Cultivating as a Member of the Tian Guo Marching Band
(Minghui.org) Greetings, esteemed Teacher and fellow practitioners:
I joined the Tian Guo Marching Band in Paris in December 2006. At that time, we only played two pieces of music and had a couple of rehearsals each month to practice marching and playing together. I was amazed that one could play in a parade without aiming for perfection. I realized that each parade was a way for me to improve my skills and cultivation.
During the first parades I realized that I had an attachment to perfection and that I wanted everything to be top-notch.
Importance of the Tian Guo Marching Band
Before long, we started touring major European cities. When we returned from Copenhagen, I encountered a conflict with another practitioner. My feelings were hurt. After getting home, I spoke to Teacher in my mind, saying, “This band is an awesome project, but it’s not for me.”
Teacher took me to Tiananmen Square in another dimension, and showed me a magnificent scene of all the Tian Guo Marching bands in the world playing music together. All the practitioners were wearing the great Tang outfits. This experience helped me recognize the importance of the Tian Guo Marching Band. I told Teacher that I would not give up on it. I kept a clear image of this memory in mind. It is that vision that has carried me through the past 10 years. I also realized that it was important not to give up when facing a difficult or disturbing situation. Besides, I should look inward and purify the part of me that was not quite assimilated to the Fa standards.
Guided By a Benevolent Presence
I decided to print out one of my favorite music scores. A second thought told me, “Wait a second, this is way too hard, the notes are too high, and I don’t even know all of them. The melody is way too complicated for me anyway.”
Then, I was surprised to hear a voice telling me, “Let’s work on that piece together, shall we?” My first thought was that I really could not play it because the notes were too high, but I accepted the offer anyway.
The voice guided me through the first notes of the first bar, then the second bar, until I reached the end of the first line. I could feel being pushed by a benevolent and encouraging presence. After a few minutes, I could play the entire score. The encouraging voice continued to guide me through the part of the music that I had considered too complicated. Bar after bar, line after line, I managed to reach the end of the score. I learned how to play that piece in no time! I sincerely thanked Teacher for walking me through the score and teaching me how to play it.
Producing the Purest Sound
Our band played in Frankfurt alongside other bands from all over the world. The parade started in good weather, then it began to rain, and eventually poured. We were completely soaked, but continued marching and playing. Many other participating groups left the parade for shelter, but we went on. I witnessed how powerful, determined and diligent our group was.
Our first street parade in Poland took place in the Chinese community of Warsaw. As soon as we were dropped off, the weather started to change. With our first music notes came the first raindrops. We were soon soaked, with no sign of a break throughout the parade. I saw a battle between the good and the evil in other dimensions. Each and every sound that our band made was a deadly attack on the evil forces. It was spectacular! It was critical for us to concentrate and produce the purest sounds possible. I could see that the purer the sounds were, the more fatal they were to the evil forces. Our Tian Guo Marching Band played a leading role in the battle against the evil for more than three hours.
Experiencing the Power of Dafa
During a street parade in Northern France, a fellow practitioner suggested we recite Lunyu together before marching, with me reciting in French and her in German.
I was calm and focused at first, but felt increasingly restless and eager to finish first. I could not help reciting faster and faster, to the point I stumbled over my words. I realized I should let go of my attachment to competing. The fellow practitioner asked me to recite it again with her but at the same pace. She said she wanted to hear how it sounded in French. My mentality completely changed this time. As we were reciting it, I felt that “Lunyu” was like a sacred offering, and it was the most precious gift you could offer. I saw a great energy field around us. It expanded as we recited, reaching beyond the people in front of us and eventually beyond the buildings far away. I personally experienced the power of Dafa.
There was an email discussion regarding the languages we would use when studying the Fa in June of this year. We used up to 10 languages at some point, and I enjoyed hearing the Fa being read aloud in so many languages. Three days before our street parade in Germany, it was decided that we would only use Chinese and German. I was upset on hearing the decision. I sent powerful righteous thoughts to find the root of what had bothered me, and I realized that I needed people to acknowledge my importance. When we finally read, I was listening to the others read in Chinese, German and English while following them in my mind. The power of the Fa dissolved my anger and calmed me down.
After I returned to France, my hips started hurting whenever I walked. I tried to ignore it and convinced myself that it would go away. And it did. However, a sharp pain hit me the next day when I sat down to meditate. For the first few weeks, I looked for the reasons of the pain, but only focused on external factors. I thought it was probably due to those long trips in coaches and extended sitting during my band practice. As the pain continued, I could not meditate in the lotus position for an hour anymore, could not concentrate when sending forth righteous thoughts, and I was easily distracted when studying the Fa. I told a Chinese practitioner about it. She said, “I think you should look within yourself.” I finally stopped looking for external reasons, and found my craving for acknowledgment, which had led me to anger and resentment.
During our next street parades in Cambridge and London, I talked to a Chinese practitioner and told her that I would not be able to read the Fa in French during group study sessions. She suggested I start reading in Chinese instead, because that’s what we did in Paris anyway. I thought it would be a good idea. She got me a Chinese language copy of Zhuan Falun. I started reading in Chinese with all the other practitioners. I was shaken by this experience, and again, experienced the power of Dafa.
Forming the One Body
We spent three days studying the Fa and doing the exercises in Gerolstein, Germany in August. There were six French practitioners, and two of us were new. “Would we be able to study in French?” I asked. I really wanted to be able to read in French not so much for myself, but for the newcomers. The person in charge quickly scanned the room, and said that we would read in Chinese, German, English, as well as in French tonight. I was happy that the newcomers could participate. Looking back on my true motivation, I wondered whether my request to read in French was truly unselfish. I would say partially so. There was a little bit of grievance in me and a craving to be acknowledged and valued. It was my human notions.
The next day, we were about to practice the first four exercises in a huge outdoor stadium, when someone came up to me and said that we would not read in French today, but Chinese and German only. I said, “Sure, let’s do exercises first and discuss it later.”
The music started, but my heart could not stay calm. I was unable to control my thoughts and could not focus on the movements. Why did he come up to me right before the exercises? How come people cannot study in their own languages? I started making a mental list: First, everybody should be able to read in his own language, as it would help form the one body. I realized that what had brought us all together wasn't the music, but it was Dafa that brought us together, so that we could accomplish our mission. Suddenly, it dawned on me that I was wrong. Reading in Chinese and German would be enough for us to form one body.
“As a cultivatorOne always looks for one’s own faults’Tis the Way to get rid of attachments most effectivelyThere’s no way to skip ordeals, big or small[During a conflict, if you can remember:]'He’s right, And I’m wrong,'What’s to dispute?”
(“Who’s Right, Who’s Wrong” from Hong Yin III)
My heart quieted down. I could now concentrate on the exercises.
As soon as the exercises were over, the same person came up to me. To my surprise, his way of thinking was quite different this time. “It is important” he said, “that everyone should read in their own language.” He explained many reasons, which were in line with my thoughts.
I would like to thank Teacher and all the practitioners who have helped me find my attachments and purify myself.
(Presented at the 2017 European Fa Conference)