My name is Davide, I’m a 23-year-old Italian practitioner. I obtained the Fa in June 2014, by reading Zhuan Falun. From the first chapter, I understood within myself that I had found what I was looking for. Many of the questions that I had pondered in previous years – Who am I? What’s my purpose? Where do I come from? What is the truth? – were answered in a blink of an eye. The meaning of life was no longer a mystery: I was here to become a Falun Dafa practitioner.
Initially, my cultivation path was quite simple: my understanding improved day by day, thanks to the daily study of Zhuan Falun and other Fa teachings, and I could deal with the challenges presented to me in the right way, or better to say, in the way that in that moment I considered in line with the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance. A few months after I obtained the Fa, I began to understand what it meant to send righteous thoughts and clarify the truth. I began to participate in the local activities in Milan. Shen Yun promotion began soon, and from that moment on I faced more complex physical and mental challenges, and I experienced that working on oneself was not as simple as I had imagined.
I saw how my ego was in contrast with the principle of unconditional collaboration, and how my ordinary person’s attachments – such as showing off, validating myself, competition, laziness and lust – were what I had to let go to give concrete help to the promotion of the show. Sometimes the understanding came through Fa study, and sometimes Master was giving me hints through practitioners’ words, or ordinary people’s reactions. Often, I could see that what annoyed me or I noticed in others was tied to one of my attachments. Everything I was paying attention to was a suggestion, a test or an exam, to allow me to eliminate the attachment.
Eliminating Ego to Validate the Fa
Working with practitioners in the various activities has made me understand deeply how listening to my ego is in contradiction with the meaning of validating the Fa. Pursuing my personal interest is the opposite of being compassionate; it’s a principle of the old universe and something I must eliminate as a Falun Dafa practitioner.
During these years of cultivation, I have often noticed that even my smallest thought is bound to validate myself: Do I ask someone what he thinks about my work? I’m looking for a compliment. Do I give a tip to someone? It’s because deep down I think I’m better off. How can I be effective in saving sentient beings if my heart is not turned to others, but to my own affirmation? I am immensely grateful to Master because cultivating in Falun Dafa is allowing me to remove layer after layer of this attachment and this substance, which keeps a part of me away from the true nature of the universe.
Letting Go of the Pursuit of Pleasure
Cultivating in the ordinary human society is quite difficult, interferences are numerous and if you cannot maintain a good cultivation state, it’s easy to get influenced. We live absorbed in emotions, and at a certain level this is necessary for living in society; however, my understanding is that not taking this matter seriously can lead to serious consequences.
I understood within myself that looking for pleasure, more or less intentionally, is linked deeply with the emotion Master talks about in the fourth lecture of Zhuan Falun. And this makes me think about his precious words: “If this qing is not relinquished, you will be unable to cultivate. If you break free from this qing, nobody can affect you. An everyday person’s mind will be unable to sway you. What comes and replaces it is benevolence, which is a nobler thing. Of course, it is not easy to cut off this qing right away. Cultivation is a long process and a process of gradually giving up your attachments. Nonetheless, you must be strict with yourself.” (Improving Xinxing, Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
When I can’t control my laziness, I noticed that it’s easier to fall into other attachments, linked with what in society is considered enjoyable, like, for example, lust and gluttony. Even if I don’t have the ability to see them, I can sense them as substances that are clinging to my body and trying to control my mind and my actions. These three attachments get reinforced by each other and they act as an obstacle in my doing the three things well. Therefore, I’m willing to face this problem rationally, sending forth righteous thoughts when necessary.
Every Thought Decides Our Future
Recently, I had some difficulties in studying and practising steadfastly. I let myself be carried away by some habits I had before practising: I often watched movies and videos on the internet, I lost my time on Facebook, I indulged in pornography, I was hanging out with my friends instead of studying. I thought it was related to the fact that I was cultivating some deeper parts of me and it was therefore more complicated to cultivate to correct them. But in the aftermath, I can see that this last thought was just an excuse not to take the situation seriously. I didn’t face the test following the standard of a practitioner, and I let my attachments take charge of my behaviour.
By studying more, I have re-examined my thoughts and actions, and I saw a great shortcoming: I did not regard myself as a cultivator of Falun Dafa. This thought is what makes the difference between the fact that we can or cannot overcome the difficulties in our cultivation path. “We have said that good or bad comes from a person’s initial thought, and the thought at that moment can bring about different consequences.” (Improving Xinxing, Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
I understood how serious this problem is and I noticed that the biggest part of my thoughts always foregoes my actions. Thus, it’s the starting point that I must rectify: When I notice that there’s a lack in my thinking, it’s there that I must cultivate. If I have the time to watch a movie when I go home, why I can’t practise a bit more, or study more the Book or the conferences? Yes, we live in ordinary human society and we need to conform to the human way of living, but – in my understanding – this doesn’t mean that we can go down and let our behavioural standards be affected. I’m sure that with the passing of time, changing this way of thinking would bring my main spirit to higher and higher understandings and consequently to the salvation of more people.
I am indescribably grateful to Master for showing me the Way, for His immense compassion and saving grace.
Fellow practitioners, if you have noticed something you think is not in line with the Fa, please kindly point it out.
Thanks Master! Thanks fellow practitioners!
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