New Practitioner: Everything in Life Was for Obtaining Dafa
(Minghui.org) I am 48 years old, and I started to cultivate in Falun Dafa in 2018. Even though I started late and it is close to the end of the Fa-rectification in the human realm, I’m giving my best effort to follow Master’s arrangements and cultivate diligently.
I hesitated at first when someone suggested that I write about my cultivation experiences, because I had read many articles on Minghui and felt I was far from the state of diligent practitioners. But, I have indeed experienced immense changes physically and mentally since I started to cultivate.
Life Before Practicing Falun Dafa
I was the youngest of four children in a poor peasant family in Seosan City, South Chungcheong Province. I did not breathe normally for several hours after I was born and remained in poor health. I was taken to a hospital about every other day and was on the verge of death many times. Because of my health situation, my birth was not registered until after a while.
My health improved as I got older. But, my families did not get along well, and there were many loud arguments and uneasy feelings. My parents didn’t take care of me much, and quite often I had to prepare my own food. In these surroundings, I became more and more introverted, and I didn’t spend a lot of time hanging out with other kids. I often just lay in bed and thought, “Who am I? Where am I from?” Sometimes I even wished that I wouldn’t open my eyes again the next morning.
I went to a Christian middle school and attended church for several years, where I read the Bible and sang. But, I was never really interested in becoming a Christian. The things talked about in the Bible as well as the pastors’ preaching made me more and more suspicious about divine beings. After middle school, I became an atheist.
I served the two years of compulsory military service after my freshman year in college and was assigned to the heavy armed forces. I was weak and thus often got hurt. It was painful for me, physically and mentally. Finally, the two years were over, and before going back to school, I worked part-time to earn some money for tuition. However, I was involved in a serious traffic accident and was hospitalized for four months. I was disabled from a ligament tear and a fracture in my left leg.
“Fortunately, Dafa disciples have been cleansed continuously and had their karma eliminated by me throughout history, all the way up to the present. So you are different from ordinary people.” (“Teaching the Fa in Washington D.C. In 2018”)
I asked myself, “Why are there so many bad things happening to me?” Now I realize that Master had arranged these tribulations to reduce my karma. Otherwise, how could I be able to start cultivation?
Divorce, Career Failures, and Encountering Dafa
After college, I worked as a designer for many years. I soon lost myself in the fight for material gain and interpersonal relationships. I formed many bad habits and gradually became more and more attached to money, alcohol, and women. I changed jobs frequently.
My life stabilized a little after marriage, but it didn’t last long. I just wanted to earn a lot of money. But, I frequently failed, and my mind became more and more tired. My relationship with my wife also worsened because she did not like my selfishness and did not want to talk to me. For a long time, we each used our own rooms and acted as if we were strangers.
A friend and I started a new company in the summer of 2017, and more people joined the company later on. One of my coworkers was a Falun Dafa practitioner and gifted me the book Zhuan Falun. He was a very sincere and kind person, a rarity these days. Probably because of that, even though I had never heard about Falun Dafa before, I accepted the gift without worrying about anything.
However, I only opened the book a couple of times before shelving it, as I was having a lot of problems. To list a few, my project was having difficulties, I was in a bad financial situation, and my wife and I divorced. To make it worse, she transferred our entire tax deposit for the apartment to her account. I had to move into a tiny business apartment.
The strange thing was that I did not get angry at all. Instead, I felt she was pitiable. Even though at the time I didn’t know why I felt that way, looking back, I think Master was taking care of me and made sure that my kind side was in control.
Actually I could have sued and gotten a lot of money from her through legal means. But, I figured that I would have no issues financially as long as I worked hard. So I only asked for a small amount to cover the deposit of my business apartment. My wife was very satisfied and left the court with a smile. That made me quite sad, and I felt the ten years of marriage was in fact empty and painful.
Then, I opened Zhuan Falun, and as I started reading it, I saw the answers to all the questions I had. My heart was full of joy, and the resentment and worries I had all disappeared. Master’s words were deeply imprinted in my heart.
“Sometimes, you think that something should be yours, and others also tell you that it is yours. Actually, it is not. You may believe that it is yours, but in the end it is not yours. Through this, it can be seen whether you can give it up. If you cannot let it go, it is an attachment. This method must be used to get rid of your attachment to self-interest. This is the issue. Because everyday people are not enlightened to this principle, they will all compete and fight before profits.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)
Becoming a Falun Dafa Practitioner
Like other practitioners, I was very touched when I read Zhuan Falun. I read it three times, as well as all other Dafa books and new lectures given by Master. I was determined to become a real cultivator. I then wanted to take the nine-day class. On my way to the Tianti Bookstore where the classes were held, all of a sudden it started pouring. The parking lot was full of cars, and thus I missed the class. After that, I was held up by all kinds of things and could not attend the classes. I realized that it was karma that was trying to stop me from getting into cultivation.
For a long time afterward, I studied the Fa by myself and tried to cultivate my xinxing. A lot of my bad thoughts and mentalities started to get exposed. There were sometimes thoughts that cursed at Dafa and Master, and some were of lust and resentment toward other people. I was quite troubled by these thoughts and grew exhausted fighting them. Even though I really wanted to eliminate them, they still interfered with me.
“Only when your mind violently reflects filthy thoughts or curses Teacher, Dafa, other people, etc., and you cannot get rid of them or suppress them is it thought-karma. But there is also some weak thought-karma, though it is different from regular thoughts or ideas. You must be clear about this.” (“Be Levelheaded,” Essentials For Further Advancement)
With Master’s words encouraging me, I tried to be as diligent as I could. But, I still stumbled frequently and was disappointed and angry with myself. Sometimes I even thought, “Am I really qualified to cultivate? Should I just give up?” After some tribulations, I realized that they had laid the foundation for me to become a true practitioner.
Master’s Hints When Frustrated with Doing the Fifth Exercise
At first I was only studying the Fa and not doing the exercises. Initially I felt that doing the exercises weren’t necessary because I didn’t have any illnesses. But, as I studied the Fa more, I realized that doing the exercises was very necessary.
“Question: What if we only cultivate our xinxing but don’t do the exercises?
Teacher: Then you are only a good person, and not a cultivator. In the future you can only be a good person and be rewarded with good fortune in your next life.” (“Teaching the Fa and Answering Questions in Guangzhou,” Zhuan Falun Fajie)
So I started to learn the exercises by watching the instructional videos online. I thought the movements were easy at first, but when I actually did them with the music, I realized that I was wrong. One of the most difficult things for me was holding the arms up for a long time during the second exercise, as my arms would shake the entire time.
I encountered even bigger problems when learning the fifth exercise, the sitting meditation. When I had the traffic accident, a knee ligament was torn, and doctors put in a metal insert from the medial side of the thigh muscle. When I served in the military, I also injured my back. All these made it difficult to sit in even the half lotus position.
After meditating in the half lotus position for some time, I attempted to do the full lotus position. Instantly I felt extreme pain and the bottom of my feet became dark purple, which scared me. Later, I realized that it was just a process of eliminating karma. I was really trying, but even doing it for 20 minutes gave me unimaginable pain. I was in tears through the 20 minutes, and afterwards I had to sit for 30 more minutes before I was able to stand up.
The situation didn’t get better after several weeks. I thought, “Maybe I have too much karma and cannot cultivate. Maybe I can only get this far.”
I had a dream in which I saw Master, who looked very young. I bowed to him with my head lowered. Master extended his arm toward my head and pulled a dozen pieces of paper from the back of my head. Those were the agreements that I had made with the old forces. Master said, “There are things like these that hide very deep inside of you where you can't find them.” Then Master burned them. I excitedly put my hands together and said, “Thank you, Master! Thank you, Master!” Then I woke up.
Even though I was on the verge of giving up, Master did not give up on me. Instead, Master destroyed the agreements I had made with the old forces. I did not know how I could ever repay Master’s grace. I also realized that in my life there are many things that are related to these agreements.
After I had that dream, to my surprise, the fifth exercise became much less painful. Even though I still cannot sit for an hour, I have been increasing the duration quickly.
Differences Between Doing the Dafa and Physical Exercises
In the several years prior to practicing Dafa, I did one to two hours of weight training in the gym every day in order to maintain health and fitness. I gradually got stronger and more muscular. However, I still got colds periodically, as well as skin allergies. After I began to practice Dafa, even though I was aware of the differences between Dafa exercises and physical exercises, I did not want to give up the muscle I had from the years of hard training.
At first I thought that Dafa exercises would be easy for someone as strong as I was. But it was harder than I could ever imagine, and I could not finish the second exercise. After a while, I also realized that there were several attachments related to the weight training, such as lust and showing off. I was determined to eliminate these attachments. So, I stopped weight training and focused on doing Dafa exercises.
Now a lot of muscles I once had have disappeared, and I have gotten more body fat. But, I no longer have colds or skin allergies. My health has also gotten better. The biggest change was that since I stopped the weight training, Dafa exercises have become easier.
“The body purification in qigong also has its purpose and, furthermore, practitioners are required to comply with supernormal principles instead of everyday people’s principles. But physical exercises are only something for everyday people.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
Cultivation for me is still tough and difficult. When I encounter conflicts, I try to look inward and think about whether I am in accordance with the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. However, I often have bad and messy thoughts, and sometimes I’m perhaps even worse than an ordinary person. Whenever this happens, I would think about Master’s poem, “Nothing Kept:”
“In life, nothing sought,In death, regretting naught;Washing away all wrong thought,Buddhahood, with lessadversity, is wrought.” (“Nothing Kept”, Hong Yin, Translation Version A)
I’ll try my best not to care about worldly gains and losses, and become a true Falun Dafa practitioner.
Thank you, Master, for your boundless compassion. Thank you, fellow practitioners.