Assimilating with Dafa to Save Sentient Beings
(Minghui.org) Greetings Master, and fellow practitioners!
My cultivation journey has not been always smooth. There has been diligence and righteous thoughts, but there has also been suffering during tribulations. I have learned to cherish my cultivation path, and have made it this far.
Transforming from a Muddle-headed Teenager to a Practitioner Assisting in Fa-rectification
I was born in 1994. In my family, my grandmother was the first to be exposed to Falun Dafa, also called Falun Gong. She was fortunate to attend Master’s lectures. Then, my mother started doing the exercises with her mother-in-law when she was pregnant with me. So I was exposed to Dafa since I was in the womb, and started practicing Dafa with my mother and grandmother after I was born.
Since the ban of Falun Gong in 1999, with its associated pressure, we started practicing in secret, and I was not diligent at all. It wasn’t until a fellow practitioner reached out to us and provided us with new lectures and truth-clarification materials did we realize that we were in the Fa-rectification period. The new lectures from Master and the sharing from fellow practitioners were a wake-up call for me. I was determined to be diligent in my cultivation and started clarifying the truth.
In high school, I started clarifying the truth to my classmates, and got to know a young practitioner whose mother was illegally detained at the time. So I regularly brought Master’s new lectures to her and shared my understandings with her. We also sent righteous thoughts together to support her mother. After her mother was released, our two families formed a Fa-study group. We made and distributed truth-clarification materials with a few other practitioners.
Due to my unstable xinxing, there would often be disruptions during my truth clarification process. My political science teacher reported me to the police after I clarified the truth to her. Then police from the 610 Office came to my door. We knew it was interference caused by the old forces. I realized that I had the attachment to showing off and combativeness, and I was not acting rationally, which gave the old forces a chance to attack me.
The 610 Office officers wanted to interrogate me. I overheard the argument between my father and the police officers behind the door. So, I opened Zhuan Falun, looked at Master’s picture, and asked him for help. I was really debating as to whether to clarify the truth to the police or not. Finally, my righteous thoughts defeated my fear. I thought to myself, “I have to do it. The police are sentient beings who deserve to be saved.” I clarified the truth to the police, from how Dafa spread around the world to the illegal and unjust aspects of the persecution. The police didn’t say anything, but left, and there was no follow-up visit. Master protected me.
Using the Arts for Truth Clarification
With Master’s protection, I left China after high school. I majored in Visual Arts at university. The arts major teachings focused mainly on modern twisted things and there was nothing taught in regards to painting skills and foundations. As for the assignments and paintings from the students, the uglier, the better. The highly skilled paintings couldn’t earn any high marks and were criticized for not having “meaning and thought.”
I was very troubled, so I thought of a solution. If I couldn’t draw beautiful things, I would draw the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) persecution. In an advanced painting course, I planned to paint the CCP’s political persecutions towards the innocents, including the persecution of Falun Gong. But at the same time, I was hesitating, and my heart was filled with fear. My professor was from China; I was worried that he would not be receptive towards my work and would treat me differently. I was also worried that my Chinese classmates would single me out and cause trouble.
After thinking it over, I realized that I needed to let go of my attachment to self, and clarify the truth to my professor and classmates. So I talked to my professor about my plan. To my surprise, he was very supportive, because he was actually one of the students standing up to the CCP during the Tiananmen Massacre.
On a piece of long traditional rice painting paper and with Chinese painting ink, I painted the many political movements by the CCP since it came into power. When I was showcasing my work in class, it felt like that everyone held their breath and paid full attention to me. When I presented the forced organ harvesting of detained Falun Gong practitioners, there was shock and sorrow in my classmates’ eyes. After my presentation, a Chinese classmate walked towards me. I thought she was going to cause trouble, but instead, she told me that I should frame my work because it was so well done. This art piece laid the foundation for me to clarify the truth through the lens of painting.
Working on Rescuing My Mother and Improving Xinxing
Last December, my mother was arrested and our house was confiscated because she was caught clarifying the truth to pedestrians on a street corner in Beijing. After getting the news, I started sending righteous thoughts repeatedly for her. I thought, the evil cannot touch me; I am going to break the evil elements persecuting my mother, so she can be released very soon. I had a thought that the detention usually would not exceed 14 days. But after 14 days, I got the news that my mother was transferred to the local police department, which caused me to panic and worry. There was no news about her release.
I started thinking about the rapport between my mother and I. She constantly worried about me being alone abroad, so she used to call often to check on me. But I thought she was the most nagging person ever. She always tried to tell me what to do without knowing anything about my life outside of China. I realized how immature I was and how impatient I was towards my mother’s good intentions. Yet from the Fa’s perspective, I knew that it wasn’t right. My mother was too attached to family sentiments and my negative reactions were not right either. I never thought about sharing my Fa understanding with her and treating her like a fellow practitioner.
After recognizing the issue, I did not feel relieved. On the contrary, I became really pessimistic and felt guilty. I thought I was so horrible and started howling in my room. When I shared this with a fellow practitioner, and told him about my mental stage, he shared Master’s teaching with me.
“Do you not know to value and cherish yourselves? I certainly cherish you! And divine beings do too! (Applause.) So all the more so should you value and cherish yourselves.” (“2018 Fa Teaching Given in Washington, D.C.”)
This has been a loophole in my cultivation. I would feel extremely guilty and ashamed when I made a mistake, which unconsciously worsened it. I used to think that I wouldn’t be able to learn from my mistakes if I didn’t completely drown in regret and guilt. Often, I felt undeserving to be a Dafa disciple. But, when I really reflected on it, this method not only failed to help me let go of the attachment, but became an attachment itself that was hard to let go. Therefore, it caused more guilt and shame, and put me in an endless vicious cycle. This was actually a mutated mentality, causing me to lose confidence in cultivation, as well as feel depressed and defeated.
I started sending righteous thoughts to clear up these elements. I realized that it wasn’t my own thoughts when these thoughts crept up again. Within a short time, I felt that my consciousness became very powerful and clear. My xinxing improved.
Soon after, my mother was transferred to a detention center, while the authorities started gathering the so-called “evidence” to create a case in order to press charges. By this point, I had told a few friends who didn’t practice cultivation about my mother’s circumstances. One of them helped me reach out to Amnesty International. During the phone conversation with a representative for Amnesty, I was asked if I would like to have an “Urgent Action” and be involved in writing to the Chinese authority, and urge the general public to write to the procurator requesting to drop the charges. My father, who wasn’t a practitioner, was strongly opposed to the plan, as he was worried that the procurator would use our plan as “evidence” to frame my mother if we made a fuss. Fear and worries filled my mind. I was debating if I should make my mother’s case public and whether the procurator would take revenge and hurt my other family members.
I knew that only Fa study would help me overcome my mental block. So I calmed down and read the Fa. Master said that the Buddha answered, “What I asked you to clean was the basin.” (Seventh Talk, Zhuan Falun), which gave me a hint. I understood that the evil elements in the other dimension were like the insects in the basin. If I were to clean the basin, why would I care so much about the thoughts and feelings of the insects? Or why would I be so scared of the insects harming me? With this thought, I replied to Amnesty International that I’d like to make the case public as soon as possible. Whenever my heart started to waver, I kept reminding myself that it was the basin that I was supposed to clean. Then, I would be able to focus and not get distracted by the presentation on the surface. I would do whatever it takes to eliminate the evil.
Soon, the Urgent Action from Amnesty International was published. Meanwhile, I was busy spreading the word on social media, urging the general public to write to the procurator. Some practitioners suggested that I speak at group study and ask for signatures on the petition to release my mother. Suddenly, I had to prepare for my speech, create the petition and make posters, all within a short time. I also had to draft the application for dropping the charges. Meanwhile I had to perform well at work and deal with the pressure coming from my father. I felt like hundreds of things were happening at once.
During those days, Master’s poem kept on appearing in my mind,
“‘Tis in hardship the golden body is temperedWhy such slow and leisurely steps?”(“The Difficult Path to Godhood,” Hong Yin Vol. II)
Master was helping me to improve my xinxing with this incident. He gave me this opportunity to establish my mighty virtue, while standing up to the persecution and saving human beings. By studying the Fa, Master enlightened me to have “...a focused mind...” (The Fifth Talk, Zhuan Falun) With the Fa, I overcame the nervous and anxious mental mindset.
During the process of exposing the persecution and collecting signatures on my petition, the conscience and righteousness of the general public really touched me. On social media, a lot of friends and strangers shared my posts about the Urgent Action from Amnesty International, and many people wrote to the procurator urging them to drop the charges and release my mother. I collected signatures from my co-workers at lunch breaks and everyone signed without any hesitation. People started talking about the CCP’s persecution towards Falun Gong. One colleague joked with another saying, “Hey, you signed without reading a thing. What if you’ve signed to give all your money away?” The colleague then answered, “Then, I spent my money on justice.”
This June, the procurator framed my mother and handed her case to the court against the will of the general public. I felt a little defeated when I heard the news. I’d done everything I could but there was no impact? I started doubting myself. I got a call from my aunt who was not a practitioner. She told me not to worry about my mother. She said that she had a dream about the whole family going on a trip, and my mother and she were sitting on a bench watching me play soccer. Playing soccer? I wondered why. Is this because I had a pursuit? (Note: The word soccer and being bewildered are both pronounced as Qiu in Chinese.) I realized that I was caught up with a mentality of completing tasks and seeking results, and that I was too superficial, because I paid too much attention to making the presentation. I also enlightened that Master was hinting that I should have confidence in my mother, regardless of how things may seem. She is, after all, a practitioner who is being protected by Master at all times.
“When disciples have ample righteous thoughtsMaster has the power to turn back the tide”(“The Master-Disciple Bond,” Hong Yin II)
Although the rescue effort is still in process, I feel that my xinxing has improved tremendously within a short period of time.
The Divine Pens Deter Demons in Human Skin
“The divine pens deter those demons in human skinLike sharpened blades, they extirpate rotten spirits”(“Deterrence,” Hong Yin Vol. II)
I understood that Master has given me a divine pen and equipped me with painting skills to validate Dafa.
Since April, I have started making illustrations of the tortures used in the persecution for the Minghui website. This experience has been another test for my xinxing. Aside from working for 8 hours a day in an animation company, I also do freelance illustration, plus drawing the illustrations for the tortures. Therefore, I often immerse myself in drawing for 10 to 11 hours a day. Because the content of the drawing is about Dafa disciples being brutally tortured, it takes a long time. My skills are not mature, also, and I often take some crying breaks after I draw a few scenes. I thought of Master’s poem,
“The divine is turning the FalunDafa disciples shed blood on the dust--It is for the sake of sentient beingsHow hard it is to save you”(“How Hard To Save You,” Hong Yin Vol. III)
Slowly but surely, I am able to let go of emotions. I believe that this is what I am meant to do, reveal the evil and save sentient beings. I listen to PuDu and JiShi while drawing, as the music helps me stay focused and be in a compassionate state.
I can really feel that the improvement of my painting skills is closely related to my xinxing improvement. In Chinese traditional cultural, this is called “one’s painting reflects the painter himself.” If I want to be a good painter, I have to learn how to be a good person, and let go of the attachments to fame, competitiveness and jealousy.
As a professional artist, I look at more than 1,000 painters on social media, and I go through the newsfeed every day to check on any new publications. When browsing, I compare myself to them unconsciously. I think, “This person is not as good as I am,” or,“How can this person be so good? He’s so much better than I.” Then, I either feel arrogant or inferior.
I sometimes post my own work online and constantly check to see who liked my posts. I started drawing at a very young age. Growing up, in order to motivate me to get better, my father often compared me with other people. Later, I realized that the motivation for improving my skills isn’t a righteous one, but is related to the attachment of beating others. I was very annoyed at not being able to let go of this attachment.
One day when I was reading Zhuan Falun, a sentence struck me,“Keep in mind that if you gain any particular power, or if all of your powers are freed, it came to you from practicing Dafa.” ( The Sixth Talk, Zhuan Falun) This sentence was like a lightening rod. Suddenly, everything started to make sense. Tears covered my face. The so-called “talent and skills” may seem that I’d reached the level of achievement through being born with the skills, plus hard work, but everything is actually created by Dafa. The word endowment itself means gift from heaven. So if everything is given to me by Dafa, how could I go after fame and wealth and compete with others?
“It's because Dafa disciples with artistic skills have abilities and energy. If the things you do aren't upright, or aren't upright enough, you'll reinforce the unrighteous elements, which will affect human society even more.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Discussion on Writing Music and Creating Fine Art, Teaching the Fa at the Discussion on Creating Fine Art”)
“Dafa disciples are not only saving sentient beings, they're also blazing a true path for the existence of human beings. These are all things that Dafa disciples are doing in validating the Fa.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Discussion on Writing Music and Creating Fine Art, Teaching the Fa at the Discussion on Creating Fine Art”)
I realized that we are shouldering an important mission and we have to walk a righteous path. There are a lot of arts on social media that are deviated, and they are inappropriate to use as reference. So I deleted them and stopped browsing.
When I let go of my long-term attachments to fame and jealousy, and cleared my mind so I could walk a righteous path, my heart opened, and I noticed significant improvement regarding my drawing skills. This “divine pen” is an honor and mission given to me by Master and Dafa. I will use it to eliminate the evil, and help Master to rectify the Fa. This is the path I am determined to walk.
I had a dream not long ago. In the dream, I was watching the stars and a lot of stars dropped. They all turned into meteorites and destroyed a lot of architecture.
As the stars dropped, colorful Falun and bright nebulae appeared in the sky. Just as I turned around to clarify the truth to the two people standing behind me, I saw them smiling at me wearing clothing with Dafa words already on them. I thought this dream must be reflecting the scene when the Fa rectifies the human world. The celestial body is renewed, and the new universe is as wonderful as it should be. Compared with so many things in this immense universe, my little human attachment is so tiny.
“ “Cultivation” is the perfection and fulfillment of a being.” (“2018 Fa Teaching Given in Washington, D.C.”)
The Fa has helped me grow through my personal experiences. I am so grateful to Master and the Fa for everything that has been given to me.
Thank you Master, and fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2019 Canada Fa Conference)