European Practitioner: Improving Myself While Clarifying the Facts at a Tourist Site
(Minghui.org) For a few years, practitioners in our city have held activities at a tourist spot that attracts many visitors from China. We practice for almost three hours each day, seven days a week, for about five months in the summer. This requires dedication and sacrifice from all practitioners who go there.
We see more Chinese tourists every year, and several hundred pass by us each day. Some Chinese practitioners hand newspapers on the persecution of Falun Gong to Chinese tourists while Western practitioners do the exercises. Tourists from China are often surprised to see Westerners practicing Falun Gong.
We also hand out fliers in different languages to other tourists. After we explained Falun Gong and the persecution to many tour guides, we could hear some of them telling their groups, “This is Falun Gong, and it's persecuted in China...”
One practitioner saw in another dimension that our field was harmonious; the tourists who passed by us looked like practitioners as they entered our energy field, and their clothes looked like those from the 50s and 60s.
This year, we noticed that some Chinese are afraid to take materials from us. We realized that our exercises play a greater role in breaking through the propaganda that has prejudiced them.
Maintaining Righteous Thoughts
When I was doing the second exercise one day, I heard a group of Chinese whose tone was unpleasant and had bad energy. Irritated, I wanted to open my eyes and scold the tourists. Then I thought of what Master said:
“During qigong practice, you always add some bad thoughts. How can you say your practice will yield good results?” (Zhuan Falun)
I changed my thought immediately.
Cultivating Ourselves to Cooperate Better
We make every effort to make the exercises synchronized. When Chinese tourists commented that real cultivators should sit in the double lotus position, we corrected ourselves. This was, of course, a trial for us. Some elderly practitioners who could no longer sit in the full lotus position found it challenging. However, they took it as an opportunity for cultivation and began practicing more at home before coming back to the tourist site.
A practitioner who had pain in the body left for a while and then came back. The practitioner said after an hour of meditation, “I cannot really do this, but I do it anyway.” I saw the practitioner’s great heart to save sentient beings.
To improve our appearance, we began requiring practitioners to be more punctual and to sign up ahead of time as the location has limited space. We also asked participants to be mindful of their attire, including putting on socks and not wearing shorts or short skirts.
The coordinator at the site was obstinate in enforcing the rules and maintaining order, which led to conflicts with practitioners who felt that the rules should not apply to them for various reasons. As a member of our city’s coordination group that developed the rules, I supported the coordinator when it came to criticism.
However, when the coordinator began to call me several times a day, I was annoyed and could not control my temper. After a while, I could see the practitioner's great endurance, as they went to the tourist spot every day and took care of the place in all situations without complaining. I realized that I did not have nearly as much endurance and did not respect the practitioner. I had to increase my tolerance and patience. After enlightening to this insight, I managed to maintain my xinxing much better when the coordinator called me frequently.
After a series of conflicts, the coordinator could not stand it and completely stopped taking care of the tourist site. This responsibility fell to me. My first reaction was a lot of irritation and disappointment at the practitioner, but after looking inward I saw my reliance on the convenience of having someone who took care of everything. I called another practitioner, who promised to help take care of the tourist spot when I worked. I was often on site, so I could also drive to deliver the materials.
My understanding is that Master urges us to cooperate unconditionally. I also see how other practitioners and I set conditions on how we should be treated and to what degree others should have to cultivate to cooperate with each other. If I pull out of a project because my way is not accepted, I would be putting myself ahead of saving sentient beings and limiting my way to enlightenment. My understanding is that practitioners’ choice to follow Master and save people reflects their unconditional confidence in Master.
Paying Attention to Security
Once, a Chinese man came to the tourist site and told us he was a practitioner from Beijing. He was particularly outgoing, wanted to know everything about the practitioners there, and invited everyone for lunch. He spoke excellent English and began to talk directly with different Western practitioners. It turned out that he was in Europe to sell his tea, which he claimed to have healing effects.
Many practitioners became happy and received him with open arms. Others become a little suspicious. The Chinese coordinator talked to the man from Beijing and said that the group should be careful when interacting with him. We reached a common understanding that we should take security seriously.
Western practitioners often overlook this issue, as they grew up in a relaxed environment in which one does not have to hide anything from others. As the persecution is still going on, we should consider the safety of all practitioners. We should treat newly arrived practitioners from China with warmth but only talk about cultivation with them, not details about our group and our activities.
I think the practitioners who come every day, no matter what, are magnificent, and they have really saved a lot of people. I see our tourist site as a sacred place where we save people and cultivate our persistence in the process. I also realize that I should thank the practitioners who gave me difficulties and trials; without these conflicts, I would not have seen my attachments.