It is very good for Falun Dafa practitioners to remember to send forth righteous thoughts at set times daily. However, except for those times when we are in front of Chinese Embassies, I think we should pay special attention to conforming to the specific environment we are in at the moment. At the very least, our actions should not cause misunderstanding or cause the people around us to have a bad impression of Dafa.
One day I went to a fast food restaurant with some other practitioners. When it came time to send forth righteous thoughts, the practitioners put aside their food immediately. Although they didn't make hand gestures, most of them closed their eyes. What's more, in the limited space of the restaurant, we occupied three out of the five tables. We left the food on the table and sat still doing nothing for over ten minutes. Such a scene wouldn't be easily understood by non-practitioners. In addition, it was not respectful to the other customers in the restaurant.
At a recent large-scale activity held by Dafa practitioners and non-practitioners, I noticed the same situation when it came time to send forth righteous thoughts. There were many doing the hand gestures. Those non-practicing friends know we are Dafa practitioners and some are very supportive of Dafa. Even so, they were astonished by the sudden and orderly group action and couldn't help but look our practitioners up and down.
Our mission is to help Teacher save sentient beings. If our behavior makes other people think Dafa is good and therefore they are saved, it's our endless virtue. But if our behavior makes someone who originally thought positively of Dafa turn around, it could be that he was supposed to be saved but now the opposite is true. Did we fulfill our responsibility?
Actually, teacher told us the following in his short article, "Righteous Thoughts":
"When you send righteous thoughts, no matter how intense things get, the surface should be serene. This especially applies when you're at your workplace or in some other particular setting; you don't need to hold your palm erect and the results will be the same. As long as you keep your righteous thoughts strong and focus your mind you can achieve the same results. But under normal circumstances you should hold your palm erect or do the lotus hand position."
My personal understanding is this: on the one hand Teacher tells us the results will be the same even if we don't hold our palm erect, and on the other hand Teacher reminds us to comply with the norm of ordinary society. Don't cause other people to feel uncomfortable. Regarding sending forth righteous thoughts, the Clearwisdom editors have published the following guidelines, "This can be done in any setting -- even if you are walking, eating, or working, and it is not absolutely necessary to sit in the meditation position and use hand gestures." In the above-mentioned situation I think we could have sent forth righteous thoughts while continuing to do the matter at hand. The results would be the same.
To be steadfast and firmly believe in Dafa is an important aspect in our cultivation. To be rational when doing anything is equally important.
This is just my personal understanding, please correct me if there's anything improper.
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