[Celebrating World Falun Dafa Day] Cherishing Our Precious Affinity with Dafa
(Minghui.org) It has been 23 years since I started practicing Falun Dafa, and everything still remains fresh in my memory of how I had missed an earlier opportunity due to my warped notions, but was able to reconnect with Dafa years later.
My Brother's Qigong Teacher Refused to Teach Me
I was born into a well-educated family in China. My elder brother began to practice qigong in his teens. When I was 11 years old, he took me to see his teacher, asking him to accept me as his disciple.
His teacher scrutinized me up and down for a while and then said to my brother, “You'd better take your sister home, as she has her own master, whom I cannot match, not even his toe. Although your sister is young, we are not her match even if all of us in the room joined forces together.”
I didn't take what he said to heart, thinking he was just joking with my brother, but my brother never took me to his teacher again.
Qigong was very popular in those years, with a variety of weird forms. I thought some of them might be genuine, and others could be fake.
I Missed a Precious Opportunity in 1994
I became a trainee with a media outlet in 1994 in the hopes that I would become a professional journalist in the future.
One day, a friend of my parents from Beijing came for a visit, and I noticed that she was wearing a beautiful badge on her chest.
“Aunty [a common form of address in China for a female of one's parents' generation], what's this you are wearing?” I asked curiously.
“This is a Falun badge,” she told me.
The three words at the bottom of the badge “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance” also caught my attention.
“Wow! These three words are so nice! I like them!”
“You seem to have an affinity with Falun Gong,” the aunty said to me with a smile, “Master Li has come to Guangzhou to run the last round of classes. You should attend his lectures.”
It turned out that tickets for the classes had long been sold out. Luckily, being with a media outlet, I could attend the classes with my press card. A friend of mine wanted to come with me, so we both went with my press card.
It was December, and the air was crisp and clear. There were many people lined up quietly outside the auditorium where the classes were to be held.
I was very surprised to see that many of the people were from out of town, from all over China, including people of minority ethnic groups. There were also people from Xinjiang in northwest China. The atmosphere was peaceful and harmonious.
“Grandma, I have attended Teacher Li's lectures a number of times. My ticket is facing the rostrum. You can have my seat, and I will sit on the floor,” a young girl said to an elderly lady next to her.
My inner eye (also known as the third eye or celestial eye) was open ever since I was a kid, and I could see scenes beyond what could be captured with our naked eye. I assumed everyone was the same as me and thought the scenes might just be some hallucinations anyway. So I had never mentioned this to anyone before.
On that day, through my inner eye, I saw some gigantic divine beings in ancient clothes standing guard by the gates of the auditorium with different weapons in their hands. As usual, I didn't pay much attention to what I could see and took them as mere hallucinations.
There were several thousand people attending the lecture that day. My friend and I found two empty seats in a corner and sat down, eager to hear what had attracted so many people.
However, as soon as Master Li started his lecture, all sorts of negative, suspicious, and disrespectful thoughts appeared in my mind, permeating my whole brain like dark clouds. I could not tell where they had come from at the time and became very confused.
Years later, I learned after reading the book Zhuan Falun that they were in fact warped notions I had developed in ordinary society and interference from thought-karma, not the real thoughts from my main consciousness.
At that time, my main consciousness was tightly repressed by my thought karma, making me believe that those negative, suspicious, and disrespectful thoughts were my own. As a result, I could not focus on what Master Li was talking about and wanted to leave, but at the same time, I was also amazed by the peaceful and calm atmosphere in the stadium.
The idea of leaving came to me a number of times, but I couldn't make a move due to the high level of concentration of people around me.
When Master Li told us to stand up and think about any ailments we or our family members were suffering from, my feeling of leaving the stadium became even stronger.
My friend murmured something to me and walked out of the stadium. A little while later, I also left my seat and started walking toward the exit. Just at that moment, I felt that Master was looking at me. I was stunned and looked back at the rostrum. Indeed, Master was looking toward me.
Being controlled by my thought karma, I kept walking till I got to the stairs leading to the exit door. Just then I felt as if I was hit by thunder when Master said, “Some people came with the thought of contesting the Fa. I would say that you'd better let it go, as it won't do any good. Of course we talk about affinity. You have come because of your affinity.”
I turned around, and could not move my legs, so I sat on the stairs, feeling completely stupefied.
“Master Li seemed to be talking to me specifically,” I thought to myself. “How could he know what was on my mind?” I sat there and listened for another 20 minutes or so, till waves of thought karma engulfed my mind again.
I got up, turned around, and walked out of the stadium. I felt Master Li was staring at me as I walked out. That feeling left a very deep impression in my mind.
Many years later when I read Master's Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Houston, I truly understood that I took that thought-karma as my own thoughts and missed a precious opportunity to obtain the Fa in 1994.
“I have you become a Buddha, have you cultivate, and in cultivation you must get rid of your postnatal notions and clear out the thought-karma that replaces you. Then think about it, if you want to clear those things out, they are living, and they won’t put up with it. Precisely because they are in your brain, they will try to make your thinking waver, make your thinking unsteady, cause you not to study the Law, to not believe in the Law, and will urge you to do this or that, to the point that you will unknowingly do wrong. You formed that karma by cursing at people and thinking bad things back before you took up cultivation. Well, then the thought karma will project into your thoughts with curse words, causing you to not believe in the Law, or even to curse me. I don’t count it as your mistake since it is not you that is cursing me; otherwise your sin would be huge. Your thought karma is cursing me, but in cultivation you have to purge it or else it counts as you doing the cursing. Therefore, as long as you purge it and reject it, you will know that it is not you cursing and merely karma at work, demons at work. We join efforts to eliminate it and have you recover yourself. Currently the majority of the people who live in this world aren’t really themselves living. They are living for the sake of their way of thinking and their and postnatally-formed notions.” (Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Houston)
Going through Tribulations
I started to stumble in life after the day I walked out of the stadium on December 21, 1994, with tribulations crashing down on me one after another.
The media outlet where I was a trainee, not only made deductions from my salary, they also wanted to dismiss me all of a sudden, saying that they had never seen a more incompetent trainee than me, that I was not bad to begin with but became more and more dead-from-the-neck-up, and that I could not even draw a straight line, etc. They said they would put me in a stand-by section and sack me if I was still no good during the probation period.
I couldn't blame them because I myself found that I had become pretty useless for some reason. While I was puzzled by my dwindling ability at work, my health started to change from bad to worse as well. I often came down with fever out of the blue, and with each occurrence of sickness, my competence at work became worse as well.
On top of all this, my parents suddenly wanted me to move out and support myself, when I was already hard up for money; a soulmate of mine from childhood suddenly left without letting me know or leaving any contact information; my boyfriend also wanted to break up with me over some misunderstanding; a high school friend of mine turned up unexpectedly and demanded payment of a debt I owed; and my beloved grandma, who was the closest to me, passed away quietly one morning.
All these tribulations crashed down on me like an avalanche, and for three years I was under tremendous stress and often had nightmares, in which I either fell off a building or from a cliff. I would cry out in these nightmares until I woke up in shock. I could not see any hope in life and everyone said I looked aged and withered.
The worst thing was that I had no one to talk to or get some comfort from, but struggled along on my own. I didn't understand why all these things were happening to me and just carried on miserably.
The situation went on for three years before it got better and I could relax a bit. I stopped having fever and my parents no longer asked me to move out. The media outlet finally agreed to employ me, and I also managed to pay off the debt I owed.
Turning Point in My Life
One day, my neighbor called me to her apartment. She was an art editor at the Huacheng Publishing House at the time.
She handed me a stack of copy paper and told me she was working on a project for a book, which she found very inspiring.
“You should read it,” she said. “This is the version for proofreading I borrowed from a colleague and will need to return it to her tomorrow.”
I took a glance and a section title in bold immediately caught my attention “The Decline of the Human Race and Emergence of Enlightened Beings.” I couldn't help but read on,
“The decline of man didn’t begin with the time of Eve, as indicated by Jesus. This Earth has gone through more than one civilization and primitive period; there were prehistoric civilizations that were destroyed. In some cases Earth was utterly destroyed or replaced, with a completely new one being created. Hasn’t mankind talked about catastrophes that end the world? It has been religions that have talked about this, in fact. After a certain time passes a large catastrophe occurs, and after some time a small catastrophe takes place. In a small catastrophe people are wiped out on a local scale; when a certain area has turned very bad it is destroyed. There are earthquakes, the submerging of continental plates, the spreading of sandstorms, or famines and wars. A small catastrophe is localized, while a large catastrophe affects most all of mankind. A large catastrophe occurs only after the passage of many years. The shifts that take place on Earth, like the movement of objects, follow certain patterns. The large catastrophe that unfolds with its shifts is what leads to mankind’s annihilation. There are a small number of people who survive, however, and inherit some of the culture that predates history, and they live a life similar to that in the Stone Age. Since all tools of production will have been destroyed, the ensuing generation has an even worse predicament, for much will have been forgotten. So the population begins to increase from a primitive state, and over time there emerges again civilization and advanced technology. When the human race again deteriorates, catastrophes again unfold. There is thus cyclical change wherein there are periods of formation, stasis, and degeneration.” (Zhuan Falun, Volume II)
“Who wrote this? Every word is true. I have never read anything so true,” I asked the neighbor.
“It was written by Mr. Li Hongzhi,” she told me.
I jumped up out of my chair and said, “That's impossible. I went to listen to him three years ago. It was nothing like this!”
My neighbor became very cross with me, complaining about me not taking her to the lectures then.
But I couldn't hear anything she was raging about me, as I was completely astonished by who she told me was the author of the book.
I borrowed the printout, went back to my office, which was not in use due to renovation at the time, and started reading intently, till I finished the last page. I remember feeling very sleepy afterward and fell asleep on a lounge chair.
When I woke up I was surprised to find that my brain was so calm and clear, as if it had been cleansed with fresh water. All the resentments I had harbored in the past three years disappeared without a trace and I could not remember any of them. I was enveloped by a feeling of calm and tranquility, something very mysterious, beyond description.
Obtaining the Fa
Two copies of the book Zhuan Falun I asked a friend of mine in Wuhan to send me arrived! I gave one copy to my neighbor and kept one for myself.
I took the book with me to work that day, put it in my drawer, and looked at it and touched it gently with my hands from time to time. I felt it was so precious.
Time seemed to go so slowly that day because I couldn't wait to get back home and read the book.
After dinner that evening, I closed the door of my room and started reading the book. By the time I finished reading it through, it was already early morning. Strangely, I could not remember much of what I had read, which was rather unusual for me, a bookworm since childhood.
I freshened myself quickly, put the book in a big envelope, and went to work. Like the previous day, I looked at the book in my drawer whenever I had a moment free.
After work, I rushed home, gulped down some dinner, and started reading the book again. I read the book word by word throughout the night. Still I didn't seem to get the gist of it.
After I read it the third time the next evening, I was still a bit confused about the core message in the book. So I decided to keep reading. It was not until I finished reading the book the fifth time, that I began to grasp the meaning of “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance” and understand that the book is teaching people how to be a good person. I kept reading the book and gained a bit more understanding after reading it the sixth time: This is indeed a treasure book that truly guides people to greater spiritual heights!
I remember that day vividly. After I finished reading the book, I turned to look at Master's photo in the book. Suddenly, the photo became alive and started turning at a fast speed. Each time it turned, Master's image changed into a different appearance, wearing different clothes in ancient times; sometimes a Chinese, and other times a westerner. Master was smiling at me, and he looked so kind, so familiar. I was totally stunned by it all!
After a little while, suddenly I realized that this is the Master I had been waiting for through multiple lifetimes. I burst into tears, with indescribable joy and excitement!
Locked memories began to emerge, and I saw the hardships and miseries I had endured in the multitude of my previous lives, and I understood at long last the reason why I had come to the human world. My face was covered with tears the whole night.
I came to the understanding: It is not a bad thing to endure hardships. In fact it is a good thing! I was extremely grateful to Master for his compassionate arrangement to let me pull through all those tribulations and be reconnected with Dafa.
I made up my mind: I will genuinely cultivate myself and return to my true home with Master.
That weekend, I went to the practice site in our neighborhood and got in touch with the volunteer assistant, from whom I got all Dafa books available then, and became a Dafa practitioner.
Interestingly, that day was exactly the same day three years earlier when I went to listen to Master's lecture, but missed the opportunity to cultivate in Dafa due to my own notions and thought karma.
Everyone in the World Has an Affinity with Master
I became a new person after I started practicing Falun Dafa, and everyone was surprised to see the changes in me. I turned from a gloomy-looking girl with a fragile body into someone pure and beautiful.
I had the book Zhuan Falun with me all the time and read it whenever I could. Oftentimes, my eyes became blurry with tears as I was engulfed in a strong wave of joy. I was so happy that I found my Master in this lifetime, so happy that I became a Falun Dafa practitioner finally. Thank you, Master, for your boundless compassion!
I had two dreams after I obtained the Fa. In one of them, Master took off three black shadows on my chest and indicated to me that he had removed much of my karma. In the other, Master then took me to the side of a lotus flower lake and taught me Fa principles. Master told me that everything had happened for a reason and that the hardships I had endured resulted from karma I had accumulated in previous lives and that they would not affect my cultivation. Master also told me to study the Fa well and cultivate solidly. When I woke up, I could still hear the music of the fifth exercise.
From my own experience, I feel deeply that it is so precious to be able to obtain the Fa and that the opportunity to cultivate in Dafa is hard to come by. I understand that one would not be able to see the truth if one holds onto his/her own notions, which would become real obstacles to prevent one from obtaining the Fa, when in fact those notions do not represent one's true self. I always remind myself that the best way not to be swayed by those notions is to look within myself and measure things by the principles of “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.”
At my limited level, I can see through my inner eye that in order to save all the sentient beings in the human world, Master has descended to the human world and through numerous lifetimes established affinities with sentient beings, and everyone has an affinity with Master.
As Dafa disciples, we should cherish the opportunity to learn Dafa, cherish all sentient beings as well as every fellow practitioner.