Singapore: Practitioners Inspired after Attending Falun Dafa Conference
(Minghui.org) A Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference was held in Singapore on December 21, 2019. Twenty practitioners talked about how they progressed in cultivation and overcame various challenges to tell people about the ongoing persecution in China.
Practitioners from several Southeast Asian countries, including Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Vietnam attended the conference. Mr. Cai traveled from Johor, Malaysia and said around 80 to 90 practitioners from Malaysia came to Singapore.
Finding Falun Dafa After Searching For Many Years
Mr. Lin holds many degrees including a Masters in Business Management and a Masters in Environmental Management. However, academic success and wealth did not bring him happiness. There was an aching void in his heart that could not be filled. Since childhood, he searched for the meaning of life.
Mr. Lin began studying Buddhism in 2005. He said, “I stopped making any progress in 2017. I thought if I studied Buddhism from an academic perspective, perhaps I would be able to breakthrough the bottleneck I was experiencing.”
He moved to Munich, Germany in 2018 to study German. He also enrolled in PhD courses in Buddhism. He discovered that those who studied Buddhism were seeking fame and gain instead of the truth. He said, “When I read some of their thesis, I found the authors had strong pursuit of worldly gains.”
“I decided to visit friends in Florence. On my trip I finally found what I had been searching for, a righteous way that cultivates the mind and body – Falun Dafa,” said Mr. Lin.
The practitioners at the exercise site in Florence, Italy warmly welcomed him and taught him the exercises. “The first time I did the exercises, I thought every movement had a profound meaning. This is what I'd been looking!”
“One night in 2017, I dreamed that a giant insect bit my right chest. I woke up and found my right shoulder was injured and the pain was excruciating. I could feel that the injury in my body in another dimension had extended to my physical body in this dimension. My right shoulder became increasingly painful over the next few weeks. I was unable to lift my right hand above my head. I tried herbal therapy but it only worked temporarily.”
“After I started to practice Falun Dafa, I had another dream. The insect that bit me had returned. However, this time it was nailed to the palm of my left hand. I managed to push it away. When I woke up I could still feel the pain in my left palm. A few months later, my right shoulder was fine. I know Master removed the negative element from my body.”
Looking back at the twists and turns he went through to find Falun Dafa and his cultivation experiences over the past year, Mr. Lin said he deeply treasures the opportunity to practice Dafa and plans to practice diligently.
Experiencing a Breakthrough by Memorizing Zhuan Falun
Mr. Zheng from Vietnam began memorizing the main book of Falun Dafa – Zhuan Falun that was translated into Vietnamese. However he did not think he could finish memorizing the whole book. He said, “My university classmate started to memorize the book before me although he began practicing a year after I did. He started with reciting Lunyu. I was a little surprised. I realized memorizing the teachings was not impossible. I started to memorize Lunyu in Vietnamese. I stopped because I felt it was difficult. I wasn't sure if I could memorize the entire book.”
He read an article on the Minghui website in which a practitioner talked about his experience of memorizing the teachings. The author wrote, “If you cannot recite the whole paragraph by heart, then start by memorizing sentence by sentence. When you can remember all the sentences, you can move on to memorizing the entire paragraph. The phrase you memorized will stay in your brain. You might not be able to remember it but as you keep memorizing, you'll be able to recall what was memorized before.” When Mr. Zheng told another Vietnamese practitioner about this article, she immediately put it into practice. She soon finished memorizing Zhuan Falun. She was able to memorize the book four times.
Encouraged these practitioners' experiences, Mr. Zheng used small chunks of time to learn the teachings by heart. He recited the Fa sentence by sentence while walking or riding the bus. He said, “My understanding of the teachings improved significantly. I discovered things that I missed when I read.” He also found many shortcomings he needed to work on and was able to apply the teachings to difficulties he encountered in everyday life.
He felt memorizing the Vietnamese version of the teachings was not good enough. One day in 2014, he became frustrated with the constant thoughts of lust in his mind. No matter how hard he tried, they kept popping up. He began reciting the following sentence in Chinese,
“Desires, lust, and things of these sorts are all human attachments, and all of them should be given up.” (Lecture 6, Zhuan Falun)
He kept reciting the sentence until the bad thoughts disappeared.
Spurred on by the unexpected benefits gained from memorizing that one sentence in Chinese, Mr. Zheng decided to memorize the next sentence and then the next. Bit by bit, he could recite a paragraph in Chinese very fluently. He felt immersed into the Fa and the power of the teachings. His proficiency in Chinese improved tremendously.
Mr. Zheng also joined a group of practitioners in memorizing the teachings. He said, “After I began memorizing the teachings my thoughts are clean and I feel very alert.”
Giving It My Best Shot
Simon joined the Epoch Times digital team producing videos two years ago. He told himself to treasure the opportunity and not give up. He had many challenges, however.
“Other team members were young and skilled. I had to start from scratch and I was very worried. The team was just formed and there was no systematic training materials. I was under a lot of pressure. I wondered if I made the wrong choice. Should I switch to doing something simpler?” Simon recounted his initial struggles.
Through studying Master's teachings and sharing with other practitioners, he understood that what's most important is whether he had the heart to persevere and if he was prepared to put in more effort.
He said, “I was anxious from the beginning to the end while producing a video. I was afraid of not meeting deadlines or that people would ridicule what I produced. When I was complimented my attachment to showing off surfaced. When I was criticized, I became depressed. I learned to analyze my thoughts throughout the process and asked myself why I had such thoughts. What motivated them? I began to focus on sending righteous thoughts to eliminate these notions that were disrupting my work.”
“I thought I would give it my best shot,” Simon said. With the wisdom gained from practicing Dafa, he was gradually able to produce good videos.
After overcoming the initial challenges, new problems surfaced. “Our team was given the task of producing videos for advertisers. This required a higher level of skill. Sometimes the client was unhappy with our product and I felt dejected. I also developed resentment towards co-workers in the sales department. I thought, 'I worked several nights to produce the video. I'm not a professional yet I managed to do it. But you're still not satisfied.'”
He reflected on his attitude and discovered that he was afraid of hardship. He always tried to avoid difficulties and this led to the thought: “I'm an amateur. You can't expect me to be better than professionals.”
After looking inward and studying mainstream production methods to improve his skills, his competency improved. He said, “Although we still have a long way to go, we're working hard to reach professional standards. We encourage each other and share tips on video production. Now clients praise our work.”
Predestined Relationship with Singapore
Mr. Huang, who works in the finance sector, began practicing Falun Dafa four years ago in Sydney, Australia. He used to suffer from severe eczema and felt life was not worth living.
He said, “A book I read mentioned that Falun Dafa is a practice that focuses on the cultivation of one's mind. I searched the Internet and found that the practice was free. I was thrilled. I learned the exercises online and then later joined a local practice site. Two months later, my eczema cleared up completely. Falun Dafa gave me a new lease on life!”
He learned that there are few practitioners in Singapore. Mr. Huang felt that since he grew up in Singapore, perhaps his help was needed in Dafa projects back home. He decided to return to his birthplace and moved back this year.
Mr. Huang does the exercises at tourist spots. He said, “I observed that our presence had a positive impact on tourists. I heard a tour guide tell the tourists, 'Look, these people are practicing Falun Dafa. There is freedom of belief in Singapore.' Another time, I heard tourists saying to one another: 'This is Falun Dafa.'”
Mr. Huang is also involved in promoting Shen Yun Performing Arts. This project was started recently and team members are still finding their way around things. However, everyone cooperated well and they successfully introduced Shen Yun.
Nan Nan studied chemical engineering in college, but her job had nothing to do with her degree. Instead, she's doing marketing. She said, “The skills I'm learning on the job are exactly what our media project needs.” She joined a digital team at the Chinese Epoch Times.
She went to the Epoch Times head office in the U.S. for training. She said, “Compared to Singapore, the head office has a better environment and I felt my skills were needed there. I wanted to stay in the U.S., but every time I decided to leave Singapore, I was forced to stay put.”
She said, “I got rid of my attachment to fame and gain. I now follow what's arranged. I'm very happy as long as I study the teachings every day, do the exercises and help in Dafa projects.”
Reading News Broadcasts with a Calm and Natural Voice
Ms. Han talked about her cultivation experiences while helping with the Sound of Hope radio project. The station broadcasts to people living in China.
She said, “When I first started broadcasting, my supervisor took my recording home and played it to her family. They said that I sounded very forceful. I was shocked. I grew up in China and my speaking tone was influenced by the Communist Party culture. I sounded unnatural and stiff. Would people want to listen to my broadcast?”
Ms. Han didn't know what to do. She said, “When I first came to Singapore, I observed that practitioners here speak calmly, unlike mainland Chinese whose manner of speaking is agitated. It made me realized that I speak in a loud voice which makes others uncomfortable. I found it difficult to change my tone of voice.”
She soon enlightened that every piece of news script she read was a cultivation process. She said, “It's actually a reflection of my state of mind. When my voice does not sound tranquil, I realized it is because I'm eager to succeed. It may appear that I want my recording to be perfect, but deep inside I have a desire to show off and prove myself.” She also shared a revelation, “Don't pretend to be something you're not. My voice may not be clear and smooth. These can be improved through studying vocal techniques, but you must express your true self naturally. Only then will your audience want to listen to you.”
Inspired to Do Better
Several practitioners said that they were touched by the other practitioners' experiences. They discovered areas they were lacking in and realized the importance of truly practicing cultivation.
Mr. Lin said, “I was surprised that many practitioners have been practicing for over two decades. Such a long time and yet they have persevered on the journey! It's remarkable!” He was inspired by the practitioner who talked about selling advertising space for the Epoch Times. “The burdens and struggles this practitioner went through, it's not easy.” He added, “I'm also very moved by the practitioner who tries to change mainland Chinese people's negative perception of Falun Dafa, which comes from the Chinese Communist regime's propaganda. She's so patient, it's very admirable.”
Ms. Li was most touched by Simon's sharing on producing videos for the Epoch Times. She said, “Because we both work in media projects, I understand the struggles he talked about. To quit or not. What's most difficult and precious is you're able to look at the problem from the perspective of a cultivator, reflect on yourself and improve your character in the process. By listening to him I saw my problem. I failed to look within. The small hurdles pile up and in the end it becomes a big hurdle.”
Mr. Huang said, “I feel really honored. Every practitioner's sharing is unique. I can learn from their experiences whether they are veteran practitioners or newcomers. Although the things each practitioner went through is different, the requirements of the Fa are the same, that is to get rid of our attachments, temper your mind and tell others about the persecution.”
Mr. Hao is an IT engineering who began to practice Falun Dafa 3 years ago. This was the first time he's attended a conference. He said, “I started to practice quite late and for a long time I was doing it alone. I went to the park to find other practitioners and started to attend group exercises and read with other practitioners. I've missed a lot and realize I've fallen behind. I feel so fortunate to have found Falun Dafa! Sometimes it feels like a dream, words cannot describe how grateful I am!”
Ms. Xu said, “Seeing how diligent other practitioners are, I think I should do more and fulfill my vows.”
Ms. Zhang also said that she gained a lot from the conference. She said, “I hope to have a breakthrough in cultivation. I was touched by the experience-sharing papers. They helped point out where I need to improve.”
Ms. Han who shared her experiences while participating in the Sound of Hope radio project feels it is very important to have experience-sharing conferences. She said, “I was especially inspired by the Vietnamese practitioner's experience of memorizing the teachings. I am currently memorizing Zhuan Falun for the third time. I did not think I could do it but thanks to the encouragement of fellow practitioners, I did it.”
Ms. Lan said the practitioner who spoke about looking within to see if one was truly practicing cultivation left a deep impression on her. It reminded her of the project she's been involved in. It may appear that she is doing great but, “I stick to what I like and there are many attachments I did not pay attention to. The practitioner's sharing prompted me to think about myself.” She was also moved by the practitioner who talked about not doing well in promoting Shen Yun. “I too feel very remorseful when I've failed to accomplish what I should do. Afterwards I feel I should pick myself up after falling down and move on. I was also touched by the practitioner who shared about her troubled relationship with her son. When she changed, her son changed too. I have the same problem with my daughter. When I return home today, the first thing to do is to change my attitude. I've gained a lot of inspiration today!”
Mr. Cai is a young man from Johor, Malaysia. He has been practicing for over 4 years. He too felt it was worth making the effort to attend today's conference. He said, “Many young practitioners are practicing cultivation solidly despite having taken up Falun Dafa only a few years ago. I haven't been practicing that long either but there's a lot I can improve on.” He was also encouraged by the practitioner who shared his experience in memorizing the Fa. “Just like the Vietnamese practitioner, I've tried to memorize the teachings paragraph by paragraph. We Chinese practitioners should memorize the Fa all the more. It can help us do better in cultivation.”