Experience Sharing

Bronwen from Vancouver

PureInsight | June 18, 2006

[PureInsight.org] I would like to share with you my experiences of finally starting a regular exercise practice after six years of cultivation.

I came into Dafa after the persecution started, thus I was thrown
headfirst into Fa Rectification.  Because I was one of the few
westerners in my area, the skills I had were in high demand so I
quickly learned how to do VIP and media work, writing, polishing and
many others things.  I often felt sorry for myself because I never
had a chance to leisurely study the Fa and practice the
exercises.  When I looked at my work schedule and the amount of
Dafa work I had to do and the amount of reading...  I did not see
where I was going to fit in a regular exercise practice.  After we
learned to Send Forth Righteous Thoughts - it was always the three
things that we had to do well so I thought that maybe it was just
literally these three things.  It seemed that many of my
fellow-cultivators had similar understandings.

After every Fahui I would promise myself that I would practice the
exercises every day.  But soon my determination would wither under
time constraints.  After I returned from LA at the end of February
2006, I was again determined.  The other thing I had been thinking
about was that I hadn't written an experience sharing for a Fahui for
over 4 years.  The excuse I used to not write one were the usual -
I had too many attachments and felt that I was too low-level to
share.  How could anything I had to share compare with the mature
understandings of so many other practitioners?  This thought was a
cover for my attachments of fame, reputation and competition as they
were really threatened at the thought of me exposing my cultivation
level for all to see.  I have always cared a great deal about what
others think of me and although I am much better than before, there are
still many levels of this attachment left to let go.  Since
everything is reversed at higher levels wouldn't showing my level be a
good thing even if some people thought it was low.  What a
wonderful opportunity to cultivate!  As Master said in "Teaching
the Fa in Sydney Australia" in May 1999, "When others say things about
you that are not pleasant to hear, why do you become unhappy? 
Then when you become unhappy, aren't you in your heart refusing to
accept the chance to cultivate and improve?  Aren't you simply
seeking the same kind of happiness as everyday people?  At that
moment you should think: 'Why am I unhappy?  When others criticize
me, I become unhappy in my heart - aren't I pursuing something?'"

But I thought if I could really do this - practice the exercises daily
for the next 2 and a-half months, I would be like a "real practitioner"
and maybe I could share the results of my practice as part of my
paper.  So during this time I have diligently practiced the whole
2-hour set of exercises about 90% of the time.

Zhuan Falun
is full of reasons about why we should do the exercises and yet when I
looked around me I saw very few practitioners who performed them
regularly.  I knew that Fa Rectification Dafa Disciples cultivate
primarily by clarifying the truth, sending forth righteous thoughts and
studying the Fa.   I also thought that since Master had
raised veteran practitioners (those who started the practice before
July 20, 1999) to their highest levels that maybe because of this it
was not so important.  However since I didn't start to practice
until late 1999, this did not include me. I felt that I needed to go
back to the basics and practice the exercises like practitioners in
China before the persecution.  I also had an idea that perhaps the
only way for us to create more time was to do the exercises.  My
thought was that if cultivation practice is supernormal and if
everything is reversed at higher levels then maybe the only way we can
create more time is to make sure we take time to do the exercises.

At the very least we would be able to recover more quickly from
fatigue.  Master said in "Teaching the Fa in the City of Atlanta"
(2003), "Another [point] is, a lot of our Dafa disciples are indeed
quite tired, but on the other hand, they haven't taken Fa study and
cultivation seriously.  They've done lots and lots of things, but
they haven't cultivated themselves, and so they'll feel fatigue, feel
tired, and feel that is hard.  Actually I've always told you that
doing cultivation doesn't compromise your Dafa work, for sure. 
That's because doing the exercises is the most effective way to get rid
of fatigue, it's the best way to quickly make your body recover."  

I have of always tired to judge and figure everything out. Even when I
meditate I put parameters around my experience.  I try to figure
out how much time is left, how comfortable or uncomfortable I am and I
have thoughts like "I'm doing good" or "I'm doing bad."  Or "Yes,
I am so good. I've done these exercises for so long – how many days is
it now? After I finish my exercises if I read a chapter and after this
write that letter to the editor I'll be cultivating really well!" 
I'm always making judgments about how much time is left or how focused
I am or am not.  Or thinking "I'm half way through now," or "I'm
almost finished" or  "Oh, no! I just started holding the wheel.
How am I going to last the whole half-hour without dying from
boredom?"   Or "You are doing really well now - you have
concentrated for almost 3 minutes!" and, with that thought, my
concentration is gone At other times my thoughts create a really good
disguise by masking itself as Dafa work I have to do, people I have to
contact for Dafa work, or how I am going to clarify the truth to
someone, and so I think it is not that bad because they are all really
important projects. And yet, that still isn't it! At other times, when
I am not thinking thoughts about my life, other beings from different
dimensions hang around  me trying to engage me in
conversation.  A new round of music starts and I think "This time
I am going to do it! This time I am going to concentrate on the whole
round and listen to each beat of the music."  I get to about 4
bars and my main consciousness disappears, not to come back until the
round is almost finished and I just don't know how it happened. 
And then I try to force myself again for the next round and on it goes.

Master was very clear about what this was all about when he was
"Teaching the Fa at the Assistants' Fa Conference in Changchun," "You
have realized that those are postnatally acquired notions and are not
you. You yourself know that the Fa is good; why doesn't your mind fend
off those notions? You yourself want to do the exercises and meditate,
yet they insist on preventing you from becoming tranquil and from doing
the exercises. How could you still acknowledge them? Every part of your
human body is yourself because it is you. Your mouth opens however you
want it to and makes whatever sound you want it to; that mouth is
yours. Your hands move however you want them to because they are you.
Your arms and legs are the same. Then why don't your thoughts quiet
down when you want them to while you're doing the meditation? It's
because they are not you. If you can't distinguish these things, if you
regard them as yourself, we won't save you. Isn't that so? If you
accept that those bad things are you, we won't be able to save you.
What we save are humans, not demons, not those things, which aren't
even demons. They're just a chaotic mess that's unable to form any
independent being. They function by attaching to your thoughts. Could
we possibly consider them something to be saved to attain Buddhahood?
That's impossible. Eliminate them in the process of cultivation and
they won't affect you later on."

However, I have had some relief from the "chaotic mess" that tries to
attach to my mind, and have had some extraordinary experiences during
this time of intense practice.  And of course it has been during
those brief times when I have been able to really "hear" the music.

Master said that Dafa music has very powerful effect on students. 
He said in "Falun Buddha Fa – Teaching the Fa at the Eastern U.S. Fa
Conference," "Besides, this music is our Dafa's music. There's inner
meaning as well as the magnificent Buddha Fa behind the music. So, when
you listen to the music, it's as if you're listening to Buddha music or
a Buddha's voice - it serves that sort of function."  

And in the "Lecture at the First Conference in North America," he said:
"The music is used to substitute one thought for thousands of thoughts.
Contents of Dafa are also added into the music."

When I am truly focused on the music I feel like I am absorbing it -
absorbing the Fa into every pore of my body, filling my body with the
heavenly strains so that it can be heard by all my beings.  At
other times I have experienced the music filling me with a rainbow of
beautiful colors.  Sometimes different parts of my body are
"hearing" the music as if every pore of my body is an ear.  And
sometimes it has felt like and entity, smooth and silky, wrapping
itself around me.

I feel like when I am truly focused on every beat of the music, I am
truly "following Master closely; steadfastly cultivating Dafa." 
Focusing on the music is like focusing on the reading or SFRT.  It
is practice in staying completely in the present without
distraction.  Focusing and concentrating on every beat of the
music is just like when you read: every word, every beat.  

If in the midst of all my thoughts, I can jump out of them and into the
moment, immersing myself in whatever part of the music is playing, if I
can just get back to the music with no thought about how I got away
from it in the first place, I am back home.  The Fa has endless
patience and is always there waiting for me to find my way back.

Often when I meditated I would enlighten to things about cultivation like:

The most bitterness of suffering is so precious.  When I finished
doing my exercises today, the last two rounds were so excruciatingly
painful and I could hardly wait until they were over.  I realized
that this was an attachment to time and it was my ego that was
suffering and that if I could just surrender to the music...  And
I burst into tears of anger and frustration over the pain.  When I
had finished my outburst the strains of Dafa music filled my ears and I
realized that the Fa was waiting for me to come back, patiently waiting
for me, a constant, and I saw again Master's incredible
benevolence.  He was just waiting for me to come to my senses and
to return.

Another realization that I have come to is that by allowing so many
thoughts to interfere with me at any time, let alone during practice,
it is just another way of passively enduring persecution by the old
forces.  Isn't it trying to do well "amidst the ordeals they've

Writing this experience sharing has been very illuminating for me
because I have been able to thoroughly expose the state of my mind
during the exercises and can see well how I suffer the persecution, not
only during exercise but in all areas of my life.  Master is
waiting for us to be able to completely negate the old force
arrangement in all its aspects because "only the things you do while
negating and getting rid of them is mighty virtue."  Having
brought this to light for myself I will be able to remember that I have
to pro-actively eliminate the interference of thoughts in all moments
instead of trying to do well amidst their arrangements.

On a personal cultivation level, isn't being 100% in the moment being
truthful, compassionate, and tolerant?  When your main
consciousness isn't fully present are you being truthful?  When
you are not present, are you being compassionate to all beings whose
survival depends on you and your practice?  When you are not
present, you don't get to exercise your tolerance - of boredom, of
discomfort, of eliminating your habit of being mentally stimulated in
order to take you mind off your discomfort.  Thus you lose the
opportunity to eliminate the karma and interference in order to upgrade
yourself.  Actually it seems to me that there is no such thing as
personal cultivation once you become a Fa Rectification Period Dafa
Disciple because how you are doing personally affects the whole body.
If we are doing well, Fa-rectification moves forward more quickly and
more beings are thus saved. When we are not doing well Fa-rectification
slows down and more beings are lost.  

Every time I do the exercises it is a time for me to cultivate and
practice.  How many beings in all of history, time and space, get
to have Master with them in their living room guiding them through the
5 sets of simple exercises.  How lucky are we to be able to
listening to Master's voice and to the music infused with Dafa.  

I have realized that how I do with my exercises is a direct reflection
of how I am cultivating amongst everyday people in everyday life. 
Although in this Experience Sharing I have singled out only one aspect
of my cultivation, all other aspects of my cultivation are at the same
level.  For example my ability to focus on the music is at the
same level as my ability to send forth powerful righteous thoughts, is
at the same level as my ability to study Fa, is at the same level as my
ability to clarify the truth, is at the same level as my ability to
concentrate on a project at work and is at the same level as my ability
to truly listen to another person.  It is difficult to separate
any aspect of cultivation as they are, like us, intricately connected
with each other.

(Selected paper from 2006 Canada Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference in Toronto, May 28, 2006)

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