10 Years in the Tian Guo Marching Band

A Dafa Disciple in France

PureInsight | March 20, 2018


Greetings Teacher,
Greeting fellow practitioners.

I started playing in the Tian Guo marching band in Paris in December 2006. In Paris, we had only played two pieces: Falun Dafa Hao and Fa Guo Fa Hao. We'd only done a couple of rehearsals a month earlier, to practise marching and playing together. How interesting it was for me to discover that one could play in public without aiming for perfection! I realized that each parade was a way for me to improve my skills. With that first street parade, I realized that I had an attachment to perfection and that I always wanted everything to be top-notch.

Later, we started touring major European cities. When we came back from Copenhagen, I went through a conflict with another practitioner. I felt hurt. When I got home, I spoke to Teacher straight away, saying, "This band is an awesome project, but it’s not for me." In a vision, Teacher took me over Tian An Men Square and showed me all the Tian Guo bands in the world, all playing together. All the practitioners wore the great Tang outfit. With that experience, I realized the importance of the project and told Teacher that I would not give up. I have been endeavouring to always keep that memory in mind and keep it clear. It's what's been upholding me these past 10 years. It also made me realize that it is important not to run away from any difficult or disturbing situation. I should look inwards and find the part of me that is not yet aligned with Zhen Shan Ren.

I decided to print out one of the Tian Guo band’s music scores that I really liked. And then I thought, "Wait a second, this is much too hard; the notes are too high and I don’t even know all of them... Anyway, the rhythm is way too complicated for me." But then, in a totally unexpected way, I heard a voice that said, "Let’s work on that piece together, shall we?" I thought that I really wouldn't be able to play it, but I accepted the offer all the same. The voice guided me through the first notes of the first bar, then the second bar and so on, until I had reached the end of the first line. I could feel a benevolent and encouraging presence pushing me forward. After a few minutes and much to my surprise, I could play the entire score. Then the voice guided me though the rhythm that I had found so complicated. It was very encouraging. Bar after bar, line after line, I managed to reach the end of the score. I was in a state of wonder! I had learned how to play that piece in no time. I heartily thanked Teacher for walking me through the score and allowing me to play it.

We then played in Frankfort, in a parade, along with other band members from all over the world. The good weather turned rainy and then poured heavily. We were all drenched but we kept going. Many other groups had left the parade to take shelter but we continued. I felt how powerful, determined and diligent our Tian Guo Band was.

Our first street parade in Poland then took place in the Chinese district of Warsaw. As soon as we arrived, the weather started to change. As we prepared our instruments, the clouds above us grew darker and darker. With our first notes of Falun Dafa came the first raindrops. We were soon soaked again, with no sign of abatement throughout the parade. I then understood that there was a battle between good and evil taking place in other dimensions. Each and every sound that our band made was a deadly attack on the evil forces. It was spectacular. I felt the importance of being concentrated, and to try and produce the purest sounds possible. I could see that the purer the sounds were, the deadlier they were to the evil forces. For more than three hours, the Tian Guo Band led a battle against the evil.

Another time, before starting on our street parade in Northern France, a practitioner suggested we recite Lunyu together. So we did it—me in French and her in German. At first my heart was calm and focused, but as it went on I felt that I was too restless and that I constantly had a thought to finish first. I was going faster and faster, to the point that I was stumbling in my words. I couldn’t help but finish first. I realized that it was an issue of competitiveness and I needed to let go of it. My fellow practitioner then asked me to recite it again but alone, saying that she wanted to hear how it sounded in French. My heart completely changed. As I was reciting, I felt that reciting Lunyu was like a sacred offering; that it was the most precious gift you could offer. And very quickly, I could see a great energy field around us and it was expanding as I recited; it was pushing beyond the people in front of us and beyond the buildings that were in the distance. Reciting Lunyu has helped me feel and understand the power of Dafa.

Another time in London, we had spent the night in a youth hostel. During the night, my grandfather had come up to me, saying that he had to go. I was confused. I was happy that he had come to tell me that he was leaving, but I also felt angry that he had chosen that particular night, when I was sharing a room with other practitioners. And then I felt extremely sad. The next day, after practice, we met with the other players for rehearsal. As we were getting our instruments ready, I tried mounting one reed, then another, and another, but I could not make a sound. I had to go and join the others so I finally decided on one reed and started rehearsing, but again, it made no sound. I asked Teacher for help and realized that it was connected with what had happened the night before. My heart wasn’t at peace, so I couldn’t play. I sent forth a powerful righteous thought, and my heart and throat began to relax. I was finally able to play.

During our first few street parades, my heart would get restless every time someone played incorrectly. I understood that I was focusing on others, when I should be focusing on myself. I shared my thoughts with other practitioners and they advised me to send forth righteous thoughts, and indeed, after a few moments of doing so, people started correcting themselves. This is how powerful righteous thoughts are.

In June, there was an exchange of emails regarding the languages we would use when studying the Fa. It was suggested that from now on, it would be in Chinese and German only. At some point, we had had up to 10 languages and I had really liked hearing the Fa being read aloud in so many languages. Three days before our street parade in Germany, it was decided to only have Chinese and German. I understood their point of view but I ended up getting angry. I emitted a powerful righteous thought in order to find out what was bothering me and I realized that I had an attachment to my ego. I needed people to take me into consideration. When we finally read, I was reading in French in my head, while listening to others reading in Chinese, German and English. I think that the power of the Fa dissipated my anger.

When I returned to France, an unexpected pain surged through my hips whenever I walked. I tried to ignore it and convinced myself that it would go away. And it did. But the next day, as I sat to meditate, the pain came again, intensely. It really surprised me—I was used to being in pain during the last five minutes of meditation, but having pain during the first five minutes was new to me. For the first few weeks, I looked externally for the origin of the pain—“Was it because of the long coach trips and the static position when I played?” I thought. As the days went on, I couldn’t sit in the lotus position for the hour anymore. And when I sent forth righteous thoughts, I couldn’t concentrate as well as before. I was also easily distracted when studying the Fa. I opened up to a Chinese practitioner about it and she told me to focus on studying the Fa and sending forth righteous thoughts. And then she put her hand on her heart and said, “I think you should look within yourself.” When I did so that evening, I realized that I had been craving for recognition, and that it had led me to feel anger and resentment.

During our next street parades in Cambridge and London, I spoke with a Chinese practitioner and told her that I missed reading in French with everyone. She suggested that I read in Chinese. That’s what we do in Paris after all, so I thought it was a good idea. She obtained a Chinese language Zhuan Falun for me and we started reading in Chinese with others. It was a great experience and it was very powerful.

In August, we met for three days in Gerolstein, Germany to study, practise and rehearse together. We arrived first and started reading in Chinese and French, until other practitioners joined us. These sessions are really important for me, because they don’t take place very often. We practised the first four exercises, then rehearsed. In the evening, we still had some time left for reading. Would we be able to study in French? It would be important to do so, because there were six of us French practitioners and two of them were new in our group. I really wanted us to read in French, not so much for myself, since I can read in English or Chinese, but for the newcomers. The person in charge quickly scanned the room and said that we would be reading in Chinese, German, English, and exceptionally, in French also. I was satisfied that the newcomers could participate. But in the evening, looking back on it, I wondered whether that insistence on French was really altruistic of me. I think that it was only partially so. There was also anger in me and an attachment to rebelliousness, as well as a craving to be recognized and valued. In fact, I realized that when I had made the suggestion, my heart hadn’t been very pure; it wasn’t a divine heart thinking but a human one instead. Much too human.

The next day, we were about to practise the first four exercises in a huge outdoor stadium, when someone came up to me and said that there would be no French reading today but Chinese and German only. “Sure,” I said, “Let’s do the exercises and we’ll discuss later.”

The exercise music started, but my heart couldn’t calm down. I was unable to control my thoughts and couldn’t focus on the movements. Why come up to me right before the practice? How come people can’t study in their own languages? I was making a mental list of my argument: “Everybody should be able to read out loud; it is a way to harmonize the group”, “It helps create one united body”, etc. What binds us all together is not the music—it is Dafa that brings us all together so we can accomplish our missions. Then, suddenly it struck me that I could be wrong: reading in Chinese and German could be enough to create a one body. And I remembered a poem by Teacher in Hong Yin III:

Who’s Right, Who’s Wrong
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:]
“He’s right, And I’m wrong,”
What’s to dispute?

My heart was at peace. I could now concentrate on the movements.

Once the practice was over, the same person came up to me and to my surprise his way of thinking was quite different this time. It is important, he said, that everyone should read in their own language, and as he explained I realized we had the same viewpoint.

I wish to thank Teacher and I wish to thank all the practitioners who have helped me to see through my attachments and helped me to purify myself.

Thank you to all practitioners.
Thank you Teacher.


Chinese version: http://www.zhengjian.org/node/239961


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