Japanese Practitioner: Steadfast in Cultivation
(Minghui.org) I was fortunate enough to be introduced to Falun Dafa in Kumamoto Prefecture, Japan, on June 16, 2004.
Before I began to cultivate, whenever I dealt with other people or had to give a speech, I was panicky. I sweat terribly, was extremely nervous, and would almost faint.
When I was very young, I fell from a great height and almost died. Although I survived, I ended up with severe headaches and had to take painkillers. I also got stomachaches after I ate, so I was on medication for that, too.
Soon after I started practicing Dafa, I heard that practitioners in China were being persecuted, which shocked me. About six months later, I heard that local practitioners were holding activities to call for an end to the persecution in China. I found the facts about the persecution heartwrenching. Thinking that “We must help our practitioners as soon as possible,” I also participated in the activities.
Whether I was handing out truth-clarification materials with other practitioners or standing in front of the Chinese Consulate, even though I would be shaking from nervousness, I would still use the microphone to read out our statement calling for an end to the persecution.
I participated in parades commemorating the “April 25th” peaceful appeal, the beginning of the persecution in China, and candlelight vigils on Chinese New Year’s eve to mourn practitioners who died as a result of the persecution, and sending forth righteous thoughts with other practitioners. I knew I had to tell people that Dafa was being persecuted. If I came to this world on a mission to save sentient beings, then I should let go of my personal feelings and put clarifying the truth in the first place.
Participating in Shen Yun Promotion
A few years after I began to practice, we began promoting Shen Yun. I wasn’t good at interacting with people, but interpersonal skills were the key to doing this work, so I was very depressed. But I was still asked to call artists, musicians, and ballet workshops. When I wasn’t brave enough to make the calls, a practitioner said, “Aren’t you a Dafa practitioner?”
Right away, I wasn’t happy about what she said. I thought to myself: “Why don’t you do it?” Nevertheless, I made the first call. Shaking and tongue-tied, I said, “I am so sorry, I’m not experienced at making phone calls like this.” I then quickly listed a few key points that I wanted to communicate before I hung up.
The next day, I managed to calm down and made a few dozen calls, covering everyone I was supposed to contact. The following day, I began to spit up blood. That worried me. I wondered, “What’s wrong with me? Do I have stomach cancer?” But I corrected my thought immediately: “This has nothing to do with stomach cancer, it’s rather a body purification.”
Facing a Tribulation
During the 2008 Beijing Olympics, from March to August, I went to a mall and helped collect signatures on a petition calling for an end to the persecution. Because I was so focused on what I was doing, my purse was stolen. I had 50,000 Japanese Yen in my purse, so I was very worried.
I heard my name called over the loudspeaker and was told to go to the information desk. They had my purse! The money was gone, but my bank card and other personal belongings were still inside.
The next day, I again spit up blood. Master said, “no loss, no gain.” (“Lecture One,” Zhuan Falun)
I spit up blood two more times. But ever since then, I haven’t had any more stomachaches or headaches. Even though I lost some cash, I recovered from some illnesses.
New Cultivation Environment in Tokyo
A few years later (10 years ago now), I moved to Tokyo. I knew how much I had changed by practicing Dafa, and, even though I was 67 years old, I wanted to find a job. I found one and went back to work.
It was hard to get a job due to my age, and I was turned down more than once. But when I started to feel disappointed, a company hired me, and I started work the next day.
I had to get up at 4 a.m. to do the standing exercises for an hour and a half and get ready for work. The work wasn’t easy—it was different from what I’d expected.
When I started, I had to put rice into containers for schools. I was told that, in time, I wouldn’t have to weigh the rice, that I would know from experience how much to put in the container. That prospect—and everyone looking at me—made me nervous.
My first day didn’t go very well, but I still went to the group Fa-study. I was so tired from work that I fell asleep and missed reading part of Zhuan Falun and other practitioners’ sharing. Not only that, I leaned against another practitioner while I napped. When I woke up, I said to her, “I am so sorry I fell asleep like that.” She replied, “You haven’t worked for quite a while, no wonder you feel tired. You need to take it easy.” Her words comforted me.
Although I resented going to work, I told myself, “I’m a Dafa practitioner. If I quit, I wouldn’t have behaved like a practitioner. I must continue.” More than seven months have passed, and I still work there.
As soon as I got to work one day, I suddenly had such terrible pain in my lower leg that I couldn’t walk. I went into the building and asked the person in charge of what to do. He said, “Wouldn’t it have been easier if you’d just called us and not come all this way?” When I explained that the pain only started after I got there, he said, “Since you can’t work like this, please go home and rest.”
A coworker suggested that I go to the hospital, and I took her advice. The doctor who examined me said, “Your bones seem fine, but you’ve strained a muscle. You are no longer young. It wouldn’t do if you were to just endure it.” He put a cast on it.
After I got home, I tore off the cast and threw it away. Then I started to run a fever. I realized that this was to help me eliminate my karma. It hurt so much that I had trouble walking for a few days. But a week later, I was fine and went back to work.
Even though sometimes I could sense that my thoughts were not righteous enough, they still popped up. For instance, if I was reprimanded, I’d think, “I’ll just leave. And I’ll do it next month.”
Then I came across what Master said,
“It is a great pity that some students who attended my lectures and have good inborn quality have stopped practicing because they are busy with work. If they were average, everyday people, I would say nothing more and leave them alone. But these people still have some promise. Human morality is declining a thousand miles a day, and everyday people are all drifting along with the current. The farther away from the Dao, the more difficult to return through cultivation. As a matter of fact, cultivation practice is about cultivating one’s heart and mind. The complex environment of the workplace, in particular, provides a good opportunity for you to improve your xinxing. Once retired, won’t you lose the best environment for practicing cultivation?” (“Practicing Cultivation After Retirement,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
“Cultivation practice is not child’s play. It is more serious than anything of everyday people—it isn’t something to take for granted. Once you miss the opportunity, when will you be able to get a human body again in the sixfold path of reincarnation? Opportunity knocks but once. Once the illusion that you cannot let go of disappears, you will realize what you have lost.” (“Practicing Cultivation After Retirement,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
After I reviewed this article many times, I realized that, when I run into difficulties and pain, my thoughts are still that of an ordinary person. Then I thought, “My workplace is a great cultivation environment for me to improve my xinxing, so I must continue to work there and practice forbearance.”
Master also told us to study the Fa more often. As long as I have the Fa principles to guide me, when I end up in a poor state, I can adjust my mindset. I often felt that when I tried too hard with my human way of thinking, no matter how much time I spent, I couldn’t snap out of that mental state. But through daily Fa-study, my bad thoughts now go away and my poor cultivation state changes in an instant. It is so amazing!
From that day on, I have been trying to achieve the state where, whatever bad someone says about me, I can ignore it. I often sense how much stronger I’ve become and how much I have improved. I feel so fortunate to have encountered Dafa.