Cultivating and Improving Through Clarifying the Facts about Falun Dafa
(Minghui.org) I started to talk to people about Falun Dafa and the persecution face-to-face with Chinese tourists in Manhattan in August 2017. It felt like this activity was like taking an exam – all my bad thoughts, preconceived notions and attachments were exposed. It also motivated me to study the Fa more diligently, look inward frequently, and assimilate to the Fa with every single thought. It enabled me to gain a better and deeper understanding of the Fa, doing the three things and cooperating with other practitioners. I understand that clarifying the truth about Dafa at the tourist sites helped me view everything holistically.
Face-to-face Truth Clarification
Since a World Falun Dafa Day rally in 2017, practitioners in New Jersey organized several “Great Walls of Truth” events in Brooklyn. Local Chinese people’s reactions and perceptions of Falun Dafa made me want to continue clarifying the facts face-to-face.
When I was searching for a good truth-clarification location, we received a “help wanted” email from the Global Service Center for Quitting the Chinese Communist Party. They shared that 10 truth clarification sites needed help during the summer. I chose the Empire State Building location.
I wanted to do a good job, so I asked fellow practitioners to share their experiences with me and tell me how they clarified the facts.
Improving in Doing the Three Things Diligently
When I was doing media work, due to a heavy workload and the additional burden of practitioners in different time zones, I studied the Fa and did the exercises at night. In order to improve the quality of our newspaper, I traded more and more of my sleep time for work. Gradually, I started to slack off with the exercises. A lot of times I just did the first, third and fourth exercise. Even when my family members tried to communicate with me, they had to wait in line. More and more conflicts became irreconcilable, leading my family to have doubts about my cultivation. Long-term sleep deprivation and family dramas deteriorated my energy level. I could no longer concentrate when sending forth righteous thoughts.
At the truth-clarification site, Anna, a practitioner, shared her experience. She said that, in order to do a better job with clarifying the truth, we have to take care of the fundamentals of cultivation – send forth righteous thoughts, do all five exercises, and study the Fa. Missing one step would jeopardize the effort to save sentient beings.
She suggested that, when you encounter tourists, I send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the evil specter that may be controlling them. If you can’t maintain strong righteous thoughts when sending them for 15 minutes, your dimensional field isn’t clean, so how can you expect to help others? If when you are studying the Fa, you only read but do not retain the meaning in your heart and you cannot maintain righteous thoughts, how can you expect your words to carry the power of the Fa and suppress the evil specter that is controlling ordinary people so that they can hear you? How could you clear their bad notions instilled by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)? If you don’t look inward and continue to hold on to your attachments, your body is dark and murky. How could ordinary people want to approach you? Their knowing side can tell the difference! She suggested that when I get home, I should meditate.
This practitioner’s reminder plus my own experience made me reflect upon my cultivation process when working in the media. I came to realize that the root cause of some of my failures and disappointments was my lackluster attitude towards studying the Fa and sending righteous thoughts.
Since then, I started to increase my Fa-study time, reading Zhuan Falun and Master's new lectures. I also made sure to focus my mind when doing the exercises and sending righteous thoughts. Soon after, I was able to achieve a degree of focus.
I send righteous thoughts, memorize the Fa, and meditate daily. I memorize the Fa before I leave for the tourist site. On the train, I study Essentials for Further Advancement. As I walk from the train station to my destination, I recite “On Dafa.” Before I reach the tourist site, I send righteous thoughts to reject the old forces’ arrangements.
On my way home, I would summarize my experience and find out where I could improve and what attachments were exposed. At home, I would immediately meditate, study the Fa and do the exercises.
When frequently looking inward, I tried to dig out the roots of my attachments. Every attachment I found made me reflect on whether I was under its influence during my past Dafa projects. I maintained the state of constantly looking inward, digging and reflecting, as well as thinking about how I could improve. Soon I felt like I achieved a mental state that one should have when doing truth clarification, and working on Fa-rectification projects.
Clarifying the Truth in Chinatown
With the approach of winter, the number of tourists from mainland China dwindled. So, I switched to the truth-clarification site in Chinatown. It was during the time when the new publication “The Ultimate Goal of Communism” was released by the Editorial Team of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party.
If a passerby refused to take the material I was handing out, I would say, “Every Chinese person is precious, because Chinese people have great responsibilities. Take a look at this article and you’ll understand the meaning of being a Chinese person today.” This allowed me to continue the conversation. When there were few people I would stand in an intersection and talk to them while they were waiting for the traffic light to change. Many people who did not accept my materials asked me for a copy after hearing me speak.
A young lady who looked like a street vendor listened to me while the traffic lights changed seven times. Then, she asked me for a copy of the newspaper, and said, “I will definitely read these articles.”
At first, most people who took the materials were over 70, then people in their 50s and 60s also took it. A month later, people under 40 started to accept my materials and even some in their 20s.
Having observed that some of them would throw the newspaper away, I sent righteous thoughts after one newspaper was taken. Then, more people began to start reading the paper immediately after taking it. Some people would raise questions and debate with me. Some would say, “The Epoch Times always slanders people, so I don’t read it.” I answered, “Don’t hastily turn it away. Please read the articles with patience and you will understand.”
An elderly person pointed to the sky and said to me, “There are Buddhas and Gods in heaven. They know everyone who has committed bad deeds, payback is just a matter of time. You don’t need to tell us, we know the truth.” There were those that encouraged me, “You are doing the right thing! We support you, but please be safe.” I would stand there talking nonstop until I distributed all the papers.
The people in Chinatown changed from being indifferent and despising our newspaper to accepting it. From the change of their expression, I could see that the core of the Chinese people was kind. Their reaction reinforced my confidence to stay there and clarify the truth. My voice became louder, clearer, and more powerful.
Passing a Sickness Test
When I was clarifying the truth, I noticed that some tourists listened to me from a distance and didn’t want to face me directly. The same scenario happened three times. When I was talking to my husband that night, he told me that I had bad breath. I suddenly realized what happened during the day. I started to look for ways to improve my breath, which was due to bleeding gums over the past six months.
I didn’t really take it to heart, thinking that it was no more than a minor tribulation. But then the bleeding became more serious. In the beginning, brushing my teeth or chewing gum would alleviate the situation. Since there weren’t a lot of people who would listen to me clarify the truth to begin with, I was anxious to change the situation, and bad breath is an added obstacle. I kept seeking out ways to change it while looking inward. On the same day, a family member asked me, “What did you do? Your breath doesn’t smell at all.” But it didn’t last for long; two days later, it returned.
I was determined to find out the root of this matter. I must have some attachments that I haven’t found or some that I haven’t completely let go. When I sat in front of Master Li’s portrait trying to think what I did wrong, one sentence suddenly appeared in my mind. “Cultivation is serious!” I thought – gum bleeding causing bad breath must be related to karma in my mouth. What kind of karma could come from my mouth?
I eat and I speak. In terms of eating, I have food that I particularly enjoy, like sweets, so I made up my mind not to touch sweets anymore. When speaking, people’s words are a reflection of their attachments. What did I say that reflected my attachments? I remembered that when I was studying the Fa, occasionally I misread words, adding or omitting words and didn’t put my whole heart into studying the Fa.
I was complaining about fellow practitioners not being responsible. I criticized them based on my notions and standards, such as whether I have complete faith in the Fa and sufficient righteous thoughts, and when I was clarifying the truth, whether I was being sincere and honest. I dug out many bad attachments and decided that I must cultivate my speech well. After studying the Fa, I stopped having bad breath. In about a month my gums stopped bleeding and I fully recovered.
“They are all caused by your own karma. We have already eliminated for you many, numerous pieces of it, leaving only that tiny bit which is divided into tribulations at different levels for upgrading your xinxing, tempering your mind, and removing your different attachments. These are all your own tribulations that we use to improve your xinxing, and you will be able to overcome them. As long as you upgrade your xinxing, you can overcome them. Unless you, yourself do not want to do so, you can make it, provided you want to overcome them.” (Zhuan Falun)
I became clear that the karma was a reflection of my level. Because I actively looked inward, let go of my attachments and elevated my xinxing, my level improved, and the sickness karma was eliminated.
From this experience, I learned that jealousy, the mentality of showing off, zealotry, tendency to complain, as well as many human attachments are rooted in the competitive mentality. People compare with each other when it comes to gain and loss, money, fame, and so on. Without competitiveness, there is no feeling of being unsatisfied and being treated unfairly, there is no jealousy, showing off, zealotry and complaint. Without competitiveness, there’s no fighting, people’s minds become more peaceful, and therefore, less karma is created, and desires are controlled.
Master has given every Dafa disciple abilities. As long as practitioners do what they should, they can wield the powers that Master gave and use them well. Only then are we truly helping Master rectify the Fa. How could there be any attachments that we can’t let go of?
Cooperation During Truth-clarification
At the truth-clarification sites, we usually encounter tourists who are unwilling to listen to the truth and curse at us and accuse us of being crazy. Facing these visitors from China, they’ve traveled halfway around the world to listen to the truth; we don’t want them to lose this opportunity. My fellow practitioners tried everything they could to clarify the truth with the utmost kindness. When we noticed that a practitioner needed help, we did not hesitate to lend a hand or send righteous thoughts. In case of an emergency, with one glance at the coordinator, we would know whether we should push forward or let go. With practitioners’ seemingly random steps, we are constantly adjusting our position to help each other clarify the truth. The scene is very much like Tai Chi – hardness within softness.
A grandfather and his grandson were waiting for the bus. I approached them and started talking to the grandson. When I started to talk about the CCP’s Young Pioneers, saying the oath he swore was bad for him, the grandfather got nervous and tried to stop me from talking further. I then talked to the grandfather about the truth. The old man became angry. A practitioner saw this and came to my aid. The coordinator signaled to me that I should leave the child alone. When I left them, the child saw that his grandfather was angry, so he became angry, too. When he heard the broadcast that our practitioner played, his face turned red and he yelled, “I am a follower of this evil Party, so what?” Another practitioner hurried to appease them and talked to them further. Afterward, we reflected on this experience and tried to find what attachments we held during the process to avoid a similar scenario in the future.
I often reminded myself, especially before reaching the tourist locations, that I need to carry myself with great kindness. With regard to benevolence, my initial thought was that I should smile all the time, I should be patient, and persevere, and not be easily moved. But when tests came, I wasn’t radiating true benevolence, there was only a fake smile on my face and my facial muscles even went numb.
Master taught about benevolence in
“True shan is what a cultivator attains in the process of cultivation and cultivating goodness, and this is a genuine shan that is achieved by cultivation. When you interact with sentient beings, it's not possible for you to display your successfully-cultivated divine side in full, since you still have a human side that has yet to complete cultivation. When required, you must be rational and clearheaded like a cultivator, allowing your responsibilities and righteous thoughts to direct you, and only then will your true shan be displayed. That is what's different about a cultivator and a divine being. And that is what compassion means--not some intentional display, show of human preference for this or that, or an instantiation of, "If you're good to me, then I will be shan toward you." It is offered unconditionally and has no thought of reward--it is fully for the sake of sentient beings. When this compassionate goodness emerges, its strength is without equal, and it will disintegrate any bad factors.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference” from Teaching the Fa at the Conference IX)
I came to realize that the compassion I adopted was just kindness on the surface, my intention was to let the other party accept me, so they could listen to the truth. I stopped at the surface of truth-clarification and didn’t know to save people with true compassionate goodness.
With the experience of cooperating with practitioners to save people, I learned – doing well myself is small goodness, cooperating well with practitioners is big goodness, cooperating well with practitioners so the project could save people well is a great goodness. That is what Master wants from us. My understanding of Master’s teaching of “Dafa disciples are one” was deepened.
Clarifying the truth at tourist sites has helped my xinxing improve significantly and helped with other projects that I participate in. With newspaper design, my inspiration arrives faster, my breadth of thought has become wider, and I learned to think three dimensionally. I learned to analyze things from different angles and different aspects with different depths to arrive at a more feasible solution. With selling Shen Yun tickets, my righteous thoughts helped tremendously. When performing in the Tian Guo Marching Band, I am filled with righteous thoughts. Every note that I played eliminated evil elements within sentient beings.