Be Merciful to Sentient Beings, Fulfill Our Historic Mission
Several years ago, during an activity commemorating the "April 25" [peaceful appeal], when a practitioner read about the Fa-validation experience of practitioners who have died as a result of the persecution, I thought of Master's Fa, in particular, the question / answer session in Falun Buddha Fa--Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Singapore:
Question: After disciples have Consummated up there, can they still listen to Teacher's Fa-teaching?
Teacher: You're still using human thoughts to imagine the way gods are. Let me tell you: By then you will have your own disciples listening to you teaching Fa. The history of your cultivation establishes mighty virtue for your future and will become a great and majestic Fa. Outwardly things seem pretty plain, as you're cultivating in ordinary human society. But things you're not aware of are recorded. Whether or not you can sense them, they're all kept on record. So they will all become the mighty virtue you establish. Actually, Buddhas too teach Fa in their paradises. Along with teaching the principles living beings in those realms should follow, they mainly tell the cultivation stories of Buddhas in different heavenly paradises. The stories are so inspiring that even the living beings in the heavenly paradises are moved to tears upon hearing them. That's why I've said that everyone has to reach the standard in cultivation.
I felt Master's hints. Our Dafa disciples' cultivation stories will be spread in the vast firmament of the new cosmos, and passed down to sentient beings at different levels. Don't we listen to their stories now in the human world? While we validate the Fa in the human world, it is not only ourselves that walk toward Consummation; don't we also witness future enlightened beings' cultivation experiences? I feel how fortunate our Dafa disciples are, and how serious, great and majestic validating the Fa is. I realized that I should cherish such a once-in-a-billion-years' opportunity of Fa-rectification cultivation, and cherish the noble predestined relationship with Master, with Dafa and with fellow practitioners.
Some understandings in writing articles
I understand that my life has been changed because I have learned Dafa. Due to the somewhat distorted education I received when I was in China, I had poor basic writing skills. I then completed university and left with a major in Science and Technology. . When validating the Fa, I often wrote down some of my understandings and ideas, and unconsciously used my written words to expose the evil and clarify the facts. I noticed many overseas practitioners validate the Fa in this form as well. They were of a similar background and basis of writing as myself, and, like me, gradually matured in the practice of writing to validate the Fa. An understanding I have is that, when we break through the notions of ordinary people, the Fa will give us wisdom. When faced with the evil's slander and defamation that spread and covered the earth, our articles, reports and comments played a huge role in exposing the evil and saving sentient beings. Therefore, I hope more practitioners can break through human notions and obstacles, and pick up the pen to expose the evil, clarify the facts, save sentient beings and validate the Fa.
The wicked party has mobilized a nation's resources to produce all kinds of audio-visual and written materials to slander Dafa, and poison people's minds. Dafa disciples have limited resources and time; we can only do 'Dafa work' in our spare time, with most of us participating in several projects. But we have the boundless Dafa to support us and inspire our wisdom. Over the past few years, I feel that the articles we have written are far from enough, and our writing style is still monotonous. "Getting political" may be still the biggest obstacle in ordinary people's minds, as they have been poisoned by the Party culture. Therefore, more practitioners are needed to put greater effort into exposing the persecution and clarifying the facts.
When writing articles that expose the persecution, I need to read a large number of persecution cases, and at first I would sometimes be affected by emotions. However, through the exchange of thoughts with other practitioners, I realized that when we expose the persecution, we should look at the persecution righteously, and our hearts cannot be trapped in the evil's persecution. We cannot expose the persecution while being manipulated by our emotions. In particular, when we are overseas, some practitioners become too emotional when confronted with the persecution, and do not want to read or finish reading the horrible and bloody persecution cases. They also do not want to tell others about the persecution cases. I think if our Dafa disciples do not want to read or tell others about these cases, how can we expect ordinary people to be clear about the brutality of the persecution? Isn't this caused by our emotions? Our mission is to save sentient beings. I think outside China, particularly recently, our exposing of the persecution has not been enough; the persecution of Dafa disciples inside China seems to be far from us. I hope our overseas Dafa disciples can do even better in exposing the persecution and clarifying the facts.
When we validate the Fa through written articles, the side that has not been cultivated well will manifest in our articles. In the first two years of my writing articles, the feedback I received was that the articles contained emotion and lacked compassion. I feel some Dafa disciples have resentment against bad people and the wicked Party; some authors' state of mind do not fully exhibit a Dafa disciple's compassion for ordinary people. For example, not long ago, during an exchange of understanding and experiences, some overseas practitioners said that while participating in media work some practitioners have "a 'fighting mindset' and a 'going to extremes' mentality". Their articles may affect the overall effect, because readers will not only read the words, but they can also feel the author's state of mind; and the author's state of mind often plays a decisive role. Some Dafa disciples in mainland China frequently labeled police and other people who participated in the persecution as "evil." This is not considered professional when the reader is an ordinary person. When people, particularly westerners, read articles where "evil" is mentioned in so many forms, the effect may not be good. Moreover, many people participated in the persecution when they were not clear about the facts or under pressure from higher authorities. Many of them are still savable by clarifying the facts.
A Dafa disciple's ultimate purpose is to save people. Master said, "The only thing you have a role in is saving people" ("Teaching the Fa in the City of Chicago"). It is very important to treat sentient beings with a compassionate mind. If we do not have compassion, how can we save people? After realizing all this, my mind has gradually changed over the past few years. I have gradually become calm and peaceful, and started paying attention to the effect on readers, think more of the readers, and make it easier for them to understand. Our articles are to be used for clarifying the facts, "Mercy can melt heaven and earth into spring" ("Fa Rectifies the Cosmos" Hong Yin Volume II). When we are truly considerate of others, ordinary people will feel our kind intentions, and thus we can save them. At the same time, our writing techniques need to be constantly scrutinized and improved. Articles should be succinct, as many readers are not patient enough to read long articles. This doesn't mean I oppose long articles; I mean long articles need to be more succinct in order to let readers be willing to read them, as nobody likes wordy articles. I believe our articles should be sharper and more focused. We need to put much more effort into this area.
On the path of a Dafa disciple's validating the Fa, no matter what is done and in what form, there are elements of cultivating our xinxing and making improvements all along the way. We need to cultivate ourselves. It is the same importance as improving ourselves to reach the standard of Consummation. The process of writing articles is closely related to our cultivation. For example, when writing articles, we often need to find subjects and search for materials on our own. We need to study and research many things and grasp relevant knowledge in the human world, making them available for validating the Fa. We cannot make readers feel that we are talking like laymen. All this is time consuming, so we need to break through laziness and the attachment of seeking comfort. When writing articles, our attachment to recognition, seeking fame among Dafa disciples, and the attachment of jealousy also easily emerge, along with other attachments.
When cooperating with other practitioners, if our notions are different, we may stick to our opinions, and our attachment of being self-centered may emerge. After an article of mine was published, I often found that it had been changed by editors [practitioners]. If the corrections involved the notions or areas in which I felt complacent, it would affect my ego, and I would feel upset. The attachment of not letting others correct our articles is the same as the attachment of not wanting others to criticize us. All this should be eliminated through cultivation. I have not found it easy to get rid of ego. Sometimes I did well, and sometimes I did not do so well.
Reasons behind not being willing to coordinate
In our cultivation, we do not talk about "unity" of ordinary people, but we emphasize coordination and improvement of xinxing. Master said, "For Dafa disciples as a whole, in the process of validating the Fa, when you work together in concert, the Fa power is great" (Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference). This shows the importance of coordination. Many Fa validation projects require coordination, as project coordinators can discuss and exchange understandings within a team. However, I personally have not taken the initiative to do much coordination work. I'd rather do work that does not require coordination.
Thinking about it carefully, this is because my human notions blocked me. Before practicing cultivation, I admired a deity's carefree life. Reading fellow practitioners' articles on getting rid of fundamental attachments, I also looked inside to search for my attachments, but could not find any. This was probably due to my previous understanding of cultivation, and also my wanting to cultivate to become a deity; to feel how wonderful it is to be free and easy! So my entering Dafa cultivation was not for curing illnesses or other reasons. Actually, thinking back, I used human notions to pursue cultivation, but did not understand the true meaning of life. What I pursued was what human beings regard as "free and easy," and I used human notions to view cultivation as "free and easy."
Human being's being "free and easy" manifests as being unwilling to be restricted, and unwilling to restrict others. Thinking of being free and easy meant that it was too troublesome to coordinate work. I find that undertaking certain work can be tiring, yet other work does not bother me much. For example, I can sit in front of the computer for hours without moving and not feel tired, but I may not be willing to make a short phone call, so I have remained passive and somewhat resistant to participate in and assist with coordination work.
We learned from the Fa that enlightened beings can be truly free and easy, but at the same time they have great responsibilities, and need to use the principles of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" at that level to look after sentient beings in their worlds. They may "give a lot of care," relatively speaking. For Dafa disciples who cultivate among ordinary people, sometimes we want to have less trouble to be free and easy. These are all attachments, because cultivation is to cultivate the mind. Isn't avoiding coordination work related to our being afraid of being troubled, having conflicts or contradictions with others, and bearing responsibilities? Certainly coordination work in validating the Fa is not "controlling people" as ordinary people seem to do, but a means to effectively communicate with others. Communicating with others is not something I like to do very much, particularly when encountering difficulties or when practitioners do not want to cooperate. Master said,
"As you are Dafa disciples, whatever it is you are asked to do--be it writing articles, distributing materials, or going out to the streets--you can do it well. But it seems that if you are asked to visit potential clients and do sales and marketing, you don't want to." ("Fa Teaching at the 2007 New York Fa Conference")
Master pointed out the reason why media organizations managed by Dafa disciples are not achieving much economic benefit. Doing marketing naturally requires communication with many ordinary people. It seems that being afraid of communicating with people is a common problem among Dafa disciples.
Coordination work naturally touches upon many of our attachments. I know in certain areas some practitioners do not want to be coordinators. Some projects lack practitioners who want to be coordinators. On the one hand, coordinators need to contribute more time, energy, and possibly money; they may encounter greater tests of their xinxing. On the other hand, if practitioners do not actively cooperate with coordinators, it can bring tremendous difficulty for the coordinator and the project. In some areas practitioners felt "hurt" after being coordinators. There appeared to be partitions between practitioners, which would often result in them avoiding doing coordination in later activities.
Now I have a greater understanding when Master said, "work together in concert", as it develops the cultivation state of every practitioner. I understand that to "work together in concert" raises a higher requirement on coordinators in the Fa, and at the same time, requires everybody's active cooperation. Due to the special nature of our projects and activities, when coordinators are not in the best cultivation state, they are unable to actively communicate, plan and make preparations ahead of time, which would result in even more difficulties. For example, when an activity was due to be held in my local area, the coordinator called me at midnight the day before the activity was to take place. He asked me to find something and bring it to the activity early the next morning. This request made me feel unhappy, as he often makes preparations at the last minute, which affected me, as I still had something else to do. Obviously, I did not improve my xinxing in the process, and I did not cooperate effectively as I could have. I should have asked the coordinator earlier if I could help. My unhappiness may have affected the coordinator. If more practitioners have opposing thoughts toward the coordinator based on our emotions, then undoubtedly together we are creating a big test for the coordinator's xinxing. Of course, if the coordinator could better plan, make preparations and arrange things ahead of time, exchange understandings and communicate with other practitioners earlier instead of waiting until the last minute, then it would create less difficulties for other practitioners to cooperate. If practitioners can think more of the coordinators and their difficulties, do not have resentment or complaints, get rid of selfishness, and actively take the initiative to cooperate, then it would be great encouragement and support for the coordinator. Such cooperation will manifest the Fa's power, and make the project of Fa validation function even better. This involves many elements of cultivation and being responsible for Dafa. All in all, we should be compassionate toward fellow practitioners.
Master said, "Each of you is like an Assistant" (Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference) I think we should all be responsible and truly stand on the basis of validating the Fa to look at coordination in a dignified manner. We should not leave any loopholes for the old forces to take advantage of, do the coordination work well, and let the project of validating the Fa play an even bigger role.
Be sure what we are doing
In the special environment of validating the Fa through the Minghui/Clearwisdom website, I feel I should be even stricter with myself and be able to bear the feeling of loneliness.
In ancient times, for someone who cultivated alone in remote mountains and forests, the biggest tribulation they faced was to overcome loneliness. Many overseas projects that validate the Fa are very "lively." When doing work for the website, the work load is often very large, and we are hidden and unknown. Usually it is very lonesome for me, and that kind of unbearable loneliness is really hard to bear. Oftentimes, I repeatedly recite:
"Gong cultivation has a way, the heart is the path
Dafa has no bounds, hardship serves as the ferry" ("Falun Dafa" from Hong Yin)
After reciting the poem, I find that my sense of loneliness disappears, and my mind becomes calm and peaceful. In cultivation, I have a deep understanding that the Fa is omnipotent; a belief in Master and Dafa is of utmost importance. Amidst tests and tribulations, as long as we think of the Fa and have the Fa in mind, truly regard ourselves as cultivators and "take the Fa as Teacher", then there is no test or tribulation that we cannot overcome.
In modern human society, the inflation of our egos is a very serious issue. When doing work for the website, I pay much attention to controlling and abandoning my ego. Over the past few years of resisting persecution and validating the Fa, many practitioners have made great contributions, and some practitioners may have developed an inflated ego. Master said, "you are more confident and bold now, and you feel pretty self-assured." (Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference) When exchanging understandings with practitioners from other teams, I sometimes noticed that I unconsciously spoke in a tone of "educating others," giving the listener a feeling of being "commanded" and making them feel uncomfortable. So I would often remind myself of this and gradually realized that I had a human notion of "authority."
As most practitioners know, the Minghui website is a reliable website that Master has given to us. Master's Fa lectures are first published there, and the cases documenting the persecution of Dafa disciples in mainland China are also first published there. It is also a forum where Dafa disciples around the world can exchange understandings and share experiences. The website's role in Fa rectification is self-evident and it is an honor for me to participate in working on it, as I deeply feel that the responsibility is great. I have also noticed that this is a good environment to improve xinxing, as human sentimentality that has not been cultivated away will unconsciously appear for you to see.
Throughout China's long history, people generally have had a strong mentality of respecting authority. Many people became overweening and extremely arrogant due to their intimacy with authority. As affected by such historical factors, amongst others , there generally exists a mentality of respecting authority among Dafa disciples. From a cultivation point of view, Master requires us to "take the Fa as Teacher." I was also affected by such a human notion and had a feeling of being "pretty self-assured." Fortunately, I identified this attachment through Fa study. Once I clearly saw my attachment, it was not hard to get rid of it. Everything we have is granted by Master; Master has never posed as being 'superior' over us. Seeing clearly my attachment, my feeling of "being somebody" also disappeared.
One time I returned home from participating in an activity out of town when an idea immediately appeared in my mind: "How comfortable it is being at home." I knew this was an attachment to comfort. I realized that if we are unaware, the attachment to comfort and laziness will unconsciously wear down our willpower of being diligent in cultivation. I know some practitioners are interfered with by the attachment to comfort, and do not take the initiative to find truth clarification work to do. We live and cultivate in ordinary society, so enticement in ordinary society is likely to bring out our attachments. We should be clear-headed, and be clear about what we are doing and the true significance of our mission in life.
Prior to my cultivation, I used to liked reading novels about swordsmen, but thought I had gotten rid of this attachment through cultivation, as I did not have time for this form of entertainment. For a period of time, my mother used to watch a TV series about swordsmen, but I did not have time to watch TV. Then a desire to watch TV popped up in my mind. My clear side knew that I should not watch it, as it would take up a lot of my spare time instead of doing Fa validation work, and cause interference. But I still could not help taking a look at the captions and listening to the music at the end of each episode. I felt that this did not take much of my time and would satisfy my desire of watching it. I did this over several consecutive days. Then I read an experience sharing article by a practitioner in mainland China about letting go of attachment to watching TV. I calmly thought it over and asked, "Why did I exhibit such strange and ridiculous behavior?" Looking inside and digging deep in my mind, I found a big attachment.
I used to like swordsmen novels, where the hero was righteous and chivalrous, and the heroine was gentle, beautiful and kind. Such a combination of a man and a woman is my favorite marriage pattern. I dug deeper, and realized that this was actually a desire of mine, and yearning for a wonderful life in the human world. I like gentle women in my heart, but under the "celestial phenomenon in which the yin and yang are reversed" (The Third Talk, Zhuan Falun), many women no longer have these qualities. I noticed I used my own notions to measure others. When I saw such a yearning for something in the human world, I let go of this attachment, and then I found that my discontentment with family members also disappeared. I also no longer wanted to watch the swordsmen TV series, and thus avoided the interference.
Things we come across in our cultivation are indeed related to our cultivation. When we have something that is hard to let go of, we should truly look within, as there must be an attachment behind it. If we cannot find our attachment, we may waste much precious time and create interference with our truth clarification work.
Master's immense compassion encourages me to step forward diligently and not to stop
When doing Fa-validation work for the Minghui website, I deeply feel that my responsibility is great. I realize that I should have an explicit understanding of the Fa principles, and have a better understanding of the process of Fa-rectification. This way I feel I can do better in what I'm supposed to do. However, my biggest concern is that I always feel that I have not studied the Fa well, and my understanding of the Fa needs constant improvement. I also feel that I need to constantly improve my xinxing and expand my capacity to work more.
At one time, I started to recite the Fa. When I recited the sentence, "Today we've taken such a grand practice and made it available to you. I've already entrusted it to you, I've put it right in your lap" (The Eighth Talk, Zhuan Falun), I felt a stir in my mind, and seemed to understand something in the depths of my soul. I knew then that there had been world-shaking changes in the depths of my life. On my human side, I felt Master's immense compassion, and I was moved to tears. Master put the Fa right in our laps and made it available for us to save the vast firmament. He endures huge tribulations for us and sentient beings. I felt the breadth and capacity of my mind expand a great deal in an instant. Master's compassion encircled me, and I felt I should also have the compassion to reach the realm so that I can put the truth in front of the world's people, and make the facts available for them all.
At present, when ten evils poison the world, the moral standard of humanity has become very low; many Chinese people's minds have been deeply poisoned by the wicked Party, and many people have been seriously deluded by illusions in the human world. Clarifying the facts and saving the world's people, particularly Chinese in mainland China, are very difficult, and sometimes I had a feeling of being afraid of this difficulty. When I had such an emotion or when I slacked off , Master's Fa would remind me and strengthen my determination in saving sentient beings. We should treat the world's people with the greatest compassion and put the truth in front of them to make it available for them. Moreover, we should do it again and again without complaint, until those who can be saved learn about the truth and save themselves. Master came for all sentient beings, and saving sentient beings is our historic mission and grand vow that we made in assisting Master in Fa-rectification.
Everything within us is from Master and Dafa. The Fa gives me strength, wisdom and a strong will. I feel that the strength I obtain from the Fa is indestructible. Master's immense compassion dispels my selfish mentality, melts my resentment and prejudice against other practitioners; it changes my understanding of "suffering." Master said,
"Thousands of laborious hardships for fifteen autumns
Who knows the suffering and worry of Fa-rectification
Only so that living beings can be saved
Not stopping until beyond the macro and the micro" ("Difficulty" in Hong Yin II)
Master's Fa encourages me to be diligent and enables me to be tolerant.. It grants me an unshakable, diamond-like will and determination in saving sentient beings. I understand that when I truly put saving sentient beings in my mind, I will not use human notions to consider "hardships" and "difficulties" when doing Fa-validation. I have gradually learned to maintain a state of mind which takes "suffering as joy" when dealing with the work load in validating the Fa. I do not complain regardless of whether I do more or less; it is easy for my mind to be calm and peaceful.
Writing this experience sharing was also a process of cultivation for me. While writing the article, I saw many of my shortcomings, and all these shortcomings were a result of my insufficient understanding of the Fa and my xinxing not being improved. I now have an even deeper understanding of Master said, "the whole process of cultivation is a process of constantly getting rid of human attachments." (The First Talk, Zhuan Falun); I have a deeper understanding of cultivating the main consciousness, and a deeper understanding of Dafa cultivation being true cultivation.
Whenever I think of Master's compassion and arduous salvation, I have nothing in mind that cannot be let go. Only by stepping forward diligently, can I not let Master down, or let sentient beings and myself down!
Thank you, Master,
Thank you, everyone.