Great Lessons Learned Helping with the 2007 Chinese New Year Spectacular: Purity of Heart Determines Outcome of Dafa Work

A Western Practitioner from San Diego

PureInsight | October 14, 2007

[] I've been
meaning to share my experiences on this for a while. I'm a practitioner
in San Diego, but I went to New York for two weeks to help sell tickets
for the 2007 Chinese New Year Spectacular. During that trip, I learned
many things. I'd like to share some of those experiences with you now.

After arriving in New York, I was asked to help sell tickets at the
local colleges. I was paired with different practitioners throughout my
stay. We set up booths with a TV and played highlights of past Galas,
while passing out fliers and trying to sell tickets. I had thought that
I could talk well and that I'm good with people, so I thought that
selling tickets would be very easy for me.

At the end of each day, I was only able to sell a couple tickets or no
tickets at all. Yet, I was surprised to find that there were other
practitioners who could barely speak English who sold around 30 tickets
every day. I couldn't figure out why I wasn't able to sell tickets and
I blamed it on the fact that I was assigned to a different school every
day while other practitioners stayed at the same school. It continued
like this for a while, and I still couldn't figure it out. Then, one
night while I was studying Zhuan Falun with a group of practitioners, a principle was revealed to me.

In Chapter 5 of Zhuan Falun, Master wrote,

"If you ask one of them what consecration is for, he'll tell you that
after consecration the Buddha statue will start working. He can't
explain just how exactly it works. So all he's doing is conducting a
ceremony. He puts a small copy of some scriptures inside the statue,
seals it up with paper, and chants scripture in front of it. He'll then
claim that consecration is done. But, did it really have the effect of
consecration? That depends on how he chanted scripture. Shakyamuni
talked about proper thoughts - you should chant scripture with
undivided attention to really shake the world of the discipline you
cultivate, and only then can you invoke an Enlightened Being. And only
when one of that Enlightened Being's Law Bodies goes up on the statue
can it have the effect of consecration.

"While some monks chant scripture, they're actually thinking to
themselves, 'How much money will I get after I finish consecration in a
little bit?' Or while they're chanting scripture, they might be
thinking, 'So-and-so was so mean to me.' They also intrigue against
each other and have clashes. You can't deny that this happens in
today's Age of the Law's End. It's not that we're criticizing Buddhism
here, but the temples in the Age of the Law's End really aren't
tranquil. As they think about those things they send out such bad
thoughts - how could that Enlightened Being come? There's no way it can
have the effect of consecration. But it's not absolute - there are
still a few good temples and Daoist shrines that are exceptions.

"In one city I saw a monk whose hands were dark. He stuffed a copy of
some scriptures inside a Buddha statue and crudely sealed it. Then he
mumbled a few words and thought the job was done. Then he picked up
another statue and again mumbled a few words. For one consecration he
charged as much as 40 dollars. Nowadays monks even think it's
marketable, and make money off consecrating Buddha statues. I took a
look and didn't see a consecration - there's just no way he could have
done that. It's hard to believe that even monks would actually do such
things nowadays. Know what else I saw? There was a person at a temple,
and this guy seemed like a lay Buddhist. He claimed that he was doing
consecration for a Buddha statue there. He took out a mirror and turned
it toward the sun so that light would shine on the statue's body, and
then he said the job was done. It's gotten that ridiculous! In becoming
what it is today, Buddhism has come to have a lot of this kind of
thing, believe it or not."

My understanding of this principle at my current level is that perhaps
our starting point in our Dafa work, where our hearts are, is what
determines the effect of our Dafa work. We are doing this to save
sentient beings. Whether that can be achieved or not, I think is not
decided so much by what we do, but how we do it.

If we do Dafa work only for the benefit of our own personal salvation,
to get de, with a mindset of conflict, or because of various
attachments, then perhaps the true goal cannot be achieved, as our
starting points are not good.

That's when I realized part of my problem. When I had come to New York
to help with the Gala, my reason for coming was that I felt that there
may only be a few more Galas, and I wanted to be a part of it. I wanted
to position myself during this period of time. I realized then that my
reason for coming to help was the same as wanting to validate myself. I
came to understand that the effect of our efforts to sell tickets was
not determined by how well we can speak or by our worldly skills, but
rather by where our hearts are and the purity of our thoughts and
intentions. I realized that doing Dafa work with the attachment to
personal gain is similar to doing consecration with the attachment to
getting money.

Similar to consecration, the purpose of our passing out fliers was to
invite people to come see the show - and to thus be saved. While I was
passing out fliers, I was only going through the motions, while my mind
wandered all over the place. Maybe this was also similar to the monk
who stuffed papers into Buddha statues, mumbled a few words, and
thought he consecrated them.

While I was walking back to the office one day, I saw something that I
feel I was meant to see. There was a practitioner who was frantically
dashing from person to person, practically chasing them down and
stuffing fliers in their hands. It looked very bad, and by the look on
the practitioner's face, it could be seen that she was very stressed. I
remember thinking that it was she, herself, who was making her path
difficult. She could hand out just as many fliers by smiling and giving
them to the people who walked by her, and the effect probably would
have also been much better. After seeing this, I worked on having a
calm mind when I handed out fliers.

After finding these shortcomings, I worked on correcting my problems,
and was able to do much better with selling tickets. Some days my group
was able to sell over 30 tickets. But, throughout my stay, I feel that
Master continued to send me hints and teach me further on this

During a group sharing, a senior practitioner from Mainland China
shared a story from when the persecution had first started. I can't
remember the story perfectly, but I remember the main details. She said
that one of the practitioners in her area had hung up a poster that
clarified the truth and was told to take it down immediately by the
coordinator. Afterwards, she hung up another and was told again to take
it down. The reason she was told to take it down was because when she
hung up the poster, she did it with anger and resentment towards what
was happening, rather than with the intention of helping people
understand the truth. Since her intentions were bad, the poster also
carried that energy.

Later, I was asked to go to the main offices of a number of different
colleges throughout New York. I went with two other practitioners. One
of them was a very soft spoken senior practitioner. I still felt at
that time that I could talk very well, but the way he spoke was just
the opposite of me. He had a strong Chinese accent, and he spoke so
quietly that you had to really listen when he spoke or else he was hard
to hear. He also presented himself in a very kind and humble manner.

I was amazed to find how well he did. We ended up speaking with the
Deans of a couple colleges in person, despite the fact that we were
told that we needed to have an appointment. One we accidentally found
and he happened to be sitting with the dean of another school. They
were very interested in listening to us, and we met with success
everywhere we went.

This showed me further that the righteous thoughts of practitioners are
what determine the outcome of our Dafa work. I came to realize that
even if you can speak very well, present yourself very well, and have
ordinary people skills, you still might not accomplish anything if your
thoughts and intentions are not righteous. While on the other hand,
practitioners whose thoughts are righteous and who truly do Dafa work
with their hearts on saving sentient beings will do very well, even if
they can barely speak English.

I'd like to finish this sharing with a quote from Master's lecture, "Fa Teaching at the 2007 New York Fa Conference":

"If you cannot manage to do well yourself, how could you save sentient
beings? When the thoughts that you project are unrighteous, how could
you do that task well? It's the same as assisting the evil, then."

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