Taking the Lead
(Clearwisdom.net) For many years, my company couldn't promote me because I am known to be a Dafa practitioner. However, my manager thought highly of me and paid me well. I was very busy as a result. I was busy during working hours and off hours. I was also busy during weekends. I was exhausted and tired of it. Despite the fatigue and impatience, I didn't sense anything abnormal. Later, a fellow practitioner reminded me: It is now the Fa-rectification period, we shouldn't devote all of our time and talents on our jobs, but should think and work harder on truth-clarification and saving people.
– From the author
Most venerable Master, fellow practitioners:
Greetings! The following is my report on my cultivation experience in recent years. Please kindly point out anything inappropriate.
Taking the Lead
For many years, my company couldn't promote me because of I am known to be a Dafa practitioner. However, my manager thought highly of me and paid me well. I was very busy as a result. I was busy at work and after hours. I was also busy with my job during weekends. I had a company mobile phone. It was turned on 24 hours every day. I had to be on standby all the time. Oftentimes I received a phone call and had to run to my company in the middle of a meal or sleep.
Initially I knew I was busy, but didn't sense any abnormalities other than fatigue and impatience. I thought that a cultivator should be a good person under all circumstances, therefore I should be devoted to work as an employee. Later on, a fellow practitioner reminded me: It is now the Fa-rectification period, we shouldn't utilize all of our time and talents on our jobs, but should think and work harder on truth-clarification and saving people.
His reminder was correct. I improved my xinxing through Fa study, and my busy state was a little bit relieved. I still only had a little bit of time for Fa study and projects.
Upon sharing with fellow practitioners, I realized that I didn't place the Fa as the highest priority in my mind. I still had very strong pursuit of personal gain and fame. The old evil forces took advantage of this attachment of mine and trapped me with very busy work. My three things - Fa study, sending forth righteous thoughts and truth-clarification had all been interfered with to different degrees. I sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate interference during my commute. After a period of time, the situation improved. My work schedule became much more predictable. The number of times that I had to work during off hours also decreased.
Although I wasn't so busy any more, another issue arose. Whenever it was time to attend group Fa study sessions or I was needed for group projects, I had work to do. My answer to fellow practitioners' request for help was always “I have to work overtime.” Gradually, fellow practitioners contacted me less and less. Whenever they talked to me, the first sentence they spoke was, “Are you still busy?” I knew something was wrong, but didn't know what to do.
My workload became a burden for me. Whenever I received work tasks, I was anxious and irritated. Twice when the manager arranged for me to work on Sunday, I almost argued with him. I even yelled at him: “Why can't you arrange the workload well? Why do we always have to work on Sunday? Who isn't busy with family matters on the weekend?” It didn't work, and even caused complaints from my manager. Sometimes when my phone rang, I saw it was from fellow practitioners. These calls got on my nerves. I reacted with much impatience when fellow practitioners asked, “Are you busy?”
I knew I was being interfered with by the evil. However, what was the issue? I had been studying the Fa and sending righteous thoughts. How come the problem did not get resolved? During that time, I was really frustrated. Twice during my overtime at night, I looked up to the sky and quietly asked for Master's help. I asked for a hint from Him. I knew it must be due to the fact that I didn't enlighten to some Fa principles. Master said in “Drive Out Interference” in Essentials for Further Advancement II: “The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts.” I knew I needed to get an answer from the Fa.
One day, I was sending righteous thoughts on my commute. Suddenly the words emerged in my mind, “I take the lead.” I was shocked and experienced a sense of dignity and authority beyond description. Yes! Master told us, “By July 20th of 1999 I had already pushed all of the pre-July 20 students to their positions--I pushed you to your highest positions.” (“Touring North America to Teach the Fa”) Master also said,
“It really was the case that at that time, as long as you were studying the Fa you were pushed upward; it was imperative that Dafa disciples be pushed to their proper places within a set amount of time. That way they would be able to save sentient beings when the time came. And that way they would be able to withstand it when the old forces did indeed begin to carry out their evil and when the persecution really did begin.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2007 New York Fa Conference”)
Since I had all the capabilities I should have, and the Three Realms was even created for the Fa, what had I been waiting for? Wasn't it true that I should take the lead and I should call the shots?! I made up my mind: from now on, no arrangements of any other beings could interfere with me doing the three things. Otherwise, I would eliminate them with righteous thoughts! During the entire time, my body was wrapped by enormous energy. I experienced the sacredness and an air of supremacy. The interference through my work that the old evil forces arranged has since disappeared.
Letting Go of Self and Cooperating with the Group
In ordinary society, I am a competent and efficient person with a lot of confidence and my own views. From the perspective of cultivation, I am attached to self. Even after I started cultivation, the issue was very prominent. I often argued with other fellow practitioners when I had different opinions. I cut off people and was eager to express myself. Although I knew it was not right, I thought debates and arguments were a good way to get clearer on the understanding of the Fa. In doing this, I overlooked my own xinxing improvement.
Later on, as the Fa-rectification progressed, Master mentioned many times the importance of group cooperation. Master said,
“I’ve said that Dafa disciples are extraordinary, and that they are kings hailing from different worlds, so of course you have your own views and a lot of ability. However, it doesn’t work if every person does his own thing when cooperation is needed. When you need to act together in concert to complete something, everyone has to work on it. So how exactly should things be handled? The truth is, no person’s viewpoint is perfect, nor is any one person’s idea flawlessly brilliant. On critical things, when someone raises some issue or tries to resolve some problem, or offers suggestions for improvement, as long as we feel his starting point is sound, and that the things to be done are generally correct, we should actively support it.” (“Be More Diligent”)
I then placed removing my attachment to self as a top priority. Whenever I studied the Fa or worked on a project with fellow practitioners, I reminded myself all the time: let go of self, cooperate with the group, be responsible to the Fa and saving sentient beings. During the process, I realized that the attachment to self is not a single attachment. It contains pursuit of fame and personal gain, as well as aggressiveness and a show-off mentality.
At the end of 2009, a fellow practitioner at my Fa study group suddenly experienced the symptom of cerebral thrombosis. In order to help him recover as soon as possible, many practitioners went to his home to share experiences with him and help him send righteous thoughts. After several months, his recovery went slowly. We were all confused and anxious.
Once during a sharing in my group, I said that the core issue would be the fellow practitioner's own xinxing improvement and righteous thoughts. Other practitioners didn't agree. They thought that the fellow practitioner was in hardship and needed help, and that it would be precisely our group's help that would shatter the evil's persecution of him. While trying to prove that I was right, my face and neck turned red. I almost forgot what I was arguing for.
On my way home, I calmed down and reflected on the entire process. On the surface, my understanding might not be wrong. But in fact, I was anxious and depressed after seeing no results from several months of sending forth righteous thoughts. I was no longer so responsible for my fellow practitioner. Especially during the most heated moments, I only cared about proving that I was right. My attachment to self was obvious.
During the next Fa study, I admitted my mistake to the other practitioners and said that I would no longer focus on the fellow practitioner in tribulation. I would only look inward and make sure that I fulfilled my own responsibilities. As the fellow practitioner recovered, our group became more and more cohesive.
I wrote a few truth-clarification articles about the local persecution stories. These articles were published on the Minghui website. In another Fa study group I attended, some fellow practitioners discussed how to utilize these articles for local truth-clarification efforts. Practitioner B said that he talked to a fellow practitioner who was a professional writer and this practitioner thought the articles could use some improvement. In order to improve these articles, this professional writer needed more information from the group. Practitioner B asked for others' thoughts.
I said, “It is certainly good that more people wanted to join. It is also good to improve the articles. I also agree with his ideas regarding improving the articles. However, the articles were written based on what was available at the time. It's not that we could write about persecution stories in whatever way we want. In addition, the articles' contents have already been verified by the Minghui web site. If he wants to change them, he needs to go through the Minghui website as well. Then whether these revised articles could be published and when they would be published may become a timing issue for us and may impede our efficiency.” Practitioner B asked me to help the professional writer. I asked him: “All of the materials are in our mailbox. You know the information too. Why does the cooperation have to come from me?” Practitioner B blushed and didn't speak further.
On our way home, practitioner B and I shared a ride. B looked inward and said that he was too dependent on me in terms of writing articles. I also found my own problem. My argument sounded upright and reasonable, but it was mixed with attachment to self and jealousy. I didn't want others to change my articles. I was concerned that others might be able to write them better than I did. I shared all of this with practitioner B and promised to review the writer's improvement ideas and do my best to help him to make the articles better.
After several such occurrences, my “ego” was much weakened. Now I cooperate well with many fellow practitioners on rescuing practitioners, writing articles and other projects related to computers and the Internet.
At the beginning of this year, I worked with practitioner C in another city. She often delegated her writing tasks to me. I submitted my writing to her. Another practitioner heard of it and asked me: “Won't others think it's all her work, including your writings?” I responded with a smile: “Does it matter at all? What's important is that we should do it well and save people. Maybe others don't know who has written it, but Master knows.”
Now whenever I feel unhappy when working with others, I ask myself: “Am I doing this to validate the Fa or validate myself? Which is more important, showing off my abilities or saving sentient beings?”
“So what's their state of mind? It's tolerance, an extremely immense tolerance, being able to accept other beings, and being able to truly think from other beings' perspectives. This is something a lot of you haven't achieved yet in your cultivation, but you're gradually catching on and achieving it. When another God proposes an idea, they aren't eager to reject it, and they aren't eager to express their own ideas and they don't believe that their own ideas are good. Instead, they look at what the end result of the other God's proposed approach will be. The paths are different--everyone's path is different--and the truths that beings validate and enlighten to in the Fa are different, too, but the results might very well be the same. That's why they look at the results, and if the result of a God's idea can achieve the goal, if it can truly achieve it, then all of them will go along with it. That's how Gods think. Also, if there's something lacking in it they'll unconditionally and quietly supplement it to make things more complete and perfect. That's how they handle things.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A.”)
Showing Dafa Practitioners' Video Programs to My Colleagues
Starting from this year, I shared an office with three other colleagues. I clarified the truth to them. Colleague R has quit the evil Chinese Communist Party (CCP). W has quit the CCP Youth League and Young Pioneers. However, Z argued with me before I told him to quit the CCP. During our discussions, I found out that he had never joined the CCP. He only joined the Young Pioneers, not even the Youth League. However, he was rather poisoned by the evil CCP. He was unhappy to hear any criticism of the CCP. I thought I would take it slow to help him.
All of us had only a half-day workload. We took a lot of breaks in the afternoon. Therefore, I downloaded programs from New Tang Dynasty Television (NTDTV) and Minghui. I used my computer to play such programs for them. I started with programs that didn't talk about Dafa directly, but to inspire them to see the problems with atheism.
After they were receptive to such programs, I started playing episodes of “Mainland News.” They were able to see what was right and wrong from different news coverage on the same issue. I kept silent during such programs. We talked about our opinions after the programs were over, but I never argued with them. However, I would take note of where their confusion was and look for relevant programs to play for them the next time.
As they became more and more friendly, I started playing “Office Stories,” “About CCP Culture,” and other programs. After watching these programs, they accepted the truth about Falun Gong and said: “Well done, well done!” Colleague Z asked me where he could find more programs by a particular person. He said that the “Office Stories” program was so good and that he thought only a dozen of episodes was too few. When we chatted, I would use traditional and historical stories to analyze some current affairs. They liked my analyses.
As time went by, I organized different programs tailored to their individual needs. I categorized the programs. Some were for the group to watch, and some were for individuals to watch privately. So far, each of them has watched “Minghui Focus Point,” “Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party,” and Shen Yun performances. Colleague W read Zhuan Falun at home. So far he has watched three of Master Li's lectures on video.
Each of them went through obvious changes. Whenever the CCP rolls out any news, Z would say: “The CCP is doing bad things again. Don't believe it!” I once went on a business trip for a few days. The first day I returned, W told me: “You are so influential!” I didn't understand. He continued: “Whenever you were here, I didn't think of smoking at all. However, during these days you were away, I couldn't suppress my addiction to cigarettes. I went out and asked for cigarettes from others after I ran out. Why is this?” Colleague R nodded and said: “It is true. I feel the same.” I smiled: “Are you sure this is because of me?” They said yes. I then illustrated the concept of an “energy field” to them briefly and told them the Fa principle from Zhuan Falun, “the Buddha-light illuminates everywhere and rectifies all abnormalities.”
Now whenever we complete our work, they gather around me: “Hey buddy, it's the time again. What's the feature today?” I would smile and say: “The afternoon video program will start now!” Then, I play the programs I have prepared for them.
Eliminate Interference with Belief in Master and the Fa
Since 2007, the vicious authorities have been disturbing me during the so-called sensitive dates. I was either summoned for a “talk,” or be forced to do “sightseeing,” or be placed under house arrest at my work, or monitored, or followed. Although I didn't cooperate with the harassment and used the opportunities to clarify the truth to those involved, my life was disturbed to various degrees. My projects for validating the Fa were also hindered. Little by little, I formed some notions. I thought: “I'm famous. I'm influential. I must be a top target of evil interference. I should oppose the persecution in such and such a way during the next 'sensitive date' because the evil CCP will for sure come to harass me.” Although I realized that I shouldn't allow the interference to happen, I had only resisted the persecution after the fact and my understanding stayed on the theoretical level.
On June 17, 2011, the Minghui website published a brochure “Believing in Master and the Fa 100%.” I realized that this must be because many Dafa disciples, including me, had this problem. I downloaded it and finished reading all 18 articles in two hours. I reflected on myself as I read the articles. Suddenly I knew that cultivation was all about following Master's directions. All the considerations of, “If I do this, will they do that?” are simply evaluating cultivation issues with human attachments and not believing in Master and the Fa 100%. Everything has been arranged so meticulously. How could there be any coincidences? When we believe in Master and the Fa, we are walking on the path Master has arranged. If we are not fully believing in Master and the Fa, we are then walking in the arrangements of old evil forces. Master said in “Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Boston”: “The old forces don't dare to oppose our clarifying the truth or saving sentient beings. What's key is to not let them take advantage of the gaps in your state of mind when you do things.” This became crystal clear in my mind.
In the following days, although human notions still emerge sometimes, they were very weak. Once they emerged, I firmly negated them. Whenever they emerged, I immediately eliminated them. I absolutely didn't give them any opportunity to exist. I made up my mind to follow Master. My mind became firmer and purer, with less and less human attachments. During the so-called 90th anniversary of the CCP, I didn't experience any harassment. Nothing happened. I enjoyed the beauty of believing in Master and the Fa at my own realm.
As my cultivation improves, my articles also became more pure and clean. My articles changed from having a heavy CCP culture style, exaggerating due to the urge for self-validation to being calm, factual and accurate. Fellow practitioners also say that my articles have become more even-handed, gentle and convincing. In fact, every genuine practitioner has never-ending experiences and stories during his or her cultivation. Every story and moment testifies to Master's infinite grace and the profoundness of Dafa.