(Minghui.org) I'm a 58-year-old practitioner who was fortunate to have attended one of Master Li Hongzhi's lecture series. For years, I was busy producing truth-clarification materials, and I gradually treated this work as a priority while studying the Fa became secondary. I knew this was incorrect, but I was attached to doing things. I realized my cultivation state was no longer solid and I was unable to correct my situation.
For a long time, I could not focus when I studied the Fa. When I read with other practitioners, my mind was blank, and I just went through the motions. I knew my cultivation state was wrong, so I decided to stop attending group Fa study—instead, I began memorizing the Fa with another practitioner.
A few years ago, I memorized Zhuan Falun, The Essentials of Diligent Progress, and Hong Yin twice. I am very clear that it is essential to focus while reading the teachings and that we need to improve our xinxing. However, I was still attached to the pursuit of self-interest, lust, comfort, browsing the Internet, etc. I then stopped, but started back up, but then stopped again. I kept repeating this cycle.
Persevering to Overcome Obstacles
Because I encountered a lot of interference, I felt that my mind was blocked by something like granite. I was unable to focus and had to read each paragraph many times. The other practitioner could easily memorize the Fa, but for me, it was as though I’d never read the Fa before.
Master Li said,
“The Fa can break all attachments; the Fa can destroy all evil; the Fa can shatter all lies; and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts.” (“Drive Out Interference,” The Essentials of Diligent Progress II)
In the process of studying the Fa, I discovered many attachments—like my competitive mentality, saving face, and my eagerness to raise my enlightenment level without firmly cultivating. After I identified these attachments, I decided to start from the very beginning.
I followed the other practitioner’s pace, but I only memorized a few sentences each day. I felt the material that blocked my mind gradually reduce. As I continued to persevere, I could feel the Fa entering my mind.
Since I could not keep up with the other practitioner, I made up for it when I returned home. I used a very basic method to memorize the Fa. I read a paragraph first and then wrote it down. I then re-read it a couple of times before writing it down from memory. This process was very slow but the results were great.
My thought karma was very aggressive. Whenever I could not control myself, I browsed the Internet or did something else. I then could not remember the Fa that I’d just memorized and was filled with regret.
Another form of interference involved holding onto some personal understanding after reading a certain passage. I then made little progress. From this experience, I deeply understood that studying the Fa is very serious.
“When you study the Fa, don’t do it while holding on to some attachments. You have to calm your mind and be truly studying the Fa. Don’t study with some purpose in mind. When you study the Fa, you can’t let your mind wander or think about other things while studying the Fa. You can’t do that or you’ll learn nothing. When you study the Fa, just study the Fa. No interference should be able to affect your Fa-study.” ("Fa Teaching Given at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference" From Collected Teachings Given Around the World Volume III)
I realized the Fa’s mighty power when we pass trials and tribulations with righteous thoughts.
Another interference was that I wanted to look for the Fa’s grand display in a higher realm, but I never saw it.
“...the less likely they will come about. That’s because you would be wanting them, and that would be an attachment. And attachments are precisely what spiritual practice aims to do away with.” (The Third Talk, Zhuan Falun)
I continually eliminated this attachment. As a result, I improved my xinxing.
Elderly Practitioners Helped Me Look Inward
I was asked to deliver truth-clarification materials to an elderly practitioner. I’d never met her before but heard that she was irrational. For example, she often requested certain kinds of materials from practitioners over the phone and disregarded security. She did not look inward or cultivate firmly. Her family conflicts were also intense.
During the pandemic, she did not wear a mask and went to the gate of the security office to hand out brochures. She was reported to the authorities, and her home was ransacked by the police. Due to her age and poor health, she was not taken into custody.
The coordinator asked me to meet her. I hesitated but I went. I was surprised that she was only two years younger than my mom, but she looked very old. She didn’t appear kind or peaceful as most practitioners do—instead she looked angry.
She had difficulty walking and used a walker. It was hard for her to sit down or get back up. She lived on the ground floor because it would be impossible for her to climb the stairs. I said, “You don’t need to go out and distribute brochures. Maybe you should stay home and improve your health for a while. When you feel better, you can go out.”
She then started yelling, “The coordinator sent someone to block me from saving people. Time is so pressing, but you want to stop me! What’s wrong with the coordinator? I need someone to work with me!” I was shocked by her anger, but I felt calm and peaceful, which surprised me. My response was not controlled by myself but was my natural reaction.
I smiled and apologized, “Please don’t be angry. I misspoke. I don’t mean to discourage you from clarifying the truth to people. I meant it might be a good idea to stay home to study the Fa, send righteous thoughts, and improve your health first. When people witness how your health has improved they will know that Falun Dafa is great. If people see your current condition, but you keep telling them how great Dafa is, they won’t believe it. They will think: “If Dafa is so great, then why can you barely walk? This has a negative impact. We do everything based on safeguarding Dafa.”
She refused to listen to me and kept repeating the same thing. She also said, “My son said if my legs recover he will practice Falun Dafa. What you say makes me angry—you are trying to stop me from clarifying the truth to people!” I did not talk back. I calmed down and looked inside: What loopholes did I have? She is selfish. Does that mean that I am selfish?
I also remembered my initial reaction when the coordinator asked me to go to her: I did not want to work with her because I heard she was irrational, and I was afraid she would pose a security threat. My thought was to protect myself. No matter how nicely I treated her, divine beings could see my initial thought.
I sent righteous thoughts repeatedly. I eliminated my selfishness and the negative elements that interfered with her. When she quieted down, I peacefully asked her, “Where do you plan to distribute the materials?” She said that she could hand them out to students since there was a middle school across the street. She asked for 10 sets of a four-in-one pattern booklet with several brochures inside the booklet. I knew they were not available from Minghui. Other practitioners just specially printed that format for her.
She also said her home was a group Fa-study site and that practitioners would soon be arriving. I wanted to learn more about this situation. She became angry when nobody came and complained that practitioners did not like interacting with her. She asked if I could read with her. I worried that I hadn’t given my son a heads up about what I was doing, and he would look for me. But I then realized I was being selfish. I read the Fa with her, and she was touched that I did as she asked and said she regretted getting angry with me.
Another practitioner came by, and we studied the Fa together. I talked to the other practitioner on the way back home. She said that the elderly practitioner had been in this situation for around 10 years. Everyone tried to suggest she not go out to clarify the truth due to her health. They were afraid that her image would give people a negative opinion of Dafa. Since she did not listen, they refused to give her materials. She was very angry. Afterward, no one wanted to come to her home. When she heard I was coming, she felt it might be a reminder from Master to not give up. She asked me to return and read with her, and I agreed.
That night, I organized my mother’s experience sharing article. As I read it, I was deeply touched. My mother is 86 years old. She walks up and down stairs to hand out Dafa materials. She is firmly cultivating. Her sharing was sincere. Her article expressed how she believed in Dafa and felt deep compassion for sentient beings.
I looked down on my mother since she was not educated, plus, she possessed an aggressive streak of Communist Party culture. She always tried to control me, so I rebelled against her. She did not favor me ever since I was born. As I got older, I complained about her. Whenever she was not happy, she would blame my father and us children. Because I was the oldest child, I was usually her target. She beat me a lot.
After my father passed away, I took care of my mother. We lived together, and I did not ask her to do housework but only practice the exercises and study the Fa. A lot of practitioners praised me, but she still was not happy with me. When I looked inward, although I treated her very well, I was only being kind on the surface. I wanted everyone to think I was a loyal (filial) daughter.
My mother and I did not have many big conflicts but many small ones. I criticized her and said she had a lot of attachments. She accused me of the same thing. She told me that I was indifferent and unkind. We both look outward instead of inward.
In the process of writing this article, I got rid of my bias against my mother. She and the other senior practitioner were both over 80 years old. They came to this world to accomplish their tasks. I don’t have any excuses to be unkind to a fellow practitioner. By observing their issues, I was able to identify my own problems. When I realized this, my complaints towards my mother disappeared. Digging deeper, I realized that all human attachments are generated by selfishness. They just manifest differently.
“The cosmos in the past was based on selfishness.” (Teachings at the 2004 International Conference in New York)
“Selfishness is a fundamental attribute of the cosmos of the past.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference,” Collected Teachings Given Around the World Volume V)
If we don’t eliminate selfishness, we will not be part of the new universe.
“I also want to tell you that your nature in the past was actually based on egotism and selfishness. From now on, whatever you do, you should consider others first, so as to attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism. So from now on, whatever you do or whatever you say, you must consider others—or even future generations—along with Dafa’s eternal stability.” (“Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature,” Essentials For Further Advancement)
I wish to follow Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. To accomplish this, I need to be selfless. I recently had a dream in which I boarded a bus. I knew Master was encouraging me. I will continue to memorize the teachings until I thoroughly assimilate to them.
This is my personal sharing. If there is anything improper, please kindly point it out.
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