(Minghui. org) Greetings, everyone. I’m a 25-year-old practitioner who started practicing Falun Dafa in 1996, yet I only learned to truly cultivate this year.
Ever since my childhood, I have treated cultivation with a passive and pessimistic attitude. After I joined the Shen Yun Live Chat project last year, this attitude started to change. In order to maintain a pure heart when facing the customers online, I must first purify and be strict with myself, because our actions and heart will directly affect the customers we talk to.
When my heart was playful, impatient, or my xinxing was in a poor state, the reactions from the customer would be like a mirror, reflecting the state of my own xinxing at that moment. More seriously, when my xinxing was in a poor state, I experienced interference when closing a deal, such as losing my internet connection and consequently losing the opportunity to sell tickets to customers. When I raised my xinxing and my heart was calm, more customers made inquiries or purchased tickets during my shift.
While doing this work, I increased my Fa study, read Minghui articles, and constantly reminded myself to keep my heart pure. Thus, I was able to see more inner meanings of the Fa that I had never seen before. It was an amazing experience. Sentences in Zhuan Falun, which I had read countless times and were so familiar, suddenly felt all new to me as Master continuously unveiled higher meanings of the Fa.
After I saw the deeper meanings, I used them to guide my actions and eventually learned how to look inward. At first, I was letting go of my attachments one at a time, but as I learned to take a deeper look at the notions behind those attachments, I was able to eliminate multiple attachments at once.
I began to overcome tribulations that I had never encountered before, little by little. I had failed some tribulations many times and fell very hard, but each time I fell, I grasped new understandings of the Fa. Eventually, I realized that as long as I can turn my thoughts against the notion and use the measure of a cultivator to guide me, even though the tribulation may seem gigantic, as long as my heart is righteous, the tribulation will be removed and all will become bright again.
Step by step, after experiencing the excitement and joy of advancing in cultivation, I had the will to do better in my cultivation instead of remaining in a passive and negative state. It was difficult as the interference was huge.
Diligent Dafa practitioners know that in order to keep up with the basic requirements of a practitioner, including studying at least one chapter of Fa, doing the five sets of exercises, sending forth righteous thoughts, and saving sentient beings, it would be impossible if one does not limit his/her sleep.
Over the past many years, I was always drowsy and never seemed to get enough sleep. I always told myself that I would complete all these things before going to sleep, but then the next day I would just repeat what I did the previous day. Every time after midnight, I felt extremely sleepy and did not complete all the things. In addition, for many years, I was interfered with in my dreams.
Due to my attachment to playfulness, every night I used to have vivid dreams of myself carrying luggage on my back and traveling the world. It felt very troublesome and exhausting. I was even more tired after waking up the next morning than before I went to bed. I was not getting any rest from sleep. Because of this state, I was not able to get up early and felt very distressed.
“Have you ever thought of the fact that practicing cultivation is the best form of rest? You can obtain the kind of rest that can’t be obtained through sleeping. Nobody would say: “The exercises are making me so tired that I can’t do anything today.” One would only say: “The exercises are making my whole body relaxed and at ease. I don’t feel sleepy after a sleepless night. I feel full of energy. It doesn’t seem to bother me at all after a day’s work.” Isn’t this the case?” (Lecture at the First Conference in North America)
I started to wonder why my face looked pale in the morning even if I did the exercises. After some thought, I concluded this was a result of demonic interference.
To eliminate the interference, I had to raise my xinxing. I struggled for some time but still could not raise my xinxing or let go of some attachments. I realized that this was because I was used to having my family guide me in my cultivation since childhood, and now that I was on my own, this attachment of passiveness in cultivation blocked me from advancing further.
I began to learn how to cultivate from the beginning. I examined my every movement when doing the exercises according to The Great Way of Spiritual Perfection, and I watched Master’s exercise instruction video repeatedly to observe the details of each movement. I realized that some of the movements I had learned from my family were not accurate. I looked in the mirror and corrected my movements. I understood that to achieve a divine body, one must keep up with the exercises.
To improve in my cultivation, I carefully read all the things that are developed by each exercise and listened carefully to Master’s verse before each exercise. For example, in the fifth exercise, Master says at the beginning, “Si Jing Fei Ding” (just being calm) (Chapter IV, Falun Gong), and 30 minutes into the exercise, Master says, “Shen Du Ru Ding” (“Go into deep stillness”) (Chapter II, The Great Way of Spiritual Perfection).
I realized for the first time that the first 30 minutes of the exercise should be done in a state of calmness (Jing) but not deep stillness (Ding); only the last 30 minutes required entering deep stillness (Ding). I felt ashamed. Although I had obtained the Fa when I was two, this was the first time I sincerely and actively regarded myself as a practitioner and started to cultivate earnestly.
After that, doing the exercises felt different. It changed from completing a task to an experience of boundless wonders. I felt Master performing Guan Ding (anointment), which gave me an indescribable experience of comfort. I felt Falun spinning in my body and felt the shape of Falun when turning the Falun. The most wonderful experience was when my mind was empty. I truly experienced what Master described in Zhuan Falun:
“Instead, you should expect to experience a very pleasant sensation as you sit there, much like sitting inside an eggshell, where you’re aware that you are practicing but feel as if you can’t move a muscle. This is necessary in our practice. Another experience that you might have is as follows. As you sit in meditation it will seem as if your legs have disappeared and you don’t know where they are; and your body will have disappeared as well, including your arms and hands, and only your head will seem to remain. And as you go on, even your head will seem to disappear, leaving only your mind—with just a little awareness left that you are practicing there.” (The Eighth Talk, Zhuan Falun)
Instead of doing the exercises once or twice a year, I now do the exercises every day because I truly feel doing the exercises is such a supernormal and miraculous experience. Now, I enjoy doing the exercises because I feel refreshed and energetic. If I don’t do the exercises, my body would feel heavy, drowsy, and sleepy. When I do the exercises, I no longer feel tired, even when I sleep very little for several consecutive days, and my heart is calmer. I used to dislike and did not want to do the exercises. Now, I feel disappointed if I miss doing them.
In May this year, I read a Minghui article on celebrating World Falun Dafa Day and The Art of Zhen Shan Ren (Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance) Art Exhibition that was held in a small park in the United States. I thought that we could do the same in Toronto, so I called the coordinator of the art exhibition project. We had never communicated before on this task, but surprisingly, our thoughts and plans were almost identical. I later experienced many such incidents and came to believe that it must be an arrangement.
Initially, I only thought of doing one exhibition, but the coordinator had bigger plans to make it a long-term, ongoing project. In order to support him, I brought in other practitioners. As the coordinator had many other responsibilities, I had to take on the coordination task.
In the process of clarifying the truth to people visiting our project, I often encountered those that showed indifference.
My family had been persecuted in China, and it takes a lot of energy for me to share and describe it. This is something that I had kept very deep in my heart since I was six. I never mentioned it to everyday people but often cried at home. As I grew up, I had to mention it for the purpose of clarifying the truth, but deep down I still felt pain and dismay. When people showed indifference to the most sensitive and fragile parts of my life, I was very upset and told other practitioners that I disliked these people and that they were terrible.
Nothing is coincidental. I asked myself why I always met such indifferent people. I remembered that Master said, “the appearance stems from the mind.” The indifference from other people was the effect of a bad substance in my own field.
I found that I had the attachment of protecting myself. I tried to avoid validating Dafa from the first-person angle. I was afraid that I would get the same strange look from others as I did in my childhood and that my ego would get hurt. Therefore. I only tried to clarify the truth from the third-person angle, mixed with my own fear, indifference and worries, not out of compassion. I felt that this attachment of rejecting others to protect myself was very hard to let go, and it was almost like a trial of life and death.
In the art exhibition project, this attachment of protecting myself was hit very hard. As one of the coordinators, I received a lot of different opinions and advice from other practitioners, including complaints, negative comments, and opinions of me as a person. To avoid conflicts with other practitioners, the coordinator in a project must let go of him/herself, listen to others’ advice, put oneself in their shoes, and try to see things from their perspective. When I realized this, I felt depressed and told a fellow practitioner that I could not catch up with my cultivation.
I could not remain calm and felt stressed and sad. Before I was in the coordinator role, I had no problem sitting through one hour of the fifth exercise, even when my back hurt a lot. But now I could sit for only 30 minutes. Another practitioner told me that it was because I was too concerned with myself. As a result of being selfish, I would be occupied with my own feelings of hurt and unhappiness, but if I thought of others, these feelings would not control me.
When encountering conflicts I wanted to avoid, I did not cultivate my speech and expressed my views to other practitioners with negative and resentful comments. Through these conflicts, I realized I had a very strong attachment of resentfulness and started to think what the cause was.
I discovered that how I had acted was the opposite of what Master required of us. Master has repeatedly lectured us, unveiled all the puzzles for us, and taught us. We vowed to become Dafa disciples, and our mission is to save sentient beings. Therefore, I thought that the root of resentment is selfishness, and it is a characteristic of the old universe, In order to assimilate to the new universe, one must let go of this selfishness and think from other people’s perspectives; then, one would not be resentful.
Once I realized this, I understood that my own indifference arose because I had not transitioned from self-cultivation to Fa-rectification cultivation. Because of the attachment to selfishness–in other words, self-protection–I had viewed saving sentient beings as an excuse for not being punished in the final judgment, instead of truly saving people.
Then, I had a vivid dream. It was during the ice age, and there were storms and heavy winds. My family and I were walking on a bridge that had no end. The wind blew me into the air. If I were blown away, I would be dead, but my family grabbed me without concern for their own safety. I realized that the ice age was the manifestation of the cold self within me and that my life was in a dangerous state. I also saw the manifestation of selflessness, yet when my life was in danger, my family could let go of themselves to protect me.
Therefore, I re-examined my purpose for doing the project. My will to save more sentient beings were mixed with selfish reasons. I adjusted my state. I got up at 1 a.m., started by doing the fifth exercise, and experienced a different state of calmness than before. I felt very tranquil, and for the first time, it surpassed the feeling of pain.
The feeling of pain is an attachment to sentimentality. My heart always felt painful when my legs were aching, but this time, my heart did not feel painful although my legs were still aching. I felt the ache, but it had no effect on me, and I was very calm.
After one hour of sitting in meditation, I did not take my legs down and continued to send forth righteous thoughts. I experienced that, after elevating my xinxing, I was able to achieve things that were impossible before. Of course, the part of me that was fully cultivated was separated immediately. After close to two hours of sitting in the double-lotus position, I felt pain again and feared that my legs would break, so I got up and went to bed. In the morning, after only one and a half hours of sleep, I woke up as usual to study the Fa and surprisingly felt rather refreshed.
Another change was that I was able to actively clarify the truth to people around me. I had the wish to save them. I went to a senior manager at my workplace and told her my personal story. It was very hard to control my emotions, and I almost cried. I asked her if I could do a presentation to the company, play a film, or bring everyone to the art exhibition. The senior manager looked at me earnestly.
Then, I hid from her because that was the first time I had clarified the truth face-to-face using my personal experience rather than my family’s. For the next few days, I wondered if I had done something wrong, thinking that maybe there was a better way to clarify the truth to her. For a while, I felt very awkward seeing her and tried to avoid eye contact. Sometimes out of fear and worry, I even took a different route when walking to my office.
Unexpectedly, a week later, when the senior manager came back from vacation, she called me into her office and told me she had already asked the human resources department about my request. She really wanted to help me, but the company had a policy of prohibiting any religious events in the office. I did not expect that she would get back to me this quickly. On her first day back from her vacation, she had many meetings to attend, many emails to read, and many things to take care of, but she remembered to address my request. This meant my request meant a lot to her. Furthermore, our relationship did not become awkward as I had expected. We had many private conversations and personal talks afterwards.
Another young lady in the company asked me to have coffee with her. I used this opportunity and told her that Falun Dafa is like yoga and included meditation but that it is being persecuted in China. I asked if she wanted to sign a postcard petition against the persecution. She said she wanted to read it first. I put the postcard on her desk, but she did not return it to me.
After a while, I felt uneasy and worried that she probably thought I had planned all this purposely for a long time, that everything was a setup just to get her to sign the card. I was worried that she would think about me in that way and probably wouldn’t be my friend anymore. Unexpectedly, she signed the card and gave it back to me, and for the next few days, she always asked me to go for coffee with her.
After that, I asked a practitioner and another colleague for dinner to clarify the truth. I was afraid the colleague would notice that the truth-clarification was planned, so I decided to just talk about some ordinary topics and not mention the postcard. The other practitioner unexpectedly pulled out the postcard smoothly and briefly mentioned the background. My colleague signed it without hesitation. She had no doubts or disbelief, and it was completely the opposite of what I had been afraid of. Afterwards, she did not keep a distance from me, and she even sent a text message to say it was very pleasant to talk with me.
From the bottom of my heart, I felt Master wanted me to get out of the shadow of lacking confidence and self-cultivation to join the group of Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples to truly save sentient beings with compassion.
(Presented at the 2019 Canada Fa Conference)