(Minghui.org) Esteemed Master and fellow practitioners!

Master said,

“You have all seen that in today's society negative things abound, and they spur on people's attachments and affect their minds and souls, continually dragging the world's people downwards. It is terrifying. Dafa disciples are human cultivators, not gods that cultivate, and so as people who cultivate, they will be interfered with to some extent. If they cannot handle themselves well, then they are just like ordinary people; and when interfered with, their behavior will be much like that of ordinary people. Some students haven't encountered much in the way of ordeals and have gradually become lax. This means that they have formed attachments to the various temptations of ordinary society, and been dragged down by its lure.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IX)

I never used to think that I had any desires or attachments. If practitioners said when they shared that they had attachments or different human notions, I often thought, “Why can’t they let go of them when they know that they have them? Why are they so stubborn? How could one have such thoughts?" 

At that time I thought that, although cultivation was not easy, it was not that difficult, either. I did not have the attachments others had. Besides, I could quickly let go of my attachments and human notions once I recognized them.

But, as I was working at my current job, I found it to be just as Master described. Demonic difficulties in cultivation can be seen clearly, but such difficulties do not always exist. The different temptations we encounter daily are the most dangerous. If we don’t have righteous thoughts, do not have a clear mind, consciously or unconsciously to not stick to our guns, we can easily deviate from the correct cultivation path. 

Since I work in Munich but live in another city, I take the train to work. I am not in my apartment for about 12 hours a day. When I get home, I read my emails and check out my projects. Time flies in the evening and nothing gets really done. At first, I got up every morning to do the exercises. Then, I studied the Fa on the train. After work, I worked for a media. On weekends when practitioners were clarifying the truth about the persecution activities, I asked for a day off so I could participate. At first, I did not notice any particular problem, but over time I began to develop physical problems. After some time I practiced only one hour every morning instead of two hours. On the train, I could not concentrate when reading the Fa and I became sleepy. After work, I was not diligent and lacked the energy for working in the media. On Saturdays, I had a hard time participating in the activities. 

I thought that there was nothing I could do about this situation, so I just acquiesced to the arrangement. In the beginning, I did not notice anything in particular, however, some physical symptoms appeared with time. First, my hair turned gray overnight. After that, my body looked swollen. My legs became twice as thick. At times I could not do the double lotus position. When I stood for over 10 minutes, my ankles hurt a lot. When running up and down the stairs, I had difficulties breathing. Also, I often felt pain in my knees. These are some of the physical changes I experienced, but my mind changed even more.

During my early working hours, I did not talk much. I was not interested in the subjects my colleagues discussed, as they were not practitioners. I just listened when they talked. No matter how bad the customers behaved, or how difficult things were at work, I just smiled. One word that I often said was probably “Excuse me.” My colleagues often protected me from customers who were too unpleasant, when they could no longer watch the way I was treated. They asked me several times why I did not get angry or complain. In fact, they no longer used dirty words in front of me. They thought that I was a weakling and easy to bully, so from time to time, they tried to teach me how to deal with unruly customers and protect myself. I know they meant well, so I thanked them. But I did not notice that my thoughts had slowly changed over time. 

One day, several Chinese customers were debating about discounts in our store. I could not control my xinxing, got angry, and suddenly was impolite. These customers were impolite when I was friendly. But, after I changed my attitude and behavior, surprisingly they were no longer angry, politely made their purchases, and left the store. After my colleagues saw me getting angry for the first time they praised me for protecting my rights. In reality, I knew that I was in the wrong, but everyone was happy. In reality, it was then that my thoughts started to become insincere. I did not realize the seriousness of this problem at the time, and let go of my incorrect thoughts.

After that, I fell into the trap. I stopped controlling my mood and easily became restless and angry. I often began to criticize people for trifles. I enjoyed talking to people about ordinary people’s subjects and kept going. My colleagues began to use dirty words and tell dirty jokes in front of me. 

In reality, I could see that nothing was up to a cultivator’s standard when I thought about it. The reason for my relaxing and falling down was because I felt that I was right and wanted to protect my rights. I thought that I was not in the wrong, and I should get away with my rights no matter what. But I forgot that I am a cultivator. A cultivator should act based on the Fa, not human laws. Ordinary people’s rights and principles are for ordinary people, and it is fine for people to act accordingly. But, how should a cultivator act? What people struggle to achieve is basically personal profit, something a cultivator should not search for. But, when I was trapped, I did not realize it. On the contrary, I got lost and was still happy about what I had won.

In everyday life, especially at work, there are big and small temptations every day. Big--like money--and small--like delicious food. If one is not careful, attachments develop. I wanted to dress and eat better, and I started to pay special attention to my body.

As mentioned earlier, my body became swollen and fat. I gained 30 kilograms within a few months. In addition, when working or walking on the street, either consciously or unconsciously, I noticed people with good figures. So, I paid more attention to my grotesque figure. Mixed feelings, such as envy and inferiority cluttered my mind. Back then, there was always a voice that said, “This is not your true self, this is not your original figure. Your human body is just a shell. But, I already was filled with human notions, and could not look at the subject honestly. I lost my cultivator’s state, did not look inward, and used human methods to lose weight. I watched my diet, exercised, and tried all sorts of slimming methods, but with little or no success. I experienced the yo-yo effect and I gained even more weight.

One day what I was half asleep, I felt that my consciousness seemed to be rising up, but my body was going down, becoming heavier. It was as if I had fallen into mud and I could not get up. After I woke up, I suddenly realized that I was filled with human notions, and my original soul (yuanshen) was attached to the body more heavily than ever before. 

After realizing this, I began to rectify myself. As before, I practiced early in the morning, and in the evening I worked on projects, studied the Fa on the train, and practiced with other practitioners in the park on weekends. At the same time I began to participate in another project. It looked as if I was very busy and made good use of my time.

After about half a year, my body began to change. Every now and then I got restless. Even worse, attachments, one after another appeared. I got jealous when colleagues were praised. I became affectionate when I saw beautiful people or nice things. Greed arose in my mind when a client gave me a tip. I craved delicious food and ate a lot during that time. I worried about becoming ill and afraid of dying. I got lost in ordinary people’s affairs, developed anger and complaints, and so on.

What was the problem? Why did everything get worse, although I did not behave differently? Was I still basically stubborn, but had not figured it out yet. I thought about why I wanted to rectify myself and found that many human notions filled my mind, even desire and fear were there. I worried as my body was deteriorating. I wondered if I would turn into an ordinary person in terms of health. Because of my fear of disease and aging, I wanted to attain the best health through cultivation and get back the figure I had attained before. Basically, I was attached to the superficial, and the human body.

Master explained clearly in Zhuan Falun and his earlier lectures about the issue of pursuit. Master said,

“His attachments are so strong—it doesn’t work to seek the Way out of a desire to get certain things—and his intentions aren’t right, so his shifu can’t protect him. That’s why practitioners have to guard their character, keep right-minded, and desire nothing, lest they bring about problems.” (Chapter I, Falun Gong)

Master also said, 

“Some people express that they think they’re quite pure, when in fact that’s not the case; they have all kinds of extraneous, distracting thoughts and many things that were formed postnatally. Even what you consider to be a very simple thought might—from its starting point to its cause, or the things that accompany it—be impure.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2013 Greater New York Fa Conference”)

As I studied again the “Fa-Teaching at the Fa-Conference in Greater New York, 2013,” I began to see problems I had overlooked earlier. Besides, I also noticed that I deviated further and further from the starting point of my cultivation. Especially, when I really came into contact with the society of ordinary people, I fell into a pile of mud, given the temptations. Although I cultivated, my every thought was no longer pure. When looking inward, I found another fundamental attachment, laziness, which I had never noticed before.

I never used to think that I was lazy. But, when I realized it, I realized that I had this attachment for most of my life. When I was in middle school, I was already lazy. With the excuse that school was so difficult, I naturally slept longer, enjoyed eating a lot, and did not like to exercise. Given my heart problem, I was always absent from gym class. I became lazier and lazier. Before I started cultivating in Dafa in college, I was always the fattest person in my class. After I started cultivating in Dafa with other students and teachers I practiced Dafa for two hours in the morning every day and studied the Fa with them in the evening. No matter if it was windy, cold, or hot – I did this every day. Slowly I lost weight. I did not even notice it, but my mother was amazed when she visited me at the university.

After arriving in Germany, I continued to cultivate and practice. But, after some time, and after I was involved in some projects, which was new to me, I became busy. Without noticing. I got back to my old ways. When I had nothing to do, I slept longer. When I eventually woke up, I first studied the Fa, and did the exercises. At that time I did not think that I was doing something wrong. Practitioners would say to me from time to time that I had gained and should lose weight. I found it embarrassing, and said, “Yes! Yes!” smiled, and did not take it seriously, nor did I see any problem with it. 

In the early years of my career, I continued with Fa-study and doing the exercises. But, my head was cluttered with many thoughts. I started to worry, so the quality of my life was worse than before. Besides, I gained weight again. I am still fat, although at times I weigh less, while at other times I weigh more. 

Master said,

“Human laziness, all kinds of human notions, and the array of chaotic things before you in society all combined to tempt you and interfere with you. Hence the saying, “Cultivate with the heart you once had, and consummation is certain.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2013 Greater New York Fa Conference”)

After reading the above Fa for the first time I clearly noticed the word “laziness.” Also for the first time, I realized that laziness and related habits had been rooted in me for some time. Laziness may be of a formless quality, but it showed up in me in the form that I could see immediately. But, I was used to it, saw it as a given, and accepted it.

After recognizing this stubbornness, which had obviously been hidden in me for over 10 years, I felt my body became lighter immediately. This was a feeling I had held in the early stages of my cultivation. Only through time did I no longer feel this sensation. I felt indescribably happy and in harmony once that feeling reappeared. 

This experience was nothing less than a demonic interference, representing a life and death situation. Finding my attachments and problems was only the first step. How to eliminate, and not be affected by temptations and not let any more attachments develop – which is a real test for me. This lesson made me re-examine cultivation and my attitude towards it. It is not a question of whether cultivation is difficult or easy, but it is serious and not child’s play. Every thought decides whether one continues on the right cultivation path, continues on the right path, and whether one cultivates upwards or downwards.

Master said,

“If a cultivator can maintain strong righteous thoughts consistently for the long haul in cultivation, and keep that state of mind that he had when he first obtained the Fa, that pure state of mind, then that is truly remarkable and divine beings will call you remarkable when they see it. ” (“Fa Teaching at the 2013 Greater New York Fa Conference”)

I’m still a beginner on the cultivation path. I should consider myself a beginner, study the Fa with humility, and cultivate myself. When studying the Fa I should continuously rectify my every thought, and let go of attachments by looking within. There may be more obstacles in the future, or this or that attachment might develop, but I will remind myself at all times to keep my attitude from the early days of my cultivation. 

I thank Master for his compassionate and laborious salvation. I also thank my fellow practitioners for their support.

(Presented at the 2021 Germany Fa Conference)

Chinese version available

Category: Experience Sharing Conferences