Greetings Revered Master! Greetings fellow practitioners!
I am a Vietnamese Dafa practitioner currently living in the United Kingdom. I obtained the Fa at the age of 17 after witnessing the miracle of Dafa that saved my mother, as well as giving my family this precious predestined relationship. I would like to share with fellow practitioners my cultivation process.
My Family Circumstances and How I Obtained the Fa
My family are intellectuals. Both my parents used to be teachers, but because their incomes were not enough to support our family, and they refused to bribe others to get better jobs, they had to quit their jobs and do manual work to make ends meet. Because of that, I always felt inadequate, even though my parents always tried to support me. I felt that I was missing something compared to my friends.
I always had great hopes and ambitions. I did not know clearly what I wanted to do and who I wanted to become. I just wanted to make a lot of money, gaining material wealth to make up for the hole in my heart.
In my parents’ and other people’s eyes, I was always a good girl. I did household chores and helped with my family business, as well as getting good grades at school. This perfect cover, however, broke down when I reached my teenage years. I became grumpy and closed myself up. I gained weight, cracks started to appear on my skin, and I felt depressed. I tried to go on a diet and did exercises to lose weight. But nothing worked as I did not take the right diet or exercise properly. I became more and more depressed, and symptoms such as vomiting blood and exhaustion appeared more and more. I had to stop my efforts to lose weight.
My teenage crisis, along with pressure at school, changed me completely. I became soulless and the biggest worry for my parents when they found out that I was depressed. I became unusual, if not eccentric. Symptoms associated with depression, such as insomnia, heart palpitations, shortness of breath and suicidal thoughts, all appeared. I turned to alcohol to reduce my stress.
Fortunately, my mother was very understanding. She understood that all my rebellious actions and tempers were only to hide the loneliness, sadness and self-loathing about myself not being as beautiful as before. My mother was always beside me and supported any good things that I did. She believed in me and believed that she could pull me back to life. She was right!
I had the chance to organize a big event. I immersed myself in the event work and forgot about the pressure that was on me for so long. A ray of hope appeared but quickly shut after my mother – the pillar of the family, both physically and mentally – suddenly had a fall. Her legs were paralyzed and she was diagnosed with a viral infection.
I knew that my mother had a lot of diseases inside her body and this one in particular had made her life very difficult. She could only sleep for 2 hours each night and had to use painkillers almost all year round, but she still had to go and do manual labour work early every morning.
Everybody saw that my mother was a good person. She was kind and talented, and loved her husband and children. At that time, my mother was the only motivation for me to change. She endured a lot of suffering, but always responded with positivity. I had many times blamed God for making a good person like my mother suffer so much pain physically and mentally. I was at a dead end, my family was at a dead end, and once again I held back my tears and watched my father push my mother in a wheelchair as we couldn’t find a cure.
“It is because there is such a principle in the universe: Ordinary human affairs, according to the Buddha School, all have predestined relationships. Birth, old age, illness, and death exist as such for ordinary people. Due to karma resulting from past wrongdoing, one has illnesses or tribulations; suffering is repaying a karmic debt, and thus nobody can casually change this.”
(Lecture 1, Zhuan Falun)
At that time, as an everyday person who had not obtained the Fa, I did not know this Fa principle. But compassionate Master did not leave my family behind. My mother’s friend came to tell her about Dafa and she entered into cultivation practice with a mind of no pursuit, as she knew that she did not have much hope.
The doctor had told her that if she was lucky, she would be able to stand after 2 or 3 years of treatment. However, after only 11 days of practising the Falun Gong exercises together with fellow practitioners, my mother was able to stand upright and do the exercises. And after 3 months she could walk normally, as if nothing ever happened. After witnessing the miracle of Dafa, I believed and knew that Dafa must be very good.
A year later, I was stressed with schoolwork. I wanted to have both practical experiences and high academic grades at the same time, which was impossible. I did not know how to organize everything.
One day, my mother gave me the book Zhuan Falun. I held the book and read all of Master Li Hongzhi’s nine lectures in one go. I was able to experience the peaceful flow of energy surrounding me when I was studying the Fa. I forgot about all the fatigue and stress I was facing. In particular, I had the answer to the meaning of life that I had always wondered about. I realized that Falun Dafa is not only good, but also a genuine cultivation practice.
After I entered cultivation, my xinxing improved. I no longer felt sad or angry, or easily blamed others like before. The incurable diseases that had kept bothering me since childhood also disappeared without a trace. I was granted a new life by Dafa. My parents had more confidence in me, and I was more confident in myself. I was 17 when I arrived in London to study and live here.
The Process of Cultivation and Maturity in the Fa
I was still quite young when I obtained the Fa. After moving to London, I tried to integrate into the new environment, but slacked off in my cultivation for a long time. This left big regrets on my cultivation path. Despite having limited financial support, being of a young age, not having finished high school and having limited English, Master arranged for me to obtain a visa in a short time.
I knew that I needed to treasure this arrangement and cherish the time for personal cultivation, upgrading my xinxing, and assisting Master in Fa rectification. However, I wasted my time doing everyday people’s stuff. After that I met a great challenge – I fell into a state of depression.
Master had given me hints about why I came to the UK, and that there were still a lot of sentient beings waiting to be saved. I suddenly realised my mission and stepped out, becoming part of the One Body.
Fellow practitioners assisted and shared with me when I was experiencing sickness karma, and helped me to do truth clarification more. For this reason, I did not feel lonely like everyday people. I did not hold it against my roommate for not having taken care of me when I was experiencing a sickness karma test. I knew that it was the karma relationship between us. Perhaps I had treated her the same or even worse in a past life, so this lifetime I have to pay my debt.
I moved jobs and houses a lot and, from an everyday person’s perspective, this would be hard to bear. For me I always kept righteous thoughts that everything is a good thing, and so I did not find it difficult at all. It is a good opportunity for a young person like me to eliminate karma and validate the Fa to the sentient beings I meet. Dafa practitioners do not pursue the happiness of everyday people.
However much hardship I have to bear, I always remember Master’s poem:
“Ordinary people do not understand the pain of cultivation,
Happiness to them is vying and competing;
Cultivate, my disciples, ‘til no single omission is found,
And with the passing of all adversity,
will come the sweetness of true joy.”
(Cultivating Amidst the Delusion – Hong Yin)
Although I was living in the United Kingdom, it was still very difficult to find a stable job. Sometimes I did a lot of intense labour work, such as working on a farm or packing frozen food, etc. Co-workers always wondered why I chose these jobs, as young people would not easily accept this kind of work.
The environment was intense, as most of the people I was working with were Asian. They still held on to inherent notions and squeezed each other for personal benefits and making profits. The appearance of a young Dafa practitioner like me made them feel strange. How could I complete this hard work without complaining or arguing? When encountering disputes with others, why did I not answer back? As a Dafa practitioner, I understood that nothing is coincidental. I explained to them that, because I practise Falun Dafa, I cultivate Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.
Wherever I went, no matter who I met, everyone could feel the beauty of Dafa, and they changed how they treated each other. When I look back, I realise that Master has arranged things so that I could go to more places and meet more people. I did not try to change their thinking, I was only validating the Fa, and removing the wrong notions they had about Dafa.
“When an evil-minded person is thinking of something bad, this person might change his mind due to the powerful effect of your field; he might then no longer want to commit the wrongdoing. Perhaps a person wants to swear at someone. Suddenly, he may change his mind and will not want to swear. Only the energy field from cultivation practice in a righteous way can produce this effect. Therefore, in the past there was this saying in Buddhism: "The Buddha-light illuminates everywhere and rectifies all abnormalities." This is what it means.”
(Lecture 3 – Zhuan Falun)
Earlier this year, following Master's arrangements, I stayed with young fellow practitioners in a flat. Although this was not a very spacious place, it was a very good cultivation environment. We would do the exercises, study the Fa, exchange experiences and clarify the truth every day. I joined Hong Fa activities in Chinatown and went to the British Museum, and I sent forth righteous thoughts in front of the Chinese Embassy for three shifts a week.
I was usually interfered with and the old forces always took advantage of my attachment to comfort. One morning I was tired when going to the Embassy to start my shift. A fellow practitioner who was in charge of the Embassy Vigil arrangements, asked me: “You do 3 early morning shifts every week. And then you have to go to work immediately. Is it too much and too difficult for you?”
I immediately answered, “It’s not too much. I can do it.” I realized that this was not just a normal question. Buddhas, Daos and Gods were watching my words, watching my state of mind. Whether I did one shift or three shifts wasn’t the issue, the issue is whether I put my heart into it or not.
As long as I have righteous thoughts, with Master and the Fa here, everything can be overcome. If I let the evil take advantage of my attachment to comfort, I would not be able to do even one shift, and I would gradually move further away from the Fa.
I studied the Fa deeply, with strong righteous thoughts to remove my attachment to comfort. I always remember Master's teaching:
“When disciples have ample righteous thoughts
Master has the power to turn back the tide”
(The Master-Disciple Bond - Hong Yin II)
At the beginning, when I first did Hong Fa, there were not many people who knew about Falun Dafa and the ongoing persecution in Mainland China. We encountered a lot of interference. It would be normal to have one or more Chinese people scold us, but that only made others more curious to hear the truth. And there were always sentient beings thanking us for taking the time to clarify the truth to them. I knew that they had waited a long time to hear the truth, and sign the petition to stop the persecution.
I was very impressed by fellow practitioners who had established Hong Fa sites. They had to go through many hardships and interferences to maintain them. I was a latecomer. If I gave up only because someone scolded me, it would be shameful. I should feel sorry for that being, as what they would have to face for being disrespectful to the Fa would be so much more painful than this.
Gradually, more and more people knew the truth about the persecution and understood what Falun Gong is. They shared that they saw the news in the media. There was a woman who told me that she was a teacher and had told all of her students about Dafa. Her son had studied Chinese for 6 years, and he had helped everyone, including Chinese people, know the truth about the persecution. They also thanked us for having the courage to speak the truth. The cleaners or guards at the British Museum asked me when we would stop doing this, and I replied, “When everyone in the world knows the truth about Falun Gong and the persecution stops.”
The effect of my truth clarification is dependent on how much I immerse myself in the Fa and improve my xinxing. Reflecting back on the early days when I first went to Hong Fa sites, I felt a little embarrassed and only dared to hand out flyers. I was afraid that my English was not good enough to talk to others or answer their questions. But when studying the Fa, I realized that this is an attachment that I had to give up. Due to struggling to make a living for a long time, my English did not improve much. But to let more people know about the truth, I had to improve my English. I took the Dafa flyers back home and was determined to memorize all the information the flyers contained.
As a first step, this was effective. At least people could understand what I was talking to them about. However when they had questions, even though I understood the question it was difficult for me to answer them. I had to ask fellow practitioners to answer their questions. This would reduce other practitioners’ time to do truth clarification.
I realized the importance of improving my English. I watched Dafa programmes, studied the Fa in English and practised communication more. In a short amount of time, my English improved a lot. I could clarify the Truth and answer many people's questions confidently. It was Master opening my mind that allowed me to make such sudden and rapid progress!
Four years of cultivating is not long. As a young practitioner with many attachments, there were also times when I could not improve and fell behind. It was Master, Dafa and compassionate fellow practitioners who helped me to enlighten.
What did I come to this world for? - “To obtain the Fa”.
What do I obtain the Fa for? – “To fulfil my vow. To help Master rectify the Fa, and save sentient beings”.
And what do I need to do if I want to fulfil my vow? – “Genuinely cultivate Dafa, eliminate human attachments, strengthen my righteous thoughts, and follow Master’s requirements”.
As a Dafa practitioner during the Fa-rectification period, I should cherish this precious opportunity! The Fa-rectification of the Human World is fast approaching. How many lives are waiting to be saved? I hope that my fellow practitioners and I all complete the three things Dafa disciples need to do, be diligent and fulfil the sacred mission to help Master rectify the Fa and save sentient beings!
The above are my personal understandings. If there is anything inappropriate, please compassionately point it out.
Thank you compassionate Master!
Thank you fellow practitioners!
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