Practice Persistently and Progress Diligently
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings to Teacher! Greetings to fellow practitioners.
I am a veteran practitioner who obtained the Fa 10 years ago. I have stumbled through my path of cultivation. I experienced overwhelming joy when my life sublimated because of the Fa. I also feel deep regret and pain for taking a wrong turn during tribulations. Every righteous step we take is because of Teacher's immense care-giving and grace. Every wrong step we take breaks Teacher's heart. Teacher said in "Drive Out Interference" from Essentials for Further Advancement II:
"I have not only borne an incredibly great deal for you, but also, along with this, constantly given you hints for your improvement, looked after you for your safety, and settled the debts that you owed at different levels so that you can reach Consummation--these aren't things that just anyone can do, and neither can they be done for everyday people."
Thinking back on the past 10 years, I feel Teacher's compassion, the profundity of the Fa and the immense Buddha's grace even more. I have so many experiences I want to share; it is hard to know where to begin. In this conference I will share some of my experiences with my fellow practitioners and report my progress to Teacher.
1. Studying the Fa is the foundation to pass tests
In prison, when I first read Teacher's articles in Guiding the Voyage, I was so excited that I didn't sleep that night. Teacher didn't give up on me! I had renounced Falun Gong once when I was brutally tortured and mentally weak. Though I immediately told the prison authorities after I cleared my mind that I would continue to practice Falun Dafa, it remained a heavy psychological burden since then. I swore I would memorize every article in Guiding the Voyage, and I did.
I memorized one article after another using every minute I had available, even in my sleep. My body and soul assimilated into the Fa and were gradually changing. I was as bony as a skeleton after being tortured for two years in the detention center and prisons. However, after I memorized the Fa, I started to gain weight and my complexion became rosy. The guards and prisoners were amazed. They called me "senior beauty." Every single cell in my body was assimilating to the Fa and my righteous thoughts were getting stronger. I became more clearheaded and strongly resisted various tortures. The prison authorities forced us to study Marxism and gave us tests. They forced us to memorize prison regulations and to sing the Chinese Communist Party songs. They forced us to read books from other religions and videos that slandered Dafa. The provincial 610 Office instigated former practitioners who renounced Falun Gong to come to the prison and torture us. I firmly refused to cooperate, using righteous thoughts.
The guards put me in solitary confinement because I wouldn't renounce Falun Gong. At that time, I was memorizing Teacher's article, "Touring North America to Teach the Fa." The more time I spent memorizing the Fa, the stronger my righteous thoughts were. I ignored the evil methods they used to torture me and used my righteous thoughts to eliminate the evil elements behind them. No one could touch me. The five prisoners who took turns monitoring me exhausted all methods possible and gave up. I was released from solitary confinement, and from that day until I was released from the prison, no one ever mentioned the words "renounce Falun Gong" to me. The day I left the prison, two guards wanted me to sign the release paper, but no one dared to come and ask me. In the end, I walked out of the prison openly and nobly. I rejoined the grand current of Fa-rectification.
In the past several years, I did the three things Teacher requested from us well. I memorized "Zhuan Falun" three times and felt my xinxing and level being upgraded. Fa principles melted into my every thought. Doing the meditation with legs double-crossed was very hard for me because my legs were injured once. Before the persecution started on July 20, 1999, I'd be in excruciating pain after half an hour of sitting in meditation. I didn't really do the exercises during the three years I was unlawfully imprisoned. During the process of my first time memorizing Zhuan Falun, I could do the sitting meditation for an hour without difficulty and my Dafa work went smoother.
Earlier this year, I started to get busy and slowed down in studying the Fa. My daughter who works out of town (not a practitioner) had problems with her marriage and it continued to bother me. I used to think that I was not attached to human sentiment, but it seemed this time that I couldn't let go of it. I continued to call my daughter in order to reason with her, but she wouldn't listen, and in the end refused to pick up the phone. I thought about her when I sent forth righteous thoughts, studied the Fa and did everything else. I was very troubled. I stood in front of Teacher's picture and asked Teacher to help me, then I cleared my mind and studied the Fa. Initially, I still thought about random things when I studied, but as I continued to read, my mind started to calm down. After I finished two chapters, it felt like I understood everything and nothing bothered me anymore. A stream of heat ran over my body and I felt so great and relaxed. Two days later, my daughter called me and told me not to worry, she had taken care of her problem. I once again felt the bliss of submerging into the immense Buddha grace and being a Dafa practitioner.
I enlightened that as long as we study the Fa, the Fa is rectifying the crooked elements in our field. Not only does our body in this dimension study the Fa, but our bodies in every other dimension, and the living beings next to us are all studying and assimilating to the Fa as well. When we study the Fa we are saving sentient beings throughout the enormous celestial body.
2. Eliminating fear and not being attached to life and death
Teacher told us in "Pass the Deadly Test," published May 9, 2006:
"Fear is a death trap on a human being's journey toward divinity... Cultivation is a serious matter. If you keep harboring fears like this, when are you going to stop being held back by fear?"
Since the evil Chinese Communist Party (CCP) specter started the persecution, in this kind of dangerous environment, not having fear is a cultivation state. Some practitioners had more or less fear. With fear, one is likely to be scared easily and create false alarms. One needs to look at fear seriously instead of using "security" as an excuse. Of course, eliminating fear doesn't mean not caring about security. The point is to find the attachment. Eliminating fear comes from a firm belief in Teacher and the Fa and looking inward to eradicate gaps originating from fundamental attachment.
Once, I exposed the persecution cases I saw when I was in prison. I wrote an article with practitioners' real names and posted it on the Clearwisdom website. Soon after that, the 610 Office found out the names of the practitioners I mentioned in the article and the practitioners had to leave their homes. There were a lot of police officers and people from the local residential commission around my apartment (I didn't live there at that time.) My sister, who is also a practitioner, told me that I should not have used the real names of practitioners when I wrote the article exposing the evil persecution. Because I wrote this article, she told me not to go out, shut the door and keep off the lights in order to pretend that no one was home.
I was terribly distressed at that time. I used real names in my article because I felt it would be more persuasive and more shocking. Was I wrong? I wouldn't be able to live with myself if practitioners got caught because of my recklessness. I had just been released from prison at that time and was afraid of getting caught again. I couldn't calm down no matter what I did. In the end, my righteous thoughts emerged. I felt that I had to figure out my problem and understand what exactly I was afraid of. It was a righteous act that I wrote an article with real names to expose the evil. I told myself if I was caught this time because of the article, they would have to kill me and I still wouldn't renounce Dafa. The minute this thought emerged, it felt like a rock was taken off my shoulder. That day all police officers left. Later, my sister told me the police was there because one of my neighbors was burglarized. My article did not cause people from the 610 Office to look for a practitioner.
Thinking back, I realize that my attachment of fear made all these things happen. Everything seemed so real which intensified my fear. As soon as I made up my mind to give up the attachment, everything disappeared into thin air. On the surface, the police being there was due to a coincidence, but why did it happen? There are no coincidences in the practice, everything is targeting our human notions. The Fa principles are governing everything. Without human notions, what we come across is real. With human notions, what we come across will be the arrangements from the old forces that are not meant to be part of the practice.
Everything we do to save sentient beings is an element of cultivation. The problems we encounter have to do with our xinxing. Fear is a deadly test that we must pass. It's shameful for a practitioner to have fear. There is no shortcut to eliminate fear, other than to assimilate to the Fa and its power.
3. Enlightening during a dream to persuade people to withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party
After I started the practice, I experienced dramatic physical and mental changes. Because of these changes, many of my relatives, friends and colleagues have a positive opinion of Dafa. They also sympathize with me for being imprisoned because of my belief and for being a good person. But I know a lot of people who think they have benefited from the CCP, and it wasn't easy to convince them to withdraw from the CCP, even though they all have a copy of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.
I know a couple who work out of town. Some of their family members are high level officials. When they were back in town, I took the Nine Commentaries to them. The husband read the book right away and said, "What this book says is so true. My father worked for Li Xiannian and was in charge of collecting food for the army. My father died a long time ago. One day one of my father's staff members came to visit us at home and talked about my father. He told us that my father was very cruel. In order to collect food and money for the army, he went to the landowners to request money. He killed many families of landowners. Later, I often thought that we are not doing very well now because my father had killed too many people." I immediately told him to quit the CCP and he agreed right away.
A friend of mine was doing very well in his high level government work. He believed in the saying, "one should work for the CCP, if one is paid by the CCP." It was very hard to ask him to withdraw from the CCP and I almost gave up. One night I had a dream. In the dream, he was about 20 years old and he looked at me with an expression like he was begging me to help him without saying a word. I woke up feeling shocked and realized that his knowing side was asking me for help. I called him and tried to arrange a meeting with him, but he refused by saying that he was busy. I couldn't stand it anymore and told him on the phone, "I dreamed about you. You are in danger. Let me help you." He then met with me immediately. He told me that things in his family weren't going too well during the last few years; his wife and his children were sick. I told him, "Even though you don't believe in God, He does exist. Please just believe it for once. You must have done something that is against your conscience and that caused your family to have problems." He was shocked and admitted it. He agreed to withdraw from the CCP and took the MPS recording of the Nine Commentaries home.
A friend of mine was out of the country and we lost contact. One night I dreamed about her falling off a high mountain and I yelled at her, "Watch out!" I tried to find her phone number. Later, she called me from overseas and told me that she dreamed about me not long ago and also believed a little in God. I told her that she should quit the CCP and she did it right away. Not long ago she returned and quit the CCP for her daughter and her sister, who was a director in a bank.
Under Teacher's help and arrangements, I helped several people to quit the CCP. Most of them were quite influential in society, such as the secretary of the party commission, a vice principal in a university, and high level government officials. These people, though severely poisoned by the CCP, still had a predestined relationship. As long as we want to save them, the Buddha Fa is immense and they can still be saved. This is the historical responsibility of Dafa practitioners.
A person is more than lucky being able to cultivate in the Fa. Master stated,
"Dafa disciples are magnificent because you are here at the same time as the period of Master's Fa-rectification and are able to safeguard and uphold Dafa." ("Fa-Rectification Dafa Disciples" from Essentials for Further Advancement II).
We must cherish this unprecedented opportunity and the Buddha's immense compassion, and be diligent and true practitioners.