Inspirations from the Visit to a Congressman's Local Office

A Falun Gong Practitioner in N

PureInsight | July 4, 2005

I. Visiting a Congressman's Local Office

A few days ago we had an activity in a nearby city to promote Falun Gong. We took the opportunity to visit a congressman's local office there. The congressman had not been very supportive of Falun Gong, but he played a key role in a resolution regarding China's persecution against Falun Gong. Consequently, it is essential for us to clarify the truth to him.

The five of us came to his local office, but he was not there. It was his assistant that met with us. As soon as we explained the purpose of our visit, she told us that she had just returned from a trip to China and that she knows about Falun Gong.

In the following 15 minutes, the assistant did most of the talking and it was very difficult to interrupt her. She told us that the Chinese government officials avoided the subject of Falun Gong when they visited China. It was her understanding that the Chinese government decided to ban Falun Gong because there were too many Falun Gong practitioners in China. She also told us that the Chinese government officials she had met in China were not honest about the human rights violations in China.

Surprisingly, she went on saying that she did not have much opinion about Falun Gong because she is a Christian. She added that she did not believe that the congressman would cosign the resolution. Because we had to attend our activity and because she had other visitors, all we could do was to show her some photographs of the tortured victims. We left with her some truth-clarification materials and bid her farewell.

On the way out, I felt somewhat frustrated. The visit was not a total waste, but we had had very little time to clarify the truth to her. Besides, it was obvious that she and the congressman had a lot of misunderstandings about Falun Gong. When I shared my thoughts with the other four practitioners, they felt the same way as well.

II. Exchanging Notes with Fellow Practitioners
After today's group Fa study, we had another discussion about the visit to the congressman's office. A western fellow practitioner said that he did not understand why the assistant would be disinclined to recommend that the congressman support the resolution when she knew that the Chinese government is persecuting Falun Gong practitioners. He added that he had met people responding to the persecution the same way. A lot of people know about the persecution, but they feel it has nothing to do with them. Something occurred yesterday that shone some light on the issue.

He said, "When I was chatting and clarifying the truth to my friends and relatives yesterday, they also felt it had nothing to do with them. Then I suddenly realized one thing: Many people perceive Falun Gong as an organization. Consequently, they have the wrong impression that Falun Gong has leaders and that Falun Gong practitioners follow orders to have activities. Since they are not part of the organization, they feel it has nothing to do with them."

He added, "This is a common notion that we must help people get rid of. It is a personal, voluntary decision to become a cultivator. It is also a personal, voluntary decision to clarify the truth about Falun Gong. Falun Gong is not an organization and we most certainly do not clarify the truth about Falun Gong to follow orders."

Many other fellow practitioners offered very good ideas as well. A fellow practitioner said, "Although we were given very little chance to speak at the congressman's office, we could have at least told the congressman's assistant that it was Jiang Zemin that decided to ban and persecute Falun Gong and ordered the Chinese Communist Party to follow his orders. We could have also told the lady that, although a lot of people in China practice Falun Gong, they have never been opposed to the Chinese government. [Hence, the Chinese government has no valid reason to ban Falun Gong.]"

Another fellow practitioner said, "When I was collecting signatures to petition against China's persecution of Falun Gong, a passerby told me that he is a Christian so he did not want to sign the petition. I showed him the photographs of tortured victims and told him, 'Your god would never turn a blind eye to this persecution.' Then the man signed the petition."

In hindsight, I have a lot to work on in my personal cultivation. I rarely clarified the truth to the government officials face to face. Although I repeatedly sent forth righteous thoughts before and during the meeting, I became anxious and upset when the lady kept on talking and did not want to hear what we had to say. When I did get a chance to ask her a question, it came out like an interrogation. Now that I think of it, I did not have enough compassion. If I had visited the congressman's office for the sake of saving the congressman and his staff members, I would have had a bigger heart and more compassion. I had become emotional and upset because I went to the office to "convince" them to "do something for us."

Cultivation is a very serious issue, so is our truth-clarification work. What we talk about and how do we go about doing it reflect our cultivation state, as well as our level of faith in the Fa. How we each overcome demonic tribulations and how we perceive our cultivation practice and Teacher's Fa-rectification reflect many fundamental issues in our cultivation practice. When we encounter a tribulation and do not know how to respond to it, perhaps we should ask ourselves a fundamental question: why do we want to cultivate? Then I believe we will soon remember our roles in Teacher's Fa-rectification and will know what to do.

I have learned that when I regard a truth-clarification project as a task with a specific agenda, people will be less receptive to what I tell them. I have also learned that, when people are less receptive to the truth, it is often a sign that I need to improve my cultivation level.

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