Cherish This Rare Opportunity
Experience sharing at the 2009 Los Angeles Fa Conference
Greetings Master. Greeting fellow Practitioners.
We should cherish this rare opportunity to meet together and learn and improve from each other’s experiences. My level is limited, so please point out anything inappropriate. Although my cultivation has had its ups and downs, I’ve been able to continue due to Master’s benevolent protection and by making Fa study the cornerstone of my cultivation.
I was introduced to Falun Dafa in the summer of 2004 by a friend of mine. I had seen the unbelievable changes in him from practicing Dafa and I was eager to learn the practice for myself. I quickly read Falun Gong and taught myself the exercises. Although I didn’t believe everything I read at that point, I could see the goodness of Dafa from the very beginning, and could hardly contain my excitement in learning it. I practiced the exercises every chance I got and was amazed at the wonderful, peaceful feeling that came with practice.
Although the first few weeks were blissful, Master was taking care of me, and I entered into a period of karma elimination. Every night for about a week, my heart felt like it was on fire. The pain really was like nothing I’d ever experienced before. The pain would last all night, and when the sun came up the next day, it would recede. Once night fell, it would return. This cycle went on for several days before I decided to go to the hospital. When I got to the hospital, doctors hooked me up to an electrocardiogram machine, which was reading as though I was having a heart attack. The doctors were at a loss for what was causing the problem. One group thought I was suffering from a rare heart virus, while the other group thought I had congenital heart defects and would require immediate heart surgery. Despite their grim diagnosis, I decided right there that I was not sick and I would cultivate in Dafa. I’ve never had a problem since. Doctors were equally confused about how I got instantly better, without any medication or surgery. Their professional diagnosis was, “It’s just one of those things.” Although there were still some gaps in my mind, I had definite proof about the power of Dafa.
Over the next year though, I only practiced on and off. I didn’t know about Zhuan Falun, so there was a lot about cultivation I didn’t understand. However, I did have recurring dreams about another Dafa book besides Falun Gong that I should be looking for. Eventually though, Zhuan Falun found me. A year after I first learned about Dafa, my friend who first told me about Dafa came to California for a visit with his girlfriend, who is also a practitioner. She gave me a copy of Zhuan Falun and the three of us went to a practice site. I read the book quickly and was again amazed at the profound content within Dafa. After I finished the book, I noticed that if I were to randomly open the book, the page I turned to would be discussing exactly the things that I was experiencing. I told this to my friend’s girlfriend and she casually mentioned that many practitioners read a lecture a day. Since then I’ve made sure to study the Fa everyday.
From this experience, I realized something very important about talking to people about Dafa. If we talk very naturally about Dafa, people will understand us. For example, thinking back, I can see how my knowledge of science was both a boundary, and an asset in learning Dafa. There were some things that were hard for me to accept right away based on the concepts I had formed in everyday people’s society. But at the same time, I had been learning about modern physics at my university and that really opened my eyes to the complexities of the universe and that most of how the current scientific community understands the universe is so far removed from everyday experiences that a person really can’t rely on their own limited personal experiences to understand things. In a sense, what I was learning about science actually helped me accept Dafa more easily because I was in a place were I was willing to accept what was outside my own experiences. The point I understood is that everyone has the experiences necessary to understand Dafa. So long as we speak naturally, a person will have no problems understanding us. If they can’t, the problem probably lies with oneself, and not the other person.
So over the following years I kept cultivating myself and kept reading Zhuan Falun and Master’s recent lectures. I did my best to let people know about Dafa and the persecution, and I always tried to hold myself to a high standard so people could see the goodness of Dafa through my actions.
There were three big turning points for me in the process of maturing as a Dafa disciple. The first was when I began to Send Forth Righteous Thoughts. The second was when I began working for NTDTV. The third was when I joined a group study. The main thing that these three things have in common, from my perspective, is that they all are an aspect of joining together as one body. I had been cultivating on my own for most of my early cultivation, and I can see where there might be the temptation to think one can stay isolated and just handle Dafa things alone. But that is going astray. Master has said, “What we cultivate is very immense, which is the same as cultivating the entire universe.” How can we do that on our own? How can we not include other Dafa disciples? If anything is excluded it will not constitute a complete universe. Unfortunately, there seems to be this problem with L.A. practitioners. I think many have felt that the energy in L.A. is off somehow. The Chinese and Western practitioners have been having problems integrating well and practitioners still harbor resentments towards each other. Resentment is just sentiment. I know I’m guilty of this mentality too. This is a major barrier that we must break through together.
I think doing the exercises, especially doing the exercises in a group, is a major factor that determines the quality of our improvement and our ability to solve problems. The exercises enhance wisdom. With our wisdom enhanced, we will be able to solve problems quickly. I’ve realized that the environment we create when we come together to practice or to study is extremely important. Not only can it help us improve rapidly, but it is also setting a culture for future generations. For a time, I didn’t genuinely put my heart into doing the exercises as much as possible. I thought the Three Things were more important. But then I gradually came to the realization that the exercises are a part of the Three Things. Can you say that one is truly studying the Fa if they don’t put the Fa into action? Isn’t doing the exercise part of putting the Fa into action? From this understanding, I came to see the Three Things in a different light. I saw that the Three Things were something like Zhen-Shan-Ren. Each one fully encompasses the others. If one is truly studying the Fa, one will act according to the Fa. And if one acts according to the Fa, they will be sending righteous thoughts and clarifying the truth. Now I truly understand what Master meant when he said studying the Fa is the key.
I also think it will be a good idea if Westerners can try to learn a little Chinese. I know it’s difficult; I’ve been trying to do it myself and I know it’s difficult. But it’s not impossible. I don’t believe anything is impossible anymore. When I think about what Master has accomplished, its something that no being in the cosmos ever dared even imagine before. I don’t think we’ll ever truly understand what Master has had to go through to make Fa-Rectification successful. Any other being would have said it was impossible. But Master did it. So thinking about that, I certainly think that a Fa-Rectification period Dafa disciple is more than capable of learning another language.
Here’s something I’ve been doing that I’d like to share: the Internet browser Firefox has an add-on program called Chinese Pera-kun. This application lets you put your cursor over a Chinese character, and it will display the pinyin and definitions of that word. I’ve been doing that to “Lunyu.” I write down the character, the pinyin, and the definition. I take it in sections and I try to write it out from memory. This way, I’m not only learning Chinese, I’m memorizing the Fa too! Give it a try yourself and you might be amazed at the results. Pretty soon you can be saying, “Fo Fa shi zui jing shen de.”
I’m very much looking forward to this New Year and seeing all the great strides we will make together.
Thank you Master. Thank you fellow Practitioners.