Years of Cultivation: Developing Diligence
(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master and fellow practitioners!
I began to practice Falun Dafa in my 20s, and I’m in my 40s now. I’d like to express my deep gratitude for Master Li (the founder) leading me onto my cultivation path.
Feeling the Power of Dafa
In my childhood, after I happened to come across a book depicting fairy tales, I began to develop the wish to cultivate. When I was a student, I held a great interest in the mystery of the universe as well as prehistoric civilizations. Later, at a university, there were some tough changes in my family, and my health condition deteriorated. Thus, I had to take one year leave from school. I thought I might as well use this time to look for the truth of the universe through reading, yet it was in vain.
That winter before I went back to school I listened to a close friend’s advice and decided to give qigong a try. I also went with my roommates to look for a free qigong practice affordable for students. One day, this friend who had been searching on the internet said that he wanted to go to the park early in the morning the next day. This caught me off guard as he always slept in and got up late. After he came back, he told me excitedly that he found what he had been searching for.
Therefore, I went with him at 4 a.m. the next day. That’s how I began with Falun Dafa cultivation. I also participated in the “Nine-Day Class”. However, it was different from what I had imagined. Although I had read Zhuan Falun, participated in the nine-day seminar, I couldn’t understand most of what was talked about. Thus, it was not easy to get absorbed in Fa study.
A month later, when I was doing the fifth set of exercises, I came to feel what Master mentioned about sitting inside an eggshell. In addition, my body felt hot while sleeping one day. When I woke up, I felt that there was something penetrating my body. Master had someone like me, who just started with the cultivation and lacked an in-depth understanding of the Fa, feel many amazing things.
Walking on the Path of Validating Dafa
With more in-depth Fa-study, I wanted to become a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple. My first activity on spreading Falun Dafa (also called Falun Gong) was to put up posters at a university in Seoul. When we took a break, by sitting on the stairs to take a rest, both my friend and I saw Falun (law wheels) falling like snowflakes from the sky. This was also the first time I saw this many Falun. I came to enlighten that Master was encouraging me to clarify the facts to people.
After that, I also participated in sending forth righteous thoughts. The very first day when I was sitting outside the Chinese Embassy and was about to send forth righteous thoughts, noise from cars passing by and the way pedestrians looked at us put a lot of pressure on me. However, when I closed my eyes and was about to send forth righteous thoughts, I felt a giant shadow as big as a house standing behind me. My instinct told me that it was Master’s law body who was by my side. Then, I sent forth very powerful righteous thoughts. Energy erupted from all over my body and went into the Embassy. Later, no matter where I went, I always remembered that I had the power of sending righteous thoughts.
But then, my greediness worsened. I developed a competitive mentality and tried to beat everyone. Then my jealousy arose, coupled with the thought being “my ideas are better than those of others.” I kept repeating the process of improving myself after running into conflicts with other practitioners; then returned to my original state, and fought with them again. I finally got over these attachments after I read Master’s Fa:
“So what's their state of mind? It's tolerance, an extremely immense tolerance, being able to accept other beings, and being able to truly think from other beings' perspectives. This is something a lot of you haven't achieved yet in your cultivation, but you're gradually catching on and achieving it. When another God proposes an idea, they aren't eager to reject it, and they aren't eager to express their own ideas and they don't believe that their own ideas are good. Instead, they look at what the end result of the other God's proposed approach will be. The paths are different--everyone's path is different--and the truths that beings validate and enlighten to in the Fa are different, too, but the results might very well be the same. That's why they look at the results, and if the result of a God's idea can achieve the goal, if it can truly achieve it, then all of them will go along with it. That's how Gods think. Also, if there's something lacking in it they'll unconditionally and quietly supplement it to make things more complete and perfect. That's how they handle things.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A.,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. II)
Since then, I have changed the nickname of my Internet to Master's Fa, “...quietly supplement it to make things more complete and perfect.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A.,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. II). I tried very hard to eliminate my jealousy and competitive mentality.
“The space of the universe is benevolent to begin with and embodies the characteristic of Zhen-Shan-Ren. At birth, one is assimilated to the characteristic of the universe. Yet as the number of lives increases, a collective form of social relations develops in which some people may develop selfishness and gradually their level will drop.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)
I realized that in order to work well with fellow practitioners, one needs to eliminate one’s selfishness when interacting with others, which is also an inspiration gained when I walk on the path of returning to one’s original and true self.
Visiting Practitioners in China
Recommended by an assistant in the Assistance Center, my friend and I had a chance to go to China to help practitioners set up a materials production site. After we arrived late at night, guided by a practitioner, we went to a materials production site at a practitioner’s home. After we got there, there were no lights. We couldn’t see anything, but nobody turned on the lights either. So we did the sharing as a group as well as sending forth righteous thoughts in the dark.
Later we heard that the homeowner was under police surveillance. When producing materials, he had to use a lot of electricity. With his electric bill going up significantly, police noticed it. Therefore, he no longer used any items which required electricity, including a fridge, rice cooker and lights.
During the daytime, I brought a laptop and CD copier over to show fellow practitioners on how to use them. At night, after fellow practitioners and I finished our Fa-study, we distributed Dafa informational materials. Fear always popped up, but my every cell was highly alerted, and my righteous thoughts were very strong. After I finished, I packed all the truth-clarification DVDs and went on to Beijing.
After I arrived in Beijing, I visited a few sightseeing spots to send strong righteous thoughts. At night, I went to hand out truth-clarification DVDs. At midnight, I sat in a corner of Tiananmen Square, and sent forth righteous thoughts.
It was there where practitioners from outside of China shouted “Falun Dafa is wonderful!” and then got arrested by police, their actions truly resonated with me. The dense air and serenity as well as my nervousness and determination back then are still kept in my memory. After I returned home, this experience had motivated me for quite a while. After that, many times when I ran into difficulties, I often remembered how much hardship practitioners in China had to, and still suffer, and I shouldn’t back down. I appreciated Master for providing me with such a precious opportunity, I also felt very grateful for the determination and righteous thoughts those practitioners in China displayed.
Improving when Awakening the Conscience of Sentient Beings
After I returned to Korea from China, I actively participated in a few truth-clarification projects. In Korea, some citizens were deeply poisoned by the lies fabricated by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). They held misunderstandings towards Dafa. Thus, it required a lot of effort to clarify the facts to them.
A few years had gone by very quickly. Initially I paid a lot more attention to awaken the conscience of the Chinese people, but gradually I felt that it was as important to awaken the conscience of the Korean people. We began with setting up the exercise sites to spread Dafa, then presented the mock trial for bringing the former Chinese President Jiang Zemin to justice, the torture display, art exhibitions for “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance” and much more. A new truth-clarification project was completed through the joint efforts of many practitioners. Now thinking back, the time we have been through was like a movie, staying in my memory forever.
Later I joined the media operated by practitioners, which was a brand new cultivation environment for me. After I began with Dafa cultivation when I was a student, I had no interest in anything else but to cultivate. I didn’t know how things work in ordinary human society. The media reached out to ordinary people through the format of a regular enterprise, by complying with the standards of regular people, and using the way of a long-term working relationship to clarify the facts.
After I joined the media, I worked during the day and spent evenings writing news. Gradually I realized that the days when I needed to stay up late to finish work were increasing. After I got more tied up with things, I gradually used the excuse of lacking sleep and catching up with sleep in the morning, so it became very hard for me to keep up with the morning exercises. For that, I still feel regret. I didn’t get rid of the notion that one would feel tired for lack of sleep. The fact is that I didn’t truly believe that doing the exercises is the best way of taking a rest. After this loophole was formed, it took me quite some time to overcome it.
One thing happened when our Shen Yun reporting was conducting interviews. During the Shen Yun performances, in order to report timely, we often needed to upload certain news items before the deadline. As Shen Yun is directed by Master, I wanted to do a good job. One day, because I hadn’t met the target, I was so worried, so it took quite an effort to finish the work. It was already early morning by then. When I came back to the room used by our reporters, I realized that only a specific area of the room was heated, as opposed to the entire room. Luckily I found out about that. Thus, I purposefully left those warm places to others, and layed down in the area with no heat. I thought that my effort could assist Master in rectifying the Fa to a very tiny extent, and I felt very comfortable and fell asleep right away.
One time I went to my parents' home. A boiling pot needed to be transferred to another place. After I put on the gloves, I began to lift the pot. Unexpectedly, the handles were extremely hot, but if I were to suddenly drop it, boiling water would have splashed everywhere. After that, I quickly took off my gloves and saw blisters on my hands. When I put my hands in icy water, my pain was lessened. But, as soon as I took my hands out, I felt unbearable pain immediately. With increased pain, I was getting agitated. My anger and resentment began to pop up. I had thought to myself, “Didn’t they know it was very hot?! How come they only gave me this pair of thin gloves, otherwise how could my hands be burned?” Right away, I realized my state of mind was off, so I dipped my hand into icy water. Then, I began to organize my thoughts: How come I ran into such a kind of thing? I had to take care of reporting. But if I couldn’t use my fingers, I wouldn’t be able to continue working tomorrow, therefore, important news couldn’t be produced. Should I treat it as a process of eliminating one’s karma and endure it, or rather take it as interference from the old forces?
After I began to look inward, I thought to Master, “If this were karma I was supposed to endure, then I’d endure it. But, on the other hand, your disciple would never acknowledge any arrangement and interference from the old forces.” After that, I took my hands out of the icy water, and they no longer hurt. Moreover, those blisters all disappeared the next day, with only a little bit of red scars left. Then, the red scars also disappeared.
“And you shouldn't acknowledge them either. Do things well in an upright and dignified way, negate them, and strengthen your righteous thoughts some. "I'm Li Hongzhi's disciple, I don't want other arrangements or acknowledge them"--then they won't dare to do that. So it can all be resolved. When you can really do that, not just saying it but putting it into action, Master will definitely stand up for you.” (Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference)
Through this experience, I came to truly feel that Master had everything under control. Thus, we should walk our cultivation path based on Master’s arrangement.
There was a witness who broke the news on live organ harvesting in China in 2006. Since then, all kinds of investigative reports and news were published. Besides feeling shocked, I realized that we should use it to clarify the facts to people. Thus, I wrote the relevant news right away and made the truth-clarification brochures. I had thought it’d shock the worldly people, when they learned the truth. But, there was not much of a response. So, I came up with many ways to spread the word, and also made many detours.
Back then, I also wouldn’t expect that we’d continuously work until this day to expose this matter. But, I got to know some practitioners whom I could work with on exposing the live organ harvesting. During the process of constantly improving myself, I also accumulated much precious experience, and had a good outcome, which has helped me in terms of persistently clarifying the facts to ordinary people.
After Falling Down, Getting Back Up Through Joining Group Fa-Study
My father-in-law who was also a practitioner always complained that practitioners did not come to study the Fa and share with him. I worked during the day, then took care of him at night. Then close to a year later, he passed away. I felt guilty for not being able to help him get over this interference from the evil.
After having combated with the evil for nearly a year, I felt exhausted. Right then, I didn’t want to get involved in many complicated issues, or take on any hardship, but cultivate on my own. I was in depression, also began to avoid group Fa-study and exercises. Although, I still carried on with the truth-clarification projects, however, part of the reason was that I couldn’t let go of my attachment to vanity, along with my sense of responsibility. Obviously, I didn’t do it wholeheartedly, but rather went through the motions. I knew that the reason why I was in this state was because I couldn't let go of my fame and self-interest, as well as my attachment to leisure.
Then, I stopped being puzzled after Master’s new article was published. Master said,
“This is why I am recommending that the Dafa disciples who are immersed in our various projects find time to participate in the local Fa-study.” (“Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
I had to follow what Master said, although both my wife and I were worried about our younger son who was not even one-year-old. He would disturb others during the group Fa-study. We decided to let it go. Gradually, everything went back to normal.
Improving My Cultivation State
Before that, I joined the army, as I had delayed my military service. During my service, I worked as a public health doctor. Under Master’s benevolent arrangement, I traveled throughout the world. While taking care of patients, I also taught them Falun Gong. When I didn’t need to go on a business trip, I’d write news scripts, and continued with my media project.
However, after I finished serving in the army and returned to Seoul, I realized that I had a large debt, and my credit score went downhill. Thus, it was very difficult for me to rent a place. After a few years of work, I did much better financially. I felt that not only did I have to learn how society worked, but also had become a member of society. As a practitioner, I had been doing what I was supposed to do to a certain extent. Everything seemed to be fine on the surface.
I don't remember when I started to nap during the group Fa-study. When I sent forth righteous thoughts, it couldn’t display as great supernatural capabilities and gong potency as before, as my thoughts wandered off. I couldn’t hold up my palm at all times. The same thing happened when trying to awaken the conscience of people. I’d slack off for a while, then suddenly became serious. Besides, it was hard for me to enter into tranquility when doing the fifth exercise.
No matter how selflessly my wife helped me, I only thought about myself. I often vented my anger on my kids and did not educate them with rationality. Some attachments, such as lust, attachment to fame, and self-interest, began to pop up again, yet they didn’t alarm me. I could feel benevolent Master had extended the time, though I still wavered back and forth.
Although Master has been publishing new articles to hint where we were lacking in our cultivation, I wasn’t alarmed. I felt as if I had become a great Dafa disciple. I found a few loopholes which I thought I had let go of. Sometimes I felt bored and sick. I did know that sentient beings were waiting for the truth, but today was not the day for the final conclusion, so there was always a tomorrow. Thus, no matter what, I still stood the chance of catching up and thought I didn’t have to worry too much. Thinking about how pitiful gods and sentient beings from other dimensions would feel about that, I felt a bit scared.
I truly wanted to go back to the state when I first started to cultivate. Fortunately, I got the chance to have a lengthy conversation with practitioner Mr. Li. His cultivation state was just like when he first started: He was diligent in awakening the conscience of people, putting his heart into Fa-study and gained enlightenment from time to time.
“And I especially want to remind our veteran Dafa disciples not to slack off. You have gone through so many long and grueling years to make it to this day, and it really hasn’t been easy! Do you not know to value and cherish yourselves? I certainly cherish you! And divine beings do too! (Applause.) So all the more so should you value and cherish yourselves.” (“2018 Fa Teaching Given in Washington, D.C,” Yellow Team translation)
“I hope that you can really manage to cooperate well, have strong enough righteous thoughts, look within when you run into things, and be enthusiastic like you were when you first took up cultivation. Don’t be like ordinary people, whose fleeting enthusiasm fades after a few minutes and then disappears altogether.” (“What is a Dafa Disciple,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
Practitioners all know that every issue arises when not treating Fa-study seriously.
“When some people read Zhuan Falun they are not concentrating, but rather, thinking about other things, and not able to focus their attention on cultivation. It thus amounts to wasting time. And not just wasting time—instead of it being the time when they are to be elevating, they are using their minds to think over issues and things that they shouldn’t concern themselves with, and thus, not only aren’t they elevating, but on the contrary, they are often dropping in level.” (“Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
When I was reading the Fa, my mind wandered. This happened because my main consciousness wasn’t clear, so I couldn’t stay focused on Fa-study. Since then, when I read Zhuan Falun, I slowed down, concentrated, and began to read word after word. When my mind began to wander or I felt sleepy, I started from the beginning. No matter how busy I was during the day and how tired I was, I wouldn’t go to bed until I finished reading one chapter in Zhuan Falun.
“Each of your attachments could cause your cultivation to fail. Each of your attachments could result in physical issues, and lead your once-firm faith in Dafa to waver.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference”)
I enlightened that every small attachment would develop a loophole in cultivation. Even a very little loophole, after it builds up, it’ll become something very big. Thus, I made up my mind that no matter how tiny the loophole was, as long as it was an attachment, I’d eliminate it.
I used the standard of the Fa to measure what was the Buddha and what was demon nature. For attachments such as the desire to check out the news on the Internet, craving delicious food, or seeking comfort in my day-to-day life, I wouldn’t overlook them even though they were very tiny.
After I tried very hard to rectify myself, my life changed. Now, I could maintain a peaceful mind and used a correct attitude to improve my xinxing.
I suddenly realized that I had a reunion with my old colleagues from quite a few years back whose conscience could not be awakened. This reminded me of some other people who had predestined relationships with me. I also felt that this was very precious and wanted to treasure those relationships more. I have made up my mind to do my best to clarify the facts to them.
I truly appreciate Master for waking up a lazy disciple - me. I will do the three things diligently, and strive forward until the very end.
Thank you, Master and fellow practitioners.
(Presented at the 2020 Korea Online Fa Conference)