PureInsight | February 6, 2006
[PureInsight.org] [Note: The title is a quote from "Plum Blossoms" in Hong Yin II. It is a provisional translation subject to further improvements.]
Obtaining the Fa
One day in February 2004, my sister gave me a copy of Zhuan Falun, saying it was a very good book. I had a feeling that as soon as I read the book, I would give up my previous belief system. Therefore I accepted the book, but did not read it. Before long, my sister told me again it was a book that teaches people to be good, and it would be a shame not to read it. She explained it to me intently, and I started to waver. Besides wanting to know what it was about, I wanted to know what was in the book that had attracted my sister and changed her, so I started reading it. I wasn't someone keen about reading books, and therefore it took me seven days in total to finish reading it. I felt it was a very good book, but didn't have any thought of starting cultivation in it.
In April 2004, my sister brought me videotapes of Teacher's Fa Lectures at Dalian City that she had borrowed. I heard she was going to return them soon, so I had a thought, "I will finish watching the tapes." That night after I finished watching three lectures, seemingly in a dream, I heard two people talking to me. One of them said, "You must practice only one cultivation way if you want to learn Dafa, you cannot mix it casually with other things in cultivation." The other person said to me, "Do you really want to practice cultivation in Dafa?" After I got up, I told my mom about what was in my dream, but she thought I was being superstitious. I was very sad. I thought I wasn't ready to become Teacher's disciple yet. So I told Teacher in my heart, "Master Li, I'm not ready to practice cultivation in Falun Dafa yet. Please take back Falun and the energy mechanism for now."
I didn't decide to practice Falun Dafa until June 2004. I had been thinking if I would do it or not for the three months prior. As I remember it, before I attended the nine-day seminar, my sister reminded me again and again that, no matter what might happen, I should make sure to attend the seminar without skipping a single day. On the fifth day, my body felt very uncomfortable. A sharp headache kept me from standing still. I felt every step I took on my way to the seminar was very difficult. I realized it was interference and I must not give up. My sister's reminder helped me generate righteous thoughts. When I entered the seminar room, my physical discomfort disappeared gradually while I watched the video. When I first attended the group Fa-study, I found practitioners of Falun Dafa were very different from everyday people, and I had never felt such a strong energy field and peaceful atmosphere in my life.
Getting Rid of My Attachments
In my cultivation practice, among all other tests, a particular one took me eight good months to get past. During those eight months, I experienced severe conflicts with two supervisors. I couldn't stand the first supervisor for not recognizing my capability at work. Influenced by my demon nature, I confronted him and was very angry. I don't know if it was because I was a Falun Dafa practitioner so my energy was strong, he fell seriously ill the very next day, and became very nice to me from then on.
When I studied "Transformation of Karma" section in Lecture Four of Zhuan Falun, I was deeply impressed with this paragraph of Fa. Teacher said, "If you do this among everyday people, they will say that you are a strong person. As a practitioner, however, that is completely awful."
It occurred to me that, after I confronted my supervisor, my coworkers told me that supervisor was normally proud and arrogant, so they admired me for daring to confront him and even making him fall ill. Therefore everyone thought I was great and indeed a strong person. After reading the Fa, I realized that I was truly awful as a practitioner. In addition, I found my deep-hidden attachment of self-inferiority had been dug out. I grew up in a state of constantly being criticized, therefore I had a lack of confidence in myself, and was often laughed at. During the conflict with my supervisor, because I failed to treat myself as a practitioner, I didn't pass the particular test in cultivation practice.
In December 2004, I was transferred to another workplace. To help me get rid of the attachment of self-inferiority and dependency as soon as possible, Teacher gave me a test that I was weakest at, compiling and collecting. Compiling and collecting wasn't difficult to begin with, but because I had the attachment of dependency and pursuit of comfort, I failed to pass it for a long time. As soon as my attachment emerged and I wanted to pursue comfort, I would be asked to do work of compiling and collecting. I was often criticized by my new supervisor for not being able to do my job well. My new supervisor was strict with me, and his words often carried bad messages. Also because of my attachment of self-inferiority and pursuit of comfort, the same test in cultivation practice was repeated again and again.
Every time when I couldn't stand it anymore, I thought of quitting. But, on second thought, I asked myself, "if I change my job without passing the test, does it mean the same thing will happen on my next job?" Therefore I gave up the thought of quitting and instead I decided to take advantage of the good environment for raising xinxing. When I became aware that it was my attachments of fearing to be hurt, not incurring trouble for myself and seeking comfort that had caused my thought of quitting, I realized in the past I had been looking outward instead of looking inward. And it wasn't until then that I was able to untie the Gordian knot in my heart.
From then on I learned to treat others with compassion under every circumstance. Even when I was treated unfairly, I would not argue with my supervisor any more, and my heart felt quite comfortable. In the process I have also found other attachments such as the mentality of showing off, competitive mentality, the mentality of fear, etc. It wasn't until the end of July 2005 that I finally passed the test. During the eight months, I often thought of the four lines in "Tempering the Will" in Hong Yin.
"Each and every barrier must be broken through,
And everywhere does evil lurk.
Abundant troubles rain down together,
All to see: Can you pull through?"
I truly experienced what it felt like when "abundant troubles rain down together." Teacher wanted me to raise my xinxing as soon as possible, so He raised me to a relatively high level all at once. In my opinion, like a funnel, I was at the level of the small opening when I just started practicing cultivation, but now I was required to rise to the level of the big opening. Teacher required me to not only increase my capacity, but also achieve altruism and treat others with compassion under every circumstance. But I was attached to my personal gain so badly that I failed to enlighten to it.
Clarifying the Truth to My Family Members
When I first started practicing cultivation, I delayed clarifying the truth to others because I didn't know what to do. I didn't realize the importance of truth-clarification until I read "Touring North America to Teach the Fa," and decided to start it with my family members. Since I started practicing Falun Dafa, my temper has changed a lot. My mom who originally didn't want me to start practicing Dafa has changed her attitude. From then on, whenever there were Dafa activities, my sister and I would invite our mother to attend. In the beginning she wouldn't go, feeling pushed. But with our continued truth-clarification to her, she gradually understood what Falun Dafa was, and was willing to attend our activities. Moreover, she finally finished reading Zhuan Falun in a year.
One day, we went to see the Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance International Art Exhibit, and had invited our aunt to go along. In the exhibit, my Mom even took the initiative and became the guide of my aunt, and carefully explained to her the truth of the persecution against Falun Dafa. My sister and I were amazed! Moreover, whenever my mother was on the phone with someone, as soon as the person at the other end of the telephone said he or she felt uncomfortable on their body, my Mom would tell him or her, "Falun Dafa is good! Try practicing Falun Gong if you want to improve your health." And she would add, "Falun Gong has changed both of my daughters. Now they no longer argue or fight over trivial matters. When conflict occurs, they both know their xinxing has problems and they have attachments." My sister and I both feel it is very important to clarify the truth to family members.
Clarifying the Truth on the Internet
I am responsible for teaching and coordinating fellow practitioners to clarify the truth about Falun Gong on Internet chat forums. Although I am basically an outgoing person, I was mortified when I first started teaching fellow practitioners how to chat on the Internet. My biggest fear was that I wouldn't do a good job teaching and would be subject to criticism. Since I was little, I was often looked down upon because I hadn't performed well academically. My parents often reproach and punish me physically because of that. It might be the reason why I was mortified by the possibility of humiliation. Each time I stood in front of an audience, I would start trembling uncontrollably.
After I started practicing Falun Gong, I continued to be very conscious of other people's perceptions of me. I had been very reluctant to reveal my shortcomings. When I was invited to help teach fellow practitioners to clarify the truth on Internet chat forums, I struggled a lot before I finally realized that it might be an opportunity arranged by Teacher for me to eliminate my fear and inferiority complex. I finally agreed to do it.
At first I knew nothing about Internet chat forums except that it is one of the venues for our truth-clarification work. I knew how to use Internet forums, but I hadn't been using it for truth-clarification at the time. Besides, it was my first teaching experience, so I was very nervous. The other practitioner who had been doing the teaching knew I didn't know much about the function of internet forums on our truth-clarification work, so she explained that part to the audience and left only the technical demonstration part to me. In order to facilitate fellow practitioners' learning, I demonstrated the process and wrote the steps on the blackboard. Nevertheless, most elderly fellow practitioners told us that they had difficulty keeping up. After a few teaching sessions, I came to learn problems that they frequently encounter. During the several months of teaching, I have also identified many of my attachments.
I remember fellow practitioners asked many good questions, but I couldn't answer some of them. At the time I was very nervous. I was afraid of giving them wrong answers and misleading them. Besides, I wasn't sure if I understood their questions. Fortunately, another fellow practitioner was present and answered the questions. I realized that I was not yet an expert in this domain and I needed to put more effort to it.
But a strange thing happened. Perhaps it was because I had finally let go of my fear of being humiliated, as well as my deeply hidden notions, that I am no longer afraid of speaking in public. At the Q&A session, I am confident in giving answers in my own way. I know it is Teacher who has given me the wisdom.
Because it is a very easy job to post articles and replies to postings, I started to regard it as just daily routine and forgot it was a way to clarify the truth and offer Teacher's salvation to sentient beings. As a result, I often did it routinely and failed to realize it was part of my cultivation practice. It was not until during an experience sharing gathering when fellow practitioners shared their experiences in this domain that I realized I had neglected my cultivation practice. Afterwards, I discovered many attachments in me. For example, I often lost my patience when posting articles on Internet forums in China because the connection is too slow. After studying the Fa and sharing experiences with fellow practitioners, I gradually identified my problem. It was because I hadn't been studying the Fa solidly and I didn't have enough righteous thoughts that the evil was able to exploit my flaws.
Sometimes when my thoughts were not righteous enough, my computer would become problematic. Sometimes it would fail to load a web page. Sometimes the computer would freeze and have to be restarted. After I identified my problem and sent righteous thoughts to eliminate all the evil elements and the old forces' arrangements, my computer started running normally again miraculously. I have learned that my thoughts must be righteous at all times when I do each and every truth-clarification work.
With "The Closer to the End, the More Diligent You Should Be," Teacher has reminded us to be increasingly diligent towards the end of the Fa-rectification. If I should allow myself to be passive and low-spirited any longer, my thousands of years of waiting for Teacher's salvation would come to nothing. In addition, I would fail to fulfill my prehistoric vows to Teacher and countless sentient beings in my world would disintegrate completely. We should follow Teacher closely and never deviate from Teacher's Fa. I must do well the Three Things Teacher requires of us. Hopefully all of us will walk to the end of the journey with Teacher.
Finally I would like to share with everyone the following poem Teacher has written.
A Will That Ebbs Not
(in Song Dynasty poetic form)
Surpassing time and space,
Fa-rectification dashes forward
Massive is the challenge,
but your will is firm
Unbridled are the wicked,
yet you keep your bearings
Purging evil as if but whisking dust away
walk straight the path of Dafa
May your radiance grace the human world,
as you transcend the Three Realms
Disciples of Fa,
be diligent, with a will that ebbs not
The countless years of hardship were all for this time
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2006/1/20/35380.html