PureInsight | May 2, 2018
I would like to express my deepest gratitude to Master and to Falun Dafa.
Thank you Master!
Thank you fellow practitioners!
My name is David and I'm a practitioner from Spain, who obtained the Fa just over four years ago. Before I started practising, I suffered from sciatica and acute pain in my lower back. It used to stop me from sleeping for any more than four hours at a time. I also couldn't stand up for longer than ten minutes, lest I would feel stinging pain on the soles of my feet. I was often sad and melancholic. Nothing in life made sense to me and I had no will to live. I started drinking and smoking, and even took all kinds of drugs. Little by little, I became increasingly separated from my family. Although I underwent various treatments, and read about and tried all kinds of spiritual teachings and meditation practices, nothing worked and my situation even worsened.
Everything changed for me one day - I discovered on the Internet that a qigong master had made a practice called Falun Gong (also known as Falun Dafa) popular in China, and that anyone could practise it. It consisted of teachings and exercises, and all materials were freely available online. I had nothing to lose. Two weeks into practising Falun Dafa, all of my illnesses had been cured. I resumed my relationship with my family, which went on to grow wonderfully. Ever since, over the last four years, my mind and body have continued to experience drastic improvements. It is impossible for me to thank Master Li enough for all that he has done for me. However, I can express my gratitude by being more diligent on my cultivation path and by doing the three things better. I should better seize this unique opportunity that Master has given us - one that will never be repeated in all of history - to assist Master in the salvation of sentient beings.
I would like to share some of my cultivation experience, in the hope of inspiring fellow practitioners. Let us remain faithful to our vow and do all of the three things better at this last stage of the Fa-rectification. I sincerely hope that all Dafa disciples will be able to return to their true homes when the time comes.
Expanding my Righteous Thoughts in Order to Save More People
Almost a year ago, I came to a point where I was totally lost. It seemed as if nothing was working. Even though on the surface, I was cultivating and refining myself, sending forth righteous thoughts, saving people in daily life and participating in projects, my heart wasn't in it, and I did it all as a matter of routine. Even though I was walking on my cultivation path, I was not discarding my attachments or desires. On the contrary, I had been immersed in completing Dafa "work". In fact, my attachments and desires had become so strong that they wouldn't even let me concentrate when studying the Fa; my thoughts were unrighteous, and indeed, really bad. With the excuse of "working for Dafa", I had neglected my cultivation and my main spirit was weakening.
I had not been studying the Fa much, as the Dafa projects had demanded a lot of me, in terms of time and effort. Suddenly, I noticed that one word was standing out for me every time I read Zhuan Falun – "truly". Master was teaching me with patience and compassion... I then understood how I had to truly cultivate myself, truly abandon my attachments and truly liberate myself. When I looked inside, I discovered that I had been so busy meeting project goals that I had forgotten to cultivate Zhen-Shan-Ren in the process. I had not been truly cultivating.
I decided to increase my Fa study, in an attempt to understand how to get out of my situation. I again realized that Master has always been repeating something; it’d been something that I’d always shared with other practitioners about, and something that I had taken for granted. Master always insisted on us studying the Fa; studying the Fa more, and studying the Fa well. Regardless of our situation or how tight on time we are, a Dafa disciple should study the Fa well. I believe Master has explained to us that as soon as we encounter an unresolvable problem, we should study the Fa, whilst not neglecting our other duties.
At the time, I shared a house with other Dafa disciples, and in the mornings, after sending forth righteous thoughts and doing all five exercises, we always studied a lecture of Zhuan Falun. But I realized that I was not studying the Fa properly, because of sleepiness and worries about the projects I was involved in. So I decided to increase my Fa study time and read another lecture after lunch, and another one at night. I also put a lot of effort into really focusing on what I was reading. Then I noticed how my xinxing was elevating and how everything changed.
That’s not to say that it was easy. Before I saw progress, I went through the pain and suffering of not being able to feel or see; then struggled against sleepiness, fatigue and other interference. Only then did I finally feel the Fa’s sacred magnificence and beauty. As I studied, Master gradually revealed the immense Fa of the Cosmos to me. Many fellow practitioners experienced my elevation in xinxing. I find it similar to meditating in double lotus; at the beginning, when we first start cultivating, many of us suffer the terrible pain of dissolving karma while meditating and panic at the thought of meditating for an hour straight. Once our xinxing starts elevating, our concentration and serenity also improve, and we begin to experience the beauty of emptiness. It encourages us to keep improving. I’ve been experiencing constant changes through Fa study, for many years. I believe the steps are always the same when it comes to improving ourselves; it starts with bitter steps in the dark. When you can’t take it anymore and think that there’s no hope, and boredom’s completely taken you over and you don’t know if your strength is enough to carry on, suddenly, the situation changes completely.
Master said in Zhuan Falun, “When you are overcoming a real hardship or tribulation, you try it. When it is difficult to endure, try to endure it. When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible. If you can actually do it, you will indeed find: ‘After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!’”
(Lecture 9, People with Great Inborn Quality)
It also helped me immensely to take up reading the Minghui sharings again. Although I thought at first that it was something for new practitioners to do, as soon as I began reading them, I discovered that it was not so at all. I was able to find many attachments I had not yet detected, and work towards eradicating them. I find it very helpful to see other practitioners’ elevated attitudes and Fa-based perspectives from when they are confronted with tribulations. Some of those understandings still have an influence on me to this day, and everything I read on Minghui encourages me to keep going. With the passage of time, reading the sharings from other practitioners on Minghui has become an invaluable aid in my cultivation.
It's been almost a year and I’ve continued to read three lectures a day. I also memorize some paragraphs of Zhuan Falun in the evenings. Looking back, I can confirm that as soon as I increased my Fa study, I went from having no time to study, to even having extra time to read Minghui sharings and participate in new projects. I am now more responsible towards Dafa and my own cultivation. My mind has become more lucid, my main consciousness is stronger and my xinxing has elevated. I am now able to look inside in more depth in almost every conflict that arises. I can confirm that these changes are for real, because when I clarify the truth or join a hongfa, the results have improved remarkably. I have also stopped looking at others and comparing myself to them, as now, I only measure myself against the Fa.
But I must be careful not to fall into formalities. If I just cultivate myself or save people as if it were a common job and seek recognition from other practitioners, all kinds of attachments will increase, and I will not be able to assist Master in rectifying the Fa, nor return to my true home.
After a radical change in my cultivation - thanks to the improvement of Fa study - I experienced many interesting situations and I would like to share them in order to encourage fellow practitioners.
Overcoming the Illusion of Sleepiness and Tiredness
I’d heard that some practitioners were getting up in the mornings around 5:00 am to send forth righteous thoughts and do the five exercises, but at the beginning, I never imagined that I could do this every day; even though I had managed it occasionally during some specific projects.
I was fortunate enough to share a house with other Dafa disciples, who helped and encouraged me when I felt very tired, so I gradually managed to reach that goal. After a while, every day we sent forth righteous thoughts in the mornings, did the five exercises, and studied a lecture. With time, this became the norm for me; I try to reject all excuses – it doesn’t matter what time I went to bed or what situation I find myself in.
This does not mean that I'm not harassed by sleep and tiredness. On many occasions, my body aches so much and is so weak and stiff upon waking that I can’t even walk normally. The mental suffering is no less and even far surpasses the pain. Every thought tries to convince me to go back to sleep. Sometimes, I find myself in a severely nervous state. But then I think about how I'm moving in the right direction and that there is no need to worry, since Master cares for all beings. I notice how my righteous thoughts come easily when I've studied the Fa both effectively and sufficiently. Over time, I’ve come to realize that if I don't exercise in the morning, I end up finding excuses and don’t do them that day. Those excuses would easily come up again the following day, and it would likely become a habit. It’s clear to me that Falun Dafa is a cultivation way that includes refinement. If one does not refine oneself, one will not be able to achieve the transformation of one's body, nor achieve perfection.
Master says in The Great Way of Spiritual Perfection, "Dafa requires both cultivation and exercises, with cultivation taking priority over the exercises. A person's gong will not increase if he merely does the exercises and fails to cultivate his character. Meanwhile, a person who only cultivates his character but does not perform the exercises of the Great Way of Spiritual Perfection will find the growth of his gong strength impeded and his innate body (ben-ti) unchanged."
I remember how one morning, I got up feeling especially exhausted and sore. I sent forth righteous thoughts and started doing the exercises. During the second exercise, I suddenly heard something fall to the floor. Later, I woke up lying on the floor; it was my own body that I’d heard falling. I got up from the floor without knowing what had happened, nor where I was, and couldn’t even remember my name; I only had the one thought that I was a Dafa disciple. I then resumed the second exercise. I didn’t even get one scratch during my fall. Moreover, I felt that my body was very light, and a seemingly absolute and reassuring emptiness dominated my mind. I remember how my heart was very serene. I didn’t doubt for a moment that Master was always protecting us. Little by little, my normal state of consciousness returned. I completed the five exercises without giving it anymore thought, then studied a lecture of Zhuan Falun.
Just after finishing studying, some sleepiness came back to me and was tempting me to go back to sleep for a little while, before leaving for work. I could not get rid of that temptation. It was especially strong and I was about to give in, but I managed not to, since I had an early appointment with someone at work. I had to help that person, so that Master could save him. Even though my exhaustion had reached its peak, I’d gotten ready to go to work. But since the fatigue was incredibly enormous, I began to accumulate negative thoughts, such as, “I’ve slept very little for many days; it would be normal to sleep a little bit,” or “it’s neither logical nor reasonable to fight with sleepiness,” or “Sleeping more would change everything for the better.”
I carried on even though the mental and physical pressure was rising. I started reciting Lunyu to try to mitigate my fatigue and low spirits, but it didn’t work. I decided to send forth righteous thoughts. As soon as I started, my body felt a jolt. It bent itself in half and each of my muscles tensed up. I continued sending forth righteous thoughts, while at the same time, strengthening my already tensed muscles. As I was trying to keep my balance, all of a sudden, the situation changed. I felt as if a deafening explosion went off in my mind and body, and several shock waves followed. In a fraction of a second, my body straightened itself out and I regained control of it. Suddenly, I felt how my whole body was incredibly rested and fresh. My mind was completely lucid and peaceful, and my heart was calm and happy. That morning, I felt that I had overcome the illusion of sleepiness and tiredness. I calmly went to work.
Good or Bad Comes from One Thought
One afternoon, I was in an important industrial area in a big city, searching for advertisers door-to-door for our Dafa disciples’ media projects. Even though the cold weather was harsh and it was very windy, I didn't give it much thought and kept on walking. Since I started cultivating and collaborating in different projects, I’ve been aware that Master does everything. He’s already paved the road to save sentient beings; all I need to do is walk there and talk to people.
As soon as I left, it began to rain. I was so overwhelmed that I even struggled to breathe. I started to complain in my heart. I felt frustrated and helpless with the added difficulties. I grew angry at the injustice and lost my serenity. The pressure in my head became huge. I could withstand the cold and wind, but with rain, it was too much – I couldn’t present myself to the businesses all soaked; I didn’t even have an umbrella. The companies were quite far from each other by foot. My excuses sounded very reasonable and logical to me. I had given up so soon and wanted to go home.
However, I somehow summoned some strength - from where, I do not know - and calmed myself from dramatizing the situation. I started walking whilst sending forth righteous thoughts. As the rain started soaking my coat and trousers, I thought: "If I keep doing my job, the rain will stop; it's another test to see if I'm determined or not." I entered the next client's door. I connected with the right contact and everything went very well – nobody seemed to care if I was wet!
The rain continued as I exited and I became impatient once again. My resolve to go back home became stronger than ever. So I sent forth righteous thoughts again.
All of a sudden, my main consciousness took over. I calmed down completely. Even though I stood in the rain with no umbrella and faced a seemingly impossible mission, a thought arose in my heart saying, "Can a simple shower stop a Dafa disciple from doing what he has to do?”
All of a sudden, the scenario changed completely. The rain was still falling, but it was no longer important. The only important thing was to do what I had to do. Now my body was light. I stopped walking bent over for fear of the rain. I was at peace with everything around me and I began walking without a problem in my mind. I felt an indescribable joy in my heart and realized how truly fortunate I was, being able to do this Dafa work.
Master said in Zhuan Falun, "We have said that good or bad comes from a person's spontaneous thought, and the thought at that moment can bring about different consequences."
It kept raining all afternoon and I continued sending forth righteous thoughts as I walked from company to company. I also recited passages from the Fa. When the distance between them was greater, I listened to Master's audio lectures. I just focused on doing my job well. Sometimes, I would look at my coat and find it completely soaked, as with my trousers and shoes. But when I touched them after a visit, they were completely dry. I remember how strange it was that the rain never touched my face or hands and only fell on my clothes, and my hair a little bit. After two and a half hours of sending forth righteous thoughts and walking in the rain, I’d completed my visits and went back home to attend group Fa Study. As I sat in the train, a drop of water fell from my hair and it reminded me of how I had just walked in the rain for such a long time. And then, I noticed that my clothes (even the bottom of my trousers) and my shoes were completely dry.
While eating back at home, I realized that I had not eaten or drunk anything for over seven hours. I attended the group Fa Study and managed to calm my mind during the reading. But I realized that I was attached to listening to my own voice and my intonation while reading the lectures out loud. I considered my voice to be firmer and better than others. Then I understood that these thoughts were not aligned with the Fa. After looking inside, I felt the greatness of Dafa and felt true compassion arise in my heart towards each one of my fellow practitioners. I noticed how numerous attachments, such as those of competition and showing off, had been dissolved by the energy of the group.
After Fa study, I contributed to another project on the Internet for a couple of hours. I also tried compensating for the global FZN that I did not do during the day, by extending the time of the last global FZN to half an hour. Ever since I started giving more importance to sending forth righteous thoughts, both my concentration and attitude have improved, when studying the Fa and assisting Master with saving people.
Eliminating Thought Karma during Conflicts
I failed to look inside while encountering numerous conflicts with fellow practitioners. I always seemed to focus on the faults of others and never on their virtues. This reached an alarming point - I started seeing the actions and words of other practitioners as a risk to Dafa projects and to the One-body in general.
Master taught us in Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Singapore, "If you spend your energy on external things and look for others’ shortcomings instead of working hard on your own mind, how can you improve yourself? Others will improve and advance in cultivation after you point out their shortcomings, but you’ll still be here. That’s why I tell you that whenever any problems occur or whenever you feel uneasy inside, you should look inside yourself for causes. I can guarantee that the problem lies within you."
My understanding is that Master makes use of our conflicts to help us look inside. But some thoughts are so deeply rooted and so difficult to detect, that whenever a conflict arises, they cause me to look outside and look for someone to blame. This gets even worse when I'm feeling frustrated at work or in my path of cultivation. Such thoughts appear to be on another plane; untouchable and not subject to discussion. Then, based on those thoughts that have been settling in our mind for so long, shaping our thinking, one builds new ones. They seem to be correct and very useful, but their basis is none other than selfishness. Thus, my numerous attachments are sustained.
It turned out that I could not eliminate the selfishness even after identifying the attachments through Fa-study and by reading Minghui sharings. Although I knew that those thoughts were not aligned with the Fa, I could not get rid of them. Although I tried to discard them by not recognizing them as mine, they kept coming back again and again. They even tried to take control of my emotions, urging me to react according to human thinking, and with that, strengthen my attachments and desires.
Although I made a conscious effort to eliminate them every day, the intensity of the conflicts with my fellow practitioners did not lessen. Even physical ailments began to manifest in my body, because I was unable to dismiss the thought karma.
One day, as I was sitting in front of my computer, it suddenly occurred to me that perhaps it would help for me to write down everything about the thought karma in detail. The karma seemed to be indestructible to me. And so I wrote, "My most hidden thoughts are those that judge someone as being unworthy; once someone has spoken or acted in an improper way, that person is now deemed unusable, useless and untrustworthy. I judge that I shouldn’t even listen to that person. I decide that that person’s mind isn’t clear and that they’re always causing problems, and that their attachments are enormous. But in reality, that person is actually pointing out my own shortcomings."
After writing this down on my computer, the issue no longer bothered me; the thought karma was weakened to the extreme and had almost completely disappeared. My relationships with other practitioners became good again, because the conflict inside me no longer existed.
Since writing this sharing paper, I’ve suddenly been able to listen to others without it stirring up any thoughts and attachments in my mind. I’ve stopped feeling the need to "improve" others with my understandings, and I’ve stopped trying to elaborate to give an intelligent reply in conversations. Master's fashen have cleansed much of my thought karma for me. I can now listen to others with a calm heart, and I can even learn something from others. I’ve began to treasure my fellow practitioners more, which is actually to treasure myself.
I have no way of expressing my gratitude to Master for all he has given me. I only hope to improve faster, so that I can help my fellow practitioners and my local group to better assist in the salvation of sentient beings.
Thank you Master!
Thank you fellow practitioners!
Chinese version: https://www.zhengjian.org/node/239976