(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!

My parents and I began practicing Falun Dafa in 1996. After I started to practice, my frequent illnesses, including fevers, toothaches, and fainting spells, disappeared, and I became one of the few healthy people among my colleagues. The people around me said, “We don’t know about Falun Dafa, but your health improved so much, it must be good!”

I was illegally interrogated, monitored, and fired from my job after the persecution started in 1999. Stumbling along the way, I experienced the joy of obtaining the Fa and improving xinxing, the pain while passing the tests, the reflection under high pressure, and the urgency of saving people. Every step I took in my cultivation was with Master’s support and care.

Our family moved to the United States in 2018. Soon after we arrived, I joined a project, and then another project. I’d like to tell you about my cultivation experiences during the past two years.

When I started working for the first project, we had to do a lot of physical work: repairing old buildings, organizing supplies, and cleaning out garbage. I had never done manual work before, and it was challenging, both physically and mentally. By overcoming my fear of dirt, suffering, tiredness, cold, and hot weather, my xinxing improved. For the first six months, I had pains and sores all over my body. During the worst period, my entire back hurt so much that I could not even turn over in bed. I persevered until my karma disappeared, and afterwards the situation completely turned around: My body felt light and energetic, and I started to enjoy the physical work.

Eliminating Greed

I managed the warehouse for a while. In addition to cleaning, painting, and organizing, I also searched for nails and usable parts. My family had just moved into an empty house at the time, and I could really use some nails. Since there were many nails all over the warehouse, I thought, if it weren’t for my efforts, many nails would have been thrown away. I frequently reminded myself not to take the nails home - we are Dafa disciples in the Fa-rectification period, our every thought and action is recorded in the cosmos, and will serve as examples for sentient beings in the future. Any trace of greed should be eliminated, and I should always maintain my xinxing by not taking anything that does not belong to me.

Eliminating My Show-off Mentality

When I decided to join the project, I had to let go of my attachments towards social status, a good salary, and a comfortable work environment. I thought that by making the decision, I had eliminated my pursuit of fame or fortune. However, the substances still existed and re-surfaced from time to time.

When working by myself, tired and dirty, I occasionally thought, “I wish someone could see how hard I am working, and how much suffering I am going through.” I usually easily noticed and eliminated the obvious manifestations of show-off mentality, but some of them were not so obvious.

My manager once asked me to produce a set of data. I quickly completed the task and was eager to let her know about my accomplishment. On the surface, it appeared that I was being responsible for my work, but deep down, I was exhibiting a show-off mentality—I wanted to impress her with my efficiency. At lunch time, I finally found her and gave her the data. She said, “It’s done! Great!” At that moment, I wanted to explain that I had finished the task quite a while ago, but I noticed my show-off mentality and did not say anything.

I also often told the newly-arrived colleagues about all the work we did and the suffering we went through. I was implying that I suffered much more than them. The truth is, that fellow practitioners who came before me endured even more hardship.

I told my husband, “In the early stages of the project, there were only a few participants. They suffered a lot and had no income. By the time the project grew and could offer salaries to participants, many people rushed in.” He replied, “You seem to be a bit jealous. Everyone has his own mission at different times, and whatever we do, we are doing it for ourselves.” I thought, Yes, our initial effort aims to get the project up and running, so that more people can join, and participants have better salaries. Our goal is to validate the Fa. My husband helped me identify my jealousy and show-off mentality.

A young practitioner once said to me, “When we practiced dancing, some dancers put in much effort without good results. It was because he was not practicing properly. Other dancers calm down and think carefully about their movements when they encounter problems, and quickly improve their techniques with little effort.” Her words made me reflect… We are working in the project to validate the Fa and save sentient beings, so we have to rectify every thought and action with Dafa’s principles. If our thoughts and actions are impure, we won’t have the power to save people. Therefore, in the project, we must always find and rectify our own problems. Only by making progress in our cultivation, can we better fulfill the mission of saving sentient beings.

Rectifying My Way of Thinking and Eliminating Acquired Notions

After I began working with this project, it took some time and effort before I could open my heart to share with fellow practitioners.

Having lived in China for many years, my way of thinking had elements of self-protection, speculation, hiding my intentions, etc. And as soon as I arrived in the United States, fellow practitioners told me, “In Western society, people are very friendly, and they usually don’t accuse others. Unlike people in China, they speak mildly. At most, they give gentle reminders when they need to point out something inappropriate.” So I didn’t say anything when I saw fellow practitioners around me doing something wrong. Occasionally I even went along with opinions I considered wrong in order to maintain a so-called “friendly relationship” with others. I avoided conflicts, and I felt that I was being “benevolent and tolerant.”

When fellow practitioners pointed out my human sentimentality, I felt that I did have these attachments.

Master said,

“You are a Dafa disciple, so if you see that someone has a problem and you don’t say anything, then that’s not good for that person, either.” (“Fa Teaching on World Falun Dafa Day”)

But I still didn’t know how to make a breakthrough. To me, pointing out fellow practitioners’ problems was like criticizing them. They might not accept it, and I would be embarrassed.

I once heard a fellow practitioner pointing out to another practitioner his/her inappropriate statement. The problem was pointed out in a very peaceful and rational manner, without embarrassing the other party. The other party happily accepted it and thanked him. I thought about his words and manner very carefully and compared them with mine. My thinking process was: when I saw a problem in a fellow practitioner for the first time, I considered it to be an occasional occurrence; if I encountered it again, I formed a notion about him. The third time I saw the same problem, my notion about the person became stronger, and when I repeatedly saw his inappropriate behavior, I developed negative thoughts about him. With these notions and negative emotions accumulated in my mind, I pointed out the problem to the fellow practitioner. While doing that, I tried hard to hide my negative emotions toward him, so my words became evasive.

Master said,

“Shan is really powerful. It’s just that even when a person in ordinary society says something good to someone, often he attaches his own notions to it; and it’s even to the extent that he fears losing out and is thinking about protecting himself while doing so. Many things are mixed into what he says, so it doesn’t sound quite right and is impure, and often even has emotion in it. If what you say truly comes from your kindness and is without any personal agenda, your words will really touch others.” (Teachings at the Conference in Singapore)

I examined my thoughts for impurities, pondered on how these impurities formed and existed, and I kept removing them. I tried hard not to form notions about people or things when dealing with specific matters. Gradually, my mind became simpler and simpler.

But I wondered, which issues should I point out, and which issues should I not say anything about?

One practitioner often spoke to me rudely, and frequently gave me orders. I felt a little uncomfortable, especially when this happened in front of other people. Even though I kept smiling and tried my best to cooperate, my heart was not at ease.

Another practitioner said to me, “She is so rude to you!” I knew these words were targeting my attachments, and I should search inward. After a long time, I was able to ignore her attitude. But I started wondering, “Does she know how to cultivate herself? Should I also point out her attachments?” I shared my question with my husband. He said, “If her attitude towards you does not affect the project, then I think it’s an opportunity for you to cultivate yourself.” I agreed.

When my heart could remain undisturbed by her attitude, I slowly felt that she might not even be conscious of her attitude, and other people might not be aware of it, either. My reaction must be my attachment to hearing praise, or my unwillingness to hear rude words, that made me feel uncomfortable. The other practitioner’s comments only served the purpose of irritating me psychologically, so that I could improve my xinxing.

I realized that the entire situation was created to help me improve my xinxing, and learn to calm down and remain undisturbed by the attitudes and emotions of others. After my mind calmed down, I could see through the superficial appearance and found the reason this happened.

I have benefited a lot from opening up and sharing with other practitioners. They pointed out a problem in my way of speaking—I liked to make definitions. This gave me opportunities to dig out roots of my attachments, transform my notions, and improve my xinxing.

For example, when I saw a practitioner speaking harshly, I used to immediately say, “You are not benevolent enough, and you are too harsh when talking to other practitioners.” Instead of saying, “It would be better if you spoke softer.” When I saw that a practitioner’s behaviors had elements of Communist Party culture, I started by saying, “You are seriously affected by the Communist Party culture.” I used to think it was a problem with my way of speaking but later realized that the problem lies in my way of thinking. I was not thinking about others first. So instead of making a suggestion about how one might improve based on his/her current status, I started with a very negative comment, telling the other person how bad his or her behavior is. This way of thinking is not compassionate.

Master said,

“We practice kindheartedness—treating others kindheartedly.” (Teachings at the Conference in Singapore)

I realized that I had another manifestation of my acquired notions. I analyzed and judged things based on my own past experiences, and then reached a conclusion that certain results would definitely occur.

Master said,

“Here’s how I view it. If you now have a considerable amount of energy, the words you say will have an impact. If something that wasn’t supposed to happen, does happen, because you said it would, then you will have done wrong.” (The Sixth Talk, Zhuan Falun)

Although these postnatally-acquired notions are not easy to perceive, only by digging out the roots to find them can we cultivate more effectively. Only by removing our acquired ways of thinking, can we return to our true selves. Genuine kind words and actions are natural manifestations of our true selves.

I started working at the warehouse of another project in October 2020.

A practitioner from the marketing department borrowed some clothes to do market research. She did not return the clothes after a long time. My colleagues at the warehouse asked me to keep reminding her, saying that she would forget if I didn’t remind her frequently. The marketing practitioner said, “Your frequent reminders have become a burden to me, you are interfering with my work.”

I wondered what I should do. Thinking about it from the perspective of cultivation, reminding her was my responsibility, yet I was not being considerate and was interfering with her work. Not reminding her was being irresponsible for my job. Indeed, she was busy and frequently forgot things. So I decided to remind her after a reasonable period of time, asking her to monitor her progress herself.

Although this issue is trivial and appears simple, it provided me with an opportunity to think about ways to solve problems. More importantly, it was an opportunity for me to apply the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to my every thought and action.

It’s been almost three years since I came to the United States. I am working on the project wholeheartedly. I hope that our project will quickly improve and save more people. I hope that we can provide more services to the local communities so that we can reach out to more people and clarify the truth to them. I hope that our project expands quickly so that traditional values can be imparted to the human world and more people will be saved.

Every corner of our base is filled with the dedication and hard work of fellow practitioners. Dafa disciples have slowly turned the ruins into a place with such vitality and prepared the project for its greater role in the Fa-rectification of the human world. As a particle of it, I share its great honor and great responsibilities.

Please point out anything inappropriate.

Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!

(Presented at the 2021 Orange County Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing, New York)

Chinese version available

Category: Experience Sharing Conferences