Walk the Path that Teacher Arranged for Us and Mature While Cultivating in the Fa
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings, respected Teacher! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I began to practice Falun Gong in 1996. For the last 13 years, I have believed firmly in Teacher and Dafa, and under Teacher's protection, I have gradually matured as a practitioner. I would like to share my cultivation experience in assisting Teacher with Fa-rectification with fellow practitioners. Please kindly point out anything inappropriate.
Sickness karma cannot obstruct practitioners' righteous thoughts
Recently, many practitioners in my area have developed symptoms of sickness karma. Some were seriously ill and their illnesses lasted for an extended period of time. Subsequently, several practitioners have died. I was saddened by their deaths, but at the same time, these events made me ponder. I would like to share my understanding regarding this issue from my personal experience.
On July 20, 1999, the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began to persecute Falun Gong. I visited Beijing to appeal for justice for Falun Gong and was illegally arrested and detained. I was released after two months of detention. After I went home, I developed severe symptoms of sickness karma. I was not able to stand or sit. Every time I stood, even for a short period of time, I became anxious, dizzy, and felt like I was going to faint, so I had to sit down quickly. But every time I sat, my back hurt and my belly was bloated, as if it was about to explode. For a long time, I could not eat and I could only drink a little bit of water. I reclined on a chair with a quilt supporting my back. It was very uncomfortable. My complexion was yellowish and my lips were purple. I often had the thought that I might have cancer.
No matter how much pain I had, I did not take it to heart, because Teacher said that a cultivator does not have illnesses, and I believed that. Therefore, I took the illness symptoms with a grain of salt and pretended that everything was fine in front of my family. Otherwise, if they noticed how uncomfortable I was, they would have taken me to the hospital, and that would have caused damage to Dafa.
While forbearing the physical pain, I tried to fulfill my responsibilities at home. I cooked three meals a day for my husband, son, and daughter. They really enjoyed the meals and I joined them and pretended to eat with them, even though I could not eat. When I drank water, my belly swelled as if it was going to explode.
The symptoms lasted for a long time, and even though I did not treat it as an illness, the pain and the discomfort made me realize that something was wrong. I knew that I must have been doing something not according to the Fa without realizing it. Thus, the bad elements found an excuse to persecute me.
I calmed myself down, studied the Fa, and searched inward. I finally found the crux of the problem. Due to the persecution, I withstood tremendous pressure from the world outside and at home. Because I refused to give up the practice, my husband was not allowed to work and my children were not allowed to attend school (at the time, my daughter was 14 years old and my son was five). Under the enormous pressure, my husband nearly broke down and behaved like a mad man. He took his anger and frustration out on me. He hit me many times, as if he was going to kill me. I grew afraid of my husband, and I was angry and resentful towards him. At the time, I was not diligent in studying the Fa, so the bad elements escalated the persecution.
I calmly studied the Fa after I identified the problem. I tried not to see or feel my illness, and I did what I was supposed to do. As soon as my heart became righteous, I began to follow the path Teacher arranged for me and ignored all other arrangements. I kept searching within when I studied the Fa, then I rectified myself. I forgave my husband and treated him kindly. I eliminated my anger and the feeling of being wronged. I used the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to evaluate myself and held myself to the high standards of a practitioner. It did not take long for the sickness karma to disappear, and I became a healthy practitioner with a rosy complexion.
After experiencing the physical tribulation and transformation, I learned that we should not be afraid of sickness karma. Although it can affect human beings, it cannot obstruct the righteous thoughts of a cultivator. Therefore, a practitioner should not expend too much thought on sickness karma. Instead, one should firmly believe in Teacher and Dafa, consistently study the Fa, and deny all forms of persecution by the old forces. As long as one earnestly searches and eliminates things that are not in accordance with the Fa, and rectifies oneself, the sickness karma should quickly disappear.
Changing my notions and saving sentient beings
"Right now, one important thing that needs to be attended to is the matter of how to save more sentient beings, and it is something Dafa disciples are to accomplish during their current process of achieving Consummation. This is Dafa disciples' mission, a duty that cannot be shirked, something that they must do and must complete."
"As Dafa disciples, if right now you cannot accomplish that and lead beings to salvation, then you will have failed to fulfill the vows you once made, and will have brought calamity to the entire Fa-rectification, the universe, and sentient beings. That's why I said just now that this is something Dafa disciples must do well." ("Fa Teaching at the 2007 New York Fa Conference")
Practitioners are beings that walked out of the old universe, and our new lives are being reconstructed by Dafa. Prior to July 20, 1999, Teacher pushed us to our highest positions, and since July 20, 1999, practitioner's personal cultivation became Fa-rectification cultivation, and that is validating the Fa and saving sentient beings.
Once I understood these Fa principles, I went from self-cultivation and consummation to cultivation to save more sentient beings. During the process, I gradually let go of selfishness and held myself to the high standards of a practitioner. Cultivating oneself well is not for the purpose of raising one's level and consummation, but to save more sentient beings. I understood from studying the Fa that people of today's world came from high levels and are waiting for practitioners to save them.
I used every opportunity and method to save sentient beings, from sending truth clarification letters and information to face-to-face conversations. When I talked to people about Falun Gong, sometimes I did it by myself, while other times I joined two practitioners from my Fa study group. The effect was usually good. We persuaded 10 to 30 people to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations each day. We supplemented what each other said, better enabling our listeners to understand the truth and be saved. When I clarified the truth by myself, I took it seriously and talked to people earnestly. My experience tells me that we can save people when we truly have compassion in our hearts.
Once I went to the place where I used to live and saw five people washing clothes by the well. One of them was a neighbor who had lived across from me. I had already clarified the truth to her and persuaded her to quit the CCP, so I talked to the other four people. I explained the facts thoroughly and with good intention but no one wanted to quit at the time. I was very calm and stood firm.
After I left, they talked to each other and it was revealed that two of them had already quit, and the other three became anxious and asked why the other two did not tell them about it before. They asked my former neighbor to find me and help them quit. Later I gave them a Shen Yun Performing Arts DVD and helped them quit the Party. This shows not only the effects of clarifying the truth well, but also that the world's people are eagerly waiting to be saved. I also learned that I can save more people when I cultivate myself well.
We often went to the market in the evenings to explain the facts. One time we talked to a vendor, and she told us with excitement that, prior to our visit, 70 to 80 people had already clarified the truth to her. She said that, since Falun Dafa was so good, she wanted to learn the practice as well. This incident shows that practitioners have done a good job. As long as we are not attached to the results of encouraging people to quit the Party, let go of the self, and clarify the truth attentively, the compassion of Dafa will provide salvation to those who deserve to be saved.
Changing my notions and transforming my family
"If a Dafa disciple's heart is unsteady, it will cause changes in his or her surroundings. When you have fear, for instance, you will find that the sentient beings around you are not quite right. When you change such that your presence is refreshing and uplifting to people, and your mind becomes broad and full of optimism, you will find the things around you to be correspondingly different. " ("Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference")
During the first few years of the persecution, because my understanding of the Fa was incorrect, I was irrational and lacked wisdom. Validating the Fa is such a sacred responsibility, but I did not do well in this regard. This caused misunderstandings in my family and created a lot of pressure at home and outside. I thought that cultivation was hard and arduous.
After continuously studying the Fa, my notions were transformed, and I was able to look at an issue from the perspective of validating the Fa and saving sentient beings. All of a sudden, my heart opened up. I stopped bickering with my family and others and I treated them with kindness. Gradually, the atmosphere at home and around me improved.
I realized that in order to save sentient beings, aside from clarifying the truth in person and distributing information material, it is also important to pay attention to one's image. Dafa practitioners' existence is in itself a "truthful fact." If we conduct ourselves well according to the Fa , then people might develop positive thoughts about Dafa and be saved. If we do the opposite, then we damage Dafa's image and push people away. Once I became aware of it, I conducted myself according to the strict standard for practitioners and treated everyone with kindness. At first, my husband and children did not understand nor did they support me, but now they understand and support my practicing Falun Dafa.
In years past, we visited our hometown in the village during the Chinese New Year. I used this opportunity to glue truth clarification materials on walls and lampposts on the major roads in between villages. My husband and daughter smiled and remained quiet when they saw me doing that. Sometimes my daughter helped me, and my husband reminded me to be careful.
These are all manifestations of the mighty power of Dafa. Dafa transformed me and my family, and I walked out of selfishness and gradually matured. In my opinion, if something is wrong in my family, I am the root cause of the problem. As soon as I rectify myself, things smooth out.
Awakening ex-practitioners and harmonizing everything according to Teacher's requirement
Teacher is merciful and does not want to leave any practitioner behind. He would like for us to raise our levels and consummate as one body. Dafa created us and harmonized us, and we should reciprocate and harmonize Dafa and fulfill Teacher's wishes.
After reading Teacher's most recent lectures, I understood that it is important that we find people who used to practice Falun Gong but no longer do. Whether they return to Dafa depends on how well practitioners who have been following the Fa-rectification process with Teacher are doing. We are cultivating away the "self" and becoming future great enlightened beings who are compassionate. We should not abandon those who have quit, as we have the responsibility of caring for their wellbeing. We must empathize with them and bring them back to Dafa. Teacher will be pleased that they have come back.
Two practitioners and I worked together to find people who had quit practicing, who had not stepped forward because they were blocked by their notions, and who were not steadfast. We shared with them from the perspective of the Fa principles and spoke to them as if they were part of our family. We talked to them, heart to heart. We showed that we cared about them, sympathized, and empathized with them. We let them feel Teacher's mercy and Dafa's wonder through us. We gave them warmth and hoped to awaken their lost and numb hearts. We regarded the Fa as Teacher and led them in every way toward the righteous path.
We discovered that those who were still practicing but did not want to step forward to clarify the truth, including older practitioners who had long term sickness karma, shared the same problem. They only read Zhuan Falun, but did not read Teacher's lectures after July 20, 1999, or Minghui/Clearwisdom website sharing articles.
I shared this issue with other practitioners, and we agreed that it was not sufficient to just read Zhuan Falun. Not reading the later articles would prevent one from catching up with Fa-rectification, and it would allow the bad elements to take advantage of the loophole. Teacher explained Zhuan Falun in his later lectures in a brief and straightforward manner. Teacher had directly pointed out and given us instructions, and as long as we follow them, we can catch up with Teacher's Fa-rectification process.
We encouraged those less-than-diligent practitioners who owned computers to read sharing articles on the Minghui website on a daily basis, because this would be beneficial for them. After they understood these issues, we helped them form Fa study groups. For those who could not participate in a Fa study group, we encouraged them to be in touch and share with other practitioners and raise their levels. We let those who were more steadfast lead the group and create an environment that fostered learning and improvement. The overall results were good. And it was important that we had this wish. Although on the surface we were doing everything, in reality, every single detail was arranged and done by Teacher.
There were also those who had left Dafa because of the persecution and turned to another practice. Even though it was harder to bring them back, as long as Teacher and Dafa were present, we were confident in ourselves and did not give up on them. After all, they once practiced Falun Gong, and Dafa took root in their hearts. Their knowing sides were eager to come back to Dafa.
When we shared with them, we were calmed and not moved by their reactions. We treated them kindly and helped them open up their hearts. We did not have attachments from the past of looking down on them, criticizing, complaining, or wanting to defeat them. We wholeheartedly wanted the best for them and were compassionate toward them. We did not keep our distance from them and got close to them. We did not think about interference, because our minds were righteous and we did things according to the Fa. In addition, Teacher protected us and rectified things around us. We were not moved by anything unrighteous. In a compassionate field, things that were not right were all being eliminated. This is the requirement of Fa-rectification and what Teacher wants.
During our sharing, we let them speak first, then we looked for the crux of the problem and tried to solve it. This group of practitioners shared similar opinions. They thought they had cultivated to very high levels and were great, and as long as they cultivated well they did not need to clarify the truth to save sentient beings. We read Teacher's later lectures to them and explained to them that only Dafa can truly save people, whereas other practices can no longer do that. Learning other practices is merely following a formality; it is a waste of time and energy and fooling oneself. Teacher told us clearly in his lectures that practitioners should do the three things well until the day of consummation. One cultivates in vain if one only studies the Fa but does not clarify the truth to save sentient beings. As long as the Fa-rectification is not over, every practitioner has the responsibility of saving sentient beings. Those who say it is not necessary to save sentient beings are being controlled by bad elements who are trying to damage Dafa. We also shared with them about Dafa practitioners' real identities and our mission in coming to this world to save sentient beings.
During the sharing process, Teacher's Fa constantly disintegrated elements that confused them. They were gradually transforming and were friendly and warm toward us. We were not attached to the results and only tried our best. If it did not work the first time, we visited them several days later. We also encouraged other practitioners to visit them as well.
One former practitioner did not have much reaction the first time we visited her. However, before we left, she invited us to her home again. We visited her several days later, and she was awakened after a brief sharing. She was very emotional, and with tears in her eyes she said, "Teacher is merciful and has not abandoned a practitioner like me who has not done well. There are so many practitioners who care about me and are helping me. I cannot express my gratitude to you all." We replied, "You should thank Teacher. It is Teacher who arranged for us to bring you back. Don't rush to do anything now, just read Teacher's lectures earnestly several times and you will know what to do."
As we were leaving, this practitioner kept thanking us with tears in her eyes. She is now cultivating and doing the three things steadily. There are more cases like this but I won't describe them here. As long as we do our best and do not give up, there is hope that those who once practiced Falun Dafa will come back. This is Teacher's wish.
Practitioners in other regions have done well in bringing back former practitioners. I feel ashamed when I compare myself to them. Before the persecution, started there were many who practiced Falun Gong in our area. Now there are only a bit more than a third left. Teacher keeps extending the time for Fa-rectification. I realized that one of the main reasons is that he hopes that these practitioners return to Dafa quickly. I think we began too late, but I do believe that as long as Compassionate Teacher and Dafa are here, we can do better in this regard and not disappoint Teacher. We will do our best to fulfill our prehistoric vow. Let's go home together with those who came here with us.
Thank you, Compassionate Teacher! Thank you, fellow practitioners!