Cherishing My Role in the Tian Guo Marching Band
(Minghui.org) I joined the Tian Guo Marching Band eight years ago. I understand that this project, granted to us by Master to save people with music, is really full of infinite wisdom. I would like to talk about my experiences, especially during the Hong Kong parades this year.
Because of my work, every day I have opportunities to meet many people from different walks of life in Western society and have many opportunities to talk to them. Many people have seen the Tian Guo Marching Band in community parades. Our costumes and our music have become highlights of these events, and people have a very positive impression of the Tian Guo Marching Band.
When someone sees our band, is touched by the music, and has a good impression of Dafa, won't this person be saved?
I feel very honored to be able to join the Tian Guo Marching Band, and I treasure this special project. Of course, the prerequisite is that we must have a very high technical level. If our performance isn't good, we may be pushing people away. I think that we must be responsible for each note we play, and in doing so we are caring for the sentient beings we need to save. Therefore, I have always paid close attention to my musical skills and worked hard to improve.
Participating in the Hong Kong Parade
Hong Kong is on the frontline of saving people. During every parade there, a large number of people from mainland China watch us. Therefore, the parades in Hong Kong are very important. When the majority of the band members from Taiwan are unable to participate due to interference, we are duty-bound to be there.
The July 1st parade is very popular and always has the largest number of groups participating. With our striking blue costumes and our music, we're very prominent. This year I made a last minute decision to go to the July 1st parade. It turned out to be very meaningful.
July 1st this year was a Monday. The previous Friday, I heard that 80 people had signed up to participate, but only three who played French horn. My first thought was that I must go and help. But when I checked online, the flights were too expensive, and I realized that I would have to spend all my savings. My first thought was to not go. After all, there would be another parade in Hong Kong on July 20th.
I recalled Master’s Fa teaching. Master said,
“China is forging Dafa disciples like the Supreme Daoist’s dan-tempering furnace, and when the fire burns more fiercely, like a severe test, it will eliminate human notions and eliminate attachments. Of course, this kind of suffering is hard to bear, yet what’s forged is true gold. The evil CCP is like the charcoal, the hotter the flame, the more excited it seems to get. Once the flame dies out, you’ll see that true gold is forged. What has become of the evil CCP? Ashes, and with one blow, “poof,” it’s gone.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2019 New York Fa Conference”)
I knew that if I missed going to Hong Kong, I would miss an opportunity to improve, and a chance to save people.
Practitioners who have been to Hong Kong in July all know that it is really like the Supreme Daoist’s dan-tempering furnace. As soon as I got off the plane, I felt the heat and humidity. I also felt countless small particle-shaped karma attacking my skin. I felt very uncomfortable. But I reminded myself, “Isn't this a good thing? Doesn't this environment offer us opportunities to eliminate our karma, and at the same time save people? Where else could I find such a good thing? Any interference helps us improve.”
Although the band participates in local events, I think that participating in Hong Kong's activities can help us become more effective in our cultivation and in saving people.
From another standpoint, it's not easy to become a competent band member. It's difficult to learn a musical instrument. We practice for hours every day and it takes years of hard work. I have learned these skills, so I should use them. On Saturday I finally decided that I must go to Hong Kong for the July 1st parade.
Overcoming My Attachments
The members of Tian Guo Marching Band usually recite “On Dafa (Lunyu)” before each parade. In Hong Kong, the parade conductor often asks us to add another sentence: “Dafa disciples assisting Master in Fa-rectification, saving sentient beings.” I believe that all practitioners are striving to save people. However, when I recited these words in that terrible environment which was like an alchemy furnace, I had a very different feeling. I suddenly understood the deeper meaning behind these words. I truly understood why I was standing there and the real meaning for my existence in the human world.
At that moment I felt great compassion. Looking at the crowd, I set aside my human notions and attachments. From the bottom of my heart I silently called out: “I must save you!”
“One viewer shared the following: “Right after leaving my home, it was like I was practicing cultivation on my way here. Every step I took was difficult and I was thinking every step of the way, all the way until I entered the theater. It was just like a cultivation process and after watching the show, it was like I was being consummated.” (All disciples applaud enthusiastically) So, that is to say, don’t underestimate today’s human society, Dafa disciples are not the only ones practicing cultivation, and human beings are all in it, too. They are being smelted, too. In their life, work, and various settings, the problems they encounter, the thoughts they have, and all the way to their actions—all are about positioning themselves, positioning themselves amid the rivalry between good and evil.” (“Teaching the Fa in Washington D.C. in 2018”)
Each step I took during the parade posed challenges. Each step was an opportunity to reflect on, as well as perfect, my character. When I felt very tired and felt it was too difficult to take the next step, I knew I needed to think about whether I had any attachments which I had not yet let go. Had I done well enough during the process? Had I come to Hong Kong to achieve something for myself? Had I kept my thoughts righteous? Did I watch a movie on the flight instead of studying the Fa? Was I planning to eat some delicious food after the parade?
Although we indeed traveled a long way to march in Hong Kong, our mindset is the most important thing, and the gods know our thoughts.
“Gods see issues multi-dimensionally and the overall situation, while human beings only see things on the surface. Sometimes, Dafa disciples are by my side; with your every thought and every idea, and your conduct, I do not look at your surface or your behavior at all. Instead I look at your true motives. I look at what your true thought is thinking and doing at its foundation. In this process, although what has manifested on the surface is your behavior, for which you need to be responsible, still, I just look at your foundation.” (“Fa Teaching at the New York Fa Conference on the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Dafa’s Introduction to the Public”)
I felt that every thought I had during the parade was a battle with interference. Every thought is determining our position and determining whether the people who heard our music would be saved.
When the parade was over, I was not tired. I think that it was because of my pure mindset and the righteous thoughts I had.
“Good or evil comes from that instant thought. If she were lying down there claiming, “Ugh, I feel terrible. Something is wrong here and there,” then, her bones might really have been fractured, and she would be paralyzed.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
This year, more people than ever before participated in the parade because of the “No Extradition To China” movement. So our waiting time was much longer. I started feeling uncomfortable when we just started walking down the road. I knew that when things felt difficult and as though we could not make it, our thoughts could determine the effect we were having.
I reminded myself that a divine being would not feel tired. Did I give up my attachments? Was I only concerned about my comfort instead of saving people? As soon as I had the thought, “I am here to save you,” my body suddenly felt light and my feet were full of energy. I finished the parade easily.
After attending the New York Fa Conference this year, I felt that the Fa rectification has come to the human world. Although the situation in Hong Kong is still very evil, I know they exist for us. Because of them we have the opportunity to establish our mighty virtue. We still have opportunities to correct our mistakes and to save more people. However, the time for cultivation is nearly gone. There are fewer opportunities to save people. I hope we band members can all cherish being part of the Tian Guo Marching Band! Let us play a more effective role in assisting Master and saving sentient beings.
Please kindly point out any gaps in my understanding.
Thank you Master! Thank you fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2019 Australia Fa Conference)