China Fahui | Focusing While Studying the Fa Improved My Cultivation State
(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
In 2008, I walked out of prison once again after being illegally detained for my faith. I intensively looked inward to find my shortcomings. On the surface, I was incarcerated because of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP's) persecution of Falun Dafa. But other practitioners were able to steadily cultivate, assist Master in Fa-rectification, and save sentient beings. Why did I always do badly—where was I lacking?
Studying the Fa with a Focused Mind
When I looked back at my cultivation state, I noticed I hadn't paid attention to studying the Fa. I read one to two lectures of Zhuan Falun every day, but I did it as though completing a task. I was not focused on what I read. I was distracted by a lot of random thoughts. During group Fa study, I was more interested in showing off that I could read better. I studied Master’s teachings the same way everyday people study theoretical writings. Subconsciously, I sought to gain new understandings while studying the Fa, and when that didn’t happen, I decided that I spent too much time reading the teachings—I could have used the time to save more people. When I gave out truth-clarification materials, I thought I did enough after I helped two or three people quit the CCP.
Because I didn’t truly grasp what I was reading, I frequently acted recklessly while doing things to save people and did not pay attention to safety. When clarifying the truth to relatives, I was impatient and quick to defend myself. I would argue with people when I heard unpleasant remarks. I was reluctant to get closer to those who refused to accept the truth about Dafa. At home, I criticized my husband at the slightest provocation and frequently said hurtful words. I felt I was not appreciated even though I did most of the household chores.
For a long time, I felt physically and mentally drained and was unhappy. I even looked upset and unhappy—how could I save people? All these shortcomings came from my studying the Fa with the wrong attitude. I appeared to be reading the teachings, sending righteous thoughts, and clarifying the truth, but I was doing these things with an ordinary person's mindset.
When I re-read Master’s other lectures, I noticed that he stressed the importance of studying the Fa well. Master said,
“The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa canshatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts.” (“Drive Out Interference,” Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I knew the Fa is powerful and that it can help me change and be more rational and mature in cultivation. I resolved to change the way I study the Fa.
I started to hand-copy Master’s teachings in August 2008. Although I had practiced Falun Dafa for over a decade, I never copied the Fa because I thought reading the book was quicker. I discovered that copying the Fa is a cultivation process. I made mistakes easily if I did not send righteous thoughts before I picked up the pen, my mind slipped a little or I did not act like a practitioner that day. At times, just when I was about to finish one page, I wrote a wrong character and had to start all over again. Sometimes, I could not copy even one page after working on it for half a day.
When I kept making mistakes, I stopped and sent righteous thoughts. Although it was challenging, even if I only managed to copy a few sentences, I told myself to keep going. I finally fulfilled my wish to copy Zhuan Falun by hand—it took me five months.
I was transformed. I became more tranquil and handled things effortlessly. In the past, I disliked doing household chores and didn't want to do the three things required of Dafa disciples. Now I paid attention to practicing cultivation in the small things that happen every day. I also paid attention to minor details and stopped doing things in a slipshod manner. I also made more effort to prepare delicious meals so that my husband would feel the joy of family life.
I hardly made any mistakes while reading at group Fa study. My fear of being persecuted disappeared too. I have greater success in explaining the facts about Dafa to people and getting them to quit the CCP. My experience is, as long as we study the Fa well, our body and mind will change and we will be able to conduct ourselves like a practitioner. This is the power of Dafa.
I began to memorize the teachings by heart this year after the Chinese New Year. I set a goal this time: to recite a small paragraph without missing a word and remember the main idea in a chapter. At the same time, I studied the Fa together with other practitioners two to three times a week. When I got tired, I switched to reading the book. If I only managed to learn a few paragraphs by heart and could not recite it without making any mistakes, I would go through the same passage the next day until every phrase was etched in my mind.
Although progress was slow, I gained a lot. When I read the Fa continuously, a sentence would just slip past without making any impression on me. But when I began memorizing the Fa, I suddenly understood the meaning behind a sentence. I was touched and grateful to Master. I tried my best not to think of anything else while I read or memorized the Fa so that every word went into my heart. It took me eight months to finish learning the teachings by heart the third time.
My mind was purified through spending a lot of time on Fa study. I had fewer distracting thoughts, and my wisdom naturally came through when I clarified the truth to people. When talking to people, I could analyze the situation and easily explain things to them. I no longer focused on how many materials I handed out. Instead I evaluated how effective it was and put them in safer, cleaner areas so that more people would pick them up and learn the truth.
“You must study the Fa well. In the process of studying the Fa you'll be able to keep clearing away bad elements in yourself, changing the last bit of stuff you have that hasn't yet been changed.” (Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference)
Master also said,
“...as long as you read Dafa, you are changing; as long as you read Dafa, you are elevating.” (“Melt into the Fa,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
My experiences pointed out to me how true Master's words are.
For a long time I thought I was doing the three things and that I had let go of many human attachments—to reputation, self-interest and emotion. Yet in daily life, especially in my relationships with family members who are not practitioners, I argued about what’s right and wrong using everyday people's logic.
I also accumulated many bad notions through years of working in an environment steeped in CCP culture. For instance, I adopted the principle of “repaying evil with evil.” If someone treated me badly, I would retaliate by being more fierce. I was also impatient. I often blurted out: “Haven’t I told you already?” “Haven’t I said this to you many times?” I refused to be outdone by my husband and wouldn’t let go whenever I saw his faults. I frequently made sarcastic comments. My behavior at home was far from the standards of “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance.”
I frequently stumbled because I didn’t practice cultivation solidly. I planned to visit a practitioner and discuss how to help another practitioner who had been arrested. That night, my husband criticized me over a small matter. I argued and began criticizing his various shortcomings. Consequently, when I got up in the morning to do the exercises, my left leg was in pain and I struggled to sit in the lotus position. I finished all five exercises with great difficulty. After breakfast, I got ready to visit the practitioner but felt a sharp pain in my left leg just as I walked down the stairs. I could not move at all.
I was taken aback by this sudden tribulation. I must have done something wrong! I knew that because I didn’t act like a practitioner the night before, the old forces had something to latch onto to stop me from doing the right thing. I quickly apologized to Master, “I am wrong. I will apologize to my family and change my ways. Please help me so I can go and see this practitioner.”
I drove to the practitioner’s house, parked my car and asked Master to help me walk normally. I didn’t want her family to have the wrong impression of Dafa. I walked forward slowly, step by step. My leg didn’t hurt as much and I was able to walk into her house. She was moved when I told her what had happened, and she reminded me to apologize to my husband.
I got home and was about to open the door when my husband returned from work. I smiled at him and said, “I was wrong to argue with you last night.” This was the first time I had apologized to him in over 30 years of marriage. This incident taught me that practitioners should not fight over who is right or wrong. When we let go of the desire to be better than others, we will experience the joy that comes from making progress in cultivation. True happiness comes from following the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
Recently, my brother-in-law experienced a marriage crisis. It caused a stir among our relatives, but I held myself as a practitioner and did not gossip or say anything inappropriate. My actions gained the trust of my brother-in-law, and he confided in me. My sister-in-law used to ridicule me behind my back for telling her children about Dafa. Through this crisis, she saw that I had her best interests at heart. When I told her daughter and son-in-law to remember, “Falun Dafa is good” and “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance is good” during the pandemic, she agreed.
Learning to Get Along with Other Practitioners
Sue is a local elderly practitioner. I looked down on her when she applied ointment on her face after a fall. I also thought she had strong fear and was afraid to ask people to quit the CCP. I felt she would not be reliable at crucial moments and didn't want to study the Fa with her.
Then I realized, “She studies the Fa and does the exercises consistently. She tells her relatives about Dafa. She is Master’s disciple. Why do I look down on her? I should treasure our relationship.”
With this change in mindset, I no longer disliked her and tried my best to help her. I went to Sue’s house once or twice a week to study the Fa, share understandings, and help her read Minghui Weekly. She became more diligent. She also filed a criminal complaint against former CCP leader Jiang Zemin, who started the persecution of Falun Dafa. She went to the post office herself to mail her lawsuit to the procuratorate. Recently she suffered from a terrible headache. She did not tell her family about it but sent righteous thoughts and looked inward. She recovered in no time.
Practitioner Ann would often get drowsy while studying the Fa at home by herself. We studied the Fa together for three days. I used to think it was a waste of time to study the Fa during the day and preferred to clarify the truth to people instead. Yet after finishing household chores at night, I didn’t have much time left for Fa study. If I didn’t study the Fa well, my efforts to clarify the truth to people weren’t effective.
After we began reading the teachings together, both of us felt it was beneficial and our righteous thoughts had grown stronger. Ann used yuan notes with messages about Dafa printed on them and even got her son and daughter-in-law to use them. I found it easier to clarify the truth, and people agreed to quit the CCP after I briefly explained things to them.
Practitioner Lee does things slowly and carefully. One time, he told me many technical things while teaching me how to access the Internet. I was in a hurry to go home. I loudly criticized him for talking at a high level instead of showing me directly how to get onto the Internet. I was upset for a long time when I got home.
I realized I was impatient and had strong contempt for others. I was grateful to practitioners for exposing my character flaws. The next time I asked Lee for help, I reminded myself to be humble and listen to him patiently. Lee did not bear any grudges and never said a word about my arrogant behavior. With his assistance, our Fa-study group began to produce truth-clarification materials.
Through these incidents, I learned that as long as I can let go of my ego, look inward in conflicts, see things from the perspective of safeguarding Dafa and focus on the strengths of other practitioners, we will be able to do the three things well.