Using Technology to Validate the Fa
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings to respected Master and fellow practitioners!
I am taking this opportunity of the "Fourth Internet Experience Sharing Conference for Falun Gong Practitioners in China" to share my experience of validating the Fa through technical work.
From July 20, 1999, when the persecution began, until to today, I've experienced three phases of validating the Fa through technical work. The first phase was breaking through technical difficulties. The second one was helping to establish small truth-clarification materials production sites. The third one, which I have just gone through, was assimilating to the Fa through technical work. I'm now entering the next phase and will continue to improve.
1. Breaking Through Technical Difficulties
By technical work, I mean computer related activities that are needed for accomplishing Dafa related work
My major was in computers. After obtaining the Fa in 1997, I did not understand Master's lecture on this related topic. I was narrow minded and actually disliked computers. Before July 20, 1999, my conflicts were more about work. But after July 20, I experienced more and more conflicts during my cultivation.
In 2000, I lost my job as a result of the persecution. I decided to use this opportunity to learn something else. I even missed a good opportunity to work on Internet security in a university, which was arranged by a friend of mine. This was during that difficult time where we needed to break through the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) Internet blockade.
Other practitioners asked me for help with software installation and usage, since they knew I had studied computer science. But in fact, I didn't even know the basic operations and had little knowledge of this software. This was during the transition period from DOS to Windows. Since I disliked computers, I did not want to learn anything new about them. What should I do? I knew I should do my duty. Feeling that this was my responsibility, I decided to learn from the beginning and break through the technical difficulties.
When I decided to learn how to use the new computer systems, in 2001 Master arranged for me, through a friend of mine, to work at a company that deals with Internet security. I started from zero and studied the related theories and techniques. A few months afterwards, I was at ease with computers and was able to solve technical problems for other practitioners.
2. Helping to Establish Small Truth-clarification Materials Production Sites
At the end of 2003, I noticed that practitioners in my hometown had to go to other places to get truth-clarification materials. This took time, and it was slow and a lot of work. I talked with local practitioners and we decided to try to set up our own materials production site. We started to work on it at the beginning of 2004. The first try was a total failure. I was trying to teach a practitioner who had no knowledge of computers and who was even afraid of computers. In addition, I was not patient enough.
With the next practitioner, I changed my attitude and teaching method. I taught him step by step and let him write down every step and repeat the process himself. It was also a cultivation process for me. I tried to be more patient and not pressure the practitioner. He tried very hard to learn. Within two days, that practitioner learned how to print materials. Through our working together, I was able to teach someone how to make truth-clarification materials. I admired the hard work of that practitioner, and later he also taught other practitioners, so that I would have more time to do other Dafa related things.
Helping establish these small truth-clarification materials production sites was also a process for us to help each other and improve together.
In early 2005, I met with a practitioner who had the necessary equipment at home for setting up a small materials production center. At that time, the previous center had been destroyed by the authorities and we needed a new one urgently. But that practitioner had two attachments, which he needed to overcome. One was that he felt it was difficult to learn all the techniques; and the second one was that he was afraid for his safety when using the Internet. However, he eventually realized our duty as practitioners and decided to do it.
I first taught him how to print materials and told him what to print. After some time, he could do it well and learned how to make CDs. He no longer felt that it was too difficult.
Next, I started to teach him about Internet safety. From the technical point of view, I helped him to understand how the anti-blocking software works and why it is safe to use it. However, I knew we practitioners can't look at things as non-practitioner do. So after he learned how to break through the Internet blockade, I shared with him on how to look at the safety issue and that the key is to equip ourselves with the Fa, do the three things well, and not to leave loopholes for the evil. He broke through the barrier of fear, copied the anti-blocking software on CDs and started to distribute them to friends and colleagues. Seeing the great changes in him, I once again saw how wonderful Dafa practitioners are and how wonderful the Fa is.
Every practitioner is different and when I helped them establish small truth-clarification material sites, I considered their individual situation. One practitioner wanted to establish one, but she was afraid her family wouldn't approve. So at the beginning, she was hiding everything from her husband. But her husband noticed that the machine had been re-installed and they actually had some conflicts regarding this issue. I knew that her husband was not against her practicing Falun Gong, but he was worried about the safety issue. He was afraid that it was not safe to go on the Internet.
Therefore, I did not hide from her husband anymore. I explained all the safety issues to him including security, viruses, encryption, and more. This reduced his concerns, and it also showed him the wisdom and care of practitioners. Afterwards her husband was not against her making truth-clarification materials anymore and he even started to read the Minghui website and Epoch Times himself. Thus, both problems, technical and family, were solved. This helped me understand more that practitioners who work on technical issues should not only learn the techniques but also study the Fa well. We need to handle all problems with righteous thoughts and create a good environment for validating the Fa.
3. Techniques Improved with the Improvement of Xinxing
In the winter of 2006, I faced big obstacles when trying to install programs for making truth-clarification materials for another practitioner. The CDs which worked elsewhere did not work on his machine. When we studied Zhuan Falun, Master reminded me at the end of Lecture Six:
"Whether it's your abilities, your Unlocked state, or whatnot, you got it by cultivating Dafa. If you make Dafa secondary and your divine powers primary, or now that you're Enlightened you think that some understanding or other of yours is correct, or if you even think you're so great you've gone beyond Dafa, I'd say you've started to fall, and you're at risk, and you're getting worse and worse." (Zhuan Falun, 2003 Edition, The Sixth Talk, Showing Off)
From that moment on, deep in my heart, I truly connected technical problems with validating the Fa. I deeply understood that I am validating the Fa, not validating myself. Everything is given to me by Master. Everyone has come for Dafa. After I shared this understanding, we sent forth righteous thoughts with the firm belief that Dafa would succeed. We overcame the difficulty and the system worked.
Soon afterward, I faced a big tribulation myself. I went to a quiet place and had planned to focus on studying the Fa and adjusting myself. Two days later, I felt that something was not right, and I realized that I followed the arrangements of the old forces. So I talked to other practitioners and we shared about the problems we were facing. I didn't feel that this sharing had made a big improvement. But after I returned home, when I was sending forth righteous thoughts at 5:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m., suddenly happiness arose from within my heart. It was not happiness like a human emotion, but a brightness deep within my heart, a happiness for being able to help other practitioners with their technical issues. I believed that this happiness was a reward from Master for not following the arrangement of the old forces.
During my cultivation, I felt that whenever I improved from the Fa and truly put myself aside, my technical work also improved as a result . When I was teaching other practitioners, I often faced the problem of how to explain things to them in a simpler way. The Fa would help me make a breakthrough, and the best solutions would enter my mind automatically, like a series of pictures. Others could then understand right away. I know this wisdom was given to me by Master, "a life's elevation means the dual elevation of realm and skill, and improvement of that life's understanding in different realms." ("Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005")
I also noticed that whenever I lost my patience, it was then that I didn't have enough wisdom and compassion, and that was exactly the moment when I needed to improve. A practitioner asked me many times to teach him to install the system for making truth-clarification materials. I felt it would be difficult and didn't know how to teach him so many procedures, especially when many unexpected things could occur. Therefore, I put off teaching him. When I improved my level, and worked harder to control my impatience, I suddenly remembered how to classify the software and how to pass the knowledge on to him.
When I studied computer science, the usual text books classified software into system software, application software, etc. That is everyday people's knowledge. I realized that my wisdom came from Dafa. I felt deeply from my heart that all the technology I knew was due to the Fa. I considered software as our "holy weapon" and re-classified it by the functions they have. System software is a separate class, and acts like a performance stage on which other software display themselves. All other software are classified into two types: one type is functional software, including editing, printing, graphics, etc., and another type is for protection and mainly for anti-virus and security.
During the process of installation, I also treated everything as part of the whole. For example, I considered the work practitioners are going to accomplish with the system, the system itself, and the software. In many cases practitioners needed to buy a computer. We were concerned about getting a computer that is most economical but that produces the best results. I tried to take all factors into account.
While I was doing all of this work, I gradually gained a new realization. The dances by the Divine Performing Arts group use body language to pass on the inner meaning of traditional arts. I'm passing on my technical understanding by using the tools of software. My heart is full of gratitude toward Master. It was Master who led me to this level. I understood on a certain level why Master allows other practitioners ask me to "help" them.
Master told us:
"What I'm asking you to do is not only for the sake of others and for leaving behind these things for the people of the future--it's also helpful to your own cultivation. Because you're all living in this society's environment, you all need to step out from this period of time. In other words, this is how people's notions are now, people are all in the big dye vat, and those of you who have these special skills are bound to have been influenced in this regard more than others. Then during your process of creating artworks and returning to the upright path, aren't you cleansing yourselves? And aren't you re-elevating yourselves artistically? Yes, you are fundamentally changing yourselves, and changing yourselves in terms of your concepts. Aren't you cultivating yourself?" ("Teaching the Fa at the Discussion on Creating Fine Art")
4. Cooperation in Technical Work
Technical work is not only the technique itself, it is a part of the whole picture. We need to keep the whole picture in mind. For example, when we build small truth-clarification material production sites, we need to consider the progress of the Fa-rectification, the local situation, practitioners' finances, and our cultivation, before deciding what to do. I would like to share a few recent experiences:
When I lived with an elderly practitioner, I noticed that his printer was not working normally. A few days later, his computer received a virus. I reinstalled his system. After the installation was completed, the first printing job went well. But the second one was extremely slow, and his machine was supposed to have been pretty good. I re-installed the system three times during those three days. During this time, I noticed that this practitioner worked hard but did not look at things from the perspective of the Fa. I also did not study the Fa well during that time. After the third installation, I sat down and studied four lectures of Zhuan Falun. I sent forth righteous thoughts to clean up all the dark minions, rotten ghosts and meddling deities who were interfering with saving people. Afterwards, the machine worked fine. The next day, when the practitioner used the computer, the problem occurred again. I shared my thoughts with him from the point of the Fa and suggested that he study the Fa more.
Through our sharing, I learned that he had been assigned a certain amount of "tasks." He was asked to print out a certain amount of truth-clarification materials per week. I immediately discussed this situation with him. I suggested to him not to treat this "assignment" the same way as everyday work. I helped him to change his Fa study time - after coming home from regular work, he would study the Fa first before doing any Fa validation work. His situation soon changed and all the printing functions went smoothly. I also tried to share with those practitioners who were in a hurry to get materials, that we always need to look at things from the perspective of the Fa.
Another incident was even more extraordinary. There was one elderly practitioner who helped a lot with Dafa work during the past two years. Others all trusted him. He did many things, including printing materials and making CDs, which many other practitioners were afraid to do. He had done a lot, but now he was being followed by the police and they put monitors around his home. He was under great pressure, and he had problems with his printer. The printer worked fine when other practitioners used it, but as soon as this practitioner used the printer it would stop working. This happened twice in a row. Technical support people couldn't solve the problem either. Soon afterward, this practitioner was forced to leave his home as a result of the persecution.
I noticed that this practitioner had not improved from the Fa for a while. But other practitioners ignored the problem and gave him more tasks to do since they thought that he was capable. The practitioner couldn't finish all the work and thus was worried. He didn't want to delay the task of saving people and he tried to look inward. I was trying to discuss this issue with him and other related practitioners and hoped that we could improve as one body. But it didn't work well and eventually he became the target of persecution.
After he became homeless, this practitioner lived with me for a period of time. During this time, I started to understand him more. Before he learned Falun Dafa, he was a senior official and admired by many. He got cancer and it was Dafa that had saved his life. His recovery shocked the whole city. For such an influential person, it may not have been suitable for him to stay home and make truth-clarification materials. Although the practitioner himself was not picky and was willing to do whatever was needed, that was his cultivation level. Why did he face such big resistance? Was it because of fear? No. He never stopped working on saving people even under the tight watch of the police. Finally, I saw the loopholes we practitioners as a whole had and another shortcoming of that practitioner.
If this practitioner could study the Fa more and spend more time reading the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, then it would have been more valuable when he talked to his previous colleagues about his experiences in Dafa, the crimes of the Chinese Communist Party, the evil of communist culture, and more, instead of staying at home and printing materials. He could also reach higher officials in the city. He could tell them the facts, and thus create a better environment for other practitioners. And it would have been safer for him as well. Didn't Master tell us, "find ways to do better, to be more efficient, to have a greater impact, and to save more people"? ("Fa Teaching at the U.S. Capital" 2007). Looking at the problem from another angle, if things get stuck, isn't it Master reminding us to look at things differently?
Right now small truth-clarification materials production sites are everywhere. Sometimes the coordinators may not notice every problem. Technical people may notice more problems because they have more opportunities to talk to other practitioners. In this case, the technically experienced practitioner should coordinate things well and fulfill the duty of helping other practitioners to do the three things well.
When doing technical work, I started from strongly disliking computer issues, and going through many moments where I almost lost my patience when being asked by others too many times. But there were many moving experiences also. Now, I understand more what Teacher said:
"Whatever you experience during your cultivation--whether good or bad--is good, for it comes about only because you are cultivating." ("To the Chicago Fa Conference")
I also deeply understood that, "All troubles are to pave the way for ascending to Heaven." ("Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference"). All troubles are stepping stones to Heaven. When thinking of this, the capacity of my mind increased and I now have more compassion toward other practitioners.
Master gave me so much when I was doing technical work. I hope I will walk better on my cultivation path toward the Fa-rectification, correct all my shortcomings and save more sentient beings.
Thank you Master! Thank you fellow practitioners.