(Minghui.org) Several days ago, Minghui.org published an article titled “Reminders for Practitioners Involved in Technology Support.” Here I would like to share some understandings related to that.
As mentioned in that article, these “technology support” practitioners have suffered tremendously over the past 20 plus years. While other practitioners may be able to take a break and enjoy life, they have been busy all the time with little sleep and sometimes even no time to eat. Very often they have to sit in front of equipment for an entire day printing and binding materials or doing repair work.
But if we calm down and think about it, how did things end up like this? In other words, how did these practitioners become “technology support” practitioners? In my understanding of Master’s Fa, when we came down to this world, it was not decided who would be “technology support” practitioners or who would distribute materials. Rather, it was these practitioners who chose to validate the Fa this way. They took this path of sacrificing for others with their technical skills and Master has helped them fulfill their wish.
“This is especially so for the Dafa disciples in mainland China: each must come out and clarify the truth, bringing it to every field and valley, mountain and hill, not omitting a single area where there are people.” (“Let Go of Human Attachments and Save the World’s People,” The Essentials of Diligent Progress III)
Many years have passed since Master wrote that, and, yet, how many practitioners can clarify the truth and run family-based material production sites on their own? How many practitioners can operate computers and printers at material production sites and manage cell phones, internet routers, and dish installations on their own? We know that the equipment we use such as computers and printers are our Fa implements. When we reach out to technology support practitioners, have we thought about this: Should practitioners who will soon reach consummation always rely on others to maintain their own Fa implements?
We know that the best way is for everyone to have his or her own material production site. But over 20 years have passed, and many practitioners are still counting on others to provide materials. For example, how many of us are waiting for others to provide new articles from Master or copies of Minghui Weekly? When some practitioners were setting up material sites of their own, they felt they'd done good enough once they were able to access Minghui and print Minghui Weekly. They still reach out to “technology support” practitioners for help when technical issues arise.
Speaking of technical knowledge, there is comprehensive information on computers, printers, and cell phones on Minghui.org and other practitioner-run websites. The tutorials are very clear and detailed. But some practitioners do not have the patience and are unwilling to learn by following the step-by-step instructions. Or, they are afraid when they encounter difficulties and give up when there are challenges. Instead of checking the tutorials again to troubleshoot, they simply go to practitioners with technical skills, sometimes even requiring them to cooperate unconditionally.
On the other hand, the practitioners who are being asked to help are hesitant to say no. They know this situation is not right but have ended up quietly helping others fix the problems. There are many excuses for this, such as old age, poor English, no experience with computers, family situations, being busy at work, lack of time, lack of finances, and others. These have all become “reasons” for seeking help from others.
“If Dafa disciples don’t do well, if they lower their standard for their cultivation and if those old, higher beings—those layers upon layers upon layers of simply countless Gods and those countless Kings—all do as I just described, then think about it, how much difficulty will that bring to Fa-rectification? At the same time that these Gods, or Kings, are dissolved during the cleaning out, all of the simply countless sentient beings in the domains that they have jurisdiction over will be unable to attain salvation as well. If that is the situation for an entire cosmic body, then none of them can attain salvation. That is exactly the difficulty that Fa-rectification and Dafa disciples have encountered, and it manifests itself here in the human world as all sorts of troubles.” (“20th Anniversary Fa Teaching,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
As a practitioner, we know that nothing happens accidentally. When there are issues with computers or printers, how many of us can always consider that an opportunity to look within and improve ourselves? This is not to acknowledge the old forces’ arrangement of making technical trouble for us, but to be strict with ourselves and achieve a higher standard so that we can blaze a trail of validating the Fa and assisting Master with saving sentient beings.
In Chinese, the character “cultivation,” as in “cultivation practice,” is pronounced the same as “repair.” If we really think about it, this may not be coincidental. After all, Chinese civilization and language came from the divine. Cultivation means working on ourselves, and we cannot just push the opportunity to cultivate onto technical support practitioners when issues arise. That is not what a genuine practitioner should do.
If we do not do well on this, it will affect our own cultivation and other practitioners as well. Below are some examples.
Untimely Death of a Diligent Practitioner
Ai was older than me and she had been persecuted many times after the suppression of Falun Dafa started in July 1999. To avoid more arrests, she quit her job and lived away from home, moving from place to place while doing truth-clarification work. She was later arrested again but was released after being on a hunger strike for 57 days.
To help stop the persecution and save more people, Ai decided to take on the responsibility of providing technical support for other practitioners and coordinating truth-clarification work. In her 10 plus years of being away from home, she was responsible for technical support in several metropolitan cities, as well as nearby counties.
Besides being busy working at many material sites installing computer systems and repairing computers as well as printers, she was very strict with herself. She never took money that was donated to make materials for her own personal needs. With no income of her own, she had to get help from her elderly father (also a practitioner) to make ends meet. To save money, she often just ate a handful of corn and drank some water before hurrying to the next material site to help.
One Chinese New Year, Ai came to my place with a bag of corn as a gift for my child. After she left, I talked about this with my wife (also a practitioner) and we were in tears. Many practitioners said that when Ai repaired equipment for them, she was very considerate of others and hardly ate any of their food when she was invited to.
After having more frequent contact with Ai, however, I found her lacking in Fa-study and doing the exercises. I shared this understanding with her a few times, suggesting that she focus on teaching others needed skills instead of simply doing all the repairs herself. Because of her introverted personality, it was not easy to communicate this to her. Plus, she had some ego, so this was not resolved.
The last time I saw Ai was a few days before her arrest.
“Please don’t just get busy like this. It would be better if you set aside some time to focus on Fa-study,” I said, adding she was unable to recite “On Dafa” yet although it had been published for a long time.
Ai said she could recite the first two paragraphs of “On Dafa.” She promised to do better in cultivation and memorize “On Dafa” after she got through these few busy days.
Several days later, Ai was arrested again and later sent to prison. After nearly two years of physical and mental abuse, she left this world.
Whenever I thought of Ai, I was always impressed by her smile, her nobility, and her strong will. But the lesson is serious and sad. I hope we can all learn from this, be able to look inward, and avoid such losses again.
A “Model” Practitioner's Passing
Bai was also older than me. Thinking quickly and acting fast, he was the main technical support person for many material sites in his area. Several months ago, I heard he'd been diagnosed with metastasized late-stage cancer. Surgery was done, but he was not recovering well. His wife, also a practitioner, did not know what to do.
I visited Bai recently and was surprised to see how skinny he had become – his weight had fallen from 75 kilos (165 pounds) to less than 50 kilos (110 pounds). Furthermore, he looked jaundiced and in pain. When he saw me, he forced a smile. His wife said they had not yet told other practitioners about Bai’s condition. “Many of them have viewed Bai as a model practitioner. If something happens to him, others may lose faith,” she explained. She said Bai had done poorly with Fa-study and doing exercises. Furthermore, he looked down on others and did not join group Fa study.
I invited Bai to stay with me for a while and he agreed.
After taking Bai to my place, we studied the Fa together every day and exchanged understandings. He said a few other practitioners in his area also had strong technical skills, but most of them had left town to earn a living. Thinking of the truth-clarification efforts in the local area and maintaining the material site, he decided to stay put in his hometown.
But his wife and mother, both practitioners, were not diligent. So the environment in his family was not favorable. His wife forced him to go out and get a job. He had no choice. The salary was low – only about 1,000 yuan (or $156) per month, but it nonetheless kept him busy every day.
He knew this was not right. Because he was too busy, he had little time for Fa study and the exercises. Every day after work, he produced materials and repaired equipment for other practitioners. His mother and wife, although practitioners, also fought for money, either openly or under the table. Frustrated by this situation, he resented both women. When sickness karma attacked him two years ago, he did not tell anyone else due to his ego. In the end, he could not stand it any longer and went to the hospital.
After these few days of Fa study, sharing, and sending forth righteous thoughts, he said he had understood what he hadn’t done well. But it was too late: He would lie down shortly after beginning to study the Fa, and he could not continue doing the exercises, especially the second one. We talked about this a few times, but there was no change.
About two weeks later, Bai insisted on going home. I had no choice but to take him. After a while, we heard he had passed away.
Key Technical Support Practitioner Has Surgery
Chen lives in a town where there are about 100 practitioners. As both the coordinator and the technical support lead, she launched a material production site many years ago, providing Master’s new articles, Minghui Weekly, and various materials for practitioners.
Several years ago, someone said Chen had serious sickness karma. There was a big lump in her stomach and other practitioners helped to send forth righteous thoughts for her. Another practitioner and I went to visit her.
When we arrived, we saw Chen looked helpless and in great pain, with her hands covering her stomach. Two local practitioners were helping her to look within. After we greeted each other, one of the two local practitioners said they had been trying to help Chen for a long time.
“Maybe she has an attachment to sentimentality? Also, she needs to have stronger righteous thoughts,” she said. “If things do not work out, maybe she needs to go to the hospital.”
After chatting with them for a while, I said to the two local practitioners, “Maybe this is a time for all of us to look inward.”
“If she falls down like this, where will you get Master’s new articles and Minghui Weekly?” I asked. “She has sacrificed so many years for other practitioners. I guess this can be an opportunity for us to think if we can get online and print materials ourselves.” Both of them were quiet.
By talking with Chen, we learned she had always been strict with herself. It was confusing to her why she would have such a major tribulation.
“In addition to thinking about our own cultivation, I think we should also evaluate practitioners’ overall situation in this area,” I explained. “So many years have passed, have practitioners in general made breakthroughs in cultivation or largely remained the same?” They looked perplexed, as if they did not know where to begin.
Later on, we heard that Chen could not take the pain anymore and had surgery. This may have helped the situation for now, but the other practitioners in her area have remained about the same.
Dong is a modest person and always has a smile on his face. After starting a material production site after the suppression started in 1999, he and his wife were incarcerated for many years.
When they were released and returned home, they found their house had collapsed. With no money or income, Dong has had to stay away from home all these years. Nonetheless, he had strong righteous thoughts, learned how to repair printers, and has been supporting a major city and nearby towns by repairing printers. He spent little time earning a living, barely enough to support himself. Even a practitioner like that was recently targeted during the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s zero-out campaign, which aims to force every practitioner on the government’s blacklist to renounce their faith in Falun Dafa.
En is a quiet and trustworthy practitioner. For many years, he has installed computer systems for other practitioners and supported about 100 material sites. Although he was detained a few times, he always continued to do technical work when he was released. Unable to withstand the intense pressure, his wife once gave up practicing and said bad words to him. Their child later had an incurable disease and used up all their savings. Nonetheless, he continued supporting other practitioners with his computer skills as usual.
Feng began to practice in 2006 and has been very diligent. After setting up a material production site at home, he learned how to repair printers and has supported about 100 material sites in the area. In the past, he purchased a truck for a transportation business. But because he has always been needed to repair printers over the last 10 plus years, he's had little time to devote to the business. In the end, he has had to rely on a small pension from his father (also a practitioner) to get by.
“You own a truck and have to maintain it. What do you think about that?” I asked. "So many practitioners need help. I think it's worth it," he replied.
Gao, who has a bachelor’s degree, started to practice Falun Dafa in 2013. Shortly after, she started a material production site and learned computer skills and how to repair printers. After Ai passed away, Gao assumed the job of computer maintenance in her area. As a result, she could not go out to work. But her husband could not understand her and often threatened her with a divorce. About a year ago, she was forced to follow her husband to another city. To avoid a divorce, she had to leave the city and these material sites behind.
In the Minghui article mentioned earlier, the author wrote, “The saddest time for me in these years was to see practitioners being persecuted, arrested, and even pass away. The pain was indescribable.”
In fact, all those practitioners persecuted to death while in detention, those who passed away due to sickness karma or the old forces’ arrangements, those who were harassed repeatedly, those who were forced to stay away from home, those who suffered financial persecution, or those who suffered family conflicts while still being steadfast in cultivation are all outstanding and admirable.
On the other hand, we may reflect on why such persecution could have happened in the first place. Did we have loopholes? It is true these practitioners may have had their own issues. But when we relied on them too much and aggravated the situation or increased their pressure, things may also get worse. It is time for us to think through these issues and learn the lessons.
(To be continued)
This article only represents the author’s current understanding meant for sharing among practitioners so that we can “Compare with one another in study, in cultivation.” (“Solid Cultivation,” Hong Yin)