Environment Improved When I Looked Within
(Minghui.org) As a child, I already wanted to live a better life. Given my personal circumstances, I had developed many attachments that ruled my life. I wanted to know the reason for living and come to terms with it. I was a Catholic and desired to be a good person. I asked myself many times why are we alive? When facing difficult situations I thought of finding a “master” who would teach me how to deal with life somewhat better.
Getting to Understand Cultivation
When I turned 46 in 2009, my son introduced Falun Gong to me.
After I stepped on the cultivation path I read daily a short section in Zhuan Falun (the main book of Falun Gong by Master Li Hongzhi), and practiced the exercises, although not in their entirety. One sleepless night, I thought of stopping cultivation, because I believed that this cultivation was at too high of a level. Besides, I thought that the requirements were too high, given my difficulties. However, I continued with the exercises and studied the Fa (the universal law) just as usual the next day.
I knew in my heart that Falun Gong was meant for me and I just had to persevere. It was not that I had any doubts about the practice, but worried that it could not change me. When I sent righteous thoughts during a sleepless night, I told Master Li (the founder) that I was not sure if I acted correctly. I was in despair and exhausted. Then, a pink light appeared in my room for a short time. Master encouraged me and I understood that Master is by my side at all times, and I do not need to worry about asking for his help.
From then on, I tried to follow the Fa principles, become a better person, raise my xinxing (moral character) and do the three things well, which Master asks of his practitioners. The three things consist of diligent cultivation, sending forth righteous thoughts and clarify the truth about Falun Gong to people, as well as the facts about the persecution of this cultivation practice by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Once, a friend and I went for a walk. While walking, we met up with a man who walked his large dog whom I wanted to avoid, given the dogs glaring red eyes. The dog attacked me. I was without fear at the moment, and the touch was very soft and gentle.
Nothing happened to me. Just the dog's four paws were imprinted on my white jeans. My friend said, “You must have a good guardian angel.”
Cultivating While Working
Reading and listening to the Fa helped me gain the fundamentals of these marvelous teachings. I tried to live by the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. For that, I looked inside and learned that nothing comes by chance, that we are tested on our cultivation path if we are within the Fa, and that we can implement and apply the Fa when faced with tangible situations.
My duty in the call center of a large enterprise was not easy and there were all kinds of conflicts and difficulties, including bullying. Expectations were high and demanded much dedication, especially when facing difficulties. I felt overwhelmed and had no clue how to proceed or how to solve the situation properly.
The boss called me to her office one day. A colleague had complained about me and claimed that I refused to work with a certain client. When my heart palpitated, I remembered Master's Fa.
“As practitioners, you will suddenly come across conflicts. What should you do? You should always maintain a heart of compassion and kindness. Then, when you run into a problem, you will be able to do well because it gives you room to buffer the confrontation.” (Lecture Four from Zhuan Falun)
I calmed down, sent righteous thoughts, and said when taken to task that I had acted as instructed by my department head. My boss agreed and told me to return to my workplace. There were no ramifications.
My work was taxing and stressful. I looked for another job but without luck.
Just like that, I achieved a righteous mind and wanted to do better at my work. I clarified the truth about Falun Gong to my colleagues, told them about the persecution, and asked people in my division to sign a petition to protest organ harvesting from living practitioners.
My workload and work expectations increased, but management did not hire anyone else.
As often as possible, I accepted another shift and helped out when needed. I treated my superiors, colleagues, and clients with honesty and was compassionate and tolerant. Whenever possible, I corrected my attitude and tried to remedy any problem. My reputation at work changed, and I was asked to talk to the more difficult clients on the phone. My superior suggested that I radiated the necessary even-tempered attitude and had the patience for this task.
In the meantime, my work seemed to get easier, and there were times when I enjoyed what I was doing. My dealings with my colleagues also improved. When facing problems I no longer acted stressed and could respond with a calm attitude. I was respected and treated well.
When the facility was moved abroad, some of my colleagues' work ethics suffered, and in the end, many were unemployed. I hung on and continued to do my job until the last day before I was let go.
Persevering Despite Difficulties and Refusing to Quit
At times when I faced difficulties, conflicts, or when new situations came about, my heart no longer remained calm and many feelings materialized, I became restless and experienced sleeplessness. During such nights, I would do the exercises, read or listen to the Fa and send righteous thoughts. With time, such unpleasantness lessened. I would recall that I had to believe in Master and become more patient, which remedied my problems. Besides, I learned from reading the Fa and doing experience sharing with fellow practitioners that it is a process on how we view things and how we treat them.
“Others all come with ready-made material, while this person comes with raw material that needs to be processed. It has to go through this process.” (Lecture Nine from Zhuan Falun)
When it came to sleeping well, my neighbors will ask me if I heard a sound or noise during the night. Most of the time I was in a deep sleep and had not heard a thing. In the past, I often asked my neighbors about that, but now they ask me.
“For a cultivator, all the frustrations he comes across among everyday people are trials, and all the compliments he receives are tests.” (“A Cultivator is Naturally Part of it” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
Before I stepped on my cultivation path, I drove only short and familiar routes and did not want to leave my house when it was dark. But given the Fa-group location and its activities, I had to often drive unknown routes and was out at dark. This took quite some effort, filled me with anxiety, agitated me, and I envied other practitioners. I am night blind and thus drive slowly. Other drivers get impatient and one truck hung right behind my bumper and kept blowing his horn.
With time, I tried to let go of such an attachment and change it into virtue. I tried to move with the flow of the traffic. At the same time, I listened to Falun Gong music, such as Jishi, Pudu, Shen Yun music; as well as Master's lectures, or sent righteous thoughts. It is the process of cultivating my xinxing and letting go of being scared.
Looking Within, Changing a Difficult Environment Into Virtue
“... when you take a step back in a conflict, you will find the seas and the skies boundless ...” (Lecture Nine from Zhuan Falun)
When my husband walked out on me a few years ago I had to face many problems. Especially loneliness which was a big issue. I tried to find another partner, but after realizing this desire was an attachment, remained alone. Since I stepped into cultivation, I view the separation from a different perspective and realized where I went wrong. Therefore, over the past few years, my ex-husband and I became friends. We help and support each other as much as possible. He often inquires how I feel and helps with things I can't do on my own.
In my locality and when involved in activities I do the three things. Whenever possible, I clarify the truth about Falun Gong to people and address the persecution. I always carry fliers in my purse. Therefore, certain entities, such as businesses, government agencies, and so on, allow me to leave some fliers at their locations.
Over the past years, I used more and more of my time to cultivate. However, in the beginning I did not understand that I had to include Falun Gong in my life.
Given my workload, other commitments, my personal expectations, and making time for my friends, I did not have much time for anything else, and time appeared to fly. Besides, I was tired in the evening and could not concentrate well. I thought that my obligations and commitments came first, and only then would I work on my cultivation. When my understanding changed, my environment changed. I became more humble, pragmatic and flexible in my needs and wanting things, which allowed me to gain more time. I came to understand that the more time I spend on my cultivating Falun Gong, the more time I have to take care of other things, or my environment brings certain issues to its conclusion naturally.
I realized that I had to be prudent with my time, needs, Falun Gong activities and my personal cultivation. When around people, I cooperate better and more selfless. Master helps me whenever my thoughts are not righteous. Now, in my association with others, I think if others are harmed or if they can tolerate whatever I do.
As I was there when others needed me, I obtained new contacts and opportunities. I came in contact with people and could clarify the truth about Falun Gong and the persecution to them. Now, I understand that when I help others, someone will also help me with something I cannot do on my own.
For example, when I helped my sister, she made dinner for me and helped me find clients for my freelancing work. The same happened with my brother. My former husband installed appliances in my apartment and repaired whatever was broken, and so on.
At times when I come across bad things, I try to remain unmoved and don't take it to heart. It is a constant process.
“Under all circumstances, we must be good and kind to others, not to mention to our family members. We should treat everyone in the same way. We must be good to our parents and children and be considerate of others in all respects. Such a heart is thus unselfish, and it is a heart of kindness and benevolence.” (Lecture Six From Zhuan Falun)
Each and every Falun Dafa activity helps me improve and raise my xinxing. Master also helps me, as well as fellow practitioners.
It was very cold when working at the information stand one day. One practitioner suggested we go home a few hours earlier. I thought in my heart that we were provided with such a good opportunity, so we must persevere – it certainly will go well. We persevered. When driving home, I was no longer cold and my body felt light.
“As long as you practice cultivation and make up your mind to practice cultivation, you will recover all of what you have lost.” (Lecture Two from Zhuan Falun)
Not a day goes by when I do not study the Fa and do the exercises. It has been a few years since I practiced the exercises in their entirety and studied the Fa. When I run out of time on any day, I try to make up where I missed. When I face difficulties and conflicts, I look inwards and look for the reason why that happened. Then, I will remember Master's Fa. Besides, exchanging cultivation experiences with other practitioners is also very helpful.
Since I raised my requirements, I improved and elevated on my cultivation path. But, I know that I can't slack off. When tired, I realized that I have to push myself and look inward.
Participation in Fa-conferences, activities, and projects that clarify the facts about the persecution and expose the beauty of Falun Gong also are a way to improve in my cultivation. I also read experience sharing articles on the Minghui website, listen to podcasts, participate in activities, and so on.
I partook in the Shen Yun project a few years ago and noticed that my body elevated. Since then I can sit better in the lotus position. My health has improved. My hair got thicker, my nails are stronger, and much more. A short while ago, I started memorizing Lunyu.
While writing this experience sharing article, I found much where I need to improve.