PureInsight | November 29, 2017
[PureInsight.org] I obtained the Fa in November 1998. I want to share with you about a few events that occurred at the beginning and some important steps on my cultivation path.
When we were asked to write an experience sharing, what came to my mind was my experience of the SOS march in the summer of 2001 and our appeal at Tiananmen Square in Beijing in the autumn of the same year. I feel that during that time, I had genuinely cultivated. It has been feeling like I've been going backwards instead of forward and it's painful. Of course, I've done a lot of things to highlight what's happening in China and I've been involved in various projects, but I do not feel like I've been cultivating with the heart that I once had. What’s passed, I cannot change, but ... I can press the start button and restart, and find a way back to my heart, as it was in 2001.
Letting Go of Reputation
In 2001, the persecution escalated and worsened day by day. In order to inform people to pay attention to the persecution and to rescue the Falun Gong practitioners in China, we initiated an SOS march from Sweden’s Falun City to Stockholm. There was 260 km to cover in six days. Anyone who wanted to was welcome to march with us. I signed up for the march immediately. In my backpack, there were both hiking boots and suitable clothes.
However, before we started our march, there were some details to be dealt with. Among other things, we had to decide who would drive the car. No one who had signed up for the SOS march wanted to be the driver. The car was very necessary for transporting our heavy luggage and other things that were needed during the march; the walkers could then have a light backpack. We had a rather loud discussion that ended up with me being chosen as the driver. Although I protested loudly, I found myself very reluctantly, following my destiny. And the others promised that we would take turns to drive.
We had obtained detailed maps of the route, but the roads still needed to be investigated to see if they were suitable to walk on, without danger from traffic - this became one of the driver's tasks. Those were the days before it had become common to have GPS in cars. With a practitioner from Falun, I also had the task of contacting the media. Additionally, we had to arrange overnight accommodation at suitable places along the way. We carried tents in the car in case we couldn't find anything.
While the others walked the SOS march, I drove the car. It was a relatively convenient task, but it was not what I had wanted, so I was quite dissatisfied. Once, I was sitting muttering to myself; I wanted to WALK with the others, because in my eyes, it was the only meaningful action. I was sitting alone in the car all the time, and although there were different things that needed to be arranged in the meantime, I still had time to wonder why I was sitting where I was, in the car.
Suddenly, something struck me and I had a violent laughing spell. Although the road was empty, I had to slow down and park. I laughed so much that I roared ... What a comedy! I realized that driving was absolutely the right task for me. Driving the car meant that I could not be seen or noticed and I just understood at that moment, that I had an attachment to reputation.
In the midst of my laughing, I felt a physical substance leave me and escape through the car door, much like a balloon flies away when you let the air out. This settled the whole matter ... At that time and in that spot, I decided, "The car shall be driven! I will drive the car all the way to Stockholm." I was resolute to remove my attachment. I also gained an understanding that when I had laughed at the attachment straight in its face, it had just slipped away with its tail between its legs - to describe it in human language.
After this insight, the next insight came. I was more comfortable in the car than all those who were walking on the SOS march and who were putting in heroic efforts on the road, suffering from tired and aching bodies. They really deserved all the possible service and support they could get. They struggled for about 15 hours a day; it was like a marathon - walking over 40 km each day. Some suffered terrible pain and some suffered sore blisters on their feet that made them close to giving up the march. I decided that I would do all that stood in my power to support the walkers in different ways. My thinking changed and driving the car suddenly became important. There was so much that needed to be arranged along the way, besides the SOS march itself. I also understood that if we did not have the car, it would be very difficult to complete the march to Stockholm.
Fixing the accommodations and speaking to the media gave us great opportunities to speak to people. When hearing about our long SOS march between Falun and Stockholm and the persecution suffered by people in China who were doing the same practice as us, many wanted to help.
The first night we stayed in a village farm. It was basically just a roof over our heads. Many of us were so tired that we just stumbled inside and fell down on the mat, barely able to eat. Another place we stayed at, I named "Hilton", because it was a gym and everyone could sleep on three thick mattresses. And there were showers - something those who had been walking for several days really needed.
The car was very useful in many ways. For example, one practitioner had his 30th birthday. He had chosen to walk with us, rather than celebrate with his family at home. I could drive away to buy a cake for him. There was also an instance when one practitioner had gotten lost, trying to join the march half way through and I could drive around to find him.
On the last day, a practitioner from Stockholm took care of the driving to Mynttorget, where we had a rally with some politicians. I could finally walk the march and use the hiking boots I'd packed. I was delighted.
After twelve miles - half way - towards the centre of Stockholm, I was completely exhausted and was suffering with pain everywhere. In retrospect, I was thankful for having the task of driving most of the way, because I would have never managed to complete the distance every day.
Every time I think back on this event, I'm touched by how all practitioners struggled yet persisted to walk that distance with a banner over their heads every day, despite their bodies aching. And I was given the opportunity to see my attachment while driving and working behind the scenes to support those who walked the march. Sometimes, I also had the feeling that gods are humorous when they overlook all of our short and long steps on the path of cultivation.
In the same year, another unforgettable event happened on November 20th. It was our appeal at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. That was also a big step on my cultivation path. While I was deciding whether to go to Beijing to appeal or stay at home to help, there were many thoughts spinning around in my mind. I felt bad and my heart pumped hard and irregularly. After Fa study and sharing one day, about two weeks before the trip, I got the "keys" to help me decide. One was, "What if I had promised Master? How big would the losses be if I did not go?" The other thought was, "Sooner or later all practitioners will face the question of life and death at different levels, so why wait?" Having understood that our paths were prearranged, I made my choice to go. Then my heart returned to its calm steady rhythm again.
My compassion towards my fellow practitioners in China has been increasing, ever since the persecution started in 1999. I went to Beijing to help and support the brave Chinese practitioners and show them that they are not alone in this terrible situation. I also wanted it to be a wake-up call for the world, so that the governments of different countries could do something to stop the persecution.
We westerners gathered in Tiananmen Square, hoisted our banner with Zhen Shan Ren, and Truth, Compassion and Tolerance. After 20 seconds, we were surrounded by white buses and police cars. We were subjected to harassment and violence, but managed to stay alive. We were expelled from the country the following day. One thing that touched my heart was that even before we left China, our Foreign Minister had made a sharp statement condemning the Chinese regime and had supported us.
When we landed in Sweden again and met with the media, I was interviewed on both radio and television. After the events in Beijing, my usual discomfort at being the centre of attention vanished. It was wonderful and it felt so easy to talk about my experience. I became really aware of how our attachments limit us and hold us back in different situations.
Clarifying the Truth and Saving Sentient Beings
In June this year, a few of us planned to write letters to our members of parliament in Gothenburg about the ongoing persecution that has lasted for 18 years now in China. I met with fellow practitioners several times to discuss who would contact the respective MPs and how to write the letters. I had a chance to contact an MP who I had spoken to in 2003, when the Chinese Consulate General had tried to stop the radio programme that I was in charge of, Falun Gong Time, from being aired. But I found it difficult to write a good letter. Eventually, the summer holiday began and my letter was never sent.
During the summer, we had a car tour in Sweden. We started the tour in Gotland with the Almedals Week. It was a great place and a wonderful opportunity to reach out to society, including media and politicians. We had a booth in a good location, near a couple of major news media and just outside the university, where many well-attended seminars and meetings were being held each day. Therefore, many people saw us. Then the MP who I hadn’t managed to write to, passed by. I went and talked to him and mentioned that I would be writing a letter to him, and he became curious about what the letter would be about. It led to a good conversation that moved on very naturally.
The MP still remembered the incident when the Chinese Consulate General had tried to stop the radio programme 14 years ago. So it was easy to carry on the conversation about Falun Gong and the difficult situation for practitioners in China.
I had been thinking a lot about him during the last few weeks leading up to the holiday. I understand that our upright thoughts are powerful. Now I’d gotten another chance and I could even talk with him in person. We agreed to resume contact in the autumn.
During this time, I also had a chance to cultivate away another layer of my attachment to reputation. Falun Gong practitioners were given an hour every day on stage, in a square in the centre of Visby. I’d been asked a few weeks earlier to talk about the disturbance to the radio programme in 2003 by the Chinese Consulate in Gothenburg and about a recent incident, where they tried to stop an art exhibition in Linköping.
I do not like standing on stage and talking. I would have rather let someone else do it, but I realized that it was a chance for me to peel off a little of my attachment to reputation. So, I agreed.
Because the incident had happened 14 years ago, I had to recall my memory by reading about it again. Eventually, the pieces fell into place - at least they had done when I was rehearsing at home. Yet, on stage the first day, I became nervous and felt as if I had suddenly lost my memory. My notes did not help. So I asked the practitioner who was hosting the talk to help me by putting forward questions. Just before it was my turn to get up on the stage, a thought came, “I shall change my attitude completely. Instead of seeing it as an unpleasant thing to be on stage, I should enjoy it!” And yes, it went well and I'm grateful for the hint to change my mind-set.
One of the last stops on our car tour was the Summer Festival in Stromstad. We were in the square to show the exercises and talk to people. It was very nice weather so there were a lot of people around, including from our neighbouring Norway. I met a lady who mentioned that she had seen Falun Gong earlier in the summer on Oland. That was the 4th stop of our car tour. We participated in the programme together with other companies and organizations when Sweden's Crown Princess celebrated her 40th birthday. This lady met us there and she had talked with one of us. Afterwards I thought it was just as it should be. Imagine it would be great if everyone we met said they had heard about Falun Gong before. We could achieve that goal together. I also know that I need to cultivate myself better and work harder to succeed.
I have now broadcast radio for 15 years since 2002. In the first years, it was exclusively about Falun Gong. So the programme was called Falun Gong Time. When The Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party was published, I wanted to include them in the radio programme. I discussed this with the Dafa Association, we realized that it would be good and that the content of the programme then needed to be a bit wider and more about China in general. As of January 2006, the broadcast time was extended from 30 minutes to an hour and the programme renamed Sound of Hope. The programme today contains news from China, part of The Nine Commentaries, stories from traditional Chinese culture, language lessons and music composed by Dafa practitioners. I also help to produce a one-hour programme in Chinese every week, done by a practitioner in Finland. It has been difficult many times to do a new programme every week and it takes me a whole day to complete a programme.
On some occasions, I felt really bad and could not get up, let alone do a programme. However, it was important news that would be broadcast, telling people what's happening in China, especially about things that are not reported in other media in Sweden. I scrambled out of bed, switched on my computer and started working. A few hours later I discovered that I had recovered a little bit when the programme was finished. Although it took a little longer this time, I felt really good. It made me realize that when we do something upright we also get help to perform it, even if it seems impossible. Listening to the radio is so easy today. Many listen to podcasts on their mobiles. So that will be my next project to learn, in order to reach out to more people with our news telling about the truth in China that other media would not report on.
I want to conclude with a few words from Master's Fa Teaching on World Falun Dafa Day in 2014, "Cultivate with the heart you once had, and success is certain."
Thank you Master for helping me save people and cultivate in this precious time!
Thank you, all friends and fellow practitioners! Please point out my attachments and flaws in my understanding, if you see them.
Chinese version: https://www.zhengjian.org/node/239989