PureInsight | June 19, 2009
Experience sharing from the 2009 Canada Fa Conference
Greetings, Respected Master,
Greetings, Fellow practitioners,
In “Teaching the Fa in Canada, 2006,” Teacher said: “Dafa has been established in human society, and your form of cultivation has you conform to ordinary society to the maximum extent. Many people think it's about being lenient with and making things convenient for our cultivation, but diligent students don't see it that way. It is, rather, the path that Dafa disciples must take as they cultivate. So everything that you do, be it your balancing well your family relationships while you live among ordinary people, balancing well your relationships in society, how you perform at your workplace, how you conduct yourself in society, etc., none of these are things you can just go through the motions on. All of these are part of your cultivation format, and are serious matters.”
I came to Canada in 2004. As I was persecuted in China, my family members wanted me to have a stable life when I finally got to Canada. Going to school seemed to be the first step in getting established in Canada. However, my memory had been damaged from the persecution I suffered at a forced labor camp. I had difficulties remembering the English words I had learned, not to mention learning new words. I had to take the English exams twice for the University of Toronto and failed them both, but somehow I was accepted into the master’s program in Urban Design. The course load was very heavy at U of T and I didn’t know how I could face the two years of study with my poor English. But I thought, since Dafa gave me an opportunity to study, I was determined to validate Dafa and save the sentient beings in this particular environment.
I used all the opportunities I had at school to clarify the truth to my classmates. In one of my history courses, we had to do a presentation on selected topics. One of them was Marxism. In western universities, communism is still poisoning the students. So, I decided to use this issue to clarify the truth. It was a difficult topic for me, but I thought it would be a good opportunity. I borrowed the books from the bibliography and found that they were of the same tone as the propaganda of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). According to the professor’s requirements, we should first of all give a summary of the literature. But I decided to give a presentation with content contrary to what the books said. This might irritate my professor, and with my poor English, I may not have been able to argue my point eloquently, but I did not care about my marks. I just didn’t want communism to continue to poison sentient beings. So, I collected many posters from the Cultural Revolution period and a picture of how the CCP persecuted a white nun, along with my X-rays showing the injuries that I sustained as a result of the persecution. These pictures helped me to illustrate my points. All of my classmates were engaged by my lecture. As soon as the class was over, my classmates said to me, “You are so brave. You spoke very well. I have learned a lot.”
When my roommates and I got back to our studio, we had more discussions about my presentation. They asked me about Falun Gong and why the persecution was happening. They were really shocked when I told them the truth. My classmates from Iran were especially shocked. They said, “We thought only the Iranian government was so brutal. Many anti-government people have gone missing. The Chinese government is even worse than the Iranian government because it even persecutes those who are not against it. They wanted me to show them the Falun Gong exercises. However, some of my classmates from India were not convinced of the benefits of Falun Gong. They thought Yoga was better. I decided that I would talk with them further at another time.
I have used all the opportunities that I had in my courses to expose the Chinese Communist regime. Students and professors have learned about the forcible demolition of people’s homes in China, the environmental pollution in China, and the Chinese government control of the Internet. They were amazed at the absurdity of the regime.
As time went by, conflicts arose among my classmates during group projects. This was especially so between different ethnic groups and even among the same ethnic group, such as the Iranians. It made it very difficult for people to complete their assignments. I was affected and many of my classmates complained to me.
I think that everyone I meet has a predestined relationship with me. My environment mirrors my heart. Their problems are reflections of the shortcomings that I have in my dimension. I enlightened to the fact that, first of all, I cannot be affected by them. No matter who is right or wrong on the surface, I would not get involved. In addition, as I am a Dafa practitioner, I should use the Fa principles to help them solve their problems so that they can feel the compassion of a Dafa practitioner. So every time they complained to me, I would talk to them using Fa principles in a way that they could understand in order to help them put things in perspective. I tried to tell them to look at things from others’ perspective. Usually, after I talked to them, they felt better.
As well as completing school work, my husband and I also have to do a lot of Dafa work. Time is tight. However, many classmates asked for my help with their assignments, such as what do to for their thesis or an idea for a design. It was time consuming for me to come up with even my own ideas and it was almost impossible for me to help others. Sometimes I was really annoyed and thought, “I am just your classmate” or, “I am not your teacher. Why don’t you go ask your teacher? Don’t you know that I am also tired? Why are you so selfish?” But then I realized that I should not be deceived by this illusion of ordinary people. They would rather talk to me than their teacher because their knowing side wanted to hear the truth. This was also an opportunity for me to guide them with Fa principles and righteous thinking. Think about how hard it was for Teacher to save us and we know how much Teacher suffered. As a practitioner, with a mission to save sentient beings, why should I be concerned about being tired? So I tried very hard to help them. They were all very appreciative.
Towards the end of the second semester, I was even busier with Dafa work, but I did not want to give up my studies or to appear abnormal to other people. Teacher said: “Don't go to extremes with anything; do things rationally and with a clear head. That is the mighty virtue of a Dafa disciple. Whoever manages to remain steady while following this ordinary-society cultivation format, that person is truly doing what's best in this format of cultivation. If with this format someone exhibits behavior that is out of line with this format and at odds with it, then perhaps that person hasn't done well enough. Since Dafa disciples' cultivation is conducted with a format like this, this format is able to forge Dafa disciples, and it can create incredibly high future Attainment Statuses. Departing from this format or not conforming to it will obstruct your cultivation; those things are actually the product of attachments.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital, 2006”)
In the third semester of my program, we planned to go to Chile’s capital city. Prior to our departure, one class was rescheduled and one of my classmates had to do a presentation, which she was not prepared for. I had also been very busy with Dafa work and had also not studied. While many of our classmates were packing, I decided to stay with my friend. She was desperate. She said, “Cindy, help me. I only read the article once.” I told her, “Say to yourself that Falun Dafa is good.” To my surprise, she opened her mouth and started shouting from St. George Street to College Street and then Harbour Street. A miracle happened as she memorized everything. She did not even have to refer to the originals when she did her presentation.
In the last semester of 2008, I had several courses and also needed to work on my thesis. At this time, the CCP had started to round up Falun Gong practitioners. I was very busy with Dafa work. I didn’t have time to be with my classmates. I wanted them to see the Shen Yun Divine Performing Arts performance, but although they were very interested, they did not go. I thought that my classmates were interested in the arts but the economy was not good and they did not have money for it. Although I didn’t have a lot of money, I thought it was important to invite all of them and so I paid for their tickets. They all dressed up for the occasion and they were very impressed with the show. Some of them were interviewed by the Epoch Times. They expressed their appreciation for traditional Chinese culture and their support for Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance and that they are against the persecution. They were very pleased to see their interviews on the Epoch Times website. They said that they finally understood where my beautiful color schemes came from. Some of them even got their color inspirations from the Shen Yun show for dressing up during their graduation thesis.
The proposal for my thesis was rated number one during the third semester. But when I finally presented my thesis to the committee, it was rejected by some of the advisors due to their notions. My supervisor suggested that I refer to the designs of a famous modern architect. I have always liked traditional designs, as if they have existed in my mind for a long time. In the five years I studied modern design in university, I could not understand how such designs came into being. After I studied Dafa, I understood that traditional architectural culture is the orthodox culture and modern design is the products of aliens. I think in order for me to be able to cultivate Dafa, my mind had been protected so I did not focus on modern urban design. But then I had problems fitting into ordinary society. As my supervisor wanted me to model modern design architecture to create my own design, I talked about it with my husband from the Fa perspective and finally understood that looking from above, the geometrical shapes of modern designs look like huge air stations. If one travelled in the air in a UFO, it would be very clear. So I came up with several designs and each of them captured the essence of modern design, which surprised all of my committee members. However, modern design is not from civilizations of human beings; it does not concern itself with human life and it is even in conflict with nature. So I modified it so that my design would merge into the natural environment and integrated human life into the design as well. When I had my oral defence, my department invited specialists to sit in the committee, including a person in charge of the urban design program of Harvard University. The specialists had a lot to say after my classmates presented. But they were silent after my presentation. After a short while, one professor said, “Let me say something. You have done a lot of work on your design and you solidly established your thesis. You have been very successful in using examples of modern design and you have proved the values of your creativity.” This is the professor who was against my design in the first place.
Two days later, although I was tired, I invited everybody to come to my class for a get-together to teach them Falun Gong. One of the western practitioners also came to help us. All of my classmates came with their spouses and children. They learned the exercises and everyone picked up a copy of the truth-clarification materials and CDs. My husband and I prepared a nice Chinese dinner for them. At the party, people who did not talk to each other started to talk, and a male student from India proposed to a female student from Iran, whom he didn’t like at first. The positive energy of Dafa cultivators rectified the environment and everything was harmonized.
During this process, I enlightened to what Teacher said: “As a Dafa disciple in this society, no matter what kind of setting or corner of society you find yourself in, you are playing a positive role. Regardless of whether you are clarifying the truth and validating the Fa or doing things not so directly connected to Dafa, you are nonetheless saving sentient beings and are playing huge roles, and that is because your righteous thoughts and compassionate field are having a positive effect.” (Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital, 2006)
Looking back at the past two years, when I was clarifying the truth or getting along with ordinary people, I tried to follow the standards of cultivators so that ordinary people could see the beauty of Dafa and be impressed with Dafa. It was a difficult process. But it was worth it.
My English is the worst in my class and yet I got an “A” in most of the subjects. During the two years of my study, I was a top student in my class. I also assisted all of my classmates to get their degrees on schedule. This is a miracle of Dafa. I experienced the power of Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance.