PureInsight | November 29, 2019
Greetings revered Master, greetings fellow practitioners,
I began cultivation in the winter of 2016. While my tempering in Dafa has not been long, I hope to share with you my understandings and realizations over the past one-and-a-half years.
Relying on the Fa for a Clear Mind
Initially, I read Zhuan Falun and the supplementary lectures with a curious mind. The principles of the universe were revealed, the structure of the cosmos and the abundance of life were explained, and glimpses of humankind’s history were uncovered. The mysteries of our world had been told. Who wouldn’t want to listen to that?
I had also remembered on the surface that Master would tell Dafa disciples to study the Fa. From the Lecture at the First Conference in North America, “As long as you study the Fa earnestly, answers found within the Fa can solve any hard-to-untie knots in your heart, or any hang-ups.” My initial motivation of curiosity transformed into a more solemn reverence when I first went to distribute Shen Yun materials in office buildings. That experience allowed me to see a greater depth and to witness the power of Fa study.
There was a team that distributed Shen Yun materials to mainstream workplaces. Even though this may not be a widely accepted form of advertising, I saw the good heart of practitioners who did not want to miss any predestined audience members, so I joined them. I brought pamphlets and gift calendars to offices with the intention of giving instead of asking, but I ran into all types of people, some of whom sent me away with a cold voice and chilly expression on their face, accusing me of soliciting. Regardless of the reception, every time I would try to muster the brightest smile and dignified confidence that I’m here to let them know about this wonderful show, which I had never seen, but believed can save people.
I went from building to building, day to day. I remember one day venturing too deep into an office just to find others outraged by my presence and immediately calling the security to report me. After I left that office, I sent forth righteous thoughts in the stairway. My willpower pushed me forward just to lead me to the real estate office that owned the building. They made it very clear that what I was doing was not welcomed and made me promise to leave the building, so I followed my words and went to the lobby, dispirited.
That day I arrived home battered, with tired limbs, an unappreciated mind, and a piercing headache. I would still sit down cross-legged to study the Fa, and whilst what I read was not directly relevant to my situation, I connected with the Fa. I felt soothing warmth wrapping up my hands as I was holding the book, and a gentle, but firm pulsing energy was circulating through my body. By the end of the study session, my headache went away, my mind became crystal clear, my motivation was set straight, and I felt ready for the next morning to go out again and tell people about Shen Yun again.
Ever since then, whenever I feel muddleheaded, or am grappling with my human attachments, I turn to Fa study. When my concentration is good, I can clearly feel my hands warming up, becoming numb, and a strong energy resolving abnormal conditions. And by now, I no longer read the teachings out of curiosity, nor do I consciously try to gain from them; instead I study them as part of my life, a life for cultivation. It’s a truly wondrous path.
Exercises Are the Best Way to Clear Away Fatigue
It’s no secret that cultivators are putting up an example on multiple fronts of life. Balancing things well and choosing the right priorities often becomes a very difficult task. At the university, I was striving to be a well-performing graduate student in my classes, a responsible research assistant to my professor, and an active student leader in the Falun Dafa Club. At work, I was striving to be a responsible software engineer. At home, I was striving to be a responsible housemate, taking my share, and often more, of the household chores. I was not willing to let any aspect of my life be neglected.
But this of course, reduced the number of hours I slept. Nevertheless, as a new practitioner, I would not let up with regularly doing the exercises early in the morning, keeping in mind that Master had said at the Lecture at the First Conference in North America, “Actually, you are afraid that you don’t get enough rest. Have you ever thought of the fact that practicing cultivation is the best form of rest? You can obtain the kind of rest that can’t be obtained through sleeping.” I remember that there was a longer time when even sleeping in could not clear away my exhaustion, but doing the exercises did. Whenever I finished the first four exercises or the sitting meditation, all exhaustion would be wiped out and my mind would be sharp and alert. Ever since then, I turn to the exercises to recover from weaknesses and exhaustion.
Validating Dafa by “Returning the Lottery Bike”
Half a year into my cultivation, when I moved out of the student apartment complex to the residential area, I got tempted by money. The apartment complex mistakenly sent me the deposit I had to make, which I had already used up for the last months’ rent. It arrived in a check, $1638. First I was overjoyed, thinking to myself, “Woah, pursue nothing, gain naturally,” pretty good! I immediately hopped on my bike and headed to the ATM to deposit the check.
On the way, thoughts popped up from my conscience, remembering that in Zhuan Falun, a father asked, “How much de must I give away if I get something that isn’t paid for?” So finally I turned my direction to the apartment complex, knowing that I must do what is right. Over there, I handed them the check, and waited for a response. They called me over and told me indeed, they had made a mistake, and they were very sorry that they cannot do anything more than thank me. They also told me that what I had done was right, and there are not many people who would do what is right. They told me I had helped them discover an error in their system, which now they could correct.
I answered the staff that Falun Dafa practitioners follow Truth-Compassion-Forbearance, and they would do what is right. I handed them two of my lotus flower charms that usually dangle on my backpack. The ladies were deeply touched, telling me that not only did I bring back the money, but I also gave them gifts! So I left the place feeling content that they would understand Falun Dafa is good.
Master said to veteran practitioners at the Fa Teaching Given at the 2014 San Francisco Fa Conference, “You should do more to lead them [new practitioners] along and help them catch up, and gradually they will come to understand things. You must do more to lead them along”. I would say the local practitioners have done really well in this regard. I was fortunate to have been arranged plenty of opportunities to interact with veteran practitioners. As long as I was willing to give up my everyday person’s habits, change my way of thinking, and learn how to prioritize according to the Fa, I was able to balance things well. So I participated and observed how experienced practitioners act while clarifying the truth or working on projects.
I saw and followed their dedication at petition drives at universities. We stood under the sun to clarify the truth at tourist sites, and I noted to myself how practitioners spend their weekends thinking of the sentient beings to be saved. They let me join the grand marches, and I felt the power and benevolence of a large body of Dafa disciples. They invited me to the largest health expo in the US, and I learned how their nonprofit organization interacted with influential medical and public health institutions to expose the forced organ harvesting. They brought me along to promote Shen Yun in various settings, and I saw how they would not be touched by negative words from everyday people, but would continue the hard work with an unwavering but kind mind. They taught me patiently, and in detail, how to support Shen Yun performances during production. Practitioners with high technical skills taught me how to manage mailing lists to inform the media and introduced me to the TV and online promotion of Shen Yun. They brought me along to the Georgia State Capitol to speak with politicians, and I witnessed how practitioners were able to make genuine connections, asking for favor on the surface, but in reality inspiring and awakening the sentient beings to make the right choice. And finally, they talked to me via Skype to share their experience about how the platform of beauty pageants was transformed into an international truth clarification stage to speak up for Chinese human rights. And I’m sure my recollection is not complete.
This past year has been by far the most intensive year of my life. Master has purified my body and lifted my thinking and mind. We all know no words can express our gratitude towards Master. For me, it would manifest in tears swelling up in my eyes while reading the teachings, slowly recognizing what has really been done for us. But I am also tremendously grateful to all the practitioners, local and remote, who brought me along and guided and inspired me by their sheer righteous actions and hard work.
I hope we all can stay diligent, support each other well, and fulfill our vows in assisting Master in Fa rectification.
Cultivation Is Serious, the Requirements Are High, and That’s True for New Practitioners as Well - “Stumbling to Enlighten to the Tao”
Participating in so many Dafa projects and activities, I gradually developed a notion of being capable. Instead of seeing how everything, including my abilities, was bestowed upon me by Master to fulfill my role, I began to mix in the truth clarification activities more and more elements of validating myself instead of the Fa. What is the result when we start having elements of validating ourselves? In Zhuan Falun, it’s written, “Am I perhaps an unusual person? I was able to learn Teacher Li’s Falun Dafa and have studied it so well, better than all the others. Perhaps I’m also not an ordinary person.” To this, Master said, “This thought is already not right.” This became outright apparent when I organized a movie screening at my university.
As it was my last semester, I wished to have a larger event to clarify the truth. I had found a way to finance the event without relying on local practitioners. What’s more, I incorporated knowledge from promoting Shen Yun, and since I started preparation early, I achieved a very comprehensive advertising on campus, which involved banners, posters, flier, and TV ads. All the dining halls had napkin holders with our event artwork. I approached faculty members and clarified the truth to them, received their support and visited their classes to introduce the movie. I contacted all the Asian student organization leaders and invited them and their clubs to our event. When the final day came, I waited for students to stream in and learn about the truth. However, only eight students came, and I felt partially destroyed.
In retrospect, there were plenty of gaps in the process of organizing this event. The largest one was that cooperation with a fellow practitioner on campus was not in place. But my attempts to build connections with other student organizations were zealous and did not take the social context into full consideration. I was grappling with human attachments and sentimentality, which derailed my focus. And again, I mixed in plenty of elements of self-validation, which made my motives impure. I was made to stumble, whereby I could enlighten to the Tao. I promised to myself, and I would like to speak this out in front of fellow practitioners, that from now on, I will work harder, more professionally, with a better grasp of social circumstances, and with an utmost focus on correcting any ideas of self-validation.
Let me share a final aspect of this movie screening event. Ultimately, I spent nearly $600 to host this event without achieving the expected result. I am glad that I only invested my own savings and asked for no one else’s contribution. The way I understand it now is that our resources in general are arranged and granted by Master, and it takes great wisdom and a good cultivation state not to squander these resources. In Zhuan Falun, with regard to reverse cultivation, Master said, “It [the gong] came from great enlightened beings, and thus the gong itself is good.” I asked myself, all those people with great inborn qualities who were granted gong, were they better off with such power? Master said in Zhuan Falun, “Didn’t I mention before that the Fa could not be taught to that person? If he could enlighten to it, then he could get it. It is an issue of enlightening. If a person cannot enlighten to something, nothing can be done.” Therefore for those people, the gong was only useful if they could enlighten to it; otherwise it would make them fall and perhaps may make them become even worse than ordinary people.
So what about our case? What about our resources and granted abilities? How is our situation different from theirs? Well, there’s a huge difference. The Fa has been taught to us. From Teaching on World Falun Dafa Day, “The Fa that is taught this time is free of mystery. That is why it’s said to have ‘plain truths,’ as the Fa’s principles are simple and clear. ‘Plain truths and plain words’—meaning, the words said are as plain as could be, most simple and straightforward.” But what is the same is that we still have to improve our enlightenment quality to do things well. It means we have to study the Fa and use the wisdom, power, and resources arranged for us to improve ourselves and save sentient beings. If our wisdom and enlightenment cannot live up to this role and power, we may fall along with the resources and abilities, getting attached to worldly gains and petty skills, ultimately failing to save whom we vowed to save.
Walking the Path Well
I arrived at a time when going to my first international Fa conference, Master has said in Fa Teaching at the New York Fa Conference on the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Dafa’s Introduction to the Public, “The Fa rectification of the cosmos has progressed to where it is today. It has truly proceeded to the final stage, and is now transitioning toward the Fa’s rectification of the human world.” “What I once said would come to pass is now happening. I didn’t prophesize it, but I spelled out the progression of the Fa’s rectification of the cosmos, step by step, all the way through to the end. Just watch, my words are coming true.” I obtained the Fa at this transitional phase, so I’m not even sure whether I am a Fa-rectification Dafa disciple. But I cherish every opportunity to validate the Fa and clarify the truth. I hope that I can bring back a glimmer of experienced practitioners’ feeling to cultivate with the heart they once had. I marvel at the culture Master and Dafa disciples have created! I hope that we all can walk our paths well!
Please point out anything inappropriate.
Thank you Master, thank you fellow practitioners!
Chinese version: http://www.zhengjian.org/node/245583