PureInsight | March 19, 2013
[PureInsight.org] The death of a Falun Dafa practitioner in our area was unexpected and her body was already stiff when her family found her. She was only fifty-eight years old and her death was inconceivable and shocking to local fellow practitioners. After calming down, we all took a good hard look at ourselves, trying to find our shortcomings and what effects our shortcomings may have had on this matter. Meanwhile, everyone once again realized that cultivation practice is very serious and every disciple must truly cultivate and practice so as to deny the old forces’ evil arrangements and accomplish our historical missions.
Recently, there has been severe persecution happening in our area. Two sisters have passed away in succession within a month of each other, and another practitioner appeared half-paralyzed. Two of them diligently clarified the truth and saved sentient beings and had good influences on both fellow practitioners and ordinary people. Evil beings successfully persecuted practitioners over and over again, which has not only placed a vicious test on our entire local body of practitioners, but has also exploited gaps in our personal cultivation as well. This is a profound lesson. What follows is a brief description of this scenario.
It was heartbreaking to have this happen when it has come to the very last phase of the Fa-rectification’s progress.
Practitioner A, who passed away first, had not truly stepped forward for many years. She neither created a cultivation environment at home nor expressed an attitude of cultivation in front of her son and daughter until the very last moment. Even her sister had a hard time communicating with her individually. After she was diagnosed with late-stage hematoma, her sister urgently informed fellow practitioners of her situation and asked fellow practitioners to send forth righteous thoughts (SFRT) for her. The majority of fellow practitioners in my area passively SFRT and were incapable of helping her, given that they considered she had not truly stepped forward, had no righteous thoughts, and lived in a terrible environment at home.
Practitioner B appeared half-paralyzed soon after practitioner A’s death and was sent to the hospital by her family. The news was delivered in time and fellow practitioners generally took it more seriously. Quite a few fellow practitioners went to the hospital a couple of times for Fa-sharing with practitioner B as well as to SFRT. The sister of practitioner B had a hard time dealing with her sister’s situation, but gradually managed to put the grief behind her; in the meantime, she witnessed how fellow practitioners had helped practitioner B. She felt an unfairness, and explicitly held a grudge, thinking that fellow practitioners had discriminated against her in favor of practitioner B. After practitioner B was released from the hospital, this practitioner lost contact with other practitioners and cried a lot in front of Master’s picture. Ten days later, she died unexpectedly without any specific details as no one was around. In regards to this issue, there are some viewpoints that I would like to share with fellow practitioners in my hopes that we can be much more sober, rational, and devoted to our mission.
1. Strengthen Consciousness as One Body
Master said, “Dafa disciples are one body” (“Following Master,” Hong Yin III ). Master also said, “For Dafa disciples as a whole, in the process of validating the Fa, when you work together in concert, the Fa power is great. Whether you’re doing things as a group or doing things individually, what you’re doing is the same kind of thing, and that’s what we mean by one entity” (“Fa-Lecture during the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference”). My personal understanding is that Dafa disciples working as a whole does not refer to the frequency and quantity of the contact among fellow practitioners, but rather, the key point lies in coordinating in doing the three things well—whether it be looking inward or taking fellow practitioners’ issues as our own when encountering tribulations. Some arrests took place in my area a few years ago. Some practitioners informed families, others spread the word online, and others collected documents and worked as a whole to counter the illegal detentions. The truth clarification materials were widely distributed to major districts of the city and countryside within one night, enormously shocking the evil and successfully rescuing fellow practitioners. However, fellow practitioners tended to be unresponsive and some even made no effort to SFRT while practitioner A was hospitalized. The overall effort in rescuing our fellow practitioners was lacking, especially from those who have not stepped forward, have fallen behind, and those who lack sufficient confidence. There were factors that contributed to us not rescuing our practitioner A; it was without a doubt that practitioner A’s righteous thoughts were not sufficient. However, are we not cultivating ourselves? We must commit ourselves to cultivating in the first place and do what we should do regardless of the outcome. As for the result, it is something we don’t need to think too much about. In other words, should we rescue practitioner A? Should we SFRT? If it is meant to be, then we must put it into action. If we all had come to realize this point and formed a powerful one body, it might have been possible to abolish the old forces’ evil arrangements and rescue practitioner A. Even if we failed to rescue her, a large scale of evil beings and factors could be eliminated and kept from persecuting other practitioners. Shamefully, it was because of our overall passiveness that we did not effectively unite into one body to eradicate the evil and put a stop to its persecution of our fellow practitioner. This also caused a huge loss to ourselves.
2. Possess Boundless Compassion
Master said, “It’s tolerance, an extremely immense tolerance, being able to accept other beings, and being able to truly think from other beings’ perspectives” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A.”). This incident exposed local practitioners’ serious loopholes, one of which in particular was that we lacked boundless compassion and were not able to think from practitioner M’s standpoint when dealing with her and her sister. My understanding is that this is due to fellow practitioners’ shortcomings, differences of comprehension of the Fa’s requirements, and differences in personalities among fellow practitioners. That is to say, we are already upgrading and broadening the capacity of our hearts when we are capable of being tolerant and benevolent towards fellow practitioners. Just think: Master came from outside the cosmos to rectify the Fa and save all sentient beings. What Master is facing are extremely, awfully corrupt, and dreadfully decayed beings. What capacity, tolerance, and breadth of mind is required to bear that?! We therefore must tolerate fellow practitioners. It is obvious to notice practitioner M’s advantages and disadvantages. She was strong minded, able to coordinate well, had a clear understanding of the Fa principles, and was the first person to produce and distribute truth clarification materials, and with little attachment to fear. As for her shortcomings, she could not catch up with the Fa-rectification’s progress, had attachments to competition and strong jealousy, and exaggerated what she said, which resulted in her not being able to pass xinxing tests. Based on practitioner M’s state of mind that she displayed before and after practitioner A’s death, everyone found that she was overwhelmed with sentiment, which caused her to deviate from the Fa. Nevertheless, no one brought up the issue with her or tried to help her out, but instead talked behind her back. Moreover, no one realized how critical the situation was with her, nor did anyone proactively approach her for sharing and try to pull her back from the edge of danger since she had not attended Fa-study for a few days. Two days before she passed away, a fellow practitioner went to see her to sort out an ordinary matter, and did not share with her based on the Fa. None of us gave her a hand when our fellow practitioner was suffering amidst her tribulation and when she was desperately in need of tolerance, which led her to stay away from the local group of practitioners and to face the evil’s persecution all alone. It was not only our omission, but also our loss as a whole.
3. Cultivate Compassion
A few days before practitioner M’s death, she said, “No one in our area is truly compassionate.” For her to say that, every one of us in our area should have all looked within to see if we truly had any shortcomings in regards to cultivating compassion. Some practitioners said, “She left carrying a grudge against every practitioner here.” We certainly must look inward to try and indentify our shortcomings and work out what influence our attachments have had and what caused practitioner M to resent us so badly. That is not to try and find where the responsibility lies, but more to rectify ourselves, to be on the right path, and to walk straight on our remaining paths. Master said, “If you are without the Goodness (Shan) that a Dafa disciple has, then you are not a cultivator. If a Dafa disciple cannot validate the Fa, then he is not a Dafa disciple” (Master’s Comments: On “The Dignity of Dafa”). We are to cultivate Truth, Compassion, Forbearance, and to fullfill the divine mission of assisting Master to rectify the Fa and save sentient beings. If we cannot genuinely cultivate Compassion, how can we accomplish our mission? How can we save sentient beings if we do not even help our fellow practitioners when they are in need of help? This lack of Compassion in our local area demonstrates that overall we were too attached to sentimentality and care too much about saving face around one another, making it so that we could not earnestly be responsible to the Fa and fellow practitioners. Whenever encountering problems, we were prone to taking a roundabout attitude towards things, or would only touch on the surface of the issue. Because of wanting to save face, and to prevent ourselves from saying anything harmful that could make others lose face, everyone stopped pointing out each other’s shortcomings in an open, kind manner, and instead talked behind each another’s back. Although it was in relation to practitioner M, who would neither accept nor listen to any advice, there was something for all of us to improve on and this situation required every one of us to look within. To tell the truth, many practitioners knew about practitioner M’s poor cultivation state, but very few fellow practitioners could truly put their ‘selves’ aside and help her out. We should ask ourselves how much effort we put into helping fellow practitioners and how many times we sincerely went to her place for Fa study and sharing based on the Fa. How deep-seated is the sacred fate that binds us together as fellow practitioners during the Fa-rectification period?! Yet we do not cherish it enough. Master wants us to be diligent and upgrade together, but we do not take it seriously or put it into action when it is time to remind and help one another. Cherishing fellow practitioners is also cherishing ourselves.
4. Catch Up With True Cultivation Practice
Among a series of persecutions, it was practitioner M’s death that brought the most tremendous shock and negative influence. Practitioner M made a great deal of effort on truth clarification and saving sentient beings, which had a certain influence on both local and provincial capitals. The biggest lesson that her death taught us was that we must catch up with true cultivation practice. Practitioner M had a great capacity for work and a clear understanding of the Fa principles, yet she did not keep up in terms of xinxing cultivation. A few years ago, she had a quarrel with a fellow practitioner on the side of the road and once caused a huge gap among fellow practitioners when she was a coordinator. In addition, she made some contradictions and had a bad influence on her child’s wedding two years ago, which revealed her attachments to fame and fortune. She could not let go of her attachments and pass xinxing tests when it came to more serious situations. Some of her deeds were worse than ordinary people’s and she even claimed that she had quit cultivation. Whenever she did wrong, she sat in front of Master’s picture crying out loud. After her child’s wedding had settled, she then contradicted relatives in law over some trivial matters many times, such as how to deal with relationships with relatives and look after children. Recently she had a grudge against fellow practitioners and revealed her strong attachment to affection for family because of her sister’s hospitalization and death, all the while venting her hatred everywhere. Practitioner M still had a rather comprehensive understanding of the Fa principles, and oftentimes her sharings were basically on the Fa. Other practitioners could hardly share with her in regards to her shortcomings, and she could not change herself and meet the Fa’s requirements—she especially could not be told off. She always replied, “I know it and know everything clearly.” If someone’s tone was a little heavy, she would turn hostile immediately and would need some time to calm down. In the end, local practitioners seldom had in-depth sharings with her; in particular no one would share on elevating xinxing and understanding of the Fa. There was always a gap when she shared with fellow practitioners at Fa study. If someone brought up this issue, she would justify herself by saying, “You have not yet cultivated into the state where the remark you make is without personal perspective and can make one shed tears. Therefore I cannot be moved.”
Problems will be difficult to resolve if they last for a long time and are allowed to accumulate. The old forces use personal cultivation and personal advancement as excuses to persecute us, and they will persecute one to death and take away his or her flesh body if they see that the practitioner’s life span is about to end, and he or she can no longer cultivate to reach the state of Consummation. We all say that we deny the old forces’ arrangements, but by what means? We have to truly cultivate and improve strictly according to Master’s Fa so that we can deny their evil arrangements. During the final effort of SFRT for practitioner M, different practitioners whose celestial eyes were open saw practitioner M’s life ending and became worried. Master said, “The Fa is merciful to all beings, but at the same time it’s solemn and dignified. And the Fa has standards, before sentient beings it’s unchanging and unbreakable, and it’s not something that can be influenced casually” (“Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference”). Master also said, “For cultivators, though, when it comes to raising the requirement on your xinxing and letting go of your attachments, there’s absolutely no wiggle room, and the standard can absolutely not be lowered, because we need to be responsible to the future, and to the cosmos and the sentient beings of the future.” “What Dafa disciples are dealing with today is establishing the best beings of the future. And that’s why for all of you, when it comes to xinxing requirements, or the standard that you as cultivators can achieve, you don’t have any wiggle room—you must reach the standard” (“Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Vancouver, Canada, in 2003”)
The key lies in true cultivation practice. In doing the three things, without solid xinxing elevation, one can be prone to being perplexed. In spite of doing a lot of things, if one cannot truly upgrade one’s xinxing, he won’t be able to have a great effect in saving sentient beings. On top of that, it is hard to maintain firm faith once the evil finds excuses to persecute practitioners with sickness karma or large tribulations on account of their being unsteady in xinxing cultivation. The lessons in this are far too many.
5. Must Not Deviate From the Whole
One more lesson we need to bear in mind—do not deviate from the whole. The cultivation form that Master has given us is group Fa study, sharing experiences with one another, and elevating together. This is a very powerful way of denying the old forces’ persecution. Practitioner M liked to be around fellow practitioners and participated in more than one study group. Her sister’s death, however, shook her and she thus proactively detached herself from the whole group of local practitioners, stopped joining group Fa-study and going to practitioners’ homes, and isolated herself. The old forces found her loophole and persecuted her to death. Two days before practitioner M passed away, she still went out to deliver truth clarification materials. Her death however came out of the blue. This article is not aimed to condemn anyone, including myself, and every problem mentioned here is also a reflection of my own shortcomings. My intention in writing this is to have fellow practitioners learn positive lessons and stay on the right track.
If there is anything inappropriate, please point it out compassionately.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/node/113932