Discussing Cultivation with Regards to Technical Work
Greetings, respected Master!
Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I am a Dafa disciple from a small county in the plains of Northern China. I am thirty-six years old this year, and I started to practice Dafa in the fall of 1998. Following the steps of Master's Fa-rectification, I have cultivated for a whole decade. I feel very lucky that the prime of my life coexists with the Fa-rectification period. On the path of cultivation, I have experienced successes as well as failures and hard lessons. I would like to take this opportunity to share some of them with fellow practitioners.
I. Discussing Safety Issues with Regard to Technical Work
Some practitioners usually think practitioners who are good with technology are safe, since they would be able to fix all kinds of problems of different systems in advance, set up good ways to protect all kinds of software and hardware, and therefore guarantee the safety of the computer and the practitioner.
The reality is different. As we all know, what we are doing is cultivation and there are always factors of cultivation involved. We have learned that in some remote areas where technology is quite limited, fellow practitioners access the Internet with the old versions of FreeGate with no problems. Some practitioners only know very simple techniques, but with their righteous thoughts, they can run material centers to provide truth-clarification information to many people smoothly and stably.
Some practitioners always ask me, "Is it safe for me to get on the Internet?" I only say, "It depends in part on technology and in part on your righteous thoughts." Why is that? We have heard that some practitioners who are good with technology are arrested, while some practitioners with very strong righteous thoughts are illegally detained. We can't simply rely on technology and think that someone who is good with technology can make sure the computer is absolutely clean, or simply rely on righteous thoughts and think that someone with very strong righteous thoughts can solve all problems. Either way is extreme and irrational.
How can we avoid problems? The simple answer is to hold the wish of saving sentient beings and make improvements in cultivation diligently. Problems with technology are not a big deal, but problems with cultivation are a big deal. I have asked other practitioners dealing with high-tech equipment if we used the most common everyday person's computers, the most common everyday person's software, is it safe to access the Internet with FreeGate? From the perspective of our material center, it is absolutely not safe. However, when we distribute the CD's containing FreeGate software to an everyday person to help them break the block on the Internet, aren't we putting them into a dangerous situation since their computers have all kinds of junk software? In fact, from the perspective of our technologies, it is indeed safe to do so, since the safety code of FreeGate itself is enough to pass the tests of the CCP's firewall without being detected. Why do we need to clean up our operating systems and all kinds of software when we access the Internet with FreeGate in our material centers, then? Actually, there are factors of cultivation involved. Everyday people break the Internet blockade to find out the truth, so the old forces dare not to oppose it. We break the Internet to save sentient beings, and the old forces dare not to oppose that, neither. However, once we have loopholes in our cultivation, the old forces will take advantage of these loopholes and cause losses. For example, if we don't study the Fa well or do the exercises well, or send forth righteous thoughts well, or we are attached to self, fame, money or human emotion, etc, it is because of these elements that we can be taken advantage of. These are also reasons for causing all kinds of interference. Therefore, we only solve half of the problems once we clean the computers really well; we can only solve the other half through the righteous thoughts of a practitioner. We need to improve ourselves as practitioners in our personal cultivation, as well.
For example, if it fails to open or is very slow when we try to print out a list of people who have quit the CCP, we should first check within ourselves to see if we have any attachment while doing it. Is it a hint that we should not do it, or is it interference? If that is what we should do, then we should send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate interference and be determined to access the Internet. If we don't have very a good cultivation status at that time or have made technical mistakes and the computer is infected by a virus, we should stop and study the Fa and think about how to solve the technical problem. Therefore, in this process, sending righteous thoughts comes before technology. There are always elements of sincere cultivation and looking within ourselves when we do things to validate the Fa.
II. Discussing Coordination with Regard to Technical Work
Sometimes I hear comments that some coordinators or technically skilled practitioners are attached to being in control, or that practitioners from some regions are in a state of discord and everyone does things in their own way. Neither comment tells the whole story. No matter how much one practitioner is attached to controlling others, there are always practitioners that he can't control. Every practitioner walks on their own path of Fa validation. The path of our cultivation is arranged by Master, and the coordinator can't control it. If the coordinator thinks of the whole body and tries to coordinate within the group to do things, then we can't say that he is attached to controlling others. This is what he should do. On the other hand, if we say that some region is in a state of discord, and everyone does things in their own way, then even when they do things in their own way, there will be collaboration among several practitioners who do things to validate the Fa together. In that case, they are a smaller body that will gradually form a bigger body.
Sometimes, we sense the urgency of saving sentient beings and working together to expose the evil, and feel the effect is very good. However, in this process, there will be practitioners who are more diligent, practitioners who go to extremes, and some practitioners who are not so diligent or like to follow and do things according to what others tell them to do. There are also practitioners who are frightened and don't want to participate, using all kinds of excuses. When this happens, we need to stay calm. We should know this is a true manifestation of the xinxing level of fellow practitioners, and the overall status of a region is the sum total of the cultivation status of all practitioners in that region. Practitioners with different cultivation statuses are all part of it. We therefore have to coordinate well, expose the evil and save sentient being wisely and rationally.
As a technically skilled practitioner, I once told others that I look at myself as half of a coordinator. I help other coordinators do concrete work. I think this is a practical way of saying it. Technically skilled practitioners can't completely coordinate, since we do not have that much time and need to improve our skills and teach other practitioners. It is also not feasible to avoid coordination. The coordinator will come to you and say, "Material centers need to be set up in some place or some maintenance needs to be done somewhere, etc." I need to think about the cultivation status of fellow practitioners and their ability of acceptance, as well as thinking about practical questions such as how far away they are from where I live, how many times I need to visit them, what I should teach first and what I should save for later, what kind of printer or copier I should use, etc. Some practitioners' education level is low. This is not a problem. If their righteous thoughts are strong during cultivation, they can easily overcome the problem. I would write down what needs to be learned on paper, let him practice the process a couple of times, have him do it again and again and teach more after some time. The most important thing is to add or remove teaching materials according to his specific situation. This is the manifestation of thinking of others first during our cultivation and the basis of running the material center stably for a long time. I should make sure that he does not have too much pressure and can still solve practical questions at hand. I will tell him how to contact me if there are problems that he can't solve. This is the part that needs to be coordinated. Sometimes, a material center is set up quickly and also runs smoothly, and sometimes I need to visit a material center multiple times, and the machines still constantly have trouble. Should I treat these two different types of centers differently? No. There are factors of fellow practitioners' cultivation involved, and the problems need to be solved.
During the process of setting up one material center, someone had negative opinions and thought the fellow practitioner was too sloppy and could not do it well. However, I felt that she had the wish and they also needed one in their region, so I decided to help set up the center. In fact, she learned well with her heart, got the points very fast, and ran the center very well, which was a big surprise to everyone.
There was another material center where a married couple both practiced. They ran the center smoothly for over a year after it was set up and both were cultivating well. Later on, the printer had some problems and it took over a month to fix it. We discussed a lot during the process. I learned afterwards that both of them found jobs recently, were very busy and did not keep up with Fa study and exercises, and that caused problems. Later on, the husband encountered very strong interference at work and almost lost his life. He realized that he should cultivate diligently after that.
III. Discussing Cultivation with Regard to Technical Work
During the early stages of Internet access, computers were still rare in our county. I didn't have my own and just used other people's computers to access the Internet and download materials. I could not improve my skills. Later on, some other practitioners asked me to install software on his computer and I didn't know how to do it. When I was worrying about it, a technically skilled practitioner from another area was passing through our area and came to my home. It seemed so impossible to me. He came to my home at night and had to leave the next morning. He just took that one night to teach me how to download software, how to avoid firewalls, avoid viruses, how to compact files and how to install PDF software. He demonstrated each procedure once, and then I began to try it and amazingly learned them all.
Later on, I realized that as long as I study the Fa well, do the exercises well, and send forth righteous thoughts well, Master will arrange opportunities for me to improve once I need to learn more skills. It seemed very passive and almost impossible. It was like learning everything immediately so that I could teach others. Actually, if we don't improve our xinxing, we have no capability to be responsible for the things we do to validate the Fa, and we will bring pressure to ourselves and still won't solve the problems. Once we improve our xinxing, things that used to be difficult become easy. Then you are able to solve the problem and you learn how to do it. Once we improve to the standards set by the Fa for us at different levels, we can pass the test and solve the problem. This principle can be used in other aspects as well, such as sickness karma, issues within families, or interference at work, etc.
Master sometimes compares cultivation with going to college. We can pass the entrance exam if we study well. What I want to say is that the sum total of every subject counts for the entrance exam. You have to study the Fa well, do the exercises well, send forth righteous thoughts well and clarify the truth well. Do what you need to do well, then you will have the highest total score. If you falter in some areas, then the subjects that you don't do well in will drag you down. It seems that you are doing well in one aspect, but the total is falling short. We should not look at what we are good at, but at what we are not good at and make it up. What we have cultivated well has been separated already. What is left is that which hasn't been cultivated well. Thus, we should cultivate well what we haven't cultivated well, and do well what we haven't done well, and fulfill our mission. We should not leave any regrets for ourselves.