Another Young Practitioner's Cultivation Journey
(Minghui.org) I was fortunate to begin practicing Falun Dafa when I was ten years old. I still vividly remember the scenes of group practice in China. I regularly participated in the evening and weekend morning exercises.
Master allowed me to see my shortcomings. I was young, active, and playful. We did the morning exercises in a sports hall. When we assembled the sky was still dark. I sat down and meditated for only 40 minutes, then took a football and went to the field to play. When I was going home at noon I noticed a young practitioner who was in his 20s or 30s still meditating!
I saw him sitting there from dawn until noon. In the midsummer heat, he stayed put, sitting in full lotus with his hands folded in the Jieyin position, meditating. Watching him filled me with a feeling of quiet and peace. Years later, whenever I recalled that moment, I saw the status that practitioners should have, and I saw the gaps in cultivation between that practitioner and myself.
Inspired by this, I started paying more attention to doing the exercises. Later, I tried my best to follow the Master’s requirements:
“...meditate for as long as you can.” (ChapterII, Illustrations and Explanations of the Exercise Movements, The Great Way of Spiritual Perfection)
I also lengthened the amount of time I practiced.
One night I did the exercises with my parents. After they finished and went to bed, I continued meditating. When my father said it was time to go to bed. I said, “Doing the exercises is better than sleeping.”
Because our home was in a central location, practitioners came there to study the Fa. In the evenings, up to twenty practitioners read Zhuan Falun and Essentials for Further Advancement together, and we regularly watched Master’s lecture videos. After studying the Fa, everyone shared their recent cultivation experiences. Some talked about their new understandings, and some talked about the xinxing issues they encountered at work.
Master’s teachings are simple and straightforward. The atheist thinking and other warped notions that I had formed in my life disintegrated in the group cultivation environment. I no longer denied the existence of supernormal powers, and accepted everything Master taught. My grandmother, parents, relatives, and friends were living examples of improvement after they began practicing.
Although I did the exercises, I didn't focus on the teachings. Perhaps this burning wish and hope which came from the depths of my soul made me really want to attend group Fa-study. A new lecture from Master was published during the summer vacation. A regional Fa-study had been arranged by my mother in an auditorium at her company.
It was extremely hot, but as soon as practitioners heard that Master had published a new lecture, they all went to Fa-study. Our house was on the other side of the city. I was alone at home but I wanted to go. So, I called a young practitioner and we walked across the entire city to participate in the Fa-study.
As soon as I opened the door I saw that the room was full of practitioners. The coordinator was sitting in the middle. She slowly and carefully read each word of Master's new lecture. The atmosphere was solemn and quiet.
“Group Fa study is what I left for everyone, and group exercise is what I left for everyone.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference”)
These memories of practitioners learning from one another forever remind me of the importance of group Fa study. I greatly benefited from the group cultivation environment. The foundation laid in this short period of time played a vital role in my future cultivation. Thank you Master!
Raising Awareness of the Persecution at School
I was on my way home one day in July 1999 and looking forward to group Fa-study. Just as I was about to enter the house a neighbor opened her window and said, “Look at the TV!” I immediately turned on the TV and saw many terrible scenes. Dafa was being attacked by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) through intense broadcasts.
In order to clarify the truth about Dafa to people and the authorities, and to call for the restoration of Falun Dafa’s peaceful cultivation environment, many practitioners did not accept such unfair treatment. And even less did they accept the attacks on Dafa and Master. They went out to face the persecution.
After my father went to Beijing to peacefully petition in 1999, we didn’t hear from him for a long time. My mother’s wish to protect the Fa was also very strong, but she was responsible for her family. She faced difficult choices. There were 80-year old elders at home who needed to be looked after. I was still young and needed to go to school. We discussed what to do after Fa-study. Should we go to Beijing? I expressed my thoughts and I recited Master's poem,
Who Dares Renounce Human Attachments?
While the ordinary man might long for Immortaldom,Behind the unbelievable wonders lies wrenching sorrow;It takes cultivating the mind, severing desires, casting off attachments,Lest man be lost in his ordeals and gripped with deep regret.(Hong Yin)
We decided to let go of human thinking, and went to Beijing to defend the Fa. Under Master’s protection, we went to Beijing twice and returned home safely each time. My mother’s work was not affected and she was able to care for the family. My studies were also unaffected. We encouraged each other on the way to Beijing.
“A Dafa disciple who fails to achieve the effect of safeguarding and upholding Dafa has no way of reaching Consummation, because your cultivation is different from that of the past and the future. Therein lies the magnificence of a Dafa disciple.” (“Fa-Rectification Period Dafa Disciples,” Essentials for Further Advancement II)
My parents were subjected to persecution because of their beliefs. Within two years, our home was illegally ransacked three times. My parents were arrested more than five times. They were detained and illegally interrogated. They had to move and relocate. I was only 12 years old when the persecution began. In order not to expose my parents’ whereabouts I often stayed at the homes of my classmates.
I focused on completing my studies and maintained a good relationship with my teachers and classmates. When I was in junior high school, the headmaster, the school director, and my class teacher were all harassed. Once, two police officers demanded that the school leadership help them investigate my parents by monitoring me. They waited outside the school gate in order to follow me and find my parents. I was warned by a kind teacher that my situation had been exposed.
When I walked out I noticed that two plainclothes officers were watching at me. I immediately warned my classmates and we ran to a bus that was about to set off, managing to get them off my trail.
They later came to the school and directly went to the headmaster’s office to force him to help them. The school leadership brushed them off, and sternly told them, “Take care of it yourself. Don't come to us!”
I was very busy during my high school years. I lived at school. I often went to the teachers' evening gathering to share the beauty of Dafa and the truth of the persecution with them. The teachers accepted it very well and told me what they heard and the stories of traditional culture.
My classmates and I often bypassed the Party's Internet firewall to watch videos produced by overseas practitioners. This was very powerful and beneficial. During class everyone talked about the persecution and expressed their suspicions about the Party's media. Programs produced by practitioners were shown several times in the classroom, and the students watched them attentively.
One classmate’s parents misunderstood me. One of his parents was a successful entrepreneur and socially influential. He reported me to the Education Bureau. The whole school was in an uproar. Our school was renowned, and under the direct administration of the Party’s “rule-of-law educational institution.” I was under intense pressure.
The school leadership was nervous. They constantly talked to me. They advised me to give up practicing Falun Dafa and write a guarantee letter. Each time they came to discuss things with me was a good opportunity to clarify the truth to them.
The headmaster called me to his office one day. He was under pressure from the Party. When he saw that I was unwilling to cooperate, he started to intimidate me by saying that if I did not give up cultivation and write a letter of guarantee, I would be expelled. I was not moved and just repeatedly told him the facts.
What happened later left me in awe.
The police came to the school to arrest me. They waited in the headmaster’s office. The campus was unusually quiet, and our teacher did not come. I later learned that he heard of the plot and tried to stop the police. He publicly told them, “John is a good student and you are not allowed to touch him!”
The police officers were stunned and left. Later, the classmate and his parents apologized to me. I know that this is the manifestation of Dafa’ power to suppress evil in the world, and Master’s compassionate protection of His disciples.
I always remember Master’s teaching,
“If you are a student, your natural duty is to study well and be worthy of what your parents, your schools, and your teachers have done for you.” (“Teaching the Fa and Answering Questions in Guangzhou,” Zhuan Falun Fajie-The Law of Zhuan Falun Explained)
I won various group and individual gold, silver, and bronze medals, and was invited to participate in each year’s campus music concert. I also won numerous national and world-level awards. After graduation, I received an offer from a world-famous university and came to the UK to further my studies.
Everything was so different in the UK. My friends only talked about where to go and have fun. The persecution in China was still taking place, however, and the world’s people were in danger of being destroyed. Leaving China did not release me from my responsibilities. I knew that I had to keep clarifying the truth.
I often read reports on the Minghui website that talked about how elderly practitioners went out in terrible weather conditions and encountered huge difficulties. I decided to go out and talk to people.
“Recently, quite a few practitioners have come out of mainland China. Regardless of how they came, many, I’m aware, did a great job in China, while many, I realize, did poorly. Then when they arrive overseas and find circumstances so trouble-free and relaxed, and no persecution, they start to think about enjoying a comfortable and leisurely life. But to not fulfill one’s vows is a dangerous thing! How so? You have responsibilities! You are a Fa-Rectification Period Dafa Disciple! The Dafa disciples of this era are to assist Master, and to take responsibility for saving people. And yet you don’t work on that! Some people have even not eliminated, after a long time, things that they were indoctrinated with by the evil while in China. Only by doing the three things well can you purge that stuff and turn around all of the Party-culture-wrought thinking that you have—including fear.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2013 Western U.S. Fa Conference”)
Master's words inspired me. For the next five years, in addition to study and work, I clarified the truth almost every weekend. I gained much in personal cultivation. More importantly, these experiences made me clear on the urgency of saving people.
Proactively Saving People
One of the most popular tourist attractions in the UK, the British Museum, is visited by millions of people, including Chinese tourists. Every morning, people wait in line to enter the museum. During peak periods, the line stretches for hundreds of meters. Practitioners talk to people at the entrance and exit.
This was a good place to talk to people and also offered me cultivation opportunities. I found out that I had a very strong attachment to approval, along with a combative mentality. I only wanted to express my own views and was afraid of being rejected, so I was not willing to listen to others.
People want to know the truth. They are willing to listen and exchange their ideas. But they were blocked by me because I just kept speaking to them instead of listening. Westerners often expressed their dissatisfaction when I invited them to sign the petition. I felt that if I listened to their negative thoughts, they would shake my righteous thoughts.
My approach was counterproductive and could not save people. I changed after I gained a better understanding of Western society. I felt that I should give other people more space when I talk to them. Master clearly said,
“Make sure you do it rationally and clearheadedly. When you clarify the truth to people you have to consider their level of acceptance.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Atlanta Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IV)
I realized that I still had the attachment of sentimentality. I live abroad, but I'm worried about my relatives and friends in China. But when I thought about the many people I hadn't talked to, I became sad and felt despondent.
While I was in this state, a fellow practitioner reminded me that there are still practitioners in mainland China, and I should believe that Master has made the best arrangements for them.
After realizing this, I went out to talk to people at the museum, 4-6 hours a day, for about three months. While there I met more than 30 classmates from China, and their friends and relatives. This alleviated my many regrets. Our predestined relationship brought us together from many miles away. I was astonished!
As a young man, I have strong pursuit for fame. Master said,
“He will think that he still has a long way to go in life, and he still wants to make every effort to achieve some goals of everyday people.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)
After I graduated I needed to find a job. Time and opportunities were limited and international students need to spend extra time and energy searching for a job. Because I wanted to focus on talking to people about the persecution, I had little time to look for a job and my heart was often unstable.
I sent out many resumes, but my applications to a company where I had interned were not answered. The situation became increasingly desperate. One day, the company manager came to visit the museum and I met him. I told him about the persecution. Soon after I received a reply from his department, inviting me to work there.
There are many British mainstream people among the visitors. I've met people who have a predestined relationship with me.
I met a knight of the British Empire. I had the chance to listen to him at the university, but I did not have the opportunity to tell him the facts. On one dark winter evening I stood alone outside the museum gate and gave out leaflets to people who were coming and going. I noticed a tall figure coming out of the door. He took the leaflet and placed it in his pocket. At that moment I recognized him.
Another time, a university professor signed the petition. One Chinese lady had watched me for a long time. While I was talking to the professor she walked over and shouted that I was deceiving people. The professor not only stayed unaffected, he rebutted her, and said, “He is not a liar. He is my student. I believe what he says.” He finished signing the petition. The Chinese lady was stunned, speechless, and had to be dragged away by her friends.
My MP knows that Falun Dafa is being persecuted and knows about the CCP's state-sanctioned live organ harvesting. He sent a letter to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs calling for an investigation into the forced organ harvesting and asking to stop the persecution. I saw him and his family one weekend while I was at the museum. I told him that I received the letter from him and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. I thus had the chance to thank him in person for his righteous support.
Every day I feel that Master is around, carefully arranging everything,
“People with predestined relationships and those who can be saved can be made to--made to by Master's Law Bodies, righteous gods, or the immense field that Dafa has formed in the world--appear right before you in any of a range of settings, providing them with a chance to learn the truth. But you have to carry it out, and it doesn't work if you're not out there doing things. Even though the overall state of affairs has undergone huge changes, the pressure [of what lies] before you hasn't lessened. Saving people right now is an urgent matter; there are still many people who haven't seen the truth.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. VII)
I recently saw scenes from another dimension—a huge snowy mountain appeared in the distant blue sky, standing on a huge Falun. The three golden characters, “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance” stood between the mountains and the white clouds. This scene was exceptionally clear, incomparably magnificent, and sacred.
Hundreds of millions of years ago, we followed Master to the human world. We vowed to help with Fa-rectification and save sentient beings. I do not care if I'm wealthy, famous, or successful. I only care about how many beings have not been saved because I did not do well.
I want to work well with fellow practitioners, improve steadfastly, eradicate the evil, and save many more people.
Thank you Master! Please strengthen me.
(Presented at the 2019 European Fa Conference)