Greetings esteemed Master! Greetings fellow practitioners!
My name is Raimonds and I am a 25-year-old man from Riga in Latvia. I found Zhuan Falun in late 2014 when I was in a bookstore browsing through the books.
For as long as I can remember, I have been very interested in meditation, exercises, spirituality and self-cultivation. Before I obtained Dafa I did some other things and tried to understand what meditation and this Universe is all about. And at one point I understood that I need a Master to guide me, to teach me.
When I first had this thought I started to browse the internet and went to some places to learn some other practices, but deep down inside I knew that those other practices were not good, so I quit. But my desire to cultivate was very strong.
I have always been very strict with myself, and I always loved to learn things by myself. But with meditation and cultivation, I somehow felt that I needed a Master. I believe Master saw this wish in my heart and arrange everything for me. It is exactly what Master said:
“Therefore, developing this thought is most precious. In Buddhism, people talk about Buddha-nature. When a person’s Buddha-nature emerges, the enlightened beings are able to help him.” (Lecture 1, Zhuan Falun)
Therefore, I believe that even before I became a practitioner, Master was already taking care of me. One day while I was walking through Riga I saw Falun Dafa practitioners doing the sitting meditation. I was very interested and shocked at the same time, because one elderly woman was sitting in full lotus with ease. It shocked me because I am a young man and cannot put up my legs like that. One practitioner handed me a booklet. I read it and took it away with me.
At first, I didn’t pay much attention to the booklet, but believed it was something precious. One day I went to a bookstore and spent a lot of time there examining different books. But in the end only one book caught my interest. It was a book with a golden cover – Zhuan Falun.
I forgot about all the other books and just bought this one. I went home and started to read it, and somehow felt that I had seen this book before – and it was true. I searched my stuff and found the Falun Dafa booklet. And I was shocked when I saw that this book was about that practice. Without hesitation I searched online and started to learn the exercises. I knew that I had found what I was looking for. The book explained everything for me. I felt it was most precious. Since then I have not put it down and have become a Falun Dafa practitioner.
Cherishing this opportunity to cultivate
Since I took up the practice I vowed that I would cultivate until the end, until I reach Consummation. So, I started to read the book more and more and also read all of Master Li Hongzhi’s Lectures and teachings. I also started to memorize Zhuan Falun and other scriptures. I developed a wish to learn Chinese and understand the Fa in its original text.
Since then I have been quietly learning Chinese grammar, characters and language by myself. Now I can recognize many of the Chinese characters and understand its grammar, and I can read Zhuan Falun in Chinese, although not all of it yet. I have also started to hand-copy Zhuan Falun with brush and ink. Through these experiences I have felt how magnificent the Fa and Chinese language is.
For example, when I do calligraphy and hand-copy the text, I always feel light, at ease and very peaceful. After the session my whole body seems so relaxed, and my mind filled with characters and Fa.
To gain a deeper understanding of self-cultivation and traditional culture, I have also read all the ancient cultivation stories on Clearwisdom.net and Minghui.org. This helped me a lot to better understand Zhuan Falun and how solemn and serious cultivation is. I really feel that I must cherish this unprecedented opportunity to cultivate in the Great Fa of the universe.
Through reading all of Master’s teachings, my wisdom increased and I understood everything about life and the purpose of coming here. I felt this practice was most precious and I was determined to reach the standard for a true practitioner.
Of course, cultivation is not easy and not something one can grasp at the beginning. I believe it takes a process of deep questioning and thinking to understand the more profound principles. And as I have understood, cultivation is not something formal and superficial, one must put the principles one has understood into practice, rid oneself of attachments and suffer, and I believe this is the hardest part.
As I read and memorized different texts from Master’s teachings, at the beginning I felt that I understood how to conduct myself. But the real hard part came when I had to follow these principles in my daily life, cultivate amidst different xinxing tests, act like a practitioner and look within.
For example, at the beginning I didn’t know how to look within and reflect on all the situations by myself. I always found faults with others, especially in our local Fa study group. My attention was on others and I often saw other people's shortcomings and thought about how wrong they were. With that my heart became full of resentment, dislike and arrogance. My attention was on the external.
After Fa study one time, practitioners shared with one another and had a conflict, and many human things came out. I understood that I needed to look within, but i didn’t know what to search for. I started to read the Fa on my own and didn’t pay attention to their disputes. But behind all that was thoughts of dislike and blame, thoughts that they didn’t know what cultivation is. The thought that “I’m better than others” was hiding behind all that.
Through studying the Fa, reflecting and writing down my thoughts I understood that nothing is not accidental, all these situations pointed out my attachments and incorrect thoughts. They happened so that I could see my selfishness and attachment to self-righteousness.
“Some people evaluate themselves with the lowered moral standard. Because the standard of judgment has changed, they consider themselves better than others.” (Zhuan Falun, Lecture One)
After I realized that I was focusing my attention on looking outwards instead of inwards, I saw this arrogance in me and started to pay attention to it. I decided that I would work harder on my heart and find shortcomings only in myself, not in others. As a result, my heart increased its capacity, and I no longer find faults in others. If I do I reflect on it, search my inner-self and try to understand others from their perspectives. My heart got bigger and I no longer held any negative thoughts about other people’s shortcomings, although it wasn’t always easy to get rid of thoughts of blaming others.
Yet still I cannot always treat myself as a true practitioner, always look within and eliminate my attachments. Sometimes it is very painful. For example, when I am working and someone does something that irritates me, I know that I must not get angry and upset, but in most cases I take it to heart and allow it to control me. But now I have understood that those things are not me – and those attachments are precisely what Master wants me to remove, things like anger, impatience and getting upset. So, I truly try every day to suppress and remove them and make room for compassion.
One time I was talking to my girlfriend and she started to say things that irritated me and got me angry. But at that moment I remembered that I am a Dafa practitioner and should hold myself to higher standards. Although I felt these attachments were on the brink of taking over, I didn’t follow them and instead used kindness to deal with the situation. As a result there were no conflicts and everything continued as normal. At that moment I realized that I always need to hold myself to high standards and not allow thought karma and attachments to control me.
“Some people do not have a very strong Main Consciousness and will comply with the thought karma to commit wrongdoing. Such people will be ruined and drop in levels. Most people, however, can remove and resist it with very strong thoughts from themselves (a strong Main Consciousness). With this, it indicates that this person can be saved and can distinguish good from bad.” (Zhuan Falun, Lecture Six)
Now I understand that every aspect of my life is part of my cultivation, and that includes how I treat myself at home and at work. In every situation I must demonstrate the demeanour of a Dafa disciple.
For example, I used to let my mum do all the household chores, and didn’t think about it too much. But now I clean the house, wash the floor and clean the dishes. My mum didn’t ask me to do it. One day I just woke up and felt that I must do it. But I still feel that I am very far from the standard of a true practitioner and that my “bottle” is still filled with many bad things and cannot completely ascend. I still have a lot of selfishness. But nevertheless, I will try my best to cultivate away those bad things and return to my original true self.
Clarifying the facts with compassion
After studying Master’s teachings I understood the importance of clarifying the facts to help save sentient beings. So, I actively started to participate in all of the local truth clarifying activities and also learned a lot about the persecution and the CCP.
I understood that while helping save sentient beings I must embody compassion, and that only compassion can melt the hearts of ordinary people. Before public events I studied how to better clarify the truth from the Minghui.org website and also from truth clarification videos, to understand what to say to people and to back up my story with facts.
At the beginning of winter 2016 Dafa practitioners actively organized public events to clarify the facts about the persecution and Jiang Zemin. Although I attended the events and talked to people, I didn’t attend these events actively from start to finish, and walked off as I pleased, and was not that serious about it. This incorrect state was pointed out by a practitioner who, after the event, said in a strict tone, “You take this as a game, you come and go as you please." And that truly was the case. I looked within and saw this incorrect state. I managed to eliminate it and take activities more seriously.
I decided to be more diligent. I actively started to participate in all of the events, and even helped organize them. For example, when I helped organize the event “Bring Jiang Zemin to justice”, I became more diligent, embodied compassion and during the events I always held righteous thoughts like “My compassionate energy field can rectify all incorrect states”, “I embody compassion”, “People with predestined affinity will come one after another and make their choice”.
I often recite Master’s poem:
“Compassion can harmonize Heaven and Earth, ushering in spring
Righteous thoughts can save the people in this world”
(Hong Yin II, The Fa Rectifies the Cosmos)
At moments when I don’t speak to people I send forth righteous thoughts and keep my mind clear and pure, and because of that no negative thoughts can come in. When I am truly in that state I feel that my energy field can rectify all abnormal conditions, and it gives me wisdom while clarifying the truth.
For example, a man was hurrying past our event so I greeted him and sent out my pure thoughts and deep compassion, then explained the facts to him. At first the man seemed annoyed, but then he opened up and signed the petition.
Another time a lady was walking her dogs. At first, she didn’t want to listen, but she soon relaxed and asked: “What can signing the petition do?
I replied: “If one stays indifferent and takes no action, then nothing will change.” The women immediately signed the petition and wished us good luck. I believe benevolence melted her heart and her true self came out so she made the right choice.
I have explained the truth to almost all of my friends and colleagues. When talking to people I always try to talk to them as if they are my best friend. I greet them politely and talk to them as if we are close. Oftentimes it opens people up, and they carefully listen to the truth.
One time while I was working, at the end of my shift a tourist group of about 8-10 people came into our coffee shop. At that time, I was actively clarifying truth to my friends about the persecution. I thought – “This is a great predestined opportunity, I must clarify the truth to them about Jiang Zemin and the persecution.”
At first, I didn’t know how to start the conversation and was a bit scared, but I broke through it and just brought up the topic. I asked them if they knew about Falun Dafa and the persecution. I spoke to them with kindness and as if I was talking to a close friend. They all listened attentively. After that I asked if they would like to sign the petition. They all signed.
While talking to them and overcoming my fear of talking to people, I felt my body become light and I felt Falun rotating in my lower abdomen. Similar situations occurred when I have removed my fear and talked to people about Falun Dafa.
Right now I feel that I am still very far from the standard of a true practitioner, but I will try to do better each step of the way, steel my will, do the three things and assimilate myself to the characteristic of the Universe to help Master in the Fa-rectification period.
Thank you, Master. Thank you, fellow practitioners.
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