(Clearwisdom.net) When recalling Fa-rectification cultivation over the past few years and especially when the Communist regime first started persecuting Dafa, I ask myself, was it difficult to practice cultivation? At times I felt it was very difficult--more than the physical hardships. The real barriers were a muddled understanding of Fa principles and human notions that were hard to get rid of. Whenever I was able to enlighten to the Fa and think from a cultivator's perspective, some issues would become simple and the environment would relax accordingly.

When I talked to other practitioners, one practitioner said persecution is more likely to happen, and to a more severe extent if one takes on more Dafa work. He warned us to take safety precautions, but the presence of the show-off mentality, complacency and a failure to cultivate our speech well all contributed to danger. Human notions are what actually caused the danger.

One practitioner began Dafa cultivation in 1999. Soon, the Communist regime started persecuting Dafa. He explained the facts, delivered materials and bought raw materials for the Dafa materials production site, which was based in his home. Many practitioners visited. Later on some practitioners were arrested and a few even betrayed Dafa, but this practitioner never thought of the possibility of getting arrested. He went in and out of his home on a daily basis in open site. Even officials at the local residential committee said to his family, "Tell him to stay away from our office; don't walk right in front of our gate all the time. Everyone knows what he's doing! Tell him to be careful."

When he went out to distribute materials one evening the police saw him and took him to the police station. Two officers were assigned to ransack his home, but when they arrived they only stood by the door and took a glance inside before heading back. They said to him at the police station, "There's nothing at your home. Go home and live a good life!" They let him go right away. His cultivation has always been very steady, and he did not encounter another incident besides this one. When I talked to him, he did not say much, and most of the time he looked inward and compared himself to Dafa's standards. He cultivated his speech and never tried to show off. He did not look up to other practitioners either. I once asked him, "When you buy raw materials, sometimes the quantity is quite large. Were you ever afraid?" He said, "I didn't feel anything. They sell and I buy - it's natural. Besides, there are so many people at the marketplace. Who would pay attention to you? What is there to be afraid of?"

Another practitioner had simple thoughts, too. One day he took a broken printer to the maintenance department at the store where he bought it and asked them to fix it. The technician examined the printer and asked for the invoice. He went home and got the invoice, and they asked for his ID and phone number. When other practitioners learned about it they said to him, "If it gets too dangerous, just forget about the machine." He said, "Why give up the printer? Although it didn't cost much, it was bought with fellow practitioners' hard-earned money, and it's used to validate the Fa. Besides, it's still within the warranty period, and it's completely legitimate to ask the maintenance department to fix it. Why should we give it up? You guys can just leave it to me, and I'll take full responsibility for this. Of course, I'll be careful and I won't implicate anyone else." It turned out the technician saw the printer was worn through heavy use and they tried to give him a hard time in order to deter him. When he went back with his ID card, they didn't even look at it. They told him, "It's fixed. Why did you use it so much? Take good care of it. If you break it again, it'll be hard to fix." Persecution never occurred to him, as he thought it's normal to have the machine fixed there, as ordinary people also do it this way.

Why would we think about persecution first? Persecution absolutely should not occur when we simply ask for what is deserved and justified. Oftentimes the evil takes advantage of our gaps when our minds are not righteous.

Earlier last year a practitioner told me a story. One practitioner established a small production site, and he downloaded materials from the Internet. It ran smoothly without incident for two years. Practitioner A, who was familiar with him, asked how he got online. He showed practitioner A, whose jaw dropped when he saw how simple it was, and said, "So this is how you do it? Is it safe?" He answered, "Why, it's quite safe. I've been doing it for more than two years and I access the Minghui website almost daily. It's great!" Practitioner A saw that he hardly took any safety measures as he was not aware of them, so A warned him and told him scary tales of issues and losses caused by a lack of Internet safety measures. He was thus surprised and frightened. Because he developed fear, he dared not go on the Internet for a long time afterwards, and for a while he could not even get on the Internet, even if he wanted to. Through intensive Fa study, however, he eventually overcame the fear and shared his understanding with other practitioners. Things gradually returned to normal.

This is a minor incident. I think it is necessary to pay attention to safety. We cannot emphasize righteous thoughts without taking safety measures, but we should also avoid emphasizing safety while ignoring righteous thoughts. In this case, if other practitioners first encouraged him to act with righteous thoughts and righteous actions, remind him of safety and recommend articles on this topic so he would know what to do, maybe he would not have experienced the subsequent difficulties.

Another practitioner told me that when he visited a fellow practitioner he saw a group of retirees studying something downstairs in the practitioner's apartment building. He approached them and discovered they were studying Falun Gong flyers. When he went to the practitioner's apartment the practitioner told him, "I just gave it to them so they can learn the facts about Dafa. It's not only to rescue them but also to improve my own cultivation environment." Indeed, the environment around him was quite relaxed through his constant effort to clarify the facts. During the SARS epidemic, people had to present their ID to enter and leave the apartment building compound. Other practitioners often had to visit this practitioner because his home was a production site. The door guard once asked a visiting practitioner, "Who are you looking for?" The practitioner answered him and the guard hesitated for a moment before saying, "Go ahead." The guard then went to the practitioner's home and said to the visiting practitioner, "From now on, you can come at such and such time--we'll let you enter and leave freely then."

When I talked to a practitioner about getting rid of fear, we mentioned that during the height of the persecution the local police had discovered a production site at one location. So, the all-in-one printers, computers and lots of materials had to be transferred immediately. Despite knowing many police officers had surrounded the production site, this practitioner drove there, loaded the machines and Dafa materials and some fellow practitioners into his car, and left right under the noses of the police. As he was leaving, the police not only didn't ask any questions, they drove outside the complex to make room for him. I asked, "What was going through your mind at the time? Were you afraid? Did you ever think about the possible consequences? The police were already there." He said, "I didn't think that much, I just wanted to transfer the materials and the people. If I had mulled over it, I wouldn't have dared to go." I said, "You acted with righteous thoughts and righteous actions when the police were all around you at that time, but you don't know why you have so much fear now? It's because you now have too many notions and not enough righteous thoughts. You didn't discard attachments after having been through so much; instead, you picked up more attachments. How come the evil could not persecute you back then? Because you were not thinking about what would happen to you; your first thought was how to rescue Dafa materials and fellow practitioners. Your starting point was on the Fa, so a miracle followed. Besides, Fa rectification has come to this stage, and Master has told us the principles on suppressing the evil with righteous thoughts. As long as we act with righteous thoughts and righteous actions, there will not be any danger, and persecution will not be allowed to happen. Keeping human notions and trying to tackle problems with ordinary methods will not work, because this is not a persecution of humans by humans."

Whenever something occurs in ordinary society and whenever an issue arises among practitioners, every practitioner brings forth his/her own opinion, so how do we regard these issues as Dafa practitioners?

Master said,

"The enlightenment that I talk about refers to whether you're able to handle everything with righteous thoughts during your cultivation. The sentence I just said precisely describes the kind of enlightening that's to take place during cultivation in Dafa. It's not about your sitting here thinking with intention, or trying to dig any meaning out of a certain word. It's not like that. Some people are slow in realizing these things. When they feel a little bit of discomfort, they ask me why they are not feeling well: "Teacher, how come I'm not feeling well?" Or, they may ask someone else, "What's happening to me today?" The next day when they encounter upsetting things, [they'll say,] "Why are upsetting things always happening to me?" We'll then say that these people have poor enlightenment quality. Actually, when they have physical discomfort, that's when their illnesses are being purged, or it's a manifestation of their gong being developed. Yet they take it to be a bad thing. When they encounter tribulations, that's an opportunity for them to improve their xinxing. They need to cultivate themselves. Without such conditions, how could they accomplish that? How could they cultivate if they can't take this, and can't bear that? It would be impossible for them to cultivate. This shows that the enlightenment quality of these people is just so poor. That's the kind of enlightening I'm referring to." ("Teaching the Fa at the Eastern U.S. Fa Conference" March 1999)

So how do we approach conflicts and tribulations on the cultivation path? Master told us the old forces made arrangements a long time ago.

"So in other words, this has been systematically arranged even since a time that remote. Then think about it: could the human society, and everything that we can see, exist by chance? Even each Dafa disciple's every move, every action, every word, and even the questions you ponder, none of it is that simple. In the future you'll see that everything was very carefully arranged. But it's not me who arranged this, it's the old forces who did." ("Fa-Lecture at the Conference in Florida, U.S.A." 2001)

Some practitioners say we are not denying the old force's arrangements if we are persecuted, and we are denying the arrangements if we never get arrested. I think this is a partial understanding. We know from the Fa that the old forces have made thorough arrangements for Dafa practitioners. Some are meant to live abroad, some are meant to go to labor camps, prisons, some are meant to go into exile, some are meant to practice at home, some are meant to cultivate with resolute determination, and some are meant to play a negative role at critical times. Regardless of our environment, our paths are actually different in the surface dimension, and we face different scenarios. As long as we follow Master's Fa, conform to Dafa's standards, always look inward and cultivate away shortcomings, regardless of whether it represents tribulations caused by our own mistakes or arrangements from the old forces, when we act with righteous thoughts and righteous actions in our own cultivation environment we will then have denied, or done away with, the old forces' arrangements.

The key is how many Fa principles we truly comprehend, how much we have assimilated to the Fa, how much of our cosmic bodies have assimilated to the Fa, how many sentient beings we have rescued, to what extent we have fulfilled our prehistoric vows, and how much we have truly eliminated the evil's arrangements in other dimensions.

My understanding is limited by my level. Please point out anything inappropriate.