Dafa Improved My Moral Integrity
(Minghui.org) I am a young Falun Dafa practitioner who started my cultivation practice about three years ago. Amidst a morally degenerating society, Falun Dafa’s principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance have proven to be a guiding force on my path in life. After cultivating for just three years, I feel that my mental and spiritual state is already very different from others.
Putting Others Before Myself
I studied finance and knew that most who pursue this course of study dream of passing the examinations to become a Certified Public Accountant (CPA). This certificate is known to be one of the most difficult certificates to obtain in China. Due to the value of this certificate, many people are vying for it, treating it as their entrance ticket into famous enterprises and as the foundation of a successful career. They dream of a million-dollar annual salary and a successful career.
After my graduation from the university, I also joined the grand “certificate exam army”. Just like many of the fellow “troopers”, I registered for the examinations to attain a successful career, good pay and the opportunity to make a name for myself.
However, as I prepared for the exams, I gradually started to question my attitude towards this matter. I asked myself if this kind of thinking about gains and achievements is a correct mindset for a Dafa cultivator. After thinking about it, I told myself that this is definitely not the correct mindset of a cultivator as Master Li (the founder) taught us, “We believe in letting things take their course and worrying little about how things will turn out for us.” (The Second Talk, The Inner Eye, Zhuan Falun)
“We believe in letting things happen naturally. We know that we won’t be deprived of what is rightfully ours, and shouldn’t labor to get what is not.” (The Seventh Talk, Jealousy, Zhuan Falun)
I realized that I was too engrossed in the exams and neglected the learning process. As a worker in this field, the learning process is a must and the examinations are just one aspect of it. As a cultivator, I should not be too obsessed with the results. As long as I let nature take its course and do what I should do, I will naturally get what I should get.
After arriving at this understanding, I felt that it was still not enough. I looked inward deeper and found that I had very strong selfish thinking. As I looked back at my motive for taking the exams, I seemed too engrossed in myself. I had not gotten rid of the attachment of selfishness.
“From now on, whatever you do, you should consider others first, so as to attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism.” (“Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
I understood that the knowledge gained during the exams should be used to benefit society and humankind. It should all be done for others and not for my own gains. As a member of society, I should also do my part. As for the salary and rewards, these are things which I will naturally gain when I perform a service to society. The better I serve, the more I will gain naturally. It is only with such an attitude that I can really be fulfilling my obligation to “...consider others first...” (“Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
Master also said that
“The various trades and professions in this world are meant to exist. Your heart is what counts, not your occupation.” (The Fourth Talk, Reworking Your Karma, Zhuan Falun)
Therefore, the exams and learning processes themselves are not wrong. The crucial point is that one needs to have a righteous mind.
After understanding these points, as I prepared for the exams, I constantly reminded myself not to treat passing the exams as the goal, but to place emphasis on the learning of knowledge instead. Due to my good mindset and the wisdom from Dafa, I passed the “Accountancy” and “Tax Laws” modules and I made good use of the knowledge that I have gained in my work. Despite being a recent graduate, I have already participated in the company’s planning for tax collection and the set up of accounting policies. I have even participated in resolving some of the company’s complicated accountancy cases that involved stock exchanges. However, I did not become proud because of these and never requested a pay raise. I understand that Dafa taught me to become a person who puts others before myself and that wealth, fame and personal gain are all mere worldly possessions. So, I must use the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to guide me in my life!
Realizing My Attachment to Personal Gain
During exam preparation there was an episode which tested my attachment to personal gains.
Attending lessons are part of our studies in preparation for the exams. Therefore, there are many schools that are providing all sorts of lessons online for the students to attend for a fee. However, whenever it reaches the exam season, there will always be people who resort to all sorts of methods to record these lectures and upload them online as a form of “studies discussion and exchange”. Some will even sell these lectures at a lower price to earn a profit from them. Over time, watching such pirated videos became a norm for the students.
As a Falun Dafa practitioner, I know very well that this is unethical. The lectures online are the fruits of the teachers’ hard labor and their source of income. Watching such pirated videos will cause these teachers to incur losses. Therefore, how could I be at ease with this? Studying the Fa made me understand that there is no gain without a loss and people must pay for their actions. Therefore, whenever I needed to watch the lessons online, I paid for the original lessons no matter how I was doing financially.
However, something happened later which made me realize that I am not perfect. One online school actually released a set of videos which only cost $280 to watch the whole series. I felt that it was really worth the money and decided to purchase that set of videos. However, the school removed them from the shelf and since then, similar online lessons were at least $500. I was a bit dejected about this change but not long after I discovered a loophole in the website’s system. Although that video series had been removed from the shelf, it could still be accessed from a different webpage address. I was so happy about this discovery and quickly purchased the videos.
However, after getting past the excitement, I suddenly asked myself that if the online school has already removed these items from the shelf, but I still force them to sell me these videos through the loophole in their website, is this really correct? Is this appropriate? In that moment, what is happening in my mind is just like a scene from the movies where there is an angel and a devil who are in a heated argument. The angel tells me, “This is wrong. You are taking advantage of others and this will cause you to have karma.” While the devil tells me, “This is what they have placed online themselves. What is the big deal about buying them?”
After the heated argument, my righteous thoughts finally won the battle. I previously thought that attachment to personal gain was a somewhat minor thing. But today, I am actually thinking of ways and means to make use of others' loopholes for such a small personal gain and I am even all excited about it. How can a cultivator behave like that? This made me blush with shame, thus I cleared my shopping cart of these purchases. After doing that, I actually felt so relieved.
This episode made me look within myself. I know that my attachment to personal gain is still very strong. However, I am lucky to have Falun Dafa so that I can calm down, sort out my thoughts and realize my mistakes in time. Therefore, I was able to correct my behavior and revert back to my true self!
Going Against the Tides Amidst the Chaotic World
The people around me will sometimes laugh at me. They feel I am too honest and too down to earth. They feel that I am leading a meaningless and unexciting life. However, I will always smile when I hear their comments, as I know that I am living a much more free and happy life than they. Living in modern society exposes one to all sorts of negative influences such as fraud, violence, lust and degenerating morals. These things are luring people and bringing them step by step to their downfall.
When people accept too much of such negative matter they will lose their happiness, as they no longer have moral discipline and they can no longer appreciate true beauty. This means that they have already lost their ability to feel true bliss. They can only keep triggering their senses to find “fun” so that they can fill up the emptiness in their hearts. People like that are actually living in misery no matter how much success they gain in life.
If not for cultivating in Falun Dafa, I could be just like the average person out there, gradually degenerating as they follow the societal tide. Falun Dafa changed me and kept me away from all those negative influences. Dafa improved my moral integrity and gave me the ability to differentiate between righteous and evil, being kind and spiteful, good and bad and beautiful and ugly. In this way, I can withstand all those bad influences from this impetuous society and lead a peaceful and simple life. My thoughts have been enriched such that I no longer need to rely on external stimuli to make myself happy. My happiness comes from my inner self which forms its own system that is self-fulfilling.
It is Falun Dafa that helped me to find the source of my blissful life. It is Falun Dafa that lit up my path to raising my life to another level, and led me against the tide amidst this chaotic world!
I truly hope that all sentient beings on earth can understand the truth about Falun Dafa and feel the goodness of Dafa. Please believe me, when you start to live your life according to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, you will be able to feel that your life has changed even if you do not cultivate in Falun Dafa!