Clarifying the Truth with Concrete Measures and Changing the Environment in Chinatown
Greetings, Master. Greetings, fellow practitioners,
I obtained the Fa in 2003, and this is my first sharing paper. After the countless years of waiting and being deluded, it is so very fortunate that we can obtain the Fa, cultivate, and coexist with Fa-rectification. I thank benevolent Master for his salvation.
Looking back at the past few years of cultivation, there have been opportunities which deserve to be dearly cherished, and there have also been misfortunes and things which I regret that were caused by my own shortcomings in cultivation. I hope that by sharing with fellow practitioners, we can encourage each other.
At the beginning of 2005, UK practitioners started to publish the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times newspaper. During the early stages of trial and improvement, the newspaper needed a good number of people to be involved. Because I am poorly educated and moreover could not type, I didn't even dare to think about taking part in tasks such as editing or doing layout. The only thing I could do was continue with the routine local distribution. However, a few weeks later, with help and encouragement from fellow practitioners, I had a chance to start learning how to edit and do the layout of a section. Because other practitioners were proofreading and looking out for me, I just let go of all my worries and embraced the challenge with confidence. Although I was not capable enough to shoulder the work for the entire section all by myself, I was glad that I could contribute and share the load with other practitioners. I did not imagine at the time that this was laying a foundation for making truth-clarification posters in the future. It turned out that we often need to improve and update the information on posters when we have activities.
2005 was also the first year after the publication of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, which started the wave of people quitting the Communist Party, and so there were lots of activities in this regard. All over the country, practitioners held different activities as well such as hosting the "Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance" International Art Exhibition and torture exhibitions, and there were truth-clarification activities during the G8 summit, too. Everyone was very busy and went all over the place. I put several hundred miles on my car every week. Apart from attending activities, other practitioners and I in Leeds did not allow ourselves to fall behind in Fa study and sending forth righteous thoughts, either. It seemed that we had to endure a lot of trouble during that period, but I felt fulfilled. During the second half of that year, a practitioner from Manchester shared with me that he thought that, although everyone was going out to other places or to attend some large-scale activities, they were neglecting local truth-clarification activities and activities in the surrounding area, especially in Manchester Chinatown. There are many Chinese people there who don't know the truth. A lot of practitioners, including myself, had the feeling that Chinese people's mindsets and notions are too complicated and it would be very difficult to clarify the truth to them. Therefore, consciously or subconsciously, we all avoided truth-clarification activities in Chinatown. Through studying the Fa and sharing, a few other practitioners and I realized the importance of saving Chinese people and realized that Manchester Chinatown was a serious omission in our truth-clarification efforts.
Therefore we cut back on our activities in far-away places and concentrated our truth-clarification efforts in our local and surrounding areas, in particular in Manchester Chinatown. We heard from local practitioners that we needed to apply for permission to hold activities in Manchester Chinatown and it needed to be approved by the Chinese organizations in Chinatown, which had ties with the Chinese consulate. I thought: "What kind of arrangement is this? I definitely cannot accept it. This is all a delusion and it is not real." Another practitioner suggested that we just continue doing what we should according to the circumstances--keeping up righteous thoughts and righteous actions.
Thus, I and a few other practitioners went there frequently to clarify the truth. In the beginning we hung up banners and posters and handed out newspapers, flyers, and Nine Commentaries booklets. Because Manchester Chinatown isn't as busy as London Chinatown, we fully prepared the materials and petitions in both Chinese and English--we could not leave behind the Westerners in Chinatown, either. Furthermore, now that they had come to Chinatown, all the more so should they find out about the human rights abuses in China and the truth of Dafa. I thought that if all the Westerners in the area knew the facts and signed the petition, the righteous field there would become bigger and bigger and would also help Chinese people to get to know the truth. Sometimes we also went to two universities in Manchester and held activities just off campus, because there are a lot of Chinese students there. We made some Nine Commentaries posters and made a very solid stand display them. It was very eye-catching and drew the attention of many people. Later on we also made a big banner that we put on top. It read, "50 years of Tyranny under the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), 80 Million Unnatural Deaths." Another banner that we made read, "Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party published by The Epoch Times exposes the dark history and evil nature of the CCP to the world." In this way the message was made very clear. Even if some people did not come over to read the posters carefully, we would be able to get the message across to them as they walked past.
Generally speaking it is much easier for most Westerners to accept the truth. Many people came over to sign the petition straight away to support the anti-persecution effort after they saw the posters. When it comes to Chinese people it's much more complicated, because they hold all kinds of attitudes. Some laugh, some curse, some have even raised their fists and attacked me. No matter what has happened, I always remind myself that I am a Dafa disciple and I came here to save people. I must keep my xinxing high and treat everything that happens with righteous thoughts, including changes in the environment and changes of weather--I believe these are all closely affected by our own field. I firmly believe what Master says in "The Fa Rectifies the Cosmos" from Hong Yin II:
Compassion can harmonize Heaven and Earth, ushering in spring
Righteous thoughts can save the people in this world
At the end of 2005, two practitioners I used to share a house with were planning to move to London. At this time I was under stress financially. I had not found a job in the past year and the money I had saved was almost all used up, but I still needed to pay my rent and things like car maintenance, buying materials, and putting money into projects that needed it.
Therefore I decided to move to a little town half an hour's drive away from Leeds, because my brother owns a take-away (a carry-out Chinese restaurant) there and he had been waiting for me to give him a hand. I thought that this would be the best option--I could continue with the newspaper distribution in the Leeds area and at the same time continue with editing and laying-out the newspaper. Furthermore it would solve the problem of my income as well. The only problem was that it limited my chances of going out to attend activities, because a take-away is open six days a week and is the busiest on weekends. It would have been very hard to take time off. Back then I only thought--one step at a time!
As I was doing some planning-ahead, fellow practitioners called me one after another to persuade me to stay in Leeds and cherish the cultivation environment there. Some practitioners even said that I was attached to work and money. At the time I felt I was being wronged but I did not want to argue too much because each person was adamant about his or her own views. After a few days of forced forbearance, I realized that these conflicts had only occurred because I had not reached the state of Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance. When I calmed my heart I asked myself, "Do you really have a clear conscience?" I found out that I did not. Because I knew very well that working at the take-away would affect some Dafa activities, why hadn't I looked for a way to resolve this problem? That was when I realized that my faith was not steadfast and I was afraid of hardships. In the past year I had endured many hardships, but my xinxing was not keeping up, and as a result I developed a mentality of fear. On the surface I was cultivating and conforming to the maximum extent with everyday people's society, but in my heart I wanted to use work as an excuse to escape from some Dafa work, and then I was going to use the money I earned from work to make truth clarification materials and cover up my attachment. I was deceiving both myself and other people. Wasn't this a manifestation of the selfishness of a being from the old cosmos? How could I have deserved to be called a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple? The next day I told my brother and hoped that he would support me. He was very supportive, and so the activities validating the Fa in our area carried on as normal. Afterwards my brother and sister-in-law also started cultivating.
In March 2006, after the CCP practice of harvesting organs from living Falun Gong practitioners was exposed, I was greatly moved. If the disclosure of such unprecedented evil still could not awaken people's conscience, was there any hope for them? As a result we went to Manchester Chinatown every Wednesday and Sunday to clarify the truth and distribute materials. We also made posters on this subject. Later we discovered that there was not enough circulation of the Chinese edition of The Epoch Times, so we brought in a few hundred copies to be given out there every Sunday. Saving sentient beings is a very pressing matter, and my time was very tight. Apart from working six days a week, I had to help produce the newspaper, deliver the newspaper, prepare materials and posters for activities validating the Fa, etc. Because there weren't a lot of practitioners involved anyway, after a few months I felt that I was under great pressure. Sometimes there was only me standing in Chinatown alone. In winter the weather became unpredictable. One minute it would be sunny and cloudless, the next it would be snowing or hailing. The weather there was very bad, which was a sign that more Dafa disciples were needed there to clarify the truth and eliminate the evil. I thought that if I persisted, the environment would certainly change.
On one occasion, someone who claimed that he was the chairman of some organization in Chinatown came over and asked us if we had a permit for the activity, and if we didn't he was going to call the police to come and confiscate our things. This person had a very aggressive attitude, but we ignored him. Later the police came, and we clarified the truth while sending righteous thoughts. The police said that there had been four complaints, but since so many people had signed the petition to support us, it didn't matter. In the end the policeman took copies of our materials and left pleasantly. After a little while someone from the city council came to have a chat with a practitioner and then signed the petition. He said that our stand here had not bothered anyone so it was not a problem at all. We were greatly encouraged by this. We found that the environment was changing as well--the weather changed for the better and so did the people.
I feel that the area I have done least well in is persuading people to quit the Communist Party and its affiliated organizations. I hope that the Chinese practitioners in Manchester and the surrounding area can give support with righteous thoughts. Actually, lots of people already know the truth. What is crucial now is that the time has come for them to really choose their future. I hope that through this Fa conference we UK practitioners can improve as a whole and finish our mission of assisting Master in Fa-rectification together.
Please point out any shortcomings.
Thank you, Master. Thank you, everyone.