(Minghui.org) It has been more than a year since I began practicing Falun Dafa. I may look like the same person, but the changes deep in my heart have been profound. I’m a completely different person, a much better version of myself.

I immigrated to the United States a year ago and when I first arrived I stayed with a former colleague who had been practicing Falun Dafa for many years.

Easily Quit Smoking After Years of Failed Attempts

My host saw me come back inside after my cigarette break in the yard and said, “It has been so many years, you have not quit yet?”

“Not yet,” I said. “I smoked for over 10 years, and tried to quit for just as long. I gave up trying. It cost too much money to quit smoking.”

He smiled and handed me a book, Zhuan Falun: “Read this, people usually lose interest in smoking by lecture six or seven.” 

“Okay,” I said. To be honest, I did not believe him. To quit smoking, I took medications, tried electric cigarettes, I even took self-help therapy classes – all those attempts failed. None of them lasted for more than a week.

Seeing my skepticism, he told me some cultivation stories. I became very curious about Falun Gong.

I started reading Zhuan Falun. When I got to Lecture Two, The Issue of the Celestial Eye, as a habit, I took out a cigarette and lit it. Just with one puff, I felt dizzy and nauseous – my surrounding was spinning out of control. I rested for a while and took another puff. I was so sick that I could not stand up. I tossed the cigarette.

I told my host what had happened. He said: “You are fast. You can’t smoke already?”

Reluctant to believe in such a supernatural power, I said, “Hmm, maybe it’s just because I didn’t sleep well last night!” 

After I finished reading Lecture Three, I walked out to the garden and took out a cigarette. The nausea came back. I did not want to, nor could I touch another cigarette ever again.

Since that day, I quit smoking and never experienced any discomfort. I became a Falun Dafa practitioner. The course of my life changed fundamentally because of the choice I made.

Joining the Media Team

I was fortunate to join a team who works in the media. At that time, the team was focusing on video production. I have over 10 years of experience in the media business – the years I worked in China. What a good fit for me.

Going through old videos the team made, I said to myself: “This is easy...that one can be done in a different way...this color is wrong...the subtitle for this one does not look very good, I can do this and that...” I was ready to develop the program I wished to make.

From recording to editing, as long as it was feasible, I incorporated my own vision. After looking at the end product one last time, I congratulated myself: “Not bad, much better than before!” and sent it to the team lead.

I waited for her feedback. In fact, I was waiting for her praise. Is she going to message or email me? Maybe she will call me. Is she going to praise my professionalism, or creativity?

It seemed like a long time when the team lead finally messaged me: “Hello, the video is very good. I have some suggestions for revision. I hope you can help with the modification.” There were 23 items that needed my attention. At the end of her message, she said, “...please see my email for additional recommendations.”

My heart dropped. She pointed out over 40 issues in a 7-minute video. That was probably the biggest failure in my entire career. 

Many thoughts went through my mind: “Convince her that no corrections were needed, I did a good job, she doesn’t understand! This is what I was able to do, it is up to her if she wants to use it! Why isn’t she pleased with such a good production? She is picking on me on purpose...” I was upset for the rest of that afternoon.

At Fa study that night, a fellow practitioner (my former colleague) learned of my encounter with the team lead. He said, “Why don’t you try to talk to her? You are professional, the media team needs you. Besides, the way of cultivation is easy, self-reflect and elevate xinxing!” 

He was right. Why was I acting like that? Can’t I accept suggestions? Do I only like to hear praise and no criticism?

I modified the video according to her comments one by one. When I finished, I realized how careful the team lead was paying attention to my video and how much she must treasure it. I was fuming for half of a day because of my desire to show off and misunderstanding. Looking back on my behavior, I was being ridiculous.

Attachment to Sentimentality

Last winter, my work was getting busier. It was at that time, I missed home and my parents more and more. Are they alright during the Covid-19 pandemic? I blamed myself for leaving my elderly parents during this difficult time.

To stay focused, I asked for more work. Still, I would end up crying whenever I was making videos concerning the pandemic in China as my thoughts were with my family there. For several nights in a row, I woke up with a tear-soaked pillow. My desire of going home was so strong and soon showed on the surface.

I complained to my wife, who is also a Falun Dafa practitioner, asking, “Why did we come to America in the first place?” My wife said to me: “Don’t be so anxious, you cannot go to China even if you want to. You need to spend more time on Fa study, keep calm and don’t worry. Let’s study the Fa together.”

Fa study became the best way to steady my restless heart. I soon recognized my attachment to sentimentality. How do I cultivate it away? As cultivators, why should we eliminate sentimentality? What is the state of “compassion” in Zhuan Falun?

In that state of mind, I went through the worst of the pandemic. I knew I did not completely eliminate sentimentality toward my family.

Attacked by Covid Symptoms 

Early this year, I received a new assignment. The filming site was Los Angeles. Three days after arriving in Los Angles, I felt tired and dizzy. A couple of hours later I was lethargic and feverish. Other practitioners with me reminded me to send forth righteous thoughts to clean my energy field. Physically, I was miserable.

The next day, three other practitioners were unwell. Is it Covid? I took out my phone and searched on Covid symptoms; I had all of them!

Soon, all the accompanying practitioners had the symptoms: loss of taste, coughing... Laying in bed, I blamed myself: “If it weren’t because of me who got it first, they would not be suffering...” 

“Everyone get up, this is sickness karma, let’s study the Fa, do some exercise and send forth righteous thoughts,” a practitioner said loudly.

It suddenly occurred to me, that I have never taken sending righteous thoughts seriously. Sitting up in lotus position, I sent forth righteous thoughts and recited the verse. Slowly, the dizziness, fever and coughing went away. All discomfort was gone.

I encouraged other practitioners to study the Fa and send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the sickness karma. Once I recovered, I took care of others.

Gaining New Understanding

It was at that time I came to a new understanding of sentimentality, something I had such a difficult time to overcome. In cultivation, anything that one does to the extreme and makes one behave forcefully are considered attachments, such as showing off, jealousy, zealotry, etc. 

Excessive sentimentality is an attachment as well. In the past, I was attached to sentimentality. My attachment affected my parents’ mood and my wife’s cultivation. I myself was lost in it for a long time! This is the result of my going to extremes.

After one year of cultivation, I believe I have achieved my best self in my entire life.

I am grateful for Master’s compassion, for leading me to Dafa when I needed guidance the most. Master taught me to reflect, improve myself, to apply the Fa into my everyday life and to clarify the truth to people. I will immerse myself into Dafa and live up to Master’s hopes.

Please kindly point out anything not in line with the Fa.

Chinese version available

Category: Beginning Cultivation