Don't Waste Time Craving Fish by the River, Go Back Home and Start Weaving the Fish Net
Greetings revered compassionate Teacher!
Greetings fellow practitioners at home and abroad!
After I read the notice on the Minghui website about the Second Experience Sharing Conference over the Internet for Mainland Dafa Disciples, I felt very happy. But I also felt that although I had gained so much from Dafa in the past several years, my contribution was too little in comparison. During the whole process, Teacher has given a lot of care. I have been able to walk my cultivation path smoothly. It should be all attributed to Teacher's compassionate care and protection. I thought I had the responsibility to summarize my cultivation experience and report to our Teacher, focusing on how I have done the three things during the recent years.
Part 1 - Fa study
1.1 From Studying the Fa on My own to Group Fa Study
After the evil started to persecute Dafa on July 20, 1999, I gave up Fa study for a while. I felt extremely bad at that time. I knew it was a wrong state. Once a Dafa disciple departs from Fa, he will manifest all kinds of ordinary people's behavior. Isn't he an ordinary person at that time? Before the persecution began, I used to read through Zhuan Falun almost everyday and I read with a tranquil mind. Once I realized it was a wrong state not to study the Fa, I took out Zhuan Falun and other Dafa books which I had hidden and started reading them again. Even though I studied the Fa at home on my own, I always felt there was pressure, intangible pressure. When I read Teacher's words in "Drive out interference,"
"The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts," ("Drive out Interference" from Essentials for Further Advancement II )
...my righteous thought became stronger and stronger. I realized it was not correct if I only made sure I studied Fa well on my own. Teacher requires us to have group study, to share with one another, to cultivate diligently and advance together.
At first, I started to read Fa with my wife. Together, we formed a field. We made use of our time together to study Fa together. But because of the nature of her job, she took shifts at work and could not spend much time with me. Later, we established a small group study environment with fellow practitioners who lived with us. Thus, two families, including children from our two families, studied Fa together. Such a study group was not conspicuous (and was safe.) In six month's time, we improved a lot and tempered ourselves in this environment. Later, by sharing our successful experience, practitioners in our area established many small Fa study groups.
Everyone gained a lot in attending group Fa study. When a practitioner understood a principle in Fa study and shared it with others, everyone would improve in understanding. Likewise, when a practitioner had confusion or failed to understand certain principles in Fa study or in clarifying the truth, his/her problems would be quickly resolved by discussing them with other practitioners. Moreover, all practitioners attending group Fa study were able to obtain Teacher's new writings and speeches and fellow practitioners' sharing articles in a timely manner. Thus we were able to adjust and rectify ourselves quickly. It was also easier for practitioners to team up to clarify the truth and distribute materials. We were able to collaborate with one another efficiently. Also, group study helped one to be more diligent. The problem of laziness which one often encountered when studying Fa alone or sending forth righteous alone could be easily conquered in a group environment.
What's more, all practitioners who attended group Fa study would share their experience with other practitioners and help them join group study. The whole environment improved, which in turn helped us to advance together in cultivation.
One local practitioner, for a long time, gave up Fa study and sharing since the persecution began on July 20, 1999. He wanted to evade the reality and at the same time wanted to make more money. His conduct dropped to an ordinary person's level. After fellow practitioners held a sharing with him, he resumed Dafa cultivation, but he was still reluctant to attend group Fa study. He claimed that he was able to study more and study in a quiet environment at home. We thus went to his home to study Fa with him. After one week, he quickly realized the advantages of group study. He told us that initially, he always believed he could study Fa well and study more when he read on his own, but now he really experienced the joy of group study and understood Fa principles he would not have been able to understand from self-study. He also further understood why Teacher required Dafa disciples to attend group Fa study, group practice and to share and discuss in a group environment.
1.2. From Being Invited to Group Fa Study to Going Out to Group Fa study, and then to Inviting Others to Our Group Study
At first, we studied Fa together secretly at home. We didn't have much connection with fellow practitioners outside. One day, a practitioner couple who were about the same age as my wife and I came to invite us to their home to study Fa together. Because of the harsh environment in China, only the four of us, my wife and I and that practitioner couple, formed a Fa study group, and we didn't invite anyone else. We studied together on Saturday and Sunday mornings. We deeply cherished this study group which we established, since the persecution was very severe in our region. We continued to attend group study even when it was rainy and windy.
At the beginning, we had the attachment of fear. We were afraid to meet our acquaintances. However, the more we were afraid, the more we ran into them.
One day on our way to our Fa study group, we hoped we would not meet any of our acquaintances when we arrived. However, as soon as we arrived at their apartment building, one of our acquaintances called our names. We were scared, but we immediately realized it was wrong to be nervous. After we redressed our mentality, we greeted that person. He didn't ask us anything. However, after we finished Fa study and went downstairs, the lady on the fourth floor, who also knows us, happened to open the door the moment we arrived at the fourth floor. She asked us how come we came from upstairs and what we were doing up there. We told her we brought our kid with us to play with other kids here. She said: "I know why you are here. My child happened to be playing downstairs. I am about to call him to come up and have lunch. Now I don't need to go downstairs. May I trouble you to help me tell him to come up?"
After this encounter, we realized our attachment of fear and let go of it. From then on, we never met anyone who knows us whenever we went to group study. We truly experienced the light-heartedness when the attachment of fear was abandoned.
Gradually, we felt group study on a weekly basis could not meet our needs. We needed to actively go out to attend group study. When we went out to study the Fa in a group environment, we studied much more diligently than studying at home. We no longer limited our group study to weekends. Whenever we had time, we went out to attend group study.
More and more practitioners joined our group. However, the apartment where we had group study was small in size. At that time, we didn't have our own apartment. Neither did we have much savings. We were so anxious. At that time, only families like ours wherein both husband and wife are Dafa disciples could provide a group study environment. After thinking it over, we were determined to buy an apartment to resolve this issue. We borrowed tens of thousands of dollars and bought a bigger apartment. This year we were finally able to pay off all the money we borrowed.
Our apartment thus became a Fa study site. We invited fellow practitioners to join us. At the beginning, our group study was limited to daytime on weekends. Later, because everyone needs to study Fa and clarify the truth to save sentient beings, we could only study Fa in the evening. The attendees included young and old, veteran practitioners as well as new practitioners, diligent practitioners and those who had taken a tortuous path in cultivation. Through group study and group sharing, all of us made progress. Some even made very rapid progress. Everyone was diligent in cultivation. We had truly achieved what Teacher required from us: Hundreds of energy channels opening up and making spontaneous rotations, as well as holistic improvement and holistic upgrades.
An older veteran practitioner, due to his attachment, had once betrayed other practitioners under persecution. After he was released, very few practitioners were willing to accept him. We talked to practitioners who knew him well and asked them to share with him and invite him to come to our group Fa study. After the first invitation, he did not come. Upon the second invitation, he didn't come. We kept inviting him until he agreed to join our group study. Through Fa study and sharing, he realized he had taken a tortuous path and agreed to write a solemn declaration. He started to cultivate diligently and his righteous thoughts were getting stronger and stronger. Also, he did increasingly better in truth clarification, which in turn mobilized other practitioners. Once a local practitioner was arrested and detained, he went to the detention center to demand their release. At noon (global sending forth righteous thought time) he sat down in front of the detention center and started to send righteous thoughts. As a result, he succeeded in getting our fellow practitioners out in a noble and dignified manner. There are now more and more such practitioners in our region, who maintain righteous thoughts and righteous actions when the evildoers persecute fellow practitioners.
Part 2 - Sending Forth Righteous Thoughts
When we first learned to send forth righteous thoughts, several of us sat together and did it as a group. It actually was not sending forth righteous thoughts at all. We simply endured through the time for global sending forth righteous thoughts. As soon as we sat in double lotus position, we started to feel the pain on the legs and we felt mentally uneasy. We chanted the Fa rectification formulas, with sweat all over the head and with the extreme pain disturbing our hearts. What we had on our minds was, "How come it has not ended yet? I hope the alarm will beep soon." At that time, we were not very clear about the Fa principles. We thought it was caused by karma. However, that kind of pain was completely different from the pain during sitting meditation. The pain during the 15 minute sending forth righteous thoughts was much more severe than the pain during the one hour meditation. Because my celestial eye is not open, I could not see anything in other dimensions. Sometimes I thought to myself, "Is it really effective when I send forth righteous thoughts?"
In "Dafa Disciples' Righteous Thoughts are Powerful," Teacher said:
"Actually, every Dafa disciple has abilities. It's just that the abilities do not manifest in the surface dimension, so they think that they don't have supernormal abilities. But regardless of whether they can manifest in the surface dimension or not, when a person's True Thoughts come forth they are very powerful."
In "Fa-Lecture at the Conference in Florida, U.S.A." Teacher said:
"Let me tell you, all those who remain and that can persecute Dafa and Dafa disciples are due to our students themselves. Students who haven't taken sending forth righteous thoughts seriously: the evil in the dimensions that you are supposed to shoulder and be responsible for has not been eliminated. That's the cause. So you must take sending forth righteous thoughts seriously. No matter whether you think you have the ability or not, you should do it. What you eliminate from your own mind are ones which have an effect within the expanse of your own body; at the same time, you need to eliminate the external ones, which are directly related to the dimensions you're in. If you don't eliminate them, then they not only persecute you and restrain you, but also persecute other students, other Dafa disciples."
Through constant Fa study, I realized it was persecution from the old forces and interference from the evil that caused the extreme pain during sending forth righteous thoughts. I realized that every Dafa practitioner's righteous thoughts are powerful. Having understood it from the Fa principles, I was clear-minded about my goal in sending forth righteous thoughts. Through numerous times sending forth righteous thoughts, the factors that interfered with us and attempted to persecute us were eliminated. We then no longer felt the pain as much when sending forth righteous thoughts. Sometimes, I sent forth righteous thoughts for half an hour or even longer, I didn't feel much pain on my legs.
Although the physical pain was gone, I still felt mentally uneasy during sending forth righteous thoughts, because I could not become tranquil with many attachments arising one after another. Actually, if we cannot become tranquil during sending forth righteous thoughts, it is the same as failing to study Fa with a tranquil mind. Didn't it mean we sent forth righteous thoughts in vain? It was caused by not having a strong main consciousness. I thus intensified Fa study and eliminated interfering factors to strengthen my main consciousness. Then, I was able to achieve tranquility when sending forth righteous thoughts.
Also, when we just started to send forth righteous thoughts, my mindset was not stable. After chanting the Fa rectification formula, I targeted many factors to eliminate them. I was filled with hatred against the old forces and the evil CCP. When I sent forth righteous thought for our imprisoned fellow practitioners, I was also filled with hatred against the evildoers. After I studied Teacher's jingwen "Righteous Thoughts," I had a more clear understanding about sending forth righteous thoughts and I came to know how to do it and why we should do it.
In "Righteous Thoughts," Teacher taught us,
"Dafa disciples' sending forth righteous thoughts at this special historic period--in order to reduce the evil beings' persecution of Dafa, Dafa disciples, and the people of the world--has played a very critical role. A large number of evil beings have been cleaned out in a timely manner before the force of Fa-rectification arrives, and this has reduced many potential losses. Yet the evil beings have already seen that they're doomed, and they are acting more and more madly. Dafa disciples are now sentient beings' only, sole hope for salvation. So, in order to do Fa-rectification more effectively, while you clarify the facts you have to take sending righteous thoughts very seriously, and in a timely manner purge the evil and your own problems so that you won't be taken advantage of by the evil."
The purpose of sending forth righteous thoughts is to eliminate all interfering factors. However, we should rescue human beings.
In "Dafa Disciples' Righteous Thoughts are Powerful," Teacher said,
"Since we cultivate in a righteous Fa, we should care for and save beings and the people of the world who are good. So we should act with goodness in everything we do. Yet removing the evil beings that manipulate people into damaging humankind is also protecting humankind and sentient beings. Dafa is spreading widely, saving all sentient beings. Although those evil beings that are completely unsalvageable cannot be saved, they still can't be allowed to do evil without end and thus persecute Dafa and its students, and the people of the world. Eliminating evil is thus doing Fa-rectification, and is also saving the world's people and sentient beings."
Part 3 - Clarifying the Truth
3.1 Abandoning the Attachment to Fear and Becoming Mature When Distributing Truth-Clarifying Materials
I remember when I went out to put up a truth-clarifying sticker, I was trembling with fear. I could not even control my four limbs. At that time, I had not yet learned about sending forth righteous thoughts. I only took one sticker and tried to post it on the entrance gate of the courtyard where I live. I looked around and made sure no one was around. As soon as I posted it, someone appeared and headed toward me from more than ten meters away. I immediately ran away and I did not dare to come back until much later.
I became braver after the first experience. At the same time, we made best use of our time to study the Fa and improve ourselves based on Fa principles. Every time we went out to distribute truth material, we were fully prepared. First, we read through the content of our truth clarification material. Then we refolded flyers that were not folded well and tried our best to put the most eye-catching content on the outside page. We put the truth clarification materials in plastic bags. We made good route arrangements before we went out to place the materials in different places, such as bike baskets, residential doors, courtyards, milk bottle boxes, newspaper boxes, office desks, merchandise racks in supermarkets, ropes for hanging clothes, pockets of clothes in stores, classrooms in schools, parks, inside trains (when we were on a business trip), on buses, electric poles, major road crossings. We placed the truth materials in all places we could reach.
I have a colleague to whom I had talked about the true story of Falun Dafa. In order to let all other colleagues know the truth, I put truth clarifying materials on his motorcycle before he went out for an errand. After he came back, he brought the truth material to the office. He told me: "I got a copy of material from your group. Would you like to take a look?" I took advantage of this opportunity and read it aloud to all of our colleagues. Then they all wanted to read the material themselves.
Sometimes I put the truth clarification CDs on the doors of my colleagues' apartments. They often brought them to office and told me they got Dafa materials. I would use the opportunity to play the VCD on computer for everyone in our office. The effect is much better than trying to clarify truth to them directly by myself.
As long as we put our hearts in truth clarification efforts, we will do better and better. We will become more mature and do it with more wisdom.
3.2. My Progress in Clarifying the Truth: From Family Members to Acquaintances, and Gradually to All Sentient Beings
Clarifying the truth to people verbally is much more difficult than distributing truth materials. At the beginning, I had the attachment to fear. We therefore started to do it first with family members. At that time, on one hand, we wanted to let our family members know the truth about Dafa so that they can be saved. On the other hand, it was relatively safe to talk to family members about Dafa truths, as they would not report us to the police. Moreover, when we tried to clarify the truth to outsiders, they often asked us, "Have your family members accepted what you told them?" We started to accumulate good experience from clarifying truth to family members, because their attitude toward Dafa was similar to most non-practitioners, their concern was also a focal point of other people's concern. Their confusions were also what most non-practitioners would feel unclear about. We then started to clarify the truth to our relatives. After we finished clarifying the truth to them, we started to tell our colleagues, classmates and friends. At the beginning, we only talked to those whom we felt wouldn't bring danger to us. Later, we clarified to truth to anyone we encountered.
When we clarified the truth, there were those who wanted to listen, and those who refused to listen. There were people who accepted the truth, and those who refused to accept it. There were people who supported us, and also people who objected to us. It was just like what Teacher described in "Zhuan Falun,"
"Wandering about is pretty hard--he goes from place to place, begging for food and running into all kinds of people who laugh at him, and insult him, or take advantage of him. He runs into all kinds of things."
Initially, I felt angry with those who refused to listen or refused to accept the truth. Through Fa study, we realized it was Dafa practitioners' responsibility to help people know the truth. If someone does not accept the truth after one round of clarification, we talked to him a second time. If the second round did not change him, we made a third attempt. We constantly clarified the truth to such people and give them truth clarification materials. For different kinds of people, for people with different educational backgrounds, different social status, holding different notions, having different hobbies, in different working environments, we tried to break through from different angles. We had only one goal--helping them learn the truth.
Due to the nature of my job, I am able to have contact with many people. Among them there was an 80-year-old woman, some pre-school kids, government officials, policemen, judges, workers, peasants, doctors, teachers and students from colleges, high-schools and elementary schools, businessmen, drivers, hairdressers, and even prostitutes. I tried to use different approaches and different angles to get into the topic of truth clarification. I told them the true situation of Dafa and persuaded them to renounce the evil party, because they all are sentient beings waiting to be saved.
I found out that all beings had their knowing side and they all wanted to know the truth. Quite a few wanted to renounce the evil party after they learned the truth. Of course, there were a few who had been deeply poisoned by the evil CCP. They didn't know the truth, nor did they want to listen to the truth. Even some of my acquaintances threatened me, "If you continue to talk to us about this, we will report you." I, however, maintained a calm mind and felt compassionate for them. I thought to myself, he will eventually know the truth. As long as he becomes clear-minded before Fa-rectification reaches the human world, he will have hope.
I have two colleagues who are a couple. The wife was willing to listen to me when I clarified the truth to her and I kept clarifying to her many times. She is fully aware of the true situation. Her husband, however, was a CCP member and was deeply poisoned. He refused to listen to me and refused to believe me no matter how I tried. He destroyed a truth clarification CD which another Dafa practitioner left at his house. Later, he contracted leukemia. His wife and I tried to clarify the truth to him again. He no longer objected to us, and he agreed to renounce the evil CCP. Soon, his leukemia turned benign in nature. Soon after, further examination showed he did not have leukemia at all any longer. He recovered very quickly. His wife kept thanking me. I told her, "If you want to show your gratitude, show it to our Teacher and Dafa."
3.3 From Relying on Others Making Materials to Making Materials Ourselves
At the very beginning, all our materials came from fellow practitioners. Either they delivered the materials to us, or we went to their places to get them. However much they gave us, we would make use of it to distribute to people. When there was no material, we would have nothing to do. Our attitude was totally waiting for others' help, relying on others and seeking help from others. The more we read Teacher's lectures and Jingwen, the more clearly Teacher taught us on this issue, the more we felt our responsibility was grand. There are so many sentient beings waiting for us to offer salvation to them. On the other hand, the evil tried very hard to undermine our truth clarification efforts. Many material production sites, especially large sites, were destroyed one after another, which brought tremendous losses to our efforts in validating Dafa and saving the sentient beings. With regard to materials production sites, the Minghui website published a notice advising mainland practitioners to achieve the state of "Flowers Blossoming Everywhere," "together there's a form, and separated there are particles" and eventually achieve the state of "without any energy channels or acupuncture points."
However, topics regarding materials production sites are a very sensitive issue among practitioners. Among fellow practitioners, we never discussed this topic. I always felt there was something wrong here. I believed as for the source of materials, we may keep it secret, however we may share our understandings of this aspect. Teacher has told us that on important matters, practitioners must pay attention to the attitude of Minghui Net.
At that time, software which breaks through the internet blockade was not yet publicized. It was very difficult to obtain such software. It was based on my firm belief in Teacher and my wish to save sentient beings that I eventually obtained Internet blockade-breaking software with the help of a fellow practitioner. When the home page of Minghui appeared in front of my eyes, I was so delighted. Finally, I was able to browse Minghui, the website of us Dafa practitioners, for us practitioners. My joy and excitement was beyond description!
I spent a lot of time studying the Fa. At the same time, I was constantly learning computer knowledge and reading articles on techniques written by fellow practitioners. I gained knowledge of techniques for making truth materials and techniques for internet security. It was exactly through such learning processes that I realized the most secure way is to study Fa more and to send forth righteous thoughts more frequently.
This year, we finally saved up 5,000 yuan. Our xinxing was also up to the requirement when we had the money, and our mastery of the techniques was sufficient to start a materials production site. We used all of our savings to buy a printer and a PC with a VCD burning function. Thus, a small materials production site was established! We no longer needed to wait for other practitioners' help or rely on their help. We previously obtained Teacher's new lectures and Minghui Weekly two weeks later than the time of publication on Minghui. Now, we can get them on the same day. We are able to produce truth materials and truth clarification cards at any time, in the quantity we need. It's the same for Dafa truth clarification VCDs, Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party VCDs and all kinds of brochures.
From my personal experience and understanding, I realized that as Dafa practitioners, we should, first of all, study the Fa well, which is the prerequisite and fundamental requirement for anything else. Sending forth righteous thoughts is to ensure we can accomplish our mission well. Saving sentient beings by clarifying the truth is our ultimate goal and responsibility. Our doing the three things well encompasses all aspects in cultivation. Personal upgrades come from doing the three things well. We cannot ignore any single one of the three things. Although Dafa practitioners' responsibility and goal is to save sentient beings, the prerequisite is our personal improvement and consummation. That is why Teacher keeps telling us to study Fa, study the Fa more and study the Fa well, and not to neglect cultivating oneself. If we cannot achieve consummation, everything will end up in vain. However, Dafa practitioners' cultivation is beyond personal consummation. Our responsibility is grand. We came to this world with the mission of saving sentient beings. In "Touring North America to Teach the Fa," Teacher explained the three different origins of Dafa practitioners and our historic mission. We not only need to cultivate ourselves well, but we also need to save sentient beings. We should try to save sentient beings to the best of our capability.
What we have done is simply what Dafa practitioners are supposed to do. Compared with diligent fellow practitioners, we still fall far short. However, as long as we put our hearts in doing what we are supposed to do, to follow Teacher's teaching, all difficulties, tribulations and ordeals will come to an end. Let's study the Fa in earnest, looking inward sincerely, cultivate ourselves well and solidly clarify the truth to save sentient beings.
As the old saying goes: "Don't waste time craving fish by the river, go back home and start weaving the fish net." If we ourselves can do well in doing the three things solidly, it is much better than to admire or envy other fellow practitioners who do well in cultivation. All the cultivation accomplishments we are trying to achieve are within the three things Teacher requires us to do.
Sincere thanks to revered Teacher!