Western Practitioner: Helping Each Other on Our Final Steps
Greetings fellow practitioners!
Over the past four years of my cultivation, I have been lucky to be part of various activities, both here at home, and abroad. Throughout my cultivation, I have made great leaps and also had some falls, but fortunately I have had a helping hand from our compassionate Master to rise again and continue on.
I am going to talk about one or two of these occasions and hopefully the experience will be of benefit to other practitioners. Christmas of 2004 was one of the occasions that I traveled away to New York to join many other practitioners from around the world to go to the streets and clarify the truth to the people of Manhattan.
I had never been away from Ireland at Christmas-time in my life, and had an attachment of comfort at that time; I always wanted to be with my family at home. I also had never traveled that far by plane and was a bit apprehensive.
I traveled alone but was to meet up with some UK and Irish practitioners when I got over to New York. I thought it was cold in Ireland before I left, but it was nothing compared to how cold I was when I arrived in New York. I had a lot of trouble trying to find my way to the house we were all staying in but eventually found it after getting a subway to the area. I arrived to find nobody in the house and had to spend some time outside waiting for someone to come back since I had baggage that needed to be watched.
I called the mobile numbers of other practitioners but my phone was not working properly and I could not get through to anybody. Eventually they arrived back at the house and I was able to get in. I was welcomed and shown which floor-space was mine. There were only three rooms and about 15 to 20 practitioners staying there at all times. It was great to meet with practitioners from different countries; some of them I knew and some I did not. We studied together many times in the house and it created a great environment.
I had been suffering with a toothache on and off for some time before I left Ireland and the cold had started it up again. It became quite painful as the tooth nerve was exposed to the cold wind, but I found that the best way to handle this was to accept the pain as part of my cultivation and that it was good for getting rid of karma. If this was not the case and it was the work of the old forces trying to stop me from clarifying the truth on the streets, with righteous thoughts and Master to guide me, it would be resolved.
With this thought, and leaving my trust in Master, the pain would disappear as quickly as it came. This happened on and off over the course of the week that I stayed in New York, I learned that if I accepted the pain as part of my cultivation it stopped. If I dwelt on it in any way I would suffer longer.
The snow fell quite heavily while we were on the streets but it did not stop us from doing the exercises and handing out the flyers to people passing by.
At first, I found it quite difficult to approach people from New York as I was used to being on the streets of Dublin and found the Irish people quite approachable. New Yorkers were always in a hurry and rushing here and there. With righteous thoughts and a smile, things began to change and I handed the leaflets out. I was thinking about saving these people and thinking that they were guided to this spot for me to give them a leaflet and clarify the truth to them, so I must make a greater effort to catch their eyes, as that initial contact is most important.
My attachment to comfort was worn away and I began to put my full efforts into the street activities and tried not to think about the cold or any other discomforts. What always helped me in doing this work was thinking about the small amount of suffering I have compared to my fellow practitioners in China who are detained and persecuted. They suffer a great deal more than I. They would be happy to be able to practice and clarify the truth in any type of weather. It never ceases to amaze me how practitioners from all over the world can get together, not speak the same language, not have the same social backgrounds, be from different cultures, and can just mesh together and work so well to carry out the street activities, acting as one body with everybody knowing what place they must fill.
Over the years there have been some regrettable losses of manpower, but we have been able to take up the slack and carry on. At times it has been quite a struggle, but then again, if it was easy we could not cultivate to where we are now. It has been a great learning experience for me and I have to thank all my fellow practitioners for their commitment and determination, because without each other we would have found this path to be much more difficult.
I would like to finish by saying that as time gets shorter we must always remember to think and act selflessly to others and do the three things that Master has asked us to do to the best of our ability. Im sure we will reach our predestined destination, and leave behind us a beautiful and bright future for mankind.
Thank you merciful and compassionate Master!
Thank you fellow practitioners!