Eliminating Attachments While Helping Fellow Practitioners
(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I hadn't planned on writing an experience-sharing article for this Fa conference, as I still have many human attachments. But then a fellow practitioner reminded me of the purpose of experience-sharing as an opportunity to review our cultivation as well as provide a report to Master – regardless of whether we have cultivated well or not.
I thought about it, and decided to take his advice. Here, I would like to share some of my experiences on eliminating my attachments while helping fellow practitioners.
Ms. A and Technology
I spend lots of time on the global RTC (rapid truth-clarification) platform, so I’m relatively familiar with platform operations and how things work. As a result, when other British practitioners want to get onto the platform, I try my best to help them get started so that they too can clarify the truth to people in China.
These practitioners all aspire to one very pure, urgent wish: to save as many sentient beings as quickly as possible. At first, some of them were afraid of making phone calls to China, but now they're skilled veterans at clarifying the truth and persuading people to quit the CCP (Chinese Communist Party). Several newcomers are also making steady progress.
Seeing fellow practitioners make constant improvement makes me really happy for them. But when I look within, I'm sometimes ashamed for my harsh tone towards them, or my lack of patience when helping them. Lately, these human notions clearly manifested themselves as I was helping an elderly practitioner, Ms. A.
Up until recently, Ms. A had been persistently clarifying the truth in Chinatown. However, she had to stop going out because of physical conditions that restricted her mobility. Now that she was unable to participate in group Fa-study or activities, I was afraid she would have no access to a group cultivation environment.
I decided to help her join the global RTC platform. This way, without ever leaving her home, she could make phone calls to clarify the truth as well as study the Fa and share experiences with other practitioners.
Ms. A, eager to save sentient beings, was very enthused about my plan. Soon afterwards, she had her daughter install the RTC software on her computer, and called me several times asking me to teach her.
Ms. A sometimes had trouble hearing, and I was concerned that she wouldn't be able to hear well enough through the speakers. I suggested that she first watch other practitioners make calls on the platform before making any calls herself.
In the beginning, she did not know how to mute a microphone or get into the right chat rooms. So I had to keep directing her to the right rooms, and had to monitor her in case she got lost again.
Before she entered chat rooms, I always sent a message to the practitioners already there: “Ms. A is new and she's still learning; please do not give her calling assignments yet.”
Later, I went to her home to teach her how to use the software in person, having compiled a list of things that I needed to teach. After we started, however, I became less concerned about the list and more worried about her hearing problems. The five hours I was supposed to spend teaching became five hours of yelling instead.
However, Ms. A listened attentively and made detailed notes as I showed her everything from how to open a file, to how to copy and paste text. I demonstrated each of these things to her on the computer, and then asked her to go through the steps by herself. But she had a bit of trouble remembering what I taught her.
I grew impatient: “Ms. A, we've just gone over this. How could you forget it already?”
But every time I had an outburst, she just smiled kindly, not even once retaliating. That made me feel guilty; after all, for Ms. A, this must have been like drinking from a fire hose.
I was teaching her all this information in such a short time, at such a great speed. She was overwhelmed with all this information, and yet I was the one getting cross with her.
That day, I also installed a remote access tool in Ms. A’s computer, so I could personally troubleshoot her problems if she needed help. I eased up on my pace as well; this time, I started by saving some phone numbers on her computer and showed her the whole process step by step, one item per day.
Like before, I first showed her how to do something and then asked her to repeat it herself. Sometimes, she'd forget, and we'd have to start over again. But after four days, she learned how to copy and paste information. She was able to make phone calls on her own after two weeks.
But the training process did not stop there. Sometimes Ms. A would forget to push the microphone key when she wanted to speak, and as a result, I wouldn't be able to hear her. Some other times she would disappear into some other chat room, nowhere to be found.
More than once, this left me desperately shouting into the mic: “Ms. A, can you hear me? Remember, you have to press the button to talk!” But this was often met with silence from the other end, which left me no choice but to - once again - dial her number and call her cell phone.
At first this seemed like a repeat ad infinitum process – I had to resort to the cell phone more than ten times a day. Luckily, we had the same mobile phone carrier so the calls were free for both of us.
Sometimes when I was in the middle of a call to China or busy with other things, Ms. A would call me because she couldn't find phone numbers or needed general assistance. At those times, I would pick up the phone begrudgingly, fully aware that I was probably going to sound very impatient and frustrated when I spoke.
But you'd never be able to tell if you judged from Ms. A's reaction. My frustration never seemed to affect her, and she would always warmly thank me for my help.
She told me once that her daughter praised me for my extraordinary patience, which thoroughly embarrassed me. I sheepishly admitted that I would actually get very impatient with her on the inside, and that I knew I didn't always speak to her kindly.
Looking inward, I got upset with Ms. A so easily because I thought helping her took too much of my time. But in thinking of only my time, I had been disguising my selfishness all along. I have to learn to open my heart to the condition of others, not just my own, and become more considerate.
Nothing is ever accidental in our cultivation – Master's compassion guides every aspect of our paths, and this was an opportunity for me to see my remaining human notions.
It's true that for someone familiar with computers, the RTC procedure merely takes seconds. But for Ms. A, who was almost completely new, that could be several minutes of confusion and delay. To dismiss all her efforts at this difficult stage by reprimanding her was simply selfish.
Once I considered how hard things must be for Ms. A, I was able to calm down and think rationally. I reminded myself that helping Ms. A with truth clarification is also something that Master wants, and I couldn't possibly let Master down.
Although Ms. A was eventually able to call people herself, actually speaking to the people still took a while to get used to. Sometimes, the recipient would hang up after a few words, which made Ms. A begin to doubt her own abilities and whether or not she could handle this type of work.
I tried my best to cheer her up. I told her that it was normal to be hung up on; after all, today's Chinese people are wary of calls that come in with no caller ID like ours. But even if she only got a few words through, the evil forces behind that recipient are still being eliminated in other dimensions – she only had to persevere.
Now understanding the situation, Ms. A was able to regain her confidence shortly after hearing that.
I wouldn't always be free, however, so sometimes I entrusted her to other practitioners in charge of training. Their unconditional selflessness and patience towards Ms. A has brought me to tears on more than one occasion.
Once, a practitioner posted this on our RTC training forum: “Ms. A is doing really well! She's already persuaded two Party members to quit tonight – she really has strong righteous thoughts. But she's still adjusting to the interface and sometimes she clicks into the wrong chat room, so I've been following her in and out of everywhere. Please look after her if you guys can.”
Another practitioner replied, “Haha, I was wondering why I saw you two switching rooms this whole time.”
At first these two messages made me laugh. And then they made me want to cry. I was truly touched by the warm compassion of the practitioners in charge of training and the determined diligence of Ms. A. They worked together in perfect harmony – Ms. A made as many phone calls as she possibly could, while fellow practitioners would support her with their righteous thoughts.
Out of their selfless cooperation would come results; Ms. A is now able to help four or five Chinese quit the CCP every day.
We also have group Fa-study on the RTC platform, but Ms. A wasn't able to participate because she didn't know how to navigate the digital copies of Dafa books. So I studied the Fa with her separately. She read from the physical copies of Dafa books, and I would read along with whichever passage she was currently on.
Recently, some practitioners started an Internet Fa-study group using physical copies of Dafa books; Ms. A and I were more than happy to join them.
I'm happy to say that Ms. A can now do all three things from the comfort of her own home.
Helping Other Practitioners Write Experience-sharing Articles
Before the 2014 New York Fa conference, a RTC coordinator asked me if I could help two other practitioners write experience-sharing articles. One of them, Ms. B, is in her seventies and started doing RTC with no prior computer experience. Through her own constant efforts, however, she not only mastered basic computing skills, but eventually became a platform host.
The second practitioner, Ms. C, has been one of the most dedicated and active participants in our local Fa rectification projects. She was largely responsible for bringing a lot of practitioners (including those who usually worked tour sites) into the RTC project, which, in addition to increasing our manpower, also helped these practitioners gain confidence for when they would clarify the truth face-to-face.
Ms. C has had a wish for many years: to meet Master in person and deliver an experience-sharing article at a Fa conference. But because of her inability to type on a computer and some other human notions, her wish has yet to be fulfilled.
Moved by these practitioners' stories, I decided to help them. I started with an interview via the Internet, asking them about their respective cultivation journeys and xinxing improvement.
Unfortunately, I had a tight schedule during the daytime, so I could only begin work on their articles after 9 PM every night. For several nights, I would write until 2 AM – I wanted to finish their articles as soon and possible, so as to not keep them waiting.
After writing up the first drafts, I asked the two practitioners to look them over for clarity, accuracy of the details, or any other things that they think needed to be changed. Ms. B took this revision process very seriously. She called me several times, recalling new details each time that she hoped for me to add in.
At first I hadn't quite understood her; I thought that she was just overly concerned about trivial details that wouldn't really affect the article either way. But she was patient and persistent, telling me over and over again about how her experience was until I could do it justice down to the last detail.
It was amazing how much she could recall – some of these events had happened over ten years ago.
I was thoroughly awed by her dedication: a level of dedication that I have yet to attain. Sometimes I'd still do my work in a hurried, slapdash way, and hide myself behind the idea that “almost” is good enough. Ms. B's steady and careful way of going about things was a quality I should aspire to.
Although I was unable to attend the New York Fa conference, I read through the Minghui reports on the conference fastidiously, searching for a certain two articles that I may have had a hand in writing.
When I saw that one of them was read at the conference, an overwhelming pride and sense of accomplishment surged through me. A split second later, I realized that it was my attachment to fame at work.
I had treated this as an opportunity to validate myself, and not the Fa. Even though the only practitioners who know about my involvement were Ms. B, Ms. C, and the coordinator, the rush that their validation would give me was a pitfall I had to stay away from.
Realizing that, I immediately rejected those thoughts and said to myself, “I don’t want to be bothered by these thoughts; they are not mine. My ability was granted me by Master to help other practitioners. The article was chosen because this practitioner had done well in her cultivation. I have nothing to show off.” After that thought went through my mind, I felt at peace once again.
The next day, the coordinator came up to me.
“Congratulations!” she said excitedly. “The article you wrote was chosen and published on Minghui!”
But I simply smiled and said, “Thank you. I saw it, too.”
When Ms. C came to thank me several days later, I said to her, “You don't have to thank me – after all, it was all Master's compassionate guidance at work, fulfilling your wish. Let's both thank Master for giving us this opportunity to cultivate through writing an experience-sharing article.”
I've learned a lot from the above incidents, but I still need to become more diligent. As cultivators, we know that xinxing tests could come at any moment – sometimes we pass them, and other times we get tripped up because of human notions. I hope to be stricter with myself in the future so that I can eliminate more of my human attachments and make faster progress on the path of cultivation.
Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!
(Shared at the 2014 UK Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference in London on August 24)