(Minghui.org) Hundreds of Falun Dafa practitioners in Orange County, New York, gathered at a senior center on January 26 to celebrate Chinese New Year. Over a dozen people shared what they’ve experienced and learned in their cultivation while working on various Dafa projects.

Veteran Practitioner: Let go of pre-conceived mindsets and let a practitioner’s power manifest

A practitioner who started to cultivate before the persecution began shared how she eliminated her notions and took on more responsibility.

She was told in July 2018 that Northern Academy’s construction site needed more hands. But she was already involved in other projects and occupied with doing exercises, sending righteous thoughts, reciting the Fa teachings, and truth clarification. Moreover, she’d never done physical labor before and loves being neat—she’s even kind of a neat freak. She wondered if she could handle it. But since the coordinator of the site said they were extremely shorthanded, she decided to try it.

As soon as she arrived at the site, she realized the importance of working there. She decided it was her mission to do whatever was assigned to her. One practitioner was demonstrating to another how to use a nail gun. Looking on, she thought how she wouldn’t like to use a nail gun, as it was so loud and the user needed to be strong to hold it down and prevent it from kicking back. She felt it would be too scary for her.

Just then the practitioner giving the demonstration asked her to do it, “You’re tall and strong. You should do it.” She took the nail gun unwillingly and followed the instructions carefully. She held the gun, closed her eyes, and pushed with all her strength. Poing! A nail was put in place. Practitioners nearby looked at the nail and told her, “Good job! Keep it up!”

She reluctantly took the job of nailing using the nail gun. She knew that Master had arranged this to help her eliminate her attachment of being picky. After she was able to let go of her attachment, under Master’s care the day went well. She marveled at the practitioners' abilities and then realized she had accomplished a feat—a task that she wouldn’t have been able to do in the past.

On another occasion, she painted three rooms and part of a hallway in just two and a half hours. She couldn’t believe that she was able to do such a big job! Her experiences helping with construction work at the school helped her to remove her notion that physical labor was “dirty.” She realized, “That’s the power of the Fa.”

Young Practitioner: Cultivating the heart and practicing the exercises helped me to become a better musician

A student who is majoring in music and plays the viola at Fei Tian College in Middletown shared her experiences of getting rid of jealousy and a competitive mentality.

On her way to class one afternoon, she heard a fellow student playing her instrument quite beautifully. She thought, “Why can’t I play like that?” She immediately started to feel jealous because she thought the other student played better than she did. Preoccupied with these thoughts, she tripped and dropped her viola. On the way to class, she started to realize that the fall was a reminder from Master to discard jealousy and stop comparing herself to others. Master said in Zhuan Falun:

“The two mentalities will produce different results. It can evoke one’s jealousy, for if someone is doing well, instead of feeling happy for him or her, people’s minds will feel uneasy.”

She realized that she had an attachment to showing-off. When she got to class, she opened up the case and saw that the viola wasn’t damaged. She said that since that incident, it’s been easier for her to detect and remove her attachments, even though jealousy and competitiveness resurface from time to time.

This practitioner also noticed that doing the Falun Gong exercises could help her a great deal in practicing the viola. She did the exercises for only 30 minutes when she was in high school. But after she came to the college, she could do them for an hour because of the group environment. She discovered that if she neglected doing the exercises for two days, her productivity dropped significantly, and her viola practice sessions were not productive. She would even fall asleep in the practice room for over an hour. But as soon as she resumed doing the exercises, she found that practicing the viola became more efficient and her concentration was better. She has also been able to relinquish the attachment to saving face and is able to master more technical skills in less time. She’s immensely grateful to Master for helping her to realize and uproot her attachments.

Senior Practitioner: Clarifying the truth in a high-end retail store

A senior practitioner shared her experiences in clarifying the truth and saving Chinese people in a high-end retail store near her home.

This practitioner was in a store one day and met an older Chinese gentleman who looked polished and well dressed. When she clarified the truth to him, at first he said that Falun Gong was political. But she told him that Falun Gong was not involved in politics and that it is a traditional meditation practice that follows the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. She told him about the persecution and that Falun Gong practitioners have been subjected to forced organ harvesting. She encouraged him to quit the CCP after pointing out the evils of communism. The man was touched. He told her that he was once the German translator for Zhu Rongji (former premier of the People’s Republic of China from 1998-2003). He said that he'd never heard what she told him, but that he was convinced. He agreed to quit the Young Pioneers, a CCP organization for children. The practitioner gave him an alias, “Yong Hang” (eternal voyage) to protect his identity for quitting the CCP. The man smiled and said, “Yong Hang – that’s a good name!” The practitioner said she felt that Master had helped her save this person.

She said that her attachments were also exposed on other occasions. One day, she was in a car with other practitioners on a hot day. When she complained about the heat, the driver said, “Your discomfort is nothing compared to the suffering of practitioners in Chinese prisons.” She realized right away that she was attached to comfort and wasn’t thinking about the practitioners in China who are under a lot of pressure.

A Practitioner Newly Arrived in the US: Cultivating and elevating through conflict

A practitioner who came to the U.S. just six months ago shared his experience of having a conflict with another practitioner.

He had asked a fellow practitioner to do him a favor. He asked about it again a few days later, but it was not done. Then he thought, “Perhaps my Fa study and cultivation are not keeping up.” He was a little worried. A few days later he asked again, but it still was not done.

He then started to have negative thoughts and complaints about the practitioner he asked to do the favor for him. He wanted to argue with the practitioner, but at almost the same time he remembered Master’s Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Singapore:

“Having you expose your weaknesses during frictions with each other is how I enable you to improve most rapidly. And yet as soon as you encounter a problem, you push it aside and point out others’ shortcomings instead of examining yourselves. How can you cultivate, then? This is precisely the best way for me to have you improve. So you must turn your mindset around.”

He started to look within himself and realized that Master was trying to enhance his ability to endure through this conflict. He then eliminated bad thoughts and emotions while telling Master that those thoughts were not his. He thanked Master for the arrangement. He then suddenly felt very at ease and comfortable. When our xinxing meets the requirement, Master arranges everything well in other dimensions. That same day, the fellow practitioner got that thing done. He truly learned the happiness of cultivating himself when in a conflict.

Veteran Practitioner: Believe in Master and the Fa—One thought brought a miracle

A veteran practitioner shared something that happened at work.

She had been in two car wrecks in the past, one of which would have left an ordinary person paralyzed. In her case, it only compressed her vertebrae, leaving her slightly shorter and with a slightly humped back.

In preparation for a Moon Festival celebration that was put on to help local people learn about Falun Gong, her coworker asked her to help unload cement onto a dolly from a pickup truck. The bags weighed 80 pounds each, which was quite heavy for her.

To keep the cement dust from getting on her, she put the dolly right behind the pickup and guided the bag as it slid down onto the dolly. But as she was holding the dolly, the weight shifted; the metal handles bounced up and struck her back, right where her vertebrae were compressed.

The pain was intense and her whole body stiffened. She couldn’t move momentarily and started to have negative thoughts. But then her righteous thoughts surfaced, “I’m a practitioner; I’m ok. Master said that good or bad comes from a person’s first thought, and different thoughts bring about different consequences.” She made up her mind that she would be fine.

The coworker pushing the cement bags was scared and asked her how she was. “I’m fine,” she responded. But the pain was so strong that she couldn’t even move her legs. Another practitioner came up, grabbed her arm, and pulled her. After just six or seven steps, she had an extremely comfortable feeling that she couldn’t describe. She then felt her spine straighten, and she knew that Master had taken the karma away and turned the misfortune into good fortune.

She realized that as long as we maintain righteous thoughts and respond to everything with righteous thoughts, Master will watch over us and resolve everything for us. As Master says in “The Master-Disciple Bond” in Hong Yin Volume II:

“When disciples have ample righteous thoughtsMaster has the power to turn back the tide”