[New York Fa Conference] Breaking Through the Maze with Righteous Thoughts
(Minghui.org) Greetings Master, and fellow practitioners!
I obtained the Fa in early 1996, which makes it 23 years of cultivation. If there were a book covering the periods from personal cultivation to Fa-rectification, it would show that I haven’t missed one chapter, which is quite fortunate.
When I started cultivating, the only goal in my mind was to return with Master to the place of my origin. I thought I would never be lost again in the maze, since I’d obtained the Fa. Obviously, I was not aware of how much this world could make people be attached to so many things.
Cultivating and Clarifying the Truth in Australia
My personal cultivation wasn’t eventful. At that time, most practitioners in China learned to look within. Cultivation was a pleasant journey of purifying oneself. But, those happy days were quickly over.
In May 1999, I went to study in Australia. I felt more like a tourist than a student. I had no plan of immigrating to another country. Dafa was spreading in China and made it the most precious place. I went abroad only to see the world. I never thought that I would be still overseas 20 years later. Nothing is by accident. It turned out to be my path in the Fa-rectification period.
At that time, there were not many young practitioners in Australia. After the persecution began, I was involved in various truth-clarification projects, including making placards, designing greeting cards, constructing the local Dafa website, building up the New Tang Dynasty reporting team, producing truth-clarification programs, and clarifying the truth at tourist sites.
Overseas Practitioners Dealing with Cultivation Versus Earthly Issues
Cultivation in the Fa-rectification period is more complicated. There was no organized framework for personal cultivation. But, now we have set up teams to work on different projects. In the battle between good and evil, whether we are diligent is directly reflected in the work results.
I faced the first big challenge in my cultivation in 2006. Melbourne was about to host the New Tang Dynasty Chinese New Year Gala. I was on the coordination team for a dozen people. But, the team was disbanded for not making much progress. Before that happened, I dreamed of some giant beings beaming with white light. I could only see half of them. One pointed at me and said, “She has strong righteous thoughts. Let her do it.” In the end, I and another practitioner were put in charge of the whole operation.
Practitioners had no experience hosting such big events but were eager to help. The human hearts were interfered with by evil entities. From promotion strategies to back-stage management, problems kept popping up. Some practitioners insisted on going backstage without permission. Some acted on their own to sign contracts. For security reasons, I couldn’t explain everything to them. Those who used to be friendly turned hostile. I was exhausted by the sentimentality and pressure of selling tickets, often crying throughout the night.
After a whole day’s work at my everyday job, I had to deal with all sorts of problems related to the New Year Gala. Battling insomnia for several months, I was physically and mentally exhausted. But, I was determined to make it a success, for Master saves sentient beings through the show. Ticket sales went well. For the first time, we made a profit for NTD Television. When it was over, I thought, “It’s done and I am still breathing.”
Improvement in Cultivation Results in Improvement Overall
After the project, I began to look within. On the surface, all my decisions were based on solid grounds. I could easily blame other practitioners for their mistakes. Yet Master said: “Regardless of whether the problem is your fault or not, you should look inside yourself, and you will find a problem.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Europe”)
I realized that for a long time, I was doing things like an ordinary person, ignoring Fa study. When being wronged, I had little compassion towards other practitioners, which intensified the conflicts. My attachments were taken advantage of by the evil at critical moments. With Master’s protection, I lived through the tribulations. But, had I cultivated well, I would have been able to incorporate more positive contributions from practitioners.
After I seriously looked within, the environment changed. My relationship with practitioners became smooth again. It seemed that they understood better the procedures and requirements for running the show. But I knew that the real reason for their change was because I'd improved in cultivation.
Experiencing Major Tribulation
At the beginning of 2011, I experienced a bigger tribulation. My mother was a veteran practitioner who attended Master’s lectures in Guangzhou in 1994. She used to have serious heart disease and doctors said that she wouldn’t live past her 40s. After she started cultivation, all her symptoms disappeared. We all witnessed the power of Dafa. However, in 2011, my mother went through a period of serious karma release. I was busy producing a commercial for NTD and didn’t have time to help her. I just anxiously urged her to look within in the hope that things would improve. I thought I would be able to help her when the project was done.
But, on the night I finished the program, my mother passed away. The doctor said that all her blood vessels had ruptured. My niece told me that my mother couldn’t sleep due to the pain, but she didn’t want to distract me. She secretly asked my niece to buy some painkillers. My niece found that the bottle was never opened. Thus, my mother hung on to the end, without violating the Fa principles.
For a long time, I was overwhelmed by remorse and guilt. I was around but didn’t give her any help. On the contrary, I was biased by sentimentality and pressed her to change. I interpreted her economy as attachment to money. She didn’t argue with me. Later, I learned that she donated most of her monthly income to making truth-clarification materials.
Sometimes, my ego was covered up, claiming that I was being responsible for a Dafa project. Actually, my mother also played an important role in the Fa-rectification. Her wisdom and compassion had drawn many people to listen to the truth. The early departure of any practitioner is a great loss.
The painful experience made me realize how valuable it is to be able to cultivate together with other practitioners. The predestined relationship may end abruptly.
Now, when I learn about other practitioners in tribulations, I always remind myself to be compassionate and negate the evil with pure righteous thoughts. I won’t be attached to practitioners’ behavior on the surface. I hope they can make breakthroughs as early as possible, because we are one body.
Changing Situation Requires Cooperation
NTD and The Epoch Times newspaper merged in 2013. I, who had been working whole-heartedly with full speed, couldn’t find a way to apply my experience and lost my bearings. Waiting in patience and hope, I became discouraged and doubted my ability. When the management once again moved me to another post in 2016, I decided to leave NTD, a project I had been working on since 2002.
That night I had a dream, with two very clear scenes. In one scene, I was working with Master and other practitioners outside. Master told me to get a watch that could report time when everyone was busy at work. I asked a United States policeman for help. He didn’t understand me. Before I could explain what I wanted, Master answered the policeman's question in English. I was very surprised.
In another scene, Master was showing us the exercises. It was not easy for me to turn around and watch Master’s movements. I thought I knew the exercises and decided to do it by myself. A voice came into my mind: “What do you know about what Master is going to do?” I was shocked and stepped back to follow Master with the other practitioners.
I realized that the watch means that time is limited. The group exercise scene hinted that Master has arrangements for everything. I should not take action according to my own thoughts. Part of the reasons for me to leave NTD was that I wasn’t confident to work on the English team. But, in the dream, Master was speaking English. As a disciple, how can I not catch up?
Although I was not sure as to what would happen, I no longer doubted the direction. Letting go of my selfish grievances, I started to work on the English NTD team. If the process calls for it, I should be happy to pave the road, even as a brick. Surprisingly, my previous experiences turned out to be quite useful, including my skills with social media, online videos, ad insertion techniques, copyright rules, and years of working in Western companies. Soon, with everyone’s efforts, English NTD succeeded in their business operation better than ever before.
Dealing with Interference
The longer I practice, the more I realized that it’s not a simple process to purify oneself and elevate to godhood. Everything, real or illusory, keeps testing practitioners who are still living in delusion.
When the operation of the media reached a new height, I ran into some new tests. I had different ideas then my superiors, and couldn’t make them understand. When I held back, I was misunderstood. My suggestions for the project were ignored, and my work at hand was reduced. I was marginalized. The project I had been so committed to was interfered with by the evil and I could do nothing about it.
At first, I thought that I must still have the attachments to fame, profit, and human sentiment, which prevented me from generating more compassion for others. I tried to improve but didn’t make much progress.
The old forces’ arrangements in people’s mind and their relationships were like dark clouds hovering above me. I was suffocated by some kind of force and couldn’t break through.
“Perhaps I have completed my tasks in the media and should go to another project.” This thought constantly entered my mind, and I began to prepare my resume. However, my computer suddenly could only type Mongolian. I couldn’t prepare a resume. At the same time, other issues came up in my life and left me no choice but to stay. But, I still held some grudge and resentment.
A young practitioner mentioned to me a problem of arrangement in the media. She dealt with it by sending forth righteous thoughts. “Does it help?” I was doubtful. Her firm reply awakened me. I realized that I had a big loophole in my cultivation. For many years, I didn’t pay much attention to sending forth righteous thoughts. Because I couldn’t actually see or feel anything, I only did it as a formality. What I always relied on was my righteous thoughts in the human world. I had never truly believed or used the divine powers Master told us about.
Clearing Interference with Strong Righteous Thoughts
I put in more effort in sending righteous thoughts, staying focused and suppressing other thoughts. My mind gradually cleared up. I realized that in the Fa-rectification period, all the abilities that Master has given us should be fully used. Any interference blocking such powers should be negated.
When I was sending forth righteous thoughts one night, my mind turned to a state of emptiness. The title of a documentary appeared. After I finished writing the work procedures for my current project and made sure that my leave would not affect the team’s operation, I joined the documentary's production team, which was in urgent need of manpower. With my experience in television production and social media, I reedited the well-made Chinese documentary into short English videos and put them on NTD’s social media platform.
The truth-clarification videos, developed through the effort of all the members of the production team, have been well received by the Western audience. Thousands of viewers liked the videos and left their comments after learning the truth. One of them said, “This is the best story I’ve ever seen.” I was also encouraged by practitioners’ righteous thoughts in the stories. As I keep sending forth righteous thoughts to clear away the interference, my heart is no longer moved by the problems that look so real in the human world. I can easily discover my human notions. My mind becomes clear and calm, like a mirror. There’s no resentment in my heart. The tribulations I thought impossible to overcome turned out to be nothing. Now I understand the power of righteous thoughts that Master mentioned in “What is a Dafa Disciple?”
“My Dafa disciples, your righteous thoughts do have an effect. And the combined effect of each of you together is powerful beyond compare. The reason you can’t achieve such an effect is that your faith is lacking, and your righteous thoughts aren’t strong enough. With so many Dafa disciples around the globe sending righteous thoughts at the same time, 100 million plus Dafa disciples sending righteous thoughts together at the same time globally, would that not be terrifying to the evil and the old forces? To the gods, it would be a truly magnificent sight. What power! Even with just one Dafa disciple, if your righteous thoughts are strong, the power is enough to split a mountain—just one thought will do it.” (“What is a Dafa Disciple?,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
Ordinary people might find the life of a cultivator boring. Day in and day out, it’s studying the Fa, sending forth righteous thoughts, doing exercises, and clarifying the truth. But my cultivation path is filled with sunshine, storm, shady willow trees, and bright flowers. I feel as if I've gone through several cycles of life. Life and death, as well as hardships and obstacles are a journey of enrichment and elevation. No matter how hard it is, as long as we adhere to the standards of a cultivator, we can feel Master’s guidance. We will be able to walk through the haze. After letting go of attachments, the beauty of elevating in the Great Law of the cosmos is indescribable.
Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2019 New York Fa Conference)