Processing the Re-translation of Zhuan Falun 2018
(Minghui.org) Esteemed Master and fellow practitioners, I have been asked to share some of my cultivation experiences re-translating and editing the 2018 version of Zhuan Falun.
The coordinator of the German Dafa Association asked me in September 2017 if I would be able to help with the re-translation of Zhuan Falun. I agreed, and my wife and I started the editing process.
What was unexpectedly asked of me showed me again that it is not about what I would like to do but where Master could use my abilities. Ultimately, this depended on whether I had reached the cultivation level that was necessary for this undertaking.
I was very interested in editing the existing version of Zhuan Falun back in 2015, but it never happened. A fellow practitioner suggested in 2016 that I be asked to help edit the new version of Zhuan Falun. It didn’t happen then, either. In retrospect, I understand that I had not reached the necessary skill level for such a responsible undertaking.
Improving Through Suffering
After I decided to coordinate a major project beginning in 2017, I started to have symptoms of illness karma, and my life of suffering began. It lasted for 16 months. The so-called illness karma manifested itself through different symptoms. As soon as one disappeared, the next one appeared.
I began to look inward and asked myself what could be the reason for this so-called sickness karma. Was there a gap that could be taken advantage of by the old forces? Why did it happen at the very moment I decided to organize a major project? In any event, I had driven the old force factors from their lairs to try to prevent this event from happening. Their attempt was unsuccessful, however, because it did not stop me from implementing my Dafa-validation project.
At the same time, I observed the about-face of the so-called illness karma and had different thoughts about it. For example, it could mean the metamorphosis of my body. As I understood from studying the Fa, enduring karma is associated with the raising of one’s cultivation level. When we reach another cultivation level, as well as any subsequent levels, our entire world will be restructured. Thus, I thought that all this suffering was a good thing and that the old forces’ attempts to hinder me would turn into something positive. In retrospect, this process of suffering served to turn my suffering, my karma, into virtue. At the same time, it raised my cultivation energy. In doing so, I was finally in a position to improve when working on projects.
While suffering to elevate in cultivation levels, I did not think of being involved in the improvement of Zhuan Falun. In my present understanding, I believe that this process of suffering served to prepare me for the task that required a higher xinxing – the new version of Zhuan Falun.
Without Aspiring, Things Happen Naturally
I finally understand what Master meant when he said, “One should gain things naturally without pursuing them.” (“Learning the Fa,” Essentials For Further Advancement) It does not matter what I want to do. It asks if I have reached the cultivation level necessary to be part of a certain Dafa project. As Master let me understand, cultivation skills are a side effect of diligent cultivation. Cultivators cannot seek them. Therefore, I evaluate every request to participate in a Dafa project. First, I have to attain the cultivation level necessary for such a project. My xinxing must have reached the necessary cultivation level to be worthy for Master to assign me to such a project. Then, and only then, will Master assign me to a project in which I can help with Fa-rectification the most.
The First Roadblock
Shortly after we started editing, we faced the first roadblock. When the main coordinator asked us to finish our editing by the end of the year, we realized that this was impossible.
The question arose as to how to get the main coordinator to understand this. For years, I had wanted to be part of this project and was not allowed to. Now, because I was allowed to be part of this, I could not produce a satisfactory product in such a short time. What should I do? Continue with the project or find an excuse to quit?
It was soon clear to me that I had to either do this Dafa project well or step aside. It is impossible to jeopardize such an important project because of my preposterous human thought. We talked to the main coordinator. He understood and agreed with the approach we had planned.
The Second Roadblock: Cultivating Endurance and Flexibility
After a practitioner learned about our project, she was rather pleased. I explained that the re-translation must be kept very close to the Chinese original but be written in a colloquial speaking style. Her response was that this did not conform to the usual structure of a book and that we needed to revise the grammatical and stylistic structure accordingly.
I had not expected that, and the plan for the next round of editing stalled. Now, flexibility was the next step. I asked myself what else I would have to face. Just a few minutes before, I was certain that we were close to finishing the editing. Now I was unsure how much more time we needed. Would two rounds be enough? However, our game plan was to deliver a clean and thorough edit, no matter how long it took. So we threw out all our earlier deliberations and started working on restructuring the book.
In retrospect, after reviewing the entire process, I am certain that patience, perseverance, and flexibility are of greatest importance during this time of Fa-rectification, for all those involved. Master needed an immeasurably long time to enable all beings to enter the new cosmos. The old forces destroyed all that.
However, Master carried on to save all sentient beings, despite the old forces’ interference. No matter how many obstacles the old forces put in Master's path, he simply makes use of their arrangements to achieve his objective.
The Third Roadblock: “Who Is Right and Who Is Wrong?”
After we redefined our functions, we began to read each section together and, if necessary, improve upon it.
We tried, when differing suggestions were made, to find common ground. Although I was ultimately responsible, I did not insist on my opinion. However, this was not always easy. At such moments, I tried to decide rationally and was not influenced by my feelings.
This type of cooperation, which also was agreed upon with the main coordinator, moved us forward as one body, especially when it pertained to our project. I truly experienced what I understood from Master's Fa: The less members of a project insist on their own opinions and the more they place themselves into the project and give their all, the project environment will be harmonious, and everything will run smoothly.
Forming One Body
The main coordinator announced the publication of the new version of Zhuan Falun in the summer of 2018. We put the final version online and asked fellow practitioners to advise us of any mistakes or submit an improvement.
At first I was a little worried, “How would my fellow practitioners react to the new translation?” It didn't take long for the first email to arrive. One practitioner said that when reading the new version, she felt as if it was addressing her personally. Others said that they were awakened by the new version and gained new insights when reading it. I was encouraged.
More emails arrived, telling us of mistakes, which we corrected. Suggestions were made. All emails showed that fellow practitioners wanted to wholeheartedly support this endeavor.
German, Austrian, and Swiss, as well as our Chinese practitioners, formed one body that helped improve the new version of Zhuan Falun.
Thus, unintentionally, this Dafa project that had started with a few practitioners turned into a project where German-speaking practitioners formed one body—something that Master had asked of us.
Nothing Happens Without Master
Working on the latest translation of Zhuan Falun allowed for many cultivation experiences. It showed me over and over again that I'm helping Master but that it is Master who makes everything possible.
Master is always there and guides us to carry out the project optimally. Disruptions and errors will appear when we get caught up in our notions, thus losing clarity and our wisdom.
Master's Infinite Patience
Of course, we first worked on “On Dafa,” (Lunyu). There is where Master's infinite patience showed me the mistakes I made, but which I could not have found without His guidance.
Since “On Dafa” consists of only four paragraphs, I thought that we could deal with it quickly. But it was not like that. Time and time again, Master made me aware of the need to look at certain sentences and correct them. Often this happened at completely unexpected moments. For example, shortly before waking up, a thought told me to look at a given sentence. This thought was not loud or quiet, just very distinct. It repeated itself until I finally understood and checked the sentence.
Surprisingly, the sentence was incorrect and we restructured it with the main coordinator. Then, the thoughts were gone. But after while a new thought to look at a certain sentence entered my mind. Certain parts of “On Dafa” were thus redone step by step. This would have been impossible without Master's guidance.
Watching Out for Negligence
Master found different ways to help us, even using foreign practitioners.
In the first sentence of “The Third Talk” “Cosmic Tongues” there was a spelling error. Instead of “cosmic tongues” it said “comic tongues.” No one noticed it. A Swedish practitioner informed the main coordinator of this error.
That was embarrassing! How could I have missed that? How could everyone involved in the editing process miss it? But, the most important question relating to this was: “What was Master pointing out through this error?”
As I understand, the Fa won't give us anything if we are not attentive and respectful towards the Fa. Throughout the years of my cultivation there were times when, given that inattentiveness, I did not enlighten to anything when I was reading Zhuan Falun.
In my understanding, Master showed us through the quote “comic tongues” that the Fa he gave us must always, and without exception, be read with gratitude and with respect.
What Am I Missing?
Furthermore, Master helped me recognize discord. At one time, one sentence, when reading the Fa, caught my eye that held a clear discord. Actually, I should have recognized it when reading the full sentence. I asked myself why Master had waited for almost a year and a half before he pointed it out directly. Perhaps because I had not reached the point in my cultivation where I could have recognized it.
As a result I asked myself, “What else am I missing?” How many mistakes will I continue to make when trying to save sentient beings, because I just did not recognize the discord? How long must Master wait before He can help me, just because I haven't cultivated diligently and have not reached the level of understanding needed?
I used to be unhappy that the Fa-rectification had not ended yet. This thought came up when I had not cultivated diligently. With this incident, Master made it clear to me that I don't need to ask him when it will all end. Instead, I should ask why I am not diligent and therefore cannot recognize the help and guidance Master is giving me.
Master is waiting for us. Thus, we cannot slow down in our cultivation.
Pointers to Be Taken to Heart
Above are some of my cultivation experiences from working on the 2018 version of Zhuan Falun. Every single one of my experiences has to do with consistency, reliability, and hope.
Master is always near us. Master directs and guides us. Master will take us home.
Master, my deepest thanks for all that you have done and are still doing for me.
Dear fellow practitioners, let us form one body—powerful and filled with compassion.
(Presented at the 2019 European Fa Conference)