Recalling the Days of Traveling with Master Before and After Falun Gong Was Made Public (Part 2)
Editor's note: The author of this article started learning the Falun Gong exercises and teachings from Master Li in person during the very early days of Master's teaching the Fa. However, since he did not study the Fa well for a long time, the writer detoured from his cultivation path significantly after the persecution started. Recently, he realized his mistakes and wrote down these stories. We are publishing the article so that more practitioners will benefit from stories about Master, learn how to better respect Master, and treasure this precious time when Dafa is being spread in the world. Let us all do well to be worthy of Master's benevolent salvation and position ourselves well for the future.
As for the author of this article, we sincerely hope that he learns from his own mistakes, studies the Fa well and publishes his solemn statement soon. We hope he will do the three things well that Master has required of every Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple, make up for his past mistakes and choose the righteous path in the future.
6. "Listening calmly to people until they finish talking shows them respect"
When I first started to follow and assist Master as he taught Falun Gong publicly, I used to interrupt others in a conversation because my xinxing was not well developed and I was young and impulsive. Sometimes I forced my understandings and emotions onto others. On other occasions, because I was arrogant, I pretended to know everything. Master told me that listening calmly to people until they finish talking shows them respect. You also need to pay attention to what people are talking about. Use the Fa to measure it and see whether it agrees with Dafa. After carefully analyzing what they say, you can then patiently voice your opinion. You should try to listen more and speak less. Quietly listening to everything that a person wants to say and not being impulsive is a kind of politeness and self-cultivation.
I was deeply affected by Master's words. Over the past 10 years, I have often used these words to examine myself. When I noticed that fellow practitioners, especially the young male practitioners, were impatient and arbitrary, ignoring manners while contacting or talking with others, I would quietly tell them what Master had said to me. They all felt that it was a great benefit to hear these words.
In the class, except for teaching the Fa, Master rarely said much afterwards.
7. Every time Master saw a disciple or a visitor off, he always waited until he couldn't see the person any longer before returning to his room
Master is very dignified in his daily activities including walking, standing, sitting and laying down. He is easy to get along with and also has a warm and friendly personality. Even after so many years, I have never seen Master cross his legs or lean back when he sits on a sofa or a chair. Master shows great respect when talking with elderly students, and his tone of voice is very respectful. Every time he sees practitioners or visitors off, Master stands at the front door and waits for the visitors to disappear before he turns back to his room. This little detail has been rooted in my mind for so many years.
8. Never tired of teaching
Master often held a session for questions and answers during the Fa lecture classes. Master used the tenth class solely for answering students' questions. Students handed in many question slips every time. Even for questions that had already been answered many times before, there were still students who asked them again. There were always a lot of new students at various locations attending the class. Master said that he didn't want to repeat answers for some questions in order to save time, but students still raised similar questions again. When it happened, Master would patiently address the questions. Especially the newcomers from different places always asked similar and very basic questions. Sometimes the senior students became impatient, but for several years in different locations, Master saw so many students and always patiently answered their questions as clearly and as detailed as possible. Master's grand mercy cannot be described in words.
Sometimes, in certain circumstances, I almost lost my temper. For example, newcomers always wanted me to correct their exercise postures. When the same thing happened again and again, after a while I really felt impatient. But when I remembered Master's patience, my own complaints disappeared immediately. Someone said that you won't learn new things when you meet with new students, so you always want to be with senior students who have cultivated to a higher level. In fact, this is not true. A true cultivator can improve oneself under all circumstances. It is all reflected in the progress of one's cultivation when one interacts with new students and has to show patience, be kind-hearted and reduce one's attachment to self. For example, today as we clarify the truth, validate the Fa and save sentient beings, we have to face the evil's interference when telling the truth to deeply brainwashed and poisoned people. When we face the misunderstandings people have, the ability to control of one's own emotions and to be kind and tolerant all manifest when a true cultivator breaks through the self and makes rapid improvements.
"Compassion comes from a person's cultivation, and it's not something that's acted out; it comes from deep inside, and it's not something done to show others. It's something that exists eternally, and it doesn't change with the passage of time or changes in circumstances."
("Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Washington DC Fa Conference")
Every time I read this paragraph of the Fa, I recall how touched I was by Master's compassion and patience when he was teaching the Fa and guiding disciples in those early years.
9. Witness Master's power of silence
In 1993, a person from the Qigong Institute invited Master to his hometown of Liaocheng City in Shandong Province to hold a class. He claimed that he wanted to introduce a good practice to the people in his hometown, but in fact, his real purpose was to make money together with the local qigong association. When the class was over, according to the contract that was the same for the classes Master held in many places, Master only took 30-40%, whereas the local organizer got 60-70% of the fees collected. Master taught his class for a very low price. In fact, at that time Falun Gong charged the least of all the other qigong classes. A ticket was 40 yuan and veteran students got in for half price, 20 yuan, so there were many veteran students every time Master held a new class. Every time a class was held, there was hardly a cent left after paying the auditorium rental, food and hotel fees.
After the class was over, the organizer of the local qigong association in Shandong complained that Master has set the ticket price too low. When one of them took Master to Jinan Train Station in a car, she complained to Master continuously for more than an hour.
I sat in the backseat and listened. At first I tried to keep quiet. Eventually, I could not hold my temper any more. Because I could no longer tolerate her slandering Master like that, I shouted out, "You shut up. If you keep this up, we don't need you to take us to the station. We will get out of the car and go there by ourselves." Master turned around and glanced at me. He didn't say a word. But I could tell that he had found fault with me and indicated that I should do no more talking and just to please sit there quietly. The power of Master's appearance of mercy and seriousness immediately calmed my aggravated emotions. That lady seemed to be controlled by this power as well and didn't say anything more after a few more words. After this incident, Master didn't explain anything. During this whole process, Master didn't say a single word. However, all of us who were present, including the organizer, realized our mistakes and shortcomings.
My own understanding is that "going beyond the limits of Forbearance" is taught to the enlightened side of Dafa practitioners in order for them to eliminate the evil and rectify the Fa. It is not meant for us to indulge the un-removed attachments from our human side. In fact, we need to restrict our human side well and cultivate xinxing all the time. Our enlightened side will then be able to fully exert supernormal power and not be hindered by the human side. By then, the power of gods will show up and participate in the Fa rectification and eliminate the evil forces.
10. A glance from Master was like a mirror, revealing all my bad thoughts
In 1994, Master held a Falun Dafa lecture in Zhenzhou. The number of attendees was much more than that had been expected, and the auditorium rented by the local host was in bad condition. The bricks in the benches were exposed, and there were windows without glass. I was worried and approached the local host asking to change the meeting site and the sound equipment. During the conversation, I failed to preserve my xinxing and lost my temper.
Master asked me to come over to him. I had been with Master ever since I had obtained the Fa, and this was the first time that Master talked to me without a smile. Before Master even spoke, my legs were shaking and I felt Master's commanding presence. A glance from Master was like a shining mirror, and all my thoughts were revealed. I began to examine the issues that I hadn't understood in the past. There were no words that could describe Master's might and dignity.
Twenty minutes after I lost my temper with the organizer, I lost my voice. I felt fine when I went to the stage to teach the exercises, but felt awful after I came back down. It lasted for four or five days.
11. Master turned to me and looked at my eyes for more than 10 seconds without saying a word
In the summer of 1993, I followed Master to Wuhan, where he gave lectures. During the day Master and I went to visit the Guiyuan Temple in Hankou. With one palm erected in front of his chest, Master stood solemnly in front of the statue of Sakyamuni. I stood behind Master to the right, also with one palm in front of my chest. (I should have pressed my palms together in front of my chest in the Heshi gesture.) In front of the Buddha statue, my imagination ran away from me, and I thought, "Sakyamuni is only a Tathagata. The higher Buddha looks at a Tathagata like he is an everyday person, and my level is higher." Without noticing it, the hand in front of my chest slid down. While I was giving free rein to my imagination with my eyes closed slightly, Master suddenly turned towards me and stared at my eyes for more than ten seconds without saying a word. I was so frightened that I broke out in a cold sweat and suddenly understood.
I had thought I was a college student after just glancing at a college textbook. My swollen ego had led to demons breeding in my own mind, but I couldn't recognize it at the time. Some veteran practitioners had fallen into this exact same trap and eventually even refused to acknowledge Master. The lesson was grave.
12. The truth about the accusation, "No help is offered in life threatening situations"
Before each lecture, Master would tell the host from the local qigong association that "persons with critical illnesses" should not be admitted. In the lectures, Master would also say that we were not there to cure diseases. If anybody did come to have his diseases cured, we would return his entry fee even if he had already registered. The host of the local qigong associations often did not honor this request since they wanted to make money.
In 1994, in a lecture with 4,000 participants in Harbin, a few people from Jinzhou carried an overweight man into the stadium. This person was absent minded and had totally lost the ability to move around. His family members carried him in and out before and after each class. He was carried into the class even when he could not raise his head and had to lie down to "listen" to the class. During the classes, Master repeatedly requested that patients in critical condition leave the stadium and made it clear that "the lecture is not to cure diseases." They didn't listen.
One afternoon the man died in his hotel room. His family members carried the body to the outside of the auditorium and requested that Master save him. Master was lecturing at the time. A staff member talked to Master briefly and Master went outside quickly and didn't return for a while. When he came back, Master told us that the man had died a few days before. It would have been possible to save him if he was still alive, but now he was dead.
The man's family members began to accuse Master of not offering to help when a person's life was at stake. A few "practitioners" also blamed Master, and one of them said, "I won't practice anymore," and threw the Falun badge to the ground. Master told him, "You do not match." Later Master said, "This individual was controlled by something. I would feel sorry if he was a genuine practitioner."