Overseas Rescue Team: Breaking Through Attachments and Incorrect Mentalities, Cooperating in Clarifying the Truth
February 14, 2003
Shared at 2003 Western U.S. Falun Dafa Conference
(Clearwisdom.net) Fellow practitioners in Canada initiated a rescue project by creating the "Canadian Family Rescue Campaign". In less than two months, a younger sister of a Toronto practitioner was released. Through telling stories about the suffering endured by family members of American citizens and residents who practice Falun Gong, we further clarify the truth about the persecution to U.S. government officials, the media, and the general public.
1. Breaking Through Attachments and Incorrect Mentalities
When the details of the work actually began, various attachments and notions arose.
It was difficult to communicate with family members imprisoned in China or get any information about them or let them know what we were doing, and we did not know their state of cultivation. Some fellow practitioners worried that because it was so difficult to get accurate information; others felt that their family members' stories were too plain and not as outstanding or noble as the stories published on the Minghui website. Therefore, they felt we should rescue those practitioners who are suffering more under the persecution. Some questioned whether we were being selfish and not considering others, since we were only thinking about what we wanted to do without truly understanding our family members' cultivation states. Some even thought, "I am neither an American citizen nor a permanent resident, and only have a working visa. How can I ask for help from the United States government and the American people?" ... All these arguments seemed to be reasonable when we heard them for the first time. However, if we followed through with all these reasons, the result would be either that we could not go any further or that we would give up completely.
No matter what kind of worries and fears we had, they were derived from two hidden problems: lack of understanding of the Fa and attachment to fame, gain, and sentimentality. Master told us the origin of our human history in "Touring North America to Teach the Fa." Under Master's compassion, we have created various heroic and moving epics and masterpieces, and whatever we have done throughout history was all for our assisting Master today in finishing the Fa-rectification. Now that it's time for all us Dafa disciples to finish our historic missions, to break through our old positions and old mentalities, and to reposition our true selves in the Fa, why did we have so much doubt and hesitation?
Rationally, we know that every practitioner in China is our family member, and we don't hesitate at all to tell people that more than 500 practitioners have lost their lives and thousands upon thousands are suffering in labor camps and mental institutions. Why was the Rescue campaign so difficult to get started? We thought our approach was correct: some practitioners emphasized again and again that we were trying to do things this way or that way, and that what was hidden beneath this was selfishness, wasn't it? Master taught us,
"Everything that the evil has done has actually targeted the attachments and fears that you have not let go of." (Essentials for Further Advancement II "Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s)")
"It is the evil that is afraid of people knowing the truth of the situation, not Dafa disciples." (Essentials for Further Advancement II "A Suggestion")
Who is afraid? It is the terrified rotten ghouls that seize upon our attachments and our poor understanding of the Fa to stay alive. Master told us to fundamentally deny this evil persecution and all the arrangements of the old forces, and to use our righteous thoughts and righteous actions. Under the evil persecution, our family members are still firmly following and assimilating to "Truth-Compassion-Tolerance"-- isn't that true bravery? Why were we trying to compare them to our idea of what heroes should be? We discovered our real selfishness when we found all kinds of excuses for not being diligent in studying the Fa, slacking off and holding on to attachments, not trying hard to do our best ... Aren't all these weaknesses exactly what the evil expects? How could we possibly face Master's great compassion? How could we face the dedication and commitment of thousands and thousands of family members in China? By breaking through the arrangements made by the old forces and using our own family members' persecution stories to clarify the truth to the public, wouldn't that be the way to tell people that Dafa evokes grand compassion and great tolerance in thousands and thousands of practitioners and brings forth their great wisdom and utmost bravery? Isn't it also telling people how sacred and magnificent Falun Dafa is? This is our mission: validate Dafa.
"... the stage was being set for the Fa." ("The Big Stage") Everything comes for the Fa, and everything belongs to the Fa. Everything in ordinary human society can be used for clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings, instead of becoming obstacles. Our call for rescue has compassion, morality, justice, and fundamental human rights as its foundation. So it encompasses all policies and laws in ordinary human society. One way to look at it is that if a country's government and its people can make the effort to rescue people from another country, aren't these great deeds for human beings, regardless of the fact that those we are rescuing are Dafa practitioners? From another point of view, isn't what we were going to do a process of rebuilding humanity's essential nature of morality, compassion, and justice? We understand that creating the future is also an integral part of our assisting Master in rectifying the Fa. Master has already indicated this to us:
"The second half of this line, "who is the host and who is the guest," alludes to the question of who is [really] the host and who is [really] the guest--on the stage of history, who plays the supporting role and who plays the main role? Even this human civilization is made for Dafa, created for Dafa." (Essentials for Further Advancement II
"Deciphering the Last Three Stanzas of the Plum Blossom Poem") If we understand this level of the Fa, then it is easy to understand the Fa Master taught us "In the Fa, I have told you to conform to everyday people as much as possible while cultivating." (Essentials for Further Advancement II "Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s)" and "Using at Will" (Essentials for Further Advancement II)
With this understanding, we would be able to do things more smoothly, wouldn't need to be afraid or overcautious, and we wouldn't be too zealous or oversensitive. The beauty of "And travels the four seas with a free and easy spirit" (from the Poem in Hong Yin, "Tathagata") would manifest. We experience this feeling from Canada's team, which has played the leading role in rescuing practitioners showing their good cultivation state.
By studying the Fa, and sharing experiences first among practitioners in the United States and later among other Global Rescue teams via conference calls and emails, we developed a clearer and clearer understanding of the Fa. Practitioners from Australia, New Zealand, European countries, Japan, Hong Kong, Canada, and the United States started to cooperate as a result of these interactions and understandings. We became a group to form a non-profit organization:" Global Mission to Rescue Persecuted Falun Gong Practitioners" and finally developed the first strong global voice and focus: Rescue Our Family Members Persecuted in China!
2. The Trip to Texas
In mid October 2002, rescue teams from Australia, Canada, California, and Massachusetts went to Texas to join local practitioners in clearing the site before the upcoming visit of Jiang. We took turns making appointments with city mayors, attending city board meetings, and holding press conferences in Houston, Dallas, and Austin. We used the individual experiences of Ms. Dai Zhizhen from Australia, Mr. Lin Zhenli from Canada, and Ms. Wang Xiaodan from the United States and their family members' difficulties to let Texas know "Falun Dafa is great!" Our approach was to tell them that there were people outside China who believe in "Truth-Compassion-Tolerance" and that among them were American citizens, students, and residents of Texas. Their beloved family members and friends are being inhumanely persecuted in China because of their belief in these high principles of "Truth-Compassion-Tolerance. We told Texans that the persecution of Falun Gong was really not so far away and that the initiator of this persecution -- a shameless, brutal dictator -- was coming to visit their hometown at the end of the month. We said that we hoped the citizens of Texas would stand together to ask President Bush to address the persecution of Falun Gong when he met with Jiang, and that we hoped people could help us rescue our family members.
Everything proceeded smoothly and quietly. Wherever we went, our righteous thoughts eliminated evil in other dimensions, inspired people's compassion, and encouraged many people after learning the truth to learn about Dafa. If our local truth clarifying work done in Texas cities at the beginning of October could be called a "gentle wind with light rain," then the "Rescue Family Members" van trips across Texas from various directions could in comparison be called "gale force winds with a deluge." These Rescue drives, which spread the truth of Dafa all along their routes, began and ended with a grand show and had the effect of slicing through the darkness and haze like a sword slices through butter.
The northern route began in Canada. Canadian practitioners started driving from Toronto, through Detroit, Chicago, St. Louis, and into Texas. With the help of local practitioners along their way, they were interviewed by the media, met with city officials, and held press conferences. They clarified the truth all along the way long and gave out handmade lotus flowers to those kind-hearted people who stopped to listen. Wherever the van passed, evil disintegrated into ashes. Only the beautiful lotus flower shined brightly. The western route started from the northwest city of Seattle. The van followed the coast down through San Francisco to Los Angeles, then headed east to Arizona, and passed through Phoenix to Texas. The eastern route had two starting points: Washington DC and Atlanta. The vans drove westward toward Texas, simultaneously from the north and south. We also made appointments, phone calls, and faxes, and held press conferences to clarify the truth and expose the evil crimes of the Jiang regime to the local governments and media. In the end, the four vans converged in Houston and joined the practitioners in sending forth righteous thoughts and eliminating evil there.
The Rescue Drive was very effective in clarifying the truth despite only four vehicles and the few people driving them. We got a lot of positive responses from many government offices, which reflected their concern and willingness to help once they heard our personal stories and learned the truth. The media also paid attention to us. Almost all the major newspaper and TV networks in the cities we stopped in reported on us and conducted interviews. Even the major media that had previously been so difficult to get coverage from contacted us for interviews. All the reports were very positive.
For all the preparatory work in Texas and the battle itself, practitioners from everywhere gave their best efforts quietly and cooperated smoothly with each other, which fully tested and reflected the manifestation of "Dafa practitioners being one body." The improvements practitioners had in understanding the Fa, and their enlightening stories, are countless.
3. One Body -- Practitioners Cooperate and Upgrade Together
Before and after we went to Texas, practitioners working on the Rescue campaign in Europe, Asia, Australia, and North America shared their experiences through conference calls and emails, which helped us to gradually upgrade our understanding. We began to see how effective using the approach of "rescuing persecuted family members in China" was in clarifying the truth. We received good feedback from everyone we contacted: from government officials to the media to the Chinese-American community. The first reaction we got was one of shock! Although they had heard about the persecution many times, they were still shocked when one of us told them how our own mother or sister or brother or father was being tortured. After the shock wore off, we could see their mentalities start to change, so we were able to further clarify the truth about the extent and severity of the persecution as well as the magnificence of Dafa. Many times, they offered to help. Meanwhile, the Rescue work also inspired our fellow practitioners to clarify the truth more vigorously and eliminate the evil.
Because fellow practitioners have been clarifying truth to the government over the past 3 years, certain departments already knew about the persecution to a certain extent. Further clarification could make the difference in their understanding the urgency of the situation and provide the impetus for them to take action against the persecution. The "Rescue Family Members" campaign provided this opportunity. Fellow practitioners, you probably know of the reports from Canada describing the successes they achieved, one after another, from the Rescue work being done by practitioners there, in addition to the proposal that the Canadian government is working on to condemn China's persecution of Falun Gong. All these results cannot be separated from the effort Canada's practitioners have put into clarifying the truth to the government. In the United States and other areas, we have also begun receiving some positive feedback. When some of our practitioners met with their congressmen, they were told: "Of course we will call attention to this issue," "Condemning this persecution is very important; we feel we can do something for you," and "Our residents' family members are facing persecution; we can't stay outside without helping." One congressman's assistant struck the table after hearing the story of the suffering our practitioner's family member had to endure. He immediately picked up the phone and dialed the labor camp in China and solemnly condemned their actions. We clearly saw that when human beings' compassion and sense of justice are awakened by practitioners' great compassion and tolerance, and by "Truth-Compassion-Tolerance," they are proactive in taking the initiative to stop the persecution, creating a good future for themselves.
The media is a useful tool to clarify the truth to the general public; however, the media -- especially local media -- seems to prefer unique and personalized stories. So when we, as local residents, told the local media about what happened to us and our family members, they were all very interested. The persecution of Falun Gong had always been very far away, and now with these personal stories it was so close. As a result, we were able to let more people know about Dafa and the persecution, and we understood what Teacher meant when he taught us to, "...conform to everyday people as much as possible while cultivating." (Essentials for Further Advancement II "Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s)"
Chinese people both inside and outside of China have many incorrect views toward Dafa because of the slander and poisonous lies propagated by China's state-controlled media and its overseas mouthpieces. Many don't believe the extent and seriousness of the Jiang regime's persecution of Dafa practitioners and their families and friends. The exposure of these facts, as provided by the "Rescuing Our Family Member" campaign activities and the series of reports to overseas Chinese communities and media, has helped to eliminate a lot of these mentalities which are rooted deep in Chinese people's minds. As a result, they are able to understand Dafa righteously. For example, a coworker of a Canadian practitioner was very stubborn in thinking that our money for clarifying the truth came from government support. When he saw another practitioner asking for help in Chinatown for his coworker's family member, he changed completely upon seeing how well practitioners help each other like one big family. An American practitioner told his coworkers: "My fellow practitioners' family members are persecuted because they don't want to give up their belief in "Truth-Compassion-Tolerance." If I don't stand up to ask for help, who will? It has nothing to do with politics. In China, there are thousands and thousands of families suffering under the persecution, and they are like my own parents, brothers, and sisters. If I don't call for help, who will? Do you have any good ideas on what to do? In fact, humans have this heart, and this heart is aligned with the Law of the universe. From April 25, 1999, practitioners in China have been risking their lives to do the same thing." The American practitioner's coworker said: "You are magnificent, this is justice! With your compassion and united hearts, I would say Falun Gong is the hope for China!"
Practitioners in different countries are cooperating and breaking the mental boundaries between teams, areas, and countries. Besides cooperating with the government team and media team, we also received very proactive support from North America phone/fax team to periodically focus on calling/faxing clarifying the truth to those very evil areas where our family members detained. As Dafa particles, we care for each other and work with each other. Whenever a good idea or method is found in one area, other places follow or else modify the technique so that it applies to them. When practitioners in one area encounter difficulty in doing Rescue work, we encourage each other and remind each other that when facing problems, we must first look inside ourselves. The cooperation among practitioners naturally extended to cooperation among governments. For example, Australian practitioners told their government officials how the Canadian government helped the Canadian practitioners. The Australian government officials then replied that they would learn how the Canadian government was able to help rescue family members. Because each country has a different environment, practitioners' work in these areas reflects these differences, based on the needs of the environment. For example, practitioners in some areas have developed very strong skills that are suitable for individual work, while practitioners in other areas have more experience working as a team. During the time when we were together in Texas, practitioners from different countries proactively learned each other's strong points, which made difficulties easy to resolve. One practitioner who was responsible for coordination and communication said that by doing Rescue work, he was able to see that every practitioner is devoting himself to Dafa work. Most impressive to him was the understanding and cooperation among practitioners. He learned about the strong points of other practitioners and noticed the areas he needed to improve. Practitioners in different countries who are doing Rescue work experience the mighty power of practitioners as a whole body and the improvement of Xinxing.
During the past three weeks, the incidents of Nancy Chen (an Australian citizen) and Charles Li (an American citizen) detained in China offered us a chance to clearly see the despair and madness of the evil at the end of its path, and also let us see our omissions in our cultivation and how urgently we need to improve our understanding of the Fa. If we could have observed these incidents earlier and seen the big picture from the Fa rectification perspective, seen the inter-connection between these incidents and some big things in Fa rectification like the lawsuit against Jiang in Chicago--if we could have seen what was happening in this world is reflecting our mind status and notions, which need to be changed via upgrading our Xinxing; if we could have seen earlier that rescuing Nancy and Charles was not the task only for the rescue team and at the same time shared our understanding from the Fa with many more fellow practitioners earlier and to form a magnificent, strong and righteous field, then, just like Nancy Chen, Charles could be here now sharing his path of breaking through the evil arrangement. However, during these three very short weeks, though we didn't do good enough on this or that aspect, and had this or that omission, lots of improvements are already happening. From observing many phone conferences and e-mail exchanges, and articles published on Minghui, we can see the endeavors from fellow practitioners in California, Washington DC; from practitioners in the States and around the world, no matter if they were in the rescue team or not, and those of our respected fellow practitioners in China. We see that everyone is diligently improving in their understanding of the Fa and benefiting from it. We see the firm stand of denying the evil and the compassion towards the fellow practitioners. We see all of these converge to form a tremendous righteous field that is fundamentally wiping out the arrangement of evil and the evil itself. We are grateful to Master's great compassion!
In summary, during the few months we have been doing rescue work, we have recognized that what we are doing not only can directly eliminate evil and reduce the pressure on practitioners in China, but also can be used as a starting point to clarify the truth from different angles and break through the human mentality. Secondly, the Rescue campaign is an all-encompassing, comprehensive project. It requires seamless cooperation, encouragement and coordination among practitioners doing work in the areas of government, media, human rights organizations, and the truth-clarification to China and overseas. No matter from which standpoint we are working, we are required to be within the Fa, to overcome the distance between practitioners, and to enforce experience sharing and cooperation. We also need to mentally break through the boundaries between different teams, regional areas, and countries to become one whole body. We understand that this is the requirement for us in the Fa-rectification process.
In the process of assimilating to Master's Fa and helping to rectify the cosmos, let each of our Dafa particles redouble their efforts to build a genuine indestructible body to finish the mission of Fa-rectification and to welcome the arrival of Fa-rectification of the human world. Thank you Master! Thank you everyone!