Treat Cultivation Seriously to Meet the Requirements of a Dafa Practitioner
I learned Falun Dafa from my dad in 1993 when I was 10 years old. In the beginning, I was not strict with myself and only practiced the exercises when my dad told me to. In many aspects, I did not meet the requirements of a practitioner. At that time, I felt I was still young and I could practice later, so I spent my time watching TV and playing games.
Cultivation is like rowing against the current, if you do not move forward, then you will be pulled backwards. Teacher repeatedly told us that studying the Fa is the most important thing we do, and that no matter how busy we are, we must study the Fa. If a practitioner can't study the Fa well, then he/she is unable to walk on the cultivation path well. Now I really regret that I did not read more in the first place, have more Fa in my mind, didn't prevent human attachments from dominating my words and deeds, and wasted so much precious time. Now, when I think back, the amount of time I spent studying the Fa was never sufficient. Also, my mind was not tranquil, and my attention was on playing games. The Fa can unlock people's wisdom; no one's school studies will suffer because of practicing Dafa. On the contrary, my poor grades at school simply indicated that I had not studied the Fa well, and hadn't gotten rid of all sorts of attachments that affected my school studies.
After the persecution of Falun Dafa began on July 20, 1999, the atmosphere at home became a bit tense, because my mother was not a practitioner. She did not allow me to practice, treated me very strictly, and always watched me. At that time, I was already not strict with myself and did not study enough Fa, so in this way, I had even less time to study the Fa and practice the exercises. However, I was very clear in my mind that Dafa is great, and what was broadcast on the TV was all fake. Then, one day, my dad showed me one of Teacher's lectures from abroad. I suddenly understood a lot. I realized that my previous thinking was wrong. I should have cherished the precious time and opportunity to learn the Fa.
I began to use all my spare time to read Teacher's articles that I had not read. I became more and more excited and soon developed another attachment without noticing it. At that time, I was worried that I did not have enough time to cultivate, but I still had so many lectures that I had not read. Therefore, I started reading Teacher's lectures during my history classes. When my teacher discovered what I was doing, the school governors also found out that I was practicing Falun Gong. The teacher in charge of our class began to put pressure on me, talked to me every day, and said if I did not give up the practice, I would not be allowed to take the college entrance exams, and then my life would be ruined. The administration said that they had not yet reported me to the authorities and told me to think about the consequences of continuing to practice Falun Gong.
When my dad learned what had happened, he first helped me recognize my attachments that had caused me to go extremes. After I corrected my mindset, my dad told me to negate all the evil influences with righteous thoughts, eliminate the negative elements behind my attachments. I was determined to deal with everything seriously, no matter what Teacher said, my heart of wanting to practice Dafa would not be waived by any means. In the end, under the merciful protection of Teacher, I passed through the tribulation. The teachers gave up on trying to persuade me to give up Falun Gong, and this incident was kept within the school and not mentioned again.
When I first started university, I abandoned the previous attachments of strong desire to play, and spent all my time on cultivation and study, but I did not clarify the truth sufficiently. I only spoke about it to several classmates in my dormitory. I was probably worried that the school would eventually find out if too many classmates knew about the persecution. Unexpectedly, one day the teacher in charge of our class suddenly asked me if I practiced Falun Gong. I was surprised, but finally said with calmness: "Yes." I had no choice but to admit that I was a practitioner. I felt that if I denied it, I would be ashamed for the rest of my life. I think this was an opportunity for me to get rid of the fear.
My homeroom teacher took me to a teacher who was in charge of Falun Gong issues at the school. The two of them tried to convince me to stop practicing Falun Gong. I told them that Falun Gong is good, and everything they had read in the newspapers or seen on television was frame-ups and slander. Genuine Dafa practitioners are all good people. But they also persisted in pressuring me, so I said to them: "Let me think about it."
I returned to my room and seriously thought things over. The teacher had probably discovered that I practiced Falun Gong because I had not paid enough attention when I practiced exercises in my room. When people passed the window they could see me practicing. In addition, I neglected to clarify the truth, and eventually caused this incident to happen. When my dorm mates came back, I told them what had happened. Some of them were very indignant, and asked who could be so immoral that they would report me to the authorities? From them, I felt that people still have a sense of justice after knowing the truth. I realized that I should use this opportunity to let more classmates know the truth. At night, I sent forth righteous thoughts with this thought in mind.
In the following days, Teacher ceaselessly provided opportunities for me to talk to people. I always kept righteous thoughts and explained the facts to them. Afterwards, when the school authorities saw that I persisted in practicing Falun Gong, they called my mother and invited her to the school for a chat. On the one hand, the teachers were stern with me, and told me that they would notify the police if I did not give up my beliefs, remove me from the school and send me to a forced labor camp. On the other hand, my mother attempted to move me with sentiment, reminding me that my dad had been detained in a brainwashing center, and that I was her only hope. She said that if anything happened to me, she would not want to live anymore. She cried and wailed, as she wanted me to give up practicing, and was almost on her knees begging me.
I was clear that their only aim was to make me give up the practice and my beliefs. But I knew it was impossible, I had come to learn the Fa, and no matter how difficult the path was, I must persist in walking it. I said to my mother: "My dad and I have been practicing for so many years. You surely you know that Falun Gong is good, and that we are good people. Should we be treated like this? Why don't you think about it calmly? Would you rather believe other people or your family? I know you hope I am well, I also know what is the best for me. Please set your heart at rest, I know how to deal with the school."
After my mother left, the secretary of the Communist Youth League at my school talked to me for the last time. She told me that one of the teachers who had previously practiced Falun Gong stopped practicing at the request of the school authorities. After I heard that, I felt pity and knew that she was using this example to make me waiver. I told her about my physical and spiritual changes after practicing Falun Gong, the various benefits it brought to my body and ability to study, and cleared up some of her misunderstandings about Dafa. Finally she said: "Later you will pay attention to your impact in school, we won't mention it to other people."
Thus, the incident ended this way. Although it came suddenly, was not accidental, and ended quietly, it made me see my shortcomings, and realize that cultivation is very serious. I must do well in every aspect and have strict requirements for myself in every way. However, my biggest shortcoming is that I do not discipline myself strictly. I am fine for a while, and then I slack off for a while. In regards to those who commit mistakes for the first time, it is understandable, but I have slackened time after time. I express my sorrow to Teacher. I have stood in front of Teacher's photo, said to him that I would do better and not disappoint Teacher, but my diligence only lasts for a period of time, and then I gradually slack off.
The Fa-rectification is close at hand, the remaining time is short, the opportunities to do well are fewer, but I still sometimes spend time in unnecessary places, watch some TV programs, waste lots of precious time, and do not know to hurry up.
One experience I had thoroughly woke me up. While carrying some boiling hot water, I tripped over the reinforcing steel bars in the doorway of the shop and the water bottle broke. A bit of skin on my left hand was scalded, and my right hand became red from the heat of the water. Although I did not fall seriously, the event was like a stick wake-up from Teacher.
After I got back to my dorm, I thought, Dafa cultivation is serious, the closer we are to the end, the stricter the requirements become, and the time is tighter too. I'd rather tumble now than regret later. Teacher is anxious about disciples, if I still do not make the best use of my time, I won't have other chances to catch up. This time I truly understood, and will not disappoint Teacher again. Thus, this tumble was worthwhile.
I write down my experiences only to tell young fellow practitioners who have not done well, that there is not much time remaining. If there are any attachments that you have not let go of, you should abandon them. Holding onto human things simply takes us further and further from being divine beings, and make us lose ourselves. Walk on the final path well, let Teacher be gratified by our progress!