"Feel Wonderful and Very Comfortable As Though You Are Sitting Inside an Egg Shell"

Xiao Mei

PureInsight | April 5, 2004

[PureInsight.org] Master frequently talks about the benefits of studying the Fa and practicing the exercises together. The following story is a perfect illustration of Master's point that we can help each other raise our levels by doing these things.

When I first began practicing Falun Gong's sitting meditation, it felt extremely painful even in the single lotus position (putting one leg crossed on top of the other). At the time, I feared I might never be able to practice the sitting meditation in the double lotus position (putting both legs crossed on top of each other.) One day I finally managed to put both legs crossed on top of each other. However, I could only maintain this sitting position for less than two seconds. The pain was so intense for me that I would put my legs down right away. At that time, I was skeptical about my ability to ever be able to practice the sitting meditation exercise in the double lotus position for 30 minutes.

During a small Falun Dafa cultivation experience sharing conference in 1999, several fellow practitioners shared their stories of learning to put both legs crossed on top of each other in the sitting meditation exercise. An elderly practitioner said that she had set a standard for herself that she would try to endure the pain for as long as possible to meditate in the double lotus position. One day, she finally managed to sit in the double lotus position, and she clenched her teeth and endured the pain. Even when she collapsed due to the pain, she refused to put her legs down. Another fellow practitioner said that, as soon as she had put both legs crossed on top of each other when practicing the sitting meditation, she would ask her family to leave a bowl of water on her head to prevent her from moving or twitching until she finished the meditation. There was a young man, who complained during a group Fa study about the difficulty of increasing the time of doing the sitting meditation in the double lotus position. A mellow young lady said, "It's not that difficult. Just tie your legs to hold them in position." Having said that, she pulled out a long piece of cloth from her handbag and gave it to the young man. The young man was touched by the young woman's willpower, and very soon he made a breakthrough and finally was able to do the sitting meditation in the double lotus position.

After hearing several stories, I finally realized that there was no shortcut in cultivation and suffering is an unavoidable part of cultivation. Soon, I was able to increase the time doing the sitting meditation in the double lotus position from a few minutes to 20 minutes. I endured those 20 minutes by counting each minute. While enduring the agonizing pain, I identified and classified pain by type: at first I felt as if my legs were swollen, then it began to ache, then it began to feel numb, and then it finally began to feel as if my legs were broken. In the end, I managed to make a breakthrough and was finally able to do the sitting meditation in the double lotus position for one hour. Finishing the sitting meditation for one hour each day felt like accomplishing a huge task in those days. I also developed a new understanding on the relativity of time. I can easily stay up an entire night reading a novel when I "feel like it" and more than ten hours of time just fly by. Why would doing the sitting meditation for an hour be so hard for me to endure? Why would I "feel" time becoming slower and slower during the sitting meditation? Each section in the exercise music for the sitting meditation is five minutes long. When I practice the sitting meditation, each five minutes feels different, and the final five minutes feels the longest. Enduring the pain is one obstacle, and leaving the comfortably warm house for the group practice site early in the cold winter morning each day is another. But with the encouragement from fellow practitioners, I've managed to persevere in joining the group practice every morning. When my legs were hurting and feeling cold at the same time, I would repeatedly recite to myself: "When it's difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it's impossible to do, you can do it." (From "People With Great Inborn Quality" in Lecture Nine of Zhuan Falun) I would also sometimes wonder when I would feel wonderful and very comfortable as though I am "...sitting inside an egg shell." (From "Attachment of Zealotry" in Lecture Eight of Zhuan Falun)

I have to admit that I have very weak willpower. For a period of time after my daughter was born, I found various excuses not to persevere for one full hour. My laziness quickly got the better of me once I lowered my standard. At first, I reduce the practice time to 45 minutes. Then I reduced it further to 30 minutes. In the end, even 30 minutes in sitting meditation would give me intense pain. It was then I finally faced the fact that I had fallen to a lower cultivation level. While I blamed myself for the lack of perseverance, I also complained about the lack of a daily group practice site near my home. Then I began to resume practicing the sitting meditation at home every day. After a while, the pain disappeared, but it was replaced with a feeling of sleepiness. Soon after I began practicing the sitting meditation each time, I would be overcome with a feeling of drowsiness. I had no choice but to keep my eyes open when practicing the sitting meditation. However, I couldn't enter into tranquility with my eyes open.

The situation finally began to improve when one day my mother and an elderly neighbor whom I addressed as Aunt Z volunteered to practice the Falun Gong exercises, including the sitting meditation, with me outdoors in the morning. [Note: Chinese people often address an older woman outside the family as "Aunt" out of affection and respect.] On the very first day, I could do the sitting meditation for a full hour. For some miraculous reason, I felt neither pain in the legs nor sleepiness. I even felt wonderful and very comfortable as though I were "sitting inside an egg shell." I felt as though my mind was a vast open field and my body was in another dimension that was wonderful and very comfortable. The sun rose and cast its warm radiance upon me. It felt much more enjoyable than sleeping. I began to regret that I hadn't listened to Teacher and practiced the Falun Gong exercises with fellow practitioners outdoors. Aunt Z experienced the same thing as I did and exclaimed, "Why didn't I feel any pain in my legs this morning?" On the second day, my mom made a tremendous progress as a new practitioner. She broke her record of 45 minutes and did the sitting meditation for a full hour!

The three of us could not help feeling pleased in accomplishing the important and challenging task of practicing the sitting meditation at the beginning of the day. I cautioned everyone, "Perhaps we should not be pleased with ourselves too early. The real challenge is yet to come. Are you sure you can persist in coming out every morning in the winter snow and cold weather?" Aunt Z immediately replied, "No problem! I can do it." My mom said, "If you two can keep up the group practice every morning, I can do it as well!" I added, "Correction. You should have said, 'Even if you two don't come, I will persist in practicing the exercises outdoors each day!'" The three of us burst into laughter simultaneously. There was a type of indescribable joy in our innocent laughter that only a cultivator can relate to.

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2003/9/3/23283.html

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