Forsaking the Mentality of Validating Oneself as a Coordinator and Harmonizing the Fa (Part 2)
After I returned, I faced another dilemma. The police were spreading rumors about me. However, many practitioners around me still trusted me and encouraged me to continue on my path of cultivation and let go of my ego. Because of my human attachments, I was reluctant to do coordination work, but my knowing side was clear that I was a Dafa practitioner in the Fa rectification period. When I thought about Teacher's compassion and how much he gives to us, all the interference disappeared. My divine side was revived, and my righteous thoughts dissolved all the unrighteous elements.
From this lesson we learned the following: a good Fa-validating environment and stable (truth-clarifying) materials production sites are essential for "cltrifying the truth" and saving the sentient beings of a region. Stable production sites depend on the cultivation state of the practitioners running it. This requires the practitioners at the sites to be solid cultivators with high xinxing, focused on serving the Fa rectification. Realizing this, I changed my old notions and ordinary person's mentality. I look at a practitioner's true character instead of what projects he or she works on when selecting practitioners to work in production sites. Ordinary human capabilities and technological skills were no longer the criteria. Meanwhile, the majority of the practitioners around me realized the importance of studying the Fa and cultivating oneself.
Stable production sites guarantee the availability of truth-clarifying materials in our area, but we knew that was still not nearly enough. The Minghui/Clearwisdom website suggested production sites for truth-clarifying materials be set up all across the country. My understanding of the suggestion is that this isn't just for security reasons, but to allow more practitioners to step forward to validate the Fa as one body, saving every person with predestined relationships.
We started to share our experiences regarding this issue with other practitioners and to help nearby areas establish home-based production sites. In the meantime, I tried to do my best in all the Dafa work I was involved with. We have no examples to follow and thus have to improve ourselves continuously. I never mentioned the suffering I went through and the pressure of the responsibilities I undertook.
As the local environment improved and more practitioners participated in the Fa rectification work, more conflicts among practitioners arose. I realized that I should study the Fa well and look inside in conflicts, trying to eliminate my attachments in the process of coordinating with others. In doing Dafa work, I should avoid adding my personal elements, make sure I have a righteous starting point, and consider the whole situation.
We created an experience-sharing environment and broke through the blockage between practitioners. We seriously shared our understandings about all of Teacher's new articles and the Minghui editor's articles, and coordinated as one body to follow the Fa rectification process closely. Many practitioners discussed their issues in doing Dafa work with me and asked me for suggestions. I made my suggestions according to my understanding of the Fa. Slowly, some practitioners came to depend on me for ideas, and I unknowingly advised other practitioners about how to do things. Because I made my suggestions without knowing the true situations in some cases, I created many conflicts.
Teacher has spoken about coordinators many times, but I had never considered myself one, thinking that as long as I did what I should do, things would be fine. However, many practitioners regarded me as a coordinator. Whenever they mentioned me as a coordinator, I immediately explained, "I am not a coordinator -- in fact, every practitioner should act as a coordinator." I had seen many coordinators change. In the beginning, they could follow the principle of Dafa regarding everything. As other practitioners came to depend on and admire them, they gradually and unwittingly failed to maintain their character and put themselves above others. They refused to listen to others, and their attachments were magnified. In the end, the evil found excuses to persecute these practitioners. In order to avoid that situation, I resisted and avoided being called a coordinator.
I refused to take the "title" although I was doing the work, but some practitioners still considered me a coordinator. Because I put much emphasis on my own opinions and views, I required others to conform to them, sometimes stubbornly. Many practitioners saw my problems and pointed them out to me. I listened and tried to search inside, yet many different views still existed among practitioners. One prominent problem was that I couldn't listen to different opinions with a calm mind. I always explained things to others and never accepted their views.
One day a surprising incident occurred. Two practitioners from another area found coordinators in our area and organized a small conference, mainly about my attachments. With a responsible attitude toward the Fa and fellow practitioners, the two practitioners suggested that our local practitioners reduce their contact with me. My heart sunk upon hearing the news. I said to myself, I am doing so much work on the front line, yet the others misunderstand me and criticize me behind my back.
I was shaken by the unfairness and decided to leave the area -- the evil persecution didn't separate me from the group, but the intolerance among practitioners did. I stayed in bed for two days, and all I did was struggle with things in my mind. I refused to do anything with my fellow practitioners during those two days. The excruciating pain was beyond words. However, after I calmed down, I studied the Fa with a calm mind and searched inward. I discovered that the conflicts were completely due to my problems: If I had been able to study the Fa a lot, improve my understanding of the Fa, validate the Fa with a pure heart, and treat myself as a cultivator all the time, I would then care less about my personal feelings, have no preference for praise, and listen to other practitioners' suggestions modestly. Had I been able to do all of the above, the incident would not have happened.
Looking back at the period in which I did coordination work, I realized that although I did a lot of work, my character on the issue of being a coordinator did not improve fundamentally. Consequently, any external elements could interfere with my Fa-validation work. I stopped avoiding the issue and started to seriously think about it. A coordinator is not a leader; instead, a coordinator is an ordinary cultivator, a contact, and a volunteer to help everyone. Why did I fear becoming a coordinator? Deep in my mind, there were elements acknowledging the old forces. I considered coordinators more at risk of being persecuted. Also, I was afraid of being held responsible if I made mistakes. I feared the obligation and pressure coordinators must face.
Realizing this, I let go of self and actively shouldered the responsibilities to coordinate the Fa validation work. I had one solid thought: Whether I was called a coordinator or not is not important; I should accept the responsibilities of a Fa rectification Dafa disciple.
Relinquish the Attachment to Validating Oneself and Harmonize with Dafa in the Process of Doing Coordination Work
Today, we coordinate with each other and follow the Fa rectification process as one body. After Teacher's comment in the article "Expose the Evil Happening Locally to the Local People" was published, we shared our experiences repeatedly and then concentrated our efforts on exposing the actions of several wicked people and police staff in our area. We also made some materials with relevant local content targeting every district, community, and police station. Our effort shocked the evil and helped many people wake up to the truth.
On August 8, 2004, when we saw the Minghui editors' call for papers for the "First Mainland Chinese Falun Dafa Practitioners Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference on the Internet," we realized its importance. It was a great opportunity to share our experiences of the past five years of Fa rectification cultivation, connect and compare with each other, find out our shortcomings, and become more diligent. We also realized that actively submitting articles is a great process for validating Dafa for every practitioner.
Through experience sharing, more practitioners saw the precious opportunity.
Many local practitioners submitted articles, including some senior practitioners who overcame many difficulties. I was moved by the fact that there were more than 100 articles by senior practitioners, each containing only a few hundred characters. Even after the deadline for submissions, many practitioners from our area submitted their articles to the Minghui website, and some of them were published.
After reading an article entitled "Falun Gong Practitioners in China Ought to See It As Your Responsibility to Provide Facts of Torture to Help Falun Gong Practitioners Outside China Improve the Contents of Anti-Torture Exhibits" on Minghui.net, we realized the importance of anti-torture exhibits and our responsibilities in this regard. Many of us, including myself, assisted with the anti-torture exhibits.
After the Nine Commentties on the Communist Party was published, more people came to realize the evil nature of Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and renounced it. Under the new situation of Fa rectification, we realized the importance of spreading the Nine Commentaries. We coordinated as one body and posted the declarations of some professionals renouncing the CCP, which had a very good effect on the promotion of the Nine Commentaries.
As the Fa rectification work got deeper and more refined, the roles played by coordinators became more important. We used various methods in clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings, and put the local situation into a positive cycle. In this special environment, I unknowingly developed some attachments as a coordinator: Every time we coordinated as one body, I brought up ideas and ways to do things, after which other practitioners harmonized and amended those ideas and ways. As this became a convention, my attachment to self grew. When other practitioners brought up different opinions, I didn't try to understand them compassionately and consider the issue from their perspective. Instead, I took their opinions as signs of fear and hindrance to Fa rectification. Slowly, I discovered that only a few practitioners participated in the Fa validation work. More practitioners didn't really participate.
A practitioner kindly brought up the issue. He gave a metaphorical example: Our whole body was separated into two parts. One part is boiling water, and the other part is cold water. The two parts don't mix together. I looked inside and found coordinators such as myself directly caused the phenomenon. I often talked about putting the Fa above everything else, and I had done quite a lot of work. I considered myself one with good character who could always think of others. However, in the actual coordination work, I was very attached to my own ideas and the projects I considered important. I had forgotten about the significance of practitioners improving as a whole.
I read a question in "Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students" over and over again:
"Question: Can coordinators in the Dafa Association place themselves above the students? The students aren't able to raise criticism, and the main coordinator is forming factions and cliques.
Teacher: I think that if a coordinator does in fact have that problem, then he really needs to pay attention to it. Why do the students think of you, a coordinator, like that? Maybe it is the case that we have a lot of problems? You should really think it over now. Coordinators, well actually, when I say coordinators, or the people with positions of responsibility, it's just a name. What are they "responsible" for? Could you be responsible for Dafa? Could you really handle that? Actually you're just liaisons, people who serve others, and you have no power or authority. Coordinate everyone well, and that's the best function you can serve helping Master at the human surface level."
"So as for the coordinator, you do need to do well; and as for the students, you can't always focus on the coordinator. You are a Dafa disciple, and each person is cultivating himself, but what are you doing? Are you only helping the coordinator to cultivate? Don't you cultivate yourself? Isn't that the problem? But as for the coordinator, do you truly have a serious problem? If you can't help Master lead the students in your area well, then don't you have problems yourself? Do you know what I think? I can't leave behind any of the Dafa disciples. Every person is family to me, so how can you treat different members of my family differently?"
"...When you haven't done well leading such a large group of students the responsibility is major, and you should realize this. As your Master, I can't leave behind a single disciple, and I'll tell you that as a coordinator, you can't leave behind a single one of my disciples."
When I truly calmed down and measured myself against Dafa, I felt Teacher's tremendous compassion. I broke into tears of regret. Probably because of my attachments and notions, more practitioners were hindered from participating in the Fa rectification work and forming one body. My notion was that I was being responsible to Dafa, the whole body of our local practitioners, and my fellow practitioners. I was considering others. Yet I was judging everything from within the framework of my pre-formed notions. I didn't truly consider others or try to understand others with a kind heart. If I still couldn't do well with everyone else, then I wouldn't be worthy of Master's and Dafa's great Benevolence or the title of Fa rectification Dafa disciple.
All of the conflicts and misunderstandings, as well as the fact that many practitioners did not participate in the Fa validation, were caused by my failure to study the Fa well. I failed to purify each and every one of my thoughts all the time, and failed to cultivate myself and correct myself when doing Dafa work. I put more emphasis on how much work I did and neglected the essence of cultivation. "To tell you the truth, the entire cultivation process for a practitioner is one of constantly giving up human attachments." ( Zhuan Falun). "However high your character is, that's how high your gong is." (Zhuan Falun) When I became clear about the essence of the matter, I truly realized: All projects of Dafa work, whether it is coordination, technical work, or distributing fliers, are indispensable parts of Dafa as a whole, there is no hierarchy or difference in importance. Only when practitioners coordinate and harmonize with each other can the power of Dafa as a whole manifest itself.
I changed my views and started to solidly work on basic elements of Fa validation. We shared experiences many times at small-scale conferences on the following topics:
1. How to study the Fa a lot and study the Fa well
2. Maintaining security, rationally and flexibly form Fa study teams
3. Discuss the role Fa study plays in Fa rectification and make it truly effective
4. Pay more attention to the quality of sending forth righteous thoughts and allocate more time for it
5. How to follow the paths Teacher arranges for us, and negating the old forces arrangements
6. How to help practitioners who've gone astray
7. How to improve as one body through coordination, how to understand and be tolerant with others, and how to rescue jailed practitioners
8. How to spread the Nine Commentaries and guide people to leave the CCP
Establishing the topics helped to dramatically reduce excessive talk about personal views. Everyone looked inside and to different degrees, considered things from the perspective of the whole body. As a result, the experience sharing conference became purer, and more practitioners participated in Fa-validation. One day, a senior practitioner met with several of us who do coordination work, saying, "We have finally done something solid."
A practitioner was jailed and tortured grievously. We tried many methods to rescue him in vain. The practitioner was finally tortured to the brink of death, and the family members went to request his release. Practitioners actively cooperated with the family members and at the same time, shared experiences among many practitioners regarding the issue. Detailed information about the practitioner's situation was shared with all the practitioners who participated.
In September 2005, the practitioner's family members went to the jail to request his release. Over 40 practitioners also went to the jail and send forth righteous thoughts in close proximity. More practitioners sent forth righteous thoughts in groups of two and three. When a family member saw many local practitioners sending forth righteous thoughts near the prison, he was in tears. He grabbed the practitioners' hands and said, "I have only started to understand Dafa practitioners today." Although the practitioner was not released that day, the persecutor's arrogance was dramatically reduced.
We felt the power of practitioners coordinating with each other and forming one body. We also realized our shortcomings: Coordinators should be able to listen to different opinions, because when we hear them, it is very likely that we have unknowing deviated from Dafa. No matter how capable a practitioner is, or how much work he or she has done, his or her scope of views and understanding of the Fa is limited. It is wrong to think more practitioners do not step forward to do Fa validation work; instead, it is often because coordinators don't do a good job. If coordinators could patiently and carefully communicate with other practitioners, helping them understand the reasons behind every issue, then everyone would support every piece of Dafa work in their own environment with righteous thoughts.
I think a coordinator should not bring out ideas and let everyone else follow the ideas, or coordinate practitioners to do things together. Instead, a coordinator should coordinate practitioners in studying the Fa well, improve the understandings of the Fa, and form an environment of true cultivation, so that every practitioner walks his or her own path of Fa validation in one's specific environment.
No matter what we do, we should make sure we have a righteous starting point. Everything we do is for the fundamental purpose of clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings. All elements that are harmful to practitioners' improving as a whole should be corrected in a timely manner. Practitioners should relinquish their attachment to validating themselves and coordinate with other practitioners, forming one body and harmonizing with Dafa.
(To be continued)
(Paper from the Second Mainland Chinese Dafa Disciples' Internet Experience Sharing Conference)