Cultivation While Looking Within

By a practitioner from Latvia

Good day revered Master, Good day fellow practitioners!

I want to share with you my understandings while cultivating and looking within.

"Choice of outfit – a desire to be uniquely different"
During childhood while living and growing up in a communist regime, when all the pupils had to wear the same clothes, I had already developed a desire to wear something unique to be different. This characteristic to search for special clothes has still remained in me. Last winter I wanted to buy a warm winter coat so that I could participate in local Dafa activities. I was looking for a coat that would be different from others. I was looking for a very long time to find this winter coat and couldn't find it. I visited many stores and used a lot of time.

Since I couldn't find it in stores, I started to browse the internet. I had never bought clothes online, and in this process I had no knowledge nor skills. And finally there, on the internet, I found my desired coat. I completed my purchase, paid the money and waited for the order. Shortly after placing the order I realized that this web-shop was owned by fraudsters, who got the money but didn't send the goods. The money was lost. I looked within and realized that I had a big attachment to finding and wearing some special clothing, and that I had to give up this attachment. To find this special coat I had spent too much time, which I could have used to study the Fa, do the exercises or take part in Falun Dafa projects. I had to lose both time and money to expose this attachment. Since the money was lost, I didn't want the lack of clothing to be an obstacle for me to participate in Dafa activities. I searched for my old winter coat, which I wore more than ten years ago, cleaned it, freshened it up and successfully participated in the events.

This year, while participating in a parade, practitioners decided to wear matching clothing – yellow t-shirts with Falun Dafa lettering. I noticed that one of the practitioners had a blue scarf around her neck. I asked her what the scarf was for. I thought that it was not acceptable, because if everyone wrapped up in scarves, wore brooches, or put flowers in their hair then the unified style would be gone and chaos would ensue. A little later I realized that what I see in others is actually my problem.

As part of the "Lotus Dance" performance for the parade we decided to buy new dresses. The dresses on offer were in several colors and I really liked the bright pink one. Since all the participants had chosen light tones instead of bright ones, the project coordinator asked me to choose a tone not so bright and I got the light green dress. A little later our project recruited a few more practitioners, who were recommended to take the left over colors – the bright dress tones. I felt anxiety in my heart and realized, however, that this attachment to special clothing was not completely gone. I immediately shared this experience and am very happy that I managed to see this attachment and repeatedly look within, to reduce it.

At the beginning of 2017, I spent a lot of time on the organ harvesting project as David Kilgour and David Matas were going to visit our country. During the preparations, one Saturday I felt very ill and it continued into Sunday. I tried to study and do the exercises. On Monday morning, when I had to go to work, I felt even worse. I knew that I would not give up! No matter how bad I felt, I sent forth righteous thoughts and went to work. I could barely move, I had no strength to walk. My colleagues were looking at me and said I should go and see a doctor, so I wouldn't infect them with the flu. I'm a leader and regularly have to make different types of decisions, contribute to staff meetings and address non-standard questions. I couldn‘t be up to my usual standard, I had no power to address work issues, my head was heavy and I was not able to think productively. Despite that, I stayedat work until the end of the day.

That evening we had our weekly Fa study and I remembered Teacher's words:

“…no matter how uncomfortable you are, you must persevere and continue to attend this class.”
(Zhuan Falun, Lecture Two)

I got my strength together and attended the local Fa study, the weakness still continued. After the study I sat down for a moment to gather my strength to go home. One practitioner came and asked if everything was ok with me? I told them that I really didn‘t feel well.

Next day, despite Fa study and sending forth righteous thoughts my condition didn't improve. It became even worse. I realized that I couldn't go to work, because my colleagues would say I was being selfish, that I didn’t care if they caught flu from me. I had a day off and stayed at home.

I felt even worse, so bad that I couldn't get out of bed and go to the kitchen for a drink. I had a feeling that my heart would stop. I had no power to study or do anything, not even to move. Despair and worry took over, and I couldn't understand what was going on. It got so bad, that I picked up my phone to call a doctor to come and see me. I've been cultivating for six years, similar situations had occurred and not once had I called a doctor to my home. Unfortunately my well-being reached its limit.

I tried to call a hospital, but I couldn't manage to call them. The number was busy all the time. Suddenly I got a text message: “How are you?“ It was sent by a practitioner who‘d noticed my condition the day before. I replied: “I feel bad.“ The practitioner sent a reply that within half an hour he could be at my home. It was a surprise, because this practitioner does not live nearby . It was a coincidence that this practitioner happened to be in my city. I decided to wait for this practitioner and I no longer had thoughts about calling a doctor. When the practitioner arrived, we talked, read Lunyu and I tried to look within to understand why this situation had occurred? Then we decided, despite my huge powerlessness, to do the first exercise together. I managed to do it. Then I realized that I could do the second exercise, then the third and then the fourth. My poor state of physical well-being was gone. It was amazing how in two hours my physical well-being could change, from a completely hopeless, helpless condition to full of energy.

I'm very grateful to our merciful Master that he sent this practitioner to help me. Despite the practitioner‘s busy schedule and the great amount of work he had on his plate, he came to me and postponed his work to a later time.

Master said:

“If you want to cultivate, human qing must be relinquished. Of course, while cultivating in ordinary human society, we should be good to our parents and look after our children. Under all circumstances, we must be good and kind to others, not to mention to our family members. We should treat everyone in the same way. We must be good to our parents and children and be considerate of others in all respects. Such a heart is thus unselfish, and it is a heart of kindness and benevolence—it is compassion. Qing is something of everyday people, and everyday people just live for it.”
(Zhuan Falun, Lecture Six)

I saw in myself that I am too sensitive, I have too many human feelings. I like to think about what I like or don't like. I like to evaluate human actions and speech and sometimes judge people. I understood that I must try to reduce these attachments and shortcomings in myself and in my thoughts. This experience made me strengthen my will and faith in the practice.

“When you are overcoming a real hardship or tribulation, you try it. When it is difficult to endure, try to endure it. When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible. If you can actually do it, you will indeed find, “After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!””
(Zhuan Falun, Lecture Nine)

Letting go of my ego
I thought for a long time: should I write about this particular experience or not? I wasn't sure if it is correct for a practitioner to speak about achievements appreciated by ordinary people. However, I decided to share on this subject. I've been working in a bank for twelve years, nine of which I've been working in recruitment and am responsible for team building. I like my work very much, because to put people in their right position, in my opinion, is good for both the employees and the employer. I work quite a lot every day. I often stay after work and if necessary I work at weekends. My understanding is that, for me as a practitioner, the work must be done well. I must think about the results and help other colleagues. One colleague once said to me: "Why are you trying so hard at work? Nobody will appreciate your work anyway." I then thought to myself, I'm a practitioner – I can't think selfishly. I must try to do the work as best as I can whether it will be appreciated or not?

I also noticed, that the workplace no longer hold Friday afternoon wine tasting parties, which for years was an established tradition. Initially my colleagues couldn't accept that I don't drink alcohol any more, and wasn’t taking part in their activities. They tried many methods to trick me into drinking alcohol, even using deceit and traps. My willpower was stronger than their influence. But now this situation has turned into no one drinking alcohol be it on Fridays or birthdays and this tradition has disappeared.

Master has said:

“The director at a city’s Dafa instruction center went to a factory to see how Falun Dafa students were doing with their practice. The factory manager came out to greet him in person, “Since studying Falun Dafa, these workers have been coming to work early and going home late. They work very diligently and will do any assignment their supervisor gives. They also no longer compete for personal gain. By doing so, they’ve made the whole factory take on a new look, and the factory’s financial returns have also improved.””
(Zhuan Falun, Lecture Four)

At the end of 2014, the bank management nominated me as the best employee among all the employees in the bank. It was a surprise for me, because I didn't bring any financial benefit to the bank, but I was pleased about this – that the management appreciated a practitioner as a good employee. From Teacher's words I've come to realize that we as practitioners must be good examples for the public, living in accordance with the principles of the Universe: Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance.

Moreover, this nomination didn't make my everyday life easier, but on the contrary – I must do my job as well as before whilst looking within, letting go of my ego and attachments. However, due to a lot of hard work, it got more difficult to balance my relationship properly between my work, family and Falun Dafa projects. I'm still cultivating myself on this issue, and trying to find harmony and the correct time schedule.

Overcoming resentment
One morning when I came to work at the bank, the phone rang. I answered the phone and it was my colleague who began yelling at me. She asked why I have blocked her bank account so that she can no longer access her funds. I replied that I am not in charge of bank account blocking, and she needs to call a different department. She said that she wouldn't call anywhere else, that I am bad at my work and don't do my duties properly. She insisted that it was my fault and I needed to deal with the issue. As my colleague was very emotional, I asked her to calm down and talk to the department that is responsible for that issue and can really help her. During the conversation I was calm and restrained myself. I didn't yell at her, but tried to calm her down. After this conversation, I thought that her actions were not reasonable.

At lunch time, while standing in line, I saw that this colleague was behind me. My first thought was, I will turn my back to her, because I'm resentful and will be angry. But I said to myself, I am a practitioner! I can't act like this! I then immediately turned around and asked her whether she managed to resolve the problem. She said that everything was fine and that she felt guilty.

From this experience I realized how important it is to be calm and patient, no matter what, try to help a person out with benevolence and patience.

Returning to the state of starting the practice
Through reading Master's works, I have an understanding that I need to practice like when I first started the practice. When I started practising, I wasn't so diligent and didn't do the three things well. For a long time I couldn't find the answer to the question: Why do I need to return to the state of when I started to practise? Moreover, my coming to the practice was not so simple. Many works of Teacher were not translated into Latvian, the only way for me to learn about Falun Dafa was to read Teacher's books in Russian. Because of a lack of knowledge of the Russian language, a lot of what I read I couldn't understand, and it made it difficult for me to understand the Fa and to be a diligent Falun Dafa practitioner.

“There is a saying in cultivation, “Cultivate with the heart you once had, and success is certain,” right? Remember how you felt when you first gained the Fa and started to practice? When you realized what this Fa is about, wow, you were incredibly excited, and you set your mind to doing well! If you can keep alive that heart that you once had for your whole journey of cultivation, straight to the end, then you are guaranteed success—and even Heaven will vouch for you.”
(Fa Teaching at the New York Fa Conference on the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Dafa’s Introduction to the Public)

Reading Teacher's Fa at the New York Fa conference in 2017, I finally enlightened that I need this special state, this excitement – the one I had when I started to practise! After the first classes, my heart was so full with excitement, that I did not want to go home at all, I wanted to know more and more about Falun Dafa. I wanted practitioners to share more of their experiences, which in turn gave me new understandings.

Reducing Human Qing
On a daily basis I work a lot with people so I can say that I like people, they are so different and each has their own special character! The more complex a character, the more I find him interesting. It rarely happens that I don't like someone. From the very beginning, among practitioners there was one who I didn't like. I couldn't work out why I didn‘t like this person? This practitioner hadn't done anything wrong to me, hadn't said anything bad – I just didn't like him! I always avoided a conversation with him; I even didn't want to greet him. This aversion was so great in me, that I never could understand whether he was talking to me or not. Over the years – I always tried to avoid a conversation or working together, and this aversion didn't diminish. However, my heart was not at peace, because I understood that it is not correct.

“You are all fellow practitioners. Do you think you’re enemies? You are here on this earth working toward the same goal of saving people, so you should be the closest of kin and be helping one another. Do you find someone annoying? That person’s outward appearance and behavior are only what’s present here in this human world. Weren’t all of you originally divine? I don’t think your divine side would possibly find someone annoying. You need to view things as a cultivator.“
(Fa Teaching at the New York Fa Conference on the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Dafa’s Introduction to the Public)

After reading Master's words, I looked within and tried to let go of these human feelings. I tried not to avoid contact with this person, but on the contrary I started to look for more opportunities to speak with him and to participate together in projects. At the moment I don't have this aversion in me, and I am glad that I can work with him. But to get over it took me several years. I enlightened how important and valuable it is to reduce these human feelings!

“... the old forces will not let the cultivation environment that Dafa disciples have be calm and uneventful, from start to finish. When they see that the Dafa disciples in some areas have a certain attachment, they will make something happen for everyone to see, and it’s meant to make you cultivate. So take a look at your reaction: are your thoughts righteous or human? All along the old forces have been doing such things. Some practitioners have had attachments for a long time and not realized it. They haven’t even done sincere self-reflection or scrutinized themselves, perhaps because they’re busy raising awareness or with other Dafa things. And then problems come about when the issue becomes serious and the old forces won’t let it go. So you really have to pay attention. However wild the evil may be, it won’t dare to touch you if you have no faults.”
(Fa Teaching at the New York Fa Conference on the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Dafa’s Introduction to the Public)

I am truly grateful to Master that I am a Falun Dafa practitioner!

All of the above is my limited understanding. Please point out anything inappropriate.

Thank you Master! Thank you fellow practitioners!

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