Restoring Group Study Is an Important Step in Negating the Old Forces
(Clearwisdom.net) After the persecution began in July 1999, the group Fa study and practice environment in our town suffered greatly. Every practitioner has been persecuted to a different extent, and some have fallen and stopped practicing, while others have passed away due to old illnesses. Some were sentenced to labor camps or prison, or forced to become homeless to avoid further persecution. Our group environment no longer existed. A number of practitioners were concerned and tried to reestablish group study sites, but the sites did not last very long.
In "Digging Out the Roots," Master said,
"At the crucial moment when I ask you to break away from humanness, you do not follow me. Each opportunity will not occur again. Cultivation practice is a serious matter. The distance has become greater and greater. It is extremely dangerous to add anything human to cultivation practice."
While looking inward with a calm heart I asked myself, "Have you taken any initiative to organize group study sites? No. Have you actively participated? No. When others stopped going, did you persist? No. Have you paid as much attention to it as you do to family and work? Absolutely not. First of all, I had always thought of myself as lacking the ability to organize. Therefore, I hoped that others would coordinate and organize. I was looking outward, waiting, and relying on others, and as a result I was not involving myself in the group. Additionally, I thought that I gained more by studying on my own than going to group study, and felt that I kept up with sending forth righteous thoughts, distributing truth-clarification materials, and persuading people to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). This discovery shocked me. It clearly pointed to my selfishness--I have placed my personal interest above that of the group. Thirdly, digging even deeper inward, I have an attachment to fear.
In the article "Study the Fa Well, and Getting Rid of Attachments Is Not Hard," Master said:
"The fact is, those who can't step forward, regardless of the excuse, are concealing fear. Yet for cultivators, fear or lack thereof proves [one's] humanity or divinity, and it is what differentiates cultivators from ordinary people. It is something that a cultivator must face, and the biggest human attachment that a cultivator must remove."
As I searched for the source of my fear, I first discovered that I feared that my family members wouldn't understand my actions. I was afraid of hard feelings. Second, I was afraid of losses at my job and career. Third, I had fear from the deviated culture of the CCP and the horrors that result from each political movement, as I have personally seen killings and persecution during each movement. Four, I was afraid of my own deviated notions and thought karma created by the deviations in the celestial beings that I correspond to, and my acquired selfishness in the big dye vat of society. Fifth, I feared the dark minions, rotten ghosts, and evil spirits in other dimensions trying to take advantage of my loopholes. In summary, I was not giving Fa-rectification and saving sentient beings the highest priority. Instead, I placed my own safety above everything else. No matter how the fears were formed, they were only a false shell. I asked myself, "The Four Great Elements have weathered away, and the old Fa is disintegrating," ("The Fa Rectifies All" from Hong Yin Volume II) Is there a safe place left in the old universe? Who can guarantee your safety? Can you be safe just studying the Fa at home? All human notions have been contaminated by this garbage heap we are in. The CCP's party culture, cultures from other celestial bodies, as well as influence by the dark minions and rotten ghosts, formed a deviated, false "me." If I held on to this false "me," I would struggle in degeneration and destruction, and the next step would be extremely dangerous. I was astonished to realize this. Wasn't it because I was controlled by various evil factors that I didn't dare to attend Fa study? Hadn't I been following the old forces? Didn't I cooperate with them passively?
"But you should try your best to advise them to take part in group study sessions, because the group study environment is indispensable for your helping each other improve, it is essential. Why, back early on, did I ask people to hold them? Because the form of cultivation that this Fa takes dictates that it be done this way." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York")
His words awakened us. Several fellow practitioners got together and shared on the Fa. We all realized that having group Fa study at this time is walking the path of Fa-rectification arranged by Master. This is the path of improving as one body, completely negating the old forces as one body, and saving more sentient beings. Many practitioners volunteered to host group study sites. Very quickly, a number of Fa study sites were formed. This is truly "Cultivation is up to you, gong is up the Master." ("Zhuan Falun") Some fellow practitioners who didn't step forward in the past also actively participated in group study. In addition, some new practitioners also joined. As the next step, we plan to visit those who used to practice and bring them back to the group.
Prior to July 1999, we had active group study and practice sites, and the practitioners' xinxing and physical bodies were both improving every day. Even those who were chronically ill recovered quickly. There were a lot of new practitioners who came to the practice sites despite extremely frigid winters and scorching hot summers. Why did things change so quickly after July 20? Wasn't it because the environment for group cultivation and improvement was destroyed? If the group environment existed, could the old forces persecute? Then by restoring group Fa study, aren't we completely negating the old forces? Aren't we walking the path arranged by Master?
So why did the old forces do this? Because they only want to change others, and not themselves. They have manipulated all the degenerate beings, whom they plan to eliminate, to control CCP members and destroy Dafa practitioners' cultivation environments. They tried to separate Dafa disciples and persecute them individually, in order to destroy them. At the same time, they have manipulated sentient beings to commit crimes against the Fa rectification, in order to eliminate them. Because the destruction is aimed at Dafa practitioners as a group, no matter how much one studies the Fa at home individually, he or she is still subject to the persecution by the old forces. When Dafa disciples all join in group Fa study, we are completely negating the old forces. I also came to understand that group Fa study is walking well the path arranged by Master, as we would be improving as a group, doing well the three things as a group, and transcending the old universe's environment of selfishness, which is already at the last stages of degeneration and destruction. We will need to cultivate and transform into truly pure, selfless beings of the new universe, and melt into the Fa. This is eternal safety.
I suggest that Dafa practitioners located in areas that don't yet have group Fa study, establish group study sites, provided that the practitioners' safety can be ensured. We should form the sites based on our understandings during Fa-rectification and therefore completely deny the old forces. Everyone should start with him or herself and actively participate. This way we can truly improve quickly as a whole and cooperate well with each other. We will be able to join together with more people who used to practice. As a result, we can act as one body and have the power of the Fa in our efforts to save sentient beings. We will be able to fulfill our historic vows, and negate all evil arrangements made by the old forces. The old forces will have no excuse to persecute. On the stage of history, they will enter the gate of no life. Dafa disciples will walk well as one body on the path of Fa-rectification cultivation, as arranged by Master, and return home with Master.