Compassion, Truth, and Righteous Thoughts Win the Understanding and Support of Family
(Clearwisdom.net) Since the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) started persecuting Falun Gong in 1999, practitioners and their families have endured much misery and trials. While practitioners hold the Fa in our hearts, we do not feel miserable. Yet our families are in delusion, and they have suffered the loss of fame and fortune, in addition to mental pressure and agony. Despite their endurance, they frequently have felt wronged or anxious, and harbored misunderstandings. I have realized that the sacred tasks of validating the Fa and saving sentient beings cannot be done in stealth behind the backs of our family members. They are witnesses to this great historic period. The approach I have taken is neither to inform them directly nor intentionally keep them in the dark. As they have gradually realized what I am doing with my truth-clarification efforts, I talk with them and rectify their understandings according to their reaction and mindset.
-- Author of this experience sharing paper
Greetings revered Master!
Greetings fellow practitioners!
I am a veteran practitioner who attended Master's early Fa lectures. Over a dozen years, I have walked down my path to this day based on my belief in Master. Every bit of growth has been under Master's compassionate protection and guidance. Any mistakes have come from my failing to let go of fundamental attachments, which led me to follow the path arranged by the old forces. When measuring myself with the standard of the Fa, I feel sorrow. Compared with practitioners who have done well, my shortcomings are especially notable. That is why I did not send in papers in previous Internet Experience Sharing Conferences. This year, I'd like to make a brief report of my carrying out the three things during the Fa-rectification period, to revered Master and fellow practitioners.
After I was released from a forced labor camp in 2001, I intensely studied Master's Fa lectures, especially those given during the Fa-rectification period. I started to have a clear understanding of Fa-rectification cultivation practice, of how to locate my own fundamental attachments, that the persecution that takes place today was arranged in remote history, and an awareness of the responsibilities of Dafa practitioners. We must break out of the old forces' arrangements, spread the word of truth, and help save sentient beings who are blinded by lies. In so doing, we cultivate ourselves and reach consummation. I know that I fell on my cultivation path by taking the route arranged by the old forces in acknowledging the persecution. I have realized that I am to study the Fa solidly, negate the old forces' arrangements completely, and redouble my efforts in keeping up with the process of Fa-rectification.
I. Establishing a Cultivation Environment around Family
I realized that our family members are among the first who need to be saved. A harmonious and stable family will help us walk the road ahead more steadily. Since the CCP started persecuting Falun Gong in 1999, practitioners and their families have endured much misery and many trials. While practitioners hold the Fa in our hearts, we do not feel miserable. Yet our families are in delusion, and they have suffered the loss of fame and fortune, in addition to mental pressure and agony. Despite their endurance, they frequently have felt wronged or anxious, and harbored misunderstandings. When I returned home, out of compassion, I tried to help them in several regards. I did extra things in our daily life, consoled them, and looked for common ground to reduce any misunderstandings. In addition, I provided them with some appropriate articles and truth-clarification materials to help restore their righteous thoughts toward Dafa.
On the fifth day after I returned home, a fellow practitioner brought me a package of materials downloaded from Minghui and other websites. She handed me the package in front of my husband. My husband grabbed the package and returned it to her. He told her, "You are welcome to come visit us as a friend. But if you continue to do things like this, I won't welcome you, nor can I afford the consequences." The practitioner tried to confront my husband by arguing that he was not being reasonable, but I was not pulled into their argument. In the following days, I studied the Fa, and spent time with my family. I took walks with them and chatted with them. We recalled my xinxing improvement after I started practicing Falun Gong, my health improvement, and positive changes to our family. I talked about how I was able to endure torture in the detention center and the forced labor camp. I also shared my thoughts about studying Master's Fa lectures. At the same time, I also passed along relevant experience sharing articles to my husband. After many rounds of talks, he understood the importance of cultivation to me. But he would only agree to my practicing at home.
I then told him that what really hurt me was the coerced "transformation" that I agreed to in the labor camp. I became mentally weak and had been carrying the psychological burden ever since. I told him that I was no longer who I used be. It would be impossible for me to regain a happy spirit. He asked what it would take for me to unload the burden and get back to being the optimistic person I used to be. I told him, "I need to publish a solemn statement to acknowledge my mistake, to follow Master again, and walk the rest of my road as a cultivator. Only then can I rediscover myself and regain happiness." He agreed to my publishing the solemn statement on the Minghui website. I told him that I also had to send my statement to the labor camp to reverse the terrible impact of my being "transformed" there. He thought for a long while before nodding his head. I then explained to him that to continue cultivation, I had to communicate with fellow practitioners and receive information from the Minghui website. I hoped he would not treat practitioners as he had the last time. He did not object.
There was one thing that had bothered my husband. He thought I was quite a diligent practitioner. In the labor camp, I took responsibility and refused to implicate any other practitioners. How could it be that Master did not protect me from the persecution? I told him that I did not clearly understand the Fa principles and acknowledged the persecution myself. One day when we walked by a store, I told him that before I went to Beijing to validate the Fa, I bought a pair of cotton shoes from the store because I figured it would be quite cold in a detention center. He realized that I had been preparing to be arrested even back then. I explained to him, "You see it was me who acknowledged the persecution by preparing to be arrested. How could Master protect me?"
II. Clarifying the Truth, Saving the World's People
After studying the Fa for three months with a peaceful mind, I immersed myself completely into the activities to "validate the Fa with rationality, clarify the truth with wisdom, spread the Fa and save people with mercy." ("Rationality," Essentials for Further Advancement II)
One practitioner in our area had strong righteous thoughts and distributed over 30 pieces of truth-clarification material a day. One day I said to her, "You should take me out with you. Don't just strive forward by yourself!" She was happy to hear this, and explained that she had been to various residential communities. But some communities had guards and she was not able to go in. I felt she had barriers too. The first time she invited me to go out with her, I suggested we go to the complex of the provincial CCP committee. We carried self-adhesive posters and entered the gate without paying any attention to the armed guards. The complex was heavily guarded. Armed police patrolled the grounds in groups. We just waited for them to pass, then put up a poster. Then we waited for the next group to pass. We took our time and put up over a dozen of them, and each one measured a foot wide. Written on them in red was "Falun Dafa is good!"
In 2001, CCTV, China's central television station, broadcast a lie to frame Falun Dafa, claiming that a so-called Falun Gong practitioner strangled her own daughter. My family was deceived and thought practitioners did not study the Fa well and deviated from having correct behavior. They did not think it was a trick pulled by the CCP to slander Dafa. I was worried. My family already knew about the facts of the persecution, yet they were still deceived. Imagine what other people with little access to facts thought? The following morning when I was practicing the second set of Falun Gong exercises, a thought came to me. Another practitioner, who went to the provincial CCP committee headquarters with me, and I bought paper and ink. We produced signs that stated, "Kindhearted people, please do not be misled by lies! The CCP is using all media under its control to frame Falun Gong. Please keep a clear mind and don't believe any of the lies!" We went to the streets that night. In keeping up Fa study and truth-clarification, we gradually let go of personal attachments and further strengthened our righteous thoughts. She and I often went out to distribute fact sheets and DVDs, told people about the persecution face to face, went to the labor camps to send forth righteous thoughts, and posted signs. We did a lot of things together and cooperated well with a good understanding of each other.
When clarifying the truth, I did not stress any particular form or any particular audience. Prior to the publication of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, I had already told my friends and family about the persecution and the staged Tiananmen Square self-immolation. When I was out, I rarely passed up opportunities to clarify the truth to people with predestined relationships who passed by. While having breakfast, shopping for groceries, or taking a bus, I often spoke to people about Falun Gong or the persecution. I proposed to my husband that when he went to friends' gatherings, he should try to facilitate my presenting the facts. On one occasion when I could not go to an event, I asked him to speak out on my behalf, to tell his friends that Falun Gong was under persecution. I gave him the key points, "Falun Gong, also known as Falun Buddha Law, is a practice from the Buddha school. The Buddha school is about compassion. We want our family and friends to remain happy and be safe, instead of being engulfed by future calamities. The best way to do this is to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations." I also gave him leaflets. It turned out that he not only successfully persuaded his friend and friend's family to quit the CCP, he also left the extra leaflets with the waitresses.
When taking part in rescuing fellow practitioners from detention, I spread the truth to their families, the residential committee officials, policemen and guards, attorneys, and judges. I kept spreading the truth, and kept reviewing my approaches. Along the way, my mind got purer and purer; the more people who were able to learn about the facts from me, the better the effects. I had written a dozen or so articles sharing my understandings. After the publication of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, my understanding of Fa-rectification reached a new level. I watched the Nine Commentaries DVD over and over, studied Master's articles, including "Turning the Wheel Towards the Human World" and "We Are Not 'Getting Political'" among others, and actively engaged in activities to persuade people to quit the Communist Party.
When communicating with others, I paid attention to their situations and addressed their concerns. When remodeling my home, I spent time with temporary helpers who worked on the floor. I invited them to have lunch at my home. I played DVDs of people quitting the CCP after reading the Nine Commentaries so that they got exposed to the information. I chatted with them and answered their questions about Dafa. They did not care much about quitting the CCP or its affiliated organizations. They argued, "Regardless of which party is in power, we the poor will still remain engaged in hard labor." I talked to them about the ruthless nature of the CCP's family planning policy of aborting unborn babies and enforcing exorbitant fines on the parents. This resonated with one of the painters. He acknowledged, "Indeed, I am a victim. I had an extra child. They took everything from my home. When there was nothing to take anymore, they smashed the window. Quit! I quit!" There have been a few more cases just like this one.
There is a limit on the number of people one can clarify the truth to face to face, though. Distributing truth-clarification materials can address this shortfall. I realized, on the basis of the Fa, that this is not like everyday people's dispatching advertisements, which are simply over when the advertisement is given out. Distributing Falun Gong fact sheets is part of cultivation, a process of removing our attachments, a process to raise xinxing and to save people. We must do it with a pure heart. There is a lot that we can do to improve. For example, when we fold the sheets, we do so seriously while listening to the Fa, or Dafa music, or Shen Yun Performing Arts DVDs. After we are done packaging, we place the brochures in front of Master's portrait, asking Master to strengthen our divine thoughts so that we can save sentient beings, hand out the brochures that carry the strength of the Fa, and eliminate the evil behind the sentient beings, and so that people can spread the truth by word of mouth and be saved.
After I make the delivery, I go to take a look the following day. If I find any discarded brochures, I take them back, and re-fold them so that I can hand them out the next time. I also look inside because sometimes I get nervous, with some attachments of fear. That is usually caused by lack of attention to sending forth righteous thoughts. I make it up by continuously sending forth righteous thoughts.
I usually select a dozen residential communities to work on at a time. I rotate and go to each community once a week. When I visit my parents and my in-laws, or when on a sightseeing tour, I will do the same thing. After having learned that practitioners have already been handing out brochures where my parents and in-laws live, I switch to the face-to-face approach or locate overlooked areas to deliver brochures. In recent years, more and more practitioners have started doing deliveries, and I have devoted more time to residential communities not covered by others, usually high-rise communities with security guards and only a single entrance. After having constantly reviewed my approach, I now keep awakening sentient beings when delivering brochures. I keep saying, "All sentient beings who receive the brochures, wake up your side that is aware of this. You are all lives who have come for the Fa. Seize the opportunity of being saved. Get to know the facts about Falun Gong. Join the ranks of quitting the CCP. Eliminate the evil beings and evil factors that prevent you from becoming aware of the truth. The Fa rectifies heaven and earth. All evil will be eliminated."
Upon learning that one has not received truth-clarification brochures in their community when telling them about the persecution facts face-to-face, I will go there to deliver brochures. After much practice, I have found out that it is more effective if I deliver them from the ground floor to the top floor. Several times, when I come down the stairs to exit, I run into people who are hesitating over whether to take the brochures or not. I tell them, "I have seen these leaflets in Hong Kong and Taiwan too. They talk about how the CCP is afraid that people get to know the truth. Tens of millions of people have quit the CCP already. It is worth taking a look at." Most of them respond positively.
After the publication of the Nine Commentaries, I asked my son to systematically read the Nine Commentaries, Dissolving the Party Culture, "Turning the Wheel Towards the Human World" and "We Are Not 'Getting Political'" and Master's other Fa lectures. He was pure by nature, had few human notions, and had a good foundation to understand the Fa. Soon he became my good helper. For the next couple of years when he was in college, he actively spread the Nine Commentaries and software that bypassed China's Internet blockade among schoolmates. I also persuaded his schoolmates to quit the CCP. During school breaks, once every week, each of us would carry over a hundred copies of materials, or a dozen or two copies of the Nine Commentaries, distributing them in residential communities. We divided the territory of residential communities among us and each of us took a few sections. He noticed that fellow practitioners were overcoming a lot of difficulties to produce truth-clarifying materials, so he proposed to me that we produce them at our home. I did not pay much attention to his proposal at the beginning. One day, he asked his father how much a new dress he bought for me cost. When he learned that it cost over 600 yuan, he exclaimed, "With that much money, one can get a printer for printing truth-clarification brochures. How many lives could be saved!" I knew that it was Master trying to give me a hint through my son's words. I immediately agreed with him and bought a printer and put him in charge of producing materials. Not until after his graduation and taking on a job, did I relieve him of chores and let him focus on writing articles, typing, and other assisting roles.
The first time I took him out to distribute truth-clarification materials was on the night of July 20. I told him, "It is July 20 today, a special day. You're going out to deliver brochures and save sentient beings." He was very pleased. I asked him to hold the brochures and leaflets downstairs and to send forth righteous thoughts while I went upstairs to deliver them. He told me he kept sending righteous thoughts intensely without any other thoughts. Later he felt I was doing it too slow and joined me going upstairs. On each floor, he would have heavy footsteps, which triggered the motion-activated lights. I was frightened, but recovered. When we were heading home after delivering all the materials, I carefully brought up the topic, "We usually don't cause the lights to turn on. Instead, we will just leave the materials quietly." He said he would rather do it with dignity and honor than stealthily, as we were not doing anything wrong. I had not thought that I still had attachments to fear. Then I felt quite ashamed when compared with my son.
On another occasion, it was three days before the Chinese New Year's Day. My son and I were going out to deliver truth-clarification materials. When my husband returned and seen that we had not packed gifts that we were taking back to our hometowns, he got angry and complained, "It's New Year's time and you are going out to seek danger." Our son replied, "When you are obsessed with danger, it is dangerous indeed. When you're confident that it is not dangerous, then it won't be." After we finished the delivery and got back home, my husband had already finished packing, and he was in a good mood again.
One year, we went back to my hometown for the Chinese New Year. On New Year's Eve, when the family was watching television, I left at 8:30 p.m. The wind was strong, and the snow-covered trails were slippery. I went to the neighboring villages to deliver brochures. Without knowing how much time had passed, I covered three villages while trudging in the snow. When I got back home at 11:30 and stepped inside, the mood was tense. The whole family was upset after finding out I went out. Where they live is a lake area. Roads are damp in the winter even in the sunshine. They never went out alone, and it was late at night. They were worried about my getting lost without carrying a flashlight and running into danger. They had already sent my brother-in-law to look for me. My husband was about to express his outrage. When seeing I was sweating after taking off the mud-soaked jacket, he could not bear to blame me. He went outside and sat alone in anger. I apologized for having caused them to worry. I told them that with Master's protection, there's nothing to worry about. I looked at the clock and it was 12 o'clock sharp. I calmed down and started sending righteous thoughts.
After the rest of the family went to sleep, my husband was still sitting in silence and anger. I continued to send righteous thoughts. Eventually he came back in and sat down. He said, "It is fine to do whatever you do at our home. But when visiting your parents, you should not bring worry to all of them." I apologized to him immediately, "It was my mistake that I did not tell everyone when leaving home, which caused everyone to worry about me. I thought you would have assumed that I was upstairs studying the Fa. This was my mistake. But to go out to save sentient beings is not wrong. That is a good thing wherever we are." I saw he was still upset. I continued, "You know the greatness of Dafa, but you haven't fully appreciated our distributing the truth materials. You may even think I'm doing this with a strong intention while people who receive the brochures are powerless in terms of restoring the innocence of practitioners. But when the day comes that all facts are manifested, you will witness what practitioners have done. Look, when I just returned, you were all telling your elderly father to change into his snow boots, to carry the flashlight and go out to the temple a couple of miles away to burn incense. He has done this New Year's Eve ritual for a dozen years. You have grown quite comfortable with that, assuming it is all right because he was out to pay tribute to Buddhas. Please try to understand me the same way you understand your father. There is a saying among everyday people: People miss their loved ones especially during the holidays. Think about the fellow practitioners still held in labor camps and prisons. Think about how you felt that New Year's Eve when I was in the labor camp. How could I stay at home when I think about those practitioners? I spend time with the family because I'm trying to do my best to conform to the state of everyday society. You can imagine how anxious I am to save sentient beings. If everything was up to me, I would have to be out every single day to have peace of mind." Tears slid down my face, and we chatted till daybreak.
The following night, the night of the Chinese New Year, my sister and brother-in-law found me a flashlight. I went in the other direction, and I covered three villages in just one hour. After I returned home, I thanked my family. I told them that because of their help, I did three hours worth of work in just one hour and encouraged them to support me just like this.
Throughout these years, I have kept up delivering truth materials regardless if it was raining or snowing, during holidays, including New Year's Day, Chinese New Year's Day, May 1, and the CCP's various other sensitive dates on July 1, August 1, October 1, April 25, and July 20.
I have realized that the sacred tasks of validating the Fa and saving sentient beings cannot be done in stealth behind the backs of our family members. They are witnesses to this great historic period. The approach I have taken is neither to inform them directly nor intentionally keep them in the dark. When they have gradually realized what I am doing with my truth clarification efforts, I talk with them and rectify their understandings according to their reaction and mindset.
In 2002, something happened with the practitioner in our area who produced truth-clarification materials. I decided to produce brochures, leaflets, and other printouts myself. Other practitioners thought it would not be appropriate, as I was already taking on the task of going out to deliver materials and was in charge of other coordination work. Plus, there were quite a few visitors at my home. They also worried that my family would oppose it. I assured them that I would be able to handle all these issues. We bought equipment and supplies. One day I was just burning a DVD, and my husband returned home early. He was quite amazed at my using DVD burners and asked, "I didn't expect you could use these machines. Who bought them?" I told him with pride, "I did." He then realized that there were so many supplies and printouts at home and asked, "Is it safe?" I told him the importance of the DVD in exposing the falsehood of the "self immolation" incident and that it should not be put on hold until we found a suitable candidate; then we could let him or her take over.
On another occasion, our son stapled the pages of the brochures and found them out of order. I asked him to redo it. He insisted that this would have no effect on the content. My husband pointed out that one should do everything correctly. But when he realized our son was not only stapling brochures after others printed them, but that he was also producing the brochures himself, he worried that it was cutting into his time to do schoolwork or possibly implicating him and putting him at risk. I explained that we should respect our son's independent decision. In terms of risk, to pick up brochures from a fellow practitioner's home would also incur risk. It probably would be less risky if it was done at home.
III. Reflections on Rescuing Fellow Practitioners
Since 2002, I have devoted much time participating in the rescue of over 20 practitioners. I have greatly improved my xinxing through this process. These rescued practitioners are quite diligent. They have done a lot of things better than I have. Yet their families were rather antagonistic. I figured that it could be that these practitioners were diligent in carrying out Dafa work and did not spend enough time to communicate with their families, which deepened misunderstandings as time went by, which in turn left open loopholes for the evil.
This has brought up a common misconception: Is the opposition from our families simply a test of whether we can let go of the emotional attachments? I think it was most likely so during the period of personal cultivation. Now during the period of Fa-rectification, Master wants us to clarify the truth and save sentient beings. Our family in this lifetime being so close to us must be of a great predestined relationship. As Fa-rectification approaches the final phase, I'd like to bring attention to this topic for practitioners who still experience problems in this regard: Make good use of time to bridge the gap between us and our families, to make up for our deficiencies, create opportunities to save our families, and to reduce the regret that we would otherwise leave ourselves.
I have also had my share of deficiencies and mistakes in cultivation. When I was trying to help rescue practitioners, it was indeed sometimes hard to communicate with their families, who got angry as soon as I brought up facts about the persecution or cultivation practice. I have also become judgmental of practitioners who did not bring their families along and who had not listened to my persuasion. There is a lot more that I can do when it comes to presenting the facts face to face and a lot more to improve on when sending righteous thoughts. Because of attachments to comfort and ease, I have not kept up with doing the exercises in the morning, which has resulted in persistent interference in the form of physical pain.
My cultivation path is not over yet. I hope this Internet Experience Sharing Conference will help me review my past, dig out my fundamental attachments, rectify myself sooner in the Fa, improve my Fa study, steady my steps on the path of saving sentient beings, and fulfill my sacred prehistoric vows!