Keep Firm Righteous Thoughts and Assist Master in Fa-Rectification
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings, compassionate and revered Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I am honored to participate in the Fifth Internet Experience Sharing Conference for Practitioners in China" I would like to use this precious opportunity to discuss my experience assisting Master in the Fa-Rectification in the last few years. Under Master's compassionate care, and based on my firm faith in Master and Dafa, I continued to grow and improve in the last nine years. I continued to understand higher principles and realize the greatness of Dafa. I truly feel the honor of assisting Master in the Fa-Rectification of the human world and am grateful beyond words.
I. Since the persecution began in 1999, a lot of my time has been spent at an informational materials production center. Under the terror of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), sometimes I felt that I was willing to give up my life for the materials center.
In 2001, the CCP orchestrated the Tiananmen Self-immolation incident. As a result, the persecution against Falun Dafa disciples became more severe. Not long after I began working at the materials center, some practitioners in our area were arrested and sent to labor camps, and I was also implicated. The authorities tried to arrest me and destroy the materials center. They sent someone to my house to look for me and kept harassing my family. I was one of their "main targets."
Through these tribulations, I gained more experience. I realized with clarity that we must not only rely on passion to validate the Fa. We also cannot rely on the momentum or power of a group of practitioners to pass individual tests. It's not a matter of meeting some surface standard. We must rationally understand the preciousness of Dafa, assist Master in the Fa-rectification from the depths of our hearts, and treasure Dafa more than our own lives. Only then can we walk well our future path amidst the tribulations.
Through studying the Fa, I further understood that the persecution was forced onto us by the old forces and was not recognized by Master. We need to deny this persecution and the old forces and follow Master's arrangements. That's how we can walk well the path of validating the Fa. It is up to our enlightenment how to deny the persecution and the old forces' arrangements. We have to meet Dafa's requirements for us at different levels.
I also realized that my work at the materials center was my path to assist Master in the Fa Rectification. I must consider Dafa first and always remember to be responsible to the Fa, to fellow practitioners, and to practitioners as a whole. I often told myself that I needed to pay more attention to the safety of others than myself. In the hour of danger, I should face danger before I let others. I need to provide a shelter for others. In a safe environment, I should leave opportunities for mighty virtue for others. I tell myself, with determination in my heart, that I have given everything to Master and Dafa. I will do whatever Dafa asks of me, even at the cost of everything of mine, including my own life.
II. We could not neglect cultivating ourselves while working at the materials center. As the persecution continued, the practitioners at the materials center needed to remain calm, clear-headed, and rational. As the materials center expanded, its responsibilities also grew. We were not only responsible for the different materials used locally, but also supplied other regions with materials. For a while, we needed to make 500 copies of "Minghui Weekly" every week, besides other materials.
Alongside the growth of the materials centers, our share of responsibilities also grew. We could not treat anything casually. While buying supplies or distributing materials, we always asked for Master's help and continued to send forth strong righteous thoughts. Every day, we sent forth righteous thoughts towards the materials center to clear the environment and any nearby everyday people's bad elements.
For a while, I was very worried about the printer breaking down. The printer was quite large, and we needed a taxi to haul it to the repair shop. I was worried that moving it would generate a lot of attention among everyday people. Indeed, sometimes when I used a taxi to transport it, people gathered to watch. It was very inconvenient.
When the printer was malfunctioning, I had many fears and concerns. I was afraid of the evil taking advantage of the situation, the persecution against fellow practitioners, and damage to the entire body of practitioners. I also thought about lessons learned from experiences of other materials centers. These thoughts created a lot of anxiety. I finally realized that the problem would not be solved if I didn't repair the printer. So I decided to let it go and ask for Master's protection while I took the printer to the repair shop.
Soon, the printer broke down again. I kept thinking about these problems and went back and forth in my head. Eventually I took the printer to the repair shop again. Although the printer was fixed and appeared to be working at the repair shop, when I took it back to the materials center, it stopped working again. I had to return it to the repair shop. This repeated a few times. I realized that something was wrong. The more fear I had of it breaking down, the more it seemed to break down. The more fear I had of transporting it, the more times I had to move it in and out. I began searching inward seriously and saw that I had an attachment to comfort and did not want any trouble or inconvenience. I was overly dependent on the repair people. I also had a hidden fear, as I was afraid of the printer malfunctioning or the materials center being damaged. Every thought of mine was one of everyday people. I didn't use a cultivator's righteous thoughts to handle these problems. The bottom line was, I had not elevated my xinxing.
Through studying the Fa, I realized that no matter what we encountered, we could not neglect to improve ourselves. I knew that I was a Dafa disciple here to assist Master in the Fa-Rectification, and everything I was doing was to validate Dafa and save sentient beings. Master is always looking after us. With such righteous thoughts, when we repaired the printer, we felt very relieved without anxiety. At the same time, on the human level, I still acted with care and paid attention to safety details. I knew I needed to be responsible to Dafa and fellow practitioners.
Later, I realized that to reduce the need for printer repair, I must learn new skills so that I could at least handle some common problems. I looked into printer repair and was able to quickly take care of the common problems. This helped the materials center tremendously. On one occasion the printer stopped working and was making a strange sound. I opened the machine but did not see anything unusual. I faithfully asked Master for help. Very soon afterwards, I saw a small screw that had come loose and fallen off. The screw was used to stabilize a wheel. After I put the screw back in, the printer worked again. These skills also enabled me to help other practitioners establish new materials centers elsewhere.
III. No matter how heavy the workload or what responsibilities the practitioners at the materials center have, they cannot neglect personal cultivation and improvement. They need to pay special attention to Fa study. If they are unable to study the Fa well, they will be unable to do well the tasks to validate the Fa. In order to improve the quality of our Fa study, we began reciting the Fa over and over again. At the same time, we paid particular attention to sending forth righteous thoughts. We knew we could not neglect any one of the three things. Although there were some conflicts between practitioners, we basically were able to look at the big picture, put the Fa first, and not get too caught up in the conflicts. We didn't want the conflicts to damage our work of validating the Fa. Although we each still had human attachments, when we needed to cooperate with others, we were able to let go of ourselves and form an indestructible body. Gradually, we stopped having any real conflicts. Even when we disagreed on issues, we had a discussion but never held grudges against each other afterwards.
In a cultivation environment such as the materials center, it would be impossible to be consistently diligent unless we had determination to assist Master in the Fa rectification and perseverance to overcome our own shortcomings. For years we lived a life of isolation and repetitiveness. If we had not studied the Fa well and let go of all attachments and desires, we would have felt bored or lonely. In addition, we had to endure evil harassment and persecution. Whenever a practitioner at the materials center was arrested, the rest of us felt more responsibilities. Sometimes we were under pressure beyond most people's imagination, spending days and nights on high alert. Sometimes there were also misunderstandings or blame among practitioners. If the practitioners are not able to improve their xinxing and increase their capacity, they could be controlled by their human attachments and unable to handle the tasks at the materials center.
Because of the difficult circumstances, the practitioners at the materials center often reminded each other to be responsible for the Fa and for the group, and to endure hardships and keep a low profile. We are here to validate Dafa, not ourselves. We don't seek others' understandings, but we have to be understanding of others.
The process of making materials is also a tribulation and an opportunity to improve our xinxing. When we are printing the materials, we need to close all the doors and windows so that the noise does not escape and threaten our safety. During the summer, the room becomes extremely hot. Since there is paper all over the room, we can't turn on the fan, so we have to quietly endure the heat. We often sweat profusely, as the room feels like an oven with all the windows and doors closed. When we sit on the floor, there is often a puddle of sweat. We have to do this for the whole summer. For two summers in a row, I had heat rash all over my body, and my clothes were all wet from sweat. It was both itchy and painful. Every piece of material is indeed a fruit of Dafa disciples' heart and sweat.
In the winter, the situation was also difficult. At first we used a coal furnace to heat the place. Because we didn't have a proper exhaust vent and the room was tightly sealed, we almost died of carbon monoxide poisoning. Thanks to Master's care, there were no major accidents. We later stopped heating the place. Occasionally, we would heat the ink so that the printer could continue working.
When the workload is especially heavy, we print, sort, and assemble all day and all night. Some practitioners sit on the floor for hours at a time. When the weather gets extremely cold, our hands become freezing cold and we can hardly move them. Some practitioners' skin split because of the cold weather. Despite the difficulties, we have never been behind schedule. Sometimes the practitioner in charge of copying CD-ROMs will be up all night working. The cold winters and hot summers are tests for each practitioner at the materials center. Those who pass the tests never complain about being cold or tired. We only want to save more sentient beings. That would be the greatest reward for our efforts.
We continue to grow and improve in the Fa. There is both joy and hardship. I often feel a sense of fulfillment after my xinxing improves. "Eating bitterness treated as joy." ("Tempering One's Heart and Will" from Hong Yin) Master's words are always in my head. Dafa is forging many selfless beings.
IV. Before coming to work at the materials center, every practitioner had his or her own family, cultivation environment, and habits. If we did not have a solid foundation of cultivation, it would be difficult for all of us to work together, to follow the Fa in everything we do, and to be considerate of others. For example, on the simple matter of food, there were significant differences between us. Once a practitioner cooked a very spicy meal. The practitioners who could not eat spicy food were sweating from eating it, but they didn't say anything. If we did not put ourselves in others' shoes, it would have been nearly impossible for us to get along for a long period of time. In order to be responsible to the materials center, we can't neglect cultivating ourselves in small daily things. If we didn't pay attention to these seemingly trivial things, we would have created conflicts among practitioners over the course of time, which would potentially endanger the materials center. This could directly impact our work in validating the Fa. Sometimes I think back and realize how difficult it was to maintain a relatively large materials center like this.
If a practitioner doesn't realize our shared mission of validating the Fa at the materials center, and our predestined relationships, and if she or he doesn't realize that the predestined relationship between the practitioners is stronger than any relationships among everyday people, he or she won't be able to treat others with compassion. If we don't pay attention to Fa study and don't cultivate ourselves well, the busy and difficult life at the materials center may drive us to return to everyday people's family lives and comfort. This was why a few practitioners left the materials center.
We have strong predestined relationships not only with other practitioners but also with all the machines and equipment that we use in assisting Master in the Fa-rectification. Although they cannot communicate with us in language, over a period of time, we could feel their enlightened side. For example, the printer shoulders a heavy workload, so every day, before I start working, I send forth righteous thoughts and peacefully communicate with it: "It's time to start working again. Let's do well."
One time the printer stopped working and I couldn't determine why. It was working fine the day before. I started to negotiate with it and sent forth righteous thoughts specifically for it, however nothing improved. Suddenly I remembered that I should look inward. Was there a problem with me? I remembered that I got up late that morning and didn't do the standing exercises. I admitted my mistake to the printer and asked for its forgiveness. Soon after, it began working again. This happened another time as well.
The printer not only did a huge amount of work every day, but also became a being that helped me cultivate. I know this is a part of Master's arrangement to encourage me to be diligent.
One year in early December, many practitioners ordered a large quantity of truth clarification materials for the Chinese New Year. We had to work overtime to meet the needs. One morning, I was ready to do the the standing exercises when I realized that the clock on the wall was about 90 minutes fast. After I did the exercises, it showed the correct time. I was a bit surprised. The next day, the same thing happened. I knew that Master was trying to enlighten me to something, but I couldn't figure out what. After eating breakfast, I began working but saw that the pages were blank, even though the machine was feeding normally. I looked inside and did not find a problem with my xinxing. Fellow practitioners and I were puzzled. Then I thought I would try a fast-speed setting, and the printer started working again.
Normally we used the 60-page-per-minute setting. This setting can extend the life of the printer and makes less noise. We only used the 90-page-per-minute setting when time was really tight, because it was noisier and threatened the safety of the materials center. This particular time, though, there was less noise, and the printer was working very well. Then I understood that this was Master's arrangement. He was trying to enlighten me earlier with the clock but I didn't understand. The printer, on the other hand, had an enlightened side, too. It knew that we needed to work faster to meet the demands of the practitioners during the Chinese New Year. I thanked Master for the perfect arrangement.
On the path of assisting Master in the Fa-Rectification, we not only witnessed the wonders of Dafa again and again, but also realized that all beings participating in validating the Fa are supernormal.
V. At the materials production site, we need a good relationship with surrounding everyday people. We should lay a foundation for saving them in the future and we should let people see that we are worthy of being trusted. Although we can't publicize our status at the time being, different situations display our different cultivation states. As long as we regard ourselves as practitioners and remember to be responsible to Dafa and all beings, we will upgrade in this environment.
Master said in Zhuan Falun, "...considers others first when taking any action." In our daily life, we should follow Master's requirement and truly upgrade ourselves in practice. Our several families share one toilet. Once the toilet is clogged, someone has to clear it. At the beginning, I did it a couple of times. Later, I didn't take care of it right away and always thought others might do it. To me, clearing a clogged toilet is really a pain. Every time I cleared a clog, the smell made me dizzy and I kept vomiting. Sometimes I really wanted to avoid this dirty work. However, when I thought about how I am a Falun Dafa practitioner and that I take Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance as the principles I should follow, how could I shift this dirty work to others? Since I had such a thought, I immediately took care of the problem. Sometimes when I was about to do it, I suddenly felt nauseated. I held my breath and rushed outside until I felt better. Then I went back to finish the job. In order to avoid others seeing my embarrassment, I always chose to do it at night.
By studying the Fa, I came to understand that life in the old cosmos is selfish while life in the new cosmos is selfless. Selflessness and altruism are the standards every Dafa practitioner should reach. An altruistic life considers others on all occasions. In front of everyday people, what a Dafa practitioner displays is being a good person. The aim of being good is not just so that everyday people will know how good we are, but so that they can realize that Dafa is great and wonderful. We should be clear that all of what we do today is for assisting Teacher to rectify Dafa and validating Dafa, not validating ourselves. It is our goal to help people focus on Dafa, and help them to believe in Dafa and support Dafa, and therefore be saved.
On a bus one day, a visitor asked me how to get to certain place on the bus. I gave him a lot of details about which way was more convenient. I treated him as my own family member. He appreciated it very much and said, "You are a really good person!" I saw he was about to take off, and I said to him in a hurry, "Do you know who I am? I am a Falun Gong practitioner. Any Falun Gong practitioner would be like this. Please remember, 'Falun Dafa is good!'" He stood up quickly and held my hands. He was excited and said, "I'll remember, I'll remember! Thank you, thank you!" He kept waving at me after taking off.
VI. One day, two practitioners had a heated debate on increasing the number of our local coordinators. One practitioner's words and facial expression completely fell into an everyday person's state. She didn't look at the whole picture at all. At that time, I was moved by my human mind and made some intemperate comments to her. I felt regretful at once after saying the words. I apologized to her, but she still left angry.
By the time the meeting was over, it was past ten o'clock at night. I walked towards the home of the practitioner who left angry. I wanted to formally apologize and share my understandings with her from the view of the Fa-principles, that we should keep the whole body in mind whenever taking an action.
When I arrived at her home. I knocked on the door. She asked, "Who is it?" I said, "Please open the door. It is me." I thought she would open the door immediately. However, after a while, I didn't see her coming. I knocked on the door again and called her name. That time, no one answered. I immediately realized it was my fault. I had provoked her and she was rejecting me. I felt very regretful and almost cried.
After I left the practitioner's home, I walked down the street looking at the dark sky. I felt every step was so heavy, knowing that this is cultivation and that I didn't conduct myself well. Teacher said in Zhuan Falun,
"You should always maintain a heart of compassion and kindness. Then, when you run into a problem, you will be able to do well because it gives you room to buffer the confrontation. You should always be benevolent and kind to others, and consider others when doing anything. Whenever you encounter a problem, you should first consider whether others can put up with this matter or if it will hurt anyone. In doing so, there will not be any problems."
In these years, I have read Zhuan Falun many times. Usually I can follow the standard of Falun Dafa. Why couldn't I maintain my xinxing this time? Where did my compassion go? Where did my forbearance go? Why was I still so bad in cultivation? I spent that whole night in regret and could not fall asleep. The next morning, I went to the home of that fellow practitioner again and sincerely apologized to her.
I realized that I had not reached a high enough level that Dafa requires of me. When the problem arose, my human notions also appeared. On the surface, I appeared compassionate, but my mind was boiling with attachments. I was attached to others' attachments. I was afraid other practitioners would cause losses to Dafa. When I heard others criticize me, I held a bad opinion of them. Some practitioners did not pay attention to speech and gossiped about things that they knew regarding a truth-clarifying materials production site, which also bothered me. My mind was consumed with these thoughts, and it directly affected my Fa study and validating of Dafa. I knew I should eliminate such thoughts. Sometimes I felt I had let go of them, and I felt comfortable and bright in my mind. However, after a while they came back again. I made a great deal of effort to look inwards. I found that attachments to fame and competitiveness were deeply hidden in my mind. I kept studying the Fa, and suddenly one sentence jumped into my my mind, "...it was arranged for your improvement." I was enlightened quite a lot.
One morning, as I practiced the second exercise, my mind was filled with those thoughts again. I knew it was not me, so I rejected them, but they became more insistent. At that time, I firmly said to Master in my mind: "They are not me. I don't want those thoughts. Definitely not. Master, please help me." As soon as I sent this thought, those bad thoughts disappeared immediately. I felt so clear in my mind.
Since then, no matter how different an opinion a practitioner has, no matter how he comments about me, I can set myself aside and cooperate with him unconditionally as long as his thoughts are on the Fa or he is validating Dafa. I now always insist on this rule, "If a practitioner can't put Dafa in first place and be responsible to Dafa consistently, he hardly is a true Dafa practitioner."
Master said in "Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005,"
"Cultivators look at things in just the opposite way. They see tribulations and suffering as good opportunities for improvement. [To cultivators] these are all good things, and the more there are and the faster they come, the faster the improvement. Some cultivators want to push them away and think, 'Don't come.' Whenever [conflicts and turmoil] come up they think that others have a problem with them and they can't stand it when others say anything negative about them. You just want to live a more pleasant life, but is that cultivation? Can you really cultivate that way? If to this day you still can't come around on this concept, then as your master, I don't know how you will ever move towards Consummation."
One day when I read this paragraph of Master's, I felt very moved. I said in my mind, "I must eliminate my human notions that formed during the past hundreds of thousands of years. Whether it is a good thing or a bad thing I meet, I will regard it as a good thing. I will not judge others with my notions and argue about the mistakes of others any longer." I cleansed myself from the deepest part of my life and completely eliminated all the notions that formed in everyday society. Although some everyday people had hurt me badly before I started to practice Dafa, I didn't consider how bad they were but regarded those things as good things. Maybe I harmed them in my previous lives. I paid the debt at this life, eliminated my karma, and paved the way for my obtaining the Fa and cultivating. What a good thing it was! I thanked them deeply from my inner heart. I am determined to start getting rid of my notions, from the trivial matters of daily life to major concerns. When a problem arises, I will search inward and find my notions.
VII. Right after the 2008 Chinese New Year, the CCP intensified the persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners with the excuse of "protecting the Beijing Olympic Games." Our area became one of its key persecution targets. From time to time, I heard about practitioners being arrested. Some were sent to a forced labor camps and some were sentenced to imprisonment. Some practitioners' homes were searched. Some were forced to become homeless. Many family materials production sites were either destroyed or ceased to function, which resulted in irreparable damages in validating Dafa and saving all beings in our local area.
I felt a dull pain in my heart upon seeing our local practitioners so persecuted, bringing huge challenges to saving all beings in our local area. I wondered how to change it to a better environment for our materials production sites. But I was interfered with before finding an appropriate place.
One day late in the spring, I was studying the Fa in my room. A man came in suddenly. I put away Zhuan Falun that I was reading and asked him, "How can you enter another person's room without asking?" He said, "I'm just looking around to see what you print." I said, "What can we print?" He answered, "Someone reported that you print [illegal] things." He then walked towards the box containing Dafa books. The box was open and it was very easy to see the Dafa books inside. There was also a box of printing paper, CDs, and other equipment in the room.
Facing such a sudden situation, I was not afraid or nervous. I calmly said again, "How can you enter another person's room without asking?"
He stopped just one step away from the box containing the Dafa books. He turned his head back and asked me to open the door to another practitioner's room. I knew there was nothing important in that practitioner's room. In order to draw him away as soon as possible, I opened that door. At that moment, a group of people appeared, crowding at the door to my room. Two of them drew back the bamboo curtain and were about to enter the room. I said in my heart, "I am Master Li's disciple. I do not recognize others." I heard the person who entered my room first say to them, "I have looked around. Nothing important here." I sent righteous thoughts towards them to eliminate the evil behind them. Before leaving, they claimed they were from the Commerce and Industry Bureau.
I knew it was Master who protected us and made their plan to persecute us fail.
Which attachment of ours did the evil take advantage of? Why did someone report us to the police? Was I followed while purchasing consumables? Did the taxi driver doubt me when I took the taxi to fix equipment? Actually, these are all outside factors. I needed to search the radical reason from my xinxing. Since our large truth-clarifying materials production site was scaled down, I felt a bit relieved. I didn't previously allow myself to sleep during the day, but recently had been taking a nap sometimes. In view of myself, it was because I was not diligent and the evil took advantage of me.
When the Beijing Olympic Games neared, the evil police were also more unbridled. They set up checkpoints, strictly questioning all vehicles passing by. They were extremely nervous and afraid and did not let any passenger go by unchecked. On my way to deliver materials, I ran across the police twice. Another day when I went to buy consumables, police boarded the bus and checked identification cards. Whenever in a crisis, I sent a thought that I am a disciple of Master and I never admit others. I thought since Master was next to me, the evil did not dare to hurt me. Then I sent righteous thoughts to eliminate all evil lives and factors in other dimensions that persecuted Falun Dafa practitioners. Every time, I was safe under Master's care.
In the past years, I have left life and death out of the equation. What the evil police did cannot affect my mind in validating Dafa and saving all beings at all. No matter how the environment changes, our firm belief in assisting Master and rectifying the Fa never wavers.
Besides making truth-clarifying materials, I also took every opportunity to clarify the truth face to face and distribute materials. During the summertime, I often saw some elementary school students playing at the entrance to the village. They were about 10 years old. I talked to them and asked them if they were on summer vacation, how well they studied, and whether they wanted to be clever. Generally, they said yes. I said, "I will tell you nine words that will make you clearer and protect you. Remember, 'Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.'" The students were very glad to hear what I said. I asked them, "Do you remember? What are the nine words?" They answered together, "Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good." Sometimes, even though I had ridden my bicycle some distance away, I still heard them saying those nine words again and again.
Master said in "Fa Teaching at the 2008 New York Conference,"
"You have already made it through the hardest part of your cultivation, so walk well the final leg of your journey, and cherish the path that you have covered! It hasn't been easy, and you have made it through unprecedented ordeals. You need to treasure that. The glory that lies in the future is the mighty virtue that you establish in your efforts to validate the Fa, and everything that awaits you will be the very best. (Applause)"
We should keep Master's instructions in mind, encourage each other, and fulfill our prehistoric vows completely.
Thank you, Master!