The Power of Group Study
(Minghui.org) We established a group Fa study site about two years ago. Within three months five practitioners, including a former assistant at a local practice site who had stopped practicing for 10 years, resumed their cultivation.
Master's compassion and the power of Falun Dafa helped them find their passion to return to Dafa, and continue on their path to assist Master in Fa-rectification and in awakening people to the truth.
Returning to Practice After 10 Years
Practitioner A used to be a volunteer assistant at a local practice site. He used to spend a lot of effort to introduce Falun Dafa to others. After the persecution started, he went to Beijing several times to appeal for Falun Dafa. Impressed by his determination in his belief, a Beijing Police Department chief said to him, “You are remarkable.”
During his last labor camp detention, he was coerced to abandon his belief under mental and physical torture. He gave up cultivation and moved to another city after his release. We hardly saw him for 10 years.
Practitioner B told practitioner C and me one day, “I met A recently and he does not seem to be a practitioner anymore: smoking, drinking, and having a bad temper. Although he still agreed that practitioners are good people, he had many misunderstandings and much confusion about Dafa. I did not know how to communicate with him because he spoke very little. Could you help talk to him to find out where he is stuck?”
I visited A with C the next day. He let us in and offered us tea, looking uneasy. I could tell that he had mixed feelings: we used to practice and do the exercises together. Now everyone else has persevered except for him, the former practice site coordinator.
I knew it was important for him to regain confidence. Looking him in the eye, I said, “I am especially thankful to you, because you gave me my first copy of the Falun Dafa audio lectures. You had an accident on the way to deliver the cassettes to me. With Teacher's help, everything was fine. I remember you encouraged me to cherish the opportunity and cultivate diligently. Whenever I think of you, I always recall that experience.”
He listened quietly. I continued, “We know you have suffered so much all these years. But if you stop practicing and cannot reach consummation, what would Teacher think after sacrificing so much for us? We all make mistakes, but nothing can stop us from standing up and moving forward.
“Teacher does not acknowledge the old force arrangements and we will not either. In addition, as Dafa disciples, we are not only cultivating ourselves, but also awakening sentient beings. We really hope you will join us, so that we can work together to assist Teacher, fulfilling the vows we made long ago.”
He raised his head and his eyes were wet. We had a long chat that day and he invited us to return often.
We visited him once a week after that. We started with topics interesting to him. We discussed work and life. We then gradually moved to cultivation and telling others about the facts of the persecution.
At the beginning he did not speak much, but as time continued, he was willing to talk more. We gave him a complete electronic copy of Falun Dafa books, shared with him some articles from other practitioners, and showed him how to obtain more truth-clarification materials from the Minghui website.
Practitioner A then became more interested in discussions on cultivation and he understood our efforts were not to confront people, but instead to awaken them. We later discussed establishing another group study session in his home. He was very happy with the idea and, with our encouragement, he soon regained momentum in his cultivation.
Changes in Two Young Practitioners
Among the practitioners who resumed practicing were two young practitioners, D and E. Both in their 20s, they used to study the Fa with their parents during childhood, but stopped due to the persecution and various temptations in today's society.
Practitioner D encountered the symptoms of many illnesses, one after another. In the end he came to the group Fa-study and shared with us, “Teacher is very compassionate. With illness tribulations Teacher hinted me to not drift in this everyday society, otherwise my future would be ruined.”
Practitioner E has been very successful in her career. However, her fiance, who she had been with for years, threatened to break up with her if she practiced Falun Dafa. She did not know what to do and felt lost.
After she joined the group Fa-study, we shared understandings on improving our xinxing (mind/heart nature) and sending forth righteous thoughts to eliminate her interference. She soon became clear on her mission as a Dafa disciple and learned to handle situations on the basis of the Fa principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Her fiance did not mention breaking up anymore.
Elderly practitioners also made big improvements through our Fa-study. Practitioner F hardly interacted with other practitioners since the persecution started in 1999. In the past, we always called him when Master published a new lecture. But we had not heard from him for 12 months and nobody knew his whereabouts.
One day he came to the group Fa-study. We discussed the importance of cultivation and reminded him to remain diligent.
A young practitioner asked him with a smile, “Do you know what stage the Fa-rectification is in right now?”
“These words struck me.” Practitioner F later told us, “I have cultivated for more than 10 years. But a young practitioner like him—someone who just started practicing—asked a question and I did not know how to answer. This is a serious warning sign for my cultivation status.”
Practitioner F from then on, came to the group Fa-study every weekend. Although he had to drive about 50 kilometers each way, he never missed it. “We have to cherish this group environment because it helps everyone.” He told us, “Without it, I am doomed.”
Improving As One Body
We usually have many things to discuss after Fa-study, from personal experiences to distributing printed materials and DVDs. We later learned how to tell people about the persecution through making phone calls. Practitioner A offered to help, “I will pay for your calling card charges. You have been working so hard. Please allow me to contribute a little.”
One day practitioner G in her 70s joined our Fa-study. She looked like any other older lady and we did not pay special attention to her. During group discussion the next day, however, she took out two pieces of letter-size paper, each one with hundreds of names on it. She said she had talked with people face-to-face, about the corruption and moral decay of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). She then collected names from those who agreed to renounce their Chinese communist organization memberships (many people believe that quitting the Party will bring them a better future).
We were all amazed. At that time, most of us only distributed materials and hardly clarified the facts face-to-face. From this practitioner, we saw our own gaps and learned where to improve.
Practitioner G's righteous actions inspired others. Seeing the older practitioner bringing name lists every time she came, practitioner D began to ask for materials to distribute, “Please give me 50 copies and I will finish them in a week.” He has been distributing materials every week ever since.
The above is the story of our Fa-study group. It has been a rewarding place for all of us and we are very thankful for Teacher's help. Each of us can feel that we have elevated in our cultivation. As our mind and heart nature improves with Fa study, the power of our truth-clarification efforts grow. The environment tempers every one of us and drives us to be more diligent.