Look Inward to Improve Oneself; Compassionately Save People
I have been practicing Falun Dafa since 1996. I would like to share my experiences and understandings in several areas.
1. Look Inward, Coordinate with Other Practitioners to Walk Our Cultivation Path Correctly
After the persecution began in 1999, our cultivation environment was destroyed, especially our Fa study group. I did not know anyone who still continued to practice. We only occasionally exchanged views with one another, often changing the subject to everyday matters. There were times when we truly intended to restore our Fa study as soon as possible, but we gave up once we had difficulty. I looked inward and discovered that it was primarily my attachment of fear and the pursuit of comfort in ordinary society. Then a practitioner rushed over to tell me that several practitioners (former assistants) who had stopped cultivating were attempting to persuade other practitioners to follow them down an evil path.
Through sharing, we realized that we had to act according to the cultivation format left by Teacher and restore our collective Fa study and our sharing environment. It was decided that we would set aside one day a week for joint Fa study, so we formed three Fa study groups, arranged according to everyone's family situation. We put three to five people in each group and arranged to send forth righteous thoughts every hour during Fa study to eliminate the evil. We walked the right path, and consequently we all felt we were improving very quickly.
One day, I suddenly had an urge to visit a fellow practitioner that had been an assistant before July 20, 1999. After the persecution began, she had been arrested several times and suffered numerous hardships, but always remained steadfast in her cultivation. She was released from custody after nearly dying from torture (she still cannot move around easily) and was reported to be having financial difficulties. As soon as I entered the main gate and started to speak, she called my name. She had been inside a room with the door closed. I went into the room and she smiled as she said, "I was just thinking about you, thinking how great it would be if you came, and here you are." We both understood and smiled, because this was my first time to visit her after July 20, 1999. We knew it was arranged by merciful Teacher. She quickly told me her thoughts, suggesting that we should coordinate every area to form a Fa study group. I briefly discussed the situation in our area, to which she replied, "It is not enough to only coordinate your area well. We need to coordinate practitioners in the whole city. This is our responsibility and we must do it well." In our sharing, I learned that, although she could not move around well, she still wrote truth-clarification letters everyday, and then transcribed more copies and delivered them to every household. I was deeply moved.
After the visit, we wrote a letter to explain the true facts of the persecution. At that time, we had nobody to upload it to the Minghui website (Chinese version of Clearwisdom), so together we discussed and finalized the content and printed several copies. It was a relatively large scale distribution of truth-clarification material. Afterwards, I heard from relatives in the countryside that many people in the village received the letter. In the meantime, we also coordinated with practitioners in other areas. Through Fa study and sharing and with practitioners' collective coordination and cooperation, every area restored their Fa study group. So every night of the week was filled with Fa study. Now, even elderly practitioners who had retired could study the Fa with other practitioners during the day. In this way, some practitioners who had not stepped forward before were able to break through their fear and join Fa study. Later, we also spoke with practitioners in the village, who then created a group study when they returned. When problems happened again, we were able to study the Fa and share together and quickly rectify ourselves in the Fa.
Fa-rectification continues to move forward at a fast pace, and Teacher asks that we do the three things well during this crucial time. Practitioners are heeding the call, and more and more practitioners have came out to explain the truth and distribute informational material. The only production site for making materials in our area, however, had failed to keep up with the demand. We saw on the Minghui website that practitioners in other cities were setting up material production sites everywhere. We felt that this was really a wonderful thing, so we began to coordinate with practitioners who would be able to establish family production sites. Soon after, several practitioners broke through family resistance and technical difficulties, and established their own family production sites. It not only solved the problem of getting materials to practitioners in the city, but also provided a good supply for practitioners in the villages.
At the end of 2007, there were a number of large-scale raids on Falun Dafa practitioners in our area. Several coordinators and I were arrested. Our losses were significant, as several dozen practitioners were taken into custody, and many family production sites were destroyed. In the face of torture, fellow practitioners did not shed one tear. But when we sat in prison, thinking about our great loss, we felt very sad and heavyhearted and we fell silent. For a while, we fell into a depressed and confused state. Afterwards, the police officers in the detention center said to us, "We heard that you are all diligent practitioners in our region." It did not matter where she heard that, it just made me feel so ashamed.
Facing our situation at that point, I repeatedly asked myself where our loophole was. I gradually calmed down, searched inward, and found many problems. I felt sleepy during Fa study and often slept while reading the book. I had been controlled by the demon of sleep for a long time, and my main consciousness was weak. I was treating Fa study as a formality without cultivating my xinxing, which could not truly improve without my own efforts. I also found I had the attachment of validating myself, showing off, and pursuing comfort. I was also attached to the fear of being persecuted. Furthermore, my feelings of depression were brought about by human notions. Most importantly, I only spoke about believing in Teacher and Dafa but was not truly putting Teacher's words into practice. After enlightening to my present cultivation state, I repeatedly recited Teacher's article "Expounding on the Fa." My consciousness was getting more and more sober. Through reciting the Fa and sharing with one another, we all began to come out of our incorrect condition. We realized that, no matter what the environment, we are one body, and we need to coordinate and cooperate, completely deny the old forces, walk on the path arranged by Teacher, and harmonize with what Teacher wants.
Faced with our current situation, I recalled what Teacher said:
"That's because you are a cultivator: someone who is on a divine path and who is not controlled by the factors of ordinary people or low-level principles." ("Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles")
The surface environment cannot control us. We must face all these worldly events with confidence, optimism, mercy, and compassion, and we must seize the time to explain the truth and save people. At that time in our cell there were seven Falun Gong practitioners and over 30 others, who were imprisoned due to quarreling with a local developer and the government for forcefully occupying their land. No matter what the reasons for their imprisonment, we knew that we needed to save whomever we could. We shared our understandings with one another and separately explained the truth to the prisoners according to their situations. We did not give up on the difficult ones and repeatedly talked to them. One female cadre was the head of the cell. Every time we asked her to quit the CCP, she smiled but said nothing, so I often looked for the chance to chat with her. I showed her that I cared about her, so she finally understood the truth and agreed to withdraw from the CCP organizations.
Due to fellow practitioners' joint efforts, very quickly over 20 people relinquished their membership with the CCP, and more people understood the truth. Previously, several young girls sang CCP songs everyday and cursed anyone who interrupted them. After clarifying the truth to them, they stopped singing those songs and no longer cursed at people. Every hour, practitioners reminded each other to send forth righteous thoughts. We recited the Fa and exchanged views, looked inward, and abandoned the attachment of fearing hardship and other fears. Later, when the other prisoners heard us reciting the Fa, they all came over to listen and asked us to teach them. Some could recite several dozen poems from Hong Yin. They said their minds became clear once they recited the Fa, and they no longer had any worries. Some of the elderly could not memorize the Fa, so they recited "Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good." I really appreciate the vigorous efforts and cooperation from practitioners inside and outside of China, who have made saving sentient beings in these detention centers possible. It is said the staff of the detention center receive massive amounts of truth-clarification phone calls each day, which powerfully frighten the evil.
Under formidable righteous thoughts, the environment quickly changed. Once, a police officer said, "If you send forth righteous thoughts together, would the roof be lifted?!" Another officer broadcast over the loudspeaker, "I approve of Falun Gong's Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance." Everyone in our cell smiled. It was said that there were over 500 detainees there at that time, and I believe that every one of them listened and felt grateful to hear the Buddha Fa. Teacher said:
"So long as you, a Dafa disciple, do things righteously, you will transform the environment around you, and you will change people."("Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005")
When we first arrived at the detention center, we were ordered to memorize the prison regulations. In the beginning, we refused and were forced to stand facing the wall. Afterwards, I remembered Teacher's Fa and realized that low-level spirits and rotten ghosts were still attached to material objects and writings, so I sent forth righteous thoughts towards the prison regulations on the wall and other material objects: "Eliminate all factors that interfere and persecute." Just then a guard said to a prisoner, "The Falun Gong do not want to recite. Don't worry, they will leave here soon. If you can't recite, you will be forced to kneel and be beaten!"
In a dream one night, the words "revenge" and "resist" were displayed to me. I realized it was a hint from Teacher, so I quickly looked inside. I found that when I sent forth righteous thoughts, my thoughts were not pure: I had thoughts of revenge, hoping that the evil would suffer retribution quickly, and I was resisting the persecution as if it was being driven by human beings. I still regarded this evil persecution as a persecution from human to human. I had the thought of using righteous thoughts to protect myself and eliminate the evildoers in the surface dimension. However, I realize now that as Fa-rectification period Dafa practitioners, we should disintegrate all evil lives and factors that control people in committing crimes against Falun Dafa and practitioners, with the aim of saving sentient beings. A month later, seven practitioners who had been arrested together escaped.
A male practitioner in our local village was sentenced. His wife later divorced him and remarried, and his son, still in high school, was left to live with his uncle. Afterwards, the child's uncle said he was having difficulty supporting himself and was no longer willing to support the child. This practitioner's son was at risk of abandoning his academic studies. A fellow practitioner told me about this and I was worried. I thought that, because we were all Fa-rectification period Dafa practitioners, his matter was my matter. We decided to take responsibility for the boy and began to make plans for him to come to the city, so we could more easily care for him. We wanted to reduce this practitioner's burden during his ordeal and, most importantly, wanted to validate the Fa. Because my economic condition was relatively good, I undertook all expenses for the child. We each played a role: Some managed his school transfer, some looked for a place for him to live, and some went to the countryside to pick him up. Under Teacher's merciful arrangement, everything went smoothly, and the child soon had an apartment very close to the school. He was also in the same class as the child of one of our coordinating practitioners. That child was also a practitioner.
As more practitioners found out about the child's situation, some contributed money, some sent in clothes and food, and so on. In the winter, practitioners bought him clothes from the department store, and he was very grateful. People in his apartment building said to him, "So many people care about you, you are so lucky." In the beginning, we did not tell anyone in the apartment about the child's true situation, fearing that he would be discriminated against. Then I realized that this thought was not right, so I told people in his building about the whole situation. The apartment administrator was very touched. He said, "Falun Gong is fundamentally so good, and the CCP is really bad." He added, "You can rest easy. I will certainly look after the boy more." With Teacher's merciful protection, he quickly improved his grades, and was later granted a scholarship. Now he and his relatives all understand the truth, no longer misunderstand Dafa, and know that Falun Dafa practitioners are good people.
2. Look Inward, Harmonize the Family Environment
When I first started practicing Falun Dafa, before the evil persecution arrived, my family environment was very good. After seeing my health and temper improve from practicing, my entire family supported me, and we lived in harmony. All my family members knew that Falun Dafa was good and sometimes joined me in studying the Fa and practicing the exercises. After July 20, 1999, because I did not give up practicing, my family members were often threatened and interfered with. As soon as the TV was turned on, there were lies falsely accusing and slandering us. In order to stop me from practicing, my husband often watched TV in hopes of finding evidence to convince me that Dafa was wrong. However, whatever propaganda he came across could not change my heart, which was firmly devoted to Dafa. I soon stopped watching TV. When the "Tiananmen Self-immolation Incident" was aired, my husband forced me to watch it. My eyes rested on the television, but I was thinking about Teacher's words:
"Cultivation practice is like great waves sifting the sand: What remains is gold." ("For Whom do You Practice Cultivation?" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
Not long ago, our son came in as we were watching television and said to his father, "Mother does not want to watch. Do not force her again." Before his father replied, our child led me out of the room. Because I often took him with me to Fa study, he has supported me and knew that what was on TV was false.
After the "Tiananmen Self-immolation Incident" was aired, my husband became scared. Before he never hit me, but as soon as he found me practicing the exercises, he hit me and cursed me. These tactics did not work, so he threatened me with divorce, but I was unmoved. Once he spoke to me in a formal, neutral tone (he was not angry), insisting that I take a stand. I said, "If I have not done well, you can point it out to me and I will correct it. If you propose divorce because I practice Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, then I have nothing to say. However, I have one request. From now on, you need to knock on the door before you come into my room. Since we are not a couple, we must live separately. This is also a Falun Dafa practitioner's standard of conduct. I have personally experienced Dafa's greatness--this is an absolute truth. Therefore, I can't leave Dafa, and nobody can move me." He said nothing and left. After a while, he came in again and said, "I was wrong a moment ago. Those were angry words. You are quite right." After that, he did not mention divorce again.
In keeping pace with the progress of Fa-rectification, I set up a family material production site and installed an NTDTV television receiver, with my husband's consent. He really enjoys NTDTV programs and was the first person in the family to relinquish his membership in the CCP. He has even helped me encourage others to quit the Party. When I explain the truth and tell my coworkers about quitting the Party, sometimes my husband, who works at the same company, tells others, "Just quit. You won't lose anything, and your future will be secure. I think it is very good for you to do this."
3. Rationally and Wisely Save People in Different Environments
In saving sentient beings, I have started with my family members, then relatives, close friends, colleagues, and customers. It is relatively easy to find topics of discussion with these people, and by the end of our first conversation, about 80 percent to 90 percent of them quit. If it does not work the first time, I repeatedly explain to them the importance of quitting. If they remain unwilling, I put it aside and find another chance to speak to them. I work at a window unit, helping customers at the counter. Many people come in, and we are so busy that sometimes it is not convenient to clarify the truth, so I write on a small piece of paper: "Please remember 'Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good.'" Then I ask if they have joined the CCP and its organizations. If they have, I ask them to please check the box above, and I let them know that I can help them to quit, and what a great thing they would be doing for themselves. I fold the paper and give it to the customers. When they see that the paper is folded, most of them find a private area or use their hands to keep others from seeing. Most of people check the box once they read it (I usually know the customers' names). Some have thanked me and been very grateful; sometimes they ask me why they should quit right then. I do not avoid their questions and say to them directly, "Do you remember taking an oath at the time you joined the CCP that you would struggle to fight for the Party for the rest of your life and even sacrifice your life? You need to take responsibility for your oath. The CCP fights heaven and earth, governs by corruption, and entraps its citizens. People can't govern but heaven will. Are you willing to sacrifice your life for it when the time comes?" Most people have agreed to quit. Most of my colleagues that work directly with me have understood the truth and quit the Party already, so they do not mind what I say and at times have even contacted people for me when I am not able to clarify the truth to them.
The husband of one of my colleagues is the local head of the 610 Office. When I first began explaining the truth to her, she rejected what I told her so intensely that I did not say anything to pressure her but instead helped her understand that I cared about her wellbeing. After a long time, I was gradually able to reach her and found that she was willing to tell me anything. She even asked me to tell her the truth about Falun Gong. I heard her parents were not doing so well, so I brought her two cards with "Falun Dafa is good" written on them. She happily accepted them. When I asked her to withdraw from the Communist Youth League, she initially did not agree, using every excuse she could find. Later I asked her, "Do you know why I repeatedly urge you to withdraw from the Communist Youth League?" She looked at me silently I then added, "I only hope you are safe if there is disaster." It was probably my sincerity that moved her. She burst into tears and agreed to quit. When we entirely think only of others without any personal aim, the other person will indeed be moved to tears. In that period, her husband was transferred out of the 610 Office. She also said, "I tell everyone I meet that Falun Gong people are good."
One time on the way home, I bumped into a customer from my former workplace. I had just finished explaining the facts about Falun Gong to her and had encouraged her to quit the CCP, when a person pushing a bike walked towards us. He looked very familiar. I went forward to greet him and found out that he was a distant relative of mine and that he worked in the security office of the customer's workplace. I asked him, "Do you know Falun Gong?" He said he used to specifically manage issues pertaining to persecuting Falun Gong in the unit, before letting his apprentice take over. As soon as I heard this, I felt I really had to clarify the truth to him in depth. I started with how I had benefited from Dafa practice, how Dafa had spread all over the world, and then, of course, I ended by telling him the truth about the CCP's persecution and why heaven will extinguish the CCP. He listened earnestly and told me, "You hear us shouting loudly, but that is to appease our supervisors. We admire Falun Gong practitioners as moral and noble people. We also discuss the matter of the persecution behind their backs, saying that the CCP has nothing else to do but bully good people. I hear what you have said today, and I feel that this CCP is indeed going down and that Falun Gong will achieve great things. I will tell my apprentice not to pay attention to this matter from now on, so as to avoid the problem." He withdrew from the CCP right there and then and cautiously put the Dafa memento I handed him in his pocket.
At the beginning of last year, I was taken to a brainwashing center. I looked inward and found that I had a fear of danger and an attachment to self-protection. I was also attached to pursuit, which invited interference and persecution. In the beginning, I was very anxious to get out , so I went on a hunger strike. Through continuously reciting the Fa and looking inward, however, I realized that being released by going on a hunger strike is not the path of a cultivator. It is not wrong from the perspective of this surface dimension, but from the perspective of Fa-rectification, our biggest mission is to validate the Fa and save people. If I continued to act on my attachments, my righteous thoughts and truth-clarification efforts would be compromised and there would be more loss than gain. I arranged my time very tightly: I slept for a short time, practiced the exercises everyday, memorized the Fa ,and sent forth righteous thoughts. I later discovered that fellow practitioners who were arrested with me had strong fears and said and did things that were not based on the Fa. They consequently suffered from illnesses. I realized that we had to improve as one body. We recited the Fa and sent forth righteous thoughts together, practiced the five sets of exercises daily, and did not allow our minds to wander. We used the Fa to rectify any illnesses our bodies manifested, instead of managing symptoms with human notions, and always regarded good and bad things in practice as good things. As we cleaned up our environment, we clarified the truth to the staff as we did our work. In order to eliminate the gap even further, I first sent forth righteous thoughts to clean up my own dimension, removing the attachment of self-protection and hatred, with only one thought remaining, which was: "to save people." I denied all negative factors, which I knew were all arranged by the old forces.
Facing my responsibility to save so many lives, I experienced a boundless mercy. All negative factors that had been in my thoughts were disintegrated. I chatted easily with the officers, opening their minds and helping them understand the truth, and I could see that they were also happy. When I clarified the truth to them in the past, they either acted wickedly or walked away quickly without listening. This time, they often looked for the truth. Some staff members said, "We have not 'transformed' you, but were transformed by you--and we actually became compassionate." Some also wanted to learn Falun Gong, so we recited Lunyu and Hong Yin to them and demonstrated the Falun Gong exercises. They liked the readings and the exercises very much. Later, a sympathetic officer asked my family during a visit to pay for my release. I was not moved and only had one thought in my mind: "My family members and I listen to Teacher and harmonize with what Teacher wants."
Under these unique circumstances, I found an environment in which I could help to save lives. I spoke to individuals about quitting the Party, and most of them did. In that period of time, they wanted to broadcast video recordings that slandered Dafa, but our righteous thoughts prevented these recordings from being viewed. After sending righteous thoughts, they were unwilling to broadcast the recordings, as the evil lives and negative factors had been disintegrated. Finally, more than one person told me that this brainwashing center would be dismantled. With firm faith in Teacher and Dafa, and Teacher's merciful protection, I quickly left an open and honorable way.
This is my personal understanding. Please point out anything inappropriate.