Comparing Ourselves with Each Other and Encouraging Each Other to Improve as One Body
(Clearwisdom.net) Practitioners outside of China have overcome various difficulties to continuously clarify the truth in Manhattan over the past several months, whether under the burning summer sun or in the snow of freezing winter. This has greatly moved and encouraged practitioners in China, who are in a relatively harsher situation. Specifically, in this process overseas practitioners have been able to maximally sacrifice self-interest and become one harmonious body, which rapidly awakened many people in Manhattan who had not known the truth.
Through much sharing, we have found the gap we possess compared to practitioners outside of China in terms of forming one body. We would like to share the following several points:1. Open up and increase sharing so as to improve as one body
From what we have seen, in the past several years, practitioners outside of China have attended many experience-sharing conferences, group studies, and group sharing. They are doing things together to validate the Fa, and in this process, everyone is forged by the Fa. When conflicts arise, rather than dodging problems, they are able to constantly cultivate and rectify themselves. As they continually increase their cooperation as one body, the power of Dafa can always be manifested.
As we examine the situation in China, throughout the five plus years of extremely vicious persecution, practitioners have kept safeguarding the Fa with determination, as well as using different ways to clarify the truth to people. After experiencing persecution, every practitioner has his or her own understanding and enlightenment. Each Dafa disciple has played a very important role of validating the Fa in his or her own situation. But due to the special environment in China, practitioners overall are isolated from each other, and lack sufficient communication and sharing. Without an environment for cultivating as one body, many barriers were created, which allowed the vicious persecution to continue rampantly. Moreover, regarding truth-clarification, there have also been dead ends and areas that remain to be covered.
Through sharing we came to realize that a group cultivation environment is very important for practitioners, since it allows us to see our shortcomings and gaps when compared to other practitioners. In the past several years, the evil has tried all means to create an environment of terror to isolate practitioners so that we cannot cultivate as one body or coordinate well when validating the Fa.
In November 2004, we overcame various difficulties and arrived at a village in Jilin Province, where we and several dozen local practitioners held our first experience-sharing conference since the persecution began on July 20, 1999. We mainly shared understandings on how to expose the evil, how to look inward in Fa-rectification cultivation, how to do better as one body, how to help fellow practitioners step forward, and how to use different methods to let everyone know the truth of Dafa.
Two months later, we learned that practitioners who attended the conference did better in the three things themselves, and also helped more practitioners to step forward. They also went to the poorest town in that county to clarify the truth. Wolves and snakes are often seen in that town. Hardly any government official wants to go there, even after being appointed to work there. Some residents there had never seen a motor vehicle before, let alone truth-clarification materials. Practitioners in that town have no Internet access to Minghui Weekly. Several practitioners who attended the experience-sharing conference talked with local practitioners there and gave them truth-clarification materials. They also worked together and in one night they distributed about one thousand truth-clarification VCDs, several hundred booklets, along with other truth-clarification materials throughout the town. A large number of residents came to know the truth of Dafa. It also encouraged local practitioners to step forward to validate the Fa.
There were many cases like this. So far, while considering the safety issue, some practitioners in my area have started group study one after another with clear minds and rationality.2. Safeguarding the Fa with determination is always a Dafa disciple's responsibility
There are still many determined Dafa practitioners being detained and persecuted by the authorities. We have also been trying to rescue them. However, some problems have arisen in this process: some rescue efforts did not last long and were mixed with human notions and human mentality. Sometime we emphasized the attachments and omissions of detained Dafa practitioners too much while ignoring the fact that Dafa practitioners are one body. We did not consider what happened to other practitioners as our own issues. When we were unable to be clear on the Fa, we did not consider rescuing fellow practitioners, opposing the persecution, and saving sentient beings as one part of determinedly safeguarding the Fa.
There is a city nearby where the persecution is very severe, and determined practitioners in the material production sites have been arrested one after another, sentenced and imprisoned. Instead of considering this as persecution against Dafa as a whole and carrying out rescue efforts, local practitioners became trapped in discussions of whether those detained practitioners have attachments or omissions. As practitioners they were unable to look inward, and were unable to catch up with truth-clarification to rescue fellow practitioners and save more sentient beings, and as a result the persecution there became more and more severe. Material production sites were damaged one after another, and almost all determined Dafa practitioners were persecuted. This led to big losses to the Fa-rectification work in that area.
In another area, several material production sites were damaged simultaneously, and many practitioners were arrested. In order to rescue them, many local practitioners made all kinds of truth-clarification materials and flyers. However, in the process of rescuing, some discrimination arose: more attention was paid to rescuing "important" practitioners while some "unimportant" practitioners were ignored. By doing that, it actually provided excuses for the evil's persecution.
Through sharing we came to understand that, as Dafa practitioners, even if we have attachments and omissions, it should not be an excuse for the evil to persecute us. Instead, those attachments are supposed to be eliminated during our cultivation. When fellow practitioners are persecuted, our first thought should be to support them with righteous thoughts, since the persecution of any practitioner is persecution against Dafa as a whole. Once we realize this, we will not complain when rescuing fellow practitioners. It is very precious that detained practitioners could still continue to cultivate with determination even in such a vicious environment. If practitioners outside can consider things as a whole, they will not be disturbed by those attachments, nor will they be distracted by any external situation. This is because continuing to rescue fellow practitioners and safeguarding the Fa with determination is always a practitioner's responsibility.3. Among practitioners we should have compassion that can melt steel
Due to the viciousness and complex situation in China, there are still some practitioners who have not stepped forward. Teacher told us that Dafa practitioners are one body, and returning without leaving a single one behind is Teacher's great hope. This requires us practitioners to help and remind each other, to understand the Fa on the basis of the Fa, and to step forward together to validate the Fa.
There is one practitioner who obtained the Fa relatively early and even had the good fortune to attend Teacher's lectures in person. He is the head of a factory, and had previously done many things to introduce Dafa before the persecution started. However, since the persecution began, due to pressure, he stopped practicing. There is an elderly practitioner who lives nearby and in the past five plus years has kept giving him Teacher's new articles. After reading them, he did not show much change. Other practitioners asked the elderly practitioner to stop doing that so that she could have more time to validate the Fa. But the elderly practitioner thought: "He obtained the Fa very early and even attended Teacher's classes in person. What a pity if this precious predestined relationship is missed." Therefore, she did not listen to others, and continued with it. No matter what attitude the practitioner had, she kept giving him Teacher's new articles and talked with him many times.
At the end of 2004, not only did this factory head start to practice once again, he also spent money on renting a car so that he and other local practitioners could go to labor camps to help rescue fellow practitioners detained there. In January 2005, he also took out lots of money to help orphans left by persecuted practitioners, as well as practitioners who were forced to stay away from home. His change not only encouraged more local practitioners to step forward to validate the Fa, but also helped many everyday people come to know the truth of Dafa.
There is also a female practitioner who obtained the Fa in 1997. Since the persecution started she also stopped practicing. Local practitioners visited her many time and gave her Teacher's new articles, but she still could not step forward.
Recently, she went to visit a relative who lived in Jilin City, where she met an elderly practitioner (more than 60 years old). After the elderly practitioner heard her story, she did not criticize her, but instead they studied the Fa together many times. Little by little, this practitioner came to realize the mission of Fa-rectification Dafa disciples: namely, to clarify the truth and save sentient beings. The elderly practitioner also led her to distribute truth-clarification materials. At the beginning, this practitioner did not dare to do it at all. So the elderly practitioner took her hand in hand, and the first truth-clarification material was posted on the door of her own house Then they went to distribute truth-clarification materials from home to home, and clarify the truth whenever they met someone. Then, this practitioner began to step forward. Still, she had some fear. So she went to a village far away from her home, threw the materials into people's yards, and immediately ran away without looking back. Seeing this, the elderly practitioner did not criticize or complain, but instead revisited the places where she had distributed truth-clarification materials and placed the materials well.
Then they studied the Fa together. The elderly practitioner said it was not easy to prepare truth-clarification materials. So it is better to first read them, so that we can use appropriate materials depending on the recipient. This elderly practitioner is very familiar with residents nearby, such as how many people there are in each household, and who has a VCD player. Still, she encouraged this practitioner to be independent in clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings. With patience and help from the elderly practitioner, this practitioner truly felt the compassion that could melt steel. From her heart, she said, "From you I have witnessed the power of compassion. I will not only step forward myself, but will also let more people come to know the truth." Later, this practitioner finally returned to her hometown. She not only clarified the truth herself, but also helped practitioners nearby who did not dare to step forward so that they could clarify the truth together.
Sometimes, we have human notions when helping fellow practitioners and we always expect some reward. When unable to see the immediate positive effect, we feel upset. Actually, "doing without pursuit" is a requirement for us during cultivation. On the surface, it seems we are helping fellow practitioners. In fact, it is also a process for us to cultivate and improve.4. Give first priority to Dafa, and rectify ourselves; improve as one body and take the initiative to assimilate to the Fa
No matter where, there are always many determined and diligent Dafa practitioners who do very well in both personal cultivation and validating the Fa. In areas where the evil is very rampant, when practitioners share understandings they tend to talk about how determined they are with cultivation, how they clarify the truth, and how they break through tribulations. In contrast, they did not pay more attention to other people. Some examples are: in entire areas, practitioners are severely isolated. Without a healthy environment for sharing, the information flow is not smooth. After practitioners are persecuted, the news cannot quickly be put online, let alone made known to all practitioners so that they can lend support with righteous thoughts. In this way, it is impossible to work together as one body to rescue detained practitioners. It takes a long time for Teacher's new articles as well as Minghui Weekly to reach practitioners.
When practitioners are doing something together to validate the Fa, everyone tends to emphasize his or her own ideas, requiring others to agree. When problems arise, many practitioners tend to focus on others. For some local problems and issues, everyone insists on his or her own idea, expecting that an ideal coordinator or someone from the material production site can immediately find a "solution." By doing things that way, they forget that everyone needs to cultivate in this process. We Dafa practitioners are one body, and every one of us has the responsibility to work together so as to do Dafa work well. Everyone needs to have an attitude of being responsible for the Fa, being responsible for fellow practitioners, and being responsible for himself. Together we can do Dafa work well, rather than push problems and contradictions onto a few Dafa practitioners.
In contrast, for nearby areas with better cooperation, when practitioners are sharing their understandings, they not only talk about how to rectify and improve themselves, but also emphasize how to let go of self and help more practitioners to step forward. They also talk about how to join together as one body, how to better rescue fellow practitioners, and how to help each other improve in truth-clarification. Although sometimes practitioners have different opinions on validating the Fa, they can have a righteous attitude by putting clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings as the highest priority, rather than emphasizing self too much. Practitioners study every one of Teacher's articles, every article that Teacher has commented on, as well as all the Minghui/Clearwisdom editorial articles, very carefully. Dafa practitioners also split the workload, for example, exposing the evil to local residents, experience-sharing for the past five years in China, providing pictures for anti-torture exhibits, gathering material for orphans, etc. And all together, many practitioners closely follow Teacher's Fa-rectification process. As a result, the Fa-rectification environment is relatively stable in that area.
In fact, as Dafa disciples, no matter what we do, Dafa's requirement for us is the same. In our own individual environment, we need to continuously look inward to rectify ourselves. Practitioners can compare themselves with each other and encourage each other to improve as one body. Only by truly regarding other people's issues as our own issues can we gradually meet the requirements of the new cosmos and fulfill our prehistoric vows.
The above are some personal understandings. I hope practitioners will kindly point out anything inappropriate.
February 4, 2005