Some Thoughts on the Lesson from the UN Human Rights Commission
(Clearwisdom.net) Master said in "Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A.," "If someone in ordinary society really did restore our Dafa's name, think about it, maybe human beings will do this, but have you thought about this: how high would I have to position that person? Isn't that right? You're cultivators, and all changes come from your cultivation and the Fa-rectification; everything that you yourselves validate and enlighten to, and everything that you'll receive, all this comes from what you have done on your path. Absolutely don't think about any favors the old forces might do for us, or about how the ordinary society might help us. You are the ones saving the ordinary people's society, and you are the ones saving sentient beings!"
When I heard these words of the Fa, my first feeling was that I was not aware of this problem. Before then, I knew in general that Master was rectifying the Fa and Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples were assisting Master in the Fa-rectification, and the various sectors in the ordinary society supporting Dafa or condemning the persecution were positioning themselves for their future. However, in practice I unconsciously developed many attachments, especially when we gained support from ordinary society, it was very easy for us to develop attachments and pursuit for more support, as if support from the ordinary society were the key factor to stop the persecution, and to gain their support became a goal for our truth-clarifying work.
Practitioners from various countries had started to clarify the truth to the UN Human Rights Commission long before it went in session this year. Yet, there was huge interference that appeared in March in Geneva. On the surface, it was due to the war in Iraq. The war started in the same week as the commission went in session, as a result every country became preoccupied with the war issues and there was a sharp reduction of participants in this year's session. Some foreign ministers who had planned to participate and to make a speech were absent. The attendance was very small at the seminar we organized for NGOs. At that time my direct feeling was that what we had hope to happen did not happen, but I did not realize our attachments until the Chicago Fa Conference when Master said that the situation in the Human Rights Commission was caused by our own attachments. Before the UN Human Rights Commission, I did think that we should not have the attachment of relying on ordinary society to stop the persecution. In retrospect, I realize that at that time I only thought that we should not attach to any particular way of doing things, but fundamentally, I still hoped that the UN Human Rights Commission would pass a resolution to stop the persecution, and I was still hoping that ordinary society would do something for us. Master made it very clear at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia and we already had the lesson that the U.S. had been kicked off from the UN Human Rights Commission. These should have given us enough warning, but because I did not study the Fa enough and did not look inward enough, I failed to realize the problem.
Recently I received a letter from a senator, in which he passed the reply from a government minister regarding the Falun Gong issue. It was not satisfactory. I have seen such replies several times in the past. With disappointment, I looked inward and found that I indeed had attachments. My purpose of writing to the senator was very direct, which was hoping that he could do something for rescuing Dafa practitioners, as if they were the decisive factor for the rescue work. This was a very strong hidden attachment, and the thought of helping them learn the truth and saving them was very weak, and even in the process when I was writing the letter, I did not think rationally how to write the letter from the perspective of saving them, and it was indeed like an ordinary person doing Dafa work.
Master said recently, "That's why for Dafa disciples it's significant, and a serious thing, to start from an ordinary person and be able to completely transcend ordinary people during this process, and on top of that, you're cultivating in the ordinary society, and you have to meet higher standards--standards that transcend human society--and accomplish things that all cultivators throughout history have wanted to but never could accomplish. So things like your validating the Fa and saving sentient beings encompass how you improve yourselves, how you eliminate your omissions, things you're still attached to, and all types of shortcomings. This way, no matter what forms from the ordinary society you use in validating the Fa, you're cultivating, no matter what you do you're improving, and no matter what you do you should do it with a cultivator's state and not from the base point of an ordinary person.
"It's clear what our starting point is. The essence of what you are doing as a cultivator is improving yourself and cultivating yourself, and, during this persecution, exposing the evil, bringing the persecution to an end, and rejecting the old forces' arrangements. So a lot of the things you do look like what ordinary people do, but their very nature is different. The fundamental difference is that our ultimate goal and our starting point are different from theirs. We're only utilizing some ordinary means in the ordinary society." ("Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Vancouver, Canada, in 2003")
I felt what Master said hit the nail on the head regarding the state of mind I had when writing to senators.
Master said, "Wherever there's a problem, that is where you need to clarify the truth and save people." ("Teaching the Fa at the Washington, D.C. Fa Conference") However, in practice, I regarded gaining support from everyday people' s society as the goal and our truth-clarifying work as a means to obtain that support, and had formed such logic that in order to rescue Dafa practitioners we would need the support from senators, and to gain that support we would need to clarify the truth, instead of firmly grounding our work on the basis of saving sentient beings. I have also failed to solidly position Dafa practitioners. Indeed, what can everyday people do? No matter what their positions are, can they send forth righteous thoughts? Can they eliminate the evil beings that have caused the persecution and the old forces that manipulate beings at various levels? If ordinary people could do this, why would there be the need for Master's Fa-rectification?
Personally I believe this has to do with the issue of a whole body. As a whole body, Master had already talked about it on the Fa. Still, we failed to have a good discussion among ourselves to deepen our understanding on the issue and to resolve the problem. Also there have been very few articles on Clearwisdom Net by overseas practitioners about how to look inward to improve and purify ourselves in Fa-rectification work. There have been some articles by practitioners in Mainland China, in which they talked about that when material sites suffered severe damage they looked inward and found that practitioners involved did not study the Fa well, instead, they busied themselves with practical work and developed many impure thoughts, which in turn provided excuses for persecution by the old forces. Outside of China, our attachments would not lead to persecution such as losing personal freedom or being dragged into a brainwashing class. However they would give the old forces the excuse to interfere with us such as in the case of the UN Human Rights Commission. The losses caused in saving sentient beings are also very severe. Therefore, we should treat Fa-study and cultivation in doing Dafa work as seriously as practitioners inside China who are in danger of losing personal freedom at any time.
In "Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference," it says:
"Question: Will any Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples be left behind?
Teacher: No. (Loud applause) If I left you behind you'd be ruined, truly ruined. That's because if a person isn't going forward, he's going backward. Once you suddenly reached that state in this environment, then in this environment as long as you were here among humans and were mixed in with humans when you did things, your level would drop and you'd gradually be polluted by humans. Haven't I said that the Buddhas in the heavens and the Buddhas, Taos, and Gods in certain dimensions need to be replaced at set intervals? That's because it's easy for them to get polluted by the Three Realms, so they need to be replaced."
I was greatly shaken when reading this paragraph. I felt the seriousness of cultivation and the danger in the human society. What I said earlier also demonstrates that it is very easy to develop attachments when doing things in amongst everyday people. It is very easy to for us be contaminated and develop attachments, especially when we have achieved certain successes and gained some support from the everyday people's society. What Master said helped me realize the importance of Fa-study. We must keep up Fa-study, and only then can we elevate ourselves and not be contaminated.
My recent understanding is that we should not indulge ourselves by immersing ourselves in doing things. We should be able to put Dafa work aside when it comes to Fa-study, so that we would be able to maintain a good cultivation state. Whenever I'm behind in Fa-study, I would clearly feel that my body became heavier and would feel sluggish and lack of spirit and get tired easily. When I study a chapter of Zhuan Falun, I would immediately feel full of energy and become clear-headed. Also, in the past when I studied the Fa, I used to sit in a very casual manner, with legs crossed and ankle on knee, or lean on the table or sit deeply in the sofa, trying to find a most comfortable position, which made me feel sleepy very easily. Recently I saw a Western practitioner who sat straight when studying the Fa, with one hand holding the book and the other on the lap, not leaning against the back of the chair, and he was sitting in this position the whole time when studying the Fa. I did the same and found the study every effective, and I felt clear-headed and not sleepy. I feel that only an upright position is worthy of the sacredness of Fa-study.
The above is personal understanding. Please kindly point out anything improper.