PureInsight | March 27, 2009
Experience sharing at the 2009 Los Angeles Fa Conference
[PureInsight.org] Greetings, Master; Greetings, Fellow Practitioners:
I have been a practitioner for quite some time. However, I often feel that I have just started practicing cultivation. There are times when I feel I am not as diligent in studying the Fa and doing the full set of 5 exercises or as anxious in cultivation and improving myself as when I first obtained the Fa. Sometimes, the laziness, withdrawal from frustration, and human notions have dragged me backward, slowed down my desire to accelerate, and have deeply bothered me. I could not seem to do things well according to the different requirements of the Fa at different levels. When encountering specific issues I knew these were obstacles derived from my stubborn selfishness. Only through improving my xinxing according to the Fa will I be able to break through these obstacles.
I’d like to share with you some of my personal views in this regard during the recent Shenyun promotion activities.
Putting the Self Aside and Truly Looking Inward
During a local community activity, another practitioner and I from the Chinese Epoch Times had an opportunity to connect with a company interested in sponsoring the Shenyun performance. In mid-November, we invited two executives of the company to meet us at the Epoch Times office. During the meeting, we clarified the truth about Falun Gong and also introduced the characteristics of the Epoch Times and the mission of the Shenyun performance. They showed interest in our media and our show, but also indicated that it might be too late to sponsor the 2009 show and would like to start work on sponsoring the 2010 show.
Meanwhile, we wanted to invite them to see the 2009 performance. Due to a time conflict between the LA performance schedule and the executive’s holiday vacations, we decided to invite them to see the performance in San Diego. They agreed to our suggestion and indicated that they would take care of the train tickets themselves.
A month later, just when we were immersed in the busiest time for selling tickets, the executives called and said that the train tickets cost too much. We were already going by car, and they said they would like to travel with our group since their car was too small. The other practitioner involved decided to have me drive the group. I was not very happy about the decision, but I did not say anything.
The following Tuesday at noon when the Epoch Times office staff was discussing the arrangement of ticket promotions at Costco and other stores, I mentioned that the two of us were going to the San Diego show that Saturday with the clients and requested they not schedule either of us for sales activities. The coordinator mentioned that many other practitioners were also going to San Diego for the show and that we were lacking sales teams in LA. She asked if only one of us could go to San Diego, instead of both. I responded right away and indicated to the other practitioner that LA needs people to help out, and so I’ll stay while she should go on her own. She objected to the idea and indicated that our plan was decided a month ago, and should not be changed. Many other practitioners at the office agreed with my opinion and suggested that she consider the practical needs of Los Angeles.
On Thursday, the coordinator called and asked where I could go to assist in selling the tickets in Los Angeles. I mentioned that the other practitioner still insisted that I should go to San Diego with her. The coordinator tried to communicate with her but failed. The other practitioner called me and explained why I should still go with her to San Diego. I judged the adequacy of her reasoning with my personal notions about her and my speculations. I did not feel the rationale she provided justified the decision, and so we fell into an argument.
Finally, I asked her to tell me the exact reason why I must go. This question aggravated her. She responded that she’ll find someone else to go with her and that I don’t need to go. After we both hung up, a fellow practitioner next to me at the Epoch Times office said to me, “She’s too stubborn.” The fellow practitioner’s comment made me feel that I was right and thus I went on to analyze why she was so persistent and further commented that she really should look inward in this case.
That Friday, when I was selling tickets at Costco, for whatever reason I was bothered and did not feel right. I called and asked if she had found anyone to go with her. The answer was no. In the evening I checked for Saturday’s arrangement before I left the store, I learned that there were enough sales people assigned. At that point, I realized that I should go with her. Once I returned home, I called and indicated that I would. During the conversation she explained one more time why she thought I should go. All of a sudden, I noticed that the same logic and reasoning now seemed completely different, with a totally different feeling to it.
After the conversation, I thought through the whole incident carefully. The entire process, starting from when I was unhappy about being the designated driver, to my criticism of her after other fellow practitioners’ comments, had exposed many of my personal issues. All my criticisms were actually my personal attachments. I felt very embarrassed. That night I prepared truth clarification materials of different types and from different angles, including flyers, DVD’s, and so forth, all according to her suggestions.
The next day, through a series of clever arrangements, I truly understood the happiness of letting go of self and looking inward, from the smooth and delightful conversation with the clients, to the high opinion they had of the performance. I was deeply touched, and I appreciate Master’s devotion to improving his disciples’ cultivation.
Master mentioned in "Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005:" "Under the tests that the human mind is put to, a state will come about in a cultivator when understandings born of both divine and human thoughts are present and collide. When human thinking gains the upper hand, that person heads toward humanness; when divine thinking and a person's righteous thoughts gain the upper hand, he heads toward godhood." I realized that the things we encounter and the people we contact are all associated with our cultivation during the Fa rectification. If we put aside self and look inward when we are faced with problems and conflicts, the thoughts of gods and the righteousness of humans will prevail, and we will thus move toward godhood.
Coordinating Well to Preclude Interference
Last year, we promoted the Shenyun performances to the local school districts. The experience showed us that the distribution is broad if every student at the elementary and middle schools brings home a flyer. As a result, practitioners who were involved in promotional efforts in school districts last year decided to repeat the process this year.
We would have liked to improve the way we contacted schools; instead of getting permission to distribute flyers through local school districts, we wanted to contact the school’s Parent-Teacher Association (PTA) first. However, due to a tight schedule we could not make contact with the PTA, so we continued last year’s approach.
With 8 performances in Pasadena, and a total of more than 20,000 seats, the group sharing for that night concluded with the realization that everyone in Pasadena should know about this performance. The process was smooth for the school districts surrounding Pasadena, but we were not able to obtain a permit for the Pasadena school district.
One day, as we were discussing this issue, we learned that the person in charge of providing permits was new this year. The permit could not be issued due to the price we listed on the flyers and because the event was not free, even though it was hosted by a non-profit organization. Several practitioners tried to speak with the person in charge, but returned with the same response. After discussion, we felt this was interference, which should not be acknowledged.
It occurred to me that we could visit the office and try the application one more time in the name of the Epoch Times media. Therefore, I went home to prepare truth clarification materials and invited an Epoch Times Sales Manager to go with me. Before we went, I explained to her my thoughts and the past experiences of other practitioners. I said that ‘we must succeed.’
At the school district office, we met the secretary. After delivering our business cards, we introduced the scale of the Shenyun performance, the mission of the show, the educational value of the show, and the reason why the Epoch Times’ had sponsored the Shenyun performances all these years. She looked at our flyer and mentioned that many people have visited the office for the same show. She also located the original documents from her files. The rejection was due to the price listed on the flyer, which is considered a business. Only her supervisor could grant the permit. She indicated that the supervisor was out for lunch and asked if we’d like to wait or make another appointment. We said that we would wait.
We sat down to send forth righteous thoughts. In less than 5 minutes, the supervisor returned from lunch. The secretary sent in our business cards and materials. In about another 5 minutes the supervisor came to greet us. I explained to her the purpose of our visit. She seemed to know us from the secretary, and before long, she repeated the same reason why the permit was not approved. The Sales Manager practitioner was sending forth righteous thoughts at that time. When she realized that the conversation went stale, she immediately indicated that we simply wished to have the students bring the information home to their parents, and that we could provide flyers without any price list, if required. The supervisor then agreed that we could send in the flyers without a price list for approval.
Several days had passed after we sent in the application, all without a word. I called the school district secretary to follow up. The supervisor was not available. A few days after that, she was in a meeting. A few days more and she was on vacation until December. School would be out in mid-December, time was pressing, and I was worried. I asked several fellow practitioners to send forth righteous thoughts. Three to four days later, the secretary called and the permit had been approved.
Soon after the approval, there were practitioners participating in the process of printing flyers and labels, placing the labels on the flyers, and distributing them to local schools. Within 5 days, 20,000 copies of flyers were delivered to 20,000 students in Pasadena.
Thinking back on the whole process, this seemingly simple task, which had been conducted smoothly last year, could have been disrupted if it were not for the collaboration and righteous thoughts from fellow practitioners. Through this incident, I realized that we should not carry human notions during the Fa rectification and in our cultivation. The superficial changes should not move us. There are many things we can do as long as it is to save lives and validate the Fa. The fundamental issue is our mindset and attitude while conducting a task. Perhaps what we should pay attention to as Dafa disciples, is how we can accomplish our goals while, on one hand, following regular societal rules, and, on the other hand, demonstrating a disciples’ manner with our righteous thoughts and righteous deeds.
In fact, I’ve realized that every promotional event for the Shenyun performances is the best opportunity that Master has provided disciples to improve in cultivation as a whole and to save sentient beings. Being a particle of Dafa, we really should hold on to every opportunity that Master has provided us and emit the purest, most beautiful, and brightest light of all at our current level.
Lastly, I’d like to conclude my sharing with some of Master’s words at the “Fa Teaching at the 2008 New York Conference:” “Master affirms what Dafa disciples have done. As long as you are doing things out of a wish to validate the Fa and save sentient beings, I will affirm all that you do. And when you go do those things, there will be my Law Bodies or gods there to amplify it and make what you do yet more magnificent and extraordinary, and they will assist you.”
Thank you, Master;
Thank you, Fellow Practitioners.