By a Bulgarian practitioner, 2018-01-21.
I am a Bulgarian practitioner and I obtained the Fa about three years ago. It came to me as something natural and from my own initiative, not because somebody told me to read a book or do the exercises. I suppose this was the way for me to be able to accept it and to be able to fight through my own resistance.
My first time reading Zhuan Falun was very mechanic and I was noticing word repetitions and the structure – it was on the surface and very factual. I was skeptical of certain statements and had to sometimes force myself reading through some pages in tears. I just kept reading through it and there was no specific reason – I just did in spite of things and myself. Reading the book now I can’t think of a passage that would bring the same emotion and struggle.
The exercises came at a later stage. I had already read plenty of lectures and a few of the books online and at a certain point I felt the need to do the exercises. So I went online and looked at the instruction tapes and learned from there. When I finally went to a friend who was a practitioner and asked him to do the exercises with me to see how I was doing, I had to laugh a lot – the only exercise I was doing correctly in the music was the second one. He showed me and corrected me and I started practicing.
The transformations were very gradual but also very definite. I could feel how my perspective of the world was changing and it was often very hard. Communicating with my friends, I often had difficulties withstanding their manners, their strong notions, their very human way of looking at things. It was causing me great discomfort and irritation. This lasted for some time and it took a lot of effort to develop tolerance for them and to keep myself away from that state.
Now this situation occurs sometimes with fellow practitioners. I realize this is a product of my expectations, my understanding and my way of perceiving things at my level. I remind myself that we are all facing our struggles and we all have our understandings and this is ok but I also expect to see the same attitude from the others and this is not good either. It is a constant struggle with myself – to develop the tolerance and let go of my expectations.
Many of my tests and lessons come from my interaction with my human environment – dealing with my boss, communicating with friends, trying not to interfere in their life paths… What is interesting is that those situations also show me that I am changing, especially at times when I am not certain if my cultivation is progressing. I take those as hints from Master and his reassurance not to give up and keep trying to improve.
Many of the things that Master speaks of have happened to me as well – another sign to keep me going. Most recently I can very clearly realize how interference works and how outside forces are playing with people and myself as well. I am grateful for the help Master provides for me to see those and try to resist them. Sometimes I can fight them off only partially and sometimes I manage to chase them completely away. I feel the pressure this struggle brings from within and very often it is causing me great discomfort – both mentally and physically. The physical part I overcome with less effort, but the mental pressure drains me at times. It is alway this state of mine that will cause delays in work that needs to be done, and then it would keep me away from Dafa activities.
I have also noticed one thing that gives me great incentive to move on – those interferences cannot overpower me, unless I allow them to. When I find the strength to start rejecting them, when I open the first mail in the mailing list, or open the first file that needs my attention, this is the moment when my mind becomes at ease and I feel how a big part of that pressure is taken away from me. Master is helping me, but this is only when I myself take the first step. This is my path and I need to walk it well.
“If I speak with you about everything, tell you everything, even including how to walk every step, is that you cultivating or me cultivating? Or am I leading you to cultivate? That would not count, isn’t this the principle? Therefore, for some things, it’s still up to you to think through how to do them well.” (Fa Teaching at the New York Fa Conference on the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Dafa’s Introduction to the Public, May 14 2017)
I continue to struggle with myself, my notions and my human side. It is never easy but then what is? My understanding of some of Master’s teaching is that life here is suffering and it is only now that I can really see it and realize it (this is not a quote). I am learning to accept that and try to see it as an opportunity to improve.
Thank you Master!