Improving Myself While Helping Fellow Practitioners Return to Dafa
(Clearwisdom.net) I have recently contributed a lot of effort in helping fellow practitioners return to Falun Dafa. On the surface, it seems that I am helping practitioners, but I am actually helping myself to improve. I would like to share some of my experiences.
Getting Rid of Selfishness
After July 20, 1999, many practitioners stopped practicing Falun Dafa. I spent a lot of time trying to help them return to Dafa, but I was not much help. Some of them had joined religious groups to cultivate themselves and some gave up cultivation altogether. I was really sad and even complained that it was a waste of my time to help them, as I could have used the time to study the Fa. Since I lived quite far away from the practitioners who had stopped cultivating, I had to really put in a lot of time and effort to help them. In recent years, I gradually gave up the idea of helping practitioners return to Dafa since it was to no avail, and thought I would be better off studying the Fa and clarifying the truth to people in my local area.
When I studied the Fa more, I gradually realized my selfishness. As a practitioner, I must meet Master's requirements, and shouldn't always think of myself. There are still lots of sentient beings that must be saved. If former practitioners return to Dafa, a huge amount of sentient beings will be saved. I must let go of my selfishness. What if when we descended from heaven, we promised to remind each other when we got lost in this human world? We need to be compassionate to sentient beings, including our fellow practitioners. Although I work during the daytime, I still need to arrange my schedule to allot some time to visit them.
Thus, I began to help practitioners return to Dafa.
Being compassionate and patient
We all know that we must have compassion to save an everyday person, which is really difficult. But we also need to have great compassion to help practitioners. An everyday person can come to know the truth and quit the CCP with only a few words, but one needs to be meticulous in helping practitioners.
It is the mentality of fear that makes practitioners stray from the path of cultivation. Chinese people know very well how evil the Communist Party is. So, we should understand our fellow practitioners and be compassionate towards them. An opportunity to obtain the Fa is really precious, and compassionate Master is waiting for us to mature in cultivation. We should hurry up and save more sentient beings. To help practitioners return to Dafa, we should find out what they are attached to and help them get rid of these attachments. We need to be very patient in doing this and be persistent. As long as their true selves are enlightened, they will immediately return to Dafa.
If they choose not to return to Dafa, we should not criticize them and should still be patient and compassionate towards them. We cannot make any assumptions that a certain practitioner is not capable of returning to Dafa, as it is possible that as the Fa-rectification progresses further, he or she will return to Dafa with the help of other practitioners. So, we must always be compassionate and patient in the process of helping them.
Getting rid of the mentality of showing off
I often developed the mentality of showing off and being overly happy when I clarified the truth to people. I would also be happy if practitioners returned to Dafa. If they did not return, then I would be sad. When I am able to help practitioners, I become complacent and tend to show off in front of others. But everything is done by Master. If I develop the mentalities of showing off and being overjoyed, I must eliminate them immediately.
Getting rid of the pursuit of comfort and the mentality of fear
Since I must work during the daytime, I don't have much time left at the end of the day, and helping practitioners really requires a lot of time. So, when I have time to visit them and they are not at home, I have to use my time on the weekends to try to visit them again. If I have no time to study the Fa during the day, I stay up late to study. If I need to walk long distances to visit a practitioner, I recite the Fa while I walk.
In order to help practitioners return to cultivation, I offer them Dafa books and audio tapes of Master's lectures if they don't have them. If they forget how to do the exercises, I show them. A practitioner cannot pursue comfort and neglect doing these things, as that would seriously interfere with his or her cultivation. As soon as the pursuit of comfort starts to develop, I eliminate it right away.
In the process of helping practitioners, I also have the attachment of fear. For example, if members of the practitioner's family are against his or her returning to Dafa, what can I do? Their family might get upset and that may cause a lot of trouble. They may even report me to the police. I realized that these kinds of thoughts are not righteous, and this is exactly what the old forces want, as they try to ruin all sentient beings. If the persecution did not to exist, practitioners would not experience such difficulties during cultivation. These bad thoughts are reflected into my mind in order to prevent me from helping practitioners. If I have fear, how can I help practitioners? Isn't this called "The appearance stems from the mind"? ("Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting") I therefore send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate any thought karma that is reflected in my mind. One practitioner's family was initially against his cultivating, but as the practitioner has cultivated very diligently, his family now sometimes even wakes him up to do the exercises. Seeing this has strengthened my righteous thoughts.
Getting rid of self-importance
I was a coordinator and very proud of it. I often looked down on other practitioners, and felt so important and attached to myself. Although I have eliminated much of this attachment, I know I still have yet to completely rid myself of it. I feel that there is a large gap between practitioners who have stopped cultivating and myself. I often give them advice on how to cultivate better and ask them to learn from me. Luckily I have discovered this attachment to self-importance and can work hard to eliminate it. We are all saved by Master and no one is better than anyone else. We should let practitioners improve gradually, and we should not criticize others.
Every practitioner possesses distinctive qualities, and by being with these practitioners I have found my shortcomings, which has encouraged me to improve. For example,
a practitioner who is a taxi driver has cultivated very diligently since returning to Dafa and always considers the Fa as the most important thing. In the past, he would go to work quite early in the morning and returned home late, and then he went to sleep. Now he gets up at 3:40 a.m. to do the exercises and then sends forth righteous thoughts. He sends forth righteous thoughts four times a day. During the day, he often clarifies the truth to his customers and other people he meets. When he gets home at night, he studies the Fa. Cultivation has become part of his life, and he has a strong will to return home with Master by doing the three things well. Compared to him, I still have a long way to go.
Another practitioner, a housewife, always thinks of others. She lives a frugal lifestyle and is not concerned about making lots of money. She doesn't have a competitive attitude and is capable of tolerating hardships. She is much better than I am in those regards.
A practitioner who lives quite close to my house has family members that oppose his cultivation. However, he cultivates very diligently, and every morning at 3:40 a.m. he comes to my house to practice the exercises. Sometimes I want to sleep in the morning, but now I must be diligent and get up to do the exercises with him.
A young practitioner I know is so pure that she isn't influenced by the bad things in society, and she is very diligent in cultivation.
Another practitioner used to cultivate by himself, but he stopped cultivating. Now he often joins the group to study the Fa.
All these practitioners have many positive aspects that I can learn from. I would rather say that they are helping me improve, rather than I am helping them.
Not being attached to the outcome and always looking within
I become easily irritable, at times, if a practitioner doesn't return to Dafa. I know that I am very attached to seeing positive results, but whenever I want it to turn out a certain way, the opposite usually happens. When I helped practitioners in the past, I didn't pay much attention to cultivating myself, but now I often remind myself that I shouldn't be attached to the outcome and remember to cultivate myself by looking inwards. It is probably because of my own problems that a practitioner doesn't return to Dafa. I always try to keep my every thought righteous and not let my attachments stop fellow practitioners from returning to Dafa. I must try my best and honor my vows. I must do more for sentient beings and be worthy of Master's tireless efforts and great compassion.
These are some of my personal understandings. Please kindly correct me if my understanding is not correct.