Another veteran practitioner, a few new practitioners, and I have formed a small Fa-study group. However, the other veteran practitioner was frequently absent due to her busy work schedule, resulting in me leading the new practitioners in Fa-study.
The most prominent problem that arose was that there were large differences between my xinxing (heart and mind nature, character) level and realm of thought compared to theirs. Since new practitioners are usually limited in their understanding of the Fa, the standards that they have to meet should not be as high as the standards for veteran practitioners. New practitioners have comparatively more attachments and human notions. Even though early on I had expected what was to be, when seeing their expressions and manner of talking, I felt quite upset, but I did not say anything. However, I wanted to say, "You guys have been cultivating for a period of time now, so why are you still in this state of mind?" Frequently, they were not on time for Fa study for various reasons.
While contemplating their problems, the thought that arose in my mind was, "Now is the period of Fa-rectification and time is so precious, so aren't you guys wasting my time?" A few times, I felt resentful, "Forget it today, who cares about them!" One day, one of the new practitioners said to me, "While we were studying the Fa, my third eye opened all of a sudden, and I saw Teacher's transparent law body. He was sitting cross-legged beside our Fa-study group, dignified and stately, protecting us." I was suddenly awakened by this remark, realizing how our compassionate, revered Teacher values each and every student. We ought to value our fellow practitioners, even when they are new practitioners, since they are also Teacher's disciples. How could I have such a dirty, selfish mind, thinking that I was giving them extra help, but without treating them as fellow practitioners? I have an attachment of focusing on differences, causing me to complain about others instead of looking within myself.
Looking back to when I was a new practitioner, I did not know anything about Falun Dafa cultivation. Local practice site assistants had to show me how to do the exercises, and they answered my naive questions. Sometimes, I sneaked out when I was feeling lazy because I could not maintain my xinxing, and at that time, veteran practitioners were available to kindly offer advice and feedback. All the issues I was concerned with back then are presently very clear in my mind. Now that I am a veteran practitioner, as far as treating new practitioners, I have been very selfish, and I lacked a practitioner's compassion and forbearance. They are very busy each day--they have to work and take care of their families. They all face different challenges, and I really have to understand their situations.
New practitioners are often careless when using cell phones, and even carry phones when attending Fa study. They do not heed our warnings, saying that the issue is not that serious. They get upset if we further remind them. It was my fault that I did not resolve the matter early on. Later on, I realized that it was a serious security problem that needed more attention. I downloaded an article from the Minghui website about the security weaknesses of a cell phone. I solemnly read it to them, letting them know the importance of cell phone vulnerabilities. Since then, they have put their cell phones away on their own initiative when studying the Fa. As a matter of fact, my own attachment probably contributed to furthering their original attachment before.
It is imperative to tell new practitioners about the importance of respecting Teacher and the Fa, to value Dafa books, not to casually lay them anywhere, and not to write anything on the books or to bend pages.
New practitioners often do not understand Dafa disciples' mission and responsibilities about clarifying the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong and saving sentient beings. So, when we clarified the truth and advised people to withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations, and the new practitioners happened to be there, they were not always helpful because of their fear.
In order to deal with this issue, a few of us veteran practitioners had a meeting to look within ourselves, to talk and share about the problem. What we found was that none of us had told them about the nature and urgency of our mission. Thus, with new practitioners, we often studied Teacher's articles and lectures that he gave after 1999. Through studying those Fa-teachings, the new practitioners gradually came to recognize the importance of clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings, and they also sometimes helped with those efforts.
Furthermore, I also realized that the cultivation state of veteran practitioners could directly affect the state of new practitioners. When my cultivation state was better, and I was doing 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) they were more diligent. Teacher cautioned us:
"If a Dafa disciple's heart is unsteady, it will cause changes in his or her surroundings. When you have fear, for instance, you will find that the sentient beings around you are not quite right. When you change such that your presence is refreshing and uplifting to people, and your mind becomes broad and full of optimism, you will find the things around you to be correspondingly different." (Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington D.C.
International Fa Conference, July 18, 2009)
In fact, it is our responsibility, as veteran practitioners, to lead and help the new practitioners. We must treat them as fellow practitioners and make them part of our one-body, so that we can improve and upgrade our levels together. To lead new practitioners well, we must first cultivate ourselves, just as Teacher said,
"If you are doing well in your cultivation, you will do well in spreading the Fa in your local area and students will do better in their cultivation. If this isn't the case, you will harm the Fa." ("A Person in Charge is Also A Cultivator" - Essentials For Further Advancement, September 3, 1996)
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