The Fa Is the Greatest Treasure – Master Prepared Me to Obtain the Fa
(Minghui.org) I am a Western Dafa disciple who obtained the Fa in 2000. Looking back at the first half of my life, it is easy to see that my life was being arranged to become a Falun Dafa disciple.
Master teaches about this in the Fa: “Of course, we believe in predestined relationship. Everyone sits here all because of a predestined relationship.” (Zhuan Falun)
My predestined path began when I was a child. While I was growing up there were many negative elements surrounding me and I was immersed in that culture. However, I was always interested in reading books and seeking knowledge.
I also had an excellent education that would allow me to understand the Fa later on. For a while I was very interested in an author who wrote long, in-depth books about Japan, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia. Because of this I was exposed to Asian cultures, religions, and philosophies from a very young age and incorporated them into my thinking all along.
My general education was broad and I learned a lot of things I would need to know to understand the Fa and later use to clarify the truth and oppose the persecution of Falun Dafa. In college I continued to study a wide variety of subjects, from literature to computers. However, I majored in anthropology, and this later benefitted me in several ways when it came to understanding and practicing Falun Dafa.
The first was a good understanding of Asian cultures. The second was a knowledge of the variety of human cultures and civilizations. And the final way this field of study benefited me was in allowing me to escape the mental confines of my own cultural upbringing. This removed many mental barriers that could have kept me from obtaining or understanding the Fa.
Finally, just after college, I began to be exposed to Eastern spiritual concepts. I had never been interested in religions before, but my mind suddenly opened to them and I found that I had a great interest in Buddhism and Daoism. My old habit of reading was still with me, and I began to devour the best books I could find on the subjects. I found that Master Li Hongzhi had opened my mind as wide as the sky and there seemed to be no barrier between what I read, how I understood it, and how I could then apply it to my life.
Looking back, I passed several cultivation tests before even becoming a practitioner. I read about Falun Gong in a magazine and called to order a videotape to learn the exercises and a copy of the book Zhuan Falun. When I called, the woman on the phone told me what I was ordering before I placed my order, but she would not tell me how she already knew which items I wanted.
Obtaining the Fa
In the Fa Master taught us,
“There are also people who have never practiced it, but who have pursued and pondered the truth and the meaning of human life. Once they learn our Falun Dafa, they will understand at once many questions in life that they have wished to understand but could not answer. Perhaps along with their minds being elevated, they will become very excited—this is for sure. I know that a genuine practitioner will know its weight and cherish it.” (Zhuan Falun)
When I began reading Zhuan Falun it connected with my mind like lightning, and every sentence struck me like thunder. I was in shock. I had found the great wisdom I had been seeking. I immediately gave up my bad habits, began practicing the exercises, and resolutely tried to live my life according to the principles of Zhen, Shan, and Ren [Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance].
For quite a few years I was the only person I knew who practiced Falun Dafa. No one else I talked to about it seemed interested. Not deterred, I read all of the books, lectures, and articles written by Master Li Hongzhi, as well as many experience sharing articles on the Mingui website.
Facing Tests and Looking Inside
Over the years I have participated in many activities to oppose the persecution of Falun Gong. I have also had countless experiences in my cultivation that have directly demonstrated the truth of the principles of the Fa. One of the most remarkable things I've learned is that the Fa is an endless fountain of wisdom. There is no situation or experience that the Fa can't provide guidance for. There are no problems it cannot solve. All you have to do is apply the principles of the Fa, and you will find that your mind can suddenly see the situation from a new perspective. Then, despite any obstacles or strife that had been in your way, you will know how to proceed.
Master taught us,
“When you truly let go of the attachment, you might find that things turn around immediately, that your mind is suddenly relaxed, and that your body has changed and become altogether light.” (Lecture at the First Conference in North America)
There are certain chronic problems or attachments that I have found myself facing over and over again. One of them is pursuit. I am the primary breadwinner for a family of 6, and I also run a small business with about 20 employees. The business is unpredictable in its earnings, and it has taken many, many hours of my time every week for several years to keep the business afloat.
I have found that it is very easy to allow my mindset to drift into pursuit while participating in everyday society and trying to make a living for myself and my family, and making sure that my business continues and my employees get paid, while also providing high-quality service for our clients. Sometimes I do well for a while, only to slip back into the mindset of pursuing. I have learned the lesson many times not to pursue the things that I think I want in the way that I think things should go. I would like to share this experience to help other people facing similar situations.
“I think living happily is better than being attached like that. Yet you do need to do your worldly jobs. With more people starting to practice cultivation, I'd say that it is absolutely unacceptable for all of you to stop working. It's just a matter of how we correctly balance this relationship in our thinking.” (Lecture at the First Conference in North America)
At first I find that the attachment starts off slowly and subtly. I sometimes find it hard to distinguish between simply doing my job well versus seeking specific outcomes and goals, having things turn out the way that I want them to, or a desire for things to run smoothly and efficiently. However, I notice that the speed of my thoughts will increase when I decide that I want these things or that things should go the way that I have decided they should go, and I will become easily frustrated when things don't go my way when I start to pursue them. Then I have a harder and harder time concentrating when I study the Fa and do the exercises.
“In ordinary human society and in interpersonal conflicts, you compete and fight for personal gain, all kinds of human sentimentality, and your attachments to desires. If you do not let go of these things and take them lightly, how can you easily achieve tranquility?” (Zhuan Falun)
Getting out of the attachment is not too difficult once I recognize it, because I know I will only be able to have what I am supposed to have and that my life has been arranged so that I can find my attachments, not so that I can achieve my personal goals in society. There have been times when I've been faced with the prospect of having nothing and I don't know where I will find the money to keep my house and buy food.
However, external pursuits are only an illusion that can't guarantee anyone safety or health. Even if you had an underground bunker with a vault filled with gold, you could still become ill or meet with a disaster. Only the Fa is everlasting and secure. When I let go completely, I find that only the Fa is left. Only by having faith in the Fa and assimilating to Zhen, Shan, and Ren [Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance] can one be safe and secure.
Once I remember this, the problems melt away in my mind and the external situation changes or shifts along with it. I have experienced this many times.
I have come to the understanding that Master arranges tests in a very benevolent way, as long as we can look inside, find our attachments, and reach the standard. If we can do this, then the tests don't usually lead to great problems in our personal lives. However, if we can't come to the correct understanding and yet we insist on cultivating, the intensity of the test increases to get our attention and forces us to find our problems.
After all, our lives are arranged to cultivate and not to seek comfort or achievement in society. I often do my best to act according to the Fa and measure my behavior against the Fa, and this is what we must do to cultivate. However, we can't also measure other people's behavior against the Fa. If we look externally at their behavior and try to decide who is right and who is wrong instead of looking inside, things continue to become even more difficult. This mindset on my part would lead to conflicts with my wife who is also a practitioner. I struggled with this problem for many years, until the conflict and intensity of the test increased greatly. I even lost control of my temper several times and acted very poorly.
“Remember these words of mine: No matter what trouble you encounter, no matter what makes you feel unpleasant inside, and no matter whether on the surface you're right or wrong, if you are to truly regard yourself as a cultivator you should always examine yourself for causes. Ask yourself whether you have a wrong, hard-to-detect motive that's related to the problem.” (Lecture at the First Conference in North America)
I was defending my behavior and arguing over the seeming unfairness of the external situation instead of looking inside and treasuring this conflict as an opportunity to cultivate and improve. When I finally looked inside unconditionally, and without as much self-centeredness, I realized that I was threatened by my wife being unhappy with me. I had consistently held the thought, “If she is unhappy with me, then she must be mistaken, because I am a good person and a cultivator. So how could she possibly be unhappy with me?” When I examined that thought carefully, I realized that the situation angered me so much because it threatened my image of myself as a good husband and a good Dafa Disciple. I was insisting on validating myself in the conflict (defending my behavior, explaining why I was not wrong in the situation, etc.) instead of validating the Fa. Whatever the external situation was did not matter, because if I had this attachment, I needed to recognize and remove it in order for my cultivation to progress.
“If you, as a cultivator, only part with things superficially while deep down inside you still stick to something or cling to your own vital interests that you don't allow to be undermined, I'd say to you that your cultivation is fake! If your own thinking doesn't change, you cannot advance even one step and are deceiving yourself. Only when you truly improve from within can you make real progress.” (Lecture at the First Conference in North America)
My understanding is that Master had benevolently arranged this situation for me, increasing the pressure so that I was sure to pay attention and helping me with a wonderful opportunity to improve my cultivation.
I have experienced many wonderful things through the years in my cultivation, and I treasure the Fa above anything else in the whole universe. I would like to thank Master Li for sharing the Fa with us. I hope that my experiences can help some people cultivate and help other people obtain the Fa!