Experiences from Holding a "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" Art Exhibition in St. Petersburg
(Clearwisdom.net) In November 2004, I visited the international art exhibition called, "Truthfulness- Compassion-Tolerance." At that time I thought that it would be good to hold such an exhibition in Russia.
I was fortunate to see our Teacher in person afterward and deeply realized how little I had done to save sentient beings. I also realized the great responsibility that we carry in everything we do.
In the gallery, as I passed by paintings composed by non-practitioners, they did not attract my attention. It was just as Teacher described in His lecture, "Teaching the Fa at the Discussion on Creating Fine Art,"
"So the resulting so-called arts aren't human culture anymore, because they're not produced with rationality or a clear mind, and they're not true, beautiful things of mankind created with people's upright thoughts, good thoughts, or a correct understanding of artistic beauty."
When I crossed the threshold of the room where the paintings of Dafa practitioners were displayed, I felt a strong energy field and understood that this exhibition was not ordinary. It exerts a strong emotional and spiritual influence and purifies the mind. With its mighty power, such an exhibition is a good instrument for truth-clarification.
During the European Fa Conference in Stockholm in 2005, I was told that we would have access to copies of these paintings. So the moment of opportunity arrived. We could clarify the truth with art and enlighten to much in the process.
During preparations for the exhibition when we ordered frames for the paintings and looked for a hall, the process of truth-clarification started. At that moment a very serious question emerged. Some practitioners had doubts as to whether it was necessary to show all of the paintings about the persecution, because some of them shocked people. A great help for us was an Internet chat with Latvian practitioners who had already held this exhibition. They shared their experiences and understandings on this issue with us. We appreciate their help very much.
Before sharing in this chat, I saw in others what I had to find in myself. I constantly looked inward and found many communist and leftist elements, such as the competitive mentality, desire to control the situation, mentality of showing off, the pursuit for fame and profit, and jealousy. When conflicts arise it is a good opportunity to find attachments. To be frank, it was not so easy, and wrong thoughts did emerge. At one point I left everything. At that moment I asked myself: Am I validating the Fa or myself?
Every day, in addition to studying the Fa and reading materials about the exhibition, I studied in-depth Teacher's lecture on fine arts. This is what gave me strength and firm belief. Unfortunately, there were many omissions. I lacked compassion and tolerance at the moments when fellow practitioners helped me to upgrade my xinxing.
We clarified the truth in exhibition halls, art galleries, cultural centers, educational institutions and the St. Petersburg Union of Artists.
We met with many interesting people, including artists and sculptors in their studios. The "Truth-Compassion-Tolerance" art exhibition provided a unique theme for discussion.
We clarified the truth to everyone -- from caretakers to the director of the Hall of Artists of Russia -- where, for the first time in our country, the opening of the Falun Dafa art exhibit was held. It seemed to me that there were no obstacles, but when we were done hanging the paintings, we heard, "What's that? Oh, horrors!" There was irritation in their voices, so we had to clarify the truth once again with tolerance. At that moment I was scared. I had doubts about whether the people who would come to the exhibition would understand us and understand why we were doing all this. Such an incorrect state appeared right before the opening of the exhibition. The next day, when I wasn't yet free of such thoughts, I sat down before the paintings and suddenly they came alive. The cultivated infants frisked in the gong column and a powerful energy emanated from the paintings. I was ashamed for my state. How could I doubt such righteous work? Wasn't it a test of my belief in the Fa and Teacher? The old forces had used my weakness.
After the grand opening of the exhibition, the curator, a respected person, told me that the day before he had felt my anxiety. I apologized to him. I understood at that moment how important it is to control our thoughts and actions. Ordinary people are watching us. They can form wrong impressions about Dafa if we are not careful.
I also want to tell you about an exhibition that was canceled. It was in the former art school named after Mukhina; now it is an artistic-industrial academy. During our first meeting, we didn't show photos, and didn't introduce our exhibition as we did in other places. We just wrote down a request with concrete dates. During our next meetings, we also didn't tell the official what the exhibition was about. The person who was in charge of the hall was always in a hurry. We thought that we could clarify the truth to him later. Only half a year later, a week before the opening, did we begin to clarify the truth to him.
He asked us why we hadn't told him more about the show at the very beginning? He said that the head of the academy had recently returned from China and told him that it was wonderful there, that there were no persecutions, and that he had signed many agreements of mutually beneficial cooperation. They didn't want to spoil their relations with the Chinese Consulate. To be frank, it was hard to handle such a situation. We decided to meet with the head of the academy, but he was absent at the moment. The person who was in charge of the hall learned about our decision to speak with his chief. He took offense to it and refused to meet with us. I realized that because of our always striving for results, we might have very well done harm to a person. I called this person once again and asked him for a meeting. During our last meeting he apologized for the cancellation of our exhibition. He said that he would read our materials and expressed a hope to hold our exhibition in the future. When I left him, there was a very tight feeling in my heart. I wasn't satisfied. Human thoughts about the lost money that was spent on the fliers, and about my loss of face intensified my bad state. I saw my desire to triumph over this man at any cost. My compassion was too little.
Everything connected with this exhibition played an invaluable role in my upgrading xinxing and gaining deeper understandings of the Fa principles, and, most of all, in being strict with myself first, thus making me more responsible for the mission of a Dafa disciple.