Greetings fellow practitioners, greetings Master!
My name is Winni, and I am a practitioner from Virginia. I began to cultivate from a young age with my mother, and somehow twenty-one years have passed. Before I came to America, I always had my mother to guide me in cultivation. Whenever I had difficulties in life or in my studies, it was always my mother who helped me look at things from a perspective based on the Fa and improve my xinxing. After I came to America, I had to rely on myself for everything, and slowly I realized that I was a Dafa practitioner, and that whenever I encountered life tribulations, I should voluntarily look within for the reason, improve my character, and become a true Dafa disciple.
Cultivating Zhen, Shan, and Ren
Right after I arrived in America, under Master’s arrangements and with the help of my fellow practitioners, my cultivation and life were both going very smoothly. This was until a practitioner friend of mine around the same age as I also came to America. Because both of our mothers practiced Dafa and were friends, we shared an apartment after she arrived. I began to help her find a job, studied Fa and did the exercises with her, and took her out to buy daily necessities on my days off. Slowly, I began to feel as though I was raising a child. We were the same age and we were fellow young practitioners, but I had to lead her in cultivation. If I didn’t wake her up in the morning, she very well could have slept through Fa study and exercises. Because our daily habits and personalities were different, we began to have more and more disagreements, and I consequently encountered my biggest cultivation trial to date. I originally thought because we were fellow practitioners, we would be able to live and interact harmoniously, look inward during conflicts, or just be able to point out each other’s flaws directly. But slowly, I found that most of the time I had to voluntarily do things. I had to point out her problems and where she did wrong, but then she wouldn’t even change. As time went on, I felt that I was contributing so much, and even if I did look inward, I didn’t find anything that I had done wrong. Whenever I met with other practitioners, I couldn’t hold it in, and I just had to complain about her. Later while I was video calling with my mom, I even had the thought that I wanted to go back to China. Every day when I saw her, no matter what she did, I felt like I couldn’t stand it. This xinxing test was incredibly unbearable for me. Every day I continuously looked inward, reminded myself to be a cultivator, reminded myself to reach the standard of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Tolerance and tried to think about things from her perspective. But whenever she did something that wasn’t up to my standards, I couldn’t stand it anymore. The feelings I tried to suppress would surface, and I often felt that if I were her, I wouldn’t do things the way she did.
For over a year, I was tormented by the fact that I repeatedly wanted to pass this test, but failed to do so. This continued up until she left the city I lived in and moved somewhere else. I slowly started to calm down and realized where I had not cultivated well. When I saw her do something that didn’t live up to my personal standards, I felt that she had done something wrong, and I immediately would point out her flaw. I thought that being straightforward and pointing out her flaws was being truthful, so I also didn’t feel like I was talking behind her back when I talked about her to other practitioners since I had already said it to her face. But, I realized there was no compassion in my words, let alone tolerance. I could only see where she did not meet my personal standards, and I felt that since I had been in America for longer than her, I had the right to give her advice. I thought that since I studied the Fa every day, my actions were in line with the Fa, but in reality, I had not cultivated Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance. When I saw other people’s problems, I didn’t reflect on myself, but actually used the excuse of wanting to be truthful to demand better of others. When I realized this, I began to contact her again and became friends with her again. She would share details about her life with me, and I didn’t try to continuously point out her flaws anymore. Instead, I would patiently and compassionately encourage her. I truly began to view her as a fellow practitioner and give her my suggestions instead of trying to demand that she act according to my beliefs. In the process of realizing this flaw, I felt like it finally became clear to me how I should act. I knew that in the future I would no longer force my own opinions on other people. Instead, I would try to be tolerant, look inward, and explain my thoughts and understandings from a point of compassion, truly cultivating Zhen-Shan-Ren.
Persevering In Doing The Three Things
After I began school in America, I had a lot of academic pressure. Because English is not my native language, it took me longer than usual to learn and study my course content. Slowly, I began to lose diligence in my Fa study and doing the exercises. I began to feel pressure at even the smallest quizzes and tests, and it often left me sleepless at night. But, the more I worried the worse my grades became. I remember during my first semester, there was a class that I failed, and I became very discouraged. Every day I would diligently read the Fa, but I still could not improve. I even began to wonder if I even was cut out for being in college. As I was speaking with another practitioner, I realized that I had not prioritized the Fa. I had a lot of schoolwork, but outside of my studies, I still participated in a lot of activities that wasted a lot of time. I did this because I wanted to assimilate to the life of an American student. This led to me finding excuses to cut down on studying the Fa and doing the exercises, and furthermore I didn’t validate the Fa. After realizing this issue, I started adding daily exercises and Fa study into my planner. Regardless of how busy I would be, I was guaranteed to do the exercises every day and send forth righteous thoughts. I even clarified the truth to my classmates. After persisting with daily Fa study and exercises for a week, I realized that I wasn’t as anxious as I was before. Every day, I feel at peace, and I wouldn’t have trouble falling asleep due to schoolwork. Because I failed my midterm, the professor told me that if I did better on my final exam, he would cancel my midterm grade and use my final exam grade as the scores for both my exams. With persisting in doing the three things well, all my final exam grades were very good, and my final exam grade that I did well on replaced the midterm exam that I failed.
As a student, one needs to study well; but as a Dafa disciple, cultivation is the most important. Master said in “Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa- Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference”,
“For a Dafa disciple, cultivation is first priority. That’s because if you fail to cultivate well, you will not be able to accomplish what you are to do; and if you fail to cultivate well, your power to save sentient beings will not be that great. And if you cultivate a little worse, then you will view and consider problems in the manner that ordinary people do, which would be still more awful.”
I viewed the issue of not doing well in school from an ordinary person’s perspective, in which I thought I could improve with the more time I spend studying. I overlooked the fact that cultivation is the most important for Dafa disciples and didn’t do the three things that Master asked of us. Thus, the more I studied, the worse my grades got. After finding the reason why I haven’t been cultivating well, I realized that Master arranged for my professor to help me get a good grade. If my heart is on the Fa and I do well the three things, Master will arrange everything for me.
As I hold myself to the standards of a Dafa disciple, whenever I encounter a problem, I first look within and measure myself against the Fa, instead of my own standards. Through persistent Fa study, exercises, and doing well the three things, I don’t fret when I encounter issues but instead am able to treat them with an attitude of compassion and tolerance. Everything seems easy to solve.
Before deciding on writing my experience sharing article, I felt that there wasn’t much to share. Once I sat down to think about my cultivation journey, I realized that there were many areas that I haven’t done well. I’m not focused during Fa study, and I frequently treat Fa study as a task that needs to be completed. I’m not able to achieve tranquility while doing the exercises, but instead always think about some ordinary people’s things. While clarifying the truth, I realized that I’m not knowledgeable enough and am unable to answer people’s questions. Afterwards, I don’t try to understand the problems I encounter while truth clarification. It wasn’t until I looked back on the areas I’ve done poorly on while writing this experience sharing article that I realized I haven’t cultivated diligently. I feel very regretful. I’m very grateful to be able to participate in this Fahui. I was able to reflect upon myself, recognize my problems, and from now on, continue to steadily improve and cultivate.
If there is anything inappropriate, please compassionately point them out.
Thank you, fellow practitioners, thank you Master.
Minghui Article Link: Treating Myself As a Genuine Dafa Practitioner