(Minghui.org) Since coming to Canada, living in a free and prosperous society has weakened my willpower, which makes doing the Falun Dafa exercises daily challenging.
Insisting on Doing the Exercises and Getting Rid of Attachments
I started doing the exercises outdoors in a downtown park every Sunday beginning in January 2021. I kept it up until November 2021, when promotion of the Shen Yun performances started.
I could sit in the full-lotus position for 30 minutes when I started. But I sat for one hour in the full-lotus position at the last outdoor session. That was a lot of progress.
When the outdoor sessions ended, I was looking for ways to break through the bottleneck of being unable to do the exercises regularly. A busy work schedule, and family life, plus laziness, seemed to make it an impossible task. Luckily, Master knows whatever is on his disciples’ minds and will help us. Just when I felt powerless in this regard, Master arranged an opportunity for me.
The online teaching Falun Dafa team expected to provide learners with a group exercise environment beginning in February 2022, and they were looking for someone to play the exercise music. It could be any time as long as it worked for me, so I picked three to five a.m. I started to get up at that time every day to make sure I could show up without fail. I set three reminders on my cell phone.
It was very challenging at first. I used all sorts of psychological tricks to get through the tough times. After a while, I started to feel a sort of mechanism was forming and the mechanism was taking me through the morning exercises. This momentum helped to make up for my lack of willpower.
Soon, Shen Yun came to town to perform. I volunteered to help and I couldn’t get online as usual. I found a couple of practitioners to cover for me. They were very diligent and able to get online every day and on time. Once Shen Yun stopped performing for the season, I found myself slacking off. I no longer went online every day anymore. Still, I told myself, “It’s not too bad. I do the exercises much more than I used to anyway.”
Recently, my legs started cramping at night. I could feel it coming on. No matter how I massaged or positioned them in different ways, I couldn’t get rid of it. Accidentally, I sat down in the full-lotus position, and that feeling stopped. It seemed that only by sitting in this position could I fend off the cramp.
I realized that this was a reminder for me to stay diligent about doing the exercises and not to compare myself to my previous self or others.
Some practitioners praised me for keeping up with doing the exercises outdoors. In reality, this opportunity and these responsibilities have kept me on my toes, making me disciplined and keeping my laziness and the desire for comfort in check. I also understood that, for some practitioners, this might be a simple thing that’s not worth mentioning. But I am grateful for this opportunity. Its associated responsibilities have made me more solid. I want to continue working on my willpower and the ability to endure; I want to develop a strong will and endurance for hardship.
Conflicts at Home and a Xinxing Test
I wanted to move the family to another city this summer. When I brought it up, everyone in the family rejected the idea. I was annoyed but told myself a cultivator was looked after by the Master. Whether the family moved or not was up to him.
Even so, I used every opportunity to convince my husband, treating it like a sales job in the print media where I used to work. He wasn’t happy. It was understandable as I was forcing my ideas on him.
I tried to convince my kids, too, hoping to gain their support. Although I kept telling myself that I should let things unfold naturally, I found myself becoming eager, anxious, and even resentful. It was as if I was being controlled by a force, an entity. Unable to stop myself, I kept pushing everyone.
I sensed this wasn’t right. A strong attachment gripped me. What I had decided must be realized no matter how others felt. If I weren’t a cultivator, I would have forced the family to do what I said. But I am a cultivator now.
I realized I shouldn’t get my way by force or resorting to manipulation or other degenerate tactics. A Dafa disciple must learn to resolve issues with the power of compassion.
I know all major things in life have been arranged—what’s the point of insisting or forcing one’s way?
Since I started cultivation, I have gone through many ordeals to the point that I feel every second of my life is a test. Each ordeal is like a test. I suddenly realized that moving might only be an excuse on the surface. This could potentially be a test for me, to see if I could let things happen naturally, if I could let go of my strong attachments, the habit of solving issues by force and if I could treat people who have different opinions with compassion.
When I enlightened to this, I decided to stop trying to persuade anyone. I hoped to do what I had enlightened to and follow the course of nature. No matter what the end result, it wouldn’t affect my cultivation, and what I was supposed to do as a Dafa practitioner. This thought helped me calm down.
Now the whole thing is over. The test is over. I think I have seen where I need improvement. I have seen the lack of self-control and restraining myself, as well as the limitation in my cultivation.
In the process, I have discovered that it’s difficult to let things run their course naturally, even with the realization of what I am supposed to do. I still need a lot of practice to get rid of the deep-rooted human notions and the factors that old forces use to control and influence me. To really let things happen naturally, I have to study the Fa a lot and learn it by heart to purify myself to eventually meet the standard of a Dafa disciple.
Completing Tasks with Ease When the Mind Is Righteous
I didn’t participate in the July 2022 Calgary Stampede parade due to an unpredictable work schedule. On the day of the parade, I was finally certain I could make it to the Stampede. The ENDCCP petition team was shooting videos, so I decided to help out. I followed the camera person, carried the equipment, and contacted team members while watching the parade and collecting signatures myself.
I saw petition volunteers being brave and, with a pure heart, doing what they were assigned to do. They didn’t get discouraged and continued on after being turned down. They weaved through the crowd, interacting with people with compassion and always smiling. The people they talked to praised them and cheered them on. I was impressed when I saw how determined and unmoved they were no matter what.
The next day was a Saturday. There was a free Stampede Breakfast in my community, which was a local tradition. Usually there is a big crowd with many activities for families. I decided to go with my eight-year-old son. In less than two hours, I talked to many people and got their signatures. Sometimes, it was a group of people chatting in a circle. After hearing me out, they all wanted to sign my petition. One man who signed his name later brought his friend over to sign as well.
A lady refused, saying COVID wasn’t the fault of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as it was an infectious disease. She went on to say how much she was against vaccination and lockdowns. I listened to her calmly. When she finished, I reminded her the CCP told the world COVID wasn’t contagious when it first broke out in Wuhan, causing the world to miss the golden opportunity to control the disease. Moreover, using lockdowns as an anti-epidemic measure was pushed on the rest of the world by the CCP through the World Health Organization. Even today, Shanghai was still under lockdown. She changed her mind and signed her name. She also got her friend to sign the petition to end the CCP.
As I was moving through the crowd, I came across my provincial representative. I explained to him what I was doing, what the ENDCCP petition was, and how many signatures had been collected in Calgary. When I got home, I sent him an email with more information about the ENDCCP petition and Falun Gong.
In less than two hours, I collected 62 signatures and met the local elected official in person, including sending him a follow-up email. All of this felt easy to do. Everything happened naturally and went well. I think this is because I had a righteous mind with few human notions when I was doing it. I was still inspired by my experience the day before at the parade and watching the petition team. They motivated me, making me see my own limitations. That revelation got me out on Saturday and made me appreciate the team environment where we can ask each other about cultivation issues.
Often I think I am saving people by being part of a media entity. When I do things beyond my comfort zone such as collecting signatures, I have to drum myself up. Master told us when we have righteous thoughts, wisdom will come to us continuously like a spring. I actually experienced it this time. It felt so light and wondrous when doing things with a righteous mind. It has given me great confidence. I realize that if there is any shortcut in doing things, it’s to strengthen the mind and have righteous thoughts by studying the Fa with our heart.
When going through ordeals, I find that, in general, we instinctively run away from problems, avoid facing problematic situations, and resort to defending ourselves, despite knowing that a cultivator must “look within.” And when we do look within, it’s not always sincere but going through a formality. We even go to the extent of deceiving ourselves at times. Confronting one’s inner self is very hard to do.
Master has customized a path for consummation for each disciple. The only way for me to move ahead is to look within always, with no excuses, considering the cultivation elements in everything I encounter, drawing on lessons meant for a cultivator, living honestly and cultivating solidly, to eventually reach a compassionate state.
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Category: Improving Oneself