Cultivating in the Fa-Rectification Period
Greetings to Honorable Master!
Greetings to All practitioners!
I am a Falun Dafa practitioner from Tennessee. I have practiced Falun Dafa for about five years. During this time, I have passed and failed many Xinxing tests, but with the careful protection of compassionate Master, I overcame the difficulties. In our area, the practitioners are actively involved in calling China, mailing truth-clarification materials, Fa promotion activities and more. Today, I will talk about experiences while clarifying the truth to overseas Chinese and cultivating while working with the local Chinese community.
In the past, our practitioner families were very close but we didn't have much contact with ordinary people. So our social contact was limited to a very narrow circle. Two years ago, the southeast region of a Chinese language newspaper that carries truthful article about Falun Gong began publishing. In order to promote our newspaper, we were forced to get involved with the local Chinese community.
1. Setting up a distribution center and establish contacts with Chinese grocery stores and restaurants
At first, our idea was simply to put the newspaper in the local Chinese groceries. We expected the Chinese people would take our newspaper while they were shopping. There was a Chinese weekly newspaper called "Mid-America Times" in local markets. It sold for 45 cents and as I estimated, about 70 copies were sold weekly. We put 100 newspapers in three Chinese grocery stores. But only half of the newspapers were taken. Maybe readers didn't know the newspaper was free, or they didn't see our newspaper because we didn't have our own shelf. Our newspapers were mixed in with Buddhist materials. We thought we needed to collect some local advertisement so the readers would be interested in our newspaper. We believed if more people read our newspaper, more people would get the truth, so they can be saved. In our area, we have only a few practitioners, so we could not organize many activities. The newspaper became our major channel to clarify the truth to Chinese people. We contacted storeowners and made friends with them and collected some advertisements. For a few months, our 100 newspapers were all picked up by Chinese people.
However, we heard the readers said that the newspaper was a Falun Gong newspaper and that the articles were biased. Such comments really hurt us. The practitioners in China were suffering from such evil and brutal torture; overseas Chinese didn't feel sympathy. They were indifferent or even discriminated against the Falun Dafa practitioners. We felt the evil propaganda and lies had deceived so many Chinese people. We were very anxious and worried. How can we help them understand the facts? How will they accept our newspaper? As many practitioners had said, if you truly want to save sentient beings, Master will create the opportunity for you. Master did arrange the opportunity for us.
2. Report local Chinese activities and get involved in the Chinese community
In June 2001, with Master's compassionate arrangement, my daughter got a visa to come to America. We sent her to school and we also looked for a Chinese school because we wanted her to continue a Chinese education in America. We found a local Chinese school and registered her to take Chinese classes. Chinese school is a good place to meet other parents and chat. So we approached the principal of the Chinese school and offered to write some articles about the school. Later, in order to provide digital images, I bought a digital camera. Since the newspaper covered local news, it had more readers, so we increased the quantity to 200 newspapers. Many times, we heard other parents talking about our news reports such as "Did you see the picture of that child in the newspaper?" Since they read the newspaper, more or less, they got to read the facts about the persecution of Falun Dafa.
Once, the newspaper had an article about the children's performance at the end of the semester. It had a picture with many students, the principal and the vice-principal in it. A few weeks later, the vice principal surprisingly received a phone call from a university classmate who had lost contact for many years. It was because the friend saw his picture in the newspaper and recognized him. Well, this became our story to promote the newspaper. The vice-principal was also very happy and promoted the newspaper for us.
After three years, we now have our own newspaper shelves. We distribute 400 copies every week that are mostly being taken by Chinese readers. Our newspaper is in all four Chinese grocery stores and over ten Chinese Restaurants. Our newspapers have been put on the shelves of ten public libraries.
3. Serving the local Chinese community
At the Chinese school, we interact with a mostly fixed group of people. In order to increase our influence, we started to get in touch with other Chinese groups. Last year, our Chinese community organized a large-scale Chinese New Year's Party. We volunteered to write reports, take photos, design flyers and even perform for the New Year's Party. Though every practitioner had already taken on many Fa-related jobs, we managed to squeeze out some time to serve the community. We usually write reports ourselves, so we can control the article. We would use the newspaper to praise good, compassionate and beautiful things. As for those bad things, conflicts and deceptive practices that interested ordinary people, we would avoid them.
Dafa has given our practitioners many talents. One female practitioner in our group does a lot of Dafa work. She is a computer programmer and can also write very good Chinese articles. She can play a musical instrument, play GO (Wei qi), do calligraphy, and paint traditional Chinese paintings. She can also sing, dance, and recite. When we worked for the community, we were very serious. Many times we had no experience in an area but we still did well and the Chinese people liked it very much.
Through our hard work and many talents, the leaders of Chinese community recognized that Dafa practitioners were not freaky as propagandized by Chinese government. We are talented, have a high moral standard, and have warm hearts to serve others. One of the practitioners was accepted into the council of the newly established Chinese Association to be in charge of the communications committee. We clarified the truth to overseas Chinese and let them bring the truth to their relatives and friends in China. Our experience is that we need to spend time with Chinese community and serve the community.
Besides writing news articles, we also exchanged experiences with other reporters and editors. We gradually understood that our articles couldn't be limited to the news itself. Many things don't look related to Dafa, but we can still clarify the truth through our reports, and to clear the lies and expose the evil.
For example, this summer, SARS reached its peak. One of the local Chinese grocery stores was hit with the rumor that it had an employee infected with SARS. Customers were urged not to shop there. In a few weeks, the store lost a lot of business. At the same time, many Chinese worried they would be discriminated against suspecting them of carrying the virus. In order to help the store rid itself of the rumor and at the same time expose the Chinese Communist Party's cover-up about SARS, we contacted the local public health department to get first hand information. We also contacted a few local Chinese leaders to shop in the store. Then we used the newspaper to publish articles to dispel the rumor and widely publish the articles about how Chinese government covered the truth about the epidemic disease and ignored the health of the people. Even after the world media exposed their lies, they still tried to block information and cover the real situation. In our articles, we emphasized that all overseas Chinese became the victims of the Chinese government's policy. The origin of the rumor was actually from the Chinese communist party's policy to cover the truth. Through this event, we clarified the truth to the Chinese community and also made friends with the store.
4. Clarify the truth in local community and change their biased ideas about Dafa.
In order to eliminate the wrong ideas in peoples' minds, we chatted with many people at the Chinese school and tried to clarify the truth through conversation. At beginning, I had the mentality of fear. I was afraid that other people would oppose me so I was afraid to talk about the truth about Falun Dafa. Sometimes, we went from one topic to another for a long time and I didn't say anything about the persecution and the truth about Falun Gong. After going back, I would regret missing such a good chance and began to think about all kinds of words hoping next time I could do better. After many attempts, I gradually found the way to talk. For example, I would start by telling a joke. One year, a village in north China had a drought. The local communist cadre spent a lot of manpower and resources digging four wells. But none of them had any water because the cadre didn't know that he needed to explore the land and find the water's source first. But he reported to high level leaders that he did such and such. The next year, the leaders wanted to increase agricultural output. So he ordered the four dry wells to be filled in and reported that he had led the village and worked hard to recover so much land by filling in the four wells. He always chose the good part to report so he got promoted higher and higher. But the villagers got nothing or they even got even poorer. Through the joke, the people will start to talk about the communist parties lies and ridiculous propaganda campaigns. Later I will mention the persecution of former Chinese chairman Liu Shaoqi who was framed as a traitor and spy on fabricated evidence. If the people followed the topic, I would talk about a recent case, the "Tiananmen Square Staged Immolation Case." This will expose how Jiang's regime framed Falun Gong to create an excuse for their persecution.
Another story is about two new elderly practitioners. One practitioner's parents came to America to visit them. After seeing the practitioner's life with their own eyes, and after watching the video programs, they changed their ideas about Dafa. Later, they also started to practice Dafa and had their illnesses cleared. Their moral character was higher. Once, the family went to a friend's family party. The new practitioners met another elderly couple from Hubei Province. When the other old man heard Falun Gong being discussed, he became very angry. His face turned red and he began to repeat a lot of lies created by Jiang's regime. The new practitioners didn't know how to handle the situation and didn't know where to start. After some time, they began to talk about Tai Chi. The other old man had also practiced Tai Chi for about 30 years. So they found a common topic. The practitioner said his Tai Chi teacher was over 70 years old and because of his age, he could not practice Tai Chi anymore. The other old man is also over 70 and met the same problem. He didn't have the strength to practice the whole set of Tai Chi. They said that Tai Chi could only build muscle, when you are getting old, you could not practice it anymore. Only Qigong exercises change the internal health of the body. They also discussed many common diseases among old people. In the end, they introduced the theory of Falun Gong and how to open the hundred channels at the same time. They talked about the good effects of practicing Falun Gong and persuaded the old man to put away all his biased ideas about Falun Gong and read the book Falun Gong himself. The old man didn't say anything negative.
It seemed this talk had no positive effect at beginning. But a few weeks later, another practitioner told them that the old man borrowed a copy of Falun Gong from her and later asked for truth VCDs. A few weeks later, they met the elderly man at another party. This time, the old man said he had read the Dafa books and that he liked them. He also asked the practitioner for the Falun Gong exercises CD. Their attitude toward Falun Dafa totally changed.
This is positive feedback, but we still see many Chinese around us who don't have the correct attitude towards Dafa. Some of them still have biased ideas about Dafa. These lives are waiting for us to save them. We must hurry up and clarify the truth.
Thank you Master!
Thank you all!