(Minghui.org) Greetings Master and fellow practitioners!
I have greatly benefited from cultivating in Falun Dafa during the past 22 years.
Before, I was a timid, young woman and was even afraid of the dark. After I got married, we lived across a courtyard from my in-laws. But I dared not walk to their place at night. And if my husband was out of town, leaving my daughter and me at home, I could not sleep in peace. When I closed my eyes, I felt I was fighting something or someone was trying to frighten me.
Then, I began to practice Falun Dafa. I had severe diarrhea seven days later. I knew Master Li (the founder of Falun Dafa) was cleansing my body and eliminating karma for me. Since then, I have become energetic and no longer afraid of the dark. My friends and family members saw the changes in me, and some of them, including my in-laws, husband, and daughter, also started to practice Falun Dafa.
Eliminating Communist Party Indoctrination
Growing up in China, I was indoctrinated by atheism, the theory of evolution, and other social, political and economic ideologies of the Communist Party. When my husband read Zhuan Falun (the main book of Falun Dafa) and told me that the practice is for cultivating Buddhahood, I laughed at him. As I studied Dafa in more depth, I eventually broke away from atheism.
Although I experienced many mental and physical changes afterward, I felt there was a barrier that kept me from immersing myself into Dafa. I didn't know why. For several years, I was troubled by this feeling. I tried to memorize the teachings and look within for shortcomings. It was not until 2010, when I wrote an experience-sharing article, that I found the root of the problem.
I used to be a teacher of political science. I studied the subject in college. Unknowingly, I was poisoned by many elements of the Communist Party’s goals to seek revolution. My way of thinking and doing things were influenced by the Communist Manifesto. When I talked with other practitioners, I mixed political subjects in with the Fa.
Some practitioners thought I had good enlightenment quality. I also became complacent, not realizing that these were attachments to eloquence, showing off, and zealotry. In fact, the root cause of the barrier I had experienced were the communist policies. Once I realized that I was beholden to the communist thinking, Master helped me remove it. I quickly became a different person.
In the past, I was so used to the Party’s way of thinking that I talked in a condescending and commanding tone. I forced what I thought was correct onto others and tried to change them. When other people did not follow my suggestions, I complained and accused them of being brainwashed. After removing that barrier, I started to look within during times of conflict.
For example, I read an experience-sharing article that was similar to what my father-in-law was going through. I showed him the article. Not only did he refuse to read it, but he also scolded me. He had never done that before! I immediately thought I did something wrong, but what was it? Then, I got a hint: I was forcing my understanding on him and trying to change him. My father-in-law was no longer angry after that.
A fellow practitioner once told me that there was a “thing” that I had not been able to remove in my cultivation, but he could not really articulate what it was. I looked within and realized that I had strong sentimentality, but that was not the “thing.”
One day as I was arranging my bookshelf, I saw the book The Ultimate Goal of Communism. After reading the book twice, I realized that my compassion was not pure enough and that there were feelings of resentment and hatred concealed under my superficial kindness. After coming to this realization, I saw black substances in my body with my inner eye when I sent forth righteous thoughts. I was shocked, as I had seen bad substances outside of my body in the past, but never inside.
I understood that the wicked spirit of the Communist Party had instilled hatred in me. Because I had not recognized it, it was still hidden inside of me. And that was the “thing”–elements of the Communist Party's indoctrination. I spent a long time cleansing myself and saw the dark substance draining away until my body became clear.
When I was imbued with those elements, I didn't have enough compassion. Although I had less resentment than before, it was not completely gone. After eliminating these elements, I was able to maintain a compassionate heart and become alert when I wasn't compassionate.
I also learned to accept other people's shortcomings. One time, I hurt the feeling of a fellow practitioner when I pointed out her flaws. I knew it as soon as I said it. I immediately apologized to her but was not completely sincere.
Afterwards, this practitioner told others about my shortcomings and suspected that I was a CCP spy. When I heard that, I did not blame her. I examined my thoughts and realized that I was prejudiced against her because her behavior did not match my ideals of a practitioner. I did not have enough compassion and tolerance for her. When I saw her again, I apologized sincerely.
Feeling Gratitude After Letting Go of Selfishness
I had the idea of selling books at a local market stall. When my in-laws didn't agree, I argued with them. When I told another practitioner about it, she said, “You are not kind to them!” I was surprised to hear that. I thought I was very kind to them. Then, I realized that I was not listening to their suggestions and only emphasized my ideas. I raised my voice when I thought I was right.
I was not grateful to them at all. I only thought about how much I had helped them from my own selfish perspective. Looking back, they had been helping me all along. They helped to take care of my business and pay tuition for my daughter. They gave me a stable cultivation environment so that I could do Dafa work without worrying about house chores. They were there to help me in every step I had made in my cultivation, yet I didn't even realize I was being unkind to them.
I usually sell our merchandise at morning markets. One day after I came home from the market, my mother-in-law checked my book and said that I had kept 400 yuan. I was upset and cried hard. I am frugal and rarely spend money on myself. How could she accuse me of hiding money for myself?!
When I sat down and sent forth righteous thoughts, I understood that it was a test to see if my heart was moved, but I still resented her a little. As I am writing this experience-sharing article, I looked within and found other shortcomings, such as not wanting to be criticized and a lack of compassion. She was helping me transform karma into virtue and get rid of human attachments. It was a good thing, but I kept rejecting it due to my selfishness.
Eliminating Fear and Resentment Toward Police
I do not have an identification card because of the persecution of Dafa by the Communist Party. Therefore, I am always worried of being checked. One day, a police officer was checking identification cards nearby. I was terrified. To calm myself, I alternated between sending forth righteous thoughts and studying the Fa the whole afternoon.
Then, I realized that I may hurt other people by having this fear. What if that officer asked for my identification card? What if he arrested me for not having one? And if he indeed arrested me, he would be committing a crime against Dafa and Dafa practitioners. Wouldn’t that harm him? When I realized that, the fear of being inspected by police disappeared, and everything was fine.
“When you encounter a tribulation, that great compassion will help you overcome it. At the same time, my Law Bodies will look after you and protect your life, but you will still have to go through the ordeal.” (Chapter III, Falun Gong)
I held grudges against the police officers who had persecuted me. When I sent forth righteous thoughts, I thought of having them meet their karmic retribution soon. One time I read an article about a practitioner being brutally tortured. I was extremely angry. That night, I dreamed of grabbing the throat of the domestic security captain and trying to strangle him. When I woke up, I was surprised at myself.
Master said, “cultivators have no enemies” (“Turning the Wheel Towards the Human World,” The Essentials of Diligent Progress Vol. III)
I felt that I was so far below the standard of Dafa.
Later, I had another dream: the same domestic security captain was chasing me on a motorcycle. When he caught up with me, the first thing he said was, “Why didn't you save me all these years?”
I was shocked when I woke up and realized that the dream was a hint from Master. I need to be compassionate and save the police officers! I have since changed my attitude toward them.
No More Complaining and Blaming Others
When a local practitioner was arrested, the coordinator hired two lawyers. I thought one was enough and that we should not waste money. When I saw the two lawyers, I was so upset that my facial expression changed and I felt a chill in my body. Another practitioner saw that I was upset and told me that I was wrong.
I calmed down and said to Master in my heart that I didn’t want “resentment” and “complaint.” Through my inner eye, I saw “resentment” and “complaint” as two bat-shaped entities on top of each other. They were attached to me. When the two worked together, they could control me. I asked Master to remove them. I saw a hand grab them and pull them off my body. Once they were removed, I felt warm and light, and my expression returned to normal.
Eliminating Jealousy and Attachment to “Self”
Another time, the coordinator did not want me to be in a meeting with the lawyers. I waited downstairs for them. The longer I sat there, the more uneasy I felt. I got up and left. But that didn't feel right, so I came back.
Another practitioner suggested that I was jealous. At first, I didn't agree with her. Then, I thought, “Just because I didn't agree with what the coordinator did, it doesn't mean that it was against the Fa.” I had been using my own standard to judge other practitioners. I remembered every single incident that I thought they did wrong. As a result, the resentment accumulated more and more, and I began to follow the old forces' arrangements when thinking and acting. I realized that my negative thoughts were equally harmful to the arrested practitioner. I had been causing splits among practitioners. Wasn’t this jealousy?
I said to Master in my heart, “This jealousy is not me. I don't want it. Please help me get rid of it.” I sent forth righteous thoughts for over two hours and saw these bad substances falling off of me. I felt terrible during the process but knew that this “jealousy” was making me suffer because it was about to die.
The next day, I read an article on the Minghui website. A practitioner said that for many years, people around her had a very good impression of her. Unknowingly, she started to validate herself instead of Dafa. Her experience reminded me that I had formed a similar notion of “self.” I judged others by my standard: “If you meet my standard and agree with my understanding of the Fa, then you've met the standard of the Fa. Otherwise, you do not meet the standard of the Fa.” How frightening is this idea?! The Fa is immense and boundless. What I understand is but a tiny portion of the Fa.
I was determined to get rid of this notion. After sending forth righteous thoughts at midnight, I started to cleanse my own dimensions. After two hours, I felt that a lot of bad substances had been eliminated.
Acknowledge the Strengths of Others
After removing the attachment of jealousy, I could see the strengths of other practitioners more clearly. I saw the shining bodies of fellow practitioners in other dimensions sitting on lotus flowers. Below each of them was a body composed of his/her karma and human notions. These bodies were already very small – just about one foot tall.
When my mind dwelled on the shortcomings of a fellow practitioner, I saw the karma and human notions from this practitioner were put into my body of karma and notions. As a result, my karmic body was enlarged, my demonic nature intensified, and conflicts started with fellow practitioners and hindered the effort of saving sentient beings.
On the other hand, when my mind concentrated on the strengths of a fellow practitioner, my karmic body shrank. I felt more compassion, the barriers between practitioners disappeared, and more people were saved.
One morning, I thought of three practitioners who I was having conflicts with. One by one, I thought of their strengths. Suddenly I saw countless beings pour into my dimensions.
A voice in my head said, “Buddha's grace is wide and far-reaching.” I was deeply touched and thought, “Master saved so many sentient beings when I let go of my attachment.” I understood how important it is to cultivate oneself well; otherwise, so many sentient beings would lose their lives.
More People Saved When Practitioners Cooperate Well
A local practitioner was sentenced to four and a half years in prison, and two other practitioners were forced to leave home to avoid arrest. These lessons forced me to look within. I found many attachments, such as competitiveness, jealousy, showing off, and so on.
One by one, I tried to get rid of these attachments and break down the barriers that kept me from other practitioners. Then, when we tried to hire lawyers for the arrested practitioners, we discussed among ourselves and established a common understanding. This resulted in saving more people in the process of rescuing practitioners.
One time, we heard that a practitioner in a nearby town had been arrested in another city and was facing trial. We were asked to find his family and help rescue him.
Because the arrested practitioner had worked in other cities for many years, people in his hometown did not know him or his family. Several practitioners went through a lot of trouble and finally found his parents and his child. I went and visited his family with other practitioners. We brought holiday gifts for them. At first, they were suspicious of us. When we told them the purpose of our visit, the elderly couple was very moved. I said, “I don't know your son. But we are here to help you.”
The arrested practitioner was put on trial in the other city with a court-appointed lawyer and without the presence of his family. (Editor’s note: Lawyers appointed by courts to Falun Dafa practitioners amid the persecution in China are instructed not to defend their innocence.) The situation did not look good, but we didn't give up. We repeatedly talked with his parents. His father and practitioners in the other city went to the court and found out who the judge and lawyer were. We clarified the facts about Falun Dafa to the lawyer and mailed him materials about Falun Dafa.
We hired a lawyer for the arrested practitioner even though he had already had two hearings. We were determined not to let the case continue and believed that the practitioner should be released. When the judge refused to see us, we decided to send the appeal letter to various agencies and used the opportunity to save more people. The arrested practitioner wrote an appeal, but his father did not send it out, fearing retaliation.
We realized that we hadn't clarified the facts in enough depth. Although his father knew that Dafa is good, he didn't understand that practicing Falun Gong was legal because he had been misled by the Communist Party’s propaganda. So we explained this fact to him in more detail.
We asked the father to recount how his son started practicing Falun Gong and improved his character as a result. He spent a whole day writing carefully. We also added over a dozen legal provisions stating that practicing Falun Gong is not illegal. He was very happy with the final draft and signed his name on the appeal letter. We helped him to send copies of this letter to various government agencies.
One day, the father received a phone call from the Legal Assistance Center saying that they had received his letter and contacted the court; the case would be retried. When we gave the lawyer the news, he said in surprise, “That's not possible! This has never been done before in the entire country.” We knew Master had helped us when we cooperated well.
We didn't get rid of the court-appointed lawyer for the retrial but asked him not to speak during the trial, and he didn’t. During the trial, the judge and the prosecutor were very positive too. The entire process felt harmonious. The arrested practitioner was released 15 days later.
During the rescue process, practitioners from different cities cooperated with one another unconditionally.
“In these situations your conduct should always show Dafa disciples' tolerance, kindness, and niceness. The next person's things are your things, and your things are his things.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Washington, D.C. Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. II)
My understanding is that when practitioners cooperate well, we can save people more effectively. The key to cooperating well is letting go of self and cultivating well. Master has everything planned out when we cooperate well.
As I walk the path of returning to my true self, I am grateful for Master's protection and for fellow practitioners!