Experiences in Translating and Writing for Dafa
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings Master! Greetings fellow practitioners!
Before the persecution began, I had already started to get involved in Dafa translation work. For these past years, much of the truth clarification work I have done has revolved around translation. Initially, when I would translate I was able to enter a state in which the translation seemed to just flow out. This was a very encouraging state and it felt as though Master was at my side constantly helping to clear obstacles and give me strength. Naturally I felt that translation work was a role that I could play in Fa-rectification.
However, after doing translation work for a period of time, I experienced what many other translators have experienced--the feeling of loneliness. It was not just simple loneliness though, there was also the attachment of wanting others to see my accomplishments and recognize the work I had done. But for translators, only a few people know of the work that one does. In talking with practitioners who have quit translating and gone on to do other projects, oftentimes I have noticed that it was these two attachments that compelled them to leave, yet they covered them up with the excuse of, "There is something else important that I need to go do." This can truly be difficult to overcome, and it is also an easy attachment to cover up, as going to do another project can become a good-sounding excuse to stop doing the work.
To get rid of those attachments, clear-headedness in the Fa (1) and rational thinking were what I needed to cultivate more soundly. I would often calm my mind and study the Fa before doing translation work, and if I ever had thoughts of "maybe I should go do something else," I knew that what I needed to do was to calm my heart, put down attachments, and really look at this issue from the Fa. In that state I was able to make a decision based on the Fa, and not based on my attachments. In this state I could see more clearly whether the other projects were truly important enough that I should stop translation work. After a period of contemplation, I became determined to do well in translation work no matter what. After this thought came out, things were a lot easier.
Though it was easier, cultivation didn't end there. I remember in the early days passing up many opportunities to go to conferences or other large-scale Dafa activities, since some practitioners were needed to stay and pick up the slack of the others that went to the activities. I was very willing to do this and many times when there was a conference I would prepare more time to be at home to work on extra translation projects. I understood that this was good, as I was supporting the others so that our Dafa practitioners as a whole could do what needed to be done. I knew that I didn't necessarily need to be there myself, as I had a different role to play. Everything was good until fellow practitioners started asking me why I only occasionally went to conferences or large-scale group activities and usually stayed at home. Due to the security of the translation work, I was not able to tell them any details, and just said that I had some translation work that needed to be done. Actually, it was still that heart of wanting others to know how well I had cultivated and all the work that I had done. Instead, practitioners felt it odd that I didn't frequently go to conferences with them, and had some thoughts about me. Finally, through calming my heart, Fa study, and looking at the situation with a clear head, I was able to again be rational in my thinking and continue doing what I needed to do, no matter whether others understood it or not, and I would keep doing what needed to be done to the very end. Once this righteous understanding was established, those misunderstandings on the part of other practitioners seemed to just disappear.
As Fa-rectification progresses, our websites and materials also need to progress and become better. There are very good articles clarifying the facts in Chinese, but many of those articles are standing strictly from the point of view of Chinese people, taking into account the Chinese environment they were raised and live in, their ways of thinking and habits, etc. When Chinese people read those articles, they find that the articles are directed right at them and to their ways of thinking, so they are quite effective. When translated though, sometimes these articles are not as powerful, as Westerners' way of thinking, the environment, etc. are often quite different from those of Chinese people. Because of this, our team determined that while it is of course very important to continue translating articles from Chinese, we could also write some articles in English that are directed specifically at Westerners. While I would still do translation work, other practitioners were willing to take a part of my workload so that I could focus more on writing articles. Actually, I was very touched by this, as I could see that fellow practitioners were thinking completely about what was good for the Fa and saving sentient beings, and were willing to take on an extra burden so as to allow others to work on improving other aspects of our website. Master has talked about how we need to cooperate with others, and I think that this is an excellent example of how practitioners are able to put aside their own interests and cooperate together to do a better overall job.
In the past I had written some articles that other practitioners praised for being well written, having deep content, and bringing up points that others hadn't realized before. Because of this, I formed an attachment to thinking that no matter what problem or question there was, I could always figure it out. Of course, when our mind is calm and we study the Fa in a righteous state with no pursuits, any question can be answered. This state can also exist if we have studied the Fa well, and when a question or problem arises, we use the Fa to look at it. Though it is true that answers will be shown to us when we are in a righteous state, if we have the thought of ourselves being great and able to thoroughly understand any question, then this attachment can cause us to not see clearly. This was the first large obstacle I came across with writing. Before I would sit down I would think, "Ah, I can figure anything out -- come on, give me something difficult." With having this thought before writing, as soon as I sat down to write, I just couldn't think of anything. My mind would just go blank or fill with other thoughts. I felt it odd, as this had never happened before when I wrote articles. The difference was that when I wrote those articles in the past, I did not have this bad thought; I just had an understanding and wrote an article to share it--a very simple and pure thought. Being able to recognize this problem, though, was the initial step. Now, before I sit down to write, I will often do the exercises and read the Fa. I will also be sure to be clear on the point that what I am about to write is for saving sentient beings or to share an understanding with fellow practitioners; what I need is rationality and to be in a righteous state, not having a feeling of superiority and arrogance.
After I began doing this, I noticed a change for the better, and I was able to think much more clearly and the Fa would easily come to my mind and help guide me in writing the article. Even though this was an improved state, there still seemed to remain parts of that attachment that were not completely eliminated. After thinking about it, the part that was not eliminated was the selfish, individual part. Even though I had put down the thoughts of my ability to "figure things out," what was left was still the "I." I still felt that it was I that was writing this article, and therefore I needed to figure everything out. Of course taking responsibility for our job and doing it well are important, but this was not the problem. The problem was that I had put all the focus on myself, whereas this article was not to validate myself, but to validate the Fa. I thought about how the other practitioners were able to take on extra burdens so that others could focus more on writing, but I wasn't able to jump out of the realm of looking at just myself. After this attachment clearly manifested itself in front of me, it was much easier to deal with and eventually let go.
Once the attachment was relinquished, I began asking the other practitioners for suggestions on what angle to write the articles from, what were some good points to bring up, etc. Before I asked them though, the thought came to my mind that if I couldn't even figure out a way to write the article, I felt that others certainly wouldn't be able to. This thought stemmed partly from my not completely giving up the previously-mentioned attachment to thinking that I was quite capable in figuring out problems, and partly from an attachment of looking down on others. By this point, though neither one of these attachments was especially strong, as they were attachments that I had worked on getting rid of in the past, they still came together to form an obstacle. To my surprise, other practitioners cleared away this obstacle, and these attachments then clearly manifested in front of my eyes. This was done by my asking other practitioners for suggestions, and then many of them quickly came up with very good ideas to talk about, points that had not even crossed my mind. I understand that since they were pure in their thinking, the Fa manifested these thoughts to them immediately without any obstacles. At the same time, this was Master helping to expose my attachments to me, and dispel any thoughts of my thinking I was special or better than others.
Though these years of working on translation, and recently writing, have provided an excellent opportunity to expose a wide variety of my attachments, I still need to be clearheaded in what I am doing. Our individual cultivation is combined with the work that we do, but we can't forget that the focus of the work we do is for saving sentient beings in Fa-rectification. I understand that no matter whether we have attachments or not, the work that we do cannot suffer losses. Even if we have attachments, we can't look at our getting rid of attachments as being higher than saving sentient beings. We cannot be in the mindset where as soon as we have an attachment, we use that as an excuse to not do our job well, and go off and get rid of our attachments. Instead, we can get rid of attachments while doing Dafa work, and under normal circumstances we should try and do the Dafa work better and better, and at the same time get rid of our attachments. This way, our individual cultivation will improve, and our work in Fa-rectification will not miss a beat.
Thank you Master and fellow practitioners for allowing me to share my experiences. Please be sure to point anything that is incorrect or can be improved.
(1) Fa: Law and principles; the teachings of Falun Dafa.