Studying the Fa Diligently, Discarding My Attachment to Fear, and Saving Sentient Beings
(Clearwisdom.net) I am a 19 year old practitioner and I have been practicing Falun Dafa ever since I was five. When the evil Communist Party started persecuting Dafa practitioners in 1999, I was 10. Because of the sudden mass arrests of practitioners, the cultivation environment changed dramatically. Being a beginner, I was completely overwhelmed by the tremendous change. I was terrified and filled with immense fear. I was fearful even just seeing the slanderous propaganda that the evil Party broadcast on the television every day to defame Teacher and Dafa. I was fearful that my family members and fellow practitioners would get arrested. I was also fearful of those that slandered Dafa. Once on a school excursion to a foreign tourist attraction, there were Falun Dafa practitioners handing out truth clarification materials at the visitor center. I did not even dare to acknowledge their presence because I was so fearful that my classmates would say something about me.
Due to my lack of Fa study, I was trapped by this immense fear. What I didn't realized was that it was the very attachment that I needed to eliminate. When the more diligent practitioners would go out to validate the Fa, I would stay home. My fear even prevented me from speaking out for Dafa.
Even before the start of the persecution in 1999, I seldom studied the Fa or practiced the exercise; my mother even less so as my father was totally against Dafa. My mother and I would listen to the Fa lectures a bit before bedtime each night. Now I am grateful that I didn't give up the practice entirely. Even back then, I knew I was meant to be a Dafa practitioner, with great merciful Teacher watching over me and encouraging me to study the Fa diligently.
Later on, I had the opportunity to read Teacher's lectures that were taught to practitioners worldwide. From there I gained a better understanding of the persecution. With each Fa study session, my confidence would increase and the fear would diminish. I started to clarify the facts of the persecution to the classmates I was closest to. Whenever any fears came up, I would recall Teacher's words about the need for practitioners to save sentient beings and it would make me courageous. When I was alone with classmates, I would tell them about the lies that the evil Party broadcast on television to slander Falun Gong and that the "Tiananmen Square self-immolation" incident was a set-up. Because of the Party's lies, many practitioners were persecuted and tortured to death for their spiritual beliefs. Some of them believed me and sympathized. Some were not convinced.
During those years, I really didn't put much effort into studying the Fa. My many attachments, especially my attachment to fear, interfered with my studying the Fa and saving sentient beings. I knew time was running out and I was afraid that I might not be able to reach consummation. Many a time I would try really hard to be more diligent but after a while, I would slack off.
It wasn't until towards the end of my third year in junior high school that I started to catch up with my Fa study. I didn't just study Zhuan Falun diligently, I also read Teacher's lectures that were taught to practitioners worldwide. Gradually, I enlightened as to my real purpose for being on this earth. I was on a sacred mission to save sentient beings. Then I started to memorize the Fa. It wasn't easy at the start, but because of my determination, I was able to accomplish my goal. On my second attempt, I did it with another young practitioner. We would encourage and help each other. While memorizing the Fa, I would notice the improvement in my xinxing level and my fear would diminish. I indeed felt like I was a whole new person.
Due to my diligence in studying the Fa, my fear diminished by the day. I started to go out and deliver truth clarification materials and it got easier. At the beginning, I was so nervous that my legs would give way when I climbed the stairs. Also, I would just stuff the materials in the crack of a door and then flee. After a few times, I got more confident and relaxed. Before leaving the house to deliver truth clarification materials, my mother and I would send forth righteous thoughts. We would continue sending righteous thoughts as we made the deliveries so that those people who received the materials would treasure them and hence be saved.
In order to eliminate my attachment to fear, I would make sure that I participated in group Fa study and delivering truth clarification materials. When I was at home, however, I encountered tribulations related to my attachment to fear. One wintry day few years ago, my mother left home at about 4 o'clock in the afternoon. When 9 o'clock came around and she still wasn't home, I started to worry. It was snowing outside. So I stood at the window waiting for her and sending forth righteous thoughts. Even then, my mind was still in a turmoil. My attachment to fear was so deeply-rooted. When she finally got home, she explained that she had stopped to have her hair permed. Whenever I had such tribulations, my mother would invariably arrive home late. Eventually I enlightened to the fact that my mother is also a Dafa practitioner and that she has Teacher's protection. Along with my righteous thoughts, I then knew that my mother would be safe and would come home each time.
As my fear subsided and my righteous thoughts strengthened, I started to do truth clarification work again. I started with classmates that I had known for a long time. From there, it just spread. Sometimes, due to my human notions, I would start to judge whether a certain person was the right person to hear the truth. Because of that I wasted a lot of precious opportunities. When my thoughts were righteous, nothing could stop me. I knew that the reason I had encountered these people was because they had been waiting to hear the truth from me. With Master's help, I knew I could save many sentient beings. Among those whom I had previously thought weren't the right persons to hear the truth, some agreed to denounce the evil Party. I also came to realize that the best way to give up any attachments is to do "face to face" truth clarification.
With the progress that I made in my Fa study, my successful truth clarification work and my elimination of fear, I was able to do truth clarification to bigger groups of people and was able to encourage them to quit the Communist Party. My understanding is that if we are diligent with our Fa study and sending forth righteous thoughts, our compassionate nature will come forth from the heart. That will be enough to awaken the instinctive goodness in all sentient beings. All predestined sentient beings will then be able to dispel all the misconceptions surrounding Falun Gong and free their minds from the poisonous Communist propaganda. As a result, their future will be most glorious. I constantly had the feeling that Teacher was with me and that he had sent the crowds to me. Just knowing that helped me tremendously in eliminating any fears that I might have had. I was able to use the wisdom that Teacher had bestowed upon me to do truth clarification and hence save sentient beings.
Just before the start of the Beijing Olympic Games, a fellow practitioner was illegally arrested. All of a sudden, the cultivation environment in and around our area was threatened. I was petrified and my attachment to fear re-surfaced. For the rest of that day, besides reading Zhuan Falun, I was constantly sending righteous thoughts. Eventually I was able to calm down and let my righteous thoughts take over. I could feel the peace and warmth as I let the mighty power of Dafa envelop me.
"Cultivation is hard. It's hard in that even when a terrible calamity strikes, even when evil madly persecutes, and even when your life is at stake, you still have to be able to steadfastly continue on your path of cultivation without letting anything in human society interfere with the steps you take on your path of cultivation." ("Path" from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
Teacher said that to save sentient beings, we must not be afraid and we must not give up. That is very true. We must be sensible and clearheaded and do everything well. Since school was out during the Olympics, there wasn't much homework to do. I recited the Fa and sent forth righteous thoughts in the morning and then went out to do explain the truth. Whenever I encountered the security patrol or police, I sent righteous thoughts to disintegrate the evil behind them. I also noticed that whenever I was talking to predestined beings, the patrol or police stood far away from me. Somehow my truth clarification work was not affected by the tight security.
Teacher has rescued me from the darkness and it is the Fa that has guided me to do my best to save fellow sentient beings. In the process, I have managed to get rid of my attachment to fear and also strengthened my righteous thoughts. Now I am truly a particle of Dafa. In comparison to those practitioners who have studied the Fa ever so diligently, however, I still have a long way to go.