(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
1. Rectifying ourselves in the process of validating Dafa
I used to think I should spend a lot of time studying the Fa and then clarifying the truth, that Fa study would make my mind rational and serene so that I could do Dafa work better with minimal trouble. Now I realize that this opinion contains a lot of selfishness, which affected my advancing in the Fa and my effectiveness in clarifying the truth to sentient beings. I understand that a practitioner always has attachments, which are being eliminated layer by layer. We don't need to be perfect in terms of cultivation before clarifying the truth to save people. I believe right now that it is enough to spend one or two hours of quality time daily in studying the Fa and to devote more time to clarifying the truth to people. During this process, we will find our attachments and improve ourselves.
Several years ago I only knew the basics of handling a personal computer and had an aversion to it. Due to the rapid advance of Fa-rectification, many of the older practitioners wanted to use a PC to edit and print truth-clarifying materials, but only a few knew how to use a PC well. They were quite busy and wanted me to spend more time with them so they could become more proficient. While doing this, I discovered several of my many human notions that I will describe in detail below.
An over 60-year-old practitioner with no experience wanted to learn how to use a PC. He was determined to learn and was quick to master the basic operations. I didn't teach him the printing operations since they were a little complicated. I thought that he was slow to learn new things. Since the informational materials came from other places, which was time consuming for other practitioners, he decided to print the materials locally. He asked a fellow practitioner the next day to get a complicated printer. I was a little worried as to whether he could handle it but kept quiet about it and taught him step by step, although I felt I was wasting my time. Not surprisingly, he encountered problems. Actually, I didn't realize my xinxing was incorrect. He was undisturbed. In few months the printing went more and more smoothly. Now this material distribution site has operated for more than two years, which is inconceivable from the standpoint of everyday people.
This touched me. When I thought that he was incapable, I was viewing it with ordinary notions. Dafa is supernatural. When a practitioner has a pure mind to offer sentient beings salvation, Dafa will give him supernormal powers and allow him to achieve things that most people consider to be impossible. My negative attitudes influenced him the wrong way. Had I had the firm belief and strong desire to rescue sentient beings like he did, we could have strengthened each other and dispelled the interference he encountered so that he could have learned much faster. Master said,
"If every one of you can understand the Fa from the depths of your mind, that will truly be the manifestation of the Fa whose power knows no boundary--the reappearance of the mighty Buddha Fa in the human!" ("Cautionary Advice," Essentials for Further Advancement)
2. As I see cooperation
-Always look inward
Looking inward is the main method to improve ourselves. Master said in "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles" (2006):
"I don't want the environment Dafa disciples have to become one in which people point fingers at each other. I want the environment to be one in which everyone can accept criticism and at the same time look inside themselves. If everyone cultivates himself, everyone looks within, and everyone cultivates himself well, won't the conflicts be few? This is a principle I have taught all along, going back to when I first began teaching the Fa. Isn't that so? Improvement for a cultivator definitely doesn't result from finger pointing, nor does it result from my criticism of you as your Master or from your pointing fingers at or criticizing each other. It comes from you cultivating yourself."
I think we should also look inward when pointing out anything improper in a fellow practitioner--iwhether our critique is out of kindness, whether we want to protect ourselves, or whether our words contain any CCP culture-influenced ideology.
-Always look for the merit in others
Many practitioners at the materials site stress and complain about others' cultivation state. They fear that one practitioner's incorrect state might lead to the evil taking advantage of loopholes, that they might be implicated should he be persecuted. They forget the principle Master teaches us that "everyone should look inward." Sensing a fellow practitioner's incorrect state makes others not want to work with him, a mentality that provides loopholes for evil to interfere with and isolate us, weakening us as a whole.
I think cooperating well with other practitioners is a process of abandoning our egos. Most of the practitioners who have worked together for a long time are keenly aware of security issues. Although there is occasional carelessness, as long as we do our best to keep safe in this surface human layer, I believe the evils have no reason to persecute us at will. No matter what happens, we have Master watching over us.
-Thoroughly denying any persecution and interference from the old forces while cooperating with each other as a whole
When we had worked together at the materials site before, we always thought our safety depended more on our good cultivation state and less on human notions. In my thinking, unintentionally, this thought actually acknowledged the old forces' persecution. A practitioner always has something that needs improvement. Some may cultivate better than others. It is common for practitioners in a group to be in different cultivation states, but the evil should not persecute us based on our shortcomings as a whole. On the other hand, if we worry too much about it, we indeed have acknowledged the persecution from the old forces. That is why we are occasionally unable to reinforce the abilities of our practitioners as a group, or even counteract each other. If those who cultivate better or have stronger abilities can abandon their egos and stress the merits of others and regard any practitioner as part of the whole, even knowing he needs to improve in certain areas, our righteous thoughts will break the evil's attempts to damage our whole body, and our powers will reinforce each other.
Many practitioners who cultivate well have accumulated many good experiences and lessons. They can cooperate with other practitioners and improve faster together. Foregoing our ego makes us able to cooperate and work with more practitioners who are at different cultivation levels. Then we will feel our cultivation path becoming much broader. When a fellow practitioner is in danger, instead of thinking of how to protect ourselves first, if we can think more about the other practitioner and help strengthen him, that person may not be easily persecuted, making us all safer in the process.
3. Helping and cooperating among ourselves
Anytime I have odd thoughts, it is an opportunity to improve. Once another practitioner and I went to a neighboring county to distribute informational materials. Since there were not many practitioners in that area, many people didn't know the truth. We prepared several hundred handouts of good quality materials and kept sending righteous thoughts a week before we set out.
Not long after we got on the bus, as we were buying our tickets, the ticket seller noticed many small bills in the other practitioner's wallet and wanted to exchange them for a 100 yuan bill. Those small bills had truth-clarifying messages written on them. The ticket seller was curious when he got those bills and checked each one. I was a little anxious and mentally complained, "You knew your bills had messages written on them. Why did you exchange all of them?" I immediately realized it was incorrect to complain. We could not undo what was already done, but we could prevent the evil from manipulating people into persecuting us, since we were doing the most righteous thing--saving sentient beings. I kept sending righteous thoughts. The other practitioner was serene and answered the ticket-seller's questions calmly. In the end, he even read the message on one of the bills aloud: "The world needs Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" and commented, "That's right. The world would be better if that were so."
Shortly after the bus set out, a motorcycle police officer stopped the bus. This was right before the Beijing Olympics, and the police had escalated their surveillance everywhere. I got nervous, and we immediately sent righteous thoughts. We eventually learned that the bus had been stopped for speeding. What we encountered at the beginning of this journey were not simple matters, but evil interference. We must always keep righteous thoughts. Master was watching us, as were numerous gods.
We arrived at our destination at dark and began to work. While the other practitioner distributed the materials, I kept sending righteous thoughts and kept watch. We only distributed a small number of materials in each residential area and kept moving to different areas. I was a little anxious and kept wondering when we would finish distributing all the materials, but the other practitioner was not in a rush at all. He carefully hung truth-clarifying materials at each door.
I suddenly realized that I regarded distributing the truth-clarifying materials as a job and not as an effort to save sentient beings. How could I offer people anything with such an incorrect attitude? At midnight we still had half of the materials to distribute. We kept moving to different buildings, upstairs and downstairs. Our clothes were soaked with sweat. The other practitioner didn't seem to be concerned about time at all and deposited the materials door to door at the same speed.
Soon it started to rain. We hadn't brought umbrellas. He said to me, "This is wonderful. Since it is raining, there are fewer people outside. You stand here to send righteous thoughts for me and wait for me to come back." He walked into the rain and disappeared down a lane.
This activity made several of my attachments come to the fore, like fear and a strong desire to "do things."
4. Lessons learned during cultivation
In recent months I often read things posted on the Epoch Times website and the Minghui website (Chinese version of Clearwisdom). When I read them, I often searched for articles about the Beijing Olympic Games and eventually regarded those predictions as fact. I watched TV on the opening day of the Olympics. Although I was not interested in those splendid, hollow performances without inner meaning, I still had my eyes glued to the TV, expecting something might happen, and I was not going to miss it. I felt a small loss when nothing happened.
That night I had a dream. I was at the edge of a manure pit. No matter how hard I ran, I was still near the edge of the pit, which really made me sick. I woke up and realized that the rotten propaganda behind the CCP performances had entered my body. Although I knew the performances were bad, since I had watched, the bad things entered through my eyes. I felt very tired and uncomfortable the following two days, something I seldom experienced. I increased Fa study and sending righteous thoughts. That night I sent righteous thoughts for 45 minutes at one time and basically recovered my original cultivation level. The lesson I learned--brought on by my strong desire--was profound.
Over several years of validating the Fa, I have found many attachments. I regarded everything as good. Studying the Fa and looking inward makes me want to discover those attachments and eliminate them to improve myself and return to the process of validating the Fa. I feel I can improve faster, and the things I do are more sacred.