Cultivating While Doing Clearwisdom Work
(Clearwisdom.net) I've been doing Clearwisdom work for over four years and I've experienced a lot. It's truly a process of cultivation. However, due to many pressing matters lately, I haven't been able to calmly sit down to reflect, and can only share some very shallow understandings.
1. Dafa's Need Is My Choice
When Clearwisdom was started in 1999, I was asked to join this project. In fact, my background is technical. My English is merely okay, definitely not superb. Writing always gave me a headache in high school. However, since it was needed for Dafa work, and it was difficult to find a better person in a rush, I agreed to join.
When the persecution started in 1999, the Minghui Dafa website resisted the rumors and lies pouring out of China: rumors and lies created by the national propaganda machine of a large country. In the past four years, Minghui has provided firsthand information and facts about the persecution in China to countries all over the world, including China (because of the information blockade, many Falun Gong practitioners in China don't know what is happening elsewhere in their own country). Many articles on (Chinese) Minghui are translated into English and published on Clearwisdom, so that English-speaking people all over the world can also learn the facts of the persecution. In the future, these firsthand materials will be looked back upon to help people learn lessons from history. Both Minghui and Clearwisdom have great responsibilities and require a huge amount of work.
When Clearwisdom first started, there were many serious difficulties. They needed more people. It was not easy to find Chinese practitioners to do translation, not to mention finding Western practitioners to do polishing and editing. The most difficult part was designing the website well, as a site targeting non-Chinese readers, including both practitioners and everyday people. Gradually, I developed the thought, "I'm not a good person to do Clearwisdom work." During that time period, another important project desperately needed help, so I tried to help with that project, and asked another practitioner on the Clearwisdom team to take over my role. I hoped that maybe a new person would give Clearwisdom something fresh. But soon afterwards, I realized that Clearwisdom work was already difficult to begin with, and we were short of hands. Given Clearwisdom's nature, it's just difficult to find more new people and bring them up to speed in a short time. My leaving caused much loss to such an important Dafa project, and made things harder for my fellow practitioners. Quitting was not a responsible action on my part. Therefore, I got rid of the thought "I'm not a good person to do Clearwisdom work." As a disciple who wants to be responsible to Dafa, I must make my contribution without hesitation.
Later, as the Fa rectification rapidly moved forward, there were more and more Dafa projects to do. If I had considered my background and personal interests, quite a few other projects would have indeed been more suitable to me. There were many other important projects. Several times I contemplated doing less Clearwisdom work, or even quitting completely. But each time I came to the same conclusion - if my leaving would cause much loss to the website, I shouldn't quit.
Doing Clearwisdom work makes one feels lonely. You do it day in, day out, month in, month out. For security reasons, you can't share the thoughts about your work with more practitioners, other than those also on the Clearwisdom team. For most other truth-clarification work, you can immediately see the outcome. When a person says "Thank you" after you give him a flyer, when a Chinese person in China says "Now I understand" after you clarify facts to him over the phone, you feel some sense of accomplishment and feel much encouraged. However, you receive much less feedback for your Clearwisdom work. From the little feedback you do get, much of it is often pointing out the typos that practitioners found, discussing different opinions on your work, and even criticism. It's hard to know immediately whether a posted article has inspired other fellow practitioners, saved a sentient being, or greatly shocked the evil.
As time passed, something Master said occurred to me - "Unendurable loneliness is most dangerous to humans, and it's also the greatest tribulation in practicing cultivation." ("Lecture at the First Conference in North America") Also, in Zhuan Falun, Master talked about people with great inborn quality. Thus, those of us on the Clearwisdom team encouraged each other, saying, "Maybe we should just hold ourselves to the requirements for people with great inborn quality. Whether or not we can see how much our Gong has grown, we only focus on our share of the work and do it well."
Today, it's undoubtedly clear to me - no matter whether or not I have suitable capability, whether or not the work seems boring after a while, of whether or not we can see the outcome, as long as it's Dafa's need, it will be my choice.
2. Removing Selfishness
More and more, I realize that we Dafa disciples are validating Dafa, not ourselves. Sometimes however, the motivation is good, yet this selfishness is mixed in when I speak or do things. Because what we're doing is Fa rectification work, many attachments cannot be easily detected if not given enough attention.
For every matter, different people may have different opinions. To be responsible to Dafa, we should certainly share our opinions. However, I find that I often have this selfishness mixed in. The most obvious manifestation is that when others agree with me, I feel good; when others have different views, although I know I should see their point, I don't have that good feeling; and when others criticize me, I don't feel happy. As this happened a lot, I later couldn't help asking myself - "Are you doing or saying things for Dafa, or are you trying to prove you're correct and seeking others' recognition?"
Although my attachments have not brought any big losses to Dafa, I realized that if I had so many elements of selfishness mixed in, it would severely prevent me from truly treating Dafa as my first priority and seeing things with a comprehensive, objective view. Is it possible that much work was impeded because of this? This may even have caused serious damage, and it's just that it can't be seen yet.
3. We Need to Cultivate All the Time
Nowadays, when we encounter difficulties, we often remind ourselves to send forth righteous thoughts and purify our minds. This is certainly important, but I also realized that we truly need to cultivate everywhere, all the time.
One time, a few practitioners had different opinions about an article regarding an important project, so I tried to communicate with the involved practitioners. I felt that I had good intentions, and it was for Dafa. I knew the effect would be good only if my mentality was pure, so I tried to purify my mind before talking. But shortly after I started, I was harshly criticized, and I started yelling at the practitioner who criticized me. The conversation ended unhappily. I immediately felt disappointed in myself. I had cultivated for seven years, and even in the early stages of my cultivation, I would have never have behaved so poorly. It would have been rather rare even before I learned Dafa. I asked myself why that was. I definitely had good intentions and I thought my mind was pure. But why was the result like this? After cultivating for so long, the Fa rectification is almost over. How could I still have such low xinxing at times?
No matter how uncomfortable I felt, evaluating the situation from the Fa, I knew I must have had some problem. Then I realized that ever since my childhood, I always liked others' compliments, but never others' bad attitudes. When others treated me badly, my forbearance was not a practitioner's forbearance. I simply suppressed my feelings. There was no conflict on the surface, yet I still felt wronged in my heart. Therefore, over a period of time, I had developed a thought - the next time this practitioner treats me like this, I'll yell back. This impure thought became a loophole that the evil eventually took advantage of at an important moment.
From this incident, I realized that purifying our thoughts and keeping righteous thoughts is not something we should do only when bad things happen. Rather, it's the xinxing that we've developed over time, and it's something we should try to do everywhere, all the time. By so doing we can eliminate potential problems in the future. What one shows at critical moments is the manifestation of one's true xinxing and how well he has cultivated.
4. Break the evil's interference
When we encounter major events in our lives, we often feel the evil's interference, and we send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate it. In fact, the evil's interference can be seen almost everywhere during our Dafa work. For example, just look at any team member's negligence or conflicts among each other. That is to say, there is interference in many places that we need to eliminate. I feel that the best way to do that is to cultivate ourselves well according to Dafa, and do our own duties well.
When I encountered team members' negligence, if I developed strong feelings or was to criticize a team member, it would cause unpleasant feelings on his side, and a gap between him and me could be formed, thus allowing the evil's interference to be successful. But if I quietly made up for it, and then kindly gave him a reminder, then the evil's interference would be ineffective.
When a fellow practitioner has a bad attitude towards me, if I start a conflict with him, then the evil's goal would be achieved. But if I can tolerate his un-cultivated side with my enlarged heart capacity, and let the hammer hit the cotton, then the evil's interference is broken.
For conflicts between myself and others, from the Fa it's clear to me that I should look inward, no matter what it is that I feel. But for the conflicts amongst others, I tended to judge which side was right based on my own criteria. Sometimes I even developed strong negative thoughts towards one of the two parties. Not only does this not help, but the negative energy field could even strengthen the conflict. Then the evil's interference could again be successful. My past experiences have shown that my own way was never successful. Later, I came to understand Master's instruction for us to look within whenever problems arise. When conflicts arise among practitioners, I now look at whether I could have done more work on the project, or done a better job sharing information and clarifying the misunderstanding. If I had done better, maybe their conflicts would not have occurred. I feel that doing things in a constructive way starting with myself is one of the most effective ways to eliminate possible interference from the evil.
The above is my own understanding. Please correct anything inappropriate. Thank you.