Cultivating Myself Well So Our Waist Drum Troupe Can Save More People
(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
The waist drum troupe is a project that allows practitioners to validate the Fa and fulfill our sacred mission to save sentient beings. Each summer, our Vancouver waist drum troupe participates in many parades. This summer we participated in 14 parades, including 9 local parades and 5 out of town.
Dissolving Oneself in the Fa Is the Key to Validating the Fa and Saving Sentient Beings
The Vancouver waist drum troupe has more than 30 members, and most are practitioners in their 60s or 70s. These practitioners are the main force in handing out fliers and clarifying the truth at tourist attractions and the Chinese Consulate. They do the three things solidly and cultivate very diligently. They work smoothly as a team. After each parade, we collect comments from all the members. For the areas that need improvement, we make sure to arrange time to practice and solve the problem. After rigorously practice, our drumbeats, posts, and formations, have improved.
In order to immerse our whole hearts, minds, and bodies in the Fa, before every parade, we recite Master’s article “On Dafa” three times and repeatedly recite Master’s poem, “Waist Drum Troupe.” We wish to be in our best state of cultivation so that we can save sentient beings. Before each parade starts, we send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate all the evil that interferes with saving people so that every time the result will be very good. The spectators warmly greet us and applaud enthusiastically. All of our efforts are for saving sentient beings.
Master said in “On Dafa,”
“When people show the appropriate respect and reverence toward Dafa as it manifests here in this world, they, their race, or their nation will enjoy blessings or honor.” (Zhuan Falun)
Master Gives Us the Best
As soon as we returned from this year’s New York Experience Sharing Conference, on May 23rd, we participated in the Victoria Day Parade. We made our plans in advance. We were not only able to satisfy all our goals, but we also got the best out of it. To get to the Victoria Day Parade, we needed to go one day in advance. We planned to go early, take the ferry, and arrive at the hotel early so that we could have plenty time to study the Fa, do the exercises, and send forth righteous thoughts. We wished to be in our best state of cultivation during the parade and save more people.
That morning, we first picked up the practitioners who had traveled all the way from Seattle, and then we drove to the pier and took the ferry. We arrived at the hotel at 1 p.m. One room had a large living room in which we studied the Fa and sent righteous thoughts. A local practitioner sent us a lot of food, so our lunch and dinner were covered. Since we did not have to prepare food, we could do the exercises from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. At 8 p.m. we studied the first lecture of Zhuan Falun and sent righteous thoughts.
“Each time after a Fa conference, I always want to hear and see the news that you are doing better after the Fa conference.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference”)
One practitioner who almost canceled her trip due to fever and lower back pain, decided to come. When we were practicing, her lower back was too sore for her to stand. But when the parade started, the pain was gone. She said she felt Master compassionately strengthening her. Another practitioner had pain in her abdominal area but participated very energetically, overcoming the pain with strong righteous thoughts.
Our participation in the parade was very successful. Master gave us best opportunity to show the beauty of Falun Dafa so that people would have a good opinion of Dafa and be saved.
I felt that we should have an attractive pose when our team passed the judge’s stand. It turned out that when we passed the grandstand, we were in the most beautiful ending pose. The grandstand erupted with applause! I think that, as long as we are based on the Fa, solidly cultivate ourselves, and have the strong righteous thought to save people, Master will give us the best.
July 1st this year was Canada's 149th National Day. On this day every year, we have two parades–one in the morning and the other in the afternoon. In order to enhance the effect of saving people, Seattle's and Edmonton’s waist drum troupes also came. Seven practitioners drove for over 10 hours from Edmonton to Vancouver. Seven more practitioners came from Seattle. Thus, for these two parades, we had around 50 people in the waist drum team–the most we ever had.
On July 8th, the Vancouver waist drum troupe, as well as practitioners from Calgary and Edmonton, joined the Tian Guo Marching Band, float, and Celestial Maidens team to participate in the Calgary Stampede Parade. Over 400,000 people attended the event, and over one million people watched it on the Internet and television. That day, the Tian Guo Marching Band had over 100 players. The Calgary practitioners crafted a beautiful new float, which won a prize.
While we were planning to attend the parade, the Falun Dafa Association’s main coordinator asked me to bring the Vancouver waist drum troupe to the parade. During the communication, I found that there were different understandings. I thought to myself that I will just coordinate with the local Falun Dafa Association and follow their arrangement.
We left two days early and drove over 10 hours. The day we arrived and the following day, we practiced with the Calgary and Edmonton practitioners. On the morning of July 8th, we did the exercises together, recited “On Dafa” and “Waist Drum Troupe,” and sent righteous thoughts. We said, “Help Master rectify the Fa and save sentient beings!”
As the parade set off, we recited Master's poem:
Waist-Drum Troupe(in Yuan verse)
Waist-drum formationsGods steeped in the FaEvery sound of the Fa drums pipes Zhen Shan RenPurging evil in the Three Realms, saving the earth’s peopleThe majestic sight and righteous thoughts shake Heaven’s gateRotten demons have nowhere to flee (Hong Yin Vol. II)
We saw that there were countless people on both sides of the road, in buildings, and walking on the bridge. When I realized that Master gave us such a good opportunity to save them, build our mighty virtue, and thought about Master’s expectation for us, I felt so grateful! I felt the sacredness of what we were doing. Sentient beings are like waves coming in, and if I don’t cultivate myself well, don't send righteous thoughts well, then I cannot save these people or the countless lives behind them. I realized how big my responsibility is.
The parade was 5 miles long and lasted for almost 3 hours. About a half hour before the end, the battery in the music player stopped working. Without the music, we sang out loud the lyrics of “Falun Dafa is Good” all the way to the end. We finished the last movement perfectly. At that moment, we were all so excited and touched.
On July 22nd, I took a bus with the Vancouver Tian Guo Marching Band to Edmonton to join the K-Day parade on the 23rd. This time, I was the only one there to keep the rhythm for the entire team. We started out the day before, and after 14 hours we arrived in Edmonton.
K-Day is Edmonton's largest summer event, attracting about 800,000 tourists every year. It was also Vancouver Tian Guo Marching Band’s first time to participate in the parade. This year, the route was longer than it was last year, so there were more people. We knew that this was Master’s arrangement so that more sentient beings could be saved. The Falun Dafa contingent was given the “Best Parade Team” award in the nonprofit organization group. It was the eleventh time we've received this award.
On July 30th, we joined the Seattle waist drum troupe and participated the Seattle Seafair Parade. There were approximately 300,000 spectators and around 700,000 people watching the parade online. We practiced a few days beforehand. The coordinator for the Seattle Falun Dafa Association told me very seriously that we must practice well.
Right before we set off, a Seattle practitioner sent us an urgent message: The Dafa float did not pass the fire inspection. They asked that we send righteous thoughts. I forwarded the message to other practitioners; the Dafa float must be in the parade. Soon after, the Seattle practitioner told us that the fire marshal gave us until the next morning to become compliant. I thought, “I won’t sleep tonight. I will send righteous thoughts continuously.” The next morning, the Seattle practitioners told us they had passed the inspection.
“The Fa-rectification will definitely succeed, and Dafa disciples will definitely succeed.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference” from Teaching the Fa at the Conference V)
I knew that we would definitely be successful in the Seafair Parade. We would save people and hand in a satisfactory result to Master. When our team passed the grandstand, the joyous music started. In time to the music, our 50 person waist drum troupe led a well-structured formation. It showed Dafa’s sacred, solemn compassion. The scene was amazing, and the audience greeted us enthusiastically!
Only By Cultivating Well Can We Save More People
Let me share two experiences I've had.
In May 2015, the Monday after we returned from the Victoria Day Parade, I started to have a fever, cough, and pain all over my body. I thought it would be fine since we didn't have another parade until Saturday. However, the symptoms got worse, and the pain exceeded what I could endure. Fellow practitioners helped me by sending righteous thoughts. I listened to the recordings of Master’s Fa lectures and looked inward. I found that I hadn’t been cultivating myself for a while. Because I was busy, I couldn’t study the Fa with a clear mind. If I ran into a conflict, I could not calm down and look inward. After I found those attachments, I told Master that I would eliminate them.
At the time, the “Fa Teaching at the 2015 New York Fa Conference” had just been published. Master said,
“There have also been cases where someone didn’t take some minor things seriously in his cultivation, and they turned into major problems.”
I thought this was exactly what had happened to me. The symptoms lasted until Friday, and I didn’t see any improvement. I lay on the bed, feeling dizzy. I thought about the parade the next day: If I couldn’t go, it would be bad since I hold the cymbals and help conduct. I told Master in my heart, “I must go to the parade to save people.”
Friday night at around ten o’clock, I suddenly felt better. The fever disappeared, and I could sit up. The pain was also gone. I immediately thanked Master and began to prepare for the parade. I studied the Fa and sent righteous thoughts. The next day, the parade went well, and I felt fine. I know Master helped me.
Just when I thought I had passed this test, I started to have tooth pain the following Tuesday. I thought it should be fine, since the next parade was on Sunday. But the pain continued and to a point that I couldn’t endure it. I gargled with salt water, but my teeth still hurt. In fact, the pain increased. I studied the Fa, looked inward, and realized that I did not cultivate my speech.
The day before the pain started, I had scolded my children. I was furious that they didn’t cultivate diligently. Even though I didn't swear at them, I was angry and did not behave like a cultivator. I searched further and found that I frequently behave badly.
When my teeth began hurting, I did everything I could think of, such as studying the Fa, looking inward, and sending righteous thoughts, but nothing worked. When I fell asleep, I heard a very gentle voice saying, “This is it [or just let it be.] All the arrangements have been made.” I felt so warm, and comfortable when I heard this voice. The voice then added: “Everything has been arranged. Is that okay?” I was suddenly vigilant and shouted, “No! I don’t accept your arrangement! I took a vow with my Master that I would follow Fa-rectification and cultivate until the end! I will leave only when my Master tells me to!” Then, the voice said, “Alright, then.” I was shocked and scared! If I accepted what the voice said, I might have died. Cultivation is really serious.
On Thursday night, I found that I had a hidden attachment of pursuit: no matter what I do, such as studying the Fa, sending righteous thoughts, or looking inward, I did it with pursuit. I did it to alleviate the pain, not to eliminate my attachments or elevate in my cultivation. I told Master, “I will go to the parade no matter what. Master, Dafa has filled my heart. I am a Dafa disciple, and I will go to save people.”
On Friday, I needed to distribute Epoch Times newspapers. My children asked me to take a rest and to ask other practitioners to help me. I said I would be fine. However, my teeth hurt so badly that, when I was done, I lay in the car and could not move. But when I got home and laid down to rest, I suddenly realized that the tooth pain and headache were gone. I was also able to eat. How could I just recover all of a sudden? I knew Master had helped me again. I felt that these two experiences of eliminating karma were a solid process of elevating myself and improving. I negated the old forces' arrangements.
“Of course, since you are cultivating, everything you do, as long as you are a cultivator, is directly related to your cultivation, and those things in fact make up your cultivation path. Everything you do is integrated with your cultivation journey. Your cultivation is embedded in whatever you do, be it working out in the world, doing Dafa projects, or going about your daily lives, and that is for sure.” (“Fa teaching at the 2015 New York Fa Conference”)
Being part of the waist drum troupe is an opportunity to cultivate. I had a bad temper. When it was time to gather, if I saw other practitioners moving slowly or still chatting, I would get very annoyed. If I saw someone without proper makeup standing in formation, I became even more upset, and I spoke without any compassion at all. This manifestation of demon-nature had come out many times. I'd found it many times and was determined many times to eliminate it.
There were other things that bothered me, as well. Several members in the waist drum troupe are aunties in their 70s. They don’t understand English, so every time I needed to tell them the street name for the line-up, they called me a lot to ask how to get there. I had to repeat the street name many times. When they repeated the street names, I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. Most of them didn't even have a cell phone, so it was very hard to contact them. I had to keep repeating the time; otherwise, they would get it wrong.
To go through customs in Seattle, I needed to have them go one by one, and only when a window opened; otherwise, they would block it. When the staff asked them to get back in line, they didn’t understand, because they didn't speak English. I became upset and thought that the aunties were dumb. However, I knew this was a cultivation opportunity. It was to test if I could get rid of the attachment of being impatient and looking down on others. It was to test if I could develop a peaceful mind and forbearance. I should not let the attachment control me; instead, I need to get rid of the attachment. As long as I still have these attachments, challenges will surface so I can get get rid of them.
Before the Seafair Parade, one practitioner was not paying attention and still had headphones on. I went over and criticized her. She became very upset. Afterward, I apologized to her. She said, “You are leading such a big group, so you need to cultivate yourself well. How can you criticize me and give me such a hard time?” I was really ashamed. I felt very bad. How could I let go of this attachment?
“Only a cultivator can see these things. Having seen it, you should try to do better, and this is the first step. Do your best. Of course you may be cultivating really well in other areas, but this area has come to light, so you should pay more attention to it and put in more of your heart and cultivate it away.” (“Fa teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference”)
The waist drum troupe all cultivate better than I do. They are so good at coordinating with one another. Sometimes, when I need to discuss something with them, they say, “You decide. We follow.” Whenever I became upset over some issue, they would compassionately overlook my misconduct. Even if I publicly scolded one of them, that practitioner would still smile at me the next time she saw me.
When I compared myself to them, I found that I still had many attachments. Because of their positive influence, I am able to make decisions very quickly. One doesn't hear negative things from the team, and everyone works together. We practice together, recite the Fa, and send righteous thoughts so we can do well.
In recent years, the parade routes have become longer, and more people have come to watch them; this is Master’s arrangement. We experienced a change: before, some people were hostile, but now, they put their hands in the heshi position and bow to us from the waist. Some even kneel down and kowtow to us. Some Chinese people call out, “Falun Gong! You are great!”
Almost all the parades we participate in are held in the summer, and everyone sweats heavily under the baking sun. Sometimes it rains hard, and we are drenched. But the weather cannot affect our steadfast righteous wish to assist Master to rectify the Fa and save sentient beings.
“Dafa disciples are Gods who have descended to the human world with the responsibility to assist Master in saving sentient beings, shouldering the responsibility of saving sentient beings in the lower realms.” (“Fa teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference”)
Let’s diligently cultivate in the limited time left, save sentient beings, assist Master to rectify the Fa, and save more people.
(Presented at the 2016 San Francisco Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)