This is my first experience sharing conference. I discovered the Fa 2 years ago by learning the exercises from the web site video and downloading Zhaun Falun from the Internet. I live in Montana where I practice with 2 others twice a week at two different practice sites. Although we are somewhat remote we are active in spreading the Fa.
Cultivation has taken me on a journey into becoming more calm, clear and thoughtful of others. Upset and attachment to crisis were human emotions that plagued my life. My greatest lesson has been to look within when I face conflict and tribulations. This was not and sometimes even still is not easy for me. At one point I told myself that no matter what happened in my life, if I was upset about it, the problem was mine. Master repeats this many times throughout his lectures yet I could not quite grasp such a simple concept.
In Master’s lecture at the First Conference in North America, March, 1998, pg 10 he states: “Everything that happens to you is a test to see whether you can regard yourself as a cultivator, find your own wrong doings and inappropriate behaviors, and conduct yourself as a cultivator. Remember these words of mine: when you can truly regard yourself as a cultivator, no matter what trouble you encounter or unpleasant things you have in your mind, and no matter whether you are right or wrong on the surface, you should always examine yourself for reasons. Ask yourself whether you have a well hidden but incorrect motive on those matters. As a cultivator, if you merely give things up superficially, while inside your heart you still stick to something or cling to your own vital interests which you do not allow to be harmed, I am telling you that your cultivation is a fake one! If your own mind does not change, you cannot make any advancement and you are cheating yourself. Only when you truly improve from within can you make real progresses.”
That realization helped me to reevaluate my entire life and how I operated in the past with blame and pointing the finger. I would tell myself to forbear however, when a conflict arose I did not act as a practitioner. My marriage suffered, yet it was my marriage that mirrored my attachment to conflict. I can not think of a better human teacher than the relationship I share with my husband. With assistance I also realized that my husband never said anything against the Fa, which I did not realize was significant until I heard how other spouses handled Falun Dafa. Although not a practitioner he respects the Fa. Now if my mind is not clear there is disharmony between us however slight. If my mind is not clear my heart is not pure. Purity of heart is what I cultivate. Studying the Fa and following the standards of a practitioner are guiding my way.
During this time of Fa rectification the greatest demons I face come from within me. What I have experienced when I send forth righteous thoughts is a holding grid of compassion that encompasses the earth which is connected by practitioners. Evil cannot escape this barrier and is dissolved. It is as if there are waves of evil that rise up and are eliminated then another level rises up and is dissolved. In the face of true compassion evil cannot exist. This is what I understand at this time. I can not understand or relate to the torture, oppression, and lack of freedom that the practitioners in China experience, but I acknowledge that these terrible things are happening and how courageous the people must be who are subjected to such suffering.
Originally I ended my paper here, but I have another experience I want to share.
My recent xinxing text has come from the critiquing of this experiencing sharing paper. I am a bit embarrassed to share this but I know it will be helpful. This sequence of events started on a trip to Missoula where I was not able to accomplish an errand I had planned ahead for and that put me in a disagreeable mood. This was enhanced by reuniting with my exhausted and on edge husband who had been away for two weeks. Perfect setting for a xinxing test. I did not realize that these papers would be reviewed. When I returned home to find the comments and suggestions on what I could do better on, my response was less than receptive. I was offended and thought that what I had originally said was just fine. If they (I had no idea who they were) did not like what I had to say and the way I said it, I would not submit a paper. I did not stop there. I was angry about trying so hard to be a good practitioner and who were these people to be telling me what to write. Were they Master Li? No. Who did they think they were? I knew my reaction was my responsibility, but I was sure these people had some kind of ego investment in pointing out what they thought would be better for my paper. My anger made me blind to the point I did not practice for two days. Self-destructive behavior is a pattern of mine, and I tend to think “I will hurt my self before anyone or anything else does.” I talked about it with another practitioner who had had her paper commented on and she felt similar. I was so sure I was right. Then I asked a third practitioner if I was taking all this wrong or did the comments seem controlling? He had no emotional reaction and thought the comments were good and would help me clarify what I was trying to say. Of course he said this with smile on his face. I sometimes think of these lessons similar to the game of “gotcha” while you weren’t looking or paying attention. I then realized that once again I had faced anger and how destructive it can be when allowed to take control of my being. And of course in the quote I just recited of Master’s applies to this situation, as I again wanted to point the finger at someone else for my discomfort instead of looking within myself. I was willing to look partially, but not all of the way. This pattern is the same as what I mentioned in my marriage, I create a reality that requires conflict and upset based in fear. And I can’t quite find the words for this, but there is an aspect of vulnerability, exposure and not being safe. Something bad will happen if I expose too much of who I am. Seems as if the evil forces have had their way for these past few days. Although I find my lessons somewhat amusing, the severity of which I took my thoughts and actions in this instance disturbs me. This Fa is so precious, I did not think that I could fall into that kind of feeling regarding any aspect Falun Dafa, especially when others are offering assistance for my benefit. As I write this I continue to work through various levels of awareness surrounding these thoughts and emotions. Thank you fellow practitioners for providing a situation that allowed me to become aware of this, I am truly grateful. Any further insight will be welcomed.
I am humbled beyond expression by how much Master Li has given me.