I Finally Understand How to Truly Cultivate
(Minghui.org) I began practicing Falun Dafa in China in 1995 with my mother when I was only three years old. After the persecution started, she was illegally arrested and sentenced to forced labor.
Without a cultivation environment, I gradually became like an everyday person. I drifted along pursuing fame, personal gain, and emotion. I left China in 2015 to study abroad and resumed practicing in 2016. It wasn’t until this year, however, that I began to understand what true cultivation is.
Finding My True Self
Strong thought karma had interfered with me for a very long time. But I did not realize it.
My parents’ divorce, my mother’s high expectations for me academically, and my dissatisfaction with life filled me with stress and indignation. I was attached to always looking at things negatively.
This negative thought substance seriously interfered with my cultivation, keeping me unhappy and depressed. I felt very distressed.
I thought my cultivation state would improve if I became diligent, but I didn’t realize my thinking was wrong until this April. With a hint from Master Li, I came to understand that strong thought karma had been interfering with me. Only after I rejected it, eliminated it, and found my true self was I able to study the Fa and truly cultivate myself. I finally became diligent.
I began adding a thought to eliminate the negative substance when I sent forth righteous thoughts: “I am a Dafa disciple. My true self has none of those negative and depressing substances. I do not want them and they must be completely eliminated.”
With Master Li’s help, I got rid of the bad habit of watching TV, so I eliminated that source of interference. I studied the Fa, did the exercises, studied Master’s recent writings every day, read Minghui.org, and listened to Minghui Radio (mhradio.org) and practitioners’ songs whenever I had free time.
I felt myself being cleansed little by little every day, as the negative substances left me. They would suddenly attack me, however, and I would become depressed again. I later realized it was because the last little pieces of them were dying. They didn’t want to die, so they struggled.
I began reciting Master’s Fa,
“When your righteous thoughts are firm and when you can repel those things, I remove them for you bit by bit; however much you can do, that’s how much I remove for you and diminish for you.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IV)
After they were removed, I was finally able to truly experience the peaceful state of a cultivator. When those things popped up occasionally, I could quickly identify them and they would be gone after I sent forth righteous thoughts and studied the Fa. My main consciousness woke up and I can study the Fa wholeheartedly. My cultivation has undergone great changes.
I’d like to share with you that it is very important to remove the attachment of watching TV. We cannot just think, “I don’t watch much, so it doesn't matter.”
Everyday people’s TV programs, especially those in China, are filled with fights over fame and personal gain. As soon as I watched them, the bad substances entered my dimensional field, and I could feel my thoughts becoming impure and the corresponding attachments becoming stronger.
Those substances do not want to die, so they will surely stir you up and make you want to watch again. This is the time to test how solid your righteous thoughts are. If you can control yourself and repel it, the situation will soon pass.
I often chatted with another practitioner whose words were filled with human thoughts. At first, I tried to patiently remind her, but later, I became impatient and thought, “Why are your human thoughts still so strong?”
I realized my tone was not kind and I looked down on her. Sometimes my words hurt others but I did not realize it.
One day, a friend sent texts and voicemails criticizing me. They hit me like a bomb. I replied with a few cold apologies, but she did not accept them. My heart began to churn.
I remembered something another practitioner told me. She told me she practiced forbearance. She said that once she cried so hard her pillow was soaked with tears, but she contained her anger and did not erupt. Practicing forbearance has become very natural.
Master said, “Forbearance is the key to improving one's xinxing.” (“What is Forbearance (Ren)?” Essentials for Further Advancement )
I had been doing poorly with forbearance. I was tolerant for fear of hurting relationships. But I couldn’t take it anymore and blew up, after which I was filled with regret. This time I decided to contain my anger and behave like a practitioner. In Falun Gong Master said,
“A tribulation might be upsetting to you at first and make you unbearably angry—to the point that you become flushed with anger and you feel it all the way down to the gut. But if you don’t erupt and you manage to contain your anger, then that’s good, and you have started to exercise self-control, to proactively practice Ren. You will gradually and continually improve your character, truly taking those things lightly. And that is an even greater improvement.” (Chapter III, Falun Gong)
I gradually calmed down and wrote back to her, trying to explain the misunderstanding. I continued receiving angry texts for the next three days. I knew I hadn’t truly passed the test.
I recited Master’s Fa and kept rejecting the impulse to fight back. Even when my eyes filled with tears and my stomach hurt, I continued rejecting those thoughts. I was able to gradually calm down.
I felt the power of forbearance firsthand from this incident. I felt wonderful, light, and openhearted after letting go of this attachment.
I realized that when conflicts arise I must be tolerant. I should reject those negative thoughts generated by human attachments. Master is constantly removing the bad substances in other dimensions for me.
For example, one morning during a test, I was tolerant, but tears came to my eyes. I found my resentment and eliminated it. That afternoon, a similar test happened again, but I wasn’t moved at all. It was amazing!
Participating in Projects to Save People
Last year I started clarifying the facts on the RTC platform. It was a great cultivation opportunity. Many of my human attachments including fear, competitiveness, and saving face were exposed in the process.
In the beginning, my heart pounded when I picked up the phone. I was terrified when the person swore or yelled. Sometimes I argued with them.
I learned to send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate my human thoughts. Even though I felt I didn't do well, many people agreed to quit the Communist Party and its affiliated organizations. I knew Master was encouraging me.
I became very busy with my everyday job last year. Due to interference from thought karma and some attachments to fame and personal gain, I got busier and busier and my schedule only allowed me to promote Shen Yun on weekends. I no longer had time to phone China.
This April, after constantly studying Master’s recent writings, I gradually realized the importance and urgency of saving people. I resumed phoning people in China.
“Saving non-practitioners is supposed to be your responsibility. [The way it’s supposed to be is that] I save you, and you save them. Now I am even helping you do it, so if you don’t do it, are you a Dafa disciple? How are you going to fare at the end, when accounts are finally settled? At that point it will be too late for crying.” (Fa Teaching at the 2019 New York Fa Conference, Team Yellow Translation)
I knew that many Chinese people have not been saved. I felt handing out Dafa flyers to Westerners was easy because they weren't poisoned by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s lies.
I avoided Chinese people. My attachments to fear, saving face, and all kinds of concerns kept popping up. I found it very hard to speak with Chinese people and persuade them to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations.
Compared to practitioners in China who clarify the facts to everyone I was far behind. I felt very anxious.
“It’s plenty clear what the three things that Dafa disciples should be doing are. Have you been doing them? If not, then get to it. You shouldn’t be thinking that those sites for raising awareness are exclusively for our older ladies.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2019 New York Fa Conference,” Team Yellow Translation)
I wasn’t that busy in the summer, so I decided to clarify the facts to Chinese people at tourist spots and overcome my human notions. The following weekend I went to the truth-clarification site in Chinatown and followed the advice of the elderly practitioners who were very experienced. Everything went smoothly.
I looked for Chinese people and approached them to clarify the facts and persuade them to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations.
I constantly sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate anything that was trying to interfere with me and keep me from saving people. I constantly removed my fear and my human notions. I reminded myself that I was doing the most righteous thing and not to be afraid, because the fear was not me.
One young Chinese Canadian who was studying nearby agreed to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations. He shook my hand. I felt there were still so many people out there waiting to hear the truth!
One day, I saw two young men sitting in the shade and I approached them. I briefly told them about Dafa. They accepted my pamphlets and agreed to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations. Before they left, they pushed a cold beverage into my hand and said, “It’s so hot. You’ve been working hard.” I was very touched.
Many people ask me, “You’re so young! Why are you practicing Falun Dafa?” I tell them, “Many Ph.D. and Master’s degree holders and white-collar professionals practice!” Then I begin to tell them the truth. I now understand that my stepping forward is our esteemed Master’s arrangement.
I have also run into people who react negatively. Some people ignore me and walk away with disdain and mockery on their faces. Some swear at me. I know these reactions are tests for my xinxing.
My second day at the truth-clarification site, a young student spoke to me viciously and asked, “What do you know? Do you have a degree?” I knew he had been poisoned by lies. He wouldn’t listen to me, and tears ran down my face.
I asked myself why I cried. Part of me was sad that he was so poisoned by the CCP's lies. But it was also because my self-esteem had been hurt, and my attachment to saving face and self-protection had been touched. I sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate these human thoughts.
These experiences have helped me understand that truth-clarification sites really need young practitioners. Our being there is very powerful.
The truth-clarification site in one midwest city's Chinatown was established over ten years ago, and the practitioners there have cleared the energy field. I was able to immediately initiate a conversation with strangers. I want to thank the practitioners there for their persistence.
As soon as I returned to my everyday life, I found it hard to talk to strangers again. I gradually discovered the reason was my strong attachment to self-protection.
I grew up surrounded by Party culture. My attachment to saving face was very strong. I never knew what kind of Chinese people I would run into or what their reactions would be when I talked to them. I knew that I must remove this attachment.
I asked myself, “When the last day of Fa-rectification arrives, how will I feel when I realize so many people were not saved because of my human notions?” I would be filled with regret but it would be too late. I’d like to take this opportunity to expose my human notions that are stopping me from saving people. I must let them go.
The Fa-rectification has almost reached the end, but I have just begun to practice. I have many attachments and human notions to remove, especially fame, jealousy, competitiveness, lust, and resentment.
I realized that sometimes after I understood a Fa principle or achieved something, I developed a show-off and self-validation mentality. I must be strict with myself and let go of those filthy human thoughts.
During the process, I have felt Master strengthening and enlightening me. As soon as I develop righteous thoughts and the wish to cultivate myself, Master pushes me forward. I am immensely grateful.
Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!