PureInsight | April 17, 2023
Greeting Master, greeting fellow practitioners!
I am a high school teacher. I obtained the Fa in 1997 and have been practicing Falun Gong for 25 years. On the road of cultivation, for nearly 20 years, I have been assigned to work as an assistant or lead on different projects. Looking back, this is part of my cultivation and improvement process. Thanks to the Master’s mercy, I have changed from passive acceptance to active responsibility, overcome selfishness, and gradually moved towards harmony and cooperation with the whole.
In fact, before I practiced, I was a person who preferred to be alone. I was not good at socializing and I did not like to join small groups. I always chose the corner desk in the office. My style matched the Taoist school in Chinese culture. Therefore, when I studied Chinese in college, my classmates classified me as the Laozhuang School. However, after a few years of Dafa cultivation, I became an assistant or coordinator, and I realized that it was to get rid of my selfish desire to "be alone".
This year, I was asked to be a coordinator in my region. I saw my attachment of fear, worry, fear of being compared, and losing my comfort: I was afraid that I would not be able to do as well as the previous coordinator. It is even conceivable that there will be less time for myself... At first, I didn't want to take the initiative and even tried to find an excuse to decline the arrangement several times.
For a few weeks, I couldn't sleep well and I often needed to take deep breaths to relieve the pressure in my heart. I really felt the pressure as a mountain. Master said in Fa Teaching Given at the 2015 New York Fa Conference, “There is a lot of pressure being a coordinator, indeed, but it wouldn’t be cultivation if there weren’t much pressure.” Master also said in Fa Teaching Given at the 2015 New York Fa Conference, “So I know the challenges that you face. But think about what happens when you do manage to do well despite the challenges—isn’t that mighty virtue?”
Yes, cultivation is the process of constantly getting rid of attachments. In retrospect, what you are lacking will be enriched through different forms during cultivation, allowing you to realize and improve. It is a matter of one thought of whether to do or not to do, whether it is for selfishness, or for others to come first. Finally, after much deliberation and struggle, I chose to undertake it. Master said in Further Discussions on Falun Dafa, “Actually, to be an Assistant is to do one’s duty—it’s not like if you’re given the Assistant job it means that you will succeed in cultivation! That’s not how it is.” I reminded myself not to just do things without cultivating, but to cherish Master's arrangements. The following are some recent cultivation experiences.
1. Among the Fellow Practitioners
Not long after I took over, a fellow practitioner told me, “You don't want to be a housekeeper, just keep smiling like this.” I thought to myself, I don't want to be a housekeeper. But I told myself: I am an assistant but not an instructor. I am equal to other fellow practitioners and we should improve together. I should never have the desire to be superior to other fellow practitioners. Sometimes when I was facing specific problems, if I was not careful enough, I would think “I come to solve a problem”. This is a very strong desire to focus on ordinary life and to be comfortable.
On the contrary, my basic point should be right and I told myself that I will improve together with my fellow practitioners. So, I first thought: Why did this thing happen to me? Because even a third party has to look inward.
However, after clarifying my thinking in terms of Fa principles, I will not avoid having kind-hearted and sincere experience sharing with fellow practitioners, because overall improvement is what Master wants to see. But things don't always go so smoothly. Sometimes when fellow practitioners have opinions about the project assistant, they will reflect things to me, and some even feel depressed and do not want to continue. I remember one time, a fellow practitioner left me a message saying that she did not want to participate in a project because she dislikes the attitude of the project assistant.
I called her. At that time, the basic point was not to worry about the manpower that I had finally found stopped working, but to care about the cultivation of fellow practitioners, and to think about issues from the standpoint of saving sentient beings. During the communication, I asked her: If the assistant had a good attitude and a softer tone, would you continue to do it? She paused for a few seconds and said: Yes. I asked her again: Is this the basic point of us doing our job for the assistant? She said: No, it was to save people. I did not say anything more, and within a few seconds, she said: I know what to do. In the end, she chose to continue working on the project.
I am very happy for that fellow practitioner. From this incident, I also heard about this fellow practitioner’s experience. Many specific coordination matters should not fall into a state of numbness or take things for granted, such as thinking fellow practitioners should cooperate in a certain way. An assistant needs to cultivate compassion in some case and thinks about the degree of acceptance of fellow practitioners. Otherwise, I will inadvertently overwhelm fellow practitioners and hinder my efforts to save people.
2. Cultivate the Mind of Fearing Difficulties and Face Them Bravely
Master said in Fa Teaching Given at the 2014 San Francisco Fa Conference, “The people in charge do play a crucial role in terms of whether the [cultivation] states in a region are good or not. When a person has so many everyday people’s attachments, and is afraid of all kinds of things, the more they fear, the more troubles will come. With you being a person in charge, Master has entrusted these practitioners to you, yet you don’t feel as though you are somehow responsible for whether they cultivate well or poorly? Yes, you are.” Dafa practitioners are always under loose management, but the assistant is not really “just smiling”. When facing conflicts among fellow practitioners, I really cannot smile and I have to face it.
Sometimes, I would think, "When is it? Still having such a big conflict?" Sometimes it is hard not to be affected. I look inward and I found I was solving problems for my attachment to problem-solving completion. In addition, I was afraid of trouble and wanted to get it done once and for all. I wanted my communications to be done in one step. When I met veteran practitioners or fellow practitioners with good eloquence, the back-and-forth communication seemed to have no end, which made my heart very tired. I knew that I should take the Fa as my teacher, cultivate my fear of difficulties, and face them bravely. However, there are good times and bad times in the process.
When a fellow practitioner used a tough tone towards me, if I could listen calmly, I found that Master would give me wisdom, allowing me to hear the fellow practitioner's logic clearly, and then peacefully communicate with him/her based on the Fa principles. On the contrary, sometimes when I thought I did work hard to coordinate, but I was still criticized for not fulfilling my responsibilities, grievances, imbalances, etc. would prevail, and I would show impatience or depression. When encountering such a situation, I would suspend the debatable sharing, calm down and look inward, so the conflict between two fellow practitioners would not evolve into a conflict between more people, and internal friction in the conflict is what the old forces want to see the most.
At the same time, I found that I still needed to cultivate the fear of offending others, which was deeply rooted in me. I was afraid of offending others. Behind this stubborn selfishness, I saw that I had a deeply hidden selfishness. I did not like to be involved in right and wrong, and I protected myself from being hurt. In addition, I used to think I would not easily offend others. This thought was hidden deeply and led me to feel my cultivation was not bad. Thank you, Master, for a passage in Teachings at the Conference of Changchun Assistants, in which dispelled my worries about this and that. Master said in Teachings at the Conference of Changchun Assistants, “But if what you say is self-centered and every word you say is intended to please everyone, ‘Oh, he’d better not misunderstand me as meaning this or that,’ or ‘I’d better watch what I say so others won’t use it to criticize me later,’ and has all kinds of things, then the messages carried by the words active in your mind and emitted from your mind will be very bad. If you are truly kindhearted and without any of your own motives, what you say will be nothing but pure and kind.”
I told myself that I should be open and frank, and try my best to be compassionate and tolerant. Even in the face of temporary criticism and misunderstanding from fellow practitioners, I should not feel wronged or complain, and should not form fixed views on fellow practitioners.
3. Hearing but not Remembering and Minding My Speech
I think the assistant has to hear but not remember and keep one’s mouth shut. Why? It is inevitable to listen to some more detailed or named statements because of the conflicts among fellow practitioners. I remind myself after hearing these, I should not form any notions about the fellow practitioners involved. I must mind my speech.
For me, "hearing but not remembering" is a big challenge, because my head often needs to digest conflicting messages among fellow practitioners. For me, after I heard messages, but do not let these messages affect my peaceful mind, I need to study the Fa a lot, and sometimes I need to send forth more righteous thoughts. In addition, I also reminded myself not to be tempted by relationships with others, and not to be afraid to communicate because of relationships with others, even with the closest practitioners around me. And after the matter is over, I should press the clear button in my heart. I must believe that everyone is practicing the same Dafa and that everyone will continue to improve. Therefore, I will not have a bias due to fellow practitioners' temporary behavior.
In addition, the assistant must also mind one’s speech. There were few cases where I did not mind my speaking because I know that many right or wrong conversations are just quick talk. If the person who speaks has attachments and emotions, it will have a negative impact on the fellow practitioners who are listening and the fellow practitioners who are mentioned. I remember one time when I came home, I told my husband who is also a fellow practitioner, “One practitioner told me what happened to a fellow practitioner, etc.” At that time, it was a state of complaining, and my husband immediately reminded me: Why did you tell me this? My husband pointed out that my state of communication at that time was not sharing, but because I was tempted and could not take more, it went out. Thanks my family and fellow practitioners for their timely corrections and sharing. I am still deeply impressed, and I am always vigilant with myself.
4. Eliminate Interference and Cherish the Environment
Every fellow practitioner is very precious. No matter when fellow practitioners were experiencing tribulation, I tried my best to put down the things at hand or my own projects, and communicated with fellow practitioners in a timely manner, because the improvement of fellow practitioners is the improvement of the whole. Many times, I am concerned about fellow practitioners participating in group Fa study or doing exercises in the district or practice sites, because that is the environment Master left for us. Master said in Fa Teaching Given at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Practitioners, “Group Fa study is an environment I created for you and a form that I’ve left for you. I think you should still participate. That’s because it has stood the test of experience, and cultivating that way allows our students to improve the fastest. When you cultivate on your own, you miss out on factors that help you improve.”
Moreover, through group Fa-study and sharing, I can see the shining points of fellow practitioners, learn from them, complement each other, and not be confined to the frame of my own understanding. I remember that in the first two years of obtaining the Fa, I was in a state of solitary cultivation. I am grateful to my mother-in-law who is a fellow practitioner for her exhortation and encouragement. When visiting relatives in my hometown, my mother-in-law sacrificed her chance in group sharing to help us take care of our baby who was only a few months old. She encouraged my husband and I to participate in the local group sharing on the day. Only then did I realize that I had been practicing in an ivory tower before, and since then, I have cherished every group Fa-study time.
Over the past two years, due to the epidemic, some fellow practitioners have gradually left the group cultivation environment that Master left us due to factors such as epidemic prevention and family members. This is very dangerous because the evils in other dimensions are watching. We need to form as a whole and prevent the old forces from taking advantage of us. Moreover, no matter how busy we are, we must study the Fa sincerely in order to understand the Fa better, practice solidly, and do the three things well.
Master said in To the Australia Fa Conference from The Essentials of Diligent Progress III, “The regions that have done well saving sentient beings and validating Dafa, and where great changes have transpired, are always places where people have studied the Fa well. And the Dafa disciples who have improved quickly are always those who have made Fa study a priority. That is because the Fa is the foundation; it is what’s fundamental for Dafa disciples; it is what ensures everything; and it is the avenue by which a human being journeys toward godhood.” I hope that we can all cherish the environment of group Fa-study and group exercising, improve together.
5. Expand the Capacity to Coordinate with the Whole
In the commemorative film for the 10th anniversary of Shen Yun Performing Arts, there was a scene that touched me a lot. When the main lead dancer stepped off the stage and wanted to change her costume, other actors rushed to help her complete the costume change in the shortest time. After all the members gave encouragement, the actors rushed back to the stage without missing a second, completing the perfect dance performance. I saw the moving picture of Shen Yun performers condensed into a whole, selflessness. A few years later, although the original lead dancers did not stand in the lead dance position, they still dedicated themselves to presenting a perfect performance and helping each other. The action is in place.
This gave me a lot of inspiration. Yes, Fa-rectification requires us to be in a certain position. It does not matter whether we want it or not. The matter is whether we are needed or not. When we all have the courage to undertake it, we will see the path of cultivation that the Master has paved for us, and we will comprehend the connotation of Buddha's mighty compassion.
What I shared earlier was some of my cultivation experience as an assistant or coordinator. Usually, in addition to my own life-saving projects, when fellow practitioners need assistance or cooperation, I would expand my capacity to validate the Fa with fellow practitioners, such as promoting Shen Yun in daily life, hosting tea parties, or promoting truth-telling movies and media, etc.
In early 2022, Shen Yun was unable to perform in Taiwan, and everyone felt very heavy. When it was confirmed that Shen Yun could perform again, we all understood that this was an opportunity and mercy that Master left for Taiwanese practitioners. But what is the overall breakthrough? In the past two years, Shen Yun has not performed in Taiwan, and fellow practitioners have undertaken more projects. Therefore, when Shen Yun comes to Taiwan, we need to expand the capacity, get rid of the concept of "I have tasks in other projects", and actively cooperate with Shen Yun. It's a matter of saving lives.
The promotion of Shen Yun is not a matter for a few fellow practitioners. Everyone has their own corresponding sentient beings. I remember what Master said in Fa Teaching Given at the 2003 Midwest U.S. Fa Conference, “Your every word, every flyer, every keystroke, every telephone call, and every letter is having a huge impact. Beings that have come to understand the facts become mobile media, and they too clarify the facts.” In practice, I really feel that there are predestined people waiting for us. Master said in Zhuan Falun, “Cultivation depends on one’s own efforts, while the transformation of gong is done by one’s master.” We must not only have aspirations but also have the motivation to practice in order to connect with the holy fate arranged by the master.
In 2023, I would like to thank Shen Yun for performing in Taiwan again and look forward to working hard together with fellow practitioners, worthy of the grace bestowed upon us by Master.
Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!
(Speech transcript of the 2022 Taiwan Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)
Chinese version: https://www.zhengjian.org/node/279608