PureInsight | September 25, 2013
[PureInsight.org] Time flies. It seemed as if the 2012 New York Fa Conference had just ended before this year’s Fa Conference had quickly arrived. The 2013 Fa conference was the largest so far, with more than 8,000 practitioners in attendance. How lucky I was to be among practitioners from all over the world. Here I’d like to pluck some pieces from my memory of this trip to New York to share with fellow practitioners.
1. Setting Sail
On the morning of May 16, several groups of practitioners from Taiwan took the same flight to Tokyo from Taipei and then separated to take different flights to New York. Some took non-stop flights while others had to change flights. My group’s route was somewhat arduous with three flight changes. It was about 30 hours from when I left home in Taiwan in the morning to entering my room in a New York hotel. It was quite difficult.
I had previously experienced a similar journey two years ago, so I had long been prepared for this tiring journey. However, this was the first time for other members in the group to experience multiple transits on a long journey; yet they did not complain at all, and each person really portrayed an admirable high character.
When our group arrived in Portland, Oregon, I wanted to get through customs as soon as possible as I had to go to the bathroom, so I sped up my pace and went to the front of our group. However, I ended up being the last person in our group to pass through customs, because the customs officer in my lane kept asking a lot of questions and took a long time when checking credentials.
The officer, who looked like an amicable grandmother, asked me what my purpose of coming to the U.S. was. I said, “I am a Falun Gong practitioner, and I have come to attend an experience sharing conference in New York.” Then I gave her my invitation letter from the Falun Dafa Association. She read it very carefully from start to finish; she was the first U.S. customs officer that I had ever encountered to read the invitation letter thoroughly. From her expression and questions, she must have known that Falun Gong was being persecuted in mainland China and she felt regret and sympathy.
When I completed my entry procedures, other members of my group who had queued behind me had already queued in other lines and passed through, so subsequently I became the last one. Oddly enough to say, after my entry, my thought of having to go to the bathroom was not so strong. Maybe it was because I might have had a karmic relationship with that female customs officer, and I told her what she had been waiting to hear.
2. Participating in Training
The agenda for the first day in New York was to participate in the training for The Epoch Times. Although I had completed these training courses previously, it was only after attending this training session that I felt “easier said than done” and knew that I hadn’t done quite well enough in cooperation. As a fellow practitioner reported, Master hopes that The Epoch Times can be as professional as Shen Yun and become the largest media in the world—only then can it have a bigger influence and save more people.
After the training, a North American practitioner drove me and other practitioners back to our hotel. When passing by a building, the North American practitioner said suddenly, “I have no idea what this building is for.” We really didn’t have any idea that the building was the stadium that was to hold the Fa conference two days later. It was really an interesting coincidence.
3. Parade in Manhattan
On the morning of May 18th, we participated in group practice in Manhattan’s Chinatown, and then lined up to prepare for the parade. The sky was overcast, but under strong righteous thoughts from all disciples, it did not rain.
After sending forth righteous thoughts at noon, the procession of several thousand people set out in a formidable array, going through the crowded Chinatown streets like a huge, winding dragon. I was among the troupe of practitioners from Taiwan demonstrating the exercises; I moved my hands along with the music and saw pedestrians along the roadside taking pictures, making me a little bit shy. To maintain the image of Dafa I dared not look around, but tried my best to do the movements well in accordance with the music and to keep in time with the troupe. Later I heard from a fellow practitioner that the coordinator of the Taiwan practitioners in the front was moved every time he looked back at the orderly movements of these several hundred people in the exercise demonstration troupe.
Compared with last year, I felt this year’s parade was grander, with more people watching and a stronger energy field. There was no chiding or abuse from goons organized by the CCP once seen many years ago. Dafa disciples are playing the leading roles on the stage of history now. With the advance of the Fa rectification, the evil is being eliminated constantly and will all be swept into the gate of no life in the end.
After the parade, practitioners from different places left without any noise or fanfare. Only Dafa disciples could achieve this serene and calm scene with so many people, and it was because of this that the New York Police officers on duty were quite relaxed and touched deeply by Dafa’s beauty. Ordinary people might not know the connotations of Dafa, but Dafa disciples’ performance and demeanour affect their impressions of Dafa.
4. Going to the Fa Conference and Bathing in the Glory of the Fa Together
Although it was raining lightly in the morning of the Fa conference, it could not affect my mood of attending the Fa conference. I considered this rain as the tears of joy of Gods and Buddha’s for the grand gathering of more than 8,000 Dafa disciples.
Different from the main and side halls in the past years, this year’s Fa conference was held in a stadium with more than 8,000 people seated in the same venue, filling all the seats like Gods from various celestial bodies in the universe gathering for a big meeting. It was really a magnificent scene.
At about 9:30 a.m., Almighty Master came to the Fahui to teach the Fa. The applause for Master was like thunder that lasted for quite a long time. Since there were some fellow practitioners from China attending this Fa conference, Master spent more than two hours—longer than usual—teaching the Fa and answering questions.
Master emphasized again the importance of cooperation and coordination. In connection with NTD TV, Master mentioned the importance of media, which should be playing leading roles in their respective fields by now.
I really felt deeply ashamed after listening to Master’s Fa teaching. Looking back on my 10 years of participating in NTD, I more or less had insufficiencies in cooperation which need to be improved.
At the end of the Fa conference, the Shen Yun documentary “Our Road” was shown. The film depicted the impressive story of how young disciples from different countries in class 07 of Fei Tian Academy of the Arts studied diligently and trained hard to turn impossibilities into possibilities.
At the beginning stage of Fei Tian Academy of the Arts, these young disciples did not have sufficient facilities, teachers, or funds. But with faith in Master and the Fa, and coming from all walks of life, they became the first-rate performers and elites of Shen Yun Performing Arts in a very short time.
As an example, a young practitioner was once hunchbacked. In order to stand straight, he had to stand up against a wall for a long time. Another young disciple had flatfeet and could not do sports or dance at all; in order to meet the standard, he had to put in significantly more effort than the other young practitioners. There was also a female practitioner who was rejected by the teachers of Fei Tian Academy of the Arts at first because of her unsuitable stature for dancing. But Master said, “Give her a chance and let her try!” Now she has become an excellent dancer.
One leader of Shen Yun Performing Arts said that what these disciples manifested were miracles of Gods, which would be absolutely impossible for ordinary people. Seeing these miracles also helped her to eliminate some of her human notions. Another Shen Yun group member indicated that dance was closely related to cultivation, and that miracles of this sort can be achieved only with faith in Master and the Fa.
A Shen Yun performer mentioned in the film that every time Master helped the disciples to do the leg splits, it was Master who endured their pain; as a result they did not feel any pain. When Master released His hands they would cry out in pain. Master never said a word and He always attributed the dancers’ progress to their own effort. I understood from this that Master has endured all suffering for sentient beings, but He never vents His grievances to us and never asks for anything; He only hopes we can be more diligent, cultivate solidly, and achieve consummation. Human beings’ languages can never describe Master’s compassion and greatness.
The film also showed how the Shen Yun performers cooperate and form one body, which was very valuable for fellow practitioners in various projects to learn from. For example, a singer made a mistake during a performance and all of the members of the troupe all felt sorry after the review seminar that night, though the singers and dancers belonged to different sections of the troupe. From this we could see that Shen Yun Performing Arts members really are an entirety without making any distinction between “you” and “me.” This is one of the reasons that Shen Yun has great power to save people.
At the end of the film it was said that class 07 was Master’s most loved and trusted class—it was because the practitioners had grateful hearts and knew that Master had endured everything for them. I thought that if we could be like these fellow practitioners and have more grateful hearts for Master, we could have done better.
In general, the film “Our Road” was a narrative of the cultivation path of Fei Tian disciples. However, I understood that the film was also in fact serving as a reference for us to do well on our own cultivation paths. Though we have different paths than the disciples of Fei Tian, we share the same responsibility of saving people and have the same high requirements to meet in order to reach consummation. It was not that they could expect special treatment just because they were close to Master.
5. One-day Tour in New York
Related activities of the Fa conference ended on May 20th and we snatched a moment of leisure to walk around in Manhattan. The first stop was the Chinese consulate where we sent forth righteous thoughts. I once sent forth righteous thoughts there when clarifying the truth in Manhattan in 2005. Though winter hadn’t yet arrived back then, I remember that the temperature had dropped below freezing and it was bitterly cold in the blowing wind. This time it was towards the end of spring and it was quite warm, and the wind was refreshing, which provided a sharp contrast between the two visits. The evil has been and continues to be eradicated in great quantities now, and the field in front of the Chinese consulate is without the gruesome feeling it had previously—it is much better than before. Local practitioners said that they did very well in distributing materials that same day we went to the Chinese consulate to send forth righteous thoughts, with a rather large number of people accepting materials.
After lunch we went to Central Park to do the exercises and spread the Fa. On the soft, green lawn amongst the trees, practitioners displayed the exercises, forming a serene and auspicious scene. Some people came to have a look, presumably people with affinity.
When it comes to people with affinity, I can share several small stories. Once I was taking a photo for a fellow practitioner beside a reservoir and a lady passing by offered to take a photo for us. After the photo taking, the other practitioner gave her a paper lotus; she said in high spirits that it would bring her good fortune.
I also heard another fellow practitioner share that when she was standing in line to buy a ticket, a foreigner saw a Falun Dafa banner on the practitioner’s backpack and took the initiative to shake hands with her. Another fellow practitioner shared an interesting episode years back when she was attending a Washington DC Fa conference. She was walking along a street with some other practitioners when a lady dressed in traditional Korean clothing stopped her and pointed to the paper lotus on her backpack. The practitioner gave her the lotus and the lady then gave her a bar of chocolate and insisted that she keep it.
Over the years, these paper lotuses and bookmarks made by Taiwanese practitioners are all over the world; perhaps they could have led some people with affinity to obtain the Fa. Though human beings are in the realm of delusion, after the big disaster, the future people may remember what Dafa disciples have done for them.
6. Arriving Home the Same Way we Left
With beautiful memories lingering in our minds, we started our journey home. When changing flights in Tokyo, we met up with other groups from Taiwan. It turned out that the last flight of our journey was the same for everyone, just as when we had departed.
I’d like to offer mutual encouragement to fellow practitioners with this article and hope that all Dafa disciples can walk well on the last leg of the journey.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/node/118861