My Cultivation Experiences in the Divine Land Marching Band
Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I learned at a group Fa study that Toronto would set up its own band with a set number of musicians. I thought that this was a project that I should take part in it. I considered myself to be very strong, so I thought that the drum would be suitable for me. I called the coordinator of the drum team to sign up. She told me there might be one vacancy left, but she was not sure, and would ask the bandleader. We decided to meet at the practice site on Sunday.
I arrived on time on Sunday and went in through the back door. Watching from the back I was overwhelmed. "Dafa disciples are great" suddenly appeared in my mind. Master has mentioned several times "Dafa disciples are great" but I had little understanding of these words. This time I felt the greatness of Dafa disciples. Nonetheless, I could not figure out exactly why.
After a few days, the bandleader came to our drum team even though he was very busy. This was the first time I had seen him. A practitioner told him that I wanted to join the team. The bandleader looked me over. He seemed hesitant to let me join the other drummers. A thought flashed quickly through my mind: "It would be bad if I were assigned to play an instrument other than the drum." It was so urgent that I thought I should send forth righteous thoughts to the bandleader to make sure that I got to play the bass drum. Just as I was about to hold one palm erect in my heart, I saw the bandleader make some notations on a piece of paper and then he said that he had reached his quota of bandmembers. I leaned forward to see what he had written and saw my name on it. I had succeeded.
You cannot imagine how happy I was at that moment, laughing in my heart. I was really not worthy of being happy, though. What made me happy was not the honor of taking part in a project to save sentient beings but an ordinary persons feeling that "The swift-footed had won out" or "My wish had come true."
While still feeling happy, I suddenly saw two horns grow out of my head and I looked like a mean person with an ugly face. I was feeling pleased with myself for choosing an easy instrument. It was all because I wanted to be comfortable, and this way I would not have to make much effort. I felt ashamed compared to those great Dafa practitioners who practiced hard without complaint. Once I realized these bad notions, I cautioned myself to take cultivation practice in the Divine Land Marching Band very seriously.
Maybe because my thoughts were not righteous, I had a rough time at first. Because I did not know how to adjust the drum a little higher, my thighs collided with the edge of the drum every step I marched. My thighs were swollen after a parade. The backs of my shoulders became swollen, too, since I was not used to it at first. People who did not know the truth thought I had exercised my muscles into shape.
I continued to make the same mistakes I made years ago in cultivation by focusing on the minor problems of others, but not seeing my own shortcomings. When I saw that a certain practitioner forgot to bring the black belt or that another practitioner forgot to bring white gloves for the first few parades, I said to myself, "How can they forget!" One morning I hurried out to a parade. It was not until my husband and I walked to the underground parking lot to get the car that I suddenly realized that I had forgotten to bring the drum. I told my husband that I would go back to get it. My husband said to me, "What if you forget to bring yourself?" I would have definitely defended myself by talking back to him if this had happened before, but I did not say anything this time. Heavy-hearted, I went home to get the drum.
I had not taken it seriously enough nor had I warned myself in time. I have learned a lesson from it, though. Since then I have paid much more attention to each parade. I not only prepare everything beforehand, for example, ironing my uniform, preparing everything, and practicing the music a few times, but also warn myself during the parade that I must express "Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance" with each beat of the drum. I cannot do the best every time, but I am doing my best. I hope that my fellow practitioners will remind me and we will be diligent together.
I attended the Fa conference of the Divine Land Marching Band in New York this August. I learned a lot from it. Fellow practitioners sharings were very sincere.
A few days after the conference, a fellow practitioner sent me a link to a website of a video of military marching bands. I sobbed in front of my computer right after watching it. I felt sorry for myself because I did not do well according to Masters requirements. I had very low expectations for myself in the band, while the military band members played really well. They play to compete or for a medal; we play in order to save beings. Shouldnt we play well enough to awaken sentient beings? Should we hold ourselves to a low standard? Arent sentient beings important enough that we should do our utmost? I spent that entire night reflecting.
Once I doubted why we kept learning new music, even though four or five pieces were enough for an ordinary parade or event. The new music is harder to play. One day a paragraph of Fa from the eighth lecture of Zhuan Falun appeared to me:
"Someone said to me: 'Teacher, its enough to be a good person among everyday people. Who can succeed in cultivation?' After hearing that, I felt really disappointed! I did not say a word to him. There are all kinds of xinxing. One enlightens to however high one can; whoever enlightens obtains."(Zhuan Falun, 3rd translation edition)
Oh, didnt I just ask a question like that! "Its enough to play a few numbers in a regular parade. Who could do well in practice?" I was awakened by this piece of Fa. Isn't this an issue of looking at it from a higher standard? It is hard. I was able to decide to cultivate Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance, which is difficult; how difficult could it be to practice a few more pieces of music?
Today I share with my fellow practitioners my cultivation experiences, just like sharing with my family. If there is anything unappropriate, I hope you will kindly point it out to me. Thank you, everyone!