Advancing Together Through Small Group Fa Study
(Clearwisdom.net) Our Fa-study group formed in 2005, and at that time consisted of eight or nine people. They were mostly 50 to 60 years old and met for two half-days each week. Regardless of howling winds or pouring rain, ruthless violence or cruelty, we have not stopped studying the Fa. While studying we are all able to achieve the state of focused hearts and solid wills. If one falls out of the state of truly studying, he or she absolutely won't just go through the motions. While studying the Fa, if someone misses a word or adds something in, other practitioners immediately correct him or her, and we start again. As soon as new articles by Master are published, we read them, and talk about their inner meaning. Whenever we finish studying we always leave a little time to share and compare understandings. We talk about the attachments we have discovered in ourselves, or talk about how we have become mired in tribulations and where we are falling short, thus enabling demons to take advantage of our loopholes. When experiencing conflicts with others, each of us searches within for where he or she falls short, in order to eliminate the gaps among practitioners. We absolutely do not talk about things that aren't related to cultivation. Generally speaking, in doing Dafa disciples' things, clarifying the truth, sending righteous thoughts, and saving sentient beings, our fellow practitioners are diligently doing well. This manifests the harmony of our small group Fa study.
From Each and Every Thought, Returning to What Is Upright
Our study group has a practitioner, A, who for a period of time had a very strong sense of fear. Every day this practitioner felt unsafe. If there was movement outside or a knock on the door, A immediately thought it was the police, or security personnel coming to fetch him, and was terribly frightened. One time after returning home and going upstairs, a neighbor downstairs told him that three people had knocked on the door looking for him. His fear rose up again, wondering if a group of police were on the street now coming for him. Could it be that they x-rayed some letters that he sent and found his family members? He was so scared he dared not return home, but rather hid downstairs and watched. In the end it turned out to be nothing. When he related what happened to our study group, fellow practitioners told him the problems were caused due to his heart of suspicion and fear. If he were truly not scared, and ascended those stairs with a dauntless heart, upright and dignified, since Dafa practitioners have the Fa and Teacher, what would there be to fear? Even if they do come, isn't it a good chance to clarify the truth? If his righteous thoughts are very strong, the evil will become weak and pathetic. Through sharing, his fearful heart became smaller, and he went out to clarify the truth face to face. One day on the street there were many people, and someone told him to find another religion to follow. He loudly replied, "You must remember that Falun Dafa is good." At that moment he had not a trace of fear in his heart.
Another practitioner, B, was in his seventies. Because he hadn't given up his attachments, this loophole was taken advantage of and one of his legs became extremely painful. He told the group of his state of being interfered with by tribulations, and practitioners helped him improve his xinxing. He practiced the exercises for two hours every day during the tribulation, and didn't skip a single day, nor give up halfway through, no matter how painful. In his heart he had only one thought, "I am a Dafa practitioner, I solidly believe in Teacher and the Fa." With such strong righteous thoughts, he quickly broke through this barrier.
Clarifying the Truth, Saving Sentient Beings
"Studying the Fa well, doing a good job of clarifying the facts, and saving sentient beings are your top priorities." ("To the Midwestern US Fa Conference")
We must all diligently follow Teacher's advice. No matter whether some practitioners dissolve some karma, get sore feet, have uncomfortable legs, or experience other things, no matter how hard it gets, they will resolutely go and talk to people about Falun Gong and the persecution. No matter the circumstances, no matter the hardship, groups of two or three go out to send righteous thoughts, tell people the facts, cooperate, organize things, and quietly support each other.
Our group has a practitioner, C, who obtained the Fa a little later than others but set high standards for himself. He studied and memorized the Fa and put a lot of effort into doing the three things Dafa disciples should do. He is particularly outstanding in the way he clarifies the truth. When telling people the facts he doesn't have any heart of differentiating among people. He has no fear, and will tell the facts to anyone. Whoever he comes across, he absolutely tells them the facts. One day he saw a car, and the window was not completely closed. He went and spoke through the gap. Seeing his patience and reasoning, the driver agreed to quit the three Communist Party organizations. The way he saw it, clarifying the facts to the driver was a natural thing to do.
Bringing Back Fellow Practitioners
Our group has an older practitioner in her sixties. She says compassionate Teacher doesn't want to leave behind a single Dafa disciple, and since we are all cultivators of the same school we shouldn't lose a single fellow practitioner. In her heart she is always anxious about practitioners who have not yet stepped forward. She goes to one house today and another tomorrow, painstakingly and patiently. I don't know how many trips she has made or conversations she has had. Some of the practitioners stepped forward, others didn't. Time and again she patently tells them of the wonderfulness of Dafa, how it is being widely spread, and of Teacher's grand compassion. One female practitioner awoke and said, "If I had known earlier that Dafa's situation was this good, and Teacher was this mighty, I would have cultivated more firmly." I myself was deeply moved, and feel that bringing back fellow practitioners is each practitioner's responsibility.
Becoming One Body, Improving as One Body
Our understanding while cultivating in Dafa, is that the Great Way has no form, and Dafa disciples are a solid body. His things are my things, my things are his things, and we shouldn't differentiate. Our Fa study group has this understanding, and does things this way. No matter whether it is something within our group or it involves other practitioners, whenever someone has difficulties or is in the midst of tribulations, practitioners all step in to help, study the Fa together, send righteous thoughts, improve xinxing, and break through the tribulation. Whenever we hear that a practitioner has been arrested, or illegally locked up and persecuted, no matter whether he or she is from our region or not, we all work together to send righteous thoughts, clear away the evil and rescue the practitioner, no matter the difficulties.
Practitioners D and E (who are no longer in our study group), out of their understanding of Teacher's not wanting to leave a single practitioner behind, spent four years helping a fellow practitioner who was illiterate to study the Fa and do the exercises. This practitioner had stopped cultivating for six or seven years prior but once again started in a vigorous and healthy way. In the past her family opposed her learning the practice, but through the efforts of these two practitioners in explaining the facts, the household cultivation environment improved. Her son and daughter both supported her learning to practice, and even gratefully said, "If it weren't for Teacher Li's Falun Dafa, our mother might not have lived to this day." Her relationship with her husband also became better, and his kind heart emerged.