Reaching Out to Help Former Practitioners Get Back On Track
(Minghui.org) I was deeply moved after reading the Master's words,
“Master is truly pleased with the path that Dafa disciples have walked these years. Of course, those who haven’t walked it well or who haven’t stepped forward still cannot be called Dafa disciples at this point.”
“A while back, some Dafa disciples had not yet stepped forward, so we had to wait and do our best to have them come forth. But the time for this is running out. When I saw students who came out of China, I urged them to tell the students who haven’t stepped forward to quickly do so—to have them quickly find those lost students and spell the facts out for them, for what they otherwise face is a most tragic of ends. Cultivation is no trifling matter. And that’s especially so for Dafa disciples, who shoulder such great historic missions. Bound up in that mission is the survival, the life or death, of simply countless beings. Wouldn’t you call that something major?” (“20th Anniversary Fa Teaching”)
Master mentions lost practitioners. I thought, “This may be their last chance. They suffered so much throughout countless reincarnations to obtain this Fa.” I realized that helping them return to cultivation is also one of our responsibilities.
Lost Practitioners Are Waiting for Help
I dreamed one night that many veteran practitioners were stuck in the mud. Some of them were buried up to their necks and their situation was extremely dangerous, but they did not realize it. Some had attended Master’s lectures and some were even former practice site coordinators.
Master was very worried and told me to pull them up. I said, “They are stuck too deep and I'm afraid that I can't pull them back out.” Master said, “Find more people to help pull them out.”
The next day I thought about that dream. I realized that Master was asking me to save the lost practitioners who are mired in everyday people’s lives.
“With human beings... when a being can obtain the Fa today in history, it's no ordinary thing--he's so fortunate! But as soon as he loses the Fa, do you know what he faces? It's really horrific, because when he fails to fulfill the major responsibilities and the huge missions that were bestowed upon him, then, accordingly, that's like the inverse of a being's Consummation, and he will truly have to enter the gate of no-life. You folks can't just go and abandon a person without trying hard enough. No matter what kind of mistakes someone has made, or what kind of a person he is, I still want to give him a chance.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference”)
A few days later, the couple who invited me to attend Master’s lecture classes years prior came to visit me. They did not look healthy and appeared much older than me, even though were the same age.
The couple had stopped practicing Falun Gong after the persecution began. The wife had a brain tumor removed a few years prior and took a lot of medicines. The husband had many diseases. Several years ago, he had a stroke and now could not move his limbs normally.
I said to them, “Hurry up and begin practicing again, otherwise you will be in a very dangerous situation. Look at me. Although I was persecuted during those years, because I firmly cultivate, don’t I still look good?”
They said they could not tell my real age. I looked very young, having a rosy complexion and a healthy looking face. They happily agreed to begin cultivating again. I gave them some Dafa books, Minghui Weekly, Shen Yun DVDs, and other materials.
A few days later, I had another dream. A monk who looked familiar was following me. He said he was the wife’s subconscious. He said that her main consciousness was too lost and still could not awaken to return and cultivate. He begged me to quickly help her because her world was already collapsing. She was in extreme danger.
I said that they already agreed to cultivate and took the books and materials from me. How could their situation be this bad? Was it possible that they agreed but did not keep their promise? He said that the interference that was blocking them from cultivating was too strong, and I needed to check their house.
When I went to their home, they had two dogs, and the husband smoked. On the book shelf were statues of CCP members. There were also some CCP books and religious books. The house was decorated very luxuriously but I felt very uncomfortable.
I asked them whether they studied the Fa and practiced the exercises. They said they were too busy and had no time. I asked the wife, “Haven’t you already retired? Don't you have hours of free time every day?” The husband told me that his wife attends community performances and practices Tai Chi every day. Because of her dancing, she had twisted her ankle.
I started to explain the importance of returning to cultivation. I told them that the singing and dancing that were arranged by the community center showcase Party things, and that they were bringing bad karma to themselves. I said, “This is why you keep getting sicker and sicker. You should get rid of the Party stuff you have around the house because that stuff is greatly harming people.”
They understood and immediately smashed the Party leader statues. I also showed them how to do the five sets of exercises.
I planned to go back and see how they were, but they kept saying that they were too busy and had no time to see me. I guessed that they had not really returned to cultivation.
Perhaps Master arranged what happened next. I encountered a couple whom I had not seen for ten years, then also found another lost veteran practitioner who had just begun cultivating again. I invited them to visit the first couple’s house, and they agreed.
So we went to the first couple's house several times. We patiently told them that Master said in many lectures that he did not want to leave behind his disciples.
“I can’t leave behind any of the Dafa disciples. Every person is family to me, so how can you treat different members of my family differently?” (“Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students”)
Together we recalled how exhilarated we felt when we first began practicing, and how wonderful Master is. We talked about our cultivation experiences. They were touched to the point of tears. We helped them do the three withdrawals and asked them to write a formal announcement, because they had written some words against Dafa. We also formed a Fa-study group. Once a week we went to their house for group Fa-study.
They saw our sincere wish to help them. They realized that Master would not give up on anyone with a predestined relationship, and they were deeply touched. From then on they truly returned to cultivation, and very actively told their relatives and friends the facts. More and more people came to their house to join their Fa-study group.
Trying Our Best To Help Former Practitioners Without Pursuit
We tried in the past to wake up lost practitioners by contacting them and giving them some materials. Whether or not they came back, we did not know. Through studying the Fa, I realized that waking up lost practitioners is also saving people. Therefore, I felt we should shoulder this responsibility and try to do our best with this.
Each time we found a lost practitioner we discussed and planned how to best do this. For example, we contacted them first, then asked them to do the three withdrawals and write a formal renunciation statement. We then went to their homes to send forth righteous thoughts to clean up their environments. If conditions permitted, we formed a Fa-study group in their house. If not, we arranged for them to join a nearby Fa-study group. We gave them whatever materials they needed, and showed them how to help their family members quit the CCP. I realized that we not only needed to find these lost practitioners, but also needed to help them afterwards.
With regard to disciples who haven’t been diligent in cultivation or who have given up cultivation, Master said the following,
“Clarify the facts to him just as you do with someone who hasn’t learned the Fa. That’s because once he has fallen, he won’t even be able to recite Lunyu anymore, and he won’t be able to call to mind any passages from the Dafa books. If he really wants to come back, he must begin studying anew. He must start over again.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2013 Greater New York Fa Conference (Questions and Answers)”)
When helping former practitioners, the old force interference is much more formidable than when clarifying the truth to average people. An average person may understand the truth after listening and then do the three withdrawals. But helping lost practitioners is much harder and requires more effort, patience, and compassion. We should not rush or look down on them. We need to treat them like new practitioners, find their attachments, and then clarify the facts to help them.
Every time we went to their homes to clean their environments, afterwards fellow practitioners “felt ill.” They coughed, their feet ached, and their heads felt heavy and swollen.
When the lost practitioners tried to resume group Fa-study they had a lot of interference from family and their workplaces, and could not cultivate diligently. They also had difficulty sticking to a once-a-week Fa-study group schedule. They had heavy fear and often switched their ideas.
One retired female practitioner who attended Master’s lecture series was asked by her relative, a fellow practitioner, to return to cultivation. However, the retired practitioner looked down upon her relative since she thought she was a veteran practitioner and her enlightenment was much higher than her relative's.
Her relative asked me to talk to her. I arranged for her to go to a Fa-study group with many veteran practitioners. Her husband was a Party member whose mind was deeply poisoned. Each time she had to find some excuse to go to the group Fa-study.
We helped her send forth righteous thoughts. When her husband left home, we went to her house to send righteous thoughts to clean up her environment. We also got rid of the Party books. She became diligent, studied the Fa, and practiced the exercises every day. Her health improved miraculously. Her husband witnessed her amazing changes and no longer stopped her from going out for Fa-study.
One practitioner was arrested by police while he was handing out truth-clarification materials, and he was forced to reveal that he worked in a practitioner’s company. As a result, the police harassed the company, and the owner had to leave in order to avoid being persecuted.
Actually that practitioner was a lost veteran practitioner who had started to practice Falun Gong in 1997. He returned to cultivation again for a few years and worked to save sentient beings for over three years, and did quite well. However, just recently he failed to pass the lust test and was taken advantage of by the old forces.
After I heard that, I came to talk with him and other lost practitioners. I helped them reinforce their righteous thoughts, and asked them to quickly restore their Fa study schedule as soon as possible. I told them that saving people is one of the three things that Master asks us to do.
“Dafa disciples as a whole have passed the stage of personal cultivation. At present, because the enormous current of Fa-rectification is charging forward, the stage of Dafa disciples’ validating the Fa is approaching completion and history is about to enter a new phase. From now on, the Dafa disciples in China as much as anyone, both new students and veterans alike, should let go of their long-standing human attachments and start to seize the day and comprehensively save the world’s people.”
“This is especially so for the Dafa disciples in mainland China: each must come out and clarify the truth, bringing it to every field and valley, mountain and hill, not omitting a single area where there are people.” (“Let Go of Human Attachments and Save the World’s People” from The Essentials of Diligent Progress Vol. III)
Practitioners aren't doing anything wrong by trying to save people. What is wrong is the old forces' interference. We should not withdraw once we meet with difficulties.
Cultivating Solidly While Saving People
While doing this, I found I had an attachment to wanting to get things done quickly. I wanted to find lost practitioners and immediately ask them to return to cultivation. Once I identified this attachment, I reminded myself that we should help them and hope that they will return, but without pursuit, as that would be an attachment.
In my opinion, Dafa has set the standard for the world's people. Whether or not people want to be saved must come from their own choice and free will. No one can make that choice for them. While helping lost practitioners, we should always constantly search within for our own shortcomings. We need to ensure that we have enough compassion and kindness. We also need to make sure that we do not exhibit a show off mentality or zealotry. We need to continue adjusting our thoughts, and not let our own attachments block lost practitioners from returning. Only when we cultivate well can we be most effective in helping them.
My fellow practitioners and I have frequently found lost practitioners. All of our achievements are due to Master and Dafa. Without Master’s strength and the guidance of the Fa principles, we could not achieve anything. Finding lost practitioners is also part of the course to solidly cultivate ourselves and improving as a whole.