By Changing Ourselves, We Change our Environment
Shared at 2003 Singapore Falun Dafa Conference
Greetings to Master,
Hello, fellow practitioners!
In year 2000, quite a number of practitioners realized that tourist sites were good places to clarify the truth to people. Gradually more and more practitioners came to these sites to clarify the truth. For more than two years, we have been saving sentient beings in our clarification of the truth, and we have been improving ourselves in it as well. Moreover, in our clarification of the truth, we came to know about the advancement of the Fa-rectification. When we met with all sorts of tests and interference, especially during the year after the Tiananmen "self-immolation incident" and the experience of the Singapore Mallege case, we felt worried and we were once afraid. I asked myself many times, "Are we doing the correct thing? If we do not do well, will we create some loss to Dafa? Are we acting in accordance with the laws of Singapore?
With Master's benevolent care, guided by Master's new articles, we have come
along with a firm mind. When we met a tribulation, we studied the Fa in the
group and exchanged ideas. This has enabled us to protect Dafa more firmly and
strengthened our righteous thoughts of saving all sentient beings. We have come
to know more clearly about our historical mission of clarifying truth to the
valuable Chinese people at this specific spot. In doing this, and in the process
of becoming more mature, we have formed an indestructible team.
1. The change of the environment resulted from the change in
1. The change of the environment resulted from the change in ourselves.
In Touring North America to Teach the Fa, Teacher said, "When you conduct yourselves righteously Master can do anything for you."
Looking back on the two years of introducing Dafa at the sightseeing location, I realize that when we clarify the truth to people, we are actually getting rid of our attachments in this process. And we are improving as a whole. When we did well, we would feel that Master and Gods were helping us. The environment would change favorably.
In the beginning stage, there were not enough practitioners going to this practice site. It was quite difficult to monitor the site in both the morning and afternoon. Very often one or two practitioners were pulled between truth-clarifying and performing the exercises. We were rather passive and not able to have total control. When our strength was weakened, the interference of the evil became more severe. Some tourists asked in an unfriendly manner, "How many people are practicing Falun Gong in Singapore?" Some tour guides who were deceived by the lies would tell the tourists that it was illegal to practice Falun Gong in Singapore, and so on. Very often some spies from the Chinese embassy came to watch our activities and slander Dafa in front of tourists on purpose so as to create conflicts. The national park management office did not allow us to distribute materials and our activities were limited. All these interferences and pressure tested our minds and wisdom. For a while, we passively tolerated and compromised on many occasions in order to avoid conflicts with the management staff. Knowing that we were not clarifying the truth well, my mind could not calm down.
When we met with a problem we looked inward to find the cause. Through group study sessions we realized that the interference mainly resulted from our fear and other attachments. The status of our team did not meet with the requirement of the Fa-rectification and so the evil took advantage of it. As we were looking inward, we found that actually, many problems could be solved on our part. For example, we needed to be more considerate towards the tour guides. We should be friendly with them and use the ways that could be accepted by them. Afterwards some practitioners established good relationships with some tour guides. After they learned about the truth of Falun Gong, they often brought the tourists to our site.
After the publishing of Teacher's comments on the Article "Some Ideas from Discussions among Students who Have Participated in the Sit-in Appeals in Front of the Chinese Embassies and Consulates," we especially studied this article thoroughly. We realize that our words and actions in public were influencing people. If we did not behave well, some people might lose the opportunity of being saved because of our actions. We should be full of great aspirations while minding minor details, and express whenever possible the good moral standard in our behavior as Dafa practitioners. This is being responsible to the Fa and to sentient beings. The situation got much better after we behaved this way.
For a period of time, we misunderstood the public and through a lack of sufficient compassion, very often we ended up in unhappy arguments with the tour guides and the tourists. Even though our intention was to vindicate Dafa, because of our strong competitive mentality, we only pushed the other parties to the opposite side of Dafa. Sometimes, we put ourselves in the role of "protector of the universe," and then unconsciously we looked down upon others or inappropriately explained the Fa at too high a level. Gathering all these problems, during our experience-sharing, those practitioners who cultivated well pointed out that compassion is the key to solving all of these problems. Our purpose in clarifying the truth had nothing to do with being right or wrong, but rather, to let the sentient beings understand that Falun Dafa is good and then be saved. We may not be able to change their notions but should try our best to plant the seeds for them to understand the truth in the future. Definitely, we should not let them commit more unforgivable sins and create karma from these meaningless arguments. We now understand the Fa better from repeated study. We realized that the higher the level that Gods are, the less they will disturb the state of everyday people; and the higher the level that Buddhas are, the better their ability is to use simple words to express deep meaning. It is because we are the protectors of the universe and have originated from high levels to validate the Fa, that we should have no enemies. When we clarify the truth to a tourist, face to face, and consider the other party as a sentient being to be saved; we should treat him kindly with our compassion and tolerance and eliminate all the evil factors behind him in the other dimensions. It is just like we need to clean up a mess. As protectors of the universe, we should be responsible to all the righteous factors and have the responsibility to clean up things that are not suitable to keep.
We did not have opportunities to distribute our material to the country that has bordered us for such a long time, and our new opportunity has brought about a new understanding after studying the Fa. For quite a while, my greatest satisfaction was when the tourists were happy to take a copy of truth material from me. Later on, I realized that this was an attachment. The tourists have their own respective backgrounds. Some of them have traveled to other countries many times and may have already gotten in touch with our truth-clarifying materials. Some of them were poisoned by evil lies. Some of them have read our materials before. Some of them can think about this issue on their own and they do not want to accept our materials, so they all have different reasons. Whoever they are, it is shocking for them to see Falun Gong practicing openly in a foreign country. Even if they do not take our materials in Singapore, they may take materials in another country. All Dafa disciples are one body. We complement each other.
A practitioner talked about the experience of one of his former classmates who now sympathizes with Falun Gong and also believes good things about practicing Falun Gong. However, in the beginning, he did not believe that the current situation in China would change. He could not even imagine how Falun Gong was spread and practiced overseas. He disregarded the materials that everyone gave to him. Then, one day he went to Europe on a business trip and saw people practicing Falun Gong in France and Germany. He was shocked. Then he began to read those materials and read them thoroughly.
However, if we would like to impress the tourists, at least we should have enough practitioners participating in the exercises. If we only have two or three practitioners practicing the exercises, in any case the effect will not be great. Further, if not too many practitioners participate, it shows that Singapore practitioners as a whole have not understood the meaning of Fa-rectification at the tourist sight-seeing location. When all of us got rid of the attachment of pushing so hard to hand out materials, then, we calmly practiced the Falun Dafa exercise and peacefully showed people the goodness of Falun Dafa. When more and more Singapore practitioners understood their responsibility, especially from reading Master's published articles in "The Difficult Path to Godhood" and "Hurry Up And Tell Them," then more and more practitioners joined in the group. We found that that our righteous thoughts were very strong and they changed the environment. Now, the situation has become more favorable for us.
Later, after observing the tourist site carefully, we changed our practice site location. This new practice site really had many advantages. Firstly, the tourists had to go through this area--every tourist had to pass this route two times. Secondly, this area was quite large, and, it allowed several dozen practitioners to perform exercises. At the same time, we could set up posters, since this area was over ten meters wide. A few hundred tourists were able to watch our posters without disturbing the traffic. Thirdly, this section was not under the Park management, so, we did not have the restrictions from the Park.
After experiencing a long period of interference and tribulations, we were aware that the present good environment was not accidental; it was established through the help of our Master. In our path of Fa-rectification, we stumbled, recovered, and finally, did well. On the whole we did not lose our direction and did something right. In order not to let our Teacher down and preserving the wish to save sentient beings, we set higher standards for ourselves. First of all, we developed better co-ordination to distribute work between practitioners, so that every practitioner would have a chance to express his or her best potentials. We also followed our Teacher's suggestion to pay more attention to our placement of materials and refine our design at our site. Although in the past, our placement of material was quite good, here it was disorganized and disorderly. The fonts and materials of our boards were not unified. On the whole, our displays were rather messy and not systematic. After we put all our efforts together for some time, the situation changed tremendously. At present, we have picked proper display pictures and materials, the presentation is beautiful and they hit right into the vicious evil's vital point. We fit in better with the special environment of Singapore. We mixed different sizes of fonts, and the pictures are either enough for a relaxed tourist to read for an hour, or for a hurried tourist to quickly understand the truth within two or three minutes.
The order of our presentation is as follows:
Falun Gong is welcomed all over the world.
Master and Dafa have been granted many proclamations.
Jiang's dictatorial gang in China is persecuting Falun Gong illegally and now, they are isolated from the rest of the world.
China's unethical acts are being exposed by the world's righteous thoughts.
- The cruel, abject and acrimonious persecution is totally unacceptable.
- There are many suspicious facts in the Tiananmen "self-immolation incident" which was clearly impudent framing of Dafa.
Now our site really has a strong righteous field, and we have produced better pictures and truth materials for display. And, we practice five sets of exercises to demonstrate the beautiful movements to people. We have also demonstrated to them the peaceful and rational appeal and protest against the cruel persecution. Our righteous field has a special way of attracting the tourists. Very often, the whole group of tourists will flood to our site after they come out from their bus a few hundred meters away. They will eagerly read and take our materials. For some government groups which are closely watched and controlled, the leaders tell the members that, "There's no need to take the material, but it is not harmful to look." Our strong righteous field has a great power to restrain the vicious minds and bring out their Buddha-side. We often see a group of people which may be stopped by one or two of their members from coming our direction; however, the closer they come, the people are more eager to come over, and in the end, the whole group will be at our site reading all the materials. Once, a tourist who came from another country shouted upon seeing us, "Falun Gong is so powerful. They are everywhere."
The improvement of the external environment took place as we improved
together as a group. Our group at the original tourist site is a loose group but
very closely bonded. We have a coordinator, but the group does not rely on the
coordinator. In our group, every practitioner plays his or her role as a Dafa
particle. That is, they do everything from the team's point of view. We think
about others. Everything in respect to Dafa is taken as our own matter, and the
individual functions as part of the collective group. We silently and
automatically close every open end and overcome every obstacle. The way we
dissolve ourselves in the group is the same as the way we dissolve ourselves in
Dafa. As I look back on it, I realize that we do not argue among ourselves when
we have different opinions and therefore do not adversely affect Dafa work. When
we have a problem, at once, we seek to improve our understanding from the Fa's
standpoint. Some practitioners have been practicing at the site for a long time.
They play an important role. They have established a good environment for the
new practitioners who can easily fit in. I go to the tourist site only on the
weekends but each time when I see the improvement of our truth materials and
posters, I know this resulted from the great efforts of our fellow
practitioners. We do not mean that our group is perfect. Every one of us still
has loopholes. Regardless of how much the old force and the residue of the evil
force wants to destroy things, they cannot stop our righteous thoughts and
actions, guided by our Teacher and tempered through numerous hardships.
2. Clarify the truth with wisdom and benevolence
2. Clarify the truth with wisdom and benevolence
After Teacher's article "Rationality" was published on August 9, 2000, Teacher's words "Validate the Fa with rationality, clarify the truth with wisdom, spread the Fa and save people with mercy" have been guiding us in our paths of Fa-rectification. I have recited the above words numerous times to myself, yet I only came to a deeper understanding of them two years later.
To save all sentient beings we should show compassion. With compassion we can let go of all human attachments and overcome difficulties, which have stopped us in coming forth in the Fa-rectification and truth-clarifying frontier. With compassion, Dafa practitioners can cope with challenges and difficult situations with peaceful and immense tolerance. We can face all difficulties and solve all problems. With this heart, we can do all Dafa work with patience and smoothly make use of all Dafa materials with a responsible attitude to sentient beings. At critical times, we will effectively expose the lies and break through people's notions and save them. With this heart, we have the immeasurable wisdom granted by our Teacher and Dafa.
Once, a group of tourists came to our practice site. However, one middle-aged woman tried to prevent them from coming over, and, she said some unfriendly words to me. I did not answer her questions directly. I sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate the evil elements. So this woman did not say anything else until all of the tourists took our materials and left. We did not know if coming to our site had given her a second chance of understanding the truth, and at least, she did not commit another sin this time.
The other day, a middle-aged man stayed for quite long time in front of our posters. He did not leave our site even when his other group members left to take pictures. I went over to talk to him. I found that he could not deny the facts; however he did not want to admit that he had been deceived. His participation in the persecution was a mistake. He could not accept that his trusted government would put together such a hoax to deceive people and persecute the innocent. I said to him, "The crime of being beguiled is on the rumormonger; it is not on the person who is being deceived. You do not need to feel guilty for what you did before and have no need to allow yourself to be deceived anymore. Today, you have seen the truth. You should face the truth bravely and tell the truth to your friends when you go back." He understood my meaning but still argued, "You left China many years ago and do not understand the situation--the economy of our country has developed--it is very different from ten years ago. You should publicize more positive things about our country overseas and should not advertise the negative."
I could see his patriotism and sincerity towards his country. I told him, "Actually, I frequently go back to China and am quite familiar with the situation there. Even when I am overseas, I always feel that the international status of China and the living standard has continuously improved. However, when all of the Chinese people work hard to improve our international image and have significant results, the nonsense of persecuting Falun Gong, has again shamed all Chinese people. If we love our country, we should have the courage to stop the evil things that are happening there, not to avoid and cover them up. The whole world, including the people of China, wish that the justice and conscience of China would come forth to protect the just; this is the real patriotic act." He did not say anymore and left our site with a solemn, deep-thinking expression and showed great respect towards Dafa.
At this practice site, we were often asked the question: "How much money are you paid to come here every day?" Most of the people who asked this question were people who had been deceived. In the current society it is indeed very hard for a person to believe that some people can sacrifice so much for their beliefs. To answer this question, usually, I first talked about the Chinese cultural tradition of paying our debts of gratitude. Then, I talked about the benefits we obtained from Dafa. I indicated that we were doing this with our conscience. Our heart cannot be bought at any price. On one hand, we explained the great benefits we obtained from cultivating to people and our families; on the other hand, we emphasized that a Dafa practitioner should come forth boldly when Dafa and Teacher are experiencing injustice, to vindicate Teacher's and Dafa's credibility and this precious moral standard. If we do not do this, but instead, against our heart, sign the "repentance letter" for instant benefit, this is betrayal.
In Oct. of 2002, I went to Chicago and Houston in America to send forth righteous thoughts. I witnessed that the Chinese Embassy spent a lot of money to buy the "welcoming party." After I returned, at the tourist site, a tourist defiantly said to me, "Tell me how much you earn here in a day?"
I kindly explained to him, but very quickly he stopped me and waved his hand in front of me and said, "Don't talk about other things, just tell me how much you earn here in a day."
I immediately sensed the evil was controlling him, so simultaneously, I sent forth righteous thoughts and said to him, "Do you want to see the drama bought by money? I witnessed this when Jiang visited America. They hired a group of people to wave little flags, chant, sing and hold social events. All of them left immediately, once the time designated was up. When the weather was bad, they even left earlier. The next day, a new group replaced the old group but they all behaved in the same way. However, those Falun Dafa practitioners who had stood at the opposite side of the street withstood the wind and rain, and held their ground for days and nights. This could not be purchased by money, because they were directed by their conscience. People with just a little wisdom will easily distinguish the right from wrong."
He had nothing more to say under such strong evidence.
I realized that in clarifying the truth at the tourist site, the environment is extremely complicated. So, the more compassionate and righteous our hearts are, the stronger and more invincible we will be. We have to show compassion, and be solemn and dignified towards Dafa at the same time.
3. A stage for clarifying truth to foreign tourists
Besides Chinese tourists, Singapore also attracts tourist from all over the world because of its great geographic location and significant culture. Therefore, the tourist site becomes the stage where we clarify the truth of Falun Gong to people worldwide and a window to spread Fa-rectification in other countries. We have prepared truth clarifying materials in many languages. Normally, Western tourists support us after learning the truth. We usually give them a small booklet to explaining the benefits of practicing Dafa and which also gives them a deeper understanding about the persecution in China. Korean tourists are very friendly to us, so I tell them about the popularity of Falun Gong in Korea and encourage them to join. Most of the tourists from other countries in Asia treasure our materials. I always give them more copies for them to take back to distribute after their return to their own countries and tell them how to contact the local practitioners in their own countries. To Indian tourists, we tell them that this is an ancient Chinese cultivation method and is greatly popular all over the world. We also tell them about the practice site in New Deli. Many of them express their interest to try. As to tourists from Hong Kong and Taiwan, I suggest that they clearly acknowledge the persecution of Falun Gong in China and help them to realize the importance of opposing Article 23 legislation.
In addition to foreign tourists, local Singaporeans often come to our practice site as well. Due to the negative reports in local Chinese media, many Singaporeans have misunderstandings towards us and some of them still think that Falun Gong in Singapore is illegal, so we clarify the truth to them. The performance of the exercises and clarifying the truth at the tourist site become the most effective method to break the notions of local people and to suppress lies.
After understanding the truth, many people will read Zhuan Falun and join the class for the "Nine Day Lecture Series." Besides letting the tourist guides understand the truth, we also talk to them from the angle of their profession. "You can see that the tourists are more interested in reading our truth-clarifying material than in taking pictures. This is the major difference between the Chinese tourists and Western tourists. It is because China has blocked all media and many tourists have a strong curiosity when leaving China about such questions as, "Why does Falun Gong still firmly exist in China after the government has persecuted Falun Gong with its full strength for three years?" and many others. They would like to get answers when they go overseas. We should recognize their demands and offer them this convenience. This way Singapore will become a great tourist place for people from China.
Sometimes the police and government officers visit our practice site. I take it as a good opportunity to clarify truth to them. All this time, we have tried our best to approach and clarify the truth to them. Today they come to our site, and despite the cause of their visit, they have come because of Falun Gong, so, isn't this a good opportunity? To these government officials, besides spreading Dafa to them, I also stress the following points in particular:
"We are clarifying the truth of Falun Gong in this place. Also we are clarifying the truth for the Singapore government. Why do I say so? Falun Gong is a legal practice in Singapore. However, due to the negative, irresponsible reports of local media, many Singaporeans do not know the truth. They think that Falun Gong is illegal here. So, we are actually clarifying the truth for our own government.
"Today Falun Dafa has become a world issue. If you go to famous scenic sites in developed countries, you would probably meet Falun Gong practitioners promoting Falun Gong and clarifying the truth. This has become the wish of many tourists from China. If the Chinese tourists cannot see Falun Gong in Singapore, they may feel disappointed. We will not stop our peaceful protest until the Chinese government stops the persecution against Falun Gong. However, we will be cooperative with local police and clarify the truth through proper ways that are suitable to local conditions."
Usually after the communication, the other party will accept us. To sum up, I feel that the method of clarifying the truth is very similar to cultivation; we have no model to imitate in terms of clarifying the truth to people. The situation differs from country to country. We can learn from the successful experience from fellow practitioners in other countries; however, we cannot copy their methods. Every country's cultivation environment is established by the local practitioners. Validating the Fa is the historical responsibility given to us by our Teacher, so every practitioner has to pick a method that is suitable to him when participating.
To participate in the truth-clarifying at the tourist sites gives us an opportunity to observe the gradual progress of Fa-rectification in the dimension of human beings. People have changed from hate, hostility, being scared and suspicious, to understanding and acceptance, and finally to a welcoming attitude and appreciation.
I remember two years ago, I told a tourist, "Regardless of how China denigrates and persecutes Falun Gong now, Falun Gong will stand firmly and restore its name in the near future." This tourist answered loudly, "This is just your dream."
Who will still question this after seeing so many tourists flooding to our practice sites? Many people have changed their notions, and, despite the danger of being reported by others or found out by Customs, they have picked up a large amount of truth-clarifying materials and taped our scene of practicing exercises to take back to China to tell their relatives. Although these changes do not happen overnight, the changes have never stopped. From the time when the head of the evil went overseas in 2002, we experienced a big war between the righteous and the evil in other dimensions, and a large amount of vicious forces have been destroyed in the other dimension. Since then, we have found that there are great changes in our environment.
I met a female practitioner from New York when I visited America in October of 2002, and she told me that even in New York she can feel the Singapore practitioners' great performance in truth-clarifying because it is easier to tell the truth to those tourists who have visited Hong Kong or Singapore. This is because after their visits to both places, they will have a deep impression of Falun Gong. I strongly feel that this is an encouragement from our Teacher to all Singapore practitioners. We still have some journeys on our path to complete, but it will not be long. There is a period of time left to us, but the duration will be limited. In the last segment of our path, we have to remember our Teacher's teaching. We should be more clear-headed, mature, and use righteous thoughts and righteous action to consummate our wish.
Now I would like to end my presentation with a poem by the Teacher from Hong Yin.
I smile--all beings awaken.
I smile--Dafa begins spreading.
I smile--the ferry sets off.
I smile--all beings have hope.