Greetings, Master!Greetings, Fellow Practitioners. 

Before obtaining Falun Dafa at the end of 2001, I practiced yoga, Transcendental Meditation, and energy healing. So when I read Zhuan Falun, I recognized the negative impact those things had likely had on me, especially energy healing, and understood why I had nightmares about being chased by a big snake. Soon after I began to practice diligently, the snake nightmares went away. I later understood that Master had cleansed me of animal possession. 

Although I could not see other dimensions, I knew there was something very profound about the teachings of Falun Dafa. Over the last 22 years, I have stumbled and fallen on a few occasions, and I recognize that I have been the type of practitioner Master describes in his recent article.

Master said, 

“When some people first began practicing cultivation, their hearts were very steadfast. However, there are some who, in the course of their cultivation, still have trouble letting go of the various kinds of attachments they formed over the long term, and as time goes on, some people have started slacking off; and on top of that, they get busy with work and haven’t managed their home environments well, so they have even less time to study the Fa and do the exercises; and although they occasionally participate in some group activities, they’re not able to be diligent.” (“Cultivation in Dafa is Serious”)

Here, I would like to share a small part of my recent cultivation journey with you and thank our benevolent Master for giving me these opportunities.

1. Fundamental Attachments Revealed

Last month, a fellow practitioner told me about an experience sharing that The Epoch Times D.C. office was having and encouraged me to go. I said yes, not thinking too much about it. Five days before the conference, she gave me more details and said that a written experience-sharing article was mandatory. 

After hearing this, I had a very strong reaction of fear, and negative thoughts came into my mind. Thoughts like, “I have done poorly, so I have nothing to share.” Additionally, excuses came to mind about why I could not write a paper on such short notice and how it wasn’t necessary for me to write one anyway. However, after calming down a little and looking inward, I saw an attachment to my reputation and saving face, as well as an incorrect tendency to see other practitioners from the perspective of hierarchies and put other practitioners above myself. These bad substances were blocking me from writing an article. 

In the end, even though I did not share at that sharing meeting, I made up my mind to cultivate and write one for this Fahui. 

After repeatedly studying Master’s latest article, I enlightened that the way I often treat other practitioners, seeing them in a hierarchy, is disrespectful and even dangerous. 

In one past instance, when I saw behavior from a veteran Falun Dafa Association member in another area that was not in line with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, instead of compassionately pointing out the issue, I used human emotions to evaluate it by placing that practitioner above myself, thinking that she was in a position of authority, and that it would be rude to point out her shortcomings. However, not pointing out the problem to the practitioner was disrespectful to the Fa. If I had shared, perhaps it would have helped prevent interference with the project for saving sentient beings. That practitioner later died from severe sickness karma, and I realized then but even more now how important it is to put the Fa above all else and look at fellow practitioners with righteous thoughts.

Then there was the attachment to my reputation, which I have peeled away many layers of, so I was surprised by how strong of an attachment to reputation and saving face was still there when I was asked to write an experience-sharing paper. I still had the thought of protecting myself, wanting to look good in front of people, to not lose face, and not wanting to admit shortcomings after having cultivated for so long. Ultimately, I realized Master arranged this opportunity so I could remove this attachment to myself and to my reputation. 

I realized these attachments were preventing me from developing compassion, working well with my fellow practitioners, and fulfilling my mission of helping Master to save sentient beings and rectify the Fa. 

2. Cultivating While Writing Articles

I always knew the newspaper was an important project for clarifying the truth, so in 2009, I began contributing to the English Epoch Times while living in Pakistan. For a few years, I contributed some cultural and even political articles, but because I lacked professional writing and interviewing skills, I put a lot of burden on the editors. Even so, they were very patient with me. At that time, I did not take myself seriously as a reporter or cultivate diligently. 

Here, I would like to share how working for The Epoch Times full-time for the last three years has provided me with the opportunity to cultivate more diligently and to fulfill my wish to save sentient beings. 

In 2019, I began volunteering and working with the English Epoch Times web team to rewrite short news articles. I worked a couple of days a week and had little idea about what I was doing. I followed the minimum requirements of rewriting 500 words from other news stories. I found a lot of bad habits in myself, including rushing and not paying attention to detail, which I have worked to improve. 

In addition, writing has never come easy for me. In fact, since I began, I have had to cultivate away many negative and critical thoughts. Sometimes, the thought that I was too stupid to write a good report was so strong that I thought it must be what Master teaches about thought karma in the Fa:

Master said, 

“When one begins to cultivate in a righteous way, one must eliminate one’s karma. Eliminating karma means having karma wiped out and transformed. Of course, karma will resist, and so one will have tribulations and obstacles.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)

While doing news articles, I had to be diligent with Fa study, send forth righteous thoughts, and cultivate away these bad and incorrect thoughts. Over time, they have gotten weaker, but they are not completely gone. While studying the Fa recently, I understood why.

Master said, 

“Some thoughts that you develop are actually interference, which can be eliminated by sending righteous thoughts. Some are the product of your own attachments, and some are concepts that you’ve formed in the human world; those things can’t be eliminated by sending righteous thoughts just once. So they surface from time to time, and it seems that after you send righteous thoughts they still appear. That kind of thing happens. But it’s not that you haven’t done anything and it’s not that what you did was not effective. It’s just that each time only a portion of it can be eliminated. Those things that were arranged by the old forces have been divided into countless, countless portions by the factors of lives that come from higher levels. So, each time you send righteous thoughts you are only able to eliminate one or two portions, but more still remain.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2003 Atlanta Fa Conference,” Collected Teachings Given Around the World Volume IV)

After a few months of rewriting articles, I was given the assignment of going to D.C. and attending press conferences on Capitol Hill. Again, doing this revealed my notions, including my shyness and fear, and again, the attachment to saving face. Each time, I had to strengthen my resolve to not give up and do my best, and to subdue and eliminate incorrect thoughts. 

There were times, I wondered if I was really supposed to be doing this job. Did I make a vow with Master? Was what I was doing really useful for the English Epoch Times? One day, when I was studying the Fa, I enlightened that, in fact, these doubts were interference. 

I quickly corrected my thinking and was determined to cultivate away the thoughts that were not in line with the Fa.

Most recently, I was assigned to the web team’s national reporters’ group, meaning that I am writing original short and in-depth news stories often focused on the Virginia, Maryland, or D.C. area. I have felt the pressure to find interesting topics and write longer articles with at least two interviews with an expert or relevant person. 

Again, I experienced a round of bad thoughts and fear and apprehension about trying to get interviews in a timely manner. Often, the number of negative thoughts that surfaced felt like I was cutting down huge overgrown weeds to get across a field to the other side.

I would have pessimistic thoughts that no one would take me seriously or return my calls, or that I was going to appear stupid or look bad. When looking inward, I saw how I was being controlled by karma and not being rational or clear-headed. I corrected my thinking and said in my heart, “I am a Dafa disciple.” I negated these thoughts and took steps with a clear and calm mind, after which it was easy to get interviews and have people return my calls quickly, and, in cases where they didn’t, I would remain calm and compassionate, not giving up. 

The calmer I am and the more I put my heart into my work and let go of comfort, the more the path in front of me opens, whether it is a story idea, a call-back, or readers viewing the article. 

Although I still have many attachments to remove and need to refine my writing skills, I trust that if I remove my attachments and am able to look at difficulties with righteous thoughts, Master will arrange and harmonize everything.

Thank you, and please kindly point out anything that is not in line with the Fa.

(Presented at the 2023 Washington DC Fa Conference)