(Clearwisdom.net) Entering the Door of Cultivation
Looking back at how my family of three obtained the Fa, it was quite an extraordinary experience, all thanks to Master’s compassionate arrangement.
My son went to Taipei during the 2006 Lantern’s Festival, to showcase his lantern on which he drew a giant swastika symbol. We weren’t quite sure if the symbol was drawn correctly, so we searched online to find out after we returned home. A simple search led us to a link to the book Zhuan Falun. This was how my whole family began our journey in Dafa cultivation. I had practiced traditional Buddhism for 22 years prior to my discovery of Zhuan Falun. Moreover, I was never interested in learning computer stuff - but strangely, shortly prior to the Lantern Festival I just felt the urge to buy a laptop. After I came across Dafa, it all became clear to me. Master had made meticulous arrangements so that I could read Zhuan Falun on my laptop as soon as I entered the door of cultivation.
When I was on “The Third Talk” of Zhuan Falun, the following passage left a deep impression on me. Master said,
“We teach that in cultivation you need to commit to one discipline. It doesn’t matter which cultivation you do, you shouldn’t mix in other things and cultivate thoughtlessly. Some lay Buddhists cultivate things in Buddhism as well as our Falun Dafa’s things. I want to tell you, you’re never going to get anything—nobody will give you anything. The reason is, even though we’re all Buddhist, there’s still an issue of character, and an issue of committing to one discipline. You only have one body, so which discipline’s gong is your body going to develop? How’s it going to be evolved for you? And where do you want to go to? Whichever discipline you follow in cultivation, that’s where you’ll go. If you cultivate by following Pure Land, you go to Buddha Amitabha’s Western Paradise, and if you follow Bhaishajyaguru, you go to the Emerald World, or at least that’s how religions have put it, and it’s called “no second discipline.”
I had tried numerous cultivation ways in the past, yet no one ever told me such a precious principle. I felt I suddenly awakened to something special and became aware that Zhuan Falun was a heavenly book, guiding people’s cultivation. Since the fundamental requirement of cultivation is to believe in Master and the Fa, that night I cleaned out all the books I had from other cultivation ways and sent them to appropriate places. I made up my mind to just follow Master on the true cultivation path.
Sharing My Experiences of Clarifying the Facts in Hong Kong
Less than one year into our family’s cultivation my son decided to go to Hong Kong and stay there for at least one year to clarify the facts. Without any hesitation I said yes and made up my mind to go with him. As a matter of fact, back then I had no idea of what clarifying the facts was. The only concept I had was from Master’s newly published “Fa Teaching at the 2007 New York Fa Conference” which I read shortly before our departure. Master said in this new lecture,
“In other words, in doing everything that Dafa disciples are doing today--whether you are part of some project, or you are taking to the streets and clarifying the facts, passing out materials, or sitting in front of the consulates and embassies to expose the evil--you are cultivating yourselves, validating the Fa, and in the process saving the world's people. That is what Dafa disciples are doing.”
Now looking back at my stay in Hong Kong, I realize the experience really laid a solid foundation for my cultivation.
I went to Hong Kong a few more times after my first trip. Each time the local practitioners were very kind and compassionate to me. They helped correct my exercise movements and encouraged me to study the Fa more diligently. I felt excruciating pain when I first started to cross my legs on top of each other, but the uncomfortable feelings gradually subsided when I did the meditation together with other practitioners. I was also able to gain a better understanding of the importance of sending righteous thoughts. The only daily thought on my mind involved the three things required of Dafa disciples. I especially cherished the opportunities to speak with Chinese people at tourist attractions. I really felt that they were the precious lives waiting to be saved. I was in awe of our grand mission - to be the only hope of sentient beings.
One unforgettable incident happened during my second trip to Hong Kong. My son had stayed there for about six months by that time. When he picked me up from the airport, he looked totally fine. However, I learned from his practitioner roommate the next morning that he went through an enormous tribulation in the middle of the night. His ears and half of his face suddenly swelled up to the point that his face looked deformed. Meanwhile, he shed strands after strands of hair and also sweated profusely. He could only keep some liquid down and felt completely fatigued. His roommate told me that he wasn’t able to sleep at all.
I managed to remain calm and still went to the rail station to distribute truth-clarifying newspapers. I knew that I came to Hong Kong to clarify the facts and offer sentient beings salvation. As such, I must relinquish my attachments to my son. I had just one thought - to follow Master’s arrangements. In the meantime I looked within to get rid of my sentimentality toward family and reminded myself to put the salvation of sentient beings as my top priority. I told concerned practitioners that I was confident that my son would recover after I returned to Taiwan. Fifteen days later I flew back to Taiwan; my son indeed gradually improved afterwards. He emerged much stronger and seemed to have gained a renewed life. Reflecting on this experience, I was deeply grateful to Master for His arrangements, which enabled me to understand that there was nothing we couldn’t pass as long as we had faith in Master and Dafa.
Selling Shen Yun Tickets
As I understand it, Shen Yun is an art form Master utilizes to save sentient beings, and it is also an opportunity for us disciples to connect with predestined non-practitioners whom Master wants to save. Every ticket concerns a life Master wants to save. My experience during the past four years tells me that it is indeed not that difficult to sell tickets. As long as we have the strong and righteous thoughts to assist Master with Fa-rectification, Master will arrange predestined people to come to us. Master said in “Be More Diligent,”
“A Dafa disciple’s righteous thoughts stem from the Fa, and your cultivation is not a matter of how good, as a human being, your ideas are or how brilliant your approach is. Rather, your cultivation is a matter of whether you manage to have righteous thoughts in the face of challenges.”
When Shen Yun toured Taiwan in 2011, I experienced a miracle I’d never experienced in the past. I truly felt that Master only looks at our mindset. He has the best arrangements for us.
March 24th was the first show date of 2011 Shen Yun tour in Taichung, but many high-priced tickets still remained unsold as of late night on March 18. While working in the ticket center I said to the seating chart on the computer, “How can we allow so many high-priced tickets to remain unsold?” I repeated this twice - just hoping more sentient beings could be saved. By around 11:00 p.m. a woman called in after watching our ad on TV. She eventually ordered 10 tickets for 3,200 Taiwan Dollars each (about $110 USD each) for various show dates. The next day was a Saturday, and the hotline phone just kept ringing. By the afternoon we already sold 126 tickets, all of them high-priced. One practitioner was particularly in awe and kept saying, “It’s truly amazing! Today is just too amazing!”
It is my understanding that when we gauge everything with the Fa principles and righteous thoughts, remove our human notions and follow Master’s requirements, Dafa’s might will show itself. Selling high-priced tickets is not only for the audience to have a better view, but to offer them an opportunity to support Shen Yun and position themselves well.
I am also mindful of customer service after ticket sales and often call the customers a couple of days before the show to remind them. Last year I encountered a woman who lives out of town and who bought tickets for herself, her sister, and her wheelchair-bound mother suffering from diabetes. On March 27th, her show date, I called her in the morning to check if she had arrived in Taichung. Unexpectedly it rained hard that evening. Just one hour before show time she called me, saying that her mother didn’t feel well and refused to get out of bed, even though she and her sister had tried to talk to her for one hour. I knew right away it was karma that was interfering with her mother, so I decided to encourage her to help her mother pass the tribulation. I said to her with a firm tone, “You must not hold any grudges against your mother. Instead, you should use a soft voice to keep encouraging her to get up and go watch the show. I’m sure you and your sister can do it!” After hanging up the phone I sent righteous thoughts to eliminate any evil factors preventing her mother from watching the show. She called back the next morning, telling me joyfully how she was able to persuade her mother to watch the show, and how her mother was all smiles during the entire show. In the end she said she’d for sure ask me to help her book tickets again next year.
It is my understanding that all practitioners have the responsibility to sell Shen Yun tickets. If each and every one of us steps forward to sell tickets, sentient beings will be moved. Actually, the process of selling tickets is also one for us to cultivate our xinxing. When we feel upset about people’s rude attitude towards us, we should look unconditionally within and try to understand the other party from their respective.
Master has created such an open cultivation environment for us to improve our xinxing, so as I see it, ticketing selling is what is required of us to meet the needs of the Fa-rectification process. As such, we can’t count on non-practitioners to sell tickets for us.
I also want to emphasize the importance of customer service and to remind everyone to not be afraid of trouble. After all, that is also an attachment. Sometimes our clients must change their show dates due to conditions out of their control. I am usually willing to deal with such issues. As long as we handle the matter with a kind heart, there would automatically be new viewers who would fill those seats. Every ticket is precious, since sentient beings are all waiting to be saved.
Master said in “Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa,”
“Saying that you are helping Shen Yun means, in fact, that you are helping yourselves, for in whatever you are doing you are cultivating yourselves, and what’s more, among the lives saved by Shen Yun, there is your contribution. That’s for sure. And your mighty virtue lies within what you have done.”
We are the most fortunate lives in the universe. I urge fellow practitioners to cherish this unprecedented opportunity. The Shen Yun 2012 Tour has begun its journey. We should work together wholeheartedly to sell tickets so as to rescue sentient beings.