PureInsight | September 26, 2005
[PureInsight.org] First, on behalf of our Virginia Fa-study group, I would like to share the cultivation experience of our group Fa-study.
After July 20, 1999 since everybody became busier with Dafa work, besides the weekly large group Fa-study, only a few practitioners in Washington D.C, went to the local small group Fa-study. However, our Fa-study group has been persisting for 6 years. Sometimes, more than 10 practitioners come to study the Fa, and usually at least 8 or 9 practitioners come. Our Fa-study group experienced a big change since last year. Before, we spent more time on chatting, instead of sharing experiences. To correct this problem, we realized that we need to start doing well ourselves, and reminding each other when problems arise. There is something special about our group: we always have new practitioners and those who don't often attend our activities coming to our group study. Actually, it is more important to share experience with these practitioners, for we have the responsibility of helping them catch up with the state of Fa-rectification. An elderly practitioner from Mainland China said that she always looks forward very much to the Tuesday group Fa-study. This practitioner conducts herself very well in everyday society, but she is often unclear about some fundamental issues in cultivation. The major problem was that she did not completely trust in Master. To solve this problem, we started a detailed discussion after studying the Fa, trying to help her find her attachment. We found, after all, that fundamentally she doesn't believe in the existence of gods. However, she knows that Dafa is good. So, if you ask her to give up cultivation, she cannot let it go either. She told us that every time she comes to USA, she sees a lot of changes in us, and she also sees that we are very good people, so she thinks that Dafa is amazing.
When she started improving herself, the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party were published, which she felt hard to accept. She thought that we were getting political after all. So she refused to read the Nine Commentaries. She is a senior Communist Party member. Although her father was persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), she is loyal to it. In her mind, the CCP is not good, but our evaluation of it is too extreme too. Every time we discussed this, she always defended the CCP consciously or subconsciously. We worried about her. Some practitioners even thought about giving up on her. But Master told us, "even when there's just once thread of hope, I will give him hope" (Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference). We spent a whole night discussing this problem with several rational practitioners. After the discussion, some of her notions and problems were solved, and what's more important is that she decided to start reading the Minghui website, for she had negative feeling toward Minghui in the past. After some time, she finally got herself out of the CCP's trap. She sensed our care for her, and she decided to look inward deeply. Although it was quite a painful experience, she felt much better after that. She watched a lot of truth-clarifying videos carefully at home, and in the end, she finally accepted the truth that Dafa is supernormal and gods exist. Once she accepted this, she had a completely different feeling when reading the Nine Commentaries again. She withdrew from the Party, and now feels more confident when she talks about the Nine Commentaries to her family. When her husband laughed at her, and said, "They [the Nine Commentaries] dug up the tomb of our ancestor, and you are still speaking for them?" she replied, "How many years has CCP been in power? How can you see it as your ancestor?" Her husband was then speechless.
It seems, on the surface level, that we helped this practitioner to improve, but actually, in this process, we all improved. Although we were sharing our own understanding of the Nine Commentaries, we actually had some unsolved problems about it in our own minds. After sharing, our problems were also solved. After the sharing, one practitioner, who doesn't read Minghui very often, and doesn't come to our activities very often, also started reading Minghui, and voluntarily passing out English Epoch Times in the subway station every week.
There is a 6-year-old practitioner in our group, who always reads with us. One day she was very serious and focused when reading. She told us that she had a dream the previous night, in which Master told her that she should strive forward diligently and not be naughty. Even young practitioners share their experiences with us.
One new practitioner, who obtained the Fa one year ago, experienced a big change both spiritually and physically. She not only got rid of all the medicine she had been taking, but also involved herself in Fa-rectification. This practitioner is very sincere. She always shares with us, whenever she has questions, and she can view issues from the Fa. She brought a big positive influence on our group with respect to opening our hearts when discussing. In the last year, she never missed a Fa-study.
Every time we come to the environment of group Fa-study, it is like bathing in clean water. The clean water of Dafa washes away all our human notions. We also cherish this environment. When a fellow practitioner's sharing deviates from the Fa, we always point it out and send forth righteous thoughts to help our fellow practitioner to correct it. Studying the Fa in a group is also improving and correcting ourselves as a group. Several years ago, we ignored doing exercise, and the excuse was that we were all busy with Fa-rectification jobs. Sometimes during the Fa conference, instead of listening to fellow practitioners' sharing, we went outside to discuss our own projects. Later, since we saw our bad cultivation status, we studied the Fa more carefully and looked inward deeply and we felt ashamed of our behavior. Following the crowd is not cultivation. We should take the Fa as teacher. Group Fa-study, group exercise and Fa conferences are the cultivation forms Master gave us and it is also the environment that practitioners in Mainland China dream about. How can we not cherish it? About a year ago, several practitioners, who live close to each other, resumed the outside group exercise every morning. When in the group Fa-study, we also encourage other practitioners to come. Now, more and more practitioners come to the group exercise. Every time, after doing the exercises, we not only feel refreshed, but also have the happy feeling of being rectified. It is this righteous field that brings the beauty of Dafa to the neighbors of our exercise site, and brings more people with predestined relationships to us. Some of our neighbors already started learning with us. One month ago, because of our exercise site, a person who was from another state got a chance to learn Dafa. He not only got rid of his misunderstanding of Dafa and China issues, but also started reading the Fa, doing the exercise and clarifying the truth.
Now, I would like to share some of my experiences of soliciting advertisements.
Once, a practitioner told me that we have enough technology to save the sentient beings, but we don't have enough money to use it effectively. The old forces tried their best to keep those sentient beings, whose purpose of coming to this world with a lot of money is to help Master rectify the Fa, from obtaining the Fa. Although we built up media, it is too hard for most of us to solicit ads. I had been hesitating for a year before I really started doing it. Master said, "When it is difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it is impossible to do, you can do it." I grew to understand this principle deeply at the beginning of my work to solicit advertising. At the beginning, I felt like I was sitting on the tip of the needle as soon as I stepped into my potential customer's door. But I always comforted myself with the thought: "Why can't we achieve the task which even an everyday person can achieve? Moreover, we can bring the customers the things that an everyday person cannot, which is a bright future." Soliciting ads is also a process of improving as a whole. At the very beginning, because I misunderstood a customer's words over the phone, a practitioner was very angry and told me not to solicit English ads. I was upset that the practitioner treated me this way, but I had one thread of feeling that it was the interference from the old evil force. At that time, my husband, who is also a practitioner, encouraged me and asked me to broaden my heart. I didn't give up then. Later, I cooperated with this practitioner very well. We encourage and help each other.
By now, although I haven't sold very many ads, I already feel relaxed when dealing with the customers, and I am able to do it calmly. Looking back, all the ads I have sold, were brought to me by a certain predestined relationship, and also were opportunities to clarify the truth. I never hide from potential customers the fact that I am a Falun Gong practitioner. I also estimate their ability of acceptance, and clarify the truth to them accordingly. Shortly after I started soliciting ads, I realized that doing this is one of the best ways to clarify the truth, and what I am doing now is to make the bonds to those who were my friends and family in the previous lives all over the world.
Last year, for some reason, I took notice of the ads in a Korean newspaper. I then went to some Korean business owners. Although I had very little experience, I still sold several ads. When English Epoch Times first started publishing daily in Washington D.C., there were only ads from New York, but none from D.C. I was concerned about this, so I called several American businesses, but had no results. Then I changed the way I did it. I started delivering the newspaper to those businessmen whose offices are close to us, and asked them if they would like to place an ad to in our newspaper. One day, a businessman whose office is very close to my house accepted my offer. I talked to him about the goal of our newspaper and the persecution of Falun Gong in China, including the persecution of my mother. When we talked about Westerners adopting Chinese babies, I sincerely expressed my appreciation of that. We signed a contract 30 minutes later. This success gave me a boost in confidence in soliciting English ads. Later several businessmen in my neighborhood bought advertisement space from me and became my friends. To be honest, they don't know about our newspaper very much, but they all trust in my kindness and sincerity.
Later, an American businessman told me the traditional way Americans do business: First, they give the customer something, such as a free newspaper, then see if the customer would like do business with you or not. It doesn't matter if he or she doesn't want to do business, because he or she will broadcast your friendly and kind personality to others. I just realized that even this traditional business way also fits the Fa principles on some level. We should consider others first. Although Dafa practitioners don't have too much professional training, we have the most precious nature. How we manifest the principle of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance" when dealing with customers is the key to success. Of course we also need to go make the bond of the predestined relationship.
Last year, we went to a big company to ask them to be a sponsor of the New Year Gala. It seemed that there was no hope to get them to be a sponsor. Right before we left, a woman in this company smiled at us, and started talking to us. She was interested in the Falun emblem we were wearing. Then the topic moved onto Falun Gong naturally. I gave her a copy of the Epoch Times. She said that maybe they would advertise in it. I took this opportunity to introduce our newspaper to her, and exchanged our contact information with her. One month later, I got the first advertisement document from her via email. Since then, they have been one of our biggest customers. In May this year, we were invited to an Asian activities held by their company. Our performance of the exercises was not only popular among everyone in that company, but was also videotaped as a historic event of the company. Recently, I got an appreciation letter from them and the invitation for the same activity next year. Perhaps the predestined relationship is more important than skills when dealing with those big companies.
Sometimes, I forgot the principle of "One should gain things naturally without pursuing them", since I was thinking that the customers can benefit if they buy an advertisement in our newspaper. Once, a customer agreed to do a small advertisement on TV. Although I had been soliciting ads for more than a year, I hadn't sold any TV ads. I was thinking, "Now, I have a start." At the final stage of the business, we started talking about the price. I noticed that he hesitated. Since he is a very nice person, and also knows that Dafa is great, his hesitation was purely from his financial budget. Looking at him, who had a slightly painful expression, all of sudden, I asked myself "How can I, a cultivator, bring pain to others? How can I be like this?" We talk about "One should gain things naturally without pursuing them." How can we forget when the crucial moment comes? So, I adjusted my heart, and told him it really did not matter if he cannot do it now. He said in August or September, his financial budget for a TV ad will be bigger, and he will do it then for sure. I made up my mind to ask him again then, but even if he still cannot do it, we are still going to be friends.
There are only a few practitioners soliciting ads in D.C. It is very important to encourage others to get involved in this. I realized this a long time ago. But I had a concern. I was afraid that if other practitioners go soliciting ads with me together, they would think that I did a bad job, and that they could not learn anything from me. My husband pointed out that this is a wrong thought. Later, I enlightened that if a person like me, who is not very good at this, can still sell ads, then wouldn't others sell more? I told myself, it is not important that others praise me. So, I encouraged myself to bring other practitioners to solicit ads with me. As I expected, after doing this with me, other practitioners realized that it is not hard at all, and then got rid of their fear of it, and gained more confidence. Sometimes, when I cannot understand customers' words, other practitioners take over for me. I feel much happier seeing other practitioners doing business and clarifying the truth with fluent English.
I used to feel sorry for myself because I could do nothing but stay home with two children at such a young age. Now, I have this job of soliciting ads. I really cherish it and also appreciate the opportunity arranged by Master. This job not only increases my income slightly, but also, and more importantly, it is the opportunity for us to manifest the principle of "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance." and an opportunity to broadcast our media, to make the bond and relationship with sentient beings, and to reduce our financial burden. After the brave people, Chen Yonglin and Hao Fengjun, withdrew from the CCP, I enlightened that we will have an icebreaker in the field of the economy. Deeper and deeper I sense the celestial change. I hope more and more fellow practitioners can sense it too. Only more when practitioners feel this way, will we not miss any opportunities, and we will be able to break old evil forces' block in the field of economy, and save more sentient beings.