Young Dafa Practitioner: Dafa Changed My Heart
(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master and fellow practitioners.
Born in 1995, I consider myself a young Falun Dafa practitioner, but I only began to do the Dafa exercises in October 2017 and read the book Zhuan Falun for the first time in February 2018.
However, I could not follow the Fa principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance when I first started to practice. Despite my efforts to be a good person, I was condescending with the people I dealt with and judged them by the Fa principles.
I couldn't deal calmly with my human notions and ignored several of my attachments and refused to let them go. After understanding more of the standards, as well as realizing what infinite mercy Master held for sentient beings, I gradually let go of my human notions. This allowed me to deal with things with a pure heart and to validate the Fa.
Accepting the Truth
Before I began to cultivate I wanted to have fun, meet guys, have friends, and amuse myself. I wanted to learn things in books or watch movies. I enjoyed learning, so I could compete and prove that I was knowledgeable. I was very competitive. When I heard educated people give brilliant speeches I was jealous and felt inferior. I was often afraid of losing face.
I was a latecomer to the Fa, but Master Li soon gave me wisdom. I realized that the practitioners in China had been suffering under cruel and unjust persecution for 20 years, while I’d been having fun and couldn't have cared less.
I suffered a shock and realized at the same time that the people I knew didn’t know about this. Whatever I had learned at the university was far from what Master taught. My friends, acquaintances, and family were influenced by the media’s lies, as well as their own interests and feelings. Realizing all this, all that I had ignored during the first half of my life, I shed many tears and was deeply shaken. I understood that the society into which I had been born was a long way from the fundamental qualities of the cosmos. I was moved and angry. My entire worldview changed.
“There are many people, both spiritual and not, who have long been seeking the truth and pondering the meaning of life. With Falun Dafa they find answers to their many lifelong questions, and it’s only natural that they would be excited by all the new insights they gain. I know that those who are sincere about practicing will realize the significance of the teachings and cherish them.” (The Eighth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
Overnight, I stopped drinking, smoking, and dating boys. I could no longer accept life as I used to in the past. I became increasingly positive and cheerful. My chronic anxiety and ravenous appetite attacks disappeared. My fear of being criticized abated. I was no longer worried about anything. I was much nicer to people. I became more sociable.
These early changes were only superficial. There were still many attachments I had to let go of. Because I was so moved when studying the teachings, I felt that I was more or less in the right when compared to everyone else, and I became arrogant and often went overboard.
When I started to clarify the truth about Dafa and the persecution to people I knew, I got excited and forgot to pay attention to my way of speaking. I always wanted to explain a lot and show that I was all-knowing, thus stirring up disputes. I wanted to increase my reputation. I thought the people who did not believe me or did not want to listen were stupid, and my heart was disturbed. My enthusiasm was over-the-top.
“You should have relationships with others like people normally do. The only thing different about you is that you come across as someone of excellent character and who is positive, who strives to be a better person and grow spiritually, and who always tries to do the right thing. Yet some of you come across as abnormal, or apathetic about the world, and people can’t relate to what you say. This could lead people to wrongly conclude that doing Falun Dafa made you that way, as if you’ve gone off the deep end. They wouldn’t realize that you were simply too excited and not being rational, and had a lapse in judgment.” (The Eighth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I came to understand after some time that my behavior was due to my strong feelings and my attachment to sentimentality. I was afraid that the people I knew would not take a stand. That's why I acted unreasonably.
Eliminating Jealousy and the Combative Spirit
Without being aware of it, I started to be jealous of my fellow practitioners. I could not understand why they did so well when they clarified the truth, while I had problems explaining the facts to my friends. I thought it was unfair that I’d begun to cultivate so late and hadn’t been able to assist Master in saving sentient beings as long as they had.
I developed a competitive mindset when dealing with practitioners. If one of them did better, was more diligent, or was more skilled, I got angry with him or her or felt queasy. I was annoyed when I overheard that a practitioner could recite Zhuan Falun from memory, had achieved a certain cultivation state, or that he needed little sleep.
If another practitioner did well clarifying the facts, I was distressed. I also suffered under the impression that other practitioners constantly judged me and thought I was inferior to them. I hoped and waited for someone to invite me to take part in Dafa projects. I felt bad when I was excluded from taking part in a project. I suffered under the illusion that senior practitioners would notice that I did not know something, so I was afraid to ask questions or if I could participate. I felt ashamed, sad, and angry.
After running into conflicts with other people, I finally realized that Master was giving me a hint that I needed to raise my xinxing. Gradually I saw that my feelings of shame, my thoughts of being rejected, and my feelings of inferiority were because my feelings were firmly rooted in jealousy and envy. I read the lecture about jealousy more thoroughly and noticed one section especially:
“This is partially due to the doctrine of total equality that was advanced in China not long ago. As the logic went, we’re all in it together and so we are all equally entitled, we should all get the same wage increases, and so on. This kind of logic has a certain appeal to it, of course, with everyone seeming equal. But it’s just not valid. The kinds of jobs that people do are different, and how well they do them is different too; not everyone does his job responsibly. So as the universe would have it, people should be compensated accordingly. And that’s even just common sense, since people normally believe that whoever does more should get more for it, and whoever does less should get less.” (The Seventh Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I suddenly understood that my jealousy was groundless. Master has arranged everything for us, and everyone’s path is different. I was astonished to notice that I had wasted a lot of time imitating other practitioners, instead of changing my heart based on the Fa. This was truly not the state of mind of a practitioner.
“This book alone is beyond any measure of value. What more could you want? Hoping for my autograph reflects attachments, in fact. I should also mention that some people emulate the practitioners that they see accompanying me, without first thinking about whether it’s appropriate to do. You shouldn’t look to anybody as your example. No one is a substitute for the teachings; only Dafa itself can serve as your guide.” (The Sixth Talk, Zhuan Falun
Things got easier. I no longer felt awkward or embarrassed when I met people and sensed that I was turning more and more into my original self. I no longer felt inferior and treated practitioners more kindly. I no longer felt competitive with or superior to the regular people I knew. I no longer use truth clarification to show off with my friends, pretending I am so smart and know more.
On the contrary, I am diligent in improving my xinxing, as well as humble. This allows me to deal better with non-practitioners, who can now sense my compassion. I have adapted more to society, no longer go to extremes, and don't appear too eager. I am aware that I have to treasure my associations with people and let go of sentimentality.
To validate the Fa I have to address others’ needs first – before mine. Thanks to my new understanding, many people who did not believe what I used to tell them have become more receptive to the truth about Dafa. My energy field has become purer and more compassionate.
Everything has become much more natural. I realize now that I used to be afraid of losing face. Before practicing Falun Dafa, I used to always be afraid of not being part of the crowd. I was afraid I wasn’t as intelligent as my classmates at university.
After I started to cultivate, I thought that I might not catch up with my fellow practitioners. I was also worried about what non-practitioners might think about my belief and cultivation. Once I eliminated a few layers of jealousy and the desire to assert myself, my worries subsided. I realized that I had been trying to take shortcuts in my cultivation. I went to extremes trying to reach the state of veteran practitioners. This was unnecessary, as one’s true cultivation level can only be reached by diligent Fa study.
For a long time. I was reluctant to do the exercises. My life appeared to be repetitive and depressing. Sending righteous thoughts became a chore.
Improving one’s xinxing is most important for a cultivator. Fortunately, I have reached that level of understanding. Once I changed my cultivation state, Master gave me greater wisdom and more energy to do better all that a Dafa practitioner is asked to do. The only secret to reaching higher levels, having stronger righteous thoughts, and saving sentient beings is to read the Fa with a calm heart.
“...one is that they can’t make spiritual progress if they don’t have the higher guidance of the Way; and the other is that they won’t get higher energy if they don’t work on themselves or strive to perfect their character,” (The First Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I thank Master for his infinite compassion. The Fa can change us holistically. If we always look inward, we can awaken everyone who crosses our path. There is still much for me to improve on in my cultivation so that I can be of greater assistance to Master during the Fa-rectification. I will not let up, even a moment, from now on.
(Presented at the 2019 Swiss Fa Conference)