PureInsight | May 13, 2009
Experience sharing at the 2008 Nordic Fa Conference
[PureInsight.org] Hi! My name is Maria. I started to practice Falun Gong in 2001 in Umeå when I was studying at the university. My life was stressful and I had a very bad knee. This made me interested in the slow movements of Falun Gong, in contrast to the rest of my life, which was busy. I moved south when I finished my studies and got a job in Örebro five years ago and that is where I still live.
A Turning Point in My Life
Two years ago, I had a turning point in my life that I would like to tell you about. If I were to describe my condition in the words of everyday people, I would say that I was a "wreck.” Superficially, I have always been clever and energetic, doing well during both setbacks and successes. Then, two years ago, my feeling of security and self-confidence became almost non-existent. I had worked hard in the spring and was not able to or dared not face my attachments when they surfaced. When the holidays came, my work lost its focus, and only "little" me was left. How could it be like this? When I look back at that time, I understand that I had relied more on others than myself and was listening more to others than to Master. I have asked both Master and myself for forgiveness. What happened was not surprising because I had never learned how to look inwards and reflect on my feelings, thoughts, and behavior that crop up along my path.
Now my inner journey has started. When I sat down to reflect, images displayed themselves in front of me. During that time, many stories were played out for me. I was always the main character, and I saw everything from my point of view. Once, I came to a long and high stonewall. I followed the wall with my eyes; there were no windows or doors, as far I could see. How I should move on? I thought. Suddenly, the wall collapsed. Inside was a dark place where everything was covered with a thick layer of dust. It felt as if I had come to the other side of a wall that I had built up around my true self—a wall that shielded my true self from the world's troubles such as disappointments and setbacks. As I went into the room, a breeze swept away all the dust, and everything was clean and nice. I continued to wander further into the room. This journey is still going on—a journey that leads me back to my true self.
Strong Main Consciousness
One day, as I cycled to work, the thought came that I should take back the parts of myself that I had given to other people. Suddenly, I saw a picture: It was a whole series of people I know who stood in front of me. My father came up to me and returned the right of determination. Earlier, my father had the final word in more or less everything I did. If he did not agree with my ideas, nothing would come of it. I received the ability and symbolically lifted it up in my hand and brought it into my heart. It melted into my body. I do not know when I had given it away, but it was small because my hand could hold it. I felt it growing inside my body until it filled all parts of my body. Then the same thing happened with my mother, sister, grandmothers, grandfathers, friends, and former boyfriend. I got back compassion, trust in myself, patience with myself, security, and many other things. Knowing that all of these elements found their way back to me was a wonderful experience. Slowly but surely, I was able find myself, and I knew that my main consciousness had become stronger.
That which was a "wreck" two years ago became Maria with a solid base. I have come to know myself, enjoy being with myself, and respect myself. I am very grateful for that. I am very grateful for the years when it felt like all my attachments that were gathered in this life and also from previous lives were lined up, waiting to be eliminated to let my true self appear. That was a time of many tears, fears, and intensive writing in the dairy. It was also a time when I experienced much relief when I let go of attachments; a time when strength began to come more and more from within. When I think back, I am very grateful for this time. I thank Master for his tremendous patience and for being always there to guide me. I would also like to take this opportunity to thank all of you who sit here and who have supported me.
Another thing I would like to share with you is about the situation here in Örebro. At the moment, we are a little more than a handful of people who come regularly to exercise and read. We have practiced Falun Gong for several years. There are also new people who try Falun Gong by visiting the study circle for beginners. It feels like we have a good foundation now. We work together, everyone feels involved, and all contribute their knowledge. It is very different from how it was a few years ago. When I saw Master’s lecture from Australia on August 4, 2007, I again felt myself in the very same situation. Örebro had been a reflection of what Master told us about lack of confidence in each other, dissatisfaction, disruption, and unrest among practitioners.
For almost one and a half years, we have worked to improve our situation here. We read in the book Falun Gong, the requirements of an assistant center, the assistants, and the cultivators. We watch Master’s exercise DVD together and correct each other, so that we follow Master and practice consistently. After reading on Mondays, we have experience sharing, so everyone has an opportunity to share experiences or make a point. This means that we become more open to each other and better at listening to each other. It gives us strength to dare to tell our weaknesses. It also gives strength to know that someone else is also working with the matter. We occasionally need to remind ourselves of how take care of our practice site and our group Fa-study.
Inspired by practitioners in another town, we decided together on an arrangement that we now use. For example we agreed to have experience sharing right after reading one day a week. We must continue to remind ourselves not to start talking about activities as soon as the reading is over, but do it after the exchange. The sharing may be a bit slow at the beginning, but then some one would start and the discussion would continue.
Sometimes, I have felt that the responsibility of being a contact person is heavy. I have felt pressured to control everything and everybody, so I became tired and discontented. In the beginning when I was new in Örebro, we did not have so many activities, but as time went by, the activities increased. In addition to showing Falun Gong exercises more frequently, we have the Gala, Epoch Times, and other activities. I was used to taking responsibility, and when there were more practitioners I still could not let go of the attachment to control things. It was neither good for me nor for other practitioners. One night we discussed the situation and came up with the arrangement of having weekly Fa-study and exercises, with activities being discussed separately at special meetings.
One time, we sat down and began to write a list of different activities that we would like to do. I was a little worried about the list and looked on with anguish, thinking it would mean more work and responsibility for me. It included everything: fairs, markets, activities in parks and the city square. For each activity we wrote up what we wanted to do. For example: folding lotus flowers, showing the exercises, petition signing, and giving out flyers at football matches. We wrote down the date, time, and location of each activity, and then appointed a corresponding responsible person. We decided that we would send the document to all practitioners in Örebro, so that everyone would have the same information. In a moment everyone in the room was responsible for various activities, and I felt that I had responsibility for as many activities as I could manage. The good thing was that everyone had been involved and all were satisfied with the plan. It became a strength that everyone stood behind the various activities. It has also shown that we have a good foundation to carry out the activities. It is powerful to cooperate! Thank you Master! Thank you all!