Cultivation Insights from Participating in the Celestial Band

A Dafa Practitioner

PureInsight | September 9, 2006

[] It is due to
Master's compassion and tolerance that I could join the Celestial Band.
At the beginning of this year, I had a dream. In my dream, Master told
me, "This year will be a special year for you." At that time, I
wouldn't have thought of being able to participate in the Celestial
Band like I am doing now.

Several years ago, I had a huge tribulation because I could not get rid
of my attachment and bred demons in my own mind. I fell down so hard
that I almost lost my cultivation opportunity and my life. When I woke
up, I felt extremely weak both physically and mentally. I had to face
tremendous pressure from my spiritual and everyday life. During that
period of time, it was our grand and merciful Master who truly helped
and protected me to move forward one step after another.  At the
Chicago Fa conference in 2004, Master said: "How I look at things is
different from how you or the world's people do. When a human being
sees someone make a mistake he finds it almost unforgivable. But I
don't look at things that way. I look at an entire being overall, and
even when there's just one thread of hope, I'll give him hope." At the
moment when I heard those words, tears kept running down on my face and
I could not stop it. During the process of getting up again, I deeply
understood how grand and merciful our Master is and how lucky I am to
be able to cultivate Dafa. When I attended the tryout for the band, I
apologized to Master in person. Master asked me why. I said that I had
experienced a huge difficulty and had heard things that weren't there.
Master told me kindly, "Teacher only remembers the good things about

I have three officemates who play the trumpet in the band. I only
learned about the band when I heard them practice. Because of the
special location where they held the practice, I didn't feel
comfortable asking more questions. No one asked me whether I wanted to
join the band or not. I thought that I probably wouldn't be given such
an opportunity. In addition, we were so busy with our New Year's Gala.
I could not allow myself to get sidetracked on this matter.

When I watched the Band first perform at the Chinese New Year's Parade,
I was quite shaken up. They wore identical uniforms and showed
cohesiveness as one group. The enormous force they produced shook the
heaven and the earth. I was deeply drawn to the group and really wished
to be a member among them.

Ever since Master talked about blowing the trumpet in Manhattan, I've
often heard people playing the trumpet everywhere, on the streets, in
the subways, etc. I felt that the sound from the trumpet is so unique
and is different from those of other instruments. In my office, there
is a practitioner who is a very good trumpet player. The first time I
heard her play,  I was mesmerized. I thought that the sound is
different from any sound in the human world. Another practitioner
practiced very hard. I was touched by his devotion. Later on, I
couldn't help from joining them and started practicing on my own as

Afterwards, there was one time that the Celestial Band held a practice
session in Manhattan, and I went there. When I heard the music of "Fa
Rectifying the Universe" played by the band, I thought that the music
was so beautiful and touching. I had a wish from the bottom of my heart
at that moment: I no longer cared how much I would have to give or how
much I would lose. I only wanted to give the most beautiful thing to
the world. Before that, because of certain things, I always felt that I
had given too much and in the end I got hurt very much. So I
purposefully learned to protect myself. When I heard the band playing
that piece of music, it purified me and lifted me out of my old state.

I was making very slow progress as a trumpet player. Later on, a
practitioner from the band told me that the Band didn't need any more
trumpet players but it did need more practitioners to play the
clarinet, the flute and the trombone. So I decided to play the flute
instead. I have been very lucky. From the first day I started to play
the flute I've received guidance and teaching from fellow
practitioners, so I've been able to make rapid progress.

The first day I joined the Band, I was quite discouraged. It was
because I could hardly hear any sound that I made from my flute even
though I could clearly hear the sound from the trumpets that came from
far away. From then on, I felt that my little flute was making such a
weak sound in the Band and thus the power of it would not be
significant. So I lost most of my interest in practicing the flute. It
wasn't until recently that I realized that the sounds I was making from
the flute were indeed very unpleasant, and many fellow practitioners
were better than me. Thus I wanted to work hard again to practice it. I
wish not to make such terrible sounds anymore. More recently, the chair
person in our section taught us some basic skills in playing the flute,
which increased my interest in playing.  Now I think that I should
practice to play the flute well to contribute to the Band. In addition,
when I practiced last weekend, I felt that there are cultivation
factors involved while learning a musical instrument. Learning how to
play the flute is the same as mastering any other form of art. One can
make unlimited progress in it.   

I feel that the music we produce does have energy. There were a couple
of times I felt it very deeply. When I just arrived at the practice
site, my mind was full of various thoughts and many of them were quite
bad. I tried hard to suppress them and they still came out constantly.
Once we started to play the music, those bad thoughts were all

Last time, at the parade during the DC Fa conference, I was placed in
the second group. Our group was positioned close to the end of the
parade. My mind started to wander around while we were waiting there
for people to move. I was looking at fellow practitioners who stood in
front of me and judging who looked pretty in his or her uniform and who
didn't look so good. As my mind was wandering, I realized that my
thinking wasn't on the right track. Alas, we were about to move forward
and start to play holy songs to everyday people. How could I still have
this kind of ordinary thoughts! I wanted to suppress it but failed.
After we started to march, we played one or two songs and my mind
calmed down. As we walked, my mind began to have troublesome thoughts
again. The reason for that is that our conductor is a practitioner from
Canada. I thought that she hadn't let us perform frequently enough
during the parade. In our group were some practitioners who complained
all the time. At that time, I wished that they would go up and tell the
conductor what was on my mind. But no one went. I thought as I walked
along, "Isn't this just walking and sweating without making any
impact?" In my previous parades, I was so tired towards the end and had
no strength to play the flute anymore. So I had always felt happy when
the conductor allowed us to rest. I thought in my heart, "Even I felt
that we had played too little. So one can guess how little she let us

I thought at that time, "I must talk to her after the parade." But then
I thought again. Wasn't it obvious that I wanted to find her to let her
know that I was angry at her? I would be providing an opportunity for
others to improve and it must be wrong for me to do that.  Then
what should I do? I thought that, as a cultivator, I had to look inward
and ask myself why such a thing would happen. Suddenly an idea came to
my mind. Oh, what she did must have something to do with me. I always
tried to save some of my energy when I played the flute. The sound I
made was very weak. I was not very far from the conductor. She probably
heard the weak sound from me. She often looked back. Maybe she saw my
appearance of being tired as she looked back. She must felt that
someone in the team was tired and thus she made us play less. I thought
that I shouldn't be lazy during our practice sessions. I told myself
that I need to practice more diligently when we get back. My mind
settled down and I no longer was unhappy with the conductor. In
contrast, I concentrated on cooperating well with her. As I walked and
walked, I no longer felt that she was making us perform too little.
Instead I thought that it was perfect. Then a stream of sweet water
came to my mouth from my throat. I immediately didn't feel thirsty. I
felt very comfortable. That water was indeed very sweet and flew
continuously like a thin stream.  

I also have to face how to arrange my band practices with other Dafa
projects well. Now I work full time selling advertisements for our
media. Even though I don't have as frequent time conflicts as do other
practitioners, I do feel stress from time to time.  Once a major
customer who had placed an ad at our Epoch Times newspaper in English
felt that the ad was not bringing in enough new customers and he wanted
to stop the contract. I was very worried and asked fellow practitioners
to make phone calls to help. I also looked for people to help
distribute our newspapers. I went to distribute newspapers myself. I
was extremely busy at that time since I also had other ad clients to
deal with. One Sunday morning I went out to distribute newspapers very
early and quickly gave away many copies of the paper. But still there
were many copies left. I planned to skip the band practice that day. I
was really worried that the big customer would stop his ad. Around noon
time, a fellow practitioner called me and asked where I was. I told her
that I was distributing newspapers and didn't want to go to the band
practice that day. She asked me, "Are you sure that you don't want to
go?"  I thought about it and felt that it wasn't right if I didn't
go. So I asked them to wait for me and then ran back. After I got to
the team practice site, at the beginning I was still questioning myself
whether I should have come that day or not. Later, I thought that since
Master had asked us to come and practice, he would help us do other
projects. I should put aside my worry. Since I couldn't distribute the
newspaper, I decided to send righteous thoughts and hope that the
client wouldn't stop the contract. In the end, he didn't stop the ad
and actually renewed the contract with us. That day's practice was very
important. We learned a new song and Master also taught us how to
breathe while playing the instruments. My experience is that every
practice is very important. Our sessions are highly condensed. If I
miss any one of those practices, it will take me much more time to
catch up and I probably won't be able to make it up completely. There
was one time that we learned a new song during the day and recorded it
the same evening.

I feel more and more how lucky I am to be a Dafa disciple. Every
disciple, no matter what project we do, it is a cultivation opportunity
that Master has given us and it is very precious.

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