Truth Clarification Work and the Cultivation of Xinxing
(Clearwisdom.net) Dafa work needs organization and management, albeit loose management. The main difference between everyday people's management and ours is that practitioner participation in Dafa work and activities is voluntary. No one is forced to take part in anything. Nonetheless, Dafa work needs to be coordinated. Also, Falun Dafa practitioners' participation in Dafa work is part of the process of upgrading one's Xinxing (heart or mind nature, moral character). Practitioners need to have strict requirements for themselves that accord with the standards of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Thus, the problems that show up while doing Dafa work reflect the Xinxing issues in practitioners.
I have been in Los Angeles for several months and participated in various local Falun Dafa activities. I'd like to share some of my thoughts about what I saw and heard.
I arrived in LA on February 26, 2004. The next day I was helping to make lotus flowers and attended the Experience-sharing Conference the day after. It was the first time for me to see our Teacher. I participated in the parade the following day. While we were making the lotus flowers, I saw that local practitioners were very busy. The Experience-sharing Conference would be held the next day, yet the preparations were not finished. The lotus flowers were not made yet, nor was the float decorated. I could see one of the problems that caused this situation. The practitioner who was in charge of the job only went out to purchase the materials on the day before and didn't come back until 5 p.m.. Several practitioners could only wait at home, with nothing to do.
Understandably, everyone was very anxious. Under the circumstance that no one had made any lotus flowers before, it was important to listen to different opinions about the best way to construct them. Yet the practitioners emphasized their own ideas so much and displayed some temper when they spoke. They accused each other and quarreled until 10 p.m. One of the practitioners was extremely upset. So some people just left. Only a few practitioners stayed and worked till 2 o'clock in the morning and finished making the lotus flowers.
The Experience-sharing Conference was postponed for 45 minutes in order to finish getting the venue ready. There were several thousand practitioners waiting outside. Each person wasted 45 minutes, which amounted to a very large amount of time. It was indeed a problem. When I was in China, I read in one of Teacher's articles about problems among practitioners. On the second day when I arrived in the U.S., I witnessed such problems. I thought, "Teacher really can see through things. Now that I am in the U.S., I shall pay attention to getting along with the local practitioners."
Several months later, at the Chicago Experience Sharing Conference on May 23, 2004, Teacher pointed out the issue again,
"Have you noticed that a lot of our students can't take criticism from others? As soon as they are criticized they get mad and aren't able to take it. These things stick out pretty badly now. Think about it carefully. You can't even take criticism from me, your master."
During the several months I have been in the U.S., I have felt the real freedom of living here. There is no danger of being arrested or detained. How then can I upgrade my Xinxing?
Teacher said in Lecture Three in Zhuan Falun: "I have stated that one's gong level is as high as one's xinxing level." Practitioners often take part in Dafa work and all sorts of Dafa activities. How can we cultivate ourselves and upgrade our Xinxing during these activities? It is a question that I often thought about after coming to America. The problems in my fellow practitioners are also problems that I need to be aware of. They are also the problems we experience while doing Dafa work. Each and every practitioner should care about Dafa work. Sometimes, I asked myself, if I were assigned the job, or if I were in charge of a certain project, could I do it well? Would I be able to follow Teacher's requirements?
I think an Experience Sharing Conference and parade are very important Dafa events. Normally, everything should be ready on the day before the conference and the parade,
July 4 is Independence Day in the U.S. We planned to take part in a parade. The same thing happened. Two days before the parade, we were anxiously making the banners until late at night. Why couldn't we make the banners earlier? Some practitioner said, "It's always like that with us. We are used to it. "
As to taking part in the anti-torture exhibit, since we didn't apply for space ahead of time, when we went there, we were told to move our things. When the police asked us to leave, some practitioner suggested we send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the evil. I don't think that was the right way to solve the problem.
On July 20, we gathered in front of the Chinese Consulate for a candlelight vigil to commemorate the 1014 Chinese practitioners who have been tortured to death in the persecution. It was a serious event. During the days around July 20, I was very upset. Sometimes, tears just rolled down my face when I was doing the meditation. In America, most practitioners have to work during the daytime. They are very busy. Some practitioners went to the Chinese Consulate without having dinner. I was deeply touched. At 7:30 p.m., the reporters came to cover the event. However, four or five practitioners were sifting through the unusable candles and paper bags at the front gate of the Chinese Embassy. The waste they picked out filled a big bag. Because of that, the candlelight vigil couldn't be started on time. I thought, "Wouldn't it be better if such a simple job had been done beforehand?"
For some time, I have been involved in delivering truth-clarifying newspapers. I found that the Dafa materials were not put in good order when stored in the garage; banners, SOS T-shirts, and videotapes were everywhere. Upon one practitioner's suggestion, we tidied things up. In my opinion, the Dafa materials, banners, and SOS T-shirts are all purchased with money that practitioners scrimped and saved to get. Every Dafa practitioner should cherish those items. We all know to take good care of the Dafa books. The same holds true for Dafa materials, banners, and videotapes. We should cherish everything related to Dafa.
There is a practitioner in her 70's in our neighborhood. Her son only gives her $20 a month for spending money. This amounts to about $360 a year. Apart from purchasing gifts for her two grandchildren, she takes $200 out for Dafa work. It is not easy for her to do that. Some practitioners purchased fabric for Dafa banners. But after the banners were made, they were not used. While working on the banners I asked the practitioners, "Do we really need to make these? If we are not going to use them, it will be a waste of Dafa practitioners' money." Yet some practitioners didn't seem to care.
In China, I have a friend who is the vice-president in a joint venture. She said to me, "You Falun Gong people seem to have a lot of money. During the week of the Chinese New Year, I received a pile of faxes from you people, all with similar content." I think her words should really make us think. When clarifying the truth, we should think about things from different aspects.
I heard from some practitioners that every time when we take part in a parade, we have to make a lot of new banners. And we lose banners after every parade. Some said, "It doesn't matter if we lose banners. They must have been taken by practitioners and used in other cities. If they are not in our hands, practitioners in other places will use them. It's all the same." I don't think we should look at it in that way. How can Dafa practitioners lose Dafa things? Why do we not take good care of these things? I think it is a Xinxing issue.
What I have described are some problems we have in our Dafa work. If we upgrade our Xinxing, such problems will not occur any more. Whatever problems we have, Teacher will in time point them out. It's then a matter of whether we can follow Master's words.
At the Experience-sharing Conference in Chicago on May 23, 2004, Master said,
" While [Dafa disciples] clarify the facts, [some people] squander the money Dafa disciples have scrimped and saved for making materials. I have always taught you to think of others first in everything you do, but does that even cross your mind when you use Dafa disciples' money or possessions? The evil takes advantage of the slightest gap and glares menacingly at every single word and action of yours. Whatever you're attached to, that's what the evil beings will strengthen, and when your mind is off they will make you irrational."
(Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference)
I would like to make the following suggestions:
1. We should think about whether it's necessary to spend the money on some things and do our best to conserve our resources . On the other hand, we cannot collect money from practitioners to do Dafa work. Otherwise, it will be against the principles of Dafa.
2. As to the used banners, some of them are brand new. We should wash them and put them away for the next time.
3. There should be someone designated to take care of the Dafa materials and keep a record of how much we print and how much we distribute.
4. We shouldn't just leave the SOS T-shirts in the storage room. We can wear them at the anti-torture exhibits or in parades.
5. The extra materials should be taken care of by someone for later use. If we just leave them lying around in a storage room, they will be considered garbage after a while.