Cherish the Overseas Group Study Environment
(Clearwisdom.net) Since the beginning of my cultivation, I have enjoyed joining other practitioners for Fa-study because I felt the purity and peace while I was there. Initially, the practitioners did not know each other very well. We all came together once a week and concentrated on Fa-study and the exercises. I was a student at the time, so I tried to arrange my studies well so that I could join Fa-study and group exercises each time. I felt I was purified every time I went.
When we studied the Fa together, everyone concentrated on reading and immersed themselves into the Fa. The field was really peaceful, and the energy was strong. Every practitioner improved quickly in that environment. About nine years ago, one night, I felt really depressed and was in no mood to do or think of anything. The persecution had started already, and the overseas practitioners had to face their tribulations also. I joined the Fa-study that evening without much energy or concentration. Master told us in the lecture, "Teaching the Fa at the Eastern U.S. Fa Conference":
"You all have jobs in this ordinary human society, and you have social activities--all of you have contact with everyday people and ordinary human society. Consequently, what you see and hear, whether you intend it or not, all has to do with everyday people's things, which will interfere with your cultivation. So it's beneficial for you to often study the Fa together and use this basin of fresh water to cleanse yourselves."
When I walked out of the Fa-study place that night, I felt cleansed. I looked up to the numerous stars in the sky and was full of gratitude: there are countless lives in the universe, but I was lucky enough to become one of Master's disciples. I felt honored. I was one of the happiest beings. My state of depression disappeared.
During the past 11 years of Fa-rectification, the overseas practitioners have been balancing cultivation, work, study, and family lives and devoting themselves to many projects to save sentient beings. Each one has been doing the work of ten or perhaps a hundred people. But sometimes, we feel that we are still not able to meet the requirements of Fa-rectification. Master sometimes points out our flaws to us, but we still do not do well. Where are our problems?
A couple of days ago, an article on Minghui shared the problems of the overseas cultivation environment. I also compared the situation of the current group Fa-study with before and looked at myself and the environment around me. I was not as concentrated while reading the Fa nor did I feel as immersed in the Fa as I did before during group study. Below are some of the phenomena I have noticed during the group Fa-study and sharing:
1. Unable to Read Fa Carefully or with Concentration
A lot of practitioners come to group study after work. Some of them are not clear-headed and feel sleepy while reading. Some are thinking about other things they have been doing, including Dafa projects, and some are interfered with by all kinds of thoughts but are not aware of them. In this manner, studying the Fa just becomes a formality. In some areas, practitioners read together but at different paces. Since nobody has adjusted themselves, it sounds chaotic.
2. Lack of Sharing on the Fa
Most of the group-study sessions are once a week, no matter how big the group is. Nonetheless, we have not used the opportunity to share on the Fa to improve ourselves. Most of the time, after the Fa-study, the sharing on the projects or how to carry out our affairs directly followed. The cultivation issues between practitioners have no chance to be brought up and shared on the Fa. They were unable to be resolved for a long time. Failing to improve on cultivation affected the projects we were doing. Some new practitioners felt puzzled with their basic understanding of the Fa and thought this was cultivation. They were quickly pulled into different kinds of projects.
Sometimes there was a short period for cultivation experience sharing. Most times, practitioners were watching each other and kept silent. After a few words from a few practitioners, the topics were quickly changed to discuss the projects.
When some practitioners did share how they faced or passed their tests or their understanding of the Fa, other practitioners pointed out their shortcomings or how their thoughts were not on the Fa. Then, the practitioners who shared felt the confrontation and became unwilling to share more. Some even became unwilling to join the group study. Some coordinators or practitioners who do a lot of work shared what they did and what they had achieved, but forgot to share how they improved during the process. Practitioners who did less work felt that they were incapable and had nothing to share. Some practitioners felt that the group environment was not a cultivation environment and the group could not improve together. But, they were not able to change anything, thus they came less often to the group study.
Master said in "Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference":
"... during the course of cultivation you have all come to know that this environment of ours is very good. At the practice sites everyone can open his heart and say freely what he wants to. This isn't possible anywhere else in human society. That's why every student can feel that upon arriving at the practice site he has entered into a pure land and has stepped into a place that is most sacred. People all care about each other in a way that "you care for me and I care for you." This can't be found in any other human setting. Why can it be this way? It's simply that every Dafa disciple is cultivating himself. Once a problem or a conflict emerges, everyone searches for his own shortcomings, looking to see whether it was caused by his own wrongdoing."
I have pointed out the above phenomena to discuss them with fellow practitioners and improve our group study and group cultivation environment. Please forgive and point out any wrong or incomplete parts. This environment belongs to everyone. Maintaining and cherishing it is the responsibility of every practitioner.