(Minghui.org) For ten years after college, I was immersed in the dye vat of ordinary society's pursuit of fame, gain, and sentimentality. I drifted along with these trends, indulging my attachments and desires, getting farther and farther away from cultivation. I am grateful for Master Li Hongzhi's compassionate care and not giving up on me. In 2019, I resumed my Dafa cultivation.

I am sharing these experiences in the hope that young Dafa disciples with similar experiences will take a warning from them and not make the same mistakes and miss the precious opportunity to cultivate.

Slacking Off and Not Meeting Dafa's Standards

In 1996, I began practiticing Falun Dafa with my mother when I was nine years old. Under her guidance and the supportive atmosphere of being able to practice the exercises in public, I cultivated Dafa diligently. But after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to persecute Dafa in 1999, our group practice environment was lost.

After college, I lived in the same city as my parents, but we lived separately. I had to work overtime almost six days a week and was working 12 to 16 hours a day. At that time, I rarely studied the Fa or visited the Minghui website. The morality of Chinese society seemed to decline rapidly; people were crazily chasing after money and pleasure. Due to my inability to resist the polluted influence of society, I gradually changed in ten years from being a quiet and restrained cultivator to an ordinary person pursuing fame, personal interest, and the so-called happy life, which bred various desires and attachments.

Dragged to the Verge of Destruction

Affected by comics and T.V. when I was a student, I began to yearn for a “sweet” family life. This longing for affection was deeply hidden. I spent time on dining out, watching movies, traveling, and talking like ordinary people did. The excuse I found was that I was to adapting to normal life. I deceived myself and misused Dafa's requirement to “be in conformity with ordinary society” to cover up the attachments I didn't want to eliminate.

I felt that cultivation was too difficult, and I didn't have confidence in myself. But subconsciously, I clearly felt that sentimentality was a “fatal test” I had to pass, and if I didn't let sentimentality go, I couldn't truly cultivate Dafa. Yet, I evaded this issue.

By the age of 27, I hadn't ever dated anyone. But my thoughts of getting married became increasingly pressing and were mixed with sentimentality, lust, and desire. I dated two men successively. Under the influence of my curiosity and their promises to marry me, I did something against my morals. I was upset afterwards, and my heart was entangled. So I became resistant to continuing that behavior. In both cases, I soon broke up with the man.

Having done such a shameful thing and generated such serious karma, I knelt in front of Master Li's portrait and wept bitterly. After all, Dafa had sowed the seed of cultivation in me, and I knew that I had committed a big mistake.

For the next two years, my obsession with getting married made me anxious and paranoid. My thoughts were completely controlled by the old forces. The pressure to get married for the sake of being married dominated me. I felt so desperate that I thought if someone proposed to me, I would even pay their living expenses or would not interfere with their dating other girls.

I did not dare to tell the truth about any of this to my mother, who is a Dafa practitioner. Around that time, I had serious mental and physical problems, which resembled the state of depression. I thought of suicide several times, but I also thought: “Dafa is so righteous and so good. If I die, Dafa will be discredited.” It was this thought that kept me alive.

Saved by Master in My Moments of Crisis

During this time, I also had an attachment of comparing my position and salary with others. Accompanied by the tribulation of sentimentality, I fell into an extreme pursuit of fame and fortune.

Especially in the past two years, I had a strong self-reliant and competitive nature at work. I suppressed colleagues and hurt others to get what I wanted. I used every means to obtain the company's largest project of the year, despite knowing that I was not sufficiently qualified.

Many of my colleagues, including the director, wanted to participate in or exchange projects with me. In order to maintain control of the project, I excluded them. I lived a very tiring life, fighting from morning to night, and feared losing my own interests. It’s hard to understand that I, who was indifferent to fame and fortune in the past and even who took the initiative to give my bonus to colleagues, had turned into such a snob!

The immense work intensity and mental pressure caused me to suddenly have pain in my heart. I couldn't move or breathe. The extreme pain caused my tears to gush out. At that moment, I almost felt “dead.” I then had the thought: “I am a Dafa disciple!” In about a minute, I gradually regained my breathing. It was Master who saved me! In fear, I cried all the way while walking home.

I called my mother, and she hurried to my place. We sent forth righteous thoughts together, and my body quickly recovered. Even so, I feared I might lose the project due to rumors at work about my physical condition. So I immediately returned to work.

Through this project, I was later offered a job at one of the top five companies in the industry and worked as a professional manager in a regional group. In my early 30s, I seemed to have reached the pinnacle among my peers. But then the work became more of a burden, and I was in pain again and wanted to escape. But I couldn't let go of the shackles of fame and fortune!

My continued pursuit of sentimentality, fame, and fortune were superimposed on my long-term health problems and brought me to the verge of collapse. I had head, heart, and stomach pains, insomnia, nightmares, and shortness of breath during sleep. I was also extremely sensitive and irritable. Whenever I heard male voices, I trembled and cried bitterly. My mother planned to take me to see a psychiatrist.

In 2019, I decided to quit my job and live with my mother. Around that time, I told her about the wrong things I did and that I wanted to return to Dafa cultivation. I now realize this was arranged by compassionate Master. He saved me by not giving up on me at the last moment.

After moving home, I deleted WeChat, video chat apps, and financial software to stay away from any prior ordinary influences. My mother often urged me to study the Fa and do the exercises. I started to participate in a weekly Fa-study group. I hadn't seen other practitioners in the past 20 years. I sighed and basked in this kind atmosphere.

Eliminating Sentimentality

I started to study the Fa, but I couldn’t see the inner meanings. I also couldn’t feel the energy mechanism when I did the exercises; it was like doing calisthenics. At night I had bad dreams: I often found myself in the dark or in a septic tank; there was either a flood or a building collapsed; people were being slaughtered by the wicked and knelt on the ground to cry for help from their lord.

I saw a paragraph in the Fa, which I recall clearly understanding the meaning of when I was a child. Now, when I read that passage repeatedly, I could only grasp the surface meaning of the words, regardless of how many times I read it. I realized I had fallen a long way from my cultivation level in childhood and cried uncontrollably. I wondered what I should do.

I was in a bad mood one day and did not go to the Fa-study group. My mother came back from the group and said, “Other practitioners said that you are not serious about cultivation.” Although I couldn't accept it at the beginning, I quickly understood that the other practitioners were actually right. I hadn't really cultivated myself.

Half a year had passed since I returned to cultivation. My physical and mental states had greatly improved, but my attachment of sentimentality was still there. I evaded it and did not want to eliminate it; a heavy feeling entangled me. I said to myself, “Since I want to cultivate, I should get rid of sentimentality and all attachments this time!”

I then broke off all connections with a man whom I’d secretly liked for two years. Every day, I sent forth righteous thoughts for half an hour to specifically target eliminating my attachments of sentimentality, lust, and desire.

A miraculous thing happened. Although I sat cross-legged and didn't move, my body seemed to be pushed forward from behind by a pair of big hands. Every time I sent forth righteous thoughts targeting my attachments, I felt that one layer of a black shell around me was removed. My mind became clearer, and I was not so confused.

During that period of time, there was always a bright Falun (law wheel) spinning in the corner of my left eye. While sleeping, I sweated a lot. I knew this meant my body was being adjusted. Master was taking care of me and encouraging me.

The immense thought karma that reflected in my mind and in my dreams was not only limited to sentimentality but also violence, hatred, cruelty, and some very evil thoughts. Every time I sent forth righteous thoughts on the hour, the black matter of thought karma filled my mind like a heavy object weighing on my body. It even made me unable to recall the verses for sending forth righteous thoughts.

After sending forth righteous thoughts one day, I was sweating heavily. I slumped on the floor and cried. I thought, “What should I do? Why is everything so difficult for me?” Amazingly, after that, most of the thought karma was removed. I could control my thoughts, and I knew that compassionate Master helped me eliminate my karma.

Because I had made repeated mistakes with the tribulation of lust, I was too ashamed to forgive myself. In particular, every time I read Master’s teachings about lust, my face became hot and I teared up. Negative thoughts of being “unworthy” of Dafa cultivation and “unable to cultivate” often appeared in my mind. I understood that this was because I was not firm enough. I still wanted to cultivate, and I repeatedly warned myself not to be negative but to catch up instead.

Throughout this experience, I faced strong trials of lust and sentimentality. I hope that other practitioners who have experienced similar tribulations will take a warning from me: One must not indulge in it, one must not follow the path arranged by the old forces, and one must not make these mistakes.

Sentimentality, eroticism, and lust are a path that has no return, and it doesn't lead to good results for cultivators. If practitioners do not control themselves well, they will deviate from a cultivator's standards step by step. Only then will they know how far they have veered from Dafa. The process of returning to cultivation is a difficult one. One's previous standing will be wasted, and the sentient beings to be saved will be lost forever.

My physical and mental health issues are now gone. I have become peaceful again. Thank you, Master, for saving me with compassion. I must cherish the opportunity to cultivate and this last bit of precious time in Fa-rectification!