PureInsight | December 22, 2019
Greetings, revered Master!
Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I started to clarify the truth face-to-face to Chinese tourists in Manhattan in August, 2017. I’ve come to feel that this process is like taking an exam – all my bad thoughts, preconceived notions and attachments were exposed in an instant. It also motivated me to study the Fa better, to look inward more frequently and to assimilate to the Fa with every single thought. It also enabled me to gain a better and deeper understanding of the Fa, do the three things and work with other practitioners more effectively. I could say that clarifying the truth at the tourist destinations has helped me holistically.
1. The beginning of face-to-face truth clarification
Since a Falun Dafa Day rally in 2017, practitioners in my state of New Jersey organized several “Great Walls of Truth” events in Brooklyn. Local Chinese people’s reactions and perceptions of Falun Gong made me want to continue clarifying the truth face-to-face. When I was contemplating where would be a good location for me, we received a “help wanted” email from the Global Service Center for Quitting the Chinese Communist Party that ten truth clarification sites needed help during the summer. I went to the Empire State Building location. So I could do a good job, I asked other veteran practitioners to share their experiences with me and learned from the way they clarified the truth. One particularly experienced practitioner, who I will refer to as “A” agreed to help me.
Thank you Master for benevolently reinforcing my righteous thoughts!
2. Do the three things strictly every day
When I was doing media work, due to the heavy workload and the additional burden from practitioners in different time zones, I usually stayed up late at night to study the Fa and do the exercises. In order to improve the quality of our newspaper, I traded more and more of my sleep time for work. Gradually, I started to slack off with doing the exercises. A lot of times I just did the first, third and fourth exercises. Even when my family members tried to communicate with me, they had to wait in line. Soon, conflicts became irreconcilable, leading my family to have doubts about my cultivation. Long term sleep deprivation and family dramas deteriorated my energy level; I could not concentrate while sending forth righteous thoughts.
After I arrived at the truth clarification site, Practitioner A shared her experience with me: in order to do a better job with clarifying the truth, we have to take care of the fundamentals of cultivation every day: sending forth righteous thoughts, do all five exercises and study the Fa. Missing one step would jeopardize the effort to save sentient beings. She further explained: when you encounter a Chinese tourist, first, send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the evil specter that may be controlling them. Think about it, if you can’t maintain strong righteous thoughts when you do it for 15 minutes on your own, your dimensional field isn’t clean; so how can you expect to help others? If when you are studying the Fa, you only read but didn’t retain the meaning in your heart and you can’t maintain the requirement to have sufficient righteous thoughts, how could you expect your words to carry the power of the Fa, to suppress the evil specter that’s controlling ordinary people, to make them hear you? How could you clear their bad notions instilled by the CCP? If you don’t look inward and continue to hold on to your bundle of attachments, your own body is dark and murky. How could ordinary people want to approach you? Their knowing side can tell the difference! She reminded me that every day when I get home, the first thing I should do is to meditate.
This practitioner’s reminder plus my own experience made me reflect upon my cultivation process when working in the media. I came to realize that the root cause of some of my failures and disappointments was my lackluster attitude towards studying the Fa and sending forth righteous thoughts. I am so thankful for Master’s hint and pointing out my attachments!
Since then, I started to increase my Fa study, including Zhuan Falun and new lectures. I also made sure to focus my mind while doing the exercises and sending forth righteous thoughts. Soon after, I was able to achieve a degree of focus. Every day, I would send forth righteous thoughts, memorize the Fa and meditate. For my days at the truth clarification site, I made sure to memorize the Fa before I walked out the door. On the train, I would study Essentials for Further Advancement; walking from the train station to my destination, I would recite Lunyu. Before I reached the tourists sites, I would send forth righteous thoughts to reject the old forces’ arrangements. At the end of the day on my way home, I would summarize my experience and find out where I could improve and what attachments were exposed. When I reached home, I would immediately start to meditate, followed by studying the Fa and doing the exercises at night. Frequently looking inward, I tried to dig out the roots of my attachments. Every attachment I found made me reflect on whether I was under its influence during my past Dafa projects. I maintained this status of constantly looking inward, constantly digging and reflecting, constantly thinking how I could improve. Soon I felt like I achieved a mental state that one should have when doing truth clarification, as well as Fa-rectification.
With the coming of winter, the number of tourists from mainland China dwindled. So, I switched to the truth clarification site in Chinatown. It was during the time when the new publication “How the Specter of Communism is Ruling Our World” was released by the Editorial Team of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. With Master’s benevolent guidance, I started my truth clarification in Chinatown. If the passersby refused the material I was handing out, I would speak to them. I would say, “Every Chinese person is precious, because Chinese people have great responsibilities. Take a look at this article and you’ll understand the meaning of being a Chinese person today.” This would allow me to continue the conversation. When there were few people who passed by me and I didn’t give out a lot of materials, I would stand by the intersection and talk to people while they were waiting for the traffic lights to change. Many people who didn’t intend to accept my material asked me for a copy after hearing me speak. A young lady who looked like a street vendor listened to me while the traffic lights changed seven times; in the end she came and asked me for a copy of the newspaper and thanked me wholeheartedly, “I will definitely read these articles.” With Master’s help, more and more people accepted my newspapers in Chinatown. At the beginning, most people who took the materials were over 70-years-old, then people in their 50’s and 60’s began to take them as well. A month later, people under 40 started to accept my materials, even twenty-somethings started to take them.
Knowing that some of them would throw the newspaper away, after communicating with Practitioner A, I would immediately send forth righteous thoughts after one newspaper was taken. Then more people began to start reading the paper immediately after taking it. Some people would ask me questions, some people would debate with me. I got quite a bit of feedback. Some would say, “The Epoch Times always slanders people, so I don’t read it.” I answered, “Don’t hastily turn it away. Please read the articles with patience and you will understand.” Once, an elderly person pointed to the sky and said to me, “There are Buddhas and Gods in heaven, they know every person that has done bad deeds, payback is just a matter of time. You don’t need to tell us, we know the truth.” People would come to me and encourage me, saying, “You are doing the right thing! We support you. But please be safe.” I’m not afraid. I know I have the Fa and Master watching over me, so I would stand there talking nonstop, full of righteous thoughts, until I distributed the last copy of the paper.
The people in Chinatown changed from being indifferent and despising our newspaper to receiving them gladly. From the change in their expression, I could see that the core of Chinese people is kind. Their reactions reinforced my confidence to stay here and clarify the truth. My voice became louder, clearer and more powerful.
Thank you, Master, for the help!
3. Passing a sickness test quickly
One day when I was clarifying the truth, I noticed that some tourists were listening to me from a distance and didn’t want to face me directly. The same scenario happened three times. When I was talking to my husband at night, he told me that I have bad breath. I suddenly realized what had happened during the day. I started to look for ways to improve my breath, which was caused from bleeding gums over the past six months. I didn’t really take it to heart, thinking it’s just a minor tribulation. But then the bleeding became more serious. In the beginning, brushing my teeth or chewing gum would alleviate the situation. Since there weren’t a lot of people who would listen to me clarify the truth to begin with, I was really anxious to change the situation, as bad breath is equivalent to an added obstacle. I kept looking for ways to fix the problem, while looking inward. Not long after, a family member asked me, “What did you do? Your breath doesn’t smell at all.” But it didn’t last for long; two days later, the bad breath returned.
I was determined to find the root of this matter. I must have some attachments that I haven’t realized, or attachments that I knew about but haven’t completely let go of. When I sat in front of Master’s portrait trying to think of what I did wrong, one sentence suddenly appeared in my mind: Cultivation is serious! Master reminded me that I didn’t treat cultivation seriously! I had a shift of thought – gum bleeding causing bad breath must be related to karma in my mouth. What kind of karma could come from my mouth? I eat, I speak. In terms of eating, I have food that I particularly enjoy, like sweets, so I made up my mind not to touch sweets anymore. In terms of speaking, people’s words are a reflection of their attachments. What did I say that reflected my attachments? I thought over many scenarios, like when I was studying the Fa, occasionally I misread words, adding or omitting words and didn’t put my whole heart in to studying the Fa; like when I was complaining about other practitioners not being responsible, I couldn’t help but critiquing them from my own notions and standards; like reflecting whether I have complete faith in the Fa and sufficient righteous thoughts; like when I was clarifying the truth to sentient beings, whether I was being sincere and honest. I dug out many bad attachments and decided that I must cultivate my speech well. After studying the Fa, I stopped having bad breath. In about a month my gums stopped bleeding and I fully recovered. Master said in Lecture Four of Zhuan Falun, “They are all caused by your own karma. We have already eliminated for you many, countless portions of it, leaving only that tiny bit that is divided into tribulations at different levels for improving your xinxing, tempering your mind, and removing your various attachments. These are all your own tribulations that we use to improve your xinxing, and you will be able to overcome them. As long as you improve your xinxing, you can overcome them. Unless you, yourself do not want to do so, you can make it, provided you want to overcome them.” I became clear that the karma was a reflection of my level. Because I actively looked inward, let go of my attachments and elevated my xinxing, my level improved, and the sickness karma was eliminated.
From this experience, I learned that jealousy, the mentality of showing off, zealotry, the tendency to complain, as well as many human attachments are all rooted in the competitive mentality. When one looks outward, they are making comparisons. People compare with each other with everything, from gain and loss, money, fame, etc. Without competitiveness, there is no feeling of being unsatisfied and treated unfairly, there is no jealousy, showing off, zealotry and complaint. Without competitiveness, there’s no fighting, people’s minds become more peaceful, and therefore, less karma is created, and desires are controlled. Every Dafa disciple has his mission. We all had the great thought to come to the human world to help Master rectify the Fa. Master has given every Dafa disciple abilities. As long as practitioners do what they should, they can wield the powers that Master has given and use them well. Only then are we truly helping Master to rectify the Fa. With Master and the Great Fa guiding us, the best that Master could bestow upon us, including our futures, how could there be any attachments that we can’t let go of?
4. Understanding the coordination that Master wants us to achieve
At the truth clarification sites, we usually encounter tourists who are unwilling to listen to the truth and curse at us, saying that we are crazy. Facing these visitors from China, they’ve traveled halfway around the world to listen to the truth; we don’t want them to lose this opportunity. My fellow practitioners tried everything they could to clarify the truth with the utmost kindness. During this process, when we saw a practitioner who needed help, we don’t hesitate to lend a hand, either to help with words or with righteous thoughts. In case of an emergency, with one glance at the coordinator, we would know whether we should push forward or let go. With practitioners’ seemingly random steps, we are constantly adjusting our position to help each other clarify the truth. The scene is very much like Taichi, hardness within softness.
Once, we saw a grandfather and his grandson waiting for a bus on a bench. I slowly approached them and started talking to the grandson. When I started to talk about the CCP’s Young Pioneers, saying the oath he swore was bad for him, the grandfather became nervous and tried to stop me from talking further. I then turned to continue to talk to the grandfather about the truth. The old man became angry. A practitioner saw this and came to my aid. The coordinator signaled to me that I should leave the child alone. When I left them, the child saw that his grandfather got angry, so he became angry as well. When he heard the broadcast that our practitioner played, his face swelled red and he yelled, “I am a follower of this evil Party, so what?” Another practitioner hurried to appease them and talked to them further. Afterwards, we reflected on this experience, and tried to find what attachments we held during the process, to avoid a similar scenario in the future.
I often reminded myself, especially before reaching the tourist locations, that I need to carry myself with great kindness. With regard to benevolence, my initial thought was that I should smile all the time, I should be patient, persevere and not be easily moved. But when tests came, I wasn’t radiating true benevolence, there was only a fake smile on my face and my facial muscles even went numb. Master taught about benevolence in Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference, “True shan is what a cultivator attains in the process of cultivation and cultivating goodness, and this is a genuine shan that is achieved by cultivation. When you interact with sentient beings, it's not possible for you to display your successfully-cultivated divine side in full, since you still have a human side that has yet to complete cultivation. When required, you must be rational and clearheaded like a cultivator, allowing your responsibilities and righteous thoughts to direct you, and only then will your true shan be displayed. That is what's different about a cultivator and a divine being. And that is what compassion means--not some intentional display, show of human preference for this or that, or an instantiation of, ‘If you're good to me, then I will be shan toward you.’ It is offered unconditionally and has no thought of reward--it is fully for the sake of sentient beings. When this compassionate goodness emerges, its strength is without equal, and it will disintegrate any bad factors.”
I came to realize that the compassion I adopted was just kindness on the surface, my intention was to let the other party accept me, so they could listen to the truth. I stopped at the surface of truth clarification and didn’t know to save people with true compassionate goodness.
With the experience of coordinating with practitioners to save people, I learned the following: doing well myself is small goodness, coordinating well with practitioners is big goodness, coordinating well with practitioners so the project could save people well is great goodness. That is what Master wants from us. My understanding of Master’s teaching of “Dafa disciples are one” was deepened.
Clarifying the truth at tourist destinations has helped my xinxing improve significantly and helped with other projects that I participate in. With newspaper design, my inspiration arrives faster, my breadth of thought has become wider, and I learned to think three dimensionally. I learned to analyze things from different angles and different aspects with different depths to arrive at a more feasible solution. With selling Shen Yun tickets, my righteous thoughts helped tremendously. When performing in the Divine Land Marching Band, I was full of righteous thoughts. Every note that I played worked like Falun to eliminate evil elements within sentient beings.
Saving people is saving ourselves. Every little step of improvement has brought me to tears. I can feel Master’s benevolent guidance so clearly! I promise I will hold my utmost faith in Master and the Fa, steady my righteous thoughts, help Master save sentient beings, and fulfill my mission.
The above is my understanding at a limited level. Please kindly point out anything inappropriate.
Thank you, Master!
Thank you, fellow practitioners!
Chinese version: http://www.zhengjian.org/node/245194