Facing Despair in Cultivation with Unwavering Determination
(Minghui.org) I believe every Falun Dafa practitioner has experienced tests in cultivation. Sometimes I feel hopeless during a test. Having gone through various tests, I found that as long as I changed my notion and kept my righteous thoughts firm, things would turn around, however hopeless I might feel at the time.
At the beginning I felt that cultivation was too hard. But now I feel that cultivation is so beautiful. As long as I put cultivation into practice, I will break through the hardships and welcome a bright result.
Perseverance in Practicing the Second Exercise
One day I felt dizziness, nausea and heart palpitations when I started doing the second of the Falun Dafa exercises. I kept practicing for 50 minutes even though I felt as if I was going to faint. I told myself that I must keep going even though I did not feel well.
I held up my hands with difficulty. I felt a kind of substance from another dimension pressing upon me. I began to feel annoyed and agitated as my heart pounded rapidly. Tears started rolling down my face. I said to myself, “This is nothing compared to how much Master has borne for me in the other dimension. Shouldn’t I be able to bear this difficulty?” I maintained this exercise posture in severe pain for 55 minutes, and felt as if I could lose consciousness at any time. But still, I kept the posture for two more minutes.
Then a miracle happened! All my discomfort disappeared at 57 minutes. Even the substance that was pressing on my heart left me. It seemed like this experience was a dream. So what happened was actually a ladder for me to ascend and improve in cultivation practice.
I was thankful to Master for removing the karma for me and allowing me to know the true nature of karma and the importance of perseverance.
Memorizing the Fa
I had a good memory when I was in middle school. I could get 97 out of 100 questions correct for a subject that mainly required memorization. But it was a different story when I attempted to memorizing the Fa as I read Zhuan Falun.
Years ago I tried to memorize the Fa several times. I stopped each time after memorizing about 20 pages. I wanted to change this state after I read the sharing articles by practitioners on the Minghui website about memorizing the Fa. So I tried one more time. At the beginning, my thought karma tried to stop me and made it difficult for me to continue. Even if I sat down to recite the Fa, my mind was not focused. I thought of something that I needed to do urgently or messages came in on my mobile phone and tempted me to have a look. I knew it was interference, but I could not control myself. I only memorized a small paragraph over the course of the whole afternoon.
In order to break through this state, I stopped watching videos including those made by practitioners. I spent my spare time in studying the Fa, reading sharing articles on the Minghui website and doing the three things. Gradually my mind became clear and the interference decreased.
I tried to recite the Fa aloud with a focused mind. One day I memorized five pages. This strengthened my confidence. Now, I can memorize one page every day.
I realized that it was not the “true me” that prevented me from memorizing the Fa or made my mind wander. Whatever the situation was, I didn’t give up and Master helped me remove bad substances. I don’t fear memorizing the Fa now. Because of memorizing the Fa, I have improved my xinxing a lot and I am able to maintain my xinxing while encountering conflicts. I feel the joy of elevating in the Fa.
Unwavering Mind Despite Physical Tribulations
Once I had a terrible cough accompanied by a red face and sweating, which I felt might make the people around me uncomfortable. I tried to take it lightly but it was not that easy. I looked within to see if I paid too much attention to it. Because of the bad cough, my boss tried to persuade me to see a doctor.
I developed a fear of coughing because I didn’t want my colleagues to worry about me. I discovered the fear and let it go. I shared with a practitioner who felt that I had solved the problem. I told myself that I must maintain my righteous thoughts and take it lightly. I shouldn’t be moved.
However, two weeks passed without any improvement in my cough. I was concerned because I had to go for a job interview. The job offered a good salary and an excellent working environment. It was a rare chance for me. On the day of the interview I could not control my coughing. At the last minute I asked Master to help me, but I didn’t get any better.
One thought entered my mind, why had Master not taken care of me? Instantly I knew this thought was not my own. I remembered the story of Milarepa Buddha. However helpless he felt, he never ever had a single bad thought about his Master. I must be like that – I shouldn’t have any bad thought of Master.
As I headed for my interview, I couldn’t feel that Master was at my side. I felt helpless. Only five minutes to go before I went in for the interview. All of a sudden a thought prompted me to recite aloud, ‘Falun Dafa is good and Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.’” This was the candlelight in the dark that brightened my way. So I recited the two phrases out loud. The moment I finished, I felt a powerful wave move in me. It was the power of compassion. I cried. I felt safe and felt that Master was beside me looking after me. It was a test to see if I could persevere up to the end. I managed to do that and Master then took care of me. During the one-hour interview, I didn’t cough and the coughing symptoms gradually disappeared after the interview.
Identifying the Attachment and Letting it Go
Instead of letting the old forces take advantage of my loopholes and passively cultivating away my attachments, I should get rid of them actively.
One time an attachment disturbed me badly. I sought to eliminate it so I started to send forth righteous thoughts. I could feel that the attachment had a kind of material existence. It was connected to my body and heart and I felt a pain.
When I was trying to remove the attachment, it demonstrated false images continuously. However hard I tried, it was unshakable. The pain remained. It was “my true self” that had the pain. I was determined to eliminate it. Otherwise it would manipulate me. It became wild as I tried harder to get rid of it and the pain around my heart was quite severe.
I told myself to mobilize my divine powers. I was determined to wipe out attachments and interference from the old forces. I kept fighting against this force, but it seemed I was not able to win. I told myself that I would never give in. Just before I nearly broke down, I asked Master for help, “Master, please send heavenly soldiers and generals to help me. I feel exhausted but I will not step back.” I kept asking Master for help when I felt I was incapable. Finally the pain and the pressure on my heart disappeared. I knew my perseverance won. Master knew how much I could bear and He arranged what was needed for me.
Having gone through various tests, I realized that however hard it was, I must be determined and persevere. Things might turn around at the last second.
“As long as you upgrade your xinxing, you can overcome them. Unless you, yourself do not want to do so, you can make it, provided you want to overcome them.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
During the bitter tests and when I am in despair, I must have this thought – Master is just beside me and will help me overcome it. As long as I cultivate in the Fa, I will have the power of the Fa and the old forces dare not interference with me.
“I am rooted in the universe. If anyone can harm you, he or she would be able to harm me. Put simply, that person would be able to harm this universe.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)
Since we are going to reach consummation, the tests we encounter during the process are the tests that we are able to bear. As long as we change our mindsets and persevere to the last minute, I am sure things will turn around even in seemingly hopeless situations.