(Minghui.org) I am a 64-year old retired elementary school teacher. Due to severe rheumatism and heart disease, I retired before I was 40. I saw the book Falun Gong in 1995 in a bookstore, scanned the table of contents, and believed that I had found something precious, so I bought it.
The first thing I did after I got home was read the book. I finished it that night and also learned the exercises.
I could not fall asleep, so I started to do the meditation. I was not able to sit with my legs crossed, so I sat in a chair. A few minutes later, I saw clusters of dark energy leaving my chest. I knew that Master had opened my celestial eye. It was only 20 hours from the time I’d bought the book to the time I did the exercises,
Master said: “Right away you will practice cultivation at high levels.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun) I didn’t feel tired and had a great deal of energy even though I didn’t sleep. I knew that I had found the genuine Fa. From then on, I have had a direction in my life—I will follow Master to cultivate and return to my true self.
I saw a dark human figure made of karma leaving my body six months later. I then obtained the supernormal ability of precognition and retrocognition. I saw many of my previous lives and the relationship between Master and me in my previous lives. I also saw that humans were created by gods, did not evolve from apes, and that our primordial spirit does not die. As my xinxing and level improved, I developed a deeper understanding of Master’s words: “Genuinely guiding people towards high levels” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun). I understood that Falun Dafa is the Buddha Fa, not an ordinary qigong exercise.
I have cultivated for 25 years. Master has watched over me, helped me pass every xinxing test, and raised my cultivation level.
A fellow practitioner visited me in 2016 and said, “We both make Dafa truth-clarifying materials. The reason we were arrested in the past for making them is because we didn’t know how to cultivate, and we didn’t look inward.” I was making materials as she spoke. I didn’t say anything, but I didn’t agree with her.
I didn’t believe that I didn’t know how to cultivate. I thought that I had devoted myself to cultivation. I had closely followed Master’s teaching:
“Study the Fa and gain the Fa,Focus on how you study and cultivate,Let each and every thingbe measured against the Fa.Only then, with that,is it actually cultivation.”(“Solid Cultivation,” Hong Yin, English translation version A)
Since the beginning of the persecution in 1999, besides making materials, I also have coordinated local practitioners and organized numerous experience sharing conferences. I have helped to set up material production sites in my town and the nearby areas and provided fellow practitioners with printers, computers, and supplies. I have diligently read the Fa, done the exercises, and sent forth righteous thoughts. I have transcribed Zhuan Falun many times, four times in 2013 alone.
How could she say I didn’t know how to cultivate? I thought that I was arrested was because the evil is just evil. As Master said: “It’s just like how poison is bound to be poisonous, and even if you asked it not to be poisonous it couldn’t do that.” (Fa Teaching at the 2013 Greater New York Fa Conference) It certainly wasn’t because I didn’t know how to cultivate.
I missed a chance to look inward due to my strong ego. A few days later, this practitioner came to my house again. She said the same thing, but I didn’t change my mind. My mind was filled with the thoughts: “I am able to do so many things” and “I am the best at such and such.”
The third time, this practitioner patiently said the same thing. Although I didn’t say anything, my mind started to change. My thoughts that I was so capable and “the best” disappeared. Over 20 years, no practitioner had tried to convince me so patiently. Another practitioner had said to me: “You are the leader. Who would dare to criticize you?” Recalling that, I appreciated this practitioner's patience, big heart, and mercy in the face of my resistance. Her smile was sincere, and her words were direct and honest, which made me respect her.
After she left, I knelt down in front of Master’s portrait and said: “Master, it is true that I didn’t know how to cultivate. Otherwise, this practitioner would not have repeated the same thing to me again and again.” Master looked at me seriously. I was cleansed by Master watching me. My ego disappeared.
I realized that Master had sent this practitioner to help me. I said: “Master, you knew that I truly want to diligently cultivate, but I didn’t know how to cultivate. You were worried about me, so you sent my fellow practitioner to help me. From the beginning, I have always treated ‘doing things’ as cultivation and regarded the amount of things I did as a sign of diligence. I now know I was wrong. I will rectify myself immediately.”
I recalled Master’s words that the fundamental difference between a practitioner and an everyday person is that a practitioner can look inward when encountering problems. I felt ashamed. I appreciated that Master helped me eliminate my ego and felt ashamed that I’d studied the Fa but didn’t obtain the Fa. Master said: “In genuine cultivation practice one must cultivate one’s own heart and inner self. One should search inside oneself rather than outside.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
Although I’d memorized the Fa, I didn’t understand the meaning of it. At that moment, I understood Master’s words: “Only then, with that, is it actually cultivation.” (“Solid Cultivation,” Hong Yin, English translation version A). It not only refers to what and how many things I have done but also means “looking inward.” Only if I can look within is it actually cultivation.
This enlightenment helped me understand a dream I had. I was arrested and held in a detention center in 2007. In my dream I saw all the kidnapped practitioners’ verdicts, which agreed with their actual sentences announced a year later, but not mine. I knew that I had loopholes, but I didn’t know what they were. In the dream, I broke through all the doors and headed back to my own house, until I was stopped by a fence. The scene was clear. A rational practitioner would have realized that the barrier was caused by my ego. But my ego kept me from enlightening. Had I enlightened to this, I would not have been taken advantage of by the old forces. I failed to look inward during the persecution. Instead, I took Master’s teaching of “poison being poisonous” as the excuse.
I learned how to cultivate, which is to look inward. The process is like peeling an onion, layer by layer. Then one can see one's true self.
The aforementioned practitioner and I found that many practitioners were doing the three things well, but they often failed to look inward, just like the old me, and treated doing things as cultivation. A few practitioners didn’t read the Fa well so that they could not overcome the evil’s interference. They got sleepy whenever they studied the Fa or sent righteous thoughts. There were also a few who didn’t do the three things well. Such practitioners had strong attachments to sentimentality and could not prioritize cultivation, while some could not see through the illusion of sickness karma. A few had a strong attachment to ego.
We realized that our responsibility is not only to awaken people’s consciences but also to help other practitioners to improve. That is very important. We talked to them and took every chance to share understandings with them. We also joined their group Fa-study. We shared our understanding of the current trend in Fa-rectification and helped them solve their problems.
Besides that, I also went with another practitioner twice a week to distribute truth-clarifying materials. We set up a Fa-study group at a practitioner's home so that we didn’t have to waste time on transportation. Master arranged for different practitioners to join the group.
One practitioner often fell asleep during Fa-study. Because she did very well clarifying the truth, the practitioners who knew her didn’t want to point out this problem to her. Another practitioner was still indoctrinated by the CCP. One practitioner only focused on her own cultivation and rarely pointed out other practitioners’ problems, while another practitioner had strong righteous thoughts but rarely looked within and was prone to gossiping.
All these practitioners were respected and admired by the practitioners in their own Fa-study groups. They didn’t see their problems or didn’t want to point them out. I talked about my own experiences of looking within and shared how at first I only focused on the surface level issues. I knew those were attachments. When I peeled them off layer by layer, I saw the roots of the problems. After the roots were removed, I became peaceful.
When I noticed Party culture in a practitioner, I realized that I had a similar problem. A practitioner pointed out to me that my tone of voice when reading the Fa was just like delivering a CCP speech. I didn’t agree and didn’t pay attention to it. In my mind, and in many practitioners’ minds, I read the Fa very well. I never added or missed words; I read loudly and at a good pace.
A few months later at a group Fa-study, I noticed that the practitioner who’d helped me find my attachments read so calmly that it put me into a trance. The peacefulness and clarity of her voice conveyed every word of the Fa into my heart. Compared to her, I appeared to be peaceful during Fa-study, but it superficial, as if I was acting and not genuine.
Looking inward, I found that my ego was interfering with me. It showed up when I felt zealous or like showing off. I wanted to hear praise and liked to look down on others. During group Fa-study and sharing, I realized that helping fellow practitioners is a process of improving myself. Fellow practitioners are like mirrors, showing me my own shortcomings.
Because I positioned myself above others, I failed to look within when a practitioner pointed out my problem. This attachment was hidden deeply and not easy to detect if my looking inward stayed at the surface level. I didn’t develop a habit of looking inward and didn’t “let each and every thing be measured against the Fa.” (“Solid Cultivation,” Hong Yin, English translation version A)
Indoctrination is not easy to get rid of. It can be seen and sensed and shows up in one’s behaviors. It infiltrates one’s mind. Only if one improves one’s level through Dafa cultivation can one eliminate it.
My xinxing level improved over the next six months, and I let go of my ego. I tried to assimilate to the Fa and finally developed compassion. My cultivation during that time laid a solid foundation for my future cultivation and helped me look inward whenever I encountered problems.
After some time of group Fa-study and sharing, everyone found his or her own problems, could look within, and rectified themselves according to the Fa. We all saw the ego in ourselves, which not only hindered our improvement but also with doing the three things. We all understand that the ego is not our true self; it is caused by human notions. Its negative effects are what the old evil forces want.
“The spiritual practice done in Dafa is different from that in other religions and practices, because you have a mission as Dafa disciples, which is, to save beings while you journey toward spiritual perfection. It is a responsibility you must assume, as most people in this world came from the heavens and became human in order to receive the Fa teachings. This mission is what makes a Dafa disciple magnificent, for you are meant to become divine beings of extraordinary heights!” (Greetings to the South America Fa Conference, Team yellow translation)
I hope you will study the Fa more, do more to let the truth be known, and each do well on your own path of spiritual cultivation.” (Greetings to the South America Fa Conference, Team yellow translation)
The Fa tells us that, to carry out our mission to awaken people’s conscience, we must stay diligent. A group environment is also extremely important. So we set up two Fa-study groups for those who didn’t come to the group Fa-study often. Only if we study the Fa intensively and well can we have a good group environment. Only through Fa-study can we look inward and carry out our mission.
Guided by Master through Fa-study, we found our shortcomings. We all understood that the reason for not being perfected is because we didn’t study the Fa well enough and failed to look within. With Master’s help, more practitioners joined the Fa-study groups and started to pay serious attention to Fa-study and looking inward.
When distributing and making truth-clarifying materials, two of us printed more than 10,000 copies of the Minghui.org editorial Notices in one month. Several practitioners processed the copies and made them into posters. In our town, many residential subdivisions and streets were covered with our materials.
Now, we try our best to overcome all kinds of difficulties to carry out our mission. There are no obstacles. We collaborate well with each other on every project.
As practitioners improve their levels, they encourage more practitioners to join the group Fa-study and benefit from the environment. More and more practitioners see the significance of handing out truth-clarifying materials and no longer harbor the notion that most people will throw them away. They realize that practitioners play the lead role, and unrighteous notions do not help.
Once thoughts are rectified, our actions are, too. We made more and more truth-clarifying materials and distributed them in town and also in nearby areas. More and more people have understood the truth.
When I pass out Dafa materials, many people know what I am doing and are happy to take them. I always tell them to remember that Falun Dafa is good and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good. From talking with them, I sense Master’s immense compassion.
Our mission and responsibility encourage me to walk well on the cultivation path. As we cultivate ourselves, we also should help practitioners around us. That way we can fulfill our vow to awaken people’s consciences.