Starting Over in Cultivation
(Minghui.org) I was a little Falun Dafa disciple who practiced from the time I was born. My parents were not around as I grew up, so I gradually forgot about cultivation. Three years ago, I started to practice again. In retrospect, my state and situation two or three years ago were terrible. Although I had learned some cultivation fundamentals when I was a child, my knowledge was perceptual, so I encountered many obstacles when I studied the Fa.
I was also tempted by various things. These things sapped my energy and prevented me from studying the Fa. I had no rational understanding of the Fa at the time, so there were many obstacles. I was lazy. I always worked hard for a period of time and then slacked off. This went on for two years. I felt hopeless and on the edge of a breakdown.
During winter vacation this year, I had to get up very early for an internship. Getting up early had been a headache for me since I was a child. For the first few days, I managed to get up with the help of family members. Getting up earlier gradually seemed less difficult for me. I finally overcame what had hindered me for many years. With this momentum, I continued to get up early every day.
I slowly became more diligent in cultivation. Later, through studying the Fa, I realized that there is no time to rest in cultivation. I should not take things easy for a single moment.
Thinking from the Point of View of the Fa
“How to be diligent” and “how to overcome difficulties” were questions that I had been thinking about. I was alone one night and had just finished studying the Fa. I was about to rest after sending forth righteous thoughts, but as soon as I crossed my legs, a feeling of fear arose. I had been easily scared since I was young and hadn’t dared to stay in the dark by myself. If I watched a scary TV show, I had a hard time sleeping for several days.
As the feeling of fear grew stronger, I wanted to get up and go be with someone else. I then thought that a person who can send righteous thoughts to eliminate evil should have no fear. I decided not to leave and told myself, “Don’t be afraid. I am the person sitting here and I have obtained the Fa.” My human side became weaker and my heart felt still. The feeling of fear was gone. After this incident, I realized that when facing a problem, choosing to align myself with the Fa or to defend a human mentality would bring about two different results.
Thus, when encountering difficulties, one should not regard attachments and stubborn notions as oneself. The side that has been cultivated and met the standard of the Fa is our true self. One should forget all the bad thoughts and concepts and only regard oneself as a part of the Fa. Thinking this way, there is nothing that cannot be put down.
Getting online at night had always been an issue for me, let alone circumventing the firewall to browse the Internet. In the past, I either stopped trying or just waited until the Internet automatically reconnected. I needed to log in to check my email once but failed on the landing page. It still failed after several retries. I thought, “No, I have to read it today.” I started sending righteous thoughts to remove factors blocking me. A few seconds later, I opened the landing page, then the next link, then the next one... I used to think about sending righteous thoughts. However, I either didn’t truly believe in my heart, or my righteous thoughts were not strong. My state when sending righteous thoughts is now much better than before, as I firmly believe that my righteous thoughts can clear away all unrighteous factors.
In general, the biggest change I have experienced is that my Fa study is better than before. In the past, Fa-study was like reading a book. I still had notions about what I read. I used to think that a rational understanding of the Fa meant reading the principles in the book. I took rationality as a rigid way of thinking in scientific study. Later, I realized that the so-called rationality was still at the human level and the true rationality of a cultivator doesn’t have any human elements. Any little notion and attachment will prevent me from seeing the connotations of the Fa. After I understood this, I learned to throw out all my preconceived notions and thoughts while studying the Fa. This change made me see a lot of connotations when studying the Fa. Sometimes, learning a section of the Fa could help me understand many principles.
The second change was that, in the past, I'd always wanted to get something out of the Fa. I was always afraid that I did not realize anything after studying the Fa. So sometimes I would look at a section of the Fa that I didn’t quite understand again and again. As a result, I either still didn’t get anything out of the Fa or I misunderstood it. Although Master said that I needed to read it through, I still couldn’t let it go. Later, when I studied Master’s teachings abroad, when Master talked about the differences in thinking between Western people and Chinese people and that Western people’s thinking is relatively simple, while Chinese people tend to be more complicated because they have experienced many things, and it needs more explanation for them to understand, I realized that it was not good to overthink during Fa-study, because it was just a human mind thinking, it is counterproductive.
The third is the attitude towards the Fa. Some practitioners wanted to study the Fa but are illiterate. They felt very anxious, but they had a pure mind to study the Fa. As a result, when they opened the book, they found that they knew all the words. I realized that I should study the Fa with a pure mind.
Giving Up the Attachment to Graduate School
I took the exam for graduate school last year. While I was preparing for it in the second half of the year, I was under a lot of stress. At that time, my cultivation state was still unstable, mainly because of insufficient Fa-study. Because it was hard to find a job at the time, my mentality was still immature. I didn’t want to start work. I thus took the graduate exam as my only way out. However, the competition was fierce. The subjects I took were very challenging. I couldn’t learn very much every day. I got canker sores. I was depressed and almost cried.
Later, I couldn’t stand it anymore. I felt it was impossible to pass the exam so I gave up. I started to get up earlier and study the Fa. I felt very relaxed when I studied the Fa. I studied in the afternoon. Although I was no longer preparing for the exam, I was interested in the subjects. I exchanged experiences with other practitioners at night and did the exercises before going to bed. This routine lasted nearly a month. At that time, all my classmates had been studying hard. In retrospect now, although my state of studying the Fa was average, I did improve a lot during that time.
One day when I was studying the Fa during the day, I seemed to understand a lot, and my head was very clear, as if my whole brain had opened up. I did the exercises at night without any pain in my legs. I usually meditate for half an hour and start to get uncomfortable. That day, I meditated for more than an hour without feeling anything. I knew this indicated a big improvement.
It was almost time for the exam and I got nervous again. However, my mind was more peaceful. I thought that maybe this would be the last exam I ever took so I had to take it seriously and couldn’t leave any regrets. I arranged my final sprint with a high-intensity review plan. When I took the written test, I felt blessed and full of confidence. Later, during the face-to-face interview, I did even better. Plus, with this year’s enrollment expansion, I was surprised that I was admitted with a pretty good score. I am grateful to Master for his compassion and enlightenment. I also want to thank fellow practitioners for their help.
I have recently felt that I am improving every day, as if I have just woken up. Maybe it was because I let my obsession with graduate school go. I didn’t really want to go to school anymore. Of course, laziness was a factor. I was reluctant to re-locate. Perhaps also because of the pandemic, which made me unable to focus, I felt that it was meaningless to go to graduate school. Later, after exchanging thoughts with fellow practitioners after Fa-study, I came to know what Master means:
“You should be in keeping with ordinary people to the greatest extent while you cultivate. ” (Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference)
In the past, I only thought that this was to prevent practitioners from looking abnormal. Later, I realized that human society is where we cultivate, and conforming is not a helpless move. Rather, we must go out. If we don’t go out, there will be no opportunities to improve, let alone cultivate solidly. Therefore, when someone I know does something, I take the initiative to participate. What I used to think of as wasting time is now what I treat seriously as a true opportunity for improvement.
At present, my understanding of the Fa is still very elementary, and there are still many lectures I haven’t studied yet. Master pushes every disciple to progress quickly. If you are diligent, you can feel it. I feel that I need to let go of all the unnecessary thoughts, such as the attachment to time, regret, feeling incapable, and getting carried away about a small improvement. I should only think about how to be diligent and how to be more diligent.