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

I’m a practitioner from Greece who started practicing Falun Dafa in 2010. I immediately knew that this practice is very profound and I felt very fortunate. Through cultivating in Dafa, my ordinary thoughts were gone and I no had negative thoughts. 

One friend told me, “You look so happy and bright! I don’t know what you are doing, but keep doing it!” I was so happy that I wanted to tell everyone about the practice, but I soon realized that some people were not ready. 

Clarifying the Truth 

When I learned about the persecution of Falun Dafa by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) in China, I started handing out flyers exposing the persecution. After I handed one man a flyer and explained about the persecution, he said, “The path you chose is difficult but is really worth it!” I was very surprised. I think that was encouragement from Master Li (the founder of Falun Dafa).

In the beginning, my father was a bit nervous and he didn’t like that I distributed flyers to strangers. He tried to stop me. Then I thought that maybe he felt this way because I also felt a bit hesitant about it. So I started to be more determined. 

One day I went with my father to the market to buy vegetables, and I naturally gave a flyer to each vendor that we bought something from. My father became upset and told me to stop. He asked me to choose to either continue shopping with him or continue giving out flyers alone. Ι felt that my father saying negative things was not good for him and maybe some people would lose their chance to learn about the persecution. So I told him that I would continue distributing flyers alone. 

After I handed out all the flyers, I met up with my father and it was like nothing had happened. We continued shopping. We went to buy potatoes from a man that I gave a flyer to a few minutes before. The man smiled at me and said to my father, “Because your daughter gave me this flyer I will give you those potatoes!” My father suddenly became very proud of me! 

After that incident, he never complained again and his attitude changed. He read Zhuan Falun twice and learned the exercises. My father has now become very supportive of my practice. 

Through a flyer, I met my husband. I gave him a flyer on the street and afterwards he started to practice Falun Dafa. I feel very grateful to Master for each and every step of my cultivation.

Changing Notions

As the years went by, my cultivation became complicated and difficult. Some attachments were a bit harder to detect and eliminate. These attachments created disharmony in my cooperation with others, in my personal cultivation, and often discouraged me and tested my faith.

Oftentimes I took things personally or became jealous and resented other practitioners. 

I was involved in many projects, but sometimes when I was under pressure I felt an unfairness. I complained when some practitioners didn’t help that much and seemed to enjoy a relaxed life. 

I repeatedly tried to remove this feeling of resentment, but it was not easy to overcome. I became a bit distant and biased against certain people; even though I understood that it was wrong. I felt that if I forgave them I was accepting blame even though I felt the fault was theirs. 

When I think of it now I was completely wrong—I didn’t see it as an opportunity to cultivate myself. I even blamed the other person and if it was a practitioner I felt that he or she didn’t cultivate very well. Instead of looking at myself I was focused on their faults. 

One day when I studied the Fa, I read what Master said about resentment. 

Master said, 

“When a person harbors resentment it’s because he has grown fond of hearing pleasant things and having things go well. And then when things don't go that way, he resents it. You can’t be like that, if you think about it. You can’t go about cultivation that way, can you? I have always taught that a practitioner should look at things in the opposite way of how people normally do. When things go badly for you, you should see it as good, and understand that it’s meant to help you rise higher. [You should think,] “I’ve got to handle it well. This is a test for me to cultivate through, another test.” And when things go well for you, you should remind yourself, “I can’t get too happy. When all is well, I can’t improve and can easily slide downward.” So to cultivate you have to look at things in reverse. But if you always push away and reject the difficulties and unpleasant things that come your way, then you are refusing to cultivate through your tests and turning down chances to make progress, aren’t you? The persecution we face is a different matter, of course.” (“2018 Fa Teaching Given in Washington, D.C.”)

Master also said, 

“Therefore, from now on when you come across a conflict you should not consider it a coincidence. This is because when a conflict occurs, it will take place unexpectedly. But that is not a coincidence—it is for improving your xinxing. As long as you treat yourself as a practitioner, you can handle it properly.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)

I frequently recited this paragraph. I used to have conflicts with some practitioners for a long time. Oftentimes when I wrote something about cultivation or some views on some project on the mailing list, they started attacking me. One time some practitioners said that I damaged the reputation of Falun Dafa. This made me feel distant and I stopped writing to the list because I was afraid of their attacks.

After I changed my way of thinking, I forgave them and focused on their good points. I felt that a heavy load was lifted from me and my heart felt free. I knew that I was on the right path but I still had a competitive mentality and jealousy. I felt unsettled and could not calm down. 

I knew I had to be vigilant and not let these thoughts control me. I did my best to eliminate them as soon as they surfaced.

Steadily Improving

One day another practitioner wrote something that offended me. My heart started pounding and my first thought was to write back telling her to not contact me again and that she needed to cultivate herself better. After a few seconds, I said to myself: “Calm down! This is a test. You should try your best to answer kindly!” So I calmly replied and explained the situation logically without any sentiment (qing). In my heart I also thanked that practitioner for the opportunity to elevate my xinxing

I understood from Master’s lectures that if we use logic we will be able to control qing. If we see everything as a chance to improve, the situation will turn around.

Master said, 

“Your xinxing cultivation has already made progress if, for instance, when someone swears at you among everyday people, you do not say a word and feel very calm; or when someone throws a fist at you, you do not say a word and let it go with a smile. Your xinxing level is already very high.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)

After I reflected on the situation, I found that the state of this practitioner was really remarkable. I felt she really believed in Master’s words and wanted to wholeheartedly improve.

I realized that the source of all our attachments is selfishness. There are also those hidden attachments and notions that distract us from the characteristic of the universe: Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. 

I recently realized that another reason that kept me behind in cultivation is that I wanted to improve fast and see fast results, but often the outcome was not good and I felt disappointed. For example, I wanted to memorize Lunyu in Chinese. In the beginning, I memorized and recited a lot, but after some time I got tired and felt that it took too long, so I stopped. 

Master said, 

“Let us use an example. We will gather together your various different kinds of karma from your future path of life and eliminate part of it or half of it. You still won’t be able to overcome the remaining half because it is higher than a mountain. What should be done? Perhaps when you achieve the Tao, many people in the future will benefit. In that case, there will be many people who can bear a share for you. Of course, for them it is nothing. Through practice you will also develop many beings in your body. In addition to your Main Soul and your Assistant Soul, many others of you will all take a share for you. There will be almost nothing left for you by the time you go through tribulations. Though there is almost nothing left, it is still quite a lot, and you are still unable to overcome it. Then, what happens? It will be divided into numerous portions and placed at the various different levels of your cultivation. They will be used to improve your xinxing, transform your karma, and increase your gong.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)

From Master's teaching, I understood that if I cannot make big steps I can keep trying and take smaller steps. Instead of trying to recite all of On Dafa every day, I recited just a few characters every day. My efforts became more solid and now I feel confident that I can finish it.

Identifying and Eliminating Hidden Communist Elements 

I thought that most Chinese practitioners had communist elements to work on. After I read How The Specter of Communism Is Ruling Our World, I understood that Westerners have grown up surrounded by communist elements. 

When I thought about it, I realized that for many years it bothered me that I did most of the housework. I constantly complained to my husband about this. When I thought about it, I realized that feminist notions manipulated me. 

I also felt that I was separating men from women and that I had some negative thoughts about men. Now I realize that men have their virtues and women have theirs. Women should respect their husbands and not be bossy. Men and women should go back to their traditional roles.

The film industry is full of struggle, violence, and communist elements. These elements are deeply hidden in every aspect of Western society and show us a “modern way” of thinking about life and relations with others. Most Westerners grew up in this environment and we've become increasingly separated from traditional culture. Even my parents were a bad example. They used to argue and blame each other for their faults. Their views on life made me develop fear about life and honestly expressing my views. Looking back, it seemed like my entire life was a struggle. After I became a practitioner I had to get rid of these notions.

To be angry, competitive, and blame others for their views and actions, from my understanding, is a communist attitude. It’s not always easy but every time I take a step back I feel my competitive mentality diminishing and my life is more peaceful and easy. If we escape from our human thinking and we replace it with righteous thoughts it's easier to identify our attachments and eliminate them. 

Master said, 

“Cultivation itself is not difficult, and neither is raising one’s level itself difficult. It is because they cannot give up human desires that they call it difficult. This is because it is very difficult to relinquish something in the face of practical gain.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)

I still have many things to improve and work on. I really want to return to my true self and assimilate to Dafa. I will try my best to not be disturbed by the many things that happen during the coronavirus period and keep doing my mission and use the ongoing incidents as an opportunity to show the beauty of Falun Dafa and the true face of the CCP.

Thank you, Master, for your unlimited compassion. I thank all my fellow practitioners for their support throughout these years. Let's never give up or become downhearted by past mistakes. Let's move on with our missions.

Chinese version available

Category: Journeys of Cultivation