Maturing Gradually in Doing the Three Things
Greetings to Master, greetings fellow practitioners:
Argentina, as have other Latin American countries, obtained the Fa relatively late. There were no Falun Gong practice groups in Latin America at the beginning of the persecution in 1999. The advantage is that we could learn from American, European and Asian practitioners about how to do Fa-rectification projects. In past experience sharing conferences everyone has shared about all the great things they have done in different Fa-validation projects. Compared to them, I feel that I have nothing to offer. Today, there are many newer practitioners, so I hope to share about how our cultivation process is full of the painstaking efforts and arrangement of Master.
In 1998, I returned to Argentina from Germany for the second time due to my husband's work. In February 1999 I flew back to Germany to visit my children, and before I returned to Argentina, my university classmate from Taiwan who lived in Germany, gave me three books with yellow covers. She said that this Falun Gong is really good and is causing a great stir in China. On the plane I opened the first page, and read: “Truly Guiding People to High Levels.” Although I did not understand what “guiding people to high levels” meant, I felt that this was not an ordinary book about Buddhism. Before I noticed it, I finished reading Zhuan Falun, Falun Gong, and Explaining the Content of Falun Dafa during the 12-hour flight. In April, I flew to Taiwan via Germany, and in a practitioner’s home, I got a few more Dafa books. After I returned to Argentina, I studied the Fa alone at home. I felt quite good about studying like this.
During this period in 1998, in read the “Lecture at the First Conference in North America.” Master said:
"There are many such instances in the pirated editions of Zhuan Falun. Make sure you are careful with this. If you find missing words or rows, add them with your pen. In the future, don’t buy any more books with missing words or rows. In other words, you can buy books with the original typesetting; don’t ever buy books with a new typesetting."
I was surprised. Not caring about the book being pirated, instead only caring about whether there would be errors, and that people might obtain copies with mistakes, is something which not even the nicest person would be concerned about. I began to realize that Master is definitely not an ordinary person.
On July 21, 1999, I woke up and saw international newspaper headlines reporting that Falun Gong was banned in China. I'd always known that the perverse Chinese Communist Party (CCP) never does anything good, so I knew for sure that Falun Gong must be good, and that is why it was banned. There was one article about a reporter asking a so-called Argentine China expert whether there were any practitioners of Falun Gong in Argentina. He said, that according to his knowledge there was no one. Reading this, I cried out, rather upset: “There is! It's me!” This was the first time that I truly related myself to Falun Gong. I also felt Master in my heart, and I was happy to realize that I now had a Master!
During the first period of my cultivation practice, there were no veteran practitioners around with whom to exchange understandings, and I did not have a clear idea as to who Master truly was. In “Touring North America to Teach the Fa” in March 2002, Master said:
"No one knows who I am. I do not know who I am, either. No being has ever seen me, and no being has ever called me by any name. I have neither form nor name, and I am different from anything that composes any being in the cosmos. To the sentient beings in the cosmos, I have nothing. Perhaps when the cosmos is no more, only I am there. I have nothing. No being knows who I am. Yet without me, the cosmos wouldn't exist. The reason I have come here is to save all sentient beings amidst the Fa-rectification at a time when the colossal firmament of the cosmos is disintegrating."
When I read this, I felt an earthquake going through my body, and after this, it seemed that my human side understood [who Master is]. I saw the realm and the greatness of Master.
Master said in Lecture 8 of Zhuan Falun,
"It has taken us much effort to get permission to articulate this issue. I have unveiled the eternal mystery—it was the secret of secrets that absolutely could not be disclosed. I have revealed the root of all different cultivation practices throughout history..."
This impacted me even more. Master had to expend much effort? And also seeks "agreement" at such high levels? In His unfathomably superior realm, that is the way He does things, Master coordinates! After this when I coordinate, from time to time, I remind myself that in order to achieve what the Fa requires, we must not be afraid of twists and turns, we must communicate, and according to Master, we need to discuss, have profound tolerance, put oneself in the place of others, really considering others, while looking for the best solution. This is the teaching of Master, and Master is doing just that in such a superior realm.
After the persecution I began to feel that reading alone at home was not enough. I remember when I was picking up some books at the house of the practitioner in Germany, they mentioned a Falun Dafa website called Minghui. The Minghui website opened the way to my cultivation. I learned about what was happening to Falun Gong in China and what was going on outside of China. If I would not have known about Minghui, I might not have become a Dafa disciple and might not be standing here today to share with everyone. I thank Master, and I thank all those anonymous Dafa disciples who contribute their time and tireless effort to Minghui.
From Minghui, I learned to establish a practice site. From Minghui I learned that we need to study the Fa together. Initially, we used photocopies of Zhuan Falun and in 2003, we felt a great need for books. But at that time the Argentine exchange rate with the US dollar was very high and importing the Spanish version of Zhuan Falun was not a long-term solution. So we asked for permission to print the Spanish edition of Zhuan Falun in Argentina.
When the number of Argentine practitioners increased, we felt that we had to do something for all Spanish speaking people, so they also would have the opportunity to obtain the Fa. All the translation work naturally fell upon the Argentine practitioners. Step-by-step the Spanish Epoch Times, a Dafa website, etc., were set up.
Argentina is located at the southernmost tip of the world. In 2003, Argentina had only a small number of immigrants from Taiwan who had arrived a long time ago. There were very few Chinese faces on the streets. To Argentina, China was a very distant country.
In 2004, Chinese immigrants began to arrive in great numbers. We distributed the Epoch Times newspaper along a few streets in an area which was still called Taiwan Street. It was now filled with recent arrivals from China. Copies of the Epoch Times were thrown away everywhere on the streets. We felt insulted and threatened. When we offered Chinese people the Epoch Times, they squinted at us, and asked suspiciously: “What is this for?” When we replied that it is a newspaper, they immediately asked: “How much does it cost? What do I want a newspaper for? No, I won’t take it.” I'd ask, “Why not?” They answered, “What is the use of a newspaper? What I want is US dollars. If you give me US dollars I will take it!” Then I'd ask, “You just came from China, right?” They wondered how I knew that. I said, “You only want US dollars. This is the real Chinese Communist Party culture. I hope that after reading this newspaper and these materials, you will not talk like this.” And as a result of our conversations, some people would try to find me later on to ask for new editions of the Epoch Times.
The Chinese embassy began to get nervous The first time I received phone calls threatening to kill me, it was difficult to get used to. Now I only laugh about it, but at that time were were only new practitioners. Some Argentine practitioners who demonstrated the exercises at that time did not dare to close their eyes, because of the many threatening faces around them. We persevered, and more and more Chinese immigrants arrived in Argentina. All the Chinese people did their shopping around those streets and the embassy also exerted their control, and established their presence. Taiwan Street was changed to Chinatown.
For nine years, every weekend, on one corner of the the most important crossroads in Chinatown we hung up banners, placed truth-clarification materials on a table and Chinese and Spanish editions of the Epoch Times. The evil tried always to interfere with us. We applied for a permit from the city government which is valid for a year. Time after time, the Chinese Embassy tried to stop us from hanging our Falun Dafa banner; they hated the Dafa banner in Chinatown. But this is something for which we have zero tolerance; we will not permit anyone to touch the Dafa banner.
Last year, the city government changed the crossroads where our stand was established, making it into a pedestrian road. We then simply decided to demonstrate the Falun Gong exercises in the middle of the road. The municipal traffic police just looked on and did not say anything. But the evil was really jealous and threatened to denounce us, as we did not have a permit to exercise in the middle of the road. We simply ignored them and continued to do what we wanted to do and confronted all interference with righteous thoughts. As a result, today the presence of Falun Dafa has become an essential, permanent scene in Chinatown. There have been many new practitioners who took up the practice after receiving our fliers in Chinatown.
For Argentines and tourists, Chinatown has become a tourist destination. On weekends there is always a sea of people and they all can see Falun Dafa's presence and receive the truth. The environment there has changed. The evil could not do anything against us and has had no luck in denouncing us to the municipal government. Whenever we apply for a permit, it is given to us immediately. New Chinese arrivals in Argentina were all astonished to see us, demonstrating the Falun Gong exercise in the middle of the street. After learning the truth, they no longer believed the lies spread by the Chinese Embassy. This occurred because we practitioners refused to fear the interference from the CCP and regardless of what happened, we persevered with righteous thoughts. The more the interference there is, proves all the more that what we are doing is what the evil hates most, because it can save more sentient beings.
For over six years, we have been handing out truth-clarification materials at the Chinese Embassy, where every day, Chinese people go there for paperwork and non-Chinese go there for visa reasons. We have achieved this because we also had to go through a big battle for several years. Initially, every time we were there, someone would come out of the Embassy to scream abuses and to try to force us away. When they could not succeed, they called the police saying that there were terrorists at the door. Armed and tense police would rush over. Usually, violence during demonstrations in Argentina is normal. We looked so peaceful that the police could only feel relieved and they liked us. Sometimes we send forth righteous thoughts sitting on the sidewalk in front of the embassy, and the police did not want to disturb us a bit when they were called upon to come. The police only wanted to know when we planned to leave and sometimes asked us to stay a bit farther away from the door. We told them that the Embassy said that the sidewalk belonged to them and that the police would follow their demand. We later learned that the police notified the Embassy not to call them anymore for Falun Gong; they said that they cannot do anything to peaceful people on the sidewalk. Since them, we hand out persecution information openly and nobly in front of the Embassy door, every day that they are open.
Shen Yun has twice been to Argentina. The first time, in 2009, the artists obtained visas just before boarding the plane. The bird flu struck Argentina during the time that Shen Yun was visiting. The Argentine Government called on everyone to avoid public places. It seemed that the arrival of the flu was designed to interfere with Shen Yun. In December last year, Shen Yun came again. This time, their visas were obtained easily, but there were other reasons that we could not fill the theater. But we do know that if Dafa disciples can do well, Shen Yun should not be affected by any external factors in society. This time, although for a few days Shen Yun did attract the attention of the mainstream society, but we could not save more sentient beings. Mexico did very well with Shen Yun and had record ticket sales. Both new and veteran Mexican practitioners could put down their personal affairs and contribute 100% of their time and efforts to Shen Yun. For this reason they could save so many people. From them, we saw our own shortcomings.
Sharing and looking inside we found that we did not give 100% to save more people. There was also the factor of determination. After we learned that Shen Yun was coming in December, we were faced with many setbacks, such as the venue canceling due to technical problems, a change of dates, visa complications, all such that practititioners often did not know whether Shen Yun really would be able to come or not. After sharing, we found that our capacity to withstand setbacks was not enough. Our determination was being interfered with due to setbacks. Problems of being confident appeared, including feelings of resignation. Due to the change of venue, we had only two months to promote the sale of tickets, and some practitioners could not abandon all private matters and concentrate on selling tickets, etc. These were all cultivation issues.
After the 2009 performance of Shen Yun in Argentina, almost every practitioner was somehow interfered with. Many who had not totally eliminated attachments of lust, of envy, etc. were faced with them again. Some could not study the Fa, committed mistakes and even distanced themselves from Dafa. Although some recovered, this time, the same tribulations appeared. So last year before Shen Yun was to come to Argentina, we stepped up our cultivation of xinxing, studied the Fa vigorously, shared amongst each other, and called those who had been interfered with, asking them to return to the study group. But after Shen Yun left this time, still some practitioners were not able to eliminate interference with righteous thought and again distanced themselves from the study group.
The requirements for Shen Yun are very high. The tests before and after are very severe. Without eliminating human thoughts and attachments, tribulations will always seem more severe.. Especially due to interference, doing the three things well is especially difficult, and it is harder to withstand and pass the tribulations. The purpose of the interference is nothing more than to pull Dafa disciples down, especially those who have talents and ability. We are preparing now for Shen Yun in 2014, studying the Fa, sharing, eliminating human thoughts, coordinating well, clarifying the truth, sending righteous thoughts, and increasing our capacity to withstand difficulties. These are some of what we need to achieve, so we can live up to the compassion and the opportunity which Master is giving us once more.
When one of the top CCP perpetrators visited Argentina in 2005, we submitted a complaint. The following day, several practitioners were beaten quite badly during the top CCP official’s visit to the Argentine Congress. Obviously it was because of the anger of the evil, just like the situation of practitioners being beaten up in Tiananmen Square. Currently we still have more than one criminal lawsuit in the Argentine Criminal Court against several Chinese thugs incited by the Chinese Embassy to assault us. After the assault, we heard a practitioner from another country saying, “How come practitioners from Argentina are always beaten? You are not doing some things well?” When I heard this, I felt very bad; in other words Dafa disciples should be beaten because they did not do well? We are disciples of Master, and Master is responsible for us. Of course, if we act righteously, the evil cannot do us harm, but during the persecution, the evil will not stop from its evil actions. We began to push forward our legal case and use the persecution in the territory of Argentina to intensify our clarification of the truth.
In 2005, a judge accepted the case. After four years of investigation, and collecting testimonies from many practitioners, applying the principle of universal jurisdiction, in December 2009, the judge issued an international arrest warrant, requesting the Interpol to arrest the defendants, the two top CCP officials, when they leave China and extradite them to stand trial in Argentina for crimes against humanity.
The Chinese Embassy in Argentina was shocked by the issuing of an international arrest warrant by an Argentine judge. Immediately they issued a diplomatic note to the Minister of the Argentine Foreign Ministry, the officials of the court and the various state ministers of the nation asking for "the end of all the cases related to Falun Gong" and threatened that this case will undermine bilateral relations between China and Argentina. Soon after, the judge was forced to resign. Another judge arranged by the Argentine Government quickly, in the first day of the job, revoked the international arrest warrant and closed the case for lack of evidence. We later appealed twice, and last month, the Criminal High Court rejected the ruling of the Federal Court of Criminal Appeals of the closure of this case and ordered the case to be returned to the original Ninth Chamber of the Federal Criminal Court for retrial of the crimes of genocide and crimes against humanity committed by the defendants.
The non-practitioner lawyer and judge were subjected to different interference because of their righteous support of Falun Gong. The judge was falsely accused, and his case is purposely not being handled, so as long as this case is not cleared, he will not be able to serve in any public institutions; he could only be a lawyer. Nevertheless, I am happy for them, because Master said in "Teaching the Fa at the Western U.S. Fa Conference 2000 "... Whoever supports Dafa or advocates for Dafa is establishing for himself his being’s existence in the future and is laying a foundation for obtaining the Fa in the future."
Today the evil CCP is now the most important trading partner of Argentina. Last week the CCP promised to provide US$ 10 billion to Argentina. Under Argentina's very complicated and capricious political environment, to restore the international arrest warrant will require a lot of righteous thoughts. Despite the interference from politics in Argentina, for many years these cases have played a significant role in truth clarification to the legal community here, and they admire the efforts of Falun Gong. However, in the Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference, Master said:
"Let's not worry about the condition of the world economy. Who holds power or what happens somewhere on some day has nothing to do with our cultivation. We just focus on saving people, saving people. "
Before I obtained the Fa, I already had the idea of leaving South America, although with further Fa study, I dispelled this idea. But in recent years, after Shen Yun in 2009 and the lawsuit resolution in 2009, many practitioners experienced tribulations. During bouts of low xinxing, I sometimes wanted to just walk away to another country. I thought I could validate the Fa anywhere – in Taiwan, Europe, or any English-speaking country. I naively wondered about why I vowed to choose to come to Latin America, where there are so few Chinese practitioners. I wanted to leave. My excuse was that Argentina is not my country; I am not a Latin-American. My husband remained in Argentina after he retired because of me. He is not a practitioner, but also faced different physical and mental interference. How I wished sometimes that I could just quietly participate in a project, doing my task well, following only the coordination of others; cultivation would be so much easier that way.
But from the many years of Fa study, I am clear that this is not my cultivation path. To worry, to be responsible, busy, endure pressures, etc., is the path I must cultivate. Master repeatedly said with compassion that we must complete and fulfill our vows. Master came to such a dirty place, but He says that Dafa disciples are the only hope for the sentient beings. But the truth is that Master is the only hope for everyone. Although Master said that we are assisting Him, the fact is Master is giving us such a great opportunity to elevate, such a high honor. This kind of compassion has no limit. If we do not do well, many will lose their opportunity to be saved. Thinking this, I felt ashamed and dispelled the idea to leave the region. Three years ago, my daughter took her two daughters to Taiwan to study Chinese. Later she also became a Dafa disciple. Last year, without a word from me, she decided for herself to move with her daughters to Argentina and join the process of Fa validation in Latin America. Due to the compassion of Master, I have now one fewer excuse to leave this region.
No Latin American practitioners have shared in an international experience sharing conference, but now all practitioners are more mature. I hope that I can set an example and encourage more practitioners to share in the next experience sharing conference, and they will do better than I. Due to Master’s compassion, now from the north of the region, the countries of Mexico, Santo Domingo, Panama, Guatemala, Ecuador to Venezuela, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, and the southern tip, Chile, Argentina, these region already have Dafa disciples validating the Fa. It should be mentioned that recently many new practitioners are entering Dafa, and the majority of them have a very good understanding of the Fa and their xinxing level is also quite high. We still have a long way to go. The best birthday gift for Master is to put all our hearts in assisting Master to save all sentient beings.
Representing all Dafa disciples in Latin America, we want to thank Master for His concern and care for everyone here. There are no words to express our gratitude.
Thank you Master, thank you everyone.