Experiencing Firsthand That Any Interference Is an Illusion
By a Falun Dafa practitioner in North America
Greetings, Master. Greetings, fellow practitioners.
I began practicing Falun Dafa in 2005 when I moved from Canada to Boston, and I have experienced many tests. I would like to share with you how I improved my xinxing while carrying out Dafa projects.
After the 2015 New York Fa Conference (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2015 New York Fa Conference”), maybe it was Master’s reminder or maybe I was ready, but I suddenly felt that my daily routine of going to work during the day, studying the Fa and doing the exercises in the evening, and making calls to China on the RTC platform at night, were not enough. In the past, I was anxious when I saw that some local projects had been put on hold for a long time, and I blamed the local coordinator. However, the coordinator was only a fellow practitioner and his time and energy were limited. How could he handle everything on his own? Because of my negative thoughts I focused on making calls to China and Shen Yun ticket sales. I said to myself: at least I am doing the three things that Master asked us to do.
However, one day after the 2015 New York Fa Conference, a thought struck me. If many sentient beings in the Boston area were not being saved due to our slacking off in cultivation, it was not just the coordinator's issue—every practitioner in the Boston area would be held accountable. Moreover, the coordinator is also a cultivator. How can I shirk my responsibility with the excuse that the coordinator did not ask us to do it? I am responsible for my own cultivation, and the beings meant for me to save are my responsibility.
I decided to take on a project on my own. In the following months, I went through a painful process of letting go of my attachments. I knew clearly that once I started, it would be a path filled with hardships and challenges, and that the easy and comfortable days were over. Thanks to Master's blessing, over the past two years, I have carried out several projects to clarify the truth to mainstream society and the state government. At the same time, with the help of local practitioners, I spearheaded an effort to clarify the truth at Harvard Square which continues to this day. I would like to talk about the Harvard Square effort.
Before July 20, 2016, I had a wish to organize truth-clarification activities at Harvard Square. Harvard University is a highly influential, world-renowned institution of higher education and it has long been the target for the Chinese Communist Party's overseas infiltration. I knew that we must reach out to the faculty and students, but for several years, not much was done. I decided to make up for it, so one day at the end of July 2016, I arranged for local practitioners to clarify the truth at Harvard's three entrance gates. During the activities, I met a lot of people. Afterwards, the other practitioners told me that they felt that we should continue to talk to people there because Harvard is so important.
At the time, there was some serious interference at a truth-clarification site at another university. I could sense the concerns of fellow practitioners. Regardless, I felt that saving people should be our top priority. I would not acknowledge the old forces, and I knew that Master would not let the old forces interfere. I knew that we must persevere because this is what is needed and what Master wants us to do.
Master arranges everything, after all. Soon after, fellow practitioners who had recently arrived from mainland China asked to participate in the Harvard project. So those of us who have full time jobs went to the sites during the weekend. Later, more practitioners joined in. The main entrance to Harvard University became a year-round truth-clarification site. During the peak summer tourist season, practitioners talk to many people.
As Fa-rectification progresses, the requirements for us to save people are also getting higher and higher. I realized that we should not only distribute materials on the streets, but also hold activities to reach out on a deeper level. So, on July 20, 2017, I organized a rally at Harvard Square calling for an end to the persecution. It coincided with the promotion of the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra. I did not want to affect the resources of the Shen Yun project, so I handled almost every detail from obtaining a permit for the event, as well as planning, drafting the host's presentation, setting up audio equipment, preparing truth clarification materials, staff coordination, and arranging for transportation. During this process, only one Western practitioner and my family members worked with me. Since this was the first time I organized a rally, I was concerned that I may have overlooked some details and I also feared that only a handful of people would attend. I felt intense pressure and was physically exhausted during the two weeks leading up to the rally. But I kept reminding myself that Master has sacrificed enormously to extend this time, and that every minute should be used to save as many people as possible.
Over 30 practitioners came to support the rally. Those who usually did not participate also came and played a leading role in talking to people. During this event, we talked to television program producers, corporate executives, Harvard professors and students, visitors from mainland China, and tourists from other countries. After reading our truth-clarification information many Chinese decided to withdraw from the Party, and many people learned about the persecution. From this, I realized once again the importance of having faith in Master and Dafa in the face of challenges, that our righteous thoughts can change everything and miracles can occur.
At the same time, I realized that supporting others, not complaining and putting in every effort is a process through which one can improve. How we go about doing projects may determine whether people are actually saved.
That morning, the sky was overcast and dark clouds threatened rain. By the end of our event the sun shone brightly from a clear blue sky! We all felt that we had cleaned up the negative elements in other dimensions!
Our event at Harvard Square once again made me feel the urgency of saving local people. During the 2017 New York Fa Conference (Fa Teaching at the New York Fa Conference on the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Dafa’s Introduction to the Public), I was fortunate to participate in a meeting for English language media. Australian practitioners discussed their successful experiences in reaching out to society's elite through truth-clarification films. I thought about organizing film viewings in the Boston area where more mainstream media could learn about the persecution. I had been thinking about it for a few months. With the successful Harvard Square event behind us, I decided to do something.
So, with the help of a Western practitioner, I contacted an independent film theater in Harvard Square. The application process was slow, and the theater staff were not responsive. We began to suspect that the CCP had paid the staff to not work with us. Just when it seemed hopeless, the theater gave us a very good showtime. We knew that it was all Master's arrangement. We felt that it was a test to see if we had strong righteous thoughts. The next step was promotion and marketing. The other practitioners and I agreed that we should promote the film and sell tickets, rather than make it a free event. Because our audience was mainstream society and the film has a serious human rights theme, free admission might not bring us the audience we desired. Selling tickets was not the issue; the key was promoting the film in the right places.
Australian practitioners helped us and suggested how to use social media to promote the screening. But it was not easy to get rid of fear and anxiety. I was concerned that there might be only a handful of audience members in the theater, which can hold over a hundred people. I was afraid that the guest speakers would face a nearly empty auditorium. When I thought of this potentially embarrassing scenario, a chill ran down my spine. I thought about delaying the event and even regretted inviting guest speakers. I knew that I was being interfered with. How could I eliminate my negative emotions and overcome my fears?
At this time, I thought of Master's teachings about looking inwards when challenges come. I knew that looking inwards is a magic tool, so I calmed down and searched for the root cause of my fear. Was it because I could not save people? Or was it because I did not want to lose money and, in particular, lose face in front of the guest speakers and fellow practitioners? When I used the standards of the Fa to examine my issues, I discovered my fundamental attachment—I could not let go of the desire to validate myself, my ego, self-esteem, fame, and money. With such impure motives, how could I save people? So I told myself that I must let go of my attachments to personal loss and gain. It should not matter if I lost face or money. Instead my focus should be on saving people. Having a pure heart and going all out is what's needed so that the old forces have no gaps to exploit. Then, Master will bless our efforts and miracles can happen.
The last ten days before the screening, my heart was calm and clear; I was no longer worried or apprehensive. If any doubts surfaced, I wiped them out with righteous thoughts. Actually, there was interference from the very beginning. Just one week before the screening, we had sold only three tickets (including one ticket I bought for my family). Our promotional site had been removed from YouTube. We advertised on public TV for only two days, then the ads stopped abruptly. There was little response to our invitations from mainstream media the first week, because the format was not professionally prepared. No one bought tickets. I told myself that this was an illusion and a test. I knew that our promotional strategy was correct. Saving people is not something money can buy. Complimentary tickets will not be considered valuable or important. I was determined to stay the course, carry out our plan, and follow Master’s arrangement.
During the final week, several local practitioners also joined in and helped us dash to the finish line. We continued to send invitations, visit mainstream organizations, and posted advertisements in places where people in mainstream society gather. I had only one thought: I will validate Master's Fa through my own actions– “When disciples have ample righteous thoughts, Master has the power to turn back the tide.” (“The Master Disciple Bond” from Hong Yin, Volume II) At this time, there were issues with my kitchen remodeling and I was asked to pay more to have the work redone. I knew that this was interference, but I was unmoved. I thought: “Everything can wait until the screening is over.” I felt that Master gave me a huge blessing in another dimension. Although I did not have time to do the exercises regularly and I could only study the Fa when there was a break here and there, I was able to keep strong righteous thoughts and felt calm. For two weeks, the systems I managed at work ran particularly smoothly, and no one asked me for technical support. This gave me time to promote the film at events, and I felt that this was Master's arrangement.
The weekend before the screening, practitioners called and told me that 13 people had bought tickets online. I felt that the power of the Fa was being manifested and that I should continue to work hard! On the morning of the event, I went to the theater to check the posting of our event announcements. The theater’s marketing department manager was there. He told me that he was shocked when he read the film’s introduction. He said that he couldn't sit and watch the film that night due to a back problem he had, but that he would fully support us and would send a streaming link to the theater’s mailing list. He also said that his back injury didn’t compare to the suffering of Falun Gong practitioners. After I heard what he said, I felt that, no matter how many people came to see the film, this activity was worth all the effort we put in!
Half an hour before the screening, 80 to 90 people came. Some could not find a seat on the first floor and had to go to the second floor. Apart from a small number of local practitioners, the vast majority were ordinary people: doctors, academics, members of human rights organizations, film producers, ordinary people, college students, etc. There were also students from mainland China. Except for some students who had free student tickets, the rest (about two-thirds) bought tickets online or at the door. Many viewers participated in the discussion after the film and expressed their desire to help us stop live organ harvesting through state legislative resolutions. Our promotional efforts paid off. At the crucial moment, compassionate Master helped us.
Mr. David Kilgour, one of the guest speakers at the event, told me, “You said that there might not be many people at this event. That's not true. With so many people buying tickets to watch the film, you should have more confidence in yourself and your activities.” I thought that Master was encouraging me through Mr. Kilgour’s words. Throughout the entire process, we held firm to our faith in Master and Dafa, and we felt that this was key to our success. Many practitioners saw the power of Dafa in saving people through this event. Non-practitioner attendees shook hands with me and thanked us for organizing the screening. They told me that without practitioners, no one in society would have organized this event and that I have to continue doing it. I felt that all my efforts and hardship were worth it.
Afterward, fellow practitioners sent text messages to congratulate me and said that through this event, many people understood the truth. For me, the most important thing is that many people were saved. What I am most pleased with is not that I received a lot of virtue by saving people, but that through this process, I validated the greatness of Master's Fa. From being uncertain, fearful, and lonely to being determined, upright and fearless, I truly experienced my cultivation being improved in the process. The greatness of the Fa is real, as long as you believe in Master and Dafa.
Time is limited. It is my hope that more practitioners can step up, let go of all concerns, take the initiative to undertake projects to save people, to practice and validate the Fa, and to experience the greatness of Dafa. It's just as Master taught us in “Teaching the Fa at the 2004 International Fa Conference in New York”, “What you will gain later on far exceeds what you put in, as much as that may be.”
One final note: the morning after our event, the construction company working on my kitchen told me that the problem was their mistake and they would fix it at their own expense. It was such a relief! This clearly showed me that all the interference we experienced was nothing but an illusion. It was used to test me at crucial moments. If we can be firm in our faith all the way to the end, Master will resolve everything for us. Let me end with a quote from Zhuan Falun,
“When it’s difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it’s impossible to do, you can do it. In fact, that is how it is. Why don’t you give it a try when you return home? When you are overcoming a real hardship or tribulation, you try it. When it is difficult to endure, try to endure it. When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible. If you can actually do it, you will indeed find, ‘After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!’”
Thank you, Master. Thank you, fellow practitioners.
(Presented at the 2018 Washington DC Fa Conference)