Criteria for Cultivating Speech and Trustworthiness
(Minghui.org) I met fellow practitioner Jenny a few years ago, and she asked me for help a few times. One day, Jenny brought another practitioner May to my home without any heads-up. I later learned from May that she knew everything that Jenny knew about me. May was later persecuted. I only met May's mother and sister once, but I was surprised that they also knew everything about me that Jenny knew. Jenny introduced me to another practitioner Ann. During a conversation with Ann, I learned that she also knew everything Jenny knew about me, including my cultivation experiences, my personal information, and even detailed information about my family.
Even though Jenny insisted that she didn’t share information with anyone except trustworthy fellow practitioners that she knew very well, the reality made me ask, “Does knowing people well mean they are trustworthy? What is the criteria for being trustworthy?”
I remember an article published on the Minghui website mentioning that when practitioners felt very close to other practitioners, they told them their personal information and details about their truth clarification projects without reservation; but the listeners spread the information.
Master told us how practitioners involved in Minghui work should keep things confidential,
“Even when they do participate, they can’t disclose what they are working on, since these are unique times, after all.” (Fa Teaching at the 2019 New York Fa Conference)
It’s because these practitioners do better at safeguarding truth-clarification projects and others’ safety.
Some practitioners openly tell their non-practitioner family members or new practitioners about their truth-clarification projects. They assume the listeners won’t casually talk about it or report them. However, if we don’t cultivate speech or pay attention to other practitioners’ safety, how can we count on these listeners?
A Terrible Lesson
I would like to share the terrible lesson I learned about cultivating speech.
On July 21, 1999, the authorities from our county’s Political Security Department searched my home. I was deceived and took them to a fellow practitioner’s home. She had to hand over her Falun Dafa books and videotapes, as well as Master’s portraits. She continued to be harassed, and her home was searched many times. She had to leave her home to avoid further persecution, but was eventually arrested and thrown into a labor camp. She was forced to give up her practice due to the brutal torture.
I was deeply saddened. I was young, simple and weak. I easily believed the authorities who lied and claimed that they already knew everything. No matter what the situation was, the truth is that I led them to that practitioner’s home.
I was then monitored by the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) secret agents since 1998. I was their target, but this fellow practitioner was not. I didn’t realize it until many years later, after I read Master’s teaching about this topic and realized things I wasn’t aware of at the time. I deeply regret unknowingly helping the old forces persecute a practitioner. If she hadn’t been persecuted or forced to give up her practice, she would have been able to save so many sentient beings! What huge karma I incurred! How could I say I was trustworthy?
I was interrogated in a school office for most of that night. The next morning I was sent back home, but they continued monitoring me. Even though I was threatened before, especially in December 1998, when I was harassed and deprived of freedom, I never betrayed Master, Dafa, or any fellow practitioner. However, their lies during the interrogation on July 21, 1999, made me tell them about all the practitioners I knew and my interactions with them!
Such a terrible wrongdoing wasn’t because I hadn’t cultivated myself well or tried to sell others out to protect myself. It was because they tricked me during their intense interrogation. They made me think I was simply verifying what they already knew. They were playing with me and using psychology on me. I fell into their trap!
All the practitioners I mentioned that night were persecuted. Some were tortured so badly that they were forced to give up practicing. Others were led astray. Some are still persecuted. I have lost contact with most of them. This was a terrible lesson—how I, the “trustworthy” person, caused such a huge loss for Dafa!
What a monstrous amount of karma I incurred! How much difficulty have I brought to my fellow practitioners and their truth-clarification efforts! So many people could have learned the truth of Dafa through these fellow practitioners!
Some former practitioners used to be close with us cultivated diligently, and watched their speech. However, they eventually stopped cultivating themselves, were led astray, or even became opposed to Falun Dafa. They spread the information they knew about fellow practitioners. These examples also serve as lessons that we absolutely shouldn’t share confidential information.
Who is close enough? Are even close fellow practitioners trustworthy? What is the criteria? These questions aren’t easily answered with human notions. All we can do is tightly seal confidential information—out of a sense of responsibility to Dafa.
Being Responsible to Dafa
Now I stick to my rules: I never mention any fellow practitioner’s information to anyone. If I’m asked, I measure it with Dafa's principles. I refuse to answer if I don’t think the information should be shared. During discussions, I do my best not to mention any fellow practitioners' names or location. When practitioners need help at their homes, I’m extra careful about it. I never bring anyone to any practitioner’s home without permission ahead of time.
In addition, I never tell everything I know about something. Instead I briefly share only the necessary information that won’t cause any consequence in the future. I absolutely don’t introduce practitioners to each other, or take one to visit another. When a practitioner I don’t personally know is subjected to persecution and needs help immediately, I visit that practitioner with others. However, it’s a situation involving the balance between security and righteous thoughts.
When I meet with other practitioners, I try to spend the entire time studying the Fa, doing the exercises, sending forth righteous thoughts, or discussing how to do truth-clarification. I absolutely don’t chat about myself or other practitioners. When some fellow practitioners suffer sickness karma, or indulge themselves in comfort, video games, or making money, the best way to help them is to consistently eliminate interference for them with my righteous thoughts, and patiently study the Fa and send forth righteous thoughts together with them.
Master told us,
“The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts.” (“Drive Out Interference,” Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I have been trying to write this article for a long time, but couldn’t write it sooner because of interference and my attachments. Even though I have written it, I don’t think I've fully expressed my understanding due to my limited level of cultivation.
Lets' reflect on what Master said,
“Strive together diligentlyThe future’s shining brilliantly” (“Harmonizing the Fa,” Hong Yin, (English Translation Version C))