PureInsight | March 4, 2009
Experience sharing at the 2009 Los Angeles Fa Conference
Greeting fellow practitioners,
I am from Los Angeles. I got in touch with Dafa in 1998 and started to cultivate in the spring of 1999. Now I have cultivated Dafa for almost 10 years. Up to now, I have worked for the project of NTDTV and the Shenyun performance. My mother and younger sister are also Dafa practitioners and my father is also gradually entering into the door of cultivation.
The main reason for me to be able to walk forward in Dafa until today is that I have a grand and compassionate Master who protects and cares for me invisibly. Master tells us to do the three things: study Fa, send forth righteous thoughts, and clarify the truth. Indeed, what I did is far from the Fa’s standard, so I really don’t have much to share with all of you. But I feel that I still should write something, as it is a process of searching inside, and I might find my shortcomings and catch up with the process of Fa-rectification. I hope that I could be Master’s good disciple. This is my first time to share with fellow practitioners in a written form.
My sharing will compose of three parts: obtaining Fa, clarifying the truth, and taking part in the promotion of the Shenyun (Divine Peforming Arts) performance.
I. Obtaining Fa
I was born in a common family and my father came to America by himself when I was three years old. When I was little, I always had some indescribable thinking and questions, such as:
“I am from the universe instead of being born on the earth.”
“Why am I not born in ancient times but in this period?”
“Why am I Chinese?”
I came to America at the age of 12. As I grew up, I kept on looking for answers. I always forebode that something would happen and often hoped that a master would look for me and take me away. I thought that I had my own mission to come to the earth and felt that I was somewhat different from others, but nobody could tell me what the purpose of life is and what the difference is between me and others.
In this chaotic society, I was puzzled by things I encountered. I wanted to be a good person but was often misunderstood. I got in touch with some religion and Qigong but found it was hard for me to accept them, as they couldn’t solve my fundamental problem. In fact, nobody could answer me or tell me the true purpose of life. I gradually indulged myself into the ordinary society. I smoked, drank, and picked up many bad habits common among young people. I became stubborn and treacherous. I didn’t believe in others easily, and without a purpose for life, I didn’t know the standard to judge what is wrong and right. The reality of the world made me sink low and become lost. I pursued the happiness of common people but felt emptiness at the bottom of my heart. Problems in my life troubled me, but I had no way to walk out. I gradually gave up pursuing the answers and lived a life most people live.
One day in the summer of 1998, one of our relatives in Mainland China mailed us Zhuan Falun and told us in his letter that this book is the treasure you might not find in thousands of years.
I thought what he said was incredible and just smiled but did nothing. Then, at last, I took a glimpse at the book and thought the content was different from other Qigong books. As I was quite busy at that time, I didn’t think much about it. But later on, I understood that I actually found what I was looking for at that time. At that time, Master started to change my way of life. After the Experience Sharing Conference in Los Angeles in February 1999, I suddenly awakened when I saw how happy my mother and my sister were after they met Master at the Experience Sharing Conference and started their cultivation in Dafa. I at once realized that I at last found the master I was looking for. I read Zhuan Falun again, and Master answered all my questions. Dafa told me about my past life, the purpose for me to come to the world, and my future. Master told me that Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is the only standard to judge what is good and bad. Master also tells us that you can attain something naturally, without pursuing it, and in order to gain something, you must lose something. As a practitioner, we should always think of others first. Master also tells us, "It’s hard to endure, but you can endure it. It’s hard to do, but you can do it," and that cultivation is a process of getting rid of all attachments. I felt relaxed and happy. I knew who Master is and what my future path was. I knew the purpose of life and how to be a good person. I at once started to cultivate, and I was determined to change myself by getting rid of my attachments, assimilating to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and improving my Xinxing. I swore that I would follow Master, listen to Master and cultivate to the end.
I remember that at that time sitting meditation was really a challenge for new practitioners. I was not the exception. At first, it was even very difficult to keep the “half-lotus” position, not to mention the “full-lotus.” Master says that divine beings will laugh at you if they see you couldn’t do full-lotus position. At that time, full-lotus position was the most difficult barrier in my cultivation. With great effort, I could sit in full-lotus but I could only do that for ten minutes with great difficulty.
I will never forget my experiences at the Experience Sharing Conference at Toronto in May, 1999. As I heard that Master would come to attend the meeting, I told myself that if I could not do full-lotus position for twenty minutes, I would be too ashamed to see Master. But whether I could do it, I really didn’t know. At the first day of the conference, Master didn’t appear. I felt too tired to do anything but fall to sleep after the whole day’s activity and totally forgot about my promise. In the middle of the night, I suddenly felt that there was a big Falun flying into my stomach and it turned slowly twice inside my body. I was scared and awakened. I was very frightened and enlightened that I didn’t keep my promise. I stood up from my bed and woke up my mother and sister. I said that just now there was a big Falun coming and I must do full-lotus position for twenty minutes before I see Master tomorrow. My mother and sister immediately got up and helped me to get into the position with great excitement. I usually did full-lotus position with the help of reading “On Buddha Law” (“Lunyu”). I could read that article in three minutes. Before I started, I thought that I would almost finish the full-lotus position after I read “On Buddha Law” seven or eight times. Then I started to do the full-lotus position. That twenty minutes was the slowest time I had ever experienced. In the first ten minutes, I felt so painful that I even couldn’t shed tears. During my reading of “On Buddha Law” six or seven times, I felt so painful that it was as if my legs were torn apart. The agony made me think that other suffering in the world was not important at all. My knowing side knew that Master was transforming my enormous karma while I was suffering. In the agony, I realized the call from Master. Within the short and long 20 minutes, I understood everything. I indeed enlightened what Buddha’s compassion is and that everything including my life is given by Master. I must follow Master and go back home. The next day Master really came and I saw Master at ease. From then on, I told myself that as a repayment to Master, I must cultivate myself well and go back home by following Master. Master gives me everything and all my lives I must pay my debts with great gratitude.
II. Clarifying the Truth and Validating Fa
On July 20, 1999, the CCP and that demon Jiang started to suppress Falun Gong, but our faith toward Master never waivered. We went on doing our exercises at the seaside and studying Fa. I felt sad, as what the CCP said were all lies. Master undertook everything for us, and we in return must at least speak out the truth regarding Master and Dafa. I told myself that I would insist on practicing Falun Gong and prove by my action that Dafa is good. In the meantime, I must try to clarify the truth about Dafa. At that time, I didn’t enlighten much but I believed Master firmly. For those years, my experience and changes bore witness that Master really changed me. Our cultivation is done among the ordinary society, and we must deal well with others so that we can create more opportunities to take part in projects validating Fa. I am surrounded by non-practitioners. If I do well, I myself am a truth of Falun Gong and rumors will collapse by themselves.
Before cultivation, I had lots of attachments: smoking, drinking and knowing everything about beer and skittles. I lived in a mess and developed many bad habits. After cultivation, I understood that I couldn’t behave like before. I must get rid of my attachments to benefits and fame and live in a dignified and noble manner. I also understood that I must make judgments according to Fa, instead of according to common people’s standards.
I remember that I was sensitive to anything I did when I just started to cultivate in Dafa. Whenever I did anything, I would think about what Master says and think what Master would do in the same situation. I always thought that Master was beside me. Even if I told myself that I could give up anything, but in the ordinary society, there were many traps and tests for me. Every time I got through some barrier, I walked forward three steps, and then walked back two steps. Once, I even smoked again to see whether what Master says about how if you smoke again, you will find it distasteful after practicing cultivation is true. It is really true. Even if I behaved not so well, Master still took care of me compassionately. In society, I played many roles: good son to my parents, good husband, and good employee. “Cultivation depends on one’s own efforts, while transforming gong is done by one’s master” (Lecture Two, Zhuan Falun). I knew that I only have to be single-minded in doing many things, while Master helped me to solve the problem. Gradually, Dafa gave me wisdom and let me know how to behave myself. I gained other practitioners trust and support. Many conflicts dissolved under the instruction of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance and I lived an entirely new life. I had more time and energy to take part in Dafa projects.
On Decemeber 9, 2002, Master said at “Teaching the Fa at the Great Lakes Fa Conference in North America” (from Guiding the Voyage): “You’ve done very well in clarifying the truth to the people of the world. At the same time, I can tell you that this is also magnificent and merciful… So when we clarify the truth, we’re eliminating some people’s evil thoughts towards Dafa. Haven’t we rescued them, at least when it comes to this? Since in the process of your clarifying the truth there are people who obtain the Fa, not only are their sins eliminated, but at the same time you will have also saved them. Doesn’t this show that you’ve done something that’s more merciful, something even better?”
In 2001, practitioners in Los Angeles set up the Fang Guang Ming TV group. We had no money, no facility, and we started from scratch. Today, we have our own office, studio and necessary facilities. We produced some programs and the programs of our TV station could be seen locally. We accumulated some experience and now we cooperate with each other for promoting the Shenyun performance. We have been able to walked so far because we listen to Master, cultivate ourselves and do everything according to Fa.
Now I want to talk about my experience in taking part in selling tickets for the Shenyun performance.
The Shenyun performance is a project that Master now does himself to rectify the Fa. As disciples, we are incumbent on doing it well. We believe firmly that what Master does must be the best. What we should do is to coordinate with Master.
The purpose of promoting Shenyun and letting more people buy tickets is to save sentient beings. Shenyun provides us countless chances to save sentient beings. In Los Angeles, we sold two thousand tickets the first year, and then every year after, we doubled the size of the audiences. Shenyun is now well-known in Los Angeles. Compared with any other projects among ordinary society, promoting Shenyun is quite different, as we have different purpose. In the project, we each play different roles and undertake different responsibilities, such as: ticketing, marketing, PR, production, media, and sponsorship, etc. We improve ourselves in the process of doing the work. Master doesn’t tell us how to do it in detail but says that it will succeed when we coordinate well with each other and have the wish to save sentient beings.
Talking about the wish to save sentient beings, for me, I put Shenyun in the most important position in my life. We have too many things to do to promote Shenyun. The key is to clarify the truth and devote our time and energy to do the relevant things. For these things, my relatives and my friends all know that Dafa is the most important part in my life, and they also understand why I involve in these so much. I remembered that once my wife asked me: which is more important, her or Dafa. I told her directly that Dafa was more important, as Dafa has changed me, taught me how to be a good husband. Without Dafa, I would not be my present self and maybe I would not even be a good person, but quarrel with her everyday. Of course, Dafa is more important. Now, the CCP persecutes Falun Gong, and as a practitioner, I should step out and tell the truth about Dafa to others. Maybe due to trust, support, or having no other choice, my relatives seldom doubt me or stop me from doing Dafa related things. Thanks to Master for compassionately providing me such good conditions to validate Fa.
During these years, I unknowingly became a coordinator. The requirements for practitioners to promote Shenyun are very high. If your behavior, thoughts, or concepts are just like common people, troubles will come. Master instructs us how to be a coordinator. I try to pay attention to others’ positive attributes instead of their short-comings. In conflicts, I search inside and make concessions. We should be humble and honest. We need to trust each other and make up for each other’s shortcomings. We also must undertake the responsibilities and pressure. Coordinators are also practitioners and are no different than other practitioners. In the process of coordinating, we need do good planning and push the process forward. The more important thing is to communicate with others, let go of your self, and provide chances for all practitioners to be involved.
In the process, we might meet with many difficulties and conflicts. I really feel pain when we dispute, do not cooperate with each other, have no way to solve problems, or when not many tickets are sold. I really want to run away and not suffer so much. For example, as for how to promote Shenyun and make key decisions (choosing the theater, setting ticket prices, making a marketing plan, etc.), I have my own opinions based on my own experiences in my life. I have my own way of doing things and judgments on different things. Most of the time, I think my opinion and method of doing things is helpful to Shenyun promotion, but other practitioners think their opinion is right and is based on the point of view of Fa, so conflicts occur. Every one thinks that they see things from standpoint of Fa, and insists on his or her own opinion. Many times when my suggestion was not accepted or the things I wanted to do could not be pushed forward, I would feel very angry. I felt that I was misunderstood and felt uneasy. Even if I didn’t say anything, I would insist on my opinion and search outside myself. My preconceived notions made me unable to listen to others. I would comfort myself by thinking, “Let’s see who is right in the end. I think that I have cultivated Fa for a longer time and I have rich experiences in doing these things while others know little and they are wrong.”
Master says in “Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Singapore”: “If you can examine yourselves with every thing you come across, then I’d say you are really remarkable, and nothing can block you on your path to Consummation. Yet when we run into problems, we often look outwards—‘Why are you treating me like that?’—and feel that we’ve been treated unfairly, instead of examining ourselves. That’s the greatest and most fatal obstacle for all living beings.”
When I did meditation, I would think of Master, think of Fa, think of Master’s compassion, think of Master telling us “search inside.” I found that just because I didn’t cultivate myself well and still stuck to my attachment, so I felt pain. I am a practitioner. Why should I always insist on my own opinion? Why should I feel painful? Should I compare my level with the Fa’s requirements or with other practitioners? Is it possible to reach our goal by executing others’ plan? Then, I would find that most conflicts between me and others are caused by me. If I want to solve the problem, I must cultivate myself well. Then we can deal with all problems with the wisdom given to us by Fa. This is what Master hopes. If I search inside, I might find many of my shortcomings. Searching inside is the key to improve.
In the process, I enlightened about why Master tells us the story about Hanxin, and why Hanxin didn’t use other ways to deal with the conflict, but went under the bully’s crotch instead. As Hanxin had his own ambition, he might have been tolerant toward anything in order to realize his ideal. So must I. So long as all the tickets being sold and I could help Master save more sentient beings, I too should endure my suffering, undertake my responsibilities, and go on doing things firmly. Many times, when I enlightened to wisdom from Fa, I found that all my grievances and sufferings disappeared.
Master says in “Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference”: “Every Dafa disciple is cultivating, every person is walking his own path, and each person still has human attachments, which is why you can still cultivate. Then the human attachments will show. Don't be unwilling to work with other students when there are conflicts or differences of opinion. Keep in mind that all of you have been through that state, and from time to time each person may experience that state. You should forgive others and be understanding of others, and you should help each other. To be able to work together and do well the things that Dafa disciples do to validate the Fa--now that's what you should do.” I enlightened that as a coordinator, I should forgive, understand and help others more to sell tickets and save sentient beings well.
In the end, let’s read.
Righteous Thoughts and Righteous Actions
A Great Enlightened One fears no hardship
Having forged an adamantine will
Free of attachment to living or dying
He walks the path of Fa-rectification
confident and poised
(“Righteous Thoughts and Righteous Actions,” Hong Yin II)
Thanks again to Master for compassionately giving me chances and time to share my experiences with fellow practitioners.
Thanks to everyone.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2009/3/1/58032.html