Memories of Revered Master's Three Lecture Tours in Australia
(Clearwisdom.net) On August 2, 1996, Master first came to Australia. By that time I had been practicing Falun Dafa for just over eight months. I had no words to express my longing to see Master. I remember seeing Master as the event in my life that most touched my heart. I felt so happy -- the happiness is hard to express in words. I still clearly remember the feeling of happiness at that time. It was pure, coming from my deepest, innermost part and filling my whole body. At the same time, there were also feelings of nervousness, excitement, and a little worry. I was worried that our preparations were not up to the standard of Master giving lectures, worried that we hadn't done well enough, and worried that there would be too few people coming to the lectures and that Master might be disappointed.
At that time, there were only two exercise sites in Australia, both in Sydney. One was at Ashfield Park and the other at Cabravale Park in Cabramatta. Over 10 practitioners came to the two practice sites regularly. When we learned that Master was coming to Sydney to give lectures, we felt that it would be a pleasant surprise if there were a hundred people attending the lectures. As it so happened, the number of people who came to listen to the lectures was two to three times more than the number we expected. Actually, Dafa cultivation is supernormal. How could we use an ordinary mind to estimate the number of people coming to listen to the Fa ?
The next day, around 8:00 a.m. on August 3, Master arrived at the conference site entrance. Master's every movement was just so natural, graceful and extraordinary. Master greeted all the volunteers at the entrance and shook hands with each of them. He especially talked a little more to the only western practitioner who was helping at the entrance at the time. I was so lucky to be the translator. I felt at the time that Master was so thoughtful. He even thought of many minor details. I understood later it was the embodiment of what Master taught us, "full of great aspirations while minding minor details."
Master emphasized the importance of studying the Fa at the beginning of the lecture. Master stood the whole time while giving the lecture and stood for over five hours. The majority of the attendees were beginners and non-practitioners. Most of the questions they asked were at the beginning level of understanding the Fa and answers to those questions could be directly found in Zhuan Falun. However, Master still very patiently answered them in detail.
When answering the questions, Master talked about Sakyamuni,
"At the time when Buddha Sakyamuni was in this world, the demon said, "I am not able to undermine your Dharma now. When your Dharma enters the Dharma-ending period, I will send my disciples and followers to become professional practitioners in your temples. I will see what you can do about it!" At the time, Buddha Sakyamuni wept. Buddha Sakyamuni, of course, could not do anything about it. It has come to the end of the Dharma, so it becomes chaotic. In the Dharma-ending period as he mentioned, not just among people or just in temples, everywhere in the human society there are things that undermine human affairs, and there exist such people." ("Falun Dafa Lecture in Sydney")
When Master was speaking these words, I saw tears in his eyes. This greatly shook me. I thought it might be that Master saw the difficulty of saving sentient beings and felt the difficulty of Sakyamuni's saving sentient beings as his personal experience. My eyes also unconsciously filled with tears. One year later when I was in China, I recalled this and told fellow practitioners about it. Many of them couldn't help but weep.
Many years have passed. Now when I recall the scene at that time, I still have the same feeling, as clear as if it happened just yesterday. At that time I was deeply moved and felt very sorry for Sakyamuni, and moreover, I hoped that I could share Master's cares and burdens. But now I have a different understanding. In fact, Sakyamuni was not weeping for himself, but for his disciples. And our revered Master was weeping for sentient beings bearing a huge amount of karma.
After the lecture, Master personally purified bodies of all the attendees. When Master stepped out of the conference room, a practitioner asked for Master's autograph on Zhuan Falun. Then many people also asked for Master's autograph. It could be because many people hadn't read Zhuan Falun at that time. Master understood their feelings and continually signed until it was getting dark. At the end, Master and all the practitioners present had a picture taken together.
I remember that Master only drank some bottled water during a short break at the Fa conference in the afternoon. During the entire day, from morning to almost evening, I didn't see Master eat anything. Besides lecturing, he also satisfied the new practitioners with their requests for signatures and pictures. As I recall the event now, I feel that our Australian practitioners were most fortunate, but I also feel a little ashamed on their behalf.
When walking through Darling Harbour with some practitioners during Master's first Fa-teaching tour in Australia, Master said to the practitioners that it would be good to set up an exercise site at Darling Harbour. There are many visitors here. We realized it would also save us the money spent on introducing Falun Gong in the newspapers.
Several days later after Master left Australia, a couple of practitioners and I started to do the exercises at Darling Harbour on the weekends. Then, more and more practitioners participated in the weekend practices at the exercise site. In the past 10 years, this exercise site has experienced several ups and downs. Chinese Communist Party (CCP) spies exerted pressure on the Darling Harbour Administration Authority to stop our exercises there. Although the exercises at the Darling Harbour practice site were not always regularly done, they never stopped for a long time. We ensured that there were practitioners doing exercises at this practice site on almost every weekend. It has gotten more and more stable over the last several years. Many practitioners quietly contributed to maintaining the practice site. The Darling Harbour practice site is always one of the main exercise sites in Sydney and in Australia as well. Sometimes over 200 practitioners participate in group exercises there. At the least, 20 to 30 people do the exercises there. Many practitioners obtained the Fa at the Darling Harbour exercise site.
It was November 24, 1996, Sunday. About twenty practitioners were doing the fifth exercise, Strengthening Divine Powers, at about 10:00 a.m. I suddenly had a feeling and naturally opened my eyes. I was greatly surprised: Revered Master was walking towards us!
At first I thought that I must be seeing things. But I immediately saw an elderly practitioner, who was running after Master, gesturing at me, "Stand up to greet Master." But I then saw Master signaling to me not to move and to continue the exercise. So I continued to sit there. But I couldn't help but look at Master again. I saw Master passing us very quickly and silently. I didn't feel that Master walked too fast, He only walked gently and lightly. Yet the practitioners behind Master followed Him with strides and were still far behind Him.
Master stood behind us to watch the practitioners doing the exercises. I was the person in charge of the audio player. We were sitting there doing the exercise, yet Master was standing and watching us. I felt uneasy. Master was thoughtful of practitioners and didn't want to interrupt our practice. After a while, I thought that we shouldn't let Master stand behind to wait for us, since our meditation had just started about ten minutes ago. I gathered my courage and gently walked over to Master. I greeted Master and asked if I could let them stop the exercise to meet with Master. Master said with a smile that it would be better to let the practitioners finish the exercise. So I had to stand there too. Nobody said anything anymore.
Several minutes later (the minutes seemed to me like a long time), I finally worked up the courage again and asked Master, "Master, may I ask them to stop the exercise?" Master smiled again. He had a look at me and said, "[They can] Stop if the music stops." I thought about it. Then I slowly walked toward the player, turned down the music, and then stopped it. I said, "Master has come to see us."
Fellow practitioners then opened their eyes. Of course, many of them doubted their ears and looked around in amazement. A veteran practitioner recalled that right when she opened her eyes and saw Master sitting on the bench in the park and looking at all of us in a peaceful manner, she thought that she was seeing Master's law body. When they all became aware of the real situation and understood that Master had really come, the practitioners all quickly gathered around Master in a pleasantly surprising mood. Master taught the Fa for over one hour and then answered our questions.
I always had such a feeling: When I saw Master at the beginning, I would feel very excited and nervous, along with the feeling of happiness hard to express. When I was beside Master, I was unusually calm and natural. I thought it could be that when we were beside Master, Master's benevolent field had an effect on us.
The Darling Harbour exercise site is the only exercise site in Australia I know of where Master taught the Fa in person. It is also the only exercise site in Australia I know of that Master selected for us in person. This exercise site has a good view. It is near downtown to the east, has a long fountain to the south, has a huge seawater pool following the sidewalk to the north, and is connected to the main passage at Darling Harbour. On each weekend, pedestrian and other visitors form a continuous stream.
In the area where we do the exercises, there are several rows of trees. The ground is sandy, which is hard to find in Darling Harbour. If my memory serves me right, whenever it was our exercise time, although it looked it would rain, the rain didn't fall. Usually, it started to rain after we had finished our exercises. Many young practitioners saw (with their celestial eyes open) that some practitioners' bodies were transparent a few years ago. They saw more often that a huge Falun was rotating over the trees. They also saw Master's great Fashen (law body). A few meters away from the back of the exercise site there is a huge seawater pool that is connected to the harbor. Many lotus flowers float on the water and look very beautiful when we are practicing exercises. The young practitioners have many wonderful stories about the Darling Harbour exercise site.
No matter what season it is, after we finish our exercises, we always have a happy and wonderful feeling. If you have the chance to come to Sydney, don't forget to participate in the weekend exercises at the Darling Harbour exercise site from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m.
The news that Master had come to the Darling Harbour exercise site in person spread very quickly. Many practitioners hoped that they could see Master. Master promised that they could. So Master met the Australian practitioners again on the evening of November 26, 1996. The meeting was held in the Masonic Center in downtown Sydney.
The number of practitioners who came to listen to the Fa was estimated to be more than 600. In a short period of three months, from when Master taught the Fa in Sydney for the first time, the number of practitioners in Australia rapidly increased. In the evening, I was at the entrance of the lecture hall to take care of people who came to the conference. I had an attachment. I always hoped that I could shake hands with Master. But I was not that bold and did not do things rashly. I told myself, "It would be so wonderful if Master would shake hands with me."
Master arrived on time. He seemed to see through my human mind. Master smiled generously and extended his hand to me. Holding Master's soft warm hand, I felt speechless happiness. But now I am ashamed of myself for having the attachment at that time. Master is always thoughtful and careful of other's feelings.
Master talked a lot at that Fa-lecture. If I recall right, it was the first time I heard Master lecturing about the layers of structures of the cosmos. And I started to realize that Dafa was unimaginably immense. As Master mentioned, it was so immense that it was hard to describe in words. I also remember that a practitioner from South Australia asked a question about the situation in spreading Dafa in China. In the answer, Master mentioned that there were already 100 million practitioners in China. When the time period for which we had reserved the meeting room ended, many practitioners still wanted to stay and hoped Master could talk more. Master said that the reservation time was over, and if we extended the time, the practitioners would need to pay a higher rental fee. He suggested that in order not to increase practitioner's financial burden, we'd best close on time. Master's every behavior showed his consideration for practitioners.
On May 2 and 3, 1999, the "Australia Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference" was held at the Darling Harbour International Convention Center. More than 2,700 practitioners from all around the world attended. Master came to the conference. Since the "April 25" appeal happened one week before the conference, many reporters from China and other areas asked for interviews with Master. Some reporters held bad intentions, especially, a reporter from a Chinese magazine in Hong Kong. This reporter tricked us to get a picture in which practitioners did group exercises and formed Chinese characters. He post-processed the picture and indecently changed the words of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" to other characters. This image was published in the magazine over and over again.
Several practitioners who had obtained the Fa earlier in Australia met Master that time. When we sat down, I noticed Master looked at each of us one by one and then nodded. Master didn't say anything. I dared not ask either. I guessed it might have something to do with each practitioner's cultivation status. Thinking of that, I was even afraid to ask. I was afraid Master would say that I didn't cultivate well.
I remember that Master told us that he had personally come to Sydney not long before. He went to the Darling Harbour exercise site that Saturday morning, but He didn't see anybody doing the exercises there, so he left. Hearing that, I felt deep pain and regret. I was sorry that I hadn't done better to take good care of the exercise site, as other practitioners had done. I was sorry we hadn't done better to continually practice at the special exercise site.
For the last several years, practicing at the Darling Harbour exercise site has continued as normal. Thanks are given to those practitioners who have silently persisted.
Master had dinner with some practitioners on the night of May 3 when the conference was over. Master looked serious at the time, so everybody felt heavy too. Since nobody started to eat, Master smiled and asked us to eat. Master himself ate very little. Two months later, the CCP started the large-scale persecution of Dafa practitioners.
I have seen Master up close several times. I often saw Master wearing a short sleeved that was very clean but faded. Master always wore the same clothes that were very clean. His food was even simpler. I also often heard fellow practitioners from China mentioning these things.
My feeling is this: besides the immense and boundless Fa, we also have countless things to learn from Master's conduct.
The above recollections are presented in words as true as possible based on what I heard, saw and felt. Only simple and honest words and a pure heart are appropriate for such precious recollections.