Clarifying the Truth in Chinatown
(Minghui.org) Greetings revered Master! Greetings fellow practitioners!
I've been practicing Falun Dafa for two years. I would like to share with you my experiences while clarifying the truth to the Chinese people.
I stopped going out and talking to people about Falun Dafa and the persecution in July 2015. Although I participated in other projects, I always felt something was missing and I became depressed. Deep inside my heart, I knew it had to do with my not clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings face-to-face. I decided to go out again and talk to people.
I studied the Fa and sent righteous thoughts before going out. The first time I went to Chinatown on my way there, I tried to keep my thoughts righteous, and kept reminding myself that, “I am here to save sentient beings.” I thought, “Practitioners do not have enemies. I am doing this for them.”
So many fellow practitioners were distributing informational materials when I came out of the Chinatown train station! I was greatly encouraged. Although many practitioners were there, there were even more Chinese people! I wondered, “How should I start?” I noticed a young man sitting on the stairs. I went over, sat beside him and started chatting with him.
Sometimes when I talk to people, I mention traditional Chinese culture. That young man asked me about China, “Have you seen China? Do you like it?” I said, “I do like China, especially its brilliant traditional culture.” I gave him a few examples: the traditional Chinese clothing of the Tang and Han dynasties, our cuisine, our architecture and even the entertainment of people in ancient times, for example, traditional Chinese opera is our cultural heritage.
I explained how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has tried to ruin traditional Chinese culture. It has even destroyed the ancient temples. He agreed with me. However, just as I was about to persuade him to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations, his companions called him to leave.
Reflecting on how I did, I felt I was a bit slow in asking him to withdraw from the Party, and I missed the opportunity to save him. That day, I failed to persuade a single person to quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations, but I was not discouraged. I told myself that I would treat each sentient being with care. Even if I only clarify the truth to one person, as long as they have a positive opinion of Falun Dafa, it's worth the effort.
The next time I went to Chinatown, I only talked to one person. I don't remember exactly what we discussed, but we talked about many things. Since many Chinese have been influenced by “Party culture,” when I pointed out flaws in their logic, they began talking about other things that were irrelevant. We talked for nearly two hours. When I asked him if he had quit the CCP, to my surprise, he had already quit.
However, during our conversation, I discovered that he did not know the truth behind the “self-immolation” propaganda. He also told me that he always saw elderly people distributing materials but this was the first time he saw a young person talking to people. I was surprised. I told him, “Many young people practice Falun Dafa and help to raise awareness.”
From that day’s experience, I had three realizations: First, we need to be very responsible when clarifying the truth. At least we should make sure people know that Falun Dafa is good. Second, I wish to encourage more young practitioners to come out and talk to people about the persecution so that Chinese people will re-examine their notions about Dafa. Third, I started to rethink, “Even if I only clarify the truth to one person, as long as they have a positive opinion about Falun Dafa, it's worth the effort.” I wondered if my thought was correct, as so many people have misunderstandings, and we need to talk to them.
The third time I went out, I finally persuaded someone to quit the CCP. It must have been Master encouraging me, or perhaps the person was good and he understood what I said. Afterward, I listened to how fellow practitioners talked to people. I stood next to a fellow practitioner and helped her by sending forth righteous thoughts. I was impressed by how experienced she was. I realized that I would not be able to clarify the truth using the same words, as I thought I should walk my own path.
Here are some ways I talk to people about Falun Dafa and the persecution, and I hope fellow practitioners will help me improve.
“Today's people are really hard to save. [It seems as though] they'll listen only if what you tell them is in line with their ideas, and they'll listen only if you talk to them in a way that they like. In other words, if you want to save them, they have conditions for you to do so.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York”)
How to approach people so that they'll listen? My understanding is that people like to be respected. Therefore, I do the following:
When I talk to people, I often use the word “we” or “us.” The other person then feels that I'm a friend. By saying “we” I'm bringing him into the situation I'm describing.
Lead Others to Think
I feel that it may be hard for Chinese people, especially those with a strong competitive mentality, to accept what I say if I directly tell them the facts. They want to form their own opinions. So, I usually make them think by asking questions. For example, when I talk about quitting the CCP and its affiliated organizations, I ask, “We care a lot about our parents, brothers and sisters, right? But have we ever pledged to them to devote our entire lives to them? So, why did we pledge to give our lives to the CCP?”
When talking about how many lives were lost under the regime, I say “Think about it, the Party is responsible for the deaths of millions of Chinese, right?” They usually nod in agreement. Using simple questions I guide them to think instead of directly drawing conclusions for them, and then what I say is easier for them to accept.
I explain more to educated people, since they need more information and to think for themselves. I always respect the other person’s opinion, but that does not necessarily mean that I agree with him.
Sometimes people from China equate the Party with the country. When I mention the bad things the CCP has done, some think I'm bad-mouthing China. Sometimes, they began to get hostile, and begin to speak loudly. If this happens I interrupt the person and say, “I think you are getting emotional and your voice is getting loud.” Most people like to be considered as calm and rational, therefore when I point it out they stop and smile.
In the beginning of the conversation, I choose the words I use in order to avoid shocking them. For example, when I introduce the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, I say, “This is a book about the history of China. These are facts one would not hear about in the mainland,” instead of saying “This is a book revealing what the CCP is like.”
Sometimes when it seems very hard to persuade the other person to quit the Party, I want to give up. However, two of my experiences were very encouraging.
When I once tried to give a young man our newspaper, he didn't want to take it. I could not really sense his emotions for he had no facial expression. I asked, “Don’t you want it?” He said, “No, I don’t.” I wasn't sure how to initiate a conversation. I thought, “At least I should let him know about the persecution of Dafa.” I asked, “Do you know about Falun Dafa?” He said “No.” So, I talked about Falun Dafa and he even quit the CCP. Afterward he asked for the paper. Before I left, I said, “I wish you success.” He was very happy.
Another time, I talked to a person for a very long time, but he was attached to his own opinion. I thought, I still had to talk to other people. I said, “We have differing opinions and we’re getting nowhere. Let's just end the conversation and keep an open mind.”
I started clarifying the truth to two other people. I was talking to them, and the other man came over and started telling them his opinion. One of the men who had quit the CCP and knew the facts, said to the first man, “Go away. We want to listen to her, not to you.” Embarrassed, he walked away.
Just as I sat down to rest, the first man sat down next to me. I asked, “Are you following me?” He smiled and said, “I have nothing to do.” I continued talking to him. I told him how the policemen who followed Mao’s orders during the Cultural Revolution were killed once it ended. He said, “They are political sacrifices.” I said, “That is why we need to know the facts so we can make rational decisions. I hope what I told you just now will help you decide.” He said, “What you said makes sense.” He quit the CCP.
From these experiences I learned that sometimes with a bit more perseverance we can save one more person. I also learned that I should have fewer notions when talking to people about Falun Dafa and the persecution. Thoughts like, “It is easy to help him quit” or “It is hard to help her quit” are all notions in my view.
What I have talked about are all techniques. A solid cultivation foundation is most important. I've heard that some elderly practitioners help many people quit the CCP and its affiliated organizations by just saying a few sentences. Their compassion helps save many people.
Sometimes when I don't study enough of the Fa, my main consciousness is weak and my words may not be that powerful.
As we approach the new year, I hope that I can improve my xinxing and be more diligent in cultivation. I hope to study the Fa well, to get up every morning and do the exercises, eliminate the desire for fame, the competitive mentality, and the mentality of showing off. I hope to have more wisdom and save more sentient beings, and that veteran practitioners will offer me suggestions.
The above are my experiences. If there is anything inappropriate, fellow practitioners please compassionately point it out.
Thank you revered Master! Thank you fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2015 Singapore Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)