Cooperating with Each Other and Improving Together
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings, Master! Greetings, Fellow Practitioners!
I want to share how the practitioners in our Elmhurst study group in New York City have improved through group Fa study.
Studying the Fa and doing the exercises as a group fundamentally assures doing Dafa work well
Falun Dafa practitioners in New York City need to be involved in a lot of Dafa activities. For example, three practitioners in our Fa study group work for the media, some send forth righteous thoughts in front of the Chinese Consulate, and some promote the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party in Flushing. Quite a number of practitioners play in the Divine Land Marching Band and with the waist drum team. Promoting NTDTV's Chinese New Year Spectacular shows every year is also a very important task. When there are a lot of things to do, like common people, we could easily fall into a mode of emphasizing Dafa work while overlooking Fa study and the exercises. Because of this, our practitioners have made group Fa study a priority.
We have local group Fa study every Tuesday, and every Friday we join the all-New York City practitioners' Fa study. The practitioners are serious about the group Fa studies and rarely miss them. After our local group Fa study, we usually leave time for idea exchanges. Our group study's energy field is strong, so the practitioners can study the Fa with concentration. The later sharing is also quite beneficial. Although we are all of different ages and backgrounds, we have after all come for the Fa.
The practitioners respect each other and can wholeheartedly share their understandings and feelings during the discussion. For example, when one practitioner, a painter, had just moved to Queens, and she experienced severe interference from the evil. Her stomach hurt badly and she could not eat anything. She would vomit if she ate. But she kept up with reading and reciting the Fa and negated the old forces' arrangements. She got up at 3:00 a.m. daily to study the Fa and went to the practice site at 6:00 a.m. to do the exercises. She also kept doing her paintings to validate the Fa. Even more commendable - she had done a lot of work to promote the NTDTV shows. She gradually recovered and passed the tribulation.
The practitioners share not only their good experiences but also the things that puzzle them. One older practitioner at our practice site had done very well with the NTDTV promotions and the Nine Commentaries. She was such a healthy practitioner but suddenly had health problems and passed away within just three days. We didn't try to brush this incident aside, but instead shared our views. As a result, we had an even better understanding of the seriousness of cultivation. We also came to understand that we should put more effort into helping each other and forming a whole body.
One month later, another practitioner who worked with a team promoting the Nine Commentaries encountered a similar tribulation, but she made it through and returned to work with us. She said, "When I was in a coma my mind was blank. But one sentence slowly came to mind, Falun Dafa is Good!" She did not know which dimension she was in, but she just felt really good. Then suddenly it occurred to her, "No. I should go back. Otherwise, when people ask where that old lady who works in the Service Center for Quitting the CCP has gone, how could the practitioners there reply? I absolutely do not want to tarnish the image of Dafa. Master, please help me go back!" She returned safely. Perhaps this one thought made the difference for her between life and death. But that thought is based on one's long-term perseverance in Fa study and one's unshakable faith in Master and Dafa.
We manage to do Fa study no matter how busy we are, but practicing the exercises is not something we can always take for granted. When the latter occurs, the practitioners remind each other by calling each other. So at our practice site, there are practitioners exercising all year 'round. In the morning we send forth righteous thoughts at the practice site at 6:00 a.m. and then do the exercises. This assures us that our work is not affected.
Cooperating with and supporting each other to do Dafa work well
Our Fa study group is responsible for the distribution of the Epoch Times in Elmhurst and in the surrounding areas, requiring our cooperation. In the early morning, one male practitioner brings the newspapers to Elmhurst. Then he leaves for work. Other practitioners then places the newspapers in each newspaper box, to make sure that the local residents can read the newspaper in time. A female practitioner drives her car to deliver the papers to the remote areas while an almost 70-year-old male practitioner is responsible for bringing the newspapers to nearby areas, using a cart. What these practitioners have done may sound quite usual, but if you learn more about them, you will find that they have many moving stories to tell - both ordinary and extraordinary.
For example, that male practitioner who brings the newspapers to Elmhurst needs to get up at least one hour earlier. Except for when he needs to participate in other Dafa activities, he has not missed one day in delivering the newspaper. The woman practitioner who needs to deliver the newspaper in her car has to handle things well with her non-practitioner husband. So she had to make her husband understand her sacrifices. She has to use her own time, drive her own car, and receives no pay for delivering the newspaper. When the car has problems she needs to have it repaired at her own expense. Sometimes, when showing symptoms of sickness karma, she has still forced herself to finish the newspaper delivery while enduring discomfort. She holds herself strictly to the requirements of Dafa and has done well, both with her household chores and Dafa work. She finally won her husband's support through her example. This year she and her husband attended the NTDTV's Chinese New Year Spectacular together.
The older practitioner who delivers the newspaper with a cart also works very hard, like a young man. It is not an easy task to deliver that heavy load of newspapers. One time he accidentally twisted his ankle, but once he recovered he immediately resumed delivering the paper. Another time, when he was experiencing the evil's sickness karma interference he coughed and could not sleep well for two months. But he still persevered, delivering the newspaper every morning.
Another woman practitioner takes a cart full of newspapers on and off the train every day. She needs to bring them to the Rego Park area, three train stops away. Once she accidentally fell when going down the stairs. Another practitioner hurriedly sent forth righteous thoughts for her, and she quickly recovered and stood up.
The two practitioners who hand out the newspaper at the train station entrance also have very moving stories. One of these practitioners' husbands had a stroke, and can easily become anxious and impatient. But she never complains and treats her family members with an attitude that a Dafa practitioner should have. She does her best to take care of her husband. Now her husband believes in Dafa very much. He often says, "Master is good. Zhen-Shan-Ren is good!" Although her daily housework is tremendous, each time we have Dafa activities she still always finds time to participate. Every day after she finishes meditating she goes to distribute the newspapers, regardless of the weather.
Another practitioner has become familiar with the newspaper readers who pass by her from daily contact while distributing the paper. And, because she has made sure to clarify the truth to her family members, her daughter and husband support her participation in Dafa activities.
The coordinator of our Fa study group cares much about the delivery of the newspaper. The coordinator has participated in delivering the newspaper for quite some time. When there is something wrong with the newspaper boxes, he always promptly fixes the problem.
These practitioners have now delivered the Epoch Times for over six years. Delivering the newspaper for several days is easy but doing it every day and for all these years is not easy at all. The practitioners have helped and cooperated with each other in order to rescue sentient beings. They have thus assured the smooth distribution of the newspaper.
Promoting NTDTV's shows well through the efforts and wisdom of all practitioners
In September 2006 our Fa study group started promoting Holiday Wonders. We rented a booth at the flea market, organized by the Elmhurst Library. We played programs of past shows. This attracted a lot of viewers. We were eventually able to sell several DVDs as well as several tickets. This achievement really encouraged us and laid the groundwork for our subsequent ticket promotion.
The next step we needed to take was to find some businesses or shops that would agree to sell tickets. Two practitioners went to visit businesses every day. Because of the evils' propaganda, many business owners, once hearing the name New Tang Dynasty Television, assumed it belonged to Falun Gong and would not dare to do business with us. The painter practitioner whom I mentioned in the beginning took the lead in contacting business owners, although she was still very weak then. She clarified the truth to them. She eventually found a business owner who agreed to sell our tickets. The owner also bought tickets for his employees. Furthermore, he allowed us to set up a booth outside his shop.
At that point, different opinions surfaced. Some practitioners thought that we needed to play the video and sell tickets there every day. Some others thought that according to past years' experience, selling tickets there did not go very well. And, because of the need to sell a large number of tickets this year, these practitioners suggested that we visit the various businesses to sell tickets. There were still other practitioners who thought that we should go to Manhattan to distribute fliers. Faced with these different opinions, the coordinator did not make any blanket rules; instead, he let the practitioners freely choose an appropriate way to sell tickets. In the end, all the practitioners made best use of their skills and did very well in selling the tickets.
We set up two booths in the busiest area of Elmhurst. We played the videos and promoted the tickets. The weather turned suddenly quite cold during the Chinese New Year Spectacular ticket promotion push. The wind blew directly toward our booths, which were located on the shady side of the streets. The strength of the wind made it difficult to hang the posters up. And even after we managed to hang the posters up, the wind would blow them down again. We had to re-hang the posters countless times every day. One time the wind blew the television set off the table, but the practitioners there had very strong righteous thoughts and said, "It's fine," so the television set indeed was not damaged and worked fine.
A woman practitioner in her 70s who worked at the booth worked right along with the others handed out fliers and remained at the booth for several hours at a stretch. Although we felt the chill from the inside out and had become cold, their sincere hearts and minds for rescuing sentient beings were always warm. Because of their persistent efforts, many passersby came to learn more about the shows, and some purchased tickets.
Besides setting up the booth by the shop entrance, the practitioners also went to each business and senior center to promote the tickets, as well as participating in handing out fliers in front of Broadway theaters. We were also actively involved in the mornings, to distribute the Special Edition Epoch Times about the shows at the subway entrances. One older couple, both almost seventy, got up very early to go to Manhattan to distribute the Special Edition of Epoch Times. Because they were not familiar with that area they got lost once. But this did not at all prevent them from distributing the newspaper's special edition. The weather in New York City then was very cold, but they did not mind at all. Perhaps because their sincere hearts had moved heaven and earth; that is why many people accepted the newspapers they offered.
I remember that during the ticket promotion period, all practitioners were alert to their phones ringing. Once help was needed, many practitioners immediately came to lend a hand. Even during the time the big snow storm blocked the doorways, when the road was very slippery and the train stations were full of water from the melted snow, the practitioners - even the older ones - kept at it and weren't slowed down a bit.
Cultivation is the hardest thing in the human world. Looking back at the path we have taken over the past several years, each and every one of our improvements occurred under Master's care and with the help of fellow practitioners. Now we have truly come to understand why Master wants us to study the Fa and do the exercises together. No words can adequately describe our gratitude to Master. All that we feel can be condensed into these two sentences, "Master is great! Falun Dafa is great!"
Thank you, Master!
Thank you, fellow practitioners!