“I often say that if all a person wants is the well-being of others and if this is without the slightest personal motivation or personal understanding, what he says will move the listener to tears. I have not only taught you Dafa, but have also left you my demeanor. While working, your tone of voice, your kindheartedness, and your reasoning can change a person’s heart, whereas commands never could!” (“Clearheadedness,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
On the occasion of the 19th Falun Dafa Experience-Sharing Conference of Practitioners in China (China Fahui), I would like to share my experiences of rescuing detained practitioners.
Looking Inward During Conflicts
I participated in rescuing practitioner Han in 2020. For various reasons, everyone else except me and another practitioner left the rescuing team one after another including Dong. Early this year, he suddenly left a message on a secure platform, sharing his thoughts of how to rescue Han and criticizing me. He formed his opinions about me based on information he heard from another practitioner and how he felt about me while still on the rescuing team.
Facing this sudden and strong criticism, my true self knew it was a test for me to improve xinxing, but my human side was disturbed, with feelings of complaint, resentment, and unfairness. I also noted I was unwilling to receive negative feedback.
The other practitioner who was still on the rescue team merely helped send forth righteous thoughts and contact Han’s family. I had to do everything else, including preparing legal documents, sending truth-clarification materials to various government agencies, consulting with legal experts, contacting lawyers, visiting Han in prison, and talking to his family members.
Dong’s criticism of me really made me feel wronged. I thought to myself, “Why did you quit the team, but still complain about me? My time and energy are limited, but I have to do everything. You still pick on me as an onlooker? And you still want me to shoulder responsibilities should anything go wrong?”
The more I thought about Dong’s criticism with human notions, the more unreasonable Dong seemed to be in my eyes, “since you are no longer involved in this, how could you know all the details? The practitioner who told you about me was merely sharing his own opinions as he does not know the whole picture and cannot represent me. You do not know the laws, so why did you question all the legal documents I prepared?”
These human notions rendered me unable to look within and became excuses to justify why I was feeling wronged. Seeing the dissatisfaction and resentment on my face, another practitioner reminded me, “Why do you care so much about who is right and who is wrong? Cultivation is more important.”
I calmed down and started looking inward. Why did Dong criticize me like that? While he was still on the rescue team, we actually worked well together. He recognized that this project helped him a lot with cultivation. Moreover, Dong always reminded us to cultivate ourselves and improve xinxing. Only then can the things we do have the power of Dafa; otherwise, the effect would be very limited. Looking back, I realized that the areas Dong emphasized – looking within and cultivating xinxing – are exactly my weak points. It is probably because of my poor cultivation that made him unwilling to continue working with me on the rescue efforts. Even though he was no longer part of the team, he was still paying attention to my rescue efforts and bluntly pointed out my problems that he knew of. He was not afraid of offending me because he was just being responsible to me and wanted the rescue efforts to be a success. Isn’t this great?
Plus, what he said to me in what manner was not the most important thing. What mattered was whether I became disturbed in the face of criticism. Did I look inward unconditionally? If Dong did not use those strong words, how could my deep-seated notions be exposed?
Letting Go of Attachment to Self
Not long after the incident, Dong organized a face-to-face meeting for us to discuss further. I was hoping to use the meeting as an opportunity to brief everyone on the rescue process, resolve misunderstandings, and get more practitioners involved (by then, I had become the only one left on the rescue team).
To help achieve this goal, I spent an entire day writing my sharing article. But most practitioners failed to look within and the result of the meeting was not as good as I had expected. Moreover, another practitioner Fang was arrested one week after the meeting. I did not know her well. But she and two of her family members attended the meeting, and Fang was silent the entire time.
Feng’s arrest made me realize the old forces had systematically arranged their persecution of practitioners, even though the arrest seemed to be targeting issues in our personal cultivation, such as conflicts between practitioners. By taking advantage of our human notions, the old forces created barriers between practitioners, resulting in pessimism and lack of trust. In the end, we could not form one body. As a result, we failed to act quickly enough, resulting in Han and Feng’s continued detention.
With these thoughts, I decided to first rectify myself. In addition to letting go of selfishness and negative thoughts toward other practitioners, I also eliminated interfering elements in other dimensions. Another practitioner and I quickly contacted Fang’s family members, who are also practitioners. We had an open-hearted conversation with Feng’s family and reiterated we’d do our best to rescue her. Her family was moved by our sincerity and agreed to collaborate with us.
Although Fang’s family members did not meet our expectations due to many human notions, I tried to remain undisturbed and be understanding of their situation. I focused on helping them, instead of complaining about them with resentment.
This process taught me that even if other practitioners did not agree with my idea or refused to take action, I should not be upset or affected. Rather, I should maintain a calm mind as a practitioner and avoid conflicts with others. I realized that any barriers between fellow practitioners would weaken the power of the one-body of practitioners.
A Pure Mind
Even with these understandings, I still did poorly from time to time. Once I argued with Yan, a family member of Fang. Yan’s point was that she could not act as quickly as I wanted. She said she needed more time and asked me to not push her.
I was a little frustrated that she felt I was pressuring her. I had been patient and tolerant; I did not criticize her. I couldn’t understand why Yan would react like that. To clarify the issue, I explained to her more. As I got emotional, my voice got louder. But the more I explained, the less she was willing to listen. In the end, we argued with each other.
After the incident, Yan no longer trusted me as she used to. Looking back, I knew my words had hurt her and my so-called explanations were also making excuses for myself. But at that time, I did not look within and failed to align myself with Dafa principles. In the end, Yan and another family member of Fang did not request to become family defenders of Fang as I had expected them to be. Instead, they hired an attorney to defend Fang in court.
I reflected on my conflict with Yan and realized I had failed to show kindness and compassion in my discussion with her. I remembered Master’s words,
“I often say that if all a person wants is the well-being of others and if this is without the slightest personal motivation or personal understanding, what he says will move the listener to tears. I have not only taught you Dafa, but have also left you my demeanor. While working, your tone of voice, your kindheartedness, and your reasoning can change a person’s heart, whereas commands never could!” (“Clearheadedness”, Essentials for Further Advancement)
I knew I had done rather poorly in reaching Master’s requirements for practitioners. I had always considered myself a selfless person considerate of others. But in fact, I often forced my opinion on others and was overbearing and demanding. I lacked compassion, and no wonder other practitioners felt pressured by me.
I came to see it was not easy for Yan. She had to deal with pressure from family members who are not practitioners, pressure from me, and pressure from the persecution. On top of all this, she also needed to cultivate herself and remove her attachments while Fang was being detained. While we were arguing, she said to me, “You just told me what to do. Have you cared about my feelings?” Back then, I just neglected her feelings. All I thought was she should hurry up to rescue Fang, rather than really being considerate of her situation.
Now I have learned that whatever Yan thought or did was manifestation of her cultivation status. Whether or not she chose to defend Fang in court was also her personal choice. I shouldn’t hold negative thoughts about her or even criticize her just because she did not meet my expectation of her.
From these experiences, I realized that anyone working on rescuing detained practitioners must look within to cultivate ourselves, instead of forcing our own opinions on others. Only by aligning ourselves with Dafa principles will our mind be pure, our field will be compassionate, and things will change. Only when we meet the requirement of Dafa can we see the power of Dafa. The only thing that can change us and enable us to improve is Dafa.
Doing Without Pursuit
Working on the rescue team, I learned to treat other practitioners’ issues as my own and to do things solidly without pursuit of outcomes. Rescuing practitioners and clarifying the truth to law enforcement, procuratorate, and courts took time and effort. We must be persistent and perseverant.
In the past two years, I got involved in rescuing several practitioners in the local area. Besides Han and Fang mentioned above, one of the other practitioners I helped rescue was Chun, who was arrested shortly after the 2020 New Year. Other practitioners said they had been to her home, but none of her family members were willing to work with them to rescue her. One of the family members, Min, also a practitioner, even commented that Chun had been doing poorly as a practitioner.
I tried to get in touch with Min. Before I could get a hold of her, however, the pandemic broke out and all the local communities were locked down. Three months soon passed since Chun’s arrest.
One day I visited another practitioner, who happened to know Min’s address. We immediately went to visit Min. In the beginning, she still complained that Chun had not fully followed the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Right as she was complaining, her granddaughter came in saying the cooking oil in the frying pan was burning. She put out the fire and complained to us that her granddaughter was not paying attention to the stove. I said to Min that the burning fire could be a hint for the urgency of saving Chun. She agreed to connect me with Chun’s husband.
We brought some fruit and went to visit Chun’s husband. We told him that we could pay the attorney fee and he just needed to sign the paperwork needed. “We do not know your wife, but as Falun Dafa practitioners, we always support each other,” he agreed.
After preparing the necessary documents, the lawyer met Chun the following day. Chun’s husband was happy and offered to pay the attorney fee. “We have been suffering so much because of the persecution,” he said. “It is too much.”
During the next few months, through the lawyer we helped Chun remember Dafa teachings, look within to improve, learn legal knowledge, and strengthen righteous thoughts. We let her know that we were all supporting her and rescuing her.
Encouraged by us and other practitioners, Min also agreed to defend Chun in court as a family member. Min did well studying Falun Dafa teachings, doing exercises, and sending forth righteous thoughts, but her mentality of rescuing Chun was not stable. We were not disturbed by these and continued sharing understanding while helping her let go of fear and negative thoughts. Several times she wanted to quit being a family defender of Chun. Her granddaughter said to her, “Granny, how can you give up when other practitioners don’t give up?” She decided to keep up her efforts of rescuing Chun.
By working together, we learned that rescuing detained practitioners is important. It is not only helping practitioners get released, but also an opportunity to save people.
A Big Family
When practitioners are detained for their belief, their family members also suffer a lot, feeling helpless, frustrated, and pained. It is important for them to sense the care and compassion of other practitioners.
Before the Moon Festival this year (September 10), two other practitioners and I visited family members of five detained practitioners. Some of them were recently arrested, some just got sentenced, and some were already in jail.
For each family, we brought gifts, holiday greeting cards, truth-clarification information, and an audio player with all kinds of materials. With a pure heart, we were able to meet all five families even without appointments. Some family members who often went out were also at home when we came.
The conversations also went well. Some family members were cautious about practitioners in the past, but now they could speak freely. One family member never greeted us or said anything in the past, but this time he greeted us and talked a lot. Some gave us food, treating us as their own family.
My understanding is that helping the family members of detained practitioners is our responsibility. They need to know the facts and need to be saved, too.
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