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

I’ve practiced Falun Dafa for over 20 years, and I constantly remind myself to diligently cultivate myself.

Participating in the Morning Exercises

Even though my attachment to comfort was strong when I first began practicing, I was able to do the exercises and read the Fa teachings every day. After the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) began persecuting Falun Dafa in July 1999, and practitioners began holding activities to tell people about the persecution, we became very busy. I was no longer able to do all five exercises every day. I had to make time to do them, and some days I had no time for it. In reality, I subconsciously saw the exercises as an accessory to cultivation. I felt practicing Falun Dafa emphasized cultivating our hearts. Because I wasn’t able to elevate my xinxing, I fell into a vicious cycle of failing to do the exercises daily.

When I read Master’s teaching,

“If you’re really busy with certain concrete Dafa work, you can ease up a bit on the exercises and find time later on to make it up. That’s okay.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Practitioners,” Collected Teachings Given Around the World Volume VI)

I thought about my situation. I relaxed a bit, but day after day I relaxed more and more. When would I ever find time to make up for all that lost time when I did not do the exercises? I felt bad.

One day when I was thinking about this, I suddenly realized: If I did the exercises the same way I did every morning when I first began practicing, wouldn’t that be great?

As soon as I had this thought, an opportunity arose. One day, a new practitioner who just finished doing the exercises with other practitioners in the park said, “The weather is so good, why don’t we do the exercises here every morning?” The other practitioners had the same thought, so we started doing the exercises every morning in that park.

Once I got over the initial joy of doing the exercises at dawn, I next needed to elevate my character to sustain this effort. There were challenges to my stubborn attachment to comfort. This helped me discover the depth of my attachment, and I realized that I needed to make efforts to eliminate it.

One morning after I only slept for three hours, my thought karma surged. I suddenly felt very sleepy. I thought: “I’m too sleepy, I could fall asleep standing here.” I had to take a 20-minute nap in the car before I could finish the exercises.

One day when I drove to the park to do the exercises, my car ended up on the sidewalk and hit a signpost. That jolted me awake from my stupor. I understood that I had too many human attachments. It was time to wake up.

I was also stopped by the police a few times when I drove out of the park. They said I was speeding and I was ticketed. This triggered my attachment to a competitive mentality. I was so upset that I decided to fight the tickets. I researched the speed limits in the area and the placement of the signs in an effort to gather evidence. In the end, I put all this aside, but that attachment had surfaced.

When I reflected on all these incidents, I realized that I was going along with my attachment to comfort. For example, I didn’t want to be constrained. I procrastinated, and I wanted to do whatever I wanted. I felt after I worked hard, I needed to relax and browse the Internet. In this way I wasted a lot of time. I stayed up late, and I couldn’t go to sleep. It was difficult to wake up early, and when I did I was exhausted. In my efforts to sustain the morning exercise routine, I was able to see the manifestations of my attachment to comfort, and I’m gradually overcoming and eliminating it.

When I drove out of the park one morning, a car driving in the opposite direction crashed into me. I was making a left turn with a green light arrow, while the other driver was making a right turn on a red light. The other driver was at fault, and he accepted it. However, that driver’s insurance company said that I was also partially at fault, saying that I should have watched for traffic before I entered the intersection. They said I was liable for 10% of the damages.

I was upset and immediately contacted my insurance company, but they weren’t eager to respond. I began collecting evidence to build my case and prove the other driver was fully at fault. I suddenly thought, “Wasn’t I competing with an ordinary person to see who’s right and who’s wrong? Why was I so committed to proving that I was not at fault? Also, could any coincidence really happen to me? If it’s a karmic debt, then I need to repay it, and why would I be so reluctant to accept it, wouldn’t it be a good thing for me?”

This incident also helped me see my attachment to loss and gain. Didn’t this accident happen to help me elevate my cultivation and repay my karma? I suddenly understood. I let go of my attachments, and I no longer thought about who was responsible for this crash. My car needed to be repaired, so I took it to the repair shop and continued to drive my family’s other car to the morning exercise in the park. About a month later, I received a letter from the insurance company, saying that the final decision on this crash was that the other driver was found fully at fault.

To date, we have maintained this group exercise site for over seven years. Unless there’s a storm, heavy snow, or freezing winter temperatures, doing the exercises in this outdoor park has been part of my daily routine. I’ve often felt Master’s benevolent care.

Many times I was the only one there, but I never felt like I was the only person. I never felt alone, because I knew Master was right beside me. My heart felt warm and happy. However, at one point, since I was the only one doing the exercises, I felt I could relax, procrastinate, and show up late. When this happened the other practitioners said they planned to join me, so I arrived more on time. I knew those were Master’s reminders that I had been too lax!

In the winter, I moved the exercise site to a concession stand gazebo next to a soccer field. Few people go there, and the lights around the gazebo are only turned on at 7 a.m. So when I arrived, the area was dark, with only some light from street lamps in the distance. One day when I got there at 5:30 am, I noticed that all the lights around the gazebo were turned on and illuminated the gazebo like a palace. A few days later while I was meditating, a park staff asked, “You noticed the lights are on early. Do you like it?” I realized that he saw me meditating there in the early morning hours, and he turned on the lights for me. I replied, “Thank you very much!” I said to Master in my heart, “Thank you, Master!” Every morning when I get here, I feel 100 times more energized, and all the cells in my body are elated.

Over seven years, many practitioners have joined and left this park exercise site. From the bottom of my heart, I cherish the opportunity to do the exercises with every practitioner who has come to this practice site, because it has been a remarkable experience for all of us.

Master also had predestined people come here to learn about Falun Dafa and talk with practitioners. One lady who kept coming learned about the persecution of Falun Dafa and attended Shen Yun performances. A high school student came one misty morning and learned the exercises. Over time, he brought several of his classmates to come and learn the exercises. On cold winter mornings, these young people were able to do the exercises for two hours. The student who brought the others eventually began practicing Falun Dafa cultivation and became a fellow practitioner. Such a remarkable predestined relationship!

I was the one who benefited the most. When I first started doing the second exercise (Falun Standing Stance) for one hour, I could hear my bones making very faint vibration sounds. I felt Master was adjusting my body. Doing the exercises outdoors in the morning also corrected some shortfalls in my cultivation.

While meditating in the park in the summer, I could hear people, birds, and the stream. They were clear yet far, but my heart wasn’t moved. In the winter, the wind blowing and the sound of falling leaves, and then the white frost covered the ground; the air is permeated with cold, yet I could calmly meditate and eliminate any wandering thoughts. Once I come out of deep meditation, I could truly experience the mental state of “...people whose bodies are in the secular world but whose minds are beyond it.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2005 Manhattan International Fa Conference,” Collected Teachings Given Around the World, Volume V)

Every Thought, Every Feeling, Rectified in the Fa

One weekend in early July, just after I finished doing the exercises, I heard a chime for a text message on my phone. I checked my phone while I walked to my car. I suddenly stumbled and I heard my stainless steel thermos hit the ground. I realized that I had fallen. There was a small curb that I had to step over near the parking lot. I missed it because I was looking at my phone.

I immediately got up and kept walking, but I realized my left foot was sprained. When I looked inward I thought, “Is this a reminder that I’m too attached to my phone? Couldn’t I have waited to check my phone after I got into the car?”

The foot pain was minor, and I thought it would help me eliminate karma. As long as it went away before I headed to Washington, D.C., I'd be good, because I was scheduled to visit congressional offices for three days and would have to walk a lot. When I stood up so quickly, was it because I was worried others might notice that I fell? It was a fear of losing face.

I could sit in the full lotus position when I meditated that night, but I was in pain. I suddenly enlightened: My initial thought about letting the pain last until I went to Washington was wrong. It happened to be the global time to send righteous thoughts, so I added five minutes to clear away the interference. The effect was immediate: My foot no longer hurt.

Last year, the local practitioner who coordinated our efforts to talk to the government was no longer able to participate due to various reasons, so I had to temporarily take up our July 20th Washington D.C. congressional office visits. I prepared truth clarification materials and materials to request that congressional members from Texas support bills for Falun Dafa. I planned to visit every Texas congressional office, even if I didn’t have an appointment.

One afternoon I stood outside an office where I didn’t have an appointment. I knocked on the door and opened it slightly to peek inside. I saw several people were having a meeting. I closed the door and thought about what to do. Because it was in the afternoon and I was tired, I thought about leaving the materials packet with the office receptionist, like we had done before in similar situations.

This seemed reasonable, but when I collected myself, I saw this thought was due to my fatigue and I wished to quickly distribute the materials. My mindset was wrong—I was merely finishing a task. If I had this thought, how could I do well in saving people? This particular congressional office had repeatedly declined my requests for an appointment since last year. I already subconsciously had negative thoughts about this office.

When I saw this, I decided to find a quiet place to send righteous thoughts. Twenty minutes later, I went back to this congressman’s office and I actually spoke with his assistant and the legislative advisor, who also brought in the legislative director. These three people had not heard of Falun Dafa or the persecution before and listened to me. This meeting achieved unexpectedly good results. The Tuesday after I returned from Washington, I received an email from this legislative director, who thanked me for the visit and told me this congressman had agreed to co-sponsor the bill in support of Falun Dafa practitioners.

These two incidents made me marvel at the importance of our every thought and every idea, where our thoughts come from, and whether they conform to Dafa. If they don’t, not only can we not save people, we might actually mess things up. Some projects that are difficult or challenging to do well, are truly closely related to the cultivators involved. I may have already missed numerous opportunities, but I plan to cherish every opportunity I’m given in the future.

Let us maintain a humble heart, be diligent together on our path, and not disappoint Master’s compassion!

Thank you, Master! Thank you, everyone!

(Presented at the 2023 Southern US Fa Conference)