Greetings Master, greetings fellow practitioners,
We are a couple and have been cultivating in Falun Gong since November 2001. Back then, our health and mental state were poor and we had hoped to improve through practicing Falun Gong. In the first one-and-a-half years, we mainly focused on cultivating ourselves. We knew about the persecution of Falun Gong in China, but we only contributed in a very minor way.
A turning point followed, after we learned about the persecution of two Chinese practitioners, who had started a vigil in our local area calling for an end to the persecution and after returning to China were arrested. We recognized that we needed to actively clarify the truth and decided to support the vigil. At the beginning, we distributed flyers to passersby.
In 2004, there was a call to raise awareness and send righteous thoughts in New York. We decided to participate and stood with a group of Taiwanese practitioners for a week in front of Grand Central Station. The situation on the first day was really hard for us. The passersby were all in a great hurry, unwilling to take the information and were quite unfriendly. We felt very uncomfortable, unsure and had a feeling of rejection. During the next day, the situation improved and people took flyers. In the evening cheerfulness set in, and we were proud of ourselves that we had done well.
However, a practitioner who spent the whole day with us, shared with us that our form of truth clarification was not very effective, since we were only distributing flyers and were not talking with people to clarify the truth about the background behind the persecution. We felt we were treated unfairly and our hearts were really moved. After having calmed ourselves down, we realized that he was 100 percent right and in the following days, we tried as much as possible to speak to people to help them truly understand about Falun Gong and the persecution. It was for us a very difficult week and very strenuous. We often had only a few seconds in order to say something. However, during this time, we learned a great deal.
Back in Germany, we utilized this experience at our local vigil and also with Chinese tourists. We informed them about the persecution and even tried to have them quit the party and the affiliated organizations of the CCP. Over time we learned more about understanding the thought patterns and behavior of the Chinese. Local Chinese practitioners have also helped out and given us many tips.
By contributing regularly to the vigil, we were constantly improving ourselves. That was like a good tutorial that enabled us to become more confident with speaking. We discovered how important it is to concentrate on each and every person when engaged in conversation and to discuss things in a manner in which the other could readily understand and accept. It’s important not to conduct a monologue, but to really engage with others. Only in this way, can you tell if the person has understood and whether there are still questions to be answered.
Years later, a Chinese practitioner in Germany asked us whether we were interested in working on efforts to raise awareness to our government leaders. That was a new area for us. We were unsure and had fears and had no idea how to proceed. At that point in time there was an election campaign, so it was a good opportunity for our government work team, which we joined to just visit the politicians at their electoral promotion stands in our hometown. We did just that. We had the first opportunity to interact with politicians in a more comfortable environment on the streets. It was good experience for us, as we discovered that it isn’t really that difficult and it was pretty much the same process as informing the public about the persecution. Really, whether it be a politician or a housewife, we do our best to help them understand the truth about the persecution and be saved.
Our next step involved contacting a federal politician in our electorate. We asked for an appointment and were invited to a meeting. This was once again a new challenge for us and the attachment of fear arose. It was a combination of uncertainty, facing a new situation and fear of failure. It was a test that we had to overcome.
“Some students’ righteous thoughts are stronger, so they have less fear and they conduct themselves in a more confident, upright, and dignified way. Some people are more fearful, so they don’t do so well. There is a very small number of people who are completely without fear. In areas where things are not so intense, there are more such people. But in places where there is a lot of evil and pressure, there are very few of them. It’s not that if you have fear you are no good. It’s about overcoming your fears and trying to do the three things well with stronger righteous thoughts, and that is outstanding. (Applause) To put it in perspective, no matter how afraid you may be, if when faced with the responsibility of saving sentient beings you feel compelled to take action, to go save people, then that is remarkable.” (Fa Teaching at the 2013 Greater New York Fa Conference)
The federal politician was rather unreceptive at first, however during the conversation he opened up more and more and began to ask questions and offered to enquire at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs about the persecution of Falun Gong, which he later did.
This experience inspired us to continue our efforts. We decided to contact many politicians in our region. We began to write regularly to all federal politicians and many state politicians from our region and inform them about the persecution and the latest developments. Later to come were council members in local government and EU politicians.
At the beginning of 2011 we had our first appointment with a federal politician in the human rights committee. He too was very distant at the beginning and had negative thoughts about Falun Gong. During the meeting we were able to clear up the negativity over Falun Gong and upon bidding us farewell he said to us, “I believe you.” He offered to contact the newly named UN special correspondent for freedom of belief and religion.
From each conversation that we held, we could see and recognize that the fundamentals of Falun Gong, why and how it is being persecuted and making public the evilness of the CCP to politicians, are very important. We learned from this that there is no need to shy away from negative thoughts that we pick up on during discussions with politicians and to directly address it; otherwise that negativity can never be removed. When we explain that the lies they heard come from the communist propaganda, they tend to understand very quickly. We also had great help from other practitioners in the government work group, who supported us with righteous thoughts, which we felt quite clearly.
Unfortunately our personal efforts to clarify the truth to politicians came to a halt for quite some time. Because of our attachment to emotions, we were unable to recognize different types of interference that the old forces utilized and tried to divert us from our task. We started to fall behind in cultivation and could not make any new appointments.
In the middle of 2012, there was a call to come to the official seat of the European Parliament because of a resolution in the EU parliament. Based on a spontaneous decision and without any preparation we went there. During the journey over to France we tried to organize some appointments with the EU politicians. We tried very hard to get appointments and decided to travel regularly to the EU parliament to talk with many people on a given day. The politicians reassured us that regular contact is important and one EU parliamentarian said to us that our steadfastness in seeking appointments had really impressed him.
At the beginning of October 2012, we telephoned the assistant of the human rights secretary of the SPD party. She spontaneously said, “Please direct your topic directly to the chairman of the human rights committee in the Lower House of the German Parliament, then you can directly address all parties.” We did just that and asked for an appointment with the chairman.
A short time later, we met with a young Chinese practitioner, who was doing an internship in Germany and decided to campaign for his mother, who was imprisoned in a forced labor camp in China for her belief in Falun Gong. We decided to visit politicians together to have in hand a concrete example of the evilness of the persecution in China. We started in the practitioner’s local area. We noticed how powerful it is, when a victim talks about the persecution directly. Soon we were getting more appointments.
In February 2013, we received a call from a politician’s office, to whom we were invited to speak in front of the human rights committee. We were very happy about this and very clear that this would mean giving a speech in front of a group of politicians. This was the next big test. We wondered how many people would attend and what kind of questions they might ask. A great deal of human thinking emerged. We prepared ourselves in a group of three for the appointment, yet whilst standing at the entrance of parliament in April, fear reappeared. Fear is an attachment and this gap would be exploited by the old forces to interfere with us. Already that the morning, one of us had toothache and feared that the pain would divert attention away from the meeting. We sent forth righteous thoughts and after we entered the assembly hall, we were very peaceful and our speech met with great interest from the politicians. Only via the help of Master was this possible. Master greatly helped us and other practitioners supported us with righteous thoughts. The day before, we had our first meeting with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
We are now a well-trained team. To begin with, we always commence with describing what Falun Gong is and how and why the persecution started. The Chinese practitioner describes his situation based on the example of his mother, the concrete persecution and the hate and defamation propaganda, which he has lived through from childhood. Many small details about the tactics of the Communist Party, which many know little about in this depth of detail, help make the evilness of the CCP so clear.
Many politicians were more often than not deeply touched by this presentation and many have offered to send letters to the leaders of labor camps or to the Chinese Embassy in Berlin in order to support the rescue of the practitioner’s mother. In two cases politicians have spoken personally with the Chinese ambassador. In concluding our presentation, we talk about organ harvesting from living Falun Gong practitioners and discuss the current situation and developments, for example that parliaments and politicians overseas have denounced this crime. Now we were for a second time in parliament and want to visit there on a regular basis like in the EU parliament, to make more contacts and hold more talks. The changes between 2011 and 2013 are very noticeable and we are taken more seriously. Using the good example shown by the UK practitioners, our goal is to have an official hearing in front of the human rights committee and other committees.
In every discussion, we receive tips about the internal workflows of the parties and committees, which lead to new contacts.
We have recognized that we should take our government work seriously and do it well, Master said in the Fa Teaching at the 2013 Greater New York Fa Conference,
“By leading you all in doing Shen Yun, Master is in fact giving you a model. I have made Shen Yun the best show in the world. At the very least, in the performing arts, in the field of the arts, it’s playing the lead role. So how about our other projects, then?”
We try to prepare well according to the background of politicians we are about to meet, for example we inform ourselves about their interests and working areas. It is important that we respect them and that we build a rapport with them.
As time passes, it is becoming even clearer to us that personally reaching out to our government leaders is very important. We would like to thank our Master for having paved the path for us. What we need to do is to follow the path and fulfill our vows.
Thank you Master!
Thank you all!
(Presented at the 2013 European Falun Dafa Experience-Sharing Conference in Copenhagen)