Eliminating My Attachments Through Writing Truth-Clarification Letters
(Minghui.org) Editor's Note: Pervasive false propaganda demonizing Falun Gong has poisoned countless Chinese citizens around the world. Practitioners take many approaches to dispel the lies and help people learn the truth about Falun Gong and the persecution. One such approach is to send“truth clarification” letters and emails to people they haven't met, as discussed in this article.
I have come to realize through Fa study that there is a big difference between my current cultivation status and that which Master asks of us. I have made many regrettable mistakes due to my lack of righteous thoughts and poor time management. One truth-clarification project I've been working on since early on is writing truth-clarification letters I'd like to share my experience of improving my xinxing through this project.
Part 1 – Letting go of attachments of fear and dependence on others
I wrote my first truth-clarification letter when I was in my junior year in college. I was reported to the police because I had been distributing truth-clarification materials. They took me into custody and then called my school. School officials picked me up, brought me back to school, and began lecturing me, trying to convince me to write a “Guarantee Statement” (a statement guaranteeing that I wouldn't practice Falun Gong anymore).
Local practitioners told me not to contact them while the police were after me, and to look inward to find my shortcomings. Some of them were concerned about group security and some had become alienated from me due to my attachments—I was definitely under a lot of pressure. Through regular Fa study, I realized that my faith in Master and the Fa was what I needed in order to pass this test, and I needed to stop being so dependent on my fellow practitioners, as well.
I also learned that I had no reason to be afraid, and that I should regard my arrest as an excellent opportunity to clarify the truth to school officials. After speaking with them several times, I learned that they were against practitioners distributing truth-clarification materials. They felt that practitioners should just practice at home and should not speak out publicly against the persecution.
It was difficult to help persuade them to change their minds during the limited face-to-face contact I had with them, so I decided to write them a letter. I wrote that I understood that they had been coerced into pressuring me, but I believed that they should follow their conscience and do the right thing.
I explained that I distributed truth-clarification materials because the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) had suppressed the facts about Falun Dafa practitioners being brutally persecuted, and they also perpetrated lies about the practice. I told them that everyone needs to let more people know the truth so that we can work together to stop the persecution and to help stop the CCP's followers from committing more crimes.
I also reminded them that since ancient times, righteous people risking their lives to speak the truth has always been widely commended. Falun Dafa has helped over 100 million practitioners gain better health and become better people in society, yet the practitioners of Falun Dafa and their teacher have been defamed by CCP lies.
Under these circumstances, I asked, shouldn't practitioners stand up and tell people the truth about Falun Dafa? If people remain silent after seeing their fellow citizens brutally persecuted because of their beliefs, isn't it almost like they're condoning that behavior? I explained to them that in the future, when people are punished because they have believed in the CCP's lies and come to hate the Buddha Fa, we practitioners will feel that we were actually complicit if we fail to tell them the truth.
I also shared with them the following facts: Falun Dafa is practiced freely all over the world, the CCP's cruelty will lead to its ultimate demise, persecuting practitioners is actually against the law, an ancient stone that was recently unearthed is engraved with the words: Chinese Communist Party Collapses, CCP officials who led the persecution of practitioners have been convicted in courts throughout the world, and over 10 million people have withdrawn from the CCP and its affiliated organizations. I concluded by saying that telling people the truth about Falun Gong is the best and most righteous thing for a practitioner to do, and that our truth-clarification efforts should always be supported.
After my teacher read the letter, he said to me: “Now I understand why you are clarifying the truth. I spent two days preparing materials, hoping to persuade you to change your mind. Instead, you've changed mine! I used to think Falun Dafa practitioners were brainwashed into this blind belief. Now I realize that you are doing this after thinking quite rationally.”
He was also touched by my sincerity after seeing that I had hand-written the letter, and told me that he would protect me as long as I remained a student there; he reminded me to be careful and safe, and promised me that he would not put anything related to Falun Dafa and truth-clarification in my official record. He kept his promise. Some time later, when a classmate gave him a truth-clarification DVD that I had given him, he didn't make a big deal out of it. When school officials asked about my status, he didn't say anything negative.
Through this letter-writing process, I realized the importance of breaking through my attachment of fear to clarify the truth. I was also able to further purge atheism from my mind. Before writing the letter, I had been worried that the school officials might be angered by the letter since they were also CCP Secretaries. I then realized that this worrying was actually caused by the evil party factors in my own mind worrying about themselves being disintegrated.
Since the letter was infused with facts and was written with a kind heart, it became a powerful truth-clarification tool. School officials commented that the letter was well- written and well-founded. Actually, I'm not normally a good writer, but because I was trying to save them, Master had helped me.
Part 2 - Eliminating the attachments of lust and sentimentality
After graduation, I moved in with another practitioner. Her mother, also a practitioner, lived in another city and had been taken to her local police station for distributing truth-clarification materials. My roommate and some of her relatives went to the police station to demand her mother's release. They had a tense exchange with the policemen, and she felt that they didn't clarify the truth thoroughly, because they didn't provide good enough answers to many questions the policemen raised.
When she got home, she wanted to write a truth-clarification letter to the policemen, telling them how her mother and their family had benefited from Falun Dafa and to point out that distributing truth-clarification materials does not break any law, because citizens' rights to freedom of religion and freedom of speech are actually protected by the Chinese Constitution. Unfortunately we had failed to collect the names of the authorities involved.
With Master's help, however, we were able to hand the letter she wrote directly to the policemen handling the case. We collected the perpetrators' names and phone numbers and published them on Minghui, so overseas practitioners could make phone calls to help with the rescue. Since we were far from the city where her mother was imprisoned, my roommate decided to meet with practitioners there. Unfortunately, she had become too attached to rescuing her mother and was arrested by the local police for distributing truth-clarification materials.
I initially felt a lot of opposition to the rescue project because I was very busy with work and hadn't gotten rid of all of my attachments. Consequently, the evil forces took advantage of my shortcomings. I didn't do well when facing the test of qing (emotion/sentimentality). I ended up entangled in a thick web woven from my deep remorse, comments from fellow practitioners, as well as the lingering qing. I couldn't break free of the agonizing depression that resulted. I knew that the old forces were using different ways to destroy practitioners, so I thought about those practitioners who had undergone inhumane tortures in detention and still didn't sway in their belief in Falun Dafa. How could I do nothing to stop the persecution?
My roommate was sent to a forced labor camp, so I began working diligently to have her released. I wrote articles and recorded phone messages exposing the persecution. I knew that forced labor camps were places where so many people committed crimes against practitioners and that the forced labor camp system should be abolished. I researched stories of atrocities perpetrated at forced labor camps, how the system was started, and the fact that upright people home and abroad had denounced the cruelty and injustice of this system. I put this content in the truth-clarification letters and also added that the CCP had a long history of finding scapegoats for their crimes. Every practitioner they forced to “transform” would potentially end up becoming evidence of their crimes which could be used against them in their future trials. I suggested that they should protect practitioners in order to leave a way out for themselves.
Other practitioners reviewed the letter and said they felt that the letter was written with sincerity. They found it to be filled with both compassion and a sense of justice. Through this, I felt that Master was encouraging me to remain steadfast on my cultivation path. No matter how poorly I behaved at times, Master had not abandoned me. I had no right to be less than diligent.
Practitioners and I sent the truth-clarification letter to many places in my roommate's mother's city as well as in Beijing. Shortly afterward, we heard that the CCP decided to dissolve the forced labor camp system. In order to expedite my roommate and her mother's release, we made and distributed truth-clarification stickers, a Letter of Complaint, and an Open Letter to Fellow Citizens of their hometown telling people about their persecution. We also hired a lawyer and asked my roommate's relatives to help with the rescue.
Throughout the whole process, I felt that Master had already arranged everything, and we just needed to carry out the tasks with righteous thoughts. After my roommate was eventually released, she told us that her relatives were very moved by all of the practitioners' efforts and that two of them had also started to practice Falun Dafa.
In the process of writing truth-clarification letters, I felt that Master was removing the rotten substances of lust and qing layer by layer. For a period of time, I sent forth righteous thoughts every night for a full hour. I knew that only after I purified myself, would the truth-clarification articles I wrote carry the power to eliminate evil forces, save sentient beings, and rescue detained practitioners. Interestingly, the interference from the attachment of lust diminished a lot during that time.
In order to write good truth-clarification letters, I immersed myself in researching, writing, and editing truth-clarification letters. Many detained practitioners endured great pain and never succumbed to the CCP. Their indestructible faith in Dafa encouraged me to not slack off and to continue to do the letter-writing project well to disintegrate the persecution forced upon practitioners by the CCP.
When the CCP started forcing practitioners to sign pledge cards (promising not to practice Falun Dafa any more), I was asked by fellow practitioners to write a truth-clarification letter about this. In preparation, I read the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party again and gained a clearer understanding of what Master had said in Hong Ying III, Drinking the Wolf's Brew, “Thievery, deceit, lust, fighting – the communist thug.”
I know that thievery, deceit, lust, and fighting are not part of my innate, pure self. I know I should completely clean out the deviated, rotten substances of the evil CCP from my field. As practitioners, we all have a lot of responsibilities, and we are required to cooperate as a result of our cultivation. So, I realized that I should not indulge in the attachment of lust, and I should never have improper thoughts about my fellow practitioners.
3. Removing the attachment to self
Last year, the CCP started another brainwashing center in my hometown. Practitioners wanted to write an article exposing the persecution in the past several years. I felt that practitioners got a little hung up on the idea of perpetrators receiving retribution for their evil deeds. I thought that we should not treat this as human being's persecution of deities. Instead, we should eliminate the old forces' arrangement of preventing sentient beings from being saved. We should write the letter with a pure heart, focusing on how the letter can help awaken people so they would do the right thing and choose to side with Dafa and not to do anything to hurt practitioners.
I finished the letter, and a fellow practitioner started revising it based on feedback from other practitioners. One practitioner suggested that we shrink the letter to one page. A lot of content was deleted from the letter. Although I didn't say anything, at first I was thinking, “Wouldn't a longer letter tell a clearer story? That's what we've always done in the past.” Then I realized that these were just human notions formed over the years. As a practitioner, I should let go of the attachment to self and do what's needed for the overall truth-clarification effort. With Master's help, we split the original letter into two letters: one for judiciary system employees, the other one for local residents. The two letters were published on the Minghui website. Practitioners who handed out the letters to people told us that the letters were well-received. I also found that a single-page letter can be divided into several paragraphs. With the right pictures, each paragraph can be turned into a finely designed truth-clarification text message.
One practitioner I worked with was illegally arrested. To help with his release, I spent several days writing and editing truth-clarification letters, stickers, and text messages. I also collected relevant addresses and telephone numbers. Since other practitioners were busy, I sent out the truth-clarification text messages myself. I then emailed the draft truth-clarification letter to another practitioner, since he was responsible for finalizing truth-clarification letters at the time. Later I learned that he didn't check his email, or work on the letter, even though I asked another practitioner to tell him to check his email for the draft letter. At first, I was very unhappy about this. Later I reminded myself not to blame fellow practitioners and not to form any division between practitioners. I knew I should look inward. I realized that I always want to show off in front of fellow practitioners. Although I was doing things to validate Dafa, deep inside, I wanted to validate myself. I was looking for recognition from others. These selfish thoughts would creep up from time to time, without me realizing it. With my attachment interfering, it was no wonder this practitioner didn't check his email.
I felt that many incidents I encountered before were tests to see whether I could eliminate the attachment to self. Other practitioners have many strengths I can learn from, so I should not focus on anyone's shortcomings. I worked with other practitioners to finish up the truth-clarification letter and then sent them out.
4. Expanding my capacity for endurance/tolerance
I went through many xinxing tests while writing truth-clarification articles and letters. Once a fellow practitioner very sternly pointed out my shortcomings, but some of them were not true. Although I didn't defend myself, I still felt frustrated and depressed. I went home and finished an article. The next day, while riding a bus, I ran into two other practitioners who started to talk about mistakes I made before. I felt even worse. Later, while burning incense to Master, the words “Buddha Law Is Boundless” written on the incense burner seemed to calm me. I realized that these incidents would help me to get rid of my fear of being criticized by others. I started to send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate this attachment.
Even so, I kept thinking about fellow practitioners' comments about mistakes I had made before, and it was tiring physically and spiritually. I recited Master's teaching again and again:
“As your Master, I have never kept account of the wrong things you have done in your cultivation; I remember only the good things you have done and your accomplishments. Dafa disciples have made it through during cultivation and unparalleled evil persecution, so they are deeply aware of the hardships in cultivation, and they won’t fail to understand the students who have gone down the wrong path.” (The Essentials Of Diligent Progress, Vol. III, Pass the Deadly Test)
One day, Master sent a group of hearing- and speech-impaired people to my store. I knew I should tell them the truth about Falun Dafa. I wrote, “We were destined to meet. Please remember that Falun Dafa is good, and that truthfulness-compassion-tolerance is good. You will be blessed," on a piece of paper and presented the paper to them with both hands. They passed the paper around and gave me a thumbs-up. I gave them several Dafa charms. They left happily. Then, on the cell phone I use for truth-clarification, I received two requests to withdraw from the CCP and its affiliated organizations. When I studied the Fa that night, I read Master's teaching:
“The works and the skills there are more advanced and magical, and a life's elevation means the dual elevation of realm and skill, and improvement of that life's understanding in different realms.” (Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005)
I then had a deeper understanding of Master's arrangement. Our elevation does not come from the amount of Dafa work we do or how much we suffer while doing Dafa work; only after we expand our capacity for compassion and eliminate our attachments can we ascend to a higher level. Only then will Master grant us more wisdom. Only after we improve ourselves will we have the capacity to save more sentient beings.
I will continue to write truth-clarification letters with a pure heart and work with other practitioners to make sure every letter will play its role in saving people.
Thank you Master. Thank you fellow practitioners. Please kindly point out any insufficiency.