China Fahui | Purifying My Mind through Writing Articles for the Minghui Website
(Minghui.org) Excerpt: “In the past, I was like burning fire. My heart was full of anxiety and restlessness. Writing was like a clear stream in my life. It helped me calm down, organize my thoughts and handle people and matters with rationality. Maybe this is the beginning of maturity and rationality.”
Many fellow practitioners have shared how Master gave them a divine pen in their dreams and how ever since, their inspiration never ran dry. Writing seems to be so easy for them.
Over the past two years, I have been validating the Fa through writing articles, but I have never had similar experiences. Writing has been hard for me. Almost every article was accompanied by xinxing tribulations. I had to elevate my xinxing to finish the article. Oftentimes, another xinxing tribulation would come up when the article was published. Therefore, I have long thought that writing was the most difficult project for me.
I have envied fellow practitioners who are talented at writing. Sometimes I was even jealous. However, now looking back over the past two years, I see that some of my very stubborn attachments have been removed through the process of writing. My mind is now more and more pure and calm.
Even though my writing skills are still far from those of a professional, I can now write, with no problem, articles exposing the evil and awakening sentient beings. Isn't this the result of Master's arrangement? We will never fully know all the care and protection that Master provides to each of us.
Embarking on the Difficult Journey of Writing
In 2011, I wrote and submitted a report about the persecution experience of a local fellow practitioner. I received a letter from the Minghui editors, asking if I would like to write summary reports for the Minghui website.
I was thrilled. What an honor it is to write for the Minghui website! But having majored in engineering, I had rarely written any articles. How could I overcome my clumsiness in writing and fulfill the responsibility well? I had no idea.
After learning the reporting guidelines, I embarked on the difficult journey of writing articles for Minghui. I didn't even know what “summary report” meant, not to mention how to write one! First, I found a journalism textbook and crammed for some reporting knowledge.
Then I searched for specific types of Minghui articles and copied the style. In a week, I finished my first article. I used fellow practitioners' template and inserted the appropriate facts and content. To my surprise, I received encouragement and compliments from the Minghui editors. Their tolerance and consideration boosted my confidence.
It might sound easy now, but the pressure was huge back then, so huge that it was almost beyond my limit. It was a huge project to gather all the materials, categorize them, then think of a structural flow to present them, as well as connections between paragraphs, the flow of words, and whether the comments were appropriate.
All of the above was new to me. I couldn't successfully organize all the information. I had to send forth righteous thoughts for a long time to calm down from my anxiety. After finishing an article I was often exhausted, as if I had just gone through a battle.
I can say without exaggeration that my journey of writing has been very tough.
When I read other writer practitioners' sharing articles and saw how easy writing was for them, I thought: “Maybe the editors made a wrong decision? I'm not cut out for writing. This is too hard for me. It should be done by other practitioners who are talented at writing.”
Whenever I had such thoughts, the joy of an article getting published, or encouragement from editors helped me carry on.
Removing Fundamental Attachments during Collaboration
At the time that I started writing for Minghui, I also began helping our local coordinators to write truth-clarification materials. However, due to different ideas and understandings, we often had conflicts. Because I was attached to my own issues, such as learning how to write and working on my article submissions, I rarely seriously participated in sharing with the local coordinators.
One of the conflicts we had involved an article about a court trial. Several coordinators thought that we should emphasize one aspect while I preferred another approach. As a result, the information gathered for the article was very different than what I expected. In addition, fellow practitioners criticized me with “your mindset is still so ordinary in this late stage of Fa-rectification.”
I was upset. My communications started to be devoid of courtesy. Still, I managed to suppress my anger and make a list of materials needed for the article. The coordinators also managed to provide the information according to my list. But this was only the start of creating a successful article.
The coordinators still thought that my article was off-track. They asked another practitioner to write another article and submitted that version to the Minghui website. When I read the submitted version, I thought that it was good that it emphasized fellow practitioners' righteous thoughts and actions, but it was done with a very strong sense of aggressiveness and competitiveness. I felt that it was not a good reflection of cultivators' compassion.
I obtained the main coordinator's support to submit my version as well, so that the Minghui editors could have both versions, and thus, better information.
The final published article was my version, with some content from the other version. This caused another misunderstanding. Fellow practitioners thought that the combined version that was published was what I had submitted, and criticized me for insisting on my way.
I was rather frustrated. I thought: “Why don't you look inward concerning the fact that your version didn't make it? Why do you blame me for your problem?” I clarified the issue to them, while thinking that I didn't want to work with them any more. I felt that it was a waste of time.
However, I couldn't disregard another criticism: I had submitted the draft version of my article, which contained confidential information. We discovered this issue only after the article was published. I finally started looking within.
On the surface, the angle of my report was correct. However, for a long time, I had been treating my own learning and article submissions as the first priority. I was very reluctant to participate in our local news reporting. The coordinators had to push me to work on this. I wasn't willing to explain my stance when there were different ideas or conflicts, because I didn't want to spend too much time on the local project. I simply wanted to finish up everything as quickly as possible so I could be freed up for my own writing projects.
Amidst my anxiety and complaints, the old evil forces took advantage of our gaps. This was the real reason for the mistake in the published article.
Looking within further, I found that my efforts to learn how to write and pursuing writing skills covered up a strong and fundamental attachment.
My spouse is a reporter for a Chinese Communist Party (CCP) mouthpiece media. Due to pressure from the CCP, we had to divorce. Ever since, I have been homeless. I lost my good job, family, and home. My quality of life dropped to the very bottom.
When the environment became better, my human attachments emerged and started resenting that CCP media. I often looked at their office buildings and thought: “Just wait until the day that Dafa practitioners' media takes over the building and the CCP mouthpiece is kicked out. What a happy moment! And if I learn writing and happen to be a member of the Dafa practitioners' media taking over the building, wouldn't that be even better?” I worked diligently for this “happy” moment.
On the surface, this was hatred and an imbalanced mentality. Deep inside, I knew that it was rooted to my strong attachment to love and emotion. Many of my tribulations were the results of this attachment of mine.
This time, the attachment hid behind the imbalanced mentality and confused me, causing me to think that I could keep it as my motivation to improve my writing skills. But it was precisely a big hurdle for me in validating the Fa. It not only interfered with my cooperation with fellow practitioners, but also turned all my efforts into self validation, rather than fulfilling my vow and saving sentient beings.
After I abandoned my attachments, I could understand the difficulties of the coordinator. Every time, he risked his life to gather the information and pass it to us writers. Then he met with practitioners like me, who didn't want to collaborate due to their own issues. However, he didn't take offense at our attitudes. He simply reminded us again and again. He had to spend a lot of time and energy on this. I started genuinely understanding and admiring him.
I finally made up my mind to cooperate well with him. After a period of time of good collaboration, I started thinking about how to better allocate my time between writing summary reports for Minghui and writing for local events.
As I was considering this, I had a very clear dream. Many people stood in a big square, each with his answers to a written test. They scored themselves by comparing their answers to the correct answers displayed on a big screen in the center of the square. Every problem had two subsets of problems. When both were correct, we could get 100, the full score for that problem.
I had many 100s. I knew that Master was encouraging me and reminding me that I should not slack off on either of the writing projects.
Eliminating the Pursuit of Fame
Even though I had strong attachments to emotion, I thought that I was fine with regard to the attachment to fame. However, in the writing process, I discovered that my attachment to fame was rather severe.
When I had a good idea, I would have all kinds of thoughts stirred up: “This article will be published for sure! I will receive so many compliments.” When I experienced writer's block, I would be anxious, thinking that I was being held back. In such situations, my brain would be filled with a hot and muddy substance. Then my thoughts were all jammed up. I had to pause.
I couldn't get rid of the problem. My explanation was that my writing skills were not there yet. I thought: “If I can achieve another level in my writing skills, I can then write so easily, like many other fellow practitioners! Then I won't be affected by interference.” Master didn't endorse this thought. I had a big stumble afterwards.
During that time, I also thought that writing was a tough job. Due to the limit of my knowledge, I had to do a lot of research before starting every article. I resented this effort and wanted to be able to do it easily. However, once my laziness came out, the next several articles were not published.
I was frustrated but couldn't find the reason. I thought: “Maybe I should try publishing my article on other media. Then I'll know if my article is really that bad.” I submitted one of the rejected articles anonymously to another website.
This article denied by Minghui was published as a special report on another website. I was confused. I didn't know why the requirements of the Minghui website were so different than other websites. Worse yet, I was disappointed that I had submitted the article anonymously, missing a great opportunity to become more well-known among practitioners.
While I was pondering these regrets, I heard another writer saying, “Being attached to fame is in itself a reflection of a lack of confidence in one's own writing.” I realized that this comment was directed at me, even though the person wasn't specifically addressing my situation.
I knew that I was weak inside, but I avoided facing the issue head on. All kinds of thoughts bubbled in my mind: “I must have had a lot of confidence to start writing as a rookie,” or, “I may not have the same luck in the future so I regret that I didn't submit the article with my name.”
Master said in “Cultivators’ Avoidances” in Essentials for Further Advancement:
“Those who are attached to their reputations practice an evil way, full of intention. Once they gain renown in this world, they are bound to say good but mean evil, thereby misleading the public and undermining the Fa.”
As a cultivator, I already knew the harm of the attachment to fame, but how come it was so difficult to get rid of it? I shared with fellow practitioners and analyzed myself. Everything boiled down to vanity, lust, and comfort. They were all hidden behind my “revenge fantasy.”
With practitioners' help, I finally calmed down. I saw my own problem. I also understood the reason why my several articles were turned down by the Minghui website.
Master said in “Master's New Article: Mature:”
“Gone are the flowery expressions meant for affective show: the papers are full of substance, and they are accurate, clean, and free of human sentiments. They are not something an ordinary person could write, for the inner world of a cultivator is pure and clean.”
When I wrote those articles, I was full of self-validation and the urge to show off. My fantasy of experiencing good feelings after the article was published, my satisfaction with fame and achievement, and attachment to laziness and comfort had all gotten into my articles. How could such articles meet the requirements of the Fa? I then recalled that in the initial encouragement from the Minghui editors, they said that my article was pure and concise.
Articles written with a pure mind is what Dafa needs, because this validates Truth-Compassion-Forbearance. It is the true reflection of the compassion of a Dafa cultivator. Such articles can truly save sentient beings. Maybe this is the difference between the requirements of Minghui articles and articles written for other media directed at ordinary people.
Once I rectified my thoughts, the next articles I wrote were published again. To my surprise, I finally reached the state of ease in my writing. I no longer had a muddled mind.
Even though I am still far away from the level of many other fellow practitioners, I have found my future direction: study the Fa with my heart, maintain a pure and selfless state, and develop my Fa instrument (my writing) by achieving the proper state of a cultivator.
My journey of writing was hard and lonely. However, because it was welded in Dafa cultivation, a series of miracles have happened: not only have I learned to write in a short time, I have also gone through fundamental changes – I have learned to be tolerant, considerate, and cooperate with others by letting go of myself.
I shared with fellow practitioners: “In the past, I was like burning fire. My heart was full of anxiety and restlessness. Writing was like a clear stream in my life. It helped me calm down, organize my thoughts and handle people and matters with rationality. Maybe this is the beginning of maturity and rationality.”
They also echoed my observation and said that I had matured a lot in the past two years.
I finally understood why Master arranged this harsh road for me. Especially when compassion and wisdom emerged while writing peacefully and calmly, I could sense Master's heart with my heart. Oftentimes, I burst into tears.
I cannot ever pay back Master's blessing of salvation. The only thing I can do is to take the rest of my journey stably and write more articles with a pure mind, to save more sentient beings.