A New Practitioner: A Vow Beyond the Clouds
(Minghui.org) Greetings, esteemed Master and fellow practitioners.
I am from Kaohsiung. I started to practice Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong) only recently – in February of 2019. I know that I need to catch up with other practitioners, but I wish to share some of my experiences as a new practitioner.
Waiting Millions of Years
We have all waited for millions of years to fulfill our vows during the Fa-rectification period.
I grew up in a village in Yunlin County and only finished elementary school. Ever since I was little, I enjoyed my freedom and I wanted to move away from my parents, so I got married when I was 20. I thought I would enjoy the freedom of married life. Instead, it was the start of a nightmare.
My husband liked to gamble, and he had extramarital affairs, so I had to shoulder the family’s financial burden. My two children and I endured it for 20 years. Finally, I asked for a divorce. Life was better after I was single, but it only lasted two years. I fractured my knees in a car accident and was bedridden for three years.
Seven years after being healthy enough to walk, I decided to attend a sewing class at a local college and met a Falun Dafa practitioner in the class. A year later, another practitioner took the class. Our sewing class was a great joy because of these two practitioners.
One day, I heard them talk about doing the exercises. I asked them what it was, and they told me they practiced Falun Gong. I had long looked for a cultivation practice and came into contact with different groups, but none of the people I had met were as good as those two practitioners. I thought, “I want to be good just like they are.”
Master Li said:
After reading the first lecture, I followed the Dafa principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. It changed my life, and I started promoting Shen Yun, attending the nine-day lecture class, and distributing the Epoch Times newspaper.
Immersed in the Fa
During the nine-day class, I remembered that Master said that taking your legs down during mediation because they hurt would achieve nothing. So I reminded myself that I wanted to cultivate, that I wanted to be able to sit in the full lotus position. I tried not to think about how I was entitled to government disability benefits because of my injured knees. I squealed in pain the first few times I went to a local exercise site. A few days later, I cried out loud during the mediation because my legs hurt so much. I apologized to the other practitioners for making such noise during the meditation. They encouraged me and urged me not to give up.
I kept pushing myself, and eventually I was able to sit in the lotus position and meditate for an hour. Sometimes I was pain-free for half an hour or longer during that time. What’s more, my legs and body recovered by doing the mediation—a wonderful experience just like how it is described in Zhuan Falun.
Also during the meditation, I saw the ground I was sitting on change shape and color: initially it had a web-like pattern and later it turned golden. A practitioner told me that Master was encouraging me.
Before becoming a practitioner, I did not like to read. But ever since the first time I picked up Zhuan Falun, I felt the urge to keep on reading. I needed to study the Fa, do the exercises, and cultivate my xinxing. I learned how to be positive when faced with conflicts. I learned how to look within myself based on the Fa instead of looking for others’ shortcomings. It is great and magical how looking within oneself can eliminate karma.
A Vow Beyond the Clouds
Before, I had two jobs—I cleaned buildings and sewed shoes. After I started to practice, there was a conflict between the managers and residents in the building and I ended up losing my cleaning job. A practitioner told me a newspaper run by fellow practitioners was hiring people to deliver papers and that I could earn an income while saving people. At the time, I did not even know what kind of newspaper the Epoch Times was.
I was offered the job and told that I would soon begin delivering newspapers. However, my daughter was using my motorcycle as she waited for a government subsidy to buy a new bike for herself. I was worried that I would be without transportation when I needed to start delivering newspapers. In fact, my daughter bought a new motorcycle the day before I started working—it was a testament to Master’s careful arrangements for practitioners.
I was really looking forward to my new job, but I was afraid I couldn’t find the addresses. A practitioner said her son could help, setting up a navigation map for the addresses. I was happy, but then another practitioner warned me about the attachment of being dependent, which made people comfortable, and looking for help all the time. I looked inside and decided not to be dependent on others. Without getting help, I was able to find my way around, and it was not as difficult as I’d imagined.
Days before I started delivering, I did not do the Dafa exercises. Instead, I taught myself how to find the addresses for my delivery route. A practitioner warned me that I was being interfered with, preventing me from doing the exercises. I understood right away the practitioner was right. After doing the exercises, I was able to find the addresses that I had a hard time locating before. I understood how practitioners must have a steady heart, otherwise the old forces can easily interfere.
During a meeting at the Epoch Times office, my manager asked me how I would react if dogs were chasing me when I was delivering newspapers. I said that I would simply run away. The manager told me he would say out loud, “Falun Dafa is good.” One day, two large black dogs started chasing me. I sped up, trying to lose them, but the dogs ran even faster. I remembered what my manager had told me and shouted “Falun Dafa is good!” at the dogs. Immediately, they left me alone.
As I became comfortable with my job, there were new challenges. My daughter got promoted at her job three times, and she needed to go on business trips. That meant that I had to look after my granddaughter. My daughter also told me to give up my Epoch Times job, saying that I did not have to work so hard. I spoke of my problem to a practitioner, and she offered to help look after my grandchild, explaining how we were “one body.” This experience allowed me to understand how Falun Dafa practitioners are truly “one body” in assisting Master in rectifying the Fa.
After obtaining the Fa, I began to learn how to send forth righteous thoughts. But I only appreciated the importance of doing so when I started to deliver newspapers. One day, I was having all kinds of random thoughts. A taxi drove towards me. The taxi and I both stopped only a second away from colliding.
After that, I told myself that delivering papers was a sacred task—it was about saving people. So I have been sending forth righteous thoughts when I deliver newspapers. Sometimes when I do, I feel that I am in a different realm, and the roads, the buildings, and the sky all look different, even though I am driving around in a city that I have known for 30 years. What’s more, sometimes the streets become so beautiful—it is amazing.
On June 1 this year, the local Epoch Times ended all its partnerships with non-practitioners who were delivering the paper. This increased practitioners’ workload. It poured rain that day. We thought that this weather represented a battle between good and evil in another dimension.
I panicked that day because I couldn’t find an address. Then I remembered what Master said: “They don't panic when something happens to them, they stay composed and calm, they think rationally.” (Touring North America to Teach the Fa)
As soon as I calmed down, the address was right in front of me. Eventually, all of us were very touched when we successfully delivered all of the newspapers, despite the extremely bad weather.
Thinking back now, I remember when I was four or five years old, I had a recurring dream of a cloud pushing down on me. But I stopped having this dream as I grew older. I remember asking a lot of people why I was having this dream, but nobody could tell me. One day, I asked a practitioner, who told me that gods usually fly around standing on clouds. “The cloud could be yours,” the practitioner said. Then I saw the same cloud in my dream in a painting of gods and came to realize that the cloud was indeed mine.
As I spent more time reading Master’s teachings, I came to realize that practitioners in the Fa-rectification period have all signed a contract with Master to fulfill our mission of saving sentient beings. I did have a thought about no longer delivering newspapers. Then I came across what Master said about “...mankind facing a grand judgment.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IX):
“If you did not honor your original vow or do as the Lord Creator required, then you would not have completed what you were supposed to do and would have in effect deceived the Lord. Since you would have thus brought losses to your local area's situation at that time, to the progress of Fa-rectification, and to the sentient beings that were thus not saved, and you would have thus brought damage or ruin to different levels of the cosmos, you would be held accountable.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IX)
So I thought that my vow could be to come here to deliver papers. Thus, I should never quit and I can only strive to be better.
Understanding Incidents from the Perspective of the Fa
While I was writing this, I shared with other practitioners the terrible things my ex-husband had done. For example, while we were still married, I became a laughing stock among our relatives after my husband brought his girlfriend for a drink at a store run by one of my relatives. Thinking about this brought tears to my eyes.
A practitioner suggested that I felt sad thinking about the past because I had not truly understood what happened from the Fa’s perspective. The practitioner asked me to think about the past again, but from my husband’s perspective. I then came to appreciate what Master has said, that every difficulty we encounter is the result of our own karma. How much you are hurt is the result of you having once caused the other person the same amount of pain. Having come to understand more of the teachings, I feel my spirit has been lifted. Cultivation is truly amazing.
Thank you, Master, for your compassionate salvation. Thank you, fellow practitioners, for your selfless assistance. Let us all be diligent and complete our sacred vows in assisting Master to rectify the Fa.
(Presented at the 2019 Taiwan Fa Conference)