Only When We Study the Fa Well Can We Cultivate Ourselves Well
(Minghui.org) When the persecution against Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong) started in 1999, I thought it was the action of some villains and of the local government. So I decided to take the cause higher, to Beijing eventually, to clarify the truth. However, I was sent to forced labor camps twice as a result. During the time I was incarcerated, I was fired by my employer. My husband was also subjected to punishment by his employer, which left us in bad shape financially.
But we remained unwavering. We encouraged each other to be diligent in cultivation. We felt very lucky to come across Falun Dafa in this life. Nothing can change our mind, including financial hardship.
When disciples asked Master in Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festivalat the U.S. West Fa Conference, “During this special period of Fa-rectification, some disciples in the United States have lost their jobs due to the economy...Master replied,
“That's the old forces' doing. You should always remember this: I don't acknowledge any of the interference that's occurring among Dafa disciples today; all of the things that shouldn't happen are the old forces' arrangements. They see your personal cultivation as the first priority. Of course, personal Consummation is the first priority, since there's nothing more to talk about if you can't reach Consummation.”
“The old forces will interfere with practitioners from time to time, but think about how important saving sentient beings is! Why do they have to cause all that interference. Don't acknowledge it! Since none of them are worthy of participating,...”
My husband suggested that instead of looking for a job, I should just study the Fa more and improve on the Fa. Although we had only his meager income, I had more time for Fa-study, which was long overdue. The two of us studied the Fa a lot every day: When he was home, I studied with him; when he went to work, I studied some more on my own. When he came back from work, we went out to talk to people about Falun Dafa. I did the talking while he sent righteous thoughts.
Studying the Fa More Helps Truth Clarification
Fa-study helped me a lot. I could maintain a compassionate heart, and wisdom and righteous thoughts came naturally. I could not even repeat what I said to people to my husband. It was truly, “The cultivation is up to oneself and gong is up to the Master.”(Zhuan Falun) As long as you have the wish, Master will make it happen.
The more I studied the Fa, the stronger my righteous thoughts became. I felt that I was always engulfed in powerful energy when I was clarifying the truth, and people showed their true nature. We could help save more than 20 people in two hours sometimes.
We worked very well together. When I didn’t know who to approach, my husband would point me in a particular direction. Usually the people were receptive. He was constantly sending righteous thoughts wherever we went.
I tried to maintain a neat appearance when we went out and be very polite with people. When I told people that I practice Falun Gong, they were all very surprised. They did not expect that someone as young as I would practice Falun Gong. I told them that I was almost 50 years old and it was because of Falun Dafa that I could remain young-looking. I told them all about the basic truths of Falun Dafa.
At the end of the day I would reflect on the comments people had made and how I could better address their concerns to do better the next time. For example, we tended to hear things like, “You guys are trying to overthrow the government.” I was not too sure how to respond because I was not clear on it. We told people that we were not political, but we were asking them to withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). I tried to avoid addressing this issue and talked to them from a different angle.
After more Fa-study, I came to understand this issue. Master said,
“Our Dafa disciples have never gotten involved in ordinary people’s politics, and have no interest in political power. We are but a body of cultivators. The perpetrators, meanwhile, in order to persecute Falun Gong and those kind individuals who cultivate Zhen, Shan, Ren, have not hesitated to destroy human morality and propagate false, evil, violent, and pornographic things—the very worst things known to man—to oppose us. In other words, even though we have no political agenda; don’t wish to seize political power from anyone; and merely need surroundings that allow us to do our cultivation and to have the freedom to believe in Dafa—this would suffice—it’s not that the perpetrator has absolutely no idea what it’s doing in persecuting us. It is every bit aware that these people aspire to be good people. The wicked CCP regime is not an entity that encourages people to be good. From the very day it gained political power it has been gangsters building themselves up, and ever since, it has employed lies and falsehood to dupe the people, and violence to establish its dictatorship. These are traits that lie at the foundation of this regime. All along it has relied on relentless lies and violent suppression to get by, and virtually each time that it has spread propaganda and followed it up with violent suppression, these have been based on lies. Its political achievements are bogus, the heroes it has eulogized are bogus, the villains it strikes out against are bogus, the “enemy forces” it hypes up are bogus, the role models it has established are bogus, and its dignified appearance is bogus. But people everywhere, and especially in China, are coming to see its true face. (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference” from Teaching the Fa at the Conference XI)
Once I understood this issue, I no longer heard similar comments.
Be Strict with Ourselves
Due to limited financial resources, we are very frugal. Because of that, we make sure that we don’t take advantage of other people. We don’t stay for dinner at practitioners' homes even if they offer after we helped them. We don’t want to take up fellow practitioners’ time in entertaining us. We don’t accept other people’s hand-me-downs either unless I pay for them. Whatever we need, we buy them ourselves or hand-make them.
I enlightened that we must be strict with ourselves and we must keep our virtue. Therefore, I don’t want to indulge in our desires. As Master said in Zhuan Falun, “Slowly the person would start accepting small tokens of appreciation, then gradually he’d start to accept bigger things, and finally he wouldn’t settle for anything less than what he had in mind. In the end he’d complain, "What’s the point of giving me all this stuff? How ’bout money!"” (Zhuan Falun)
However, we never hesitate when funds are needed for our material production site.
Interesting enough, every time we walked by the market after truth-clarification work, we would come across big discounted sales. Or we would see shoes and clothing on sale in department stores. They were so cheap that we couldn’t believe our eyes. I just picked up what I needed right there and then. I saved time and money and they are usually good buys for truth-clarification work.
Soon my husband retired. We now have time to study the Fa and clarify the truth together.
I realized this is Master’s encouragement. As long as we listen to Master, let go of our attachments and do the right thing as a cultivator, Master will do everything for us.
Master has expended much care and thought on helping us improve. It is just that sometimes we have too many human notions and could not enlighten to it. Some of the elderly practitioners around me, when stuck in tribulations, would discuss their issues with me. They thought that I had a better understanding of the Fa. Even I myself thought so.
However, when I read “A Dialogue with Time”, I was struck by this: “These problems have already become very serious. It would be good if they could manage to search within themselves for the things that they have been able to find in others.” (Essentials for Further Advancement)
I came to realize that it was not because I know the Fa principles well, it was because I had similar defects like the other practitioners, although they may not have been as noticeable. It was time for us all to improve. Master has made the arrangements for my improvement, but I have foolishly ignored the opportunities time and again.
As long as we study the Fa more, we can find answers in the Fa.