PureInsight | August 31, 2013
I am a Falun Gong practitioner from Sweden and obtained the Fa in 2008. Two years ago, I came to Sweden by Master's arrangement. Before that I pretty much practiced Falun Gong on my own in China. In Sweden my cultivation environment changed dramatically as I was suddenly placed in an environment where there were so many fellow practitioners. Now I would like to share with you about my last two years’ cultivation experience.
Getting rid of the mentality of being afraid and handing out leaflets face to face
I had been a very introverted character since I was young. I was very scared (when speaking to strangers) to such an extent that I often became tongue-tied with a frozen brain. Therefore, I only clarified the truth to acquaintances and persuaded them to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliate organizations. I was keen to make progress but fear hindered me from stepping forward.
During my first year in Sweden, I lived with a fellow practitioner at her home. She often encouraged me to hand out newspapers at tourist attractions, and told me that I could simply stand there with the newspapers in my hand.
On my way to a tourist attraction, I began to get nervous even on the tube, with a rapid heartbeat and trembling legs. When I tried my best to stand by a wall with newspapers in my hand, I held the newspapers upside down. But Master still encouraged me. A visitor came to me, looking at the newspaper with his neck bent to one side, and eventually took the newspaper. This encouraged me a lot.
Since then, almost every weekend I joined my fellow practitioners handing out newspapers. Whenever I made progress, my fellow practitioner would encourage me. She also shared with me how to search inward and rectify oneself, so that more tourists could understand the truth of Falun Gong.
Although I made a breakthrough handing out newspapers, it still seemed hard for me to speak to other people. Sometime I felt confused – the environment was very relaxed without risk of being arrested. Then, what on earth did I fear?
Through constant Fa study, I gradually became clear on the reason. The mentality of being afraid was not a standalone attachment, but linked to other attachments. I had a lot of attachments, for example the attachment to fame and vanity, liking to hear good things, hoping everybody thinks I'm good, everyone treating me very nicely. I feared talking with strangers, because I was afraid that I might say something wrong, do something wrong, and give people a bad impression. I feared telling the truth to others, because I did not want to hear nasty words and lose face. Even when I clarified the truth about Falun Gong to colleagues and friends, I was worried that if they did not understand the truth that could affect me. Every starting point was to protect myself, which was not correct. Thus, I could not be open hearted.
After thinking it through, I could catch this mentality and deny it, whenever it felt hard to talk to other people. When the tourist season started this year, I spoke to Master in my heart, and hoped I could go from simply handing out newspapers to being able to clarify the truth and persuade people to quit the CCP. Truly it was as what Master said in Zhuan Falun: "It is good enough if you have this wish." Soon with my fellow practitioners help, I made a breakthrough in clarifying the truth and persuading people to quit the CCP.
To get rid of attachment of proving myself while collecting signatures
Wang Lijun sought asylum in the US Consulate, which allowed the CCP's live organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners to be exposed to the international community. The whole body of European Falun Gong practitioners also launched a campaign to collect signatures for the international community to stop the CCP's offences.
When the Falun Dafa Swedish Association notified us about the campaign, I attached great importance to it. I thought it was just like persuading Chinese people to quit the CCP. If people signed their names on the petitions, they were saved. So, when fellow practitioners carried out signature collections, I was involved proactively. I prepared materials, printed out petitions and even sought advice from fellow practitioners in other countries. I was busy everyday with the campaign. I felt I had never paid such a lot of attention and never so carefully devoted myself to any of the Fa-rectification activities that I had ever been involved in.
On the day when we collected signatures together, there was a practitioner who could not speak a foreign language, so she simply hung a display board on the front of her chest. Although I did good preparation, I did not collect as many signatures as I planned. People passed me in different directions. Some stopped and read the leaflet and then left. Some people saw me in the distance and took another route to avoid me. There were quite a few people among those who only left their names without their signatures.
When our event was finished, I felt thirsty and had back pains. However, what made me very sad was that I had only collected a dozen signatures. I was frustrated and thought it might be that people here were rather aloof and hard to save. At this moment the practitioner who could not speak a foreign language came to me and said she had collected three to four pages of signatures, simply by saying hello and pointing to the board in front of her chest. Another practitioner came to me as well, with five pages of petitions signed, and said people here were very kind and willing to sign their names on the petition letters.
At that moment, my heart was completely boiling with jealousy, grievance and resentment, etc. I was in tears on my way home. I paid such a lot of attention and attached great importance to saving sentient beings, but how come it was such a result? The more I thought about it the more I felt frustrated. Then thinking that I had not persuaded a lot of Chinese to quit the Communist Party, and had not distributed enough leaflets about Shen Yun, I suddenly had very low self-esteem, and felt that I was incompetent, with no abilities and could not do anything well. In this instance, a message suddenly came into my mind: you cannot save people; you cannot reach perfection. The message was obviously interference, but I was simply unable to discern it. I even thought: however hard I tried, I could not save people; let alone reach perfection. After arriving home, I was in this totally sad mood. I cried until I was tired and fell asleep; then woke up and cried again.
I didn't know how long time had passed when suddenly I thought: Should I go to collect signatures tomorrow? Struggling for a while, then I thought I should go. At this time I felt more rational, and started to rethink the whole process and to try to find the problem.
Master, in his Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference (2003) Q&A section, states, " When it comes to doing things, I consider the process most important, because during the process you can have people see the truth, during the process you can save the world's people, and during the process you can reveal the truth." "But you often emphasize the results instead of fully explaining to them the facts that you should explain during that process. Only when all people know the truth that they should know are you really validating the Fa and clarifying the facts. "
Then I realized that I was in pursuit of results. Before collecting signatures, I sought fellow practitioners' advice. I got to know that they probably could collect 100 signatures a day. Therefore I set this figure as my target. When I found that I was far behind the target, I became very impatient. The reason I attached such an importance to the result was that I wanted to link the result to my ability. This, in reality, was to validate myself by collecting signatures. The old forces saw it very clearly, thus they strengthened this unrighteous thought, and made me link the result of collecting signatures together with my cultivation perfection.
I had not even thought that people were missing the chance; rather I blamed them for being indifferent and not being easy to save. I had been sad for a long time, but it was because of my human mentality being unsatisfied.
I then further tracked the reasons underpinning the problem. I found that I was so proactive in preparing petitions, attached so much importance to it, simply because of my selfish mentality. In my subtle consciousness, I felt that I did not persuade enough people to quit the Communist Party. Therefore, I hoped to make it up by collecting more signatures. I felt that those Westerners were not like mainland Chinese brainwashed by the CCP. The Westerners should be easier to save.
With so many selfish thoughts and all kinds of attachments, how could I be in a pure and selfless state? Thus I could not save people.
Through this, I deeply appreciated what Master said about the starting point. For anything, no matter how much effort you have made, as long as the starting point is not correct, the desired result will not be achieved.
To let go of oneself during Shen Yun promotion
During the 2013 Shen Yun promotion, a coordinator asked whether I could ask for a few days off from work to help sell Shen Yun tickets. I promised to help, but my heart became anxious. My office was conducting a large layoff, and planned to get rid of one employee in ten. It was said that the new employees were the first to be gotten rid of. Most of the employees in my team had been working for more than ten years, but I had just worked for two years. So the risk of me becoming redundant was very high. In addition, the company has just been through restructuring, and my line manager who had recruited me just left. The new line manager knew me, but seemed not get along with me very well. In this instance, all my colleagues tried hard to work extra hours, but I had always left work on time to join Dafa projects in the evenings. Now I even needed to ask for extra time off. If I was made redundant, what could I do? I cannot speak any Swedish; it was hard for me to find a job locally. I hold a work visa to come to Sweden and if I could not find a new job within 3 months I would have to go back to China. If I could not find a job, should I seek asylum? How could I tell my family members? Would it make them misunderstand Dafa?
When these ideas fought with each other in my mind, I asked myself: Where are your righteous thoughts? Promoting Shen Yun is the best thing to do. During these months, the company planned to make people redundant. Was it a kind of interference? Was it a kind of test? Everything of Dafa disciples was arranged by Master. What should we worry about? Even if I eventually became redundant, perhaps Master was changing my cultivation environment. From an ordinary person’s perspective, being redundant was not good, but it might be a good thing for cultivation. This ten more minutes seemed quite a long time. When I was thinking, I suddenly realized that what I thought was all about myself. I just didn't think about what Master wanted us to do, and what sentient beings needed us to do. When it comes to making decisions ordinary people think about fame, interest and emotion. I am a Dafa disciple, how could I think like them? In this instance, I made the decision in my heart and my mind returned to peace. After the Shen Yun show, the line manager announced the redundancy list that did not include me.
In fact, my cultivation process has been relatively uneventful with nothing thrilling and amazing. However, I really feel all the time Master looks after disciples' cultivation. In mainland China, whenever there was a test, I could always find articles from Minghui website that could help me. After coming to Sweden, whenever the fellow practitioner shared her experience with me, I could always see the same problem on my side, and be inspired. In my office, Master reminds me through my colleagues. When I pretended to be modest to avoid arousing others’ jealousy of me, Master would make a colleague speak to me: If you could do that better, it would be great. When I was not so happy with my colleagues and upset, Master made my colleague ask me: How is your recent cultivation, any character improvement?
For Master's compassionate and arduous salvation, I can only say: only by being more diligent could we help our Master.
Thank you, Master!
Thank you, fellow practitioners!
(Submission to 2013 European Falun Dafa Experience-Sharing Conference in Copenhagen)