Before I became a Dafa practitioner, I was politically motivated and ambitious. My life's goal was to accomplish great things and become famous. Now, whenever I recall how I became a practitioner, I regret that I missed several earlier opportunities to become a Dafa practitioner. I feel ashamed for having low enlightenment quality. In 1997, I spotted China Falun Gong at a street book vendor. Before that, while still in college, I was interested in some qigong, and I even attended a qigong seminar in school. After my girlfriend broke off our relationship, I became interested in Buddhism. I bought China Falun Gong as a new book to add to my large collection. After reading the book, I felt that the scope of the book was huge. It exceeded my prior knowledge of Buddhism, but I didn't fully believe it.
Not long after, I bought the book Zhuan Falun and read only the "interesting" parts of the book. After that, I was still not sure about it. I could not let go of my old knowledge of qigong and Buddhism, but I still felt that the book probably covered subjects of great significance, and I was attracted to it. A force was trying to compel me to read the book, but another force was opposing this. I had no idea what this meant at the time. I now realize that Master had not given up on me, and the old forces were trying to keep me away from Dafa.
When the CCP (Chinese communist party) began persecuting Falun Gong, I knew it was another of its political campaigns and was frightened. After that, I lived an aimless life, got married, and divorced. Neither my personal life nor my career was successful.
My ancestors were victims of the Communist persecution. My parents told me many horror stories about the CCP. Therefore, I always felt hostile toward the party. I believed that my life's mission was to end CCP rule and revitalize traditional Chinese culture. Before I graduated from college, I had a dream. I became a giant dragon flying in the sky. I envisioned myself to be a great person who destroyed the CCP. I was waiting for my chance. Although I suffered many tribulations, I still had hopes and inspiration, which helped me to persevere.
Five years later, in 2004, I posted a poem on a Chinese blog. It was written by an Internet poet and criticized some social phenomena. After that, an anonymous person sent me a note that included the Freegate software. Using that, I was able to break through the government's Internet firewall and see the real outside world. I downloaded Master's "Lecture in Guangzhou" and watched all nine lectures with close attention. At that time, I still had some human notions and could not let go of some of my old thoughts--I failed to see the profound principles in Dafa and still did not gain much. Worried about my safety, I deleted the video after watching it. I did not treasure Dafa and missed another precious opportunities.
The most important benefit of breaking through the Internet firewall was freedom of information. I finally could access unbiased information about the political situation in and outside of China. I also became much better informed about the persecution of Falun Gong. Especially good was that I could get Master's latest lectures. At that time, I still had a lot of human notions and tried to find some knowledge that could help me to achieve my ambition. But I was not able to see Dafa's profound principles. After the "Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party" was published, I was deeply impressed by the book. In the past, I thought I had a good understanding of the evil nature of the CCP, but the Nine Commentaries describe an evil spirit that opposes the universe and humanity and far exceeded my prior understanding. Soon I issued my announcement to quit the Communist Youth League and the Young Pioneers. After that, both my situation at work and in my personal life gradually improved. I have experienced the rewards of quitting the CCP and its affiliated organizations.
After reading articles on the Epoch Times and Secret China websites, I began to truly appreciate genuine traditional Chinese culture. I often felt an emotion, a feeling that I was finding my life's path. When I read about Dafa practitioners being persecuted, I felt very sad and angry. I wished that the CCP could collapse soon so that the persecution of the best people in the world would be over. Only after that could I have a chance to accomplish my ambition. But I was still making judgments based on my human understanding, and I was not completely embracing Dafa.
Later, I looked at the Future China Forum on the Dynaweb main page, followed by news about forming the China Transitional Government and Future China University. These articles caught my interest, so I often surfed this site. Sometimes, I posted some of my own articles. I wanted to find some good friends that shared the same interests with me. Later in the year, I got involved in a debate with someone on the forum. My opponent was a Dafa practitioner, and I felt he was somewhat condescending when talking to me. That debate triggered my curiosity, and I was more determined than ever to learn about Dafa and improve my knowledge.
Although that thought was still one that reflected a a human mentality, I nonetheless began to read all Master's lectures since July 20, 1999. The more I read, the more I felt Dafa's power. I was truly in awe of Dafa. For the first time, I realized that Dafa is far superior to all human knowledge since the beginning of time. Nothing can be used to gauge Dafa's magnitude. Following the requirements on the Clearwisdom website, I began to read Zhuan Falun word by word, page by page, and cover to cover. In the past I had no particular pursuit in reading the book, but this time, I felt the difference. I finally accepted Dafa as my only faith! I was so happy. I want to thank Master for all the compassion and patience.
In the past, since I had a deep love for Confucianism, Buddhism, and Daoism, I often used their principles to judge other theories, including Dafa. I thought Dafa was an offspring of the traditional culture, a beautiful flower in the garden of Chinese culture. I had no idea that everything in human history was created for Dafa's dissemination in today's world. My past experience from learning Buddhism taught me to become someone of great stature. Too much human attachment had prevented me from becoming a Dafa disciple, over and over. Now, I feel very sorry for my lack of enlightenment quality.
Despite my poor understanding, Master has never given up on me. Several times, Master gave me hints in my dreams, but I just did not get it. My situation was like Master described in Zhuan Falun:
"In particular, many of our practitioners who study one practice today and another tomorrow have already messed up their own bodies. Their cultivation is bound to fail. While others advance by taking the main road in cultivation, these people are on the side roads. If they practice one way, the other way will interfere. If they practice the other way, this practice will interfere. Everything is interfering with them, and they can no longer succeed in cultivation practice."
Master removed all interference for me, so I could truly cultivate. I remember the second time I read Zhuan Falun, in Chapter Three, I clearly felt Master removing a spirit of animal possession from my body. I can't find the words to thank Master for his great compassion.
After I became a practitioner, I came to understand that everything we have in the world is a dream or a bubble. A cultivator's real goal is not the tangible benefits in this world. We are, in Master's words,
"He who regards not
ordinary sorrows and joys
A cultivator is he
He who has not attachment
to worldly loss and gain
An Arhat is he"
("Breaking Free of the Three Realms" from Hong Yin)
In "Cultivation Practice Is Not Political" (Essentials of Further Advancement), Master also told us,
"Some students are discontent with society and politics; they learn our Dafa with this strong attachment that they don't abandon. They even attempt to take advantage of our Dafa to get involved in politics--an act born of a filthy mindset that desecrates Buddha and the Fa. They certainly won't reach Consummation if they don't abandon that mindset."
I was just like that before I began to truly cultivate.
In the same article, Master also said,
"My disciples, you must remember that we're doing true cultivation practice! We should abandon those ordinary human concerns for reputation, profit, and emotion. Do the conditions of a social system have anything to do with your cultivation practice? You can only reach Consummation after you have abandoned all of your attachments and none of them remain. Other than doing a good job with his work, a cultivator will not be interested in politics or political power of any sort; failing this, he absolutely isn't my disciple."
I realized that I must follow Master's words in the future. I have to totally relinquish my strong "political" ambition. Since I took quite a few detours on my way to becoming a practitioner, I am keenly aware that it is very special for anyone to become a Dafa disciple. We all have to treasure this special opportunity.
This is my first cultivation article. It took me much more effort than writing other kinds of articles. Whenever I began to write, my human notions appeared and bothered me. Sometimes I felt at a loss and did not know where to begin. This situation is related to my lack of effort in doing the three things (study the Fa [the teachings of Falun Dafa], send forth righteous thoughts and clarify the truth about Falun Dafa and about the persecution to the world's people). Without a solid personal cultivation experience, theoretical papers become meaningless. In the future, I will do my best to accomplish the three things.
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