Do Not Casually Give or Accept Material Help
(Minghui.org) The article “Thoughts on Helping Other Practitioners Financially After Reading “Another Stick Warning” on Minghui.org talked about practitioners providing material help to a poor practitioner in the countryside.
They thought the practitioner would have more time to study the Fa and cultivate if they helped her out. But that was not how things turned out.
Blindly Providing Material Help Failed to Bring Practitioners Back
Many years ago, a local practitioner was sent to a forced labor camp for three years. His family was in dire straits financially.
Fellow practitioners gave him some material assistance so that his son (also a practitioner) could have more time to study the Fa. He accepted some but not all.
We didn’t have much contact, but he was still in a reasonable state. Later, I was jailed for two years due to my faith in Falun Dafa.
When I was released, I found this practitioner had changed drastically. He had many wrong notions and interacted frequently with people he’d met in the forced labor camp.
He even wanted to pull me into this group. I was clearheaded and didn’t follow him.
Instead, I gave him Dafa books, brought him things, and let his family babysit my child so that he could earn a little, hoping this way he would return to Dafa. But he seldom studied the Fa, did the exercises, or sent forth righteous thoughts with me. What he had in mind was to “save me” by getting me to work with him on his multilevel marketing activities.
To help him, I spent time and money and worked with him on one project in which we both ended up losing money, only to find he was not interested in cultivation at all.
He jumped from one multilevel marketing project to another. He drifted further and further from cultivation, which led to his son and daughter giving up cultivation, too.
Fortunately, I followed what Master arranged for me. After his family had babysat my child for about a year, I listened to my family and ended that arrangement.
Several years ago, I finally realized I was not following Dafa, so I also stopped helping him materially.
Looking back, if I had been more clear on the Dafa principles and had not helped him the way I did, the result might have been different.
I think I actually aroused and expanded his attachments. I was destroying him as well as myself.
“In the beginning, this person was very good. When he cured illnesses for other people, they would give him money or some gifts—all of which he might turn down or refuse to accept. Yet this person could not resist contamination from the big dye vat of everyday people. Because these reverse cultivation people had never gone through genuine xinxing cultivation, it was very difficult for them to conduct their xinxing well. Gradually, this person would accept small gifts. Later, he would also accept big gifts. In the end, he would even be offended when he was not given enough. Finally, he would say, “Why do you give me so many things? Give me money!” He would not be pleased if given too little money.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)
Actually, if instead of just focusing on the material help and thinking it could lead to his having more time to study the Fa, I had spent more time studying the Fa with him, helping him send forth righteous thoughts, and discussing Fa principles with him, he might not have given up on cultivation.
Evaluate the Relationship and Methods
I met a fellow practitioner a few years ago. We had a meal together and he insisted on paying. Later when he came to my home a few times, he always brought gifts. When I visited him, he always prepared good meals or treated me to good restaurants.
I finally realized he thought I was poor and he was trying to help me. I didn’t earn a lot but I was not that poor. I was thrifty and did not want to waste.
More importantly, Master said,
“Eating, but caring not to taste—The palate’s attachments severed.” (“Abiding in the Dao,” Hong Yin)
I did not think we ate badly. Also, I did not want to, nor did I have the time and energy to, spend much effort making meals. The children were used to simple meals.
One day I found my children longed for that practitioner to visit us. I thought at first they were being diligent and wanted to study the Fa with the practitioner. Only later did I realize it was because they wanted to eat fancy food.
They developed an attachment to food. Then it got worse and they even stole money to buy food and toys.
I am not blaming or criticizing the fellow practitioner, but he was an originating factor. And I realized what was happening too late.
My children’s desire became stronger and stronger once it started, and eventually they almost stopped studying the Fa. Their minds were occupied with what they wanted and did have. They thought cultivation was too hard and didn’t want to control their desires and not fight back when hit and not yell back when yelled at.
Once they slacked off in studying the Fa, they were easily dragged into the trap set by the old forces. The situation hasn’t improved yet.
Ordinary people do not take gifts from others arbitrarily, and one often gives a gift in return. As a practitioner, one should use even more discretion when it comes to accepting gifts.
Practitioners who work full-time on Dafa projects pay close attention to where the money comes from and how it is spent. Master has said much regarding this matter.
Fellow practitioners have also discussed this. I believe one’s financial condition is a result of one’s and one’s family’s karma, and accepting help disrupts the cultivation path that Master has arranged for us.
If instead it results from the interference of evil spirits, one needs to study the Fa, enlighten to the Dao, look inward, and send forth righteous thoughts to rid of it. Additionally, one can look for other ways to resolve the issue, such as going to the appropriate government department for help.
There is a saying among ordinary people: “Help people in emergencies, but not because they are poor.”
As practitioners, we should not haphazardly accept things from others, especially not because we feel we are obliged to.
We need to evaluate the relationship and methods and repay or refuse as needed.