Advance as a Whole with the Immense Current of Fa-Rectification
Greetings, Honorable Teacher! Greetings, fellow practitioners! Greetings, everyone!
We are over a dozen Falun Dafa practitioners from small twin cities in Illinois called Champaign-Urbana. We are honored to have this opportunity to share our experience of assisting Teacher to validate Fa with you. With the exception of one practitioner, we all moved to the Champaign-Urbana area about a year ago. Our small Fa particle-cluster of Champaign-Urbana includes members of all ages. Besides the young and middle aged, we also have an elderly member who is 70 years old, two teenagers, and one baby under one year of age. In society, we come from all walks of life, including university students, professors, a computer engineer, and housewives. In the past year, we took advantage of living in a small city, utilized each one's specialty, and made concerted efforts to clarify the truth of Falun Dafa and to spread the Fa to people.
Since last summer, we held numerous outdoor Fa spreading activities, which have included participating in holiday celebrations, cultural events, county fairs and a farmers' market, and dozens of parades in Champaign-Urbana, as well as in small cities within a two to three hour's drive. On these occasions, we frequently introduced Dafa to the public. Consequently, TV and newspaper reporters took the initiative to cover Falun Dafa because we reached out and participated in those activities. What we did most was to participate in parades, and we cannot count the number we have participated in. We even labeled ourselves the "Mini parade league." We made banners and decorated a car. Later on, when we became more skilled, four to five people would cover one parade. When we came to an event, we would have one person drive the car, two would hold a banner, and one or two others would distribute Dafa flyers. Everyone would right away play his/her role. For each city we visited for a parade, we first searched the Internet to find local Chinese restaurants. After the parade, we would visit them to give them some truth-clarifying materials. We were always pleasantly surprised to find that even some tiny towns would have one or two restaurants run by Chinese people.
As we have visited many small towns and villages, we deeply realized what Teacher told us, that there are many kind-hearted people in small towns in the US who are waiting to obtain the Fa. A reporter from Champaign once told us that we, with our yellow T-shirts, are very eye-catching and that it is very good to see us again and again showing up before the public. This way, Americans would express a willingness to learn Dafa.
In the past year, we held seminars at libraries, the Champaign park district, and the university YMCA. Even though some seminars didn't have a big turnout, we found that it is a good opportunity for people to have an overall understanding of Falun Dafa. Those who can regularly attend our group practice and study are mostly coming from our seminars.
To clarify the truth of Falun Dafa to governments of small cities, we first sought for proclamations. After exchanging ideas with practitioners in New Jersey, we learned that we could participate in city council meetings and we requested resolutions to condemn Jiang's regime for the persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners. We, however, didn't limit ourselves to certain formats. Sometimes, we would directly give a talk at the council meeting in front of the mayor, council members, staff and local media. We would also contact the secretary of the mayor and find out if it was more appropriate to first meet with him or her, and then participate in the council meeting. We also utilized what we have learned from last summer's "SOS Trip via Small Cities;" that is, we would first meet with mayor; then we would get a local map at a local library where we would also arrange a possible seminar and get some information about the local media; after that we would talk with media people and at last visit local Chinese restaurant(s). This way one visit to a small city could fulfill multiple purposes.
As a whole we also function as a Fa particle in the greater Chicago Fa particle-cluster in numerous activities. For example, we participated in the truth-clarifying activity to meet with state senators and house representatives, the Illinois' SOS walk, and a photo exhibit at the state capital building. On those cooperative activities, we exchange experiences with Chicago practitioners. It is worth mentioning that we always get full support from Chicago practitioners. The Dafa practitioners are indeed one body and there is no geographic separation.
The University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana is located at Champaign-Urbana. It is an international university with more than 45,000 faculty and students. Since we have some practitioners studying and working there, we registered an organization with a name of UIUC Falun Dafa Practice Group. With the name of this organization, we participated in various university activities, for example at the twice-a-year Quad Day set for welcoming new students, we have demonstrated Dafa exercises. We also held mini Dafa exhibits at the university library and at the student center. Little by little, we have introduced Falun Dafa to faculty and students. We remembered that the first day we had a group practice at Quad, a lawn at the center of the university, after three practitioners from other cities just joined the UIUC group, the university newspaper photography reporter took a picture of us. The second day, the photo was placed at the front page of the university newspaper, the Daily Illini, which served well as greetings to those practitioners.
There are eight to nine hundred Chinese students, visiting scholars, faculty and their family members at UIUC. We have been exploring means to clarify the truth of Dafa to those Chinese people. We mailed truth-clarifying booklets and CD-ROMs to Chinese students and scholars. When we learned that we could hold a Chinese movie show and play some Dafa video clips at the same event as the movies, we took advantage of the conditions provided to our registered organization. We borrowed a meeting room, rented equipment, and started to show Chinese movies. The movies were provided by practitioners in Ohio. At the first movie show, 5 to 6 people showed up and they left right after the movie. Later on, more people came to our movies and we also accumulated some experiences. We first played a small video clip introducing Dafa to those who arrived first. We also provided some refreshments that helped to lighten the atmosphere. We approached the Chinese people individually to speak with them, and they also came to our table to read Dafa materials. We, however, feel that much more needs to be done to facilitate face-to-face communications with Chinese people. It is our desire to exchange ideas with fellow practitioners on how to better clarify the truth of Dafa to Chinese people.
Besides participating in collective efforts to clarify the truth, practitioners also take the initiative to do whatever they can do. Some would take part in some major projects; some would send faxes and emails to China; some would make phone calls or use BBS and chat rooms to clarify the truth to people in China.
When we look back at what we have done, they were all small things. However, it is in the process of Fa validation and spreading the Fa that we have, bit-by-bit, made advances in our cultivation practice. What we have learned most is that we should work as a whole body when assisting Teacher to validate Fa. We should do what the Fa requires us to do. Our advancement in the Fa rectification period is one in which we advance as a whole and thus the advancement of each individual Fa particle is fused into that. For example, there is a teenage practitioner who came to the United States when he was seven years old. His ability to speak Chinese has therefore gradually eroded. When we first started reading Fa together, he had difficulty and was also embarrassed to read loudly in front of others. After more than one year, with the encouragement of fellow practitioners, unknowingly he became relatively fluent in reading Zhuan Falun and Teacher's articles.
In recent months, however, when we were doing Dafa work in a collective manner, the attachments of each of us were exposed. From time to time, we would blame others as being "Without righteous thoughts," "Without one's own judgment" or "Without a kind heart when speaking and doing things" etc. Some practitioners could not bear the sight of some other's words and deeds and would even alienate themselves from the other practitioner. At that time, we didn't follow what Teacher told us to do when he said to be "in a state of immense tolerance" and "being able to understand everything with kindness." Sometimes, a dispute was curtailed but contradictions would have been hidden. It looked like everything had returned to its original state but the separation in their hearts would be sustained. This has lasted for quite a while. Even though we still did things together, we have always had a feeling that the environment was not as harmonious as it should be. Usually, after group study, we would talk about what Dafa work we would do and then separate. There was no true heart-to-heart communication.
We didn't realize this problem until we once took part in a weekend group Fa study in Chicago where some practitioners introduced the experience of Canadian practitioners. They did a good job in truth-clarification because they put emphasis on group Fa study and paid attention to the advancement of the whole through exchanging their understanding of Fa. They as a whole have risen to such a state in cultivation so that the outside environment was also changed accordingly. When we came back, some practitioners realized that what lay behind our disputes and disharmony was selfishness, a manifestation of non-righteousness that tries to maintain the ego and is not willing to assimilate to the Fa. Teacher told us, "All sentient beings in the cosmos are amidst the Fa-rectification, and all the manifestations might appear in this human place since I'm doing this in this human place." ("Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference"). Our selfishness and tendency to safeguard ourselves are all a reflection of the impure factors of the old cosmos that are something we have to get rid of. We enlightened to the view that the old forces are utilizing our remaining attachments to human notions and other attachments to separate practitioners, lay down barriers between Dafa particles, and weaken our overall power. When we see other's drawbacks but fail to show tolerance, and are not able to point it out with a kind heart, when we fail to search inward to find our own problems, and instead blame others and even alienate ourselves from them, we are not viewing ourselves as a member of the whole. We must really realize the importance of these problems. As Teacher says in Zhuan Falun, "The cultivation depends upon the practitioner himself while the transformation of Gong is up to the master. It will be sufficient if you have such a wish. It is the master who actually does such a thing as you cannot do it at all." Teacher also says in Touring North America to Teach the Fa, "When you conduct yourselves righteously Master can do anything for you."
"The magnificent Fa and the magnificent epoch are forging the most magnificent Enlightened Beings." We believe that we Dafa practitioners are able to help each other and advance as a whole during the magnificent Fa rectification period. We will assimilate ourselves to the Fa, eliminate our impurity, and fulfill the great duty given to us during the Fa rectification.
Thank you! Our great Teacher!
Thank you all!