Stepping Out of Personal Cultivation and Doing the Three Things Well
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings Revered Master! Greetings fellow practitioners!
I would like to report to Master and share with fellow practitioners about my cultivation experiences in recent years.
RTC Platform Gave Me a Group Cultivation Environment
I obtained the Fa in February 1999. Not long after I began cultivating, it was amazing that as an older woman, over 70, I was able to move with fast and powerful pace as though I was flying. However, a few years ago, my legs and feet appeared to have the illusion of sickness karma and began to feel numb and painful. During those two years, my legs became like wood, and I seemed to have lost control of them. I was unable to walk without support, nor could I go out. I thus lost contact with our group cultivation environment, and I would sit alone, facing the walls every day. Of course, I still studied the Fa and did the exercises, but my situation was becoming worse and worse. Every day, many attachments and negative thoughts surfaced in my mind, which I was unable to control and found difficult to eliminate. I wanted to interact with other practitioners, but everyone was busy and I didn't wish to disturb them. I am a person who likes to talk to others. If there is anything in my heart, I want to pour it out, as I start to become uneasy when I suppress it for too long. As my health continued to deteriorate, this isolated environment began affecting me mentally as well. My negative thoughts increased and didn't improve even though I continuously studied the Fa.
My daughter’s mother-in-law subsequently moved in so we could live together. However, due to our different cultural backgrounds, habits, and customs, conflicts became inevitable when living together on a long-term basis. As my legs and feet were in poor condition, there were many things I could not do. Thus the burden in my heart increased, and I felt that I was living off others and had to suppress myself more. Although on the surface it appeared that I was able to forbear, I felt uncomfortable in my heart. My daughter’s mother-in-law seemed to be specifically looking at my errors, and whatever I did seemed not right to her. The situation was really becoming unbearable and painful for me. I thus decided to rent a place and move out, so I asked practitioners to help me look for a room.
One day when I was studying the Fa, I came across Master's words in Zhuan Falun,
“In cultivation practice, there may be two scenarios when dealing with specific conflicts or when others treat you badly. One is that you might have treated this person badly in your previous life. You feel in your heart that it is unfair, 'How can this person treat me like this?' Then why did you treat this person that way in the past? You might claim that you actually did not know it at that time, and this life has nothing to do with the other life. That does not work. There is another issue. In conflicts, the issue of transforming karma is involved. Therefore, in dealing with specific conflicts we should be forgiving instead of acting like ordinary people.”
After realizing that I may have owed the mother-in-law from previous lives and it was time to repay the debt, all tensions vanished without a trace and my heart immediately calmed down. At last, I understood that Master had arranged this environment for me to upgrade my xinxing. When these conflicts happened again, I was able to deal with them correctly, thus my xinxing was able to upgrade very fast, and we have become more harmonious. When she scolds me in the future, I hope to be fundamentally unmoved by her words and be able to let it go with a smile.
Although my xinxing had upgraded, my overall cultivation environment was still not good. Sometimes I complained to my daughter, the only person I could communicate with. Later, even my practitioner daughter did not really interact with me. She said that she could no longer take it, as it seemed that I always wanted to pour out my grievances to her. As a result, I sank even deeper into a state of depressed solitary cultivation. I once thought of dying and began to wish that my physical body would leave earlier. I began thinking that I did not deserve to be a Dafa disciple, as my staying alive would not have any effect, and instead my situation may tarnish Dafa’s image. I cried in front of Master’s picture and asked Master to enlighten me.
However, no matter how much I suffered, I didn't relax on my cultivation and was thinking of ways to clarify the truth to save sentient beings. Perhaps because I had this heart, Master arranged an opportunity for me. One day, I got in touch online with a practitioner from Japan, whom I had not been in contact with for a long time. That day, she suddenly called me.
After learning of my situation, this practitioner introduced me to the RTC platform. RTC is a online platform through which one can make phone calls to China to clarify the truth and persuade people to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated youth leagues. Due to my leg situation, I was not able to go out and clarify the facts face to face as I had done before, so it was very suitable for me to make phone calls to clarify the facts. I was happy but nervous. Because I was initially unable to pick up the phone, I felt troubled. However, after I became involved with the platform, I became broad-minded and more calm.
The whole platform is filled with righteous thoughts and is a field of righteous thoughts. There are no voices of accusation, criticism, or talking behind people’s backs. Positive encouragement is all I can hear, with practitioners compassionately pointing out shortcomings. No matter which practitioner is unable to pass the test or is met with difficulties using the computer, there is always a patient practitioner who helps to solve the problem. This is especially helpful for the elderly practitioners like me, as the majority of us are not computer literate. Since the computer is the main tool for clarifying the truth and contacting each other on the platform, many of us have learned how to use a computer in order to get on the platform. Sometimes when problems occur after finishing a call or while interacting with each other, one may feel anxious about not knowing how to solve the issue, but practitioners who are skilled with computers immediately help solve the problem.
Care is especially given to newly-joined practitioners, who are encouraged to remove their fear of not being able to make effective calls and strengthen their righteous thoughts. To encourage them to pick up the phone to clarify the truth as soon as possible, a variety of convenient training tools are provided. The platform is filled with only one intention – to have more people participate, so that we can meet Master’s requirement of saving more people quickly.
Master arranged this environment for us to improve in cultivation and upgrade together quickly, and I have personally experienced this. As long as you really want to study and help, even if your cultivation state is not good, you will be pulled up, as the environment is very righteous. In such a righteous field, all those negative things will not be able to survive. Thus, how could one not be diligent? It is necessary to have righteous thoughts every day when making calls, studying the Fa, and interacting with others. Everyone on the platform is filled with righteous thoughts, so it is a field of righteous thoughts. If there were no righteous thoughts, nothing could be accomplished with the platform.
Since I began participating in this project, I have felt my righteous thoughts strengthen. When any negative things surface, I eliminate them completely.
The Cultivation Process of Making Phone Calls Is Like Wandering About
The process of making phone calls is part of solid cultivation. There is a need to maintain strong righteous thoughts, so that we can achieve our purpose of saving people. Making phone calls is like wandering about. One will meet various kinds of people. We thus need to study the Fa with calm minds and send forth righteous thoughts every day. If the outcome of making phone calls that day is not good, I feel it is the result of my not studying the Fa well or insufficient righteous thoughts. After I finish making phone calls each day, I look inward to see what attachments I still have that may have caused my righteous thoughts not to be strong enough, or if there is a problem with my xinxing that resulted in an unsuccessful phone call.
In the process of making phone calls, I encounter tests to see if I will be moved when people scold me. For those who value money more than their life, how can I make them understand what a pity it would be to have money without having a life to enjoy it? For those who can't differentiate between the Chinese Communist Party and China, how can I help them eliminate their atheist shell? How can I do it and not be stirred? I realized that only by having a solid foundation through studying the Fa, constantly maintaining righteous thoughts, and having a compassionate heart is one able to do it.
A man on the phone once mistook me for a young lady and said some disgusting words. At first, I felt very sad when I heard those filthy words and thought, “Why is this person like this? There is no point in me saying any more.” Afterward, I enlightened that the behavior displayed by the other party was to test me. No matter what kind of person I'm talking to, I must think of ways to save him or her. The next time this happened, I was not moved and told him peacefully, “You are a precious Chinese person. Chinese people pay attention to civility and manners, and don't say such words. Chinese people talk about benevolence, righteousness, etiquette, wisdom, and trustworthiness. Even though the CCP has destroyed the true culture in China and you may not be able to understand this now, I don’t blame you, as it is the evil CCP that has done this, causing you to say such bad words. That is not the real you.” After listening, the man suddenly seemed to change into another person and spoke politely. I deeply understood Master’s Fa principle, “...the appearance stems from the mind.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting”)
“The bigger you perceive the challenges to be, the harder things will be to carry out, since 'the appearance stems from the mind.' And so the task will become increasingly burdensome. When I say 'the appearance stems from the mind,' by that I also mean that the difficulty stems from your overstating the importance of the matter itself and seeing yourself in a lesser light. Don’t take any such things to be a big deal, for with something as significant as saving sentient beings you should just do what you are supposed to do, going about it in a composed manner. When you encounter things that don’t sound so good or that aren’t what you hoped for, don’t take it to heart, and just nobly and confidently do what you are supposed to.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting”)
On another occasion, the person answering the phone said “hello” but nothing else. However, he did not hang up. If the person does not hang up, I usually continue to clarify the truth to him as though he is listening to me, even when he does not say a word back. I think that as long as the truth is made widely known, it will have a good effect. This time I did the same. After I finished clarifying the truth, I hung up. Later, I wanted to know his feedback after listening to the truth, so I called the same telephone number again, but the person still did not say a word. I said, “Why do you still not say a word today?” I then continued to clarify the truth to him. Afterward, I heard people talking on the other side of the phone, and it seemed that they were not listening to me. I started to call out to them to listen to me, but they ignored me. I began to think, “If they really don't want to listen, forget it. But then I realized that this thought was not right. As long as he doesn't hang up, there might be people listening. Immediately the image from the oil painting of many kings and lords coming down with Master to help in Fa-rectification surfaced in my mind. At that time, we promised to remind each other to wake up from the maze. I thought to myself that I must save him, and I cannot give up easily.
As I continued to speak, I started to cry. I said, “I am doing this for your sake. I am of such an old age, and I'm treating you as my own child. I'm sincerely doing this to help you, and that is why I'm making this phone call to you. I'm using my retirement money and time to make a long-distance phone call to you so that you can be saved. You are precious. I can’t bear to see you being implicated by the evil party. The bad things done by the evil party have nothing to do with us. You must not share the same fate with them. In the past, you may not have understood, but you should now understand after listening to the truth. I tell you about these things, hoping that you will be safe. Listening to the truth doesn't harm you and doesn't cost you a penny. I don't seek to gain anything from you. … I do not know you, and you don't know me. So why am I calling you? It’s because we are Chinese, and we should help each other. This information is from overseas, but in China you have no way to hear about it. I am thus calling to tell you, hoping that you will be safe and blessed.”
This time, the person finally spoke. He said, “You are too kind. I have heard what you said. I will listen to you.” He happily quit the Youth League and Young Pioneers. I felt very happy that a life was saved.
I feel that when I have a compassionate heart, the sentient beings who pick up the phone will be touched by me.
Master said in “Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference,”
“When this compassionate goodness emerges, its strength is without equal, and it will disintegrate any bad factors. The greater the compassion, the greater the power.”
Another time, a young man picked up the phone. He didn't believe what I said about quitting the CCP. I gave him many examples, but he still refused to believe me. I started to feel uneasy, as I really didn't know how to make him understand, but as long as he did not hang up, I could not give up. Suddenly, Master's sentence came into my mind, “Clarifying the truth is the master key” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Atlanta Fa Conference”). Thus, I clarified the facts about Falun Gong to him and told him that he must remember, “Falun Dafa is good; Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good,” as this can ensure one's safety. He then said happily that he would remember it. He thanked me and wanted to quit the CCP and its affiliated youth leagues. The stubborn person in him was gone. Not only did he quit the CCP, but he also called his friend and had me clarify the truth to him. The friend quit the CCP as well and gave me two more phone numbers, so that I could help his friends quit. He told me that one of his friends is a Chinese Communist Party member who was very dissatisfied with the evil party and has wanted to quit for a long time.
After ending this phone call, I immediately called his friend. However, when I mentioned quitting the CCP, he started yelling, swearing, and cursing. I was unable to interrupt him, so I just clarified the truth while sending forth righteous thoughts. He continued to scold me while I talked, and when he finished scolding me, he hung up. At that moment, I really didn't know how to persuade him to quit, but I felt that this wasn't right. I am a Dafa disciple and saving people is my responsibility, so how can I shirk my responsibility? I immediately called him back. He picked up the phone and just when I was about to clarify the truth again, he apologized to me and said, “I am really sorry. Please forgive me for saying all those bad words to you just now. I understand now, please help me quit the Young Pioneers.” I asked him if he was a Party member, but he said no. I told him to remember, “Falun Dafa is good; Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good,” and he repeated this loudly two times, sounding very excited. Lastly, he said loudly “Falun Dafa is good!” and hung up. I still didn't give up because his friend had said that he was a member of the Party. Hence, I called him the third time and told him about the areas that he might not have understood or had concerns about. In the end, not only did he quit the CCP, but he also helped three other people in his workplace to quit the Party, too.
I feel that not only should I truly save people, but I must do it diligently. During the process, I may encounter all types of situations, and I must consider them from all perspectives and use wisdom. This time I saved four lives and also the heavenly sentient beings behind them, but I cannot be content with my result, because there are more people to save. After finishing making phone calls, I looked inward and realized that the reason the person had scolded me was to remove my attachment. His friend had said that he was dissatisfied with the evil party and wanted to quit long ago. Thus, I thought it would be very easy to persuade him to quit, and I slacked off. When I called back the second time, in my heart I had the righteous thought of saving him, and he thus changed.
“'After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!'” (Zhuan Falun)
Master also said,
“As for saving sentient beings and clarifying the truth, a lot of people haven’t done it in depth. They’ll say just a few words to people, thinking 'Listen or don’t listen, just do whatever you like. You don’t want to listen, fine!' and they’ll go on to find the next person. In whatever you do you should carry it through to the end, do it well, and if you intend to save someone, then go ahead and save him. When someone is placed before you, there isn’t a choice—you’re wrong if you become selective in terms of saving people. As long as he is someone you run into, you should save him, regardless of his position or social status, or whether he be the president or a beggar.” (“What is a Dafa Disciple”)
Once, a man began yelling as soon as I began telling him the facts. He continuously repeated that the evil party was good, and I was unable to interrupt him. I nonetheless continued clarifying the truth to him and sent forth righteous thoughts at the same time. In the end, he hung up. The next day, I called the same number again. This time, he didn't say anything, and I continued to clarify the facts. Afterward, he did not hang up right away, and it seemed that he still wanted to listen. When I called him on the third day, it was as though he was a changed person. He finally spoke and said that he understood the truth. I explained to him that I make many phone calls every day, as there are many people who need to be saved and time is precious. I told him, “After listening to the facts, you can tell others and help them be saved, too. Doing this will give you boundless virtue, and you will receive blessings.” He said that he would tell others.
After this, I understood that the effect produced is huge, and whether my heart is moved plays a big role. If I do not do well, it is because of my own shortcoming. If I do well, it is because I listened to Master, and Master gave me wisdom.
The RTC platform provides an environment in which one can study and share cultivation experiences with others, and that helps me upgrade. I've experienced that holistic improvement in a group also reflects on personal cultivation. One must do all three things well at the same time. If there is one thing that isn't done well, one cannot upgrade.
Cultivating Away Bad Thoughts, Stepping Out of the Boundary of Old Notions
After joining the RTC platform, a coordinating fellow practitioner and I had an experience sharing session for over an hour. She was very busy, but still made time to listen to me and understand my situation. She didn't have much to say, but when she did, her every word was based on the Fa. She mentioned I had too many negative thoughts. Because the evil party had caused me so much suffering, I believed I had cultivated poorly and was too deeply poisoned by the evil party culture. Not knowing when I could eliminate this brainwashing, I was very troubled. This practitioner said, "You may not be able to admit it, but this thinking is not part of you. You have to deny it and eliminate it." Master talked about these bad thoughts acquired from human society, which were not to be taken as our own. I understood this Fa principle, but in the course of cultivation, I still clung to these human concepts, attempting to make amends from the viewpoint of an ordinary person.
Before I began cultivating Dafa, I used to think about everything in the worst light. This way I felt I would not be badly let down and hurt if the result was not good. People used to say, "If there is no hope, then there will be no feelings of disappointment."
Although there were some changes after I began cultivating, this thinking kept preventing me from doing truth clarification well. For example, before going out to clarify the truth, I worried about the police taking down my identification number, and I thought of how to deal with police should I encounter them, etc. Sometimes these negative thoughts even prevented me from leaving home. This negative way of thinking still plagues me to this day. I frequently wonder what I would do if, due to severe leg pain, I ended up paralyzed in bed. I never recognized that this thinking was not righteous. Until I participated in group discussions with fellow practitioners on the RTC platform, I hadn't realized that these negative thoughts were bad, that they were acquired in human society, and were not part of the Fa.
When I realized that this kind of thinking was arranged by the old forces, my heart became lighter. I now have fewer and fewer negative thoughts, while my righteous thoughts are growing stronger. My old notions are also changing rapidly.
Sometimes a child will answer the phone. Initially I felt that children would not understand if I clarified the truth to them, so I always asked them to call their parents. Later my thinking changed. I once asked a child who picked up the phone if she was part of the Young Pioneers. She said yes. I told her, “The scarf a Young Pioneers member wears has its origins in the CCP’s red flag, which represents blood, since the CCP has killed so many innocent people. Let me help you quit. You can still wear the [Young Pioneers] scarf if you are afraid your teacher will not let you remove it, as long as you reject it in your heart. Then you will not be associated with the sins of the CCP, and it will not affect your schooling.” She agreed to withdraw from the Young Pioneers. Initially I didn't want to say too much, afraid that she would not understand the truth, but she didn't hang up the phone. I then continued to clarify the truth to her, and to my surprise, she understood. It felt like she had been waiting for this phone call, and this changed my notions about children.
Truly Believing in Master and the Fa
Once I integrated into the RTC platform environment, I realized the importance of participating in sharing sessions. Sometimes a single sentence by a fellow RTC practitioner would expose my attachments. I saw the gaps in my own understanding and hurried to keep up. Sometimes other practitioners' understandings would help me find my own problems. For example, I've always put myself down, and highlighted my weaknesses. I thought this was one of my good points. Yet a practitioner pointed out that this false modesty of everyday people did not match the standards of Dafa. Thinking this way would only lower one’s self-confidence and increase despair.
I grew up with low self-esteem and self-confidence. Even after cultivating Dafa, I still felt that I could not meet the standard. Though I studied the Fa daily, I felt no improvements in my level at all, leading me to conclude that I hadn't studied the Fa well enough. I felt nothing when sending forth righteous thoughts, and thought that I was too old to learn how to use a computer. When I was asked to be a coordinator for the RTC platform, I declined, believing I lacked the ability, etc. When my attachments were pointed out by fellow practitioners, I realized the error of my views and tried to cultivate it away.
I always thought that I met the standard of believing in Master and the Fa, acting according to Master’s words. But often upon encountering a problem, I still unconsciously followed my human notions in doing things. Master said that Dafa disciples have supernatural powers, but I felt that I was excluded. Master said that Dafa disciples are great and are the only hope for sentient beings, but I felt that it didn't include me. Master said that all Dafa disciples were destined to be heavenly kings, but I felt unworthy of becoming a king or lord, and felt that just being an ordinary person would be enough for me. I did all the things that Master requested us to do, all the while thinking that I could not make it. I later realized that this distrust in my abilities was a manifestation of not believing fully in Master and the Fa, and it was preventing me from effectively sending righteous thoughts.
"Even with just one Dafa disciple, if your righteous thoughts are strong, the power is enough to split a mountain—just one thought will do it." ("What is a Dafa disciple")
When I truly believe in Master and the Fa, miraculous things actually manifest. When my granddaughter experienced a terrible episode of high fever, she was unconscious with blue lips, icy-cold feet, and clenched hands. She was breathing in but not out, and the situation was very urgent. I immediately held her and prayed for Master to save her, asking my daughter to quickly send forth righteous thoughts. My husband wanted to rush her to the hospital, but I strongly believed that Master would save her. At that time, I was not nervous but instead felt very calm and at ease. Less than a minute later, my granddaughter gave a long exhale and a cry before waking up. Her fever went down, and a while later she was as active as ever. Usually I am a timid, indecisive person, but during this crisis I was surprisingly calm and decisive. I later realized that it was because I wholeheartedly believed in Master and the Fa.
Another incident happened during the court trial of Singaporean Dafa practitioners. Just before the start of the hearing, I suddenly noticed a big black cloud passing gradually in the sky above. I knew that evil forces were attempting to interfere, and I immediately sent forth righteous thoughts. Soon, the patch of dark clouds dissipated. Afterward, I could hardly bring myself to believe that this really happened. Because at that time my mental state was very pure, and I wholly believed in Master and the Fa, my supernatural powers naturally came out.
Another incident occurred more recently. In this case, two different thoughts produced two different results. A few days ago while retrieving something in the room, I lost my balance and fell with a loud “bang” to the ground. I immediately thought, “I am a cultivator, I will be fine.” But I also thought that because of my weak legs, I would have difficulty standing up. These two concepts brought about two different results. I really could not get up from the floor, and required family members to assist me before I could stand up with difficulty. However, my body felt and looked fine after inspection, and there were no bruises or pain even the day after. Through this incident, I understood better what it means to have righteous thoughts and what believing in Master and the Fa means.
These are my recent cultivation experiences. Please kindly correct me if anything is not on the Fa.