Helping Each Other Identify Topics for Experience Sharing Articles
(Minghui.org) There were a number of articles on the Minghui website about submitting articles for the 11th China Fahui on Minghui.org before the September 15 deadline. Many practitioners had read the articles. We all recognized that it was a serious, wonderful, and rare opportunity to be involved in the process of writing articles for experience sharing conferences. Still, many were not considering writing articles. The general excuse was: "I do not know what topic to write on" or "There is just too much going on and I don’t know where to start.”
Today, our Fa study group of about a dozen practitioners shared our opinions and ideas about writing topics.
Our format of exchange is for each practitioner who has not written an article to talk about herself or himself on whatever came to mind. We set no limitation on time or content, only that when one speaks, everybody else will listen. In the process of listening, we would also exchange viewpoints and help each other remember details.
We have the advantage of years of working together, so we have a good understanding of each other. A practitioner may be unaware of a lot of things done well or words spoken with ample righteous thoughts and may not remember details because of interference. Also, some things that may originally be considered too ordinary may turn out to be rather extraordinary upon reflection.
We discovered that every practitioner has so many shining spots, so many writable experiences, so many suitable personal themes, and, on top of that, surprisingly, these themes are very different and diverse.
With this discovery, the roadblock of not knowing what to write was gradually removed.
A few days ago, I read a draft article that proposed those with writing abilities to help others who lack the skill. I decided I wanted to help. So, in today's exchange where everyone formed a good energy field, Master gave me the wisdom.
While listening, my mind would quickly come upon what things were suitable as writing topics, and what subheadings to include. I would immediately write down my ideas. When I shared them with the group, everybody felt the ideas were all very good.
Here are some examples:
1. Practitioner A was upset that every time she started to write and had the outline down, she would get stuck and not know how to continue. Some practitioners recommended that she start with what she’s more familiar with. They reminded her she had shared how once when she had righteous thoughts, her mother had voluntarily given her a few thousand yuan for her to do Dafa work. That reminder triggered practitioner A’s memory and she was able to recall several similar incidents rather vividly.
After I listened for a while, I realized that practitioner A had succeeded in placing Falun Dafa well in her home so that her family respects Dafa and supports practitioners so much so that not only is she able to work on her Dafa materials at home without interference, but she also has control over her own finances. Her family has enjoyed many blessings in return.
All at once, the topic “At home, I make the decision” popped into my mind.
I suggested that to practitioner A, because, currently, there are still many practitioners who are struggling with this issue with their families. If practitioner A would write about her experience, many would find encouragement and inspiration to overcome their various obstacles. Ordinary people will also benefit.
From practitioner A’s narratives, I was also able to recommend three sub-topics, all closely related to the main topic.
Practitioner A was happy to see her path clearly and felt she could fill the skeletal outline with facts and experiences she was familiar with.
2. Practitioner B did not know how and where to start writing. After I listened to her talk about many things, I also could not come up with anything. Then someone mentioned how practitioner B had gone through many tribulations, stress, and other difficulties for the 10 years she has been producing Dafa informational materials. Many times, the evil forces tried to pull her down but backed off at critical moments all because of her unshakable trust in Master and Dafa.
For example, one time, she learned about a plan to persecute her, she said something to the effect that, "They might want to do me in, but it’s my Master who will decide if they will succeed." The result was that nothing happened.
Another time, she was again in imminent danger, and she said: "We all braved everything to come down to earth, do they think I’ll be afraid of these inconsequential little beasts?" Again, the interference was disintegrated and danger dissipated because of her faith in Master's words.
Because we generally call practitioner B Lotus, so a title: "Lotus standing steadfast in the wind and rain” came to mind. Interestingly, another practitioner thought of the same title.
I further recommended two subtopics. The first was: In all those years of making Dafa informational materials, how did she negate external pressures and persecution. The second was: How did she look inward to overcome familial tribulations.
By providing solid examples while talking about these two topics, she would be able to illustrate how she was able to deny the persecution and overcome various difficulties for the past decade.
3. Practitioner C started cultivation in 2005 and has maintained steadfast diligence through the years. When describing her own experiences, she talked about how she overcame persecution in both her thought process and mental state; how she got encouragement and enlightenment from Master during difficult times and when attacked by depression; how she succeeded to get cheered up again and again; how she cultivated selflessness and compassion when saving people; and that all her achievements stem from her solid studying and memorizing the Fa.
We listened and became very moved. I thought of a topic for her: "How a post July 20 Dafa disciple stayed diligent.”
I suggested that she write about and give examples of her diligent practice from the three aspects of studying the Fa, sending righteous thoughts, and helping people understand Falun Dafa. By writing all these systematically, it would give her clarity. The topic would be of interest to practitioners who began their cultivation after the persecution.
4. Practitioner D was just released from a black jail and has already written an account of her experience to expose the persecution. When she started talking about her experience in the black jail, my mind was a blank, but as I kept listening, I realized the many details in her story were very vivid and moving.
Whenever she was assigned to a jail cell, she would behave in the true spirit of “Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.” She got on very well with other prisoners, and as a result they refused to cooperate with the guards to watch or persecute her. The guards had no choice but to move her to another cell. For the four years she was illegally detained, she was moved a total of eight times.
The topic that flashed in front of me was: "Four years eight cells."
I suggested she write down how she insisted on memorizing the Fa while maintaining righteous thoughts, and keeping her faith in and practice of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance so that her cellmates voluntarily stood by her.
What a terrific way to validate Dafa. Readers can see the reality of the Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) persecution imposed on good people.
5. Practitioner E did not expect to be writing anything. He talked about how he has moved Master’s portrait from his bedroom to the living room; how his action caused interference, worry, pressure from his family; and how he finally succeeded to enshrine Master’s portrait in the most prominent place in the living room.
We all felt his story would be a great topic: how he overcame the attachment of fear, his respect for Master and Falun Dafa, and the elevation of his mind and heart nature.
In the process of mutual exchanges, we all came together to help each other sort out ideas and create various appropriate topics. We also unearthed writing approaches, such as: a personal take from the perspective of a coordinator; an experience sharing with a local twist; a reflective narrative based on working as a team to distribute Shen Yun CDs; and so on.
An entire article can be written surrounding a particular topic or incident, but it can also be a synthesis of various simple topics or incidents. When a practitioner feels overwhelmed by convoluted experiences, we would help to sort out the tangled mass to uncover an event that is unique or representative to be the main theme and perhaps support the main theme with a few minor events. In that way, a practitioner can have clarity of thought.
We are all deeply moved by the many potential stories that should be cherished and recorded. We are learning to overcome obstacles that try to hold us back by such thoughts as “I don’t write well” or “I have nothing to write.”
In our Fa study group, there are a few of us who have never experienced any persecution but have worked steadily helping people understand Falun Dafa and the persecution through the span of over a dozen years. Most practitioners are well aware that these practitioners have actually experienced numerous tribulations and obstacles, but what helped them through each time was their pure and compassionate hearts, and especially their deep-seated trust in Master and Dafa.
Because there is nothing sensational on the surface, these practitioners felt their experiences were too ordinary. In actuality, reflected in the ordinary is their most amazing complete negation of the persecution,
It is exactly these seemingly trivial pieces of great "little things" that constitute the grand historic embroidered scroll that shows off Dafa disciples’ magnificence that the new universe will never forget.
As long as Dafa disciples are doing the right thing during this Fa-rectification period, all our experiences are worthy of being recorded. These little things can produce volumes. How can we not write them down? Only our human notions and interference can be obstacles.
During the exchange, we all exclaimed: “Wow, so many good, lively themes! Wouldn't it be a pity if we didn’t recognize and write about them?”
So, I think this was a must for us to help each other identify writing topics. Those of us with a group study environment can give this a try. I believe that as long as we have the desire, regardless of whether we have writing ability, Master will give us wisdom.
A practitioner said the night she wrote her article, she dreamed of many tall buildings under construction. Because Master says: "Cultivation depends on one’s own efforts, while the transformation of gong is done by one’s master." (Zhuan Falun, she believes that writing is also cultivation and that Master is probably letting us achieve many things in the writing process. So, if we do not participate, it may be a real loss for our universes.
Therefore, fellow practitioners, let’s seize the time to write, to grasp every precious opportunity to practice, to validate Dafa and eliminate evil, and advance toward a beautiful, successful future!