Eliminating Old Notions and Attachments While Cooperating with Other Practitioners to Save People
(Minghui.org) Greetings, venerable Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
One year has quickly passed since the last experience sharing conference in Switzerland. I’d like to tell you about my experiences while participating in projects to save people. All these were arranged by Master Li for me to improve my patience, help me better understand other people, have more compassion, stay calm and maintain my inner peace. When I faced a test, I had a buffer instead of responding abruptly and irrationally.
The Power of Dafa
One day while we were promoting Shen Yun, I was phoned by a practitioner’s husband. He asked if I could find someone to collect a few bundles of truth-clarification brochures that his wife brought home. I was surprised–we hadn’t heard from his wife, a practitioner, for a while. After she suffered from an illness karma tribulation, we lost touch with her. We didn’t know who took care of her two sons. I told her husband that I’d ask a local practitioner to get the brochures.
This was a bit shocking, especially after we finally heard how she was doing. I was very careful when I first contacted her. Then I went to visit her. The first time I went she talked for almost two hours. When I returned a week later, I brought the latest translation of Zhuan Falun – the main teachings of Falun Dafa. Only then did I learn how dire her situation was; she hadn’t studied the Fa, or practiced the exercises for a long time.
We gradually built up trust. Then, we began to read Zhuan Falun and we read one lecture each time I visited. Her faith in Master was strengthened, and she began to practice the exercises. She even began showing the other people at the rehab center how to do the exercises. We talked about topics related to cultivation, possible changes in one’s family life as well as her plans for the future.
I had always read practitioners’ articles on how Dafa’s power was displayed. Through this experience, I truly experienced the immense power of Dafa firsthand.
Master doesn’t want to give up on any practitioner. In just a few weeks, her situation kept improving. When the rehab center management approved her to attend Shen Yun in Basel, all practitioners, the center’s staff members and her family were extremely happy for her.
Soon afterward she was discharged from the rehab center. With the outbreak of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus (a.k.a coronavirus), schools closed and she could watch her children at home. This experience not only helped her heal and reaffirmed her belief in Master, but all local practitioners truly felt that we could make breakthroughs in our cultivation.
Why do practitioners endure hardships? Master said,
“Why do Dafa disciples need to cultivate, pass tests, have strong righteous thoughts, and go through suffering? Only those things can be considered cultivation.” (Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005)
This experience greatly helped me. I learned how to set myself aside and think for others. Master mentioned that our path was very narrow. When I realized how easily a practitioner could get lost, I was caught off guard. Some practitioners, including myself, complained: “Why didn’t we realize sooner that someone in our group was suffering such great pressure and mental pain?” I hope each one of us can learn from this experience. Thank you Master for your immense saving grace!
My Attachments Are Exposed
Right after the Shen Yun shows were concluded in Basel, the CCP virus broke out. Many practitioners began helping with projects to save people. For years, some practitioners continuously handed out truth-clarification information. We felt it was time to update the contents. We updated the introductory flyers about Falun Dafa and the CCP's live organ harvesting. Updating the 16-page brochure was more involved, but I was very happy to be part of it.
Before I headed out one day, I checked my cell phone. The practitioner who was supposed to work with me said that she was delayed. Later, she sent another message saying that after participating in the very busy Shen Yun promotion, she didn’t feel like participating in this project. Her decision not only surprised me, it also made me feel helpless.
I knew that we needed a new version of the brochure. However, in the German- speaking area in Switzerland, only four practitioners were good at design and layout.
Although I was a bit surprised at her decision after having worked with her for so long, I sent her an email saying that I'd have no problem finding someone to work with me. I began phoning other practitioners, but it seemed that the other two practitioners didn't have time either. They were very occupied with their jobs or some truth-clarification projects.
A few days later, a young practitioner said that she'd like to team up with me, and this was the first project she participated in. I felt Master was testing my righteous thoughts, as none of us knew how it would go. Updating these materials usually takes a few days, however, it took both of us a few weeks.
We needed good quality photos, and our first obstacle was having trouble receiving two photos from a practitioner. A Russian practitioner later sent us a satisfactory picture, but we didn't receive the two photos from the other practitioner. After I called a Swiss practitioner who was in contact with Russian practitioners, a miracle happened! She told us that after checking with Russian, Ukrainian and Israeli practitioners, she found a set of professional materials with photos, including the one we were looking for.
Our patience was rewarded. The young practitioner never wavered during those weeks, and I felt I had a lot to learn from her. We made significant progress, and in the end, we also obtained a photo of a German practitioner doing the exercises.
We were thrilled to receive so much help from practitioners in other countries – but we still had more to do. Two practitioners who had legal backgrounds helped set up an association so we could publish the brochure. Even though things seemed to be progressing, I was worried about when we would finish the updates. We ran out of materials to hand out.
As the spring holiday approached, the practitioner said she would use the time to work on the layout. The holiday came and went, but she still didn't get it done; this struck me very hard. For several weeks I could only think of the brochure and how important it was. When I first heard that she wasn't finished, I was so depressed that I couldn't study the Fa or send forth righteous thoughts.
I began looking inward. I realized my attachments were exposed—I was focused on my own way of thinking and requesting things from others. I had been pretty tough and demanding on her and never placed myself in her shoes. She had to take care of her job and family, and her husband was not a practitioner. She was trying hard to balance work and family, but she offered to support our project without any hesitation. When I thought about that, I calmed down.
After we finished working I usually stayed at a nearby hotel. While I was driving home one morning I found a good place to do the sitting meditation. I could see the high mountains across the valley. Suddenly I couldn't hear the exercise music. Then, the towering mountains crashed down as if there was an earthquake. My first thought was, “Thank goodness we already passed out brochures in this valley.” I wasn't sure whether a few seconds or minutes had passed. Suddenly, the music came back. When I opened up my eyes, the surroundings were quiet and there was no earthquake. This scene from other dimensions made me realize that there were still many things beyond my understanding.
When we were finally finished several practitioners reviewed our new brochure. However, another big “mountain” was right in front of us – we needed to show it to the German coordinators so they could look it over. My obstacle was fear: I was afraid of making changes, being examined, losing face and or being criticized for not being good enough. The young practitioner said that she shared the same feeling. But when we received the feedback from the main coordinator, we felt very uplifted. She thoughtfully edited it. As a result, the brochure was greatly improved.
I cultivated for so many years, but never had such an experience. My wrong notions made me stumble and feel depressed. In the second round of modifying the brochure, I had the same experience. My attachment of being afraid of being criticized was peeled away.
I truly experienced what Master said,
“Human beings have many attachments, all kinds of notions, and a range of emotions and desires. All these thoughts are in your head, yet none of them are you. I’ve said that this door is wide open and that only your heart matters. It’s just up to a person’s heart whether he can cultivate, and whether he can still have the thought and intention of returning to his origin and true self.” (Teachings at the Conference in Switzerland)
Our brochure was finally put into production. I truly appreciated Master for entrusting us with this task and giving us the abilities and wisdom to complete it so we could help save people.
Further Letting Go of My Attachments
With the onset of the CCP virus, the people who came to our information booth changed. We hardly saw any Asian tourists, but there were tourists from Switzerland and Germany. Our display boards were mostly in Chinese. At first, we felt we could just translate them, until we realized that the Chinese content was out-dated. On the other hand, we couldn't obtain the latest content either.
I asked myself, “Why can't we use what's in the new brochure to update those display boards?” My thoughts went up and down. I felt that I shouldn't bother that young practitioner to take on so much work, since we needed to produce about 12 to 16 boards.
A Chinese practitioner who lived nearby offered to help. Although she never used any layout design applications, she had a relevant background. I had no choice but to coordinate with her. Working with her pushed my patience to the limit. She often spent several hours trying to figure out how to use the layout app, which made me very impatient. We also had very different opinions about the layout design. While I tried to remain calm, she managed to finish one display board after another. Every time we completed one and I returned home, I said, “I can't keep continuing! I want to give up!”
I felt what happened next was Master giving me a stick warning. We needed to load 4,400 lbs. of the truth-clarification brochures onto a truck and deliver them to two practitioners' homes. A practitioner was supposed to come and help but didn't show up. I sent two emails reminding him to come. I also included the parking information. He replied by texting me, “I called you, but you didn't answer. I wanted to tell you that I couldn't come.”
I understood that this was a reflection of my mindset and behavior. Whenever the task became difficult, I wanted to give up. I enlightened that Master was using this to warn me: Because I had shortfalls in my cultivation, other practitioners had to cover for me.
Master warned us,
“Do you realize that as long as you’re a cultivator, in any environment or under any circumstances, I will use any troubles or unpleasant things you come across—even if they involve work for Dafa, or no matter how good or sacred you think they are—to eliminate your attachments and expose your demon-nature so that it can be eliminated, for your improvement is what’s most important.” (“Further Understanding,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
The Chinese practitioner finished the display board designs with great patience and artistry. The experience expanded my patience and forbearance. With her faith in Master, she was full of confidence. Without any knowledge of how to do layout, she managed to produce the display boards. This was truly remarkable! Every time we hold an information day and awaken peoples' conscience through these display boards, I'm very touched. We can show the beauty of Dafa as well as exposing the CCP's persecution.
Back to the Basics – Exercising at a Practice Site
I found it difficult to consistently do the exercises. It was always a big obstacle for me. I often delayed doing them until late at night, which made it even more difficult. When I received the list of coordinators for our local practice sites that our main coordinator wanted to include in the truth-clarification brochures, I was surprised to see that I was listed as the coordinator in our area. I suddenly enlightened that this was to help me snap out of being leisurely. In fact, we should have had regular group exercises at this sightseeing spot years ago. I began doing the exercises there every weekend.
When I came across a part of the Fa related to doing the exercises recently, I made up my mind to improve. Years ago I wrote down what Master said.
“The Fa-rectification formulas are linked to the sound in the cosmos, many factors in the cosmos, and messages in the cosmos. Only by articulating and activating them will the huge impact be generated that comes about from the concerted assistance of the cosmos.” (Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles)
As long as we are still cultivating, we should improve ourselves. In handling seemingly inconsequential things like phone calls, emails, text messages, or even a neighbor's complaint—we need to think about how we treat everything we encounter. We can feel our cultivation improving. Are we calmer than before? Are we more compassionate and selfless? Through cultivation, we have improved our character, health, as well as wisdom and capabilities. Falun Dafa has made us better people. I sincerely appreciate Master.
Just as Master said,
“It’s because I tell all of them to be good people, to be better, extraordinary people, healthy people, people of higher morality, all the way until they become people who can achieve Consummation.” (Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference in Australia)
I truly appreciated Master for the path he arranged for me. Thank you Master for your saving grace!
Thank you fellow practitioners! Let us cultivate diligently together and accomplish our sacred mission.
(Presented at the 2020 Swiss Fa Conference)