Cherishing Each Chance to Cultivate My Heart and Mind
(Minghui.org) Greetings esteemed Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
My husband and I had no idea that our lives would be completely changed after we first held Zhuan Falun in our hands in August 2017. I wish to share a tiny part of my one year of cultivation.
Even before my husband and I began to cultivate in Falun Dafa, we downsized and became less indulgent. We no longer were interested in buying luxury goods. We moved to a small apartment in the countryside, about seven-and-a-half miles from the closest town. We wanted to be independent as much as possible so we got rid of our car and did our shopping on foot or by bike.
To learn the Dafa exercises, we and our then four-year-old son went to the closest train station and took a two-hour train ride to Berlin. We were shown the exercises and learned about the persecution at the information booth, located at the Brandenburg Gate. Then we returned home. Our son enjoyed our outing, which evidenced the immense power of Dafa.
Cultivation Restores Family Unity
Contact with my daughter, mother and sister had stopped for a number of different reasons, with the blame falling on us. Three weeks into our cultivation, our daughter contacted us after more than a year of separation.
Reading Zhuan Falun showed me the importance of remaining in contact with and contributing to society, and cultivating among ordinary people. Shortly after this decision, I met my mother when going for a job interview. Although I was not offered the job, I restored contact with my mother, whom I had not seen for one-and-a-half years.
Only Master Li (the founder of Falun Dafa) could have arranged this, just as he arranged for me to meet up with my sister. We were happy to establish contact again after one-and-a-half years, and took the opportunity to clear up our past misunderstandings.
A New Beginning: Cultivation at Work
My second job interview was successful. I applied as a postal delivery woman and was offered the job. I was ready to give up my sleep and the associated comfort for that.
I did my daily commute of about seven-and-a-half miles on my bicycle, which included about one-and-a-half miles of driving through a forest. Thanks to Master's encouragement I let go of my fear of the wild boars I had come across. One night I drove in the middle of a wild boar herd, stopped and just stood there, as they were taking the same route. My heart remained unmoved. The boars grunted while walking around me, before they disappeared into the bushes. I had tears of gratitude.
I realized that I had let go of my fear of wild boars after several months. Master helped me recognize that my fear was not part of my true self.
Let Go of the Attachment to Ego
I took the job feeling that I wanted to contribute to society and cultivate among ordinary people. It goes without saying that I help colleagues who are unwell, and did this out of my own free will. In hindsight, I realized that this seemingly selfless commitment was really to affirm my ego. I wanted others to see how great I was. Even in the past, I used to have the hidden desire to be at the forefront. This was a wrong understanding of the Fa. I wanted to be kind, but was I really kind?
“... And besides, you could scour an entire city and not find even one genuinely good deed to perform—even if you did this daily.” (The Ninth Talk, Zhuan Falun, Version 2018)
This realization gave me peace. I was able to let go of the pursuit of making a good impression and I have become more easygoing at work. At the same time, if colleagues ask for my help, I am happy to do so.
Trusting Master's Arrangements
As a Dafa practitioner, I do not hesitate to take on some additional tasks, even if I have to work a few extra hours. Whenever I meet with my supervisor he thanks me. I often use this as an opportunity to talk about Falun Dafa. I clarified the truth about Dafa and the persecution, as well as suggested that he buy tickets for the performance of Shen Yun Performing Arts.
I then accidentally hit a parked car. I remained calm and called the police and then my supervisor. In case of an accident, the guilty individual must refund a predetermined amount to the employer. My supervisor informed me that he would not ask me to pay that amount. He reasoned that I do an above-average job and that he can always rely on me. However, I explained, given the principle of “no loss, no profit” that I would pay for the accident – rather today than tomorrow.
The amount would be counted against my next paycheck. Yet, to my surprise, they did not deduct the amount from my paycheck. When I pointed this out and asked how I could turn over a cash amount, I received an email from my supervisor, “It will remain as is. I hope you understand my take on this, and that it was done correctly. Many thanks.”
Although I was pleased that my supervisor recognized the value of a Dafa practitioner, I always follow Master's teaching.
“For a cultivator, all the frustrations he comes across among everyday people are trials, and all the compliments he receives are tests.” (“A Cultivator is Naturally Part of It,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
I looked within for the deeper connotation of the situation. Then I thought of what my supervisor had written in his email – I hope you understand my take on this. After reading this again, I understood that Master saw my pure heart. I wanted to accept blame for the accident, while my supervisor wanted to show his appreciation for my performance.
At the same time, my supervisor's sentence told me that Master had arranged my cultivation, and that I should trust him in my heart to have done what's best for me.
Accident on the Way to Work
Two days after returning from the 2018 Prague Fahui, I fell off my bike in the forest on the way to work. Although I briefly lost consciousness and somehow got disoriented, I kept going to work, where I arrived a little late. Despite the unbearable pain, I did my job and distributed the newspapers, letters and catalogs.
According to the work manual, I should have seen a doctor. However, I refused. The organization head was shocked upon seeing my physical condition, but I knew I would be okay.
My next door colleague gave me a ride home that day. She thought I was joking when I asked her to take me to work the next day. I told her that I only needed a couple of hours to do the exercises, after which I would feel better. She had her doubts, but I trusted Master.
When doing the Dafa exercises I wanted to avoid the pain by being careful. But then, I just let it happen without thinking about it. During the third exercise, my arm that just hung there was pulled upwards. Despite the pain, I persevered. After the third exercise my arm moved easier. Then, during the fourth exercise Master restored my shoulder joint. It cracked twice, as if a bone was put in place, after which I felt much better.
I looked inward and kept doing the exercises. Thus, I managed to go back to work the next night.
My colleagues were surprised, as they did not expect to see me. This was a marvelous opportunity to validate the Fa and show the power of Dafa.
I was ready for action, however somehow careful at first, as I still felt some pain. Thus, I demanded more of myself and then I suddenly forgot to think about the injury to my arm and that I had just moved it.
I accepted the pain with dignity and could endure the stronger pains with Master's compassionate support. For that, I also could take on the work of a colleague who had not come to work. Throughout the entire ordeal I kept the Fa in my heart.
Master said, “ “Nothing is truly unbearable or impossible.” (The Ninth Talk, Zhuan Falun, Version 2018)
I worked for over 10 hours that day and felt quite well afterward. Just a few days later, I rode my bike again.
Looking Inward and Cultivating with the Heart I Once Had
At home when I told my husband that I needed to look within regarding the accident, we had a good laugh, because it was evident that I had neglected more than just a trifle on my cultivation path.
I found the attachment to jealousy and comfort. I was jealous of the colleague who could drive her car to work and thus could sleep longer. During the last months of the hot summer I tried to convince myself that it was pleasant to ride the bike. In reality, I felt that the hot summer was much more taxing than the cold winter that was below zero last year. Wasn't this a human mindset?
“With this body, one cannot put up with it if the body is cold, hot, tired, or hungry. In any case, it is suffering.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun, Version 2000)
“We have said that Dafa is boundless, and it is completely up to your heart to practice cultivation. The master takes you through the entrance, and it is up to you, yourself to practice cultivation. It all depends upon how you, yourself practice cultivation. Whether you can practice cultivation all depends upon whether you can endure, sacrifice, and suffer.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun, Version 2000)
I had high demands of myself, but was I truly convinced in my heart?
“There is a saying in cultivation, 'Cultivate with the heart you once had, and success is certain,' right? (Disciples applaud enthusiastically) Remember how you felt when you first gained the Fa and started to practice? When you realized what this Fa is about, wow, you were incredibly excited, and you set your mind to doing well! If you can keep alive that heart that you once had for your whole journey of cultivation, straight to the end, then you are guaranteed success—and even Heaven will vouch for you. (“Fa Teaching Given at the New York Fa Conference Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Dafa’s Spreading,” Team Yellow Translation)
I became aware that I had lost the attitude and enthusiasm for cultivation in Dafa, after holding much joy of cultivating among ordinary people. After a year at my workplace, it had turned into a compulsory sense of doing the work. I remember my first day at work. I was curious as to what Master had arranged for that day. I was open to all opportunities that helped me improve my xinxing. Behind each and every work order, I recognized a hint from Master. Using righteous thoughts, I restored that heart.
“In every one of society’s professions a person can cultivate, and in each there are also people with predestined relationships waiting to obtain the Fa.” Essentials for Further Advancement II)
After all, this job and the cultivation environment had been arranged for me. How could I forget? I then started to appreciate my work again.
Fear of Pain
Because of my bicycle accident, I realized that I was immensely scared of pain. I always avoided pain, including when I did the Dafa exercises.
I told a fellow practitioner about my difficulties of doing the Double Lotus position, and she told me a story about another practitioner. When he put his legs into the position, he heard his bones crack. He sat motionless, and only his tears indicated the great pain he was suffering. Then, this practitioner said, “The fear of pain is only in your head. As soon as you no longer think of the fear, it will disappear.
This story gave me the courage and confidence that I too could sit in the Double Lotus position. I told myself, “I will sit in the Double Lotus position and remain calm.” Without another thought, I lifted my legs into the correct position, one after the other.
I was amazed, as it was actually very simple, so I sat for 15 minutes without my legs coming down. I then had the thought that this was a good beginning and enough for the first try. I did not immediately realize that this was absolutely a wrong thought. Anyway, this had not removed my fear of pain. Thus, the old forces took advantage of this loophole.
I discovered more fears – fear of the cold and wetness. Anyway, autumn was just around the corner – the temperature dropped and it rained. However, these unpleasant factors were a great opportunity for me to cultivate. Was this not meaningful to suffer pain and eliminate karma? Shouldn't I be grateful? It was rather difficult to accept these thoughts, and I was reluctant.
“Others can cultivate well, why can’t you?! (“Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference,” Team Blue Translation)
I realized that I lacked the desire to really diligently cultivate because I always tried to avoid pain. I got rid of my human notions that I could not endure pain. Then I sent righteous thoughts to eliminate all negative factors in my environment, so I could truly cultivate.
I confidently put my life into Master's hands and follow his arrangements, so I can return to my origin.
(Presented at the 2019 German Fa Conference)
German verson: http://de.minghui.org/html/articles/2019/1/18/137243.html