I Learned to Truly Cultivate
(Minghui.org) I started cultivating Dafa in 1997 and am now 53. Over the past 23 years, I experienced many ups and downs. The ordinary thoughts were like mountains and the human notions were like rusty shackles, all trying to keep me from cultivating forward. Under Master Li’s (the founder) guidance, I overcame these barriers and kept moving forward with many stumbles. I would like to share a few of my major cultivation experiences.
I Learned to Truly Cultivate
One of our local practitioners was illegally imprisoned and suffered persecution in prison. He began to show symptoms of serious illness. Several practitioners and his family formed a group to rescue him. Once when discussing what we should do, I stated what I had in mind was an eloquent plan and I was confident my statement was sound and correct. I felt good about what I said. However, another practitioner looked at me and said, “You have the mentality of needing to accomplish something.” I replied, “If no one does it, can it get done by itself?” I disagreed with his comments. That practitioner looked at me and said nothing.
A month later, after reading the Fa together, we discussed some issues that needed to be resolved for the rescue effort. Practitioners expressed their opinions. After I finished talking, the same practitioner said again, “You have the mentality of needing to accomplish something.” Several other practitioners agreed with him. I realized I had problems I must pay attention to. I asked, “What is the mentality of needing to accomplish something?” No one said anything.
Since I did not really understand his comment and the other practitioners did not give me a hint, I felt confused. On the way home, I kept wondering what my problem was. However, I could not figure it out. I begged Master in my mind while walking, “Master, please give me a hint. I cannot figure out what is the mentality of needing to accomplish something.”
A picture suddenly appeared in my mind. In the picture I saw was that I was busy doing things without looking inside. I suddenly understood it at that moment. Since then, when I encountered a problem, I was able to look inside myself for the reason. This incident became a turning point in my cultivation. I learned to truly cultivate myself from then on!
Cultivating While Learning to Coordinate
A practitioner who was a coordinator wanted to set up Fa-study groups in their area. He asked me to work with him. This work seemed easy but was actually quite difficult. Different practitioners had different situations and had different thoughts about group Fa-study. Some were afraid; some had disagreements among themselves; some did not agree with setting up Fa-study groups, and; some could not come because of their family situations. We talked to several practitioners who were actively involved in a truth-clarification effort and made an initial arrangement to invite practitioners to get together to discuss forming Fa-study groups. However, at the agreed-upon time, only three came. It felt like cold water was poured over me from head to toe.
We learned afterward that a few practitioners did not want to cooperate and did not notify other practitioners to attend the discussion, although they had agreed to. I felt irritated. The coordinator reminded me to look inside for whether we had problems and whether we relied on other practitioners to do things for us. The coordinator’s righteous thoughts alerted me to discard my incorrect thought of having a low opinion of other practitioners. I also realized that the incorrect thought came from my jealousy.
The coordinator and I maintained our righteous thoughts, “We must walk our paths well. Master wants the elevation of our whole group, and we should not rely on other practitioners to resolve this for us.” We decided that we should talk to each practitioner in the area to understand their thoughts and situations. For those who were not willing to corporate, we should not treat them differently.
I visited an elderly practitioner in her 70s at her home. Her life was difficult and she was busy running a small business to earn a living. She did not have an environment to study the Fa at home. She explained her family situation to me; she spoke for a long time in detail about her difficulties. While listening I became impatient and got somewhat upset. Luckily, I was able to restrain myself and kept listening.
After a while, I noticed that I was upset. I was alarmed by it and asked myself, “Why am I upset? Didn't I come to learn about her situation? How can I know her situation if I don't listen?” I corrected my thoughts and calmed my mind. By this time, she had finished talking. According to her situation, I placed her in a Fa-study group at a time that fit her schedule.
It was late when I left her home. On the bus ride home, I recalled the thoughts I had and what I said while visiting her. I searched inside, “Why was I upset?” I realized I had the mentality of needing to accomplish things and was impatient. Behind the impatience was selfishness; if something didn’t go my way, I became unhappy. I was self-centered and not compassionate. I sent righteous thoughts to correct myself. It was very late when I got home, but I felt fulfilled.
After more than two months of effort, we had visited every local practitioner and had formed Fa-study groups in the area. The local practitioners joined the groups to study the Fa together and to improve as a whole.
One day I went to a practitioner’s home to join their group Fa-study. The practitioner said she heard her home was monitored and she was concerned. Every practitioner in the group shared their thoughts about the situation. We agreed that the situation occurred because we had a mentality of fear, and we looked inside ourselves for it. The atmosphere at the Fa-study site was peaceful. Another practitioner suggested that we could move the group Fa-study to her home to reduce the pressure on the practitioner whose home they were currently using. While observing the changes in these practitioners, I thanked Master from the bottom of my heart. I was glad I was able to get involved with the effort of setting up these Fa-study groups.
Through this experience, I learned to coordinate. In the process of coordinating, if one can walk the path right⸺consider others first, tolerate other practitioners’ disagreements, look within for the reason, and maintain righteous thoughts when facing difficulties, the outcome will be good. Master will guide us onto a bright path.
Discarding a Fundamental Attachment
In July 2020, the wicked Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started another wave of persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. People at the community office called my child looking for me. After my child told me, I got so upset that I couldn't even eat. Over the years, I worked hard to discard my attachments. There were some attachments that I was not able to discard quickly, so I paid attention to them and kept working to discard them. What attachment was the old forces using to persecute me this time?
I recalled when the police looked for me through my child the first time. My child told me, “Mom, go somewhere! Don’t let them catch you!” I thought, “Where would I go? If I don’t discard my attachment, no matter where I go the old forces will find me. I must cultivate my mind.” I found that I was attached to comfort, and I discarded a lot of it. What is the attachment this time?
I shared my situation with other practitioners at our group Fa-study. I started talking about the evil CCP's use of the plague to persecute people. A practitioner pointed out that I had drifted to another topic. I stopped talking. Later, after the group Fa-study, I met a practitioner and talked to her about what happened at Fa-study. She said I had a mentality of being disgusted with the CCP. I thought about it and agreed she was right. Whenever I talked about the CCP, I wanted to curse it. I continued searching inside, “What attachment do I have behind that mentality?” I realized the CCP’s evil doings interfered with my life. I was attached to an ordinary person’s comfortable life!
Looking back, I had lived in misery since I was a child. My father often beat and scolded me. My marriage also failed. Deep down, I had been wishing for a peaceful, comfortable life. I realized this was a fundamental attachment hidden deep in my mind. For the past two years, after we couldn't get phone cards to call people to clarify the truth to them about Falun Dafa and the persecution, I relaxed and led a comfortable life. I was not as diligent as before.
After I found this fundamental attachment, I felt much relieved. At the same time, Master's teaching echoed in my mind,
“I’m Li Hongzhi’s disciple, I don’t want other arrangements or acknowledge them”—then they won’t dare to do that. So it can all be resolved. When you can really do that, not just saying it but putting it into action, Master will definitely stand up for you.” (“Teachings Given on Lantern Festival Day, 2003”)
I was determined to discard this attachment and reject the old forces’ interference and persecution.
Looking back at my 20-plus years of cultivation, I experienced many tribulations. I passed some well and some with much difficulty. The above were some of the more critical experiences that helped me strengthen my righteous thoughts and discard my ordinary notions.
Thank you, Master, for your salvation. Thank you, fellow practitioners, for reminding me to look inside for the cause of any tribulations.