(Minghui.org) I am a new Falun Dafa practitioner. Because Falun Dafa practitioners are still officially targeted for persecution in China, many new practitioners that I know choose to do the exercises privately at home out of concern for their personal safety. An old friend of mine learned that I had begun cultivating in Dafa, and she told me that she also practices but advised me to do the exercises only in private. She said it is safer that way, and the results will be the same.
Instead, I started doing the exercises with a group, which in my experience is a good way to improve quickly in cultivation.
My wife and I stopped at a farmers market on the way to group Fa study. I suddenly had severe chest pain. I took a few sips of water with difficulty. I could not think of what to do to help myself. My wife whispered, “Quick, call out to Master!” As I called out to Master over and over again in my mind, the pain in my chest stopped. We were able to continue on without delay.
While doing the exercises together, my wife told me that I wasn't holding the wheel above my head correctly in the second exercises. My reaction at the time was a bit defensive. I found that particular exercise to be rather challenging and was well aware that my arms would sag after a while. I had tried to correct that by reminding myself every minute or so to raise my arms higher. I wanted her to know that I had been trying to make corrections. I decided to do even better. I instead raised my arms higher every few seconds. Because I corrected my arms every few seconds, my arms were positioned almost perfectly, and it did not feel any more challenging than before. I can now hold that pose almost perfectly every time. This has given me a lot of confidence in doing the exercises.
We were sharing our cultivation experiences at the end of Fa study. One elderly practitioner asked me, “I can see that your legs were pretty flat when you sat in the half-lotus pose. Do you think you can cross both legs and sit in the full-lotus position?”
“I always try to sit in the full-lotus pose,” I replied, “but I can't bring the bottom leg over the top because it always cramps up.” After sending forth righteous thoughts the next day, it occurred to me that I had been sitting with my legs crossed and pressed against the floor for a while. So I thought I would try to pull the bottom leg up again, and I succeeded. I was overjoyed! I have been able to meditate in the full-lotus pose for more than 20 days now.
I always thought it was just too difficult for me to memorize the Fa, so I have been reciting it instead. An elderly practitioner at group Fa study has long encouraged everyone to memorize the Fa. I finally started to do it. I have already gone through the book twice, and I am now on my third time. As I memorize the Fa, my righteous thoughts are continually strengthened, and I can feel that I am rapidly improving.
My experiences tell me that if we can study the Fa and do the exercises in a group environment, then we can make rapid improvements in our cultivation because of the constant encouragement and reminders we offer one another. Perhaps it was Master's way, relayed to me via fellow practitioners, to prod me along and strengthen me.
I find the experience-sharing articles by practitioners on Minghui.org to be extremely helpful. My cultivation level in comparison to theirs is just way too low. I have nevertheless decided to share my own shallow understandings in hopes of inspiring new practitioners. I'll be very happy if I achieve just that.