(Minghui.org) Greetings to Master and fellow practitioners!
I have always felt that writing an experience sharing paper is a real challenge for me because I feel that I do not have much to share in the way of insights or major tribulations that I've overcome. My cultivation practice is quiet and uneventful, a daily, slowly unfolding and deepening of my faith and commitment to Dafa – the Great Law of the Universe.
I started practicing Falun Dafa almost casually, and in my case, I'd definitely better not cultivate like I did when I first began! While others grasped the essence of Dafa cultivation practice immediately, I was on the sidelines for a year or so. I understood what cultivation is but had not committed to truly practicing.
Much of this was because of my very strong Christian upbringing. Even though I had been a very devout Christian for most of my childhood, youth, and young adulthood, when I attended the nine-day Falun Gong seminar, I had been pretty much asleep at the wheel in my spiritual life. I believed in the teachings of Jesus, and in being a good person, but I was not growing and developing spiritually. Attending the nine-day seminar woke me up to working on my spiritual development. Yet, when faced with the prospect of following another cultivation way, I was fearful of moving on from something so deeply familiar to me, so rooted in my bones. This was a big tribulation for me.
“It wasn’t easy for just about any Dafa disciple to gain the Fa initially. This isn’t to say that someone was blocking the door, watching and stopping you from entering. It often manifests as xinxing tests that examine how your mind reacts—that see how your mind reacts and handles itself on the matter of whether to gain the Fa.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Conference in the Mid-US”)
It was a slow process for me to understand just how important it is to truly take responsibility for our cultivation, which is so clearly laid out in Master's teachings. Master teaches us how to truly cultivate, within the Great Law of the Universe, and this is what I want to do.
“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.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
Every day, it is up to me to cultivate – to study the Fa; strive to integrate myself with Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance; and to look inside in all circumstances.
Master also reminds us that our reasons to cultivate must be pure, and I need to periodically check myself against this passage of the Fa: “Dafa Cannot be Used,” Essentials for Further Advancement. Reading this used to make me feel uncomfortable, but now I am truly grateful for Master's compassion.
Because I live in an area with very few practitioners nearby, I do not interact with many practitioners, nor do I have many opportunities to be involved in many Dafa projects.
So I was really happy when I was asked to help polish articles for Minghui a year or two after I began practicing Dafa. This gave me an opportunity to do something for Dafa, using my skills in a fairly flexible schedule. From the beginning, the website work took a great deal of time and energy, and it has been a challenge to do well at it and at my everyday work. My commitment to this project has defined my life for the past many years.
“Whatever the case, it is simply extraordinary that Minghui has made it through to today. In terms of the role it has played, it has powerfully exposed the evil’s persecution, especially in recent years. Since the time when the persecution began, it has furthermore provided a true picture of the cultivation state of Dafa disciples in a timely manner and served as a point of connection among students. Students everywhere—be it in the mainland, outside China, or wherever it may be—can share experiences via the Minghui website. By giving Dafa disciples a channel such as this in their cultivation, each is able to promptly learn the overall situation of Dafa disciples’ cultivation; and the site serves as an indirect means of communication as well. This is excellent.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Fa Conference Marking the Tenth Anniversary of the Minghui Website’s Founding”)
It's hard to express how deeply I cherish being part of this team, to be tasked with handling articles from practitioners in China and other parts of the world, making them more accessible to a Western readership. I am humbled by this opportunity and it is my greatest honor. Always, and especially when I am bogged down in my cultivation, I feel like I have been placed in this job because I need the “remedial” work of reading article after article about cultivation!
Working on the website is how I can be of service to Dafa, fellow practitioners, and non-practitioners. The responsibility is huge, as I believe that our attitude when we work on articles will have an impact on how the article is perceived and understood by the reader, especially non-practitioners. I try to approach every article with reverence, while keeping in mind, each time I edit an article, that this may be a reader's first impression of Dafa and of practitioners.
Over the years of working on Minghui, I have been tempered and able to chip away at some of my rough edges, no longer getting bent out of shape and releasing indignant e-mail outbursts like I used to occasionally upon minor or major differences or understandings among my team members. Now, I no longer get irritated, and I also make sure that I'm not inwardly irritated either – if I am, it's time to really look inside.
I am so grateful for my fellow team members, for their commitment, steadfastness, and maturity in cultivation. I am also deeply grateful for each person who works on the larger Minghui project, for their incredibly hard work and sacrifice. This includes the coordinators, every practitioner who writes articles, the translators and the polishers, editors, IT people, each and every individual who makes this work possible as we provide insights and sharings from fellow practitioners and document the persecution. All of the activities engaged in by practitioners around the world to clarify the truth and share Dafa are such a joy to help present on the website. I am in awe of my fellow practitioners everywhere, who clarify the truth in so many different situations.
Many practitioners on our team have experienced profound tribulations and the utmost of losses. I am pained by these tribulations and losses that our team has experienced, but my faith never waivers because of it.
My temperament and my actions are generally slow and steady, which has its benefits, but which has the potential to tip over into complacency. As a cultivator, I try to constantly work on my inner thoughts, to make sure that they are in line with Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. I know how important this is in terms of Dafa work and my attitude toward fellow practitioners, and also with regard to everyday issues – work and family. In every situation, sometimes later than I would like to admit, I remind myself to always ask, “Why am I seeing this? Why is this person behaving this way?” While I am very easygoing and not demanding with friends, strangers, even bad drivers on the road, I can get quite upset when certain family members act or do not act in a certain way. I am trying to look inside on these issues and get rid of the attachments to sentimentality and in some cases jealousy, which lead to these resentments. That is the only way that I can truly reach the Forbearance of a cultivator.
I am frequently reminded of Master's Fa:
“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)?,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
There are other areas where I need to make breakthroughs and catch up. One is in doing the exercises regularly. It's relatively easy for me to do things for others, but I have a hard time doing things that I feel I don't absolutely have to, things that I don't perceive as helping others... like the exercises. I know in my heart that this is not correct, and although it's true that I'm busy every day, I know that I still have an attachment to laziness and to comfort. I am determined to break through this obstacle, get rid of these attachments, and do all of the things that a practitioner should do.
I also need to break through my hesitation to clarify the truth face to face. Though I value and respect all people, I am basically pretty introverted. I also have notions about people of other spiritual backgrounds not understanding Falun Dafa. Looking inside, though, I see an attachment to comfort and to saving face. These are troubling attachments that I have to completely discard. More recently, I have had opportunities to work with other practitioners in talking to elected officials about Falun Dafa and the persecution in China, and these experiences are helping me to break through these blocks.
I am so grateful for my fellow practitioners everywhere, who constantly show me what true cultivation is. And I cannot really express in words my reverence and gratitude to Master and Dafa, as I slowly mature on my cultivation journey. I know that I need to speed up, and I am determined to do so.
Thank you, and heshi.
(Presented at the Minghui’s 20th Anniversary Fa Conference-selected and edited)