Cultivating Diligently in Ordinary Society
By a Falun Gong practitioner in China
I am a doctor who is a Falun Gong (also called Falun Dafa) practitioner. I face challenges at home and work just like everyone else. However, it is how I, a practitioner, face those challenges that make those around me in awe of the extraordinary power of cultivating Falun Gong.
Memorizing and Reciting the Fa
I was taken to a psychiatric hospital in 2001 because I insisted on practicing Falun Gong. There, a practitioner sneaked in a copy of Zhuan Falun to me. It took six months to memorize the entire book. With strong righteous thoughts, I explained to the hospital officials why the persecution against Falun Gong and Falun Gong practitioners is wrong and I was eventually released without compromising my faith.
Then, I was imprisoned in a provincial labor camp in 2004. Every evening, I recited Zhuan Falun from memory. Righteous thoughts empowered me as I endured physical torture and hunger during those days.
I have been going to a quiet place almost every day to recite the Fa regardless of how bad the weather is. People seldom go to this place, so I can recite aloud without disturbing anyone.
I can easily stay there for several hours on a weekend. As I recite the Fa, I am often enlightened with new understandings in cultivation and ideas to let more people know about Falun Gong.
Reciting the Fa from memory is extremely rewarding, and it has become part of my daily routine. I mainly recite Zhuan Falun.
As my accuracy and fluency improved, each word has also gotten closer to my heart. I studied like an ordinary student would, except I was experiencing fundamental changes inside of me.
I was able to let go of the many stubborn attachments I have been holding onto. For example, I used to avoid my west-facing living room in the summer as it gets unbearably hot.
I do not mind it anymore. One day I set my heart to overcome this fear and sat in that room in the lotus position.
My mind was clear and calm when I meditated. Just like Master said in “Tempering Your Will” from Hong Yin: “Let hardship then be treated as your joy”
Another benefit from memorizing the Fa is that I can quickly see the basis of conflicts and find where I need to improve. There is no need to argue about what's appearing on the surface, nor look for other people's faults.
Dealing with Wrong Thoughts
I also started to notice things such as the attachment to lust. Whenever such thoughts appeared in my mind, Master's words resonated in my ears.
Lustful thoughts dissolved and my mind became serene again. This happened many times until such thoughts could be flicked off easily like a speck of dust.
Many years ago, due to not studying enough Fa, I almost gave up on cultivation because of my attachment to lust. But, everything is different now.
Another benefit from memorizing the Fa is that I became more helpful to other practitioners and ordinary people. Oftentimes, I was able to point out the root of conflicts among practitioners.
Non-practitioners like to ask for my advice as well when they encounter dilemmas. Master's words that aim right at their problems would appear in my mind, sometimes from Zhuan Falun, sometimes from Hong Yin. After reciting Master's words to them, they saw the answer to their problems.
A younger colleague of mine commented that I treat each patient thoroughly. I recited Master's Fa:
“Embracing Zhen Shan Ren within the heartOne cultivates self, benefits othersNot letting Dafa depart from the heartOnce years have passed, surely humans you’ll surpass” (“Perfect and Clear”, Hong Yin)
Upon hearing it, he immediately asked me to recite it again. The poem touched his compassionate nature.
He felt this poem fits our profession and environment perfectly. He memorized this poem and would recite it to others.
Others asked him: “What is Dafa?” “Falun Gong,” he replied. This young colleague's work ethic improved and he understood how to be a good person because of Falun Gong.
My understanding is: Dafa is the source of all wisdom, and the key to every possible question that we have in life. Dafa can awaken a person's compassion.
I think this is the reason ordinary people are moved when they hear my reciting the Fa.
Based on my own experience, I want to remind other practitioners to allocate enough time to study the Fa, and make studying the Fa a priority in our daily routine. This will have a dramatic impact on improving our cultivation state.
An Unshakable Practitioner
I would like to share an incident that happened a few years ago. One day, our hospital admissions office asked me to stop by.
In addition to our hospital president, officials from our local department of health, the office of inspector, and workers' union were also present at the meeting. The purpose of the meeting was to review my behavior after joining a so-called illegal gathering (of Falun Gong practitioners) two years ago.
The Chinese government considers any activity not to their liking as illegal. According to unwritten rules by the local government, employees who do not admit to their “wrongdoings” during the two years after the incident would be terminated.
They wanted to know what I thought about Falun Gong, and said a few words would be sufficient. It was clearly a test for me.
They were threatening me with my livelihood. In the book The Ultimate Goal of Communism, it analyzed how the communists use a person's livelihood to destroy them.
The majority of ordinary people would give up their faith and yield. I am a Dafa practitioner, thus I believe their goal was to attack my weakness.
Fear and personal interests are still my attachments waiting to be eliminated. With strong righteous thoughts, I spoke: “Falun Gong taught me to be a good person and changed my foul temper and bad habits. Falun Gong is good, and history will prove it.”
Our hospital president chimed in with sympathy: “You are still talking like this under such circumstances.” I made no reply.
The attitude of the official from the department of health changed: “I see you are an honest and compassionate person. You may continue the good work like before – we will let you know our decision later.”
A few months later, I was told to resubmit my qualification assessment form, and I answered all the questions honestly. The hospital approved it and I was to stay at my post.
Like Master said: “...just by having your heart unaffected you will be able to handle all situations.” (“Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s)” from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
Later, I heard from others that many upper-level officials have high respect for Falun Gong practitioners who remain firm in their belief.
During that incident, my 80-year-old father commented that a person should live by what he believes is right. My family showed similar support.
We Are Sentient Beings' Hope
My understanding is that my own actions can change my environment and the people in it. In other words, we are the only hope for sentient beings.
Master told us: “Therefore, in cultivation you should follow a higher and higher standard for yourself.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
When people around me noticed how I live my life according to Falun Gong's guiding principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, they see hope.
All of my coworkers praise my quality of work. I read countless medical books to improve the care I give to my patients. But, the Fa gave me wisdom as well.
Many of my colleagues became my patients. During our interactions, I would tell them the goodness of Falun Gong, and the truth behind the persecution against Falun Gong in China.
Many denounced any ties to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), and some of them became Falun Gong practitioners.
A colleague said to me: “Falun Gong (practitioners) are just like you; this means that Falun Gong must be good.”
Another colleague started to practice Falun Gong after denouncing the CCP. He once said to me: “You have my trust.”
Everyone I worked with commented that people who practice Falun Gong are different and worthy of respect. They feel especially close to practitioners and some even imitate practitioners' mannerisms.
I often read other practitioners' writings on the Minghui website. Many of them are deeply touching and encouraging. By reading their experience, I am able to see where I need to improve and be more diligent on my cultivation path.