"You Are So Sincere. So Sincere!"
Shared at 2003 Canada Falun Dafa Conference
(Clearwisdom.net) I am from Edmonton, a city located in the cold northwest of Canada. Comparatively speaking, we have few Falun Dafa practitioners. However, we are trying our best to catch up with the process of Fa-rectification. Hereby, I would like to share our experience in cultivation practice on behalf of Edmonton practitioners.
Since we attended the Chinese Lunar New Year Celebration held by the local Chinese Communities in 2000, practitioners in Edmonton started to step forward and to clarify the truth of Falun Dafa to people in Edmonton. Through the past three years, we experienced a lot. At the very beginning, we felt unnatural when telling others the truth of Dafa. After a while, we felt more comfortable and natural, and started to explain the truth to local government, media, NGOs, and individuals on a large scale. Now we feel that we are clarifying the truth simply out of compassion and with the sole intention of saving more sentient beings. We are becoming more mature.
At the very beginning, there were few practitioners who could step forward, and our financial situation was really bad. How could we make truth-clarifying materials without money? Some practitioner began to work some extra hours during the weekend in a Chinese supermarket and used that money for printing materials. Gradually, more and more practitioners were arranged to come from China to Edmonton, more and more new practitioners caught up with Fa-rectification, and we had about ten people to do truth-clarifying work. All of us did Dafa work with our hearts. For example, 68-year-old Auntie Li came to visit her daughter from Changchun City. During the 6 months she stayed in Edmonton, she joined almost every activity we had and bicycled around with us in the city. She spent all the money she brought from China, which was US$300, on printing truth-clarifying materials. Before she went back to China, she asked me to make her a banner with the wording of "Falun Dafa is good!" With this banner and with the sincere wish of all Edmonton practitioners, she went to Tiananmen Square to validate Dafa on her way back to Changchun City. She shouted out from the bottom of her heart, "Falun Dafa is good!" She went back home safely after that. Auntie Zhang is another example. She collected the small amount of pocket money that her daughter gave her every month and used it for truth-clarifying materials. A western practitioner, soon after he obtained the Fa, voluntarily offered some money for Dafa work. At the time, he had just started a job, and was in a very poor financial situation. I remember that he couldn't even afford a bus ticket sometimes. When we didn't accept his money, he said, "Why don't you accept my money? It's my heart for Dafa."
There are so many moving stories among us. So when I heard the rumors spread by the evils that we were supported financially by some political forces outside China and that we were paid by the hour to distribute flyers, I felt it was so ridiculous. How could they understand Falun Dafa practitioners' noble state of mind?
Stepping forward from humanness requires us to break through all barriers through studying the Fa, not just financially but also from many other aspects, such as from family problems and human mentalities that we have developed in the past. One of our fellow practitioners met with an extremely difficult family situation. At the beginning, her husband didn't even allow her to go to our practice site. One day, when she read an email from us, asking for more people to join an activity to promote Dafa, she resolutely stepped forward. Her husband threatened her with divorce. She didn't change her mind but persuaded her husband not to do so. Thus, she passed the first test. Ever since, she can join our group study and practice every week. Later on, in order to appeal in front of the Chinese Consulate in Calgary for the end of persecution of Falun Gong practitioners in China, her husband almost suffocated her to death with a pillow. At the moment, she had only on thought in her mind,
To live with no pursuits,
To die with no regrets;
All excessive thoughts extinguished,
Cultivating Buddhahood is not difficult.
["Non-existence", Hong Yin]
Thus, she passed one test after another. Eventually she went to Geneva and later to Houston last October. Now, even her husband is clear that it is her responsibility to clarify the truth in Chinatown and he doesn't stop her any more.
Since Master told us the importance of explaining the truth of Falun Dafa to people around the world, especially Chinese people, we started our truth-clarifying activity in Chinatown every Saturday. Master said,
"With the exception of those evil ones, there are many people in this world who are innocent and who've been deceived by the onslaught of slanderous propaganda. When a person is evaluated with the Fa-principles of the cosmos, if his mind contains negative thoughts toward Dafa, he will be weeded out when the test of Dafa and Dafa disciples is over." ("Teaching the Fa at the Washington, D.C. International Fa Conference")
At the very beginning, we didn't have any vehicle to carry our poster boards and other materials. Two of us had to carry the materials and poster boards, and take several buses before we got to Chinatown. Auntie Zhang, more than 60 years old, often carried the materials and boards with us. She was always in a happy mood even when a young person would be worn out. We were moved by her sincere heart of taking hardship as happiness in order to save more sentient beings. Our fellow practitioners are both ordinary and great. Only Dafa practitioners can devote themselves wholeheartedly to clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings. Later, it became much more convenient when fellow practitioners bought cars of their own. It is even much better now because we can put the boards in a shop nearby after a Vietnamese employee from the shop obtained the Fa in Chinatown.
Spreading the Fa and clarifying the truth in Chinatown is like a window from Dafa to the public. We often meet the predestined people approaching us for Dafa materials. Some of them came directly to us with smiles and left with Dafa materials. We have come across people with bad attitudes as well, tearing up Dafa materials as soon as they had them. We were very upset when we met such cases at the beginning. " This person is poisoned so badly." "This person is hopeless." Fellow practitioners frequently complained like this, totally forgetting about "minding our speech." As we studied the Fa more and more, we realized from the principles of the Fa that we should cultivate compassion as cultivators. We should use compassion to clarify the truth of Dafa to people regardless of their attitudes. The more bad thoughts a person has, the more we should reason with him in order to save him.
Winter in Edmonton City is extremely bitter; often with the temperature lower than 20oC below zero. Heavy coats cannot prevent the chilly wind. We had to wear thin gloves for the convenience of distributing materials. As a result, our hands were often too cold to hold things, our feet frozen, and our noses running non-stop. However, nobody complained. Instead, every one wanted to distribute more materials, wishing more people to know the truth and to have good future. On a cold snowy day, only two of us went to Chinatown. A gentleman came to us. After listening to the facts about Dafa, he was so touched by our sincerity and strong will that he bought two cups of hot tea to warm us up. On another occasion, a gentleman presented us with some flowers. One day, an old Chinese man came to us and said while accepting Dafa materials, "You are so sincere. So sincere! Standing here in such coldness!" He repeated this to us after he was back from shopping. We smiled happily, watching the old man leaving.
Yes, in order to save more sentient beings, this hardship is nothing at all. It is far less than what Master has given us and suffered for us. Season after season, the suntanned skin turned white and then became as dark as ever once again. Gradually, those who passed by us many times refusing to accept Dafa materials finally accepted them due to our persistence and our strong righteous thoughts, which have eliminated large amount of the evils in other dimensions. Some westerners obtained the Fa at Chinatown. Two of them have become Fa-rectification Dafa practitioners, participating actively in truth clarification activities.
The site for spreading the Fa and clarifying the truth in Chinatown is not only a place for the public to know the truth but also a good place for our cultivation. We all know that the more people we have together clarifying the truth, the stronger the energy field is. A fellow practitioner talked about her experience while clarifying the truth alone in Chinatown. She said, "Every Saturday when going to Chinatown and looking from a distance, how eager I was to see fellow practitioners at the site earlier than me! But sometimes, only I was there. Half an hour passed, one hour passed, I still did not see any of my fellow practitioners. Standing alone there, I did not feel good at all. I sometimes felt like complaining about other practitioners for not showing up. I knew that I had a strong attachment to sentimentality in my complaint. I knew that this attachment made me unable to communicate with fellow practitioners with compassion. Master says, "While working, your tone of voice, your kindheartedness, and your reasoning can change a person's heart, whereas commands never could!" ("Clearheadedness," Essentials for Further Advancement)
I was very upset since I knew that it was my own problem. However, I could not control myself. Then I asked myself: "If I were the only one left, would I come to Chinatown to spread the Fa and clarify the truth?" The answer is not in doubt at all. Then, why bother complaining when others don't come? When I thought of things this way, my righteous thoughts arose. I felt that my body was so tall and my heart was full of compassion. The result of distributing the material suddenly improved." Although there is only one practitioner, the happy mood we manifested no matter how cold it is and no matter what happens establishes a great image of Falun Dafa practitioners in everyday people's mind.
With the progress of Fa-rectification, our truth-clarifying activities become more diversified. We have few people, however, everyone is in charge of a project and everyone is the supporter of other projects. We clarify the truth to local Chinese people through playing films, distributing newspapers, publishing our "Path of Life" column in local Chinese newspaper, joining local CSSA and Yellow page discussion, and our Saturday Chinatown activity. We promote Dafa to westerners by joining in various activities held locally, such as "Klondike Day Parade," "Heritage Festival" and "Fringe Festival" in order to merge into the main stream of western society, and by clarifying the truth to government, media outlets, and individuals through various means. More and more people are coming to learn the truth about the persecution, more and more people are coming to learn the exercises. Although many of them cannot join in the current of Fa-rectification, they have established a solid foundation for a bright future.
Another thing I would like to talk about here is the conflicts among practitioners. It often happens that we have different opinions regarding an issue. If we only attach importance to our own opinion and don't think about others' ideas by putting ourselves in their position, conflicts may occur and the old forces may find loopholes. Master once said in "Non-Omission",
"The Fa has different levels. A cultivator's understanding of the Fa is his understanding of the Fa at his cultivation level. Different cultivators understand the Fa differently because they are at different levels."
Then no matter what it is, there might be a different understanding and different opinion. We should respect different ideas. As long as we are viewing things from the perspective of the Fa, there should be no problem. I easily become impatient, especially when I see somebody doing things without care or when someone cannot finish things on time. When practitioners were not strict with themselves and did things with a human mentality, I felt disappointed and often lacked compassion when I talked about it. Master taught us long ago that, "At practice sites, assistants must be strict with themselves but generous with others. They have to maintain their xinxing and be helpful and friendly" (The Great Consummation Way of Falun Dafa). [Xinxing: heart and mind nature; moral character]
Here I would like to recall a touching story about our great Master. It was in 1994 when he was giving lectures and teaching the exercises in Hefei City, Anhui Province. Since most of the students attending the lectures were new students, we had developed a lot of bad habits in the human society. So at the time, a lot of students were throwing away the leftover food that they could not finish during lunch break. And one day our Master was eating with some practitioners as well in one lounge room. After all other students finished their lunch and intended to throw away the remains, Master asked them to leave it on the table and then after he finished his own, he poured all the remains from each student's lunch box into his. He ate them all. All students were moved after hearing the story, and we don't waste food any more. Master is so compassionate and never blames us even if we are not doing so well in our cultivation practice. He keeps waiting for us and giving us chances to correct our behaviors by ourselves.
However in particular situations, it is still hard for us to strictly follow Master's teachings. Often, our preoccupations and human mentality that we developed in human society may cause some conflicts among practitioners, especially between Chinese and western practitioners, due to the different cultural background. For instance, at our practice site, western practitioners feel that Chinese practitioners are too cold, without warm greetings, and too tough when dealing with some issues. As long as they the practitioners feel correct from the perspective of the Fa, it is hard for them to give up their ideas. A few days ago, when we were making decorations for the World Falun Dafa celebration, almost all of the Chinese practitioners didn't think it was a good idea for western practitioners to cast flowers on the sidewalks. They were concerned that it might cause misunderstanding from everyday people. Some Chinese practitioners even suggested that we stop them. Unexpectedly, some passers-by told us later that, "It was a nice touch." Another example was when a western practitioner thought of mailing truth-clarifying materials and red envelops containing the words of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance" to all Chinese consulates and embassies before the Chinese Lunar New Year. Most Chinese practitioners thought it was a waste of time to make lace trimmings to each letter since we had so many things to do. However, when we saw the western practitioner cut every piece of paper manually and made the beautiful decorative border, we were deeply moved. We were touched by the time he spent on doing it and his pure heart. Yes, we are doing things with our heart, and every project we are doing is for the purpose of offering salvation to more sentient beings, and for improving ourselves as well. If we pay too much attention to the result instead of how to upgrade our Xinxing during the process of the projects, we cannot improve ourselves and the result won't be satisfactory either.
Many things are done with the help of our Master, and we only have to have the desire. Therefore, our human notions will become barriers in dealing with Fa-rectification work. Another example is, while clarifying the truth in public, we usually prefer to arrange some practitioners who can speak good English to distribute materials, in case some westerners want to know more about Falun Dafa. Auntie Zhang doesn't know English at all, but she is especially fond of distributing flyers. Sometimes, other practitioners didn't feel comfortable when she insisted on doing so. Recently, during our local experience sharing conference, two western practitioners talked about how they obtained the Fa respectively. They had the same experience that when they were approaching us. They didn't want to accept our flyers, and they had tried to refuse them. However, it was Auntie Zhang who handed them the flyers, and she didn't know English at all. Even though they said they didn't want it, she kept handing the flyer to them, giving them no choice but to take it. In the end, the flyer became the bridge for them to obtain the Fa. So everything is within the Fa. Of course, we still need necessary coordination. However, we should not be upset about things that do not agree with our concepts or even give up the fundamentals of our cultivation practice because of that, and end up talking or behaving with little or no compassion.
Master told us explicitly in "Lecturing on and explaining the Fa at the Metroplitan New York Fa Conference",
"...a large portion of the Dafa disciples came with those cosmic bodies, and everybody formed karmic relationships. Once you've reached Consummation and returned, it'll be almost impossible for you to see each other again, even if you want to. So, you should treasure this part of your karmic relationship."
Let's treat each other with more compassion, pointing out problems out of compassion whenever we see them occur. Let's cultivate diligently together and become one unified body, truly unbreakable.