Going Forward in Cultivation

Shared at the 2014 European Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference
 

Greetings Revered Master! Greetings Fellow practitioners!

I obtained the Fa in 2007 at my university in Dublin. In my heart I always knew that Falun Dafa was a very special practice that was unlike any ordinary qigong practice intended for healing and fitness. Due to my human attachments and an inadequate understanding of the Fa, I eventually stopped practising. At the beginning of 2013, I realised that what I truly wanted to practise was Falun Dafa. I always knew that Falun Dafa truly was a magnificent cultivation practice which was different to all other cultivation systems. After resuming at the beginning of 2013, I felt that Master hadn’t given up on me.

Eliminating thought karma and strengthening my faith in Falun Dafa
A few months after I resumed practising Dafa, I had a very bad dream. When I awoke from the dream and studied one of Master’s articles later that day, I felt that I was being told that I had deformed Falun. After reading Master’s article, I felt shocked and deeply upset; I had believed I had damaged something so precious of Master’s. Consequently, I felt that I was no longer permitted to continue cultivation practice in Dafa. I was deeply traumatized for a few days. Due to my attachments, I felt as though demons were starting to run around in my mind; my mind started to produce very bad thoughts that I couldn’t control. I constantly tried to push out these thoughts, however this took up a lot of conscious effort and energy. I was determined not to let them get the better of me, however it got to the point where I wondered if I would be able to overcome these thoughts. Once I had this thought, the bad thoughts became very intense. It felt as though they were raining down. I found it difficult to see any way out of this hopeless situation. I felt that I could not tell anyone about this, as I thought that would be looking for external help. Additionally, I was fearful that if my friends knew I was having such bad thoughts, they might think it was as a result of practising Falun Dafa. I did not want them to have negative thoughts towards Dafa, for I knew that Falun Dafa was good, and that my problems came about due to an unrighteous mind.

I eventually got to the point where I felt that I was no longer worthy to continue practising Falun Dafa. I told a practitioner that I wanted to give back the books, as I felt unworthy of being a Falun Dafa practitioner. At the time, I had the wish that the books go to a person who could sincerely cultivate in Falun Dafa, for I always knew that Falun Dafa was good. The practitioner shared his understanding and encouraged me to study the Fa and do the exercises if I wanted to continue cultivation practice. I truly wanted to continue practising; however I felt that I was unworthy. The practitioner encouraged me to study the Fa and do the exercises. After studying the Fa, the bad thoughts momentarily subsided and my mind felt much more tranquil and pure and I thoroughly enjoyed studying the Fa. I felt that once again Master didn’t give up on me. I feel most grateful to our Benevolent Master for having given me another opportunity to continue to practise cultivation in Falun Dafa.

When I looked back at this experience, I realized that I was using human thinking to overcome them instead of adhering to the Fa that Master taught. Once I remembered the Fa Master taught me, I could push out those filthy thoughts, and the thought karma became weaker and weaker. In the article ‘Drive Out Interference’ in Essentials for Further Advancement 2, Master taught that “The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts.” I felt grateful for this opportunity to improve in cultivation. Through this experience, my faith in the Fa has become much stronger, I was able to eliminate karma and upgrade xinxing. I also became more determined in cultivation, as I had a deeper understanding of how privileged I am to be a Falun Dafa disciple, and how precious this opportunity is.

Learning to cooperate with practitioners on Dafa disciple run projects
In autumn of 2013, I was fortunate to take part in the Art of Zhen Shan Ren at Pollock House in Glasgow. At this time, I was between jobs, so I was able to stay for the whole duration of the exhibition. This was my first experience working alongside Dafa practitioners on a Dafa disciple run project.

From the very start, I saw that Dafa disciples worked extremely hard to promote the Art of Zhen Shan Ren, as well as work hard to set up the exhibition. We started early in the mornings, and worked for a good number of hours, so as to ensure the exhibition was perfectly presentable for people to view the exhibition. Practitioners also ensured that they respected the Pollock House management by leaving the place clean and tidy when we finished. Every morning we would get up to Send Forth Righteous Thoughts. This would be followed by Fa study and exercises. I truly treasured the environment with Dafa disciples to Send Forth Righteous Thoughts, study the Fa and do the exercises.

In the article “Digging Out the Roots” in Essentials for Further Advancement, Master taught “During your cultivation practice, I will use every means to expose all of your attachments and dig them out at their roots.” Consequently there were times on the project where I felt that my understanding of the Fa was being tested, as was my determination to assist the project and save sentient beings. Some mornings I would feel tired; while studying my mind would be wandering, and I would be unable to concentrate. I felt at times that I wanted to sleep on and join practitioners later in the day. One day I felt particularly sleepy, however I knew in my heart that I ought to go to the exhibition with other practitioners. As others had already left, I was determined to follow, so I called a taxi and continued to the exhibition. It was also a good opportunity for me to talk about the value of the Art of Zhen Shan Ren to the taxi driver. After arriving, I shared with practitioners my experience and continued to do the exercises. After doing the exercises, I felt very energized and ready to work hard to save sentient beings.

There was one day where I found it difficult to concentrate during the exercises. I also found my mind wandering while studying the Fa earlier in the day. After Sending Forth Righteous Thoughts, the coordinator asked me to promote the exhibition. I felt exhausted. I spoke to the coordinator, asking if it would be ok for me to study before going out. She told me that I was needed to give out leaflets to people. In Lecture 4 of Zhuan Falun Master says “Of course we can explain the matter kindly, and it is not a problem if we clarify the issue.” and “You should always be benevolent and kind to others, and consider others when doing anything”. I saw the coordinator truly wanted me to go out so that the sentient beings could be saved. When I was able to see the situation from her view, I shared my understanding, that I felt I wanted to save sentient beings, but that as I hadn’t been able to study well and that I was tired, I was feeling that I wouldn’t do a good job. The practitioner understood my concern and suggested that I study for a while. A moment after leaving the practitioner, I felt instantly energized, and no longer tired. I shared with the practitioner afterwards about the amazing experience.

More recently, I have been attending Art of Zhen Shan Ren in the UK, and have recently worked alongside practitioners in Ireland to set up a weekly meeting with Irish practitioners. I hope to share and pass on my experiences learned with practitioners from Ireland. I hope that through sharing information about the projects, we can work together to exhibit a truly beautiful and powerful exhibition in a highly professional manner.

Hong Fa in Chinatown
After sharing with practitioners at the Art of Zhen Shan Ren in Glasgow about carrying out Hong Fa in Chinatown, I knew in my heart that this was a key place to have Hong Fa, and an essential way to reach Chinese people. I also felt that as a Westerner, I could also assist in breaking through the lies created by the CCP that only Chinese people practise Falun Dafa.

My experiences at Hong Fa in Chinatown were very powerful. I realized the importance of quickly working together to eliminate interference when the Hong Fa site was attacked, when religious groups started to sing loudly close to where we were doing Hong Fa and when people started to badmouth Dafa. I always felt that practitioners were working hard to expose the evil, clarify the truth and share with the people of the world the beauty of Falun Dafa and the beauty of Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance.

I was fortunate to participate in Chinatown Hong Fa most weekends toward the end of 2013. These gave me a lot of experience in doing Hong Fa and clarifying the truth, as well as providing me with precious opportunities to upgrade my xinxing. More recently, I have noticed the large Chinese community in Birmingham and I feel that my focus is now in Birmingham and Stratford upon Avon. Through working and sharing with Birmingham practitioners, we have been working together to clarify the truth, expose the evil, help Chinese people quit the CCP and help people learn about the beauty of Falun Dafa.

Working hard to overcome my attachment to lust
When I resumed practising Falun Dafa at the beginning of 2013, my thoughts of lust subsided. However a couple of weeks ago, I was being interfered by the demon of lust. I struggled and gave into temptation, feeling regretful. After the interference, I would try to dismiss what happened and try to continue as before on my cultivation path. However I would then be interfered with again, and give into temptation again, and again I would feel regretful. After being interfered and sharing with practitioners, I realized that I was constantly dismissing the issue instead of taking this good opportunity to look within and resolve the issue fundamentally. After looking within, I found myself asking, why am I suffering? Why am I practising cultivation? After asking myself these questions I realized that my purpose for practising cultivation in Falun Dafa was rather selfish; I was practising so that I could reach Consummation. Yet my mind wasn’t thinking about putting Dafa first, nor was I considering the sentient beings that I represent first. After this realization, I changed my intention for cultivation and am determined to put Dafa first and assimilate to the Fa.

I was still being interfered with by the demon of lust. After further sharing and looking within, I realised that I was being controlled by thought karma, and thought karma wanted me to give into the demon of lust. After I was able to realise that what I truly wanted was to break free of thought karma, and to study and assimilate to the Fa, I found that the interference became less. I realized however that there were still some attachments that I had not let go. After looking within, I realized that I had a very strong attachment to comfort. I realized that this attachment impacted my SFRT in the morning, as well as my punctuality, exercises in the morning, and my inability to sit in the Full Lotus position. I have also realized similarities between laziness and comfort. Now that I have realized these strong attachments, I am determined to break free of them and continue on my path of cultivation practice.

My experience in promoting Shen Yun
This was my first year promoting Shen Yun. At the beginning of the promotion in Birmingham, I would participate in Fa study, do leafleting at theatres and at the weekends do D2D leafleting. An email was sent around to the group asking if practitioners were available to help with the promotion in Shopping Centres. I was initially reluctant to commit myself, however when I looked for the reasoning behind my excuses, I couldn’t see what I would be doing more worthwhile. I decided to commit to the promotion at the shopping centre. I started at Solihull, and met up with practitioners who had experience in promoting Shen Yun. After a chat, we went through what I knew about Shen Yun. We were able to quickly identify what information I needed to improve on. I was initially fearful of approaching members of the public, however through persistence and through trial and error, I knew what I would say when people would ask me what it was about. I also realized the power of the trailer in arousing people’s interest in Shen Yun. After speaking to many people about the values of Shen Yun, I felt very energetic. I knew that I was doing something truly worthwhile; helping people learn about the rich 5000 years of Chinese civilization, the beauty of traditional Chinese culture and the beauty of Shen Yun.

It was also a wonderful experience to work with experienced practitioners. The practitioners showed me how to work the TV which showed the trailer, how to find the information that I needed on the USB stick as well other technical issues. This information proved extremely useful, as the next time I was at the shopping centre, there were many technical issues. Luckily I was able to resolve them, as I had been shown how to resolve them. I also took the opportunity to pass on what I learnt to other practitioners, so that if there were technical issues in the future, they would be able to resolve them. Through the shopping centre promotion, I had gained more confidence when speaking to people about the values of Shen Yun. When another practitioner and I were doing D2D, we came across a beautiful Country Club. Initially we left leaflets there. When we went back a second time, we made more of an effort to share the values of Shen Yun, instead of just asking to leave leaflets in the Country Club.

Going Forward
I feel most privileged to be a Dafa disciple. I am determined to set even stricter requirements on myself in cultivation. I am determined to improve my Chinese, so as to be able to communicate with Chinese people, and eventually help them to quit the CCP. I hope to make more phone calls to Chinese police stations and detention centres through the MBCP project for Westerners, so as to help them learn the truth about the persecution of Falun Dafa, and eliminate the evil that controls them. I hope to be able to increase the amount of time I spend studying the Fa and doing the exercises, and Sending Forth Righteous Thoughts and I hope to be able to, through working, sharing and encouraging practitioners, to establish a good cultivation environment where sentient beings can obtain the Fa, and practitioners can improve. This is my cultivation sharing and my understanding is limited. If I have said anything inappropriate, please kindly point it out.

Thank you Master. Thank you fellow Dafa disciples.

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