Recent Mass Arrests Pointed Out Our Need to Improve
(Minghui.org) On a single day this November, dozens of Falun Dafa practitioners in our region were abducted, and their homes ransacked. The week before the mass arrests were carried out, the Minghui website reported that officials in Heilongjiang Province were planning a large scale arrest of Dafa practitioners. The areas targeted included Qiqihar, Daqing, Harbin and several other cities and counties. Our region was one of the places mentioned.
The atmosphere was tense as local practitioners pondered whether to stay or leave the area. A practitioner named Mei (alias) told me, “Go somewhere and hide. I heard that they plan to keep arresting practitioners for the next one hundred days, until they take as many as a thousand of us. They intend to do it in three rounds. They're also using communication software. Don't risk being taken; be safe.”
After the arrests started began Mei came to talk to me again. She said some practitioners had changed their cell phones and phone cards, while others had left the targeted areas.
My family, who are all practitioners, thought we had the situation under control, but I struggled with whether we should go or stay. I thought, “Maybe I should quickly leave. The police will come any minute.” Then I thought, “I'm a Falun Dafa practitioner. When Dafa is under attack, isn't it a test to see if we can maintain a righteous mindset? If I run away, isn't it being selfish? I should just trust Teacher [the founder of Falun Dafa].”
After seriously thinking it over, I chose to stay. I knelt in front of Teacher's picture, and thought: “Teacher, although I haven't cultivated to the realm where I'm not moved, I feel that I need to remain here. It's not because I seek comfort or want to validate myself. I think that when interference comes I need to show my firm belief in Teacher and Dafa. Please give me strength.” I could sense that the substance of fear was removed from me.
Our Surroundings Reflect Our Cultivation State
When I thought about my own cultivation, I saw why the persecution was taking place in our region.
I was concerned about our local cultivation environment. Although practitioners were busy doing the three things, we weren't compassionate towards each other. Practitioners and coordinators seemed to dislike each other, and there was no trust among us.
Everyone thought that they were doing the right thing, and were doing well. When they talked about their cultivation, they didn't look inside and often got into arguments. Some practitioners who worked together liked to talk behind others' backs and make comments about them. When they worked on projects, they worked against each other, instead of helping each other. Some judged others based on their own notions, and even said that certain practitioners were spies or that they undermined the Fa.
Even lawyers whom we'd hired to defend practitioners noticed this. One of them asked, “Why do the practitioners in this region behave like this?”
I was also not behaving as a practitioner should, and knew that our overall cultivation state wasn't good. I was worried and said to Teacher, “I really want to cultivate well. I only want that people can be saved.”
Teacher compassionately arranged for some practitioners from out-of-town to come and help rescue a practitioner and to clarify the truth to his family. I was touched, but wondered why we needed practitioners from another area to come and help us. I felt that it was because we hadn't done our job well. These practitioners also helped to clarify many things that were puzzling us.
In their area, these practitioners had also encountered spies who came to cause trouble. But they kept looking inward and saw where they needed to improve. Not only were they not moved, they were also able to help a former practitioner who had become a spy to stop causing trouble. Teacher has told us that he wants to “...save the spies, too.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference”).
That practitioner returned to cultivation, and from then on, their region no longer had any interference from spies.
When the practitioners in that area had conflicts, they looked inward and no one blamed anyone else. They treasured the opportunity to interact with each other and talk about issues they encountered.
After they exposed the persecution in their area, local officials formed a special unit to persecute them.
One practitioner was targeted and arrested. She was told, “You're the head and we've finally caught you. We've already decided that you will be sentenced to at least ten years.”
The practitioner wasn't moved. While she was illegally detained, she looked inward and kept sending righteous thoughts. She felt that all the guards and police were people that needed to be saved, so she clarified the truth to them. One month later, even before her court date, she was released from the detention center.
This practitioner was able to break through the old forces' arrangements because she didn't think about herself or how to avoid being persecuted. Instead, she had compassion for all the people she faced including those who persecuted her. She didn't complain or blame anyone. Instead, she tried to save everyone she met.
After I heard her story I looked back on my cultivation. Although I've helped many people learn about Dafa, did I genuinely cultivate myself? I seldom looked within, and I saw a big gap between myself and this practitioner.
Even though I had no resentment towards those who persecuted me, I still had some human attachments and protected myself when I clarified the truth to them. I still had some selfishness.
I noticed that many other practitioners had similar attachments to selfishness when they did the three things. I mentioned this when I talked with several of our coordinators. Some were touched, but others still thought that they were right.
I regarded everyone's behavior as a mirror that showed me where I needed to improve. I saw that I was strongly attached to validating myself. I also saw that I looked down on some people and had jealousy. I also like to criticize others and felt that I was superior.
Gradually, I no longer analyzed others or focused on their weaknesses. Instead, whenever I encountered issues, I unconditionally examined myself to see where I fell short.
When we are being persecuted, if our first thought is to protect ourselves instead of saving people, we are being selfish. It's also acknowledging the persecution and going along with the old forces' arrangements.
Teacher said, “Sincerity is a prerequisite if you are to rectify your mind.” (Falun Gong). Regardless of whether I'm cultivating well or not, Teacher is taking caring of me. I'm a Dafa disciple who came to assist Teacher to rectify the Fa.
One day, after I sent forth righteous thoughts I walked to the window, and saw two police cars come down the road. They stopped at my place. My heart was calm and I was not afraid. As I looked at them I thought, “They're coming here to be saved. I must tell them to remember that Falun Dafa is good.” As soon as I had that thought, the police cars drove away. Teacher said, “One thought can determine the outcome of things.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun).
I wondered why this incident happened. When I looked inward, I realized that I still held some negative thoughts about the police.
Remembering to Treasure Each Other
I told other practitioners about my understanding of why the persecution intensified in our region, and how it's related to our cultivation states.
I pointed out that we are working together as one body, so we shouldn't blame or criticize other practitioners who are being persecuted. Instead, we should use these opportunities to examine ourselves, improve, and help to rescue them.
Several practitioners agreed with my understanding, and collected detailed information about the persecution so that we could expose it. I helped by talking to the persecuted practitioners' families. When they understood how evil this persecution is, they set aside their feelings of depression and helplessness, and worked with us to bring their family members back home.
I hope that those who have been persecuted will treasure this opportunity to calm their minds, look inward and not focus on other practitioners' shortcomings. Once we relinquish our negative notions we can genuinely cultivate ourselves. We'll be able to cooperate with each other and help Teacher save many more people.
If we don't truly examine ourselves and work together, we will not be able to rescue practitioners who are being persecuted, and we may also complicate the situation, which will make Teacher have to bear more hardship for us.