PureInsight | August 22, 2005
[PureInsight.org] I am honored to be here, sharing some of the experiences and understandings that I have obtained so far in Dafa cultivation. I am a new student with only 10 months of cultivation experience, so I ask for your compassion if there is anything inappropriate in my sharing.
I would like to start by sharing with you how I came to obtain the Fa. Before Dafa came into my life, I led a very mellow and somewhat polluting life of drinking and drugs. Morality was not something I was concerned about since I did not believe in religion or its formalities, and instead focused more on science, which made more sense to me.
In September of last year, I was sitting in front of my television set and listening to music when I suddenly realized that my life needed some kind of direction or discipline. I thought about learning martial arts but then my thoughts turned to meditation. So, I started searching the Internet for meditation practices. I cannot fully remember how it was that I came upon the Falundafa.org website. However it happened, it was the beginning of a life changing experience. The first thing that caught my attention was how many languages the website had been translated into. The next thing that sparked my attention was the principles of Truthfulness, Benevolence, and Forbearance. I knew clearly that "Gosh, this is good." The last thing was that the books were free to download. I thought, "Widespread – very good principles – and free?! This is too good to be true." So I downloaded both Zhuan Falun and Falun Gong.
Before I knew it, I had read through half the book in a matter of hours. I could not believe what I was reading. It felt as though everything was being explained to me and I wanted to practice Falun Dafa immediately. Being a science-minded person, I had some skepticism because the things that Teacher mentioned would happen to the body of a person who practices went against any common scientific explanation that I could think of. But the practice made so much sense that I figured that I should give it a try. However, I suddenly remembered that I promised my brother that I would vacation with him in Amsterdam in a few weeks. I had visions of clumps of karma accumulating as I indulged myself on the trip since the main purpose for young people to go to Amsterdam is to indulge in dirty things. I knew it was not a good idea to go but I did not want to spoil my brother's fun. That night I kept thinking of whether I should cancel the trip and start practicing Falun Dafa, or whether I should go and postpone practicing. After a night of thinking, I decided to go on the trip and let go of Dafa until I returned home. I reasoned that waiting one more month to practice Dafa was nothing to worry about. However, in the days that followed, I began to correct my xinxing without meaning to. I could not understand how it was that I began to fight my human mind and constantly look inside myself to improve my xinxing.
One night I suddenly woke up and was blessed to see a golden figure sitting before me in full lotus. I tried to take a good look but it vanished. I knew it was Teacher's fashen hinting for me to start the practice. After that moment, I knew that what I had read about Dafa was all real. The next morning I made a vow to Teacher to dedicate myself to practicing Dafa, to letting go of every single human attachment and persevere in practicing Dafa until completion. I decided to still go to Amsterdam with my brother. I realized that the important thing was not to go there and indulge myself, but rather to spend time with my brother and cherish those moments. I used the trip as a means to improve my xinxing in the midst of all the temptations. Not only was I successful in controlling myself, but my brother also had thoughts about quitting his bad habits.
I spent the next few months reading as many of Teacher's articles and lectures as I could. Shortly thereafter I began my path in Fa Rectification. I learned the formulas for sending righteous thoughts and wanted to step forward to clarify the truth. Since my understanding of Fa Rectification was shallow, I did not feel very comfortable doing many things to clarify the truth. So I thought I should start small and gradually work my way up to bigger things. I began thinking about how to get people's attention to focus on Dafa. It dawned on me that curiosity is one of the largest attachments for many people in that it gets them to want to see things. For example, if there is a simple fender bender on the highway, a traffic jam will form simply so that the people in passing cars can take a look. I thought, "Hey, isn't this what I want to achieve by clarifying the truth?" Since passing out flyers was somewhat limiting in that they cannot be passed out in places such as department stores or shopping malls, I thought that I could overcome that problem by wearing a tee-shirt with the words 'Falun Dafa.' That would be somewhat eye-catching and get people's attention. However, I felt that the words 'Falun Dafa' may not be enough to clarify the truth. Moreover, I felt that the color yellow was not very popular in western society. I recalled that in Zhuan Falun Teacher mentioned the importance of conforming to the standards of this dimension: "What does that body's form of existence resemble? Of course, you cannot use the concepts of this dimension to understand it, and your body must meet the requirement of that dimension's form of existence."
I felt that presenting Falun Dafa to western society was not going to be easy. Many people in this country are still prejudiced about race let alone culture, and feel that those who come to America should assimilate to this place rather than establish different cultures within it. I thought there was some truth to this, and it seemed to be a similar situation to if a liver cell wanted to stay among the stomach cells but still perform the work of a liver cell without understanding how stomach cells work. Would this not cause problems for the stomach? The liver cell should assimilate and perform as a stomach cell if it wants to stay there and be accepted by the stomach. Only this way can the liver cell make changes as necessary in the form of existence and roles at that location. I felt that the principle in this example relates to the tee-shirt. So I decided to create a new tee-shirt design.
I decided to make the tee-shirt design conform to popular colors in western society (like white and navy blue) but to make it colorful and beautiful so as to catch people's attention and stimulate their curiosity. In addition, I decided to add pictures to the design since visuals rather than words alone play an important role in catching people's attention.
The front was designed to introduce Falun Dafa while the back was designed to clarify the truth about the persecution. On the front, I used a picture of a young girl in full lotus along with a lotus flower. Together I felt these two images gave definition and meaning to Dafa as a meditation practice with the lotus flower resembling something beautiful. I used the words Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance instead of Truth, Benevolence, and Forbearance as I felt that Benevolence and Forbearance might not be understood by some, especially children. After all, children also need to be saved and we should consider what they can understand. I thought about things that Dafa offers that might be suitable to attract westerners. So I included statements like "relieves stress" and "improves health" as these are very big issues in western society. I also included the falundafa.org website as the Internet plays a big role in society nowadays. For the back, I used the statement "Please help stop the persecution of Falun Dafa. Millions of good and kind people are waiting for your help." and included the faluninfo.net website. Below this statement, I included the statement "Torture used to renounce belief in Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance" and included pictures of paintings that have been created to clarify the truth about the torture of practitioners in China. I created a tee-shirt at home with my computer and an ironing press.
I knew that this it would be a challenge both to create the tee-shirt and to wear it because I have long had a very strong attachment of fear to what people think of me. I started wearing the tee-shirt in small department stores to see what the effect would be. The effect was so good that due to my feeling of discomfort of getting so much attention I actually stopped wearing it for a while. For the next month or so, I did not wear the tee-shirt much as my fear was still pretty large. But after studying the Fa and reading articles on the Clearwisdom website, I realized that I had deviated from the vow I had made to Teacher. On thinking about the attachment of fear I realized that I did not have a rational explanation for it. Why would I be afraid of what people thought of me as I was letting people know the truth? I enlightened to why attachments are so bad. They make people irrational. I figured that the best way to get rid of any attachment was to face it full force. After all, that was why I was cultivating. Attachments are just a bad substance. But I have Teacher by my side at all times, so that strengthened my will. So I wore the tee-shirt once again and walked around the malls in my area for one hour every day after I got off work.
Before getting to the mall, all kinds of bad thoughts tried to stop me – everything from "What is this guy doing here preaching his religion on a shirt?" or "Look at this clown walking around the mall all the time." or "Everyone is going to stare at you!!!" It was not easy to have so many people looking at me all the time. I saw that looking directly into people's eyes was causing them not to look at the tee-shirt, so I avoided eye contact. Many people were looking but I felt that everyone should be looking. The more people that looked the more people that could be saved and the faster I could discard my attachment. So before entering the mall, I began sending righteous thoughts in my mind, saying: "Sentient beings, I am here to assist Teacher in saving you. Look at my shirt and awaken that hidden part that has been waiting for this moment your whole life." After doing this, I could not believe what happened. Almost everyone, including children, were looking at my tee-shirt and reading it. Some people would be turning their heads as I walked by them just to read what my tee-shirt said. When this happened, many other attachments began surfacing, such as complacency, showing off, and elation. I took it as an excellent thing, as it gave me opportunities to recognize them and eliminate them. Something that I also enlightened to was that my skin color became a truth-clarifying tool since Chinese people all of a sudden were seeing a westerner promoting Falun Dafa.
Before, I thought that walking around the mall so many times would make people say strange things about me, but I realized that it was the best thing that I could have done as it sparked people's curiosity. I went to a booth and the salesperson there came up to me and asked me, "What is Falun Dafa? I saw your shirt from the distance and it caught my attention." So I explained to him that it is a cultivation practice of the mind and the body based on the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance. He then said "Hey, those principles are in the bible." I then went ahead and started to tell him about the persecution. He said "Yeah, I saw it on the back of your shirt. Why is it being persecuted?" I went on to explain that Falun Dafa's principles are not in line with the nature of Communism. Before I even finished the sentence, he already nodded in agreement and said "I can see that." He then said that he would go to the website and check it out. Ever since then, not only does he greet me every time I see him but he clarifies the truth to others as I walk by. It occurred to me that the two questions that he asked were the missing pieces on my shirt. So I made a new tee-shirt to answer those two questions. I feel that the new tee-shirt is complete and the power of the Fa that it has behind it is truly inspiring. When I put it on, it is like I just put on a piece of the Fa, with all of its might and power. The best part is that it is completely effortless. All I have to do is wear it, and I become a truth clarification tool.
Overall, the experience of creating and wearing this tee-shirt has taught me many things: to always look at every situation, that nothing is by coincidence, and that every thing that happens provides an opportunity to improve. When our thoughts are righteous in wanting to save sentient beings, it can shake mountains. When persevering in ridding our attachments, Teacher will be pleased and will guide us.
I would like to thank all of the practitioners from China and all over the world for submitting their experiences to the Clearwisdom website. It is because of you and everyone all over the world that new practitioners like me can mature quickly. Let's strive forward together, as one, to do what we must do, to be there for one another, to save all sentient beings, and to honor our great Master's compassionate salvation. I would like to thank all of you for your time in reading my experiences and wish all of us success. Heshi.