The Importance of Having a Righteous Attitude Towards Truth Clarification and Breaking Through Our Strong Sense of Self
(Clearwisdom.net) Hello Master, hello fellow practitioners.
I am a practitioner from Los Angeles. I began practicing Falun Gong almost three years ago and have been working on the UN project for about two years, mostly polishing persecution cases. Today I would like to share with you some things I enlightened to regarding our attitude towards truth clarification and the attachment to self.
For whom do we clarify the truth?
For this project, one practitioner coordinates the work, so on a technical level that practitioner assigns persecution cases to different practitioners to translate or proofread and then they send them back to her when they are finished. Every year in March, there is always a lot of work to do to prepare for the UN human rights commission meeting and to prepare the annual Falun Gong report. This year, during this time I found myself sometimes becoming very sleepy when I sat down to proofread a case, even though I had gotten plenty of sleep.
After sharing with a fellow practitioner, I realized that I had been treating this Dafa work as work and as an assignment I had to finish for my "boss", rather than as an opportunity to save sentient beings. I also saw that I had a very selfish attitude regarding the cases I proofread -- I would only volunteer to help when I had a lot of free time and I would set for myself a "quota" of how many cases I would do each day. If I reached that amount, I was content with myself and didn't ask for more cases. I was treating the proofreading as a chore and did not feel any responsibility for the project as a whole.
In "Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Atlanta Fa Conference," Teacher said:
"So I say that the most important goal for you in clarifying the truth is to save even more beings in the process. This is what's foremost, and this is the real purpose of clarifying the truth."
I re-examined my attitude towards this project and towards truth clarification in general. I considered the effect of the project as a whole and the contribution it makes to the whole body effort of Dafa disciples. I reflected on the process it took for the cases to arrive in my hands and about the importance of exposing the evil. I remembered what Teacher explained in Atlanta:
"Things look ordinary and uneventful when you clarify the truth, but the effect is huge".
On the surface, reading a few paragraphs and correcting some grammar mistakes may not seem like a grand manifestation of Dafa disciples' compassion, but more like menial, ordinary work. However, when all of our efforts come together the effect is huge. Furthermore, Teacher explains in Zhuan Falun that:
"When you go home and write a few words--no matter how your handwriting is--it carries gong!"
So, every word we write carries the power of Dafa and this already makes it different from what non-practitioners write even if the surface words are the same.
One thing that was blocking me from fully contributing to this project was my notion that I was doing this work because someone else asked me to, I had an attitude of "doing a favor" for another practitioner. In "Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference," Teacher said:
"Not a single thing you've done is for Master, and not a single thing you've done is for anybody else."
I enlightened to the fact that such an attitude was a big loophole and that was why the old forces were able to interfere with me and make me sleepy. Once I stopped to think about the larger significance of the project, about why it was important from the Fa and that the project did not "belong" to one or two practitioners but was the responsibility of all of those working on it, I began to take it more seriously, was no longer sleepy and was able to work faster.
Attachment to self at the UN meeting in Geneva
Besides helping proofread, for the past two years I joined the Falun Gong Human Rights Working Group at the meeting of the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva. The human rights commission is an incredible opportunity to clarify the truth to people that are otherwise very difficult to meet, for example, the head of Amnesty International or a government official from a small African country like Sierra Leone. On the other hand, because there are so many 'important' people there, sometimes our strong sense of self emerges and prevents us from working well as one body. I would like to share an experience I had regarding this issue in Geneva this year.
One of the things our group did in Geneva was hold private meetings with some of the UN officials. Among those of us that went to Geneva from our group, only myself and one other practitioner speak French and he speaks it much better than I do. Nevertheless, at one of the meetings we had with an official who spoke French, I kept trying to translate what different people were saying in order to make it more clear. After the meeting, I realized that I was really using the excuse of "trying to help" to cover up my show-off mentality and that furthermore, my interjections into the conversation probably did more harm than good.
I remembered what Teacher said at the end of "Explaining the Fa During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the US West Fa Conference:"
"You should face the journey ahead of you with even more rationality, and you should handle everything that you're doing today with even more rationality. Don't be stuck in emotion anymore, and don't be mired in your very strong sense of self anymore. You all have abilities and talents, Master has affirmed you, and you don't need to display those things of yours to Master anymore"
In "Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Atlanta Fa Conference," Teacher explained:
"If you can put the Fa first, let go of your self, and deal with your problems with righteous thoughts, you will be able to reach a decision quickly and do things well in validating the Fa."
I stopped and tried to think of what would really be the best way for me to contribute to the group truth clarification effort -- was it to go to the meetings with the UN officials? Did we really need five people there? Did I need to be there when there was another practitioner that spoke French or was there something better I could be doing at that time? I realized that I really did not need to attend some of the meetings and that my time would be better spent going and listening to the speeches being made by human rights organizations. A much less glorious "job" but important nevertheless because it enabled me to recognize the heads of the organizations so I could approach them later.
So, when it came time for the next meeting with one of the officials, I just told the other practitioners that I didn't really need to be there and I went to listen to the speeches. As soon as I walked in, the representative from the organization we were with gave a statement where she mentioned Falun Gong, so I sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate anything interfering with and distracting those present from listening. Then, representatives from some important human rights organization gave statements. Later, I was able to go up to one of them and speak with him. He gave me his card and asked us to send him information about judges and lawyers in China so that his organization could help us. If I had gone to the meeting with the UN official, such a precious opportunity to speak with the representative of an organization with members around the world would have been missed.
From these experiences, I enlightened to the importance of having a firm understanding from the Fa with regards to the truth clarification projects we work on and that all the Dafa work we do is an opportunity to improve our righteous thoughts, let go of our selfishness and most importantly, save sentient beings. I saw how much more effective and comprehensive our truth clarification efforts can be when we really let go of our strong sense of self. I also realized how my attachment to showing off can sometimes be very well-hidden behind "doing things for Dafa". The above is my personal understanding; I hope it is helpful to fellow practitioners who work on this and other projects. Please kindly point out anything incorrect.
Thank you Teacher. Thank you everyone.