Minghui Fahui | We Must Cultivate Ourselves While Trying to Help Fellow Practitioners
(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
In the past year, with Teacher's merciful protection, I had the opportunity to participate in several study groups. Through the group study cultivation environment, I found myself. My loneliness in the past few years has dissipated. I was able to move forward in cultivating and harmonizing the one body. I can say that I am truly walking the path of assisting Teacher and rectifying the Fa.
In the past year, several elderly practitioners in our study group were experiencing sickness karma. At first, we all wanted to help the practitioners, not realizing that we should cultivate ourselves at the same time. When we cultivated ourselves, it was very superficial until we understood what it meant by looking inward. We then knew that, whatever happens, we do not look at others but ourselves. We must rectify our own thoughts until the process becomes second nature. During this process, we enlightened that helping fellow practitioners is a process of cultivating ourselves.
We would like to take the opportunity of the 9th China Fahui on Minghui to report to Master and share with practitioners our experience in xinxing elevation.
1. Everyone Learned to Cultivate Themselves Through Helping Practitioner A
At the beginning of this year, we learned that a 72-year-old practitioner was experiencing serious sickness karma. Prior to cultivating, she had over 20 different ailments, including heart disease, diabetes, and hypertension. We realized that, although we did not know her, we were all particles in Dafa. If we heard about her situation, it meant we had an obligation to help her. So we drove to her place.
We arrived and saw her walking very slowly. Many areas on her body were ulcerated, and on her leg there was a sizeable weeping wound that had been wrapped in gauze and needed to be changed at least three times a day. For a long time, she had been feeling very ill. We immediately studied the Fa with her, shared experiences, and sent righteous thoughts.
After we talked, she found the reason for her sickness karma. About a year ago, she spent a lot of time collecting materials for traditional Chinese culture, including some stories from Minghui, and compiled a book. But she didn't study the Fa diligently. Also, she rarely studied Teacher's lectures published after 1999 and therefore was not clear on eliminating sickness karma and interference from the old forces. She has been passively enduring persecution from the old forces.
When the root cause was found, Practitioner A suddenly felt better and had stronger righteous thoughts. A few days later when practitioners visited her again, she quickly opened the door and talked to them about her experience over the last few days with a broad smile on her face. She followed the advice of other practitioners and took down the different paintings and calligraphy on her walls to clear out her physical environment. Whenever she had time, she studied the Fa and did the exercises. After we sent righteous thoughts for her for an extended period of time, the wound in her leg stopped oozing shortly after we left. It was evident that sending righteous thoughts as a group was powerful.
However, several days later, her condition worsened. Her feet swelled, followed by her legs. She had problems breathing and could not sleep at night. Practitioners were all very worried and went to see her every other day to help her find out what went wrong. Some reminded her not to feel her symptoms. However, Practitioner A said, “I was not feeling it. But you guys kept asking me how I felt.” Even when we reminded her to ignore her symptoms, many practitioners were still focused on her illnesses. After a month, her situation became even worse. She was very ill and looked like she was dying.
This rattled every one of us. What went wrong? Everyone reacted to this situation. When Practitioner A got worse, her family took her to the hospital, which disappointed everyone. Then some of us also worried about what would happen if she was so sick and her xinxing was not high enough. Now that she was in the hospital, at least we knew that she was being treated. Just let it be. As soon as we had this thought, we realized that that was wrong and that we were acknowledging the arrangements of the old forces. So we sat down and searched for our attachments that were exposed during this process and measured ourselves with the Fa.
We reflected that when we saw A's situation getting better, we were overzealous. When it got worse, we became impatient and started pointing fingers. After many rounds of sharing, A’s situation not only did not improve but got worse! On the surface, we were helping fellow practitioners, but this was also an opportunity to cultivate ourselves. If we did not look inward to improve ourselves, we would miss all the opportunities that Teacher arranged for us to improve our xinxing. This was a huge omission. With such an unrighteous field, no wonder we were taken advantage of by the old forces.
Our group studied “Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference.” Teacher said,
“When you encounter ordeals during your cultivation, you have got to cultivate yourself and look at yourself--that doesn't mean acknowledging the ordeals arranged by the old forces and trying to do well amidst the ordeals they've arranged, that's not the case. We negate even the very emergence of the old forces and everything that they've arranged; we don't even acknowledge their existence. We're fundamentally negating all of their things, and all of, and only, the things you do while negating and getting rid of them is mighty-virtue.”
After our discussions, we no longer complained or pointed fingers. All we did was look inward unconditionally. We realized that, although we said that we did not acknowledge the old forces' arrangements and that we did not want A to feel the changes in her body, every time we saw her, we asked her how she felt. Wasn't that acknowledging the old forces' arrangements? With our strong human attachments, we brought with us bad substances to Practitioner A. How could she take it? We enlightened that if we cultivated ourselves well, we were negating the arrangements of the old forces. We had to use the magic tool of looking inward well.
After we looked inward, things changed. A's situation changed fundamentally as well. When she was in the hospital, she used an MP3 player to listen to the Fa. She had one thought: “My life was given by Master. I have to do what I should do at my level, assimilating every one of my cells with Dafa.” She talked to patients in her ward about the truth of Falun Gong and persuaded them to withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Soon afterwards, even after the doctors deemed her incurable, she went home with two names to withdraw from the CCP.
To save more people, within two months of returning home, she organized a get-together with her old classmates, overcoming much interference on all fronts. Practitioners in our study group sent righteous thoughts for her. The effect of the one body was evident. She gave out Shen Yun DVDs to those who attended her party—two for each participant, one for themselves and the other for their family or friends so that more people would benefit. She explained to her old classmates how Shen Yun has toured around the world, reviving 5000 years of history and culture, and that it was an artistic feast. In addition, she persuaded three people to withdraw from the CCP and its affiliated organizations. The party ended on a very positive note.
Having benefited from the one body and Teacher's merciful guidance and protection, she realized the importance of group study, so she set up a study group with another 80-year-old practitioner, who had little education and was illiterate. After she obtained the Fa, with Teacher's strengthening, she was able to read Zhuan Falun on her own. When Hong Yin III was published, A taught her how to read the poems. It took A three hours to teach her to read the first poem, “Lacking All Restraint.” During the process, Practitioner A cultivated herself and improved her xinxing, gaining much clearer understanding of the Fa.
Now every day she studies the Fa, does the exercises, distributes Shen Yun DVDs and other truth-clarification materials, and talks to people about the truth of Falun Gong, walking on the path arranged by Teacher.
We learned after this experience that cultivation is very serious and that it is very important for us to cultivate ourselves. Also, no matter how hard it is, practitioners in China should attend group study and establish an environment. We should also look inward regularly and form one body. Only if we walk the path arranged by Teacher can we accomplish the mission to assist Teacher to rectify the Fa.
2. Helping Practitioner B and Again Benefiting from Looking Inward
As an ordinary person, I spoke well, and people liked to listen to me. Immersed in Party culture, I had become high-sounding and liked to preach. After I took up cultivation practice, I believed that my shortcomings could be corrected. After 17 years of cultivation, through helping Practitioner A, I realized that the abilities of Dafa disciples are given by Dafa and that I must use these abilities in a positive way. I enlightened to what cultivation was, what looking inward was, and how to rectify every thought. I also experienced the magnificence of cultivation.
After helping Practitioner A, we continued to help a few other practitioners. The following is our experience helping Practitioner B.
-Add Positive Elements to Fellow Practitioners
Practitioner B has been practicing since 1996. She was able to sit in the full lotus position for two hours when we were just learning. However, she had a hot temper and quarrelled with her family all the time. Six years ago, she had a stroke and hypertension and was hospitalized a few times. She cannot even walk properly now. Nevertheless, she was very active in talking to people to clarify the truth.
In the past years, practitioners helped her by sharing experiences, gently reminding her, and sending righteous thoughts for her as a group. However, Practitioner B has been trapped in sickness karma and could not step out of it. She had a weak main consciousness and did not know how to look inward. When we sent righteous thoughts, she would talk nonsense and move around. We felt somewhat helpless, because it had gone on for a long time. Some had given up on her. Whenever practitioners saw her inability to change, they would criticize her.
We decided to have group study at her place. Since I worked, I went on the weekend to her place with another practitioner. We had this one thought: we must clear out the ill feelings among practitioners and the deviated substances in order to help Practitioner B distinguish thoughts by her true self and strengthen her righteous thoughts.
B’s situation was somewhat like A’s. In the first week, she improved a lot with a clearer mind, and she did not move around when she sent righteous thoughts. She walked much better. However, after a week, she could not sit still for Fa study and started talking nonsense again. When she walked, she needed a cane, and she lost bladder control as well. Already strained, her relationship with her husband got worse. Her husband was afraid that she would become paralyzed and pressured her to take medications. In the end, B complied. She became even more confused. Within two weeks, her situation turned worse.
The two of us were not moved by this. We increased the time we studied with her. We found that when we were not in the right mindset, she was negative; when we were calm, she was fine. When we refrained from talking negatively to her, she had a good day.
We tried to cultivate ourselves. As soon as we noticed an attachment, we caught it and eliminated it. We looked, enlightened, and cultivated. We repeated the process again and again. We would not give the old forces any opportunity to create a partition among us. We only gave one another positive energy. We believed that when we could all look inward to cultivate ourselves, her situation would improve.
-Put Others’ Needs First and Demonstrate a Practitioner's Demeanor
B’s husband then said that he would be away on a business trip a week later and worried that no one would look after B. I thought that it was a great opportunity for us: we could help him look after B and also spend more time together, studying the Fa and sharing experiences as practitioners. I discussed this with other practitioners. We decided that, no matter what obligations we had at home, we would put them aside and spend some time with B for two days. When I offered our assistance to B’s husband, he was thrilled. We enlightened that this was an opportunity arranged by Master for us to improve as a group. We had to cherish this.
All of us made arrangements to come to spend some time with B. The group included a 72-year-old retired teacher who had never met B. When I asked if she would spend the night at B’s home with me, she did not hesitate. I was very touched.
We cleaned up her home, including the windows and the kitchen. We studied the Fa in a clean environment and sent righteous thoughts at the designated hours. We reminded her to look inward and to think about others first to get rid of her demon-nature and cultivate a clear mind.
At times, B had some setbacks, and we, as a whole, were not righteous all the time. The good thing was that, whenever it happened, we could immediately look at ourselves to see what the attachments were. Gradually, we eliminated the rotten substance. As a result, B's situation improved. On Sunday morning, after Fa study, B was awakened. She enlightened that Dafa disciples have no illnesses and that we must negate the arrangements of the old forces. We encouraged her to get up and walk on her own. She got up with her cane and walked a few steps to the living room. At the same time, we recited a poem from Hong Yin II:
“Righteous Thoughts and Righteous Actions
A Great Enlightened One fears no hardship
Having forged an adamantine will
Free of attachment to living or dying
He walks the path of Fa-rectification
confident and poised”
As we recited, she made baby steps. A few minutes later, she let go of her cane and walked faster. We all had tears in our eyes.
When B’s husband came back, he was shocked. B could walk on her own and walked upstairs to the washroom without assistance. He was very thankful for the practitioners' support.
-Look Inward Even When You Are Wronged
There was one incident when I was at B's home: I noticed that her home had not been cleaned for a while, so I offered to clean it for her. I cleared out her drawers and organized Teacher's lectures in order. I also cleaned the rooms and her clothing. I did not pay attention to her feelings. Before her husband left, he left some money by the water cooler for us to buy groceries. I didn't think we needed it, because we were only going to have some buns and congee. A few days later, I heard from someone that B said that the three hundred dollars left by her husband was missing and that I might have thrown it away with the garbage. I was shocked to hear that. I wanted to talk to her to explain myself. Then I realized that it was not her knowing side that was talking. I must look inward. There must be something I needed to eliminate.
Then I remembered a story I heard on Minghui Radio about a traditional Chinese doctor in Changzhou in ancient times. Doctor Wei treated a patient who turned around to accuse him of taking his money. Instead of explaining himself, Doctor Wei gave the patient the money. Even an ordinary person in ancient times could be unaffected by wrongful accusations and instead thought about others first during such times. I am a cultivator, so I should be able to do even better.
“Forbearance is the key to improving one’s xinxing. To endure with anger, grievance, or tears is the forbearance of an everyday person who is attached to his concerns. To endure completely without anger or grievance is the forbearance of a cultivator.” (“What is Forbearance (Ren)?” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
I calmed myself down and looked inward. When I was cleaning up for B, I had the intent to show off. I didn't eliminate that right away. Although I was helping her, it was without her consent. This was the Party culture manifesting in me. It exposed my strong intent of pursuit, my selfishness, my intent to argue, and my fear of being wronged. Since there was an issue with money, it showed that I was still attached to money. I sent strong righteous thoughts to get rid of this rotten substance to disintegrate it. All of a sudden, I felt that my field was clear and clean. My mind was elevating as I examined within.
Things changed a few days later. I was told that B had found the money. The tension between the two of us was gone just like that. After all, cultivation is that simple.
Through helping fellow practitioners, with Teacher's protection and guidance, with the support of the group environment, and among conflicts between practitioners, I learned how to look inward and cultivate myself.
Thank you, Master Li. Thank you, fellow practitioners.