Only When We Are Selfless Can We Carry Out Our Mission
When I was at home or detained in a forced labor camp, I cultivated my firm belief in Dafa. At home, when my brother viciously beat me, I thought to myself, “You cannot interfere with my cultivation.” But I hated him deep down. When I was incarcerated in a forced labor camp, I handled my maltreatment with human emotions. I hated the prison police officers and had no compassion for them. I wished that they would soon receive karmic retribution for their evil deeds. As a result, the worst captain of the prison shocked me with electric batons and tortured me with the method called “death bed”. At that time, I did not have a clear understanding of the Fa, and I viewed the persecution from the perspective of personal cultivation. In the end, I made a big mistake.
When I understood my responsibility and mission of saving sentient beings, I no longer worried about loss and gain. I now feel strong compassion within me. When I got rid of my selfishness, I became calm and open. When I realized my responsibility, I started to feel the seriousness and urgency.
– By the author
After over ten years of cultivating Dafa, I still had not understood the relationship between personal cultivation and Fa-rectification. In the past, I always put myself first in everything: I want to cultivate, I want to raise my level, I had done things for Dafa, I want … Therefore, when the persecution started and all the media were against Dafa practitioners, I did not understand. There is nothing wrong with wanting to cultivate and becoming a good person. Why is there this persecution and interference? I felt angry, and had a sense of being treated unfairly and injustice. I resisted it with all my strength and at any cost. When my husband and family tried to stop me, I thought they were interfering with my cultivation. I viewed my cultivation as the most important thing, which no one could interfere with.
When I clarified the truth and went to Beijing to validate the Fa, my purpose was to establish my mighty virtue, to pursue personal extrication and consummation. This was a manifestation of the selfish characteristic of the old cosmos in me. As a result, I was severely persecuted and lost my job. At that time, I thought I should improve my level and resist the persecution, and that this was the first and foremost, and saving sentient beings and validating the Fa was secondary.
When I was at home or detained in a forced labor camp, I cultivated my firm belief in Dafa. At home, when my brother viciously beat me, I thought to myself, “You cannot interfere with my cultivation.” But I hated him deep down. When I was incarcerated in a forced labor camp, I handled my maltreatment with human emotions. I hated the prison police officers and had no compassion for them. I wished that they would soon receive karmic retribution for their evil deeds. As a result, the worst captain of the prison shocked me with electric batons and tortured me with the method called “death bed”. At that time, I did not have a clear understanding of the Fa, and I viewed the persecution from the perspective of personal cultivation. In the end, I made a big mistake and did something that was wrong to Teacher and Dafa. When I was detained in a detention center in Beijing, I refused to cooperate with everything that was going on in the prison cell. I refused to talk to wardens or inmate leaders. I looked down on them because they helped the police to mistreat Dafa practitioners. One warden also looked down on me; she used my prison number to address me and told me to do this or that. I refused to listen and covered my head and ears with a comforter. I thought in this way I was not cooperating with the evil beings.
Through discussions with fellow practitioners, I changed my view toward this warden and inmates. When I clarified the truth to her from within my heart, she said, “Don’t be so hostile toward us. We also know that Dafa is good. I am secretly reading the book.”
Through Fa-study, discussing with fellow practitioners, and reading practitioners’ experience sharing articles on the Minghui website, my xinxing changed from personal cultivation and an anti-persecution notion to wanting to save sentient beings. Teacher had repeatedly emphasized this in his teachings,
“For a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple, personal liberation is not the goal of cultivation: when you came, saving sentient beings was your great aspiration, and that is the responsibility and mission history has bestowed upon you in Fa-rectification.” (Let Go of Human Attachments and Save the World's People, September 1, 2004)
I finally transitioned from personal cultivation to cultivating in the Fa-rectification period. I put validating the Fa and saving sentient beings as my top priority.
Back home, I clarified the truth to family members from within my heart. I no longer resent them, and I no longer view people who interfered with my cultivation as evil beings. I treat them as sentient beings who need to be saved. Many of my family and friends have understood the truth and withdrawn from the communist party and its affiliated organizations. When I was put in prison, I no longer had the notion of being persecuted. I believed that I was there to save people in there and to validate the Fa. I didn’t think about “being transformed.” I treated everyone with compassion, including the ones who collaborated with the police. I sent forth my most righteous thoughts to eliminate the evil behind them. As a result, the director and the worst police officers treated me with the highest respect. They were even afraid that I might find out what they had done to other Dafa practitioners.
I saw several practitioners who had been on hunger strikes for a long time. They resolutely refused to cooperate with this evil persecution, but were content if they were not persecuted nor transformed. They were insensitive to whether people around them were being saved; they seemed even insensitive about practitioners around them being persecuted; they thought that was their problem. Thus, some practitioners had been on a hunger strike for three years, and were still following the arrangements of the old forces. I noticed the fundamental reason for my persecution through them.
The persecution was severe in the area I live. Practitioners were doing things their own way and did not form one body. Practitioners were content with their situation, only cared about the small circle of fellow practitioners around them. Some only cared about their own improvement. They looked outward when they encountered issues, and depended solely on coordinators and material production sites. When I started to look inward, I realized that I had the same issues as our local practitioners. Because I didn’t have a clear understanding of the Fa, I couldn’t understand the Fa-rectification and meaning of helping Teacher with the Fa-rectification. On top of it, I lived in the shadow of my fear that I could be persecuted; I couldn’t see my mission and responsibility clearly. With human notions and attachment to fear, I arranged my own path. Sometimes I was looking for easy and comfortable ways, sometimes I was relaxed, and I was also selectively validating the Fa. I picked out those jobs, which I thought were safe for me to handle. I couldn’t even feel the weight and solemnness of the pledge I had signed with Teacher. I had human sentiments and hoped that Teacher will spare and not punish those disciples, who were not diligent, too severely, so that they could have a good future. My notions of selfishness, being self-protecting and planning the Fa-rectification myself from the perspective of the old cosmos, were deep embedded within me. All of them easily interfered with me. Therefore, when I did the three things, it was not based on the need of Dafa, but based on my human attachments. I was afraid to get on the Internet, afraid to make materials, afraid of this and that. How could that be helping Teacher with the Fa-rectification? Teacher said:
“As I was talking about this I revealed a major truth. In this cosmos it's actually not important whether the sentient beings know who I am. But one thing has to be clear, which is, I am doing Fa-rectification--no matter who I am, I am doing Fa-rectification. I told the old forces before, "It's fine that you don't know who I am, and it's fine that you don't believe who I am, you're not sinning by virtue of that. But, where I'm going--in your concept I'm also cultivating--or what I'll achieve, that you do know. So turn around and look at what you've been doing--haven't you been sinning?" Also, at even higher levels the concept of wanting to achieve something doesn't exist, either. It's just a matter of the cosmos's choice. Everything I've been doing during the Fa-rectification and everything I want, to spell it out, are the choice of the future cosmos and the needs of the future cosmos. (Applause) So for the beings of the old cosmos, and this includes all the elements of beings, when it comes to the Fa-rectification and what I choose, all beings' harmonizing and completing things according to my choices and contributing their best ideas and approaches--not to change what I want, but to harmonize and complete things according to what I've said--is the best thought a being in the cosmos could have. (Applause) But the old forces haven't been doing it that way. They've considered their choices the most essential, and have thought that everything I do should harmonize everything they want--they've completely reversed it. I don't want to state their crimes too harshly, right now I don't want to name their crimes. But it's absolutely wrong, they absolutely can't do it that way.” (Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference)
From Teacher’s words, I understood that when we put validating the Fa and harmonizing what Master wants first, we then have met the requirements for Fa-rectification. Naturally, we are protected by Teacher and gods, and things will go smoothly without any interference. When our purpose is to complete our assignment or to establish our own mighty virtue, our thoughts then conform to those of the old forces and they then have an excuse to interfere with us.
One time, we went to a forced labor camp to rescue a fellow practitioner. We understood from the Fa that we were there to save all sentient beings, including the police. We didn’t have the notion of talking to “evildoers.” We clarified the truth to everyone on the way there, including the police. They respected us very much and in the end, the practitioner was rescued with everyone’s help.
Another time, I went to a remote village with two other practitioners. The place is far and hard to get to. Almost all the homes in the countryside have dogs. We sent forth righteous thoughts eliminating all the evil beings that are interfering with Dafa disciples' saving sentient beings. But my mind was still not calm. I stopped and asked myself: why couldn’t I calm down? Why do we eliminate the evil interfere that attempts to stop Dafa disciples? We are doing the most sacred thing in the whole universe, which is harmonizing what Master wants. Who can interfere with us? It is really the world's people who are being persecuted. So we sent forth righteous thoughts again: eliminating all evil factors which are interfering with the salvation of sentient beings. We all calmed down right away. Not a single dog barked that day. We distributed many truth-clarification materials with enormous compassion. We sent out a compassionate thought: let people cherish this hard to come by opportunity to be saved.
Teacher said in “What is a Dafa Disciple”,
“You have come through the harshest of persecutions, and the gods envy you, but you don’t know to cherish this. The course of what you went through won’t play out again, as we have arrived at the last phase of the finale.”
When I understood the Fa, I felt ashamed and very regretful, even setting aside what that means at the end of Fa-rectification. Due to selfishness, I have missed many opportunities in saving people. Those lives have forever lost the opportunity to be saved, just like the empty seats in Shen Yun performances. The enlightened beings of the new cosmos must meet the requirements of the Fa-rectification: to save all sentient beings in the last stage of the process of formation, stasis, degeneration, and destruction; to cleanse away the selfish characteristics of the old cosmos; and become a selfless enlightened being. Countless lives are depending on every Dafa disciple, and it is crucial how well we perform our tasks.
When I understood the responsibility and mission of saving sentient beings, I no longer worried about loss and gain. I felt strong compassion within me. When I got rid of my selfishness, I became calm and open. When I realized my responsibility, I started to feel the seriousness and urgency. I harmonize what Master wants to the best of my ability. As long as I can save more sentient beings, I will do it. As long as I can help the one body to improve, I will do it quietly. I organized a Fa-study group and sharing with fellow practitioners. We all realized our responsibility. We put down our selfishness and elevated to the realm of cultivating ourselves in the Fa-rectification, from not wanting to do things to everyone proactively validating the Fa. In order to save more people and make a bigger impact, many practitioners bought a computer, accessed the Internet, bought a printer in order to print materials, and bought a cellphone to send texts. We also contacted practitioners that we knew from before. We clarified the truth face to face and used paper money with truth clarification words written on them.
We quietly helped fellow practitioners to set up more projects in order to validate the Fa. We viewed the issues of other practitioners as our own. Although we put in a lot of effort, I still felt that it is not important that one person does well, the important thing is that we all do well. Although we are not coordinators, we cannot just think about how we do well ourselves, we should be selfless and think about more practitioners, especially those who had been in isolation, those who have no technical skills and practitioners who live in the countryside. They all need help to improve their understanding of the Fa as well as technical issues. Many practitioners from the countryside asked me to help them resolve technical and other issues. Sometimes when one had just left, another one arrived. I spend a lot of time and energy on this issue. When I noticed that fellow practitioners function as Dafa particles, one by one, I thought of the issue Master requires from us, which is to consider others first. My biggest enlightenment in the process was: when we do something, as long as our foundation and our xinxing and righteous thoughts are correct, Teacher prepares everything for us. When we do Dafa work, as long as we act righteously and according to the Fa, many miracles will happen.
“Cultivation depends on one’s own efforts while the transformation of gong is done by the master” (Zhuan Falun)
In the process, I had misunderstandings and disagreements. It is important to let go of oneself, not resent practitioners who have different opinions, and cultivate ourselves well. Many of my notions and attachments, such as wanting to validate myself, jealousy, and Chinese Communist party culture, etc. had hindered me to cooperate with other practitioners, and interfered with becoming a one body and validating the Fa. I have now realized how serious cultivation is. One must cultivate oneself, while looking for strengths in others and shortcomings in oneself. Only with the purest mind can the result of saving people be the best. Only when Dafa disciples are without human notions, can we validate the Fa well.
After studying the latest articles from Master, I feel that the responsibility is even heavier. We must let go of our selfishness, purify ourselves, eliminate the barriers between practitioners and form a strong one body so that we can fulfill our historical vows.
Please kindly point out anything incorrect.