On the Issue of Promoting Shen Yun: Understanding vs. Articulating the Meaning of Shen Yun

Zheng Jian Editor

PureInsight | June 23, 2011

[PureInsight.org] Viewed by many as the best performance in the world, Shen Yun is now known in many regions across various nations. This is a result of the tireless efforts of practitioners involved in promoting Shen Yun and selling tickets. Ticket selling is indeed a critical step for the success of Shen Yun. It means that practitioners need to find people who are interested in the performance and connect them with the performance itself. This might appear to be a challenging task, but it is not that difficult once we are clear with this on the Fa.

As we know, the performance itself has always been successful, while our ticket selling varies dramatically from one place to another. Sometimes the outcome is good, making everyone very happy, but there are also occasions where ticket sales have been poor, making one want to cry whenever thinking about it. Practitioners have discussed this problem, again and again, hoping to find certain methods or principles that can enable ticket sales to make a big leap forward. And yet, this search still seems to be continuing as of now.

In my understanding, to do this well, we need to be clear on the difference between the perspective of a practitioner and that of an everyday person. That is, we have to keep in mind the difference between our own understanding and the language we use in the promotion process.

Both Dafa practitioners and everyday people praise Shen Yun, but the inner meaning behind their praise is different. Practitioners know that Shen Yun performances are powerful Fa implements, adopted by Master to save sentient beings. They work well, and the majority of people who watch the performance will be saved. On the other hand, when everyday people say Shen Yun is good, it is based on their feelings, hobbies, and personal background. For example, a musical expert may praise the live orchestra and original scores; dancers may appreciate certain movements and feel their meaning; people working in the fashion industry are impressed by the costumes; and graphic designers are stunned by the backdrop design and its use of color. That is to say, everyone can find particular aspects that lead him or her to deeply appreciate a Shen Yun performance.

It should be fairly easy for us practitioners to understand everyday people's viewpoints. Their opinions reflect understandings at their levels and it is therefore inappropriate to conclude which viewpoints are right and which are wrong. Our understanding, however, is beyond everyday people's understanding. In fact, the higher we talk about it, the harder for them to apprehend and accept. That means that when introducing Shen Yun to people who have not watched the performance, we have to pay special attention and avoid speaking about things at our own levels. Otherwise, the results might even be opposite to what we had hoped. That is, rather than align our words with our own understandings, we have to be clear on not mixing them together.

As Dafa disciples, the more deeply we understand the meaning of a Shen Yun performance, the more responsibility we may feel to successfully promote Shen Yun. This helps us do better in saving people and fulfilling our vows. This, however, does not mean we should articulate this high level of understanding when introducing Shen Yun to everyday people. This is because we have been constantly improving through cultivation, while everyday people stay at their levels and do not elevate with us. Therefore, we need to speak to them in a way that they can understand and accept.

When reading an article recently on promoting Shen Yun, I noticed the following suggestion by the author: “During the ticket selling process, we can directly tell people that…it is an admission ticket to Heaven and to the new era... a ticket worth more than one's life.” Later in the same article, the author emphasized again: “it is an admission ticket to Heaven and to the new era.”

It was not until recently that we practitioners were able to understand it at this level. If we directly speak to everyday people in this way, it might be too high for them and thus drive them away. Although the intention to help them be saved is good, we have to consider their level of acceptance. Only by speaking in a way that can be understood and accepted by everyday people can we avoid negative consequences.

The reality is, whether an everyday person would go to see a Shen Yun performance, or even sit in a certain seat, could have already been arranged. That is to say, the paths for saving sentient beings could have already been paved by Master and righteous divine beings. We practitioners only need to connect the performance with these people in a way that they can be moved to come. When some seats are not occupied, that means there are areas that we need to improve in our promotion process. Why didn't those people come? It could be that during the promotion process we spoke at too high a level, or we had fear and hesitation, or we did not take concrete actions to inform people about Shen Yun. In any case, these people did not come to watch the performance and they lost their opportunity. Since these factors arise from us, even sending forth righteous thoughts might not work. Recently in some places where Shen Yun performances were held, practitioners took shifts to send forth righteous thoughts, sometimes even 24 hours a day—but their ticket sales were still low. Therefore, we really have to look within and resolve this issue.

With true belief in Master and the Fa, and truly following Master's arrangements, we will definitely be able to promote Shen Yun with rationality, openly and aboveboard. Then, where do we start? People tend to believe words from authorities, experts, or people working at certain levels in various professions. During the past several years of Shen Yun performances, we have seen and heard many positive responses from such people. We can collect them and use them for Shen Yun promotion. For people who like music, we can share positive comments from famous musicians; for dancers, we can tell them the praise given by some well-known experts in the dancing profession. This way, we can provide information specific to people’s needs, and they will thus feel confident to watch the performance. These people may in turn introduce the performance to their friends or relatives, thus having a deeper impact on society.

Introducing Shen Yun performances to people is actually one of the many ways of truth-clarification. Master has mentioned in the past that we cannot talk too high when clarifying the truth. For example, in “Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005,” Master said, “As cultivators, you can understand and comprehend what I've just said. There is no need to tell these things to ordinary people. When you clarify the truth, don't talk about these things. If you talk about these things, you will scare people off and throw their thinking into disarray. It will be very hard for them to understand it. If when you clarify the truth you talk about things at a level that's just a little too high, let me tell you, you will no longer be saving sentient beings but instead pushing them down. You can't talk about things at too high of a level. Talking about things at a high or low level is not a simple question of whether you are exercising good judgment. It is a question of whether you are saving sentient beings or destroying them. So when you clarify the truth you absolutely must not speak at too high of a level.” I think that a good understanding of these words will also help us promote Shen Yun successfully.

Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/zj/articles/2011/6/2/74962.html


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