Canadian Practitioner: Following Master on the Voyage of Cultivation
(Minghui.org) I’m 74 years old. I was born in Vietnam and now live in Canada. I started practicing Falun Dafa in Autumn of 1998. At the experience-sharing conference in New York the year after, when Master appeared, I was convinced that I had finally met the master and the righteous cultivation way that I had longed for. I would like to share my 18-year cultivation and “following Master on the voyage.”
1) Discovering My Path of Cultivation While Introducing Falun Dafa to Newcomers
When the Chinese Communist Party started its persecution of Dafa, I had been practicing for only a few months. I didn’t understand Dafa in depth, I had only one thought in my heart: “The Buddha Fa is being attacked by evil. As a disciple, I have to safeguard it.”
At the time, there weren’t many practitioners around me. I don’t remember if there were coordinators. We only felt that we were one body with our fellow practitioners in China. They were being persecuted unjustly, so we as Dafa disciples outside of China should do something to counter the persecution and support our fellow practitioners.
We made flyers, handed them to the public, and distributed them in mailboxes. We did the Dafa exercises outdoors in busy areas with banners saying “Falun Dafa is good,” sometimes in small groups, sometimes alone. When activities were organized in other cities nearby, we took days off from work to go support them. We didn’t think much about our own cultivation or progress. When bad news came out of China or when I endured pain in meditation, I often cried thinking about our fellow practitioners in China.
One day around the Autumn of 2002, I was late catching a subway train. One lady approached and asked me, “Are you the person who meditated outside this subway?” I said “Yes!” She invited me to go to her community center to teach a Falun Dafa class. I accepted, thinking, “It’s a good opportunity to let people experience the goodness of Falun Dafa and to speak out about the persecution.”
I took this responsibility very seriously. I forced myself to study the Fa a lot and do the exercises regularly so as to be in good shape and correctly introduce the practice to others. I pay attention to both my demeanor and my thoughts so as to be worthy of being a Dafa disciple. I also keep in mind the principles established by our master: “serving others voluntarily, leaving no name and seeking no reward.” (Zhuan Falun)
Many years have passed. I continue to introduce the practice to newcomers four times a week in two places. Many people come to learn, and many later leave. Some newcomers have told me that during the exercises, they saw a rainbow, Falun, a heavenly palace, or Master’s fashen in the room.
There was a gentleman from Haiti who was 75 years old. The first week he came to our class, he excitedly asked, “I want to see the author of this book (Zhuan Falun) to ask a question.” We asked him, “What question do you want to ask Master?” He said: “I have been a spiritual researcher since very young. I know a lot of religious and spiritual practices. I want to ask him why the truth has been revealed to humanity only now?” The next week, he came and told us, “Teacher came to me in a dream. He said, ‘You wanted to see me. Here I am! Then he gave me a ‘dictionary’ and told me not to lose it.’”
Another gentleman told us, “I attended the Mass at church as usual. Jesus appeared in front of me and said, “Go to learn Falun Dafa!” A lady told us: “I am a naturopath. I can see ghosts and spirits in my patients’ bodies and chase them away!” Many of my new fellow practitioners seem to have a rich spiritual background unknown to me. We treat each other with a sincere friendship while cultivating and practicing together.
During these classes, we can feel Master’s presence guiding us all. Many cases of miraculous healing also occurred: shoulder and back pains, insomnia, and other conditions disappeared, either at the first practice session or later. One lady wrote that many of her family members died from intestinal cancer. She also developed the disease, but after six months of practicing Falun Dafa, she was cured.
Having witnessed so many marvelous things, some ask me if I have supernormal abilities. I said “No, I don’t have any. The only thing that Master allows me to see is this book, Zhuan Falun. Behind each line is all golden light.”
We encourage each other to learn Dafa seriously and respectfully. Some also ask how long I have practiced. I reply that in our practice, seniority doesn’t count; only true cultivation counts, because when we read the book, we have new understandings and feel like a brand new student starting at a new level. There is also interference of people from other practices, but under Master’s protection, it all went away quickly.
While moving forward in cultivation, I often support other practitioners’ Dafa projects. When our area started printing the French Epoch Times, I volunteered to distribute the newspaper in front of subway stations. Despite the wind and cold, as well as my formerly shy personality, I called out loudly, “Epoch Times, Epoch Times! Free edition!” People smiled and took the newspaper.
Later on, I became involved in selling ads for the newspaper, something I had never done before. Because I didn’t have a car or a beautiful appearance, I only worked at the office, where I used the phone and my writing skills to solicit advertising. It worked quite well, and I could feel the support from our Master.
When the Tian Guo Marching Band was formed in 2007, I enrolled as a flute player. A new friend who was supposed to teach us this instrument said, “I am sorry, I cannot take on the responsibility of teaching your group because you don’t know anything about music and you want to perform on the streets in three or four months!” I said to him, “Don’t worry! We are special!” In fact, we are truly special. In a few short months, we started to perform on the streets following the banner of Falun Dafa.
Thanks to our Master, my whole life as a Dafa disciple has seen many marvels beyond description.
2) Doing the Exercises and Clarifying the Facts in Chinatown
It has been two years since I stopped working at the Epoch Times, where I had worked for five years, and the Tian Guo Marching Band, which I had participated in for nine years. I want to dedicate my time to an outdoor exercise site in Chinatown.
This site is very strategic. It is located in the heart of our small Chinatown, which attracts tourists from all over the world, including China. Many people pass by every day. The spot is large, clean, bright and decorated in a Chinese style. It is a perfect spot for us.
For the past ten years, our elderly practitioners have lined up every afternoon to demonstrate the Falun Dafa exercises. In the summer, older Chinese people and Western families with young children come to bathe in the Dafa music. In the winter, our elderly practitioners sit on thin cardboard laid on the snow in the freezing cold. They meditate with their eyes closed and serene smiles. Inspired by their courageous example, I have reinforced my will to accompany them in the cold weather every day for two years now.
I often stand in front to distribute flyers and talk to the public. We also have large posters about the self-immolation hoax on Tiananmen Square, the karmic retribution faced by Chinese officials involved in the persecution in China, the wide spread of the practice around the world, and photos of torture faced by practitioners in China. Many Chinese tourists, in particular, stop to read them. These posters are so powerful that we were robbed of them one night. In the summer, young Chinese practitioners join us and encourage Chinese citizens to quit the Communist Party and its youth organizations.
I am not alone in admiring the scene of our elderly practitioners meditating–plum blossoms defying the cold, as Master describes them in Hong Yin Volume II. Many tourists squat down and take close-up pictures of them. I believe that after they return to their respective countries, they will show these pictures to their families and friends and talk about Falun Dafa. Therefore, our elders have made remarkable contributions to spreading the practice around the world and to clarify the facts to Chinese tourists.
When we inform Westerners about the persecution and the live organ harvesting of practitioners in China, some are horrified. They say to us, "Keep up your efforts!” Others would say, “We know this news from the Epoch Times” or “We admire your movement.” When we tell them that the terrible persecution will end when more people in the world know about it, they tell us, “You are doing the right thing. We support you!”
When people hear that Falun Dafa is taught for free, they show great interest in the flyers and promise to read more on the website. Some people say, “We love these three words: Truthfulness, Compassion, Tolerance.” Others say, “It is true that the mind and body are related!”
We feel happy for them as they are able to come closer to Dafa. A few people shed tears while pressing the flyer against their hearts; their knowing side already recognizes this precious gift for their life. There are also people who say they feel a great energy field coming from our group.
I have seen a big change in the attitude of Chinese who work in the neighborhood toward us. Previously, they showed visible disdain. Some spit in front of us and said, “Traitors!” Some asked scornfully, "How much do you get paid for this?” Most people took the other side of the road and pretended not to see us.
Now, after seeing the courageous forbearance of our elderly practitioners, their attitude has changed. Some ask us kindly, "Are you cold?” Others whisper to us, “We know Falun Dafa is good. The CCP is very bad. In the past, it always did these things, like the persecution of Dafa.” Some now wave to us from afar. We joyfully answer, “Ni Hao! Falun Dafa Hao!” (“Falun Dafa is good!”) They smile back, knowing I can only say that much in Chinese.
Nevertheless, a few Chinese still cast hateful glances at us, but the majority has become neutral and don’t take the other side of the road anymore.
Each day, when I accompany our elderly practitioners at this practice site, I feel happy and thank our Master for giving us such a good opportunity to save sentient beings and contribute to the Fa-rectification. Each day, representatives of the whole human society seem to pass in front of us: the rich and the poor, the elderly and the young, the sick and the healthy. Some show a face of suffering, while others are happy and confident. Some resemble my relatives, while others resemble those of fellow practitioners. All are lost in the world of delusion. My heart develops compassion for all and wishes that he or she can quickly receive this great Dafa.
I sometimes think: in ancient times, Buddha Shakyamuni’s disciples begged for food in the streets to awaken compassion in people’s hearts. Nowadays, Master's disciples do their best to save sentient beings while asking nothing in return. Our elderly practitioners, through their courageous and silent actions, demonstrate clearly the "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance" taught by our Master. They are achieving the goal of changing people’s hearts from intolerance to open-mindedness, from ignorance to support, from being lost in illusion to experiencing the joy of living!
At an advanced age and having assimilated to the Fa, many of my attachments from a young age have been worn off. I no longer have any interest in TV, newspapers, and ordinary books. I understand the principle of pollution and purity and that I must reach the required degree of purity to return home with Master.
Since the day I met our Master and Dafa, my life has become meaningful. Master has given me a path on which to go forward, and I am walking on this path the best I can. I understand that there are different Fa at different levels. I can only understand the Fa at my level and act accordingly. I am deeply grateful to Master for taking care of me and teaching the great Dafa to humanity. I am honored to help Master rectify the Fa during this unique historical period.
I also hope that young practitioners can cooperate well and use the abilities and wisdom bestowed by Dafa to help Master rectify the Fa. We cannot let Master down.