(Minghui.org) Before the age of forty, I had many challenges in life and also many doubts about my existence. These two factors together caused me to develop many rigid notions about life and “how things are.” Add to this the heavy tribulations due to karma from previous lives, and you get the situation I was in before I obtained Dafa: I was on the verge of a nervous breakdown. 

Childhood Trauma

When I was young, it was early years of the Chinese Communist Party rule. Class struggle was promoted, people were divided into various groups, and landlords and rich peasants were subjected to social discrimination and persecution. My father belonged to this targeted group. As an outlet for his emotions, he became hot-tempered and vicious—there was almost nothing beneath him except the taking of a human life. 

Life was hard. My parents fought a lot. As the oldest of six children, I became the prime target for my parents’ frustration and stress. I was blamed for everything and anything, and treated like a servant. At mealtimes, I had to serve everyone and stand there while everyone else sat down. If I was slow, I’d be slapped, beaten, or hit with whatever was within reach. My father beat me so savagely that the neighbors even stepped in to stop him; both they and I wondered if I was really his child. 

To please my parents, I did all the household chores and took good care of my younger siblings. But that did not change the way they treated me. Gradually, I became fearful, resentful, argumentative, and insecure. 

Not only I did not know how to speak up, but I did not know what to say. There was a fear that disaster would befall me at any moment, but also a deep resentment of people being unreasonable. Between these two emotions, I felt trapped and had no way to escape. The only thing that seemed like a solution was to somehow grow more powerful than the people who bullied me, so I was determined to get ahead. My ambition for fame and fortune was thus born. 

My personality changed for the worse, and after I got married, the demonic side of my personality manifested itself at home and work. I hurt a lot of people and gained a lot of karma, which jeopardized both my physical and mental health. I don’t think I could have made it to today if I didn’t find guidance within Falun Dafa. 

At age 22, things got a little bit better for me when I became the only person in my family who passed the exam to go to school and get a job. My family was proud of me for the first time. However, this only intensified my desire for fame, profit, and achievement. 

Changing Notions and Eliminating Attachments

After I got married, I seemed free from the harm from my parents, but the trauma I endured over the years had already distorted my psyche in profound ways. I developed a strong pursuit of comfort, a good life, and avoiding hardship.

After I began practicing Dafa, I realized that all the pain I endured was the karma that I had accumulated over many lifetimes. I also understood that these hardships were there to pave the way for me to obtain Dafa. But the notions and attachments that I developed along the path were very hard to let go of, as if they were carved into my bones.

For example, fear was one of these attachments. I had a hard time speaking to strangers, and as soon as I opened my mouth, I would tremble all over. This made it very difficult for me to clarify the truth after I obtained the Fa.

My first thoughts about a situation were always negative and mixed with fear, resentment, and insecurity. These were all my attachments, and some were even notions and attachments I wasn’t aware of yet. I felt miserable as a human being, and my state at that time only reinforced my human thoughts and heart.

At the early stages of my cultivation, Master purified my body and mind, but I needed to cultivate away the attachments myself. It was very hard, particularly the resentment towards my father. Other practitioners noticed that my state was not right, as whenever I spoke to my father, I would quiver. They wondered why was I so afraid of my father. Even though I knew the fear was forced on me, I had a hard time eliminating it. 

I was extremely afraid of talking about Dafa to my father. In 2006, when my father was critically ill, he shouted “Falun Dafa is good” and miraculously recovered. Five years later, he got sick again, and whenever I got close to him, he would chase me away and curse at me. He eventually passed away. 

After my father passed away, my fear of him disappeared, but my resentment hid in the shadows. Because I lost the environment to proactively cultivate away my resentment, I thought I had no more resentment.

With constant Fa study and looking within, I gradually found that selfishness is the source of immoral behavior. Maybe I harmed my parents too much in previous lives, so in this life I get to suffer to repay the debt. From the perspective of a life that has been hurt, repaying a debt is only a natural principle, so I shouldn’t feel resentful. Plus, a little bit of pain is a paltry price to pay for the fortune of obtaining the Great Way today. 

When cultivators endure hardship, we can use the hardship as an opportunity to find our attachment and eliminate it. That is the process of cultivation. Having made that realization, I am now grateful for Master’s compassionate arrangement and for everyone and everything that I have come across in my life. How can I still have resentment? These difficulties are only there to help me change my notions and get rid of attachments—they are my path to divinity.

Elevating Xinxing Through Guarding Every Thought

Master told us:

“…“He’s right.And I’m wrong.”What’s to dispute?” (“Who’s Right, Who’s Wrong,” Hong Yin III)

I have benefited so much from this teaching in the Fa. Whenever I felt I was right about something in a conflict, I’d grow indignant, lose my temper, and become irrational. When that happened, I’d recite these lines over and over again, which would calm me down. Then, I’d be able to look inward for my attachment and figure out where I went wrong. 

Cultivation is about cultivating each thought, bit by bit. Gradually, I am able to use the Fa teachings to evaluate situations more. Sometimes I’d find myself arguing and pointing fingers when I thought my spouse, a family member, or any other person was being unreasonable. But in the end, I found that I was just debating right and wrong at the human level. As a cultivator, I should be applying a higher standard to myself instead. 

Master also said:

“...because whoever has acquired the karma feels uncomfortable. It is guaranteed to be this way.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)

It is my karma that has fallen on others, that causes them to be uncomfortable in the conflict. They’re manifesting the karma for me and helping me to eliminate it, so I should sympathize and be compassionate to them. 

At the same time, I believe that it is my failure to cultivate well that has given the evil factors a loophole to exploit. Thus, they are making other people suffer in this conflict and are harming people. When I can see it this way, I no longer feel indignant—all I think about is easing other people’s pain and apologizing for my mistakes.

In coming to terms with my anger, I also eliminated my feelings of being wronged, my resentment, and my attachment to debating with others. I truly elevated my xinxing and entered a cultivator’s state of mind. 

The Importance of Sending Forth Righteous Thoughts to Cleanse My Field

When I send forth righteous thoughts to cleanse my own field, my mind used to wander at times. 

I once heard a story about a cultivator who had to traverse a vast desert. At first, he was happy and content because he could feel that his God was with him, and that he was not alone. He knew this because when he turned back to look at the sand, he saw two rows of footprints. 

Later on, this cultivator faced many challenges on his path, challenges so difficult that he didn’t know if he could make it through. He wanted to ask God for help, but when he turned around, he only saw one row of very deep footprints. The cultivator became crestfallen, thinking that God had forsaken him in his moment of greatest need. He even began to resent God. 

But in that moment, a voice whispered in his ear: “Child, those footprints are mine. I have carried you on my back all this way.” 

I was in tears when I heard the story. The story helped me see my own despair and negativity regarding my faith in Master and the Fa. A master sacrifices so much to protect his disciples—and just like in the story, always watches over the disciples and guides them through the toughest challenges so that they can surpass themselves. How could a disciple be so narrow-minded and only think about his own suffering? And don’t these resentful thoughts lead to even more karmic debt? 

Master has suffered so much to provide salvation to us all! That’s not to mention when we have issues with our cultivation state and add additional hardship to an already difficult path. When we as cultivators do not proactively get rid of our own attachments and negative factors, Master has to endure more on our behalf. 

After coming to this realization, I am able to be attentive during the first five minutes of sending forth righteous thoughts when we clean our own minds. I feel that Dafa is rectifying all that is improper within me, all that would be an obstacle to Master’s Fa-rectification. I know now that if I can cleanse myself well, I will have a greater effect in eradicating evil forces.