Improving Our Group Cultivation
(Clearwisdom.net) From my cultivation experience of over ten years, I have developed a strong feeling. Whenever I lose my direction, my first thought is to listen to Master's words. And whenever I meet with difficulties relinquishing my attachments, the first persons I wish to see are fellow practitioners. We practitioners have formed an unbreakable bond, owing to the mighty power of the Fa.
In Zhuan Falun, Master told us,
"What is xinxing? It includes de (a type of matter), tolerance, enlightenment quality, sacrifice, giving up ordinary people's different desires and attachments, being able to suffer hardships, and so on. It encompasses various things. Every aspect of xinxing must be upgraded for you to make real progress."
From these principles, I have learned that as an individual cultivator, one has to improve in all aspects in order to increase one's cultivation level, and only after everyone improves can the group achieve real improvement. After the group improves, the effect of saving sentient being will be greater. In the past several years, our local cultivation group has been doing the three things, and we have all made improvements. I would like to share several stories.
1) Denying the Evil Arrangements
In late 2008, a social worker knocked on Practitioner A's door and told him that something had happened which involved Falun Gong. It turned out that the local Chinese Communist Party (CCP) office had a conference in which lists of Falun Gong practitioners' names were handed out to community organizers. They were told to find the practitioners, one by one, and force them to sign a guarantee statement, promising to stop practicing Falun Gong.
As Master wrote in Zhuan Falun,
"We have said that good or evil comes from a person's spontaneous thought, and the thought at that moment can bring about different consequences."
Practitioner A immediately realized that this injustice was the result of evil forces manipulating people, and that it must be completely denied. The evil was taking advantage of some loopholes in our cultivation, but our attachments should not become an excuse for the evil to persecute us. We need to rectify our own thoughts.
Practitioner A told the social worker, "We are all law-abiding citizens. The teachings of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance promote harmony and stability. If you try to persecute Falun Gong practitioners, you will bring harm to a large population, including the practitioners' relatives and friends. We have never made any promise to stop practicing to anyone, nor will we do so in the future."
The social worker said, "I knew you were all good people, but I had to inform you because it is my job. It's up to you how you should react."
This social worker soon harassed many practitioners, including some former practitioners. This "campaign" was actually started by the evil forces to "test" the practitioners' human notions.
The social worker went to see Practitioner B and said, "If you write the promise, I will never come back again." Practitioner B answered, "You are harassing me. You and your colleagues have come to my home several times. My family has no peace. Please stop doing this. I can't write any promise."
Next, she visited Practitioner C, "If you refuse to sign on the guarantee statement, the police will come to arrest you." Practitioner C said, "Nowadays the police look the other way when murderers, robbers and prostitutes are having their way, but get excited when arresting good people. I will see if they dare to arrest us. I will never sign it."
She threatened Practitioner D, "If you do not sign your name, your children's future will be damaged. They will have problems with college admission, serving in the military, traveling abroad, and a variety of other activities." Practitioner D was not moved by the threat. He clarified the facts to this person instead.
Everyone refused to sign these papers. When they gathered, the practitioners discussed, and looked inside for the root causes of the escalated persecution. They wondered why it happened, and what attachments allowed the evil to intrude upon their cultivation environment. They finally reached several common understandings. (1) As a group, our cultivation was not diligent. (2) Divisions existed among practitioners. (3) Collaboration was weak. (4) Communication and group study were lacking. (5) Communist Party culture influence among practitioners was strong, people competed with each other, and their conversation style was not compassionate. (6) Truth clarification efforts were not up to the standard.
After the sharing, we all improved our understanding, and everyone's xinxing level was also raised. Practitioners encouraged each other to enhance their faith in our Master and the Fa, and to remain undisturbed by the interference. We felt that the social worker should hear our truth clarification and be saved. In the past however, some of us had explained the facts about Falun Gong to her, but she was unconvinced, and went on to carry out the evil's job under pressure. We decided to clarify the truth to her and save her. We also agreed to intensify our efforts to send forth righteous thoughts. Two days later, two practitioners separately gave her truth clarification materials. Some practitioners submitted articles to Minghui website, exposing the evil activities in our area. Our actions frightened the evildoers. We also realized that in addition to practitioners, even former practitioners should be told not to sign anything. We quickly informed these people, and told them not to sign the papers. Our actions amounted to saving many people.
Our righteous actions changed the cultivation environment, and a practitioner later made a confession. Her husband wrote a guarantee statement and forced her to sign it. She regretted it very much. Other practitioners encouraged her to retrieve the statement, and we all sent forth the righteous thoughts to support her. Having realized her mistake, she felt more confident and went to the social worker's house. She told her how she benefited from Falun Gong. She said that as good people, we should not sign any statement promising to stop practicing Falun Gong. The social worker was moved, "Why don't you come back tomorrow to get it? I will get it back from another person." She got the statement back and burned it. We all learned a valuable lesson, that we must maintain strong righteous thoughts. The group effort completely denied the evil arrangement. After we learned how to send forth righteous thoughts several years ago, practitioners have been consistently sending them every day. We have focused our righteous thoughts on eliminating the evil forces that control the local police and community personnel, and creating a better environment for Fa study and exercises. Now, whenever the police harass practitioners, the incident is exposed in the news media.
2) Clarifying the Truth in Many Ways
The practitioners in our area are clarifying the truth and saving people in different ways. One practitioner is good at face-to-face contact in encouraging people to withdraw from the CCP. Due to her efforts, many people in our community have denounced their association with the Party. Master consequently arranged for more people to meet her. She is very determined, and capable of convincing the most stubborn people. During several large exhibitions, she has convinced many people to quit the Party. Every time she went, she stayed the whole day. While people were waiting in lines, she talked to them and encouraged them to do the right thing. When she took a break, she talked to people sitting near her about the quitting the CCP movement. When viewing the new products on display, she could start a conversation and convince people to quit the CCP.
When she encouraged people to quit the Party, sometimes miracles happened. One day, she talked with so many people that she had a hard time remembering their names. She thought, "Master, this person is Huang, the other is Zhang, there are too many names for me to remember." After that thought, a group of people with the same family name came, and she quickly convinced them to quit. Then another group came, who also shared one family name, so her job became much easier. Once the whole group agreed to quit the CCP, she wrote down the total number with their family name. Since the beginning of her effort, she has convinced several thousand people to quit the various associated CCP groups.
Retired practitioners are also very active. A family member of a retired practitioner said, "She was busier after retirement." Every day they work on projects to clarify the truth and save people. Some practitioners work on several projects, and they work extremely hard.
When Master met with the Australian practitioners, someone asked Master why only two to three people had been making phone calls to China in the past few years. We asked, "Why can't we also do this work?" The majority of Dafa practitioners live in China. Soon practitioners found that instant messaging was an effective way to clarify the truth, so we began working on this project. Some people worked with the general public, and some targeted the police and judiciary system. We sent messages to explain the facts to them, and in the process also scared the evildoers into stopping their persecution of Dafa. We used Clearwisdom as our source of information. We wrote the short pieces, saved them to files and sent out hundreds of messages each day. We received all kinds of responses. Some thanked us, some cursed, and some even made threats. We were not affected by the negative replies, and we remembered to always look inside to find problems... Did we send any angry messages? Do we have enough compassion? Was there any competitive mentality? Were there elements of the Party culture in them? Some practitioners also used email to clarify the truth and encourage people to quit the CCP. One email reader replied, "Thanks, I will read it carefully."
We often share our experiences regarding truth clarification techniques and raising our xinxing. Based on a common goal, we helped each other on different projects. Some practitioners collected phone numbers and emails, and some searched for information online. One practitioner was very active in distributing Dafa flyers. She had to overcome many family difficulties to do the three things, as her husband needs full-time care.
3) Helping Fellow Practitioner Pass Life-threatening Tests
One older woman was a very diligent cultivator before the persecution. Despite her illiteracy, she learned to read Dafa books. Her hair was also turning darker, and she experienced many miracles. After the persecution began on July 20, 1999, however, she lost contact with other practitioners for several years. After Master arranged for her to return to cultivation, she found herself lagging behind the developments of Fa rectification. She didn't understand what Dafa disciples of the Fa rectification period meant, and she didn't know how to cultivate in this special time, or how to save sentient beings. She gradually improved her understanding after attending group Fa study, and she began to see the importance of clarifying the truth and helping people to quit the CCP. But she still had strong fears. The evil forces found her attachments and took advantage of them. For a period of time, she looked sick, could not raise her arms, and walked very slowly. When we asked her about it, she said, "It's ok, they are all good things. If I trust Master and the Fa, nothing can stop me." Our conversations always ended the same way, but her situation did not improve. One day she finally invited us to take a look at her condition. Her breasts had turned purple, and pus was dripping out.
We realized she was under serious evil attack. We all sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the evil factors, and helped her to improve her understanding of the Fa principles. But her condition didn't change much. Gradually, she became too weak to attend the group study. We discussed this problem and realized the real issue. When the evil is attacking an individual practitioner, our whole group was being attacked. It was also an attack on Dafa. When we looked inside, we saw our own problems, but we didn't see her problems as our own. Some practitioners thought she had a hearing problem, and was hard to communicate with. The discussions on the Fa were not enough. Some practitioners always mentioned her "illness," and often asked, "Are you feeling better now?" Maybe we paid too much attention to her "illness." It was hard for her to overcome her condition. Some practitioners blamed her for not opening up to others. These factors all became barriers, and her physical condition persisted for more than a year.
Her own attachments were the main factor in her situation. Nonetheless, when fellow practitioners are in trouble, they need our help. Regardless of the situation, we never stopped sending forth righteous thoughts. One day, we decided to have an open discussion with her. After she came to the group study, we began sending forth righteous thoughts. She was clearly touched by the practitioners' compassion, and she frankly admitted that she had fears. Some of the practitioners offered their advice by telling her that attachment itself is not the worst enemy, but if one refuses to relinquish the attachment, then nothing can be done. You will not achieve consummation if you hold tightly to an attachment. If a practitioner fails in cultivation, many lives will be eliminated. If the people you were supposed to save are left behind, how can you face these sentient beings in the future? Dafa disciples' main job is to save people, not making personal achievement. Finally, she said, "I fully trust Master and Dafa, and I will pass the test." Later, several practitioners came to her house to study the Fa together. She improved quickly. Now she looks healthy. Her face is rosy, and the dark bruises on her breasts faded. She recently returned to our group study, and began working on Dafa projects. Everyone was glad that she passed the life-threatening test. We all realized the importance of group study and coordination during our effort to save people.
Master said in "Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference,"
"It's just like when this fist goes out--it's strong when everyone is clenched together."
This was precisely how we achieved progress.
If there are any mistakes, please kindly point them out.