Greetings fellow practitioners! I’m coming up today to speak with you in order to share my understandings of Dafa, to help benefit other practitioners in their cultivation, and to further eliminate any attachments I have. In sharing my experience and in telling the story of my cultivation, I have no intention of showing off, rather, only that of helping others. Please let me know if you feel any of my understandings are wrong.
I began practicing Falun Gong when I was a sophomore in college, about 10 years ago. Through a friend, I found the group and began reading the book Zhuan Falun. Through reading and practicing the exercises, I experienced many wonderful things, some of which I talked about in previous experience sharing papers at Fa Conferences in Boston and Geneva. By reading Master Li’s lectures and by sharing experiences with many of the amazing cultivators in my area, I was able to slowly change my perception of life and the universe. I underwent many difficult xinxing (heart and mind nature/ character) tests, and though I did better in some of these test than others, I felt as though I was able to give up many attachments and to greatly raise my level in Dafa. In the past 10 years, I have read Zhuan Falun and Teacher’s other lectures hundreds of times, and each time I feel as though my understanding grows deeper and deeper.
In those early days, our group always had some sort of Fa activity going on. Aside from our bi-weekly practice, we held different events to spread the Fa. At that time, I was one of the few American practitioners and I would help out as best I could. Sometimes we would demonstrate the exercises for students on campus or to the local TV stations. Other times, we travelled out of town to do Hongfa activities. After doing Dafa work, and especially after coming home from conferences, I would experience deeply tranquil moments, which were truly magical.
I remember the morning I went to practice, when a fellow practitioner told me that the Chinese government had begun to persecute Falun Gong. I was, of course, shocked and saddened, but also a little confused as to my role and how I could help. The practitioner told me a group would go to Washington D.C. the following day to appeal to the Chinese Consulate and asked if I would like to go. This was a hard decision for me because I had a local TV show appearance scheduled with my band the next day. The appearance was important to all of us and I knew they would be mad if I left. However, after carefully thinking about things and after talking with other practitioners, I decided that it would be best if I went to D.C. to appeal. I remember how difficult it was to tell all my friends that I was leaving and that they’d either have to perform without me or cancel the show. They were very mad. During the trip to D.C. the next day, I could hear beautiful music from other dimensions as we drove. Throughout my time in D.C., however, I had many attachments surface, especially fear. Looking back, it is hard for me to know whether I cultivated well or poorly during that time. On one hand, it could have been considered a test of life and death for me to give up my TV show and leave my friends at home. At the same time, I had so much fear in my heart—could it have counted?
In the several years to follow, I was still cultivating xinxing, reading, and going to the group practices and conferences. I participated in lots of Dafa events such as a visiting Congress people, distributing fliers, speaking at Universities about the persecution of Falun Gong, clarifying the truth to friends and colleagues, polishing articles for Minghui, etc. Yet, my reading began to slacken and my xinxing dropped. I felt somewhat isolated from Americans my own age and so began doing more ordinary people things. Over the next few years, due to my own poor xinxing and to the persecution of the old forces, I became more and more like an ordinary person and even did things that a practitioner shouldn’t. Though I held Dafa with highest respect, I felt very bad deep inside. I would like to take this time to apologize to Dafa for anything I did that was out of line.
I moved to California three years ago. Over the past few years, I started having deeper and deeper meditation experiences. On one particular occasion while I was meditating, my body turned into what looked like a star field and I could see many Buddhas and Heavenly scenes. I was wearing a golden robe and could see many dimensions rather clearly. I realized more clearly our relationship to other dimensions. Though this was a little bit of a shock, it was a very wonderful experience that lasted for about an hour.
I am currently reading the books as much as I can and trying to do well with the Three Things Master asks of us. Many times throughout the day I have a very tranquil mind. Before I go to bed I try not to think at all and I will sometimes see cosmic and heavenly scenes, though I try not to be attached to them. To the best of my ability, I try to cultivate at every second and with every thought. I also try to keep a clean and clear mind as much as I can. This is not to say that I am always in a good cultivation state. Many times my xinxing is poor, and this makes it harder to get rid of attached thoughts when they come up, or to do Dafa work. Sometimes I worry that I’ve done poorly and that I won’t be able to finish cultivation due to my attachments and karma. Feeling bad and that I have used my time poorly, I try to read and re-read Master Li’s books and lectures as much as I can. I also make sure I am sending forth righteous thoughts as correctly as possible. To my understanding, these are strengthening exercises and not tranquil exercises and we should focus on the words and instructions Master gives us. I sometimes see large bursts of energy coming out in other dimensions, as well as feel large currents of energy surging through my body while doing Fa Zheng Nian (Sending Forth Righteous Thoughts). Each day I feel as though my understanding of Dafa, righteous thoughts, and the universe is growing from a perceptual level.
Due to time constraints, I haven’t talked about many specifics in my article. Rather, I’ve given a general overview of my cultivation in hopes that you will draw your own lessons from my successes and mistakes. To my understanding, there are no role models in cultivation and it is all up to your own ability to enlighten and to walk your own path well. I would urge each of you to take the Fa as the Teacher and to study as much as possible. My advice to new and old practitioners alike is to have as little attachment as possible to objects or outcomes, and to do things with as little intention as possible. From my own experience, keeping a clean and clear mind and emptying my thoughts helps me stay closer to the Dao. Please point out any shortcomings.
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