China Fahui | What I Gained by Training Practitioners to Use Technology
(Minghui.org) It could have been a long-cherished wish that my cultivation path has involved my learning computing skills so that I could help set up material sites, learn how to use various systems, and pass these skills on to others. I would like to share some of my understandings about “learning,” which I gained from teaching others.
1. Cultivating Attentiveness and Patience
When we upgraded our computer systems in April 2014, it created an enormous additional workload for practitioners on the technical team. We were now under pressure to train people to provide technical support for all material sites in our region.
I had anticipated this in late 2013 and told other practitioners. However, they had different understandings and attachments that kept us from operating as one body. When the time came to finally upgrade the system in 2014, practitioners became very anxious. The situation turned hectic when practitioners wanted to upgrade their system and learn how to use it.
Things soon settled down. Some practitioners learned how to do the upgrade, and my teaching skills improved.
When more in-depth technical skill was needed, however, some practitioners began to lose interest and let up in their efforts. Others simply gave up and no longer helped. I was overwhelmed with exhaustion, disappointment, and sadness.
“Do you realize that as long as you’re a cultivator, in any environment or under any circumstances, I will use any troubles or unpleasant things you come across—even if they involve work for Dafa, or no matter how good or sacred you think they are—to eliminate your attachments and expose your demon-nature so that it can be eliminated, for your improvement is what’s most important.” (“Further Understanding” in Essentials for Further Advancement)
I had to look within. I realized that the reason some practitioners gave up was because I was too impatient for success. To make things easier for myself, I had put too much responsibility on elderly practitioners with little technical know-how. I resolved to get rid of my irritation and be more attentive and tolerant.
I began to teach practitioners with approaches that were more in line with their abilities and cultivation states. As long as someone wanted to learn, I resolved to teach him with all my heart, for as long as necessary, until he felt comfortable installing the new system. When I was patient with them, practitioners felt more relaxed, not as pressured, and more confident in their skills.
It was indeed a cultivation process for me. Some practitioners showed enthusiasm at first, but soon lost interest. I went to their homes to teach them, thinking, “as long as you don't push me out, I will come.”
Seeing my persistence, these practitioners did not refuse me and continued with their efforts. Some practitioners were rather careless and lost the notes they had written during training. I helped them find the notes and continued to teach them.
One practitioner had little education, and I never thought he would be able to learn how to install computer software. I encouraged him to keep trying, and he did.
I found it very difficult to teach practitioners. Soon, my body showed symptoms of sickness karma. There were times when I wanted to complain, but I kept telling myself not to worry about how many practitioners would learn the necessary technical skills. I was determined to keep doing what I needed to do.
“...just by having your heart unaffected you will be able to handle all situations.” (“Eliminate Your Last Attachment(s)” in Essentials For Further Advancement II)
2. Learning to Be Calm and Say 'No'
As time passed, some practitioners relied on me too much, even if they could solve the problem with a bit of their own thinking and effort. This was quite difficult for me to handle. I was concerned that, if I did not help them, they might avoid the difficulty and give up. On the other hand, if I kept helping them this way, they might become too dependent on me and would not be able to walk their own path, which was not line with the Fa. With all this, I was reaching my physical limits. I had to change.
I arranged to help a group resolve their issues one Tuesday. But the night before, I felt dizzy and started vomiting. I negated this form of persecution and sent righteous thoughts to eliminate the interference.
The next day, I felt a bit better and went to the group. Seeing that I was not my usual self, they asked me what had happened and shared their understandings with me. One said, “Maybe it is time you let go of things. For a long time, practitioners with technical skills have been too busy. What they need most is to let go of what they are doing and study the Fa with a calm mind.”
I wondered how I could let go of what I was doing. These practitioners are waiting for my help. One sharing article I read said that one must cultivate one's xinxing before fixing computer issues. I had not taken this seriously in my cultivation. What the practitioner said about “letting go” alerted me to reflect upon myself.
I had set up one material site from scratch. Whenever there was an issue, I would go there to help out. I had done this on a regular basis for three years.
The material site began to have many technical problems. As usual, the practitioner in charge of the site would ask me for help, so I put aside what I was doing and went over. It seemed that the more assistance I gave, the more problems occurred.
The practitioners at the site and I sent righteous thoughts together. I soon noticed that they did not take righteous thoughts seriously and would just go through the motions. I got really annoyed and said shouted to the practitioner in charge, “I spend all my time here helping you, and yet you're so absentminded. Do whatever you like. I'm going to take a rest.”
This reminded the practitioner in charge to look within. He also shared with the group on how to look inward. Even though they still needed technical help to solve some issues, they made a big improvement in xinxing cultivation, especially in letting go of the attachment of reliance on others. The incident also helped me to further reflect upon myself.
Zhang is a young man who had learned how to install systems, but later stopped. Another practitioner, Li, had never learned about system installation. When the Minghui website notified us to upgrade Firefox to version 37, Li followed the instructions and upgraded Firefox successfully.
Zhang, on the other hand, could not install the required version however hard he tried. He found me and had the system upgraded. During a sharing, I asked him what had happened when he encountered technical difficulties. “Did you first think of Master or me?”
“I thought of you,” he said.
I began to reflect upon myself. Was this a technical problem or a problem in my cultivation? Is it true that they cannot solve technical problems without me? What can I do without Master strengthening me?
I calmed down, studied the Fa, and asked myself what had kept me so busy that I did not even have time to study the Fa and do the exercises. Was it because I was involved in a technical project?
I gradually realized that I was attached to “self.” I did the right things to teach others patiently at the beginning. Once they got the hang of it and understood the importance of learning the basic technical skills, I should have encouraged them to walk their own paths instead of coming to me whenever they encounter problems. My limited understanding hindered practitioners on their cultivation paths, and I became physically exhausted as well.
Looking more deeply, I found that I was also worried that they might not be capable of sticking it out. In fact, it came down to my faith in Master and the Fa and my confidence in practitioners' ability to do the job.
Master has arranged cultivation paths for us all. I only had to cultivate myself well and harmonize the one body. Any of our human attachments and selfish thoughts interfere with other practitioners and Master's Fa-rectification.
“To tell you the truth, the entire cultivation process for a practitioner is one of constantly giving up human attachments.” (Zhuan Falun)
“A cultivator has no role models. The path each person is to take is different, because each person’s foundation is different, the sizes of their various attachments are different, the characteristics of their beings are different, their jobs among everyday people are different, their family environments are different, and so on. These factors determine that each person’s path of cultivation is different, that how they get rid of their attachments is different, and that the sizes of their tests are different. Therefore, amidst the manifestations of things it’s very hard to find a path that others have made, and it’s even less possible for a person to get a ride down one. If there really were pre-made paths and effortless rides, that definitely would not be cultivation.” (“Path” in Essentials for Further Advancement II)
Gradually, I let go of the notion that issues would not be resolved without me and encouraged practitioners to handle the problems themselves.
This played out when I visited a practitioner, who said to me, “We have learned how to get to Tiandixing.org ourselves. I'm going to learn more about technical issues.” I thanked the practitioner from the bottom of my heart.
During the tidal wave of suing Jiang Zemin, an elderly practitioner asked me to help him with a decision. We shared our understandings about the significance of suing Jiang. In the end, I said to him, “One must make his own decisions when facing issues.”
When a relative asked me to help her compose her complaint, I also made it very clear to her: “No one can take your place in cultivation. You need to calmly think it through yourself.”
Today, I no longer take complete charge of things, but calmly think things through myself. I measure situations with the Fa and decide whether I should help or say “no.” I do not let sentimentality take over.
3. Learning to Be Humble and Free of Intention
In passing on my technical knowledge, I have fallen unintentionally into the practice of “teaching,” and practitioners also developed a mentality of “listening.” My opinions were always given more weight, and I felt that this was normal.
It is not wrong to point out the shortcomings of other practitioners, but it is a serious attachment if it is done in a manner of self-importance, complaining, or finger-pointing. Failing to see this, I became arrogant, and the relationship between me and other practitioners turned into something like “teaching” and “following instructions.”
Because of my own attachments, my habit of complaining about others became worse. My body also showed serious interference. When a practitioner wanted to study the Fa with me, I refused. “I don't need anyone to study the Fa with. It would help if you did not rely on me so much. I don't want you to ask me for help.”
Another practitioner said they really admired me, and I responded with, “There are many people who admire me.”
I didn't realize there was anything wrong with my inflated ego until I visited a practitioner who used a different technology than the one I had taught him. I asked him why. He explained the good points in what he did, and when I tried it out later, it was indeed very good. I also found that he knew a lot skills I didn't know. When he explained them to me, I didn't feel he was “teaching” me, but just telling me what he knew.
When I was teaching him earlier, he did not show any “desire” to “learn” from me either, but just learned what he didn't know. Gradually, I came to the understanding that this is the normal relationship that should exist among practitioners.
I began to understand what it means to “learn” and how to be humble. I once went with other practitioners to clarify the facts because I really wanted to learn how they did it. I listened very carefully how they spoke to people, their peaceful manner, and their sincerity.
I reflected upon my own behavior in comparison. On our way back, I started clarifying the facts to a man sitting next to me on the bus. It was not going well. Just then, a young practitioner gently pushed me aside and started to talk to the man. The young practitioner did not complain about me or criticize me. He just continued to clarify the facts in a calm manner. I felt the practitioner's serenity and my own lack of humility.
One day, I visited a practitioner whom I had not seen in a long time. He had slacked off in cultivation for years. This time, I did not talk much, but instead sincerely listened to him sharing his cultivation experience and encouraged him on any little improvements he made.
“My daughter-in-law complained that I did not keep the house clean, so I worked for others and learned how to clean the house. As long as I have shortcomings, no matter who points them out, I will correct them,” he said.
I felt his words were so simple and honest. In the past, I would have lectured him on the progress of Fa-rectification instead of listening humbly to his cultivation experience.
When he noticed that I was sitting in the full lotus position, he said, “I haven't done the meditation exercise for years. Seeing you sitting in this position, I want to do the exercises again.”
That day, although I didn't say much, he wanted to do the exercises again. I learned a bit more about being humble.
I opened a file I had created and saved on my computer desktop: Always Place One's Self at a Lower Position. I saved this as a reminder, but I had not read it for a long time due to my attachments. I felt really ashamed.
“Even in this class there are people who think highly of themselves, and they even speak with a different tone. As for what your true situation is, even in Buddhism that's something taboo.” (Zhuan Falun)
Cultivation is very serious. Being humble has lit up the dark corners in my heart and exposed my attachments to boasting, competitiveness, selfishness, and jealousy. Humility enables one to be calm in action, to maintain dignity, and to open one's wisdom, allowing us to see the nature of things at a deeper level. Being humble is a state of mind and character that a cultivator should have.
I noticed that a practitioner I know well never pursues results in what he is doing, but just does what he should do. If he falls, he picks himself up and keeps going. In contrast, I saw many of my attachments. I did the exercises because I wanted to feel good; I did the sitting meditation because I wanted my legs to get better; I studied the Fa and sent righteous thoughts often because I wanted to solve some problems. I intentionally arranged things for myself and did things with intention. All of this interfered with the Fa's ability to manifest freely.
Gradually, I came to the understanding that I should cultivate myself in the process of passing along technical knowledge. I needed to be aware of what I had to let go and just do what I should do without pursuit.
The practitioners who have persisted in learning technical skills have obtained much experience and now have their own understandings. Some also realized that they need to teach more practitioners how to install systems.
“Cultivation depends upon the individual himself while the transformation of Gong is up to the master.” (Zhuan Falun)
The change in practitioners comes from the power of the Fa, and it helped me gain a bit more understanding about being free of intention.
Looking inward are not empty words, and “seeing ourselves as particles within the one body, not above it” is not a mere slogan. Only by truly rectifying ourselves can we negate the persecution.
In cooperating as one body, we must let go of “self.” Only then can we form an indestructible body. This is what Master wants.
I remember a practitioner who once said, “Only by flowing into the sea can a drop of water become part of the tremendous momentum of surging waves. Only by evaporating into the air can a drop of water be part of the magnificent white clouds in the blue sky.” Only by letting go of “self” can the power of one body fully manifest.
I would like to thank all of my fellow practitioners for their tolerance, understanding, and cooperation. I would also like to apologize to all those fellow practitioners whom I unduly criticized and complained about in the past.
Thank you, Master, for your compassionate help and protection. I'm determined to be more diligent on my cultivation path.