(Minghui.org) Looking back on my journey of cultivation this year, and seeing how I improved little by little with Master's protection, my heart is filled with endless gratitude to our compassionate and mighty Master. My greatest insight gained during this one-year period is that every conflict, every unhappiness, and every discomfort becomes an accelerator that helps me ascend in cultivation, as long as I do not forget that I am a practitioner.
Freeing my heart from being bound by cell phone
I took charge of certain duties at work, so my boss equipped me with a cell phone and paid the monthly fee for it. I was required to always have my cell phone turned on and come to work whenever needed.
I had been a conscientious worker even before I started practicing Falun Dafa. After starting the practice, I followed the teachings of Dafa to be even more conscientious. Although I was often subjected to unfair treatment after the persecution began in 1999, I always took great care of my work duties. Whether I was having a meal or sleeping, as soon as the cell phone rang and I was needed at my workplace, I would immediately go there.
My heart seemed to be bound by the cell phone. Knowing that it could ring at any moment, I never dared to leave it behind. I always carried it with me, even when I went to group Fa study at another practitioner's home. Other practitioners then reminded me that this could create security issues for practitioners and I understood that, so I reluctantly left my cell phone at home. However, soon I began to worry about it. I felt uneasy in group study and could not read the Fa with my heart. The first thing I did when I opened the book was to flip through it to see how many pages we would need to read that day. Then I would read the Fa while hoping to finish soon. When we finished studying the Fa, I wasn’t in a mood to share experiences with other practitioners. I fretted and only wished to get home quickly.
Arriving home, I would spring to my cell phone to check whether there was a missed call, sometimes without even changing my shoes at the door. If there was a missed call, especially when there were quite a few of them, I felt extremely uneasy. If one of the missed calls was from my boss, my hands would almost start shaking. Then I would immediately call him back and supply the plausible explanations I had prepared beforehand.
My heart had been bound by my cell phone for a few years before other practitioners were finally able to help me realize that as a Dafa practitioner, I should put Dafa as the top priority. I started realizing that my issue with the cell phone stemmed from my attachments to fame and personal gain. I even cared about the overtime payments and comments from my boss.
As I continued to improve with respect to this matter, I realized that for a Dafa practitioner, nothing is accidental. When a practitioner has righteous thoughts, everything proceeds smoothly. Interference happens only when a practitioner cannot let go of his or her attachment. Saving numerous beings is now the most important thing in this universe. How could I allow the old forces to use my job to interfere with me?
“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.”(“Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Boston”)
Gradually, my heart became more and more pure, and it was no longer affected by the cell phone. Now when I needed to study the Fa or do other things with fellow practitioners, I would turn off the cell phone and pull out the battery, or simply leave it at home. I would simply do what I needed to do with a light heart.
Letting go of the attachment of being right
For many years, my wife and I could not agree on what clothing suited her. Sometimes the difference of opinion was huge. We often discussed, argued and quarreled with each other.
I thought that my wife's dress sense was not up to par and that she did not know what kind of clothing suited her, whereas I had great aesthetic appreciation and knew what kind of clothing suited various people. My wife did not agree and often argued with me, refusing the clothes that I recommended. That often annoyed me.
When I said to my wife, “Don't ask me to help you with clothes shopping as you don't to listen to me!” she would show great respect for my opinion in order to get me to accompany her. However, when I sincerely offered my recommendation, she would respond with, “I don't like it” or “I think it doesn't fit me.” I really wanted to slap myself for not learning a lesson and repeatedly falling into this scenario.
Practitioner H and another female practitioner came to my home this July. We started talking about buying clothes, and this immediately drew my interest. I spoke boldly about clothing styles and colors, and the two practitioners seemed to be in favor of my opinions.
I spotted my wife also attentively listening to me, so I changed the topic and said: “Have you ever seen my wife wear clothes that fit her well, the kind of clothes that people remember once they see it?” Both practitioners agreed with my point of view, but my wife appeared uneasy. However, I didn't care and kept talking. I thought that I must take this opportunity to release the anger that had accumulated in my heart over many years. The two practitioners then seemed to notice that something was going on, so they found an excuse and left in a hurry.
Once the practitioners left, I continued chasing my wife on this topic and demonstrating the “appropriateness” of my point of view from many aspects. I aggressively questioned her until she acknowledged that she needed to improve her style and expressed that she would follow my opinion in choosing clothes in the future.
About a week later, my wife invited me to come along to shop with her. As I was searching for the “appropriate” clothes for my wife, I pointed to a mall worker nearby and told my wife, “This kind of dress would fit you well.” She took a look and said without a second thought, “I don't like that color.” I felt angry and said, “If you still emphasize your likes and dislikes, then what's the point of asking me to come along?”
My daughter, who was also with us, then said, “The dress doesn't fit mother's shape.” I felt as if the blood was going to explode in my head. I could not speak a word. At that moment, I suddenly realized that there must be something wrong with me and it was time to let go of my attachment. I did not speak a word until we got home. I kept asking myself, “There must be something wrong with me. Where is my problem?”
I kept searching within in the days that followed and found my attachment to lust. The reason I seemed to be good at choosing clothing was because I always paid attention to how people dressed, especially pretty young women, and sometimes my heart was moved as I observed them. It's more accurate to say that I observed the women, rather than their clothes, and I had projected this hidden attachment of lust toward my wife.
As I continued to search within, I also found attachments to competitiveness and showing off. Maybe Master saw my sincere effort to search within and my sincere hope to let go of my attachments. Master helped me find my fundamental attachment on the evening of August 18, 2012, when I started drafting this article for the 9th China Fahui on Minghui.
As I was writing this article that evening, I heard my wife and daughter trying on shoes. They asked me to come over and take a look at the shoes that my daughter's aunt had bought for her. I saw my daughter wearing a pair of red sports shoes with a white strip. I immediately got interested and praised, “They look great, really great!”
I asked my daughter, “Turn right, let me look. No, no, turn left, left.” My daughter kept turning right, and her face was full of unhappiness and impatience. Soon I became a little upset and my interest faded. I said, “You are not trying on the shoes for me. Why did you become unhappy?” My daughter said in anger, “I do not like these shoes and do not feel comfortable in them, but you kept asking me to turn right and left.” Then she left.
I approached my wife to reason things out. She said, “You should've seen your expression when you looked at the shoes. Could they be that great? You even claimed that we had never bought shoes as great as this pair.” Then we fell back to our old argument, and I argued with the same old set of reasoning about aesthetic appreciation. When my wife almost admitted defeat, my daughter suddenly darted into the room to defend her mother. She boldly scolded me, even though in my view her reasons had no ground at all. When I pointed out that she was wrong , my wife reminded me to pay attention to my xinxing. However, I completely lost control, and my demon nature exploded. I could not forbear even one sentence, and every sentence that I spoke hurt my daughter. My daughter finally slammed the door and yelled, “I will not call you Dad again!”
I could not sleep that whole night. I was no longer angry, but I could not even close my eyes. I stared at the ceiling and kept telling myself that I must find my fundamental attachment and get rid of it. Around 1 a.m., I wrote down four characters in the dark, “Force opinion upon others.” At that point, I clearly felt that a block of heavy substance was removed from my heart. I clearly recognized that I had been too attached to being right. I had taken great pains and racked my brains in order to prove my “correctness” and make others accept my point of view. I had even dared to use Dafa to validate myself, which was simply unacceptable!
I recalled Master's teaching:
“Don’t argue left and right, and don’t emphasize who’s right and who’s wrong. Some people are always stressing that they’re right, but even if you are right, even if you’re not wrong, so what? Have you improved on the basis of the Fa? The very act of using human thinking to stress who’s right and who’s wrong is in itself wrong. That’s because you are then using the logic of ordinary people to evaluate yourself, and using that logic to make demands on others.”(“Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan”)
When my daughter had lost all reason and boldly scolded me, it was in fact like a mirror, showing me how I forced my opinion upon others. I suddenly felt relieved and no longer had complaints for my wife or daughter. It felt like the storm I had just gone through never happened.
The next day I felt a dull pain on the edge of my tongue while working. I immediately enlightened that it was caused by my strong attachment of competitiveness and the result of those biting words I had uttered while competing with my daughter. I told Master in my heart, “Master, I was wrong. I will correct myself.” Just at that moment, the pain on my tongue completely disappeared.
Improving through the process of writing an article
Practitioner H came to me with a family member of an illegally arrested practitioner one evening in June 2012. H hoped that I could write an article about that practitioner’s persecution. After some questions and answers, I found that this case was typical and very touching. Furthermore, photos related to the case were also available. I immediately realized that this was very good material, so I could publish a sensational article! Feeling excited, I swiftly wrote the article and inserted the photos that evening. However, I restrained myself and did not send it out, because H had emphasized to let her read it first. I saved the article in the mailbox that we shared.
The next day when I saw H, I asked her: “How is it? Did you read it? Is there any problem?” She said, “There are some problems.” She paused briefly and continued: “Other practitioners and I read the article you wrote, and we felt that it is too flat. We thought that practitioner J might be able to write a better article. What do you think?” My heart pained as if somebody had pinched it.
I opened my mouth to say something, but then realized that it was time to let go and improve. So, I asked for a USB stick from H and copied all materials related to the article for her. I tried my best to remain calm. H wanted to explain further, but I waved my hand and smiled: “ Don't worry. My heart is indeed a bit uneasy, but I know it is time for me to improve. Take it and let whoever can write a better article do so.” H nodded and praised, “How quickly you’ve improved!”
After H left, I read my article one more time. I felt embarrassed. My attachments of validating myself and fame had really swelled the previous night. I hadn't even written an introduction. The whole article was like a common report with a flat tone.
The article that practitioner J wrote was published a few days later. It was well done. I was pleased that J had written a good article. I was also pleased that I’d improved.
Letting go of jealousy and unwillingness to take orders
One of the practitioners who had been persecuted this year was close to me and also lived near me, so I worked on a project to rescue him. Practitioners L and H were also on this rescue team. L had been a local coordinator for many years. Her cultivation state was stable and she had a passion for doing things. H was very experienced in rescuing practitioners and knew of many practical methods. She was particularly good at dealing with the police department, Procuratorate and court. The project team also included practitioners in charge of contacting the persecuted practitioner's family and sending forth righteous thoughts. With such composition, this was supposed to be a very powerful rescue team. However, my strong attachments adversely affected our rescue efforts.
On the day our rescue team was initially formed, seven or eight practitioners gathered together to discuss the division of work and rescue strategy. Two or three practitioners expressed that they had no experience in rescue work and wanted to follow the arrangement set up by others. Practitioner L then said, “I think H and C (me) are good candidates for contacting the lawyers...” Before she finished, I interrupted, “I think everybody should first talk about what they can do!” My tone was rigid and critical, as I was thinking that we did not need a boss. Nobody wanted to speak up after that, so we ended up not reaching any result.
About ten days later, five or six of us gathered together again to discuss how to rescue the practitioner. We came up with two strategies: One was to hire a lawyer and follow legal procedures as the main effort, and the other was to use practitioners' personal experiences as a lead to explain the facts within the community. Practitioner H and I advocated the first method, while two other practitioners emphasized the second method. We argued with each other vigorously and no side would back off. In the end, the two sides each decided to proceed with their own method, reasoning that the two approaches did not conflict with each other. The two practitioners with a different opinion from ours never showed up to discuss the rescue process again.
When our rescue team got together again, only four people showed up. Practitioner L said with worry, “Fewer and fewer practitioners are participating in the rescue. How should we proceed?” H shared the same worries. However, I suddenly felt full of pride and said: “I cannot decide for others, but I will continue the rescue effort even if I'm the only one left!” Nobody made any comments after that.
After a while, L said to me: “The parents wanted to tell the public that it was legal for their son to practice Falun Gong. Their son did not commit any wrongdoing. We need an article for that. Can you write it?” I answered: “No need to write it. When the lawyer came last time, didn't he give the family a defense plea that had been used before? That already thoroughly explains the facts.” L countered: “The parents said it was not well directed to their son's specific situation, so they do not want to use it.” I waved my hand and said: “You don't need to worry about it. I will speak with the family.”
H noted, “We are following the family and the lawyer in doing things and are not playing a leading role, so I think we should clarify again our main approach for the rescue.” I had collaborated with H before and knew her capabilities. I also realized that I should not emphasize myself too much. So, I said: “H, I'd like to follow your approach. Just tell me what we need to do now.” However, although I said those words, I did not truly accept H's approach in my heart.
Local police harassed practitioner L soon thereafter. She let another practitioner pass a message to me that she needed to adjust herself and would temporarily stop participating in the rescue effort. I thought: “It's no problem if she doesn't participate. Anyway, she cannot do much. We could also avoid some conflicts if we don't see each other.”
Although I seemed to be working according to H's approach in the days that followed, H often commented that what I had done was not in line with her idea. I felt resentful whenever this happened. Once I told her: “We can only decide on a rough idea. However, a lot of details will be involved when implementing the idea. I cannot check with you for everything, and we don't have time for that either.” H then replied, “Since you are the one who does concrete things, it's better that you follow your own ideas to do them.” She did not communicate with me for a long time after that, and I was not willing to contact her either. During that period, my heart felt heavy and very uncomfortable whenever I saw her.
I continued doing things, without a systematic idea and not much effect either. I was just dealing with things in a perfunctory way. I felt more and more that something was wrong, that there must be some problems on my side, and that I must search within.
Then I came across H again. We had a conversation with a calm heart for over an hour. We hardly talked about any of the concrete things we needed to do for the rescue project. Instead, we shared our experiences from the angle of the Fa principles and improving in cultivation.
During this conversation, I clearly recognized my jealousy toward H. I was jealous of her ability and that her approach had been acknowledged by other practitioners. The attachment of jealousy had separated me from H in my heart. In addition, I had polluted the rescue effort with my strong attachment of validating myself. My thoughts were not righteous, and my heart was not pure. Thus, the result was not good. I shared this understanding with H and expressed that I was determined to let go of my attachments and cooperate well with her.
After getting home, I told my wife about my experience sharing with H. I found that as I exposed my attachments, the bad elements separating me from H disappeared. Furthermore, I suddenly had a clear rescue strategy in my mind, and my approach matched H's approach very well.
As I continued to search within, I found that I was strongly attached to self. That claim of “I will continue the rescue even if I'm the only one left!” had thoroughly exposed my attachment to self. I also enlightened that the separation between me and practitioner L had been caused by my arrogance and unwillingness to take orders. I always felt uncomfortable if I had to listen to others; I could not let go of self and cooperate well with other practitioners.
During this period, L passed me a message, asking me to come over. When I arrived at her home, she said to me straight, “Let's open our hearts, talk, and solve our problems.” Then she reviewed the unpleasant experiences that had transpired between us and asked me what I thought. I sincerely told her that it was due to my problem. Of course, L also searched within and shared her understanding. Through this sharing, the separation between us was eliminated.
“...'the appearance stems from the mind.'”
("Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting")
The environment changes with the mind. Things started changing as I found and gradually let go of my attachments and eliminated the separation between me and fellow practitioners.
As we proceeded, the number of practitioners participating in the rescue effort far exceeded the prior maximum, and we now had many hands to take care of all kinds of tasks. We had practitioners printing facts on stick-on labels, mailing truth-clarification letters, sending text or multimedia messages via cell phones, making phone calls, sending forth righteous thoughts in close proximity to the relevant facilities, and searching for addresses of officials involved in the persecution. We truly formed a one body.
A message was passed out in July 2012 that the evil would systematically harass and arrest practitioners on a large scale on a certain day. It was said that the message came from an officer who understood the truth about Falun Gong. The news quickly spread among practitioners.
One day after our study group finished studying the Fa, some practitioners mentioned the message and asked everyone to share their understanding. The majority expressed that we should be responsible to other practitioners and pass such a message along when we hear of it. However, I thought that spreading this kind of message was in a sense acknowledging the persecution. As we continued the discussion, practitioner G suddenly addressed me loudly and in a serious tone, “C, stop talking!” I was stunned and wondered why G had done this. In the past, people had always been willing to listen to my opinions when we shared our understandings in group Fa study. I wanted to continue speaking, but restrained myself.
I remembered what Master said:
“When you encounter something, the best approach is not to charge forward and contend with others, push your way to the front, and rush forward to chase down the solution. Let go of your attachment, take a step back, and then resolve it.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital”)
I really did not speak after that and just quietly listened to others.
A few minutes passed by, and my heart became more and more calm. I could understand and consider others' opinions and thoughts. I totally forgot about the insult I’d just suffered. Then I suddenly heard G say, “It seems that what C said has a point.”
Sending righteous thoughts is to offer salvation
During March 2012, when the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was holding “Two Congresses,” my workplace sent people to monitor me. They were placed in front of the apartment building where I lived. Dayou (alias), who was in charge, used to be my friend. I had explained the facts about Falun Gong to him many times, by calling him and sending him text messages. However, he seemed to be unmoved and still sent agents to monitor me. I was a bit angry about this.
The first thing I did after I got home was to send forth righteous thoughts toward Dayou and those who were monitoring me, to have them punished and to stop them from doing bad deeds. A few days passed by, and it seemed that my righteous thoughts had not made any impact.
One day while studying the Fa, I suddenly enlightened that sending forth righteous thoughts was to eliminate the evil behind people who were being manipulated by the evil and whom I should try to save. How could I be angry at them? So, I corrected my base point and sent forth righteous thoughts to stop evil beings from taking advantage of people and making them commit a crime against Dafa.
Dayou came to me a few days later. We spoke for several hours. He told me that he had read Zhuan Falun and understood that it teaches people to do good deeds and be good people. He also believed in Buddha. He expressed that he was really reluctant to send people to monitor me. The Party secretary at my workplace had ordered him to do it, and he had even quarreled with the secretary because of it.
Dayou said he had read many books and knew that the CCP had done all kinds of evil things and would come to no good end. I told him that since he saw the reality of the CCP so clearly, he should renounce his membership, so that he could break ties with the Party and avoid disaster in the future. He agreed. Before we parted, he told me: “Let us live well. Good people will be rewarded. If those people [who monitor you] do anything to interfere with you, call me.” A few days later, I was able to persuade the driver assigned to monitor me to withdraw from the CCP as well.
While I was writing this experience-sharing article late at night, I felt Master's great compassion that cannot be described in words. I can never repay it, except by cultivating diligently and saving more sentient beings.
Thank you, compassionate and mighty Master!