Improving in the Process of Creating Truth-clarification Materials
Greetings to respected Teacher! Greetings to fellow practitioners!
I would like to share my experiences over the past six years of editing materials to clarify the truth of the persecution in our local area. Whenever I wanted to clarify the truth, I would often encounter problems. However, as long as I remembered that thiss is what Dafa needs, I immediately knew that it was my responsibility. Perhaps, deep down I knew my prehistorical vows. When I have a steadfast belief, I walk a righteous path and my wisdom emerges. The power of Dafa then helps me to overcome any problems and enables me do what is needed to be done. My understanding is that Teacher paved my path a long time ago. I am only making choices and decisions along my path.
Walking the path Teacher arranges
I started editing local truth-clarification materials in 2003. At that time I was only able to perform the simple functions of copying and pasting. Back then, the content of the materials on the Minghui website wasn't as rich as it is now. I would simply copy the Minghui articles, put them together, and print them out for practitioners to distribute. Then, practitioners wanted certain types of information. As I continued with this work, I learned new skills in terms of how to produce simple letters, pamphlets, cards; whatever was needed.
In 2007, more and more practitioners boldly stepped forward to talk to the general public about the persecution. The number of informational material processing sites also dramatically increased, as did the need for various types of materials--especially, information exposing local Chinese Communist party (CCP) officials and information on the persecution of local practitioners. To produce materials covering local incidents required more than the simple "copy" and "paste" approach. I had to have certain editing skills: typesetting, art design, and the ability to write articles. Although I did not possess these skills and did not quite know where to start, I knew it was my responsibility to provide these materials.
With the help of other practitioners, I learned how to use some editing software. I was then able to edit photos and do desktop publishing, and soon could resolve simple technical issues. It wasn't long before we were able to produce the first draft copy of the local issue of Minghui. Prior to distribution we sent it to the Minghui/Clearwisdom website and wrote a short letter to the editors asking for their help. A practitioner from Minghui responded quickly to our request, modified some of the details and then published it on the website. Over the past several years, practitioners from Minghui have helped us to correct and modify the materials we sent. I want to thank them for all their help.
A practitioner suggested to make a local edition of the Minghui Weekly, but I thought it would be too difficult and there was not enough time to produce it. We would need to find a lot of local information and put it all together in less than a week, every week. I felt a lot of pressure and did not want to work on it for a while, until I had read more of Master's articles. Then I read:
Disciple: There are some major cities in the mainland that still don't have local truth clarification materials, such as a local version of Minghui Weekly or small pamphlets to clarify the truth. Is this a situation where we should step in to help our fellow cultivators in the mainland to make local truth clarification materials, or should we wait for them to do so?
Master: As it turns out, the manpower is very limited here outside of China. If you take on all the hundreds of cities in the mainland and try to make truth clarification materials for them, you really won't be able to. This kind of thing takes good coordination, as well. ("Fa Teaching Given at the Fa Conference Marking the Tenth Anniversary of the Minghui Website's Founding")
This was a wake up call for me. Although the Minghui editors were much busier than me, they still wanted to produce local weekly reports for practitioners in China. I noticed how their minds were focused on saving sentient beings and how I lagged behind. I quickly put together two copies of the Minghui Weekly, one focusing on our province, the other on our town, and then posted them to Minghui. A Minghui editor immediately responded saying, "Your area has not had local reports in almost four years. I am so glad to see new materials uploaded on the website." I was very encouraged by this and realized the importance of local editions to help save local people.
The materials we produced gradually got better as we improved based on the Fa. One time a local practitioner was illegally arrested by the authorities in a certain town. In the process of rescuing that practitioner, we learned that the town did not have a local Minghui Weekly edition, so I decided to help.
Practitioners in that town have now learned how to edit and produce their own local issues of Minghui Weekly. Then, I realized that most places in the province did not have truth clarification materials specific to their locality. The persecution in some of these places was very serious. I knew that saving people and exposing the evil would be very difficult without local materials, so I started producing them for the province. Over time, more places in the province started to produce their own local weekly informational materials.
The enormous power of good truth clarification materials
In February 2007, Minghui published a pamphlet titled "A Letter For Predestined People." It was very popular and was used by a lot of practitioners. Some practitioner suggested that we make the pamphlet into a flier, as a flier would be easier to distribute and mail. I edited it into an A4-sized flier, which worked wonderfully in truth clarification. According to other practitioners, the wording of the flier was peaceful and cordial. The flier had a lot of information, from prophesies, the fall of the CCP, quitting the CCP, the Tiananmen Square self-immolation, to what Falun Gong is and its wide spread around the world. The wording was precise and without bias, which was highly acceptable for most people.
A practitioner had a neighbor who was a senior CCP member. He believed in the CCP and refused to quit the party, even after the practitioner had talked to him many times. The practitioner later give him a copy of the flier. The next day the neighbor gave the practitioner a 2-page statement announcing his wish to quit the CCP. The practitioner then asked me to publish the statement online. Every word in the statement is the senior CCP member's own after understanding the truth. This incident was shared between practitioners, and we realized the power of a good flier in truth clarification. It is information that can save people's eternal lives. This person's statement is still being used in our truth clarification materials.
One time, we tried to expose the torture used in a local prison. We collected a lot of information on how the chief of the prison tortured practitioners. We obtained the chief's photo, badge number and cell phone number, then made fliers and letters exposing his evil deeds. During the editing process, another practitioner and myself became very ill. We fought to keep our righteous thoughts and finished editing the material. That night local practitioners helped to post the fliers in public places. A loud sound of thunder came from the sky that night. We knew the evil was deteriorating. With the large amount of letters posted at the same time, the severity of the torture in that prison was reduced dramatically.
Improving as one body
In the process of coordinating with one another to edit truth-clarification materials, I came to understand three things. First, it is best to have several people working together on a task at the same time. Since 2006, local practitioners and I collected information together and gradually formed a close group. We studied the Fa and shared experiences together. When one of us had problems or when conflicts arose among us, we would remind each other of the Fa principles and improve together. We did not avoid our conflicts and quarrels, and talked about them with an open heart after we studied the Fa. We all looked inward and examined ourselves with the standards of a practitioner. I eliminated a lot of human notions in such an environment and I felt my heart expand. I became more considerate and tolerant of others. With a pure heart, we improved ourselves while undertaking the editing work.
Second, one who performs the task of editing needs to listen to other practitioners' suggestions. There are practitioners who are constantly out distributing materials and clarifying the truth. They know very well what people want to see and hear. They often provide good and specific suggestions about the articles I need to select. We displayed information on Falun Dafa's spread around the world, news about the local persecution, and on people who physically and mentally benefited from Dafa. We also occasionally added news on quitting the CCP and on people who had already awakened to the truth. Local practitioners and the general public appreciated the materials that we made.
Third, a major part of clarifying the truth is to tell people about the beauty of Falun Dafa. Cultivation stories of local practitioners appealed greatly to people because they were happening around them; they felt real. However, these stories were hard to find after the persecution started in 1999. We had to find veteran practitioners to recall their cultivation experiences before 1999 and ask them to write them down, but some veteran practitioners did not like to write. I told them that they could write as they talk and not to worry about writing a good grammatical article. Practitioners with writing skills then polished them. We collected over 100 such cultivation stories this way, including several precious historical materials of Dafa spreading in our area.
In order to collect information about the persecution of practitioners in our local area, we often went to the Minghui website to search for practitioners' articles. However, these articles were few and far between, compared to the extent of the persecution. For example, a local forced labor camp had persecuted over 1,000 practitioners, but the names collected from Minghui were only about 100. When we specifically discussed this issue, based on our understanding of the Fa, more local practitioners began to write articles to expose the evil persecution.
In Minghui articles, information regarding local practitioners' persecution cases was often incomplete, as they missed information on the time, place or people involved in the persecution. We would often encourage practitioners who were tortured to write down their experiences. We found a particular practitioner after he was released, who had been illegally sentenced and brutally tortured in prison, and encouraged him to write his experiences down. Initially he had concerns about doing it, but after we shared several times, he wrote an 8,000 word article exposing the evil. Minghui Weekly then printed his story, which worked wonders when we clarified the truth to people. This practitioner then realized that writing down his experience helped him to eliminate the evil and rectify himself.
To produce truth-clarification materials we needed to collect a variety of articles. The amount of work involved was tremendous. Sometimes we would go to Fa study groups to interview practitioners, listen to their experiences, and encourage them to write their personal cultivation articles. For those who couldn't write, we would take notes and write the articles for them. For those who were unwilling to write, we would talk to them based on the Fa, and in the end, they all started writing. One time when we tried to collect stories of historical events, several veteran practitioners who had deviated from the Fa began to feel depressed and did not want to talk about it. Through studying the Fa and sharing with them, they started to talk about the days they spent with Teacher and the days when Dafa was so popular in our area. Many practitioners cried while listening to stories from the past. We realized that we must cherish this unprecedented opportunity and keep up with the Fa-rectification process.
As I gradually improved myself, I learned how to let go of my opinions and put Dafa as priority. I discussed things with other practitioners and coordinated well with them.
"Cultivation is up to you, gong is up to the master" (Zhuan Falun). Teacher arranges everything for us, as long as we are willing to practice cultivation. I want to share my understanding of Teacher's words,
"Master affirms what Dafa disciples have done. As long as you are doing things out of a wish to validate the Fa and save sentient beings, I will affirm all that you do. And when you go do those things, there will be my Law Bodies or gods there to amplify it and make what you do yet more magnificent and extraordinary, and they will assist you." (Fa Teaching at the 2008 New York Conference).
I am such a lucky being to learn about the teaching of Falun Dafa and to become Teacher's disciple. I feel extremely honored to help Teacher rectify the Fa in this world. I will wholeheartedly do the three things well and not disappoint Teacher.
The above is my understanding. Please kindly point out anything incorrect.
Thank you Teacher! Thank you fellow practitioners!