PureInsight | March 19, 2009
Experience sharing at the 2009 Los Angeles Fa Conference
Thank you teacher,
Thank you fellow practitioners.
I work with an international team to clarify the truth to governments and, primarily, to the United Nations. I’d like to describe the work that we do, some issues that we have faced recently, and some thoughts on how to view these issues from the Fa.
Since 2001, we have been sending cases involving the Chinese Communist Party’s (CCP) persecution of Falun Gong to different Special Rapporteurs at the United Nations. The procedure is that the Special Rapporteur sends an inquiry to China to ask about the details of our submission. Our credibility has always been of primary concern to us. In practically every instance where the Chinese government has responded, they acknowledged that the victim was actually in custody, thus verifying our submission, although they fabricated a reason for the persecution that had nothing to do with Falun Gong.
Every member nation of the United Nations has to undergo a review of its human rights situation every four years. This is called the Universal Periodic Review or UPR. China’s UPR was on February 9, 2009.
We did a lot of preparation for this review. For example, we were one of 19 NGOs that submitted reports about China’s serious human rights abuses. The Office of the High Commissioner on Human Rights, or OHCHR, is then charged with preparing a summary report of the NGOs reports. One of our practitioners noticed that the OHCHR’s summary report was a complete whitewash of China’s human rights situation. They did this by selecting statements praising China, including praise from NGOs that the Chinese government itself created and controlled, and by weeding out and ignoring independent NGOs criticisms of China’s gross violations against multiple victim groups.
This created a great opportunity for us. We did an in-depth and detailed analysis of the summary report and the whitewash. Then we sent out our analysis as an open letter to UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon, along with other UN officials, and a press release to Western countries in North America and Europe, describing this whitewash. The press release was translated into French, German, and Spanish.
On February 9, the Council held its UPR of China. The whitewash continued. A number of Western countries pointed out the gross violations, but a large number of countries praised China for it improvements in human rights. Even when the media reported on the event, the focus was on the whitewash, on the praise, and not at all on the criticism.
When I read the news, I cried. I cried in part because our voice was not heard, but more importantly, I cried because of the world’s blindness.
I saw some of the same things in our government work in Washington DC, a certain blindness among some or our officials.
So I looked at what all this meant, what was going on inside, what attachments I had that would bring about this outcome.
Master discussed the United Nations in “Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Midwest-U.S. Fa Conference.” Master pointed out: “We're too dependent on human beings. If human beings were to end the persecution, what a disgrace that would be to Dafa disciples!”
So I had to look at the extent to which I put my hopes on China’s UPR.
Master said in “Teaching the Fa at the 2005 Canada Fa Conference”:
“But when the CCP persecutes the Chinese people and tramples on their human rights and freedom of belief in a terribly evil and severe way, many governments and media throughout the world have remained silent. In other words, when material gain is at stake, all of that talk about freedom of belief and human rights suddenly means nothing to them. As for people's consciences, well, we can see that in this circumstance people's so-called consciences likewise become nothing. It turns out such things are promoted just as a means to guard certain people's practical, vested interests.”
So in the face of the old forces’ interference, in the face of people’s quest for material gain and in the face of people’s vested self interest, the issue is how do we reach them? How do we touch their hearts? More specifically, how can I improve in clarifying the truth generally, and specifically in our government and United Nations work?
One practitioner suggested the answer is to send everyone to a Shen Yun performance. So should we all drop our other work and work on Shen Yun? We should not go to the consulate, not publish our paper, and not do government work? I don’t think that would work. We are each cultivating ourselves. Master tells us over and over to follow our own path. We each have to find what our path is in doing truth clarification.
So I think we do have to re-think our government work. We have to do it differently. Once again, the answer is in the Fa. In “Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Switzerland” (1998), Master pointed out:
“Your mind will become increasingly pure as you reach higher levels. What your thinking brings forth and what you say will be extremely pure. The purer and simpler they are, the more they conform to the principles of that level of the universe. The words you speak can then instantly pierce people’s hearts, strike the depths of people’s thoughts, and strike the more microscopic part of their existence. Tell me, how great is their power?!”
Shouldn’t this apply to our government and our United Nations work? We can’t run around frantically, filled with emotion or attachments, asking for this or that. It is our tranquility and our purity that will pierce people’s hearts.
If we say things in the correct way, if things are pure and simple, if they conform to the principles of the universe without our own personal notions and attachments, if they conform to Zhen-Shan-Ren, our words will pierce people’s hearts.
Master says in at least four places that I know of, (“Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Singapore,” 1998): “…if a person is free of any personal notions, isn’t motivated by self-interest, and is truly looking to benefit others, then when he points out another person’s shortcoming or tells the other person what’s right, that person will be moved to tears.”
Do we communicate with people, and especially with government and UN officials, in this way in our truth clarification? How often are they moved to tears? The answer is, not very much.
So we need to approach people with that much Compassion. We have to clarify the truth in such a way that we can move their hearts. We have been told that all people have a knowing side. That is what we have to reach.
I know I have to work on myself to reach the point of being able to touch that part of them. I’m 66 years old. I have a routine that is very safe and comfortable. Of course, I have improved a lot over the years. Years ago, I would not work past 9 p.m. Now if something has to be done, I will stick with it until the job is done. But I still like to stay at home, glued to my computer. I don’t like going to see even my local representative, let alone going to Washington DC or Geneva. That attitude won’t work. To touch people’s hearts, I should be in their presence and I should make eye contact with them. I just can’t do that from home. The question is not, “What is comfortable?”, but, “What will save them?”
I should start talking to people more. I gave a speech after a Shen Yun performance in which I talked about morality, how the depth we see in the performance inspires us and awakens people’s kindness and conscience, about how it reminds us of something that for many of us has been missing in our lives and in our hearts. Those who heard me really understood. They got it.
As I was thinking about government work, I realized that’s what I should speak about. I should consider how to help people be more aware of morality and how morality is really related to self-interest and mankind’s future. People have a negative attitude toward morality. They associate it with religious rigidity and even with hatred. Furthermore, science can’t prove the existence of morality. Morality shouldn’t have such negative associations. So, we formed an organization and called it the Conscience Foundation. Conscience, the innate knowledge of right and wrong, is a concept that is easier to accept.
I think people will understand if we relate conscience to CEOs taking money from a billion dollar bailout to pay themselves million dollar bonuses while their companies are near bankruptcy. I think people will understand if we relate conscience to SARS and bird flu when the denial of truth can result in a worldwide pandemic. I think people will understand if we relate conscience to specific things in their daily lives and if they remember how it was when they were growing up.
In this context, it would be easy to explain the persecution of Falun Gong. What would happen to the entrenched, putrefied evil Party if Truth, Compassion and Tolerance permeated the Chinese people’s minds? I think people can see how the Communist Party would consider that dangerous. What would happen to all of the world’s deep-rooted selfish interests if people everywhere practiced Truth, Compassion and Tolerance? I think people are ready to change their thinking if we approach them correctly.
A practitioner wrote a truth clarification book called, Falun Gong, Humanity’s Last Stand. I think people are ready to understand how Falun Gong or Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance can save mankind. I think our words can pierce their hearts. It is up to us to find the best way to reach them because they are waiting to hear this.
I would like to relate to audiences and get feedback from them as to what works best, and on what is the best way to reach them. In order to figure out what works best, I decided to get out and talk to people more. We are listing a Speaker’s Bureau on two of our websites. With every newsletter we send out, we will list our Speaker’s Bureau. I should get us more. I should join more organizations and relate to people more. I should go to DC more and, who knows, maybe I will make it to Geneva.
Practitioners are talking about how our government work needs to change. The structure of our government work needs to be addressed so that our officials perceive us differently. For example, we can have a core group in DC and grassroots groups in different states. When people make appointments with their representatives in DC, they can involve members of the core group so there is continuity. Our representatives will get to know us, we will not seem so disorganized, and we will also establish our credibility.
We can also involve more victims. Some officials responded that they thought of the persecution in an entirely different way after they saw the physical results of torture before their eyes.
Master said in the “Fa Teaching at the U.S. Capital” (2007):
“It doesn't matter if it's seeking help with funding, human resources, or material assistance; clarifying the facts to governments in different countries; making contact with civic groups in society; or communicating with other sectors of society, none of these is for Falun Gong's own sake, nor for your own cultivation. These have nothing to do with what one does in cultivation. All these are for the sake of saving people. When you are reaching out to people, that is when you are saving them.”
We need to reach out to people and save them. It is up to us. They are waiting for us to save them. Let us all improve ourselves so that we can do better at piercing their hearts and saving them.
Thank you Master.
Thank you all.
Chinese translation available at: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2009/3/4/58038.html