Reflecting on My Cultivation While Working in a Media Project
(Minghui.org) I was fortunate to attend Master's lecture in Sydney in 1998, but I didn't cherish the opportunity and I did not begin practicing. Polluted by the poisonous communist culture, I pursued fame and money. To show off my wealth in front of relatives and friends, I spent my husband's hard-earned money on designer clothing and luxury cars. I often compared my child with the “smart kids” at school and repeatedly talked about their academic achievements. My daughter developed very low self-esteem. She began to skip classes. When she was home she stayed in her room. Our family's relationships were very tense.
I continued muddling along in life. One winter day in 2013, I suddenly had a stroke and lapsed into a coma. I was rushed to the hospital. The good news was that after I regained consciousness, the doctor said that my memory wasn't seriously affected. The bad news was all the nerves in my right foot were damaged. My foot was paralyzed and the chance for a full recovery was slim. I was prohibited from driving. After being discharged I was offered an eight-week therapy session, but that did not make any difference for my condition. My husband had to support me when I walked downstairs or went into the house. I was in so much pain every day. I felt I was a "useless person."
Master was looking out after me. A practitioner found me and told me about Falun Dafa. She came to my home and taught me the exercises. I persisted in practicing every day and followed Master's Fa to improve my xinxing. My attachment to everyday things lessened, and my home environment improved. I could feel that my body was also getting better. A month later, my “disabled” right leg was able to walk. When I went back to the doctor he excitedly said, “You can drive now!” My feeling of gratitude and excitement was beyond description.
My Enlightenment Tested
Shortly afterwards I was told that Shen Yun would be coming to Auckland. A practitioner said that we were shorthanded and urgently needed to deliver thousands of promotional flyers. She asked if I would like to help. Even though I could walk and drive again, I was still afraid to travel. So, I refused.
In “Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles”, Master said,
“What's important for cultivators is righteous thoughts. When you have strong righteous thoughts, you are able to withstand anything and do anything. That’s because you are a cultivator: someone who is on a divine path and who is not controlled by the factors of ordinary people or low-level principles.” (Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles)
The Fa gave me a new understanding of cultivation. I called that practitioner and said that I would like to help. During the process of delivering the flyers to each mail box, once again I experienced how amazing Falun Dafa is. We set out at 7:00 a.m., carrying 4-5 kg of flyers which we needed to deliver to each household. In some rural areas, there was only one house after walking for quite a while. Sometimes we had to travel on mountain roads. To save time, we brought lunch. We finished at 7 or 8 p.m.
Exhausted from a long day of hard work, that practitioner was worried about me and reminded me before she left that Master said, “...practicing cultivation is the best form of rest.” (Lecture at the First Conference in North America) So, I meditated after dinner.
I was only able to do the meditation single-legged. I could barely cross both legs even with my husband's help. It always became so painful that one leg slipped down after 1 or 2 minutes. That night however, I could easily put up both legs. Fifteen minutes passed - I still felt no pain. Tears of gratitude rolled down my cheeks. I knew that my life had been rebuilt by Master, it belonged to Dafa now. I also eliminated many attachments and stopped slacking off in cultivation.
Cultivation Is Serious
Cultivation is a serious matter, and we need to pay close attention to everything we encounter. We should focus on letting go of attachments, notions, and deal with problems using the principles of Dafa. I realized that a lot of seemingly trivial things could result in big problems if they were not taken seriously.
One night, I vaguely heard a quivering voice, “Send rights thoughts for me”. I thought I was dreaming, but then realized that it was my husband's voice. When I ran into his room he was trembling and his face was pale. I immediately sat down. My first thought was to look inward and reflect on my cultivation.
I must not have taken cultivation seriously and this gave the negative things an opening to cause trouble. I felt ashamed for not being able to even help the closest person to me, let alone saving sentient beings. I kept sending righteous thoughts while looking inwards: In regards to my husband did I really display “...selflessness and altruism.” (“Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature,” Essentials For Further Advancement)?
He recently undertook a lead role in a media project, and his responsibilities had increased. Was I caring, considerate, tolerant and supportive towards him as a wife should be? Sometimes we had arguments as we have different levels of understanding. I often wanted him to agree with or act according to my notions. If he disagreed I belittled or pressured him and made a big deal out of it - which is exactly like the Communist Party approach. Sometimes I think I’m being considerate but he doesn’t appreciate me. I soon become angry. As soon as I realized this, I sincerely apologized to Master and promised to change. I then sent out a strong thought: “We are Master Li Hongzhi’s disciples, no evil forces have the right to persecute us.”
My husband later said that he was overwhelmed with fierce and unbearable pain that night. He kept sending righteous thoughts, looking inwards and asking for Master’s help. After several hours, he was still trembling with pain and it was even hard to breathe. He called to me for help. The moment I sat down and sent righteous thoughts, he felt relaxed. My husband and I both know that only by believing in Dafa, having righteous thoughts, and looking inwards at all times, can we break through the hardships and accomplish our sacred missions.
Cherish Fellow Practitioners and Cultivate True Compassion
After I practiced for a few years, I realized that the attachment of “self-validation” is rooted in jealousy. It is a terrible mindset that could sow the seeds of “Demonic Interference from One’s Own Mind” (Zhuan Falun).
The purpose of our media projects is not to make a profit, but to save all sentient beings. This mission is carried out based on voluntary contribution. However, some practitioners who recently came from mainland China misunderstood this point and demanded to get paid or receive benefits. This resulted in the company spending a large amount of money, which then led to financial losses.
With my ever-increasing workload, I felt very time-constrained. I had to handle many things and was under a lot of pressure. I started to have anxiety and look down on practitioners. I acted just like an ordinary person and became emotional. Even when I talked with practitioners, I imposed my own ideas on them. Having heated conversations or resentment, isn't this the ideology of hatred which comes from the Communist Party?
Master said, “I can't leave behind any of the Dafa disciples. Every person is family to me,...” (“Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. VI) Every practitioner is my relative. I want to cultivate real compassion and collaborate with fellow practitioners to form one body.
Letting Go of “Self”
I’ve worked in the media project for more than three years. Every step I've taken, every obstacle that I've broken through, every xinxing improvement, each attachment that I've let go of, and every advertisement contract we've signed was achieved with Master’s help. In numerous lectures, Master said that “...looking within is a magical tool.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IX)
As practitioners, however, we all know that the real tests come while dealing with conflicts. When someone or I have a strong attachment, it tests whether I can still look inward unconditionally and improve. One practitioner I know cultivates quite well, but she still can't get over the same attachment. I became frustrated with her and stopped talking to her. Wasn't that jealousy?
“The issue of jealousy is very serious as it directly involves the matter of whether or not you can complete cultivation. If jealousy is not abolished, everything that you have cultivated will become fragile. There is this rule: If in the course of cultivation jealousy is not given up, one will not attain Righteous Fruition—absolutely not.” ( Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)
During the Taiwan Film Festival which was held in Auckland, the organizer was a client of another practitioner. The practitioner asked me, “Can you come with me to the premiere? It's hard to find someone to come on a Friday night.” I turned her down thinking that it wasn't even my client, and Friday night was our small group Fa study. But after the conversation, I asked myself, “Did I assimilate to the characteristics of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance?” I tell everyone that I'm Dafa practitioner. But my behavior is just words and no action. I saw my selfishness, so I changed my mind and went with her.
The movie was “To the Fore” a story about a bicycle racing team. I know that it was no coincidence that she and I saw this film. A bicycle team consists of a “sprinter” who will cross the finish line and two “windbreakers” who endure wind resistance almost all the way. Racing as a team is important and members need to make sacrifices to win. The lead actor was the best performer on the team, but the coach assigned him as one of the “windbreakers” instead of the “sprinter” in a major international competition. Eventually, he lets go of his grievances and self-esteem in the competition and becomes a committed “windbreaker”. He blocked the opponent's advancements, made breakthroughs, created opportunities for the “sprinter”, and finally the team defeated a strong competitor.
From my understanding of Dafa, “self” is the biggest obstacle when trying to stop the persecution of Dafa disciples. However, anything can be achieved with strong teamwork and cooperation. Only by forming one body can the persecution be stopped and the evil eliminated. When encountering problems or conflicts with fellow practitioners, xinxing tests, or issues that need to be resolved as a team. I no longer think about how capable I am or have strong attachments to the outcome. I just do my best.
My sharing is based on my level of understanding. Please correct me if anything in it doesn't align with the Fa.
(Presented at the 2019 New Zealand Fa Conference)