Every small thing counts: cultivating as a genuine Dafa disciple
Greetings fellow practitioners!
When I heard the call for experience sharing articles for the annual Fa conference, I didn’t really think about it too much. I felt that I hadn’t cultivated diligently and was far behind other practitioners. I didn’t have much to write so I gave up before I even picked up my pen. But then several practitioners asked me to write a sharing article. This got my attention, because I realise that nothing is accidental. Whether I cultivate well or not, I’d better submit a report on my cultivation to Master.
I’d like to share on the following topic:
Bit by bit I am trying to become a genuine Dafa disciple who truly cultivates
Part1. Cultivating Away “Selfishness” and Improving Xinxing in the Family Environment
I regret to say that my cultivation is not solid in many aspects even though I have cultivated for more than 20 years. Digging deep into my heart, I found that I was holding on to many human notions and attachments and I wasn’t able to completely let them go.
When I started practicing Falun Dafa, I gained good health, a harmonious family and dutiful daughters. Everything has gone smoothly with me thanks to Master’s protection. I feel immensely happy and joyful.
My oldest daughter got married several years ago and I now have a grandson. My younger daughter is with Shen Yun Performing Arts. Everything is natural, harmonious and seems perfect. However I have harboured the heart of arrogance and unconsciously seek recognition and praise from my family members. I didn’t measure family matters according to the standard of the Fa. I looked at many issues from a human perspective. I felt unbalanced when thinking about how much time I sacrificed for my family.
For a long time, I was very busy with family chores. I had to work during the day and look after my grandson, do the housework as well as studying the Fa and doing the exercises every day after work. I had to stay up until midnight. I still had to look after every aspect of my husband’s life as if he were a child. Although I did everything for him, I did it unwillingly with complaints. Whenever I was at home, my grandson would only want to be with me, and no one else. I became impatient and irritable. I felt as if everyone in my family was hindering me from cultivating diligently. I envied those practitioners who are single. Their state of life was like the Chinese saying which goes “One person is fed and the whole family is fed”. They have nothing to prevent them doing the “three things”. Wasn’t there “selfishness” behind my thoughts? I only wanted to do my own things. I wanted to practise the exercises, study the Fa and go out to clarify the truth to people. I didn’t want to sacrifice my time for my family. I was not selfless and didn’t look within.
Due to my selfishness, conflicts came up. My husband wasn’t happy with me. He said that I did the cooking grudgingly and didn’t put my heart into it. He got angry, lost his temper and found fault with me. On the surface I kept quiet, but in my heart I was moved. Sometimes I argued back. Then he shouted at me: “You are so busy yourself becoming a Divine being that I don’t even see you every day.” He asked me: “Are all practitioners like you? You’re cultivating without obtaining the Gong!”
I realised that Master was using my husband to give me a hint. I bit back what I wanted to say to him and regretted that I hadn’t done well.
Master offered guidence in Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun: “You should always be benevolent and kind to others, and consider others when doing anything. Whenever you encounter a problem, you should first consider whether others can put up with this matter or if it will hurt anyone. In doing so, there will not be any problems. Therefore, in cultivation practice you should follow a higher and higher standard for yourself.”
I realised that I didn’t consider how much other people could put up with. I only thought of myself and forgot that I am a practitioner. Nothing is accidental when an issue comes up for a practitioner. It’s a good opportunity to improve xinxing. But I failed time and time again. I made up my mind that I must let go of my selfishness. I must have compassion at all times and consider others first. I should treat my family members with sincerity. Regardless of how my husband behaved, I started to examine myself carefully to find out where I fell short. I no longer became irritable and impatient when looking after my grandson. I often listened to Master’s audio lectures and attended Dafa activities with him. He often says: “Falun Dafa is good. Master comes. I heshi to Master!”
After a while, my husband noticed these changes in me. He no longer found fault with me and sometimes even helped me with family chores. He asked for leave from work three times this year and came to Dafa activities with our grandson. I understand that as long as I keep my cultivation state well all the time and cultivate myself solidly, I can change my surrounding environment.
Part2. Joining the Tian Guo Band
When I came to Australia and saw the Tian Guo Band for the first time in a parade, I couldn’t hold back my tears. I was so touched. After the parade, I asked the coordinator if I could join the band. He looked at me and then looked at my two daughters and said that it was hard for me to learn to play a musical instrument due to my age. He wanted young practitioners to join instead. I understood what he was thinking. My younger daughter was still too young. My older daughter worked in the media and was busy. I often said to her: “You work so hard with media work; you should play a musical instrument to relax.” Encouraged by me, she agreed. I bought her a saxophone. She could already play piano and she quickly learned the saxophone. She was able to attend the parade after only three or four months. Later on my younger daughter also joined the Tian Guo Band.
But my daughters couldn’t represent me and I didn’t give up my wish to join the Tian Guo Band. Last May, there was a vacant position for a cymbal player. I felt so lucky when I became a backup member for the band. I cherished this opportunity very much and wanted to pass the tests as soon as possible and become a formal member. I set a goal for myself to pass the test of playing 9 songs within 2 months before July 20th. Thanks to guidance from other practitioners, I quickly got into a learning schedule. I needed to learn the percussion’s rhythm, ensuring the accuracy of every beat, maintaining the tempo, coordinating with musical gestures, and hitting the correct accent points. Although the cymbal is a relatively easy instrument, it was a bit difficult for me to memorise the musical scores. I also had to understand each song. I spent almost all of my time memorising and singing the scores when I was driving, doing housework and even when I was working.
All my efforts were rewarded. I passed the tests within a month and became a formal member of the Tian Guo Band. I attended the first parade as a band member in Auckland on June 25. I was excited yet nervous. It would be obvious if I made a mistake because the cymbal is very loud. I didn’t dare to look at the spectators lining the streets. I was really focused and only looked at the conductor, so I could hit the beats accurately and in time, avoid any mistakes and coordinate with the overall musical performance. We successfully completed the parade among the cheers of the spectators.
Within a year, I attended the parades in Auckland three times, the parade in Sydney, the parade in Bendigo, two parades in Melbourne on May 13th and July 20th and the parade in Toowoomba. In every parade, I saw how enthusiastic the audience was and I couldn’t hold back my tears. I was very thankful that I was part of the Tian Guo Band demonstrating the beauty of Falun Dafa. Every parade left me with some beautiful memories and priceless gains. I hope the positive energy of Falun Dafa becomes part of people’s lives. Thank you Master for bestowing such an indescribable honour on me.
Part3. Increasing My Capacity and Saving Sentient Beings with Compassion
I have been making phone calls to Chinese people on the RTC platform for a few years, though I don’t do it every day. At first, I found it extremely difficult to talk over the phone. I was afraid that the other party wouldn’t pick up the phone, or would swear at me or become irrational. The attachments of fear and worry were blocking me. My mind was suppressed by various notions and negative thinking. I was nervous and afraid. Before I even said “hello”, the person on the other end hung up the phone. Every time this happened, my heart sank. Even when the phone was picked up, I couldn’t talk fluently. The result wasn’t good. I gave up and didn’t make phone calls for some time. I knew my cultivation state wasn’t right. People were eager to learn Dafa and sentient beings were waiting to be saved. So I tried again to make phone calls to Chinese people in China.
I also kept clearing my own dimensions. I said to Master in my heart: “Master, I want to make a breakthrough. Please strengthen me.” At the same time I looked within. I had too many notions and attachments. I didn’t have enough compassion or kind thoughts. I did things with minimal effort.
Master said in the “Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan 2006”: “All of this in fact holds true for your clarifying the truth as well. If you are able to all keep compassion in your hearts as you interact with the person, regardless of his attitude, then in the depths of his soul, or on the knowing side of his being, he will understand. If you do things in a perfunctory manner, or worse yet, allow ordinary people’s attitudes to affect you, then for sure the results won’t be good.”
After studying the Fa and sharing with other practitioners on the platform, I realised that cultivation was a process of getting rid of attachments. Clarifying the truth was a process of letting go of my own notions. I should do it with a complete heart for saving people. When I clarified the truth from my heart and my heart was at the right level, people would be touched even if my words weren’t perfect. Actually my state in making phone calls reflected my xinxing. When I wasn’t calm, the person who picked up the phone would say she didn’t have time. When I was anxious or attached to success, the other party didn’t listen or argued with me. When I regarded clarifying the truth as a task and only went through the formality, the other party wasn’t willing to withdraw from the CCP and its affiliated organizations. But when I found my gaps and let go of those attachments, my compassion increased. No matter what kind of people picked up the phone, I clarified the truth to them with kindness and compassion. The number of people who agreed to make the three withdrawals increased.
One unforgettable incident was when a lady repeated “Falun Dafa is good” and “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good” with me after she listened to me over the phone and learned the truth. Another lady agreed to withdraw from the CCP and its affiliated organizations after she listened to me. She said that she could no longer stay in China and wanted to get out. She gave me her phone number and WeChat account. She said she hoped to be my friend and stay connected with me.
I felt sorry for those people who were rude and cursed me. They were deceived by the CCP. But regardless of whether the other party had joined the CCP and its affiliated organizations, I clarified the truth to them because learning the truth was their only hope of being saved. I was not attached to the number of people who quit the CCP. I want to be responsible to every single pre-destined sentient being.
I would like to thank Master for his compassion and for strengthening me. I will persevere, cultivate diligently, save more sentient beings and fulfill my vows.
Thank you Master!
Thank you fellow practitioners!