1. Studying the Fa is the foundation for saving people and cultivating ourselves
I began practising Falun Dafa in 1998. Since then, I have taken many detours. I was arrested twice, mostly because I was unable to consider the Fa (Law and principles; the teachings of Falun Dafa) first and cultivate myself well while saving people. Master said, "A Dafa disciple should put the Fa first in everything he does--whenever you evaluate something you have to consider the Fa first." ("Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Boston") I realized that as long as we have the Fa in our hearts, we can merge into the Fa and cultivate ourselves well while saving people. Otherwise we will go astray.
After I was released from prison in 2002, I didn't give the Fa the importance it deserves. I neglected the salvation of sentient beings and my own cultivation. The old forces took advantage of me, and I was deeply involved in human emotions. It was extremely dangerous.
After learning my painful lessons and looking back, I realized that studying the Fa should be the prerequisite for everything we do. Master has stated clearly:
"So you must have a clear understanding on the matter of studying the Fa. Reading the books more and studying the books more is the key to truly elevating yourself. To put it more simply, as long as you read Dafa, you are changing; as long as you read Dafa, you are elevating. The boundless content of Dafa plus the supplementary means--the exercises--will enable you to reach Consummation."("Melt into the Fa," Essentials for Further Advancement)
I also realized that clarifying the facts and saving sentient beings are our true responsibilities and missions. If we do well the three things (study the Fa [the teachings of Falun Dafa], send forth righteous thoughts and clarify the truth about Falun Dafa and about the persecution to the world's people), we can accomplish everything. Our personal improvement comes from the three things as well; we cannot neglect any one of the three. Although our mission is to save sentient beings, we must first cultivate ourselves well. Otherwise we will not be able to save sentient beings. That's why Master has repeatedly asked us to study the Fa and cultivate ourselves. If we can't reach consummation, everything else will be for nothing.
I am retired and have relatively more time to study the Fa. Every day I study the Fa for at least three hours. I have been able to be persistent. I overcame my bad habit of sleeping in. My spouse also became a practitioner. We formed a study group and never skipped Fa study. We are able to discuss and help each other improve. We also hosted group study sessions at my house. Those that have time and can come are all invited.
Through studying the Fa, I realized that I have to have the Fa in my heart. I should watch every thought of mine at every moment, and use the Fa to rectify and cleanse myself. Only then can we cultivate ourselves and save sentient beings and be a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple.
2. Saving sentient beings and cultivating ourselves well are the most important
Master has said, "Dafa disciples are now sentient beings' only, sole hope for salvation."("Righteous Thoughts") As Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples, we have to first consider saving sentient beings and cultivating ourselves. It is our mission to save sentient beings. No matter what we do, we cannot stray from this main theme. We must understand the urgency of saving people. We are fighting for the people. We offer people the ultimate salvation through truth-clarification (about the illegal persecution of Falun Gong in China) and persuading people to quit the CCP.
I live in the county and in 2001, in our small city alone, 6 or 7 practitioners were arrested. For a while, I lagged behind due to severe mental pressure. Out of fear, which was actually selfishness, I did not dare to step forward, validate the Fa, and save sentient beings. Some practitioners surrounded themselves with ordinary people. Some were confined at home by their family members. Some were confused by human emotions. This situation lasted a very long time.
The local government monitored me closely. I was even on TV (on a government programme to slander Falun Gong), and many in nearby communities knew me. On the streets or in villages, many people didn't know the facts and often talked behind my back or pointed at me. I treated them as people with a predestined relationship and used every opportunity to clarify the facts to them and try to save them. This turned a bad thing into a good thing. Once at a wedding, a village CCP (chinese communist party) secretary and more than 30 government employees asked me about what happened on April 25, 1999, in Zhongnanhai and about the [fabricated] Tiananmen Square Self-Immolation. Two older CCP members were spreading rumors about me. I didn't mind. Instead, I used this opportunity to clarify the facts. The situation turned from one of besieging me to one of eliminating evil factors. Later, I went to the CCP secretary's home and successfully persuaded him to quit his CCP membership. Through clarifying the facts and persuading people to quit the CCP, I continued to improve my xinxing (heart and mind nature) and forge my tolerance. My compassion also grew. I realized that, without kindness, there can be no compassion. Without compassion, we cannot save people.
3. Searching inward is key to improving xinxing and saving sentient beings
I also more clearly realized the importance and seriousness of keeping every thought on the Fa and cultivating inward. I still have a long way to go, as I have not let go of self. Often I only want to change others but not myself. The root of the problem was the CCP culture. The time left for the Fa-rectification is limited, and the task of saving sentient beings is urgent. We must completely eliminate the CCP culture that is deep in our minds without delay.
To save more sentient beings, we must also form one body. The evil is most afraid when Dafa disciples form one body. Only then will we be as hard as diamond and indestructible. Recently, all of us have been able to harmonize with the group. Because our county seat is located in a remote mountainous area, transportation between the county seat and the villages is inconvenient and difficult. We have ridden motorcycles to distribute fact-clarifying materials in villages and towns. The practitioners are able to act in a coordinated way, assemble packets together, send righteous thoughts together, and work together as one body. We have delivered materials to more than ten villages and towns, as well as surrounding counties.
We will be even more diligent in saving sentient beings and cultivating ourselves.
The above are just a few understandings of mine. Please kindly point out anything inappropriate.
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