My Path of Cultivation So Far
Experience Sharing from the 2009 Canada Fa Conference
[PureInsight.org] Greetings, benevolent Master. Greetings fellow practitioners.
I am a western practitioner from Toronto.
I would like to share with you my humble experience on the path of cultivation so far.
A year and a half ago, I found myself in limbo. I had previously left school, but did not know what to do next. I remember vividly lying on the ground, on autumn grass, tired from searching and filled with yearning for the Divine, begging silently for God to show me the way. My heart was filled with tears and I was saying, “Please God, I want to tell you that I’ll wait for you for eternity, but if you have something to show me, please, I am ready.”
A week later, I read an experience sharing article by a Dafa practitioner on one of the internet forums, where he was sharing that he was doing extreme sports, fell from a mountain cliff, broke both of his arms, and later came to Dafa, which miraculously healed both of his arms—and he is now a Dafa practitioner. The moment I heard those words “Falun Dafa,” even before I learned the exercises or read Zhuan Falun, I knew I would be practicing in this school. I dove into the practice wholeheartedly. When I saw the two videos made by practitioners: “Eternal Story” and “Legend for the Future,” I was moved by the sacredness of what I was allowed to enter into and decided to be even more diligent.
Soon, I started working on first translating articles for the Russian version of Clearwisdom.net, and then the Russian PureInsight website and the Russian Epoch Times, which I am doing to this day. I feel that our Master has arranged every step of our paths. For a period of time before cultivation in Dafa, I was not working, since I was meditating for long periods of time and was often in a daze. It is like how Master says, “…For those of you who work in an office, if you are in a daze while you sit there, how can you write your materials and such? If you can’t complete the work well, it may even lead to danger! If a worker works while in a daze he might, while not paying attention, stick his hand into the machine’s gears. If you work at a place high off the ground and are in a daze, you might take a fall. Doesn’t that create a safety issue at the workplace?” (“Teaching the Fa in Bejing at the Zhuan Falun Publication Ceremony”)
Master provided me with an opportunity to find a job that is not very strenuous and allows for time to do Dafa projects. When I first started cultivating in Dafa, I could not understand nor appreciate the need for studying the Fa, and I felt that doing Dafa projects, although necessary, took away from what I can experience through meditation. I was still doing it because I had faith in everything Master told us to do, but I could not appreciate it from personal experience. However, very soon I realized how magnificent those things are. I am cultivating in a partially unlocked state, and although I can’t see too many things, after my third eye opened up, Master opened up for me a sense of feeling and I can feel what Master is doing with my body or how he pours energy or works on my third eye. I know he is always present. Master said in Zhuan Falun: “Everyone knows that our school of practice does not shun ordinary human society in cultivation practice, and neither does it avoid or run away from conflicts.”
Before Dafa I was a loner and always wanted to escape from society and people. I was practicing meditation for long hours and had a notion that being around people for too long would obstruct my practice. This not only caused a lot of suffering for me personally, but also to my family, which could not understand it. When I came to Dafa, I still had those notions and was finding ways to “hide,” even while doing the exercises. Since my main consciousness is stronger now, I feel it is about time to find a professional job and be a good member of society. At the moment of writing this article, I am in the process of looking for a job in my profession. I also try to find opportunities to do the exercises outside, near the Chinese consulate or in other parts of the city with other practitioners and spend meaningful time sharing experiences with other practitioners.
Dafa’s miraculous powers are revealed daily, but here I would like to talk more about the challenges I face while overcoming attachments. One of the attachments I made an effort of letting go of is “cultivating no second way.” I had to break through emotional attachments to my previous school and previous teacher who opened my third eye. One time my previous teacher was coming to Toronto from his country and he wrote to me, asking if I wanted to see him. This was a very difficult test. Tears flowed from my eyes. I went to my room, sat near Master’s portrait near my bed, put my hand on Master’s heart and the other hand on my heart and asked Master to strengthen me. I said that I only wish to cultivate in Dafa and I am a Dafa disciple. After a while, I felt calm. There were other instances when I wanted to contact my previous teacher, to ask a question about cultivation. During those times, he would say: “You should go back to Dafa.” It was a hint for me that one can’t swim in two boats.
About three to four months ago, I was again interfered with. I felt a longing to do something artistic. I did not have much time to paint, so I danced instead. I danced to mantras, and although I felt guilty and uncomfortable doing that, I still continued, because I did not know what to do. Dancing gave me a lot of joy. Later, I even started going to a temple to dance with others, making an excuse for myself that I just went there to dance and not listen to their teachings. When I would go to a temple, the Falun would rotate very fast, and I would feel uncomfortable, but I still continued going there, because I just wanted to dance with others. This lasted for three weeks, until I came to a breaking point where I could not do it anymore. A practitioner shared with me that I might consider joining a dance team if I want to dance, instead of doing those things. I had a lot of notions about dancing with other practitioners, such as, my dancing is not good enough or my body is not slim enough or strong enough, or that it would take time from studying the Fa. Now, looking back, I feel that Master arranged it this way, to help me do what I enjoy and save sentient beings.
Once I started to spend more time with fellow practitioners, I quickly learned that I don’t like to be criticized and practitioners compassionately pointed this out to me. I realized that what does not like to change are the post-natal notions and ideas and not me. So, I made a determination to let go of my shield and open up to criticism or suggestions from practitioners. Once I did that, I realized that it was not as terrible as I thought it would be and those are precious opportunities to grow. I also learned not to respond or react right away when things are being pointed out to me and to just let it percolate for a while. The initial reaction is always based on emotions that prevent us from seeing the true picture. I realized that whenever I start defending myself (my notions), it is exactly the opportunity to look within. This issue was (and still is) very hard for me. I’ve gone a long way from “lashing out externally in defense,” to “lashing out internally in defense,” to “holding myself from lashing out in defense,” to finally being quiet both internally and externally when practitioners are sharing things with me, and allowing myself both the time and space to look inwards. Master tells us that nothing we encounter is without a reason and all is part of our cultivation and even a third party should ask themselves why they are allowed to see it. I said to myself, “From now on, regardless of whether it is true or false, I’ll listen patiently to anything being said to me and reflect quietly upon it in earnestness.” One thing I realized about letting go of attachments is that it feels very hard to do at that time, but when I finally manage to let go of it, there is a sense of ease and lightness, since Master removes that substance from our bodies. Attachments are really like baggage that we carry on our backs, and when we let go of them, there is a sense of weightlessness, feeling like a feather.
One of the big changes for me was the change of focus from personal cultivation and the focus on the self, towards saving sentient beings. Sometimes I find it hard to balance those two things, but I feel that one is not possible to do without the other. If I don’t spend time cultivating myself and doing what a Dafa disciple should do, I can’t do a good job at saving sentient beings, and my words don’t carry the power and compassion of a being on the path to Godhood. And if I over-emphasize on self-cultivation, in reality I become stuck and can’t move forward, because my heart is not wide enough to allow for that to happen. Sometimes funny things happen. For instance, when I go to bed with earplugs, sometimes I wake up without them very close to the time of sending forth righteous thoughts. I wonder if maybe it is Master who is pulling out the earplugs for me not to miss SFRT time.
I try not to miss out on opportunities to hand out flyers and clarify the truth in person when I meet people in my daily life, be it at work, in shops, on the street, or in an elevator. I find that one does not need to say much, just an open heart, a smile and the courage to step forward is all that is needed. If I do well in cultivation, it reflects in my work of clarifying the truth, and if my righteous thoughts are not strong, this too reflects in it and people sometimes turn away or don’t want to hear the truth or obtain a flyer. But when my personal cultivation state is good, then my truth clarifying activities go smoothly as well. My bosses do not allow me to clarify the truth while working, but I learned my lesson and just do it wisely. Without zealotry, I talk to people with predestined relationships, since saving sentient beings is sacred and is our duty. I clarify the truth to people of other faiths and religions as well, since those are sentient beings waiting to be saved. A few of my friends from the Ukraine, who were practicing another religion, came to Dafa as a whole family. Hopefully, other people can form a relationship with Dafa through learning the truth and become practitioners in the next phase. I also take the work of spreading the Fa seriously and talk about Dafa, teach the exercises, or give Zhuan Falun to people with predestined relationships to read. Of course, there is always room for improvement. I’ll try to do better from now on.
At the last conference in New York, I had to leave shortly before Master came, so I ended up listening to the lecture while sitting on the stairs. It was somewhat symbolic of the fact that I am not part of the One Body yet. Hopefully, I can do better and be part of the One Body. I don’t want to take more of your time. I feel very grateful to be part of the Fa Rectification and helping Master in saving sentient beings.
Thank you, fellow practitioners!
Thank you, benevolent Master!