New Practitioner: Truly Learning to Cultivate
(Minghui.org) In 2011, while still in high school, I left China to study overseas. A boy in my class really liked me. His persistence touched me, and I agreed to date him.
On a cold and rainy day, we drove past the Chinese Consulate, where we saw Falun Dafa practitioners holding banners. I was touched and said, “It’s not easy protesting like this, especially when being wronged for your belief.”
The boy told me that his family members practiced Falun Dafa. Although I appeared to be calm, I was somewhat scared due to the effects of the propaganda about Dafa I’d seen in China.
After that, I began to observe his family members. Both his family and mine did well financially; we drove our own cars in high school and would buy whatever we liked without worrying about the price.
I would eat out every day, and if I didn't finish my food, I would simply throw it away. The boy's sister practiced Falun Dafa and had higher standards for her behavior. Every time we dined out and had leftovers, she would take them home and eat them later rather than waste them.
I really enjoyed being around her. I noticed that she treated everyone with great kindness. When being mistreated by others, she did not pay much attention. She lived in a big three-story single-family house. She kept the house clean, which I thought was unbelievable for someone only a few years older than me!
Gradually, my misunderstanding of Falun Dafa and practitioners dissolved. One day, she asked me if I wanted to study Zhuan Falun, the main book of Falun Dafa, with her. I agreed.
After finishing the first lecture, I learned that Falun Dafa teaches one to become a good person. After reading all nine lectures of Zhuan Falun, I felt my world view had changed. I now knew how to be a good person!
One day, several practitioners close to her age got together. All of them had been cultivating with their parents from a young age. I asked one of them, “Why do you want to cultivate to become a Buddha? Isn't it good enough to be a regular person?” I was young, pretty, healthy, wealthy, and hadn't yet been exposed to the complicated society. Satisfied and happy to be a regular person, I couldn't understand why they wanted to attain Buddhahood.
Despite my poor enlightenment quality, Master (Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa) was compassionate and let me experience many beautiful and extraordinary things. When I first began sending righteous thoughts, I felt as if I were rushing upward like I was in a fast elevator. Frightened, I immediately opened my eyes and found myself still sitting on the floor.
Sometimes I felt myself getting bigger and bigger, as if my entire body was as huge as the universe. Once when I was sending righteous thoughts, I saw countless colorful Falun flying out from the middle of my palms, which were in the lotus flower hand position, and in the end a big srivatsa symbol rested in front of me.
Interference from My Parents
During my summer vacation, I returned to China with the boy I was dating. His parents drove all the way to my city to clarify the truth about Falun Dafa to my family. However, my family members are very impulsive and forced us to break up instead. In order to separate us, when I returned abroad, my parents transferred me to a school in a city 5,000 kilometers away from my original school.
When I arrived in the new city, a fellow practitioner from the city I was in before introduced me to a young practitioner who agreed to mentor me. Thus, I did not leave the Dafa environment. Every day, I studied the Fa and shared my experiences with other practitioners online. Studying Dafa greatly changed my mentality.
In the new school, my classmates felt I was easygoing, simpleminded, and did not chase branded items like other girls. I began telling Chinese people around me about Dafa, explaining how it teaches people to be truthful, compassionate, and tolerant. They agreed to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its youth organizations after learning about the Party’s persecution of Dafa.
Every weekend, I went to Chinatown to distribute fliers. I also participated in various parades and sold tickets for Shen Yun. More than a year later, my family came abroad to visit me and discovered I was practicing Dafa. They shouted at me angrily and even tried to hold on to me and jump from the 22nd floor of the building!
Crying in front of Master's picture, I said, “Why is it so difficult to cultivate? It’s so hard to be a good person!” My family felt the only way they could control me and keep me from practicing Dafa was to keep me close. They made me go back to China before finishing college, and they made me marry a non-practitioner.
After getting married, although my husband did not oppose my cultivation, I lost my cultivation environment. I did not know any practitioners in China and was afraid of my family. Gradually my cultivation became sluggish and I stopped studying the Fa.
I was separated from Dafa for five years. My behavior gradually became like an everyday person, and I fell into a life of pursuing fame, fortune, and personal desires.
Returning to Dafa
When pregnant with my second child, I thought about going overseas to give birth. This would allow me to be in a good cultivation environment, and I thought I could return to China when the child was two or three months old.
After arriving abroad, I still felt muddle-headed. I didn’t get into the environment for cultivation there. My state would improve for several days if I occasionally looked at the Minghui website and read fellow practitioners' experience-sharing articles. But still, I could not pick up Zhuan Falun. I couldn't understand the new “On Dafa” or Master's new teachings.
My environment did not improve until I took my husband and children to see Shen Yun. I cried throughout the entire show. When I saw the charm and gentleness of the traditional Chinese women projected by the dancers, I told my husband that I had to get rid of my temper and act like a woman.
The New York Fa Conference was approaching, and I wanted to register to attend. I wanted to see Master too. As I had not participated in any study groups or Dafa projects, I could only apply as a special case. There was only one thought in my mind then, “I must attend!”
I recalled my cultivation experience from the beginning and truthfully put it in writing. Without knowing, I wrote nearly five thousand words. Finally accepted, I signed up for the conference.
From that moment, I began cherishing my cultivation opportunity. I felt everything I had was given by Master. I really believe he was by my side. I feel extremely grateful that Master did not give up on me even though I had failed to live up to his expectations!
At the beginning of May, there was to be a local Fa conference. The coordinator asked me to speak at the conference using the paper I wrote for New York, but I immediately refused. I said, “It's probably not a good idea. I need to go back to China in the future. With so many CCP agents around the world, I don’t want to be too visible.”
Worrying about what would happen if I returned to China, I asked my husband how he would feel about not going back to China. He did not mind at all. He also did not have a bad impression of Dafa. At least I knew my immediate family had no problem with not returning to China.
The next day I went to the Fa conference. As soon as I entered the building, I rushed to the organizers and told them I would not speak. I then found a spot to sit and listen to the speeches given by other practitioners.
While listening, tears covered my face. Looking at Master’s picture and being in such a solemn Fa conference, how honored I would be if I could share my experience! Yet I refused this opportunity because of my fear. Just then, I heard the host calling my name and asking me to prepare.
I was startled because I had clearly told them I would not give a speech. While waiting my turn, the struggle in my mind became more and more fierce. In the end, I decided to give my speech. If it didn't work out, say if I was photographed by a spy, I just wouldn't go back to China.
My mind told me that I came here to cultivate, not to live as an ordinary person! Even if my family rejects me, denounces me, beats me, or cuts off my financial support, I would not be afraid. The substance of fear in me was eliminated.
When I talked about how my family did not allow me to cultivate, I couldn’t control my tears. After the sharing, many of them came over to encourage me, telling me my sharing had moved them to tears.
I felt relieved and so grateful to Master for giving me this opportunity to speak at such a solemn Fa conference, which allowed me to find my fundamental attachment and make a breakthrough in my cultivation.
Improving Xinxing When Eliminating Karma
Less than a week before the New York Fa Conference, my body had symptoms of illness karma. I’d never been through this before. Now I understood what Master meant when he said:
“There are also people who later understand the content of my lectures. They begin to let go of their attachments and their bodies are purified. While others’ bodies all feel light, these people just begin to heal their illnesses and feel uncomfortable. In every class there are such people who lag behind with poorer enlightenment quality. Therefore, it is all normal no matter what you encounter.” (Lecture Two, Zhuan Falun)
It started with a sore throat, and by the evening I developed a fever with a runny nose much like a bad cold. I suffered badly. However, the fever would disappear during the day so I could take care of my two kids, cook, and do housework.
The next day, my husband, our two kids and I took a five-hour flight to New York. From the moment we stepped on the plane, my husband began complaining about me. When we arrived at the hotel, he started to complain about the hotel I had booked. I was already so exhausted due to illness karma, yet he never stopped nagging all the way.
At that time, because of the improvement in my Fa study, I knew he was helping me remove karma. Although I didn’t argue with him, I couldn’t let it go. With all of my physical and mental exhaustion, finally the day I was waiting for arrived. I could see Master at the Fa Conference! I felt so happy and excited.
After returning home from New York, my illness karma did not go away, and instead I started to have chills and a sharp stabbing pain in my temple. I stayed in bed without moving. At that point, my husband said, “Aren't you in the process of karma elimination? Are you treating yourself as a patient? Why don't you hurry and get up and do the exercises!”
I knew he was right, but the pain made me unable to get up and do the exercises. Right then, I received a text message from a fellow practitioner who told me that when he returned from the Fa Conference, he also experienced illness karma elimination. But after he finished an hour of meditation, everything was fine. I started meditating right away.
I felt so ashamed of myself. The last time I meditated for a full hour was when I first started practicing Dafa. I never expected to meditate for the purpose of reducing pain. At the end of the exercise, I felt better, but it still hurt.
My husband asked whether I did the other exercises. I rushed to do the other exercises but skipped the second exercise, the Falun Standing Stance.
I was still experiencing terrible pains in my head, face, and teeth. I woke up in the middle of the night and thought, “As I could not sleep anyway, I will do the Falun Standing Stance!” Then, as soon as I finished the exercise, the pain eased a lot. I fell sound sleep for the entire night.
But the next day, the attacks of pain returned, and I had to carry on under the extreme suffering. But my husband was sick too when we got back from New York, so he couldn't provide any help beyond his endless complaining about me.
During these two weeks, I thought about my shaky cultivation at the beginning and how I had created so much karma as an ordinary person. Master only had me bear such a small portion, yet I still tried to avoid enduring it. Moreover, if I didn't cultivate, I might get a serious illness anyway or even lose my life because of it! I felt determined to cultivate diligently and eliminate all attachments.
For a month, I suffered a lot of overwhelming stress and pain, from both sickness karma and taking care of my children and housework. I felt physically and mentally exhausted. But after undergoing such a tribulation, I felt as if I was reborn. Finally, I can abide by Dafa when I think or do something. I have finally learned how to cultivate.