Stories on Clarifying the Truth in San Francisco Chinatown
Greetings, Fellow Practitioners!
My sharing today is about personal cultivation and clarifying the truth in San Francisco Chinatown.
1. Personal experience sharing on cultivation practice
Master Li pointed out the importance of saving sentient beings in San Francisco Chinatown. He mentioned it as early as November 2005 when teaching the Fa in San Francisco,
“Take San Francisco, for example. I've found that the environment of the downtown area and that of the whole Bay Area still isn't up to par; the evil factors here are still abundant. The fact is, you should make these places the focus. You should go where there are a lot of Chinese people and clarify the truth, and save those badly-poisoned Chinese communities.” (“Teaching the Fa in San Francisco”, 2005 in 2010)
Master also emphasized,
“How many people have really gone to San Francisco's Chinatown to clarify the facts? If you haven't persisted at it and there have only been a few people involved, of course things won't change! Given that there are so many disciples in the Bay Area, why don't you make that area a priority and put in some effort there?” (“Fa Teaching at the 2007 New York Fa Conference”)
I could not help reflecting on myself after studying Master’s Fa. I used to be pleased with myself, thinking that I have been studying the Fa, doing the exercises, and sending forth righteous thoughts. Every so often, I would go to San Francisco to pass out materials and clarify the truth, but not always. Sometimes, I would find all kinds of excuses for myself, trying to justify my not going there. In my mind I would think that San Francisco was so far away from my home, and that it took so long to get there. I had to get up very early and come back very late, and I would end up being too tired to study the Fa and do the exercises.
Master said in “Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005”,
“And so it is that when circumstances ease up, one is prone to becoming lax; when the pressure lets up it leads a person to feel relaxed and not make every minute count as before. But that's not acceptable.”
After studying Master’s Fa, I felt Master was referring to people like me. I remembered when I was practicing cultivation in China under the evil persecution, it was very difficult to step forward to do anything for Dafa, due to the heavy mental pressure. I admired the loose and comfortable cultivation environment overseas. When I first arrived in the United States in 2005 from mainland China, I was truly excited while breathing the free air here. I felt so energetic when participating in projects to validate the Fa and to clarify the truth. I would not waver even if my family was at odds with me. However, as time passed, the pressure disappeared, and I started to slack off. I did not take part in the truth clarification activities on my own initiative anymore. Master said,
“Indeed, do you realize something? You are Dafa disciples, and countless beings above, beings simply limitless in number, envy you. If today I were to offer any high-level god, no matter his greatness, the chance to come and be a Dafa disciple, he would leap at the opportunity in a split second—the instant my words reached him he would come. He would be simply elated, for everyone who is aware knows that this way he could not only save himself, but also the countless sentient beings of his world. That is simply the most extraordinary thing in the future cosmos.” (“What is a Dafa Disciple - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 New York Fa Conference”)
We were born when Dafa is widely spreading and obtained Dafa, which is such a precious opportunity. We do not need to become a monk or a nun, as Master has created a good environment so that we may practice cultivation among everyday people. Master also constantly guides us in person to practice cultivation. If we cannot do the three things well according to Master’s requirement, we would be failing Master and ourselves. If one day the Fa rectification ends, and my fellow practitioners reach consummation, and if I myself did not cultivate well, it would be too late to cry.
Understanding the Fa principles, I started to take advantage of the Fremont bus and subway systems to come to San Francisco Chinatown to pass out materials and clarify the truth. At present, the environment for me to step forward, make friends and clarify the truth is created by Master. I cannot express my gratitude towards Master enough.
A few years ago when I was clarifying the truth in San Francisco, I would get a scolding, or someone would tear up the materials and Epoch Times newspaper that I was handing out. I also faced cold, indifferent stares. When encountering this, sometimes my mentality of competitiveness would be stirred up, and I would think, “You are still so evil, and what are you going to do when the big disasters come. So be it, it’s your own choice.” Through continuous Fa study and sharing with fellow practitioners, I found my shortcomings and realized that I did not cultivate well enough and that my compassion was not fully developed. Without compassion, how would I be able to save sentient beings? Thus, I required myself to assimilate to the Fa principles of “Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance”, as Master’s says, “Compassion can harmonize Heaven and Earth, ushering in spring; Righteous thoughts can save the people in this world” (“The Fa Rectifies the Cosmos” from Hong Yin Vol. II). I became more strict with myself when saving sentient beings. Regardless of their attitudes, I will not be moved anymore, and instead I will treat all of them with compassion.
Now when I am passing out truth clarification materials at the corner of the street, I know that truth clarification is more than passing out materials, and I must tell people the facts with words. Some people just passed me by, without any reaction. While they were waiting for the crosswalk signal, I would seize the opportunity to ask them, “Why didn’t you take the materials? Please try to understand what Falun Gong is and please do not be deceived by the CCP’s propaganda, since it will do you harm in the future. Falun Gong cultivates ‘Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance', and it’s a high-level Buddha School cultivation. It is for saving people. After you read the materials and change your negative impressions about Falun Gong, when the disasters come, you will turn calamities into blessings and deities will protect you.” After hearing this, most people would change their attitudes and take the materials.
With the joint effort of fellow practitioners, there have been great changes in San Francisco Chinatown. In the past, some people at Portsmouth Square took our newspapers and used them cushions to sit on. After clarifying the truth to them, nobody sits on our newspaper anymore. Even though some people still did not take the materials or appeared to be indifferent, most people’s facial expressions are not as cold or full of hatred as before. When seeing us, some of them may say, “Thank you, you’ve been working very hard.” Some even help us to clarify the truth to those who do not know the truth yet. Some say, “Only NTDTV and the Epoch Times dare to tell the truth in this world, and we like them so much.” A 80-something year old gentleman wrote poems to praise NTDTV and the Epoch Times after watching the programs and reading the newspaper. He praised Shen Yun after going to the show, and exclaims, “Falun Dafa is good, and Zhen-Shan-Ren (Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance) is good!” Right now, at the street corners or at the Portsmouth Square, every day, there will be some people showing gratitude towards us, and they will say, “You did a good job!”. Some will condemn the CCP for being so evil. I am truly happy for all the people who know the truth.
2. A few interesting stories on making friends and clarifying the truth in San Francisco
On one weekend, a fellow practitioner and I went to a cell phone store to clarify the truth. While a fellow practitioner was chatting with a store salesperson about their products, a male employee was about to leave the store. I quickly asked him whereabouts in China he was from originally. He told me that he’s from Wuhan. I told him that I was also from there. I said, “Young man, have you worn the red scarf (of the CCP) before?” He said yes. We started to talk to him about the reason why people needed to do the three withdrawals and what the consequences would be if he didn't. The young man then quit the Young Pioneers. When I turned around, I saw a female employee and an older female client. After they finished talking, I said to them, “Do you have a minute? Do you want to hear a story? It happened somewhere in China. Three people were painting a wall six stories up, when suddenly the ropes broke and all of them fell to the ground. Two of them died right away, and only one of them survived without any injury. The survivor said, ‘I am wearing a protective talisman that a Falun Gong practitioner gave me, and my brother practices Falun Gong. I believe Falun Dafa is good.’ After that, the workers there, when they were lifting heavy things together, would shout ‘Falun Dafa is good! Zhen-Shan-Ren is good!’” After talking to me for a while, they both quit the CCP, and the employee used her real name. A young manager beside them then said to us, “I am from Hong Kong. What if I had never worn the red scarf before?” We then gave him truth clarification materials, and told him to read the Epoch Times Newspaper and to recite “Falun Dafa is good.” He thanked us sincerely.
On that day, we persuaded 11 people to withdraw from the CCP's organizations. At first, when a fellow practitioner clarified the truth to the store manager, he was not receptive. We asked him, “You are already in the United states, why do you still want the taint of the wicked CCP? The CCP has committed so many crimes, and what benefit can you get from being loyal to it? In the end, you will only suffer along with it and have a sad ending. Please quit the CCP quickly. For the prosperity of your business, how about using the name of ‘prosperity' (Xing Long) to quit the CCP?” Just like that, he gladly agreed to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations.
3. Making friends and clarifying the truth in the immigration classes in San Francisco
Last July, I needed to go to English training classes for naturalization and in the meantime, I made friends with my classmates. At the beginning, I clarified the truth to the elderly people there, but all of them ignored me and stayed away from me. I became anxious and thought about how to break the ice. Finally I decided to raise my hand to answer the instructor’s questions and it worked. After the instructor praised me, the classmates would like to sit next to me and even brought snacks for me. I thought, “Isn’t this a good opportunity to make friends with them?” Then, I would bring some snacks to share with everyone. Gradually, we became good friends. In this class, I persuaded more than 10 people to do the three withdrawals, and almost all of them read the Epoch Times every day, including the instructor.
An elderly couple in their 80’s thought that we were involved in politics at the very beginning. I then told them, “Political activities may have their own agenda and personal goals. We have none of that. What we want is to do cultivation and to be good people according to Zhen-Shan-Ren. At the same time, we strive to restore the Chinese traditional culture and to raise people’s moral level.” Then they smiled, and one of them said, “If that's the case, Falun Gong is very good then.” Both of them quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations. Afterwards, we became very good friends and kept in touch with each other.
On the path of saving sentient beings, I know that each Dafa disciple may have lots of their own stories. In the future, I will “Focus on how you study and cultivate” (“Solid Cultivation” from Hong Yin) with other practitioners, trying to find my own weaknesses, getting rid of various attachments, doing the three things well according to Master’s requirements, and being a qualified Dafa disciple.
Please kindly point out anything inappropriate.
Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners.