Cultivating Properly By Freeing Myself from Web TV and Social Media
(Minghui.org) I am a middle-aged Falun Gong practitioner who began cultivating in 1996. My cultivation has not gone smoothly. I will describe how I freed myself from watching web TV and indulging in social media.
I hope practitioners with similar situations will learn from my experience.
I began memorizing the Fa at the end of last year along with members of my local Fa study group. First, we recited poems from Hong Yin and articles from the book Essentials for Further Advancement. Then each of us recited a section of the book Zhuan Falun that we had memorized in the previous week. We then read Zhuan Falun together after reciting the Fa.
In the beginning, we had a lot of problems. Some of us made many errors when reciting Zhuan Falun. Some didn’t have time to memorize any part of the book. One person could only memorize a short segment each week. When reciting longer paragraphs, one sentence after another was missed.
I, too, made many errors when reciting the Fa. One time, I made errors in every sentence I recited. Fellow practitioners didn’t know what to do with me. Some even formed a negative opinion of me. I felt a lot of stress when reciting, so I started over again. The next time, I didn’t make any mistakes. Everyone sighed with relief!
I later went out of town for my mother's birthday celebration. I went along with my family's plans because I didn't want them to think I wasn't filial.
I found that I couldn't be calm in the new environment. I began to slack off in my cultivation and started watching soap operas on TV. I even argued with my mother.
I felt that I had gone to see her because I worried about her and ended up becoming less diligent in my cultivation. I didn’t look inward to find my attachment to sentimentality toward my mother. I only spent a small amount of time memorizing the Fa.
The police in China harassed Falun Gong practitioners on a large scale last fall. When they couldn't find me, they repeatedly called my family. My family complained to me a little, but I am grateful that they also protected me from the police.
My sister was worried about and displeased with the fact that my mother told everyone she met the facts about Falun Gong. I also reminded Mother to be cautious in the oppressive environment of the persecution. Later, I felt that I was wrong to tell her that. My mother was correct. My notion belonged to everyday people, and that wasn't becoming to a Falun Gong adherent.
I soon returned home and felt an indescribable loneliness. I didn't want to do anything except stay in bed. I acted this way for a while. I began to be disinterested in studying Dafa or doing the exercises. I only wanted to sit around with my family and watch soap operas, look at the videos they sent me via WeChat or Baidu, or play with my granddaughter. I became almost like an ordinary person!
My mother was away from home, so fellow practitioners became concerned. They came to my place to study the Fa, send righteous thoughts, and do exercises with me. My situation was good when they were here, but the temptations of the web became very strong as soon as they left. Sometimes I also read the book on which a soap opera was based.
I acted this way for two months. When my mother finally came home, our local practitioners sighed with relief. Mother kept telling me her thoughts about my behavior. I wanted to change myself too.
One day, I told my mother I wanted to stop relying on her and fellow practitioners for their advice. I said I would overcome the problem on my own.
I moved to an empty house near my family, where there was no Internet. In the beginning, I didn't want to give it up completely. I brought along a novel I had downloaded from the web. Then I thought that I should truly be diligent since I had decided to change. I deleted the novel right away and worked hard on memorizing the Fa, doing the exercises, and sending righteous thoughts. My behavior returned to normal a week later. Now, memorizing the Fa is much easier.
I wanted to remind fellow practitioners, especially those who are middle-aged or younger, to not indulge in things on the web. It is like an evil dungeon—hard to get out once you are in.
Now, the practitioners in our Fa study group have become more and more active in memorizing the Fa. We feel that it enhances our understanding of the principles. I hope more practitioners will start memorizing the Fa.