Some Thoughts on Irrational and Extreme Behaviors in our Local Fa-study Group
(Minghui.org) For a long time now I've observed some of our local practitioners exhibit irrational and extreme behaviors in their Fa-study, be it done individually or in a group setting.
As time has gone by, these behaviors have gotten worse and worse. I feel very anxious when some of these behaviors even lead to discord between practitioners. I would like to share my observations and hope we can seriously address these concerns. Please point out anything not conforming to the Fa.
Irrational and Extreme Behavior in Individual Fa-study
Driven by their human notions, some practitioners are obsessed with finding out the deeper meanings underlying every sentence or even every word in the Dafa books. I've heard a few people complain to me with much anguish, “We're all reading the same books. Why are some people able to see the underlying principles and have no problem elaborating on them? Why can't I see anything extra? Look at So-and-so--he's so good at discussing Fa principles.”
Such practitioners are often drawn to people whom they consider “stars” with “deep” understanding of the Fa principles. Instead of treating the Fa as Master, these practitioners hang around the “stars.” In order to be closer to the “stars,” they even shower them with everyday people's favors. Those who are unable to get close to the “stars” get very jealous. As a result, divisions occur between these practitioners, who then stop talking to each other.
I'm not saying that we cannot share experiences with each other. I just want to remind everyone that there is no shortcut in cultivation. Anyone that harbors selfish hearts and human pursuits is not conforming to the Fa. As I see it, blind adoration of the “stars” is like taking a deviant path and is utter disrespect to Dafa.
Master made it crystal clear to us in Zhuan Falun:
“And gong, it turns out, doesn’t come from doing exercises—it comes from cultivation. A lot of people are really looking to build up their gong, but they only think exercises are important and they don’t take cultivation seriously. But the fact is, gong all comes from cultivating your character.”
It is my understanding that what realms of Fa-principles can be presented to us all depend on our cultivation levels. It is not that everything will be shown if we just take a casual look at the books or that we will get a pat on our heads without solidly cultivating ourselves.
How can we see the underlying Fa-principles if we fail to do well the three things required of Dafa disciples, purify our hearts, or elevate our levels?
Practitioners who have enlightened along an evil path are usually those who harbor fear and dare not step forward to validate the Fa.
Irrational and Extreme Behavior in Group Fa-study
I've noticed the following irrational behaviors during our group Fa-study over the years.
1. Reading Too Fast
Some practitioners read Dafa books so fast that they are no different than monks chanting scriptures mindlessly. They don't even know what they are reading.
2. Competing to be the Best Reader
Some people just have to be the one who reads the fastest, best, and most fluently. As a result, they only focus on the reading itself without understanding the Fa principles at all. I've seen a few who even become nervous in the “competition” and make more mistakes. They finish reading one line, only to lose sight of the next line.
3. Rushing to Read As Much as Possible
Some practitioners insist that we finish reading at least a few talks of Zhuan Falun each time we have group Fa-study. In order to “accomplish the mission,” they read as fast as possible. As soon as the reading is done, everyone leaves without any time left for experience sharing. Most people feel that such group Fa-study is not beneficial at all. Eventually, some stop coming altogether.
4. Refusing to Accept Constructive Criticism
Some people are upset when others point out the things they read wrong. They feel they've lost face in front of everyone and refuse to correct their mistakes.
On the other hand, those pointing out the mistakes can't stand the fact that someone would read some words wrong repeatedly and they become annoyed as a result.
No wonder conflicts abound during these times. Eventually nobody even cares if some words are read wrong.
5. Insisting That One's Shallow Understanding Is Correct
A lot of Master's lectures contain parenthetical remarks and we have people argue all the time whether or not we should read them aloud during Fa-study. Actually, Master has answered this question in “Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference:”
"Disciple: When we are doing group study, should we be reading aloud the parts of Master's Fa teachings such as the signature, the date, and the parenthetical remarks such as 'applause' or 'Master laughs'?
"Master: (Laughing) No, you don't need to. You don't need to read the signatures, dates, commas, or parenthetical parts. (Laughing) (Everyone Laughs) Just read the Fa--the Fa content--and it will be fine. There's a phenomenon among mainland students, namely, while studying the Fa some people think that they shouldn't read Master's full name aloud whenever they come upon it, and that, instead, they should just say 'Master' or 'respected Master.' Reading the Fa is reading the Fa, so you shouldn't change it.
Despite Master's instructions, some of our local practitioners still insist their understanding is correct and even write to Minghui seeking confirmation. Failing to receive any response from Minghui, they continue to quarrel non-stop, which has caused a lot of confusion among practitioners.
6. Neglecting Safety
I've seen quite a few people be careless with safety issues. Out of their showoff mentality, they bring their cell phones to the group Fa-study and leave them on the entire time. When their phone rings, they casually answer the call without any concerns. No matter how other people remind them to pay attention to safety, they just refuse to listen, citing their “strong righteous thoughts” that can “freeze” the evil.
A few people do the same when visiting fellow practitioners or truth-clarification materials sites. They just feel so good having their cell phones on 24/7 that they deny those who try to stop them.
Several practitioners responsible for technical issues not only fail to mind security themselves but also have a negative impact on those near them. As a matter of fact, a handful of such techies have been arrested and/or detained.
7. Having No Concern for Practitioners Who Provide a Location for Group Fa-study
Some practitioners talk loudly and don't pay attention to details while attending group Fa-study, completely forgetting about the pressure and burden on those who provide space for the precious gatherings.
8. Trying to Seek Compensation for Providing Group Fa-study Sites
On the other hand, a few practitioners who offer their own places for group Fa-study try to ask for money or material things from those that come to their homes for Fa-study.
All these irrational and extreme behaviors have brought significant losses to individual cultivation and whole-body cooperation in our local area, yet most people don't pay any attention to them.
It is my hope that my fellow practitioners rectify themselves and not to leave any loopholes for the evil to exploit.