How I Began Practicing Falun Dafa
(Minghui.org) I am a new Falun Dafa practitioner who began practicing in August 2017.
My mother started practicing Falun Dafa in 1997. Before then she suffered from rheumatism, neurasthenia, migraines, gastritis and other illnesses. At the time, her whole body was in constant pain, and taking medicine didn't help. Because of her illnesses she was often in a bad mood, and had a fiery temper.
Within a month of her practicing Dafa she seemed to be a new person. She was energetic, her temperament had changed, and her illnesses were all gone. She encouraged my father and me to join the practice too.
In the summer of that year, our whole family sat and listened to recordings of Teacher’s lectures on the Fa. My mom also taught me the five Falun Dafa exercises. I only understood Falun Dafa on a surface level, and both my father and I eventually stopped practicing. He was busy with work, and I worried that it would interfere with my school work.
I used to be gentle and polite, and could also endure and look inward because I remembered what Teacher had taught us. But as I grew up, I immersed myself in ordinary society. I forgot Teacher’s words over time, and became selfish, cynical and emotional.
After I had my own child, I became irritable, competitive, and had a bad temper. I was in constant fights and disputes with others. Even my father noticed the changes in me. I didn’t see anything wrong with my changes because I felt that if I was too easygoing, people would take advantage of me.
My attitude about the relationship between men and women was also casual. I felt that because I was attractive, it was natural for men to pursue me, regardless of whether I was married or not. I enjoyed being loved and sought after, and didn’t realize that my thoughts were following the decline of human morality.
Missed Opportunities to Start Cultivation
Teacher didn't give up on me, though, and gave me many hints over the years.
In 2011, I spotted 16 white Udumbara flowers blooming on the balcony. I was very excited, because according to the Buddhist scriptures, Udumbara flowers blossom only once every three thousand years and are said to come from heaven, bringing blessings.
I took some pictures and showed them to my mom. She said that I had a predestined relationship with Buddhahood.
When I was pregnant in 2012, I saw six or seven bundles of Udumbara flowers in the living room. I invited my mom to my house to take a look. It was amazing to keep seeing them, but my heart still wasn't moved to start cultivation.
In the past several years, I often dreamed about taking a high school exam. People around me were stressed out trying to prepare themselves, but I wasn't. I didn't review anything. When I dreamed about it again I was a little worried, but still didn't study. The next time I had the same dream, the exams were fast approaching. I rushed through the work and was very worried.
Each time I woke up from the dream I was puzzled about why this was happening. The dreams were hints from Teacher alerting me that I was lost in the human world for too long, and Fa-rectification was reaching the end. If I still didn't wake up it would be too late.
Although my father and I had read all of Teacher’s new lectures, and I occasionally went along with my mom to give out truth-clarification materials, I didn't want to let go of my leisurely life. There was no way that I could walk back into Dafa cultivation.
In 2015, my mom experienced sickness karma, and had the symptoms of lung cancer. I was very worried, but believed that Teacher and Dafa could save her. I encouraged her to be brave and overcome the tribulation.
I didn't cultivate, and wasn't clear about what the old forces were all about. My mom seldom contacted other practitioners and didn't share cultivation experiences with anyone, so she didn't realize that this was interference from the old forces.
Time to Start Practicing
In 2017, my mom was interfered with again. She experienced severe headaches, blurry vision and couldn't walk straight. The doctor said that she had a tumor in her brain. My heart was in terrible pain when I heard the news. My mom had been taking care of me since I was a child, then she helped to take care of my children. I couldn't accept what was happening to her, so I took a leave of absence from work to look after her.
Several practitioners came to visit my mom one day. They studied the Fa and sent forth righteous thoughts together. My mom could no longer move her hands and feet, so I helped to turn the pages for her as they were reading the Fa.
I felt peaceful in the serene atmosphere, and thought that perhaps I could be a cultivator too. At the time, I had some conflicts with my husband and couldn't resolve the problems. My marriage was failing. All my sentiments and emotions made me realize that only Dafa could help me break free from my difficulties.
During those days, practitioners advised me to read the Fa aloud for my mom. I had the symptoms of laryngitis and a cold one day. I thought that perhaps I should rest, as reading aloud would cause more discomfort. But I was needed to help my mom study the Fa, so I persisted with the effort.
After the reading I didn't feel the pain in my throat anymore, and the cold symptoms were gone. Even the acne on my forehead disappeared. These small red spots had been on my face for more than six months. They were painful and no medication seemed to cure the problem. But now, reading the Fa made them disappear. It was just too inconceivable! This incident helped me gain confidence in cultivation.
My mom could no longer care for herself at this point, and it was my job to look after her. In addition, I had to shop and cook for my family. When I had some free time, I studied the Fa and began reciting a poem from Hong Yin called “Tempering the Will.” The poem provided me with hope and strength during that difficult time.
Practitioners encouraged me to do the exercises. After doing them for the first time, I slept soundly. I hadn't been sleeping well for a long time, but this time I fell asleep easily and had a deep sleep. The exercises helped me a lot, so I persisted with the effort. From that day on, my sleep has completely improved.
My father was experiencing a lot of anxiety over my mom's illness, and had lost a considerable amount of weight. He also developed insomnia. Every day he sneaked out to have a cigarette as he believed that it would help ease the stress. He saw the changes in me, so after several rounds of sharing with practitioners, he finally also began to practice Falun Dafa.
Seeking Fame and Gain
I used to think that I took fame and gain lightly, but two months after I began practicing Falun Dafa I saw the real me.
I worked for a government agency, and our sector had authority and power. My salary was higher than most other departments.
When I returned to work after my long-term absence to look after my mom, the agency was undergoing some restructuring. I was young, had high academic qualifications, and always took on important tasks, so I wasn't worried about my position. But when my boss took me into his office one afternoon, he broke the news. He said that I was being transferred to another department, and he felt sorry about it.
I tried to appear unmoved while in the office, but when I got home I felt my self-esteem had been shattered. Some colleagues who were also transferred were not as qualified as I was. How would people look at me now?
I began to blame my boss for making it happen. I had worked tirelessly over the years, but never received praise or promotion. My hatred towards him was stirred up. I knew it was time to let go of my attachments to saving face, complaining, fame, and anger, but it was difficult to do. I tried to analyze my situation with my understanding of “loss and gain” in Zhuan Falun. This led to a constant battle between my righteous thoughts and my bad thoughts.
The colleagues who were also transferred came to my desk every day to complain about the boss. They all said that he was terrible, and that he took all the credit for our hard work. My heart was stirred. Not only did he have us sent to another work unit, he also deducted money from us. Why? I was indignant, venting my dissatisfaction.
Then I realized that I shouldn't have talked about him behind his back. I didn't mind my speech and act like a cultivator at all! I hated myself for behaving like that. I said in my mind, “Teacher, I don't like the me that keeps complaining. Please help me. I want to let go of my attachments to fame and gain.”
Slowly, I started to calm down. It wasn't a coincidence that the boss treated me this way. Perhaps I owed him something from my previous life. This was my chance to elevate my character and increase my gong. I should thank him. With this realization, I was able to pass the tribulation.
Moving Forward in Cultivation
There have been many opportunities for me to continuously look within and make improvements in my cultivation, not just at work, but also in Dafa projects.
I remember ridding myself of attachments to doing things, fulfilling duties, seeking consummation, staying away from difficulties, worrying, being pessimistic, being irritable, and so on. Each of these times, Teacher was by my side, giving me hints, and encouraging me to move forward.
The more Fa study I did, the more understandings I gained, and the more righteous I became. This helped me to firm up my belief in Falun Dafa. These qualities helped me to become stable in my cultivation and enabled me to work on Dafa projects more effectively.
I have undergone tremendous changes, both physically and mentally, since starting cultivation practice. For example, my sleep and my overall physical fitness have significantly improved. I have also become more optimistic in life, and no longer feel anxious. Without Teacher's help, I would be ruined by now.
I still have a long way to go in my cultivation. I need to continue digging deeper and more thoroughly so that my attachments can be removed completely. At the same time, I need to work harder to bring out my compassion. This will enable me to save more sentient beings.