Stepping Forward and Breaking Through Barriers: Experience Shared at the 2003 Vancouver Experience Sharing Conference

PureInsight | May 26, 2003

[] Greetings to our distinguished Master! Greetings to fellow practitioners!

I am from Edmonton, a city located in the cold northwest of Canada. Comparatively speaking, we have only a few Falun Dafa practitioners. However, we are trying our best to catch up with the process of Fa-rectification. Hereby, I would like to share our experience in cultivation practice on behalf of Edmonton practitioners.

Since we attended the Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration held by the local Chinese Communities in 2000, practitioners in Edmonton started to move beyond humanness and started to clarify the truth of Falun Dafa to people in Edmonton. Through the past three years, we experienced a lot. At the very beginning, we felt unnatural when telling others the truth of Dafa. After a while, we felt more comfortable and natural and started to explain the truth to the local government, media, NGOs, and individuals on a large scale. And now we feel that we are clarifying the truth totally out of compassion and with the only intention of saving more sentient beings. We are becoming more mature.

At the very beginning, there were few practitioners who could step forward, and our financial situation was really bad. How could we make truth-clarifying materials without money? Some practitioners began to work some extra hours during the weekend in a Chinese supermarket and used that money for printing materials. Gradually, more and more practitioners came from China to Edmonton, more and more new practitioners caught up with Fa-rectification and we had about ten people to do truth-clarifying work. All of us treated Dafa work with our heart. For example, 68-year-old Aunty Li came to visit her daughter from Changchun City. During the half year she stayed in Edmonton, she joined almost every activity we had and bicycled around with us in the city. She took out the only $300 (US dollars) she had brought from China for printing truth-clarifying materials. Before she went back to China, she asked me to make her a banner with the wordings "Falun Dafa is good!" With this banner and with the sincere wish of all Edmonton practitioners, she went to Tiananmen Square to validate Dafa on her way back to Changchun City. She shouted out from the bottom of her heart, "Falun Dafa is good!" She returned home safely afterwards. Aunty Zhang is another example. She collected the small amount of pocket money that her daughter gave her every month and used it for truth-clarifying materials. A western practitioner, soon after he obtained the Fa, voluntarily took out some money for Dafa work. At the time, he had just got a job, and was in a very poor financial situation. I remember how he sometimes couldn't even afford a bus ticket. When we didn't accept his money, he said, "Why don't you accept my money? It's my heart for Dafa." And now, he has become an unshakable particle. There are so many moving stories among us. So when I heard rumors spread by the evil about how we were supported financially by some political forces outside of China and we were being paid such and such amount per hour to distribute flyers, I felt it was so ridiculous. How could they understand Falun Dafa practitioners' noble state of mind?

Stepping forward from humaneness requires us to break through all barriers through studying the Fa, not just financially but also from many other aspects, such as from family interference and human mentalities that we developed in the past among human beings. One of our fellow practitioners encountered an extremely huge family interference. At the beginning, her husband wouldn't even allow her to go to our practice site. One day, when she read an email from us, asking for more people to join an activity to promote Dafa, she resolutely stepped forward. Her husband threatened to divorce her. She didn't change her mind and also persuaded her husband not to do that. Thus, she passed the first test. Ever since, she now joins our group study and practice every week. Later on, because of her intenet to appeal in front of the Chinese Consulate in Calgary to end the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, her husband almost suffocated her to death with a pillow. At the moment, she had only on thought in her mind,

"To live with no pursuits,
To die with no regrets;
All excessive thoughts extinguished,
Cultivating Buddhahood is not difficult."
[From an unofficial translation of Hong Yin]

Thus, she passed one test after another. Eventually she went to Geneva. She went to Houston. Now, even her husband is clear minded that it is her responsibility to clarify the truth in Chinatown and he doesn't stop her any more.
Since Master told us the importance of explaining the truth of Falun Dafa to people around the world, especially Chinese people, we started our truth-clarifying activity in Chinatown every Saturday. Master said,

"With the exception of those evil ones, there are many people in this world who are innocent and who've been deceived by the onslaught of slanderous propaganda. When a person is evaluated with the Fa-principles of the cosmos, if his mind contains negative thoughts toward Dafa, he will be weeded out when the test of Dafa and Dafa disciples is over." (Teaching the Fa at the Washington, D.C. International Fa Conference)

At the very beginning, we didn't have a vehicle to carry our poster boards and other materials. Two of us had to carry the materials and poster boards while switching buses several times before arriving in Chinatown. Aunty Zhang, who is over 60 years old, often carried the materials and boards with us. She was always in a happy mood even though a young person would feel painful and sore in the arms by doing what she did. We were moved by her sincere heart as she took hardship as joy in order to save more sentient beings. Our fellow practitioners are both ordinary and great. Only Dafa practitioners can wholeheartedly devote themselves to clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings. Later on, it became much more convenient since fellow practitioners have now had cars of their own. And now it is even better after a Vietnamese employee from a shop in Chinatown obtained the Fa, making it possible for us to store the boards in that nearby shop.

Spreading the Fa and clarifying the truth in Chinatown is like a window from Dafa to the public. We often meet predestined people approaching us for Dafa materials. Some of them came directly to us with smiles and left satisfied with the Dafa materials. We came across people with bad attitudes as well who would immediately tear apart the Dafa materials as soon as they had them. At first we were very upset when we encountered these cases, "This person is poisoned so badly," "This person is hopeless." Fellow practitioners frequently said things like this, totally forgetting about "cultivation of speech". (From "Cultivation of Speech" in Lecture Eight of Zhuan Falun) As we studied the Fa more and more, we realized from the principles of the Fa that we should cultivate compassion as cultivators. We should use benevolence to clarify the truth of Dafa to people regardless of their attitudes. The more bad thoughts a person has, the more we should work on him in order to save him.

Winter in Edmonton City is extremely bitter, with the temperature often lower than -20°C. Even heavy coats cannot prevent the chills of the wind. We had to wear thin gloves for the convenience of distributing materials. As a result, our hands were often too cold to hold things, our feet froze, and we had non-stop runny noses. But nobody complained. Instead, everyone wanted to distribute more materials, hoping that more people could learn the truth and have a good future. On a cold snowy day, only two of us went to Chinatown. A gentleman approached us. After listening to the facts about Dafa and as a result of being so touched by our sincerity and strong will he specially bought us two cups of hot tea to warm us up. On another occasion, a gentleman presented us with some flowers. One day, an old Chinese man came to us and said while accepting the Dafa materials, "You are so sincere. So sincere! Standing here in the cold!" He had repeated this to us after returning from shopping. We smiled happily, watching the old man as he left. Yes, in order to save more sentient beings, this hardship is nothing at all. It is far less than what Master has suffered and given to us. Season after season, our suntanned skin turned white and then back to black again. Gradually, those who had passed by us many times refusing to accept the Dafa materials finally accepted them due to our persistence and strong righteous thoughts which have eliminated large amounts of the evil in other dimensions. Some westerners obtained the Fa in Chinatown. Two of them became Fa-rectification Dafa practitioners, actively participating in truth clarification activities.

The site for spreading the Fa and clarifying the truth in Chinatown is not only a place for the public to get to know the truth but is also a good place for our cultivation. We all know the more people we have together clarifying the truth, the stronger the energy field. A fellow practitioner talked about her experience while clarifying the truth alone in Chinatown. She said, "Every Saturday when I went to Chinatown and looked from a distance, how eagerly I hoped to see fellow practitioners at the site earlier than me! But sometimes, I was the only one there. Half an hour passed, one hour passed, but I still did not see any of my fellow practitioners. Standing alone there, I did not feel good at all. I sometimes felt like complaining to other practitioners for not showing up. I knew I had a strong attachment to sentimentality within my feeling. So I managed, with difficulty, not to complain. I knew this attachment made me unable to communicate to fellow practitioners with compassion. Master says,

"While working, your tone of voice, your kindheartedness, and your reasoning can change a person's heart, whereas commands never can!" (From "Sober-Minded" in Essentials for Further Advancement)

I was very upset since I knew it was my own problem. However I could not control myself. Then I asked myself, "If I were the only one left, would I come to Chinatown to spread the Fa and clarify the truth?" The answer is that I would do it without a doubt. Then, why should I be bothered when others don't come? When I thought about it this way, my righteous thoughts arose. My body felt so tall and my heart was full of compassion. The result of distributing the material turned out to be even better. With only one practitioner, the happy mood we manifested no matter how cold it was and no matter what happened, established a great image of Falun Dafa practitioners in the minds everyday people.

With the progress of Fa-rectification, our truth-clarifying activities become more diversified. We have few people, however, everyone is in charge of a project and everyone is the supporter of other projects. We clarify the truth to local Chinese people through showing films, distributing Dajiyuan newspapers, publishing our "Path of Life" column in local Chinese newspapers, joining local CSSA and Yellowpage discussion groups, and through our every Saturday Chinatown activity. We promote Dafa to westerners by joining various local activities such as the "Klondike Day Parade," the "Heritage Festival," and the "Fringe Festival" in order to merge into the mainstream of western society. We also do this by clarifying the truth to the government, media, and individuals through various means. More and more people are coming wanting to know the truth, and more and more people are coming to learn the exercises. Although many of them cannot join the current of Fa-rectification, they have paved for themselves a solid foundation for a bright future.

Another thing I would like to talk about here is the conflicts among practitioners. It often happens that we have different opinions regarding one issue. If we only attach importance to our own opinion and don't think about others' ideas by putting ourselves in their position, conflicts may occur and the old forces may find loopholes. Master once said in "Non-Omission" from Essentials for Further Advancement, that

"The Fa has different levels. A cultivator's understanding of the Fa is his understanding of the Fa at his cultivation level. Different cultivators understand the Fa differently because they are at different levels."

Then no matter what it is, there might be a different understanding and different opinion. We should respect different ideas. As long as we are viewing things from the perspective of the Fa, there should be no problem. It's easy for me to become impatient, especially when I see somebody doing things slowly or when someone cannot finish things on time. When a practitioner was unable to be strict with him or herself and did things with a human mentality, I felt sad and was not compassionate enough when I talked about it. Master taught us long ago that,

"At practice sites, assistants must be strict with themselves but generous with others. They have to maintain their Xinxing and be helpful and friendly." (The Great Consummation Way of Falun Dafa)

Here I would like to recall a touching story about our great Master. It was in 1994 when he was giving lectures and teaching the exercises in Hefei City, Anhui Province. Most of the students who attended the lectures were new students and you know that before cultivating in Dafa we had developed lots of bad habits in human society. So at the time, lots of students threw away the left over food they could not finish during the lunch break. And one day our Master was in one of the lounge rooms eating with some practitioners as well. After all the other students finished their lunch and intended to throw away the remains, Master asked them to leave it on the table and then after he finished his own, he poured all the remains from each student's lunch box into his. He ate them all. He mentioned in another occasion that every piece of rice was a mountain in other dimensions. All students were moved after hearing the story. And we don't waste food any more. Master is so compassionate and never blames us even if we are not doing so well in our cultivation practice. He keeps waiting for us and giving us chances to correct our behaviors by ourselves.

Nonetheless, in particular situations it is still hard for us to follow Master's teachings strictly. Often, our preoccupations and the human mentality we've developed in human society may cause conflicts among practitioners, especially between Chinese and western practitioners, due to their different cultural backgrounds. For instance, at our practice site, western practitioners feel that Chinese practitioners are too cold, without warm greetings, and too strong while dealing with some issues. As long as they feel correct from the perspective of the Fa, it is hard for them to give up their ideas and so on and so forth. A few days ago, when we were decorating for the World Falun Dafa celebration, almost all the Chinese practitioners didn't think it was a good idea for western practitioners to cast flowers onto the sidewalks. They were concerned that it might cause misunderstandings from everyday people. Some Chinese practitioners even suggested that we seriously stop them. Unexpectedly, later some passers-by told us, "It is a nice touch." Another example was when a western practitioner thought of mailing truth-clarifying materials in red envelops containing the words of "Truth-Compassion-Tolerance" to all Chinese consulates and embassies before the Chinese Lunar New Year. Most Chinese practitioners thought it was a waste of time to make lace trimmings to each letter since we had so many things to do. However, when we saw that western practitioner manually cut every piece of paper and how he had made beautiful decorative borders, we were deeply moved. We were touched by the time he spent on doing it and his pure heart. Yes, we are doing things from our heart, and every project we are doing is for the purpose of offering salvation to more sentient beings, and for improving ourselves as well. If we pay too much attention to the result instead of how to upgrade our Xinxing during the process of the projects, we cannot improve ourselves and the result won't be satisfactory either. Many things are done with the help of our Master, and we only have the desire. Therefore, our human mentality will become a barrier in dealing with Fa-rectification work. Another example is, while clarifying the truth in public, we usually prefer to arrange some practitioners who can speak good English to distribute materials, in case some westerns want to know more about Falun Dafa. Our Aunty Zhang doesn't know English at all. But she is especially fond of distributing flyers. At times, other practitioners didn't feel comfortable when she insisted on doing this. Recently, during our local experience sharing conference, two western practitioners talked about how they obtained the Fa respectively. They had the same experience that when they were approaching us, they didn't want to accept our flyers. And they had said that they didn't want them. However, it was Aunty Zhang who handed them flyers, and she didn't know English at all. Even though they said they didn't want it, she kept handing the flyers to them. They had to accept it. And the flyer became a bridge for them to obtain the Fa. So everything is within the Fa. Of course, we still need necessary coordination. But we should not be upset about things not in agreement with our concepts or even give up the fundamentals of our cultivation practice because of that and therefore talk or behave with less compassion or no compassion. Master told us explicitly in Lecturing on and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference, that

"…a large portion of the Dafa disciples came with those cosmic bodies, and everybody formed karmic relationships. Once you've reached Consummation and returned, it'll be almost impossible for you to see each other again, even if you want to. So, you should treasure this part of your karmic relationship."

Let's treat each other with more compassion, pointing out problems out of compassion whenever we see them occur. Let's cultivate diligently together and become a truly unbreakable whole body.

Thank you, Master!
Thank you all.

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