Greetings, respected Master!
Greetings, all fellow practitioners!
I started practising Falun Dafa in 2013. Looking back over the past year or so I would like to share some cultivation experiences and breakthroughs regarding my cultivation and VIP truth clarification.
I’m a head chef and my job is very physically and mentally demanding. I have dependants at home and my responsibilities are quite stretched at times, juggling everything daily and trying to put cultivation at the forefront.
One day at the end of a working week I was exhausted physically and mentally and feeling relieved that the end of the week had come. That same day I received a message from my family in the UK informing me that my sister had been diagnosed with breast cancer. At work, I was called into the office and told by management that me and another employee had been accused of racial discrimination. Of course, the accusation was false, but management were duty bound to take it seriously. As soon as I got home from work, I received a call from my daughter that she was in a crisis and needed me to babysit my granddaughter.
No sooner had I put the phone down from that call, I received another call from my son’s school telling me my son was being suspended due to an incident and requested I attend a meeting. I went into a numb state and could sense the seriousness of where to go next in terms of my response to these many tribulations.
In Zhuan Falun, Lecture 9, Master says:
Now of course, you shouldn’t expect to go through the same. Most people wouldn’t be able to take it, and might think there is no reason to go on, or even try to take their own life in desperation. My point is that you may have to go through some of the most trying ordeals imaginable. They could take any of a variety of forms. The scheming that goes on between people, the things that test your character, and the cutthroat nature of society are no less trying than the scenario I described. Some people, for instance, find the pain of humiliation to be so great that they take their own lives. This means that to practice in a setting as complicated as this, we need to be able to weather the most trying of storms and have outstanding self-control, or ren.
I understood that an everyday person might consider taking their own life in the situation Master explained, but that a cultivator does not look at things this way. I had to carefully watch my thinking and could see all these tribulations were an opportunity for me as long as I could be determined and steel my will.
The first thing I did was call my son’s father and tell him we needed to meet to discuss what was going on with our son. We divorced 15 years ago and share the custody of our children. His initial response was that he couldn’t make it, which is how he usually responds. In the past I would just accept this with much frustration and then compensate for his lack of responsibility. This was like an ordinary person’s forbearance and way of handling the situation. I could see there was an opportunity to rectify this.
I said to him, “No, whatever you’re doing, you have to cancel it, I can’t do this on my own.” I was saying this for his sake to appeal to his compassionate side and help him understand his responsibility as a father. In the past, as an everyday person, I would have said this with emotion and concern for myself. I understood all I needed to do was to be responsible to my son in an upright way based on my understanding of the Fa. He softly said, “Okay, I’ll be there in 45 minutes.”
We met and discussed the school incident. I was conscious of maintaining a solid cultivation state with the many tribulations that were going on. Our meeting together went very well as did our meeting with the school. I could see that he was handling the situation and taking the lead role of responsible father, and I felt respected by him as the mother in a supporting role. It was honest and upright and truly different to our previous co-parenting interactions. We were easily able to agree 100% on how to handle the situation and the consequences for our son’s behaviour at school. I could see how putting effort into maintaining a solid cultivation state had a positive impact on my ex-husband.
I still needed to deal with the situation at my workplace of being falsely accused of racial discrimination. There had been many cultivation opportunities at my workplace, but broadly speaking, this was the most serious and was the catalyst for an important cultivation breakthrough at a workplace that had presented me with constant tests.
I was often in situations where I was handling an immense workload for two people due to being short staffed, and a management who were also overloading me with additional catering requests and making me feel guilty when I kindly explained that I would need additional help to meet their requests.
Many days I would work through without taking a break or eating. My assistant was also becoming increasingly difficult to deal with. At the time I was forbearing with grievances, and not cultivating through the situations uprightly and firmly. The result was no matter how hard I worked and how much workload I took on, it went unnoticed and didn’t change the way I was treated. I even noticed management would support other staff who needed it, but that never happened with me. I wondered whether I needed to look for another job and considered that perhaps another workplace would present other opportunities to clarify the truth to different people, but that didn’t happen.
I then enlightened that I wasn’t meant to look for another job, but that I needed to improve my outlook on the situation. I decided to be determined to use the opportunity to cultivate myself and I focused on that. Every day, even though the heavy workload didn’t change, I decided to have a better attitude and always do a good job regardless of the workload or how I was being treated by others. This significant shift in my cultivation state resulted in a positive outcome regarding the false accusation towards me.
An anti-discrimination board found that I had done nothing wrong and that it was my company who were negligent in failing to adequately investigate the issue and my side of the story. Although this was a good outcome, the most important change has been in my workplace overall where I am now well respected and trusted.
Management now seek my advice and opinion on a range of issues. Again, by paying attention to my own cultivation state through all the trials and tribulations at my workplace, the environment truly harmonised.
In Zhuan Falun, Lecture Four, Master says:
“ While the main goal of Falun Dafa is spiritual progress, and not, in fact, to bring about changes like those, it can nevertheless do a great deal to foster civility and moral living in society. If each and every person were to self-reflect and give thought to how they should act, I would say the world would become a more stable place and people would become moral again.”
Having a demanding job meant that I needed to make the most of the limited time I had to do the Three Things. For about two years I participated in truth clarification stalls at various markets. This also presented me with many cultivation opportunities. The coordinator of the activity and I are very different in personality and ways of working.
At first, I found this quite difficult and sometimes felt stifled by her coordination style. I responded initially by just trying my best to cooperate, but this approach left me losing heart for the project and I no longer wanted to be as actively involved. I frequently shared my concerns with the coordinator, and also asked Master for some guidance as something inside me told me I was missing an important lesson in my cultivation and missing the opportunity to truly improve my xinxing.
I realised I’d lost my ability to see the positive qualities this fellow practitioner had and I started to forget that in the past there were several events where our union was so righteous and powerful and achieved great effects in saving sentient beings and how easy it was during those occasions to support her and her qualities. In fact, I really value those qualities when they are used with the mighty Fa energy as they are pretty different from my own.
In Zhuan Falun, Lecture Four, Master said:
But true spiritual practice is about working on the mind, or character. For example, it entails learning to worry less about the disputes that might surround you, and value less the worldly things that people normally want and feel strongly about. You shouldn’t expect many results from your practice if instead you are all caught up in competition with others and pushing hard to come out on top. In that case you are just like everyone else, and shouldn’t expect to get any higher energy from it. This is why you need to put character at the heart of your practice. And if you can do that, you will find yourself elevating spiritually and your energy growing.
While some breakthroughs were made during this project, I still had a despondent feeling within and felt I needed to do something else. Things naturally winded down with the markets as we had done many of them several times and often saw the same people, which meant the opportunities to clarify the truth had become few and far between.
Life just feels too empty every day without regular truth clarification projects to participate in. Even though I participated in activities and projects whenever possible, I still carried a heavy heart. I remember several practitioners mentioning they don’t have the heart they first had when they found the Fa. I recall we shared on how to bring that back and in an even better way because we had more wisdom from the Fa to draw on. Reflecting on the practitioner’s words I too was struggling with despondency. I was trapped by cunning notions that were preventing my elevation. I needed to breakthrough some fundamental blockages.
PARTICIPATING IN VIP WORK
For World Falun Dafa Day last year, it was decided we would have a VIP dinner. We were asked to personally invite our MP’s. When VIP and government work had been discussed at Fa study previously, it was shared that all practitioners are responsible to make inroads with getting more familiar with their own MP’s, Senators and Councillors and as these were our initial VIP contacts. I drove home listening to my inner dialogue saturated in human notions. I saw stubbornness in the fear of stepping out of my comfort zone and had so many assumptions towards VIP’s and myself and thought I wouldn’t be of any use with these people on an intellectual level. Where would I begin?
One morning on my way back to my car after being at the practice site I saw a politician had set up an A frame sign on the walkway next to a park bench. I had only met him briefly once before as a candidate in the election when he came to our local practice site to learn the exercises, but I didn’t think he’d remember me. I looked over and saw him sitting upright on the bench with a few people there waiting to have a chat. I continued walking to my car, but my heart was calling me back to introduce myself to him.
I felt Master’s involvement in this arrangement and I couldn’t ignore that this was an opportunity to casually meet my local MP and at least make a start to establish a connection. But what could I possibly have to say to him? Maybe I will just give a quick call to the coordinator to see what she would recommend I say. I tried to call her but there was no answer.
Again, I felt it was also Master’s arrangement that I was given the opportunity to use my own wisdom to speak to my MP and to push through this awkward inferior feeling I was having. Soon it was my turn. I was received with a friendly easy-going face. I mentioned that I was in his electorate and that I had just been practising the exercises at the park. I mentioned that I had met him at the exercise site during his election campaign and he recalled learning the exercises and meeting practitioners. I asked him if I could send him an invitation to the World Falun Dafa Day dinner. There and then he pencilled in his diary the date of the dinner.
I asked if I could visit him to deliver the invitation in person and he accepted. He attended the dinner and also wrote a support letter. He was able to know the beauty of Falun Dafa around the world and understand the severity of the persecution. After the dinner I could tell that his understanding had broadened, and the information had reached his inner being and we practitioners had fulfilled our mission.
A month or two later I had an appointment with my MP to discuss screening “In the Name of Confucius” at Queensland Parliament House. A fellow practitioner and I attended the appointment together and were delighted to see Falun Dafa lotus bookmarks hanging from the door handle to his office. When we sat down at his desk, we saw on the bookshelf a photo of him together with our local practitioners when we first met him at the practice site as an election candidate.
The meeting went well as we were able to clarify the facts from another angle regarding the CCP infiltration and the hidden agenda of Confucius Institutes and Classrooms. My MP couldn’t host the screening at Queensland Parliament House but helped us with booking a room. When the local practitioner who attended the meeting with me saw my MP at a local business function, he personally introduced her to the other MP’s in attendance and said, “She’s organising a screening at Qld Parliament House of a film about the Confucius Institutes, make sure you attend.”
When it looked like the event was going to clash with another event on the same evening, his staffer contacted us to let us know about it so we could prepare. My MP also attended Shen Yun this year.
My respects to my MP have been relayed to him by supporting him when he holds local events and festivals and our connection now is comfortable and friendly. I follow him on Facebook so I can see his community work.
He recently posted a video of his speech in Qld Parliament House expressing concern for the human rights of Hong Kong citizens and about the extradition situation. He has become a strong advocate for Falun Dafa.
And I am truly grateful for responding to Masters arrangement at the park that day. It gave me confidence to engage with my MP more, break through my despondency and overcome my fears of inadequacy.
In “Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting – 2009”, Master said:
“…As long as you come into contact with someone, you are doing something to save him—including when you solicit advertisements. Which side a person stands on, and whether he will make it—these are all things placed along the way as Dafa disciples go about interfacing with ordinary people in various capacities, and you shouldn’t attach too much importance to those activities in and of themselves. The bigger you perceive the challenges to be, the harder things will be to carry out, since “the appearance stems from the mind.” And so the task will become increasingly burdensome. When I say “the appearance stems from the mind,” by that I also mean that the difficulty stems from your overstating the importance of the matter itself and seeing yourself in a lesser light. Don’t take any such things to be a big deal, for with something as significant as saving sentient beings you should just do what you are supposed to do, going about it in a composed manner.”
When my cultivation state is solid, I realise nothing can interfere with me or intimidate me. When my righteous thoughts are solid, I see the powerful Fa reflected in my cultivation environment, and I can see positive outcomes and harmony in my cultivation environment when I solidly do the Three Things. I can see how I’m not bothered or concerned with how others treat me because the mighty Fa helps me rectify and harmonise my thinking so I can improve in my cultivation.
Thank you Master!
Thank you fellow practitioners.