Young Practitioner: Correcting Myself to Complete My Cultivation Journey Well
(Minghui.org) I took the entrance examination for a music school in August 2018. I have been learning to play the French horn for nearly two years. If I passed the exam I would be admitted to the school, and I'd be one step closer to playing the French horn in the Shen Yun Orchestra. Being able to perform in Shen Yun has always been my dream.
I practiced the French horn for several hours every day. I also studied music theory and ear training. On the day of the exam, the piano accompanist said I played exceptionally well, especially the high notes, and that I should pass.
I was really happy. This piano accompanist is quite strict and he hardly ever praises a student. If he said I played well during the exam, then I must have done a good job. I was very pleased with myself. I thought I was really amazing since I could play French horn so well after just two years; especially considering it's a pretty hard instrument to play. I thought I was a musical genius and that I could be the principal French horn in the Tian Guo Marching Band.
A week later, I received the result. I hadn’t passed the exam. I cried long and hard. I didn’t understand why I failed. I knelt in front of Master Li's picture and complained, “The judges must have made a mistake. I must ask them why I didn’t pass the exam! I put so much effort into it, and I haven’t seen any return for my hard work. This is not fair. How could one of my best friends pass the exam on the first attempt? Why do things always go smoothly for her? Life is not fair!”
I cried for a long time, and afterward felt exhausted. Eventually I started to look within.
Identifying My Attachments
“A wicked person is born of jealousy. Out of selfishness and anger he complains about unfairness towards himself.” (“Realms,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
I failed the exam which exposed my attachments to competitiveness, self-satisfaction, resentment and jealousy. Cultivation is a process of becoming aware of one’s attachments in order to let go of them. Isn’t this a good thing? Everything has standards and the fact that I didn’t pass the exam meant I was not up to the required standard, so I needed to practice harder. My best friend passed the exam for Shen Yun this year. I was really happy for her and I didn’t feel any jealousy. I know she put in a lot of effort. I played around while she practiced hard every day.
In October 2018, my mother and I flew to Hong Kong to participate in a parade. The day before the parade, my mother, two practitioners and I went to a tourist attraction to help distribute newspapers. Only one elderly practitioner was there and she told us, “I'm the only one here all day today. I'm so glad you came. These are the newspapers we will distribute today.” I looked at the large pile of newspapers and thought to myself, “I only planned to help distribute the papers for a little while and then leave, but now I'll feel bad if I leave early.” Mother told me not worry. She said, “We’re already here so we just strengthen our righteous thoughts. People with predestined connections will come and take a copy of the newspaper.”
I walked to one of the subway entrances and started to send forth righteous thoughts. In a little while people started to ask me for a copy of the newspaper. It was commuter time and more and more people asked for the newspaper. I felt I hadn’t brought enough.
I realized this happened because of my attachment. I'm reluctant to clarify the truth to Chinese people. I think Chinese people have too much communist party culture in their thoughts and actions. They don’t want to read our newspaper and they don’t respect practitioners. But that day when I looked at the people walking past me I realized that if they don’t take our newspaper and read it, they won’t gain access to the truth which is blocked by the communist regime. They may lose the chance to be saved. I really felt sorry for them.
Master Helps Us at Every Step
Mother and I booked an 8 p.m. flight to fly back to Australia after the parade. The day was filled with xinxing tests. One practitioner said, “Our parade normally finishes pretty late, around 7 p.m., so you won’t have enough time to get to the airport to catch your flight. Also, they close the roads for the parade so you can’t get a taxi here.” Someone else added, “It’s impossible to leave, and I don’t think you'll find your mother easily either. The pro-communist group is here today as well. They might attack you once you leave the main group.”
Another practitioner told me, “If you want to leave around 4 p.m., then don’t play the French horn today. You can walk at the end of the parade and hold banners, then you can easily leave.”
I wasn’t worried by what they said. I came all the way from Australia with my belief in the Fa. I just wanted to participate in this parade. I whispered to my French horn, “We aren't afraid of anything. You must sound your best in this parade. We are here to assist Master in rectifying the Fa and save sentient beings.”
I silently asked Master for help. “Master, I want to participate in the parade. I want to finish the entire route, and I want to be able to catch our flight as well. Master, please help us. Thank you, Master.” The parade finished at 4:30 p.m. Mother and I grabbed our luggage and rushed to the subway. Before we figured out which line to take in the subway station, someone asked, “You want to go to the airport, right? Come with me - this way.” In addition, this person even told us which stop to get off at to transfer to another line. Once we got off the first subway line, someone walking past us said, “This way if you want to go to the airport - hurry up!” The train started right after we got on the 2nd subway line. It was really amazing. We didn’t know those two people who showed us the way at all. They were just there to help us. It must have been Master that was helping us. Thank you, Master!
My Attachment to Food Is Pointed Out
One time after the big group Fa-study, I noticed mother was holding a plastic bag with a bottle in it. She told me grandma gave it to us. She was on the phone at that time, so she didn’t give me more details. I offered to hold the bottle, mostly because I just wanted to find out what was inside. The liquid in the bottle was brown so I thought it must be bubble tea. The bubble tea grandma makes tastes really good. I lifted up the bottle and smelled it. It smelled a bit strange so I thought it must be a flavor I never tried before. I also noticed there was a straw. I thought, “It must be bubble tea. Grandma is really nice to me - making me bubble tea.” Just as I was going to drink some I felt liquid leaking onto my hands and the liquid didn’t look like bubble tea at all!
After mother finished her call I said, “My hands sting - what’s inside the bottle?” She said, “It’s oven cleaner.” I was really scared. I was afraid the cleaner would burn my hand. I hurriedly looked for water so I could wash my hand, and I spoke to mother very impatiently. She noticed I wasn’t very righteous and said, “It’s not a big deal. Just grab a wipe to clean your hand. Nothing is accidental in cultivation. Think about which of your attachment has been exposed from this incident.” What she said made me aware of my attachment to food and drink. I realized I had been thinking about food all day. When my favorite dish was served I just couldn’t stop eating. Sometimes I would even secretly grab a few pieces of meat before going to sleep. I realized my attachment to food was still so strong, even after so many years of cultivating. I was so glad I didn’t drink the liquid in that bottle. I even feel a bit scared when I think about this now.
I need to walk my own cultivation path. On September 21 this year, I participated in a parade in Toowoomba. This was my first time taking an airplane flight by myself. I'm almost 15 years old now. I need to be independent and I can’t cling to my mother like a little girl anymore.
It was a very hot day. I felt a bit dizzy while waiting for the parade to start. My vision began to fade until I couldn’t see anything. I knew it was negative beings that came to interfere with me. I immediately sent righteous thoughts and soon felt much better. The crowd welcomed us warmly and clapped their hands in time to our music. I was glad and thought, “These people will be saved!”
In conclusion, I'd like to share what Master said,
“You fell here from a holy, pure, and incomparably splendid world because you had developed attachments at that level. After falling into a world that is, by comparison, most filthy, instead of cultivating yourself to go back in a hurry, you don’t let go of those filthy things that you cling to in this filthy world, and you even agonize over the most trivial losses. Did you know that in order to save you the Buddha once begged for food among everyday people? Today, I once again make the door wide open, and teach this Dafa to save you. I have never felt bitter for the numerous hardships I have suffered. Then what do you have that still can’t be abandoned? Can you bring to heaven the things deep down inside that you cannot let go of?”(“True Cultivation,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
Thank you Master! Thank you fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2019 Australia Fa Conference)