Fulfilling My Responsibility to Bring People to See Shen Yun
(Minghui.org) I live in Hanoi. I heard about Falun Dafa in August 2015 while I was visiting my family in the Czech Republic. I stayed with my older brother and two sisters for about three weeks, and during that time I was immersed in Dafa. My brother, sisters, and nephews were all practicing.
Every night we practiced the five exercises and read Zhuan Falun. I did not have a deep understanding of the Fa then, but I knew that everyone around me was very diligent. They always spoke about Master Li and Dafa with deep respect. I understood that Dafa is good for everyone but I did not have a very deep understanding beyond that.
I heard many amazing stories about Dafa and was very impressed. I thought that I also wanted to take part in activities to tell people about this wonderful practice.
Life Becomes Harmonious
After returning to Vietnam, I practiced the exercises every night at home. My two children started practicing with me and my husband soon joined us. We began studying together and listening to Master’s lectures. I became immersed in Master’s teachings. I began to look within and improved myself to be an even better person.
My home environment became more harmonious – we no longer fought or competed with each other, and everybody became tolerant and supportive. No longer did I feel that I was always on the losing side and suffering. I learned to change my point of view as my life became one of cultivation - finding joy in hardships which is necessary to pay back my karma.
I also understood that the way Falun Dafa was guiding me could alter my path of life by actively dissolving my karma through hardships I experienced during cultivation. I would be able to return to my true home, elevating via cultivation practice to ascend beyond the three realms and this human life full of suffering. I would be able to reach a celestial world, the world of Buddhas, Taos, and Gods.
I knew the cultivation path would be arduous, requiring me to be determined, diligent, patient and always improving. I understood the difficulties in cultivation about continuously getting rid of my own attachments. I need to always follow Zhen–Shan–Ren (Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance) while having high standards of behavior, which is not easy.
My First Cultivation Challenge
I have run my own international tour company since 2009. Sometimes I travel as a tour leader with Vietnamese tourist groups when they travel to other countries.
About five months after I started cultivating, I had a huge xinxing test. It was the 2016 Lunar New Year and a very difficult lady signed up for an Australian tour organized by my company, with another 36 guests.
After the tour ended, most of the guests were happy, but this customer complained from the very first day about the service. She caused endless problems and encouraged the other guests in the group to collect evidence to sue our company. She swore at my tour guide and treated him despicably, like a servant.
The tour executive in Australia was so disgusted by her behavior that he threatened to take legal action against her – and for a while she kept quiet. But by the time we headed back to Vietnam, she encouraged two more female guests to vent all their anger on me and the staff in Vietnam. She threatened to destroy my company's reputation, demanded a refund for the tour, and threatened to hire thugs to beat us up if we didn't agree to her demands.
I was shocked. I also felt very sad and angry and couldn’t understand how someone could be so outrageous and troublesome. I was not scared of the threats but I knew it would be very difficult financially to pay the huge refund she demanded.
If I had not been a cultivator and still possessed an everyday person’s mindset, I would have argued with them - determined to find out who was right and wrong.
After a few days of reflection with a heavy heart, I remembered that I was a cultivator, and I started to see the event as a test for my xinxing. I thought it might be a debt I needed to repay. From another point of view, as Master taught, I also need to endure if I am bullied, which means I can get virtue and my gong will increase. It was also a lesson about tolerance. Master teaches us not to fight back when you are beaten or sworn at. Was I able to tolerate this situation as he asked?
I started to change my thinking and thought about it from this lady’s point of view. I could understand why she was so upset and angry because she was threatened with legal action by the Australian director. She was treated in a manner that said: “The customer is not always right,” which was not what she expected.
I humbled myself and wrote her a letter of apology. I even thought that I should mentally prepare to face and tolerate her harsh words. However, she did not agree to meet me and she did not accept the apology. She said it was not enough to just say “sorry” and that she would only be satisfied when her money was refunded. So I decided to pay her and the other two customers back in full.
Soon afterward, I realized that all my feelings of sadness, anger, and injustice had disappeared, and were replaced with a feeling of lightness and serenity. I had a better understanding of the principle about taking personal gain and self-interest more lightly, and always improving my xinxing according to Dafa’s principles. I was better prepared for future events, understanding that they are tribulations on my cultivation path. This experience provided me with profound understandings about xinxing tests.
Finding My Cultivation Path
In May 2017 I attended the U.S. Falun Dafa Conference. It helped me elevate a lot and improve my understanding of what I should do to save people. I did not worry too much about introducing the practice, but instead I paid more attention to clarifying the truth about Dafa and the persecution so that more people could be saved.
I began to understand why it was arranged that I work in tourism and why I organize tourists to visit different countries. Before I began practicing, when I came across practitioners talking to people at tourist sites, I wondered why they always talked about the persecution.
But when I become a practitioner, I understood the real meaning of truth-clarification - the responsibilities and missions cultivators have to save their sentient beings. I feel very touched to know what fellow practitioners have done, being unmoved in all types of weather and facing all types of attitudes and responses from tourists, including those who had wrong understandings as I used to have.
After I came back from the U.S. conference, during tourist trips, I clarified the truth to the whole group. If I don’t manage to do this, or if I miss someone, I feel regretful for not completing my mission.
Depending on the nature of each tour group, I either clarify the truth to the whole group at the same time or to each individual. If I really want to clarify the truth to them from my heart, it will be arranged and I will have a chance to do it. I remember Master saying that we should say things in a way that each person can relate to and not put people off by talking at too high a level.
Sometimes I deliberately take the tour group to a truth-clarification site and I speak as an outsider about the things practitioners are doing. I explain to them why Falun Gong practitioners are telling the world about this persecution and calling for support to stop it.
Bringing People to Shen Yun
Before I began practicing my brother urged me to go see Shen Yun Performing Arts and to bring our parents. He said it was the best performing arts show in the world. I trusted him and I went to see Shen Yun for the first time in Melbourne in 2015. Later, after I obtained the Fa and read all of Master’s teachings and listened to fellow practitioners’ sharing, I understood the importance of saving sentient beings through Shen Yun.
From that time, I wanted to take tour groups to see Shen Yun. That was my biggest wish but where would I find the tourists? How could I coordinate with fellow practitioners to do this? I had many questions and I really didn't know where to start.
At the end of 2017, I organized various tours for people who wished to see Shen Yun in Australia, Japan, and Taiwan. I was very happy to cooperate with other practitioners. Despite many hardships, and working for days without adequate food or sleep, whenever I thought that a little more effort from me could save another person, I made myself get up and continue my work.
Pushing Through the Interference
During the process of organizing these tours, my health was interfered with. Sometimes the interference came as a series of lymph nodes in my neck that made my throat ache and it was difficult to eat or drink. The interference made me want to rest and not do anything. I quickly realized it was interference from the old forces trying to stop what I was doing. I became more serious in studying the Fa and practicing the exercises and sending forth intensified righteous thoughts. After one day all the symptoms almost disappeared.
Another time I suddenly had a severe headache that was so bad that I felt like I wanted to give up. I knew it was important so I didn't stop working because a lot of things were waiting for me to finalize. I suddenly remembered that I was Master's disciple. I would not allow any evil to interfere with my body. When this thought appeared, even without saying it out loud, I instantly felt something like an electric current going from the top of my head and the pain disappeared immediately.
It was my miraculous experience of believing in Master and the Fa, and this reminded me of Master’s teaching: "When disciples have ample righteous thoughts, Master has the power to turn back the tide" (‘Master-Disciple Bond’ - Hong Yin II).
I understood that if our righteous thoughts are always strong, Master can protect and help us. I continued to work without stopping.
Sometimes a group of guests wanted to cancel the tour a few days before departure. I found out the cause and asked the other practitioners to look inward, keep strong righteous thoughts, and eliminate the negative factors that were blocking people from coming to see Shen Yun.
The other practitioners looked within. As a result, the groups stopped canceling. We worked well together and understood each person's responsibility.
I also remembered to study the Fa and practice the exercises so that my energy was strengthened. Only with the power from Dafa, can I do well my work of saving sentient beings.
After the 2018 season finished, we’d helped several hundred tourists to see Shen Yun. The tours to Taiwan were very successful, but the tours to Australia and Japan did not attract enough customers, resulting in financial losses. I recognized my shortcomings.
For example, I was tired after many days of intensive work, arranging guests into groups to travel to Taiwan. When everything was nearly done, I turned my attention to the groups traveling to Japan and Australia. At first, the number of visitors was enough, so I did not plan to establish new groups and find more guests to have in reserve in case someone canceled.
When I reconfirmed with practitioners about the groups of guests who registered so that we could start the application and visa process, for various reasons several groups postponed, canceled or changed to another tour company without seeing Shen Yun. In addition, some guests did not meet the visa requirements. The number of guests then dropped to only half the expected number.
I was very worried because I had already paid the deposit for their flights, and it was time to pay the money for the tour overseas. In a very short time, I had to make decisions under all kinds of pressure. I really needed the help and the support of the whole group.
After many phone calls, I realized the other practitioners only seemed to be interested in tours to Taiwan because they were cheap and the visa process was simpler; it was easier to get customers than with the higher-priced tours to the other countries. At that time, I felt as though I was working completely alone. I felt exhausted and depressed because it seemed there was no one to help me.
After a lot of hesitation, I decided to continue with the tours and do my best even though I would lose more money than if I simply canceled the tour. I resolved to accept the losses because I understood that I was helping Master to save sentient beings, not just organizing a tour to make a profit. From that perspective, the importance of the tour could not be measured in monetary terms.
When I reminded myself about the importance of what I was doing, I felt energized again and I continued to try non-stop. I called on other practitioners for help and I sent forth righteous thoughts continuously. Gradually the number of visitors increased to half the number originally expected, and I quickly completed the final procedure for the departure group. I was regretful that about five or six days before departure, when there was no time left to apply for any more visas, the number of people rushing to register increased beyond what we’d initially expected but by then it was too late to accept them.
Looking inside, I knew I too often looked at things from my own standpoint. My righteous thoughts were sometimes weak, especially when I did not trust the team. It felt like I worked alone. Speaking of the whole body, we need to build a group that is willing to cooperate unconditionally. We need to keep righteous thoughts, always get rid of the human mindset and contribute to the common goal - always learning from lessons together and trying to do better.
In early 2019, we started planning for about 1000 to 1200 tourists to see Shen Yun, and we had thought we would try to do better and attract more customers compared to last time. However, many tribulations occurred which affected our customers, as well as the arrangement of tours. Sometimes I worried - feeling stuck and not knowing how to move forward, but I understand that nothing is coincidental and there are reasons behind everything.
I understand more clearly the fight between good and evil to save people. When Dafa disciples want to save sentient beings, the price of a being will be exchanged with much sweat and tears, with a great deal of effort and persistence, even though on the surface everything looks calm.
I will continue to try harder to fulfill my responsibilities, and always try to be diligent, so that I am worthy of Master’s immense grace!
Thank you, benevolent MasterThank you, fellow practitioners
(Presented at the 2019 Australia Fa Conference)