Thoughts After the Kitchen Fire
1. Caught on Fire
One day in mid-July of this year, after I sent forth righteous thoughts in my rented house (which also serves as a truth materials site), I went to the kitchen to cook a meal. I noticed that the stove flame was not strong enough. I thought that there wasn't enough gas left in the tank, so I tilted the tank to let the gas out a little more. The valve had been leaking since the last time I added gas. It wasn't a big leak, so I didn't pay too much attention to it. Another day when I was cooking I adjusted the valve and noticed there was some white gas coming out, as it frosted up a bit. I tried to fix it, but could not. I was planning to change the valve when I got my next tank of gas. When I laid down the tank, it still didn't help my cooking flame, and the white gas still kept coming out. I thought the gas might be too low (although by lifting the tank, it felt like it still had some gas in it). I then made a huge mistake. I turned the tank upside down on the floor and used my foot to shake it. Within seconds, the room was on fire and it blocked the exit.
I was shocked. I vaguely realized that it would be even more dangerous if I tried to close the valve, because the valve was towards the floor. I clearly knew that it was dangerous in the room and I should run out. So I ran out immediately. Now that I think about it, I still feel scared.
2. Fighting the Fire
Looking from the outside, the whole kitchen was completely on fire. It made loud noises. Even the asbestos tiles on the roof were burned through. I thought, "This is a truth materials site. What if the tank explodes? If the fire reaches to the neighbor's houses, it would be huge trouble." I cried, Master, please help fight the fire! Master, please help fight the fire! Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance is good! I ran into the house, knelt down in front of Master's picture and begged, "Master, it was my fault! Please help! Master!" After I begged Master, I heard the noises die down. When I went out, I found that the fire was less strong. It was possible for me to put it out myself.
The neighbors came to help too. Everyone helped put out the fire. I realized that it was Master who helped put out the fire. I realized I should take the opportunity to validate Dafa. So I said, "Falun Dafa's Master helped fight the fire. Otherwise, there would have been great losses." A neighbor asked, "What happened?" I said, "The landlord practices Falun Gong. She said that whenever I have troubles I should say, 'Falun Dafa is good. Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance is good' and her Master would protect me. It really worked. Otherwise, it would have been a huge problem." The landlord is a fellow practitioner. Everyone in the area knows that she practices Falun Gong, and people respect her.
3. Severely Burned and Intact Paper
After everyone left, I only felt a little hot on my body. When taking a shower, I found that my right hand was severely burned, except my thumb. The skin on my right hand formed one huge blister. I knew it was no use to keep the skin, so I peeled it off. But I didn't feel any pain. Two hours later, I found that other than where my shirt covered, my whole right arm, shoulders, back, face and ears were all covered with big blisters. Bloody water dripped from them, and the area swelled up as well. I had trouble opening my eyes. I couldn't even recognize myself when I looked in the mirror. Practitioners asked me if I was in pain. I said no. I knew Master endured it for me. There was a large box of paper for making truth-clarification materials in the kitchen. Other than the box getting burned a little bit, the paper inside was intact. It was a miracle.
4. Facing the Challenges with Righteous Thoughts and Being Encouraged by Fellow Practitioners
The next day, the swollen areas became infected. It smelled awful. My clothes were filled with pus and blood. I used many towels. My lips were swollen too. It hurt every time I opened my mouth. My arm was twice as big as it was before. There were thick scabs on my face and the back of my right hand. Fellow practitioners worried about me and encouraged me, "If this happened to an ordinary person, no one would stand the pain and the shock. It's Master who is protecting us." When looking in the mirror, I felt a little worried, "I hope this won't give me scars." I immediately realized that this was a wrong thought and eliminated it right away. I'm a Dafa practitioner. Now that I'm like this already, I recalled Master's words,
"...you completely let go of everything, behave like an upstanding and noble Dafa disciple who has no resentment or attachments, and leave it to Master to arrange whether you stay or go." ("Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles")
I smiled, "Yes, it doesn't hurt at all. Thanks to Master's benevolence, looks like I'm going to change completely."
A practitioner came to take care of me for the next few days. We studied again and again "Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital" and we read three chapters of Zhuan Falun every day. We studied Master's other new lectures the rest of the time. Every day we practiced the standing exercises twice and the sitting meditation once. Sometimes my movements were not accurate. My right hand and arm were very uncomfortable, and sometimes I couldn't feel them. But after I finished the exercises, I felt much better. I knew it was Falun that was purifying my body. After the exercises, there was no more bloody water dripping. Scabs started forming. When I was doing the fourth exercise, fellow practitioners saw shining balls moving with my hands. The power of the Fa boosted my confidence to keep practicing.
5. Recovering in Three Weeks
A week later, the scabs started coming off. Two weeks later, my face was shining without any scars. In the meantime, it started itching around the scabs on the back of my right hand. The skin on my arm, ears, shoulders and back started peeling. Three weeks later, the back of my hand was recovered. Only the color of my skin had yet to recover. There was no scar. My ears, shoulders and back were completely back to normal and I was able to move them freely as well.
To be severely burned like that and recover so well within three weeks is indeed a miracle. It was all because I practice Dafa and had Master to protect me. Even the fellow practitioners who witnessed it could hardly believe it.
I sincerely thank Master for his benevolence and kindness. The Buddha Law is boundless. I appreciate fellow practitioners taking care of me selflessly, helping me strengthen my righteous thoughts and helping me find my attachments.
After this experience, I started thinking deeply about the cause of the fire.
6. Looking Inward and Suddenly Waking Up
After studying "Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital," I was deeply touched. The attachments that prevented me from making progress for a long time in my cultivation finally surfaced. I didn't completely understand the cultivation way. I didn't use the Fa to harmonize my and my fellow practitioners' cultivation states. I always felt that my surrounding cultivation environment was not good enough. On the surface, it seemed that I wanted to help everyone advance as one body, but in fact my impatience caused me to deviate from the true way of cultivation. I was deeply touched by what Master said in "Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital,"
"Don't go to extremes with anything; do things rationally and with a clear head. That is the mighty virtue of a Dafa disciple. Whoever manages to remain steady while following this ordinary-society cultivation format, that person is truly doing what's best in this format of cultivation. If with this format someone exhibits behavior that is out of line with this format and at odds with it, then perhaps that person hasn't done well enough. Since Dafa disciples' cultivation is conducted with a format like this, this format is able to forge Dafa disciples, and it can create incredibly high future Attainment Statuses. Departing from this format or not conforming to it will obstruct your cultivation; those things are actually the product of attachments."
The above story illustrates how I deviated from Master's Fa. This was a huge lesson for me. I was able to fix the loophole with Master's strengthening and fellow practitioners' help. I now write about this lesson to warn everyone, as well as for fellow practitioners' reference.
What was truly a pity is that three days after this incident I was still not able to find where my loopholes were. I thought I was relatively diligent in cultivation recently. I was printing materials, getting supplies, organizing group discussions, guiding fellow practitioners who made mistakes and so on. I felt I knew how to save sentient beings and was able to do the three things well. How could something as banal as jealously become an excuse for the old forces to give me trouble. I did not think it possible. Master wouldn't have let them do this. I knew I had loopholes, and not ordinary loopholes. But I wasn't able to identify them. I was suffering. On the third day, a fellow practitioner said to me, "When we send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the evil, our thoughts should still be kind. 'Immediate retribution in this lifetime' has the content of good is rewarded with good, and evil will be met with retribution. For the evil people who never regret their wrongdoings and stop what they've been doing, they will meet with retribution. But for the people who don't know the truth and blindly follow the evil to persecute Dafa, if they get to know the truth, they will stop the wrong doings and help stop the evil. These people should be saved. The Fa has its standards." I suddenly came to realize that my thoughts were not kind enough. Whenever I read news about illegally detained fellow practitioners being brutally tortured by guards and evil people in forced labor camps, I would send a thought for the guards to meet with retribution immediately. I thought that only this could effectively wake people up. Otherwise, I wouldn't have vented my feelings. I just hoped the evil people would get what they deserved. I thought of an article in "Minghui Weekly" that stated that a fellow practitioner's bike was stolen. The first thing she thought of was, "If this were an ordinary bike, the person who stole it would just lose some virtue and they would still be able to pay in some way. But this is a bike that helped do Dafa work to save sentient beings, how could you ever be able to pay!" Consequently, the bike reappeared several days later. Comparing my state of mind to what this fellow practitioner did - from that standpoint I'm far away from the Fa's requirements.
I told fellow practitioners, "I found my loopholes." Immediately afterward, I found out that my true loophole was my attachment to complacency. Ever since I read Clearwisdom editors' "Notice of Adjustments to the Times of Global Sending Forth Righteous Thoughts" and Master's new lecture "Opening the Gate of the World," I didn't regret that I never gave enough attention to the Sunday sending forth righteous thoughts and that I should treasure the time left to cultivate better and save more sentient beings. Instead, I started feeling very good. I even told some practitioners that ending the Sunday sending forth righteous thoughts means the evil factors in other dimensions no longer exist. The reason why we haven't ended the daily sending forth righteous thoughts is because there are still fellow practitioners who haven't paid enough attention to sending forth righteous thoughts. Their spaces still need to be cleaned up. We need to wait for them to be able to consummate together. In addition, I went even further in thinking that the evil party no longer exists, that the Fa has been rectified. It's only because of practitioners' attachments to fear that we can't return back to a pre-persecution environment. Now that I'm looking back on what I said and thought, why did I have this huge demonic nature?
Master said in "Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students,"
"Some students' righteous thoughts are always lacking, and whenever they get big-headed they come up with something different. That's when you'll be used by demons, and you will go astray and have problems. Those who have gone wrong didn't go wrong overnight. They slowly began like that."
Indeed, the mentality of showing off plus the attachment to complacency are all easily taken advantage of by the demonic nature. In fact, persuading my relatives to quit the CCP and its related organizations hasn't gone as smoothly as I expected due to my leaving home to avoid persecution. I haven't even made phone calls to many co-workers. They still don't know the truth of Falun Gong, let alone quitting the CCP. The local evil is still going crazy and has yet to be exposed to the outside world. How could I say my own space has been cleaned up! From an overall perspective, the evil commands are still being carried out. Lots of fellow practitioners are still being detained and persecuted in forced labor camps and prisons. Both local and overseas practitioners are still working on saving the detained fellow practitioners. There are still many barriers in the process of the Fa-rectification that need to be overcome. There are still many predestined people who haven't gotten to know the truth and are facing the danger of being eliminated. How could I say that the evil factors no longer exist? Isn't this demonic nature? Wasn't this the attachment that caused me to make this huge mistake? I'm digging it all out and eliminating it completely.
Master said in "Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference" in 1999:
"If it's your idiosyncrasies formed postnatally, that is not your personality but your attachments, and they are formed postnatally. If, let's say, some people indeed have their own traits--this person acts quickly while another is just very slow--or if there are differences among them in terms of their innate traits, then that is something that belongs to their origin. What is formed postnatally are things like, for example, the thought that goes "I just like it this way," "That's just how I am," "I just like to do it this way," or the "That's just how I do it" that come out when doing certain things. It is wrong to treat these attachments, these idiosyncrasies, as your own traits or personality. These things all have to be removed."
The way I treated the gas tank was not assimilating to ordinary society. It was not a necessity of my cultivation or due to any special needs. It was only because of my habits and notions formed postnatally. Wasn't this demonic interference?
In addition, I often ran around doing things, and didn't study the Fa well and calmly. For a while, I'd developed the mentality of doing things, which caused me not to do things properly.
Thinking about it calmly and thoroughly, time is limited now. Our cultivation environment has become better and better. But the Fa has higher and higher requirements for us. The moment we deviate from the Fa, the remaining factors of the old forces will take full advantage of our loopholes. However, if we always use the Fa to measure everything we do, completely negate the old forces' arrangements and firmly believe in and follow Master's arrangements, we will be walking steadily on our cultivation path.