(Minghui.org) Before the persecution started in 1999, my grandma's neighbor hosted a Falun Dafa practice site at their home. My aunt was a practitioner, and when I was six years old, she once took me there. One memory of that visit stands out clearly in my mind: They were playing one of Master’s Li's lectures, and the blue background and Master’s image is something I will remember forever. That was the first time I saw Master.

It’s a pity that I didn’t become a Dafa practitioner then. I often think to myself how nice it would have been if I started cultivating back then; I could have avoided some of the bad habits I formed in ordinary society. Fortunately, I became a true Dafa cultivator in 2008, when I was in my second year of middle school.

My initial feeling of learning the Fa was one of such honor. It felt like no force would stop me from cultivating diligently. I didn’t know anything about cultivation back then; the only thing I knew how to do well was to study Zhuan Falun. When I got to the part where Master spoke about the five exercises, I realized that I didn’t know how to do them. I immediately went to my grandma’s house and talked with a group coordinator.

The next day I hurried to the coordinator’s home. They weren’t home, so I sat outside and waited. It was a Fall day, and it started raining. I stood outside the practitioner’s home while looking at the leaves and drops of rain in the wind and started smiling. The happiness I felt was wonderful and unforgettable. That noon, I watched a video of Master teaching the exercises. I also slowly started to understand what a practitioner’s duty of doing the things required of them well was.

Even though I was a new cultivator, I didn’t worry about anything. The only thing I thought about was to cultivate well and follow what Master says. I looked forward to the weekend group Fa study all week.

However, as time went on, I slowly began to slack off. It happened unconsciously, and I didn’t even know how it occurred. The initial excitement of my starting to practice Dafa slowly dissipated. I found excuses to not study the Fa or do the exercises, and I also stopped going out to clarify the truth to people. Sometimes I gathered the courage to approach my classmates and tell them about the persecution. However, because I didn’t have enough righteous thoughts, I was unable to help them quit the Chinese Communist Party. I convinced myself that I was unsuitable to clarify the truth, and I put off doing it until I had done enough Fa study.

Yet I never seemed to have time to study the Fa. On weekends, I found different excuses and procrastinated. It became a viscous cycle of not studying the Fa, not doing the exercises, and doing a poor job of talking to people about the persecution.

In addition, the things I did in ordinary society did not go well because of a lack of Fa study. When I was in elementary school, I was among the top students in my class. Studying felt easy, and I was happy to do so. After becoming a practitioner, my scores shot up even higher, and I was promoted to class leader. In middle school, I was sent to the best research class in town.

At that time, I finished my homework as soon as it was assigned, and when I didn’t understand something, I took the initiative to ask the teacher. However, after I started attending high school, I began to slack off. Gradually, I formed the bad habit of procrastinating and put off studying the Fa. I would make grand plans, but was never able to execute them. My grades dropped to one of the lowest in the class.

I also thought I could get good grades by thinking that Master would help me. When my grades came out, nothing changed, and I behaved just like before.

Slowly, I started losing confidence in studying and my abilities. I feared challenges and competition, yet I had an arrogant attitude of having once been a top student. I became sensitive, suspicious, self-blaming, and insecure. I was jealous of other students who worked hard and were on top of their game, and I convinced myself that I was actually much better than them. I did nothing all day, but I told myself I was too busy to cultivate, and that I would have more time once I got to college.

I did have more free time in college. I joined several organizations and also tutored some students. These were opportunities Master created for me to clarify the truth; however, I kept putting it off by worrying about this or that. I did nothing significant during my first two years and missed many opportunities.

However, benevolent Master never gave up on me. In my junior year, I was able to leave the country as an exchange student. After going abroad, I got in contact with local practitioners. I was the kind of practitioner Master talked about:

“Most of the students coming from mainland China—I am not criticizing you—did not do well in China, nor have they done very well outside of China.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference”)

Because I had just arrived from China, I was not initially notified when there were Dafa related activities. However, some practitioners were aware that I wasn’t doing the exercises, so they would remind me that I had to do them daily. I felt bad, but I still kept procrastinating.

I believe that the old forces had made elaborate plans to slow me down and stop me.

Master said:

“I can tell you that they are using this approach to wear you down—to whittle away at your strong sense of conviction. So you need to be alert to these things.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference”)

It is really like that. The old forces are doomed to end up in hell, so they want to drag people down with them.

One day, out of the blue, a practitioner contacted me and offered to memorize the Fa with me every day. We agreed that we would remind each other on a daily basis and wouldn’t miss a day. Having been lost for so long, I was too embarrassed not to agree to it. So, even though I felt lazy, I memorized a few paragraphs. Slowly, as I memorized more and more, I understood more of the Fa and started catching up.

Even though I still can’t compare myself to the really diligent practitioners, I am working hard to catch up. I memorize the Fa every day and wake up at 5 a.m. to do the five exercises. At first, the old forces interfered by making me too drowsy to wake up. But that didn’t stop me. They even tried to make my alarm stop working, but I overcame this and other obstacles, because Master was strengthening me.

I experienced being fatigued all day when I did not do the exercises in the morning, so I chose to not sleep at night at all. If I did sleep, it was at my desk for a few hours. I then woke up and did the exercises once it was time to do so. I’m not sure if this was the correct thing to do, but I didn’t dare sleep because I needed to do the exercises. I didn’t feel tired during the day, even if I didn’t sleep at night. I also read Minghui articles and made Dafa flyers during the night.

At present, I do the three things to the best of my ability, and I’m trying to catch up on the time I’ve lost. The reason I am writing this article is to give fellow practitioners a reminder to study the Fa a lot. This will ensure that you stay on the path of cultivation, and it will prevent you from going astray.

Although my experiences were not as dramatic as the cultivators who are arrested and persecuted, my slacking off almost ruined me. I knew what I had to do, but I was unable to act. Once my mind became clear, I felt very regretful. Some things cannot be regained once lost.

In the end, I succeeded in getting back into Dafa and am doing the best I can. I feel no resentment towards the old forces and don’t want to meddle with things Master refuses to even acknowledge. I just want my fellow cultivators to learn from my mistakes, act according to the Fa, walk the path arranged for us, and return to our true place together with Master and the sentient beings we save.