Breaking Through Human Notions and Saving Sentient Beings
1. Relinquishing "Habits" and Joining the Group Fa Study
In the past, I had always attended group Fa study, though it had just a few practitioners. I wanted to join a bigger group. But because the place where they held the group Fa study was quite far away from my home and my time didn't fit into their schedule, I didn't attend any. One day, I got acquainted with a fellow practitioner who lived on the outer island of Taiwan. She said she was the only practitioner there, and, for the past few years, being on her own without other practitioners to share with, she mistakenly thought that solely doing the exercises was genuine cultivation. Later, she moved to Taiwan for a year and joined our Fa study group and found that Dafa practitioners must study the Fa well, send forth righteous thoughts, and clarify the truth to save sentient beings. Just before she left Taiwan, she sincerely urged us to cherish our good cultivation environment. I was very moved by her sharing. How would I manage myself if I were left in an environment alone with no practitioners with which to share experiences? Though there are numerous practice sites and Fa study groups in Taiwan, I didn't seem to cherish them as I should, and I always had excuses like that the site was too far away from my home or it conflicted with my schedule.
Since I've taken up cultivation, my eyesight has improved, and the degree of my nearsightedness has been gradually reduced. One day, I went for a doctor's exam and I was told that the degree was again reduced, from the original 325 to 300. The doctor suggested that I wear new lenses. After I put them on, I didn't feel that they were very clear, so I put the old lenses back on. The doctor hesitated for some time and said, "You've gotten used to the old lenses!" I understood at once that Master wanted me to enlighten to something through the doctor's mouth. That is, we shouldn't hold onto old habits and ways of doing things. If we do, we become numb and won't know how to be more diligent. In the past, I got used to small group Fa study. When the group was no long available, I basically studied the Fa by myself. Unwittingly, I had become accustomed to this state and couldn't break through it.
In fact, the group Fa study environment is very precious. Master said,
"Group Fa-study is an environment I created for you and a form that I've left for you. I think you should still participate. That's because it has stood the test of experience, and cultivating that way allows our students to improve the fastest. When you cultivate on your own, you miss out on factors that help you improve."
("Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students")
I found that the more people came to the group Fa study and shared their understanding of the Fa, the deeper and broader my thinking became.
After I enlightened to this, I decided to join the big group Fa study. As I drove to the Fa study site that day, I got lost on the way. I told Master, "Master, I'm not afraid of being lost. I know this is the path I want to take and I will strive to the end." Shortly after that, I found the right way and attended the big group Fa study.
2. Much Reluctance in Making Phone Calls
I have participated in many indirect truth-clarification projects behind the scenes. After a while, I felt that a sense of urgency of saving beings was lacking.
One day, I had a meal with some fellow practitioners who were on the telephone calling team. They had been making phone calls to China to clarify the facts of the persecution of Falun Dafa for the past few years. They had been very persistent and diligent in the project. I shared with them that I'd been making phone calls to China on and off but not as consistently as they. I told them that once I stopped calling, it was very difficult for me to pick up the phone again.
To my surprise, a practitioner shared with me and said, "It's very normal. I'm still struggling every day to make those phone calls." I was stunned. I almost couldn't believe that my fellow practitioners who had been making phone calls for the past few years still had this kind of feeling. I asked, "Really?" He said, "Yes. But I enjoy the feeling, because in this way, I can let go of my attachment."
When I got home that night, I couldn't fall asleep and kept thinking about what the practitioner had said. Why should I take making phone calls to be an uncomfortable task, while my fellow practitioners take this discomfort as a good opportunity to upgrade their levels and xinxing? Isn't the gap between us so large! I couldn't sleep that night and thought to myself: when dawn comes I must get up quickly and make phone calls. I will not run away from difficulties.
During the daytime, I used my free times at school to make phone calls. One day, I downloaded several phone numbers to call. When I got to the last call, school was almost over. Because of the noises from the school announcements and the kids' talking, I could hardly hear anything on the phone. I thought to myself, "If I don't call this person now, he will miss the opportunity to hear the truth." So, I dialed the number anyway. The other party picked up the line. I told him the truth of the persecution of Falun Dafa. I then jumped quickly to the key point, "If you have joined the Communist Party, the Youth League, or the Young Pioneers, I can now help you quit that organization. Do you want me to?" He didn't say anything. I was a bit anxious and I asked him a few more times, "Do you want me to help you? Is that OK with you?". He again didn't say a word. During this time, the school began the announcement again, and was then followed by some music. I couldn't hear anything over the phone. I didn't know whether he had said anything or not. At that time, I was struggling with myself, "Should I hang up the phone and call him back when the noise subsides?" In the end, I didn't hang up. Although I couldn't hear anything from him, I repeated the truth two more times on the phone. Suddenly, the ambient noise became lower. I seized the opportunity immediately and said to him, "Did you hear what I just said to you? Can I help you quit the Communist Party? Can I?" He was silent for a few seconds, then came a deep voice, "OK!" After that, the loud noises from school came back again. Tears rolled down my face. Since then, I have felt that any good feelings about myself don't come from the number of people that I have convinced to quit the Chinese Communist Party, but from seeing sentient beings making the right choices for their future.
When I make phone calls now, I don't run away from challenges and my feeling of reluctance is becoming weaker. My fear is lessening every day. I know I am not as good as my fellow practitioners in making phone calls, but Master said,
"Fa-rectification hasn't been concluded, so there's still a chance for you to do well again. Indeed, as long as there's still one day when the persecution hasn't ended, that day is an opportunity." ("Touring North America to Teach to the Fa")
In the past, I used to think I had good enlightenment quality. But now, when I look back, I see that I had very poor enlightenment quality. I didn't do well on the things that I should have done even a few years ago. This time, it's Master's compassion that gives me another chance to redeem myself. Thus, I must step out of my humanness and let go of my human notions. Only this way can I save more sentient beings.
Every time I read the passage where Master talks about descending to lower levels from higher realms in order to save the cosmos' sentient beings, I cry inexplicably. Maybe my knowing side knows how bitter and arduous the process of descending to lower levels is. Therefore, in this limited period of time, we really have to do a good job and cultivate ourselves well. Regardless of what we shoulder and how hard things might be, or how difficult the tests we have to go through are, they really account for nothing compared with the hardships that we have borne in our numerous lifetimes in order to obtain the Fa.
Thank you Master! And thank you fellow practitioners!