(Minghui.org) I began to practice Falun Dafa when I was a child. However, I didn't cherish the opportunity to cultivate back then, for when it came to studying the Fa or doing the exercises, I was just going through the motions. No wonder I ended up wasting a lot of time!
In addition, due to fear, I did things that let Master down. Master was so compassionate, nevertheless, that he gave me another chance. Only after I truly made up my mind to cultivate in Dafa, did I come to realize the preciousness of cultivation and the tremendous amount of effort one has to put in it.
I'd like to share my experience of returning to cultivation, as well as getting involved in efforts to raise awareness with fellow practitioners. Please kindly point out anything inappropriate.
Even though I obtained the Fa early, I was a child and simply following my family when it came to cultivation, which wasn't out of my own initiative. Yet, since I was a child, I wasn't contaminated by the big dye vat of ordinary society, so my state was driven by my original nature. But as I grew up, I became more attached to my own fame, ideas about loss and gain, and reputation. As a result, I was easily influenced by the culture of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
After I returned to cultivation, I had many questions about it: What is cultivation? How should one cultivate?
At that time, I was studying in another city and cultivating alone. However, I managed to spend all my spare time in Fa-study. Master said:
“The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts.” (“Drive Out Interference” in Essentials For Further Advancement II)
I was also doing the three things. I would recite the Fa early in the morning, then study the Fa in the evening. At lunch time, I clarified the truth to people, and I did my homework after I finished school for the day.
I was fearful about talking to people about the practice at the beginning. The Party scared me by casting ideas into my mind that the police were about to arrest me. I was petrified as a result, and I ended up being unable to sleep some nights. When my fear flared up, I didn't dare do anything. At times I was under the impression that police officers would show up at my door at any time.
Later on, another practitioner told me that I could ask for Master's help. So I began to call out for Master time after time. Later on, in order to completely snap out of the fear, I would recite the Fa. Gradually my righteous thoughts came forth, and I was able to go out to make truth-clarification phone calls. Later, I managed to step forward to clarify the truth to people face-to-face.
One time, I came across one of Master's lectures:
“Your arms, legs, fingers, and mouth can move whatever way you want them to move. Why is that? It’s because they are yours. When you want to reach ding, the thoughts don’t become tranquil; the more you want them to be tranquil, the more restless they get. Are those thoughts you? Would you acknowledge them as you? They’re karma and notions that you’ve acquired throughout your life.” (Lecture at the First Conference in North America)
I came to realize that I should eliminate fear. Gradually, Master gave me hints that I should not only eliminate fear, but also other notions. By doing so, I gradually got back on track.
During the process, I came to feel that the most significant change in me was to get rid of my attachment to novels. Previously, I was so addicted to reading novels that I could spend the whole day reading and forget about everything else. Even though I made promises so many times in front of Master's photo to eliminate this attachment, I could not.
One day when I was reciting Zhuan Falun, a passage discussed something else on the surface, but I suddenly enlightened that in order to eliminate an attachment thoroughly, one has to dig into every thought and action, such as a part, a character, a sentence, a scene, or something I agreed with in a novel that flashes into my mind. I needed to catch these things quickly and eliminate them.
After a while of finding and eliminating all of these thoughts and behaviors, I felt that I had really eliminated the attachment to reading novels. However, when a classmate brought up some TV drama or a novel that I was familiar with, I realized that it was still so vividly clear in my mind. That's the time when I had to dig a bit deeper into in my mind, eliminating the substance again. At times when I heard other people talking about some stories I used to enjoy, I found that I was still very attached.
Some experience sharing articles by other practitioners helped me see through it though, to see that I was cherishing human love as a beautiful thing. After I realized this notion, I began to send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate it.
Upon thinking back, I was living in a dream world. It was Dafa that completely changed me and helped me to peel off all kinds of rotten substances layer by layer. In my dreams, I was still attached to love scenes, but I realized that it came down to lust, desire, attachment to leisure, and other attachments. I still have a great amount of room to grow in this area, and I will continue to make every effort to cultivate better.
At the beginning, my mind was all over the place. Sometimes I fell asleep while sending forth righteous thoughts, and after that, my mind would feel clogged. Even when I recited the formulas, my mind was still wandering. I didn't give up, however, and instead persisted at it and tried to do it more often. Almost without noticing , I gradually calmed down, and I could soon manage to send forth righteous thoughts for a bit longer with sustained attention.
Due to the fact that I wasn't solidly cultivating, I couldn't maintain sending forth righteous thoughts for a long duration, so I had a hard time sending strong righteous thoughts to eliminate the elements that interfered with me. That is, until one day when some police officers came to talk to my manager with the intention of persecuting me. At that time, I went to a very quiet corner to send forth righteous thoughts for a while. Even though I couldn't calm down, I persisted. I didn't treat the wild thoughts as part of me, and I kept begging for Master's help deep down. After an hour of this, I could feel that most of my wild thoughts were eliminated. In the end, nothing came out of that encounter.
On another day, during the four global set times for sending forth righteous thoughts, I could feel that my every cell was vibrating. I felt the power of practitioners sending forth righteous thoughts globally and collectively. Another experience I had occurred after I broke through a difficulty: At the 12 a.m. time, I used to feel very sleepy and unable to stay awake when sending righteous thoughts. One night I managed to break through this, however, and after getting up the next morning, I felt uplifted. It was a very special feeling.
I hadn't done well in clarifying the truth to people. When I looked inward, I found attachments to vanity and fear that kept me from doing so. Later on, with intensive Fa study, I began to clarify the truth more effectively. I forced myself to go out every day to meet people. It turned out that people with predestined relationships were practically waiting for me.
I still had a strong attachment to protecting myself. Therefore, when people asked me about my personal information, I was evasive and not courageous enough to share who I was, nor would I give out any personal information. These attachments of fear, suspicion, and self-protection put me in a situation where it had become more difficult to clarify the truth to acquaintances than it was to a stranger.
I preferred to just stay quiet about myself because I was afraid that other people would look at me differently, or I would get hurt or be reported by someone. Deep down I also had suspicion and negative thinking, which came from the Party culture. Or when I started talking, I went on and on for the sake of validating myself. As a result, the outcome wasn't optimal. At other times, I clarified the truth, but was reluctant to touch on quitting the CCP.
These attachments actually came down to the fact that I didn't study the Fa well, and I wasn't clear on some Fa principles. There were still some questions I had, which Master had already covered in his lectures, yet I didn't take them to heart. With ineffective Fa-study, I had a hard time validating the Fa. Sometimes I was clear on certain Fa principles, but when running into certain things, I didn't treat myself as a cultivator, nor hold myself to the standards of the Fa. With little xinxing improvement, my words couldn't dismantle the factors behind ordinary people holding them back from more fundamental understandings.
Thinking back about all this, on my path of returning to cultivation, Master has been helping me all the way. As long as I had a little bit of righteous thoughts, Master would help empower them. It took three years, from the time I began to think about returning to truly cultivate to the day I felt that I had finally come back. At that time, I felt as if there were a warm current flowing through me.
During this process, I saw other aspects in myself that came from being poisoned by the CCP's culture and atheism. For example, I was arrogant, and I tried to cover up the dark side of myself while always showing off the bright side. Even in my subconsciousness, I was still clinging to thoughts that did not believe in Master and the Fa.
I'd like to conclude my sharing with Master's words:
“I've often said that you need to study the Fa well. Whenever I've met with students at Fa conferences or in other settings, I've always said that you must make Fa-study a priority, and that no matter how busy you are you have to study the Fa. At that time I couldn't tell you things at a level this profound, and I couldn't reveal this. But after this tribulation you're now able to understand the Fa more deeply, and you've become more mature in your cultivation and in validating the Fa. Today I can tell you this: your cultivation is absolutely not a personal, simple matter of reaching Consummation--your cultivation is saving the countless sentient beings in the cosmic body that corresponds to you and who've put infinite hope in you. The cultivation of you all is saving the sentient beings in every single gigantic cosmic colossal firmament.” (Touring North America to Teach the Fa)