PureInsight | September 26, 2019
Greetings, revered Master!
Greetings, fellow practitioners!
It has been seven years since I started to cultivate in Falun Dafa. As I reflect upon my cultivation journey, I am filled with gratitude and reverence for Master and Dafa.
Over the past seven years, I experienced many things. Today, I would like to share what I have experienced in the following aspects.
Obtaining the Fa, I Was Reborn
I came to the United States in 1990 to pursue a Ph.D. After graduation, I started to work at a large corporation, and step-by-step realized my “American Dream.” To my surprise, however, my “American Dream” coming true did not make me happy. There were two main reasons. First, with the realization of my dream came the reality that I no longer had any goal or pursuit in my life. My work and personal life gradually became an increasingly monotonous routine. Second, I had always hoped to enjoy an independent and comfortable life with the freedom to do what I really liked to do, but I realized that life was simply unpredictable, brimming with many uncertainties or unstable factors. It takes just one unexpected incident to abruptly turn what appears to be a perfect, happy life upside down. I did not have a sense of security in life, but I was not willing to follow an established trajectory for the rest of my life: go to work, make money, retire, grow old, become ill, and die. For what have we come to this world? What is the purpose of life? With no answers to such fundamental questions, I felt that life was uncertain and perplexing, and deep down I was unhappy.
In 2003, an old friend of mine came to Atlanta with his family from out of state to attend a Fa conference. While staying with us, they gave me a copy of Zhuan Falun. I started reading it after they left, but stopped at Lecture Two and did not read any further. Perhaps I was not quite ready yet due to interference from my notions that I had long established from my scientific training. Time flew. That pause somehow lasted eight years. Throughout these eight years I continued to live a perplexing and unhappy life.
In June 2011, my family visited our relatives in China. My sister was just released from prison. She had been arrested and sentenced to three years in prison by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) for distributing Falun Gong truth clarification flyers. One day, I saw a copy of Zhuan Falun in her bedroom. As I picked it up and started reading, I was so drawn to it this time that I finished the entire book in one sitting. All the questions that perplexed me for so many years were answered completely. I felt I was suddenly enlightened to the true purpose and meaning of life. It was an indescribable feeling and joy that I had longed for deep in my heart. It was a feeling of gratitude and joy of rebirth and awakening after being lost. With tears in my eyes, I was grateful that I finally obtained the Fa! In the following months and years of Fa study, I came to realize how lucky and precious it is to become a Dafa disciple during the Fa-rectification period! It is an unprecedented, grand glory, and with it comes an equally unprecedented great responsibility and mission.
Persistently Reciting the Fa Leads to Gradual Abandonment of Attachments, Deeper Understanding of the Fa, and Steadfast Belief in Master and Dafa
Prior to cultivating in Dafa, I used to be impatient and self-centered. When I began my Fa study, I realized I was full of emotions and desires. It became quite evident that I had all the human attachments mentioned in Zhuan Falun, with some of them being very strong, including attachments to showing off, jealousy, competition, resentment, fear, arrogance, lust, and fame and benefits, etc. Behind such a long list of my attachments lies a deep-rooted “selfishness”, which almost dictated my mind and thoughts.
Master taught us in Zhuan Falun, “Matter and mind are one and the same,” and “Cultivation depends on one’s own efforts, while the transformation of gong is done by one’s Master.”
From Fa study, I learned that studying the Fa well with an unwavering faith in Master and Dafa is so critically important to a cultivator that it means whether or not he or she can succeed in cultivation or do the “three tasks” well. So from the very beginning of cultivation, I made great efforts studying and reciting Zhuan Falun. In the first round of reciting Zhuan Falun, I began with “On Dafa” and then continued with Lecture One. My basic approach was to keep reciting the Fa, paragraph by paragraph, until I was able to fully recite the entire lecture, and then went on with the next lecture, and so on... By the time I was able to recite all of Lecture Nine, I had spent about one-and-a-half years. This reciting process laid a fairly solid foundation for me to continue my Fa-rectification cultivation path going forward.
While reciting Zhuan Falun, I also recited parts of Hong Yin and Essentials for Further Advancement. Within the first week of its publication, I was able to completely recite Master's new version of “On Dafa” Shortly afterwards, I began to recite the English version, and did it within a week as well. I knew Master was encouraging me to diligently study the Fa, and he hinted that I needed to do more in clarifying the truth to local sentient beings. I often recite parts or sections of Zhuan Falun and Essentials for Further Advancement, both in Chinese and English. Reciting both in Chinese and English can help enhance memorization and understanding of the Fa and correct my reciting mistakes in a timely manner.
Also, persistently reciting the Fa helps with mental focus and additional time for Fa study. For example, I found it is often a good opportunity to recite the Fa while taking a short walk or driving alone. More importantly, with the Fa kept in memory, I found it easier to catch my thoughts that are not righteous according to the Fa and to reflect on my own conduct in conflicts with others.
It became clear to me that the process of reciting the Fa is one of gradually letting go of various human attachments, and consequently constantly enhancing my understanding of the Fa. They go hand in hand. After a period of time, I felt the corresponding changes in my thinking and physical body. All these changes in turn further strengthen my firm belief and cultivation in Dafa.
The Miraculous Power of Righteous Thoughts: Clarifying the Truth to State Government Officials
Compared to other cities, we have a fairly large number of practitioners in the Atlanta area. However, except for Shen Yun, we did not have sustained projects aimed to save sentient beings in mainstream society for several years.
Before last year’s July 20 event, after I finished sending forth righteous thoughts, a strong desire and righteous thought came to me: this year I must go attend the activities in Washington, D.C. to stop the persecution of Falun Gong. After more than six years of cultivation in Dafa, I had not even participated once and felt a sense of comfort and satisfaction with the status quo.
Very soon, I learned that our local coordinator was looking for practitioners to join in the upcoming VIP work at Capitol Hill in D.C. Being an introverted person myself, I did not like and was not good at dealing with people. I never had any experience working with government staff and officials, which appeared to be something out of my comfort zone. However, I thought my likes and dislikes were also attachments that I had to remove, so I signed up without much hesitation. Overall, we worked well as a team on the VIP government work during the D.C. trip.
Upon my return from D.C., it seemed natural to me that we must immediately start working with our state government, and I felt that we should start immediately. After all, other states had already passed state resolutions calling for an end to the persecution and condemning the CCP’s forced organ harvesting, and fellow practitioners in other states had long been ahead of us. From listening to Master's teachings and from my own Fa study, I realized and firmly believed that Master has paved the way in other dimensions for us to save sentient beings, waiting for us to take action with a righteous mind to carry out what needs to be done in our physical world.
Master said in “The Supernormal Ability of Precognition and Retrocognition” in Zhuan Falun, “Haven’t we addressed that matter does not become extinct? Within a specific dimension, what a person has done or what a person does with a wave of his hand is all material existence, and anything he does will leave an image and a message.”
As Dafa practitioners, what we do every day, including our thoughts and mind intent, are all material existence in other dimensions. Whether or not they are acceptable and in accordance with the Fa, they will become eternal testimonies in the universe. Cultivation is a very serious matter! How can we take it lightly? As I continued with my cultivation, I increasingly felt a sense of urgency and great responsibility faced by Dafa disciples. I kept reminding myself that as long as I let go of my attachments while doing what a Dafa disciple should do, good outcomes would follow naturally because it is Master who makes things happen.
All beginnings are hard. We have 180 state House representatives and 56 senators. I did not know where to start. Fellow practitioners from other states shared with us their experiences working on state resolutions. From the beginning, we focused on clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings. Every representative and senator together with their office staff was a sentient being for us to save.
With the limited manpower we had at the time, we decided to start from the 180 state House representatives and then move on to the 56 senators. Last August, we started to systematically contact each state representative, first by email requesting a meeting, and then following up with phone calls. After we laid the foundation through this first round of truth clarification work, we started to visit each office of the 180 representatives to make appointments. We were able to clarify the truth to the office staff. The office staff who used to be passive now actively made suggestions and helped make appointments with state representatives. Some stated that they support the Falun Dafa principles of Zhen-Shan-Ren and others expressed a desire to learn the Falun Gong exercises.
Thanks to Master's compassionate blessing, in October we had eight more meetings with House representatives, two of which took five hours to drive round trip. We cherished each and every meeting and prepared an information packet for each meeting, including a 20-minute DVD on forced organ harvesting and a resolution draft for their reference.
During the meeting, we found it effective to play the nine-minute video “Persecution of Falun Gong” on a laptop. It is a bit surprising that most of the representatives we met knew little to nothing about Falun Gong, but after watching the video, they all expressed their support at various levels, with three of them willing to sponsor or co-sponsor our resolutions.
As we progressed along, I deeply felt Master's compassion and encouragement every step of the way. Throughout the process, we could not possibly have decided or planned the results for each of our steps, and things miraculously happened due to Master's arrangements and blessings. With limited time, I would like to share just a couple examples.
1) House Interstate Cooperation Committee Hearing
Since the 2018 Session started, I went to the State Capitol nearly every legislative day to attend scheduled meetings and to seek more opportunities to meet with other legislators. Every time before I went, I recited the Fa and sent forth righteous thoughts, asking for Master’s blessing and arrangements for people to come and learn the truth. Every trip turned out to be quite rewarding.
One day in February as I stopped by the Committee Chairman’s office, I found out from his assistant that there was a Committee hearing within the next hour, and our resolution was one of the three items on the agenda. I was totally caught off guard. As I scrambled to prepare for the hearing in the office, I asked Master for help. Right before the hearing started, our hearing had to be rescheduled because of a meeting conflict with our sponsor. Our hearing was rescheduled for three days later, with our resolution being the only bill on the agenda! I understood that Master arranged such a great opportunity for the committee members to learn the truth.
Six of our local practitioners testified at the committee hearing. Because all six of us were scheduled to speak, at the beginning of the hearing, we were reminded that we each had two to three minutes to speak and should not repeat each other. However, as we began to testify, all attending committee members including the Chairman were touched by the personal stories revealing the brutal persecution. Everyone was listening with full attention, and the time limit seemed irrelevant. After six of us finished our testimonies, the Chairman kindly asked us, “Anyone else want to speak?” The hearing took almost an hour, turning into a great success and opportunity for clarifying the truth, totally exceeding our expectations. After the hearing, some committee members explicitly expressed their support for the resolution, paving the way to its unanimous passage by the committee at a later date, thanks to Master’s benevolent arrangement.
2) Gaining the Critical Support of the House Rules Committee Chairman
In Georgia, the House Rules Committee is primarily responsible for deciding which bills should be debated and voted on the House floor. The Rules Chairman is often the final decision maker of the committee. Therefore, clarifying the truth to him became one of the most important steps in this process. When we met with him at the end of January, like other legislators, he thought that the CCP's persecution and forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong were issues of foreign affairs and should be handled by the federal government, not the state government. However, after he learned the truth, he changed his perception on the topic. Later he became one of our strongest supporters in the House.
Our resolution passed the hearing at the House with only several legislative days remaining. Some representatives were concerned that the resolution may not pass the Rules Committee Chairman for a House floor vote, so as soon as the resolution passed the House hearing, I immediately went to the Rules Committee Chairman’s office to make an appointment. To my surprise, his assistant was able to find an open slot for the next morning. That night while preparing for the meeting, I spent a lot of time thinking about how I could persuade the Rules Committee Chairman to put our resolution on the House calendar for a floor vote as soon as possible. Next morning, I arrived at his office on time. After sitting down, I took out a folder prepared the night before, ready to give a presentation. A couple of words into the conversation, he told me, “You don't need to say anything else. I already know about it. This is a very good resolution. Please tell your sponsor to come to my office to sign the relevant documents immediately.”
The next morning, our resolution was put on the House agenda for a floor vote. Wow, the door had been open after all! Master had already paved the way! Thank you, Master!!
Since the end of last October, we started clarifying the truth to all Georgia senators and simultaneously worked on a Senate resolution. By the end of March when the Georgia 2018 legislative session officially concluded, we had two separate resolutions passed by the Georgia House and Senate, respectively. All this was truly a miracle to us, far beyond my expectations. I knew in my heart it was handed to us by Master. I thank Master from the bottom of my heart for his compassionate arrangements, blessings, and encouragement. I am grateful to Master for giving us such an opportunity to validate the Fa, save sentient beings, and cultivate and improve ourselves.
As I reflect upon the process of clarifying the truth to the state government officials over the past several months, I saw many areas for improvement. The most obvious one has to do with my xinxing cultivation. For example, when things started going well or I had a breakthrough, I noticed that my human notions would quickly give me a sense of zealotry, while my rational and righteous mind told me that all is given to us by Master, and that taking heavenly credit was a human attachment that must be removed. Whenever my first thought was not righteous but instead a human attachment, it was rather frustrating and disappointing, yet it served as a painful reminder that it was time to abandon my attachments and human notions. In the process, I often felt that I was not compassionate enough, easily falling into a rush mode of wanting to get things done quickly. I saw that my attachments caused interference and had a negative impact on the overall effectiveness of saving sentient beings, leaving behind some regrets.
For example, we only met or talked with about 90 state representatives, half of the House members. At the time of the House vote, 156 members voted in favor of the resolution, with none voting against it. Overall 156 represents about 87% of all House members. If we were graded, 87% is a B. This may reflect the cultivation state of myself or us as a group on the House resolution. I think only by being diligent in cultivation can we reduce regrets and walk well the cultivation path Master has arranged for us.
In conclusion, these are parts of what I have experienced over the past seven years. I feel that it is an unprecedented responsibility and honor to be a Dafa disciple in the Fa-rectification period. Regardless of how long the cultivation journey may be, my greatest wish is that I will be able to stay diligent in cultivation, steadily carry out “the three things”, and faithfully follow the cultivation path arranged by Master so that I will be able to righteously call myself a genuine “Dafa disciple” at the end of the journey.
Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!
Chinese version: http://www.zhengjian.org/node/245216