Spreading Dafa in Bangalore, India
A few days after I came back from Bangalore, I gave practitioner C in Bangalore a call. On the phone she told me, "We started our own practice site and are reading the book. It is hard for me to put the book down now! My sister in-law is also learning it, she suddenly became interested. Also, the local TV channels had some positive reports on Falun Gong, and we have received quite a few calls." After talking to her I felt that I needed to go back there to meet the new practitioners.
Before New Years, a practitioner went to Bangalore to meet the people who had attended a recent 9-day seminar, and found them to be in great shape, both physically and mentally. After hearing that we were planning to go there during the New Year holidays, that practitioner joined us to plan for the trip. We decided to practice in the park for three mornings, and hold five introductory seminars in a hotel during our three-day stay. Some of our friends living in Bangalore helped us reserve the hotel conference room for the seminars, applied for the permit to use banners in the park, and printed out flyers with contact information in three different cities. Local English and Indian newspapers also agreed to promote our trip and seminars in Bangalore. We also prepared various versions of flyers, news articles, VCDs, practice tapes, newsstands, equipment and balloons. My fellow practitioner H, who was going with me, let her husband take care of her two children and sacrificed her vacation to come with me.
On the night of January first, we flew over to Bangalore, and practiced in the park the next morning. Our Indian friends were waiting for us there. We raised the banners, one person did the exercises and the other gave out flyers and answered questions. Joggers came over, took flyers and asked questions. We used those chances to inform them about the five seminars that we would offer. We also got in contact with the "veteran" practitioners of Bangalore. They were extremely happy to see us there, and said they would come to the hotel to help us out during the seminars. Our seminar information was also in the newspaper as planned.
After that we went to prepare for the seminars. Two yellow Falun Dafa banners were on the walls. Flyers, calendars and experience-sharing readers were on the front desk at the entrance. We posted over 20 photos from different countries and the posters of teacher demonstrating the exercises on the walls with balloons. We played PuDu music as well. Various people came in 30 minutes before the starting time. We gave them introductory materials as well as experience-sharing readers, showed them the photos and played "Falun Dafa the Real Story." Our phone didn't stop ringing, the calls were from people who read the morning paper and asked for information regarding the seminar. They were all very surprised when they found out that we were teaching the exercises for free. The veteran practitioners that we had met the night before came as well. They told us since we had left they have been practicing and reading the book, and have very much benefited from doing so. They had many questions to ask, as well as experiences to share.
We started our first seminar at 11 am. About 20 people attended. We used English to introduce Falun Gong's characteristics and its current situation around the world. We talked about why we were teaching it for free, our personal experiences, and why reading the book was more important than doing the exercises. After that, we invited the local veteran practitioners, C and S, to talk about their three-week experience of practicing Falun Gong. The audience paid extremely close attention to us. After that, we played the introductory VCD, the Teacher's demonstration VCD, and finally showed them the exercise movements and answered their questions. Throughout the seminar, the audience was extremely solemn and seriously watched the TV and learned the movements. What's surprising was the fact that the local practitioners voluntarily stood in front to demonstrate the movements as well as walking around to correct the attendee's mistakes. The reason I was surprised was because they had only studied the Fa for about three weeks. After the two-hour seminars ended, C and S gave their phone numbers to the interested individuals and recommend that they go to the local practice sites, buy the books and attend the seminars again.
With the help of the local practitioners, one by one the seminars were successfully held. The hotel workers also gave us their help and support, such as helping us in setting up the VCR, television, and stereo system. Although the equipment we had was not very advanced, things went extremely well. 30 people came to the seminar in the first evening, 25 came in the next morning, and then 40 people came in the second evening. The small conference room we reserved was packed with people. People usually started showing up 30 minutes before the seminar began. They would read the materials, ask questions, and wait for the seminar to start. When we taught them the exercises, many felt energy flowing through their bodies, and they felt warm, relaxed and comfortable. Some felt Falun correcting parts of their bodies. They told us of their experiences with much surprise and joy. They asked a lot of questions. Some had bought the books from the stores; many asked where they could buy the books, tapes and the locations of the local practice sites. Some attended the seminars two times or more, and also joined the morning practices as well to make their movements more accurate. Since the attendees voluntarily introduced Falun Gong to their friends and families, the number of phone calls we received kept increasing. People also went to the park earlier and waited for us at the site. More than 20 people practiced with H everyday in the park, with a few more dozen people around watching. I didn't really have to do much other than give out flyers to people passing-by, and answer their questions. Lots of people came by, picked up and read our flyers, and asked for seminar information. We felt extremely happy to see that so many people, with different colors and cultures, were finally hearing or learning Dafa, and felt sorry for those who had not heard of it. Many kind people are still waiting for this.
The third day was the last day of our stay. Another group had rented the conference room forcing us to have to move to the dinning room, a room twice as large in size. Since the promotion in the newspapers was already over, we wondered how many people would come. We were surprised to see more than 20 people showing up even before the seminar started. We ended up having 70 people. The dinning room was packed when we all stood up and practiced. We appreciated very much Teacher's arrangement. During the seminar, a young girl came up to me. She was Nita, a girl we met on our last trip. Since then, she had introduced Falun Dafa to her classmates. I held her hands and she told me that she practiced and read the book everyday. I invited her and three other practitioners to share their experiences with the audience. Her innocence and seriousness brought much joy and laugher to the audience. Her speech simply was, "Falun Dafa is great! And I practice it everyday!" C's sister in-law had been practicing for only two weeks, but her movements were very accurate, and she came to help us out everyday. She had finished reading China Falun Gong, and was currently reading Zhuan Falun. She said that practicing made her life peaceful. "You have to read the book!" she said. S said that she experienced many things in Falun Dafa that would be impossible in other meditation practices. The audience expressed much admiration for the local practitioners' experiences. Although Falun Dafa came to Bangalore less than a month ago, the improvement and involvement of the local practitioners were extremely astonishing and pleasing.
After the seminar ended, from the guest books we learnt that the attendees were from various parts of society. Some were doctors, managers, qi-gong practitioners, female professionals and house wives. They left comments such as, "This seminar is extremely helpful!" "Great!" "I am willing to introduce it to more people." An old lady even brought in some cakes that she baked to express her gratitude. After we left Bangalore, we heard by phone that about 30 people who had come to the seminars had started practicing with the local practitioners. We were even told that some reporters were among the audience, and through their observations they became interested in Falun Dafa, and hoped that they could interview us next time. There is still a lot more to do to promote Dafa in Bangalore.
Four years ago, some practitioners from Mainland China went to Russia to promote Falun Dafa. Many used up their whole life's savings for the trip. They took VCRs, TVs, etc, and paid for their own expenses. They took the plane and trains and promoted Dafa in Russia. Back then, I couldn't do much, but felt a great respect for them. I felt that promoting Dafa outside my own country was far beyond my reach. A while ago, I read the stories of practitioners from Sweden and other countries who went to India to promote Dafa. I felt respect for them as well. Then I asked myself what I had done to help and how I could help. I asked myself if I had the time and opportunity, could I take the first step without hesitating?
These two trips to India were also parts of my personal cultivation. I found my own attachments during the trips, as well as the improvements I had to make to catch up with veteran practitioners. I also came to learn of my responsibilities as a practitioner. We carried Dafa Readers and other materials, and went to a country so far away to promote Dafa in a foreign language. We talked about Dafa, practiced it, and cultivated in it as well. It was our Teacher and Dafa that gave us the opportunities to validate Dafa. It's Teacher's compassion that brought Dafa to the kind people of these foreign cities. I felt ecstatic whenever I saw people of different races practicing Dafa in the introductory videotape shown at seminars. Although I have watched the introductory videotape numerous times, I would still like to watch it quietly again with my Indian friends.