the spring of 2006, I made an “affirmation board.” I spent a lot of time cutting out pictures of things I thought I wanted and pasting them onto a poster board with the hope of manifesting them into my life. After completing it, however, I looked at it and felt ashamed. None of it mattered--I truly only wanted to go home to heaven, a longing I had felt my entire life. I tore up the board, wrote the word “ENLIGHTENMENT” on a piece of paper and hung it in my closet.
While reading the local paper one week later, Falun Gong was mentioned in an article. I felt like I had been jolted with electricity. I jumped up and headed to the computer--I just had to find out more about Falun Gong. I searched and found that there was one practitioner in a nearby town and immediately called him.
I was no stranger to spiritual practices. Sickly throughout my entire childhood, I had grown into a nervous, worried person who was constantly trying to stay well. It felt as though I was on a never-ending search for health and peace. I had tried numerous practices, but no lasting changes were ever made. I also had a spiritual longing in my heart that I just didn’t know how to fill. Married with a young son, I felt trapped and longed for the freedom to go to different spiritual retreats, thinking that there I might be able to find answers.
What a joy it was to discover Falun Dafa. Not only did I finally experience true health for the first time, but I had found a path that asked me to cultivate by being the best I could in every situation of my life. It was so freeing! No longer did I feel I had to leave my family to find salvation; salvation was right in front of me.
My understanding of Dafa was initially very shallow. I did the exercises daily and read Zhuan Falun, but only about 5 pages at a time. I thought it was plenty. It wasn’t until my daughter was born in January 2009 that I began to really read. She was an extremely sleepy baby, but would only stay asleep if in my arms. So, I was forced to sit with her for long periods of time. I began to read Zhuan Falun for hours while holding her. When I finished it, I would just turn back to the beginning and start again.
I was dumbstruck. There was so much more to it than I had ever realized. I devoured Master’s words and felt myself elevating continuously.
Soon after, I was faced with a large xinxing test. My husband became very angry with me- seemingly out of the blue. He said he wanted to leave. I was shocked, and then angry. I’d just had our second child! How can he be so cruel!? Thoughts like these flooded my mind. If I hadn’t been reading the Fa so much I probably would have listened to these thoughts and our relationship could have ended.
Fortunately, however, I was able to contain myself, look inside and find my own shortcomings as a wife. When I did that, I was filled with an unconditional, deep love for my husband. I also felt remorse for the way I had taken him for granted and not appreciated all of the sacrifices he had made for me and our children. I went to him and sincerely apologized from the depth of my heart. I told him how grateful I was for him and how much I loved him. He was deeply moved and our problems were immediately resolved.
A few years went by, and though I read the Fa, did the exercises, and sent forth righteous thoughts daily, with two young children and few practitioners close by, I didn’t know how to clarify the truth. I would put fliers out whenever I went to town, but that was really all.
As the years went by, I started doubting Dafa. A lot of interference came up and I began to think about my Christian upbringing and a lot of emotional attachments surfaced. I began to waver in my belief- should I practice Dafa or Christianity? It was a time of severe mental torture. I felt lost and confused and didn’t know what to do.
It was just like Master said:
“At a certain point in time, you will be made unable to discern clearly whether something is true, whether your gong exists, whether you can practice cultivation and make it, or whether there are Buddhas and if they are real. In the future, these situations will surface again to give you this false impression and make you feel as though they do not exist and are all false—it is to see whether you are determined.” (Zhuan Falun)
I couldn’t let go of Dafa, however, and realized that I needed to let go of my attachment to Christianity. Soon after, a practitioner called and asked me if I would be willing to help with getting House Resolution 343 passed. I was the only practitioner in my Congressman’s district and was needed to reach out to him. I willingly agreed and through this was able to truly begin clarifying the truth- I got signatures, spoke with the Congressman’s staff, and asked everyone I could to call their Congressman about the resolution. Through doing this, I made a big breakthrough in cultivation. Every doubt I ever had about Dafa vanished. I know that this was because I was finally doing everything Master asks us to.
This past year brought a couple of severe tribulations to my extended family. Without Master and the Fa, I would have crumbled. Through his teachings to look within for our own shortcomings when encountering tribulations, I was able to not only make it through some very difficult times, but to help my family members through them as well. Especially helpful in transcending the difficulties was Master’s Fa:
“You don’t realize that people often get bogged down in specific situations and then are unable to evaluate good and bad. Why am I able to see everything about the situation of the present humankind’s development? I can explain everything because I’m not within it. When you look at a matter, don’t look at it while you’re bogged down within it, don’t evaluate the matter in isolation and within the specific matter. Jump out of it and take a careful look at it, see if it’s in keeping with Zhen-Shan-Ren. How would someone who’s cultivated well, or a God, a Bodhisattva handle it? Think of it this way, and as soon as the righteous thoughts emerge you’ll know.” (“Teaching the Fa in New York City” from Lectures in the United States)
I read and reread those words in the midst of one of the family difficulties. They were exactly what I needed to hear and sunk deep into my heart. Now, whenever I find myself in a difficult situation I stop and think- how would a God handle this? Miraculously, wisdom is always granted to me and everything becomes clear.
My 15-year-old-son has been cultivating diligently with me for over a year now, and, recently, my daughter, mother, aunt, sister, niece, and nephew have begun to cultivate as well. It is so wonderful to see the beauty of Dafa blessing my entire family.
Although I know I still have a lot of attachments to remove, I am determined to cultivate step by step all the way to reaching enlightenment, knowing that Master will guide me through every twist and turn along the way. I am overcome with gratitude and joy. Thank you, Master, for everything.