(Minghui.org) The 2016 San Francisco Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference was held on October 24 at the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium. Nearly 6,000 practitioners from 33 countries attended the conference, the largest such gathering ever held in San Francisco.

At around 4:45 local time, the organizer of the conference announced that Master Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Gong, had sent a congratulatory message wishing the Fa conference a success.

Nearly 6,000 practitioners attended the San Francisco Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference held on October 24, 2016.

Solid Cultivation Practice

Seventeen practitioners shared the experiences and understandings they have gained through following the principles of Falun Dafa: Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance.

For example, a Chinese woman who recently moved to San Francisco from mainland China spoke of how she had realized that she harbored many attachments. “They include showing off and the attachment to material interest.” She mentioned how she had noticed them more and more frequently, and came to understand that, “I have to let go of them to make progress in cultivation practice.”

She also feared heights, and as a result, avoided riding a bike. She needed to lead several of her fellow practitioners to various places in San Francisco to various truth clarification activities, but her fears prevented her from being able to do so effectively. In time, she was able to let go of her fear of heights and could easily travel around with a bike. She even learned how to drive a car.

“Being a Falun Dafa practitioner means I have to follow the Fa and walk every step well. Otherwise, I cannot be called a practitioner,” she said.

Seventeen practitioners shared their experience at the conference.

Looking Within

A practitioner from Washington, DC, said that, when encountering misunderstandings and conflicts with other practitioners, one must learn to not be disturbed or try to defend oneself. “Through looking inward, I was able to find out what caused my difficulties. In other words, we should consider things based on the Fa and the overall situation, not just from our own perspectives.”

Once she traveled to another city that was to host Shen Yun for the first time. She volunteered to offer a training so that practitioners in that city could be more effective in their Shen Yun promotion efforts. However, one coordinator misunderstood her and the relationship between them seemed very tense.

By calming down and thinking it over, Ms. Fan realized that neither the coordinator nor she had done anything wrong. Rather, it was just different ways of looking at things. She sent righteous thoughts to eliminate interference and silently expressed the sincere wish that the conflict would not cause any delay in their promotional activities.

After this, the problem miraculously disappeared. She was able to work well with that coordinator, as if nothing had happened between them.

Breaking Through Barriers

Several practitioners explained how they reached out to the mainstream society to increase awareness of Falun Dafa and the persecution in China.

Valentin Schmidt, business news editor for The Epoch Times, explained the trials and tribulations he had experienced to find his path.

At one time, he lost focus and determination in his role and received poor feedback for his admittedly lacking performance. Looking inward, he realized that continuing his work with the paper would allow him to provide uncensored and independent news about China to the Western world.

As a Falun Dafa practitioner, he began reciting the Fa in his spare time and the situation soon began a steady course of improvement. He committed himself to working toward becoming a China expert and has now met with some success.

One article of his analysis on gold investment was widely cited in financial blogs, viewed by 700,000 readers. In addition to interviewing top government officials and major investors, his expertise in the financial industry allows him to reach many people, and show them how the communist regime in China has persecuted Falun Dafa.

Raising Public Awareness at Tourist Sites

Because of the widespread propaganda that permeates the airwaves and print media in China, many Chinese people have been turned against Falun Dafa. When they encounter Falun Dafa practitioners at various tourist sites in San Francisco, they are sometimes quite hostile to them. Such tourist sites thus provide great opportunities to connect with many tourists from China and to help them learn the truth about Falun Dafa and the persecution it faces in China.

Mr. and Ms. Han, for example, have been making the best use of their opportunities to talk with Chinese tourists. They often start with the tour guides, who otherwise tend to steer Chinese tourists away. After speaking to the tourist guides and answering all of their questions over the last few years, the tour guides now support them. They even steer tourists toward them and explain to the tourists in their charge that Falun Dafa is good.

Thanks to their efforts, over 50,000 Chinese people have agreed to renounce the Party and its affiliates since November 2013.

Feedback from the Conference Attendees

Mr. Li from England often comes to experience sharing conferences. He is very grateful to Master Li for the many benefits that Falun Dafa has brought to his life and remarked that hearing others share their experiences always motivates him to do better.

Ms. Park from South Korea said that this was the first experience sharing conference in the United States she had attended. “I am deeply touched because there are so many diligent practitioners. I think I will do better from now on.”