Cultivation Experience of Compiling Truth-Clarification Articles
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings, Master! Greetings practitioners!
With my family's help, all of them being practitioners, I compiled our first local truth-clarification flyer and submitted an electronic version of it to the Minghui website. It was published a few days later. I have continued to compile local truth-clarification flyers since then.
I remember at the time that I knew nothing about editing and had no idea of how to edit articles. Without Master's compassionate protection, without the Minghui editors and editors in other regions quietly giving their assistance without being asked, without local practitioners' kind encouragement and helpful reminders, I would not have been able to act responsibly and walk steadily along my path of cultivation. I would like to report to Master and share with fellow practitioners my cultivation experience regarding compiling truth-clarification flyers for our local area.
Master's Compassionate Protection
When I started to compile materials for the flyers, I didn't have even a basic understanding of editing. I downloaded several versions of truth-clarification materials from other regions from the Minghui website. With Master's compassionate guidance, while downloading materials I stumbled across a function that helped me with editing. I discovered this by simply moving my mouse and clicking on something! I didn't specifically learn how to edit, but from that point on I had the basic ability for editing.
Cultivation is not simply about doing things. No matter how we validate the Fa and save sentient beings, Master will arrange every opportunity for us to improve by exposing our attachments, so that we can eliminate them and continually improve ourselves in order to effectively validate the Fa and save sentient beings. This principle of cultivation also applies to editing truth-clarification materials.
After I complied a few issues of our new flyers, I wrote a letter to the editor of the local Minghui Weekly edition, and asked them to point out anything that was lacking in my editing. The practitioner pointed out a few things, but with a tone of disdain. The practitioner's response was just like cold water being poured over my head, and it depleted my confidence in moving forward. I prepared to give up editing completely. Master then enlightened me to look inward. When I took a good, hard look at my thinking, I suddenly found that I had a strong desire of being recognized by others. When I found the attachment, I could feel that Master had already eliminated the matter related to this attachment. My body became very light and my heart was full of compassion. In this righteous state, I was quickly able to find suitable articles to put in the flyers. The selected articles complemented each other surprisingly well, and I soon finished editing the materials. Before enlightening to my attachment, whenever I sent the Minghui editors a copy of the flyer, it was usually not published until three days later. But this issue was published the next day!
With the materials being continually published, I developed a strong attachment of zealotry and showing off in doing my work. When I had these attachments, my mind was of course impure, and the materials I sent to the website were delayed for publishing or weren't published. When I rectified myself based on the Fa, the materials were quickly published. It was clear to me that if we cannot cultivate ourselves well, we will affect the progress of saving sentient beings.
There have been large-scale arrests of Falun Gong practitioners in my local area this past year. I knew that we needed to urgently publish truth-clarification materials to expose the persecution and rescue practitioners. But when I started compiling materials, I had no idea of how to select and properly edit the necessary content from so many articles and with such limited space on the flyer. I asked for help from a practitioner who was experienced at editing. I was hoping that she could help me, but she didn't reply. Her attitude made me realize my attachment of relying on others. I also understood that I should overcome the difficulties instead of wanting to quit. I sat down and started to edit the articles. When I was half way through the editing, I suddenly realized that many articles published on the Minghui website that exposed practitioners' arrests, mostly focused on how the police used violence to arrest them, and forcibly confiscated their personal belongings, as well as how practitioners followed Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance to be good people, and how much damage the arrests created for practitioners' families. Could I capture all of the important points from these articles and compile them into one summary article to expose the evil? If I could, then I could expose the persecution suffered by each one of these practitioners. In addition, a summary article would have a stronger effect in convincing people of the true facts about the persecution. I finished editing the article and sent it to the Minghui editor, but my heart was uneasy. I was hoping that the editor could help to improve my article if it was deemed inappropriate. A few days later, the article was published. I downloaded it to see how the editor had modified it. To my surprise, the editor changed very little. I have since found that I am capable of summarizing and editing articles, and my skills in this area have greatly improved.
For the past two to three months in particular, I have found that either when writing articles or editing truth-clarification materials, my mind is open and I continue to have new ideas about how to save sentient beings or help fellow practitioners. Moreover, the effect on saving sentient beings or helping fellow practitioners has been much better after creating these materials with my new righteous thoughts. Since I used to approach things in my cultivation with human notions, I think Master enlightened me to the fact that during the final period of Fa-rectification, no matter what difficulties we have, as long as we can treat each one with righteous thoughts, the results will be the best. It is just as Master taught us,
“There has been a great deal of groundwork done in advance. All that’s missing is your carrying things out with righteous thoughts. Yet you haven’t had the righteous thoughts that it takes.” (“Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference”)
Minghui Editors and Practitioners from Other Regions Quietly Giving Their All
I would like to share how the Minghui editors and practitioners from other regions quietly give their best efforts to help clarify the facts and how Master compassionately protects us.
Whenever one of my articles is published on the Minghui website, I download it to see what the editors changed. If there are any changes, I compare with the original text to understand why the editors made these changes. This helps me in my future editing.
One experience of reading these changes left a lasting impression on me. I had selected a local practitioner's article from the Minghui website when compiling one of my flyers. I can't remember the whole content of the article, but I remember this one paragraph, which mentioned that a practitioner was suddenly persecuted by the evil and experienced an acute bout of sickness karma while in a public place. The practitioner asked Master to “reinforce” him, and he then recovered. When I saw the use of the word “reinforce,” I thought that non-practitioners might not understand what this word means in this context. Maybe they would think that the practitioner was not rational, and so I thought that I should change the word to something that could be easily understood by any reader. But I could not find an appropriate replacement after thinking about it for a long time. So I took a chance and thought that people would not misunderstand. I sent my article to the editor, but my heart was unsteady for failing to find a more suitable word. When the article was published, I surprisingly found that the editor had changed the word “reinforce” to “protect.” I was so relieved. At the same time, I had a deep respect for the editors. There are only a limited number of Minghui editors and they need to produce many issues of Minghui Weekly, as well as edit and compile truth-clarification materials from all over China. They must have a very strong sense of responsibility to be able to find the appropriate word for this particular article.
In addition, I discovered an interesting phenomenon: whenever I had shortcomings in compiling truth-clarification materials, I came across experience sharing articles on the Minghui website on the subject of compiling materials (I peruse the Minghui website almost every day). These articles would then help me realize my shortcomings. On the surface, it appeared that all of my shortcomings were the result of not being skilled enough, but on a deeper level, I realized that they are actually related to shortcomings in my xinxing. Below are a few examples.
In the early stages of my compilation work, when I downloaded truth clarification materials from other regions, I selected articles and pictures which I considered good, then added information about the persecution in my local area. I combined them together to make one issue of a flyer. I later read an experience-sharing article, which mentioned how to select articles that would work well together to create a new flyer that would be effective in reaching local regions. In other words, if a flyer is not tailored to a particular region, a reader might not be able to understand the truth and may have questions and doubts about the facts we present them with about the persecution. So we need to explain things in a way that resolves any confusion or doubts. After a reader finishes looking at a flyer, even if just one of his or her doubts is resolved, it has clarified the truth for that topic. If all the selected articles have no relevance, the reader may still have doubts after reading it, and then the material won't have any effect in clarifying the truth. After I read the article, I take a fresh look at my flyer and consider how I would view this flyer as a person who didn't understand the truth, paying close attention to any confusion or doubts that I might have. Then I select the appropriate information which would work well in my article.
The reason that I started to compile truth-clarification materials was to highlight persecution articles that were on the Minghui website, but not in the Minghui Weekly local edition. So initially, the focus of my flyers was primarily on local persecution events. I later read an experience-sharing article by a practitioner who was doing work similar to mine. This practitioner said that he too only used information from other sources, to focus on local persecution events. After accepting the materials, however, everyday people would often throw them away. The practitioner understood that the reason for exposing the persecution was not just to expose the facts, but to help others understand the truth so that they would not participate or be complicit with the persecution in any way. After understanding this point, I compiled persecution articles into two separate pages or placed them in separate issues if there were too many. In this way, the flyers not only fully exposed the persecution, but also explained the facts about the persecution based on individual cases.
The people we try to save also include those who have actively participated in the persecution. So we need to pay attention to the tone and wording of our articles, and try to avoid writing them with a mind full of hatred and fighting. We need to use practitioners' compassion to dissolve the evil that drives people to participate in the persecution, so that they can be saved. When I compile articles, I seldom use emotion-ridden words. Even when I report on people receiving karmic retribution for their actions. I always add a note at the beginning or the end of the article to kindly remind readers that we don't take pleasure in reporting others' misfortunes, but feel sad about these events and use the information to advise people not to participate in the persecution.
The flyers that I create are a supplement to the Minghui Weekly local edition. So every week, I wait until the local edition is published, and then select persecution cases which were not included in the paper for our flyer. But the local edition of our flyer has to be published after the Minghui Weekly comes out, which may at times delay how quickly practitioners can be rescued. So later, I no longer waited for the Minghui Weekly to be published. Instead, when I saw the news on the Minghui website that some practitioners had been arrested, I immediately started compiling the information, in cooperation with other practitioners' efforts in the rescue. Since I had the attachment of showing off, I did not cooperate well with a practitioner who was responsible for the local edition of Minghui Weekly. This caused duplication of efforts and interfered with the effectiveness of our truth-clarification work. A practitioner subsequently published an experience-sharing article on the Minghui website to help establish the importance of the Minghui website and improve the effectiveness of truth-clarification work. The article helped me to realize the importance of Minghui Weekly for truth-clarification. I wrote a letter to the editor of the Minghui Weekly local edition and shared my understandings with him, and told him of the shortcomings in my xinxing. I also expressed the wish to cooperate well with him, use the Minghui Weekly as the main source of truth-clarification work, and use our flyers as a supplement, and cooperate well with others to better clarify the truth. We worked together very well after that and this continued until the practitioner moved away from our area.
There are many other examples but I won't list them all. All of these appeared in different forms on the surface, but they all displayed the same shortcomings in my xinxing. That is, I could not see from the perspective of the people who didn't know the truth and I could not consider problems in the larger context. Master uses our experiences as opportunities to let us cultivate ourselves and “...attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism.” (“Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
When my cultivation state was not good, my mind became blocked, and I was not able to think clearly about how to edit. When this happened, I used materials from other regions, added articles about local persecution cases, modified them a bit, and gave them to other practitioners who could put them to good use. Editors from other regions sometimes used the content from the flyers I edited, so we were really working together as one body.
Local Practitioners' Kind Encouragement and Helpful Reminders
To maintain the safety of my fellow practitioners, I can't reveal too much about my work in compiling flyers. I can only share my experiences with two or three practitioners. They have all selflessly provided me with help whenever I needed it.
The practitioner I mentioned who has was experienced at editing, helped me every time and took on the burden of taking care of the problems herself. Later, she no longer solved all of the problems for me, and only offered me guidance on how I should handle the situation on my own. Initially, I complained a little. But then I found that after she left me to my own devices, my ability in writing and editing continued to improve. If she'd kept helping me solve all of the difficulties, I might still have the same level of skill as I had at the beginning.
As my editing skills improved, and with praise from fellow practitioners, the attachment of validating myself got stronger. A practitioner once asked me to produce a self-adhesive flyer to help rescue practitioners. After I finished it and sent it to him, he pointed out a few problems and asked me to redo it. My attachment immediately came out. I insisted that the way I did it would have a better effect, and I was not willing to change it. The practitioner kindly reminded me that we should let go of self and cooperate with each other. He was right. We should validate the Fa, and not ourselves.
This is my cultivation experience while compiling truth-clarification flyers. I still have many shortcomings in my cultivation. For example, my laziness has prevented me from spending more time in improving my editing skills. I have not cultivated myself solidly, my xinxing has improved relatively slowly, and I have not cultivated myself to have greater compassion. All of these shortcomings have directly impacted the effectiveness of my saving sentient beings. I want to use this conference as an opportunity to advance more diligently in the future and help Master to rectify the Fa and save sentient beings with greater success.