PureInsight | January 30, 2006
[PureInsight.org] Greetings Teacher Li! Greetings fellow practitioners!
I. How I started to practice Falun Gong – My personal cultivation experiences
I would like to start my sharing with a poem by a Falun Gong practitioner called
"Look but Don't See"
"I was blinded by the ten thousand things so I climbed the highest mountain hoping I could see. Everything was made of metal, wood, water, earth and fire. I left the mountains in search of a forest deep. I made my home among the singing birds sleeping beside the deer and doe. I sat in quiet meditation both day and night by a mist-filled waterfall, and no matter where I looked I could not see. One day traveling in the world of man a book appeared both blue and gold, and the word inside said, "The Buddha's Fa is most profound among all theories in the world." Now everywhere I look I could see."
I was born the last day of May in 1953 - the era called the "Cold War." The United States and Russia were still at a deadlock, neither side giving ground. Communism was hotly debated in the mainstream media and at our nation's Capitol. That period of time seemed to be so long ago today, almost like a dream.
Some forty years later, almost half a century after my birth, I was able to do what doctors would say is impossible, I was born again figuratively speaking. I had the same name, same job, some family and friends, but something was different: I wanted to practice Falun Dafa! The date was November 1998. I'll never forget my real birthday. This time I was born into a world characterized by three universal principles. They are the real three treasures to my life! We call them Zhen Shan Ren. To be born twice in one life time was auspicious I thought. It was during the time we call Thanksgiving that I gained the Fa. I had so much to be thankful that winter in 1998.
II. Falun Gong comes to Orange County
Falun Gong was brought to our city around August 1998 by a female Chinese practitioner coming from New York. A local exercise site was established at her apartment complex in November 1998. She had brought with her a treasure no one could afford to buy. This treasure was so easy to see radiating from her heart as she passed each one of us a copy of Zhuan Falun to read as we sat in a small group on the grass. This was the beginning of all things good that came into my life, into the lives of those other people sitting there with her and to all those sentient beings calling Orange County their home.
III. Returning to one's true self
Before I practiced Falun Dafa and read "Lun Yu," my life was like being in a prison. Though no bars or walls could be seen, my attachments had kept me confined for so long. The warden that oversaw this prison was my selfish, egocentric being formed day after day, night after night, following endless roads in my human heart and unenlightened mind that had taken me no where. I merely performed on the stage of my life according to the whims and needs of my countless attachments that pushed and pulled me this way and that way. Once I read Zhuan Falun just one time, I came to understand what I did before was only strengthening the hold of my attachments over my life and future. The arrival of Dafa to my life quickly liberated my whole being, touching everyone's life around me with a boundless compassion and pure, genuine benevolence. I was alive, really alive once again! I learned from Zhuan Falun, and I could walk on the earth again with a sacred awareness of the true meaning and purpose to my life. Thanks to Master Li! In "Teaching the Fa at San Francisco 2005," Master Li said, "As long as you walk straight your own cultivation path here in the human world, everyone will see you in a positive light." Looking back, I can see that once my life was connected to this Dafa, the freedom I experienced each day as a Dafa disciple would transcend the narrow and limited understanding of the word freedom I thought I knew. The public teachings of Falun Dafa by our Teacher from 1992 have brought so much hope and meaning to the sentient beings.
IV. Fa Rectification and the Epoch Times
Like my two previous births, I almost feel that in July 1999 I was born a third time figuratively speaking. Fa rectification has given birth to many wonderful and unimaginable positive changes to my life. The biggest change that has come about is in thinking of these first and their future. This thought has become something of a compass to help me navigate through the dark and venomous waters of the persecution and to eliminate the evil and wicked winds the CCP has formed to ship wreck sentient beings who are waiting for the Fa. I believe during this time of Fa rectification my heart has been born again and again so I could understand clearly the role I was to play in fulfilling our historic mission as Fa rectification disciples. In "Teaching the Fa at San Francisco 2005," Teacher said, "Because it's done amidst the realities of human society it is truly the cultivator himself who handles himself well amidst worldly gain, who under intense worldly temptations manages to discard human attachments and discard all sorts of entanglements that arise from emotion." So during this time I struggled to rise by being upwards to join the many particles of Fa rectification, creating the one body we all know. I have seen the brilliance of Dafa manifestations time and time again. One place in particular where Dafa's wisdom shines through is the development of the Epoch Times.
I wrote a poem titled,
"The Brilliance of Dafa"
"Like a rare pearl we are cultivated one at a time. One next to the other brilliant and bright like millions of lotus flowers rising from the deep, into the sunlight for the whole world to see. Society calls us precious, responsible and something they need. Governments bestow upon us their trust and belief. We speak many languages so everyone can know the truth. We turn strangers into friends with just a smile. We open hearts with a flyer and give understanding with our words. We are Dafa disciples and our voice is being heard. How precious how righteous our actions and deeds can be. We live beside them caring compassionately. We share to every country this great Fa. Thank you Master for the brilliance of Dafa!"
The Chinese edition of the Epoch Times is truly a wonder to me. I became involved with the paper late in my cultivation. In our city the paper had been distributed for some time. One Chinese practitioner had the entire responsibility herself for quite a while until she moved to New York. She often asked for help but I never volunteered. When she left, a western practitioner took over the opportunity to continue making the paper available in our city. She also asked for help as well in emails and in group discussions. Like before I still didn't make an effort to help her with the paper. Looking back at that time I see I didn't have a good understanding of the Fa. I didn't see clearly the role the paper could play in Fa rectification. I should have supported this righteous deed sooner, so that the losses we incurred due to the lack of anyone selling ads and limited distribution of the paper could have been less. During the truth clarification project in Manhattan, I stayed in a practitioner's home in Queens. A practitioner from Atlanta had moved to New York to help with the Chinese Epoch Times sales and marketing. He had been involved with the paper probably from the beginning. He frequently shared with me why it is important to support the paper. I also felt that Master gave me big hints from time to time so that I could see clearly the need for each state to provide a stable environment for the Chinese and English Epoch Times newspaper to grow. Once I made the breakthrough, I saw my shortcoming in this respect. I immediately discussed this issue with other practitioners and made plans accordingly to help with the paper. I was very glad that I overcome the notion that I didn't have time to do this, which was the biggest obstacle to me in supporting the paper. I reinforced my trust in Master and cleaned out my notions. After that, my concept of time started to become more flexible and I felt like what needed to get done would get done for the Fa so easily.
As my heart changed, I saw countless opportunities and chances to improve myself and the environment for the Fa rectification in my locality. I started to deliver the Chinese Epoch Times in the adjacent counties, while another practitioner took on the responsibility to organize the distribution of the English Epoch Times newspaper. He went to our public bus station to get permission to distribute the paper to the many sentient beings riding the bus to work and around town. He talked to Greyhound Bus station to give those travelers a chance to read the Chinese or English version of The Epoch Times. He even made a plan to go to our international airport to distribute the newspaper. It is worth mentioning here that a local practitioner shouldered the cost of the paper alone, which has made it possible to pass the truth information on to the precious sentient beings in my region via this magnificent paper. Her help was as well so wonderful!
Now we have two more people to help distribute both papers in our city. We distribute the English and Chinese papers in two ways. We leave a quantity of papers at a Hotel or a Chinese grocery store for people to freely pick up a current copy. The other way is that we take the paper directly to a western or Chinese business. This second way is very remarkable, because it gives me and the other practitioners a chance to meet the readers face to face. The things we have learned from going to a business personally on a weekly basis are invaluable. By doing so, we can develop a warm and open relationship with the business and their employees. We get to see the clear and decisive role the Epoch Times plays in exposing the CCP, as well as getting the reader's response directly. The reports on the persecution of Falun Gong, which are unavailable in many western or Chinese media, are given full play in the Epoch Times. I have distributed many kinds of truth clarification materials inside the US and in other countries. In comparison to the Epoch Times, I feel that the Epoch Times can more easily enable a reader to gain a broad and detailed understanding of the CCP's evil root and its notorious beginnings. The Epoch Times is a multifaceted weapon capable of breaking all the lies the Chinese communist government has planted around the world. I believe the Chinese communist regime greatly underestimated the practitioners' ability to bring into reality something as powerful as the Epoch Times. As of now, we don't have enough papers to reach everyone who wants one due to its ever-increasing popularity. Some Chinese business has told me: please leave more; don't forget me; please leave one for my friend. Some of them even read the Chinese headlines to me in English or share their insights with me for a few moments when they see the front page. At one time, I left papers at a Chinese business and the person inside ran out quickly to catch me before I left to ask for more papers.
In "Teaching the Fa at San Francisco 2005," Teacher said, "The goal of you clarifying the truth is so save as many sentient beings as possible, and those who have been poisoned the most severely are none other than the Chinese people." Each weekend I look forward to reading Epoch Times and to distribute the paper as far and wide as possible. We have a lot of opportunity in our state to develop a stable environment for the two papers. I hope next report I can say more.
Thank you, Master! Thank you, my fellow practitioners, for giving me such a wonderful opportunity to share with you about my personal cultivation.