Clarifying the Truth at a Tourist Spot in The Hague
Greetings to our compassionate Master and fellow practitioners
When in 2014 it became clear that clarifying the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong to Chinese tourists at sightseeing spots was a matter of urgency, we decided to go to the Peace Palace in The Hague every Sunday. In fact a few of us had been standing there frequently for the past 10 years with banners and information materials, but hadn’t been going recently.
Those who lived close to The Hague and could take responsibility were all abroad, so we looked for other options. I had enough free time and took responsibility. Because we were known as a very peaceful group to the local police, we could get a long-term permission very quickly.
We started in the summer months and many practitioners came to support the activity. Later, the schools started again and the number of practitioners decreased. During the winter months we also couldn't be there so often, since there were only few Chinese tourists visiting.
Most of the practitioners who could attend were Chinese who had just arrived in The Netherlands and were not familiar with Western culture and way of life. This clash of cultures created a big xinxing test for me. To make the activity run smoothly and support it, I asked people to send forth righteous thoughts after setting up the banners. Some followed this agreement, others directly went out to the square to hand out materials to the public. Others who had kids with them, gave flyers to their kids and had them to hand out the materials to the tourists. The visitors of the Peace Palace dealt with this in different ways. It bothered me because there are many stories in the news of professional beggars send children out to tourist spots to beg. I tried to explain this to the parents of the children, but the reply was that the children are innocent and mean no harm. I didn't know how to solve this cultural difference, especially since there are security cameras all over the place and we could get in trouble with the police. Some of the kids didn't even speak the language. I would be held responsible if there were any complaints. I wrote a sharing about this and had it translated to prevent miscommunication and distrust. At first there was no reaction, except for a Minghui article written by one of the parents. I didn't know about it and only heard about it months later. There was no time to argue and exert power, so I cleared my thoughts and focused on a good continuation of the activities.
As a cultivator
One always looks for one’s own faults
’Tis the Way to get rid of attachments most effectively
There’s no way to skip ordeals, big or small
[During a conflict, if you can remember:]
And I’m wrong,”
What’s to dispute?
I bought a few marbles and soap to blow bubbles and gave it to the kids. This way the parents could be relieved and focus on clarifying the truth, since they are quite professional and valuable when it comes to clarify the truth to Chinese tourists.
Many Chinese tourists took pictures of the banners that had images of the Falun Gong exercises, drawings and explanations of the torture methods that Falun Gong practitioners in China had to bear. Sometimes a tour guide came and took some information material. Most Chinese tourists wouldn’t accept materials because the tour guide or others kept an eye on them. But there were many who learned about the truth of the persecution and even withdrew from the communist party on the spot. Some tourists from Asia were surprised to see Western practitioners. One man from Singapore said: “I thought only Chinese people practice Falun Gong.” Many other Chinese tourists said that they already met Falun Gong practitioners at other tourist spots on their journey.
Whether it was summer, fall or winter, we always had nice weather during our activities. One time it was different! That time a strong wind blew suddenly. Our table was almost whipped away, everything flew into the air. Across the street we saw a taxi with some high Chinese officials inside. They were very curt and cold when we approached them. I remember that many years ago we had very cold weather during a demonstration when members of the Chinese Communist Party visited The Hague. I noticed how extremely cold and penetrating the weather was. A veteran practitioner said: “Where the evil is, the weather is always extremely unpleasant!” This was back at the beginning of my cultivation. At this occasion I remembered his words. Sometimes it rains in the area around The Hague, but not at the spot of our activity.
At times it would rain, but only after I already sat in the train on my way home. But even if it rained in the whole country, whenever I left the train there was no more rain. One time however, when we returned from the activity, I saw many people taking shelter under a roof, waiting for the rain to stop. Even to get to the bike shelter nearby would be impossible without getting soaking wet. The rain kept pouring from the sky and it didn’t look like it would stop soon.
I decided to grab my bike and go home. I thought to myself, I did my duty for today, even if bricks are falling from the sky, it has nothing to do with me. I grabbed my bike and started peddling, while planning the rest of my day in my mind. However, after a few hundred meters I noticed I wasn’t wet at all. It had stopped raining very suddenly. From ordinary view, this was quite remarkable and wondrous. The feeling of taking responsibility for saving sentient beings strengthens our righteous thoughts. For me this was proof of righteous thoughts and an encouragement of Master. For us as a group we could see encouragement in the pictures, taken when we were practicing or clarifying the truth, in the form of a rainbow or very beautiful radiant light. I always made pictures of the whole group, so nobody would feel left out. I sent pictures to the group regularly.
Our group was not always the same because not everybody could join the activities each Sunday. After a few months a practitioner who lives nearby joined. We could now store the banners and other materials at his place. This was a big help, since we all had to travel to The Hague by train and carry the materials with us. On Sundays the trains only run after 8:00am. We had to be at the location by 9:30am in order to set up everything. As a coordinator, I had to be there first of course. The biggest obstacle for me was the transportation. I had to carry all the materials on my bike. Sometimes when I didn’t fix the boxes properly, they would fall off my bike and everything would be spread over the floor. Another stress factor was the train schedule with its many detours and railworks. I have to change connection several times. Anyway, in most cases I made it on time or even a little earlier, despite all the difficulties.
One time when I arrived early I met a Chinese family that lived in Germany. I gave an Epoch Times to the husband, but he said a lot of thing that were not right.
The conversation with him showed me again how precious our Chinese practitioners are. Their quick way, patience and wisdom with clarify the truth are excellent.
We want all beings to improve together with us, even if their connection and understanding is different, we all breathe the same air.
The Peace Palace is an attractive tourist spot, many tourists come from all 4 corners of the world. To me it sometimes looked like a river of people streaming out the buses. Different faces, different cultures and views on life. One red threat that bound them all was their sincere disgust about the persecution. It’s remarkable that many European people came from far away to visit the Peace Palace. We knew that they had predestined relationships with us and Master arranged for our connection to remain for the future. Sometimes it seems people are quite cold and indifferent to our truth clarification. At such times I wonder what I did wrong. But another time when a German tourist got back on the bus, he thanked us for the information and said, “Thank you for caring for us.” He didn’t know it, but he just stepped on the ladder of his future existence.
Master said in Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Washington DC Fa Conference, “Compassion comes from a person's cultivation, and it's not something that's acted out; it comes from deep inside, and it's not something done to show others. It's something that exists eternally, and it doesn't change with the passage of time or changes in circumstances.”
I was afraid I was too harsh and my fellow practitioners couldn’t let me know because they don’t speak the language. I find my biggest shortcoming is in tolerance. I had to bear a lot of responsibility for many lives, in many different situations. I therefore never let go of ordinary human considerations. Now it is the time of my cultivation, so I have to loosen the chains of the notions of the old world.
Thanks to Master and my fellow practitioners.
Translated from: http://www.zhengjian.org/node/155671