Reading Minghui Articles is a Great Help
(Minghui.org) I started practicing Falun Dafa after 1999. I had been completely unaware of Dafa's rapid spread in China in the 90's and its eventual onslaught of persecution by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in 1999. It was a few years later that I first heard about it. I was out shopping and returned to find a booklet on my bike. The booklet talked about the persecution of innocent Falun Dafa practitioners. Coincidentally, not long after that surprise find an elderly lady moved into our precinct with her granddaughter. The little girl was about the same age as my own daughter. While the girls played, we chatted casually on the side. The lady always spoke highly of Falun Dafa. It sounded so good that I wanted to practice it, too. I asked her to get a copy of the book Zhuan Falun for me.
I opened the book and staring back at me was Master's photo. It was as if Master's eyes were looking straight through me, and for some inexplicable reason I was horrified and quickly shut the book. Unfortunately, I was not able to finish reading the book for a long time because of all sorts of domestic distractions. Whenever I decided to start studying the Fa and doing the exercises seriously, significant family events or changes occurred. I therefore kept missing the opportunity to practice in earnest, and that situation lasted for a few years.
Before I started practicing Falun Dafa, I suffered from lower back pain, and often sought relief by having acupuncture treatments or massage. On one occasion, no amount of massage seemed to help my back pain but I still persisted with it. Another time I had a severe cold which dragged on for months. I eventually gave up trying to get better, and it healed itself. Now that I am a Dafa practitioner, whenever I feel unwell I just persist with Fa study and the exercises, and I get over it in a day or two. Sometimes the sickness symptoms come as suddenly as they go. I was once perfectly fine in the morning, but after lunch I felt dizzy and weak, which was followed by vomiting. I could hardly move after that so I started reciting “Falun Dafa is good. Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.” I was all fine by dinnertime.
It has not been easy to let go of the many human notions and attachments I have acquired during this lifetime. They have subconsciously become an indispensable part of me. I would sometimes be so sure that my judgments about someone or something were absolutely right until I read articles discussing similar issues on the Minghui website. I then realized that what I thought was right was not, when looked at from a higher level. My reasoning has actually been stuck at the human level. Coming to this understanding has helped me let go of many human attachments.
Only after I started reading articles on Minghui did I discover that many behaviors I deemed to be normal were in fact human attachments I needed to eliminate. For example, I thought that there was nothing wrong with shopping for discounts. This seemingly normal behavior, as pointed out by a fellow practitioner in a Minghui article, is a manifestation of a person's desire for petty gains. Another example is expecting something in return after doing something for someone. I always felt I was justified in feeling that I was unfairly treated if I did not receive anything in return for my contribution. That, of course, was another attachment I needed to let go—a realization I came to after reading experience sharing articles from fellow practitioners on Minghui. At times when I have been lazy and slackened in my cultivation, articles on Minghui served as a wake up call for me. I need to step up and do as well as so many other fellow practitioners. Here I would like to thank Minghui and fellow practitioners who have contributed to it!
I had wanted to memorize Zhuan Falun a few years ago but gave up after a few paragraphs because it was difficult. I later read about many practitioners' experiences memorizing the Fa and was greatly encouraged. I started again, this time memorizing a few sentences at a time. I found memorizing the Fa very easy if I gave it my full attention, otherwise nothing registered in my mind. When memorizing the Fa, some of the sentences that I have read countless times before, felt as if it was the first time reading them, and new understandings of some sentences just came to me. I also noticed that many of my strong attachments became weaker over the course of memorizing the Fa. The improper thoughts and notions generated by my mind became fewer and weaker, and no longer as dominating as they were before.
Some practitioners have shared with me face-to-face about the hardships they have encountered in their cultivation. Their stories made a deep impression on me. Many of them live with the barest minimum and put all their resources, time, and energy into Dafa activities. Yet I am still attached to leading a normal life. The difference between me and them is glaringly obvious. Nonetheless, over time I have gained a deeper understanding about cultivation as I continued to put in the time for Fa study, exercises, and reading Minghui articles. I now understand that cultivation is a process where we clear our mind of all human notions so it can return to its original pure state.
I am now able to examine my own thoughts as they surface and identify the human attachments triggering them. I can sometimes eliminate the bad thoughts right away, but other times they take extraordinary willpower to overcome. I sometimes know it's not right but I can't control myself. For instance, Minghui articles have pointed out that Internet browsing is a bad habit for a practitioner. I know that too but I can't help myself. I have read about practitioners following Korean TV dramas. I thought to myself at the time what a ridiculous thing that was for a practitioner to do. Thinking about it now, what difference is there between browsing the Internet and following Korean TV dramas? They are equally bad! Cultivation in the secular world is not easy at all with the tribulations and temptations we have to overcome. We need to have a strong will to succeed in cultivation, and that can only come from our true faith in Master and the Fa.
I have had my ups and downs in my cultivation journey so far, but I look forward to being more strict with myself and continually improving in my cultivation.