How Promoting Shen Yun Offered Us Cultivation Opportunities
(Minghui.org) I moved to a different state in 2017. As the population there is fairly large, we are fortunate to have Shen Yun Performing Arts perform in our area.
Since there are only a few local practitioners, some from another state helped us put up posters, distributed fliers, and assisted during the performances.
Last year we had five shows, which was one more than the prior year. After we printed a large number of posters, we discovered that we lacked manpower because the practitioners from the other state wouldn't be able to help this time, since their Shen Yun shows were scheduled at the same time.
A Rocky Start
The local coordinator asked me and James, a Western practitioner, to organize the poster distribution. James and I had worked together the previous year. It went smoothly, especially since the practitioners from the other state came twice to help us.
James and I decided to organize local practitioners to put up posters every Saturday during October and November. Most have full-time jobs, but I thought going out one day on the weekend shouldn't be a big burden.
We sent out email notices about the importance of putting up posters and its relationship to ticket sales. We also phoned everyone.
That first Saturday, very few people showed up. We could only form two groups: one consisted of my father, my son, and myself. The other consisted of James and two college students. The rest of the practitioners did not come for all sorts of reasons, such as having meetings, going on trips, taking care of children, busy with other Shen Yun promotion tasks, and so on.
Our two groups went out. It did not go smoothly. Many shops only allowed us to leave some fliers but refused to let us put up posters. My father kept saying, “This year is much harder than last year. I wish more practitioners would come out, at least one person from each family. Where is everyone?”
I couldn't understand why more practitioners did not participate. Where I used to live, practitioners were very proud to have Shen Yun come and felt honored to help hang posters. They went out every weekend to distribute materials. In this city, most practitioners spoke fluent English and had cars. It shouldn't be difficult for them to participate, should it?
I began having negative thoughts and complaints. I thought, it would be hard to finish posting all the posters we printed in time even if every single local practitioner helped. With so few people, there was no way we could finish. I even thought, “It's okay, I tried my best. It wouldn’t be my fault if we can't distribute all the posters.” I felt it was the coordinator's fault for printing so many. I even thought I would not agree to lead this effort next year.
During that period, I was memorizing Zhuan Falun and reading Master's new lectures. I also listened to practitioners' sharing on the Minghui website. I realized I was wrong to have those negative thoughts and that they were reflections of my selfishness and jealousy.
“When a person harbors resentment it’s because he has grown fond of hearing pleasant things and having things go well. And then when things don't go that way, he resents it. You can’t be like that, if you think about it. You can’t go about cultivation that way, can you? I have always taught that a practitioner should look at things in the opposite way of how people normally do. When things go badly for you, you should see it as good, and understand that it’s meant to help you rise higher. [You should think,] “I’ve got to handle it well. This is a test for me to cultivate through, another test.” And when things go well for you, you should remind yourself, “I can’t get too happy. When all is well, I can’t improve and can easily slide downward.” So to cultivate you have to look at things in reverse. But if you always push away and reject the difficulties and unpleasant things that come your way, then you are refusing to cultivate through your tests and turning down chances to make progress, aren’t you? The persecution we face is a different matter, of course.” (“2018 Fa Teaching Given in Washington, D.C.”)
I found my righteous thoughts: Shen Yun is for saving people, and we must do the promotion well.
Remembering to Cultivate
Every week James and I called and reminded the other practitioners to help with the posters. In order to encourage them, we shared our experiences, along with photos showing our posters displayed. Gradually, more practitioners started to help.
The end of November approached. The number of posters we hung up was far less than we had originally planned. James often texted me asking how many posters were left. One day I became impatient and I replied, “There's no need to keep counting how many posters we have and haven’t done! Just look at the maps and see how many areas we've covered. Our goal is to save people, not just finish a task!”
What I actually meant was, “There's no need to keep counting. We won't be able to finish all of the posters anyway. Let's just get the more important areas covered.”
I was surprised when James shared what I said with the others. He told them that what I said was helpful. He said he was very worried that we wouldn't be able to finish all the posters. My message reminded him that we should focus on saving people instead of the number of posters we distributed.
I remember that when I first began helping with the Shen Yun promotion, I thought I was helping the local coordinators. I later understood that saving people is my responsibility as well. When the coordinator assigned an area to me, I felt the responsibility. I knew the people there were waiting for me to bring them the news that Shen Yun was coming.
I usually carried the posters in my bag. When I entered a shop, I handed a flier to the clerk, briefly introduced Shen Yun, and then asked if I could hang up a poster. I only took out the poster after they said yes. One day, I suddenly thought to hold a large poster in my hands when I entered a shop. I showed the clerk the poster and directly asked if I could post it in their shop. This change made a big difference. Most of shop owners agreed. The number of posters I hung increased dramatically. I realized the energy the Shen Yun poster carried had cleaned up the environment.
I no longer focused on the number of posters we distributed. Every day I read the teachings, did the exercises, and did my work. My father would check the maps and routes in advance. He drove and stopped in front of a shop. I simply got out and went in. One shop after another, I hung up posters and left fliers.
Sometimes, when I showed the poster to the clerks, they said they had wanted to watch Shen Yun for many years. One day, as soon as I entered a shop, the lady behind the counter exclaimed, “It must be a miracle! I was just thinking about Shen Yun yesterday!” In some shops, the Shen Yun posters from the previous year were still up. I knew that many people were waiting for Shen Yun!
At the end of December, James and I checked the poster status. We saw that many practitioners had gone to hang posters during the holidays. Our group effort improved after I eliminated my attachment!
By January, the ticket sales went so well that we added another Shen Yun performance.
We began our second round of poster distribution. More local practitioners joined, and one lady who did not drive carpooled with others and put up posters every day. A practitioner who worked in a large company went every evening after work. James arranged special route maps for her. A practitioner who had to take her children to classes on Saturdays distributed posters on Sundays. Several practitioners who lived far from the large city put up posters in their local cities. Several practitioners said they noticed that this year many Chinese shop owners had begun to accept our posters.
My father and I hung posters during the week. One afternoon, we came to an old town. I quickly visited several shops. Many of the clerks warmly welcomed me and thanked me for bringing them the news about Shen Yun. I suddenly had the feeling that they had been waiting for me for a very long time. We made this agreement long ago: One day I would look for them and bring them the message of how to get saved.
At that moment I remembered a song written by a practitioner, “To Master Li on Falun Dafa Day”:
“We came for the sentient beings!Without fear, we descended into suffering to help Teacher rectify the Way”
When we returned home that evening, my father told me we had posted a record number of posters for a single day.
Two weeks before the Shen Yun show, I saw James’s message to the group, “There are no posters left.” We had posted all of them!
I never expected this could happen. How did we manage to distribute thousands of posters? It must be a miracle! I truly believe Master created this miracle when he saw that we had improved our xinxing and worked as one body.
Our 2019 Shen Yun shows were a huge success. Afterward, the local coordinator said it was the best year we had ever had.
I thank Master for giving me the opportunity to join the Shen Yun promotion and improve during the process! I also thank all the practitioners from other areas for their selfless help!