3. Breaking through barriers
(1) Establishing a materials production site
Through my family's efforts, I returned to my parents a year and half earlier. From then on, we began to live a drifting and destitute life. As Fa-rectification moved forward, family-run materials production sites had begun springing up everywhere. At that time, we were finally able to get in touch with local practitioners, so we could receive Master's new articles, as well as various truth-clarification materials. Because I had just come back, I wanted to study the Fa more with a calm mind, immersing myself in it, so I didn't tell the other practitioners that I knew how to use a computer. However, after a while, although I read the book every day and was very focused, I didn't feel any improvement at all. I began to look within. I was doing the three things as Master asked, so why did I always have the feeling of not being able to catch up with the progress of Fa-rectification?
One day, I heard one practitioner mention that there was a local practitioner in her seventies, who even though she had an artificial leg, she was able to overcome and breakthrough obstacles to hang up Dafa banners. I was shocked upon hearing this, and then I realized that in different dimensions there was a difference between "doing the three things" and "doing the three things well." I had only emphasized the "doing," but not the "doing well" as I should have. After realizing this, I decided to discuss setting up a family materials site with my parents.
Unexpectedly, another problem arose. We lived in a room of a small adobe house with low rent. The landlady lived in the room facing ours. My parents were especially worried about not being able to run the materials site in that kind of environment, but it was impossible for us to move again. In spite of all kinds of obstacles, I was determined to do this. Unexpectedly, things turned around in our favor. The son of our landlady had suddenly decided to move out, vacating two spacious, bright, and tile-roofed rooms, which also had a separate entrance door and yard. The landlady agreed to rent these two rooms to us with the same low rent as before. "You can only have such a wish and think about it like that, but it is the master who actually does these things." (Zhuan Falun) When I read that, I realized that our family materials site would finally be able to be run normally. In the beginning, there was already a big printing demand from fellow practitioners. We needed to print every day, and my father would ride a bicycle to deliver the materials to practitioners living over two to three miles away.
(2) Running the site with maturity, without relying on everyday society's methods to learn technology
Although I had studied computer science in college, my half-year of schooling had only taught me entry-level computer knowledge. But validating the Fa well using technology requires knowledge in different areas of computers.
Therefore, I decided to learn about computers from scratch. But if I only relied on learning from books, how long would it take? "Whether it is your supernormal abilities or your Unlocking of Gong, you achieve them through practicing cultivation in Dafa." (Zhuan Falun) Only if we do things truly according to the standard of cultivation, putting the Fa first, putting saving sentient beings first, and having that level of urgency, shall we be able to accomplish anything. I recalled that some elderly practitioners were illiterate, but were able to read Zhuan Falun because they were studying the Fa. What did this mean? We must break with ordinary society's way of thinking and mindset to look at issues. Dafa is omnipotent, after all. I had a deeper understanding of what Master said,
""The Buddha Fa" is most profound; among all the theories in the world, it is the most intricate and extraordinary science. In order to explore this domain, humankind must fundamentally change its conventional thinking. Otherwise, the truth of the universe will forever remain a mystery to humankind, and everyday people will forever crawl within the boundary delimited by their own ignorance." (Lunyu from Zhuan Falun)
I often shared my knowledge with other technology-literate practitioners, and asked them questions. In this way we learned from each other. Sometimes, I got it right away from a hint. I felt wisdom began to continuously stream out. Of course, all of it was bestowed by Master, and opened up by the Fa. I had never touched Photoshop software before, nor did I know how to draw graphics. Wanting to give it a try but without having any skill, I opened up the software. From surface appearances, it looked to be complicated, but I didn't have any fear of this new technology. In less than one week, I was able to grasp many techniques.
In fact, in Master's lecture, it clearly says,
"Some are more capable when it comes to one thing, others with another--you definitely shouldn't let your thoughts run wild based on that. You say that you have such great abilities and so on and so forth, but that was all bestowed upon you by the Fa! Actually, it wouldn't work if you failed to attain that level of abilities. Fa-rectification required your wisdom to reach that point, so you definitely shouldn't think that you're so capable. Some practitioners want me to check out their abilities and skills. But actually, what I think is, all of that was given by me, so there's no need to look." ("Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference")
(3) Continuing to mature in the process of teaching technology
My computer skills continued to improve. Practitioners suggested that I should share this knowledge and help set up more family-run materials sites.
Since my father had taken on the tasks of downloading, printing, and delivering materials, I used the time he had saved me to assemble computers and offer technical support for new materials production sites. Since then, I've gone to many places and gotten in touch with different practitioners.
I encountered different issues when I helped set up a site, which has helped me to raise my level of computer knowledge in different areas. For example, I taught one practitioner who didn't know how to hold a mouse. It took an entire morning, and he had only learned to move, single-click, and double-click the mouse. Naturally, I began to worry. My expression must have reflected my thoughts, because this fellow practitioner took a look at me and said with embarrassment, "Am I just too stupid? But I'm determined to learn it well!" I was taken aback and impressed by his determination.
(4) Self-cultivation cannot be neglected
I lived with practitioner A, who was a dozen years older than me. Once, when we met a coordinator, the coordinator said to her, "I think that you know now what kind of work she does. She has to go out often. You should take on more household chores to help her and lessen the load." Practitioner A said, "I know all that. I have been cooking and doing the chores." As soon as I heard her say this, my anger arose. Ever since practitioner A moved in with me, no matter how late I came home, she had never cooked, or done chores around the house. Why did she lie? As time passed, these "troublesome things" kept occurring off and on. For example, she never told me that she wanted to learn computers. She told other practitioners that she wanted to learn, but that I had refused to teach her several times. If she liked something I owned, she took it with her without telling me....I felt more and more "intolerant" about this situation.
I began looking inside with a cool head. Did I hold something in my heart and wouldn't let it go? Ignoring what's on the surface, the key issue was, where was my heart moved? When practitioner A first moved in with me, I was once secretly happy about it, for there would be someone to rely on. So I could completely put my energy into teaching fellow practitioners computer technology, without any worries back home. Also, I liked to listen to praise, and was not willing to be irritated or provoked. The attachment of relying on others, a competitive mentality, the attachment to blaming others, and an attachment to doing things had secretly grown in me.
"No matter what trouble you encounter, no matter what makes you feel unpleasant inside, and no matter whether on the surface you're right or wrong, if you are to truly regard yourself as a cultivator you should always examine yourself for causes. Ask yourself whether you have a wrong, hard-to-detect motive that's related to the problem. If you, as a cultivator, only part with things superficially while deep down inside you still stick to something or cling to your own vital interests that you don't allow to be undermined, I'd say to you that your cultivation is fake! If your own thinking doesn't change, you cannot advance even one step and are deceiving yourself. Only when you truly improve from within can you make real progress." ("Lecture at the First Conference in North America")
When I read that paragraph, I began to sweat. I didn't even do well on the basics of cultivation. How could I not be interfered with when validating the Fa? Recalling my experiences teaching practitioners about computers, I had encountered many forms of interference, and I felt it was very difficult. I was tired as well. All these manifestations were the result of my neglecting personal cultivation and not steadfastly improving myself. After I changed my perspective, the conflict between me and practitioner A became non-existent. A few days later, she moved to another place and it was like nothing had ever happened.
(5) Eliminating ordinary people's mindsets and fully displaying Dafa's supernormal power
We all know that Master has talked about Dafa practitioners being one body. To better clarify the truth and save sentient beings, we need to coordinate well as one body. My understanding is that to us practitioners working at materials-producing sites, the computers and printers we use are not only our Fa implements, but also important components of our site. Both they and practitioners have formed a one body at the site. So it is about how to coordinate well with the machines.
Many practitioners at materials sites have had experiences similar to mine. When we have pure hearts and want to fulfill the needs of Fa-rectification, our Fa implements will begin to display a supernormal condition. Here I will share two stories about what happened to me. Not long after I set up a family-run materials site, one morning a practitioner asked me to print two hundred copies of Master's new lectures as well as a word-correction list. I calculated that if no problem occurred, it would take a whole day to print this. I turned on the computer, and suddenly, it restarted automatically. Then, it began to repeatedly restart, again and again. In the end, it stopped turning on altogether. I opened the computer case and smelled something burning. It turned out that the CPU fan had stopped running. What to do? Fellow practitioners out of town were waiting for materials, and there was no time to go to a computer store to buy a new fan. I knew that I must not delay and mess things up here. I sat down and sent forth righteous thoughts. Then, I said to my computer, "I know your fan's not running, but we cannot delay those materials requested by fellow practitioners. Remember, we are doing the most sacred work. You can definitely do it. I will reinforce you with energy." Then, a miracle happened. I pushed down the power button, heard a beep, and my computer turned on. It continued to print until it finished the last page at around 5:00 p.m. My computer had completed an entire day's work without a working CPU fan! The next day, I bought a new fan and installed it. Since I refused to acknowledge that there was a problem, my computer ran as though nothing was broken.
Another time, I went out of town to help a practitioner fix a printer at their materials site. They were using a model that I had never seen before. As soon as I stepped into the room, I was surprised by the huge printer. Fellow practitioners said that it was printing normally, but the machine wouldn't spray powder on part of the paper. I had never encountered such a problem. I opened up the case first, and found its structure to be very complicated. I knew that this repair was well beyond my ability. But all the practitioners there said that they were relying on me. I had no choice but to ask Master for help, "Master, this has gone far beyond my knowledge. Please help me. Let the machine run normally and let it play its role." I used a cotton cloth to clean out the dust inside the case, then said to practitioners, "Let's turn it back on." They all looked at me asking, "You won't fix it?" I said, "It is good now." They looked at me hesitantly. I explained, "There are five Dafa practitioners in this room. Don't we all want the machine run normally and play its role?" They responded, "Of course." I smiled, "Then, it's fine. I don't know how to fix this machine, but I think that our righteous thoughts are enough to make it well." The practitioners agreed. We put it back together and it printed - everything was normal.
(6) Master's grace can never be repaid--Master is always near us
Every place I went, I shared one personal experience with the practitioners there. Because of this experience sharing, not only have I found my shortcomings, hard-to-detect human mindset, and human notions, but more importantly, I've truly felt that Master is next to us and looks after us every second.
One day in May 2005, a practitioner needed me to install the operating system for her laptop computer. There was a bag that also contained Internet connecting equipment, a CD burner, some CDs, and a card with a password written on it. The password was used to login to the computer. Because I needed to carry two boxes of printing paper, I called for a taxi. I gave the laptop computer among other things to my mother, who was riding a bicycle, and then I put the two boxes of printing paper in the taxi's backseat. I sat down on the passenger seat. In the process of putting the paper boxes in the taxi, my mother had also put the laptop in there, but I didn't know about it. When the taxi arrived at the intersection near my home, an adult with a child insisted on getting into the taxi that I was in. The driver told them there was already passenger in the car, plus items were stored in the back seat. That adult said that he has been waiting for a taxi for a long time and that each taxi that came back had already picked up passengers. He said that they were in a hurry to go to the city, and they would only take up a little room. Since I saw that I was almost home, I told the driver, "It's OK to let them in." When I arrived, I took out the two boxes of paper, but the laptop and other things might have been shoved down underneath the seat, so I didn't notice them. Then the taxi drove away. My mother came back, and I asked her for the laptop. She told me that it was in the taxi. I waited close to an hour to see if anyone would return the computer, but no one showed up. I quickly got in touch with a fellow practitioner. She said, "Get away immediately, and move everything." However, the more I thought about it, leaving didn't feel right. There must be a big loophole in me. Perhaps I was being manipulated by the old forces, but I just couldn't leave. I went back home and decided to transfer important materials out, but my family remained.
The next day, I went to a fellow practitioner's home and met with two other practitioners. Upon hearing the reason for my visit, one practitioner from another city immediately recited a paragraph of Master's lecture,
"That's how beings are at this level, but the situation during the Fa-rectification is presided over by Dafa and it changes according to what is required so that Dafa can save sentient beings. The fact is, at this time Dafa disciples have to do divine things, because for Dafa disciples their personal cultivation is no longer first and foremost. Saving sentient beings and reconstructing the colossal firmament during the Fa-rectification are the purpose. You have to do Fa-rectification things and things to save sentient beings, so you need to clear away the obstacles presented by this environment and validate Dafa." ("Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. International Fa Conference")
Then, we shared many examples of Dafa's mighty power brought about by righteous thoughts.
I suddenly felt that my righteous thoughts were so inadequate, and that I was far behind other practitioners. I began studying the Fa with a calm mind and sent forth righteous thoughts. Master said,
"Cultivation is about cultivating one's self. No matter what kind of state emerges, you need to take a hard look at yourself. I can tell you, if an ordinary person is able to look at himself whenever he encounters problems, he will become what ordinary people call a sage. When a Dafa disciple has a hard time with something and needs to think things over, he should look for things starting with himself and do things in line with the environment needed by Dafa disciples and the Fa-rectification. When a problem occurs, it is because that person is stubbornly going against the Fa principles. Go and find where the problem lies, let go of that stubbornness, and sort things out. When you encounter something, the best approach is not to charge forward and contend with others, push your way to the front, and rush forward to chase down the solution. Let go of your attachment, take a step back, and then resolve it." ("Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital")
I started to realize that every once in a while, many human notions surface in me. Most seriously, my attachment to blaming others just wouldn't go away. Feeling that this practitioner didn't understand me, or that practitioner wouldn't cooperate, was I really validating the Fa? I realized that I had entered into a state of insisting on my own opinion and validating myself. Once I found the problem, I tried to cleanse it out from the roots, and sent forth righteous thoughts every day. I believed that the laptop computer will no doubt come back to me.
Over the next dozen days, some practitioners were still urging me to quickly move away, because once the laptop computer got to the hands of everyday people, anyone could tell it was from a Dafa materials production site. Besides, it contained many saved files. However, I felt my righteous thoughts becoming stronger and stronger. One night, as I sent forth righteous thoughts, suddenly I felt as if Master was right next to me and watching me. I was surrounded by a very peaceful and compassionate energy field. Then, I sent out a very pure thought, "Tomorrow the laptop computer will definitely come back, because it is necessary to help in Fa-rectification."
The next day, there was a person who seemed to be waiting for someone at the intersection near my home. I walked past him, and he immediately followed me. Who was he? A policeman? I thought that might be the case because he was not the same person in the taxi that day. However, I clearly felt that he was related to the incident. My righteous thoughts were strong at that time. I thought, "Even if you are a policeman today, I will still get my things back." He asked before I opened my mouth, "Do you live here?" I took a look at him and asked, "What is it?" He then said, "About two weeks ago, did you lose something?" I stood there wondering, "Should I admit it or not?" Then I recalled Master saying that no matter what we encountered, we should look straight at the issue and face it. I told him that I lost a laptop computer. Then, he told me that the man who took the same taxi was his brother-in-law. His brother-in-law found that laptop computer and told the taxi driver to return it to me, but he was worried that the driver wouldn't do it. So he wrote down the license plate number.
The next day, I got that driver's phone number from the Transportation Management Section. The driver delivered all my things to me that afternoon. He asked me to check them over and verify that he didn't touch anything. He said, "How come we couldn't get your computer turned on? There wasn't even a light." I went home and gave it a try. Everything on it was working quite normally. Over the following few days, every time I recalled this incident, I couldn't hold back my tears. I deeply experienced what was "When disciples have ample righteous thoughts, Master has the power to turn back the tide" ("The Master-Disciple Bond," from Hong Yin Vol. II) Compassionate Master has great concerns for saving sentient beings and us. When we do well, we will feel that Master is next to us and looking after us. If we don't do well, how can we ever repay Master's grace in saving us?
Here let me cite a paragraph of Master's lecture as encouragement,
"Don't become complacent just because you think you've done such and such, for there are so many sentient beings that we have yet to save. You still need to push yourselves so that you may establish even greater mighty virtue within a limited timeframe, and so that you won't have any regrets when all is said and done. So I hope that you will do even better and be even more magnificent." ("Fa Teaching at the U.S. Capital")