PureInsight | January 9, 2006
[PureInsight.org] On the way to a group Fa study, a fellow practitioner mentioned that there are not enough subscribers of The Epoch Times in Taiwan and the majority of the newspapers are given away for free. Therefore it is very difficult to reach a balance between the expenses and the revenue.
That day we were studying "Teaching the Fa at the Discussion on Creating Fine Art." In the Fa lecture Master said: "As the morality of human society has slid down to this point, mankind's thinking has gone through corresponding changes. And since they've changed and evolved to this point, it's impossible for people to revert on their own. No individual, no theory, and no method can enable people to return to where they were--only Dafa can. You've followed me here to save sentient beings. And the meaning of our saving sentient beings also includes how we save human morality, how the people who are saved will be in the future, how they'll live, and what kind of conditions they'll live in. In other words, Dafa disciples are not only saving sentient beings, they're also blazing a true path for the existence of human beings. These are all things that Dafa disciples are doing in validating the Fa." My heart felt warmed suddenly and I thought, "Isn't The Epoch Times doing that right now?! Dafa disciples all have responsibility to participate in the newspaper either directly or indirectly, don't we?"
One morning I suddenly thought of Teacher's words: "As I've said, everything that happens today in the ordinary society is the result of Dafa disciples' thoughts." (From "Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A.")
Isn't it true? Today's ordinary people clearly know that The Epoch Times newspaper is good. But they don't wish to spend money to subscribe to it. Maybe it is also the result of Dafa disciples' own notions that we should not charge for the newspaper! I decided to write down my feeling and understanding immediately. During the process I saw my own human attachment that had existed for a long time.
Fellow practitioners who practice at the same exercise site as I do are always in a hurry in the morning due to work or family issues. In addition, not everyone is at the practice site every morning. I also didn't know each practitioner' Fa study situation. I always had a notion that we should all know what to do and how to do things since we are already Dafa disciples and are cultivating in the Fa. For example, in the past, after I gave the truth clarification material to fellow practitioners and ask them to hand them out, the next time around I would give more only to those who actively asked for it. For those who didn't ask for more, I might check with them a few times but after that would give up trying to give them more material, thinking that they wouldn't want to hand out the material to people. When I went to the Fa study, I often saw fellow practitioners patiently telling other practitioners again and again that Master has instructed us that it is very important to clarify the truth about Falun Dafa to people. My human attachment often arose and I thought that practitioners all know what they should do themselves. I was afraid that repeating the same thing in every Fa study meeting might bore those practitioners who are quiet and do not like to talk. Therefore, I never urged practitioners at my practice site to get more involved in the truth-clarification work. I didn't want to offend them and thought that I should just let the matter drop if they themselves didn't want to get involved.
I had the same attitude when I shared my understanding about The Epoch Times with fellow practitioners at my practice site and tried to encourage them to subscribe to the newspaper. They didn't show much interest, and I just let the matter drop. From time to time I even used my human notions and thought to myself, "It only costs 250 Taiwan Dollars (about US$7.50) per month to subscribe to the newspaper. If they just buy one fewer pair of shoes, one fewer piece of clothes, or eat fewer snacks, they could easily come with the money. They have received so many benefits from Dafa. Why don't they want to give just a little? But since they don't want to do that, I shouldn't say anything more. I don't want to offend them." Looking back, I feel very ashamed of myself.
Something that happened a few days ago made me realize what I had been doing wrong. I called my Mom after I read an article titled "Santa Claus Has Scabies" in the newspaper. The article exposed how the evil Communist Party has been using prisoners as slave labors and forcing them to work long hours to make goods that are then exported overseas. Many of the prisoners got scabies, psoriasis and fleas on their bodies because of the horrible work conditions, and are given no medical attention. They couldn't stand the itching and pain and kept scratching themselves until their hands were covered with their own blood. They have been forced to make a lot of different things, including packaged food, underwear, and Christmas decorations. I mainly called my Mom to urge her not to eat any packaged food from Mainland China anymore. My sister-in-law makes frequent business trip to Mainland and often mails back food.
When my Mom heard what I had to say, her first reaction was, "Oh, my goodness! Those poor people!" I didn't know what she meant. I felt a little confused by her reaction and continued to explain what I had read to her. She repeated the same sentence to me again. After I finishing what I had to say, she again said, "Those poor things!" It finally dawned on me that she was talking about the Chinese prisoners. When I read the article, my first reaction was to tell myself to stop eating packaged food from Mainland China so I myself wouldn't be harmed by the unsanitary work conditions of the Chinese prisoners, whereas my Mom immediately thought about those pitiful prisoners.
In the past, I considered myself a cultivator who follows the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance." Even before I became a practitioner, I thought of myself as a nice person with a kind heart. In reality, I had not conducted myself with the high standard that Dafa requires a cultivator to follow, and instead used the standard of ordinary people, which has been sliding further and further down, to measure myself and felt quite pleased with myself. Therefore, I hadn't recognized the deeply buried attachment of "selfishness" in myself. When I look back now, I realize that my husband had seriously told me several times that I always only thought of myself. I didn't realize that those words were hints from Master. A cultivator should always look inward rather than keeping an eye on others and scolding other people according to Master's Fa.
If I really had sufficient kindness and truly put myself in other people's shoes and thought of them instead of my own feelings first, I wouldn't become trapped in the conditional kindness that ordinary people practice. If I hadn't tried to always protect myself from getting hurt, I wouldn't always be worried and afraid of how other people, including fellow practitioners, might react towards me.
If fellow practitioners truly haven't done enough in certain areas, it is possible they might be trapped by certain notions and attachments. As fellow practitioners who cultivate in the same Great Law of the universe, we should compassionately try to help them to make improvement based on the Fa and strive diligently together. Similarly, once we identity our own shortcomings, we should immediately correct them and pay attention to our own thoughts all the time. We should always ask ourselves if we conform to the type of kindness that is selfless and without the sense the self, the type of kindness that is willing to give up everything for the sake of other people, the type of kindness that Dafa requires us to have. Only then, can we raise our xinxing level and elevate ourselves.
I am grateful for Master's kind hints. Lastly, let's encourage each other with some lines from a poem by Master from Hong Yin II:
Rest momentarily for self-reflection, add righteous thoughts
Analyze shortcomings explicitly, advance again whole-heartedly
(From "Be Rational, Awaken," provisional translation subject to further improvements.)
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2005/12/23/35059.html