My Thirteen-year Path of Cultivation
Greetings Master, greetings fellow practitioners!
1. Persistently Studying the Fa and Doing the Exercises to Lay a Solid Foundation for Cultivation
I am 68 years old and have been practicing Falun Dafa since September 1, 1997. Teacher said,
“We have said that Dafa is boundless, and it is completely up to your heart to practice cultivation. The master takes you through the entrance, and it is up to you, yourself to practice cultivation. It all depends upon how you, yourself practice cultivation. Whether you can practice cultivation all depends upon whether you can endure, sacrifice, and suffer. If you can commit your mind, no difficulties can stop you. I would say that there is not a problem. ” (Lecture Four of Zhuan Falun)
After reading this paragraph in the book, I told myself that I must solidly cultivate according to what Teacher says.
I have never skipped a day in doing the five sets of Falun Dafa exercises since I first learned how to do them. Several practitioners asked if I do the exercises on Chinese New Year's Day. I always tell them “yes.” I do the exercises no matter what day it is, since cultivation is my first priority. After I finish doing the exercises, I then do all the housework. Then I seize the time to immerse myself in the Fa. Teacher said,
“A person is like a container, and he is whatever he contains.” (“Melt Into the Fa” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
I always use the Fa to measure my thoughts and actions so that I can assimilate to the Fa faster.
2. Clarifying the Truth
Clarifying the Truth in Manhattan
A week before going to Manhattan to clarify the truth, I fell and hurt my ankle while distributing the Epoch Times newspaper. At that time, I only had one thought, “I am fine. I need to finish distributing the newspapers.” Back at home, my ankle swelled and I was in a lot of pain. As a result, I couldn't walk or cook. While lying in bed that night, I couldn't stop crying because of the pain. When my husband returned home and heard about my ankle, he wanted to take me to see a bonesetter. I told him I was alright and there wasn't a need to see a bonesetter. Four days later, I could walk with a limp, but the pain was still there. My husband asked me why I was being so stubborn and how could I go abroad if I didn't go see a doctor. I told him not to worry and that it would be alright. I ensured him that when I returned from my trip, I would run back home.
In Manhattan, we usually left the hotel at around 6-7:00 a.m. to pass out Falun Dafa fliers in the street and returned around 10:00 or 11:00 p.m. It was very painful for me to walk back to the hotel, so I took off my shoes and walked barefoot. When I crossed my legs to do the sitting meditation, I was in so much pain that I was sweating all over. I asked Teacher to help my ankle heal quickly because I didn't want to bring shame to Dafa. That night, I felt a warm current flowing from the top of my head to the rest of my body and it felt very comfortable. The next day, I was able to wear my shoes and the pain went away in less than a week. I don't know when my ankle fully recovered. When I went back to Taiwan, I really ran back home. My family all witnessed it.
Clarifying the Truth at Shihlin Night Market
Many tourists from Mainland China visit the Shihlin Night Market, so practitioners go there to clarify the truth. We hand out informational flyers, talk directly to the tourists and put up display boards for them to read. We also send forth righteous thoughts.
In the beginning, my legs were in pain because we stand all day long and talk to people. I also felt queasy and uneasy. After some time, I looked inward and realized that I had the mentality of seeking comfort. I didn't have righteous thoughts regarding this issue. Didn't I want to cultivate to the end without fear of hardship? Why did I let this human thought emerge? I reminded myself that practitioners in Mainland China could still endure cultivating in an environment where they were undergoing the test of life and death in the environment of brutal persecution. Compared to them, the hardship I experienced was nothing. Didn't Teacher say that enduring hardship is not a bad thing? After I found my shortcomings and improved my understanding, my legs no longer felt pain. I passed another test.
Owing to all sorts of reasons, our truth clarification at Shihlin Nigh Market changed. We are now using 29 display boards that are quite heavy. I was unable to move the trolley the first time I pushed it. I sent righteous thoughts and said to the display boards, “You are lives created by the universe. Let's assist Teacher and rectify the Fa together to save sentient beings so that you will have a beautiful future. Let's go together and you can help me push the trolley!” Immediately, the trolley became lighter and I could push it.
Originally, the display boards were put up from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. When we found out that the tourists arrived in large numbers at 6:00 p.m., we changed the time from 6:00 to 9:30 p.m. I went to the market regardless of the weather. Sometimes when there were strong winds or heavy rain, only the coordinator and I were there to send forth righteous thoughts. Gradually, several practitioners joined us and different opinions began to arise. Some told me that putting up the display boards wasn't effective when it rained since the tourists wouldn't read them. Others said that we should not go there during typhoon season. The different opinions got louder and directly targeted the coordinator. They asked me to pass the message to the coordinator. After some time, I was moved by what they said, thinking it made sense. There were not many people reading the display boards when it rained or during typhoon season. However, the coordinator said we should still be there even if there was only one person reading the display boards. I agreed with her. Then, gradually the mainland tourists arrived at around 4:00 p.m., so we extended the time from 4:00 to 9:50 p.m. Since 4:00 p.m. was too early for many practitioners, I decided to carry the boards myself. Sometimes, practitioners would come and help me carry the boards. As time went by, more practitioners joined in. Now we can send righteous thoughts and do the exercises together.
Once, the coordinator and I had an argument. She said something unkind in front of other practitioners and asked me to go back home. I said, “If you treat me like that, I would be very sad.” Walking back home, I was in tears. I was upset and thought how could a young girl talk to me like that? The next day, a practitioner called to talk to me and I told him that I wouldn't go to the night market any more. Let the coordinator do it all by herself.
Two days after the incident, I let go of my attachment and began to look inward. Teacher's Fa flashed through my mind:
“Forbearance is the key to improving one’s xinxing. To endure with anger, grievance, or tears is the forbearance of an everyday person who is attached to his concerns. To endure completely without anger or grievance is the forbearance of a cultivator. ” (“What is Forbearance (Ren)?” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
When I read “Transformation of Karma” in Zhuan Falun, I found that it was referring to me. I felt very ashamed. It was Teacher giving me a hint by using another practitioner's mouth. It was to help upgrade my xinxing, so I actually needed to thank that practitioner.
The practitioners in charge of packing up the display boards told me that it was too late to pack up at 10:00 p.m. They simply couldn't understand why the coordinator asked them to pack up that late and asked me to talk to the coordinator to change the time to 9:30 p.m. I told them the coordinator was in the Fa. However, they couldn't accept my answer and said I couldn't force my criterion onto others since we all have different cultivation paths. At home, I looked for a better answer. I thought that clarifying the truth to save sentient beings was for us to establish our mighty virtue. We do not have another 10 years. Then why did we get so upset about an extra half hour? It would be a big loss for us if we didn't want to go there because of this half an hour. Teacher said,
“Some people therefore think, “But when that’s the case, won’t the other person get all the credit? Won’t the mighty virtue all be his?” No, that’s not so. You know, what we do isn’t done for human beings to see, nor is it for some project coordinator to see, or some Dafa Association coordinator, right? If it is Master you’re hoping will see, his main body isn’t right in front of you, so who are you hoping will see? You are doing it before the multitude of gods. Master’s Law Bodies are watching as well, and the innumerable sentient beings of the cosmos have fixed their gaze intently upon your every single thought and mental activity. So, who are you hoping to show? All of the many amazing things that you are doing in the course of validating the Fa are being recorded in this chapter of the cosmos’s history, with nothing pertaining to even a single disciple being omitted.” (“Be More Diligent”)
I shared this paragraph of the Fa with those practitioners and they were able to understand the issue better. Therefore, we formed one body again and everyone was happy about it.
Every opportunity on the path of cultivation doesn't repeat itself and can bring us losses if we don't do well. Teacher said,
“We say that when you take a step back in a conflict, you will find the seas and the skies boundless, and it will certainly be another situation.” (“Lecture Nine” from Zhuan Falun)
I enlightened that taking a step back is to look inward. If I could really enlighten and follow the Fa accordingly, it would certainly be another situation.
For the past ten-plus years, if I persist in doing the three things well, I'm aware of my attachments and the mentality of seeking comfort. When I should let go of certain attachments and upgrade to a certain level has all been carefully arranged by Teacher. When it is time for me to upgrade myself, there would be tribulations. At that time, we must follow Teacher's Fa, have righteous thoughts and actions, treat every thought seriously, rectify our words and deeds according to the Fa, assimilate to the Fa and always look inward. We must also coordinate well with other practitioners so that everyone can upgrade together. If we can do the three things well, our one body will be more powerful in eliminating the evil forces. The more evil that is eliminated, the quicker the Chinese Communist Party will collapse and the clearer will be the way for sentient beings to learn the truth.