Playing "Falun Dafa Is Good" and Walking Towards the Wonderful Divine Land
When I was in China, I read on the Internet about the grand Divine Land Marching Band in New York. However, I had never dreamed I would become a tenor horn player in the Divine Land Marching Band, as I am almost seventy years old, and had never learned any instruments before.
Dafa practitioners in China are deprived of their rights to cultivate Dafa. They could be illegally arrested and sentenced to prison for clarifying the truth or distributing truth-clarification materials. How can it be possible for them to play "Falun Dafa is Good" in public? When I was in China, I admired Dafa practitioners abroad for having such good opportunities.
After I came to Canada, I found the practice site, attended the group Fa study at the University of Toronto, and participated in Fa-rectification events. One day after Fa study, a fellow practitioner enthusiastically invited me to join the Divine Land Marching Band. He led me to take a look at the brass instruments. A western practitioner happened to be holding a tenor horn. I weighed it in my hand and felt okay carrying it. So I said, "I don't know how to play it. But if you need me, I will learn it." Later I noticed a French horn that was more delicate. I thought, "I don't have a car. It would be easier for me to carry this one if I have to take a bus." So I said, "I better learn French horn." A practitioner told me that they were not short of French horn players. Another player nearby said, "French horn is harder to play." It alerted me. "What's the matter with me? I am a practitioner. I haven't started yet, however, I was calculating for myself. Isn't it my attachment of selfishness?" I immediately said, "I will play whatever is needed."
A few days later, the band coordinator called me and invited me to the rehearsal place at Toronto University in Scarborough. He asked if I needed any help. I said, "About the transportation ..." Immediately he gave me a phone number to contact for a ride. This stirred up my attachment. I thought, "It's so far away from Mississauga to Scarborough. It would be wonderful if I could always get a ride." However, when I called the phone number he gave me, the practitioner who answered the phone was moving and could not give me a ride. I again realized my attachment of selfishness. I decided to go to the rehearsal place nevertheless, and planned to take a bus by myself. At the group exercises on Sunday, I asked how to get to the rehearsal place by bus. A western practitioner was also in the band, and he gladly offered to give me a ride.
When we arrived at the rehearsal place, many people were earnestly practicing their instruments. I hadn't gotten my tenor horn yet, so I observed with all sorts of thoughts in my mind. There were many kinds of instruments - a complete set of them. Many couples came to rehearse with their children. Several of the players were project coordinators. I felt fortunate to be part of the Divine Land Marching Band, however suddenly I thought, "Weekends are the time for family reunion. I will not be able to stay with my family on Sundays..." Watching the practitioners earnestly practicing the instruments, I again realized my selfishness.
I am a veteran practitioner. I thought that I had already eliminated many attachments after years of cultivation. However, after I left the environment in China where Dafa is being persecuted, and arrived in a more relaxed environment in Canada, I felt relaxed, and also slacked off in my cultivation. My attachment of selfishness was exposed in many trivial incidences. Teacher [Li Hongzhi] has instructed us in Zhuan Falun that, "...the whole process of cultivation is a process of constantly getting rid of human attachments." What shall I do? I must get rid of all the attachments. I must cultivate myself in the Divine Land Marching Band. It occurred to me that it was more than an honor to join the Divine Land Marching Band. It was another reunion, a reunion on the path to the divine, an even greater reunion. In addition, the reason why I took part in the Divine Land Marching Band was to save the sentient beings, so as to reunite with more of my relatives in the wonderful heaven of the future.
A practitioner in the band brought me a tenor horn. The practitioner who used to play it was too busy to come to every rehearsal, and had to resign reluctantly. I tried to play the horn after getting home. At first, I made nothing but noise even though I blew the horn with all my strength. There was no rehearsal the next Sunday as we attended a Chinatown parade in east Toronto. So I practiced "do re mi" for two weeks at home. I thought I would be able to play in the band after practicing for a few more months. However, when I came to the rehearsal field on the third Sunday, a practitioner asked me how many music pieces I had learned. I said I could only play "do re mi." Then the band coordinator told me that I must learn the several mandatory pieces in a month. He said the band had been established for only one month before it went out to perform in public. My goodness! I thought, "That's too much to ask! I haven't been trained yet, and I have learned nothing." Later, I thought to myself, "The young practitioners who go to work, especially those project coordinators, may not be able to find much time to practice other than the few hours on Sunday. I don't have to work, and I don't have a lot of projects. I can practice every day. I am also a practitioner. If other practitioners can do it, I can do it also by practicing hard."
I later heard that Teacher personally selected the musical instruments for the Divine Land Marching Band. Another practitioner shared with me that when we played, the energy we emitted was the energy of Dafa. This helped me to eliminate my worry of not playing well. I thought, "It is a very precious opportunity for me to join the Divine Land Marching Band. The instrument I play is a Fa implement granted by Teacher. So I must learn to play it and play it well. I surely can play it well." I calmed down and integrated studying the Fa, practicing the exercises, and learning to use my Fa implement - playing the tenor horn. Magically, in one week, I was able to play the music pieces that the band often performed. I played the horn, and listened to the demos at the Celestial Melody website. I listened to the melody of "Falun Dafa Is Good" again and again, and played it with more and more confidence. My wife no longer complained that I made noises. I was finally able to play the complete pieces including "Falun Dafa is Good."
The weekly group rehearsal was a test of my practice. In the group rehearsal, I noticed my improvement after one week of practice, and I also found my shortcomings for improvement. Of course, I have also encountered some small tribulations during the course. I wore artificial teeth and my gums were rubbed broken after practicing the horn. It hurt when I ate or drank. I didn't know it was due to the horn practice. I didn't pay much attention to it and continued to practice the horn. After three group rehearsals, I was able to catch up with the band. I have attended the band performances in parades since November 18, 2006. Before I knew it, my broken gums have also healed well.
On the first day of the parade performance, I carried the tenor horn with my left hand and went to three parades in one day. Shortly after the first parade, my left wrist became sore and ached. A practitioner told me that it was a trial that every player in the band had to pass, and each one of them had experienced this at first. So I no longer cared about the aches, and focused my attention on the conductor and listened to the surrounding music. I was completely dissolved in the solemn and harmonious music of Dafa, and without knowing it, we had arrived at the end of the parade. I thus took part in every parade performance from the beginning to the end. After each performance, we received very positive feedback from the audience. In one parade a student told me, "You are all such great players." In another parade, the team that followed us specially came to tell us, "We have been following your band all the way. Your performance was wonderful!" A practitioner once noticed a Chinese audience-member who couldn't help shedding tears when he heard us playing "Falun Dafa Is Good."
Only with fellow practitioners' help was I able to attend the performance of the Divine Land Marching Band. I don't have a car myself, however practitioners gave me a ride so that I arrived the performance site or the rehearsal place on time, far or near. I would like to take this opportunity to express my sincere gratitude to them. From now on, I will continue to earnestly cultivate in the Divine Land Marching Band. I will play my tenor horn, the Fa implement granted by Teacher, and play "Falun Dafa is Good" - the most beautiful music piece in the universe - better and louder. Let's follow Teacher to save sentient beings, and to walk towards the divine land.