PureInsight | October 20, 2003
[PureInsight.org] There is no more important freedom than the freedom of choice. The choice to no longer oppress and the freedom to choose to walk away from the cruelties of oppression are important.
In this paper I'd like to share with you how the choices we make are all based on the understandings of Dafa, and comprehension of the Great Law. Choosing what is important. To have adequate Righteous Thoughts, and having a clear examination from the Fa at all times.
In an effort to raise awareness of practitioners in China, the practitioners in Florida and I have been actively partcipating in different events in our area. We have been utilizing different avenues. We took part in events such as, visiting the hometown of a practitioner that is currently being held in a Chinese jail and clarifying the truth to her neighbors. We recently also attended a poetry convention.
The city of Palm Coast, Florida, where the practitioner comes from is very concerned. They show support by signing petition sheets and putting their signatures on a huge yellow banner calling for the end of the persecution of Falun Gong practitioners. A lot of people shook their heads in disbief that she is in that situation. The small town has a big heart toward their neighbor. We agreed that driving one and a half hours to her hometown was a good way to clarify the truth.
But, before I speak about the events, I'd like to share and expand some understandings based on the teachings of Master Li.
Master Li said at the "Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference," "During the Fa-rectitfication, the number of sentient sentient beings in the cosmos that have been weeded out due to the old forces' involvement is countless. So, the specifics of their involvement, the way they've done it—which is the way they think can best enable them to reach their aims, and their most typical way—is to have all the huge, gigantic cosmic bodies extend a foot into the cosmos's lowest level, the Three Realms. This is just a figurative description. In other words, they all have a part of them pressed into the Three Realms. Think about it, when such enormous cosmic bodies and gigantic beings enter the Three Realms, what state does that bring about in the Three Realms?"
Based on those words, I realized, in the same time as we were clarifying the Truth, some complacent thinking set in for me. I sometimes lost sight of what we were here to do as Dafa disciples: expose the evil leaders of China for what they are. The evil started exploiting gaps in my thinking. I started getting confused on issues of clarifying the truth to the public and started thinking the events will go on by itself by us going and carrying materials and speaking to the public. I had to readjust my thinking constantly. I'll give some examples during this paper of problems that arose and results. Overall the events were positive. I now understand that the tasks I was involved with, had me come face to face with different attachments and to truly live a life as a Dafa disciple.
Learning to trust Dafa more. Choosing not to oppress
As we discussed future events in Florida, other practitioners wanted to skip a weekend in visiting the detained practitioner's hometown. So I planned to go to the practitioners' hometown with only one other person, so we wouldn't lose the momentum in exposing the evil and clarifying the truth. I felt it was important to go that particular day. I was awake at four o'clock in the morning and called the other practitioner to meet me at five to start traveling to her hometown. The day was very pleasant and when we arrived at the park we noticed Bar-B-Q cooking grills, and people setting up for a party. We found out the park was hosting the city's fire and policemen's annual picnic. Over four hundred law enforcement personnel would be there. Master arranged a great opportunity. The fire fighters and policemen in that city dedicated their lives to help people, now they were given a chance to directly help their neighbor that was detained in a jail in China. The huge yellow banner the public signed, to show support, and petition forms was a means to introduce the public to the persecution on prior visits. At this event we also included Dafa art. The art created for this depicted tiny Chinese slippers walking on gold tiles, crossing over small bamboo bridges. The slippers represented the practitioners walking toward freedom, to let the world know that Falun Gong is good. On the artwork there is placed a small piece of yellow paper that resembles the large yellow banner. We encourage the public to sign the small paper, as a show of support for those detained. They enjoyed getting involved with the art project and supporting those without a voice. Since the artwork represented issues of human rights, people from every background shared stories of past experiences of themselves, or family members that were treated unjustly in different situations.
Master said at "Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference 2003: "The old forces think that cultivating in the Fa-rectification period and validating the Fa are Dafa disciples' things and that other people don't deserve to take part. Under this circumstance it's hard for the world's people to realize Dafa's Fa-truths and the sacredness of the Fa itself. But they are able to understand things like what humankind, today's people, call 'human rights' being squashed and freedom of belief being squashed. So when you're clarifying the facts your words should revolve around those topics and people will be able to understand and they'll be supportive. As long as someone still has a sense of justice, or still has a good side, and can still be saved, he'll give support." Our table at the park was visited constantly throughout the day. One teenage boy who had previously signed the banner came back with his brother and sister. He wanted to write more and got the courage to write, "Come home soon". His sister read it and said, "You're so sweet". I realized that Dafa and this event truly could bring families closer together.
I found out during this event that I could directly contribute to the persecution if my Righteous Thoughts weren't adequate. There were a couple of occasions where I didn't want to disrupt the "Happy picnic" setting, by introducing them to the persecution of our sister. I sometimes stopped while walking up to people. I had to remind myself that I had to lose my personal gain and saving face attitude. It was the public's opportunity. I reminded myself that every minute that went by, was another minute evil was keeping our sister in jail. It was another minute that evil was holding me in fear, it was another minute a sentient being was kept in the dark about the wondrous Truth of Falun Gong. Everything on different levels was being oppressed. I then learned to examine how well I was assimilated to the Fa and eliminate all preconceptions for better results in the future. The day was great. Nearly everyone signed and supported the event in the park. When we took a lunch break at a nearby deli, we carried the petition sheets and materials. We made friends far and wide. The local hardware store owner encouraged us to display the flyer and a picture of the practitioner on the front door of his store. When we were leaving the town we mentioned that we would be back to update them on progress of the practitioner's situation.
Walking toward freedom
We also participated in a poetry convention. Over five hundred poets from around the world attended. We presented Dafa poetry and art. A lot of people were touched by the beauty and the simplicity of our presentation. We felt that this was a good opportunity to introduce the poets to a new set of values. We wanted to introduce values of Compassion and Tolerance to the audience through the arts. Dafa art and poetry present the audience an opportunity to make a connection to true goodness. They can connect to their true feelings with different a levels of understanding Truth, Compassion and Tolerance, in their lives. Many poets felt the three words of Dafa inspiring. I felt they walked away thinking of what they truly value in their lives, and will try to make improvements to live a better life in the future.
Master's "Teaching the Fa at the Discussion on Creating Fine Art" article came out more than a month after this event, but I now understand our efforts in the past regarding the arts. Master said in "Teaching the Fa at the Discussion of Creating Fine Art," "When the overall morality of society becomes increasingly degenerate, human notions don't just stay the same, they slide down as well. Those Impressionist and Abstractionist things back then completely disregarded correct visual perspective, the transition from light to darkness, and the accuracy of structure. More and more, they pursued so-called 'personal feelings' and mistook that kind of irrational indulgence as liberation of their individual human nature. What they were really doing was restraining their true natures, and indulging postnatal thinking that does not contain the true self."
During the event we talked to many poets about the principles of Truth, Compassion and Tolerance, and the poets agreed that those qualities were missing in a lot of the arts today. We hope through sharing our artistic endeavors that we can demonstrate correct visual perspective through the beauty of the Fa that we embody. They were also touched by the courage of the practitioners in China facing persecution. One young poet was so touched and concerned about the persecution; she wrote a poem dedicated to the practitioners, called "A Poem for the Oppressed". I also realized that the tiny slippers on my artwork that seemed to represent walking toward liberation, is now taking on a different meaning. I now understand the slippers representing the integrity and nobility of those practitioners validating the Fa, in this time of Fa-recitifation. The slippers represent the Godly qualities of practitioners. Master also said in "Teaching the Fa at the Discussion on Creating Fine Art," "Another purpose of Gods' passing on this aspect of culture to human beings was to let humans see the magnificence of Gods, and believe in goodness and evil receiving their due—evildoers will receive retribution, good people will receive blessings, and cultivators will go up to Heaven." I thank Master Li for the opportunities and look forward to newer understandings.
During the Poetry convention there was a Chinese poet and art ambassador featured as a special guest. On one occasion he passed by our booth on his way to a seminar. That might have been the first time he was that close to pure poetry and art. It wouldn't be his last.
Here is a short story about missions fulfilled.
As the convention was coming to a close, there was a short parade, speech, and presentation of awards. I thought that it was a good opportunity to get closer to the Chinese poet, and clarify the Truth to him. I carried a piece of art with me and sent forth my Righteous Thoughts. The Chinese poet was the marshal of the parade. I noticed everyone was congratulating him as he walked by leading the parade. I found myself trying to catch up to him. The closer I wanted to get, the more distant he became. I then realized evil was controlling the situation. Of course the evil was running away. I then decided to stop my pursuit and once I did that, I found myself in the front of the parade line. As he finished his speech I knew it was the opportunity of a lifetime. I approached him politely and introduced myself. I explained the artwork and what it stood for. He understood the art and nodded his head in approval. I had to constantly send fourth righteous thoughts in the minute I stood there with him. I also felt I was on a grand stage and the attendees of the parade were the audience. On one level they were looking at someone presenting art to a man. On another level it might be understood, that they were witnessing a great historic event.
The event ended with an award show. Master arranged it so that a non-practitioner poet and I, who became friends during the conference, sat at a table next to the Chinese poet. My new friend and I had a close bond. I explained to her that I wanted to give Falun Dafa materials to the man. She was Asian and was aware of about human rights issues. She was eager to clarify the Truth to him also. It was amazing to see her accept the responsiblity to give him the materials. I didn't have to say much to her and it was like it was her mission to talk to him. We approach the table and introduced ourselves. We thanked him and my friend bowed in a traditional Asian greeting and handed him a beautiful Dafa bookmark. He gladly accepted the material. He glanced at the pictures on the bookmark and smiled. He looked further on the bookmark and read, "Falun Dafa", he paused then looked at my friend and me, and said, "Thank you." He looked at the bookmark again and I could see on his face and in his posture a sign of satisfaction. It was truly a great moment for everyone.
City to City.
A couple of Daytona, Florida practitioners recently took a family trip to Bulgaria in Europe. They brought with them a yellow banner for the public to sign to show support for our sister and other detainees. The Bulgarian practitioner's families and friends were eager to help and the practitioner left them with instructions on how to get involved in their local area in Bulgaria.
We had an art event recently in Florida and presented the Bulgarian banner to the public. The people who saw it were amazed that Bulgaria knew about their city of Palm Coast, Florida. They learned that Bulgarians are just as concerned about their neigbor as they are. Dafa truly brings families, people and countries together. Remember I said that nearly everybody signed for support at the fireman/police picnic a few weeks back? Well, at the picnic there was a firefighter who forgot to sign because he was in line for food. At the art event I met him again. He came and sat, talked for a while, and signed the petition form. He and everyone I met, have the practitioner's situation on their minds now. Several people said that they were familiar with her situation. It was good to hear.
In this paper I summed up some understandings I had obtained. Dafa gives true freedom to choose for you not to be bound to your own ideas, and notions. Trusting Dafa could benefit those around us and create an environment of pure land.
I would like to end with a quote from Master Li, from "Teaching the Fa at the Discussion on Creating Fine Art," "The vast cosmos, and everything that is in the immense cosmic universe… when human beings truly believe in Gods and truly go about depicting Gods, Gods will show those things to human beings. It is the most perfect, most sacred, and what mankind yearns for and their most wonderful resting place. Therefore, what the works can depict is boundless."
I hope, in the future, through my actions as a Dafa disciple, to make breakthroughs toward a higher understanding of how to be limitless. I hope my brothers and sisters in China will continue to do the same, because I personally feel every practitioner is striving to do our best in following the Fa and to end the persecution.
These are views that are limited and I look forward to anyone's correction.
Thank you, Master Li Hongzhi.