Deny All of the Old Forces' Arrangements
(Clearwisdom.net) Fellow practitioners, do you feel as I do that there is never enough time to balance your daytime job and truth-clarification? Has repeated large scale interference and deep frustrations since July 20, 1999, ever made you lose confidence in your cultivation practice or made you slack off? Or, do you feel proud of being diligent in your cultivation because you have been doing the "three t'hings?" Have you ever felt powerless when fellow practitioners were illegally arrested and incarcerated? These are the type of questions I would like to comment on below.
First, I'm listing the problems I have observed among practitioners in the Guizhou area:
1.Validating oneself outweighs validating the Fa. Such practitioners tend to be egocentric and think everything and everyone should rotate around them. Also, these practitioners generally insist on using their ideas instead others.
2. Being indifferent towards persecuted fellow practitioners. Such practitioners pay more attention to fellow practitioners they are closer to. Nevertheless, their attention span wears out. They are totally indifferent toward the persecution of fellow practitioners they are not close to. This is a common problem in Guizhou. As a result, Guizhou practitioners rarely work together to rescue imprisoned practitioners. (I understand that only one or two practitioners have been rescued.) In fact, I have never read any article on Minghui/Clearwisdom that talks about Guizhou practitioners working together and successfully rescuing an imprisoned practitioner. Perhaps this is precisely the reason why officials in the Guizhou area have never closed the evil brainwashing centers.
3. Being consumed by lust. I know that among practitioners illegally detained in forced labor camps or prisons about 80 to 90 percent are consumed by lust. Some have already had pre-marital sex or sex outside their marriages. Some have very strong lustful thoughts and are unable to study the Fa or practice the Falun Gong exercises.
4. Ongoing interferences of different forms. I cannot list the specific interferences because they change daily, but such practitioners share one thing in common--they do not study the Fa diligently nor practice the Falun Gong exercises. They fail to persevere. Constant interferences are experienced by practitioners who are not diligent with their Fa study.
We need to ask ourselves, "What caused these problems? Why do these practitioners think of themselves above the Fa? Why have they become indifferent towards persecuted practitioners? Why are they consumed by lust? Why do they encounter one interference after another?" When taking a closer look it's obvious that the old forces are at work. Teacher has not arranged any tribulation for us after July 20, 1999, but the old forces insist that personal cultivation surpasses everything, so they force such thoughts into our heads to make us become egocentric. The old universe's characteristic is selfishness. That is why such practitioners are indifferent towards persecuted practitioners.
This is but a limited perspective because I have focused on only specific problems. When I looked at the overall picture, I realized that the root cause is a partition between practitioners that has prevented Guizhou practitioners from forming one-body. It is this partitioning that allows evil beings to germinate. The old forces exploit our human notions, selfishness, attachments, and the principle of mutual-generation and mutual-inhibition and thus have created a partition between practitioners, allowing such thoughts to breed.
For example, let's look at sending forth righteous thoughts. If all Falun Gong practitioners around the world send forth righteous thoughts at agreed upon times, the evil beings in other dimensions would have no place to hide. However, there are always practitioners who miss sending forth righteous thoughts. Isn't it because the evil beings gather in China? Also, Minghui Radio provides practitioners in China an environment to practice the Falun Gong exercises together every morning. I believe that every morning Teacher's Law Bodies will watch over the fields all over China when we practice the exercises. Hence, the evil beings would have no place to hide if every practitioner in China would keep up with practicing the exercises every morning according to the Minghui Radio's schedule. However, there are always practitioners who miss the morning practice.
I believe that it is the old forces that created these problems for us. Although it is our attachment to selfishness that resulted in the partitioning between us, it is the old forces that are ultimately responsible for the partitioning because selfishness is the characteristic of the old universe. When something happens, we tend to divide work into "mine," "yours," "his," etc. instead of thinking of it as our collective work. Teacher said,
"The next person's things are your things, and your things are his things." ("Teaching the Fa at the Washington, D.C. Fa Conference")
But we have never really thought of the next person's things as our things. When a practitioner is persecuted, we tend to think, "Why is he persecuted? Do I have the same problem?" Actually, the persecution does not just happen to that one person. It affects the entire Falun Gong community, because that person is a particle of our one-body. Before we attend a Fa conference or a group Fa study, we tend to check in advance: "Is anyone I don't like attending this event? Will this conference or group Fa study be held according to my expectations?" To eliminate the partitioning among us, we must purge selfishness. The most fundamental solution is to completely deny the old forces' arrangements. But the solution requires us to deny all of the old forces' arrangements in each and every thought in our head. Of course, it is easier said than done. We might not even be aware of the old forces' arrangements at times, let alone deny them. Hence, it becomes essential for us to utilize our collective wisdom and power to achieve this goal. On this aspect, I am very inspired by a passage of the Fa. Teacher said:
"In the course of teaching the Fa, there have also been things that have not gone smoothly, and different kinds of interference have been quite enormous. Because of the great support from the hosting organization, administrators in different professions, and the efforts from staff members, our classes have been quite a success." (Lecture Nine in Zhuan Falun)
This shows that denying the old forces' arrangements requires teamwork.
I think that there is only one path before us--to form one-body. A fellow practitioner said, "The evil beings are working as one-body to persecute Falun Gong practitioners. If we cannot form one-body, each of us will be fighting battles alone against the evil beings. This must be the reason why we feel weak or powerless." The message I am trying to give is that it is wrong to think that cultivating alone is the same as cultivating with fellow practitioners. From a selfish perspective, one might think that one is capable of doing the three things alone, but it makes a world of difference to cultivate as a group.
1. Studying the Fa and practicing the Falun Gong exercises together is a form of cultivation that Teacher has given us. Hence, we must make the effort to maintain and protect this form.
2. Diligent practitioners, if they attend group Fa study, will motivate other practitioners to do well. A fellow practitioner who has committed the sin of lust confessed, "After July 20, 1999, my family and friends have been giving me a lot of pressure. I was busy handling all forms of pressure every day. When a non-practitioner of the opposite sex showed me affection, I was easily tempted by sex. If there had been a group cultivation environment back then, I would never have committed the sin of lust." Practitioners who do not join the group cultivation environment after they are released from prison do not cultivate well. It shows the importance of the group cultivation environment. It is precisely because such an environment is important that the evil beings fear it the most and try their utmost to destroy such an environment.
In the Guizhou area, there is another reason that hinders us from forming one-body. When some practitioners talk about the importance of forming one-body and about us failing to accomplish this, several practitioners used the excuse that Teacher once said that Guizhou is a special place and dismissed the idea of forming one-body or cooperating with one another. Actually, we don't know why Teacher said these words, but one thing is for sure--it is wrong to use it as an excuse not to form one-body for the sake of the Fa-rectification.
We formed groups in the past, but we failed to be responsible to the Fa. For example, we did not point out fellow practitioners' problems for fear of offending them. We even failed to point out obscene or dangerous behaviors because we were worried that this might set a bad example for fellow practitioners if we revealed such bad behaviors. It was too late to point out such behaviors when practitioners fell prey to the persecution. With this in mind, it is imperative that we, as one-body, point these things out to fellow practitioners in time with the best of intentions, instead of being highly critical of them. We must not pretend to not-see fellow practitioners' problems either. We should not try sweeping fellow practitioners' bad behaviors under the carpet, nor should we speak ill of them behind their backs.
When we truly understand the importance of studying the Fa in a group environment, we should do it unconditionally. We should not follow others and go to group Fa study only if some practitioners attend it. Even if there are only two practitioners, yourself included, attending a group Fa study, you should keep up the Fa study. Everyone is a Falun Gong assistant. In fact, it is better to limit the size of a group Fa study to ensure safety. Keeping the number of people under ten would be a good idea. When we exchange cultivation experiences after Fa study, it would be wise not to mention the specific names of people involved in various projects. To let go of our curiosity is to cultivate our speech. It is a waste of time to talk about things that are not related to the improvement in our cultivation.