Let's Fulfill Our Sacred Vows
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings, revered Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I'm very happy to participate in the Sixth Internet Experience Sharing Conference for Practitioners in China.
I began to practice Falun Gong in 1996 as a young man. I'd like to share my cultivation experiences over the past several years. Please kindly point out any inappropriateness and offer your valuable suggestions.
As a young practitioner, I feel that being youthful is a great resource for Dafa, and it is a gift from Teacher. It is to enable us to shoulder great responsibilities during the crucial period of Fa-rectification cultivation and to save sentient beings.
During the past few years of cultivation, what have moved me the most are Teacher's meticulous arrangements that brought me to my current responsibilities. Teacher said,
"You are one body, just like Master's gong. Of course you and gong aren't the same thing, I'm just giving an example. It's just like my gong, which does different things at the same time." ("Guiding the Voyage")
When each practitioner shoulders his responsibility and performs his duty, each person is fulfilling his vow. My main job is to provide technical support and coordinate tasks while elevating as one body with fellow practitioners.
Cultivating myself while providing technical support
Generally speaking, it is not too difficult to provide technical support, since the people I help are practitioners, and everyone seems to be appreciative of my help. Compared to the job of a coordinator, there are usually less xinxing conflicts. The biggest test is trying not to form an attachment to myself when practitioners praise me. This process has helped me to cultivate my compassion and patience. As far as learning new technologies, Teacher bestows me with the necessary wisdom as long as my mind is righteous and I am willing to work hard, and provided that I want to save sentient beings and am not merely satisfying my desire to learn the latest technology.
My job is to learn the existing technology recommended by Minghui.net (the Chinese version of Clearwisdom) and other websites established by practitioners, and to help practitioners to apply those technologies in their truth clarification projects. When I set up computers and teach practitioners to use the software, there is one principle I adhere to; that is, I do not download software from non-practitioners' websites, or install software not recommended by practitioners. This is to ensure the integrity and the security of practitioners' computer systems. I would like to thank practitioners who provide technical services for Minghui.net and other technical websites. Because of your diligent work, you made complicated technologies easy to use. This has enabled more practitioners to quickly learn to use the software and to apply them to their projects to save sentient beings. The effect has been great.
Of course, I have run into difficulties, encountered obstacles because of my attachments, and been interfered with by bad elements during this process. Sometimes I did well, other times I did poorly. For example, when I taught practitioners computer skills, if there was not enough time, or if I did not study the Fa well, I quickly became impatient and my tone of voice was not kind. Thus, I was merely performing a task. At that moment, I noticed that what I was doing was not right and told myself, "This is cultivation and it is not an ordinary task. I need to be patient." After calming myself down, I wanted to rush again. It was like this, back and forth. This was because I did not have enough compassion. The majority of practitioners that I taught were older, some were almost seventy years old. Had they not firmly believed in Dafa and possessed righteous thoughts, it would have been nearly impossible to learn computer skills at such an age. To learn computer technology, they had to work harder than young people. This requires tremendous righteous thoughts and courage. Wasn't it my honor to teach such great practitioners? Why could I not be more compassionate and patient?
Sometimes I forbore hardships or encountered interference from the bad elements. However, as long as I had sufficient righteous thoughts, the interference amounted to nothing. Two years ago, I wanted to broadcast New Tang Dynasty Television's (NTDTV) programs to the people in China. So I decided to learn to install satellite antennas. I went back to my hometown in the village and bought a satellite dish to learn how to receive the NTDTV signal. It was a Saturday afternoon. I asked my family to watch the television while I adjusted the antenna on the rooftop. It was cold and windy and I squatted on the roof more than two hours, and I could not get any reception. Later, my family left, so I had to climb up and down the roof many times to adjust the antenna and to check the reception, and there was still no reception.
That evening I searched inward and discovered that I still had curiosity for new things and the desire to perform tasks. I also had the attachment to zealotry when my family praised me, saying that I was patient, and the mentality of wanting to show off my ability to make the satellite dish work to impress my family. Realizing this, I adjusted my mindset and thought, "To be able to receive NTDTV's signal is to enable more Chinese people to learn truthful information about Falun Dafa, and it is not to satisfy myself." At the same time, I sent forth righteous thoughts to clear the rotten elements' interference. The next day, I continued to adjust the antenna after breakfast. I kept sending righteous thoughts to eliminate interference and to purify myself while working on the reception. I asked Teacher to help, and my state of mind became calmer and steadier. By three in the afternoon, the image of NTDTV's Asia broadcast suddenly appeared. I recorded the reception data for other people in my area who wanted to watch NTDTV's programming. Because of lack of time I was not able to teach more practitioners the reception technology, therefore, there are very few satellite dishes in our area. In addition, due to the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) interference, NTDTV's North America broadcast into China was halted, and the satellite dish project also came to a stop. Since we did not place enough importance on utilizing the most effective tool to save sentient beings, the wicked elements were able to interfere. This is our mistake and a great loss to China's people.
Earlier this year, two projects were developed using the Internet - sending short text messages and truth clarification recording via cell phones. I thought that these projects could break through geographic and demographic limitations, and clarify the truth to people of different social strata and professions. We could specifically target those who are directly persecuting practitioners, clarify the truth to them, and restrain them. I began to learn the skills required for this project. At present, the technology has been improved and simplified by practitioners involved in the project.
During the process of learning and researching the technique, I suddenly felt something lodged in my chest, and it made me very anxious and agitated. I immediately sensed that the bad elements were trying to stop me. I sat down to send righteous thoughts, but the anxiousness worsened and I wanted to put my hands down, scream, and run around. My mind was very clear at the time. I thought, "You, the wicked element, are struggling to survive. The more you want to stop me, the more I want to send righteous thoughts." I continued to learn the technology after I finished sending righteous thoughts. I also sent righteous thoughts at the global set times. The anxiety and agitation gradually diminished. This continued for three days and I finally learned to install and use the software to send messages to cell phones.
The moment I finished the entire learning and installation process, the discomfort in my chest was gone and I felt light. When I look back, I think I was interfered with because of my attachments of pursuing new things, and I placed too much importance on a certain project and was too eager to accomplish something. Had I noticed such attachments at that time, perhaps I would not have been interfered with. Or maybe I would have only needed to send righteous thoughts once to eliminate the interference, and would not have to deal with it for three days.
Coordinating well while raising our level as one body
I often think that the part each practitioner plays in the process of Fa-rectification is no coincidence. They are the result of vows we made long time ago, of Teacher's meticulous arrangements, and our state of cultivation during the Fa-rectification period. I probably would not have the ability and the opportunity to coordinate if I did not assist at the local Falun Dafa center prior to the persecution, or had I not worked and coordinated at a large information production site when I was homeless, or if I did not have the desire to help, and possess a sense of responsibility. Everything we do is part of Teacher's painstaking work and arrangement of our cultivation paths. Therefore, this is the path that we need to walk in the process of Fa-rectification cultivation, and it is our historical mission and duty. There is no job that is higher or lower; the only difference is that we each do different things. No matter how hard it is, we should not have complaints, and we must continue to walk our paths.
As a coordinator, I think that the most important thing is to be understanding, kind, and tolerant of practitioners' shortcomings. For example, many years ago, Practitioners A, B, and C worked together as coordinators. But A and B had deep misunderstanding toward Practitioner C. In order to eliminate the barrier between them, I shared with A and B based on the Fa principles, to untie the knots in their their hearts and to mend the long-standing gap that existed amongst the practitioners in our area. B was more rational and gradually cleared the misunderstanding with C. However, when A talked about C, in contrast to her usual calm self, she became very emotional and mentioned C's many shortcomings and the damage and hurtful feelings that C caused A and others.
Practitioners have developed their own way of doing things and their set of attachments amidst human society. As long as these are not eliminated, the attachments will surface and cause negative effects. Nevertheless, as long as we are still cultivating, we cannot cling to these attachments and we should try to understand practitioners, since we are bound to make mistakes ourselves. Practitioner A told me that she did not want to connive at C's shortcomings. But being "understanding and forgiving" is not the same as turning a blind eye. To "understand" is to be not bothered by other's shortcomings, and then to kindly point out the other person's mistake for the sake of her well being, and not just criticize her. Finally, Practitioner A was able to eliminate the misunderstanding towards C. If everyone had been able to understand and forgive each other sooner, then we would have been able to work better as one body, and increase our strength to save more sentient beings.
In addition, we should not form a fixed notion about other practitioners, since a practitioner may manifest a certain state today but might improve a week later. Even if he does not do well now, as long as he is trying, we should encourage more and not criticize. A practitioner went to a certain village to help establish a truth-clarification materials production site. He saw that practitioners in the village had covered the doors and the windows with cloth, and thought they had too much attachment to fear. So I shared with him what I thought: "We should not just look at practitioners' current manifestation, but also their state of cultivation, before and after. Although they may show a strong attachment to fear now, the fact that they are establishing a home-based materials site proves that they have come forward a big step. Isn't that great! This shows that they are improving and are rising in levels and are not going backwards. This is the most crucial point. We cannot measure them against our current state."
In order to help everyone raise their levels, we wrote sharing articles and suggested that everyone attend a Fa study group. Each small Fa study group is a basic unit and is part of the larger group. Practitioners in each small group study the Fa together, share and encourage each other, and work together to clarify the truth. When the entire group needs to work together, practitioners in the small groups facilitate and communicate the information. Each Fa study group becomes a particle, and there is a coordinator for each particle. When the coordinators of each particle gather together, a complete body is formed.
To expose the persecution of local practitioners to the local residents, I arranged two practitioners to compile the information and print truth-clarification fliers and small booklets. Every time a persecution case took place, we immediately notified everyone and sent righteous thoughts for the practitioner who was persecuted, to eliminate the bad elements. At the same time, we relayed the persecution information to the responsible practitioners, so that they could send the information to Minghui.net, and print the fliers and distribute them locally. However, because we did not have enough information on the officers who were carrying out the persecution, our truth clarification articles and material lacked strength and were not effective in restraining the persecutors. Thus, we asked practitioners to be more thorough in collecting information about the persecution, to better expose the local cases.
In order to collect the information about local government employees, I had planned to borrow an internal telephone listing from a department supervisor who knew the facts about Falun Gong and was sympathetic. He lent me the phone book without any questions. This made me realize that Teacher will help us as long we as have righteous thoughts. Some things may seem very difficult to accomplish, but that is because we are not sincere about doing it. When we truly want to do it, Teacher will make arrangements for us. Teacher said in Zhuan Falun,
"When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible. If you can actually do it, you will indeed find: 'After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!'"
Last year, a local practitioner was illegally arrested. Although she escaped later, she had nowhere to go and became homeless. At first, her state of mind was somewhat unstable because she did not have a stable environment. Thus, her ability to do the three things was seriously affected. When I learned about her situation, I felt responsible and asked Practitioner C to help. With Teacher's help, Practitioner C quickly found a place for her, and arranged for another female homeless practitioner to live with her. After a period of adjustment, both practitioners got back on their feet and were able to rejoin the process of Fa-rectification and steadily help with the materials production site.
In 2007, several local practitioners were arrested, and three of them (I will call them by D, E, F) were illegally sentenced. In order to help them and to make known their illegal sentencing, I contacted D's family who are also practitioners, and we decided to hire a lawyer to defend D. E's family had misunderstandings about practitioners and did not want to help even after we clarified the truth to them. F's family who are practitioners did not want to spend other practitioners' money to hire a lawyer. Because D and D's spouse are both practitioners and homeless, and did not have any source of income, we found a few practitioners who volunteered to help them financially to hire a lawyer. Our purpose was very clear; it was to ask the lawyer to defend the practitioner and to expose the persecution. The process of hiring a lawyer to defend the practitioner is also the process of forming a unified body to save sentient beings. Whether Practitioner D could be released and for our truth-clarification efforts to take affect, all depended on practitioners working as one body.
From the lawyer, we learned the condition of Practitioner D and information about the persecutors. We posted the information on the Internet and distributed it everywhere in our local area. The Epoch Times interviewed the lawyer, reported the case, and exposed the CCP's harassment of the lawyer and their attempted obstruction of his duty. The news report expanded the awareness of the persecution in the international community and allowed more people to see the arbitrariness of the law in China. This was the first time in our area that a lawyer defended a Falun Gong practitioner with a not-guilty plea, and the case has been a powerful awakening and restraint on the persecutors.
Beside distributing materials about the persecution, we increased the number of times for sending righteous thoughts. Every time the court conducted a hearing on the case, we urged practitioners to gather near the court to send righteous thoughts to eliminate the bad elements. The first time the court conducted the hearing, the police vehicle drove into the court with their siren wailing. But it was quiet the second time, and the policemen tightened security and searched all the people who attended the hearing. They looked for tape and video recorders, as they must have felt the pressure of the truth-clarification efforts and the results accomplished by practitioners. During the hearing, the lawyer argued rationally about the legal rights of practicing Falun Gong and performing truth-clarification activities. Although the judge continuously interrupted the lawyer, I believe that those who were present basically understood the lawyer's legal point of view. Finally, Practitioner D talked about the facts of Falun Gong and called out loudly, "Falun Dafa is good!" At the conclusion of the hearing, a practitioner who attended the hearing asked the judge to release Practitioner D, who was clearly a good person and innocent of any crime. The judge replied softly, "Ok, ok, ok." Even though D was not released, we believe that our truth clarification efforts via a hired lawyer caused a tremendous shock to our local judicial system. When the hearing was over, a policeman gave a thumbs up to Practitioner D's family to show his admiration. Our group effort in sending righteous thoughts eliminated a large amount of bad elements. During the year after the hearing, even when the Olympic torch passed through our area, not one practitioner was arrested.
Cultivating ourselves well and harmonizing our families
After years of cultivation and as Teacher's lectures became more in-depth, I gradually understood what cultivation is, how to cultivate, and the essence of cultivation. I have come to a better understanding of the principles of the Fa and do not easily go to extremes, and have become more mature on my cultivation path. There are apparent changes in my surroundings, specially my home environment.
At the beginning of the persecution, I went to Beijing three times to appeal for justice for Falun Dafa and was persecuted several times. I became homeless afterwards. Two other family members who are practitioners were sent to forced labor camp. I was worried about my children and did not know why Falun Dafa was being suppressed. The policemen's continuous harassment created a lot of mental pressure and pain to my parents. Their health continued to deteriorate and they began to detest Falun Gong. For a long period of time, after we all came home, we could not mention Falun Gong in front of them.
Later, my mother came to live with us to help take care of my children. Besides showing our care for her, my wife and I continuously sent righteous thoughts to eliminate the bad elements that were preventing her from understanding the facts. We also told her about the miraculous physical effect of practicing Falun Gong. However, she refused to listen because the persecution she experienced was too severe. One winter evening, her one of her vertebrae was dislocated, and she was in tremendous pain. Message and a medicine patch did not work. I suggested that she sincerely recite, "Falun Dafa is good." As soon as she heard that, she skipped dinner and went to the bedroom to lie down. I followed her, urged her to have dinner, and told her a few things about Falun Gong. She suddenly rose up, began to cry, and ran outside of the house. I quickly put on a jacket and followed her outside.
As we walked, I held her shoulders and said, "Mom, let's go inside; it's too cold out here. If you don't want me to talk about it, then I'll stop talking about it. It hurts me to see you in such pain, so I wanted you to recite the phrases, because it will truly help you. We can recite the phrases at home so that no one can hear it. There is nothing to be afraid of." She replied, "I'm just worried about you." Her facial expression softened up, and we came home.
We continued to send righteous thoughts afterwards. One day not too long after that, my mother told my wife, "This is truly working, my back does not hurt anymore." And she asked my wife not to tell me about it. The next day, I asked her to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations and she gladly agreed. After she returned to the village, she often worked and squatted in the field the entire day and her back was fine. In the past, this was not possible. My mother told my father about the physical transformation she experienced, and this affected my father greatly.
Some time later, my father sprained his ankle and slightly fractured the bone. We immediately brought him to our house so that he could recuperate. The weather was very hot, so my wife and I bought him short sleeves shirts, shorts, and a reclining chair. My father was very touched. Since we did not have cable television and he was a bit bored, I suggested some DVDs for him to watch. He did not seem to mind the idea, so I played "Traveling Heaven and Earth Through Wind and Rain," and he did not make any comments afterwards. So I played other truth-clarification DVDs day after day. Suddenly one day, my father said, "These DVDs are all about practitioners. Is there one about your Teacher?" I said, "Of course," and showed him Teacher's nine-day lectures in Guangzhou. Sometimes when I was not home, he would watch Teacher's lectures by himself. One day as we were chatting, he said to me, "You practitioners are the kindest people in the world. There aren't people like you nowadays." I was happy that he understood the truth. Subsequently, my parents urged other relatives to recite, "Falun Dafa is good."
My father had been a CCP member for many decades and was deeply indoctrinated by its ideologies. At first, he did not understand why we were persuading people to quit the CCP. He said, "Why don't you just practice at home? Why are you doing things against the CCP?" So I told him about the goodness of Dafa, and how practitioners, who benefited greatly from the practice, have been jailed, beaten, and even died because they appealed for justice for Falun Gong. I pointed out the lies the CCP fabricated in previous political movements and the persecution of Dafa, and that the CCP's claim that we are being political is an excuse to suppress us. I also mentioned some historical predictions and the moral decline of mankind, and told him that urging people to quit the CCP is being compassionate and offering salvation to people; it is not because we want the CCP's power or are against the government. Later, my father agreed to quit the CCP using his real name.
After seeing the tremendous transformation my parents went through, I would like to share the following with practitioners whose family environment is not good. When our family environment is not good, it is because we are not doing well ourselves. Initially, because I had the attachment to being competitive, I was not compassionate toward my family and did not understand their suffering. When they asked me to stop the practice, I did not explained calmly why I wanted to practice. Instead, I insisted on practicing and made the situation worse. At the same time, I did not fulfill my responsibilities at home, thus, they could not see the benefits of practicing Falun Gong. In order to harmonize our family and save them, we must first understand their difficulties of withstanding the persecution and not force them to understand ours. No matter how much hardship we have, Teacher is with us. But our family members do not practice and have no one to depend on; isn't forbearing hardship more difficult for them? We should be selfless and not use Dafa as a cover to shield our attachments such as laziness and competitiveness. And we should not be worried that doing things for them is going to waste our time to save sentient beings. In fact, as long as we can endure hardships, give more of ourselves to others, and sacrifice a bit more of our sleep and rest, we won't delay anything. It is actually easier to do the three things when our family understands the truth.
The process of writing a sharing article also helps one raise my level. I wrote this article three times, and I saw some of my attachments every time I rewrote it. The first time, after I wrote half of the article, I noticed a hidden attachment of wanting to complain to practitioners about my hardships and regarding my persecution experience as a merit. When I wrote it for the second time, I saw that I had the attachment of wanting to show off when I talked about establishing a large information materials production site. So I rewrote it for the third time. During the writing process, the calmer I was, the clearer my thoughts were. In fact, every practitioner's cultivation experience could be compiled in a big book. And the more I wrote, the more I wanted to share. Practitioners have submitted many articles to Minghui.net about the meaning and importance of writing experience-sharing articles, so I won't mention it here.
Finally, I would like to thank merciful Teacher for saving practitioners. And I appreciate fellow practitioners' sincere sharing. From now on, I will assist Teacher in saving more sentient beings, walk more steadily, become more mature, fulfill my sacred vow, reach consummation and return with Teacher!
November 20, 2009