First of all, I would like to tell a true story that happened in the USA. Before I obtained the Fa, I was used to renting Chinese videotapes from a store in the Chinese market. After obtaining the Fa, my attachment of watching Chinese TV program became weaker. However, I felt that interaction with the ordinary society shouldn’t be cut off, otherwise it would be hard to find opportunity to clarify the facts. In addition, we still need to learn the expertise from the professionals to improve the quality of Dafa TV programs. Therefore, I kept renting the videotapes from the same store.
At the time when I thought I would stop renting the videotapes when the prepaid credit was used up, one of the local practitioners were contacting the stores in this Chinese market about the possibility of selling Dafa books or displaying the truth materials in their stores. When she visited this videotape-renting store, she was turned down flatly. The saleswoman (designated as Ms. A hereafter) had a bad temper and some misunderstanding about Dafa. As a stranger, when the fellow practitioner visited the store to clarify the truth, Ms. A instinctively refused to listen. Ms. A also said something seriously bad.
After hearing this, I decided that my relationship with this store needed to be maintained so that I could clarify the truth using my wisdom whenever an opportunity popped up. Before I obtained the Fa, I always returned the videotapes before the deadline. After obtaining the Fa, I rewound the tapes and placed the tapes in order before returning them. We need to take other people into consideration, and respect them even though the matters like these are trivial. Even though the other party I am dealing with is a seller, I have never tried to resort to the common principle of “Customer First.” I thought that no matter whether or not I had the opportunity to clarify the truth to the store, a Dafa disciple would always win a positive response from others wherever he goes.
Very soon I knew from other sources that Ms. A was harsh to many people, including to some of my friends as everyday people. What made it strange was that she had never got mad at me. Instead, she always treated me as her best customer. Later on, I realized that it was very unusual that a customer returned the videotapes before the deadline all the time. Bit by bit, I had opportunities to chat with her about various social phenomena. I found she hated injustice like poison, and could not forgive others if mistakes were made. Therefore, during the chat, I explained to her the principle of compassion and righteousness. After a long period of time elapsed, I felt the time was ripe. I wore a yellow “Dafa T-shirt” when I returned the tapes. When Ms. A saw the yellow T-shirt, she was astonished, her eyes wide open. She could not say a word. She had never imagined that the model customer could ever be a Falun Gong practitioner.
Ever since then, she talked to me about topics such as Buddhism, good people and good deeds. I was sure that her viewpoints about Falun Gong had completely changed. The rumors that spread among the Chinese stores about Falun Gong collapsed by themselves. Once, there was a large-scale flu in the area where I lived. She caught it too, and became sick for one month. Taking advantage of the opportunity, I proposed to her that I would teach her the exercises of Falun Gong. Quite surprisingly, she kept my name card gladly as though she were a different person from the one who turned angry after hearing about Falun Gong from the other fellow practitioner. Actually, what I did was to follow Dafa’s requirements — cultivating my own character and being myself. When I had no intention of clarifying the truth to her purposely, the effect of truth clarification was accomplished naturally.
Later on, the store owner began to server the customers himself after Ms. A returned to Asia. I noticed that the owner posted a printout of the Diamond Sutra (A Buddhist scripture) in the store. I thought - why not introduce Falun Dafa to him if he had interest in Buddhism? It turned out somebody else had introduced Falun Gong to him when he was in New Jersey. He had also browsed through >Zhuan Falun. When asked why he did begin to practice, he was very cautious, and did not give reasons. I told myself, “Well, just as Master says - we cannot force others to learn Falun Dafa.” I continued to rent videotapes from his store. Ever since then, the owner knew that I was a Falun Gong practitioner, and also gave me some good suggestions.
In one occasion, I was out of town during the weekend because of contingent Dafa activities. The schedule coincided with the deadline for returning the videotapes. By the time I got back and brought the videotapes to the store, it had been overdue for one day. According the rental agreement, I needed to pay the fine. I knew many customers tried to get out of the fines. Regardless of what others might have done, I decided to be honest as I thought Dafa practitioners shouldn’t break everyday day to day rules. Therefore, when I went into the store, I told the owner, “I needed to be out of town temporarily. The tapes are one day late, and I am happy to pay the fine.” The owner appeared to be pleasantly surprised. He insisted on not to charging any fine to my account. After declining his offer courteously for a while, I accepted it because otherwise people would think I was too contrived if I continued to decline. On another occasion, the owner accidentally put a tape rented by another customer into my bag. As soon as I found the mistake after I got back home, I called the store immediately to notify the owner. When I went to the store the next time to return the tape, I told the owner to charge the rental into my account because I thought it was me who brought the tape home no matter how or why the tape had showed up in my bag. Again, the owner refused to charge for the tape. He said to me with a smile, “I used to believe my sense of morality was very high. However, it turns out that yours is even higher!” There were other customers in the store at that time. When they heard the owner’s remarks, they asked immediately who the person with great morality was. I felt a bit shy, and left the store right away. However, I heard very clearly that the owner told the other customers that Falun Gong practitioners were truly different.
Master teaches us, “Be full of great aspirations while minding minor details.” My actions at the video-rental store are found with many other Falun Gong practitioners. It is so common among Falun Gong practitioners that it does not even seem worth mentioning. After all, wherever Falun Gong practitioners go, they are treated as good people. This is just our basic requirement. So why did I want to tell this story? It is because we can see the bigger picture from the smaller part. From this story, I would like to point out several aspects worth our deliberation in the truth clarification.
1. Practitioners have to clarify the truth to overseas Chinese from China
As practitioners who live outside of China, we cannot escape the obligation of saving the overseas Chinese where we live. I would like to echo an article published on Zheng-Jian Net on Nov. 1. The article mentioned that the focus of truth clarification at the present time is on public representatives, non-government organizations and Taiwanese associations. It continued that when practitioners clarify the truth to fellow citizens in Mainland China, they shouldn’t neglect doing the same thing directly to the overseas Chinese who live nearby.
I also agree very much about the viewpoint of another article, Some Understanding about the Lawsuit against Jiang. In order to move the lawsuit ahead, I don’t think it is sufficient to clarify the truth only to the organizations that can influence the lawsuit on the surface. This doesn’t mean it is not important to clarify the truth to the public representatives, legislature bodies or non-government organizations. Instead, it reminds us to think over the following points.
1) “Intentional pursuit leads to phantasm.” The basic point of our truth clarification is to save the sentient beings, not the lawsuit against Jiang. From conventional logic, we are led to believe that “the shortest distance between two points is a straight line”. Therefore, confining the truth clarification to the organizations that have influence on the lawsuit actually, to a certain degree, is a manifestation of a kind of everyday logical thinking of how to achieve an everyday goal. Fellow practitioners have noticed the presence of this mentality. Of course, the old forces have seen it, too. But just as Master has described that lengthening the practice time does not increase gong, so we cannot apply everyday people’s methods to moving forward the lawsuit against Jiang.
2) Some fellow practitioners feel that all of the overseas Chinese will understand the truth as soon as we are successful in suing Jiang. In fact, the actual situation may be just opposite. I believe the old forces will never give up interfering the lawsuit before we save the overseas Chinese because the fold forces would say: “Don’t you talk about saving sentient beings? Why do you leave out so many overseas Chinese?” Under such circumstances, the old forces will certainly hinder our further efforts. This is like the mentality demonstrated by the notion that “As long as I write a good news article, I can clarify the truth.” It is much harder to save those overseas Chinese who are blaming you right in front of your face. In the story that I told, the owner of the store does not have satellite-dish. Even for the free newspapers just outside of his store, he is also very selective — he only reads certain pages on certain newspapers. Even though he may have the chance to see the truth materials, he will still believe in the rumors that he hears from a person whom he knows. Fundamentally speaking, this points to the importance of direct contacts between overseas practitioners and the overseas Chinese.
3) Another reason why overseas practitioners do not have sufficient interactions with overseas Chinese is the concern about secret agents. Although we need to take safety measures into account, our mentality of how to deal with secret agents actually often deviates far from what Master taught us in the 2003 Midwest-U.S. Fa Conference. Maybe it is because the interference that the secret agents have caused is too much. I feel we have more mentality of defense against the secret agents than the wish to save them. I believe in what Master said: If we are wholehearted, our field will make the secret agents vanish. On the issue of secret agents, I feel we don’t have determined and solid belief in Master’s Fa.
The Issue of Secret Agents
Whilst on the subject, I would like to share my understanding about secret agents. If a secret agent gets in touch with a truly upright and righteous person, I don’t think he would do anything that betrays this person as long as he still has conscience. He may feel “I am not qualified to stay here”or be assimilated right away. The problem is that we cannot reach the level of being so truly upright and righteous. When the secret agent sees our shortcomings, they may think, “Well, you are not any better than I do!” Therefore, he continues to deliver information to the Chinese Communist regime. I think we have to get back to the basics: As Falun Gong practitioners, our behavior should make others consider us as decent people with a positive perception of us wherever we are. If the secret agent thinks we are no better than them, doesn’t it indicate the problem is within the practitioners? I am not trying to vindicate the secret agents or justify their spying activities. In contrast, we are practitioners who always search inside when tribulations or contradictions arise. Our basic standpoint of viewing an issue cannot be in the principles of everyday people.
Master said in Teaching the Fa at the Singapore Fa Conference, “Speaking from another side, our Fa is spread in the society of everyday people, and may encounter arbitrary attacks from the people or organizations that don’t understand us. The may arbitrarily make definitions about us, or take very disgraceful measures against us. I think we have to take a look at these problems on our own side. Why these things should have happened? Is that because we ourselves, the assistance centers, the exercise sites, or some of our practitioners have not done well enough? If we can examine ourselves on our side whenever we encounter any issues, I would say this person is really extraordinary, and no obstacles can barricade you on the road towards consummation. We often look outside when we are faced with issues. Why did you treat me like this? Instead of examining ourselves, there is feeling of injustice in our mind. This is the largest, the most fatal obstacle for all beings. In the past, some people said they could not move up in cultivation practice. How can we move up in cultivation practice? Because this is the largest obstacle— Nobody would like to search inside himself during contradictions. When a person encounters suffering or misfortune, he still has to search inside himself, and examine where he has done wrong. It is really hard to achieve. If you can achieve, I can say along the path, on the path of cultivation, and in the eternity of your life, nothing can block you. It is truly the case.”
I feel the prevailing viewpoint that fellow practitioners hold about secret agents is still confined to the attitudes of everyday people such as “wickedness”, “injustice”, and “defense”. There is no intention of saving them at all. The best way to improve an environment is to improve ourselves. While some people say the society is a big dye-vat, we should ask ourselves why, after such a long time, we still fail to dye those secret agents with the beautiful colors of truthfulness, benevolence and forbearance. Is it because we still hold onto the colour of the old forces ourselves? Practitioners handle a lot of Dafa tasks every day. Therefore, everyone’s mind and body is tired. In fact, the more tired one gets, the easier it will be to expose one’s true nature. Maybe it is because the secret agents see practitioners slack off when tired or “treat mutual struggle as fortune” so that they feel there is nothing wrong with themselves. We really have to take another look at ourselves.
I truly wish for mutual encouragement amongst fellow practitioners: not only will we make everyday people say we are good, we will also make fellow practitioners say we are good. If we keep our Main Consciousness strong, to cultivate when we are very tired, I believe some day later a practitioner may admit at Fa-study, “I am a secret agent. However, I know you are so good. I cannot do what my job asks me to do any more.” If we can really embrace compassion, I believe we can influence and reform the secret agents. This is why I call upon us all for a more determined and solid belief in Master’s Fa.
2. Overseas Practitioners have to maintain friendly relations with overseas Chinese
If we examine the issue from the “point” made in the story: The shops surrounding the videotape renting store are all owned by overseas Chinese. Not only have they become the “live media” for the Chinese Communist regime, the congregation of these stores can also enlarge the influence. Rumors are always spread through people who know each other otherwise the rumors would not have any power of persuasion. This is why the fellow practitioner got refused when they tried to clarify the facts. Similar reasoning can be applied to our efforts of truth clarification. Therefore, it is very important to maintain friendly relations with overseas Chinese. Don’t the secret agents rent the videotapes? Don’t they do grocery shopping or attend the activities of the overseas Chinese community? Secret agents are certainly very active in overseas Chinese communities. If we don’t want the overseas Chinese to become the “live media” for the Chinese Communist regime, we should clarify the truth to them, and let them become our “live media”. If we want to save these overseas Chinese (including the secret agents), we ought to stay close to them so that they have the opportunity to know the truth. We need to participate in the overseas Chinese activities in countryman associations, alumni associations or the church, etc. If I did not have the relationship with the videotape renting store, the owner as well as his friends and relatives would not have the opportunity to know the good deeds of Falun Gong practitioners. In fact, the most powerful truth is our manner and actions that validate the Fa. In other words, making friends with more overseas Chinese is equivalent to clarifying the truth.
3. Clarifying the truth with wisdom
I notice that fellow practitioners’ ability to talk is very good, and sometimes they even utilize the anecdotes of astronomy, medical science, history and theology in clarifying the facts. However, I have also noticed sometimes that certain practitioners keep telling the same thing like a tape recorder regardless of the listener’s background. Whenever these practitioners encounter a person with a fixed view, the result of truth clarification is poor.
Actually, truth clarification should be tailored for each person, and also be in line with the current status of the society. Nowadays, people emphasize “self”, “individualism”, “uniqueness”, and “being different from others”. In many occasions, they simply cannot adopt what others say. Especially noteworthy are the overseas Chinese in USA. Most of them receive degrees of advanced education, and tend to have the mentality of “feeling higher than others”. They prefer to make conclusions of their own, and wouldn’t like others to tell them what and how. If we try to clarify the truth hurriedly whenever we meet the American overseas Chinese, they may rebel, “why I should I believe you?” If we tell them immediately that they have been cheated by the Chinese Communist regime, or we hold the attitude “we know better than you do”, some of them willreact negatively: “are you saying that I have been fooled? Are you any smarter than I am?”
Therefore, we need to consider the characteristic of the person before we start clarifying the truth to him. We need to use our wisdom, trying to conform to the attachment of everyday people when we clarify the truth to them. Clarifying the truth to everyday people is not equivalent to winning them over. On many occasions, you may win them over on the surface; in fact, you don’t know that you actually lose – you lose their hearts.
Moreover, I would like to suggest that every Dafa practitioner participating in the activities held by the Chinese associations get acquainted with more overseas Chinese. It is my belief that if practitioners can conform to Master’s Fa, and strictly demands good words and deeds from ourselves, every overseas Chinese person who knows Falun Gong practitioners will recognize the wonderfulness of Falun Gong practitioners. They will not work as the live media for the Chinese Communist regime any more. Instead, they will become the live media for Falun Gong.
Dafa’s demands on us aren’t “success in the lawsuit against Jiang”. We always stress the importance of “righteous actions”. We frequently become anxious when something is not done. However, there are so many Dafa tasks to be done! If we fail to understand why a task needs to be done from within the Fa, “righteous deeds” alone cannot make up for the lack of “righteous thoughts”.
Your comments are highly appreciated if there is anything improper in this article.
Translated from Chinese at: http://gb.yuanming.info/articles/200311/25710.html
You are welcome to print and circulate all articles published on Clearharmony and their content, but please quote the source.