New Practitioner: Promoting Shen Yun Enables Me to Become a “Fa-Rectification Period Dafa Disciple”
Greetings, respected Master!Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I enjoy promoting Shen Yun and also feel very honored to be able to participate in this project. Promoting Shen Yun has enabled me to truly assimilate into the stream of Dafa and catch up with the progress of Fa-rectification.
Master said,“So we know that Shen Yun's performances really can have the effect of saving people. Then as Dafa disciples, when we consider that but one Shen Yun tour can manage to save hundreds of thousands of people, is there anything not to like about it?” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference”)
I’m a new practitioner who obtained the Fa in 2011 after reading a Falun Dafa website. That November, a practitioner that I talked with over the phone asked to meet me. He brought two boxes of Shen Yun flyers and asked me to hand them out. He told me that Shen Yun is led by Master and is the easiest project for new practitioners to participate in, and he asked me to treasure this opportunity.
At that time, I did not attend the weekly big group sharing in our area but was cultivating on my own. Looking at the two boxes of flyers, I was worried and did not know where to start. I searched online, found some dance studios and Chinese schools near my home, and I distributed the two boxes of flyers. I also wrote an email to briefly introduce Shen Yun and sent it to some of my friends. I did not expect that the response would be so enthusiastic, and 18 tickets were sold.
I thought how easy it was to sell Shen Yun tickets! I did not realize that Master was encouraging me. Next, I joined other practitioners to put up Shen Yun posters. Because I participated, I began paying attention to how many Shen Yun tickets we sold and also frequently read the audience reviews online. I gradually assimilated into the Fa.
In my second year promoting Shen Yun, I was in charge of some routes and brought other practitioners with me to promote Shen Yun. In the beginning, the cities I was assigned to were close to my home, and I felt I was doing great after walking for 3-4 hours. I became stronger as I did more. I went farther and farther from my home and walking for 8 to 9 hours was easy. I was also assigned to supervise a Shen Yun booth and learned how to promote and sell tickets. After introducing Shen Yun to businesses door to door, working at a Shen Yun booth was much easier.
This year is my third year participating in promoting Shen Yun after having obtained the Fa. I feel that as long as I can overcome my attachment to comfort, promoting Shen Yun is a truly honorable thing to do, especially since Shen Yun is directly led by Master.
During the Shen Yun promotion period from last October through February 2015, I made myself available for all Saturdays and Sundays so the coordinator could assign tasks to me. I was able to participate in many kinds of promotion activities. I put up posters and distributed flyers to businesses, and at various city festivals and art shows. I sold tickets at booths in malls and farmers’ markets, and distributed Shen Yun flyers to high-end apartments near theaters, senior homes and medical centers.
Since every week I was at different places, I ran into all kinds of people. I know that it is a sacred mission for a Dafa disciple to save people through participating in promoting Shen Yun. Therefore, I took every opportunity to talk to people about the show and learned from my experiences.
Because of practitioners’ dedicated efforts and overall cooperation, the promotion of Shen Yun in our area made breakthroughs each year. When I saw the new 2015 Shen Yun flyer, I deeply felt the heart that the practitioners who designed it put into the design and into each word.
When ordinary people said, “I see Shen Yun ads everywhere I go,” including billboards along freeways, large posters hanging outside theaters and nearby streets, ads on mainstream television, radio and newspaper, and media of different ethnic groups, I sense the great effort and coordinated arrangements by practitioners who do marketing.
Just like Master said, “From the very beginning, we require that hundreds of energy channels be opened up and make simultaneous rotations.” (Zhuan Falun, Lecture 8)
Regardless of which part they participated in, either promoting Shen Yun to businesses along the streets, or to various organizations and associations or handing out flyers at theaters, all practitioners proactively cooperate and harmonize what Master wants. It's like moving with the rhythm of the universe’s pulse.
Some practitioners design the routes for flyer distribution, others answer hotlines, work on the ticket team or at theaters, and some organize schedules and arrangements. Each practitioner contributes based on his or her ability and cooperates with each other. This has made me feel the power of Dafa disciples being one body.
The Process of Promoting Shen Yun Is also the Process of Improving My Xinxing
“...nothing that you come across as you go about saving sentient beings and validating the Fa is coincidental.” (“Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan, 2006”)
“Go and truly cultivate yourself—when you get into a conflict or run into some problem you should look at yourself and see what’s wrong, and ask yourself how you should handle it, using the Fa to evaluate things.” (“Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference”)
While I was at a Shen Yun booth in a shopping center, I talked to mainstream people. One man who said he knew a very influential family in the U.S. and knows many senators, came up to the booth. I introduced Shen Yun to him and spent nearly half an hour chatting with him. He gave me his business card and asked me to contact him. I saw his photo with politicians on his website and felt pleased with myself. I wanted to contact him very much and was hoping that he could do something for Dafa. My heart was moved for a few days.
I remembered what Master said,
“Furthermore, the sentient beings today came from the heavens, with each, moreover, being the representative of a system of cosmic bodies. Saving one person thus amounts to saving countless, measureless lives, and the mighty virtue that lies behind that act is simply enormous. Would you say that's something an ordinary person could accomplish? Could he be worthy? He couldn't be. Only those who are worthy of being Dafa disciples could accomplish that, and only they could dissolve that wretched fiend.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Fa Conference Marking the Tenth Anniversary of the Minghui Website’s Founding,” 2009)
I also read that this man was a mayor of a small town but stepped down because of his son. I knew that Master was using him to let me be aware of my attachment to fame and material interest.
The test came again in two weeks. A director of action movies came to the booth, and I introduced Shen Yun to him. While we chatted, he showed me a lot of pictures on his cell phone, taken with popular celebrities and pictures of him receiving awards. I felt excited and proud. I spent too much time with him, when I should have been promoting Shen Yun to more people.
This experience exposed my attachment to fame and material interest. I made a determined effort to get rid of this bad attachment and the attachment of seeking connections with powerful people. These things were something I never cared about and never thought I was attached to before. Thank you Master for using the opportunity of promoting Shen Yun to let me see my shortcomings.
One day I stood at a booth for 7 to 8 hours and did not sell even one ticket. Although I very enthusiastically promoted Shen Yun without a moment of rest, and did not even sit down, still I did not sell even one ticket no matter how hard I tried.
I felt ashamed and blamed myself for wasting Dafa's resources and letting down Master and sentient beings. Afterward, I looked inwards and realized that this was caused by my lack of righteous thoughts.
I went to the booth in an outdoor high-end shopping center near the beach for the first time. Before I went there, a practitioner who was very good at selling tickets said, “The booth’s location this year is worse than last year. There aren’t many people passing by and it’s not easy for them to see the Shen Yun previews on TV. We’ve been having a lot of difficulties.”
That morning when I arrived at the booth, the sky was blue and the sun was warmly shining. I thought: “Today’s weather is so nice! This is such a good spot! I will for sure sell more tickets than the other practitioners did.” I later realized that Shen Yun is to save people and we have to use the purest heart to promote it in order to save people. My attachment to competing with others blocked me from selling even one ticket during the entire nine hours.
Another time, at a booth in a high-end shopping mall where 20-30 tickets were easily sold per day, I did not sell even one ticket from 2:00 to 9:00 p.m. I knew it was because when I arrived I saw some clothing stores that I really liked were having big sales. I thought, “I’ll go there later and buy some clothes!” This is a profound lesson I’ve learned about not using the purest heart to promote Shen Yun.
Since I obtained the Fa late and did not have a deep understanding of the Fa yet, I usually do not know if I have improved or not. Therefore I use the total number of tickets I sell each time to measure if I improved or fell back. One time Practitioner A sold two tickets, but she wrote both her and my name on the receipt, I suddenly realized my problem. I found my selfishness. I felt ashamed that I did not form one body with this fellow practitioner; instead I was using human notions to measure myself. Instead of following Master’s teaching of “selflessness and altruism,” I cared about my own losses and gains. After I realized this, I got rid of these attachments. I asked myself whether I made my best efforts to form one body with the fellow practitioner to promote Shen Yun.
Helping at a Shen Yun booth for one day is a long time, but when I do it with my entire heart, it does not feel long. When there are a lot of people, I talk to this person a bit and then to the other person a bit, hand out flyers and sell a few tickets. When there aren’t that many people, I recite Master’s Hong Yin and the result is very good. Time passes very fast. Many people initially do not intend to take the flyers, but when they pause and see it’s Shen Yun, they are very happy to take the flyers.
“If you, as Dafa disciples, want to effect change in a person when you clarify the truth and want to save him, you must not arouse the negative elements in that person. You must hold to being shan, and only then can you resolve problems that may arise and save that person.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference”)
I keep smiling and maintain a peaceful demeanor at the booth and use different approaches to sell tickets to people based on their age group, appearance, and attire. To seniors, I talk about today’s deteriorated morals and how Shen Yen can let them re-experience the beauty and simple times of the old days. To parents with kids, I talk about how difficult it is to manage kids as they spend all of their time on games and cell phones, and how Shen Yun can educate children using the traditional virtues through the form of dance and stories presented in beautiful colors and accompanied by attractive music. For couples, I suggest they give each other a gift with spiritual content instead of buying something purely material. For most people, I say that today, people are under a lot of pressure, resulting in insomnia and depression, and most of the common diseases are caused by stress. The human body needs to be purified in order to stay healthy, and our human spirits also need to be purified. Watching Shen Yun is not only a feast for the eyes and ears but it also purifies the spirit. I do my best to evoke people’s interest and eagerness to watch Shen Yun.
Shen Yun has awakened people’s conscience deeply, from their hearts, led a spiritual renaissance, and redirected human morals. It saved the earth and human beings. Watching people living their lives, the same way I was prior to obtaining the Fa, I feel very sad. They were once great gods in the universe! They represent huge groups of lives. They are relying on us Dafa disciples to wake them up and save them. What an important mission we have on our shoulders!
One time at a farmer’s market, we sold 42 tickets. It was already very close to the show start date, and most of the tickets in the nearby theaters were already sold with only a few individual seats left. One person came to the booth, asking what the lowest price was. She said that Shen Yun tickets are more expensive than other shows. I told her, “Shen Yun is the world’s No. 1 show. Many people who watch the show feel that the value exceeds the price and strongly recommend it, and many are moved to tears by the perfect and flawless performances. Compare buying a purse for $30 with buying a top brand at $60, which one do you think is a better deal?” She left without buying any tickets, but then she came back. After the other practitioner told her more about Shen Yun, she said she would buy 10 tickets, so we reserved the individual seats for her. She said she was learning Chinese folk dance. She later decided to convince her classmates in the dance class to watch Shen Yun with her and, therefore, would need 30 tickets in total. There weren’t enough tickets available, but we contacted the ticketing team who then requested some reserved tickets from the theater. During the back and forth communications, I truly felt fellow practitioners’ wholehearted and selfless coordination, which fulfilled the customer’s needs. Master said,
“If you can find a way to cooperate well, to be of one mind, and apply all your strength together in one direction, then, with the abilities you have, you will really be an unstoppable force.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting, 2009”)
Last year when we learned that the total number of shows as well as total number of tickets needed to be sold for Shen Yun in Southern California increased again from the previous year, we knew that our capacity as one body would also need to increase in order to achieve the goal. Everyone felt the pressure and we were not sure if we would be able to achieve the goal.
When all practitioners cooperated with the group and harmonized with Dafa, we not only achieved our goal but also added four more shows, and, in the end, still ran into the situation of people not being able to get tickets.
Master has not arranged things that are impossible for us to accomplish at our level; everything that Master has arranged for us is always the best.
“Cultivation depends on one’s own efforts, while the transformation of gong is done by one’s master.” (Zhuan Falun, Lecture 1)
As long as we believe in Master and the Fa and our efforts are sincere, and each of us works as a particle constantly rectifying ourselves within the Fa, when each of the particles has done what it is supposed to do, then every test is an opportunity for us to elevate.
Master said, “Dafa disciples are the sole hope for people’s salvation” ( “The Only Hope,” from Hong Yin III). There are still so many sentient beings not yet saved. There isn’t much time left. Let’s treasure every minute and second we have to assist Master to rectify the Fa and save sentient beings, fulfill our prehistoric vows, and be a qualified Dafa disciple in the Fa rectification period.
Thank you Master! Thank you fellow practitioners!
The above is just my understanding at my limited level. Please compassionately point out anything inappropriate.
(Presented at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference)