How Should I Deal with a Practitioner Who is "in Trouble"
I read a fellow practitioner's article entitled, "Instantly Disintegrating Evil Factors with Righteous Thoughts and the Might of a God." The article told about practitioners who immediately sent forth righteous thoughts when they heard that other practitioners were "in trouble" [illegally arrested or suffering from other tribulations]. They did this from a nearby location, with the practitioner who delivered the message to them. This impressed me very much, as I have had a problem for quite some time. My problem is that I do not know what to do when fellow practitioners, who are close to me, are suffering from tribulations.
In 2004, the authorities illegally detained me for six months and then sentenced me to imprisonment with a probation period. Not long ago, with the protection of Master and righteous thoughts, I was able to escape before the police could arrest me.
After this incident, my mind has not been stable, and my cultivation state has been up and down, although I have not stopped doing the three things. In particular, practitioners with whom I work have frequently run into "troubles." First, a young practitioner, A, was turned in by a schoolmate because he clarified the truth at school. The Secretary of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) Committee at the school and other teachers all talked to him, and his family members, who are not practitioners, began to interfere as well. Then another practitioner, B, was secretly arrested and sent to a forced labor camp. B's wife, practitioner C, was asked to have a talk with his supervisor at work. Afterwards, we were told that B had been "transformed." At almost the same time, the staff at the school where A worked talked to A's mother, fellow practitioner D, to find out more detailed information.
All this troubled me very much. I felt an unknown pressure running through my body, although every time an incident happened, I immediately studied the Fa and shared experiences with fellow practitioners. I thought that this would help and that my agitated state could be corrected within a short period of time. Yet, I still felt the same way the next time a similar incident occurred.
I realized that I had been influenced only by the righteous thoughts of fellow practitioners with whom I exchanged experiences and that I had not improved myself fundamentally. Therefore, every time such an incident happened or even before it occurred, I sometimes could feel that something would happen. I wanted to leave these practitioners or even put aside the Fa-validation things that I was working on. When
other practitioners criticized me, I would throw temper tantrums. Even when the problems were small, I used the excuse that I lost control because I was still young. This has made it hard for fellow practitioners to understand me and they retreated from me even though they might have wanted to say something to help me.
I knew that this situation was not good. I should not have caused divisions among practitioners, I should not have had tantrums. Validating the Fa should have been my first priority. However, my understanding stopped at "knowing," and I was not able to improve based on Fa-truths. Why could I not cultivate diligently and treasure this fleeting moment of the Fa-rectification period? I tried to solve this problem by sending forth righteous thoughts. It seemed to be somewhat effective, but nothing changed fundamentally.
Then, I realized that my problem was fear! Fear of living a tormented life; fear of being illegally detained; fear of suffering long-term loneliness; fear of giving in to the evil and falling in my cultivation because I was not able to break through the arrangements of the old forces once they arrested me. Analyzing this more deeply, it was all caused by "selfishness." Before I started to cultivate, I had been lonely, experienced lack of love from others, and was discriminated against due to a series of negative changes in my family. After I learned Dafa, the compassion of other practitioners melted me and allowed me to step onto the cultivation path. For this reason, I expected to receive from fellow practitioners the warmth of a family, which I have not been able to get from ordinary people. I longed for fellow practitioners to love and look after me, because the practitioners that I met were all older people. Once this human need was satisfied, my pursuit for comfort and ease arose. I indulged in this and did not want to make any real changes in myself.
I knew that I could not be like this any longer, so I went to the extreme and thought that it would be fine if I did more Fa-rectification things. Because of my knowledge of technology, many practitioners I met did not want to touch upon my attachments. They did their best to influence me, which consequently increased my attachment to vanity and self-righteousness. On the one hand, I only wanted to feel better and have others care for and love me so that I could live the life that was not available to me among ordinary people. On the other hand, the unpleasantness that I had experienced as a teenager left me with an evasive mindset. Therefore, I was reluctant to face "misfortunes." After I learned Dafa, I understood that Dafa can offer salvation and that Master is protecting me all the time. It is my understanding that Master said that practitioners who did not go over to the opposite side at the end would have a wonderful future. That is why I am particularly fearful about giving in to the evil as I did before.
I read in Zhuan Falun the other day,
"How many people now worship a Buddha to attain Right Fruit in cultivation? There are too few such people. What are most people's motivations for worshiping a Buddha? They seek to eliminate tribulations, solve problems, and make a fortune."
After I read this, I felt as if something pinched my heart. Was this not about me? Coincidently, a fellow practitioner shared an experience concerning what Master requires from us when he stated, "...to attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism" ("Non-Omission in Buddha Nature" from Essentials for Further Advancement).
I remembered that Master had said that the old forces did not want to change themselves and that instead of harmonizing things accordingly, they were attached to what they wanted. If I could not eliminate my selfishness and fear and continued to be affected by my attachments, then what was the difference between the old forces and me? Even though I always said that we should negate the arrangements of the old forces, did I truly follow Master's words? Was I treating myself as a Dafa disciple? Dafa disciples should validate the Fa. Cultivation practice is suffering. As to what will happen in the future--should we really think about that?
I noticed that fellow practitioners that validated the Fa with me were thinking about how to make breakthroughs and how they could upgrade themselves from the perspective of the Fa principles whenever they ran into a problem. What was I doing among them? There will definitely be difficulties during our cultivation. Master has arranged these opportunities for us so that we can improve. However, every time I took a detour because I only wanted to be more comfortable and at ease, I missed my opportunity to upgrade and improve. Therefore, no matter how many things I have done for Fa-rectification, it has been but an ordinary person doing Dafa work.
Master has been compassionate to me repeatedly, giving me repeated hints and having fellow practitioners help me. One day I read,
"Having made it to this point today, Dafa disciples should be even more clearheaded now. Dafa disciples aren't some ordinary-people politicians--you have lots of ordinary-people abilities, but you're not trying to gain anything of ordinary people. A Dafa disciple's cultivation is for the purpose of achieving Consummation in the course of validating the Fa. But as Dafa disciples, you are also saving all beings, you're allowing more lives to be saved and rescued during the Fa-rectification." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Washington DC Fa Conference")
The old forces have arranged for a set of their own things within every Dafa disciple. Considering this, wasn't my notion of fearing loneliness forced upon me by the old forces? If at every moment I think about validating the Fa, placing Dafa and saving sentient being first, then will I still have time to think about my own feelings? Did I come down here with a heavenly courage only to pursue the so-called happiness of ordinary people? These so-called feelings of suffering and happiness, aren't they arranged for human beings by gods in the Three Realms? Weren't they arranged for me? I am a living being forged by the Fa. Nothing that does not conform to the Fa is me. They are only what the old forces arranged for me purposefully during the process of my descending level-by-level. This included the numerous reincarnations into the human world and my experiences as a teenager. They were all for laying down a path for me in order to receive the Fa. Now that I have gained the Fa, should I still be accepting things forced upon me during those processes?
What is given up is not one's self
Everything is foolishness in the maze
"Discarding Attachments" in Hong Yin II
Right after I had realized this, the supervisor of fellow practitioner D had a talk with her one morning. She hurried home in order to tell another practitioner and me about this. My mentality of avoidance surfaced again, but I instantly got hold of it. At that moment, Master's Fa rose before my eyes:
"The sickness karma that appears in your body manifests as a test. Of course it appears to be sickness karma, as it definitely won't have the appearance of a god getting ill. So you should handle it with righteous thoughts. You are a cultivator, so it is definitely not in fact sickness. But it won't come across that simple." ("Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles [Questions and Answers, Part III]")
Then, I read in "Teaching the Fa at the Great Lakes Fa Conference in North America" in Guiding the Voyage,
"Some of our students outside of China wonder: 'Being overseas, we don't suffer as much as the students in China do. Does this mean that we won't be as good as the students in China when we reach Consummation?' That isn't so. This is because the students inside and outside of China are one body. When this thing takes place, there have to be some persons who do this and some who do that. Since it's a test aimed at the Fa, no matter where you are or what you're doing, you are improving yourself in the midst of the things you're supposed to do."
On the surface, D was having a tribulation. In actuality, however, it was the old forces testing the Fa. Dafa disciples are one body, and our individual, smaller groups of practitioners each comprise a smaller one body. Whether this incident can be resolved or not depends on whether this smaller one body of ours can make a breakthrough in understanding the Fa and whether we can sublimate in the course of negating and eliminating the test. I was still thinking about this when the time came for sending forth righteous thoughts. When I sent forth righteous thoughts, I felt very tall and big with a strong energy field. After I finished sending forth righteous thoughts, I still occasionally had the thought of leaving her home. I asked myself whether this really was my own thought. If I had left her at that moment, would she have been able to handle it? Is this how a Dafa disciple should act? By asking myself these questions, my heart became calm and stable.
After having read the article, "Instantly Disintegrating Evil Factors with Righteous Thoughts and the Might of a God" on the Minghui/Clearwisdom website, I understood more clearly that no matter what happens, we should face the evil head on. The evil is nothing; we oftentimes scare ourselves.
Let me quote Master's words in "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles:"
"In such cases there are only two choices: You either go to the hospital and thus give up on trying to overcome the test, or 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. When you are able to do that, you are a god."
My level is limited. Fellow practitioners, please correct me wherever there is a mistake.