A Journey to New York: A Weekend of Clarifying the Facts in Manhattan

A Practitioner from North Amer

PureInsight | September 20, 2004


1. An anti-torture exhibition
In order to save money, I decided to take the bus to New York City. After a whole night's ride, the bus entered New York City. The sun had come out, but it appeared and disappeared on and off because of the dark clouds. The whole sky was also gray. So, I started to send forth righteous thoughts in my heart.

After getting off the bus and having a simple breakfast, I hurried to an anti-torture exhibition. It was still early when I arrived, but there were already some practitioners there. I then practiced the exercises for a while and passed out truth clarifying materials at a subway exit. A female practitioner who was passing out flyers did not want to miss even one person. While she gave out materials to every single person passing in front of her, she would say, "Persecution in China. Please support human rights." It was very touching.

Perhaps the New Yorkers have gotten used to different kinds of solicitation, so not very many people took my materials. Later on, I found a display board on which was a picture of a previous anti-torture exhibition; a close-up of a practitioner behind bars with injuries around the mouth. Written on the board was, "Persecution of Falun Gong is happening in China now!" I held the board up high only several steps away from the exit and at the same time I started to send forth righteous thoughts to the subway station and to every person passing by. I could see that many people saw the board before they completely came out of the station. I then noticed that more people started to accept the materials. The letters on the board were very big, so people could finish reading them within one or two seconds. This way, even though many people did not take the material, they still got to know some truth.

After the anti-torture exhibition started, more people paid attention to us. Some took the materials and others came over to ask what was going on. When people learned that peaceful, kindhearted practitioners of Falun Gong have been suffering these tortures, and even more severe persecution in China, they were shocked.
A lady was waiting for the green light to cross the street when a practitioner asked her if she wanted a flyer. She then asked what the flyer was. After listening to practitioner's explanation, she was moved and said that she saw us clarifying the facts before but didn't take materials. Only now she finally understands what is going on. Later on, she also gave us some suggestions on how to better clarify the facts.
We had more and more display boards, so I turned mine towards the intersection. This way the cars and people in both directions could see.

2. The Wall of Courage
After lunch, we went to participate in the Wall of Courage. There were not many people at the beginning but, later, more and more practitioners came. Everyone held either a banner or display board quietly, which formed a clear contrast with the noisy street.

Many people passing by took our flyers. Drivers in the cars waiting for traffic lights also looked at us from time to time. Some practitioners went to ask them if they would like to have a flyer, and most of them rolled dawn the windows and took the material. One person stretched out his hand from the sunroof asking us for material. A young man riding on his bike waved to us when passing by and shouted out: "I support you!"

To avoid blocking the traffic, all the practitioners stood on the roadside of the sidewalk. In addition to the boards facing the coming and going traffic, some practitioners faced their banners and boards to the sidewalk, so those people too could understand what we were doing.

3. Sending forth righteous thoughts in front of the Chinese consulate
Afterwards, we went to the Chinese consulate to send forth righteous thoughts. I realized that maintaining strong righteous thoughts was very critical or else one would be easily interfered with.

After sending forth righteous thoughts, I felt a little bit tired. It seemed very hard for me to stand up and I wanted to keep sitting and rest for a while. However, when I saw that other practitioners stood up and started doing the exercises, I wanted to join them. With this one thought, all the tired feeling disappeared.

4. Candle light vigil
Originally, I had not planned anything after sending forth righteous thoughts at the Chinese consulate, but practitioners said there would be a candlelight vigil in the evening, so I decided to go along. In the twilight at dusk, each lit candle carried our mourning to the practitioners being persecuted to death.

Across the street was a luxury hotel where some representatives attending the Republican Convention were staying. A lady passing by asked, "Are you here to protest against the Republican Party?" Practitioners answered, "No. We just want to them know about the ongoing persecution of Falun Gong." Another practitioner added, "We also went to Boston for the Democratic National Convention." The lady said, "Then, I get it."

5. Sharing with practitioners
Before going to bed, practitioners had a brief sharing. Some people said that passing out truth materials should not be limited to letting people take them. We should also use our mouths to talk. I thought it was indeed very true, because people only saw us passing out flyers, but didn't know why we were doing it. Maybe they thought we were passing out some advertisement. Some people saw the pictures of practitioners doing exercises but didn't learn anything about the persecution, so they thought it had nothing to do with them. There were also some people who briefly saw the anti-torture exhibition, and they know that some type of persecution is going on, but do not know who is being persecuted and for what reason. Besides, many people on the street do not take flyers, so we have to talk to them to clarify the facts.

A western practitioner saw some practitioners jabbing materials in front of western people and at the same time saying, "Falun Dafa is good!" He thought we could think about how to improve and make it easier for people to accept. For example, learning one or two sentences of English if possible, such as "Persecution in China!" or "Please support human rights" and so on.

Other practitioners pointed out that when doing exercises, the movements should be as accurate as possible and, as a group, our movements should be as uniform as possible. Some practitioner's hand positions deviated a lot or did not match with the music due to either fatigue or not paying attention. All of these things could be seen by the people on the street and perhaps cause a negative impression.

6. Another anti-torture exhibition
Time was tight on Sunday morning. After practicing the first exercise, we started Fa-study. Then we ate some food and left for the site of the anti-torture exhibition. The time was still early, so most of the practitioners there were doing exercises. A few were passing out flyers. I originally planned to do the exercises too, but I noticed that only one or two elderly practitioners were passing out flyers. Remembering the discussion of the previous night that we need to talk more, and thinking that I can speak some English, I decided to pass out flyers.

After a while, some practitioners told me that many people on the other side of the street could see us but no one was there to give them flyers, so I went over. Still, some people took the flyers and some didn't. So, I started to talk to people. A woman in her twenty's or thirty's was standing there waiting for something. I went over and asked: "Have you heard about Falun Gong?" She nodded: "Yes." "Then, have you heard about the persecution?" "Maybe a little bit." She answered. I then started to tell her that many people had been arrested and detained because of practicing Falun Gong. At least 1000 plus people had been persecuted to death. She then took a flyer.
In general, I feel the effect of clarifying the truth was very good. There is no need to be nervous or anxious. Speaking slowly can help others understand more clearly.

Passing out the truth materials
Later on, I went with practitioners to busy 42nd street to pass out truth materials. There were many people there. Some already had flyers in their hands. Obviously, other practitioners were also passing out materials nearby.

Again, I was at a subway exit. Men and women, old and young, the stream of people was running without stopping. However, very few people took the flyers. I felt uneasy in my heart; people can eat to fill their stomach, buy clothes to keep them warm, make money to fill their wallets and go sightseeing to enjoy New York City, but what can truly bring them inner peace and justice in the world? Can you slow down your busy walk and not miss this rare chance?

There were also many touching stories. Some people came over asking for materials, some people had heard about us and were very supportive, some people wanted to learn the exercises as soon as they heard the introduction and asked where to find the practice site. When I found the contact numbers for several surrounding states, they were all very happy. Some people were far away from me and I didn't have time to give them flyers. When they looked over at me and looked at the words, "Falun Gong" written on my yellow T-shirt, I would nod my head with smile, thinking that maybe next time they would have the chance to take a flyer.

I noticed later on that we would have had a better effect if two or three practitioners were together, with one passing out flyers and another holding a persecution display board or doing exercises.

Return journey
When I took the subway to the bus station, I took the wrong direction in my haste. I got off at the next stop and verified the correct direction with a man next to me. He kindly helped me. I asked him if he had heard of Falun Gong. He said no. So I got out a Falun Dafa Reader and opened to the middle to show him the picture of practitioners doing the exercises with the title with Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. There were also a picture of Dafa spreading to over more than 60 countries and regions and pictures of the brutal persecution. When I started explaining, he asked, "What can I do to help?" I told him that he could tell others, write a letter to government officials (such as congress people) asking them to support justice. He said he would. Within one minute I had clarified the truth to him.

Two days had passed very fast. On the way home, looking at the stream of cars out of the window, it seemed that my heart was still in Manhattan.

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2004/9/2/28977.html

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