PureInsight | March 3, 2003
[PureInsight.org] Greetings Master Li, greetings fellow practitioners and guests.
My name is Albert Roman. I am a practitioner from Los Angeles. I want to share with you a few of my experiences and insights while clarifying the facts and sending forth-righteous thoughts. I hope that by sharing my experiences and insights, it is helpful for your cultivation.
From "Rationality" by Li Hongzhi
I often try to better my understanding of these words by Master Li. An experience comes to mind when I think of how my understanding of the Fa has changed regarding truth clarification. A couple of years ago, I read a touching experience written by a Swedish practitioner. She shared her experience of passing out flyers on a bus. After reading this, I thought to myself, "Master Li wanted me to read this. I take the bus to work almost every day. I must do this." However, this was a challenge for me because of my shyness. I didn't want to annoy or bother anybody, but I knew that I must clarify the facts to them. I knew that we were riding the same bus for a reason.
In order to do this, I would wait until the bus was full of passengers, and then, while we were riding on the freeway, I would offer them all a flyer. My heart would pound before I was about to do this each time, which, at the time, indicated to me that I needed to confront that fear, consider it an attachment and overcome it. I wanted to be able to do every truth clarification activity with an unmoved heart. Although I achieved the result of passing out flyers, I failed to consider how the passengers would react. I didn't put much thought into the form of my truth clarification.
An important lesson I have learned from passing out flyers on buses, trains, and at Los Angeles International Airport is that I sometimes forgot that my main purpose was to clarify the facts about Falun Gong and the persecution, not to pass out one more flyer. The flyer is only one of a multitude of tools we can use to clarify the truth. It's not the end in itself. I have learned that in some situations it is more appropriate to simply clarify the truth through casual conversation. I take public transportation often and I see the same people frequently. What I have learned to do is to establish a friendly relationship with them and clarify the facts more sporadically. Now, one of my bus mates asks for updates on the situation of Falun Gong when I see him. I think this is a minor example of clarifying the truth with wisdom. My fellow practitioners have grasped this so well and on a much broader scale and have combined this with cooperating as one body. Two examples of this manifestation are the lawsuits against Jiang, the mayor of Beijing and others responsible for this persecution, and the creation of the NGO – World Organization to Investigate the Persecution of Falun Gong.
In Master Li's poem "In the Dao," he writes, "....Do, but pursue not, often stay in the Tao…" I have learned and I'm still deepening my understanding of these profound words. To do this, I analyze my behavior while driving home from the airport after passing out newspapers and talking to Chinese people who were leaving for China or just arriving. There are approximately forty flights each week in LAX traveling to and from China, which makes it an excellent location for clarifying the facts to Chinese people who are among the most poisoned by the deceitful propaganda. In addition, it provides a good environment to cultivate my xinxing. I have found that if my heart is off just a bit, if my mind is not right, or I don't maintain a heart of benevolence and a mind of kindness as Master Li says, then the old forces see it and they manipulate people to expose my lack of mental balance and my lack of tranquility. This has helped me understand more that when we do Dafa work, it's not just our body that needs to be there merely going through the motions; we need our heart, mind, and wisdom; we need our side that has assimilated to Dafa to shine when we do Dafa work. There really are a multitude of methods for clarifying the truth. For me, whether it is offering a newspaper, exchanging smiles, kind words, offering directions to a disoriented traveler, or even picking up a piece of trash in the environment where we clarify the truth; it is all connected to our benevolence, which is based on the Fa.
Due to my lack of compassion, I often don't realize the struggle Chinese non-practitioners have when a practitioner with truth clarification materials approaches them. Some of them feel nervous or uncomfortable while reading the newspaper at the airport, and they walk outside, attempting to read the paper in a more private place. Some have openly said to me, "Are you trying to get me in trouble?!" If they are caught with the paper in China, they could be in great risk. I tell those people, "Of course I don't want to get you in trouble, but the information is important. You can throw the paper away before you get on the plane. Please read it; it's a chance for you to read truthful information about Falun Gong." I don't exactly know how to solve this, but I think that if I try harder to understand their feelings and their attachments, it will reflect in my behavior and improve the results of our truth clarification.
I remember while offering newspapers to people arriving from Beijing, I gave one to a young man. I saw him reading it in my peripheral vision as I continued to offer newspapers, and then he approached me. He returned the paper and told me some propaganda. He believed the lies, so he was genuinely concerned with my involvement in Falun Gong. Despite the fact that he was confronting me and arguing, I knew that it was a precious opportunity to have a dialogue with him.
I tried to send righteous thoughts and maintain compassion for him while he was talking to me loudly. When he stopped, I calmly posed a reasonable question, "If people practice Falun Gong in over 50 countries around the world and there is no problem, then why should there be one in China? Why is China the only place where you hear those slanderous stories?" He continued to talk excitedly, and I continued to listen and smile. Then he said something that caught my attention: "Maybe Falun Gong is okay to do in the U.S. but not in China." Then I told him, "What you're actually saying is that Falun Gong isn't bad, but you think some of the practitioner's behavior is wrong. That's much different from what you initially said."
After we continued to talk, he said that he could see my goodness. He needed directions to another terminal at the airport for his connecting flight, so I guided him there. As we walked across the airport, we continued to talk.
From this experience I learned that a compassionate heart is an unmoved one. I also found that it was beneficial to genuinely listen to him because it showed that I valued him and I valued his thoughts. We cultivators should know more than most people how precious peoples' thoughts are.
Each time we go to clarify the facts it is an opportunity to gain a deeper understanding of the Fa. One evening while offering newspapers at the airport, I realized how important it is for our hearts to be clean and to not have a pursuit mentality. When I arrive at the terminals with flights going to and from China, I usually stand near the line of Chinese people and try to calm my heart and then clear the field with righteous thoughts. On this occasion many of the people in line refused the newspapers, and striking up a conversation was difficult. The environment felt cold. I felt a bit of desperation in my heart, and I noticed that I was reciting the formulas for righteous thoughts forcefully in my mind. I realized that this was wrong. I wasn't following Master's guidance of "…Do, but pursue not, often stay in the Tao…" To change this, I stepped away from the line of Chinese travelers, and as I tried to calm my heart, I thought to myself, "Benevolence is much more powerful." Then I began to Fa Zheng Nian again, and I witnessed positive results. As I was away from the line, I was closer to the westerners who were walking through. Almost every one of them accepted a flyer, and one of the Chinese travelers stepped out of line to ask for a newspaper.
From this experience I learned to not pursue as much in Dafa work and that we must have genuine, benevolent thoughts in order to have the effect of righteous thoughts. In his Fa Lecture at the Florida Conference in 2001, Master Li states: "As you know, the persecution that Dafa disciples in Mainland China suffer is quite severe, so each student has to truly, clearly realize what his responsibility is, and when he sends forth righteous thoughts he has to be able to truly calm his mind and truly produce the effect of righteous thoughts." I think we shouldn't mix our righteous thoughts with human anger, frustration or human concepts of power.
While on the topic of righteous thoughts, I'd also like to briefly share my current understanding. I think that righteous thoughts are closely related to Master Li's teaching in Lecture Four of Zhuan Falun, in "Upgrading Xinxing," when he mentions the elderly practitioner who was dragged 10 meters by a car before falling to the ground. This woman did not get hurt because her thoughts remained pure. Master Li states, "We have said that good or evil comes from a person's spontaneous thought, and the thought at that moment can bring about different consequences," and "Good or evil comes from that instant thought." I think that whenever we encounter a person, a situation, or even a foreign message that inters our mind, there is a very brief, very critical period of time in which we must make a decision, and the quality of that decision based on the Fa will determine the outcome. This is why it is important to maintain a righteous mind at all times. Master Li states, "You should always maintain a heart of benevolence and a mind of kindness." If our thoughts remain righteous and pure, then Master Li can change the outcome in an instant. This applies to us at all times, whether we are clarifying the facts to Chinese people, speaking with westerners, or even when interacting with our family members or each other.
I would like to propose an idea to everyone at this conference today. In "Righteous Thoughts," Master Li says,
"Of course, if the circumstances are special and you target one evil being or a few evil beings as you send forth righteous thoughts, either by yourself or together, then that's something you should do, and the concentrated power is tremendous. But when you normally send righteous thoughts together on a daily basis you should chase down the evil on a larger scale. You shouldn't target one or a few evil beings each day, each time."
When we send forth-righteous thoughts today, I want to suggest that on this occasion we focus on eliminating the evil in the detention center in Yangzhou where Charles Li is imprisoned. This is only a suggestion and it is based on my current understanding of the Fa.
Thank you for listening to my sharing. I think that the time we spend together during this period of Fa-Rectification is so, so precious. With Master's Fa, we create a compassionate environment. This field is real, and I feel it more as I continue to cultivate. So we should cherish the time with each other.