An Indian Practitioner’s Experience of Cultivation and Truth Clarification
(Minghui.org) Greetings, esteemed Master and fellow practitioners!
I am a research scientist and have lived in Canada for 5 years. I became a Falun Dafa practitioner 15 years ago. My mother had already been practicing Falun Dafa, also called Falun Gong, for two years. I saw the changes in her and how much our family atmosphere had become brighter and more harmonious. Even though my father did not adopt the practice, I saw how my mother handled the situation with so much patience and tolerance.
I started studying the Fa teachings regularly and reading articles on the Minghui website. Soon, I understood the requirements of a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple, so I started to send forth righteous thoughts daily and participated in truth clarification activities along with my mother.
After finishing high school in India, I moved to Singapore for my undergraduate university studies. I spent six years in Singapore before coming to Canada as a Ph.D. student. During this time, I participated in various projects in Singapore, such as the choir, and the English edition of the Epoch Times.
During my past five years in Montreal, I have had many enriching experiences by joining activities organized by practitioners in Montreal, including promoting Shen Yun and the Tian Guo Marching Band.
Learning Chinese to Study the Fa
From the start of my cultivation, I took Fa study very seriously. Since I am not Chinese, I used to study the Fa only in English. I felt that I should learn Chinese in order to read and listen to Master’s original words. Since this was 10 years ago, there were not as many online study materials for learning Chinese. I therefore used a dictionary software to learn every word in each sentence of Zhuan Falun. Initially, it looked like a very difficult task. However, I believed that since Master had taught the Fa to all sentient beings in Chinese, that meant that the Chinese language itself also belonged to all sentient beings. I was merely claiming my birthright. This understanding helped strengthen my resolve to continue learning Chinese. After four years, I was able to read Zhuan Falun in Chinese at a reasonable speed. This enabled me to join any group Fa study with Chinese practitioners.
After this, I was quickly able to learn to read other writings by Master such as Hong Yin, Essentials for Further Advancement, and Fa lectures. I often experienced that, during critical moments in my cultivation, I would hear the words of relevant poems by Master in my head. On one occasion, during a very difficult tribulation, I heard the words [in Chinese],
“When great is the ordeal, keep steadfast The will to be diligent never bowed” (“Steadfast,”Hong Yin Vol. II)
On another occasion, while I was trying to decide whether to participate in promoting the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra in another city, I heard the words [in Chinese],
“Fa-rectification averts the brewing tragedy” (“Eliminating Evil,”Hong Yin Vol. II)
which helped me realize that it was very important for me to travel to the other city to participate.
Clarifying the Truth
In Singapore, I came across people from mainland China for the first time. More than half of my classmates had come to my university directly from China. Clarifying the truth to Chinese students was a unique experience. The moment Falun Gong was mentioned, it was like an explosion for these people. I could see how challenging it was to clarify the truth to people who had been poisoned by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and who had family and financial ties to China. However, I developed a close friendship with some Chinese classmates, even though they did not accept it when I clarified the truth. I continued to be kind and friendly with them and worked on university projects with them.
Clarifying the truth to Chinese students in Montreal has been a very different experience from Singapore. Many people are supportive. Others are not against Falun Gong but are afraid of being persecuted for coming into contact with practitioners. My lab had a visiting professor from Guangzhou, who was making friends with many Chinese professors in my university. He was amazed to find out that I was practicing Falun Gong, and he wanted to know more about the situation of Falun Gong outside China. After I clarified the truth to him, he talked about Falun Gong to all his friends in my university. This showed me how clarifying the truth to one person can impact much more than one person—it is like a ripple effect.
My Chinese friend whom I met in Singapore has now moved to the US, and he visited me in Montreal. During his stay with me, we once again had the opportunity to talk about Falun Gong. I noticed that his attitude had changed over the years, and he was now very open-minded. He fully accepted that Falun Dafa is good, and he said he hoped that Jiang Zemin would die soon so that the persecution would end.
We walked around Montreal with another friend of his, who is a former president of the Chinese Students and Scholars Association at a local university. While walking through Chinatown, we paused at the truth-clarification boards, discussed the staged self-immolation, and the importance of quitting the CCP. I could see that both of my friends had gradually changed their minds about Falun Gong because of many years of receiving truth-clarification materials. This showed me the value of practitioners’ relentless efforts to clarify the truth over a long time. Before leaving Montreal, my friend took a photo of Master’s picture in my apartment. I felt incredibly moved to see him taking steps towards a bright future.
Participating in Shen Yun Promotion
When I first started participating in Shen Yun promotions in Montreal, it seemed like every day brought a new tribulation. For example, one customer became impatient and left because I was busy attending to another customer. Another customer told me that he would rather buy a ticket from the phone hotline because my French was not good enough. However, after gaining more experience, I became more confident in handling different kinds of situations while selling tickets. After returning home from the malls, I would often feel transformations occurring in my benti. This showed me how personal cultivation and Shen Yun promotion are closely linked.
The long periods in the malls were also an important opportunity for me to strengthen my main consciousness. I understood that promoting Shen Yun in the malls is a lot like being a soldier in ancient times. When those soldiers went to battle, they probably spent very little time actually fighting. Most of their time would have been spent walking or standing still while waiting for orders. If they were too lax or chatting with friends while standing still, it would be more difficult to suddenly become fully attentive and use all their skills at the crucial moment. I therefore treated myself as a soldier on a divine mission while I was in the malls.
Participating in the Tian Guo Marching Band
I joined the Montreal Tian Guo marching band as a trumpet player in 2015 and performed with them for more than a year. I was able to quickly learn all the pieces of music the band played, and I performed in my first parade a month after obtaining my instrument. On several occasions, I felt that bad substances from my body were being eliminated through my mouth when I played during rehearsals. The trumpet is a very physically demanding instrument, and I found it very challenging to play the high notes required. On one occasion, I injured my neck while playing high notes, and it took a week to recover. Upon looking within, I realized that I was too anxious to meet the standard required as quickly as possible.
We had two parades in the winter. In the week preceding each parade, I would send forth righteous thoughts every day to eliminate interference for people coming to watch the parade. During the Christmas parade, the temperature was -10°C, with no sunlight. When the parade started, I felt very moved to see that many people had come to watch the parade despite the cold. Since the band uniform did not include warm gloves, I found it difficult to move my fingers after some time. I became worried because I was not very familiar with cold weather, and I was wondering if I was getting frostbite. At that moment, I remembered Master’s poem:
“In the chaotic world, like pure lotus flowers—plum blossoms, a hundred millionCold winds only accentuate their beautyThe interminable snowfall and rainare the tears of gods,Who look longingly for the plum blossoms’ returnNever, ever get preoccupied with worldly thingsSteel your righteous thoughtsFor all [that you have gone through] since ancient times,Was for none other than this time around.” (“Plum Blossoms,” Hong Yin Vol II)
Thinking of this poem gave me strength, since I remembered that my fingers had been given to me precisely to use during this Fa-rectification period.
I later participated in the St. Patrick’s Day parade in Ottawa, which was also in the winter. The day before the parade, I was having symptoms of the flu and it seemed like I would not be fit enough to perform the next day. I said in front of Master’s photo, “I will play in tomorrow’s parade, no matter what. Please help me.” By the time I joined the parade, all the symptoms were gone. It was also very fortunate that I had come, since there was only one other trumpet player present.
Completing My Ph.D.
The last five years that I have spent completing my Ph.D. have also given me numerous opportunities to improve my xinxing. I noticed that many professors and students in my department would fall ill due to the stress of their work. After reflecting on this, I realized that it was the attachment of competitiveness that was affecting their health.
As a practitioner, I always took competition lightly and remained levelheaded when facing difficulties in my research work. The final exam for my Ph.D. program was unusually difficult. A panel of six examiners asked me questions about my research in a public setting for a grueling three hours. Throughout the process, I was able to remain calm, and I explained my research work very clearly and convincingly. In the end, all the examiners said that they were impressed with my work.
Another Ph.D. candidate said that it was the most difficult Ph.D. final examination that she had ever seen, and she was surprised at how I’d maintained my composure throughout the entire ordeal. This was possible because I treated myself as a cultivator and took the outcome of the examination lightly. A practitioner’s life is arranged by Master. Through Master’s grace, I was able to graduate from my Ph.D. program with a job in hand, just one month before all schools were closed due to the CCP virus pandemic.
I know that there are many attachments that I still need to remove and that I have a long way ahead of me. But, with Master guiding me at every step of the way, I am sure to overcome all impediments and cultivate well.
(Presented at the 2020 International Falun Dafa Young Practitioners’ Online Fa Conference)