My Cultivation Experience Promoting the Documentary Free China: The Courage to Believe
(Minghui.org) During the Falun Dafa experience sharing conference in D.C. this year, practitioners from NTD television played their new documentary Free China: The Courage to Believe. This film extensively clarified the truth about Falun Gong. Meanwhile, NTD practitioners asked practitioners from around the world to promote this film.
This is a very powerful film, which was created with the mindset and from the angle of people from Western society. It is therefore very good for truth-clarification to Westerners. During the International Free Speech Film Festival in Philadelphia this past May, Margaret Chew Barringer, founder of American INSIGHT, said, “I hope this film changes our world.” For an everyday person to say something like this tells me that this is not an ordinary truth-clarification film. In only 53 minutes, it can help a person to understand the truth very deeply. It's importance is obvious.
NTDTV wanted someone who had experience in American society in dealing with VIPs. I came to the states only four years ago and just entered American society after graduating from school. I was not sure whether or not I had the ability to coordinate this project. On the other hand, I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to get some hands-on experience and become more mature. I talked to the local coordinator, and she was very supportive. So I decided to do it.
One mistake I often make in cultivation is thinking of things in very simple ways. Only having an idealized good intention is not enough. When difficulty arises, forgetting to treat it with unshakable, diamond-like righteous thoughts became something I needed to constantly overcome in coordinating this project.
I sent an email to the NTD global coordinator simply introducing myself, and I expressed my willingness to coordinate the project. A few days passed and I did not hear back from him. In the end, I didn't get any training information until our local coordinator passed the information to me. I hesitated, thinking that maybe the NTD coordinator thought I was not qualified, and that perhaps I should give up. But the local coordinator encouraged me not to give up. I thought that she was right, and that the doubt I had about myself was another form of attachment to myself. Master will give us the abilities if we need them. If I am too concerned about the abilities, if I care about how others look at me, or if I don't have enough confidence, it is a manifestation of attachment to myself. These are the attachments I need to eliminate in my cultivation.
After attending the first online training, the NTD coordinator gave a very detailed presentation on how to do private screenings. A few other practitioners also joined, and our small team was established. It was mid-August. According to NTD’s requirement, we should hold at least two private screenings in August, so we needed to get going right away.
The first thing was to look for a venue. It could not be a low-end venue, nor could it be too expensive. I was glad that another practitioner was helping me with this. We went to different libraries, hotel conference rooms, and even cinemas, but none of them worked out for us. In the end, we found a community center with fairly good conditions for our first screening. After we secured the venue, I realized that finding a good venue was not the hardest thing. The most difficult part was inviting an audience. I sent email invitations to professors whom I had clarified the truth to or who had attended the Shen Yun performances in the past, as well as people we met during the process of finding the venue. I also asked local practitioners to invite their contacts.
Waiting for audience members to confirm that they would attend was another opportunity to cultivate my heart. I checked my email many times each day to see if any audience members had registered. During this process, uneasiness, worry, and impatience often arose in me. I had a similar experience selling Shen Yun tickets. Sometimes after spending the entire day out promoting the show, I would have the expectation that ticket sales would sharply increase, as if every flyer I gave out would bring in a ticket sale. This was another kind of attachment to my efforts. I had the same mentality when waiting for audience RSVPs.
I was expecting that every person who got an invitation would decide to come. However, even two days before the screening, I had only received a handful of responses. I kept telling myself not be negative and to maintain righteous thoughts. However, the attachment to success pressured me. On the day of screening, many people who registered did not even come. I felt a little upset and disappointed after the screening, but fellow practitioners encouraged me. After all, this was our first private screening. Successful or not, we gained some experience.
The target audience for the Free China private screening was politicians and businessmen. But for me, I had almost zero experience dealing with those people. Who should I invite for the next screening? I thought of the mayor of the city I lived in. I had talked to her several times in the past when applying for a proclamation. I called her for an appointment. She was not in the office, so I left a message. I felt that my English was very poor, and that she probably would not get back to me. But to my surprise, she called me back and agreed to meet with me a few days later.
I realized that whenever I broke through my own notions and made more of an effort, things changed. For example, this May I applied to the mayor for a proclamation about the 20th anniversary of Dafa’s introduction to the public. She didn't get back to me for a long time after I mailed out the materials. I assumed that she probably would not give us the proclamation. But I also thought that perhaps I should not give up so easily. I am very easily influenced by other people and the outside environment. After I overcame my fear that I wasn't good at making phone calls or that my English was not good enough, I called her and left a message. The next day, I received a call from the city’s secretary. The mayor was going to give us the proclamation.
After I talked to the mayor about Free China, she agreed to attend our screening. On the day of the screening when it was almost time to start, she had not yet arrived. I knew that she had another event before the screening, and I started to think, “Will she not come today? Will she forget about this?” Meanwhile, I also kept telling myself not to have negative thoughts and to keep righteous thoughts. One audience member asked me, “Are there any other people coming?” I was just about to answer his question when the mayor appeared at the door, so I said, “This is who we are waiting for.” The mayor was very engaged as she watched the film.
I also wanted to invite a state representative to the screening. I called his office several times, but no one answered. I did research on the Internet to find his other contact information, and I found his cell phone number on a website. I felt that the number had been left for me. Actually, I am still quite nervous when I make phone calls to this day. I sent righteous thoughts for a while before I called him, and then I invited him to the screening. He did not have time that day, so I said that I could show him the film at his convenience. In the end, he let me come to his house to show the film. After the film ended, he did not talk for nearly ten seconds. I think he was shocked. He said that if he got the chance, he would speak out about it. Although he was not as supportive as I had expected, I should not be attached to getting his support. At least for his own life, I think that our effort was worth it.
During the past few months, I have been contacting different people and organizations to do screenings. But things have not worked out very well, and I have had difficulties almost everywhere. Not many practitioners have participated. Sometimes I felt so helpless. It seemed to me that many people were so indifferent even after they learned about organ harvesting in China. Suddenly, the feeling of not getting support from anyone overwhelmed me, and I started to cry.
After I calmed down, I thought to myself, “I need to study the Fa.” I took a book from the shelf. It was Teaching the Fa at the Conference VI. Although I have read it many times in the past, when I read it again on that day, I felt that I had never read it before.
“If each Dafa disciple can evaluate everything with the Fa, you'll go about things in an even more upright way, and then our students won't be prone to problems, whether they can see [other dimensions] or not. That's because with the Fa here, you can just go by the Fa's requirements. No matter what states other beings are in, none of their various, ever-changing, complex manifestations can interfere with a Dafa disciple.” (“Teaching the Fa on Easter, 2004, at the New York Fa Conference”)
I read this passage several times. I felt like Master was standing in front of me, teaching me the Fa. I felt compassionate encouragement from Master. I realized that I cared too much about other people’s attitudes about me, about situations in the human world, and that I was hoping to get support from everyday people. Why do we do private screenings? It is not to get something from everyday people, and neither should we rely on what they can do for us. We just do whatever we set out to do. If everyone stood up and opposed the persecution, then the spell would be broken, and maybe there would be no environment for Dafa disciples to cultivate. All of the anxiety, nervousness, and pressure I had originated from the attachment to results.
“Enlightening comes before seeing. Cultivate your mind and eliminate your karma. Once your original nature comes forth you will be able to see.” (“Why One Cannot See” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
When I look within more deeply, I see that the attachment to results was from lack of confidence in the Fa. At the same time, I also found another problem I had. When I was coordinating the specific work, I was also trying to pass the pressure I felt on to other practitioners. But when others could not do the things I wanted them to do, I got upset because I didn't want to be under so much pressure by myself. When I found this attachment, I immediately felt relieved.
Last Friday, we started the Zhen-Shan-Ren art exhibition in City Hall. We also participated in an event on Saturday in the same building. Many people came and saw the paintings and were deeply touched. Many of them condemned the persecution and expressed their sympathy for practitioners. I realized that it is not that everyday people no longer cared about the persecution or that they no longer had good hearts. But oftentimes, what is on my mind limits what I see. I met a couple at the exhibition. I told them some facts about persecution and about how I started practicing Falun Gong. They were quite moved.
Last Tuesday, the night of the presidential debate, we held another screening in City Hall. A couple was touched and wanted to arrange a screening in their church. They seemed familiar to me. In the end, I realized that they were the couple I had met at the art exhibition. It could be that Master was encouraging me. When we really do not put ourselves first and have no pursuit, the results will usually be surprisingly good.
“If you find that there is a problem, and you manage to eliminate it, only that way are the things you do the best and the most sacred.” ("Teaching the Fa at the Conference in New Zealand")
Above are some of my cultivation experiences in promoting Free China. I welcome practitioners pointing out anything improper. Thank you, Master. Thank you, fellow practitioners.