Cultivating Myself While Clarifying the Truth
(Clearwisdom.net) For a few decades before I started practicing Falun Gong, I was a Party cadre and a local celebrity. In October 1996, a friend in Nanjing, China, mailed me a copy of Zhuan Falun. I couldn't put the book down after I started reading it. I was deeply drawn to the profound and intricate Buddha Law in the book. I stayed up all night reading the book from cover to cover. I was overcome with excitement for a long while. After that day, I devoted myself to studying Falun Gong books, cultivating myself according to the teaching of Falun Gong, and promoting Falun Gong as a volunteer. I led a joyous, meaningful life.
The Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began the persecution of Falun Gong on July 20, 1999, and practitioners were terrorized. Practitioners in my county lost contact with fellow practitioners in other areas. In addition, the majority of practitioners in our county did not start practicing Falun Gong until 1997 or 1998 and there were few of us. Most gave in to the political pressure and gave up practicing Falun Gong altogether. Although I have continued to practice Falun Gong, it has only been possible with Teacher's help and after overcoming a lot of bumps on the road.
At first I had no idea how to start, which made every day feel like a year to me. Then I received Teacher's new articles and new lectures, which gave me guidance. Teacher said,
"Validate the Fa with rationality, clarify the truth with wisdom, spread the Fa and save people with mercy" ("Rationality" in Essentials for Further Advancement II)
Then I knew what to do. I had to tell people the truth about Falun Gong to disabuse them of the lies of the CCP. As a Falun Gong practitioner in the Fa-rectification period, it is my obligation and responsibility.
I would like to share my experiences of clarifying the truth about Falun Gong over the past 11 years. I have broken it down to three stages: 2000-2003, 2004-2006, and 2007 to the present. Between 2000 and 2003, I focused mainly on my relatives, friends, old school friends, and acquaintances. I won't spend time on what I did then. I will start with the second stage. In 2004, Teacher published "Let Go of Human Attachments and Save the World's People". I memorized the article and repeatedly recited it. The more I recited it, the clearer it became to me how important it is to clarify the truth and how far behind I was with regard to Teacher's expectations. I started to spend more time clarifying the truth about Falun Gong to more people. I would go out to clarify the truth about Falun Gong not only in the city where I lived, but also in neighboring villages. I would do so daily, rain or shine.
The third stage of my truth-clarification work started in 2007. Teacher said,
"[...] 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." ("Fa Teaching at the 2007 New York Fa Conference")
"The focus for you right now is simply to find ways to do better, to be more efficient, to have a greater impact, and to save more people." ("Fa Teaching at the U.S. Capital")
After reflecting upon myself based on the Fa, it dawned on me that, although I had talked to a lot of people, not many of them had agreed to quit the CCP or its affiliated student organizations they were once members of. Those who did not quit the CCP had not been saved from the same fate as the CCP. Now that I had identified the problem, I decided to rectify it. Since 2008, I have been clarifying important facts about Falun Gong and the CCP while persuading people to quit the CCP. Every morning and afternoon I talk to about a dozen people, and five to eight of them usually agree to quit the CCP. Sometimes more than 10 people agree to quit the CCP in one day. In less than three years, I have persuaded about 5,000 people to quit the CCP and/or its affiliated student leagues.
How did I go about doing it?
1. Accepting and Carrying Out My Mission
I didn't have a good understanding at first. I thought I was just "helping Teacher," and I was doing it for the sake of my own Consummation. It was Teacher that wanted me to do it; it was not I that wanted to do it. As I studied the Fa more, I realized that I am a particle of the Fa and that I had taken a pledge to clarify the truth about Falun Gong to people. With this in mind, I am able to incorporate my truth-clarification work in my daily life. It has become as natural as eating and sleeping. This does not mean I do not run into any obstacles. I have encountered two so far.
The first obstacle was vanity. I was a local celebrity because I had been a CCP cadre for a few decades. I have received many awards, but no criticism. As an introvert, it is a true test for me to take the initiative to approach and talk to people from all walks of life, such as laborers, farmers, and merchants.
A few years ago I was talking to a farmer when he became impatient and shouted at me, "Shut up, Old Man! Quit bothering me! Stop talking and get lost!" I felt victimized. I had never been treated in such a manner in my life. But the feeling vanished when I remembered what Teacher said,
"As a person who has succeeded in cultivation, he is not moved if you swear at him or say something unpleasant about him" ("Lecture in Sydney")
One day I went to a store for preserved eggs, although their prices are higher. I selected her store because I needed an opportunity to talk to her. But the owner started to shout at me before I finished, "You are subverting the government! If anyone should report you to the police, you would end up in prison!" I told her that I was telling her the truth for her own good, but I won't push it if she refused to believe it. I was not upset at all. I must add that not many people respond the way she did.
The second obstacle was fear. At the end of 2004, The Epoch Times published the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. In early 2005, Teacher published "Turning the Wheel Towards the Human World". At the time I was behind the pace of Fa-rectification. I had been clarifying the truth to people, but only to my family, relatives, and friends. I did not have the courage to clarify the truth to more people. It was fear that stopped me. Teacher said,
"Fear can cause one to make mistakes, and fear can cause one to lose a predestined opportunity. Fear is a death trap on a human being's journey toward divinity." ("Pass the Deadly Test")
My fear vanished little by little as I continued to clarify the truth and study the Fa.
Nowadays I have no fear. I used to think it would be safer to clarify the truth to one person at a time. Now I am able to clarify the truth to several people at the same time. On August 16, 2010, I clarified the truth to four construction workers at the same time. Three gladly agreed to quit the CCP's student leagues that they were once members of. As the Fa-rectification progresses, people are awakening to the truth. I can feel it when I clarify the truth to people. More than 90 percent of the people I talk to have agreed to quit the CCP and/or its affiliated organizations.
2. Sieze the Day
I clarify the truth every morning and every afternoon, rain or shine. I don't take a day off even on Chinese New Year's Eve or Chinese New Year. I am capable of doing the following:
1) Time is no object: I have called on a person six times in order to clarify the truth to her. I have called on a retired CCP cadre three times. In my final visit, I patiently listened to him tell me how he got ill and cured. I expressed my sympathy after he finally finished his story. When I clarified the truth to him, he paid full attention and finally agreed to quit the CCP. His wife agreed to quit the Young Pioneers she was once a member of.
2) Money is no object: At first, I would travel to Shanghai, Anhui, and Nanjing to call on friends and relatives. I would also call on former colleagues and school friends in different counties. I would always bring gifts with me. One day I traveled to a city that would have cost me only 1 RMB to get there on the bus. I hailed a pedicab that normally would charge 3 to 4 RMB, but he charged me 5 RMB. I got on the pedicab without bargaining the rate. I took the opportunity to clarify the truth to the driver, who agreed to quit the CCP's student leagues he was once a member of. In early 2010, I called on an old colleague that once worked with me 30 years ago. They were moved by my visit and quit the CCP shortly after. I also took the opportunity of the trip to call one of the secretaries of a CCP branch. He agreed to quit the CCP and his children agreed to quit the CCP's student leagues. Money is no object as long as it helps to clarify the truth.
3) Distance is no object: In order to get in touch with more people, I have been relying on riding a bicycle. I ride about 20 miles each way. In the past few years, I must have traveled over 20,000 miles.
I have also traveled to villages to clarify the truth to farmers directly. They would listen to me as they worked in the paddies. This summer my hip was red and swollen. It was painful to ride on a bicycle. But I never stopped, even for a day.
3. Incorporating truth-clarification work into life and doing it with rationality
I carry cards with Falun Gong messages, yuan bills with truth-clarification messages written on them, and candies with me all the time. I visit cafes in my county and patronize vegetable markets and clarify the truth to them. I clarify the truth to people I meet daily, whatever their profession.
I have also discovered a good strategy. It is easier to break the ice by complimenting a person on his or her merits or positive attributes. One day I ran into an elderly teacher. I complimented him on his excellent health shown by his ability to ride a bicycle at his age. He was happy that I noticed and was willing to listen to me when I began to clarify the truth. He agreed to quit the CCP.
4. Seize Every Opportunity
In April 2007, our county government hired temporary laborers to paint traffic demarkations on the sidewalk. I clarified the truth to more than 30 people in three days. Most of them agreed to quit the CCP or its affiliated student leagues.
In October 2009, a retired high-level cadre, who was a friend from elementary school, visited a friend in the hospital in my county. I had visited him three times in his home in Nanjing, but he did not want to quit the CCP. This time I took him and a group of his relatives and friends for dinner. He finally accepted the fact that I meant well and agreed to quit the CCP.
I also clarify the truth at funerals, weddings, and birthday parties. I turned 70 in 2009. I didn't want to have a birthday party, but I decided to anyway. I ended up clarifying the truth to nearly 30 people. 16 quit the CCP and/or its student leagues.
The following are my humble cultivation insights from the past 11 years:
1. Fa Study Is the Foundation
Studying the Fa fundamentally assures the quality of our truth-clarification and our cultivation. Teacher repeatedly emphasizes the importance of Fa study. I study at least one lecture of Zhuan Falun a day. It took me nearly all of 1999 to memorize Zhuan Falun. I study Teacher's Fa lectures published in or after 1999 two to three times a year. My righteous thoughts become increasingly strong as a result.
In April 2010, a friend invited me for lunch. I used the time before lunch to visit three villages. The village secretary, assistant secretary and a captain of a production team agreed to quit the CCP.
During lunch, a policeman suddenly showed up. He announced, "Old man, don't talk about Falun Gong everywhere! We have just investigated the villages you visited." The host got up and told the police officer, "He is my guest. If you have time, why don't you sit down and have a drink?" The policeman sat for a while, but no one paid attention to him, so he left shortly. I suddenly remembered Teacher said,
"[...] just by having your heart unaffected you will be able to handle all situations" ("Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s)" in Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I continued to chat and laugh. Afterwards, I searched inward for any attachment, such as zealotry or competitiveness. But I had neither. Perhaps Teacher was helping me remove my attachment to fear. Teacher said,
"With such an enormous Fa here, the Fa will be with you when your thoughts are righteous, and this is the greatest assurance." ("Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan")
In the afternoon I persuaded two CCP members to quit the CCP. The next day I went out to clarify the truth to people as usual, completely unaffected.
2. Searching Inward
I had a bad habit of contradicting others. After studying "Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan" repeatedly, I was determined to purge myself of this bad habit, but I still contradicted others at times. In 2009 I called on a few friends in the city to clarify the truth. One of them was a best friend of over 40 years. In the past he would always smile without any reply. This time I thought I would succeed in persuading him to quit the CCP, but this time he said he would throw away my letters without opening them because he knew they contained Falun Gong materials. He even threw a letter in my face. He made a few negative comments about Teacher. I let my temper get the better of me and we bickered. I left with the conflict unresolved.
I searched inward and identified many problems. Everything went well in the morning, so I developed zealotry. Secondly, I was belligerent. Thirdly, I was not calm. After I returned home, I telephoned him and apologized. In 2010 I paid him another visit and brought him many materials, including the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. I only asked him to read them this time. I wanted to let things cool down for a while. Teacher said,
"I just don't believe their consciences are irretrievably lost."
("For the Good of the World")
My home is a good cultivation environment. In the past I would be displeased when my wife asked me to do household chores while I was studying the Fa or sending forth righteous thoughts. I thought of them as interruptions. When I searched inwards, I realized that I had not been helping her with the chores. Now I always help her with household chores first. My wife is a changed woman. She does not interrupt me any longer. She sometimes even reminds me to send forth righteous thoughts.
3. Sending Forth Righteous Thoughts Is Extremely Important
I used to think of sending forth righteous thoughts as something to get over with. I could not see anything with my Celestial Eye and I couldn't concentrate. Teacher said,
"As you know, the persecution that Dafa disciples in Mainland China suffer is quite severe, so each student has to truly, clearly realize what his responsibility is, and when he sends forth righteous thoughts he has to be able to truly calm his mind and truly produce the effect of righteous thoughts. So this is something extremely critical, extremely important." ("Fa-Lecture at the Conference in Florida, U.S.A.")
This passage of the Fa had a tremendous impact on me. Many articles from Minghui Weekly have been inspiring to me as well. Starting early 2010, I have been sending forth righteous thoughts eight times a day. In April 2010, the CCP had a meeting where they threatened to escalate the level of the persecution of Falun Gong and even to check on each and every Falun Gong practitioner in town. Soon, many fellow practitioners were arrested for practicing Falun Gong. I began to pay serious attention to sending forth righteous thoughts. I have been sending forth righteous thoughts 12 times a day, and I will continue to do so.
Although I cannot see anything with my Celestial Eye, I feel a powerful energy field. Because we persevered in sending forth righteous thoughts, the evil force could only make empty threats. My residence county was least impacted. This is the manifestation of the mighty power of righteous thoughts.
Words cannot describe my immense gratitude towards Teacher, as everything I have done in the past 13 years was made possible because of Teacher's protection and reinforcement.
I might have done things Teacher requires of us, but I am still far behind Teacher's expectation. Teacher said,
"[...] the closer it gets to the end, the better you must study the Fa; the closer it gets to the end, the stronger your righteous thoughts must be." ("To the Canada Fa Conference")
I must bear Teacher's words in mind at all times. I must have righteous thoughts at all times, be more diligent in my cultivation practice, and live up to the title of a disciple in the Fa-rectification period.