Dear fellow practitioners!
At nearly 8 years old, I had the indescribable good fortune to read Falun Gong for the first time. Later I read Zhuan Falun, after my father bought the book in a bookshop sale. From then on, there was no question in my mind that this was the truth of the universe, and that many lies had been spread about Falun Dafa and the persecution.
Although I knew that I wanted to cultivate in Dafa all my life, I often didn't make much progress. I didn't study the Fa much, especially during my academic studies, and didn't do many things well. Because I did not study the Fa sufficiently, I repeatedly made mistakes and often disappointed myself.
I got this incredible predestined connection very easily in this life, but looking back as I grew up, I didn't always appreciate it sufficiently. I can never express enough gratitude to Master for the chances he gives me again and again. From now on I want to appreciate, with all my heart, the time that Master gives us and do my utmost not to miss any more opportunities.
Learning to See Situations as Xinxing Tests
When I was 12 years old, I experienced the first xinxing test that I can remember. At the time I had a religious teacher at school who held monthly discussions on various topics. I used the opportunity, when it suited the subject, to share things that I had understood from the Fa, such as that you get karma for doing bad deeds, and about reincarnation.
My teacher was not particularly pleased with my contributions and these views were foreign to him, so he stopped letting me talk in the discussion. My classmates liked to listen to me and sometimes I gave my opinion anyway. At the end of the term, my teacher wanted to give me a low grade on my report card. I was doing very well in all my other subjects.
My mother talked to him about Falun Dafa and my report grade at the parent-teacher meeting. Finally, he offered to give me a better grade if I took an exam where I had to learn additional subject matter.
I found that very unfair. My parents asked me whether I wanted to do it. They reminded me that as a student I should do my best and asked me what impression I wished to make, so I started learning the extra subject matter. While it wasn't hard for me to remember the stuff, it was hard to let go of my grudge about this so-called "injustice" that I had to go through.
I memorised Master's poem “Realms” from Essentials for Further Advancement:
A wicked person is born of jealousy.
Out of selfishness and anger he complains about unfairness towards himself.
A benevolent person always has a heart of compassion.
With no discontentment or hatred, he takes hardship as joy.
An enlightened person has no attachments at all.
He quietly observes the people of the world deluded by illusions.
I knew that I was being treated unfairly, but took the exam with a calm heart. After I was able to answer all the questions correctly, the teacher was surprised and said that he had no choice but to give me a very good grade. Shortly after that he moved to another school.
I was disappointed and told my parents that it was impossible for him to annoy me any more than he’d already done so I could have completed the next term without any problems. They laughed, and jokingly said I would have been bored without him.
I understood at that level what a test of xinxing was, and that if it could be overcome, it would dissolve. But there are many different types of tests, and not all are as simple as this. Many become more complex as we get older.
At the end of my studies, I was offered a good job at a university. My new working group consisted of about 20 people led directly by my boss, who in turn is managed by the head of the institute.
When I started work, my boss agreed with the head of the institute that I should work part of my working hours on projects and part on teaching. These hours for teaching were available because a colleague wanted to work fewer hours after coming back from maternity leave.
However, this colleague then resigned so her position had to be advertised as a full-time post. The secretary in charge of teaching told me that there would be no hours left for me to teach, so I couldn’t do it. Shortly afterwards, another project came up and made up for the missing hours, and I didn't think about it any further.
Some time later, the head of the institute said that the teaching position had not yet been filled, and that he urgently needed temporary help to teach an internship that was about to start. Most of the work had already been taken by others, but two weeks remained unoccupied. He asked me if I was willing to step in.
Master teaches us that we should do our best in our daily work, so I agreed.
“Let me tell you, you're a member of society, and you should try your best to do well everything you're supposed to do at whatever job you have in society, you should be a good person wherever you are, and thus lead people in society to all say you're a good person.” (Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference)
I learned later that my boss had a long-running argument with the head of the institute, but the conflict that was to arise from this hit me completely by surprise. My boss felt that the head of the institute should have consulted her before asking me to take on the two weeks of training work. She felt it was stupid of me to agree to help out as I had not received the correct training. She also feared that the projects I had to work on would be neglected because I’d be too focused on the teaching. The secretary in charge of teaching accused me of deliberately going behind her back to get the teaching work she didn't want to give to me. She spread this false story to the whole department.
I went to her to clarify the matter with good intent. I told her that I would never do anything behind someone's back because I follow the principles of truthfulness, compassion and forbearance. Then she changed her accusations. She told me that the person who had previously done this teaching role and quit had been older and more experienced and still had problems with the task and the students. I had only been in the department for a few weeks and would not be able to do the teaching, and this was not fair on the students who wanted to learn something. Then she told me to get out of her office.
Although I didn't argue with her, the situation gnawed at my heart. Not only had she misjudged the situation, but she had also discredited me during my first few weeks in this new job in front of the very people that I'm supposed to be showing the goodness of Dafa to. Although I knew inside that it was a test of my xinxing and a way to raise my level, I couldn't let go of it in my heart, and even felt sorry for myself. I was ready to be a good person and help out for two weeks, but I was treated badly. During my studies, I had neglected Fa study and treating the situation properly was difficult.
Finally, I studied the Fa more intensively and looked inside. I could see attachments that I hadn't noticed before. I realized that it had moved me that she thought I didn't have the ability to do this task, which showed me that I hadn't let go of the attachment to fame among ordinary people. I also realized that I still wanted to avoid major conflicts instead of facing them. I was striving for comfort and to get through things smoothly. Is that the way a cultivator should think?
Master has clearly explained how a cultivator thinks:
"When something upsetting happens, something that angers you occurs, or there is personal gain at stake, or your ego suffers a blow, are you able to look inward and cultivate yourself, searching for your own shortcoming, and even when you find yourself in such a situation and you’re not at fault, are you able to have an attitude of, “Oh, I understand—I must not have done well in some regard. Or if I really didn’t do something wrong, perhaps it’s that I’m paying off karma that I owe. I’m going to handle it well and pay off what I should.” And as you continually encounter such things, you should continually cultivate yourself. Then, if a cultivator can handle things in that manner, using true principles to cultivate himself, then aren’t the unpleasant things that you experience in the ordinary world good things?” (Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference)
I had to improve and truly look at things from the Fa. I had been shown attachments that I hadn't noticed before. I had been denounced and discredited, and was able to improve my xinxing. Of course, it was all good stuff. I had also attracted the attention of the others in the department because of what they had heard about me. How I handled this was very important.
"Then, as a cultivator, you should make use of all feasible conditions to spread Dafa and validate Dafa as a correct and true science, rather than preaching or idealism—this is every cultivator’s obligation." (“Validation”, Essentials for Further Advancement)
While the others in my office were given time off from their projects to prepare for their lessons, I continued to complete the projects assigned to me and prepared for my lessons in my own time. I first had to learn to operate most of the devices, which I had to explain and demonstrate to the students in just a few weeks.
I studied the Fa a lot, and the more I studied, the easier things seemed to be at work and the smoother everything went. No matter what I did at work during that time, I succeeded and achieved good results. I treated the secretary who had caused difficulties for me and my boss in a friendly and respectful way, as if nothing had happened.
Through this process I got to know the other employees in the department better. One of them told me that he had been watching me work, and that he could not have imagined someone to be so stress-resistant. He said he would have already quit if he were in my situation.
I was provided with two assistants for the teaching. One of them told me that the rumours she heard about me were wrong and she had told this to everyone in her office. Shortly before the teaching work started, this assistant became ill. I wanted to change the schedule to get through the program with one less person, but four different people offered to fill in for her and take turns helping as they wanted to work with me.
There were many ways I could clarify the truth to my colleagues, and almost all of them signed a petition calling for an end to the persecution and organ harvesting. Some colleagues now regularly read our Vision Times articles and one wanted to learn the exercises.
Several colleagues told me that it was not the first time they experienced conflicts in the department, but the way I dealt with it was completely different. I told them that practising Falun Dafa allowed me to do that.
The teaching went smoothly. My boss was not angry any more and praised me because all my projects were completed without delays. In a short space of time the initial situation had changed a lot.
“So, as you cultivate in the society of ordinary people, you are either being polluted by ordinary society or you are changing ordinary society. And that's for sure.” (Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005)
Learning to Appreciate Master’s Arrangements with All Our Heart
Although I knew that Master arranges everything for us, I often did not have a good understanding of it in everyday life. This was shown by the fact that I thought I was wasting my time if I couldn’t immediately see the importance of everyday situations. I'm very sorry for this great disrespect. I will use a recent example to show how carefully everything is planned for us in the Fa Rectification process.
When I started my work, my boss wanted me to register at the Medical University to make it easier to work on a project. This process took a lot of time as there are many forms to complete, as well as several hours of safety training. But when all these things were done, the project didn't happen and I felt like I’d wasted my time.
Almost a whole year later I was sent the newspaper of the Medical University for the first time. I saw that the newspaper had an article about the cost of organs, and that the topic of illegal organ trafficking was dealt with briefly.
I immediately contacted the editor-in-chief of the newspaper, asking her if I could write an article about state sponsored organ harvesting in China and include information about the crimes committed against Falun Dafa practitioners. She replied stating that this topic is very important and she would make two pages available for it. However, she pointed out the following to me: because it was the newspaper of the Medical Student Union, one had to be registered at the Medical University in order to be allowed to write an article for it.
“Nothing is by chance, and there are always two sides to things. An occurrence is meant to either test you or help you. In any case, two sides are involved. Think it over and you will realize that nothing happens by chance.” (Fa Teaching Given at the New York Fa Conference Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Dafa’s Spreading)
My being registered at the Medical University a year earlier allowed me to write for the newspaper, giving the students and staff there a chance to learn about the persecution.
Nothing that happens is pointless. Master does not let us take a meaningless step in the important historical period of Fa Rectification. From now on, I want to be more mindful and really try to understand situations from the Fa so that I can make the most of them.
Special Experiences in Truth Clarification
Finally, I would like to tell you a few of the special experiences I have had in truth clarification work.
Once, I went home on a cold day and was approached by a man about my age, who wanted me to donate money for an animal welfare organization. It was just beginning to rain and I didn't really want to stop, but he stood in my way and stretched out his hand to greet me. I didn't want to be rude so I shook his hand. At that moment I felt a violent burst of energy through my whole body, and a particularly strong rotation of the Falun in my lower abdomen. The man flinched and asked me in awe, how my hand could be so hot. I didn't really answer the question and listened to his explanation about the animal welfare program.
When he finished talking, I told him about the persecution and organ harvesting, and told him that he could sign a petition against these crimes. He said that in the city he used to live in he had often seen information booths about Falun Gong, but he had never approached them as he had previously read negative things about the practice.
I now understood the strong sensation I felt before. He’d already had several opportunities to position himself well, but had not taken them. He also had a completely wrong understanding of Falun Dafa, which was very dangerous for his future. This encounter with me was an extremely important opportunity for him and all the living beings he represents.
I felt the holiness of this moment and the tension of many living beings waiting behind his superficial appearance. But I almost didn't even stop because it was cold and rainy and I didn't want to listen to anything about animal welfare.
It had been a warning to me not to think like an ordinary person and not to screw up this opportunity, so I told him what Falun Dafa really is. I told him it was something very good, but it was slandered and persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party, which is why he read false reports on the Internet. Everyone at the information booths that he saw volunteers their time and puts their heart into making the world understand this injustice. He listened to me and finally apologized sincerely several times. Then he signed the petition and fetched his colleague from across the street, so that she could hear about Dafa. She then signed the petition as well.
Another time, while working in the lab, I met a student who was doing her diploma thesis in our department. She looked upset. When I spoke to her, she told me in a hoarse voice that she had been sick for weeks. She said that she would go to the hospital the following day because of her terrible laryngitis, which just wouldn't get any better. She had so much work to do that she couldn't stay at home, but her colleagues all stayed away from her because nobody wanted to get infected. I was the first person to come close to her for days. I knew I couldn't catch it so I sat down with her and talked to her for a while. Finally, I told her about Falun Dafa and that she could sign a petition against organ harvesting and the persecution. When she signed, I told her that good deeds bring good rewards, and wished her a speedy recovery.
The next day, she let me know that she hadn't gone to the hospital and that she could speak much better. After two days her voice sounded normal again.
A short time later I was supposed to train her on how to use a device. She told me that she was desperate because she was supposed to get a place on a university course, but due to an administrative change she had to wait a whole year longer to complete her studies. This was a great financial burden for her. I listened to her and encouraged her not to take it too hard because nothing in life happens without a reason.
Because she had to go to another course that afternoon, she hurried to clean the used device after the training. I told her that I would help her so that she would have time for lunch before her next class, which went on until the evening. Suddenly tears ran down her cheeks and she said that I was the only really good person in the department. Her supervisor had never helped her like this for anything, especially not cleaning.
Usually she never had time to eat between classes. I told her that I practise Falun Dafa and that's why I try to be a good person. It is a law of the universe that good deeds are rewarded and bad deeds receive retribution. She said with conviction that she believes in this law too, and that Falun Dafa must be something exceptionally good.
Soon after, she received a message that she no longer had to wait an extra year to complete her studies. I knew this was because she had shown Dafa honest respect.
Sometime later, she told me that she felt that I bring her happiness and that she wanted to understand why this was, and what I believed in. I gave her Zhuan Falun and told her that the book was what really brings happiness.
This report is only a small part of what I have experienced in cultivation so far. There are many things that I could not do well for a long time, that I have to do better and that I will do better. The time is limited and the steps forward have to get bigger and bigger. After all, this is the most valuable predestined relationship that has ever existed.
I would like to close with Master’s words as an important reminder:
“Dafa disciples are the hope of the future, and shoulder the historic responsibility of saving sentient beings. It is imperative that Dafa disciples study the Fa well if they are to fulfil their tremendous missions. All of this can only be done, and accomplished successfully, when you cultivate yourselves well. Dafa is the Way of the cosmos, and so the title “Dafa disciple” is something sacred. In striving to save all lives and demonstrate the validity of Dafa, may you perfect yourselves spiritually!” (‘To the Fa Conference in Japan’)
I thank revered Master and my fellow practitioners with all my heart for everything and I am very grateful for the great honour of being here today.
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