Cultivating Falun Dafa from College to Middle Age
(Minghui.org) I began to practice Falun Dafa in early 1999. A few months later, practitioners participated in the “April 25” peaceful appeal, which was followed by the full-on launch of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) persecution of Falun Dafa on July 20, 1999.
The overwhelming persecution, as well as the fabricated lies, rained down all at once. A few months prior to the persecution, I had been going between my school and the local Fa-study site, doing the morning exercises, and studying the Fa, and this had made me feel very lighthearted. These few months had convinced me that Falun Dafa is a righteous Fa and laid a good foundation for my being steadfast in my future cultivation.
Cultivating and Finding My True Self
After I began to practice Falun Dafa, I always wanted to be a good person and felt an indescribable happiness. While I still didn't really understand what cultivation was all about and only knew to be a good person, I’d give up my seat on the bus and kept my heart unmoved when I saw money on the ground. When vendors mistakenly charged me too little, I paid the difference. I helped to spread the Fa, assisted those in need, and felt a sense of joy in doing things for others. Back then, all I felt was the joy of cultivation, and I only thought about how to be a good person.
With more and more Fa-study, I began to realize that the core of cultivation is cultivating the mind. One time, I was very calm while sitting in the lotus position studying Lecture One in Zhuan Falun, the main teachings of Falun Dafa and I understood the inner meaning of improving one’s xinxing.
Master Li said: “I’ll tell you a truth: The entire cultivation process for a cultivator is one of constantly giving up human attachments.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)
As a child, I was hot-tempered and easily upset. After I began to cultivate, I changed significantly. In the early stages of doing the exercises, my body was gradually purified. Master cleaned up my intestines and stomach, so I often had diarrhea when I began the exercises. The pimples on my face gradually disappeared and my long-term constipation went away. I also no longer had monthly fevers and cold flushes. I looked much younger as a result and felt uplifted.
Twenty years have passed, and my face has changed very little from 20 years ago when I was a student. I went to a friend’s store last month, and quite a few customers wondered if I was my friend’s child, though we are only a few years apart in age. It was just like Master said: “The only difference is that you look younger than those of your age.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)
Before I began to cultivate, my dentist said that all my teeth would fall out by the time I was 20 because I had periodontitis. My teeth bled whenever I ate. But I didn’t end up losing my teeth; they are all in good shape. As a result of my good health, I have hardly needed to use my medicare card.
“We do not seek what everyday people want. Instead, what we get issomething everyday people cannot obtain—even if they want to—except through cultivation.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
A few months into my cultivation, the persecution of Falun Dafa began. I was about to enter graduate school, and the dean told us about a design project for graduating students. The winner would receive a monetary reward and be recognized by the department. It was amazing. Four of us were competing on this project, so how could I come out on top? I had little interest in fame, but during my first year of cultivation, the tests regarding fame and self-interest kept popping up one after another.
I started drafting a design at home over the first few days. I wondered how I could win this project, and my heart went up and down. When the time came for the dean and a few others to review my draft, the dean didn’t take my work very seriously. However, the work of the student who did poorly academically was considered the best. I felt it was very unfair.
On the surface, I had a good relationship with all of my competitors, because I understood what I was supposed to do as a practitioner. But, when my personal interest was touched upon, I still couldn’t let it go completely. I re-worked my draft but still wasn’t satisfied. I kept making changes for about two weeks until I had to submit my final design to be judged.
As I was walking to the dean’s office to learn the outcome, I suddenly became very calm. There was only one thought in my mind: “Dafa is still being persecuted. As long as I have the Fa, that’s all I need.” I walked in and sat down, and the dean announced that my design had been selected, and I’d also be in charge of a series of designs after this. I was a bit shocked and also came to realize what Master said: “If something is yours, you will not lose it. If something is not yours, you will not have it even if you fight for it.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)
This showed me how miraculous cultivation is. The elevation in one’s realm is far more precious than one’s losses and gains in the human world. After I let go of my attachments, the outcome turned around. As a cultivator, one has good fortune. I often ran into similar tests in my cultivation. When I could truly let go of loss and gain and keep my heart unmoved, I didn’t lose anything. In fact, I was the first student to finish my graduation design. It put me into a win-win situation, because the project aided my job hunt.
Right before I graduated, I went to Southern China and found a job with a prestigious company. I then became essential to the company. Soon after I started working there, the owner thought very highly of me, yet the design director gave me the cold shoulder. I later found out that they were at odds with each other.
When I first started, I needed to get over the learning curve, so I not only did my work diligently but stayed overtime on my own initiative. This made the design director jealous. Once, after 8 p.m., I was the only one still working and the design director called me, pretending to be a client. He asked if he could talk to the best designer in the company because he wanted to start a new project with us. I was a bit at a loss and had to tell him that the best designer had already left work. I asked him to leave a contact number for me to give to the design director the following day. He hung up. I then understood what he was concerned about. We became friends and I was able to clarify the facts to him.
On a packaging project, I secured a contract worth more than 400,000 yuan. I also received awards from the municipal packing association. From that, I truly came to feel that Dafa had unlocked my wisdom and that a practitioner has good fortune. At the end of the year, my boss secretly gave me a bonus of several thousand yuan. I was confused by that, so I went to talk to him and said that, since I practice Dafa, I couldn’t take the bonus and suggested he keep it for the company. My boss was stunned but also admired my integrity.
A year later, because I overlooked safety issues while contacting practitioners from my hometown, the police tracked me down. They came to my company, arrested me, and held me in a brainwashing center. This was the very first time I was subjected to the persecution. My colleagues tried their best to rescue me. Six months later when I was due to be released, my colleagues came to the brainwashing center to pick me up. My boss told me later, “I tried to use my contacts to get you out of there. I have quite a network in our local area, yet I couldn’t do much about it.” I truly appreciated him putting in so much effort.
I moved on to a private company and became a manager at its headquarters in 2015. There were a few hundred employees at headquarters, and their interpersonal relationships were rather complicated. While being tempered by tests regarding fame and self-interest, I became friends with most of my colleagues. I also got along very well with every department director as well as the deputy president. I didn’t know how to flatter people or work on interpersonal relationships and only put my heart into my work, but I gained recognition and helped others when they came to me.
I was very easygoing at work. I always asked my subordinates to address me by my name as opposed to my title. I treated them as friends and tried to clarify the facts to them. Quite a few colleagues who resigned to go to other companies left me cards to express their appreciation. On their cards, a few of them commented that I was the best manager they’d ever had. Two of them wrote that they’d remember “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.” I was very hands-on when it came to lessening the pressure on our employees and balancing relationships with them well.
I was in charge of strategic planning for several stores. Initially, the relationship between these stores and headquarters was terrible. When I first took over the role, I realized that the store managers had formed their own clique, and they disrespected headquarters and disobeyed its orders. This situation only changed after I put my heart into understanding their needs, communicated with every one of their staff patiently, responded to their needs, and taught them professional skills. The retail store staff thought very highly of me. They changed their attitudes and began to work well with the management at headquarters.
The salary of the store employees was fairly low. One time, a male staff member's mother was sick, and he had to go home to take care of her. Before he left, I went to the store specifically to comfort him. I told him about saying, “Falun Dafa is wonderful, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is wonderful.” When I tried to offer him some money, he declined. Caring for people truly came from my heart, and I treated them as if they were my family.
The suppliers often tried to bribe me with gifts, but I always tried to decline them. There are no small things in cultivation, and only by rectifying ourselves in everything we do, including the small things, can we truly meet the standard of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
One supplier often tried in vain to bribe me. They mistakenly thought that I wasn’t happy with them. They invited me to visit their factory and took me out for lunch afterward. I took this opportunity to clarify the facts to them. They then offered me a ride home, and on the way they took out an expensive perfume to give to me. I had to take it, but I passed it on to someone who had the closest working relationship with this supplier. I also used the opportunity to talk to her about my belief, and she was very touched.
We were working on an internal company project one time and had to hire an external supplier to do some of the work. My colleague referred a supplier who quoted us over 200,000 yuan. Right off the bat, I knew this was a high quote. I recommended that my friend bid for the project, and he asked only over 60,000 yuan. We agreed to increase the price a little and signed the contract with my friend—the increase was to cover his overtime fees. He later told me that the portion he’d added on was actually meant for me.
We have been friends for a very long time. He was my boss at my previous company. I talked to him about Falun Dafa and helped him to quit the CCP. When I told him seriously that I wouldn’t take the money from his contract, he didn’t quite believe me and thought it was ridiculous, as this is common practice nowadays. He wondered why I’d hold on to my own ideas. I said this was the power of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, as Master requires us to be good people. Hearing that, he truly admired me. Any practitioner who solidly cultivates would have done the same thing, as Falun Dafa is truly a pure land. Compared to other practitioners, I still have some areas where I fall short, and I need to continue to rectify myself to do better.
Steadfast in Cultivation, Persistent in Saving Sentient Beings
Moving to a new city after graduation, not knowing any other practitioners there, and possessing very little technical knowledge, I still bought a black and white Canon photocopier to make Dafa materials and handed them out. Back then, I had no fear and never worried about video camera surveillance. A few days later, I realized that there were people monitoring me all along, but I had no negative thoughts in mind and only thought about how to help people learn the truth.
I met more practitioners after 2002. We broadened our technical knowledge. As our xinxing improved, we set up one material production center after another. I began to learn how to put together a computer, install an operating system, purchase and maintain color jets and laser printers, and how to make Dafa books, produce brochures, desk calendars, DVDs, and amulets. There were also other truth-clarification projects going on. We worked well together. We all made the most of our abilities.
Our material production centers were all over the city. Senior practitioners also learned how to produce materials and print truth-clarification messages on paper currency. Sometimes when I helped practitioners who had very little computer knowledge, they would easily forget what I had just shown them. I had to teach them simple things a number of times, and items that just got fixed broke again. Because of that, doing things repeatedly became a hardship in my mind, and sometimes I’d complain or even felt it was very tedious.
“The more hopeless things may seem, it’s possible hope will appear right before your eyes. Especially during those times when you are feeling so bored, perhaps you are in fact establishing your mighty virtue. I hope that you can really manage to cooperate well, have strong enough righteous thoughts, look within when you run into things, and be enthusiastic like you were when you first took up cultivation.” (“What is a Dafa Disciple,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI
In a dream, I saw many practitioners surrounding Master. He showed us all kinds of techniques to awaken people’s consciences in great detail. It looked so real. We only need to take action. It’s really Master making all the arrangements behind the scenes.
When I felt cultivation was most difficult, in 2010, udumbara flowers began to blossom at my home. They blossomed for seven years. Two years ago, new flowers started to come out. Master has been encouraging me. If the persecution doesn’t end, our truth-clarification will not stop.
“Dafa disciples, you are golden light in the mortal world, the hope of the world’s people, Fa-disciples who help Master, and future Fa-Kings.” (“Congratulatory Message,” The Essentials of Diligent Progress, Vol. III)
“Everything here in human society was established for Fa-rectification, and all that exists today exists for the sake of my Dafa disciples validating the Fa.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2005 Canada Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. V)
At this critical moment, we must do well. When I first started to cultivate, I was still in college. Now I am middle-aged. It’s been 21 years, and I have hardly anything outstanding to share, but I can still validate the beauty of Dafa through the little things.