Let Go of Prejudices about Chinese Practitioners
(Minghui.org) I wanted to share a bit about getting rid of my notions and judgment about fellow Chinese practitioners, in hopes that we can form one body and better save sentient beings.
I obtained the Fa in 2008 in Boston where I am from. My cousin, who introduced the practice to me, did not go to the group Fa study much, so I did not know or understand the importance of group study early in my cultivation.
I would go sometimes, but, because it was far away, I usually studied and did the exercises at home. I did not share much with fellow practitioners at that time. Although I went to see Shen Yun and promoted the show a bit in those early years, I was never very connected with the group. As a result, about two years after that I did not really practice and, in fact, pretty much fell away.
It was not until I moved to Hawaii in 2011 that I really became a diligent practitioner. There were not many practitioners in Hawaii and, at that time, only a few other other Western practitioners.
Master really gave me the opportunity to do so much to make up for the time I missed. I was deeply involved in Shen Yun and truth clarification right from the moment I arrived. Fa study in Hawaii changed over the years when I was there. Sometimes we studied in English in a separate room, then we come together for sharing; other times we would all study together.
Over the years one Western practitioner moved away, another stopped coming and moved, and another veteran practitioner passed away. I was the only Western practitioner left. At that time when I went to group study every week, I could not detect it, but notions had formed and were forming in my mind about fellow practitioners. The group did not share much, and when they did, I felt what they shared was not very deep. I found it hard to benefit from group study in the way I felt I should. This was really a deep selfish notion, and it followed me to New York.
When I came to New York, it was the first time I was around so many Western practitioners, and I was really happy. I got here in September, and one of the first Fa study groups I went to was the English Epoch Times (EET) group. Even though I do not work for EET, going to that study group was really moving for me. I never got to be around that many Westerners, and all of them shared and spoke like me. It was really a comfortable environment for me for a few months.
Over a few months, coupled with studying the Fa daily with practitioners I live with and the local Brooklyn Fa study I had, I began to think I was really becoming part of the one body in New York.
I would also go to the large Manhattan study group but not to Flushing. My initial thoughts about Flushing were that not many Westerners went and it was very far for me, being two hours each way. Plus I heard the translation was not good, so how could I benefit from going there? Wouldn't it be the same if I went to EET or just did the local Brooklyn study? But I felt uneasy about this, so I decided to really sit down and honestly remove my notions. I wanted to ask myself what was blocking me from wanting to go join the actual one body of practitioners studying the Fa wherever they may be.
When I sat down, I started going through the reasons in my head why I did not go to Flushing. Flushing is far—it is two hours each way. Then I realized the distance and travel time should not be the concern. As I continued to think, I found it was basically because I did not put Fa study as first priority.
If Fa study and joining the one body was really my first priority, then what could keep me from going? Once I had that thought, I heard Master's Fa in my head from Lecture One of Zhuan Falun: “There is no precondition for practicing cultivation, and one should practice cultivation if one wants to.” I felt a sudden burst of enlightenment. Had I been wanting others to change in order for me to meet Master's requirements? How could that be appropriate?
Then I sat down and honestly asked myself, "If there were 100 Western practitioners studying the Fa in Flushing every Friday, would I go?" I thought I would and would not question it, so I had to go deeper and find more attachments that were causing me to not join the one body.
When I looked deeper, I could see some notions that to form started when I moved to New York. Right when I moved here and started working, I had a big xinxing conflict with one of my coworkers who is Chinese. We clashed on how to do something, with me thinking it should be done in a strictly Western business way and not understanding the looser way. Basically, I needed to know every detail and wanted things explained and outlined in detail. But it was really impossible at that time.
I really looked inside after that conflict and saw a huge attachment—I viewed Chinese practitioners through a very harsh lens, and I amplified their communist things and used it as an excuse to not listen to most or any of what they said on a deep level.
Growing up in the West, we have strict ways of judging things. Since in this life I have little connection to Chinese classical culture, it was hard for me to see the wiser, better ways and more real Chinese ways to do things. Those ways are far better and harmonious than my Western ways, but I could not see past my fellow Chinese practitioners' shortcomings.
After that, I really started cultivating this away and felt I was able to cooperate better and could learn from Chinese practitioners.
Then I enlightened that this same attachment I had started to remove was also the one causing me to not want to go to group Fa study in Flushing. I was really alarmed. I had not been treasuring and cherishing my fellow practitioners. I did not have enough compassion, kindness, and tolerance. Was I asking others to cultivate or was I cultivating?
When I realized this, I knew I had to go to Fa study in Flushing. Going to that Fa study was very moving for me. I could really see how hard practitioners coming recently from mainland China are working to assimilate to Western society, meet Master requirements, and save sentient beings. I felt really like crying. How could I have been so uncompassionate, how come I did not embrace all my fellow practitioners with righteous thoughts and loving kindness?
After I realized this, I thought a lot about how the evil had reinforced these notions in my head over the years. I also enlightened to the fact that the evil has very basic battle plans they use to sap practitioners' strength. One tactic I have seen used on individual practitioners is to isolate them from the group, then enforce their bad notions about others to keep them away from the one body. I had seen this happen to a Western veteran practitioner in Hawaii who passed away.
When I thought about that, I realized that tactic can also work with groups of people. If I as a Westerner create gaps between myself and fellow Chinese practitioners in my mind, how can we better become one body? And is becoming one body and studying the Fa together simply something of a formality? I do not think it is. I think it is directly related to how well we can save sentient beings.
What we see on the surface is not actually how it manifests. One example is the Shen Yun performances in January, as I am on the promotion team. I realized our progress was related to how well we cultivate together. What is my part in that? Isn't my part to join the one body with no selfish thoughts no matter what? Even if not one word is translated, isn't Masters requirement for me just to sit among my fellow practitioners and be happy?
What if going to group Fa study could open the field to sell one more ticket for Shen Yun, would I do it? Absolutely, because that is ONE sentient and universe being being saved.
These things are just my understandings at my limited level. Please point out anything inappropriate. I hope that going forward, I can continue to have more compassion, tolerance, and righteous thoughts for all my fellow practitioners and do better to remove my negative things, so we can truly come together as one body to meet Master's requirement and save more sentient beings. Thank you!