My Cultivation

A Practitioner from San Diego

PureInsight | October 21, 2006

[] (San Diego Fahui 2006)
Sometime in April or May of 2003, my wife, Rong, picked up a VCD at 99
Ranch Market.  It was about Falun Gong.  It didn't make too
much of an impression on me because it was in Chinese and my Chinese is
limited to a dozen or so words.  But it did impress her, so when
she said she wanted to learn the exercises I had no objections. 
We found out that the exercises were going to be taught at a recreation
center some distance from our home on a Wednesday night, so I made
plans to come home directly after school, rather than stay there and
grade papers or prepare for lessons for the following day.

We arrived early at the center. Being early is one of my major
attachments, as well as being a German stereotype. We had to wait for
about 15 to 20 minutes before the instructor arrived, so we wandered
about the recreation center and amused ourselves with small talk. 
Finally, a well-dressed Chinese businessman arrived carrying a variety
of materials.  He asked us to help him put up a banner that said
"Falun Dafa" and a table on which he laid out his materials.  Then
he explained to the people who had gathered to participate in learning
the exercises a little bit about Falun Gong and the benefits that arise
from practicing. I believe he may have even shown a video, but I can't
really recall.  After that he taught us the exercises.  We
went through them two or three times and that was it.  

My wife was really impressed and asked for some of the materials to
take home to read. The instructor freely gave her the material. 
She also asked if we could purchase the exercise video.  He told
us that the cost was ten dollars and that it was his only copy.  I
only had a twenty and he didn't have any change.  So in the end he
gave us the video.  On the way to the car, Rong said she wanted to
go to another session which was to be held a few days later.  I
had nothing against it, so I said ok.  I think that I should tell
you that my wife is somewhat directionally challenged.  What I
mean is she has trouble finding her way to and from places she's never
been.  And in San Diego, at that time it meant everywhere. 
She and I had only been married for about three years.  We met
when I was on my way back from a vacation to Northern British Columbia,
the Yukon, and Southeast Alaska.  To make a long story short, it
takes some time for her to acquaint herself to a new area, especially
if it isn't logically laid out.  So when she wants to go somewhere
I naturally have to take her.  

We went to the next session and met other Falun Dafa practitioners. I
was really impressed by how nice and considerate the people were, so I
thought that it would be a good thing for us to get involved with
them.  You see, I was somewhat concerned about Rong. In the time
we had been married, she had gone from having daily contact with
Chinese friends and neighbors in Vancouver to not having any contact
with Chinese people at all.  I was worried that she was feeling
isolated and cut off from her world. So I thought to myself that this
is something that would be of comfort and benefit to her and since I
loved her, it was something I could do to ensure her happiness, even if
only in a small way.  But at that time I didn't know what I was
letting myself in for.

For the next several months, we practiced the exercises at home and
Rong read the Chinese material the practitioner had given her at the
workshop.  It seemed that he didn't have any English material to
lend out.

After the end of the school year, we went to visit Rong's son Fred
(Qing) in Vancouver.  He had decided to stay there, even though we
had asked him to stay with us.  This was when we first came across
negative information and attitudes toward Falun Gong. Fred was
certainly poisoned by the CCP's propaganda and was dead set against the
practice.  So we laid low and didn't push things.  At that
time, we were still new practitioners and hadn't come to understand the
three things that all practitioners must do.  We stayed in
Vancouver for about three weeks and then headed back to San
Diego.  Once back, Rong tried to call some of the practitioners
she knew but no one was in San Diego. They were all in Washington D. C.
at something called a Fa Hui.  We didn't have a clue as to what a
Fa Hui was, so we waited.  

In the meantime, I went to Borders bookstore and ordered a copy of Zhuan Falun
Rong had been trying to tell me about the Fa but I just wasn't getting
it. Well, after I got the book, I tried to follow the advice I had been
given and just read it without analyzing or thinking about what it
said.  I can tell you, I was not successful at it.  I did
suspend judgment, but it wasn't easy and it hasn't gotten any easier.

At that time, we also participated in our first Fa studies and
parade.  I enjoyed the atmosphere of the Fa studies.  And I
was impressed with the sincerity of the people who participated. 
Parading on the other hand, though fun, was also difficult.  I
have always had difficulty with physical activity that required
coordinated movement.  As a teenager and young adult, though the
style of dancing required no particular skill, I always managed to look
awkward and uncoordinated.  In regular sports, I can hold my own
but I no great or even good athlete. I always participated with the
idea that I would do my best and improve myself to the best of my

Well, any way, learning how to drum and march at the same time was
difficult.  First off, I always wanted to start out on my right
foot.  Secondly, I have never been able to keep a rhythm with both
hands.  So you can imagine that I felt totally out of place. 
However, the feeling of working together with my fellow practitioners
and their encouragement counter-balanced any of the negative feelings
that I had and thoughts of quitting.  Today, I can actually march
and play at the same time.  I can usually keep step with the
others and have learned how to keep the beat with both hands.  And
this is quite a feat for someone whose opinion of himself was that he
was a lost cause when it came to performing intricate physical

How does this relate to my cultivation you may ask?  Just as I
still find myself sometimes out of step with the rest of the drum team
during a parade, I also find myself out of step in my understanding of
the FA.  And as with how I learned to persevere in letting go of
my inhibitions and negative ideas about my abilities to master the
drum, so too am I still learning to let go of the attachments that I
have in accepting the Fa.  Master has said that each one of us has
his or her own path to cultivate and that we each are at our own unique
level in our understanding of the Fa.  Moreover, more importantly,
we must look within ourselves for the sources of our tribulations and
difficulties.  So even though, I may question many of the ideas
and beliefs that make up my understanding of the Fa, I know that by
persevering and diligently studying the Fa that I will eventually be
able to keep in pace with the current of Fa rectification.

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