Little Stories Manifest in the Hearts of Falun Gong Practitioners
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings, our great compassionate Master! Greetings, fellow disciples!
When the Minghui website called for articles for the Eighth Internet Experience Sharing Conference for Falun Gong Practitioners in China, I calmed my excitement and began to write an article. With each Internet Experience Sharing Conference, we have progressed one step further towards rationality, clarity, and maturity. I have been submitting articles since the fifth conference, and each time I feel an immense benefit from writing an article. It doesn't even matter whether or not my article is selected. I have let go of my attachments and focused on becoming a part of the one-body of Falun Gong practitioners. The power of water can only be manifested when millions of drops become one. The magnifience of clouds is only attainable when thousands form one sea of clouds. I wish success to the Eighth Internet Conference. I would like to report to our revered Teacher and share with fellow Falun Gong practitioners my personal cultivation experiences over the past year. Please kindly point out anything you might find inappropriate in my humble insights.
1. Never Say Cultivation Is Too Difficult, for You Will Find a Way Through Studying the Fa
I have been practicing Falun Gong for 16 years. I am 63 years old this year. I won't elaborate on the trials and tribulations I have experienced, but both China's suppression of Falun Gong and illness have resulted in many difficulties in my life. Xinxing tests and thought karma have presented me with difficulties, but cultivation can be as difficult or as easy as I want it to be. Only when I am unable to let go of my attachments do I find that cultivation is difficult. Once I can let go of attachments, it is no longer difficult. Practicing Falun Gong requires passing xinxing tests. I feel great whenever I pass a test with flying colors. When I have run into bigger tests, I wanted to give up. I cried and felt regret whenever I failed to pass tests. Regardless, I must study the Fa and practice the exercises daily. For quite some time I experienced loneliness, but I have overcome that feeling and it no longer exists. It was but a test. Teacher said,
"As a matter of fact, when you agonize over infringements upon your reputation, self-interest, and feelings among everyday people, it already indicates that you cannot let go of ordinary human attachments. You must remember this: Cultivation itself is not painful—the key lies in your inability to let go of ordinary human attachments. Only when you are about to let go of your reputation, interests, and feelings will you feel pain." ("True Cultivation" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
I now finally understand one thing. The more attachments I harbor in my heart, the more I feel that I will lose. If I let go of all attachments, I will have nothing to lose. When I see a trial or test as difficult, it then becomes a challenge to prevail through it. If I have no attachments, the challenge suddenly no longer exists.
2. Truth-Clarification Materials Sites Keep Growing Like Blossoms in My Area
In 2008, I started producing truth-clarification materials in my home. About a dozen practitioners have been recieving materials from my site. Prior to this, we went to a larger site to obtain truth-clarification materials and Minghui Weekly, and we then distributed them to other practitioners. That site was under a lot of pressure because it had to produce a large quantity of materials for several dozen practitioners. To share the burden, we bought computers and printers and created another printing site at my home. Four additional home-based sites were created in 2011. We rely upon each other as though we are branches of the same tree. If there is a power outage in one area, we will pick up extra materials from a different site. If another site has problems with their equipment, then we will produce extra materials for them. If one site has too much work, other sites will pick up more work to ease their burden. If one site is in need of supplies, we will deliver the supplies to them. We always help each other. Even though we operate in different locations, we are working as one.
Practitioners in our area have had a smooth journey this year. The number of people who have agreed to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its two affiliated organizations continues to rise. Our computers and printers have been working well without any problems. Our children are coming of age and are supportive of Falun Gong. They each donate part of their monthly salaries to help keep the materials sites running. Falun Gong practitioners of all different age groups help with our site. We each do our best to fulfill our responsibilities of coordinating deliveries, purchases, printing, encouraging people to quit the CCP, and downloading and uploading from the Internet. We each have different responsibilities, but we all work together to keep the site running.
Encouraging people to quit the CCP is not my forte, so I volunteer to publish the list of people who have quit the CCP on the Epoch Times website. This year alone, I have published a total of over 5,000 people. My wife, who is also a Falun Gong practitioner, often goes out to encourage people to quit the CCP and its two affiliated organizations. Each time she goes out, several to a dozen people decide to quit. Sometimes practitioners work in teams, and the results have been good. Several female practitioners I know use paper bills with truth-clarification messages written on them when they shop. In comparison, I have not been doing well. I only use paper bills when I take public transportation. Since I am not good at using paper bills to spread the truth, I volunteer to print materials downloaded from the Minghui website.
When the Shen Yun Performing Arts DVD became available last year, every materials site purchased many CD-ROM burners to burn the performances onto DVDs. At one point, there were no CD-ROM burners available in the store because we bought all of them. This year though, our site was well prepared. We bought the CD-ROM burners in advance. As soon as this year's performance DVD became available, we immediately started burning DVDs, printing DVD labels, and packaging the DVDs. Practitioners handed out all that we produced, but we still ran short of Shen Yun Performing Arts DVDs, even though we produced over 3,000 this year.
Some practitioners at our site have not had much education, so they make a lot of mistakes in their articles and have difficulty expressing their thoughts accurately. Nonetheless, the contents are very touching. I edit and correct the mistakes in their articles before I send them to Falun Gong websites. Some articles were published in Minghui Weekly, and some as daily Minghui website articles, but others were never published. The individuals didn't mind when their articles were not published however. They said, "It's more important to contribute to our own websites. There are hundreds of thousands of article submissions. How could every submitted article be selected? Whichever articles are good will be published and we will all benefit from reading those selected articles." There are many different genres under which to write. Practitioners have written articles, poems, stories of Falun Gong's miracles, and other types of information. Every practitioner has been cultivating with more diligence now that the Fa-rectification period is near the end.
3. Cultivate Solidly, Cherish the Predestined Relationship with Falun Gong, Let Go of Myself, and Ride the Boat of Fa
When I was writing an article for the previous Internet conference, I didn't realize that I was passively laying down in the Fa boat, waiting for Teacher to carry me ashore. I described in detail the tribulations I have suffered and the difficulties I have overcome. In hindsight, I feel embarrassed about what I wrote. There were so many attachments that I was not willing to part with, and that was why I encountered so many tribulations. When you decide to cultivate, an environment has to be created for you to purge your attachments. My facing such large tribulations shows that I hadn't cultivated well. When I didn't have a clear understanding of the Fa and was sluggish in the face of tests, I fell far behind. I tripped and fell, but I didn't feel that it was hurting my cultivation. When I did feel hurt, all I did was cry for Teacher. I should have cherished the predestined opportunity to board Teacher's Fa boat. I should have repaid Teacher's salvation by cultivating myself more diligently. In comparison to more diligent practitioners, I truly feel ashamed of myself!
In 2005, my wife and I moved into my mother-in-law's home because she was getting old and needed to be looked after. Since March 2011, I alone have been looking after her. She is 90 years old, and is hard of hearing, so she has the habit of turning up the volume when she plays Teacher's lectures and Falun Gong exercise music. She refuses to wear headphones, and I cannot force her to. After all, this has been her habit for 15 years. In the summertime, the windows of the house are typically left open. When she plays the Falun Gong exercise music, the sound travels very far. We live in a residential community. In the past, I feared for our safety because the CCP's suppression of Falun Gong was rampant. I have been arrested twice and have suffered a lot from those experiences. I was once forced to leave home and hide for three years. Every time we practiced the exercises, I reminded my mother-in-law to turn down the volume. Instead, she increased the volume to the maximum every time. I repeatedly accused her of being selfish, but she replied, "I fear nothing." I spoke in rage, "Sure. You are old. Who would do anything to YOU?" After many years of conflict, I finally realized that I had been the selfish one. I had dismissed her need and had conducted myself as an non-practitioner. The truth is that only those who are destined to hear the music will hear it, regardless of the volume. Those who are not destined will not notice the music at all, even if the volume is turned up to the maximum.
Last month I was about to leave home to go grocery shopping, when I saw my mother-in-law sitting at the windowsill, looking down. I called out to her, "Mother, come away from the window. Be careful not to fall off. It's the fifth floor. It is dangerous." She didn't respond or move. I couldn't tell if she hadn't heard me, or if she was just pretending not to hear me. I repeated the command aloud, and she became angry, and started shouting at me. I could feel blood surging up to my head. I was red with fury, so I turned and left. It all happened so suddenly that I was completely unprepared. I was so furious that I wanted to call my wife and her brother over to the house. If she should fall, I could not be responsible as a son-in-law. Besides, my mother-in-law has her son, daughter-in-law, and daughter. It is not at all Chinese custom to ask a son-in-law to live with and look after his mother-in-law. After all, I am over 60 years old.
Yet I remembered that nothing is coincidental for a cultivator. I gradually calmed down and thought that there had to be a root cause for this incident. On my way home, I realized that I had been the cause for the upset. Teacher said,
"I often say that if all a person wants is the well-being of others and if this is without the slightest personal motivation or personal understanding, what he says will move the listener to tears. I have not only taught you Dafa, but have also left you my demeanor. While working, your tone of voice, your kindheartedness, and your reasoning can change a person’s heart, whereas commands never could!" ("Clearheadedness" from Essentials for Further Advancement)
My mother-in-law is also a Falun Gong practitioner. Teacher is watching over her. How could anything happen to her? Who am I to tell her what to do? Why do I always think the worst or react like a non-practitioner? I decided that I would apologize to her when I walked in the door, yet when I arrived she took the groceries from me with a smile as though nothing had happened. I also went about my business as though nothing had happened.
4. Fellow Practitioners Cultivate Diligently to Return Home with Teacher
In the present stage of the Fa-rectification period, Falun Gong practitioners everywhere have been completely devoted to doing the three things well in order to save more people. Practitioners around me have been busy with the three things as well. In comparison, I feel I am falling behind! My sugar-coated version is that I have limited capabilities in doing more. The brutal truth is that I am selfish and afraid of danger. As I searched within, I realized that I have not studied the Fa well or truly cultivated myself. I have encouraged about 30 people to quit the CCP, but I only made that effort for a short while as though I was completing a task. Doing the three things is not about statistics. It is during this process that a practitioner reveals how well he has studied the Fa, how much compassion he has for the world's people, and how willing he is to harmonize with Teacher's will. I have now realized that a true cultivator must be diligent, and that those who cultivate diligently must be true cultivators.
As for doing the three things, the amount of thought and effort a cultivator puts forth reflects how important it is to him to save people. I will list two examples. One day I ran into a colleague on the bus. Just when I began talking about quitting the CCP, he had to get off the bus. I told my wife that I regretted not having time to talk more. She immediately asked, "Why didn't you get off the bus with him? I get off the bus if I run into this situation. I would walk with him, encourage him to quit the CCP, and then return to the bus stop. The bus fare only costs one more yuan. In addition, I get to use another paper bill with truth-clarification messages on it." I scratched my head, "Why didn't I think of that?"
I was on the bus one day when I saw an old friend standing at an intersection waiting to cross the street. It had been more than ten years since he had moved and we lost contact. Just after the bus passed the intersection, it arrived at the next bus stop. However, that was not my stop. While I was hesitating and deciding whether or not to get off the bus, the bus took off again. If only I would have gotten off the bus, I could have caught up with him and encouraged him to quit the CCP. On the contrary, I was too slow to respond. I sat in regret for a while before I went back to look for him, but how could I find him now in the sea of people?
My wife is very different. One day, she and I were carrying several bags of fresh vegetables across the street, when she saw a woman carrying heavy grocery bags in both hands. My wife immediately freed one of her own hands to help the woman with her grocery bags. They chatted before they said goodbye. I asked, "Do you know her?" She replied, "I did not. But once I encouraged her to quit the CCP, we became friends." I immediately saw that I had fallen far behind my wife. The distance gradually increased because it has always been more important to her to save people. Our distance was created by the different levels of cultivation foundation we built from studying the Fa. Teacher said,
"For a Dafa disciple, cultivation is first priority. That’s because if you fail to cultivate well, you will not be able to accomplish what you are to do; and if you fail to cultivate well, your power to save sentient beings will not be that great. And if you cultivate a little worse, then you will view and consider problems in the manner that ordinary people do, which would be still more awful. So you absolutely mustn’t slack off or lower your guard. This predestined opportunity of tens of millions of years, or even eons, and the long wait we have all been through, as with all that we have borne throughout history—all of it was for today. If at this critical time you fail to do well what you should do, it will be, after things become clear in the future, just unbearably miserable for you and for your beings. So you absolutely mustn’t let down your guard." ("Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference")
Teacher's Fa-rectification has been progressing by leaps and bounds. At the precious stage, it seems to diligent practitioners that there is never enough time for things. For those practitioners who are not diligent in their cultivation practice, time feels slow and long. At least, this is how I feel based upon my personal experiences of having been in both of these states of cultivation.
I would like to take this opportunity to re-affirm my determination to keep up with Teacher's Fa-rectification. I would like to complete my cultivation with flying colors so as not to disgrace the sacred title "Dafa disciple." Compassionate, magnificent Teacher, please do not worry.
Thank you, revered Teacher. Thank you, fellow practitioners.