(Minghui.org) More than 100 members of the Toronto Divine Land Marching Band, all Falun Dafa practitioners, attended an experience sharing conference in Scarborough on July 3, 2016 to celebrate the band's 10th anniversary. Sixteen band members gave prepared talks, sharing their stories of cultivating within the band environment.

The Toronto Divine Land Marching Band held a 10th anniversary experience sharing conference in Scarborough on July 3, 2016

Band members sharing their experiences with the group

13-year-old Clarinet Player: Learning to Act in Concert

Steven plays clarinet and joined the band two years ago. He also plays in his small school band where each member is at the same skill level and they all have great rapport with each other.

However, The Divine Land Marching Band is a large, 100-member marching band. At first, Steven felt that the music was so easy that he didn't pay much attention to practicing and he often skipped the rehearsals on weekends. The result was that he couldn't play in unison with the other members.

Being a Falun Dafa practitioner, he knew that he must look inward to find the issue. He found out that he thought himself more skilled than the others and often looked down on fellow band members when he heard someone play a wrong note.

A fellow band member once shared that one must cooperate with others and shouldn't just think of oneself. Steven was very moved by that insight.

“I realized that the band has 100 members. If everyone plays at his own speed, it would be total chaos,” Steven said. So he listened carefully for other people's rhythm and tried to assimilate his playing with the whole group.

While he could still hear a wrong note occasionally, he learned to point it out to his fellow member kindly, and didn't let the notion of looking down on others take control of his heart.

Band Coordinator: Cultivating Myself and Treasuring Each Member

Tianyu, a graduate student at the University of Toronto, plays French horn and is one of the band coordinators.

She spent a lot of time trying to improve the skills of her group members. However, the more she pushed, the more difficult it seemed to achieve a uniform sound. This was especially the case with a band member around her own age who appeared to not listen to her.

Tianyu tried to share with this band member but was immediately rebuffed. She was troubled by the situation for a whole week, and kept thinking about how she could bring this musician up to the speed.

Later, Tianyu learned about the difficult upbringing and living situation of this band member, and she began to look inward for the origin of the problem.

She realized that she was more concerned about everyone following what she wanted, instead of forming a unified whole. Even when she tried to share with the fellow band member, her own ego was in the forefront.

After she put down her ego and began to treat everyone with compassion and fairness, the rehearsals and parades became smooth and successful.

Tianyu realized that she should not judge a fellow practitioner or even a non-practitioner. She must instead cultivate herself to find true compassion.

After the experience sharing conference, a concert was held from 4:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m.

The Divine Marching Band is made up of Falun Gong practitioners from all walks of life, including engineers, computer programmers, college students, graduate students, court interpreters and homemakers.

Over the past decade, the band has given more than 300 performances in Canada and the United States. The band members wish to display the beauty of Falun Dafa through their music.