Traveling to Uzbekistan to Introduce Falun Dafa
(Minghui.org) From Hong Yin III:
"One ThoughtSecular and Sacred, one creek apartForward or back; two different realmsEnter the temple in the woodsOne step and you’ve reached heaven"
Revered Master! Dear fellow practitioners!
On this solemn day, I wish to share with you my cultivation experience of embarking on a 10-day journey to Uzbekistan. I was born in Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, but my mother and I traveled to Latvia when I was still a small child. In Uzbekistan there are no Falun Dafa cultivators.
Three years ago, I traveled back there and distributed a lot of Falun Dafa truth clarification materials. At the time I thought that I had done all that I could to clarify the truth there, but later on I realized that it wasn’t enough.
The Joy of Eliminating an Attachment
A few months ago I received a message from a Canadian practitioner. He had read on my social media page that I was born in Tashkent, and asked me to go there and get people to sign the Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting (DAFOH) petition. If I would be able to collect 20 signatures there, and send the signed petitions enclosed in a letter from within Uzbekistan, then Uzbekistan would enter the list of countries opposing organ harvesting. He also sent me a list of countries in which no one had signed the petition yet.
I thought to myself: this Canadian practitioner is doing a great job. He must have checked on social media where each practitioner was born and suggested that they travel to countries which didn’t take a stance in this great struggle between good and evil. I thought: what a great cultivator! But in cultivation practice one should discard all the human emotions of “He’s good, he’s bad.”
As I was thinking highly of him, I noticed that he also published some opinions about our country's political situation. I thought: why did he have to get involved in politics? But I also realized I should look inside. Why was I allowed to see this? Surely not so I would condemn him or praise him. Why did it cause such discomfort and unpleasant feelings in me? And then I understood. It was probably because others were denouncing our government’s policy. That was the root cause for my unpleasant feelings.
So who was actually getting involved in politics here – was it him or me? I was the one dealing with politics!
But I am a cultivator, so I shouldn’t be interested in politics anyway. We should save all sentient beings – that is the only thing that truly matters. I felt lighter in my heart, the bad feelings disappeared. I stopped being critical of that practitioner in my mind. I felt only compassion toward all sentient beings… I cannot describe this feeling in words. I think many practitioners have felt that state in cultivation which occurs once an attachment is removed.
Cooperating with Fellow Practitioners
I started preparing for the trip to Uzbekistan. I felt that I should not travel by myself, but with a small group. I sent a notice to our local email list and telephoned a few practitioners in Russia. Two from Russia immediately agreed to join. We already had experience in cooperating with each other on various activities, so I decided that we would be able to pull this task together.
We started preparing for the trip. Israeli practitioners helped translate materials to Russian. They even translated and narrated an NTD film about a Muslim Knesset member and a Muslim sheikh talking about human rights and organ harvesting in China. Uzbekistan is a Muslim state, so I also gathered a lot of photographs in which Muslims are seen signing petitions in support of Falun Dafa.
I prepared official letters for the government bureaus there. The Russian practitioners also prepared a lot of material: newspapers, leaflets and beautiful paper lotus flowers. From my past experience with traveling to Uzbekistan, I new that it was forbidden to distribute any materials. The police stood at every street corner. All religions were persecuted. Therefore, I should handle everything with wisdom and compassion.
Shortly before the trip, another practitioner from Israel asked to join me, together with a 12-year-old practitioner whose parents were from Tashkent. He was born in Israel but also spoke Russian. I thought that was good. So there we were, the three of us traveling from Israel to Tashkent on our way to meet with our fellow Russian practitioners. At the hotel they had already reserved rooms for us. While we were on the plane we already started distributing materials to those we met on the way.
When we landed in Tashkent, there was a long queue at the passport control. I started clarifying the truth to people who stood beside me, while the two other Israeli practitioners who were with me started sending righteous thoughts. People listened attentively. The practitioner didn’t speak Russian, but she saw that many people were listening so she handed me a petition form in Russian and said: “Try it!” I offered the petition to a young man who stood beside me, and he signed right away. I continued down the line, offering the petition other people. People signed with a serious expression and passed the petition further down the queue. We collected a lot of signatures at the airport. It gave us confidence that we were doing the right thing, and that the sentient beings were waiting for us.
On the following day the three of us went to the Israeli Embassy at Tashkent, which was pretty close to our hotel. The Russian practitioners went to another location to clarify the truth to people. On our way to the embassy we kept stopping people on the street and talking to them, and nearly everyone we spoke with signed the petition. Although all the people listened attentively and signed the petition, I felt immense pressure, which manifested as walking difficulties. My body felt very heavy, as if I weighed 200 kg, and I kept struggling with a strong desire to sit down and rest for a while.
Upon our arrival at the embassy, we asked for a meeting with a delegate. An Israeli delegate approached us, and the Hebrew speaking practitioner who was with us spoke with him. He listened attentively, read through the materials, but didn’t sign anything. Anyhow, we clarified the truth to him, and that’s important.
On the following day we all went together to the central market to collect signatures. Our plan was as follows: We would collect as many signatures as possible, and then we would approach the various government bureaus.
I felt much lighter by then, as if something was cleansed in other dimensions. We split into groups and started distributing materials. Everything had to be done very delicately, so we would not catch the attention of the police. People in Tashkent are very kindhearted, and were not afraid to sign the petition. There were instances in which someone who already signed the petition clarified the truth to the people standing next to him, and so it further went down the line by itself through all the lines of the market stalls.
After we collected many signatures, we bought some fruit and returned to our hotel room. Our schedule was very tight. We got up early each morning, practiced for two full hours in the hotel yard. After breakfast we would send righteous thoughts and study the Fa. Sometimes we would only recite Lunyu and then go out to collect signatures. Then we would eat lunch and in the evenings we would return to our hotel room to study the Fa some more.
From Hong Yin III:
"Following MasterMassive, powerful figures,They gathered for the Great CurrentAssuming different social statuses,and different occupationsDafa disciples are one bodyFollowing Master in Fa-rectificationWorking against sinister tides"
From Hong Yin III:
"Who’s Right, Who’s WrongAs a cultivatorOne always looks for one’s own faults‘Tis the Way to get rid of attachments most effectivelyThere’s no way to skip ordeals, big or small[During a conflict, if you can remember:]“He’s right,And I’m wrong,”What’s to dispute?"
One day we went to a street where a fair called “Broadway” was regularly held. At this fair, art works were sold and street painters would draw passersby’s portraits. We clarified the truth and people signed the petition. As we progressed towards a park, we didn’t notice that to the left of the park there was a bureau behind the fence, with a guard at the entrance. At that moment, while one of the Russian practitioners was clarifying the truth to a pedestrian, a security guard or police officer approached her from the building, and then another one joined him. They asked her many questions. The other Russian practitioner then joined her. We stood a short distance from them, sending righteous thoughts.
Our bags were filled with informational materials and petitions. Nearly all the signed petitions, about 150 of them, were in my bag. I thought that we should immediately send all the signed petitions, and that no one should be allowed to interfere. I asked a passerby for directions to the nearest post office, yet he said that it was holiday and everything was closed.
A police officer approached us and asked us if we knew those women across the street. I said yes, so the police officers asked us to accompany them to the spot where the Russian practitioners stood.
When we got there we saw the Russian practitioners sociably talking with the two other officers, explaining to them about the persecution in China. They already had quite a lot of experience with clarifying the truth to police officers. In Russia they would often get arrested, taken into custody and then released soon after. I translated everything to Hebrew for the Israeli practitioner who was with me.
I didn’t have a clear understanding on how to behave, and I didn’t feel any compassion toward the police officers – something that I realized only afterwards. Meanwhile, the Russian practitioners already clarified the truth to several police officers, who apparently didn’t know what to do with us and called some senior officers for reinforcement. Later on we were asked to accompany them to the police station. I had many thoughts running in my head. I finally called for Master’s help: “Master, please, give me wisdom, I don’t know what to do, but if there is something I want to do, it is to follow Master!”
We were doing something good – who would dare to interfere? I told the officers very determinedly that we were not going to go anywhere, we were Israeli citizens and hadn’t done anything against the law. I demanded to see a delegate from the Israeli Embassy. I could tell that they started to feel less self-assured, and they started saying: “Fine, fine”, and then they made a phone call. Then they told us we would not be asked to go anywhere, and would only have to speak with another person from public security.
Later on another high ranking officers in plain clothes arrived at the scene. We told him about the persecution and about the forced organ harvesting of Falun Gong practitioners in China. He said that if we wanted to collect signatures and distribute materials then we should get a permit from the Health Department. He also suggested that we visit hospitals, where we could approach doctors and inform them. We already had plans to visit hospitals, but that only made it clearer to us that they were paving the way for us, because now we could tell at the hospitals that the police had sent us.
We promised him that we would go to the Ministry of Health, and at that point we were already engaged in several hours of activity, so I told the officers again that they have no right to detain us, and that we were tired, and didn’t have anything to eat or drink since morning. It worked again. They took pictures of our passports, took our telephone numbers and told us that we were free to go.
Once again I asked a passerby for directions to the nearest post office, and he told us that the main post office was 10 minutes away on foot, and that it was operating on holidays. Now it was essential to send those signed petitions quickly. We managed to collect much more signatures than the quota required for including Uzbekistan on the list of counties against forced organ harvesting.
We reached the post office just 10 minutes before closing time. We sent the petitions by registered mail to the address specified on the petition form. Later that evening, when we studied the Fa together, when it was my turn to read I had to read the following passage of Lecture Six in Zhuan Falun:
“This attachment of yours must be removed. You will be made to learn from this lesson so that your fear can be removed, and you can advance.”
The moment I have read this, my fear vanished. Master helped me see the attachment and cleansed me of it. There are no human words or thoughts for expressing my feelings of gratitude to Master.
On the following days we visited the Justice Department, the Ministry of the Interior, the Foreign Ministry, the State Advocacy, the Parliament building and a human rights organization. Everywhere we visited we were allowed to enter or they would send delegates to meet us, and we would hand them the letters and materials we prepared in advance. Sometimes we were given phone numbers we could call. We were accepted very honorably at all the official state offices.
At the Justice Department we met an Orthodox Israeli who signed the petition. We also met a person who told us that after we returned home there should be someone in Uzbekistan who would continue collecting signatures. I encouraged him to be that person and we handed all the necessary materials over to him.
Following that, we traveled to Samarkand, two hours away by car. We went to the central hospital to meet the hospital manager. The two Russian practitioners went to meet him. One of them was an army doctor and a retired major from the Red Army. We kept sending righteous thoughts at the hospital yard, and collected signatures from people. The hospital manager listened attentively to the Russian practitioners, thanked them, took materials from them, and said that it was very important and that he would tell the doctors about it in their daily doctors meeting. He gave us his card so we could send him more materials.
We brought with us to Tashkent a book in Russian which contained Zhuan Falun and The Great Consummation Way of Falun Dafa. We intended to give it as a present to the central library in Tashkent. The library manager browsed the book and started saying that we were promoting a religion, that it was a religious book, etc. He talked as if he had read the official propaganda of the CCP, and didn’t want to listen to the truth. He called some police officers to take us to the police station, and we gave truth clarification materials to everyone we spoke with.
One of the police officers looked at the book and saw it contained illustrations of the exercises. Then he told the others that he practiced martial arts and that this book was definitely not religious. He said that the laws of Uzbekistan did not forbid giving a book as a present to a library. Later he said that he would like to read the book himself. But we couldn’t give it to him in that situation. Meanwhile more officers arrived, and they all received materials from us. The library manager insisted on our arrest, but it was evident that the police officers didn’t want to arrest us. The library manager then called a senior officer from the Registration and Visas department, who told us that we had better leave the library. We went with him over to the police station, and there we gave a statement on how we tried to give the book as a present to the library. The senior officer from the Registration and Visas department expressed his wish to receive the book to read it himself and we gave him the book. To express his gratitude he gave us a lift to a restaurant, telling us which dishes were best to order. He said that if we visit Uzbekistan again in the future, we should call him, and he would come to pick us up from the airport and help us find accommodations, etc.
On the following day, the police officer from the library, the one who also practiced martial arts, called us to ask how we were doing. He told us that the police officers all understood what Falun Dafa was all about far better than the library manager. He then wished us all the best.
At the airport, while we were waiting for our flight to Israel, I was stopped because of the large quantity of truth clarification newspapers in Russian, which were left over so I wanted to bring them with me to Israel. In Russia the practitioners don’t distribute leaflets. Instead they distribute newspapers, because people are less inclined to throw newspapers on the floor. I was asked to give an account for the large quantity of newspapers I was carrying with me. I told them that these were newspapers which I brought with me from Israel to hand out in Uzbekistan. I told them I was a volunteer of the DAFOH organization, and that my mission was to visit various governmental offices and distribute the newspapers. However, in Uzbekistan it is evidently forbidden to hand out materials, so I had to carry them back with me to Israel.
Here too, the same miraculous line of events took place, in which every officer called for another officer to handle my case, and eventually everyone received a newspaper and an explanation about the facts, and even links to Internet websites. Finally, they took a photo of my passport and let me go.
Our journey to Uzbekistan reached its end. During the whole trip I had a very clear sense that Master was leading us along the path, and that the sentient beings there were waiting for salvation. It was as if everything was planned and we only had to follow through. We supported each other and cooperated well with each other in general. While one of us was clarifying the facts, the others would send righteous thoughts together. We decided that we should visit other counties near Uzbekistan, where there are no Dafa disciples; especially now that we have gained so much experience.
Thank you Master. There are no human words to express my gratitude.
Thank you fellow practitioners who accompanied me as one-body on our mission to help Master save sentient beings
And a big thank you to all fellow practitioners, wherever they may be.
Presented at the 2014 Israel Experience Sharing Conference
Category: Experience Sharing Conferences