The Best Way is to Change Self -- Experiences During the Car Tour of Scotland
Greetings Master, Greetings Everyone,
My name is Yan, and I am from Tamworth in West Midlands. I first learned about Falun Dafa in March of 1997. During my cultivation, I have come to understand the importance of Fa-rectification cultivation, clarifying the truth, and personal cultivation.
Today, I would like to share my cultivation experiences during our car tour through Scotland in June of this year. Please kindly point out anything inappropriate.
After the Edinburgh Easter parade in April, I overheard a Scottish practitioner talking about a car tour through Scotland and that they needed a driver. They were concerned, as no one had shown any interest. I decided on the spot that I would join the car tour and drive the car. I was given a positive response when I asked my boss for a week off, and on May 29, I was off to Scotland as part of the one-week car tour.
There were four of us in the actual car tour, but many practitioners who were unable to ride with us were a great help during the preparations. They searched websites and set up a database. They called the media, Members of Parliament (MP's), non-governmental organizations (NGO's), etc. They made appointments for us. The foundation for our truth clarifying effort was already laid before we were off on the car tour.
I spent much time reading the Fa before I left home. Some sentences in the book were imprinted on my mind. I thoroughly read the new articles, from "Knowing Heart" to the most recent ones. The reading helped my mind to become very clear.
In each of the six cities where we stopped, we attempted to meet with as many people as possible. I strongly felt and understood that "Everything through the ages has happened for the Fa." ("Just a Play") Those sentient beings have been waiting for this, life after life, just for this moment. They were waiting for us to come and tell them about Falun Dafa. It was all pre-arranged through the ages. We met two mayors. One mayor opened a heavy door for us when we struggled to enter the town hall. We talked to him, thinking that he was a receptionist. Another mayor, who was attending a local meeting, rushed back to his office when he noticed us in the hallway. He came to greet us and shook our hands. It was as if we were being reunited with a family member.
We made sure to know the locations of the local media, libraries, city councils and police stations in every city. We immediately headed for these places after arriving in a given city. We did not have time to make an appointment, so we just dropped by to talk to them. When the Western practitioners talked to the receptionist, I always sent forth righteous thoughts to assure a positive atmosphere. In my mind I also spoke with those people who were there. I believed that their knowing side was eager to help us. The cosmos is in the process of rectification, even a little effort to help us would be recorded in the history of the cosmos. Their attitude miraculously changed. First they asked us to write a letter requesting an appointment. Then they called to find the people we wanted to meet.
Also during the car tour, my attachments were exposed. I had a bad impression of one the practitioners. From the beginning of the tour, his attitude confirmed my belief that he was not genuinely cultivating himself. I felt that his heart did not want to save sentient beings. I felt he was not genuinely part of us, so I hardly talked to him and seldom shared experiences with him.
Fa rectification work is important. Our clarifying the truth was successful, but the process could not be separated from self-cultivation. There was a disturbing element. How could that have nothing to do with me? Master told us, "When your mind cannot get over something, isn't it caused by your attachment?" ("Further Elimination of Attachments" in Essentials for Further Advancement)
I just could not enlighten to this Fa principle at that time. Another practitioner often reminded me in a gentle way, but I stubbornly believed that she was protecting that practitioner too much and was not showing me any support. I stayed away from her, using a tactful way to reject her opinion and insisting that I was right. When we stopped at a local practitioner's house, she shared her understanding. She said that some practitioners would over-react to protect themselves, but she saw that I defended myself tactfully. In fact, both attitudes are essentially the same.
These words made me think hard for a long time. Actually she was right. Nobody had pointed this out to me. I never realized it, because it had already become part of me, part of my cells. Saving face is too important for me. If I jumped up and down, it would be too obvious for others to see. I was not going to lower myself. Everyone would say I had not cultivated well if I did that.
In the last city of the car tour, she and I shared a room. We talked all night until dawn. We talked very openly. She kindly said that I should change myself first. At that moment, I really appreciated her frank words, but at the same time I felt they were difficult to accept because I thought I had done nothing wrong. If the other practitioner had behaved better, automatically my bad impression of him would not exist. We could have done better during this car tour. Together we would think only about how to clarify truth and to save sentient beings. Maybe most practitioners would also agree with me. He should change and not me. But when I thought about it over and over again, I realized that these thoughts were not correct under the Fa principles. Cultivation is the cultivation of ourselves, not others. Only wanting others to change but not ourselves, isn't that thinking the same as the old forces would think? I couldn't sleep, tossing and turning. I knew she was right. I concluded that I had to change myself, with no conditions attached. But to fully accept the fact that I was wrong and should change was like a knife cutting my flesh. It was very painful. I almost shouted out in pain just to help me feel better. I cannot remember having had such feelings at any time during the past seven years of cultivation. I told her how I felt and that I also realized that I was in the wrong. Without touching the root of these feelings, I wouldn't feel such a pain. I now realized that using my own notion to judge the other practitioner allowed for that root to fester. It had become deeply embedded and could not be easily uprooted. I no longer wanted to have this notion. Master told us in "Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference," "...in the extreme microcosm at the material formed by what your mind is attached to, [you'd see that] they are mountains, huge mountains, made of hard, granite-like rock," This rock exists in all of us, and it won't disappear on its own. We have to eliminate it. Thinking about this, I finally fell asleep.
Next morning, my body felt lighter and I knew that the block of karma was eliminated. Surprisingly, that practitioner also changed drastically. He seemed very kind all of a sudden, just like a completely different person. We had an appointment with a journalist. They wanted to interview him about his experiences in the labor camp in China, so he wanted us to talk about what to say. He seemed to lack confidence. He felt his English was not good enough. But I believed that he would do very well and told him that it would touch people's hearts if he just described his experiences of how he was treated in the labor camp. Most importantly, I told him, do not forget Master. Later on, the newspaper published almost a full page about the interview.
After he returned from the meeting with the journalist, the Westerner practitioner and another practitioner had an appointment with an MP. He and I remained on a busy street, telling people about Falun Dafa and the persecution. The wind was very strong and blew away our table and materials. We collected the materials and fixed the table. He was very caring. He wanted to give me his coat. He was very positive and actively approached people, telling them about Falun Dafa and the persecution. I felt his true self had awakened and his Buddha nature had come forth, shining in ten directions. When the other two practitioners returned, I was meditating and playing the Falun Dafa music. He was handing out flyers. They were very pleased to see this harmonious sight. All four of us went together to an appointment with a Scottish Member of the Parliament (SMP). The SMP asked us some questions and took some notes. We talked about our own experiences concerning the persecution inside and outside of China. The meeting went very well.
At the end of the car tour, when saying our goodbyes, both of us felt that the trip was too short. Once we had established a righteous field, everything went smoothly and the environment was harmonious. It was not that others had changed. It was that I had let go of my notion and attachment, which had been hidden deeply within me. I also understood "After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!" (Zhuan Falun)
I hope every practitioner present can share their uplifting experiences and show how, when we have different opinions and disagreements, we should not be attached to other people's attachments. Actually, we need to change our habit of looking for other people's shortcomings. We have to look within, find our own attachment and let it go. The process of "looking within" is the most essential and also the hardest. But it is also the most precious for practitioners. Ordinary people cannot do this. We can. Once we find what is deeply rooted within, we will experience the wonderful and wordless feeling of letting go. There will be a harmonious and righteous atmosphere. All conflicts will disappear without any problem. Then the Fa rectification work will be smooth and the whole body will make a leap forward.
During the car tour, I deeply felt that everyone was looking forward to listening to the facts about Falun Dafa. I also understood the importance of the three things required of the Fa rectification disciple: studying the Fa, sending forth righteous thoughts, and clarifying the truth. Master has arranged for us to cultivate ourselves during the Falun Dafa work, looking inward and improving our Xinxing level. During the final period of the Fa rectification, we need to do well on our paths.
Thank you, Master! Thanks, Everyone!