Honourable Master, respected fellow cultivators.
I would like to share my experiences of moving from trying to be a good person to becoming a cultivator. It has taken me many years and a somewhat long detour to realize the difference between the two on a deeper level.
I grew up in an academic family, where tradition and good education dominated. For a long time, I thought I did well in cultivation since I knew how to behave well among people and thought at least I didn’t display too bad a behaviour. I was very active in the cultivation community and thought I was a diligent practitioner. However, it was difficult for me to understand the difference between actual cultivation and being a person with good behaviour.
Since the foundation for my practice had loopholes, after a few years I had difficulties in my cultivation, and as a result I started to slack off. My confidence dropped. I stopped attending Fa-study and became more and more like an ordinary person.
Many times I tried to return to cultivation practice and the projects for saving people, but every time I failed to keep it up for more than a short period of time. The feeling of guilt for not doing what a Dafa disciple should do was like a grey, sticky substance that made it even more difficult for me to take steps in the right direction. All this caused my confidence to drop even further and I felt that I was in a hopeless situation.
Later, I realized that my thinking was digging into a bull’s horn, since I always tried to figure out how I could become better. How I could improve. How I, how I, how I … My focus was always on myself. The thought of saving others felt distant since I couldn’t even handle myself correctly.
After several years I finally reached a turning point. Some incidents involving the issue of saving sentient beings worked as a stick wake-up on my mind, and suddenly the thought of actually saving sentient beings hit me like a cannon ball. I cried out loud: “I want to save people! I only want to save people!”
In that moment my heart, and everything about my cultivation, turned completely. I realized that up to that point the foundation for my cultivation had been selfish. This had all along worked as a giant loophole, preventing me from keeping up in genuine cultivation for so long.
Now I thought, ”It is for others, not for me.” This shift in my mind changed everything. The feeling of hopelessness disappeared. I saw that Master hadn’t given up on me after all this time and my gratefulness towards Master and His immense compassion is beyond what is possible to describe.
I could now more clearly see the relationship between my cultivation and the mission of saving sentient beings. In Fa Teaching on World Falun Dafa Day 2014, Master says:
“What is a ‘Dafa disciple’? Whom Master teaches are precisely you, these disciples of Dafa. You are being cleansed, being tempered to maturity, and made ready to save sentient beings.”
My way of cultivating changed. Since my highest wish and motivation was to have the ability to really save people, I became much more interested in making true advancements in cultivation.
Before, when a tribulation came, I would think, ”Oh, please let me just pull through so that I can relax on the other side. I hope it will end soon.”
When I came through I felt relieved and figured that I hopefully had got rid of some attachments in the process. But I wasn’t really sure what attachments, if any, might have left me or been weakened.
Now, when a tribulation arises, the process is something like this: First some emotions arise and I feel uncomfortable in some way or another. But then I separate my mind from the tangible manifestation of the tribulation and start to look within. Many times I then see that my patience is lacking. Then I ask myself why my patience is lacking. “Well, this person or that person did so and so.” ”Alright, but why is my patience lacking?” I ask myself again.
Or: “This is terrible! I am a cultivator and the thing I want the most in this world is to let go of attachments. That has a higher priority than being afraid of this terrible thing right now.” “But, it is truly terrible!”
My uncultivated side says. “Yes, I know. However, as a cultivator I want to cultivate and raise my xinxing. That is more important right now, than anything else.”
After some inner monologue, and sometimes a pretty long and far-fetched analysis of causes beyond causes, many times I return to the conclusion that the base of my lack of patience is one of the following: reputation, jealousy, fear of suffering, or fear of failing.
Now the attachment has been identified. And since my first priority is to be a cultivator on my path to divinity and on a mission of saving all lives, and since I am Master’s disciple and have all the universe’s righteous forces backing me up, I choose to position myself above the attachment in my mind. When I can really, truly, and from my heart, think this way, in that moment my body becomes soft and I can smile again. After that I return to the tangible manifestation of the tribulation and handle it according to my new, higher xinxing level.
This way cultivation goes fast, and I can’t even compare it to how I was facing challenges before. Finally, I can feel gratefulness, happiness and curiosity when tribulations arise and I no longer fear them, like before. Instead I’m interested in finding out what attachment Master wants me to work on right now, and I thank Him for giving me the chance.
An example of how I handled a tribulation was some time ago when my daughter got a tick bite. Since I had children I always feared that they would catch some scary illness with lasting injuries. When in Thailand I spent a lot of time keeping my children away from mosquitoes, and in Sweden I was always afraid they’d be infected by ticks. I can find the root of this fear in my own childhood, as my parents were very particular about protecting us from ticks and later advocated strongly for vaccination against the tick-borne disease TBE.
When the tribulation arose, my daughter got a tick bite and I made a note in my calendar to keep an eye on possible symptoms. After exactly one week the school called and said my daughter didn’t feel well and had a terrible headache. I was paralysed with fear, since headaches are a symptom of TBE, and my daughter hardly ever had headaches.
The following days were like a roller-coaster inside of me and I was thrown between extreme fear and righteous thoughts. Finally, I reached a point where I could ask myself what I feared so much. There were many thoughts, like feeling ashamed of not being able to protect my child, fear that others would think I was strange to not vaccinate my child, that life would turn out differently, fear of seeing my child suffer, fear of not being able to handle the psychological pain, fear of feeling bad etc. A whole mountain of fears. But since I knew that fear was not the fundamental attachment I asked myself what was the fundamental attachment that caused all these fears. I saw it was the attachment to reputation.
After finding the attachment to reputation I thought that now I will put all efforts in to letting go of this attachment, since that is the most important thing to continually raising my xinxing and thereby better being able to carry out my mission to save people.
This has the highest priority in my life, and in my whole existence. With this thought from a calm heart, it was easy to let go of the attachment and all the fears fell off my body. I felt that whatever happened, whatever I faced, everything is perfect, since I am in the Fa.
My daughter soon recovered without any complications.
To identify, understand and eliminate communist elements
For some time now, and with the help of the immense power of Fa rectification, I started to see through arrangements of communism in our society and in people. I realized, quite appalled, that I myself also harboured many of these elements and I could see them in arrangements almost everywhere in my surroundings. I understood that these elements must be eliminated completely in the Fa rectification process.
I discovered that I had compromised with the communist elements when I hadn’t dared to stand up for my faith in society, many times by fear of losing my reputation. I also compromised with the evil when I tried to play along with people’s notions to not scare them away. This was an impeding force, which made me and my ability to save people weaker.
After these insights I decided to stop compromising with the evil and instead I would confidently and proudly validate my faith and belief. Not only has this lead to me feeling whole and proud, but also to people in my surroundings became able to accept Dafa on a deeper level.
These insights have also changed the situation in my family. Like many Swedish women I have always been taught to “grab hold of my rights”, demand this and that, and not accept “unfairness”. That is to say, I grew up with the feminist movement’s message ringing in my ears since childhood. Since starting to practise I thought I wasn’t that influenced by feminism, but during this year I’ve realized that wasn’t the case.
My husband and I have been married since 2004. Already early on he tried to tell me things that I didn’t understand. I truly didn’t understand what he was talking about. To sum up, he tried to hint at my shortcomings in my role as a woman and a wife. Daily life mostly went well, but at some points every year we would find ourselves at a dead end, when things had accumulated for a while. These conflicts always stopped, however, with me feeling sorry for myself and my husband having to take a step back. That was until this spring, when I finally got it.
This time, just when I felt I couldn’t take the criticism any longer and was about to have a breakdown, I instead collected myself and thought, “What is he really trying to say? What is wrong with me?” And then – boom – I saw it! My shortcomings as a woman and a wife were based on the feminist elements I had been indoctrinated with. Since then our family situation has improved greatly.
Thank you for letting me share with you. If you see any shortcomings in my understanding I’m happy to listen.
Thank you fellow practitioners.
Thank you Master.
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