(Minghui.org) A Falun Dafa practitioner helped me quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its youth organizations six months ago. I remember the excitement I felt when I decided to quit the CCP, before even studying Dafa, or understanding what Dafa cultivation is all about. 

Finding the True Meaning to Life

That practitioner and I talked for almost two hours. While talking she confirmed the existence of supernatural abilities, which was hard for me to believe. All supernatural things were inconceivable to me as I firmly believed in materialism. I shared with her my biggest quest in life—to find out the ultimate purpose and meaning of life. I’ve always wondered, “If I came to this world with nothing, and will eventually leave with nothing, then what is the point of my existence in this world?” I rejected popular beliefs among everyday people that life should be about making money or becoming famous or both. Yet, I didn’t know why I didn’t buy into these ideas. 

I always enjoyed ancient poems for their elegant formats, expressiveness, and their profound meanings. I wondered how people in the past could achieve such noble character, as reflected in their writing things like, “Worry before everyone else worries and enjoy after everyone else enjoys,” and “My home is humble but my virtues make it cozy.” I asked myself, “Why is my state of mind so different compared to those who lived in ancient times? What have we lost over the long passage of time?” 

I studied psychology, read many books about spirituality, and practiced yoga. However, the more I tried to understand it, the more lost I felt. The ideas presented in these books were merely the authors’ personal experience and understanding—they cannot be accepted by just anyone. Listening to this practitioner talking about Falun Dafa that day, I gained a clear idea of the true meaning of life. Without thinking, I blurted out, “It turns out, what I have been looking for all my life is right here.” As I said that, we both burst into tears.

Taking Up Dafa Cultivation

The practitioner explained to me the five sets of exercises, which left me feeling great. During the following days, I listened to Master’s Fa teaching in Guangzhou and did the second set of exercises every day, as that was the only exercises I could remember the movements for. Just doing the one set of exercises helped me stay focused and energized all day. I no longer felt tired after a day’s work. But for some reason, I didn’t open the book Zhuan Falun, the main book of Falun Dafa, that first week.

When the practitioner learned that I had not started reading Zhuan Falun, she invited me to study the Fa with her. After reading Zhuan Falun once, I knew it was a good book, but I still had doubts and reservations. These notions prevented me from reading Zhuan Falun again for quite some time. I put Zhuan Falun aside again.

During the following months, I experienced so much interference that I didn’t open Zhuan Falun once. I did, however, continue listening to audio tapes of Master’s Fa teachings in Guangzhou. I also finished reading Explaining the Teachings of Zhuan FalunFurther Discussions on Falun Dafa, and Falun Dafa – Essentials For Further Advancement.

The practitioner reached out to check on my progress and brought me a set of Master’s new books and lectures. She encouraged me to read Zhuan Falun more often, ideally every day. She also suggested that I read the new Dafa books in chronological order as it would help me better understand Zhuan Falun and the Q&A would answer a lot of the questions for a new cultivator.

I was still holding many human notions at the time. I considered Dafa books reading material of the ordinary world, therefore didn’t take the practitioner’s suggestions seriously. I casually started reading Master’s most recent articles from 2023 and worked my way through backwards. I didn’t quite understand a lot of the things Master talked about, but I sensed the urgency in his tone. I also learned that all true Dafa practitioners should do the three things and realized how urgent and serious it is to cultivate well and save sentient beings.

Hand-copying Zhuan Falun

I began to get up early in the morning to do the exercises and read at least one lecture of Zhuan Falun every day. I also decided to hand copy Zhuan Falun as a way of studying the Fa. I also wanted to return the practitioner’s copy of Zhuan Falun soon, even though she had not put any pressure whatsoever on me. Worried that I wouldn’t be able to finish the entire book before she might need it back, I rushed to read as much as possible, and at the same time felt overwhelmed by the enormous task. My handwriting became messier and messier, and I made more and more mistakes. 

I had only read Zhuan Falun a few times at this point. Looking back, I realized I was getting ahead of myself to want to copy Zhuan Falun as a way of studying the Fa. I was not achieving the goal of Fa study and was too preoccupied to gain a deeper understanding of the Fa. Master asked us, especially new practitioners, to read through Zhuan Falun and read it often. On the surface, I was proactively studying the Fa and appeared to be diligent, but I was improving very slowly. I didn’t know how to cultivate, and didn’t enlighten to the profound principles of the Fa.

I met up with the practitioner after I finished copying the first two lectures of Zhuan Falun. She looked at my handwriting and suggested that I keep it neat so as to be respectful. 

She found a passage of Master’s Fa teaching and shared with me,

“Cursive-style calligraphy is written in a state in which a person is indulging his negative side and his notions are dominating. I think it's good to write neatly and clearly. Since characters are passed down to humans from Gods, doing that is being respectful to Gods. I can only tell you the Fa-truths. You might say, "I just like the cursive style, and what I've practiced is the cursive style." At present, I'm not concerned with what ordinary people are doing, but Dafa disciples must be upright.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Discussion on Creating Fine Art,” Teaching the Fa at the Discussion on Writing Music and Creating Fine Art)

I recognized my omission and started holding myself to higher standards when copying the Fa. But, I found it extremely difficult to keep my handwriting neat. It was as if the strokes had a mind of their own. I didn’t let it affect me and kept trying no matter how long it took me or how slow the progress. I struggled through most of Lecture Three of Zhuan Falun, but my handwriting gradually became better. As I strengthened my Fa study, I was able to write clearly and neatly by the last section of the third lecture. My respect for Dafa and Master grew through the process.

Breakthroughs in Fa Study and Exercises

The next time we met, the practitioner was surprised to find that I read Master’s newest Fa teachings first and was working my way through backward from 2023 to 2015. She suggested that I start with Lecture Given at the Conference in Sydney and go through the books and articles in chronological order. Otherwise I might not understand the Fa principles Master taught in earlier lectures; and would thus “spend twice the effort but only achieve half the result.” But she also commented, “Maybe it’s not by chance that you read Master’s newest Fa teaching first. It might have happened this way so you know we are pressed for time at this stage of Fa-rectification, therefore you’ll use your time to cultivate diligently.” When I drafted this article, the practitioner suggested that my system may not work for all new practitioners -- starting by reading the newest Fa teachings first, depending on each person’s unique situation.

I took her suggestion and studied Master’s earlier Fa teachings and it indeed helped me understand the Fa better. Consequently, I had a big breakthrough in doing the meditation exercise. For about a week, I felt excruciating pain in my legs when I mediated in full lotus position, to the point that my entire body was convulsing. I was in so much pain that I cried, and one time I didn’t even finish the exercise. I was very disappointed afterward as I felt I lacked strong will power. 

The pain eased after a week. Then, I had the sensation that my calves were swollen when I meditated. I knew discomfort was a sign that I was eliminating karma so I didn’t let it bother me. As I kept up with the exercises, the swollen feeling went away after a month. Now, I can meditate for the entire hour in full lotus position with ease. After unfolding my legs, I can quickly stand up. Before, I needed to take time to let my legs wake up from being numb.

Getting Rid of Human Notions by Strengthening Fa Study

I used to have the notion that I have to have a good nights sleep of eight to nine hours, otherwise I would get tired the next day. Five months after I took up Dafa practice, I joined practitioners from around the world to send righteous thoughts at the four set times. I gradually got used to going to bed after sending righteous thoughts at midnight and getting up before righteous thoughts at 6 a.m. Surprisingly, I remained energetic throughout the day without getting tired. 

For a while, I got really sleepy and dozed off every time I studied the Fa. I reminded myself that I am a Dafa cultivator and needing “nine hours of sleep” is a human notion. However, this stubborn notion interfered with me and kept me from focusing on Fa study. I refused to give up, but I couldn’t break through either. When I talked to the practitioner who introduced me to the practice, she showed me the article “Having a Distracted Mind Provides Opportunities to Improve” on the Minghui website. I tried washing my face with cold water and using essential oil like the author did, but still couldn’t overcome the sleepiness. I didn’t get discouraged, and tried to do better each day.

I became unemployed six months after I took up Dafa practice and suddenly had a lot of free time. Besides keeping up with sending righteous thoughts at four globally set times, I also added one in the morning, one in the afternoon, and a third one at night. I read through the entire book of Zhuan Falun once every day. Each time I did, I gained new understandings and enlightened to higher Fa principles, which often moved me to tears.

Through intense Fa study, I gradually improved. One day, I suddenly realized the demon of sleepiness had let up. I was able to resist it with a strong main consciousness. It was a huge step forward on the cultivation path Master had arranged for me. When I first started practicing, I didn’t prioritize Fa study. My understanding of the Fa principles was shallow and my righteous thoughts were weak, I thus didn’t make quick progress in cultivation. After taking a lot of detours, I finally came to understand that only when we study the Fa well can we improve in our cultivation.

Master said,

“If you can do all of the three tasks and do them very well, you will feel yourself improving; it’s completely different from before, in the stage of personal cultivation and Fa study. That is what’s at work.” (Teachings at the 2005 Conference in San Francisco)

Although I obtained the Fa not long ago, as a particle of the Fa, it is still my responsibility to validate the Fa and keep up with the progress of the Fa-rectification. As a being created by Dafa, I try to cultivate more diligently and become a true Dafa practitioner.

Looking back on when I hand copied Zhuan Falun with messy handwriting, I realized there might have been some demonic influence in play. It didn’t measure up to the standard of the Fa, and ended up being a waste of time.

Moving forward, I would take to heart Master’s teachings regarding Fa study. Copying Zhuan Falun cannot replace reading through the book with a clear and clean mind. Before having gained a solid understanding of the Fa principles, I think new practitioners should stick to reading through Zhuan Falun as the main form of Fa study.

Being Single-minded in One Practice

Before obtaining the Fa, I was a professional yoga practitioner. After I took up Dafa practice, the practitioner who introduced me expressed her opinion in regard to my profession. She considered yoga a cultivation way thus recommended that I be single minded in one practice as required by Master. In another words, I should give up yoga. 

I was fairly new to Dafa and had only read Zhuan Falun a few times. I didn’t think it was necessary to give up my way of making a living thus didn’t take her advice seriously. I went to my lesson at the yoga studio as usual and felt horrible afterward. I have not been back to the yoga studio ever since and have given up yoga. I no longer even think about it.

If I am to be completely responsible to my cultivation, I need to be completely honest with myself when looking inward. When I find attachments that I need to give up, but can’t right away, I allow myself some time to let it go gradually. I stay the course and focus on studying the Fa, studying the Fa, and studying the Fa more. When I can truly let go of an attachment, I experience the most wonderful feeling of lightness in my physical body and in my heart. I know I am ascending in levels.

This is my first time submitting a sharing to the Minghui website. I would like to thank the practitioner who introduced me to Falun Dafa and has helped me so much. Many thanks to Master for giving all practitioners this platform to share experiences. Thank you, compassionate Master.

This is my personal experience and understanding after cultivating in Falun Dafa for six months.