(Minghui.org) The 2023 Croatian Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference was held in the capital city of Zagreb on November 18, 2023. Nine practitioners talked about how they aligned with the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, remained determined in the cultivation practice, and looked within to constantly improve themselves. Practitioners from neighboring Serbia and Slovenia also attended the conference.
Ljiljana is a human resources manager at a university. Before she started practicing Falun Dafa in 2016, she had no exposure to cultivation practice. It took her a long time to finish reading Zhuan Falun, but she did not give up and realised that the book explained the purpose of life, as well as the appropriate way of interacting with others.
In the beginning, Ljiljana read Dafa books on her own instead of with other practitioners. She thought this helped her concentrate. She later realised that she did not wish to be corrected when she mispronounced words, and this was a manifestation of her attachment to ego and saving face. After working eight hours a day, she has to take care of her child and husband and do household chores. As a result, she often became sleepy after reading just two or three pages. She had difficulty focusing because she was half asleep. Afterwards, she could not remember what she read.
Ljiljana eventually realised that she should join group study like her husband, who also practices Falun Dafa. In the beginning, she just read silently, but she still felt sleepy. Thinking that this was not respectful towards Master Li, she decided to follow Master’s words and really participate in group study. She was able to let go of her attachment to saving face. Ljiljana noticed that reading together brings practitioners together and they are better able to cooperate during activities to introduce Falun Dafa and expose the persecution in China.
The Workplace Is a Cultivation Environment
After Olivera lost her job, a friend told her about a good opportunity, but she needed to pass four exams and obtain a license as an agent. When preparing for the exams, she had all kinds of interfering thoughts such as questioning her abilities, the exam results, and that she was older than the others. These thoughts made it difficult for her focus when she read the Fa. Olivera later realised that these thoughts exposed her laziness, selfishness, and lack of confidence in Falun Dafa. After all, it’s important to face and overcome challenges on the cultivation path.
After she passed the exams and began working, Olivera realised that this was a new environment. She reminded herself that she is a Falun Dafa practitioner, and she understood that any difficulties were tests to see whether she could forbear and be considerate of others. She understood some issues that appeared to be caused by others happened so that she could improve. When coworkers misunderstood her and were impatient, or were behaving arrogantly or selfishly, Olivera realized that she also had these problems. When her manager appeared to be rude and strict and had high standards, she realized that she often treated her child this way.
When she joined the company, Olivera had to sign a very restrictive contract. She said that if it hadn’t been for the contract, she would have resigned five times since the environment was so challenging. From a practitioner’s point of view, she understood that this contract was an opportunity from Master for her to pay off her karmic debts and pass tests. This contract also reminded her that practitioners made vows to improve ourselves and help Master save sentient beings. Olivera improved her relationships with others and her job is now easier. She said this was because she improved her xinxing and let go of her attachments.
Righteous Thoughts of Supporting Shen Yun
Dejan from Serbia shared his experience of helping with Shen Yun performances in Poland and Czechia earlier this year. Having practiced Falun Dafa for 18 years, Dejan does not have a stiff back, headaches, toothaches, or other problems like his friends. But the sickness symptoms he experienced while he helped with Shen Yun reminded him that he needed to improve.
It was a long trip from Serbia to Poland, so he flew to Warsaw the day before. When he arrived, however, he felt unusually cold. On the train to Bydgoszcz, he felt tired and sleepy. To make things worse, his teeth also began to ache even though this had never happened before. He came to help in the kitchen, which was physically demanding. When Dejan wondered how he could handle all these challenges, he reminded himself, “I am here to help Shen Yun. Nothing is allowed to interfere with me.” After he arrived, he did the exercises and managed to finish them before falling into bed. The next day, all his “sickness” symptoms were miraculously gone and he was full of energy in the following week.
Then Dejan was invited to help with Shen Yun performances in Czechia as part of the security team. He thought staying in one place for eight hours straight was too easy, and felt he should be assigned to something that required technical skills. After complaining and saying this was boring, Dejan suddenly felt really stiff the following day, and it was difficult for him to even sit in a chair. When he examined his thoughts and what he said, he realised that divine beings did not complain about their responsibilities. He realised that although in this dimension he was guarding a door, in another dimension it was something quite different, only that he couldn’t see it.
The pain diminished the following day and was completely gone on the third day. Dejan said that his experiences in Poland and Czechia taught him the importance of forbearance.
Identifying Hidden Attachments While Overcoming Sickness Karma
Neven from Croatia described how he was able to remain steadfast during three tests of sickness karma by maintaining faith in Dafa and Master. The process helped him identify his hidden attachments.
The first two times happened when he was traveling alone. He had a stomachache and felt weak. He was afraid that he could not drive on the highway and thought of asking for help from his family members. But he reminded himself that he is a Dafa practitioner, and that as long as he cultivated, everything would improve. Neven focused on studying the Dafa teachings and doing the exercises, and the problem went away. He said he felt these two incidents were tests to see whether he had confidence in Falun Dafa and Master.
The third time happened at night. He could not go to sleep due to his intense stomach pain and woke up his wife, who is also a practitioner. But she was upset that he woke her up. Neven was surprised. Because he always helped his wife in cultivation practice, he thought she would comfort him. After thinking it over for a few days, Neven realised that he should face the test himself instead of relying on others.
When he examined himself, Neven found that he had a hidden thought that his wife should thank him for the help he had given her. He realised that seeking returns is an everyday person’s thought based on selfishness. Master asks practitioners to be selfless and considerate.
Attendees said that they were very thankful after hearing about the other practitioners’ experiences. Borna began practicing Falun Dafa two years ago, and said that after listening to their stories, he noticed he was afraid of hardship and needed to be more steadfast in his cultivation practice. He also felt resentment towards others that he needed to eliminate.
Hasti is from Iran, and this conference reminded her of the importance of letting go of complaints and resentment. When she first moved to Croatia, she experienced many difficulties and complained. Such negative thoughts even affected her health. She said that she’s improved a lot, but after listening to the other practitioners’ experience-sharing, she realised that she needed to do better.
Young practitioner Ana was touched by the other practitioners’ stories. In particular, she understood the importance of righteous thoughts and looking inward. When she compared herself to the other practitioners, she felt that she did poorly in many things and still had many attachments. She is grateful to Master for this opportunity. She decided to work on cultivating herself and truly improving her xinxing.
The host concluded the conference by reading poems from Hong Yin. A group Fa study was also held.
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