Stockholm: Falun Dafa Practitioners Improve Together at Experience-Sharing Conference
(Minghui.org) The 2019 Swedish Falun Dafa Experience-Sharing Conference took place in Stockholm on September 29. The two hosts opened the conference by reading “Greetings to the Dafa Disciples Attending the Fa Conference of Europe” written by Mr. Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa.
Presentations from 13 practitioners followed, and each practitioner spoke about how they have improved through cultivation practice, as well as the efforts they have put forth to tell people about Falun Dafa and the persecution in China.
Overcoming Attachment to One’s Opinions
Nicolas is a lawyer who began to practice Falun Dafa in 2011. Because of his profession, he possessed a lot of knowledge and skills that are highly respected in society. “However, during cultivation practice, I have recognized my own problems. The notion that I am capable could become a barrier that limits my cultivation, as well as my collaboration with other practitioners,” he said.
About three years ago, Nicholas began to help with practitioners' efforts to bring Shen Yun performances to Stockholm. He helped with contacting theaters in two cities that would be the performance venues. After he joined the team, he noticed that how other practitioners worked and spoke was different than his style. “My background requires me to do things in a professional manner. So I brought this up with the team, thinking that would benefit everyone and lead us to a better situation,” he recalled.
But what happened next was surprising, and almost totally different from what he had expected. “After calming down and really thinking it over deeply, I noticed a problem of my own—that is, doing things in my own way. I always thought my approaches would work out and that I did not need help from others,” he continued.
Through continued Fa-study, he further saw his shortcomings in cooperating with others while cultivating himself. In fact, people in the team might come from different backgrounds or have different understandings. What is critical is how everyone works together as a team.
The team has successfully arranged to have Shen Yun perform in Stockholm. “What’s coming next is for us to get everything ready. For me, I have to cultivate better, get rid of the notion that my idea is the best, and truly collaborate with others as one body,” he said.
Saving People at Tourist Sites
Jason works as a senior researcher at a university, and his entire family of five are Falun Dafa practitioners. Because his family are aware that the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has spread many defamatory lies to attack Falun Dafa and poison Chinese people against the practice and practitioners, his family have been going to tourist sites to tell Chinese tourists the facts about Falun Gong to debunk the propaganda.
Jason often told the tourists how the practice has improved the family’s life, speaking from the physical and spiritual benefits he has witnessed to the blessings his family members have received. For example, because he strives to follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, he no longer fights with others for fame or material interests. Nonetheless, he was admitted to a renowned university in China. The tourists enjoy listening to his stories and as they ask questions, Jason addresses them immediately. For example, when he sees that some tourists have mistakenly conflated the nation of China with the CCP, he would clarify this by saying that quitting the CCP is a coherent part of true patriotism. His two children also help with the efforts, either by sending forth righteous thoughts nearby or distributing materials. The family works well as a team.
“The tourists have all kinds of reactions,” Jason explained, “Some of them give thumbs up, while some swear at us.” Regardless of the situation, Jason always reminds himself to remain compassionate, as a Dafa practitioner should. Calm and magnanimous, he helps them understand what Falun Dafa really is and the persecution. Even when a Chinese tourist becomes hostile or refuses to listen, he will still treat them with compassion. “Some tourists have changed so much after understanding the facts that they are almost like different people. I am so happy for them,” he said.
Telling People About Falun Dafa at Work
Sofia is responsible for 3D design and marketing at a large Swedish firm. In December 2018, she was assigned to work with a partner company in China. Upon hearing that the project would help the Chinese company suppress Chinese people, she refused to participate in the project. Her supervisor tried to change her mind, but she remained firm. “After that conversation, however, I felt I needed to do some research about this client. Then I would be able to explain it better so that my management could understand what’s really going on,” she said.
After an extensive search through Chinese and international media, Sofia collected information and planned to write a report. News then came out that the CFO of that Chinese company had been detained in Canada and was facing extradition. “So I put all this information together in an email. I also explained why I considered it unethical to work with this client and how other countries had also refused to collaborate with it for the next generation of the internet,” she said. She also included information about how the client had participated in the persecution of the peaceful meditation Falun Dafa, which is subject to heinous human rights violations in China such as forced organ harvesting, and how she had personally benefited from practicing Falun Dafa.
Several days later, her supervisor told Sofia that her email had been forwarded to the headquarters in Sweden and also to the headquarters in the United States. The management thanked for her information and for her stepping forward to share her concerns.
The Sixteenth Phone Call
Ms. Zhu, who started to practice Falun Dafa in 1998, talked about how she had made phone calls to China over the past four years. Because so many practitioners in China were being arrested and tortured for their belief, Ms. Zhu joined others to keep calling Chinese officials to urge them to release the detained practitioners.
On one occasion she called a number that belonged to an officer in a police station who had been involved in the persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners. She dialed the number 22 times, and the officer answered the phone 16 times. “The first 15 times, he always cursed me and then hung up the phone,” recalled Ms. Zhu.
Thinking the officer had been poisoned by the slanderous propaganda, Ms. Zhu felt very bad. “In the meantime, I asked myself: why does he always swear at me? Maybe as a practitioner, I should look inward to see if I could do better?” she said. She then realized she had the attachment of competition, along with impatience and was influenced by Communist Party culture. She decided to let go of those human notions and treat the officer only with compassion.
After she dialed the phone for the 16th time, something unexpected happened. On the other end of the line came a gentle voice that almost sounded like a different person, “Oh, you think I am a good person? Well, go ahead, talk, I will listen.” Over the next 12 minutes, Ms. Zhu talked about what Falun Gong is, its wide acceptance in more than 100 countries, and clarified the lies that the CCP had propagated about Falun Gong, such as the staged self-immolation incident on Tiananmen Square in 2001. She also described how organs were harvested from living practitioners in China.
In the end, the officer said, “I understand it now—you are doing this for my good.” He wrote down how to overcome the internet blockade to access uncensored information, along with a hotline number to report perpetrators who had committed crimes against Falun Dafa practitioners. “During this process, I also learned that looking inward and improving ourselves is critical for practitioners,” Ms. Zhu said.
Stepping out of their Comfort Zone at City Hall
Swedish practitioner Cecilia said she and her husband had been going to the city hall tourist site after work for the past two years. Although they had thought about it for a long time, she had not done it earlier because she found the traffic in Stockholm intimidating. Thinking about the importance of helping people know about Falun Dafa so that they could benefit from it, she overcame her fear. She and her husband now deliver materials and supplies to the tourist site seven days a week. “Whenever I'm standing there at the city hall and see the Chinese tourists coming and going bus after bus, I am so happy to see them watching our group meditation and learning the truth. All the effort put into driving and the money for gas is nothing compared to that,” she said.
After transporting the materials to the site, Cecilia stays at the tourist site to talk with pedestrians. In fact, she considers the activities there a high priority and always schedules her time around it. “One time, a woman came by bike right after we set up. She told me she passes by here every day and admired what we did to raise awareness of the persecution,” Cecilia said.
As the conference concluded at 4 p.m., the hosts read Master’s recent article, “To the Fa Conference in France.” Practitioners who attended the conference said they learned a lot about looking within and improving themselves in accordance with Dafa's principles, as well as saving people wholeheartedly.