(Clearwisdom.net) Due to lingering loopholes in our cultivation, and the consequent deviation from righteous actions, some fellow practitioners were arrested and imprisoned, and we suffered huge losses. The lessons are deeply felt. However, the most important thing facing us is that we must be clear-headed and pick ourselves up from the falls. We must identify our loopholes in a timely manner and study the Fa well, so that we can prevent the deviation from spreading.

For this reason, we have gathered some obvious phenomena that have existed for a long time among us and share some of our understanding with fellow practitioners. Let us gain a better understanding about the issues while studying the Fa and let them serve as a lesson to us all, so that we can travel our paths righteously in the course of validating the Fa.

1. Some practitioners have said more than once, "I shall reach consummation in a few months." Some other practitioners unwittingly pursue consummation. Master said in "Touring North America to Teach the Fa:"

"If someone considers his individual Consummation the most important thing, I'd say that he's not worthy of being a Dafa disciple of the Fa-rectification period." "So a Dafa disciple's responsibilities aren't for the sake of personal Consummation, but to save sentient beings while validating the Fa--that is a Dafa disciple's historic mission, and that is why Dafa disciples are truly magnificent."

2. Some practitioners, upon hearing that the current stage of the Fa-rectification would soon come to an end, started to get up at midnight to practice the sitting meditation, saying that if we do not hurry up and increase the exercise time to change our body, then we would not be able to achieve "Shenshen Heyi." ["Join the Mind and Body Together," the verse of Falun Gong Exercise I--Buddha Showing a Thousand Hands] Consequently, many practitioners followed suit and started to do the same. We are not saying it is wrong to get up at midnight to do the meditation, but isn't such understanding deviated from the Fa? We must be clear that the faster the time goes during Fa-rectification, the better we should use our time and focus on the three things Master has told us to do and in validating the Fa and saving sentient beings. At this moment, it cannot be right to think of oneself first instead of saving sentient beings. Even if one aims to cultivate diligently, one should put effort into studying the Fa and improving one's xinxing, instead of focusing on meditation.

Most seriously, some practitioners started to talk about facing a specific direction in meditation, such as one should face east if meditating between 11:00 am to 1:00 pm and face south between 11:00 pm and 1:00 am, etc. They have gone astray in their understanding of the Fa. It is clearly stated:

"We're practicing according to a truth as huge as the universe, so where's north, south, east, or west? Nowhere. Face whichever way you want and exercise, and you're still facing all directions. Face whichever way you want and exercise, and it's just the same as facing north, south, east, and west simultaneously." (Zhuan Falun)

Isn't it a serious violation of Dafa to talk about facing a direction in meditation?

3. Some practitioners think that the Fa-rectification will soon come to an end, so they again came up with an idea: burning incense 24 hours a day to pay homage to Master. We all know that paying respect to Master is the basic requirement of each Dafa practitioner and whoever does not is not worthy of being a Dafa disciple. However, burning incense day in and day out is an issue we need to address. Isn't it pursuing formality? Master pointed out,

"You don't have to kowtow to Buddha, and you don't have to burn incense, just truly cultivate yourself according to the standard for cultivators, and he'll be really happy just seeing you." (Zhuan Falun)

Is it necessary to burn incense for Master regularly? Is it required to show our respect to Master? Why burn incense 24 hours a day? There are other ways to show respect to Master. To our minds, if the money saved from burning incense 24 hours day is used to validate the Fa and save sentient beings, wouldn't that be better?

4. Recently, there has appeared a phenomenon: some practitioners only accept Master's articles and reject other materials. Fellow practitioners, this is not a small matter. In fact, we all know that these materials are for validating the Fa and for saving sentient beings. How can you save sentient beings if you reject these materials? If you do not accept these materials and do not read them, how can you clarify the truth to people and what are you going to say? Some practitioners might say, "Well, I can talk, so I would be able to save sentient beings just the same." I would say that this is finding an excuse for not accepting materials and for covering up one's fear of getting into trouble by having truth-clarifying materials. Fellow practitioners, please think about things calmly. These materials are all truth-clarifying materials from the Minghui website. Minghui is the coordinating center for Fa-validation. It is our responsibility to pass on materials from the Minghui website to save sentient beings. As Dafa disciples, if we refuse to accept, to read and to pass on these materials, are we truly Dafa disciples?

5. This phenomenon concerns how we look at different ideas or even conflicts among fellow practitioners in our cultivation, especially in our work to validate the Fa and save sentient beings. Each of us is at a different level and still has, with differences in degree, human notions. Therefore it is quite natural and normal that we have different understandings in our Fa-study and different ideas or even conflicts in our Dafa work. Consequently, we also encounter issues of how we treat these differences in a righteous manner. However, the following phenomena have been common among us fellow practitioners. Some practitioners always insist that one's own ideas are the right ones and never make concessions to other practitioners. Some practitioners even develop prejudice and jealousy and never talk or communicate with each other. How can we behave like this? In fact, when we see conflicts between two others, we should think about how we should handle the situation if it happens to us. We are cultivators, and being such, shouldn't we first look within ourselves? If we always look outward and try to find the cause externally, then we shall never find the root cause and resolve the problem fundamentally. Master said,

"...so just share your thoughts with each other when that happens and discuss a little. When you truly look at things from the perspective of being responsible to the Fa and truly have a heart that can melt steel, I just don't believe that things can't be handled well." ("Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference")

When there are problems and conflicts, if we all behave according to what Master has taught us, and if we all first look within ourselves and share our thoughts frankly with each other, then there won't be any conflicts that cannot be resolved.

6. How should we look at the issue of practitioners from other places coming and sharing with us in our local areas? When fellow practitioners from the other places come to our county to share their understanding and experience, we all think it is a good thing and feel very happy about it. However, we must guard against following any particular practitioner because of what he/she said. We must know that these practitioners are the same as we, who have both a cultivated side and areas they have not been cultivated well. If we accept and believe in everything they say, wouldn't we be heading for problems?

7. There are attachments of fear among our practitioners. When the police resort to violence, for example, some practitioners are very frightened. They hide in their homes and observe the situation. They don't dare to come out until they feel they are safe. Moreover, they do not dare to contact other practitioners, and even avoid contact with those they know that have been identified by the public security department and local police station. How can one reach consummation with such a strong attachment to fear? Fellow practitioners, let us study well a story in Buddhism that Master told us in Zhuan Falun. We are gods walking on the divine paths. How can we be scared by those rotten demons? As long as we study the Fa well, keep strong, righteous thoughts, do things and walk our paths in a righteous manner, the demons will be scared of us. Don't forget, "demons will never be higher than Daos." (Zhuan Falun) Let go of the fears and combine our strength as one body. Let us validate the Fa and save sentient beings together with wisdom and rationality.

There are also some individual practitioners who have gone to the other extreme. They are not afraid of anything. Even when other practitioners have told them that the police are laying their hands on them, they still don't believe it and have totally forgotten what Master said in a comment on May 31, 2004, "All actions that jeopardize Dafa disciples' safety should be stopped." ("Master's Comment on a Student's Article (5/31/2004)") As a result, not only were the individual practitioners arrested by the police, but their homes were also ransacked, causing great losses.

8. How should we look at group Fa-study under the current circumstances? We all know that studying the Fa together and sharing our understandings and experiences can help us constantly cleanse ourselves and improve ourselves together. Therefore, from time to time, we gather together and share ideas about issues we came across while studying the Fa at home and on our understandings and experiences. It has been really good. However, there should not be too many people together, and we should not organize activities that require many practitioners to participate, including Fa-conferences. We must handle these issues seriously.

The above are the understandings from a few of us. We only have one goal, like everyone else, and that is to study the Fa well, do well in Dafa work, do things according to what Master says and walk our own path righteously.