My Cultivation Path in the Fa-Rectification Period

A Practitioner from Ottawa

PureInsight | August 6, 2006

[] (Washington, D.C. Fa Conference, 2006)
I decided to write an experience sharing paper for the 2006 DC Fahui
after attending the 2006 Canada Fahui in Toronto.  As is always
the case after attending a Fahui, I felt strongly re-motivated about my
cultivation and came to understand how I could do the Three Things

As Falun Dafa practitioners, we know that our bodies are being purified
and our lives are being re-arranged.  Everybody has a specially
designed path with various trials and tribulations along the way to
provide opportunities for cultivation, upgrading xinxing and
eliminating karma.  Our paths are all different and can even be
very different from practitioner to practitioner.  From Master's
article "Path":  "The path each person is to take is different,
because each person's foundation is different, the sizes of their
various attachments are different, the characteristics of their beings
are different, their jobs among everyday people are different, their
family environments are different, and so on.  These factors
determine that each person's path of cultivation is different, that how
they get rid of their attachments is different, and that the sizes of
their tests are different."  I will now discuss how my path has
evolved over the past three years.  

I moved to Los Angeles from New York in May 2003 to take a position in
the Capital Markets group of one of the largest mortgage companies in
the US.  Working in a Capital Markets group on a trading floor
provided me with many opportunities to temper myself and upgrade

A trading floor is a place where traders of securities (in our case,
pools of mortgages, bonds backed by mortgages, treasury bonds etc.) and
salespeople who cover banks, insurance companies, hedge funds, etc., do
business.  It is a very fast-paced, competitive and stressful
environment.  I worked as a trader. I had already done that for
three years prior to arriving in Los Angeles.  

In this male-dominated environment, people are very materialistic and
the main topics of non-work-related conversation revolve around sports,
cars, drinking and women.  Foul language is heard continually
throughout the day.  I thought to myself that this is going to be
quite a significant challenge for me to show Dafa's positive image and
to clarify the facts of the persecution here.  I also felt that it
was perhaps my mission to do so since I didn't know of any other
practitioners who worked in this kind of an environment and the fact
that everybody's path is unique.  

I also knew there was a great deal of interference at work here. 
I adopted a cautious approach to try to look for ways in which I could
bring up the subject of Falun Dafa and the persecution easily.  It
is a subject that is very different from what is on everybody's mind
and given the limited interaction I had with my colleagues, other than
dealing with them for work, obtaining a chance to really talk to them
about Dafa would be rare.  But I also had faith in Master and knew
that he would make the arrangements as clarifying the facts and talking
about Dafa has to be done in an appropriate context and with a very
righteous frame of mind.  I also wanted to show my colleagues
through my conduct and demeanor that I should be thought of in a
positive light so that my message will be that much more
credible.  I also carried a "Stop the Persecution of Falun Gong"
pin on my briefcase to initiate curiosity.  I would always send
forth righteous thoughts on the way to work or listen to Master Li's
lecture CDs.  

While my immediate supervisor took a very negative view of Dafa due to
his being influenced by the propaganda from his time working at a
Chinese bank, my other colleagues were intrigued and curious to know a
little more.  I also started giving them copies of The Epoch Times,
which I started distributing January 2004.  I told them how I had
attended rallies, peaceful protests at the Chinese Consulate in L.A. on
the weekends, participated in clarifying the truth about the
persecution and about The Epoch Times
I told my colleagues about the evils committed by the CCP and that one
cannot believe what they say.  By being somewhat well-versed in
their history through reading "The Nine Commentaries," I could provide
them with examples about what the CCP has done to China and the need
for Americans to be aware of what's really going on there.  One
day, my supervisor actually asked me about "The Nine Commentaries"
since he had heard a reference to it on a news program.  The
following day I gave him the book and spoke a little bit about it with
him.  The fact that he accepted it meant that his adversarial
stance towards Falun Dafa had softened somewhat.

During one of our weekly meetings, the chief operating officer, who was
very interested in Buddhism and regularly made trips to a monastery in
India, brought up the topic of meditation.  He was curious to know
if the traders would be interested in the benefits of meditation. 
I could hear many of them whispering remarks mocking the
suggestion.  The suggestion really was something out of the blue
but also something the other traders just couldn't warm up to even when
suggested by the chief operating officer.  I went to talk to the
chief operating officer a couple of days later about the meditation and
gave him my copy of China Falun Gong
as an introduction to Falun Gong.  He read it in its entirety and
very much enjoyed it.  He explained to me that he was interested
in all kinds of Buddhist-related material.  As long as he had a
positive view of Falun Dafa, I felt that that's a good start.

Throughout my time in L.A., I was very much bogged down by my workload
and I tried to figure out how I could do a better job of the Three
Things in the Fa-Rectification period.  Clearly, my work situation
was a form of interference that I was not handling particularly
well.  So I had to look within to see if I was clinging to
attachments or if there were gaps in my cultivation that were causing
me to lead this lifestyle.

Ever since I was a young teenager, I've known what my career goals were
and what I had to do to achieve them.  But could my ongoing
pursuit of career goals be an attachment?  Was it detracting from
other aspects of life?  Success in mortgage trading can be very
financially rewarding.  All of my superiors were quite
wealthy.  And for my colleagues, working 12, 13, 14+ hour days is
well worth the sacrifice for the chance to strike it rich.  But I
did not want to pursue the goal of having the kind of money like my
superiors.  That kind of behavior would not be consistent with the
Fa.  And the pursuit of money was one thing creating imbalances in
my life and it was not enabling me to do well the Three Things in the
Fa-Rectification Period.  So was it necessary to continue this way
given all that was going through my mind?  I felt not.  I
came to the conclusion that it was time to take a new direction in
life.  It would be a step into the unknown but I have faith in
Master and from my lowly level, I could only conclude that there were
certain things that I still needed to enlighten to in order to progress
in cultivation.  I felt I needed to have a better balance in my
life with work, Dafa and other aspects of life.

I also had to give up the attachment to self, to pride in what my job
was or being of a certain social standing.  I believe one of my
attachments is to be in a safe, secure situation with few
uncertainties.  I made a step into the unknown when I decided to
leave L.A. and it forced me to directly confront some these
attachments.  I now have to deal with the task of re-inventing
myself and being in a very different situation from my peers.  But
I welcome this new challenge eagerly.  This is yet another twist
in my cultivation path.  From "Teaching the Fa at the Conference
in Vancouver, Canada, in 2003":  "Master is compassionate and
he'll definitely arrange for you what's the best".  As long as we
are able to realize what our attachments are and take actions to
eliminate them, as drastic as those actions may be, we can make
progress in cultivation and be able to do the Three Things even better.

I also wanted to briefly share some understandings I've come to during
the Fa-Rectification period.  As we validate the Fa, we must
exemplify the Fa's qualities.  We must be benevolent and
compassionate.  We cannot be moved by emotions and desires. 
We should not come across as zealots but rather show the world what
good people we are as practitioners of Falun Dafa.

Fa Study is something that we must all do exceedingly well.  By
studying the Fa, one of my understandings is that at a very basic
level, we increase our chances of having the Fa's guidance when we need
it most.  A practitioner recently asked me, "How do we know we've
made progress in cultivation?"  I thought, when making split
second decisions or even more major decisions, do we have all the
principles of the Fa at our fingertips?  In our every day lives,
are we able to think righteously?  Can we honestly say that we now
handled a certain situation differently (and better from a Fa
perspective) than we would have as an ordinary person?  I think if
we can answer affirmatively those questions, then we've made progress
in cultivation.

Fa Study has to be a top priority for all cultivators as it is one of
the Three Things Master asked us to do.  To this end, I felt that
I could accommodate a group Fa Study in my place in Los Angeles. 
We began in April 2005 and every Tuesday night we'd read a chapter and
then discuss it and share our experiences.  From week to week,
we'd have anywhere from two to seven practitioners attending (myself
included).  If nobody was able to make it, I'd make sure I'd keep
up the routine.  I strongly believed that consistency and
regularity were important as well as establishing a place in West L.A.
where people could come for Fa Study going forward.  Occasionally,
a new person would be referred to me and this would be a great way to
talk to them about Dafa.  

Having my place for Fa Study every Tuesday night gave a few
practitioners who hadn't participated in a large group Fa Study the
chance to get involved in a small, comfortable setting.  I think
it is surprising how many potential Fa-Rectification disciples are out
there that just need to be reached out to.  One lady who regularly
attended remarked that she had never really participated in group Fa
Study before and that she was grateful that I was able to hold it at my
place.  This enabled her to get more involved with the activities
that the L.A. group was undertaking during the Fa-Rectification period
and thus enable her and all of us to share and cultivate together and
better do what Master asked of us.  

I recall one night, a fellow practitioner said that she had been
contacted by a man who was visiting from Philadelphia.  He was
very interested in Falun Dafa but that she had no time to go over it
with him.  So she suggested he go to my place and I welcomed him,
a little unsure what to expect but still with an open, compassionate
mind.  He was a middle-aged African-American man who planned on
taking the bus back to Philadelphia after we were done.  We spoke
about Falun Dafa briefly and he indicated that he wanted to buy the
book.  So I suggested we read lecture one, alternating paragraphs
like we would do for Fa Study.  It was just he and I and we read
the entire lecture without stopping as if we had read it many times
before.  The practitioner who had suggested that he come to my
place returned and took him back to the bus station.  She had some
concerns about taking a total stranger to the bus station but I said
that there was nothing to worry about.  It was a unique experience
to have been able to study the Fa with a total stranger who had never
read Zhuan Falun before.  I've always had an attachment to doing
things within my comfort zone.  Welcoming a total stranger into my
home, somebody who wasn't even a practitioner, to spend a weeknight
studying the Fa, was totally unheard of for me.  Such an act
confronted my attachment of preferring to do things that are within my
comfort zone.  But I realized that I had just gotten over this
attachment and potentially helped somebody obtain the Fa.

To share a brief example on how I think I've gotten rid of an
attachment and progressed according to the Fa, let me share an
experience about soccer.  I've always loved playing soccer and
watching soccer.  I still play in an organized league today and I
remember watching soccer dating back to the 1982 World Cup, 24 years
ago.  So it's always been a part of my life.  It is very easy
to become overly attached to a team's fortunes and there's also a
competitive aspect involved when playing.  Master actually
referred to the demon nature of soccer fans.  While I have been
able to tone down my competitive mentality when playing, I also have
been able to detach myself from the fortunes of my favorite soccer
team.  I feel that I'm able to follow what is going on objectively
without being emotionally attached as if neutral to the outcome. 
I don't feel bad if my team loses and I'm able to move on and get on
with my life.  These may sound like trivial things to many people
but I think it is a huge improvement for me.  I have also
channeled my interest in soccer into writing for The Epoch Times.  I wrote several articles about the recently completed World Cup as I felt it was important for The Epoch Times to cover it.  I feel that we all can contribute to The Epoch Times based on our interests and capabilities.

Add new comment