(Minghui.org) I’ve practiced Falun Dafa for 27 years. Before I moved to the U.S., I experienced the brutal persecution in China. Despite all the difficulties, I’ve always felt calm.

Something I encountered recently made me truly experience what Master said,

“Dafa disciples, all the way until their last step to Consummation, will be tested as to whether they can make it. There could be very, very critical tests for you all the way until you are just one step away from finishing. That is because every step becomes more and more critical to your cultivation and your tests, especially toward the end.” (Teachings at the Conference in Los Angeles)

For me, this key test was the impact of what had happened with local practitioners on my xinxing and righteous thoughts. For the first time since I started practicing Falun Dafa, I deeply questioned and examined myself. After thinking about it carefully, I realized that the test and tribulation happened because I had practiced for so many years.

I called a relative in China who practices Falun Dafa. We haven’t seen each other since 2005. I asked, “If you can’t see the end result (in cultivation), but just keep practicing, how do you go on?”

He said, “I am optimistic. I think that with every day that passes, it gets closer to the end. There is nothing to worry about. Nothing upsets me.”

I said, “I admire your optimism from the bottom of my heart. For me, even if I can’t see the end, cultivation itself is enough. This is the best thing. Nothing else.”

I recalled that I began practicing Falun Dafa because I felt everything in the human world was transient and I began thinking about the meaning of life. After I read the following teaching I started practicing.

Master said,

“So the only way for someone to be healed, to be free of adversity, and to be unburdened of karma, is to engage in spiritual practice and return, pure as he once was, to his true home. This is a belief common to a range of spiritual traditions. And this is in fact the meaning of life.” (The First Talk, Zhuan Falun)

The recent tribulation I experienced after practicing for many years, was real, fast, and through it I experienced how I felt when I began practicing. I realized that Master helped me consolidate the journey of cultivation.

Master taught us,

“Don’t let the length of time that all this takes wear you down. Many people have gradually slacked off in their cultivation. Yet what we have here is something extraordinary. I have told you that it is outstanding—truly outstanding—when Dafa disciples in China can manage to persevere in doing what they should be doing and continue to cultivate themselves and study the Fa, in spite of what a trying and high-pressure setting it is there, and with all of the temptations they face in that complex environment. They have managed to do that under such trying circumstances! So you all mustn’t let up! As soon as you do, the old forces can take advantage of that fact and may even take your life.” (“2018 Fa Teaching Given in Washington, D.C.,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XV)

The Extended Time Is for Us to Cultivate and Offer Salvation to People

Practitioners know that Master extended the time for us to cultivate for two reasons. One is that many practitioners have not yet reached the cultivation standard and fulfilled their missions. The other is that not enough people have been saved.

I realize that Master extended the time for us to cultivate and assist him to save people. It is not for us to relax, enjoy ourselves and live an everyday person’s life. According to the old forces’ arrangement, the time we were given to cultivate and save people passed long ago. If Fa-rectification had ended then, countless practitioners and sentient beings would have been lost. Master extended the time for us to save people with his boundless compassion and bore many things for us. Our behavior and thoughts must not deviate and we must not waste this precious opportunity.

After my experience I realized that cultivation is a continuous, long-term, comprehensive and fundamental test from beginning to end.

I will diligently cultivate and assist Master to save sentient beings, no matter how long we have left.

[Editor’s note: This article only represents the author’s current understanding meant for sharing among practitioners so that we can “Compare in studying, compare in cultivating.” (“Solid Cultivation,” Hong Yin)]