Good day Master, Good day fellow practitioners
I started following my parents in cultivation of Falun Dafa from when I was five years old, and to this day I have already practiced cultivation for 25 years. Today I will share with everybody several experiences of looking within and surpassing selfishness on my cultivation path.
1, Continuing to practice cultivation by myself
I was born and grew up in mainland China, and obtained the Fa in Beijing. When I was young my parents would take me everyday with them to study the Fa and practice the exercises. I would also follow the requirements of Masters’ Fa, and in everything at school I would be conciliatory towards other people, and would not contend with other people. I myself was a child who liked to smile, and because I practiced cultivation in Dafa, I even more so felt that I was a lucky child, and I had a smiling expression on my face every day.
After the persecution began in 1999, my family experienced serious persecution, and I saw with my own eyes police coming to our house to search and confiscate property. My mother was arrested and sent to the local police station, and my Mother and Father were shut in brainwashing centres and so on. Even though the environment was very evil, our family still persisted in studying the Fa and practicing the exercises. Because the evil’s persecution of my family was very serious, I didn’t dare to tell my friends in school that my family were practicing cultivation in Falun Dafa and because I was very afraid that the police would arrest my father again. This pressure for such a long time lead to me becoming very introverted, not liking to speak, and I didn’t trust anybody around me, and after the persecution started I didn’t smile very much anymore.
I thought that my parents would always be encouraging me and helping me by my side, however things suddenly changed in 2011. When I went to university, my parents were taken away by police, and moreover were illegally sentenced to two years of forced labour re-education. When I received a phone call from an evil policeman, I was completely muddled, and I completely had no idea what I was to do. I was by myself, far away from my native village attending school, and there were no Dafa disciples around me. I had many friends but I couldn’t recount my suffering to any one of them. I even did not dare to show my suffering. I did not know what kind of response they would give if they found out that my parents had been arrested because of practicing Falun Gong. I remember at that time for a whole week, I would hide under the blanket crying all by myself and didn’t dare to let my roommates hear me. During the daytime I would wipe dry my tears and attend class, and in my mind I still had to think about how to deal with the current situation. Because my parents had been arrested, I didn’t have any money to continue attending school, how was I going to pay for my study fees?
When I calmed down, I asked myself “Without the supervision and accompaniment of my parents, do I still want to continue practicing cultivation? If I decide to continue practicing cultivation in Dafa, then I would face a similar danger, am I afraid?”. I carefully recollected my experiences from when I was young to old, from when I was weak with a small body, up to when after I started practicing cultivation I did not need to take any medicine anymore. My father had given up smoking, and my mothers acne had completely disappeared. These are all miracles that Dafa brought me. I have faith in Master and have faith in Dafa. The more I thought about it, the more I felt I should practice cultivation, Master had said that He has arranged each Dafa disciples’ path, and I wanted to walk upon the path Master had arranged for me.
At this time my heart became warm, and I felt that Master was by my side. I knew that this was Master encouraging me, and then, I considered myself as a Dafa disciple to deal with the current situation. I surmounted my mentality of fear, and upon returning to Beijing I travelled throughout all the detention centres and tried my best to rescue my parents, and moreover I exposed the evil policemen’s evil acts and their telephone numbers by posting them on Minghui.net. I searched within for my attachments and found that I had a very strong attachment to affection for family, and all along it was as if I was practicing cultivation for my parents. When my parents were arrested it was precisely a test to see whether I wanted to continue practicing cultivation. At the same time, my fear prevented me from speaking the truth to any of my fellow students or teachers. Thereupon I looked for my good friends from school and clarified the true situation to them one by one and told them of the experiences of my family being persecuted and told them of the good things that have been brought to me by Dafa. I also advised them to quit the evil Party.
I took advantage of the morning of every day of cultivation and would wake up when no one was awake, to study the Fa. Then tests immediately came about, and I developed rubella, and it was incomparably itchy, and I didn’t have any good skin below my neck and above my ankles. Those who saw me like this all told me to see a doctor. When I realised this was to test me, I therefore wore a long skirt, not allowing anybody to see the rubella (“german measles”) on my body, and I quietly continued to study the Fa and practice the exercises, and I restrained myself from scratching the skin. I endured a month like this, and my German measles disappeared, and I knew that I had passed a big test.
One day in the morning when I was reading, I read the part of Masters Fa in “Teaching at the Fa Conference in Eastern US”: “In your cultivation, every one of you may encounter things that strike you at the core, and sometimes the feeling may even be quite strong. Some of those things may not directly manifest around you, on your body, or in the things you encounter. They might manifest in the things that other people go through, or when others criticize you, or during some other conflicts. All these will make you choose between studying Dafa or not studying Dafa, or whether you want this Fa. What you choose will be looked at. Everyone will encounter these situations. Therefore, when you’ve encountered these things, it’s testing you to see if you can continue to cultivate, and if you can steadfastly cultivate in Dafa. This is most critical.”
I knew that this was a test for my soul, to make me choose for myself, testing me to see whether I myself wanted to practice cultivation in Dafa, testing to see if I could let go of the attachment to affection for family. This trial was very difficult, but I achieved it. Master continuously protected me, and during this period of time when my parents were illegally put through forced labour, I had obtained a scholarship at my school, and moreover in my second year I had the opportunity to obtain a full scholarship to come to Sweden as an exchange student, and thereupon started an indissoluble bond between myself and this country. Thank you, Master.
2, Cultivating myself in the work environment.
After I started working, I met with a very big test. When I came to this place of work three years ago, I met my team partner, colleague “A”. When I said hello and introduced myself to colleague A she not only didn’t look at me, she also did not respond to me at all. The scene at the time was very embarrassing, and I thought that colleague A did not like me. Then, the boss told A to tell me about the content of my work there, but A did not make any explanations to me, but just hung her head and carried on with her own work. When I asked her questions, she howled at me with a loud and impatient tone and told me to find out for myself. At the time I was stupefied and furious, and I thought how there could be such a rude person? Following this, something which made me even more furious happened. “A” wanted to pass by my side, so she pushed me to one side with her body and told me with a loud voice to clear off. This was the first person I met on the first day of work, why would she be like this to me? After finishing work for the day, I was thinking, how would I work like this later on?
In this manner I made a great effort to restrain myself and not get angry, and not to quarrel with her. I felt that my work environment was silently inhibiting. After I returned home my mind was very disorderly, and I didn’t know how I was going to deal with this colleague and wanted to quieten my mind to study the Fa, but in my mind all I could think of was her howling at me, and the tone of her speech. I also discovered that A would not express thanks, and that she would only order me to do things in a loud voice. I didn’t know how long I could work here for, and I had only just started working here this first week, and I felt that I would quickly be unable to endure it.
It was very difficult to endure until the weekend, when I read in “Essentials for diligent progress” the article entitled “What is Forbearance (Ren)?”:“Forbearance is the key to improving one’s xinxing. To endure with anger, grievance, or tears is the forbearance of an everyday person who is attached to his concerns. To endure completely without anger or grievance is the forbearance of a cultivator.”
I carefully thought back over my first week, and how I was enduring, because I was afraid that when I started my new work, if I got into a dispute this would affect how others evaluated me. I had felt that I had been taken advantage of by my colleague but because of wanting to save my reputation, I hadn’t dared to reason with her, and instead endured and withheld my anger and feelings of being wronged. Although on the surface I was not quarrelling with her, in my mind I was always reasoning with her, and developed a grudge, and I discovered that I had not at all achieved the “forbearance of a cultivator”.
But how was I to achieve “To endure completely without anger or grievance”? Master said that one should become a person that is for the benefit of others, so I decided to attempt not being for myself at all. After the following several months every time I was working with colleague A, I tried my best not to form bad thoughts in my mind towards her, and when I encountered conflicts, I would just look at my own problem. I tried my best to achieve looking within unconditionally, and at the same time I also treated her politely, and would inquire whether she needed any assistance, but I didn’t require her to treat me in the same way.
With the deepening of my looking within, my train of thought was also clearer and clearer. I realised that actually what I was angry at was her manner of speaking and attitude, but she had not brought me any trouble at work. She was just using a not good manner of speaking and attitude to make me cooperate with her work, so why should I get angry because of something so illusory and unreal? After half a year, I discovered that I had truly achieved “To endure completely without anger or grievance”. However occasionally when her attitude was very vile, I still couldn’t help but take offense, and I thought for what reason should I thank you for being so rude to me? Master said in the “Teachings at the 2005 Fa conference in San Francisco” : “Another situation is one where you might say, “I have cultivated wholeheartedly and carried it out through concrete actions, yet this [problem] is still happening.” That [occurs] because things developed over a long period of time have been separated into layers by factors pressed down here by beings from the old cosmos. So each time a layer is broken through, that layer is wiped out; then another layer is broken through and wiped out; and another is broken through and wiped out. In this way, they will become weaker and weaker, and there will be fewer and fewer of them.”
I was aware that I was a cultivator, and got rid of a layer of resentment, and after a while I was angry again, and then I once again made a great effort to look within and break through another layer. This was precisely a cultivation process, and at the same time I was aware that I had the mentality of retaliation, and I couldn’t deal with others in the same way that everyday people seek revenge for the smallest grievance, so I would still express thanks for her assistance.
I sincerely thanked colleague A, for if I didn’t have her, it would be very difficult for anyone to help me find so many of my own attachments. After I had worked together with colleague A for about a year and a half, one day when I handed her something that she needed, she suddenly smiled at me and said thank you. I was stupefied, then happily replied to her and said “No need to thank me!” We both smiled, and that was the first time I saw A smile so sincerely and happily. Afterwards when I obstructed her path, she politely asked me to make way. I was astounded at the changes in A, and I knew that I had passed this test. Before, another colleague told me that colleague A had changed a lot after working with me, and in the past, no one was able to collaborate on work with her, and our work environment had changed into a happy and relaxed one. I thought perhaps this must have been what Master talked of when he said “ Broadly shines a Buddha’s light, Justly setting all things right.”
3, Surpassing selfishness whilst taking part in selling Shen Yun merchandise.
This year when Shen Yun came to Denmark to perform in two cities, I took part in the work of selling Shen Yun merchandise. Because of the increase in influence of the environment, my personality is introverted, and when I am talking to strangers I would have a feeling of fear, and I felt that my personality was not suited to selling merchandise. So when the coordinator asked me whether I was willing or not to take part in the work of selling merchandise, I was a bit hesitant, because I was afraid of not doing it well. But I also wanted very much to take part in a project to save people during the Fa rectification, so I decided to give challenging myself a go.
On the first day of doing sales I was very nervous. In front of me was a row of silk scarves. The silk scarves were the most expensive of all the products, and I was very worried that I wouldn’t be able to sell them. A moment later I saw that two of the sales-people were already having a conversation with some customers, and it seemed as if a customer had already bought something. In front of me was standing an a granny with an ice-cold expression. I really thought of opening my mouth to speak but couldn’t, and it was as if my whole person had frozen still. I could only silently stand there and maintain a smiley face to cover up my fear inside. The old lady continued to slowly look through the items on display, and she walked to the other sales-person, and the sales person immediately took the initiative to begin suggesting the products. I was very upset, and felt very ashamed, and felt that I had done a very disappointing job. Before the show started, I had not sold a single thing.
I quietly thought back about how I had done, and I hoped that I could do better at the halftime rest time. Being afraid of talking to strangers was an attachment to fear that I always had, and I had always tried to avoid doing Fa rectification projects that involved talking to strangers. This time I had participated because I wanted to surpass my attachment to self, so I couldn’t shrink back. Master said in the “Teachings at the 2005 Fa conference in San Francisco”: “If you truly take these things that seriously, you will be able to restrain them. Then you will be able to weaken them and gradually get rid of them completely. If it’s a case where you are aware of it and feel anxious about it, but in practice you don’t truly restrain and suppress it, then in reality you are just stopping at this mental activity of seeing and feeling something, but you haven’t taken any action to suppress that thing. In other words, you have only thought about it but not actually cultivated and put it into practice.” I thought, I can realize that I have attachments, but haven’t achieved conquering these attachments, then this doesn’t amount to cultivation. I said to myself: “I want to achieve : “Putting into practice, that is cultivation”. I had also had the mentality of comparing myself to others, and upon seeing other people selling goods, and I myself not doing so, I was unknowingly comparing myself to others.
In this way, when it came time for the halftime recess, I continued to stand at the original spot, and when I became nervous, the old lady from before the show once again showed up in front of me, and she was still ice cold without a smile on her face. I saw that she was looking at a pink silk scarf with the design of the Golden monkey with a peach of immortality, so I summoned up courage, and tried my best not to think of my own fears, and asked her: “Would you like to have a look at this scarf? I can help you unfold it.” She still had no expression and didn’t reply. I thought to myself “ “putting into practice, that is cultivation”, it will be alright if I try my best to do this”. I unfolded the scarf, and I saw that although the old lady had no expression, however there was a sparkle in her eyes, so I took the occasion to say: “the program item just now was performing this story. See how the beautiful Monkey King here is cheerfully eating the peach. Would you like this silk scarf?”. The old lady gently nodded her head. I was slightly astounded that I could sell a scarf so successfully, and I was very pleased, and had more confidence. Following that, my sales work was smoother, and I could take the initiative to say hello and present products to the customer. Apart from having an attachment to fear, and to making comparisons with others, I also found attachments to delight and loss. When I managed to sell products or when I would encounter enthusiastic customers when presenting products to others, I would be very happy. When I had done this job for a long time, upon a customer responding indifferently I would feel dejected, and whilst doing sales I wasn’t able to achieve maintaining a composed heart and mind. I hoped to use a calm and composed mind to handle each and every customer.
The sales had started at the second city, and I once again readjusted my mentality. I wasn’t pursuing to sell however many items, but genuinely liking the merchandise of Shen Yun, and every product was very elegant. I held a similar mentality in my heart to “Recommending things I like to my friends” when introducing people to Shen Yun products. This time the first guests I received were two men, they were looking at the items on display in a rather hit and miss way, so I conquered my fear, and said to myself “putting into practice, that is cultivation”. Whilst smiling I recommended a keyring that was suitable for a man, and whilst doing so the inspiration for introducing this product arose in my mind in a steady stream. I introduced to them the concept in the Chinese language of the marvel of words that were “similar sounding but different characters”, and how that although the origin of “Wu” for martial arts and “Wu” for dance were similar, their use however was different. I explained that “Wushu” or martial arts was to safeguard territory, whilst “Wudao” or dance was to supplicate and to commemorate valuable peace. Right now, just when the Russo Ukraine war had started, everybody hopes for world peace. These two young men were shocked at the inner meaning of Chinese characters, and joyfully bought the keyring. I continued to explain to the customers the inner meaning of the products, and many people bought the items happily after hearing this. I discovered that I was no longer afraid to communicate with customers, and my smile became more and more natural. When packing the products, I would carefully unfold the products to check, and then hand them with both hands the products that they had bought, and sincerely wished them a blessing that they could happily enjoy the Shen Yun performance.
The work of sales during those two days quickly passed by, and I had already forgotten that I had been afraid of talking to strangers before. When we were taking the inventory count upon wrapping up, a fellow practitioner by my side thought that my specialty was in sales. My daily work was not specialised in sales, however upon hearing someone asking me this I was very happy, and this was encouragement for me, and I had overcome the attachment to fear, and I had tried my best to play my part in this sales project.
The above are just a few stories in how I have surpassed attachments to self and looked within. My gratitude to Master for being by my side and protecting me the whole time, and thanks to fellow practitioners for their forgiveness and encouragement. I request that fellow practitioners kindly correct anything above that is not in accordance with the Fa.
Oringinal article: https://se.clearharmony.net/articles/a112141-.html
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