Gradually Let Go of Oneself on the Path of Validating the Fa (Part 2)
3. No longer attached to myself, but instead taking the initiative to coordinate
I thought overall I had been participating in everything that validated the Fa. For example, I attended almost all the Fa-conferences here and shared with other practitioners. On truth-clarification, we practitioners also learned from each other to get rid of shortcomings. No matter which project, including anti-torture exhibitions and so on, I would definitely join as long as I was notified. I thought in this way I had been participating in these as one body.
One day a practitioner came to me and asked if I could let other practitioners work with the material production site so that I could spend more time on coordination. I was surprised, since I had never been linked with being a coordinator in the past. I was shy and not eloquent, not characteristics that I associated with coordinators. As I looked within carefully, I asked myself why I was so afraid to be a coordinator. In fact, although I was not a coordinator, I actually had been coordinating things such as truth-clarification material preparation and distribution.
As I looked within, I found I still had attachments of fear. I was afraid others would think badly of me if I could not do things well. There was also an attachment to fame, rather than considering things from the basis of the Fa. We need to do whatever is necessary in order to be responsible for the Fa. As long as it has positive effects for the Fa and as long as it can help save sentient beings and validate the Fa, we need to do it. Whether we can do it well is largely dependent on our heart. If our xinxing meets the requirements, Teacher will help us and we will do things well. This is "The cultivation is up to you, gong is up to the master." (Zhuan Falun) After all, the Fa is profound. After thinking it over, I decided to consider the Fa as the highest priority and agreed with that practitioner for me to be a coordinator.
Nothing on the journey to validate the Fa is accidental. If something is not relevant, you will not come across it. As long as something is helpful to validate the Fa, we need to do it. As I was coordinating, I found another attachment, the attachment of not totally dissolving into one-body. Instead, I often just concentrated on the small area that I was responsible for. Plus, when confronting difficulties, I would find excuses to evade the problem. I also tended to work at the material sites that I was familiar with, since that was much easier for me. Sometimes when I went with practitioner A to other cities to coordinate Dafa work, these hidden fears came to the surface. Although I was physically there, my xinxing did not meet the standard. As a result, my situation was not good: I felt dizzy on the bus and lacked strong righteous thoughts. Still, with practitioner A's efforts, we were able to harmonize things well. Every time I returned, I had gained more confidence, the confidence to walk well every step of the Fa-rectification. I also quit making excuses to evade hardships. For example, I used to think that I was too old and not educated enough or eloquent enough to communicate well with others. These were incorrect thoughts. I came to understand that the most important thing is for us to have the heart to validate the Fa. Of course, there are differences in levels of education. The key thing is to not to be attached to ourselves, but to improve ourselves through Fa-study. This way, we will do better and better and meet the requirements of the Fa. In this process, how much one has put his or her heart into it will be manifested.
Once we went to another town to share understandings, and I completely changed the selfish thoughts that I previously had. Practitioners A and B went there with me. Our goal was to improve the poor cooperation among practitioners in that area and to help them step forward to validate the Fa. Through sharing understandings, we intended to find what problems we had with our xinxing, as well as improving together by having group Fa-study and considering things on the basis of the Fa. Not long after we started, a police van arrived. Several police officers stepped out of the van and came into the retail store owned by a practitioner. We were in a room in the back, separated by only one door from the main lobby. The police did not find the storeowner, and asked where she went. The practitioner at the front desk used her wisdom to talk to the police, trying her best to prevent them from going into the room where we were gathered. At that moment, about 20 of us practitioners all looked at the storeowner and practitioner A. Practitioner A and I winked at each other, reminding each other to calm down and not be disturbed. With rationality, we immediately sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the surrounding evil elements and asked Teacher for help. Since what we were validating the Fa, the most sacred thing in the cosmos, no being or evil elements were allowed to interfere. After nearly 20 minutes, the practitioner at the front desk came in and told us that the police had left.
Teacher's immense compassion disintegrated the danger in this incident. Through sharing, conflicts among the practitioners were dissolved, and each of us found our own shortcomings. As a result, we had greater confidence in validating the Fa and clarifying the truth. Although on that day, from morning until 3 p.m. none of us had eaten or drunk anything, we did not feel hungry or thirsty. We could feel the transition from hardship to maturity, and became even clearer as to each practitioner's mission and responsibility. The key thing is to study the Fa with heart and walk every step well. We could feel even more of Teacher's compassionate caring for us, and his expectation for us to walk every step with righteous thoughts and righteous actions to validate the Fa. We should be worthy of Teacher's compassionate salvation and arduous efforts. I felt bad for my previous selfishness and evasion when difficulties arose. From my heart, I promised not to let Teacher worry so much on my behalf any more. The situation changed as soon as my mentality was rectified.
Another time, practitioner B asked me to go to another city to coordinate on some projects to validate the Fa. This time I decided to cooperate well with practitioners. I also got rid of my fear of difficulties and decided to do well whatever was necessary as long as it was positive for the Fa. This time, we needed to take the bus for a long time. Once on the road, I began to send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the elements that inferred me --since I used to feel dizzy when riding a bus for such a long time. Dafa practitioners are beyond everyday people, plus what I was doing was the validating the Fa, the most righteous thing in the cosmos. I absolutely opposed the old forces' persecution of me and walked firmly on the Fa-rectification path arranged by Teacher. This time I could really feel the power of Dafa. By putting my mind and body fully in the Fa, everything went smoothly. I once again felt Teacher's immense, compassionate caring.
We spent almost seven hours riding the bus and then had to wait over five hours for the transfer bus. Throughout this process, I was very clear-minded when listening to Teacher's lecture--just as if sitting on my bed in my own home. I did not feel any discomfort. I also reminded accompanying practitioners not to leave things behind and to send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate anything impure. After arriving without incident, we cooperated well and soon finished all of the things that we had planned. Among other things, we held a small scale Fa-conference, during which practitioners, including myself, shared our understandings of coordinators' responsibilities and mission. In this way, we resolved conflicts between two local practitioners that had existed for more than a year. Through sharing, these two practitioners came to understand practitioners' responsibilities, cherish their predestined relationship for working together, improve their xinxing while looking within, coordinate well their local Fa-rectification projects, and be worthy of Teacher's compassionate salvation. In this way, we form one-body that intimidates the evil and saves sentient beings, and does not disappoint the beings that are counting on us. Teacher said,
"...a large portion of the Dafa disciples came with those cosmic bodies, and everybody formed karmic relationships. Once you've reached Consummation and returned it'll be almost impossible for you to see each other again, even if you want to. So, you should treasure this part of your karmic relationship. And what's more, those karmic relationships of yours have been intertwined with each other, and different karmic relationships were formed over every lifetime--it hasn't been easy. So, cooperate well when you do things. Each Dafa disciple's thing is everybody else's. Don't create distance and disharmony between each other over some little, trivial thing. You can't do that, and you should treasure all this. And also, you need to cooperate in Dafa things, and you should do a good job of cooperating." ("Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference")
4. Harmonizing family is also very important
It is very important for us practitioners to harmonize well with our family. Over the past several years, my family has worried about my safety. They may not cultivate, but they know Dafa is good. They may not fully understand practitioners' validation of the Fa, but they are clear on the persecution that practitioners have suffered over the past several years. Therefore, I have tried to keep the suffering to myself and be considerate of my family as much as I can. From me, they have also seen that practitioners will give up everything to seek truth, and in addition, that practitioners genuinely care for them. Gradually they started to have a correct understanding of Dafa. When I was illegally detained, my family safely kept all my Dafa books and truth-clarification materials (although they do not practice) and returned them to me upon my release.
When clarifying truth to my family, sometimes I did well, and sometimes I didn't. They all know that society is in chaos and corrupt at all levels. But as I clarified truth to them (I probably spoke at too high a level), they still thought practitioners were "using an egg to hit a stone"--"They (the authorities) have weapons and military force, what can you do against them? Plus, they may even in turn harm you." They have read the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, some prophecy books, and Dafa truth-clarification materials. They have also quit the CCP and its subsidiary organizations. Still, they had questions and fears.
I remember Teacher once mentioned that for everyday persons,
"They often say things they don't really mean and say things that may mean something else." ("Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. International Fa Conference")
As I looked within, I found my expectations for them were too high. I had no compassion in my heart or in my words. With sentimentality (qing) and selfishness, I did not balance things well. I thought that, since they were my relatives, I did not care if what I said was at too high a level. Anyway, I was not responsible for them. As a result, I was not very effective. After realizing this, the truth-clarification effects were much better. Teacher said,
"Your greatest mission is to safeguard the Fa. Let those that don't damage Dafa just be." "because those are things to be handled when the Fa rectifies the human world." ("Fa-Lecture at the Conference in Florida, U.S.A.")
When my mentality was rectified, they immediately apologized to me, "You can practice your belief, and we will not bother you. Please also do not bother us." My heart was in tears, and I told them once again, "I said that because I want to be responsible for you. It is not for myself. If I know about things and do not let you know, I am being irresponsible. After all, we are one family and we have a great predestined relationship." I realized that I had to do well. In the past, I did not realize that, but instead thought family members just had too much sentimentality.
5. Get rid of selfishness and improve together with other practitioners
There are also instances where practitioners need to break through conflicts among themselves, so that they can harmonize as one body to validate the Fa and do everything possible. For example, one practitioner has played an indispensable role in coordinating projects in our area. Therefore he helped us a lot to do the three things arranged by Teacher and to keep up with the momentum of Fa-rectification. However, he also has shortcomings. Teacher said clearly that,
"The coordinators among Dafa disciples are in fact just coordinators, points of contact, and people who relay information. Don't think of them as Master, and don't have such high expectations that you rely on them as you cultivate and expect them to handle everything just right. It's not like that. If the coordinator were really like Master, or able to consider things from all angles and never be wrong, then a lot of people in that area couldn't cultivate successfully, since with him thinking things through so well there'd be nothing left for you to think about. If he were to do everything just right you wouldn't have a chance to show your great qualities. You see the idea, right?" "...Dafa disciples, of their own initiative, coordinate with each other and overcome the challenges together, fully utilizing Dafa disciples' wisdom, to get it done well and in a more ideal way. Even when the coordinators don't think things through too well or have even overlooked some things, the Dafa disciples will perfect it along the way--and that is your mighty-virtue. Don't get resentful when things are tough, and don't think that you need to have people see what you're doing. Master can see everything you do, and so can all gods. When you have done well that's your own, eternal mighty-virtue." ("Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students")
As I calmed down to study the Fa, rectify myself, and look within, I found the attachment I had when working with that practitioner--selfishness. Whenever I did something improperly, that practitioner always selflessly pointed it out, regardless of the time, location or circumstances. He helped me a lot to be enlightened. Of course, sometimes that did not sound pleasant to me, despite his kind intentions. Sometimes when he directly pointed out my shortcomings, I couldn't accept it and felt somewhat embarrassed.
After being released from detention, what I heard most were praises. Rarely did anyone point out my shortcomings so that I could get rid of my attachments and improve. On the other hand, there was one attachment of mine that I did not discover until today, that is, that, while I have been hoping that other practitioners would help me to improve, I have not been willing to truly help other practitioners and be responsible for them. Sometimes, although I seemed to be trying to help other practitioners, my heart was not sincere and I didn't go about it improperly. Plus, when confronting a difficulty, I would go to the practitioner to discuss about it, hoping to find some "hints" or answers. At that time, my xinxing level had not improved very much, nor did I understand the Fa very well. So after sharing and solving the problems, I went back to what I usually did and was "diligent" in doing the three things. But I was not considerate of the other practitioner throughout the process. When he had an attachment, when his xinxing needed to improve, all he could do was to be enlightened by Teacher's lectures. S'houldn't I have reminded him out of compassion? What does it mean to be responsible for other practitioners? Is it right that one practitioner expects others to be responsible for him, but he is not responsible for others? Is this the mentality a practitioner should have? No, it is not.
Of course, whenever a practitioner has an attachment, it is hard for him or her to listen to others. Instead, he may think that others are targeting him. Sometimes there are such incorrect understandings. However, when he is truly able to find himself on the basis of the Fa and recognize his attachments, he will be clear on that. Therefore, when I helped other practitioners, first of all, I would share with them the need to identify the problem and to improve, to not leave regrets in the final moments of Fa-rectification and to walk well together of the final steps. And we need to truly understand what a cultivator should be. In the first lecture of Zhuan Falun, Teacher said, "...the whole process of cultivation is a process of constantly getting rid of human attachments." An everyday person tends to compare his own strength with another's weakness. While hiding his shortcomings and weaknesses, he assumes he is doing the right thing. And he likes to hear others say something good about him. As practitioners, it is the other way around. We should learn as we compare our weaknesses with others' strength. By constantly looking within for our shortcomings, we expose them and get rid of them. When we do not notice them ourselves, other practitioners point them out so that we can get rid of them through cultivation, thus truly improving ourselves.
Then, when we have an attachment, isn't it a good thing for others to point it out? How can you have negative feelings? When you have negative feelings, practitioners may find it difficult to help you and simply stay away. Of course, it is incorrect to stay away as well. Whether others accept or not, you need to help with compassion as well as wisdom. For example, there is one practitioner in my local area who, for quite a long time, did not have the correct hand position when sending forth righteous thoughts. Since beginning the practice, she has done many things wholeheartedly to validate the Fa. However, because she neglected to cultivate herself when doing so many things, plus being unable to calm down to study the Fa, she was in an undesirable situation for a very long time. Other practitioners thought that she should be all right because of her strong righteous thoughts. During that time, Teacher actually gave her, as well as us, repeated opportunities to cultivate and enlighten to the situation, but we did not do well. We gave up reminding her when she did not accept the correction. We did not understand this fundamentally, on the basis of the Fa, and truly consider another practitioner's' matter as our own to form an indestructible one-body. Finally, the evil took advantage of the loopholes, and that practitioner suffered tremendously during the persecution. Still, that practitioner has always been determined to believe in Teacher and the Fa.
So, for other practitioners, what have we learned from this? When a practitioner has an attachment, how can we not point it out with compassion and help him? Should we wait until he is arrested and detained to rescue him? No, we cannot. Now I came to understand what it means "to assist Teacher in Fa-rectification," what "fellow practitioner" means, and how to reduce Teacher's burden by improving ourselves. We need to start with ourselves and meet the requirements for a practitioner. Instead of talking about how well other practitioners have done, we should be responsible for each other, get rid of selflessness, and cooperate well with each other. In this way, we will be able to form an indestructible one-body and do the three things well together. Please waste no more time. It is already the final stage of Fa-rectification, and yet there are still practitioners who have not stepped forward. And there are sentient beings remaining to be saved. We should calm down, study the Fa well, and do well everything that a Dafa disciple is supposed to do. Finally, I would to end this article with Teacher's poem "On Reading Weathering the Storm":
"Born into a sphere of suffering
Man struggles just to survive
One day, behold, the Great Law gained
Cease not your steps on the path of return"
(Submitted for the Second Mainland China Internet Experience Sharing Conference)
October 20, 2005