Changing Through True Cultivation
(Minghui.org) I am 75 years old and started practicing Falun Dafa in 1996. Before practicing Falun Dafa, I suffered from many illnesses, including low blood pressure, a fungal infection of both feet, and dizziness. None of the hospitals I consulted could help me recover from my illnesses. Living felt worse than death. However, after practicing Falun Dafa, I returned to good health.
Letting Go of Bad Habits
After stepping on the cultivation path, I mistakenly thought that as long as I study daily one to two lectures in Zhuan Falun, persevere in practicing the exercises, send righteous thoughts, frequently clarify the truth face-to-face, distribute truth-clarification materials, and make truth-clarification phone calls, I would be a diligent cultivator.
“As for you, disciples of Dafa, the closer it gets to the end the better you should walk your paths, seizing the day to cultivate yourselves well. After doing a whole slew of things, you might find, if you look back upon them, that all of it was done with a human mindset. When it is a human being doing human things, and things are not being done with righteous thoughts, there won’t be any Dafa-disciple mighty virtue in those things. In other words, as gods see it, that’s just fooling around—not mighty virtue, or cultivation—even though you did do it. Then wouldn’t you say it was done in vain?” ("Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa" from Teaching the Fa at the Conference XI)
After studying the Fa, I understood that doing things is not equivalent to cultivating. If I do not change my selfish and self-centered nature, let go of human thoughts and attachments, I am not truly cultivating.
I used to be a perfectionist and used to visit a few shops to compare for quality and price before I purchased an item. After practicing Dafa, I was able to restrain myself by adhering to the Dafa standards and change in my behavior, but the habit that had formed over a few decades was difficult to let go of.
I will still bargain the price with a vendor. However, I would regret my inability to let go of this attachment because after bargaining I was unable to bring up the truth about Dafa, as I worried that my behavior would tarnish Dafa’s reputation.
There were times when I could restrain myself, bring up the truth about Dafa and ask them to share what I told them with their family members. I asked the vendor to remember that, “Falun Dafa is Good, Truthfulness, Benevolence and Forbearance is good” before leaving and explained why they needed to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Vegetable Vendors Agree That Dafa Practitioners Are Good People
Practitioners in my Fa-study group exchanged thoughts about bargaining when shopping. One young practitioner said that when buying vegetables or fruits, he/she would not ask the price, and just accept what the vendor handed to him/her. Then he/she would throw away any rotten item after returning home, and not hold a grudge.
However, this practitioner believed that bargaining is not a problem when buying clothes, as people have low moral values and jack up the price up to two or three times of the original cost. If we do not bargain, we are encouraging the stall owners to be greedy.
“It really is hard to clean out those notions and bad things that you have formed while leading your daily life, and you need to change those habitual things that have formed.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting” from Teaching the Fa at the Conference X)
After reading Master's Fa I will remember to let go of the bad habit of bargaining and choosing things.
When I meet a roadside vendor selling cabbage, I told him to give me a small one. He picked up a cabbage and started to remove the outer leaves. I told him that there was no need, as he would sell the cabbage at a loss. He said, “I have sold vegetables for over a decade and this is the first time that I am meeting such a good person.”
I told him that I am a Dafa practitioner and our Master told us to think of others first when we do things. Hearing that, the vendor said loudly, “Jiang Zemin (the former communist party leader) persecutes such good people, he is really awful.” He told me that he had quit the CCP long ago. Two other vegetable sellers also said, “Falun Dafa people are indeed good people.”
Getting Rid of the Attachment of Being Afraid of Inconveniences
“To sum it up, you’re not willing to trouble yourself and you want to have it easy. Or in other words, you’re not willing to make good on what you are to do. That doesn’t work, and that is dangerous.” ("20th Anniversary Fa Teaching" from Teaching the Fa at the Conference XI)
After reading another of Master’s Fa, I realized that being afraid of inconveniences is not a small issue for a cultivator. Master used the word ‘dangerous’ to warn us practitioners about the importance of getting rid of this attachment.
Looking inward showed me that I have the attachment of not willing to trouble myself and wanting to take the easy way out.
Our team uses handphones to make automatic calls to clarify the truth about Dafa. However, I was not willing to learn the technical skills and claimed that this was because I am over 70 years old, which made me too old to learn and even if I learned it, I would not be able to remember. I rely on another practitioner, Jing, who will take care of my phone and lend me another one until mine is fixed. I am afraid of troubling myself, but why am I not afraid to trouble others?
Jing is also over 60 years old and has to take care of a paralyzed elderly person at home, do household chores, and pick up her grandson from school. Why can’t I think of others' needs? I found my selfish attachment of being afraid of inconveniences and wanting to take the easy way out. I decided to learn what I needed to know and no longer inconvenience others.
Another practitioner needed my help but forgot to bring along her phone. She said that she would return another time, and I said that that would be okay. After she left, I realized that I should have offered to go to her home. I decided to go to her house whenever she needed my help.
That night, when I was half asleep, I felt two hands twisting and correcting my hip bone. When I woke up the next morning and looked into the mirror, my back was straightened and no longer hurt. I benefited from letting go of an attachment.
“With a change in character will come a significant change in your body; physical changes in your body are guaranteed to accompany positive changes in your mind.” (Zhuan Falun)
Fellow Practitioners Are Mirrors of My Attachments
A practitioner who is almost 80 wondered about the difference in price for calling cards. I explained that it depended on the quantity bought for a discount. It annoyed me since the difference was just $1. After thinking more about it, I realized that was not the right way to see it, because that practitioner is not stingy when it comes to money needed for the material production site.
I thought that she was doing much better on her cultivation path than I. How could I be blind to all her good qualities over such a small matter. Then I understood that Master was using the situation to make me see my attachment of looking down on others. I do not know how to look at a practitioners’ positive attributes and I am not tolerant. I am also not kind when I talk to others. All these unveiled the bad habits that I had formed from being indoctrinated by the CCP. I decided to let go of my attachments and be more tolerant and understanding towards other practitioners.
For that practitioner to quibble over a $1, isn’t that like a mirror to show me that I still have the attachment of gaining benefits? I still like to bargain and be choosy when I buy things. I need to let that attachment go.
“You must cultivate your mind—work hard on your own mind—and find your own weaknesses and shortcomings and then eradicate them. You will never be able to Consummate if your xinxing doesn’t meet the criteria. So why not work hard on cultivating your mind?” (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Singapore)
Thank you, Master, for letting me see my weaknesses and flaws so that I can get rid of these attachments and correct myself based on the Fa.