Reflecting on 24 Years of Cultivation
(Minghui.org) I began practicing Falun Gong, also known as Falun Dafa, with my parents in 1996, when I was 13 years old.
That was 24 years ago. Looking back, memories and emotions fill my heart.
Dafa Gave Me a Healthy Body
I was tormented by severe chronic constipation for the first 13 years of my life. Not having a bowel movement for more than a week was the norm for me, sometimes even two weeks.
The pain was excruciating when I finally went to the bathroom, and I cried a lot. Tiny red dots covered my face after I finished due to broken capillaries from straining.
This was the terror I had to live with. Every time I sensed a bowel movement coming, I burned incense and begged the heavenly gods to help me, but it never worked.
My back felt like it was about to break whenever I bent over. I often wondered why my life was so painful. Because of the pain, I had a bad temper. If I wanted to do something and my mother would not let me, I threw a tantrum until I got my way.
I also had a sinus infection that would not go away. The drainage coming out of my nose was yellowish green.
The medication prescribed was small pills made from Chinese herbs. Each dose was a small handful. They made me nauseous, so I threw them under the bed when my mother wasn’t looking.
My sinus infection got worse, and I lost my sense of smell. The drainage became red and had a foul smell according to my mother. My nose bled easily, and it hurt. And a sudden movement, such as during gym class, made my head throb. Eventually, my nose was completely clogged, and I had to breathe with my mouth. Constant headaches made it hard for me to concentrate in school.
My father took me to the hospital. The doctor examined me and asked me to wait outside. After I left the room, he said to my father, “The child’s condition is very bad. She needs treatment right away or it might lead to cancer.”
I heard their conversation with my ear pressed against the door. Tears ran down my cheeks. Was I going to die?
I even wrote a will. The fear of going to sleep and not waking up the next morning haunted me every night.
A year later, a neighbor introduced Falun Gong to our family. “This practice has magical healing powers, and some practitioners lived through cancer,” the neighbor told us.
I saw hope. That same afternoon, I learned the Falun Gong exercises. My whole body was engulfed in warmth when I was doing the Falun Standing Stance exercise. I felt good, both physically and mentally.
Within two days, my chronic constipation was gone. I thanked Master Li from the bottom of my heart. All my aches and pains were gone within days.
A week later, as I came home for lunch, I noticed that my sense of smell had returned and I was able to breathe through my nose. My mother was very happy for me.
I thanked Master in front of his portrait. Fascinated with the ability to smell again, I sniffed everything around me. Those memories are still fresh in my mind!
Since that day, I have not needed to take medication for any reason.
Dafa Changed My Character
I was a difficult child. My temperament got worse when I was suffering from illnesses. I would not admit my mistakes and easily became angry. I was rude, selfish, extremely competitive, and jealous. I was also ungrateful and resentful toward those I disliked.
My parents sometimes spanked me, attempting to control my behavior. But it did not work. They used to say, “This child is too stubborn. We cannot reason with her. She will have a hard time making friends.”
Dafa made me a better person. I now have many friends and get along with everyone around me. I also learned how to be generous and forgiving. I handle everything in life with calmness and rationality. I have matured to become an easy going and conscientious adult.
Master told us that we must be good people and look within ourselves when we face troubles. When encountering something unpleasant, I look inside and find a positive solution.
Walking Away From Sentimentality
Years of practicing Falun Gong helped me retain my youthful looks. At age 37, I look like I’m in my twenties.
People often compliment me, and I get a lot of attention from younger men. I was pleased with myself because of this. Little did I know that this kind of attachment would cause much turbulence in my cultivation.
I like tall, handsome and cheerful-looking young men. After ending a second fruitless relationship, I was baffled. Why were all my friends and colleagues married, but I wasn’t?
Through intensive Fa study, I let go of my eagerness to get married and did not go on dates for several years.
Two years ago, I met a handsome young man. I refused him at first. After getting to know him better, I believed we actually got along well. We started dating. My cultivation then started to slide.
Master was worried about me and attempted to enlighten me in my dreams. This man soon cheated on me and we broke up.
Even though we were only together a few months, I was quite hurt emotionally. Depression set in and lasted several months. I could not sleep or eat well, nor could I study the Fa or do the exercises.
An older practitioner learned about my troubles and came to visit me every few days. Through intensive Fa study and sending righteous thoughts, I eventually pulled myself out of sentimentality. Without the attachment to sentimentality, my body felt light and my mood was great.
I realized my thoughts on “love at first sight” and “attention to appearance” were not righteous. A strong attachment to lust let the old forces get me tangled in such a mess. Perhaps I made vows with the old forces in the past, but no matter what they were, they are invalid now. I am a practitioner. I only follow the vows I made with Master.
Why is the divorce rate so high in modern society? It is mostly due to the loss of moral values. Lust and selfishness have taken over from responsibility.
“If you are not married, you must not engage in sexual activity...” (“Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles”)
I am mindful of Master’s teachings and caution myself not to repeat a detrimental mistake like this, which could ruin my path of cultivation.