Leaving Behind an Upright Legacy - A Practitioner's Recollections of the Early Years of Falun Dafa in China (Part 4)
Part 1: http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2004/8/16/51428.html
Part 2: http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2004/8/29/51850.html
Part 3: http://www.clearwisdom.net/emh/articles/2004/8/30/51727.html
I would like to recount something that I will forever remember!
On the 26th of July, 1998, as a teaching assistant and as a veteran Falun Gong practitioner, I had the great honor to be able to attend the Fa Conference for Teaching Assistants in Changchun City, and to be able to personally listen to the Fa lectures given by Teacher. I was greatly moved by Teacher's great compassion. From then on, I felt that not only should I pay great attention to my personal cultivation but I also realized that I held a great responsibility as an assistant.
The conference was held in the Conference Hall of the Shangri-La International Hotel. On the afternoon of July 26, practitioners from many areas of China gathered in front of the hotel and entered the conference hall. I was among the first to enter. When I walked into the hall, the first thing I noticed was the rostrum and the colorful flowers placed around the room. The environment was serene, warm and solemn. I felt that it was different from all the other Fa conferences I had been to. I was extremely excited and said to the fellow practitioners nearby that Teacher must be coming to the conference, but they did not believe me since Teacher had moved to the U.S.A. and nobody knew anything about the meeting agenda. I told them, "You will see. It is definite." After everyone was seated, the conference hall was completely full and yet so quiet. We were all waiting silently...
Then at 5:00pm, our compassionate Teacher suddenly appeared in the entrance. A great thunderous applause immediately erupted. Teacher walked into the hall calmly with a smile. The practitioners who sat nearby the aisle all stood up and shook hands with Teacher. Those who sat farther away stood up and held their palms together in front of their chests in Heshi (1) to show their respect. There were also practitioners presenting flowers. Teacher walked up with vigorous strides to the rostrum and raised one hand vertically in front of his chest to greet us. After several long rounds of applause, Teacher gestured for us to sit down. Teacher knew the feelings of those who wanted to have a clearer view, so he positioned his chair higher so that everyone had a good view. We all listened carefully to Teacher's every word with great veneration and joy.
What moved me most during the conference was when Teacher said to us, "Assistants and veteran students in the audience: You have done a great number of works that you don't realize are extraordinary, truly extraordinary." "You think that the things you do seem pretty simple and are unlike an everyday person's supervisory job, which one gets paid for. You are doing things entirely out of your enthusiasm and your understanding of Dafa. Those things appear to be quite simple and seem to have nothing earth shattering about them. Yet I can tell you that the things that seem mundane on this ordinary human side might be truly dramatic in the realm of your cultivation--a realm that you can't see. (Applause) In other words, you shouldn't consider your [Dafa] work so simple. Since you're doing this work you should do it well. High-level beings often tell me that they think your being able to contribute to Dafa here has laid an excellent foundation for your future lives for an incredibly long time in the later historical period." (from "Teaching the Fa at the Assistants' Fa Conference in Changchun") Hearing this, I felt a warm current pass through my whole body and I felt the sacredness of my responsibility as an assistant. I realized that some times I treated other people and various issues with narrow human notions and some times I did not uphold my xinxing (2) when I came across conflicts and did not behave according to the great compassion and forbearance that Teacher taught us.
Teacher said, "Usually, in our cultivation practice, there aren't many dramatic things, and we temper our xinxing amidst the various kinds of problems that manifest among everyday people." (from "Teaching the Fa at the Assistants' Conference in Changchun"). Therefore over the following years since, I have been trying to follow Teachers words.
During the ten-minute break, practitioners surrounded Teacher and asked all kinds of questions with regard to their cultivation. Teacher kept smiling and answered the questions patiently. The conference lasted for over five hours and yet everyone still felt that it was not enough. It was already past 10:00 pm, but nobody felt tired or hungry. When the conference ended, the practitioners reluctantly parted with Teacher and did not feel like leaving for quite some time. Everyone was happy. Later we heard from the practitioners who organized the conference that Teacher had paid the rental charge for the conference hall himself and that he did not spend a penny of the practitioners' money.
Notes:(1) "Heshi" - a gesture which is a part of the Falun Dafa exercises and also serves as a respectful salutation or departure among Faun Gong practitioners.
(2) Xinxing - heart/mind nature