(Minghui.org) Greetings esteemed Master and fellow practitioners!

It has already been 20 years since I began to cultivate in Falun Dafa. Since I was little, I studied the Fa and did the exercises with my parents. After I graduated from the university I was fortunate enough to join the Dafa media. 

Negating the Old Forces’ Arrangements

Since March of last year, after the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus (coronavirus) reached the US, local authorities enacted various lockdown measures and in a split second, New York became like a ghost town. Other than employees from our media that were still coming to work, you couldn’t see anyone else on the streets. And so, the first test that’s been arranged for me had arrived.

Due to several local lockdown measures, our workplace didn’t require everyone to come to work at the office. It was fine to work from home. But, I knew that I didn’t have the self-discipline to work from home, so I decided that no matter what, I would go to the office. 

Because there weren’t many pedestrians, the homeless people stood out on the streets. Normally, I never paid attention to them in the past. But it seemed as if they were everywhere, and some of them behaved very strangely. So, I subconsciously started to feel scared.

One morning, as I was commuting to work, a weird person blocked my way and threw something at me. That evening, when I was waiting for the bus, I again saw a weird person do something bizarre. Having two similar incidents in a day has pushed this attachment of fear to its peak. I thought to myself, “The media didn’t force everyone to come to work at the office, so why don’t I just work from home?” 

After looking within about this attachment to fear, a thought popped up, “This is not right! I know that I can’t work from home, isn’t this the old forces’ arrangement for me to become more and more lax? At the office, I can work, do Fa study and the exercises with others. Would Master Li (Dafa’s founder) want me to become more lax because of an attachment to fear? This is definitely not the path Master arranged! It’s the old forces’ arrangement! In the past, I hadn’t been very clear about “the old forces’ arrangements” and didn’t know how to negate it. This time, I suddenly realized how meticulous the old forces’ arrangements are, from every move to every thought we have, and if it’s not corrected, then it’s accepting their arrangement.

Master said, 

“The bigger you perceive the challenges to be, the harder things will be to carry out, since “the appearance stems from the mind.” And so the task will become increasingly burdensome. When I say “the appearance stems from the mind,” by that I also mean that the difficulty stems from your overstating the importance of the matter itself and seeing yourself in a lesser light.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. X)

Master said, 

“If you don’t let the evil’s interference sway you, bad factors won’t arise from you, the evil will become trivial, you will become towering and massive, and your righteous thoughts will be ample. That’s truly the case.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. X)

“There is a lot of hidden meaning contained in [China’s] semi-divine culture, and that also holds true for the old expression “the appearance stems from the mind.” Because each person covers a certain expanse of his own in the world around him, his emotional state will have a bearing on his affairs.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. X)

Environment affected By Fear Attachment

I was shocked upon reading the above Fa. The attachment to fear that I have not let go of is affecting the environment surrounding me. It’s all because my heart is not righteous that I have been moved by my own emotions and my surroundings. From then on, I strengthened my righteous thoughts, I stopped listening to pop songs and only listened to the Shen Yun Symphony when I was walking on the street. Even when I was taking the train, I used that time for Fa study.

This persisted until April, my attachment to fear has lessened but I knew it hadn’t been eliminated. When I’m walking on the street, I meet with all sorts of weird people that other practitioners did not come across. From some screaming at me to others bumping into me while begging for money. This increased my hatred towards them. From the initial fear to hatred. I thought these people are just lazy and live off government welfare, how dare they scare people on the streets? I started having more and more negative thoughts about them, as I became more negative, I attracted more of these things that others didn’t even have to face.

One evening, as I was thinking about the next workday and how I would have to walk to work on the street with a lot of weird people, my fear crept up to the point where I had cold feet. And at that instant, I decided to study the Fa and not let fear overwhelm me. I opened up Hong Yin and read “Success at Consummation”

Master said,

Fame, gain, emotion—cultivate each away, And ascend to the Firmament at Consummation, See the human world with eyes of compassion, Then are you freed from the spell of delusion. (“Success at Consummation,” Hong Yin)

The second to last phrase confused me, “See the human world with eyes of compassion,” how can I view the human world with compassion after what I went through? So I read the poem again, and the moment I read the first phrase, “Fame, gain, emotion—cultivate each away,” I suddenly realized that I needed to eliminate my attachment to fame, gain, and emotion. I began to look within. 

Did this incident provoke any of my attachments to fame, gain, and emotion? In my head, I thought they were lazy, useless people. I work diligently at the office every day. I looked down on them and felt that I was more responsible for my own life, I thought this way due to an attachment to fame and showing-off. I thought they just take and don’t give, the money that everyone else works hard to earn goes to them in the form of government welfare, and they use up community resources while they don’t even work. This notion came from an attachment to gain and jealousy. And the feelings of fear, anger, hatred, sadness, and disappointment were all attachments of emotion. 

Realizing this, half of the weight I was carrying immediately decreased. Although I wasn’t completely fearless, I can more clearly understand how to change my mentality. 

The next day, on my way to work, I kept memorizing Master’s Fa: 

“Dafa disciples, you are golden light in the mortal world, the hope of the world’s people, Fa-disciples who help Master, and future Fa-Kings.” (“Congratulatory Message,” The Essentials for Diligent Progress III)

As I memorized this again and again, my righteous thoughts strengthened and there was nothing to be afraid about.

And as I memorized the first phrase, “Dafa disciples, you are golden light in the mortal world,” (“Congratulatory Message,” The Essentials for Diligent Progress III)I remembered something. In early March, as I was walking with a few practitioners, a Caucasian lady saw us from across the street and as we passed by her, she stopped us and said, “Where are you all from? I can see very strong energy from you.” As I recalled this, I was filled with gratitude, Master arranged for that to happen in advance to let me know, and remind me that all Dafa disciples have energy, and are the golden light in the mortal world. There is nothing to be scared of as long as I do the three things, Master’s law body is always there.

Getting Rid of Jealousy

My fear of weird or homeless people came to an end at the beginning of May. However, right afterward came another xinxing test. Because of the pandemic and to avoid ordinary people from misunderstanding us, we all wear masks when we board the elevator at the office, and people who finish their work early can go home rather than hang around. Time after time, I see many practitioners who don’t care and do whatever they want to. When others point it out, they have an expression of, “do you have nothing better to do?” So the anger inside my heart rose, we all know that nothing would happen to Dafa disciples but why can’t we just cooperate?

Even though I became angry, I was also upset with how I can’t tolerate this. What do I need to look within for? When I shared with other practitioners about this, one person mentioned how the Chinese character in the idiom to describe “hating evildoers as one’s own enemies,” is the same as the Chinese character in jealousy. So when you dislike bad behavior, that dislike is also a form of jealousy. It was precisely jealousy! Being jealous of how others can do whatever they want to but I have to follow the rules. At the same time, I was studying the Fa and Master said, “Jealous types look down upon others...”(Chapter Three, Falun Gong) This furthered my understanding that other than harboring jealousy, I even looked down on others. Looking down on others is feeling that I am better than others, and is a form of showing off! 

And in June, there were some violent movements. Because I work on the beauty channel in the media, I didn’t think this movement had much to do with us. Then I realized how much the American youth has been intoxicated by extreme leftist thinking. All the brands posted on social media support the movement. If you don’t speak up, many people will start to attack and criticize you. Of course, our channel will not speak up about this movement, so we were a big target for others’ criticism. Especially because I am an editor of our social media platform, I was in the front line, receiving people’s negative comments and messages. This negatively affected my mood and I didn’t know what to do. I really felt as if I experienced America’s cultural revolution back then.

Dissecting Forbearance

At that time, I started thinking about what forbearance is. How come I can’t forbear it in these situations and became angry or upset. It was then that I read Master’s lecture, 

Master said, “Your forbearance actually isn’t even up to ordinary standards. Your sitting there and thinking you can forbear amounts to nothing but wishful thinking.” (Teachings at the Conference of Changchun Assistants)

Master’s words that “Your forbearance actually isn’t even up to ordinary standards.” (Teachings at the Conference of Changchun Assistants) left a large impact on me. I thought that I knew what forbearance is but I wasn’t able to truly forbear. 

I began to reflect on Han Xin’s story, and realized that his first response to being challenged by a thug was, “Why would I behead you?” Those are the words that only someone who’s completely unmoved will say, because the issue at hand doesn’t even pose a problem to him. 

Then, I realized that forbearance is when you’re completely unmoved. I always thought that when something happens I’m able to forbear. I do not act rashly even though I feel angry or sad – that is forbearance. But true forbearance is when you’re not moved one bit. Because of this, I started thinking about how to face conflicts with a calm heart, and be completely unmoved. I have been pondering about this but I haven’t been able to come up with an answer, so I left this in my mind for the time being.

Getting Rid of Lust and Desire

In July, after various incidents, I could feel that the karma here in the U.S. has been increasing, due to an increase in people’s anger. At the same time, there have also been more indiscriminate attacks. I know that my fear of facing weird people since March hadn’t been completely eliminated, so now I need to remove that attachment again. In the beginning, I was scared that I would encounter something as I walked on the streets, but at the same time, I continued to send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate my thought karma. My resentment towards these people has decreased, I can even think positively and look at their positive side.

Until one day, as I was commuting to my office with my roommate and chatted about how the specter of communism has infiltrated the US, I felt my anger and resentment rise again. Predictably, because of my negative thoughts, I affected my surroundings and in front of our path was a homeless person who asked us for money. My roommate waved his hand and said “Sorry,” then continued walking. The homeless person pushed my roommate really hard but we didn’t pay heed. Then, he kicked my roommate with a lot of force, my fear reached its peak again, and I couldn’t calm down, even when we arrived at the office. I was very sorry for my roommate as well, because if my thoughts weren’t bad, we probably wouldn’t have faced this situation.

Not long after, there was a stabbing attack near our office, and I immediately felt like I couldn’t handle it anymore. My fear was so great that going to and from work every day was torture. What I feared was not being hurt or killed, it was the uncertainty whether these incidents would happen or not. This phase of uncertainty was what I most feared. Then I started looking within as to why I would feel that way.

One day, I heard a practitioner share about how another practitioner had the symptoms of the CCP virus and even went to the hospital. After sharing with the practitioner to understand the reason, the practitioner that went to the hospital revealed to having many uncertainties – such as whether he or she would get the virus – resulting in having the symptoms. That instant I realized, aren’t I also like that? Even though I knew that Dafa disciples are protected by Master and nothing bad will happen, why does my heart still think that even though I won’t die randomly, I may still be beaten or harassed. I was seeking it subconsciously, so of course these things happened.

That same day, another practitioner talked about when she was in China she didn’t get rid of lust and desire, and the old forces took advantage of her loophole. She was arrested and taken to a forced labor camp. How come I didn’t realize this was an attachment to lust or desire? Even though it was only a small hint of attachment, the old forces would take advantage of it, pull us down, or even persecute us. 

I recalled how not being scared of the result but being scared of the process was fundamentally a strong attachment to dependency. It doesn’t matter if the result is good or bad, I want to have someone who can help me solve all the problems in the process, so I can rest assured and not live in an unsettled state of mind. In the beginning phase of my being scared of weird people, I wanted someone to walk that part of the road with me. Then, I felt that only walking with another guy would make me feel safe. In the end, I even formed a figure in my mind that I wished a tall and strong guy would protect me, and this image corresponded to the male leads in the dramas I was watching at the time.

I always knew that watching dramas wasn’t a good thing, but I finally realized that lust and desire formed from watching dramas had affected me too deeply. If I didn’t share with practitioners, I may not have realized that this had to do with lust and desire! No wonder when I read “Success at Consummation” in Hong Yinin April, even though I realized that I needed to eliminate my attachment to fame, gain, and emotion, I always felt that I didn’t get to the bottom of emotion. I thought that what was targeted was how I felt fear, anger, or sadness, but it actually targeted lust and desire!

Then I quit watching Korean drama after realizing the severity of the situation, I even started feeling that the word “qing” in itself was a pile of mud and a sticky substance that was blocking me from being diligent. It was so sticky that my whole body would feel uncomfortable. Thus I thought about how to eliminate qing completely.

Master said, 

“When I tell you what’s going on, you should just study the Fa more. When the righteous thoughts get stronger and stronger, when you truly have compassion toward sentient beings, then there won’t be any more emotion to trouble you,...” (Teachings Given on Lantern Festival Day, 2003)

So I started to increase my Fa study time, on top of the regular team-wide Fa study and Fa study during commutes, I read another lecture of the Fa after work. On some holidays, I even studied 4-5 lectures in Zhuan Falun. After increasing my Fa study, I realized that my field became different, the sticky feeling from qing was gone, my breadth of mind even widened, and the air became fresher. I was stunned by how much power Fa study had.

Getting Rid of Attachment to Comfort and Understanding of Forbearance

As October and November approached, I slowly became more lax. Even though I still had set times for Fa study and doing the exercises, I didn’t spend as much time on them, and I wasn’t as focused. Even though I wanted to go back to the state I once had with Fa study, I often told myself, “I will start being diligent next week! Since a new week is a new beginning!” But I always ended up delaying it. I was unable to become diligent and started listening to pop music again.

Only up until last February, did I realize that I can’t continue like this. My life has been going so smoothly these past few months of slacking off, with no tests or opportunities to look within or eliminating attachments. I started feeling nervous, is Master not taking care of me anymore? I felt the need to pull myself together. This seemingly small but pure thought led to great changes. The thought of wanting to be diligent made me start fresh that same day. I thought of ways to increase my Fa study and exercise time and even added time for sending forth righteous thoughts to eliminate my thought karma.

I started to be more diligent and experienced sickness karma. My upper body and lower back started feeling so much pain that I couldn’t sit or stand properly. Even when I laid down it was uncomfortable, but in my heart I felt happy, “Ah! Master is starting to take care of me! Thank you Master!” The entire process was excruciating, and every posture was torture, to the point that when I bend down in the fourth exercise, I would grimace from the pain. I know that this was because I haven’t done Fa study and the exercises well during the last few months. A lot of karma accumulated and now I have to endure it. In my heart I felt happy, knowing that I would pass it.

This physical pain lasted for a week. Just at this time, the day I would receive my salary arrived. But because that day coincided with the Lunar New Year holiday, the banks in Taiwan would have a five to six-day holiday. If I didn’t get my salary before the holiday I would have to wait an extra week. Given this strong attachment, my salary didn’t arrive early, and I had to wait an extra week. I had several payments to make, which made me close to being bankrupt. These adversities have caused my anger to erupt. I felt wronged and I was so angry that I wanted to throw everything around me. 

I thought, “I never tried to get higher salaries, even though my salaries were low when I first joined the media, I never complained, knowing that we are here to save people, as long as I can still survive on these salaries without asking my parents for money then it’s fine. But why! This small wish of getting my salary on time cannot be fulfilled? Is it wrong to just want to survive? Can I not just want a normal life?”

What I was chatting with another practitioner, I said, “I feel like since last year, due to the pandemic, the violent movement, and the US elections, we never truly lived a day of normal life, and now I face this issue on top of physical cleansing, I think I held it in for too long.” The practitioner asked me, “So why does it affect you so much?” I couldn’t answer it at the time but I know, once I started complaining in my heart, I realized I kept repeating the words, “I just want a normal life.” After thinking about it deeply, hidden behind this is an immensely strong attachment to comfort. Even though I didn’t seek great wealth, wanting a normal life is also a heavy attachment to comfort.

Master said, 

“...if you really were to have no worries on the home front and be free of all troubles, what would your spiritual practice consist of? It’s hard to grow spiritually if your life is full of comfort and ease. So it’s not how you may have imagined it, with conventional thinking.” (The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun)

Aren’t I precisely in that state? Wanting to cultivate with comfort and ease! I suddenly remembered a few months back, when a practitioner who knew that I was a lazy person shared with me a passage from “Buddha-Nature and Demon-Nature” in Essentials for Further Advancement.

Master said:

“One’s demon-nature is viciousness, and it manifests as killing, stealing and robbing, selfishness, wicked thoughts, sowing discord, stirring up troubles by spreading rumors, jealousy, wickedness, anger, laziness, incest and so on.” (“Buddha-Nature and Demon-Nature,” Essentials for Further Advancement)

The practitioner said, “See? Demon-nature includes so many serious offenses, and hidden amongst them is laziness, it means that laziness is as serious as the others mentioned.” When I heard this, I was shocked. I have read this lecture many times, I even know how to memorize it but I never realized this. Even though this happened, I couldn’t fully understand the subtle connections between demon nature and laziness at the time. Only when this salary incident happened, which ignited the anger I suppressed since last year, did I realize that attachment to comfort makes one lazy and this eruption of demon-nature manifested in front of me to help me fully understand why laziness is demon-nature. 

After that, I actually let go of many emotions such as fear, anger, and sadness as I was going through each tribulation last year. As a whole, I was really happy that I could quickly repay my karma, and eliminate my attachments and deep down I always thanked Master for his arrangements when I faced tribulations. So why did I become angry? 

But this “just hang in there” is only a very ordinary human method of tolerance, it was holding oneself in until they were filled to the bursting point and not the true forbearance that a cultivator should have. So I started recalling the question I had since last year regarding how one remains completely unmoved in true forbearance. 

Master said, 

“You know, with cultivators, the following is often said: only when you have an attachment will you be affected inside; if you don’t have an attachment, it will be like a breeze passing over you—you won’t feel a thing. If you hear someone say that you want to commit some horrible crime, you’ll just find it amusing. (Master laughs) You will think, “How could that be possible?” and will laugh it off.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2014 San Francisco Fa Conference”)

Actually, the answer was simple, because I have attachments, I need to find them and eliminate them. Then gradually my heart will be unmoved.

Master said, “There is sacrifice in forbearance. Being able to make sacrifices is the result of improving in one’s cultivation.” (“Non-Omission” in Essentials for Further Advancement)

I felt that my understanding of forbearance deepened. Previously, I thought that removing attachments is like removing bad things, but the word “sacrifice” encompasses a much broader domain. Not only should bad things be removed, sometimes even seemingly good things have to be removed. Just like how I thought that I didn’t have a strong attachment to money and not having a high salary doesn’t matter, then let’s see if I truly remain unmoved when my checking account doesn’t have a penny left. Actually, when I thought back, getting the salary a week later didn’t make a difference for me in daily life. Because I didn’t have any material desires, whether I have money or not really doesn’t make a difference. In order for me to pay heed to my unrestrained attachment to comfort and elevate my understanding of forbearance, I truly can’t express how much gratitude I have for Master’s arrangements.

Master said: 

“Do you know what a wicked person is? What makes a wicked person wicked? It is that the person’s mind is filled with so many bad things. He has learned so many bad things, and his mind is full of wicked thoughts. He is a wicked person, regardless of whether or not it’s apparent. And where did those bad things come from? Didn’t they come from what he heard?” (Teachings at the First Conference in North America)

I gasped upon reading this. I always thought that wicked people do all sorts of evil deeds, and those who rob or loot are called wicked people. But actually, if one’s mind is filled with bad things, one is a wicked person!

Then when we watch dramas or listen to pop music, aren’t the things being injected into our minds making us become “wicked people”? Not long after this, I read Teachings at the Conference in Europe

Master said, 

“What’s a bad person? The violence and pornography promoted by society’s mass media machines and published in all sorts of newspapers and magazines have been instilled in your head. Yet people like to look at them, read them, and watch them. The more of them you absorb, the more you become like them.” (Teachings at the Conference in Europe)

Once again, I decided to quit listening to pop music, I won’t listen or watch any of that. If I have spare time I should just study the Fa and do the exercises more. Soon, my field and my surroundings became clearer again and the air was fresher.

V. Conclusion

Every tribulation from last year to now has made me realize Master’s mighty virtue and benevolent compassion. As long as I study the Fa well, Master has given me the answers in the Fa when facing a tribulation. Every time, I further advance and elevate in my understanding of the Fa. This year I truly understood what it means “...Let joy be found in hardships....” (“Tempering the Will,” Hong Yin)

After passing each test, I felt changes from deep within me. The weight of the shackles of my attachments lessened each time my understanding elevated. I am immensely grateful to Master for never giving up on me.

Thank you Master and fellow practitioners!

(Presented at the 2021 Epoch Times and NTD Media Fa Conference)

Chinese version available

Category: Experience Sharing Conferences