Cultivating while Dancing

A Canadian Dafa Practitioner

PureInsight | September 17, 2006

[] I have already cultivated in Falun Dafa for eight years now.  Four years ago I joined the Lotus Dance Troupe, and I have performed in the past several NTDTV New Year Galas.  I enjoy dance because it can express the joy and harmony in the genuine human culture.  Also, I realized dance is a powerful method to validate the Fa.  I have participated in nearly 100 performances in many different communities; thousands upon thousands of people have watched our performances.  I know that dance is a very effective tool for saving people.  

This summer we came to the U.S. to train together for next year's performance and to improve our dancing.

Before coming to the U.S. for training I believed my dance skills were good enough for a dancer in group performances.  I knew I wasn't flexible enough, but at the same time I knew overcoming that was very difficult.  In my mind I believed I wasn't a professional performer, and those difficult techniques are things that only professional performers can master.  In addition, this concealed my attachments to reputation, fear of setbacks, and unwillingness to bear hardship.

In accord with the progress of Fa-rectification, Teacher and the Fa hold us to an increasingly higher standard as we use art forms to clarify the truth.  We need to raise the level of our professional skills as quickly as possible to save more sentient beings.

In Lecture 3 of Zhuan Falun, Teacher says, "I have stated that one's gong level is as high as one's xinxing level."  I realized that to improve professional skills I would need to set down these attachments and notions that were preventing me from improving.

The process of improving my xinxing was, for me, a very painful experience.

We arrived at the training location.  A few days later I found out we had to do movements that required flexibility, including waist exercises and other technical movements.  Can you imagine how nervous I was?

One day, everyone was practicing the very difficult movements.  Right away I felt my heart rate was increasing since I too would have to practice them.  I told myself, "If others can do it, I can do it too."  I went ahead and tried to do them while asking for Teacher's help but, because of the pain, I failed to do them well every time.  I felt ashamed. Even though I had been dancing for a long time, I still couldn't do the movements well.  It made me very sad, my eyes filled with tears and I felt it was no use; I lost self-confidence.  At that time I really wanted to quit.  I thought that if dancing was too hard then I ought to participate in other Dafa projects.

Of course, this was only an excuse to cover up my attachment.  As I studied the Fa more I realized whether or not my movements were agile was not the key, the problem was whether or not I could let go of self and face what needed improvement. Everyone's challenges are different, and everyone has different areas that need cultivation.  We should learn from other's strengths, rather than be attached to measuring ourselves against others. As Teacher says "Cultivation is about cultivating one's self. No matter what kind of state emerges, you need to take a hard look at yourself." (from "Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital")

Everyday when I walk from the dormitory up the mountain I recite a poem from Hongyin, which helps keep up my confidence in my ability to overcome hardships.  Once I developed the desire to achieve breakthrough I was able to stretch a bit further and practice for longer.  After a short while, I sensed my body had grown stronger and more flexible.

In "Tempering the Will" Master writes:  "Let joy be found in hardship."  We all often recite this poem; and on paper it seems to me this isn't something too difficult to achieve.  But when one is in the midst of suffering, a challenge might seem like an enormous mountain that is impossible to overcome.

When the pain comes, I think to myself, "Master has already given you many opportunities to improve, but whether or not you improve is up to you."  After a short bit the pain gradually lessens and it seems the challenge isn't really that hard.  In reality, at this point, when I don't feel pain, I sort of miss the pain.  I think it is because the pain has taught me the joy that comes from overcoming hardship.

I believe that when I really have faith in Master and in the Fa, I can change anything.  Even though waist exercises are still a challenge for me, and in many areas I still need to improve, I can see that when we put our heart into something miracles can happen.  As long as we maintain the righteous thoughts a cultivator should have, we all have the power to change ourselves.

In "Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles" Master says, "As a matter of fact, anything in human society, as long as I choose it, can be used for Dafa disciples' cultivation."  In fact, dancing is also cultivation; you have to endure suffering, pass through xinxing tests during rehearsal, and use wisdom and righteous thoughts to validate the Fa.  Master and the Fa have higher cultivation requirements for us right now. In addition,  it is through overcoming conflicts and enduring suffering that we upgrade ourselves.  Perhaps amongst many forms, dancing can enable me to eliminate my karma faster, get rid of mental attachments, let go of my attachment to reputation, let go of my attachments to praise and physical comfort.

I can feel the importance of our performance.  This is a powerful method for saving sentient beings; furthermore, we are creating a new upright culture for mankind.  Master has prepared a perfect environment to enable us to cultivate.  No matter whether the part we play is small or large, we all need to perform well.  We only have one path to walk, and that is to improve ourselves and do even better.

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