Clarifying the Truth in the New York City Subway
From the author of this article: Practitioners coordinated with each other as one body when clarifying the truth, and realized our own shortcomings during the process. In doing so, we achieved the goal of validating Dafa, instead of validating ourselves.
In October our group finally came to clarify the truth in Manhattan, to save all beings and fulfill our own prehistoric vows. We got some local information about Manhattan through experience sharing before we left and understood our purpose clearly this time. Although our stay in New York City has not been long, we have matured much and discovered many shortcomings in ourselves. We would like to share some of our experiences so that fellow practitioners might be able to avoid making the same mistakes we made, and some unnecessary losses can be prevented. We hope that other fellow practitioners can do better and fulfill the mission of saving sentient beings.
Teacher said in his article,
"For a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple, personal liberation is not the goal of cultivation: when you came, saving sentient beings was your great aspiration, and that is the responsibility and mission history has bestowed upon you in Fa-rectification. Thus great numbers of beings are to be saved by you." ("Let Go of Human Attachments and Save the World's People")
Therefore we kept Teacher's words in mind. With a heart to save sentient beings, we came to participate in activities of validating Dafa in Manhattan. Because we would not be able to stay a long time, we decided that one group would concentrate on clarifying the truth in the subway while another group would concentrate on spreading the truth around the city in small groups.
Having divided the groups, and having been guided by more experienced fellow practitioners, we quickly became used to how to take the subway and the best way to clarify the truth. Since our hearts were very firm, we quickly became used to the environment here.
1. We are of One Body
American practitioners have helped us to improve our understanding in many aspects of the Fa. We are one body. We are validating Dafa as one body. We are not validating ourselves. If we are still stuck in the stage of personal cultivation, and do not have a good coordination and improvement of the whole body, or what we do is not based on saving all sentient beings, then we might be walking the path arranged by the old forces. Working individually may save some sentient beings, but it cannot reach the best results. During the process of validating Dafa, if we will find loopholes in our Xinxing (heart or mind nature, moral character), then we need to remove them; otherwise the whole body's spreading the Fa and clarifying the truth will be affected. This is the way of our cultivation
"The path that Dafa disciples have walked in validating the Fa--where as they cultivate themselves they also save sentient beings, accommodate the needs of the cosmos's Fa-rectification, and disintegrate and clear away the dark minions and rotten demons that are negatively impacting the Fa-rectification and doing evil against Dafa disciples, as well as all the elements of interference and persecution arranged by the old forces--such is the complete path of cultivation, Consummation, and becoming a magnificent god that Disciples of Dafa walk." ("My Version of a "Stick Wake-up"")
We need to coordinate well as a whole body, let go of personal subjective opinions and do well during the Fa rectification. One person's omission is the omission of the whole body. Therefore when an individual is in some tribulation, he or she needs to quickly share it with others so that one can walk a steady path. Of course, with regards to the results of spreading the Fa, it depends on the cultivation state of each individual. Some practitioners' hearts are very pure and even if they don't know English, they can still get good results in validating Fa. This also helped us reach the understanding that clarifying the truth in New York does not necessarily require a lot of English capability. This was very encouraging for the practitioners who didn't know English. As long as you have the heart to save sentient beings, Teacher will help you.
2. Clarifying the Truth in the New York Subway
In the past few days, I have found that the results of clarifying the truth in the subway were very good. New Yorkers sometimes appear to be cold and indifferent, but they are moved when they see such a severe violation of human rights in the 21st century. Their heart of compassion is suddenly brought forth. Some shook their heads in disbelief, some wanted to support us, and some wanted to learn the exercises. These cases were often seen. When Dafa was displayed in front of people's eyes, many stopped and came to look, took pictures or recorded videos, some inquired about Falun Gong. Some people were really puzzled about why Jiang persecutes Falun Gong. New Yorkers are becoming more and more clear-headed and understand more and more about this vicious persecution and they think it is not acceptable. More and more people are coming to learn Dafa. We are very happy for them.
Our work in the subway included clarifying the truth in the subway cars, on the platform, at the exits and outside of the subway stations.
Clarifying the Truth in the Subway Cars:
Sometimes, it is difficult for New Yorkers to take flyers. Perhaps it is because of their habitual refusal of flyers, or maybe it is because of their mistrust of others. However, after showing them the pictures of the persecution, their indifferent faces changed and they were willing to take the flyers. I remember that on the first day when we spent all day on the subway cars with the poster boards, even though many didn't accept the flyers, they still looked at our display, and many people who accepted our flyers. Of course it is not necessary for them to take flyers because when they read the poster boards our purpose of clarifying the truth was achieved.
Clarifying the Truth on the Subway Platforms:
Often, when we got to the platforms, many eyes would look at us. Many people had already seen the information about the persecution. I remember that one day when we were going to board the Orange Line to 53rd Street to clarify the truth, a practitioner told us it was going to take a while for this particular train to come. However we still decided that we would wait. While we were waiting, we would give the other people a chance to see the truth of the persecution. A woman took a flyer and shook her head in disbelief after seeing our display-boards. A younger woman was shocked to know that there was such a brutal persecution. Many people took our flyers and started paying attention to the persecution. Another time, we were trying to find a place to pass out materials. When we got on to the platform to change to another train, we discovered that nearly everyone stopped to look at our posters and to take materials. We were very touched by this.
Clarifying the Truth inside Subway Stations:
Clarifying the truth in larger subway stations is different from in the smaller ones. In a smaller station, it is similar to clarifying the truth on the platforms. In these larger stations we could divide the people to the different exits or entrances or we could go to a small corner and practice there and tell people about Falun Gong. We got good results in both ways. Once at one of the larger stations during rush hour, the four of us were standing at the four different exits giving out flyers. I was standing at the escalator so that the people could see me from far off. I also said, "Falun Dafa Hao" so that even those who wouldn't take the flyers would hear "Falun Dafa Hao."
This reminded me of what Teacher said in the 2003 Lecture in Atlanta:
"Also, with those people that you run into by chance, who you run into in daily life, and the people you run into at work, you should all clarify the truth to them. Even when in your daily life you pass by people so quickly that you don't have a chance to talk to them, you should still leave them with your compassion and kindness."
That day all of our materials were given out. Practitioners learned to let go of self and no longer were attached to doing certain things in a certain way. Instead we learned to cooperate with each other: some practitioners carried a big poster facing the people passing by while sending out strong righteous thoughts. Another one or two of us gave out flyers. The rest of us practiced exercises nearby. This was one instance of our righteous thought and righteous action.
Outside the Exit of Subway Stations:
Besides reaching the people who take the subway we could also reach those who live next to the subway stations. Especially when it was not rush hour and there weren't that many people in the subway station, we would often go outside the subway stations to clarify the truth. One day when we were outside of the 86th Street Subway exit, three practitioners acted as one body. Two of us were practicing the exercises while the third practitioner was giving out flyers. It worked very well. Many people who usually would not take flyers took one that day. Many people saw the poster-boards in front of us. One woman even wanted to give us money. We gave our thanks to her but asked her to spread word of the persecution to her friends and family as well as to the media and to her congressman. We also gave her a music-CD to wish her well. This way of clarifying the truth, promoting Dafa, practicing the exercises and studying the Fa, was very effective. It was much better than simply giving out flyers. When we practiced the exercises, many people with predestined relationship would come by to learn Falun Gong. Some even wanted to know where they could learn the exercises.
3. Our Experience in Clarifying the Truth
In clarifying the truth, we have many things to share with our fellow practitioners:
"Sharp swords shooting out together from their mouths"
In the poem "Hurry Up and Tell Them," Teacher clearly tells us that telling people the facts, rather than just giving out materials, is "like sharp swords shooting out together from their mouths." So when clarifying the truth, we should not forget to leave our compassion with people during our short contact with them. We should not forget to tell them that Falun Dafa is good. Oftentimes, in the morning when we gave out materials, we would say hello and then say, "Falun Dafa is good" in English along with a smile. People would sense our kindness. We recognize that people in New York even seldom greet each other. So practitioners who go to New York ought to learn how to say Falun Dafa is good in English. If indeed one cannot remember it in English, saying it in Chinese would also work.
The Power of Saying "Falun Dafa is Good:"
I remember that once we were giving out flyers, a girl was handing out advertisements or some sort of survey. I gave her a flyer with a smile and told her "Falun Dafa is good." She declined the flyer with a smile. I was not affected and continued to say loudly to pedestrians that Falun Dafa is Good and distributed Falun Dafa literature. Later she came specifically to ask for our literature. At the busy corner of 34th Street, many people come and go, but almost nobody takes materials. However, when we say out aloud "Falun Dafa is good" for a while, gradually people began to take our materials. This shows the power of Dafa. Thus, we think fellow practitioners can say, "Falun Dafa is good" when handing out materials instead of just quietly standing there.
Making the Full Use of Group Effort:
Sometimes, we find that it is difficult to hand out materials. When this happens, we can take a rest and study the Fa. This will change the entire environment. Actually our coming to Manhattan is not to validate ourselves or to show how capable we are. Rather, we should have group coordination and make full use of our group effort, in addition to the power of the Fa, and let more people hear about Dafa and be saved. In a group, each individual may have different Xinxing level and different cultivation states. When one practitioner feels tired, the group coordinator should find out the situation, or let the practitioner take a break if necessary. As a matter of fact, practicing the exercises is the best way of rest, and studying the Fa well will enable us to better clarify the truth.
Let go of the Human Heart--Only Then Can We Save Sentient Beings:
Our attachment to gain and loss came out when we were handing out materials. It is possible that some of us may hand out more, while others hand out less. One might compare oneself to others and feel that he or she is incapable -- "Why am I unable to give out materials?" Such thoughts will interfere with us, and make us be less concentrated on clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings. As a matter of fact, the purer the heart one has the better effect one will achieve. Over time, one will be able to let go of these thoughts, and the materials will be accepted by more and more people. Of course, for those who are good at handing out materials, they should not get excited either. This happened on the first day when we handed out materials in subway stations. We were handing out materials on the platform of the S Train. A train driver opened his window and asked for materials from us. One of our practitioners immediately rushed to give him one. We all felt happy about it - even a train driver would ask for materials. We felt happy that another being had learned the truth and we thought the story was good enough for writing an experience sharing paper. However, when the next train came, we tried to hand our literature to the train driver. He felt very unhappy and would not accept our material. Only at that time did we realize that we must get rid of the excitement that we had developed. Also, when we were handing out flyers, oftentimes we kept thinking about what we were going to eat or do afterwards, or worrying about whether we had brought enough drinking water or would be able to find a restroom, etc. Later we discovered that these thoughts would also interfere with our truth-clarification effort. Actually, we found that when we truly wanted to save all those sentient beings from the bottom of our hearts, we would often feel full of energy and rarely thought about food or finding a restroom.
People are Awakening
Under the arrangement of the old forces, some people appeared to be indifferent, and would not like to take any flyers. To break such arrangements, we Dafa disciples have to use our righteous thoughts to clear away the interference in other dimensions, dissolve those factors of indifference, and awake their kind hearts that have been buried for too long. This can be achieved through clarifying the truth and sending the message of "Falun Dafa is Good" into microscopic level of their beings. Gradually, we begin to see smiles on people's faces, because their knowing side is aware.
After learning the truth, many people have become a live media. They tell their friends and relatives about the truth. Once, a parent brought his child to look at our anti-torture exhibits. After reading them, he explained to his child what it was all about. Parents use this opportunity to teach their children. People are awakening and it has become easier to clarify the truth in Manhattan now. This is due to the joint efforts of all Dafa disciples.
4. Things to Be Aware of When Clarifying the Truth in the Subway
In order to maximize our effects of saving all beings, we need to pay attention to our public appearance and actions. Therefore, we should dress neatly. As the Subway is usually crowded with people, we should make sure that our display boards are not in anyone's way. We should not just say we have righteous thoughts and actions, but ignore everyday people's courtesy and politeness. That is not what a Dafa disciple should be.
In the subway stations, usually the space is quite limited. We can form a two-person group and one should be able to speak English. Even if neither one speaks English, we should still bring English materials with us. This can make up for our language shortcomings. In a large subway station, we can also do exercises and display our posters, but we should not block the passageways. In general, we should not have too many practitioners in a single station.
Also we need to prepare to bring information about the practice sites in Manhattan, because there are many people who want to learn the exercises. In a park, we met a young man who looked like a student. He said he had practiced martial arts before. He wished to learn Falun Gong and find out why it was persecuted and how it is different from Taichi and Yoga. We answered his questions and he wanted to learn right away. Practitioners presented him with information about where to practice. On the last day, when we were walking upstairs out of a station while handing out materials, we said aloud "Falun Dafa is Good." A westerner ran up to us and said he wanted to learn the exercises. He was also predestined to learn Dafa. We gave him materials and information about where to practice and told him he could go to the website to find more information.
Manhattan is a place where the evil forces concentrate. During truth-clarification, it would best if each one has his or her own role and does it well in a coordinated fashion instead of changing roles at will. Whether we are handing out materials, sending righteous thought, or holding exhibition boards, everyone should do his own part well. In this way, the whole group can reach the best state and achieve the best effect.
Please allow me to end my sharing by quoting Teacher's lecture, "Teaching the Fa at the Meeting of Asia-Pacific Students:"
"With the three things being the focal point, you figure out how to do them well and at the same time cultivate yourselves well and save sentient beings--the hardest part is saving sentient beings. Doing things well is actually a matter of coordination."
Please point out anything inappropriate.
Thank you Teacher! Thank you, everybody!