Constantly Improving Ourselves While Creating the Proper Environment
(Clearwisdom.net) The atmosphere in Mainland China became highly intense after the evil CCP started persecuting Dafa on July 20, 1999; however, we followed Master's Fa and gradually changed the environment by diligently studying the Fa, sending forth righteous thoughts, and saving sentient beings by clarifying the truth with rationality and wisdom. We constantly improved ourselves through eliminating attachments.
After July 20, 1999, like many other practitioners, I experienced pressure from my family and friends, threats from my work unit, and harassment from the local police. I went to Beijing to appeal and was detained many times. I was sentenced to forced labor in the summer of 2001 and went home in summer of 2003. I want to share with fellow practitioners my cultivation experience in the two years since leaving the labor camp in the hope that it will help other practitioners so that we can improve as a whole body.
My personal understanding is that the final goal of cultivation is to eliminate attachments and karma and return to our true, original selves, which is when we reach Consummation. As Dafa practitioners we shoulder the glorious mission of assisting Master to rectify the Fa and save sentient beings. Our responsibilities are tremendous and our mission is extraordinary. The evil old forces imposed this vicious and terrifying environment on us, imposed on us this brutal persecution of Dafa and Dafa practitioners, and also, through brainwashing and lies, imposed deception on the minds of the Chinese people.
In the past six years, practitioners in Mainland China have had various attachments that mostly manifested as fear: they have been afraid of losing their jobs and their families, their money and possessions, their comfortable lifestyles and their human bodies; they have been afraid of brutal torture and incarceration and that their families may be affected; some practitioners have had personal doubts about Dafa and they have questioned whether or not to firmly believe in Dafa. Actually, as long as we follow Master's instructions, truly understand them and do well with the three things, we will be able to deny all the arrangements made by the evil old forces on a fundamental level. We will be able to avoid all the persecution imposed on us by the evil and change the environment around us, while at the same time discarding attachments and eventually achieving Consummation.
In the summer of 2003, just after I left the labor camp, only a small minority of my family, friends and acquaintances knew the truth. Most of them were confused or deceived by the propaganda. I can't describe my feelings at that time. The task to effectively clarify the truth and save sentient beings was tremendous. Their muddle-headedness could in turn form a barrier on our path to cultivation as a whole body. I had a sense of urgency but I also had some fears--I was afraid of more persecution. In spite of that, I firmly believed that Master is here and Dafa is here, and, as long as I firmly believe in Dafa and act with righteous thoughts and righteous actions, no one can harm me. I absolutely will not allow the evil to persecute me again. If I continuously clarify the truth with compassion, Master will help me to maximally save predestined people.
Creating the proper environment at home
I obtained Dafa in 1997, but I did not truly start cultivating Dafa with diligence until the fall of 1998. I did not have a deep understanding of Dafa back then. I only knew that Dafa could help people improve their moral character as well as their physical health. I had an obscure understanding of cultivation, and I didn't give a good introduction to my wife. As a result, after July 20, 1999, the CCP's earth-blanketing slander and frenzied persecution, as well as pressure from her family, pushed my wife to the brink of a nervous breakdown. She was so frightened that she often sobbed uncontrollably after returning from work. Slowly she changed. She had always been kind and sweet-tempered, but she changed into a completely different person and burned Dafa books and Master's articles. She often cried and fought with me, and she forbade me to leave home or to contact fellow practitioners after work or on holidays. Dafa had taken deep root in my heart, however, and I read Zhuan Falun whenever I had fears or doubts. Whenever I studied the Fa, I felt I was back on solid ground, and all fears and doubts dissipated. I felt Teacher was standing right beside me. This situation lasted until the summer of 2001, when I was sent to a forced labor camp.
In the summer of 2003 I returned home to my gaunt wife, who had been living in fear and intimidation, and to my lovely daughter, who had fear and questions in her eyes. I can't describe my feelings at the time. According to ordinary people's way of thinking, I shouldn't have let my wife and daughter suffer because of me, but according to Dafa, these are ordinary people's emotions and worries.
"Those who are attached to affection for family will definitely be burned, entangled, and tormented by it. Pulled by the threads of affection and plagued by them throughout their lives, they will find it too late to regret at the end of their lives." ("Cultivators' Avoidances" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
These words often flashed through my mind. I had passed through the most difficult period of the persecution. Could I give up cultivation because of this tiny bit of tribulation? Never! My numerous family members, friends, relatives, colleagues, neighbors and acquaintances were deceived by the evil lies. If I didn't seize the time to save them, countless lives would be eliminated. Only by diligently cultivating myself could I bring them hope. If I gave up cultivation, I would give up the opportunity to save them, and their lives would be in real danger.
I obtained a copy of Zhuan Falun and Master's articles from fellow practitioners, and I studied Dafa and did the exercises with a calm mind. At first, my wife didn't say anything but she looked worried and helpless. She often cried at night. I would always try to reassure her and tell her, "Dafa is good! I cannot and will not give it up." She cried and cried, but I affirmed my resolve and tried to comfort her. Gradually she acquiesced.
My wife knew that I would not change my mind, but she still tried to restrict me in order to be "safe." My wife excelled at work and was confident but stubborn. Because of constant brainwashing and my absence during those two years, she blamed all of the suffering resulting from the evil CCP's persecution on me, and she had certain misunderstandings toward Dafa. She never said "Falun Dafa is good" in front of me, and she even purposely bad-mouthed Dafa to provoke me.
In order to eliminate my wife's misunderstandings about Dafa, I tried to do as many household chores as possible, provided that they didn't interfere with my cultivation and work. I cooked good meals three times a day and took thorough care of my wife and daughter to make them feel warm and secure. I tried to clarify the truth to my wife, but she refused to listen. Whenever I started to clarify the truth she would throw a tantrum. She would even scream at me when I mentioned words such as "morals," "foreign countries," and "evil Communist Party." She looked as if she couldn't bear to hear it, and she would not let me continue or even bring it up.
I tried various methods in an attempt to change her. I tried to clarify the truth when she was in a good mood and talked in a step-by-step manner. I sent forth righteous thoughts and placed truth clarification materials in a prominent spot, hoping she would read them, and other such things. All of my efforts failed. She refused to read or listen. I looked inward to see if I was heavily attached to affection, if I was being too aggressive. In the end I realized that interference and manipulation from the evil was behind all of it. The evil was trying to use her to interfere with my cultivation and prevent me from clarifying the truth to other people, to maintain the persecution, and to poison the minds of more people.
I changed my approach and clarified the truth when she yelled at me. If she said, "You are horrible!" I would ask her to point out exactly what I was not doing well and I would eliminate her misunderstanding through clarifying the truth. If she attacked me with CCP-instilled lies, I would refute the lies with facts; if she acknowledged a certain aspect of the evil CCP, I would expose the true nature of the Party's history and its corruption. Each time our exchanges were as heated as ordinary people's arguments, but each time she was left speechless. After some time she couldn't come up with anything bad about Dafa or anything good about the evil CCP.
I knew that to completely turn the environment at home around I had to strictly conduct myself with righteous thoughts and righteous actions at all times. My wife had her eyes on me, and she would develop prejudice toward Dafa if I didn't do well. When asked why they were going out when they were actually planning to meet with fellow practitioners or to do Dafa work, some practitioners lied to their families. They said they lied in order to be safe. I never lied about my intentions. Master said,
"I don't say things I don't want to say, but what I say has to be true--that's how I am." ("The Eighth Talk" from Zhuan Falun)
I told her what I thought she should know, and I kept the rest to myself. Sometimes she was concerned about my safety and would not let me leave home no matter what. I said to her, "People who don't practice Dafa can stay out all the time for orgies, gambling and prostitutes. They leave home any time they want. We Dafa practitioners conduct ourselves according to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Are we not allowed to leave and enter our homes and have regular contact with each other just because of the evil persecution? As a family member of a persecuted practitioner, you should stand by me and join me in resisting the evil. How can you help the evil by restricting my freedom?" She couldn't answer. Now she never interferes with my Dafa work. Even if she is worried, she keeps it to herself. Sometimes she reminds me to be careful. Despite the changes, however, my wife still refuses to listen to me or to read the truth-clarifying materials herself.
Several years ago my wife joined the CCP. In order to help her recognize the nature of the CCP and to resign from it for her own sake, I asked her countless times to read the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party and to publish her decision to quit the CCP. I thought if she knew the truth, it would help to save our friends and colleagues. She not only refused to listen, she fought me with greater vehemence. I felt hurt and disappointed and I wanted to give up on her, but I realized that this thought is not proper. That is not a practitioner's compassion but is instead the emotion and anger of an ordinary person. She is irrational because she has been manipulated by the evil and the CCP elements after years of brainwashing. If I give up on her, her life will be in danger. Moreover, she also came for Dafa and she formed a family with me. She has a profound, predestined relationship with me! If I don't save her, I will be giving up on the countless sentient beings in her world. I continue to clarify the truth to her when the opportunity presents itself. I clearly know that regardless of whether or not she listens to me or believes me, each time I tell her the facts, the evil behind her is eliminated in great quantities and she is changing. In the end she will awaken to the truth and renounce the evil CCP.
It's highly necessary to cleanse the environment at home, especially to remove books and paraphernalia having to do with the evil CCP. My wife loves to collect books and she has bought many books, most of which are clothbound. Many of her books are related to the evil CCP, such as the anthology of Mao Zedong's poems. At first I thought I would discuss it with my wife and then destroy these books, but it seemed to me she was not going to become clear-headed any time soon. At the same time these books are giving off evil substances that poison her and our daughter's minds. So I decided to destroy them without her knowledge.
I put off my plan for a while because I remembered she often pulls books from the bookcase and reads them. If she found out I had destroyed her books she would go berserk. Then I thought I was wrong for hesitating, because I practice Dafa and I will be a god in the future; how can I let a small thing such as this stop me? Wouldn't I be leaving the evil ample room for survival by not destroying the books? I went ahead and tore up all the CCP books and threw them in the garbage can and pleaded with Master to help me not let my wife find out.
She never realized her books were gone. This incident validates the power of Dafa. From then on I quickly destroyed whatever newspapers or magazines my wife brought home that had evil CCP content.
My wife warned me and tried to stop me many times from telling our daughter about Dafa. Whenever my wife left town or returned home late I would let my daughter watch the Nine Commentaries, VCDs and listen to Master's lecture tapes. She loved it! I often clarified the truth to her and set standards in accordance with Dafa. I never got angry about her grades, but I did scold her or even spank her for being rude. She is very clear-headed and voluntarily withdrew from the Young Pioneers. She resisted all of the evil CCP-related activities at school. She even refused to sing CCP songs or to pledge to the flag, and she tore out those pages in her textbook that slander Dafa or gods. She also asked me to tear out and destroy CCP-related content in her old textbooks. She has good grades. She has often asked Master for help when it comes to tough problems on an exam, or she says "Falun Dafa is good" in her heart. She is also quite healthy. When she feels sick she asks Master for help or she says, "Falun Dafa is good."
My older brother is a judicial system official in my hometown. He tried very hard to "reform" me and came to my home many times to beat and curse me. He even went to the labor camp and gave the guards tips on how to reform me and threatened me with my mother's illness. My brother does not make a lot of money, but he often called me long-distance for one whole hour at a time, which cost him between 300 and 500 yuan each month in telephone bills. Master said,
"I said that just by remaining unmoved you could handle all situations." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2005 Canada Fa Conference")
Indeed, with Master's protection and help, I overcame these interferences.
I often phone my parents and brother and write letters and mail truth clarification materials to them. I also sent them the Nine Commentaries. I once called my brother and said, "You say that I'm stupid and crazy, but I just want to say one thing: when I was persecuted for my belief, I was resisting the evildoers and opposed the persecution. As my family member, you not only didn't protect me but you assisted the evildoers in persecuting me. Now who do you think is crazy, you or me?" He didn't say a word and hung up.
Now my brother sympathizes with Dafa and he greatly admires Master. As I write this, I can't hold back tears. Even as a grown man I'm crying openly. My brother witnessed the magnificence of Dafa through his brother, and he saw the true nature of the evil CCP through its brutal persecution of his brother. He is still afraid of the CCP, though, and he has not yet renounced the CCP. I believe he will quickly overcome his fear and embrace a bright future.
My parents and other family members love me, and they quickly sided with me and with justice after learning the truth. Together we are resisting the evil.
Indeed, it pained my heart to see my family suffer, but judging things from the basis of the Fa, I let go of qing and developed compassion. "Fear" naturally went away and the environment at home changed. I improved myself.
Creating a proper environment at work
I am the only Dafa practitioner in my work unit, and I felt my responsibility to be huge. My superiors and acquaintances all knew I was good at clarifying the truth about Falun Gong. When I returned to work after leaving the forced labor camp, some of my superiors said they didn't want me to talk to my colleagues about Falun Gong at work. I just smiled at them.
My colleagues usually didn't mention Falun Gong because they are afraid, and they were deceived by the propaganda. I told them about my experiences at the labor camp and how the evildoers persecute Dafa practitioners, and I exposed the lies. As time went by, most people that I came across learned the truth. Many people came to our work unit, and I clarified the truth to them and gave them VCDs.
In order to save more people, we started spreading the Nine Commentaries this year, and we asked people, for safety's sake, to renounce the CCP. At first I told people, "The heavens will eliminate the CCP! Quit the Party, the Communist Youth League, and the Young Pioneers to be safe!" The news quickly spread throughout our work unit. I think if people see, hear or think about quitting the CCP, the evil Party specters will disintegrate in other dimensions. I patiently asked colleagues and friends to renounce the CCP. At first, many of them were scared, angry or defensive; they were suspicious or they tried to shun the topic. As anonymous phone calls, emails and word-of-mouth gained momentum, they grew silent and started thinking. Some brave people agreed to quit the CCP. So far, dozens of people have asked me to publish CCP-quitting announcements for them, and some people published the announcement themselves with the software created to break through the Internet blockade. Many more people want to quit the CCP, but they are afraid.
Some people said I was getting involved in politics, and I told them, "I only tell you why it's dangerous to stay with the evil CCP that opposes the gods. It's up to you whether or not you want to believe me or withdraw from the CCP. Right now, everyone is condemning the CCP and it's a shame for you to stay with this organization."
I think the work unit is the safest place to clarify the truth, because people who don't agree with me will not report me to the police. Even if someone reports me to a superior, the superior will not report me to the police out of concern for their own reputation. Looking at things from the standpoint of the Fa, I am saving people and, unless I am afraid, the evil does not dare to stop me!
Now the environment at my work unit is quite relaxed, and I can openly clarify the truth to anyone on a daily basis. This environment is hard won, as some superiors tried to stop me and threatened me many times. But as more people learned the truth and the righteous field grew stronger, the evil lost ground.
Creating the proper environment among neighbors
I had previously heard that the authorities had arranged for neighbors to spy on each practitioner. One person who worked for the police told me that each spying neighbor is paid 300 yuan a month by the CCP.
I always greeted my neighbors and we helped each other out. I had a good relationship with them. In the past, however, I was reluctant to hand out flyers to neighbors in my building, fearing they would report me. Once I saw a fellow practitioner handing out flyers to her neighbors in front of other people and I thought, "These people are my neighbors because we have a predestined relationship! Maybe they became my neighbors so I can save them. How can I be so selfish and bypass them?" I started to distribute flyers among my neighbors, and I tried to reduce waste while helping them learn the truth. When we met in the hallway I would clarify the truth to them, and I completely forgot about the police-arranged spies. Later I realized that it's very important to make the truth known to my neighbors, because if they know the truth, they will strengthen the righteous field around me, which would protect me from the evil.
Now, most of my neighbors know the truth, and some of them have quit the CCP.
Creating a proper environment in public
Everyone in the world came for Dafa, so each person we come across should be saved. Practitioners in our district have been handing out truth clarification materials and clarifying the truth by word-of-mouth.
Before 2002 we relied on other districts for truth clarification materials, which limited the quantity of the materials and prevented us from saving people on a larger scale. We also burdened Falun Dafa truth material production sites in other districts. After reading articles on the Minghui website about establishing many production sites, I thought it over, saved some money, and with some money received from other practitioners I bought a secondhand notebook computer and a CD burner and made truth clarification VCDs when my wife was away. I did it until another location became available and other practitioners could take over the work. I trained them and helped them build the new production site, which was quickly established.
During the process of making truth clarification materials and building a production site, the attachment to money, fear and responsibility toward saving sentient beings emerged. The evil would interfere whenever we had heavy human notions, which directly impacted the effect of saving sentient beings. Many of my attachments were eliminated through this work and I made great improvements.
Master has arranged for each person we come across in daily life to hear the truth from us. Therefore we should give up all mental barriers and human notions and tell them the facts. For anyone I meet in the street who shares a stretch of journey with me or who exchanges a few words with me, I always try my best to bring up the topic and clarify the truth to him or her. Some are happy and thank me; some are afraid and refuse to listen or speak to me, and some don't believe the truth. I think as long as I tell them, overall the evil will be eliminated and I will be laying the foundation for the person to be saved in the future.
Helping fellow practitioners and improving as a whole body
In the past few years, I have increasingly felt that helping fellow practitioners to improve and coordinate in Dafa work is a mandatory responsibility. I often take the time to share my experiences at fellow practitioners' homes. If I know a practitioner who is not clear on a certain issue, I visit him at home and share my understanding with him. I point out his shortcomings and talk about my understandings and help him improve.
Some practitioners rarely leave home to clarify the truth. I went to one such practitioner and told her what Master said,
"The reason I ask you to study the Fa more, eliminate more of your attachments, and let go of various human notions, is to allow you to not just take a portion away with you, but to reach Consummation." ("Melt Into the Fa" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
I said to her, "I know that we take certain risks by clarifying the truth in this environment; but if we don't do anything, how will people get saved? Where is our compassion as cultivators? If we don't seize this limited time to clarify the truth and save people, if we don't eliminate our fear and other attachments before Fa rectification of the human world arrives, we will not achieve true Consummation, and many of the beings in our world will be eliminated as a result. Moreover, many kings of different countries and periods in mankind's history reincarnated as Chinese in this lifetime. Master told us to
'save all beings, save the people of the world, and save the Chinese people.' ("Teaching the Fa in the City of Chicago")
"If we don't try our best, how are we worthy of Master's salvation?"
She agreed and saw her shortcomings. After this conversation, she gave up her attachments and full-heartedly devoted herself to truth clarification work.
I often think that as we save ordinary people, all the more reason should we help fellow practitioners. Besides, fellow practitioners' improvement will benefit Fa rectification and leave no omission for the evil. We will then fundamentally deny the evil old forces, which will enable us to save sentient beings more effectively. If one practitioner falls behind or becomes stuck in tribulations, he will probably affect a large contingent and cause great losses, which will directly affect the saving of sentient beings.
Contributing articles to the Minghui website
The Minghui website belongs to Dafa practitioners. This site is the hope for sentient beings and is what the evil fears the most. Practitioners can read Master's lectures on the Minghui website, obtain news, peruse experience sharing articles, view artistic creations, see compilation of truth clarification materials and get technical help, which help us to improve and save sentient beings. What we don't realize are the countless miracles and hard work that go into the creation and operation of the website. This site is the fruit of Dafa practitioners' compassion and wisdom under Master's guidance and protection. I think each practitioner should care for it and uphold it. Send an article, a few words, a picture, or a song. As long as it's something that will help other practitioners to improve, awaken people and disintegrate the evil, we should make active contributions.
After I obtained my own computer, I visited the Minghui website and wrote articles and reports. I also made Flash animations and sent them to the website. Although many of my contributions were not published, I improved a lot through the process. Once when my article or Flash was not published, I was upset and waited and hoped it would eventually get published. I thought maybe the editors missed it and I complained about the editors. It shows I had omissions and the goal of my contribution was not very pure, as I wanted to validate myself to a certain extent. I should have first looked inward to see if there were any shortcomings with my article or if my article was similar to one that had already been published.
When I think about the editors, they have a really tough job: they have to use their precious time to read, sort out, edit, finalize, type up, and typeset the articles each day, in addition to going to their jobs, studying the Fa, doing the exercises, and dealing with family and social affairs. They receive so many articles each day. It's not easy for them!
By looking inward, we can find the true reason for everything. If we improve our understandings, we will obtain a serene mind and improve our xinxing as well as elevate in cultivation.
Only by studying the Fa and seizing the time to clarify the truth and save sentient beings will we be able to eliminate attachments and karma and reach Consummation. Then we will be worthy of Master's compassionate salvation and the hope placed in us by sentient beings.
Greetings, compassionate and great Master! I hope all fellow practitioners will make diligent progress and achieve Consummation!
Article submitted for The Second Mainland China Falun Dafa Practitioners Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference.