Cultivation Comes First in Doing Dafa Work
(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
Looking Inside is the Key to Cultivation
A local practitioner told me recently that I was very task-oriented. He couldn’t see elevation in his cultivation when he worked on tasks I assigned him. What he meant was that I cared only about completing the tasks but not about fellow practitioners' cultivation.
I was taken aback and thought that what he said was disrespectful and insulting, as I have always been very responsible to Dafa and spend most of my spare time on Dafa projects meant to save sentient beings.
But as I started to look inside, I found I had many areas where I needed to improve.
As a coordinator, I am always dealing with tasks. This is especially so in a small city like mine, where only a few practitioners speak English. It seems like that I oversee most of the Dafa projects, so I shoulder a lot of tasks.
When my office job became busy earlier this year, I felt overburdened. I felt like I was constantly chasing time. I was just like the bear that Master described as “A blind bear picking corn” in “Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference.” I had so many tasks that when I took on a new task, I dropped another task before it had been completed.
Despite feeling overburdened, I was hesitant to share my situation with fellow practitioners because I knew everyone was preoccupied with their work and life and used their limited time to validate the Fa.
However, I started to feel resentful when I was unable to attend to basic daily chores due to the tremendous Dafa workload. I resented other capable practitioners for not spending a little more time on local Dafa work to lessen my burden. When my thinking became compromised by emotion, it made communication with fellow practitioners worse.
As the number of local Dafa activities increased, I constantly asked fellow practitioners to do things. I became self-centered and forgot about Master teaching us that a Dafa disciple should consider others first.
I understood how task-oriented I’d been when I reflected on what the practitioner told me. I just expected people to take up tasks. Most of the time I even neglected to patiently explain the purpose of the activities, and other necessary details. This was especially important for newer practitioners who needed more nurturing at the beginning.
When I was able to look inside, I realized I had made little progress in Fa study. Even though I studied the Fa every morning, I didn’t have a calm mind. It was hard for me to concentrate. I was anxious about time, and distracting thoughts popped into my head, one after another. I found that for quite a while, I hadn’t learned anything new from reading Zhuan Falun. My Fa study became a formality and a ritual, and I was not reading with my heart.
I had let down my guard unknowingly and let my Fa study slip. I didn’t pay attention to cultivation.
In “Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital,” Master said:
“What counts as cultivating? Well, doing the things that Dafa disciples are supposed to do, such as things that validate the Fa and that save sentient beings, among others, is one's duty-bound responsibility and a part of establishing mighty virtue. But being able to improve yourself is the most crucial. That is because if you don't improve yourself, you won't be able to do any of those things well.”
I then realized I haven’t attended to the second part of the teaching: to improve myself while doing Dafa work.
I realized my negligence in cultivation, so I tried to improve. Thanks to a fellow practitioner who took the initiative to set up a practice site, a few of us began to practice the exercises together early every morning. After doing the exercises, we read a chapter of Zhuan Falun.
Although I feel reluctant sometimes, especially when I have a lot on my plate, I have managed to attend the exercises and Fa study every morning. After a couple of weeks, my righteous thoughts became solid, and I could work more efficiently.
As a result of concentrating and studying Zhuan Falun with a focused mind, I saw golden light behind the words for the first time. This really encouraged me.
With more solid practice grounded in the Fa, I find I’m more patient with practitioners. As I’m less focused on myself, I'm able to see that fellow practitioners, including the newer ones, are trying to do their best for Dafa. When I’m less attached to time, Master actually arranges the tasks one after another so I can handle the workload.
Master gave me a tribulation to help me improve my xinxing during a recent transition between two tasks. I’m sure that if it had happened one week earlier, I might not have been able to handle this sudden blow.
I thank you, Master, for guiding me to understand the Fa step by step.
Helping Chinese People Withdraw from the CCP
A few practitioners in our area recently participated in a project to clarify the truth to Chinese people over the phone. I especially encouraged the Chinese practitioners who couldn't speak English to join this very important project, but I didn’t see it as something I should take on because I was already heavily involved in other projects.
Every year, a few of us explain the facts of the persecution to Chinese students at our university. But I didn’t consider helping Chinese people withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) as a personal priority.
After Master’s 2013 Western US lecture underscoring the need to clarify the truth at tourist spots, I asked myself where the tourist spots in our city are, as our city doesn't have a lot of Chinese tourists.
We always hold activities, such as World Falun Dafa Day on May 13, at the most famous tourist site in our city, but we don’t see regular busloads of Chinese tourists. However, I see groups of Chinese students everywhere on campus. Isn’t that like a “tourist spot” for us, since every year many Chinese students come to study at the university? Didn’t Master say that they came here to learn the truth?
As I drove to school on a sunny, quiet day, only a few people were walking in the street. I suddenly saw the ground in front of a Chinese girl sink, and she was about to fall into a big hole. I held my steering wheel firmly and blinked to check if what I had seen was really happening. I realized that I should do something for these Chinese people, because they are in danger.
I decided that no matter how busy I am with other projects, I need to do more for Chinese people. I no longer carry just English flyers in my bag but also materials about withdrawing from the CCP.
When my righteous thoughts are strong, I can simply approach a Chinese passerby and ask him or her to withdraw from the CCP. They agree upon hearing just a few sentences.
Such positive experiences have encouraged me to do more. I also learned from more experienced Chinese practitioners how they ask Chinese people to withdraw from CCP organizations.
After a few negative responses and due to preoccupation with other Dafa projects, my enthusiasm withered. As my heart was not set on it, I had less courage and righteous thoughts to ask Chinese people to quit the CCP. Sometimes, even when I tried, they responded with a strange look. I then started to feel reluctant to approach Chinese people.
Master said in the 2011 lecture “Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa” that when some practitioners distributed Shen Yun flyers in nice communities, they were very hesitant.
I didn't think it was talking about me, because I’ve always been righteous in clarifying the truth when I distribute flyers. I had no hesitation in clarifying the truth to my students, colleagues, etc.
I was now shocked to realize that I actually was like what Master described when I encounter a Chinese person, especially in my own school. I even subconsciously find excuses to avoid going outside my building and to avoid Chinese grocery stores because I felt guilty if I couldn't help them quit the Chinese Communist organizations.
One day at our group sharing, a practitioner shared about her experiences when collecting signatures on a petition to stop forced organ harvesting. She does not speak English, but she would go to a nearby mall in the afternoon by herself and ask passersby to sign the petition. She sometimes didn’t understand people's replies, so she simply thanked them with her limited English.
A lady once signed the petition and asked her something. As the practitioner struggled to explain, a man stopped and explained the forced organ harvesting issue to this lady.
This practitioner got lost another time and asked a man next to her for directions. The man told her that he, too, was Chinese when she thanked her in English. She was delighted and helped that gentleman quit the Communist Party.
Her experiences were very encouraging to me. I know how to get around in my city. I speak both English and Chinese, though my Mandarin is not fluent. It’s not how much skill we possess. It’s how much righteous thoughts we have. When we believe in Master in our hearts, gods and positive forces will assist us.
I then looked inside to find what hindered me from helping Chinese people withdraw. Why was I discouraged when people said no? I found that it was a fear of losing face and of rejection. Isn’t that an attachment to fame and a need for acceptance? How can my heart be so easily moved? I realized that I’ve been trying to validate myself and don't have true compassion in validating the Fa.
I recovered my courage and went to a Chinese grocery store. During checkout, Master arranged that no one would wait behind me, so I could help the cashier quit the CCP and its affiliates. Before I left the store, I saw a girl looking at a shelf full of Buddhist literature. I talked to her, and she happily quit the Party.
I met a group of Chinese students on campus a few days ago and talked to them with righteous thoughts. Five of them quit the Communist Party and its affiliated organizations. They thanked me happily.
Thank you, Master!
Do Well What We’re Supposed To Do
Our area didn't host Shen Yun for the past two years. We focused on raising awareness of the state-sanctioned forced organ harvesting in China. After clarifying the truth to my students, they worked with me to inform people employed in the medical and social work fields, by organizing seminars and rallies, and attending forums and conferences.
My students proposed and then later established an organization called “Students Against Forced Organ Harvesting” at a national conference this summer. With support from the practitioners in our area, we clarified the truth to more than 1000 conference attendees. I learned that when I have faith in Master and do it with a pure heart to save sentient beings, wisdom comes along with righteous thoughts.
Master said in “Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa:”
“As for you, disciples of Dafa, the closer it gets to the end the better you should walk your paths, seizing the day to cultivate yourselves well. After doing a whole slew of things, you might find, if you look back upon them, that all of it was done with a human mindset. When it is a human being doing human things, and things are not being done with righteous thoughts, there won’t be any Dafa-disciple mighty virtue in those things. ”
I need to put cultivation as the first priority while doing Dafa work. Thank you, Master, for giving me the opportunity to cultivate, and thank you, fellow practitioners, for reminding me to improve myself. I vow to do well in the last leg of Fa-rectification so that I won’t have any regrets.
Please correct my misunderstandings if there are any. Thank you, Master. Thank you, fellow practitioners!
(Shared at the 2014 Falun Dafa Cultivation Conference of Canada in Toronto on August 23)