Cultivation Experiences While Reporting on Hong Kong's Extradition Law Protests
(Minghui.org) Greetings esteemed Master and fellow practitioners:
I would like to share my cultivation experiences during my recent trip to Hong Kong to report on the protests opposing amendments to its extradition laws.
Before I left for Hong Kong, I had a dream. I was in a place that appeared to be a test center. Many people were waiting in line. Some were engrossed in reading a thick book. I walked up close, and vaguely saw “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance,” and “Falun Dafa,” written in the book among other phrases. Then, someone called numbers, and the people were split into groups of half a dozen or so people per group. They entered their assigned room for an interview. There was a man in the room, and I figured that he was the interviewer. We all sat at table to be interviewed.
The interviewer asked us questions. I don't remember the exact questions, but recall that I was confident when answering questions. I even helped explain what the interviewer was asking. Only those who acknowledge Dafa principles were allowed to pass, and enter a place known as “New Epoch for mankind.”
After passing the test, I heard someone saying, “Wow, that person who died even came for an interview.” Then, I woke up, and immediately shared the dream with my family members, who are also practitioners. I was wondering whether this would be a scene of the final judgment. I was under the impression that Gods and Buddhas would descend in broad daylight. It turned out that they wore everyday people's clothes, and looked like everyday people.
I realized that this dream is not a coincidence. It showed me the scene of how one's thought would determine whether one would be saved or not. It reminded me of the pressing time for saving more people. The way people waiting in line were engrossed in reading Dafa books clearly told me that they came to this world to obtain the Fa. And only Dafa can help people to return to one's true self. The interview process conveyed the seriousness of cultivation, and each test had to be passed by letting go of all attachments. Only true gold is left after such strict tests.
My role in the dream was that of a messenger who delivered facts, which corresponds to my role in real life. If someone has not learned about Dafa or has not heard the facts as a result of my not fulfilling my responsibilities, he would miss the opportunity of being saved. And this would be so unfortunate, and so pitiful!
“Seize the day, and take the media to the next level. I’d like to see your work have a powerful impact when it comes out. I’d like to see each piece have a big impact. You can definitely achieve that! ” (“2018 NTD and Epoch Times Fa Conference”, Team Yellow Translation)
As a reporter at a media organization operated by practitioners, each of our reports are for saving people. Only by cultivating ourselves well, can we have greater power to save more sentient beings, so as to pass our final test.
Several days after my dream, I got a call from our director, who told me that the situation in Hong Kong was getting more volatile, and asked if I would like to go there for support. I said yes, and started my reporting in Hong Kong, which lasted close to three months.
Reporting from the Frontline
This trip to Hong Kong was my first after becoming a reporter in the United States. The last time I went to Hong Kong was five years ago, in 2014, during the Umbrella Movement that emerged during pro-democracy protests.
During my reporting on protests over the Hong Kong government's move to amend the extradition laws, I have had first-hand observation on how people from all walks of life in Hong Kong had witnessed the power of our media, and how they started to embrace Dafa.
During weekdays, we would work on regular news reports. On Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, it was like going out on a battlefield. We raced as much as we could to the forefront, where the locals were confronting the Hong Kong police. We went to each and every major parade or assembly, despite that our resources were strained. Other media outlets could send over 50 reporters, while we had to work harder. The several of us kept producing series after series of exclusive interviews and exclusive reports.
During this trip, I was able to reconnect with people with predestined relationships, including those who witnessed the launch of NTD Television, those who had been supporting Dafa, those who had been opposing the Hong Kong Youth Care Association Limited, a front organization of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), as well as those whom we interviewed five years ago during the Umbrella Movement.
Their uniform feedback was that our media programs were getting better and better, remained neutral, of high quality, and connected with the Hong Kong people.
During live broadcasts, people often asked us, “Which media are you?” When we told them we are NTD, they would usually give us the thumbs up and say, “We've been watching your live broadcasts.”
On one occasion, I was reporting in Mandarin Chinese and was mistaken by a pedestrian as being from the CCP media (Cantonese is generally spoken in Hong Kong). He shouted, “You mainland media, get out of here!” Reporters from local media organizations stepped forward and explained that I was with NTD Television, so of course they would report in Mandarin, and they are good. The pedestrian immediately apologized to us.
Then, there was this huge rally calling on the United States Congress to pass the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act. Crowds jammed the streets. We had a poor signal, and could not do a live broadcast. We decided to go into a subway station to send out some footage.
In the subway station, several pedestrians recognized us from our neon colored vests. One shouted quickly, “Reporters! Hurry up and come to record this. Riot police are coming into the subway to arrest people!” I saw in his eyes a sense of urgency, and pressed the video recording button on my cell phone. It surprised me that the live broadcast that had been interrupted above ground from poor signal went smoothly in the subway. We were the only media, at the time, that transmitted live footage from the subway station. I knew that it was arranged by Master.
One day when we were reporting at the rally that opposed a top government official, a middle-aged lady came up to me. She told me that I looked very much like her daughter. She showed me a picture of her daughter, who is studying in Canada. I felt close to her, and sensed the predestined relationship. I told her about our media and what bad things the CCP had done. She told me that she watched NTD programs in Canada, and liked our news and even our advertisements. She was particularly fond of one colorful advertisement, which showed people dancing. I asked her whether it was Shen Yun. She said, “Yes! I am going to watch the Shen Yun performance with my daughter next time I return to Canada.”
Gradually, posters designed by our fellow practitioners were put up across main streets and side alleys in Hong Kong. During rallies, demonstrators volunteered to help us distribute our posters. They carried signs that read, “We walk along with Gods.” They also chanted, “Heaven eliminates the CCP.” After the rallies, when I saw people clean up trash in the streets, I sensed that they were awakening, and they were acting like Dafa practitioners without thinking about it.
Some discussed about learning Falun Gong online, and they wanted to side with Dafa. They even joined Dafa practitioners' parade, and walked alongside our practitioners.
On lampposts, overpasses, and along the streets, people wrote or posted signs like “Heaven eliminates the CCP.” The anti-CCP sentiment is spreading to the entire population in Hong Kong. Through the suppression of protesters opposing amendments to the extradition laws, people started to see the ruthlessness of the CCP regime as young kids were killed and then their deaths were publicized as their having committed suicide, jumped from high-rise buildings, or drowned and swept ashore. They have experienced first-hand the CCP's evil and rogue nature. They now realize that the CCP persecutes kindness. Many told us that they now believed that the live organ harvesting of prisoners of conscience was truly what the CCP was doing.
Those of us working at NTD poured our hearts into this media organization of our Dafa disciples. Although print copies of the Hong Kong edition of The Epoch Times were removed from shelves in mid-August by a franchise store chain, the CCP is far from being able to stop our reaching out to the Hong Kong people.
Since the short five months since the demonstration against amendments to the extradition laws, NTD and The Epoch Times have experienced explosive growth in viewers and readers. It went from a few incidental clicks to over a million-plus online visits each day. The Hong Kong people know that if they want to tune into live broadcast, The Epoch Times and NTD are the places to go. And this was a result of fellow practitioners' around-the-clock reporting, and our stepping to the very forefront of confronting the CCP crackdown. It is our fellow practitioners' dedication to save people that made the difference.
Removing Attachment to Fear
When I just returned to Hong Kong, I did not harbor fear, just like the ancient Chinese saying goes, “Newborn calves are not afraid of tigers.” After producing a few live broadcasts, I had witnessed the overuse of police force. After I passed out from intense tear gas canons, I started to develop the attachment to fear. I did not dare to go home alone. I did not dare to produce live broadcasts alone. And I asked my parents to pick me up at the subway station.
Every time I sensed fear, I would alert myself, “Isn't this the attachment to fear?” But I would settle on the excuse that I was quite young, and would need parental protection. However, since we are cultivators, there is no room for attachments. I got a text message from a fellow practitioner, “Our media are in the CCP crossfire. They have gathered all our names! We are the target!” This cast a darker shadow over my already deepened fear.
One night I was on my way to a live broadcast, I was tripped by a pro-CCP person, and he poured some liquid over me.
I shouted at him, “You! Watch out!” I felt wronged. I shouted in tears, “Why do we have to face this! We are broadcasting the facts. We are NTD, The Epoch Times media. If there is anything wrong here, the world sees what is happening through our live broadcast!”
Later when exchanging thoughts with fellow practitioners to see whether I did anything inappropriate, whether it was unprofessional to shed tears in front of the camera, whether it would cast a negative image among our audiences, I realized that my attachment to fear had reached its peak. The mood I displayed included anger, fear, and grievances of being wronged. This is not how a cultivator would have acted.
I started to look for the source of my attachment of fear. I found out that at the beginning, my being unafraid was in the human sphere. It was not established in a cultivator's realm. I did not reach the genuine belief in Master and in Dafa, and did not believe 100% that I was a Dafa disciple. When tests came, I was not afraid, only because I had my mask on which protects me from poisonous gases and fluids, plus I carried the pass of an international reporter. I forgot that as a Dafa disciple, I was protected by Heavenly Dragons.
Even after I found out where my fear was rooted, I still could not fully get rid of it. I strengthened my sending forth righteous thoughts. At the top of each hour, I would send forth righteous thoughts. When I had time at home, I would calm down to study the Fa. When outside at work, I would quietly recite the Fa in my heart.
When studying the Fa in those days, I felt immersed into the Fa.
“If the attachments at your human-surface side aren't removed, then Master and the Law-guardian Gods are put in a tough position. But if your righteous thoughts are strong, then Master and the Law-guardian Gods can do anything for you.” (“Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference”)
Tears covered my face. Yes indeed, Master has been watching practitioners. If I do not have sufficient righteous thoughts, there is nothing Master can do. After that, I no longer held any fear as long as I maintained strong righteous thoughts.
Getting Rid of Complacency
I had not been good at enduring hardship since childhood. I always tried to dodge hardship. After becoming a reporter, I would run into bad weather on my trips. Sometimes it snowed, or rained. Though I still did my job, I never stopped complaining. Other than heat, which I was good at bearing, I would complain when facing any weather condition. I would rush my cameraman to finish shooting so we could leave as soon as possible. My cameraman had discussed this with me, and reminded me that news reports produced like that would not be pure. I knew I was not right. Still I did not pay enough attention to it.
On the flight to Hong Kong, which lasted about 12 hours, I thought about my attachment to complacency. I made up my mind that it was time to get rid of it during this trip to Hong Kong.
During one live broadcast, it rained the whole day. After I got back home and took off my shoes, my feet were soaked to the extent that they were wrinkled and swollen. I figured this was the time that I increase the capacity of my mind. I should take it in stride. Would it not all be back to normal by the next day? This was how I started to adjust to hardships. An 80-year-old practitioner, who was my cameraman in Hong Kong, was running around all day, but remained cheerful. I know I was not up to par when compared with him. Sometimes I still complained to my parents. But I am truly grateful to Master for giving me one opportunity after another to improve myself, to increase my capacity, and to handle things more maturely rather than like a kid. Now, I have learned to treasure each headship.
Gratitude for Master's Compassion and Encouragement
All practitioners and I felt clearly Master's strengthening during our reporting in Hong Kong. We ran from early morning to late at night. What took three groups of staff members in an everyday media organization, we did it with just one group. Another feeling we shared was that we did not rely as much on human sensory organs. Say after running for a whole day, we would be exhausted. However, we felt light as a swallow. More often than not, we had only one meal throughout the day, yet we did not feel hungry, and had limitless energy. We only thought about producing more reports, saving more people.
“In the past, you would be tired if you walked a few steps, but now it is very easy no matter how far you walk. You feel as if being pushed while riding a bike, and you are not tired when going upstairs—no matter how many floors there are. It is guaranteed to be this way. ” (Lecture Eight, Zhuan Falun)
During one live broadcast, headquarters told me that I was the only remaining source of live streaming. The police were firing tear gas canons like crazy at where we reporters were located. I did not have time to adjust my mask. The only thought I had was to hold on for a while longer, to transmit a few more scenes. In the end, I passed out from the chemicals in the tear gas. I had this thought, “I will be fine.” When a rescue crew woke me up by pouring saline water on my face, I stood up and went on with the live broadcasting. The whole interruption lasted no more than a few minutes.
Master's protection happened at all times and in all places. One day, there was not much going on where I was reporting. I decided to move to the next location to join my cameraman. It suddenly poured. I was running while reaching into my backpack to get my umbrella. It turned out it was not there, and could have been lost when I was rushing around. Now what? I thought it should stop raining, otherwise it would not look good when I went in front of camera. With this thought, the rain stopped instantaneously. I found my cameraman, and started broadcasting live.
During the three months in Hong Kong, I witnessed that people in Hong Kong felt that our media was accessible as a result of watching our extensive coverage on the protests. They also became aware of Dafa. I know there are many areas where I still fall short. In the final leg of the journey in this remaining period of time, I will seize each moment. As a Dafa disciple, I will heed Master's teaching, keep in mind that I am a cultivator, and by deepening my understanding of traditional culture, I should do a better job.
Thank you, Master, and fellow practitioners!
(Experience Sharing at the 2019 NTD/Epoch Times Fa Conference)