Greetings, Master!Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I have been a Falun Dafa practitioner since February 2000. I am the only practitioner in my state. I would like to share some of my truth-clarifying efforts and also about my cultivation experiences throughout my journey.
My state is a very big state with a small population compared to other states, and the cities are far apart. Since it's not feasible for me to travel long distances, I have used other means to clarify the truth to government officials.
I have two senators and one congressman in Washington D.C. I always send their staff information that is suggested to keep them updated on Falun Gong. Even though most of the staff are not that communicative, I keep sending them information and invitations to Dafa events. I make appointments with the staff of our senators and congressman for our Washington D.C. practitioners to meet with so they can explain resolutions and keep them updated about our progress.
Last summer, a staff member of one of my senators was not communicating when I was trying to make an appointment for our D.C. practitioners to meet with him. Even phone calls didn't work. I decided that the best way to get a response was to get support from the people of my state through the online petition for the senate resolution at that time.
I emailed all my state senators and sent them the resolution with a request to sign the petition and to encourage our U.S. senators to co-sponsor it. If they didn't have email addresses, I would call them. Most were very kind and supportive. I also sent a letter-to-the-editor to all the newspapers in my state explaining about the resolution and asking people for their support in signing the petition.
This was also around the time of our local fair in our area. I always have a booth at our fair for five days, which is a good opportunity to talk one-on-one to people. I think it's important for people to understand Falun Dafa, the persecution, and then ask them to sign the petition so they know what they are signing. It was challenging since I was the only practitioner. However, I did my best and got a significant number of online petition signatures which were all sent to the senator.
As an added bonus, Master also arranged for the senator to be at a local event in our area. I knew I had to go to the event and hand him the resolution personally. I wrote him a letter explaining Falun Dafa and the resolution and attached it, along with a Minghui International magazine. I had no problem approaching him and telling him about the senate resolution and handing it to him. He said he would look into it.
I wrote the staff member of that senator, telling him that I had personally given the senator the resolution and asked the staff member for a response. I immediately heard back, thanking me and that he would be sure to take a look at the resolution and looked forward to being in touch.
I think I overcame a lot of fear through this experience. I know Master arranged all of it as it was perfectly timed. I knew what I needed to do and I just plunged in and didn't have time to make excuses for myself. It also took a lot of righteous thoughts. When a practitioner's mind intent is strong, nothing can get in his way.
I am always trying to find creative ways to clarify the truth in our area. With just me, I cannot hold large-scale events so I focus on what I can do on my own. I can do health fairs and also our local fair works very well. Most fair vendors can't believe I do it by myself, as it is morning until late evening for five days. It is only because Master gives me the energy that I can do it. Since I've been there for so long, I always see a lot of supportive friends and it is always nice when people come to you to find out more about the practice and have their questions answered. In the early days I would get strange looks as people didn't understand what we were about. Through the years it has changed and people now know that Falun Dafa is a good practice and they are supportive. It pays to have a steady presence in the community.
I also find that distributing The Epoch Times newspaper is a good tool. I do work at the airport and they let me take the paper through security where everyone relaxes before taking their flight, which is a great opportunity to read The Epoch Times. I also distribute the paper to our mayor, city council, and city manager as well as our local U.S. government official offices.
I also like to send emails to my state senators and congress members with updates about Falun Dafa every once in a while. I get some very supportive feedback. Also writing a letter to the editor to all newspapers in our state is a great way to clarify the truth. I do it two to three times a year. The larger newspapers will call me to confirm that I wrote the article and when they do that, I am pretty certain they will publish it.
Another way that I use to introduce Dafa whenever I go to town is to give out handmade folded paper lotus flowers. I have been told by different people that they see so many lotus flowers in our valley hanging in people's cars, at their workplace or their workstations. I can't count the number of hugs, tears and “you've made my day” that I've received when I give them out. Sometimes I hesitate when I give them to men, but I've found that most of them love them just as much as women do. I make the tags and besides the words on the front which say, “The world needs Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance,” with our website on the back, I have a story about the purity of the lotus flower. People handle them with such care and sacredness.
I have had a practice site throughout my years of cultivating where I share the exercises and meditation every week. Unfortunately, people are not interested in reading Zhuan Falun and only come for the exercises. People come and go but I figure with new people, even though they do not become practitioners, they do get the opportunity to know and understand Falun Dafa.
Memorizing the Fa
I have never been good at memorizing so I never thought I could memorize Zhuan Falun. My self-esteem has never been very high and I just never thought that I could do it. I would read articles of how practitioners improved from memorizing and I really wanted to also. I finally got to the point where I was so determined that nothing was going to stop me. So over a year ago, I started in.
At first, I was lucky if I could memorize one paragraph or less at a time. I just kept it up no matter how difficult. What I found with memorizing is that it really makes you concentrate. I would read a sentence over and over and then go on to the next one. My understandings of the Fa started to go deeper. I then got up to memorizing two paragraphs. Some days it seemed pretty easy but other days it was all I could do to keep going.
I think the secret is determination. It doesn't matter if it's easy or difficult, the most important thing is not to quit. I am now able to memorize one page in a 45 minute period per day and then I read the Fa normally for at least 15 minutes or longer, depending on my time. When memorizing, I just make sure I totally understand the sentence and then move on to the next. I think my deeper understanding has helped me to stay diligent. I also join three online Fa-study groups per week which helps me to stay connected with studying the Fa with a group. I always get my exercises, meditation and Fa study in every day without fail. I just wouldn't feel right if I didn't.
A Desperate Situation in a Foreign Country
My husband and I recently went to Bhutan and India, because it was his desire to see those places to celebrate his 75th birthday. While in India my husband got very ill. The hotel doctor sent him to the hospital and he was diagnosed with a virus. Though advised to stay in the hospital, my husband decided to go back to the hotel, as we were leaving the next day with our group to go to our next city. When I came back to the hotel room, he had no energy and couldn't even lift his head or speak. I started to get very worried. He was in no condition to leave the next morning with our group. I was sending righteous thoughts but I knew I had to do more. I called on Master for guidance. At that point, he was in such bad shape that I was worried that he was in a very serious situation and may not make it.
All of a sudden I knew what I needed to do. However, I was hesitant. My husband is supportive of Dafa, but I wasn't sure how he would react to what I was about to tell him. I was afraid that he might think I was being over-zealous and that it may even give him a wrong impression about Dafa. However, I then decided that I had no choice. If I was a diligent practitioner and trusted Master, I knew that this was what I needed to do. Without hesitation, I then knelt by his bed and softly said, “There is a way for you to get better. If you sincerely recite from your heart 'Falun Dafa is good, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good,' it could help change things around. You must truly believe it and not just say it.”
I asked him if he would repeat those words. He said that he would and so I left him alone. A while later I asked if he was still repeating those words. He said that he was. A couple of hours later he was feeling better. I thanked Master and continued to send righteous thoughts. He slept through the night, and in the morning he was over his extreme weakness and was able to dress, pack his suitcase, and we went to breakfast. He was most certainly well enough to join our group to leave for the next city.
I don't know what would have happened if I hadn't called on Master for help. To be sick in a third-world country so far from home is very worrisome. I also realized that this was a huge test for me to one-hundred percent trust. I also kept repeating that Master was always by my side and I had nothing to worry about. That helped me to stay balanced and not think of the negative.
Words cannot express how grateful I am to Master. It also confirmed that we must look at everything we encounter from the perspective of the Fa and trust that as long as we are diligent, the best outcome will happen. I learned, when encountering tribulations, to put our entire trust in the Fa.
With such busy activities each day when traveling I used to worry about doing the three things well. However, I have learned that if I have the intent, Master always arranges for me to get my practice in. Sending forth righteous thoughts is difficult with time changes, but I make it a point to make it up if I miss the correct time.
I do work for a Dafa project, which takes a great deal of my time but it is very rewarding and I feel very privileged to be able to participate. As long as I stay in balance and strive to live by the Falun Dafa principles, everything somehow seems to always get accomplished. It's all about being diligent and trusting and honoring my commitment to Master.
I am not one of those practitioners who has had a lot of third-eye experiences or visions. But I know deep down in my heart and soul that I made a promise to Master that I would be a diligent practitioner in the Fa-rectification period. That is all I need to remember to stay diligent. Without the Fa I am nothing.
Thank you, Master, for always being by my side.
(Presented at the 2018 Washington DC Fa Conference)