Cultivating and Saving Sentient Beings by Distributing Shen Yun DVDs
Greetings revered Master!
Greetings fellow practitioners!
I started practicing Falun Dafa in 1994. I would like to share with Master and fellow practitioners some of the cultivation experiences I've had while saving sentient beings using the means of distributing Shen Yun DVDs.
I have always been very cautious when going about things, and I only take action after careful consideration. As I studied the Fa, I came to realize that in some cases such thinking comes from selfishness, since there is an aspect of not wanting to get hurt or lose out on profits. But I also found that this attachment can arise while saving sentient beings, since I found myself trying to carefully select the people I wanted to save. I would try to save people I thought were good, and would pass by people I thought were bad. I would try to avoid people with a wicked look. I would avoid saving those who hold political power, and instead focused my efforts on saving ordinary people. I thought it was better to save people from the countryside, since they hold fewer notions and are more open-minded. I thought people from the city were harder to save because of their more materialistic thinking. To put it simply, I would save people that made me feel safest and in the least danger from persecution.
“Saving people is just that, saving people, and to pick and choose would not be merciful.” (from Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference)
Realizing my mistake, I made great efforts to remove this selfish attachment and save sentient beings unconditionally.
One day, I went to distribute Shen Yun DVDs in a village. As I was bicycling around, I came across a man in the street who looked about 30 years old. He was chatting with five middle-aged women. He had a dark complexion and his appearance made him seem like a bad person to me. I wondered, “Should I give them Shen Yun DVDs?” I hesitated a little, but finally overcame my own selfishness. I walked towards them, smiling as I approached, and handed them all Shen Yun DVDs while introducing the show. The man's expression immediately went cold. I realized that this might have been because of my own lack of righteous thoughts. He asked me in an unfriendly tone, “Is it about Falun Gong?” I didn't answer his question directly. I told him that the show was about reviving traditional Chinese culture, which was once thought to be a gift from the divine. Belief in fate, or that good is rewarded and evil will bring retribution from heaven, and emphasis on cultivating virtues such as loyalty, compassion, filial piety, and justice are all a part of this tradition. He wouldn't accept my DVD and said, “I know you are a Falun Gong practitioner. Falun Gong is getting too political.” After the women in his group heard what he said, they wouldn't accept the DVDs either. They said they didn't have a DVD player at home. In the past, if I had met such resistance, I would have just left it at that thinking, “You just don't want to be saved.” But this time was different.
I thought of Teacher's Fa lecture,
“Wherever you run into difficulties you can't avoid them and go around them. Wherever there's a problem, that's where you need to go resolve things and where you need to go clarify the facts. You must remember this! Once a problem comes up somewhere, that's where you need to go clarify the facts. Don't avoid it, no matter how evil it comes across. ”(from Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference)
I decided to get off my bicycle and tell them more about Falun Gong. I told them all the miraculous things that had happened to people who practiced it, and about the staged self-immolation incident in Tiananmen Square. I explained the reasons behind us speaking out against the persecution, and that we are not playing politics. They were all listening to me carefully. As I continued to talk, the man's face softened a little and he said, “Actually, I heard about Falun Gong a long time ago. I talked to people online and often received materials about Falun Gong. I never read them and always deleted them as soon as I received them though.” I asked him, “Why didn't you read them? As the saying goes, listen to both sides and be enlightened, listen to one side and be in the dark.” He said, “When I was a construction worker in Zhangjiakou City, I knew a co-worker who practiced Falun Gong. He was a hard worker and a really nice person. He was also very quiet. When the CCP started cracking down on Falun Gong, he was immediately arrested....” I saw admiration in his eyes as he said this. Finally, he accepted a copy of the Shen Yun DVD. The women also asked me for copies of the DVD. I was a little puzzled and asked, “But how can you watch it without a DVD player?” One of them smiled and said, “Who doesn't have a DVD player nowadays?” Thanks to my righteous thoughts, I didn't leave as soon as I ran into resistance. The man I had talked to pointed north where there was a building under construction and said, “You should go there to distribute your materials. There are more people over there.” I smiled, bidding them farewell. I told them, “Remember that Falun Dafa is good. Whenever you encounter difficulties in your life, these words will help you transform hardship into blessings.”
This experience helped me realize that my biggest obstacle in telling people the truth was that I could be easily moved by a situation's surface appearance. When people didn't listen, or responded with harsh words, my mind became clouded by my own judgments of people's innate goodness. Sometimes I didn't want to continue and had to return home and study the Fa so as to raise my thinking. Teacher said,
“A Dafa disciple… what is a Dafa disciple? He’s a being created by the most magnificent Law, (enthusiastic applause) and he’s rock-solid and as indestructible as diamond. How could a few words from bad people among ordinary people count for anything? “However evil you are, you can’t change me. I will accomplish my historic mission, and I will do what a Dafa disciple is supposed to do.” (from Explaining the Fa at the 2003 Washington DC Fa Conference)
Teacher's Fa strengthened my righteous thoughts. I am always trying to be mindful of this attachment so that I can elevate my thinking and cultivate well.
On another night I went to distribute Shen Yun DVDs in a different village. I saw that there were about a dozen villagers just sitting by the entrance to the village. I approached them with a smile on my face and handed them the DVDs. One man asked me again and again whether the DVD had anything to do with Falun Gong. I replied that it did. Immediately, one of the women returned the DVD to me and said, “I don't want to watch anything that has to do with Falun Gong.” I felt very sad when I heard this; I felt that they had been poisoned so severely by the CCP. But this time my righteous thoughts held firm. I just kept smiling and told them about Falun Gong. Eventually, they seemed to understand what I was saying and accepted my DVDs. The woman who refused to take one in the beginning also took one for herself. She said with a smile, “I would also like a copy please. I would be interested in watching it.”
“...you should always maintain a heart of benevolence and a mind of kindness. If you suddenly bump into a problem, you will be able to take care of it properly. ”(from Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
When I tried to clarify the truth of Falun Gong to people in the past, I always spoke hastily. I was trying to hurry up and finish what I was saying so that I could make them understand as soon as possible. But this never got me anywhere. On the contrary, because of the poor outcome, I had created mental barriers in my own mind, which only caused more interference later. It was not until after I studied Teacher's Teaching the Fa at the Meeting on Writing Music that I came to realize my attachment of being overly excited, which is not a normal state for human beings. It is actually a manifestation of demon nature. Human beings should be in a peaceful state of mind. Divine beings are always compassionate and kind. What a Dafa practitioner says has mighty power only when he/she speaks from a feeling of peacefulness and kindness. Since then, I have always tried to maintain a heart of compassion, and a state of kindness. My tone of voice also became slower and more gentle, more like when chatting with people about everyday affairs.
In Teacher's Fa it is said that all the people in this earthly realm had at one time reincarnated as Teacher's relatives. While saving sentient beings, I tried my best to regard them as my own family. This made it easier for them to warm up to me. When I talked to young people, I would call them “young lady” or “young man”. When I talked to women, I would call them “elder sister” or “younger sister”. When I talked to men, I would say “sir”. That way, people felt comfortable around me and were able to trust me. They would easily accept Shen Yun DVDs after that.
On one occasion, I came across several girls who were preparing for their driving examination. While they were taking a break under a tree, I came over to them with a smile and said, “Young ladies, I would like to give you a precious gift – the Chinese New Year Spectacular show!” They all laughed. One girl pointed to a lady who was standing nearby and said, “Auntie isn't a young lady. She's more than 30 years old.” I also laughed. They accepted my DVDs with happy smiles and gratitude.
“Compassion is an enormous energy, the energy of righteous gods. The more compassion that is present, the greater this energy becomes, and it can disintegrate anything that is bad.” (from Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference)
While clarifying the truth to people, I realized that it was extremely important to maintain a heart of compassion and a mind of kindness. At first, I always needed to remind myself to do this. Gradually, I felt that this state was easier to maintain and came naturally. As long as I was distributing Shen Yun DVDs, I could maintain a pure and peaceful state of mind. When I smile, it is genuine since it comes from the bottom of my heart. The purer my mind, and the brighter my heart, the easier people accept my DVDs. If the evil tries to persecute me while in that state, it would be disintegrated immediately by the mighty power of Dafa.
During the hottest days of summer, there are several barbecue booths alongside the road. People like to gather together and drink beer. This has become a good place for me to distribute Shen Yun DVDs. If there are less than 30 people on-site, I am able to give at least 950f people a copy. At present, I find that I do not have enough righteous thoughts to do this if there are more than 30 people on-site.
In one particular township, while I was distributing Shen Yun DVDs, I saw several village officials drinking together outside of a small restaurant. At the sight of them, I hesitated a little. I knew that my attachment to my own safety was holding me back. But I was still determined to save them. I stopped my bicycle on the roadside, took several Shen Yun DVDs out of my bag and walked towards them. “Good evening! Does everyone have DVD players? I brought some Shen Yun DVDs for you to take a look.” The man who sat closest to me accepted the DVD and looked it over. His face immediately turned dark and twisted into a fierce expression. He said, “Falun Gong? Your bag is full of these materials, right? Put it right here!” I was a little shocked, but calmed down immediately. I kept smiling at him and said, “I am giving you the DVDs in the hope that it will bring peace to your life.” Another one of the men stretched out his hand and said, “Give me one!” I handed him a copy. The first man had calmed down a little. The man who asked for the DVD waved to me and said, “Just leave here immediately.” I bid him farewell with a smile and said, “I wish you peace.” Then I just calmly walked away.
On another occasion, I saw five men eating barbecue at a booth in the southern part of the city. They were dressed quite unlike ordinary people. I went over to them and gave them all Shen Yun DVDs. One of the men said, “Falun Gong? Where are you from?” I was very calm and had no fear at all. I smiled and said, “I used my own money to make the DVDs for you in the hope that you could benefit and have more peace in your life.” The man smiled and said, “Falun Gong, come over here and drink with us for awhile. Let's have a good talk.” I didn't sit down and just stood there talking with them. During our conversation, he seemed to be probing me for information about where I worked. I told him frankly, “I was fired because of my firm belief in Falun Gong.” I told him the reasons why I continued to practice even under such a terrible persecution. I also helped to dispel some of the rumors they had heard about us, and gave them some truth clarification materials. They all listened to me quietly. Finally, they accepted the DVDs. The man said, “Take care, and stay safe.” I felt that the man was speaking sincerely from the bottom of his heart.
I wasn't always able to maintain enough righteous thoughts every time I distributed Shen Yun DVDs. Sometimes I was not in a good cultivation state and was very fearful. Truthfully, my cultivation state when I started to distribute Shen Yun DVDs was not very good, but I didn't let this discourage me. I studied the Fa, trying to improve my state, but at first I found it very difficult to improve.
“Over the course of prehistory, everything of yours was being created, all along, according to how magnificent the disciples would be in the Fa-rectification period. So, it was arranged that when you reach the standard for ordinary Consummation, you still have, in the human world, all kinds of ordinary human thoughts and karma. The purpose is so that while doing Fa-rectification things you bring in, through your clarifying the truth and for the consummation of your paradises, beings that can be saved. As you consummate your own paradises you are, at the same time, eliminating your last karma, gradually getting rid of your human thoughts, and truly stepping forward from humanness.”(from Fa-Rectification Period Dafa Disciples, Essentials for Further Advancement II)
With these words in mind, I stopped focusing on not being in a good state, and instead held firm to the thought of saving sentient beings and seizing opportunities that are presented to us. I just tried to follow Teacher's Fa. My attachment of fear was strong, so I sent forth righteous thoughts to eliminate it while walking. I could feel that Teacher was strengthening my righteous thoughts all the time. As my righteous thoughts became very strong, gradually my fear started to diminish. Every time I finished distributing Shen Yun DVDs, I felt very happy, as if joy was pouring from every cell in my body. One time I took more than 150 copies of Shen Yun DVDs with me, but was thinking that I might be overstepping myself and not able to distribute all of them. However I did manage to distribute them all, and afterwards regretted that I hadn't pushed myself harder since I thought of all the people who hadn't received the DVD. When I saw people's faces light up with thankful expressions, or give me the thumbs up, I was moved from the bottom of my heart because they had been saved.
The above is based on my recent cultivation experience. Compared to my diligent fellow practitioners, I am still more than 108 thousand li (distance unit, 1 li = 500 meters) away. Moreover, I still have many lingering attachments. I resolve to be more diligent in cultivating myself, assisting Teacher in Fa-rectification, and saving people so that I can live up to the honorable title of “Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple”.
Thank you, Master! Thank you fellow practitioners! Heshi.