Cultivating while Coordinating Promotions for Shen Yun Shows
(Minghui.org) Greetings, revered Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
This year, Shen Yun had two shows in our city. Since there are only a few practitioners in our small city, many preparation tasks were given to me to coordinate. In my opinion, I had one of the most difficult tasks: to coordinate practitioners. It was not an easy task to constantly work with practitioners with very different characters and mentalities. But because of these big and difficult responsibilities, I was able to really feel what the improvement and enhancement of xinxing is.
I am infinitely grateful to Master for such a valuable opportunity for my cultivation. The xinxing tensions and trials came down on me like apples falling down in fierce wind. Sometimes, it even seemed that I could not stand all these tests. Sometimes, the tensions affected all areas of my life at the same time–in the family, between practitioners, and with other coordinators.
At the very beginning, I promised myself that I would use all tests and conflicts only to look inside and raise my xinxing. Of course, it was not always possible to do this easily and quickly, but I tried not to deviate from the obligation given to me and not to miss a single situation planned by Master. Every time, I asked myself: what else do I need to understand? What do I need to find inside? Where did it hide? How do I quickly remove it and move on smoothly?
One of the first tests for me was when I heard of the decision that all practitioners in nearby countries should support their own performances and that our local performances should be supported by ourselves. It seemed like a logical statement, but it should be noted that we managed to hold the first two performance tours of Shen Yun in our city exclusively with the help of practitioners from surrounding regions. I thought it was unrealistic to conduct all the necessary preparation with our own forces. Many of them are busy at work, do not have enough financial resources, or live far away. This decision, in my opinion, meant the preparation of Shen Yun here was a complete fiasco. I felt utter helplessness, resentment, and injustice. I was struck by a flood of negative thoughts.
Of course, some other practitioners around me did not miss the opportunity to add fuel to the fire; they also considered this decision absolutely illogical and questioned the success of Shen Yun in our city. I began to notice that this negative stream of thoughts washed away my positive energy. I wasted my energy on absolutely useless thoughts instead of concentrating on solving the problem and keeping positive thoughts. I realized that the old forces want us to waste our energy on controversies and struggle with one another. I said to these unrighteous thoughts, “Stop! I renounce you! I do not want to think about it anymore.”
In Zhuan Falun, Master said:
“Most people can, however, repel it and deny it by having strong, self-aware thoughts. This indicates that they are savable and can discern right and wrong; it means that their faith is strong. My spiritual bodies will then help them by eliminating a large proportion of their thought karma. What I’ve described is quite common. If it does occur, it is a test to see whether you can conquer the wicked thoughts. Hold your ground and the karma will be dissolved for you.”
It did not matter what the decision was; I would follow it. Criticizing and evaluating the actions of other coordinators were not my tasks. I trust only Master's plans, and he appointed them to be the coordinators. I did not want to have any negative thoughts about them. I only concentrated on how to do my best job–this was my main task. Suddenly, this negative stream stopped. Of course, some negative thoughts have repeatedly visited me, trying to occupy my mind, but all these attempts met my stiff rebuff.
Then, the situation changed. When Shen Yun was almost sold out in the nearby country, more and more practitioners from there came to our city to support us. Although we constantly felt the lack of manpower, I was able to improve myself in this process.
Tolerating Others’ Mistakes
When I left Ukraine and moved to Austria, I discovered a lot of communist factors in me that I had not even noticed when I lived in Ukraine. I realized that it was very important to study the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party, but it was even more important to improve myself and find and clean up unrighteous things imposed by the communist environment in the family, school, and society. One of these factors was the psychology of finding the culprit, or a scapegoat in other words.
My husband often pointed out this shortcoming of mine, saying that I wanted to find the guilty party in almost any conflict and unpleasant situation. At first, I did not understand what he was talking about, because in my opinion, in order to solve the problem, one must understand its roots. Therefore, an important point in this is to find the guilty one. But my husband always told me that a successful person takes responsibility, and I have read about it in different books. But still, even after I started to practice and study the Fa, I could not understand this principle. After all, a practitioner not only has to take responsibility for everything and not blame others but also look inside and raise his or her xinxing.
But the Soviet ideology taught just the opposite: there is always a guilty one. I saw this very clearly talking with a friend from Ukraine, who is not a practitioner. For example, she believed that if a mother was walking with the child and the child was sick, then it was the mother’s fault as she had overlooked something. I looked at her way of thinking from a different angle and was horrified to see the same thing in me; I realized that I always find the perpetrators everywhere and in everything.
One day, I heard an Austrian mother say to her child, who was obviously careless and therefore–it seemed to me–guilty: "Don’t worry, no one is to blame. It's just an accident." I was amazed at this difference in thinking.
Master told us:
“When a problem arises, do not try to find out who should be held accountable. Instead, you should examine your own conduct. Do not try to look into who wrote them. Take a lesson from it and be careful in the future.” (“Correction” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
But it's easier said than done. Changing our way of thinking, which had been imposed and formed over several decades, is not so simple in practice. I understood everything theoretically, but practically I thought the same old way.
I once heard a story from ancient China that was published on the Pure Insight website about how important it is not to blame others. One grandfather looked after his grandson, who played on the street. A horse-cart suddenly came and knocked down the boy. But the old grandfather said to the people in the cart, “It's okay, go ahead. You're in a hurry and didn’t do it intentionally.” When the child’s parents came home, the grandfather told them that the boy was very tired and asleep. The next morning, the boy woke up as if nothing had happened. I was moved to tears by this story.
When I began to coordinate the preparation for Shen Yun, I had to face the fact that practitioners make mistakes and sometimes serious mistakes. It always caused me a lot of negative thoughts and made me angry, especially when they were practitioners with whom I did not have a very good relationship or those who did not have credibility in my eyes.
One Chinese practitioner sent me a schedule of concerts, and I found many mistakes in it. Every time, it made me think negatively about this practitioner. I went to one of these events with another practitioner. It was very cold, and we stood near the concert hall exit and waited for people coming out to hand out Shen Yun leaflets. At the appointed time, very few people came out. It turned out that it was just an intermission; the end of the concert was actually an hour later. We did not wait for the end because it was already very late and cold, and the other practitioner had been on her feet all day.
It turned out that this practitioner wrote only the approximate time without specifying the exact time of the end of the concert. I was disappointed that we had gone there in vain. Negative thoughts and condemnation occupied my heart. I thought that she had problems in her cultivation, that obviously the evil had found loopholes and blocked us. But the other practitioner, who was with me at the concert hall, told me: "We must be tolerant of others’ mistakes. We are all practitioners, and no one is immune from mistakes." I dismissed these words at first, but when I got home and thought it over, I realized that Master was using this practitioner's words to point out my omissions.
I began to look inside and analyze why I was so rigid and intolerant of others’ mistakes. It turned out that it all came from my childhood, when my parents scolded me for any mistake or oversight. My father abused me psychologically for some of the mistakes again and again. Of course, it was karma that I had gotten rid of, but it also gave me the same attitude to other people. When I realized this, I felt good, and all negative thoughts dissolved. I could relate to such situations more easily.
A few months later, we went to the theater to distribute materials again. It was the last big concert just before Shen Yun. We had seven people in three cars. But when we arrived, it turned out that the audience had already left. We were half an hour late. In my defense, I told practitioners that this time they came out earlier, although in my heart I had a suspicion that I had mixed up the days. Arriving home and looking at the program, I was horrified to find that I had indeed confused the days and chosen the wrong time. I lay down on the couch; my heart grew so heavy that I did not want to do anything.
Of course, I realized that this was my omission. I could not forgive myself for this mistake since I did not forgive the mistakes of others. Since I did not improve fundamentally on this issue, Master created this situation especially for me to show me clearly that no one is perfect and that we can all make mistakes and have omissions. We should treat others' mistakes graciously.
In Hong Yin III, Master said:
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”)
Thank you, Master!Thank you, fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2018 European Fa Conference)