Toronto Practitioners' Discussions about Hong Kong's Article 23 Legislation
Clearwisdom has published many articles recently regarding the matter of Article 23 in Hong Kong. Some practitioners in Toronto discussed their understandings regarding this issue, and we wanted to share them with everyone.
1. The fundamental nature of Article 23
Article 23 is clearly aimed directly at Dafa. After July 20th, 1999, Falun Gong was suppressed in Mainland China but remained legal in Hong Kong. Let's make an analogy: a house is entirely dark, except there is a window letting in the light. Hong Kong is this window of light. After Dafa was suppressed, Hong Kong became a window of opportunity for many Chinese people to understand the truth of Dafa. Even though it's a small window, the effect is enormous. Every day there are countless tourist buses from Mainland China arriving in Hong Kong, and so many people who had been deceived by the evil have understood the truth of Dafa here. This is the fundamental reason for the evil to enact this unjust legislation to seal shut this window for people to find out the truth and for people to find a ray of hope. They want to extend the persecution of Dafa and sentient beings from Mainland China to Hong Kong. In reality, nothing in human society happens by coincidence. Then why did Hong Kong return to Mainland China in 1997 during Dafa's spread? Perhaps all of these things are part of the old forces' intricate arrangements.
2. What should we do?
What should we do regarding this matter? We believe that we should use every available means to stop it. We should help people in every circle of society understand the nature of this legislation that will undoubtedly harm the best interest of the people of Hong Kong and undermine their human rights. We should encourage more people to step forward to oppose it. We should encourage more practitioners from all over the world to join in this effort, making the voice opposing the enactment of Article 23 a global one. Practitioners should spring into action, and in addition use their wisdom to encourage their non-practitioner friends and acquaintances to join in.
We discussed many specific ways to do this. We can ask for signatures opposing Article 23 (some suggested focusing on communities with a high concentration of people from Hong Kong and Canton, some suggested going to Chinese churches because Article 23 infringes upon religious freedom). We can send letters, faxes, make phone calls to relevant government agencies in Hong Kong to voice our opposition. We can participate in parades sponsored by other organizations opposing Article 23 (some practitioners suggested that we can do car parades, making it easier for everyday people in cold-weather regions to participate). We can also do other things such as giving bumper stickers to people and writing our local Congressmen and MP's. It's also important to not forget about the potentially tremendous impact of the media. In addition to reports in our own media, we can contact mainstream media as citizens to raise awareness on this issue, so that more people can have a better understanding about this issue.
3. Looking inside
Master said in "Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Experience Sharing Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A," "As I've said, everything that happens today in the ordinary society is the result of Dafa disciples' attachments. Even though the old forces do exist, if you don't have those attachments they can't do anything. When your righteous thoughts are strong enough the old forces can do nothing."
Many practitioners talked about how they felt relatively indifferent regarding Article 23. It seemed like when they first heard about it, there wasn't much of a reaction, or they felt that the things they were busy with were more important; either way, they didn't find it to be important. It's clear that this is rather pervasive attitude among practitioners judging from the articles on Clearwisdom. The Hong Kong government began the consultation period for Article 23 on September 25, ending on December 24. Many practitioners had never heard about this until very recently, and there were no articles discussing understandings on this subject until very recently. Only now have some practitioners begun to act, yet there are only 10 days or so until the end of the consultation period. (Of course, we shouldn't be restricted by thoughts of this limit.)
Some practitioners talked about how most people in society outside Hong Kong are quite indifferent towards this matter, so is this a result or reflection of our Dafa disciples' own indifference? Everyday we seem to be busy with doing Dafa work, but has this become a routine or a form of doing things out of habit? If this matter of Article 23 is aimed directly at Dafa, and meanwhile we're only concerned about the work we have at hand and don't react to such an important matter, then isn't it time for us to look inside for our own xinxing problems?
One practitioner talked about how when she was conversing with Hong Kong practitioners, she felt that they placed such high hopes in the practitioners outside of China, and they had such high hopes of us mobilizing ourselves to help them. After I heard this, I felt quite moved and ashamed at the same time. I remembered Teacher saying in "Teaching the Fa at the Washington, D.C. Fa Conference," "The next person's things are your things, and your things are his things. We should have a mindset of sharing in the difficult situation of the Hong Kong practitioners, yet we haven't done this.
Other practitioners brought up that each of us should look inside to see if there are any elements of allowing Article 23 to exist within our own dimensional fields. If we can find these elements and eliminate them, and truly understand why Article 23 shouldn't be allowed to exist, then the result would be powerful. Otherwise we'd only be doing things on the surface but not from our hearts.
4. Being Clear on the Fa Principles
There's a saying in society, "From a high vantage point one can see very far into the distance." For our Dafa disciples, we should understand the Fa based on the Fa. By using Dafa to look at everything happening in society, we can see the matter's essence and not be deluded or moved by illusions.
Master said in "Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Experience Sharing Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A," "Absolutely don't think about any favors the old forces might do for us, or about how the ordinary society might help us. You are the ones saving the ordinary people's society, and you are the ones saving sentient beings!"
On the surface, what we're doing is helping to stop the enactment of Article 23 with the help of people in society, thus stopping the evil's goal of persecuting Falun Gong. Looking from other dimensions, this isn't the case. Fundamentally we're trying to stop the old forces from extending their dark reach to the people of Hong Kong and other regions. We're not really seeking help from some individual or organization in society. We're really using this opportunity to clarify the truth of the persecution against Dafa, and at the same time giving them the best chance to position themselves well. If we can understand this point from the Fa principles, then we won't put our hopes in help from everyday people or worry about how many people from society participate. Then we can achieve the state of doing without pursuing, and close a potential loophole for the old forces to take advantage of.
In reality, everything we do is out of compassion and for offering salvation to people of the world. We're not really trying to achieve some specific result or goal. On the other hand, when we let go of this attachment and do thing with pure hearts, everything that we do for the sake of offering salvation to sentient beings will naturally achieve the best possible result.
According to reports, there will be a large-scale parade in Hong Kong, and there will be similar large-scale activities in major cities around the world, including Washington DC. In order to act as part of the whole body and due to time differences, the coalition to oppose Article 23, people from Hong Kong in Toronto, and Chinese associations will hold a parade in the afternoon of December 14 local time.