(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings Master, Greetings Fellow practitioners!
Looking back on my thirteen years of cultivation, I can say that there were moments of glory and achievement. But I have regrets as well - mistakes were made in the process of helping Teacher validate Dafa. So today I would like to use the opportunity afforded by this Fa conference to thank Benevolent Master for his great compassion and mercy.
Using a Cell Phone to Clarify the Truth is an Exercise in Eliminating One's Attachments
I was very moved when reading articles by fellow practitioners on Clearwisdom.net, about using cell phones to tell people about Falun Gong and the persecution by the Chinese government. I feel that all practitioners should use cell phones to clarify the truth. As Master said,
"This is especially so for the Dafa disciples in Mainland China: each must come out and clarify the truth, bringing it to every field and valley, mountain and hill, not omitting a single area where there are people." ("Let Go of Human Attachments and Save the World's People")
After reading Master's words, I decided to get involved in this project. I shared this with fellow practitioners and several of them were willing to participate. So we started sending cell phone text messages to tell people the facts about the persecution.
In the beginning we encountered some difficulties. Either our cell phones were blocked or the phone cards we used would not function. When we succeeded in sending out messages, the feedback we received was not very positive. Some recipients responded with foul language, while others criticized us. This negativity caused some of us to lose confidence and consider discontinuing the project.
We got together to assess the situation and exchange ideas on how we could improve. We looked inward and sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the evil factors that were interfering with our project. I called the mobile phone company and asked them to stop blocking our calls. A week later they started letting all of our calls go through.
We later decided to look within whenever we received negative feedback. Were our hearts impure? Were we losing touch with our mission to save sentient beings? Could it be that we felt resentment toward the evil police officers that were persecuting Falun Gong practitioners? Could it be that we just wanted everything to be nice, and at some level, actually resented those who were being persecuted? Could it be that the contents of our cell phone messages were not benevolent or that they didn't clearly state our purpose? We just couldn't figure out what was twisting knots in the hearts of the sentient beings.
After exchanging ideas, we decided to hold off sending any more cell phone messages until we sent forth righteous thoughts to clear interference from any evil forces in other dimensions. Then, as we sent out new messages, we maintained our righteous thoughts. When first making contact, we only introduced the goodness of Falun Dafa or the truth about the Tiananmen Square self-immolation incident, then later followed up with additional information. No matter how nasty some of the feedback was, or whether the messages were sent to everyday people or to officials who persecute Falun Gong practitioners, we usually followed up with another message that read, "A loving heart can persuade with a thousand words - this heart wishes for you to know the truth. We sincerely hope you'll choose a wonderful future for yourselves!" Then we maintained a pure thought, "I truly want to save you!"
Once a police officer sent an unfriendly response to my message. I replied with compassionate words imploring him to stop persecuting practitioners. After several communications, he sent me a message that said, "Thank you, now I know the truth and you're truly thinking of my own good." A staff member from the 610 Office once told a practitioner's family members, "I have received many text messages from Falun Gong practitioners. Each time I received them, my heart trembled!"
By constantly looking within, eliminating our attachments and continuously improving our text message contents, our efforts to save sentient beings gained strength. Some replies to our messages asked about the benefits of Falun Dafa, some expressed their support, and others thanked us and said they would remember what we told them. A number of people expressed their admiration for Dafa practitioners. Some said they wanted to withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated groups, but most of the replies thanked us for saving them. There were no more nasty words or criticism.
It has been almost a year since we began using cell phones to clarify the truth about Falun Gong and the persecution. There are many benefits to reaching out to people in this way. I learned a lot, ridded myself of many of my attachments and constantly improved my xinxing. But more than that, many miracles occurred when we we are sending text messages. My text messages reach people who are predestined to encounter Falun Dafa, including hard-to-reach government officials in various law enforcement sectors, even though I cannot meet them face to face. Because our text messages are short and the contents are meaningful, people are usually willing to read them.
We have recently added voice recordings to our truth clarification project. We learned that some predestined people, upon receiving our messages, call others and say, "Hurry and come listen! It's a Falun Gong voice recording!" Sometimes one voice recording isn't enough. Some predestined beings wait patiently for us to send a second message. I am moved to hear that they so seriously listen to the truth by phone - and I am pleased for them! I hope that our text messages and voice recordings clarify the truth everywhere like the spring flowers, and more people will be saved.
Persistently Reaching Out a Helping Hand to Practitioners Gone Astray
In 2001, after being released from the forced labor camp, I was deceived by the evil forces in the universe. I stumbled, gave in to the evil and took a detour from the road to salvation. I am so very grateful to Master for his compassionate care and the many hints he sent me to guide me back toward the righteous path. Also I want to thank my fellow practitioners, for they are the ones who brought me Master's lectures.
Studying Master's teachings showed me that I had walked the path that was arranged by the old forces. I watched a DVD made by overseas practitioners about practitioners in China who went to Beijing to validate Dafa. It brought back the memories of when I went to Beijing to validate Dafa on Tiananmen Square - scene after scene of policemen brutally beating Falun Gong practitioners. I was filled with remorse and couldn't stop my tears. I felt unworthy of esteemed Master's merciful and arduous salvation and shamed before the suffering of those brave practitioners. I cried for several days, consumed with sorrow for my deviation from the Fa. I prostrated myself before Master's portrait, repented and vowed that from then on, I would walk the last leg in the righteous path to my original home.
I knew that if I continued to indulge in my past deviations from the Fa, eventually the evil old forces would persecute me. I finally overcame my grief, dedicated every possible moment to diligent Fa study, and within one month's time, finished reading all of Master's overseas lectures. Through this Fa study, I learned the root cause of my departure from the path. It was because I had not accepted the Fa as my teacher and had not achieved total, rock-solid belief in Dafa and Master. I have an attachment of zealotry and sometimes I like showing off. Other times I feel complacent. The old forces seized these loopholes and persecuted me. I read Master's overseas lectures about some practitioners who unintentionally chose a wrong path because of their attachments. I understood that it was not because they wanted to betray Dafa, but that the old forces used their loopholes and persecuted them.
Master said he doesn't want to leave a single disciple behind, so I decided to go find practitioners who had left Dafa but not yet returned. Some of the practitioners had gone into Buddhism. The study of Master's lectures taught me that once a practitioner truly leaves Dafa, he or she will miss the predestined opportunity for which we have waited thousands of years. What a terrible mistake that would be!
I copied down Master's lecture on the subject and either read it or gave it to practitioners who had left Dafa. I then told them of my own mistakes and the things I had learned after I returned to Dafa. After attending our group Fa study, some of them soon came back. Others however, were unmoved no matter what I said to them. I went home to study Master's teachings more diligently and looked inward for any hidden attachments. I asked fellow practitioners to help by sending forth righteous thoughts to clear out any evil forces in other dimensions that were blocking the return of those practitioners. I planned to reach out to these former practitioners again later, and have other practitioners go with me.
In a group study, I suggested that practitioners with wavering faith should use Fa principles to look within for the source of their difficulties. I knew these practitioners were in a very vulnerable state and were afraid of being accused. I understood their state of mind and communicated with them in a sympathetic manner, but I was very persistent in seeking them out. Some practitioners were awakened from the evil influences after one or two group Fa studies. Others however, required more than a dozen sessions.
I knew a practitioner who had left Dafa and become a Buddhist. I visited him several times and read Master's lectures to him, but failed to change his mind. I was really discouraged, but I decided to pay him one last visit before giving up. On my way to see him, Master's voice rang in my ear,
"With shared purpose did you come to the earth, and in gaining the Fa you took the lead. One day shall you ascend to the heavens, Then free, unfettered, with the immeasurable power of Fa." ("Fulfilling the Vow" from Hong Yin)
After hearing Master's voice, I was unable to stop my tears. I knew then, that Master had given me a hint. It was my responsibility to awaken this practitioner because we made our vows to come to the earth and we should ascend to the heavens in the new universe together.
No matter whether these wayward practitioners are nearby or hundreds of miles away, no matter whether I can personally meet them or have others go meet them, I feel that I have a responsibility to do something about it. As long as these fellow practitioners return to practice Dafa, I will be happy for them.
Unconditionally Looking Inward to Eliminate the Interval and Harmonize as One Body
Over the last two years, I had numerous disagreements with a certain practitioner. At the time, I had a relatively strong ego, and I had picked up some erroneous ideas about the Fa during the course of my cultivation. These flaws combined with my hidden attachments to prevent me from listening to others' ideas. As a cultivator, I lacked a compassionate heart and couldn't tolerate views that were different from my own. Disagreements with fellow practitioners immediately and always exposed my bad temper.
On Master's birthday last year, some fellow practitioners asked me to share my experiences in an article to be published on the Clearwisdom website. As I wrote, I carefully searched deep inside my heart for hidden attachments. Sometimes evil thoughts interfered with my thinking and intensified my attachments, which blocked me from finding or recognizing them. Once I understood this, I sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the bad substances that were controlling my thoughts. By the time I finished writing the article, I had discovered many hidden attachments and erroneous ideas that clouded my understanding of the Fa. During this process I also gained an understanding of many new Fa principles. I decided to use this new understanding of the Fa to immediately get rid of all of my attachments and use this process to begin my transformation from a human to a divine being.
Thereafter, I was mindful of my every word, thought, and action, and eliminated my attachments as soon as I found them. I tried my best to prevent the return of even the slightest residue of those attachments. I would not let them control me. They are getting weaker day by day. As Master said, "A human body is a small universe." (Zhuan Falun) All beings in my universe will have to assimilate to the Fa. I will not be too polite, but simply eliminate any unrighteousness factors in my small universe. During the process of looking inward and cultivating my xinxing, my heart has increased to its capacity and my forbearance has increased as well. In day to day affairs, I try to keep a peaceful mind. Whenever I encounter difficulties and injustices, I use Fa principles to guide me and look within. As Master said,
"You should always maintain a heart of benevolence and a mind of kindness. If you suddenly bump into a problem you will be able to take care of it properly." (Zhuan Falun)
When I cultivated myself diligently and learned to deal with conflicts and disagreements by looking inward, my xinxing improved and my level upgraded. Looking back, I see that those so-called "conflicts" are really just set up to prepare us to elevate our levels. Before we are enlightened to this fact, we always look for shortcomings in others and not in ourselves when we are faced with conflicts. In his compassionate way, Master wants us to see this truth and learn when we collide with each other. Master said,
"Do you realize that as long as you're a cultivator, in any environment or under any circumstances, I will use any troubles or unpleasant things you come across--even if they involve work for Dafa, or no matter how good or sacred you think they are--to eliminate your attachments and expose your demon-nature so that it can be eliminated, for your improvement is what's most important." ("Further Understanding" from Essentials For Further Advancement)
Master once said to treat both good things and bad things as if they are good. We must take advantage of our conflicts, for they are opportunities to improve our xinxing. Wasn't that a grand idea to bury bad things inside of good things? After improving myself with the help of the Fa, I sincerely thank Master for his mercy and for the suffering he has endured to save us. I also want to thank my fellow practitioners for helping me to improve myself.
I have sometimes wondered why fellow practitioners are still being arrested and detained by the Chinese government. The reason could be that gaps exist between practitioners, and we have not quite formed a whole, unified body. The intervals that separate us have caused the unified body to splinter, creating loopholes that the old forces seize to intensify their persecution of us and further damage the body. To eliminate these gaps, each one of us should begin by taking responsibility for our own cultivation, using the principles of the Fa as a guide to diligently cultivate ourselves.
There was a fellow practitioner with whom I had many conflicts. Even though we had worked through many of the problems between us, deep down in our hearts there was still animosity whenever we met. We refused to sit together and wouldn't open up our hearts and exchange views on anything. But in the cultivation world there are no coincidences when bad feelings arise between practitioners. Since it happened to me, I knew that there must be some areas where I needed to improve and some attachments to eliminate. I decided to open up my heart and communicate with this practitioner in order to eradicate the gaps between us. On the surface we acknowledged the gaps that the old forces created for us, and acknowledged that we could not let go of them. But we were just paying lip service to the problem. In actuality, our minds and our behavior were controlled by theses forces and we didn't want to let go of them.
I decided to visit this practitioner and make amends, but my thought karma pulled me back and didn't want me to go. All sorts of questions began to form in my mind. Could she possibly be willing to listen and accept me? How would she react to my earlier irrational thinking? Eventually, I realized that these thoughts arose from my own thought karma. The evil thought karma was afraid of its own death because once the practitioner and I eliminated the problem between us, thought karma would disintegrate automatically. I made up my mind to find my most pure heart and visit her. Then I sat down for half an hour to send forth righteous thoughts to clear the bad substances from my surrounding field, and eliminate all interference from the combative mentality, unbalanced heart, and attachments arising from feelings of inadequacy.
When I arrived at her place, she welcomed me warmly. We chatted for a while and I was about to let her know what was on my mind when she told me that the next day was her husband's fifty-seventh birthday. All of a sudden, my human thoughts resurfaced. I convinced myself that the things I wanted to tell her could wait. When I realized my mistake, I immediately looked inward to understand why I didn't insist upon letting her know my intentions. Could it be that I still had the same old conceptions about her? Had I over estimated my success in eliminating attachments and upgrading of my level? I considered from the way she acted, that maybe she hadn't improved herself either. I discovered my own vanity and learned that more than anything else, I was afraid of losing face. Master once said that to overestimate one's worth is not a good thing. I wanted to use principles I had learned as a Dafa disciple to communicate with her.
As we communicated, we each looked inward to find our shortcomings. We were in harmony, willing to accept each others' viewpoints, and we maintained peaceful minds. She then told me that my xinxing had improved a lot and that there had been holistic improvements in other practitioners as well. After she finished speaking, I could feel our hearts inching closer and the distance between us melting away like snow. I told her, "You have also upgraded your xinxing, and our discussion went very well today." We smiled at each other and decided to leave the chaos behind us because we couldn't possibly hold on to our bad feelings and take them with us to the new universe. We also decided that from then on we would deal immediately with any misunderstandings that arose between us. We would cherish our predestined relationship because there would not be another opportunity as precious as this one.
I asked this fellow practitioner, when there is are gaps between practitioners, who would be the happiest? The evil old forces of course! Who would be the saddest? Our Master, naturally. Who would be the victim? We as practitioners would suffer the most. We both shed tears. The evil forces had been trying their best to destroy us practitioners. Although we constantly talk about maintaining righteous thoughts and actions, we often run around in circles that the evil elements have arranged for us, and seem unable to break though the barriers. This practitioner told me that she also discovered her attachments, and together we would dissolve our prior misunderstandings. We would try our best to make Master happy and never let the evil old forces get the best of us again. After we spoke, I could feel shining lights in my heart and a blackness fall from my head. It felt so wonderful to put down our ordinary mentalities and eliminate the interval between us.
After this experience, I decided to have a heart to heart talk with my third eldest sister to eliminate our sisterly sentimentalities. In the past, we differed in our understanding of the Fa, and that gave the old forces an opportunity to drive a wedge between us. We became alienated from each other and seldom exchanged our ideas and understandings of Fa principles. Just when I was thinking of contacting her, she called me and invited me to visit. I thought to myself, "When a disciple has righteous thoughts, Teacher is sure to help." The night before we met, I thought, "I will be use my most pure heart to communicate with her and let her know everything I have recently enlightened to about the Fa." Just then, Master's word came to me, "But once the partitions are cleared away, on earth the boiling cauldron is in place." ("Retribution" from Hong Yin II) Suddenly my entire body felt a "boom," as if being shaken by an earthquake. In an instant I understood why. There are still shelters for evils forces to hide in. The reason there has been no retribution against the evil forces that persecute Falun Gong is because the gaps that separate practitioners have not been dissolved. We cling tightly to the evil forces' arrangements and are reluctant to let them go. Some practitioners have seen with their third eye the hiding places of rotten demons and ghosts in other dimensions, and they have said that we encounter obstacles in our efforts to stop the persecution because some practitioners will not let go of the gaps that divide us. This observation is based on my current level of understanding of the hints I have received from Master.
I went to my sister's home and we shared with pure hearts the things we have come to understand about the Fa. We both looked inward for our hidden attachments. She invited some fellow practitioners from her region to come over, and we exchanged our views on the Fa. There are still many practitioners who can't let go of their human mentalities. Even though on the surface, they pretend nothing has happened, in their hearts they exclude others and create gaps that prevent practitioners from uniting as one body. After we shared our views, these practitioners finally realized that because of their human attachments and their fixed conceptions, they had invited the old forces to exploit their weaknesses and create distance between them. Feeling light-hearted after letting go of their attachments, they all expressed a desire to eliminate their weaknesses and start anew. My sister said happily, "After finding and letting go of my human attachments, I feel like I've shed a thick layer of skin." I felt like I gained a much deeper understanding of the Fa and greatly improved my xinxing as well.
My difficulties with my fellow practitioners were thoroughly dissolved during these discussions. Gaps between practitioners arise when we fail to sever our human attachments that are born of selfishness. Our fixed notions enable the old forces to take advantage of and intensify the intervals between practitioners, harming our efforts to achieve a unified body. Master said, "So, I tell you that you cannot consummate if you do not love your enemies." ("Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Canada") I would say also that you cannot consummate if you maintain bad feelings between practitioners. Master has given us the most omnipotent universal law and taught us how to cultivate diligently and achieve our ultimate goal to become the lord of our own Cosmos. Our hearts should be as broad as the universe. The higher one's level, the wider our hearts must be in order to shelter more sentient beings. Of what can we be intolerant? Also, if we practitioners are divided, we will fail to achieve consummation and will become obstacles to remaking the universe according to the Fa. Those evil substances are alive. They live horizontally and vertically in other dimensions and create gaps between practitioners in the hopes of blocking our efforts to become a unified body. If we don't sever and purge those bad substances, they will survive in our surrounding energy fields and continue to divide practitioners. Practitioners on both sides of these gaps need to simultaneously eradicate them so that they will completely disappear. In order to eradicate them, we need to unconditionally look inward. As Master said, "As you get rid of human mentality, evil is naturally defeated." ("Don't Be Sad" from Hong Yin II)
Let us be more rational, mature and wise, hold hands together with righteous thoughts and actions, and assist Master in validating Dafa and saving sentient beings.