PureInsight | August 6, 2006
[PureInsight.org] (Washington, D.C. Fa Conference, 2006)
I obtained the Fa in the first week of July of 1999.
On February of 2002, I went to Beijing to meet other practitioners on
Tiananmen Square for a peaceful protest. It seemed that the entire
square was filled with security agents on that day of our planned
gathering. As the time for our gathering approached, I saw that
practitioners were getting arrested on the square. It looked hopeless
to carry out our plan. I was alone and needed to make a choice: should
I just go home safely, or should I use this opportunity to validate the
Fa? I asked, can I really step forward and risk everything of myself
for the truth? Yes. I stood alone in front of the Monument to the
People's Heroes and unfurled a large banner.
After getting arrested, they moved me to a room at the basement of a
hotel. In that dark room, I was surrounded by police and was
interrogated and threatened for hours. They tried to convince me to
give up Falun Gong. In that evil environment, I experienced the power
of sending righteous thoughts. While in detention for many hours I
wanted to be fully conscious at all times and didn't sleep. While awake
in the middle of the night, it dawned on me that although I was a U.S.
citizen, I might not be able to return home safely. For the first time
while in China, I became deeply afraid about the possibility of being
tortured. I carefully reexamined my faith in the Fa and became more
rational, and overcame much of my fears. I vowed to cultivate more
solidly. On the following day, I was expelled from China and headed
After getting a small taste of the persecution in China, I had deeper
respect for the main body of practitioners who are cultivating and
clarifying the truth in such a harsh environment.
It was good to be back home safely in the U.S. Although I had risked
everything in China, I still had a long way to go in cultivation.
It seems that cultivating in this complicated ordinary society is much
harder than giving up ones life. In this comfortable life where
immediate benefits and temptations are all around, I have occasionally
slacked off. I didn't always measure myself according to the Fa. Too
often, I have measured my self with the principles of ordinary people.
A practitioner once said to me that no matter how much we do, it's
never enough. That may be true. However, that can't be an excuse for
doing less. We must always strive to do better and better according to
the Fa to save as much people as possible. And we must do all of this
while properly balancing the three things with our ordinary life.
I like to share with you how I improved in cultivation and where I have failed and need to improve.
Cultivating with the Epoch Times
Over the past year, I have been focusing much of my efforts in clarifying the truth with the English Epoch Times.
Over a year ago, when the Washington, DC edition of the English Epoch Times was getting started, I hesitated to take on responsibilities for the paper.
At the time, I was delivering the Chinese Epoch Times
twice a week while maintaining a demanding full-time job and
occasionally spent long hours helping with various other Dafa work. And
I felt that I was already doing a lot.
I was measuring myself like an ordinary person instead of strictly
measuring myself with the requirements of the Fa. Actually, I was
attached to the little bit of comfort and freedom I was enjoying at the
time. And I didn't want to commit to what seemed like another part-time
One of our most serious problems with the English Epoch Times
has been and still is the lack of resources and the number of dedicated
staff members. I was concerned for the future of the paper in the
Washington, DC area. I used to rely on others to resolve this. But
after a while, I realized it wasn't right to rely on others. I should
walk my own path. So, I asked myself: what more can I do? I knew that I
could do more if I sacrificed more of my freedom and spare time. It was
a painful process to give up even a little bit of this attachment. As I
let go of more attachments, I was able to do more for the English Epoch Times.
In the face of challenges and uncertainties of how to manage and
operate a newspaper business, I was initially frustrated by the level
of support from our local practitioners in contributing to the success
of the English Epoch Times in
Washington, DC. Then I realized that everyone must walk their own path.
If someone doesn't agree with me, it's not right for me to get upset
thinking: how then can we get this done? I shouldn't rely on others to
walk my path. In the face of difficulties, when I look inside myself, I
often realize what more I can do. Sometimes, even when a goal initially
seemed impossible to achieve, I have later experienced that it can be
achieved with faith and guidance from the Fa.
Of course, certain things really need to be coordinated. And when
practitioners don't agree and don't work well together, I still
shouldn't get upset. When I look inside myself, I can often find
attachments. Sometimes, I simply didn't communicate things well because
I was not diligent enough. When I put in the time and effort to explain
things more clearly and deeply, then cooperation tends to improve.
In the past, when serious difficulties developed, I considered quitting the Epoch Times.
I was sometimes thinking like an ordinary person trying to avoid pain
or pursuing comfort. Actually, there is no use in running away from a
problem. The attachment and karma will follow me where ever I go. When
I feel pain from a conflict, isn't that due to some attachment? Isn't
this a great chance to recognize and let go attachments and upgrade
xinxing? After coming to terms with this, when difficulties arise, I no
longer have serious thoughts of quitting the Epoch Times.
The Washington, DC edition of the English Epoch Times
is a weekly paper, and we have multiple deadlines every week. The
process of reporting, editing, layout, proofing, and delivery have to
be done correctly in order to produce and deliver a quality paper each
week. Sometimes, I don't feel like doing a certain task. But that is
just a human feeling. As a cultivator, I don't rely on my human
feelings as much as I used to. When a task needs to be done, with a
clear focus of what I'm doing and the good reason for why, I simply
make a choice to get it done, regardless of how I feel.
When I have strong faith in the Fa and righteous thoughts, I can really take suffering as joy.
Importance of Being Diligent
I have made significant progress in cultivation over the years and
accomplished some things. However, certain attachments and old habits
For a long time, I have been prioritizing things I need to do. And
often, I neglected things that I considered to be very low priority
with the excuse that the important things were being properly handled
and that the minor things shouldn't cause serous problems. Many of
these low priority things were related to my ordinary work and family.
After some time, these things that I regarded as being low priority
accumulated into problems that started to get serious.
These problems are actually an indication of a larger problem in my
cultivation. I have not been diligent in all aspects of cultivation and
I have not been doing the exercises regularly.
In my cultivation, I diligently worked hard on removing attachments
that seemed serious. However, I slacked off in removing attachments
that seemed minor. I use to think that they are not serious problems
and that I'll always have enough chance to eliminate such trivial
attachments in the future. Due this slacking off in cultivation, I
didn't use every minute of available time wisely.
Also, I didn't practice the exercises regularly with the excuse that
I'm too busy. On some days, it's arguable that I really don't have time
to do the exercises. But I have no excuse for not doing the exercises
for weeks at a time.
I often felt tired. With a tired body, I have not been using my time
efficiently and wasted precious time. This led to not having enough
time to balance things well between my full-time job, family, and even
certain truth clarification projects.
Also, with a tired body, the quality of my Fa study and sending
righteous thoughts degraded as well. It seems that doing the exercises
is an integral part of doing the three things well.
A practitioner suggested that I do less for the English Epoch Times to resolve this issue.
But that's not acceptable. One of the most serious problems with the Epoch Times is the lack of dedicated staff members. How can I consider doing less?
I need to do better in everything. I stand before practitioners to declare that I will improve.
Truth and Compassion
I use to wonder why Master told us that all that we do in
Fa-rectification is really for our own selves. This seems to contradict
Compassion and saving others without condition. Why did Master tell us
this? Is it a test?
After the great persecution broke out in China in 1999, during the time
when Master was quiet for a long time, many practitioners selflessly
clarified the truth. I also clarified the truth while making sacrifices
without any conditions and without thoughts of gaining from Dafa.
So, for a long time, I thought that I can be just as diligent in
cultivation and truth clarification for the sake of others without any
benefits for myself. However, my past performance in cultivation shows
that I'm not so pure. I can sacrifice a great deal for others without
condition, but can I really give it my all to save people? Can I really
use every good opportunity and every available minute of my life to
save people? I have often slacked off with attachments to my own
comfort and freedom, thinking: it's alright to focus on doing the major
things, besides I've already done so much.
The Fa can motivate us and help us to be more diligent, not just to
save our own selves, but also to save countless sentient beings.
I realize now that Master was being very compassionate by teaching us
the Fa about how we are actually doing Fa-rectification things for
ourselves and the terrible consequences if we fail to do well. Master
is not merely testing us. He is really trying to save us all by
revealing more of the truth.
Now, I have a deeper understanding of what is meant by the "greatest mercy" and "infinite grace" during Fa-rectification.
This is just my limited understand at my current level.
I have been cultivating for seven years. And a few times, I developed
some painful doubts about the Fa because I was attached to some human
notions. In these difficult moments, I wanted to know the truth and I
was willing to give up Dafa for the truth. I felt that I wasn't
attached to Falun Dafa. In these troubling times, I reevaluated my
faith based on experience and reason. And each time, I emerged with a
greater faith in Dafa. The Fa is harmonious and has the greatest power
to explain life and the universe. When I obtained the Fa years ago, I
knew that I found the truth that I was looking for all my life. And I
have found It again and again in the course of cultivation. The truth
was in front of me all these years.