A Butterfly Leaves Its Cocoon

A Practitioner from Florida

PureInsight | March 19, 2006

[PureInsight.org]  (Los Angeles Fahui, 2006) 
The opportunity to help with the many activities taking place in the
Manhattan project came early on during the winter of 2004. 
Another practitioner and I helped to move an Orlando practitioner to
Queens; we drove her 20 foot moving truck up to New York from
Florida.  Her moving to New York provided us and countless
practitioners a place to live while we where helping with the Manhattan
project for 14 months.  


I settled into helping at the Torture Exhibition Sites found at some of
Manhattan's most heavily traveled locations.  Once we arrived in
Manhattan I found things where not exactly as I had envisioned. 
Unknown to me my attachments had clouded the real picture of things
that actually faced the practitioners on this small island filled with
all the world's people.  The people I encountered in and around
Manhattan's busiest streets where much different than those in
Florida.   New Yorkers during my initial meetings
seemed cold, indifferent, and hard.  I recall how my first few
trips to a Torture site at Lexington Ave I picked up a bundle of papers
called Falun Gong Today to distribute to the ocean of people forming
wave after wave passing me by.  I had never been surrounded by so
many people like the streets of New York can be. I clearly remember an
hour later I still had the heavy stack of hundreds of Falun Gong Today
in my tired arms.  It was like I was invisible, inaudible, just
plain didn't exist to the thousands of eyes that walked right pass me
never looking our way, never stopping their stride.  By the end of
the day I was tired from standing, confused about how to reach the
multitude of sentient beings walking by us each moment and really
disillusioned with my efforts to do better.  Master had said, "Our
compassion could melt steel," but the best I could do couldn't even
melt butter.   


Since everyone was from somewhere else and we all really didn't know
each other well everyone equally had a different understanding of what
to do at the Torture Site. I remember how initially there wasn't a
clear distinction between where we placed the posters that showed Falun
Gong and those that exposed the persecution. Practitioners had
different views on the need for permits from the police department, the
need for sound permits at the torture site and how to talk to the
police when they ask for permits   It was an
on-the-spot-crash course for me to learn to handle these issues from
within the Fa.  My mind had to expand very quickly but it wasn't
always able to keep up. By calling the New York practitioners I was
able to gain a clearer understanding of what to do. My mind, I was
beginning to sense, was too rigid for this kind of dynamic fast-paced
environment. It would have to change.


Bamboo and steel

At the Torture site, practitioners where quick to point out my
attachments in English and Chinese.  Even when I didn't really
understand their point of view I knew I should harmonize my efforts to
help.  I felt it was safer to cross the street at rush hour than
to stay there with those practitioners and face those
tribulations.  As we rode the subway back to Flushing and the bus
back to Queens my mind tried to make sense of the first few trips in
Manhattan.  I remember falling asleep in a practitioner's basement
so lost in thought over my actions.  I knew before I finally dozed
off that the practitioners all wanted the same thing, to save sentient
beings and they where only trying to help me.


Blazing my path

I planned to return to New York every month until the Manhattan project
came to a conclusion.  Returning to the complicated environment in
Manhattan in the following months I had a taste of the speed at which
things happen in New York. Because New York was a special place I had
studied the Fa more than usual, I knew to increase my righteous
thoughts, and, just as important, I discussed with Florida
practitioners in our study group my short comings, tribulations and
attachments.  I told them in Florida that it was if I had started
to practice Falun Gong for the first time.

I wanted to make each passing hour at the torture site count because
you can sense the day passing by so quickly there with all the
practitioners' righteous actions. It's easy to tell something
remarkable was unfolding for all of New York: the environment was
vital, alive and so dynamic.  I learned in New York that I really
didn't understand New Yorkers or their way of life. I wanted them to
accept Dafa materials but they just walked by. When they did stop to
look at the exhibit if I walked up to them they didn't even notice
me.   I realized that New Yorkers just really concentrate on
what they are doing they weren't trying to be cold or
indifferent.  I laughed at myself for not really realizing this
earlier. I immediately felt compassion fill the spaces of my heart
right in the moment right there on those streets surrounded by so many
people it was an indescribable and wonderful feeling to grow, to let go
of my misunderstandings.

Righteous Actions
I learned from a Taiwanese practitioner
the importance of speaking out loud to the people passing by.  It
wasn't uncommon to see practitioners in the beginning stages just
standing there with a handful of flyers.   The many
practitioners that came created a corridor of hope and salvation on the
populated streets of New York.  But so many everyday people came
and went in a short period of time this one practitioner realized the
need to say something out loud from her heart to them.  Her
benevolent voice awakened them and they almost always turned to look
and listen to her, some would then look at the posters as they passed
by or see the practitioners extending a flyer to them.  She and
her small son would be on the streets all day and she frequently looked
my way since there where not many western practitioners at all the
sites. It was as if her eyes where asking me to join her to say
something.  It seemed so strange to me then to talk out loud to a
strange group of people walking by in such a hurry.  The words
didn't fall off my tongue so easily but I finally spoke. It felt like a
butterfly leaving its cocoon.  We all where learning from each
other each passing day how to improve our efforts there, Dafa's wisdom
I found was like a sharp sword on the streets on New York eliminating
evils domain.


  Other times my voice seemed to be targeted by evil, trying to
make me feel like my throat was too sore, too dry to speak. When this
condition would arrive because we would frequently talk all day long, I
stopped for a few moments and reminded myself why I was there. 
Most times it would pass and I returned to sharing with those New
Yorkers a heart felt compassionate sound bite about the persecution.

Righteous Thoughts  

One cold morning on Manhattan's west side near the New Yorker hotel, a
small group of practitioners wanted set up their Torture Site in front
of a huge skyscraper.  We thought as the people come and go for
lunch or leave at the end of the day we could give them Dafa
materials.  Two of us went inside the building to talk to the
building manager.  Once inside, the security person came to talk
to both of us.  After the New York practitioner explained to the
man our wish to be in front of the building he said, "No!" To everyday
people "no" means "no" but we were practitioners and "no" is kind of
something that exists for a short period of time while you clarify the
truth compassionately.   The other practitioner continued to
express additional reasons why the persecution should be exposed and I
sent forth righteous thoughts to myself.  He in turn recommended
we move to another part of the streets, why stay here? I took a try to
help matters and shared with him about the many people with drawing
from the CCP.  He shared that he too didn't like the Communist
Party either; he even didn't buy things from China. Making one last try
my fellow practitioner politely addressed the wish once more to set up
in front of his building and he said, "No! not now, not ever! I will
call the police." We smiled to him, politely shook his hand and
left.  After a short discussion with the practitioners we all
wanted to stay. As a group we sent forth righteous thoughts as the
Torture Site took shape. Many people stopped. As we passed out flyers
we continued to maintain strong righteous actions and thoughts to
ourselves.  He never came out and the police never showed
up.  It was a moment I'll always remember.

Eliminating the Evil

I have one last experience to share with you all.  At first many
practitioners came to support an abundant number of Torture
Sites.  As the season changed the number of practitioners that
came dwindled and fewer torture sites could be found around this tiny
island at the center of a huge cosmic battle.  A core group of
practitioners from Taiwan seemed to always be there though many others
I am sure that I never saw played a role as well.  Because the
practitioners had been there for so long I noticed how all of the
practitioners seemed to have a role to play.  The exhibition site
went up in the morning and came down at night with amazing speed and
care. I was delighted when, many times, elderly practitioner showed me
how to put the pieces together. I was touched to see two or three small
ladies carry a heavy container on and off the truck.  I saw the
wisdom of Dafa manifest in the most ordinary things at the torture site
that made me recognize the power and potential of each
practitioner.  This made me understand even better the role we
have at each level of society whether in New York or somewhere
else.  Any job or task undertaken by the practitioners in New
York, I saw, had the underlying current of the Fa to support it and it
would be able to succeed in ways ordinary people could not
duplicate.  In all kinds of weather, under all different kinds of
circumstances, I saw the magnificence of Dafa.  This allowed me to
see the body of Dafa as something really unshakeable.  The bond I
developed there on the streets of New York ran much deeper than the
friendship and acquaintances of everyday people.  It was not the
kind based upon ching but one
created from sharing the same righteous ground, the single purpose of
exposing the evil, and the joy that goes with that we all know at the
end of a long cold or hot wet day.  The practitioners all taught
me so much I began to see them all as artist, like a sculptor in front
of a piece of marble they helped me chip away at my form as my
attachments fell to the side. What remained was something far better
than when I arrived.

One person I met introduced himself as a practitioner. He spoke both
English and Chinese. He was able to talk to the other practitioners
about the police and permits, explain where we could be in front of a
store according to manager or help in discussing where to set up on the
streets with other vendors.  We passed out countless flyers on the
streets side by side; this person sent forth righteous thoughts and did
the exercises with us all   He stayed there all day until
nightfall.  He was the first in the truck when it arrived and then
always stayed to help load the Torture Site up at night.  One time
in the pouring down rain he met us in Chinatown to give us flyers for
the Children's Charity concert in Tribecca. One day reading Clearwisdom.net
I saw his picture and the caption that exposed him as a CCP special
agent.  I now realize when we where on the streets together I was
not only to clarify the truth to the sentient being there but also to
him.  He saw everything we did.  Master had given him so many
chances to see in great detail the heart of us all in a free and open
society.  Likewise Master's protection surround us at every
moment, cultivation is truly a serious matter. 

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