PureInsight | September 22, 2009
Experience sharing at the 2009 Washington D.C. Fa Conference
[PureInsight.org] Greetings respected Master and fellow practitioners.
It’s really a shame that since becoming a practitioner ten years ago this is the first time I have talked about my cultivation experiences at a Fa conference.
1. Obtaining the Fa
Throughout my youth I was an avid reader of all kinds of scriptures. I read practically anything I could find. I understood little of what I read, but I simply enjoyed reading them.
I went abroad in February 1999 and obtained the Fa the second month after that. I have not gone back to China since I left. I remember one day around that time I was browsing web pages on the Internet when a popular link “Falun Buddha Fa” popped up in front of my eyes. The four words shook my brain like a bomb, leaving me with regret that I had not come across them earlier. I thought to myself, “Having read many Buddhist scriptures since childhood, it should be safe to say that there are few Buddhist scriptures that I know nothing about. But why have I never heard of this Falun Buddha Fa at all, not to mention that it is a popular link? Why did I not know about it until now?” I printed out Zhuan Falun from the website that night and hurried to read it after going home and having dinner. I completed my first reading just when dawn came the next day. Thus began my rebirth. Every day I read Dafa eagerly to make up for the loss and regret that I had not obtained the Fa earlier.
During that period, Master seemed to cover me up to ward off any interference and disturbance and push me upward rapidly. I felt like riding on a rocket, shooting up to the sky. Later, when the persecution began, I did not hear any rumors or hearsay and I paid no attention to such things. I felt my cultivation was elevating as long as I kept learning Fa. There were not many hardships and difficulties and I did not make much effort; everything was done by Master.
2. Participating in the World
Later on, I participated in all kinds of anti-persecution tasks, did much work, and had contact with more fellow practitioners. Then trials like friction and xinxing hardships started to come. I saw and experienced much friction. Not knowing how to deal with it, I felt I was at a loss. For a very long time, though I completed a lot of tasks, I felt my cultivation had stalled. Then I came to realize that I had a very strong attachment. It was not until I overcame this attachment did I begin to stride forward in my cultivation.
Due to the impact of painful experiences I had in previous lives and the darkness and sordidness of things I had seen and felt in this life, I had an extraordinary aversion to the human world. I could clearly experience the way I felt about the human world when I descended from high above long ago. I was so very reluctant to enter such a filthy world. However, others had gone already and there could be no more delay. Therefore, I closed my eyes and dashed right down. After cultivation, other than reading Dafa scriptures, I would not dabble in anything mundane and ordinary for fear of being contaminated. Because of my inclination toward the Tao since childhood, I knew little about the ways of the world and people, and would not make an effort to understand. At the back of my mind a thought always said, “This is not the place where you should be. The three-dimensional world is so filthy that it does not deserve to be kept.” There was even a voice in my mind talking to me, saying, “This shell is so filthy. When I complete my cultivation, I will abandon you. I’ll leave you here and ascend by myself.”
Although I knew this was not correct thinking, for a long time I failed to rectify it. I still clung to ideas left in me from pursuing minor paths and disliked contact with people. I felt that I had learned many things about other dimensions and knew them clearly through studying the Fa, but once I came to the human world I had no clue at all. However, in cultivation of the righteous Fa many matters require cooperation and communication. Since I did not know how to get along with people and was also influenced by the communist party culture, my communication and contact with people often resulted in serious friction and blockage. I was not willing to change myself or learn how to resolve it and thus my cultivation stagnated.
After being enlightened by a series of lectures Master gave during that period, participating in the Heavenly Orchestra, and watching the Shen Yun performance, I finally made a breakthrough. I realized that Dafa corrects the human world and the human body. These are examples to be set for future mankind. Many good things in the human world will be preserved. As a practitioner of Falun Dafa, I should learn about the world and cannot evade things that I know nothing about. When I opened up my mind to learn the knowledge of ordinary people, including history, culture, and so forth, I felt much of what had blocked me in the past was suddenly burst open, and different dimensions and worlds, one after another, were opened up to me. Guided by Dafa, I gradually understood many profound teachings in the Fa that I had never understood before.
I realized that as dangerous, foreboding and filthy as the human world may be, it is the best place for cultivation. Gods intricately arranged the history in the human world so that everything would be ready for today’s proceedings in the universe. As shown by each part of human history, all the solemn and compelling chapters passed down have been collections of hardships that Master and Dafa disciples have weathered. All of these histories have laid the foundation for disciples today to understand Dafa deeply. Lives in the human world are connected to immeasurably vast dimensions and worlds. If disciples do not participate in the world, how can they keep their grand promise made before history began? How can they keep their promise to save valuable lives in the world and cultivate to attain a high cultivation status? Master has arranged the best and most convenient path for our cultivation of Dafa.
3. Repudiating Selfishness
In the past, I felt that it was very difficult to follow Master’s requirement that practitioners become selfless and correctly place others before ones own self. Observing my own impure thoughts, I did not know what it was like to become selfless and when I could cultivate that kind of selflessness.
One day an evaluation was done for all anchors at the NTDTV station; I did not receive very positive comments. Although I strove to appear calm outwardly, deep inside my mind ordinary thoughts of discontent started pouring out. I knew they were not my real self and fought hard to contain them. I tried hard to calm down and search inward: Why have I not made much progress since I began working as an anchor? How come I could not make a breakthrough? After hard soul searching, I finally came to a sudden realization. All these years, “I” had wanted to perform well, “I” had wanted to perform better before the camera, and “I” had wanted to improve my skills. It all came down to “me”; it had all been about selfishness. Attached to such a strong “self,” how could I make any progress? Does Master allow you to do this job so that you can show yourself off? Is NTDTV upheld by disciples to let you stand in the limelight? When I thought of this, I was astonished, as if stricken by thunder. After so many years of working on the mission of Fa rectification, knowingly or unwittingly I had harbored such a strong attachment and had maintained such a negative mindset. Is this not using Dafa, using so sacred and holy a mission as the Fa rectification and saving lives, for my own personal gain? This is committing a crime, a crime committed against Master, Dafa, and innumerable lives. I felt totally at a loss when I thought of this as if too astonished to have any thoughts. Afterwards I continued feeling this way for the whole day.
Looking back at the past, after all these years of cultivation, I saw that I was still selfish. The same selfishness had persisted from birth until now. I had gone through different lives and lived for generations and yet remained selfish all along. The new universe is selfless, however, and I had been so terribly wrong for so long. The root of “me’s” had been wrong all those lives. At that moment, I felt each cell and each particle in my body stirring from the macrocosmic level to the microcosmic level. I kneeled down in front of Master’s Fa image and cried. I told Master from the bottom of my heart, “Master, I was wrong; I will definitely change.” After this event, I truly felt reborn, and the root of ingrained selfishness had been eradicated. Life in the new universe is altruistic, and I have felt the happiness and contentment one may experience when putting others first in cultivation. Afterwards, while I still often lapse into selfishness during my daily cultivation, the selfishness has diminished and is quite weak. As long as I pay attention to the remaining selfishness, it is easy to reject because its roots have already been eradicated. I have had a rebirth in this aspect.
As to broadcasting, it seems easy. What is the difference between a news broadcast on NTDTV and an ordinary news station’s broadcast? The objective for ordinary TV stations is to increase audience ratings, but NTDTV mainly has the mission of saving lives, which is different from seeking to improve audience ratings. Master said in “Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Atlanta Fa Conference,”
“As you clarify the truth, the words you speak and the energy you emit have the effect of intimidating and eliminating the evil. You are crucial in determining whether the beings in this world stay or get eliminated. If your words are pure and righteous they will really go right into the innermost part of people's thoughts, and instantly make people understand.”
Later in the lecture Master says,
“When you speak the truth, the words you say and the energy you issue are working to frighten and eliminate evil; you are the key to elimination or retention of the lives in the world. If your words are very pure and righteous, they really can hit the innermost thoughts of people, who will understand the truth immediately.”
I realized that in order to save lives during a news broadcast, I should send out pure, righteous, and strong energy. This is what Dafa requires us to do and what innumerable lives expect of us. When I really seize the time well to learn the Fa and practice, I feel that other dimensions are practically displayed right in front of me. My body is surrounded by radiant compassionate energy in other dimensions as each cell is bathed in Buddha light. When I am broadcasting news, I serve only as a medium to transmit the vast and mighty Buddha grace and pure righteous energy to the audience watching TV. However, when my cultivation does not measure up to the standard, negativity in other dimensions capitalize on the opportunity to disturb my body or thoughts. Sometimes when I am busy with other things and my body is extremely fatigued, I can only ask for Master’s support. I remember one time I was rushing around to do things and was so busy all day that I did not eat any food. When I was trying to put on makeup before I broadcast the midnight news, my hands were shaking. My whole body felt as if it was about to come loose. I felt dizzy and my head was spinning so much that it seemed like it would fall to the floor if I relaxed even a little bit. I thought in my mind over and over again: “Master, please give me strength. Please give me the strength.” When I stood in front of the camera, I actually felt no fatigue at all. What the audience saw on TV was a lively and energetic anchor.
4. Clear Away Thoughts of Grudges
When we work together on Dafa projects, conflicts are inevitable. As conflicts happen more often and are not resolved, barriers will form between us. Then, when I look at problems from a human perspective, I feel resentment. How can this situation be resolved? Recently, I calmed myself down and looked within myself very thoroughly. Suddenly, I understood something. Before, I always felt I needed to broaden my mind and forgive other’s mistakes. I realized that was not the key. Whenever a conflict happens, I shouldn’t worry about what others do or how bad they are. I should just keep one thing in mind, “There must be some attachment that I need to let go of.” Just look within yourself, your thoughts, how you acted, there has to be something that is unrighteous.
When I recall many things that happened in the past, surprisingly I found that every time a conflict happened, I always found excuses for myself, saying, “I am doing Dafa related work.” I used it as a shield and I hid many impure attachments behind it. That is how conflicts are produced, and that is how difficulties are formed in communicating with others.
Others are responsible for their rights and wrongs. As a cultivator, you are responsible for your own words and deeds and your own cultivation. Don’t be attached to how others are doing and be unable to let it go, feel angry or annoyed about it, and keep these grudges against others in your mind. These will poison you and form barriers among Dafa disciples. When you discover your own shortcomings and overcome the miseries that come from conflicts, your character has improved. Isn’t that a good thing?
In the “Fa Teaching at the 2008 New York Conference,” Master said,
“No matter what it is you have encountered as you've gone about validating the Fa, it is all, I will tell you, a good thing--and that's especially so in these years of persecution--for those things have come about specifically because you do cultivation. Those ordeals and the suffering, no matter how great or harsh you find them to be, are good things, because they take place solely on account of your cultivation. A person can eliminate karma and shed human attachments when he goes through ordeals, and through ordeals he can improve.”
When I understand this, the grudges are gone, and my resentments and dissatisfactions against people disappear. From then on, I understood that on my cultivation path I have to be very careful about these thoughts. No matter what is in my words or mind, I don’t complain about others. Living with a grateful heart, I do not worry about how people treat me. I can feel the change within myself. I have become a little child in another dimension. I feel very happy. The air I breathe is as sweet as honey. The child knows everything and is obedient, but just likes to play around. Sometimes she swings on my bread; sometimes she rides a bike along the cuff of my sleeve, and sometimes she sleeps in my ear. Every day she jumps and plays around. This is her life. Coming back to reality, I hope to keep my mind pure and happy like a child. To live with curiosity, I explored many beautiful things that I had missed in the past. The things I used to think of as misery and suffering I now think of as games. With those thoughts I don’t feel as miserable as before. Nothing around me has changed; it is my heart that has become lighter. I now understand another meaning of “Realms:”
“A wicked person is born of jealousy.
Out of selfishness and anger he complains about unfairness towards himself.
A benevolent person always has a heart of compassion.
With no discontentment or hatred, he takes hardship as joy.
An enlightened person has no attachments at all.
He quietly observes the people of the world deluded by illusions.” (Essentials For Further Advancement)
5. Follow the Cultivation Path Arranged by Master
I recently realized that the cultivation path Master arranged for every disciple is very strict and meticulous. Every day and moment of a disciple’s life is arranged. If we can study the Fa well and do the three things well, we are walking on the path that Master arranged for us. We will do things swiftly, in order, and with high efficiency; our minds will be clear and our bodies will be lightened. Otherwise, we will feel annoyed and start to think too much. We will become busy without direction and feel exhausted, but end up having done nothing efficiently. This is following the path arranged by old forces. Every one of our thoughts in every second of every day will determine whether we can walk well our cultivation path to validate Fa.
The old forces are trying anything they can to destroy what is good in the Fa-rectification. Master arranged a path to heaven and consummation for every disciple, but in reality, disciples may walk this path with many frustrations and hardships. During the process, if you slack off a little or hesitate a little, the old forces will find their way in and make you stray from the path arranged by Master. If it is not too severe, you may appear not to study the Fa and do exercises well for few days. If it is severe, it will be reflected in our dimension and produce problems or ordeals that are hard to resolve. Some may even face ordeals big enough to end their life. After being interfered with, the only way to get back to the right path is to study the Fa more. The gods in heaven may be carefully recording every thought, word and deed of all Dafa disciples and judging whether he or she is a god or human.
The progress of Fa-rectification is quickly advancing. Everything is arranged according to a specific time and the timing of doing a particular thing is precise. You can miss an opportunity in the flash of a moment, whether they be they major events that happen only once a year or minor events arranged for each day. When you are diligent you can fully utilize all those chances and do things with the best efficiency. However, if you slack off a little you may miss the moment. Sometimes you may think there is no difference in doing a particular thing today or tomorrow, but in reality the difference is large. There are things that, if you don’t do it now, later on it may be really hard to make up for it. The arrangements for cultivators have all been ordered and arranged. As time goes on, the chances you grab or miss, whether they be large or small, will affect your level and manifest themselves.
During these ten years of cultivation, with Master’s merciful caring, worrying and hint giving, I have really felt that Master has been by my side all the time. When I sleep in and miss exercises, Master sighs. When I slack off and miss the right timing of Dafa events, I can hear Master’s heartbroken voice. When I let go of my attachments and move forward bravely, Master is happier than I am, continually saying “congratulations,” and even giving a banquet to celebrate in another dimension. When I am exhausted mentally and physically, I become a little infant, sleeping in Master’s palm. It is like being wrapped up in pure white clouds that feel as warm as cotton wadding.
Master is merciful, but no matter how merciful Master is, we must walk our cultivation path ourselves. We must solidly, step by step, cultivate our way out. Until we achieve consummation, Master can instantly blow up any bad things that a cultivator has, letting us reach the level of consummation. But when we look back, which part was cultivated away by our own effort, and which part was removed by Master? Which part was the part we should have achieved on our own, but didn’t, and in the end was done by Master? I think I need to work a little harder. In this final moment there are long-standing shortcomings that I hope I can correct as soon as possible, such as laziness, not doing the exercises, not making the most out of my time, and always missing the right timing for Dafa related work.
When I was doing the exercises one day, I became a little child, jumping and playing around. Then a voice said, “You will not stay here in the future; you will have your own world and sentient beings.”
The child sat on the ground and said with tears, “I am not going anywhere. I just want to be here. I have been separated from you for many years, and finally I made it back. Why don’t you want me anymore?”
A merciful voice answered, “Life after life many people have been bonded to you, including your relatives and benefactors and the lives you saved. Don’t you want them to be happy as well? If you don’t go back to your world, how will they be happy?”
The child stopped crying, nodded after thinking it over, and then asked, “Your mercifulness is like a sun warming sentient beings, but I have nothing. What can I possible give to my sentient beings?” The me in reality was doing the Falun Standing Stance. All of the sudden, I could feel from the top of my head to my finger and toe tips that every cell of my body was surrounded by a strong merciful energy. It was a strong merciful energy inside out, which I have never experienced before.
Thereafter, in my cultivation I frequently asked myself, “What can I give to my sentient beings?” With this in mind, I dare not slack off again.
That day, feeling the evening breeze, I walked along a wealthy street in Manhattan. There was the hustle and bustle of pedestrians walking along and all kinds of neon light advertisements flashing. Looking at all that, my tears fell naturally. I was one of them. I was as filthy as them and was full of selfish thoughts. I came as far as where I am today, Master, you are truly great! Facing all the sentient beings who are still in the maze, how can I not be merciful?
In ten years of cultivation during Fa-rectification, every Dafa disciples has done many things to validate the Fa. During this process, no matter how many things you did, how long you spent, how important and glorious the projects you were involved with may look, or how good your job title sounded, those were all just superficial forms. While accomplishing your work solidly and deeply, how much do you understand of your own cultivation? How righteous were every one of your thoughts and how effective were you in saving sentient beings? How strong is the energy that you released and what was the outcome of saving sentient beings? Those are real and solid, those will be recognized in the end, and those will shine brightly in the history of the Cosmos.
That’s all for my recent experiences and understandings in cultivation, please mercifully correct my shortcomings. I thank Master, and I thank my fellow disciples.