(Clearwisdom.net) I am the youngest one in our elderly practitioners' Fa-study group. Another practitioner is nearly 70 years old, and the rest are over 70. One practitioner finished grade school, two only went to the second or third grade, and the other three have never had any schooling. It was rather difficult for us to study the Fa.
One observer said, “No one reads as slow as your group.” Some asked me, “Can you elevate yourself studying with these elderly ladies?” Sometimes I also thought of abandoning them. But when I saw their expressions of yearning and trust, I felt that it was my responsibility to be with them.
-From the author
Greetings, benevolent Teacher!
Greetings, fellow practitioners over the world!
I learned Dafa in 1995 and am a 62-year-old retired teacher. Since I first read Minghui Weekly, I have seldom missed one article. But all I have done is take and not give. When I saw the call for papers for the Eighth Internet Fa Conference, I wanted to write an article. But still I procrastinated. Until one day, a fellow practitioner called me over. She told me that we were going to have a local Fa-conference the next day, and I needed to present. I wanted to decline, but she said it was an assignment. I thought, “It is Teacher pulling me up by having a fellow practitioner tell me what to do? How can I turn this down? Not only I will do an experience sharing locally, I will also report to Teacher in the Fa conference on the web. Whether my sharing gets accepted is not important, but participation is.”
1. Forming a Fa-Study Group
In the spring of 2003, I participated in a local Fa conference. One elderly practitioner mentioned that, because she did not have much education, it was difficult for her to study the Fa. I said right away that I could help. After the conference, I went with her to go to her home. But on the way, I met an acquaintance and told him the facts about Dafa. She did not wait for me. I felt at the time that she had an attachment to fear. Perhaps the time was not ripe yet.
It was not until October 2005 when a practitioner called me to her home and told me that she was studying the Fa in another elderly practitioner’s home. Neither of them had had much education. They had not participated in group Fa study before July 20, 1999. They could not read Zhuan Falun and were very worried. So I joined them, and the three of us formed a Fa-study group. Later, a few more elderly practitioners joined us. There are now a total of seven of us.
I am the youngest one. Another practitioner is nearly 70, and the others are 70 plus. One practitioner finished grade school, two only went to the second or third grade, and the other three have not had any schooling. It was rather difficult for us to study the Fa.
Although they all had learned Dafa before July 20, 1999, they had never joined a Fa-study group. Some stopped reading the Fa completely after the persecution started. They read very slowly. And they missed words, added words, read words incorrectly, did not know how to stop at the end of sentences, and misunderstood the meanings. I corrected them as we read. It took more than three hours to read each chapter. Sometimes I was truly distressed. The other Fa-study groups could study two chapters a day, but we could only do one. Practitioners who came to our group all left after they saw the situation. One observer said, “No one reads as slow as your group.” Someone asked me, “Can you elevate yourself studying with these elderly ladies?” Sometimes I've also thought of abandoning them, but when I see their expressions of sincerity and trust, I feel it is my responsibility to be with them.
Teacher said once, “As your Master, I can't leave behind a single disciple...” (“Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students”) I asked myself, “Do you want to help Teacher rectify the Fa or not? Why aren’t you willing to give? You are so selfish. You should help these elderly practitioners since you know they have difficulties. Isn’t this part of helping Teacher rectify the Fa? We need to assimilate with Dafa and complete the mission of saving sentient beings.”
We have studied together since 2005. Now everyone can read through Zhuan Falun and recite Lunyu and some poems in Hong Yin. We also systematically read Teacher’s lectures. The speed of reading the Fa has much improved also.
Because these elderly practitioners have difficulties reading Minghui Weekly, I read it to them once a week. Hearing about the miracles practitioners all over the world have experienced in getting rid off their attachments, enduring tribulations, and helping Teacher rectify the Fa, we are in awe, and feel that the distance between us and them is not great at all.
We elderly practitioners are good at telling people the facts about Falun Gong face-to-face. One practitioner went to her hometown in the countryside. The first time she went she brought back a list of over 80 people who had quit the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated organizations; the second time she brought back a list of over 40. We seize every opportunity in our daily lives to tell people the facts about Falun Gong.
In recent years, we have gone regularly to the local prison to send forth righteous thoughts in close proximity once a week. In the past two years particularly, we have been able to let go of ourselves and cooperate with the families of practitioners who are imprisoned and have gone to speak with the department in charge until the practitioners are released.
2. Elevating Xinxing Through Conflicts
Because everyone has attachments, frictions sometime occurred among those of us in the group. By letting go of ourselves and looking inward when conflicts occurred, we became unified. Below are some examples.
-How Come She Doesn’t Look at Me
It was 2008. A practitioner came to our group to study the Fa for several days. She said our group had a very good field. Two practitioners in our group had just come back from the countryside to clarify the facts to people and everyone wanted to hear their experiences. When one of them spoke, I listened intently. I thought about recording and editing it to publish on the Minghui website. But as I listened, my mood changed. The speaker just stared at the visiting practitioner and ignored everyone else. I felt a bit upset and thought, “How could she be like that? She's totally ignoring the rest of us.” When I looked at the other practitioners, I saw that they were all listening intently, too. I wondered, “How come they are making nothing of it but I am. Perhaps it is I who has the attachment.” After going home, I looked into the mirror and said, “Who are you? You are so self-centered. Today’s incident is for you to get rid of your attachment.” The next day, I discussed it with the group to expose my attachment.
One day in 2009, practitioners in our area began to clarify the facts to people through the mail. When I distributed envelopes to the group, they all said that they could not write. I told them to put down the zip code first. When one of them finished and said it was no big deal, the others all handed their envelopes to her. She took them quietly. I urged them to do it themselves, but no one listened. I was very upset and thought, “I wanted to let all of you establish your own merit, but you don’t want it. That practitioner is so proud of herself. Actually, I could have done it for you easily.” My mind was not calm. Then when we discussed mailing the letters, I told them that we should not all go at once. One practitioner said, “Let’s go together. I am not afraid.” When I heard that, I suddenly started to sob. I thought, “Am I afraid? You don’t know how many letters I have mailed each month.” I was very upset and cried and complained, “You old ladies know nothing. I want to let you establish your merit and you don’t want it. You start showing off as soon as you learn a little bit.” I had never addressed them as “old ladies” before. Then they also saw what was wrong and began to calm me down. I did so and felt that they were usually very nice. The fact that they suddenly all ganged up on me was just to rid me of my attachment of being arrogant and conceited.
-An Elderly Practitioner Helped Me
One elderly practitioner in our group was a bit wily, and was so about everything. Once after studying Dafa, we talked about her problem and tried to help her. But she became unhappy and wanted to leave after we mentioned a couple of incidents. Then she mentioned my behavior when we mailed the letters. I blushed and felt hot. I kept myself from fighting with her. After going home, I asked myself why she did not listen to me. I was trying to help her, but she in turn humiliated me. What was wrong? I found many attachments of mine. This experience turned out to be a case of a fellow practitioner helping me, instead of me helping her.
Although I passed these tribulations and learned to look inward, the root cause was still stubbornly there. Then I heard indirectly some criticisms from other practitioners about our group such as, “At this stage, other people all study Dafa, but they are still studying Minghui Weekly.” “They always fight with each other when they share experiences.” And so on. I felt bad and said to Teacher in my mind, “Teacher, what have I done wrong? Is it easy for me to lead these elderly practitioners? How can they treat me like that. In our group, in addition to the six elderly practitioners, there are three more who do not join us for Fa study. One is 87 and the other two are both 77. I deliver the Minghui Weekly and share experiences with them every week. Who helped me? They were still criticizing. Teacher approved the Minghui website. How could I just read it myself and not help other practitioners? My doing this was not for my own fame but to help the elderly practitioners to catch up with the Fa rectification.” As I thought about it, suddenly it occurred to me that, although I was not doing it for fame, I was seeking other people’s approval. When they praised our group, I acted modestly, but my heart was delighted. I was upset when they criticized me. It was a very strong attachment of not accepting criticisms, and it also implied hidden attachments of looking for fame, jealousy, competitiveness, and resentment. I thought, “They are not me. Let them be dissolved. I want to be a true disciple.” I enlightened that Teacher had seen that I had these attachments and repeatedly used these incidents to remove my attachments. Isn’t Teacher favoring me?
3. Working as a Group to Get Rid of Interference with Righteous Thoughts
Practitioner A’s environment at home was a bit complicated. Sometimes she did not rid of the interferences with her righteous thoughts. She always blinked and her hand tilted when sending righteous thoughts. I reminded her repeatedly that her main consciousness needed to be strong. Then we went to her home to study Dafa and tried to help her clear the area. That day she kept her head down, did not want to look at me, and appeared quite impatient. I said, “Let’s send forth righteous thoughts.” The stuff in other dimensions was impacted. They felt that they could no longer stay there. So when I sent forth righteous thoughts, the practitioner’s hand waved and she said, “I am not going. I am not going.” I asked, “What is going on?” She said, “They asked me to go.” I said, “Who?” She said, “A bunch of them.” I thought that I needed definitely to get rid of them, so I said, “You cannot go with them. You are a Dafa practitioner. You are in Teacher’s care.” Other practitioners also told her that she could not go with them. She cried, “Teacher doesn’t take care of me. You take care of me.” I said, “I cannot take care of you. We can only help you. Only Teacher can save you.” Then I mentioned Teacher’s lecture about benevolent settlement and said finally, “If Practitioner A owed you historically, please go to her and wait there. But do not interfere with her in her role of helping Teacher to rectify the Fa. Otherwise, you will be committing a crime and we will have to eliminate you. Even if we don’t, the law of the universe will not allow you to stay. Our Teacher will not allow it either.”
Then Practitioner A said, “She is fine. Let her cultivate. We are leaving.” She fell on the bed, unconscious. We were all sending forth righteous thoughts. A while later, Practitioner A opened her eyes and asked us, “When did you come?” We did not say a word, but smiled at each other. I knew in the other dimension, it must have had a big fight between the righteous and the evil. With Teacher’s help and our working together, we saved Practitioner A.
* * * * * * *
Practitioners in our group have been together for six years now. Sometimes an elderly practitioner will say grateful things to me. I know it is Teacher who let me do it. We made our promises and swore to come down to earth to help Teacher rectify the Fa. Now we are immersed in Teacher’s benevolence and cultivating ourselves. We have gotten rid of our attachments and elevated our xinxing, and are maturing while helping Teacher rectify the Fa. I want to tell everyone that, with the great Fa and Teacher’s care, our group will not fall behind. Let’s go hand-in-hand and follow Teacher home.