The Last Shen Yun Ticket Leads Me to Dafa Cultivation
(Minghui.org) Greetings, esteemed Master and fellow practitioners.
I attended a nine-day Falun Dafa class in 2000, but I quit after going to a practice site for a few days. I formally started my cultivation of Dafa after I watched the Shen Yun performance in 2013. The night before the show, I went to a store to buy a ticket. The clerk said, “This is the last one.” Later I was told, “All the tickets were sold out. That one was the last returned ticket." Thank you, Master! On the day of the performance, I happened to meet the practitioner who took me to the nine-day class in the past. Later, she arranged for me to attend the class again.
I am a taxi driver. Before I practiced Dafa, each day I either drove my car or slept, and life was boring. I smoked and drank a lot at noontime and after work. My bad habits led to high blood pressure and heart disease. Sometimes I could hear my own heart thumping. These symptoms disappeared after I started practicing Dafa.
Joining Truth-Clarification Efforts
As time went on, I began to understand the importance of doing the three things asked of practitioners. One day, I went by a tourist site to learn about truth-clarification. It rained hard that day. A practitioner enthusiastically told me that I could hold a display board, clarify the truth, persuade Chinese tourists to quit the CCP, or demonstrate the exercises. Then, she asked me if I wanted to do the exercises. As it was raining hard, I said no and left immediately. I thought, “It’s raining so hard. I would get drenched even with a raincoat.” It was an ordinary person's thinking. Gradually I learned that many practitioners had been doing this to save sentient beings for many years regardless of the weather.
Later, I started clarifying the truth at a tourist site. At first, I either demonstrated the exercises or held display boards. After a year, I thought I should encourage people from China to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). When I had this thought, I clarified the truth to a Chinese person, and he agreed to quit! I knew it was encouragement from Master. The more I got involved, the more confident I became. It is not difficult to clarify the truth and persuade people from China to quit the CCP.
Then I joined a Shen Yun promotion project. At first I was afraid of talking, and then I got started. Eventually I was at ease with the process. At first, I only talked about the four characteristics of Shen Yun, and then gradually I introduced the implied meanings of Shen Yun. I feel very honored to participate in the Shen Yun promotion team.
At the same time, I also put up posters, but only for one day. Looking inward, I found that I might have been too opinionated and that, as a beginner, I might not have done my work well enough. Looking back, I think it was simply a test. The next year, when the coordinator invited me to join her in putting up Shen Yun posters, I accepted the offer happily!
Perhaps because Shen Yun didn’t perform in Keelung this year, only a few posters were put up. Thinking of the saying that self-help is better than help from others, I carried posters to post them at the stores I was familiar with, neighborhood bulletin boards, and other shops, no matter whether I was familiar with them or not. I put up over 50 posters. Of course, I also experienced many rejections. I regarded rejections as tests and took them lightly after my xinxing improved.
Introducing Shen Yun to Keelung Residents
A year later, as Shen Yun would perform in Keelung, the coordinator said that posters should be put up widely. We did this in small teams. When one practitioner was putting up posters, the other introduced Shen Yun to the operators. Thanks to the joint efforts, over 500 posters were put up. I found that another practitioner had better leadership skills and asked her to take charge of this group. After all, as long as we could get things done, it doesn’t matter who is in charge.
As Shen Yun would perform in our city, all practitioners in our area participated in the promotion work. I participated in four promotion forums. With such experiences, I became more capable of introducing Shen Yun. I once introduced Shen Yun to a passenger in my taxi. After I completed my introduction, she said: “I really want to listen more to you.” When we arrived at the destination, she said, “I’m kind of reluctant to get out of your car.”
Another time, a passenger left her purse behind at her company, so she could not pay the fare. I said, "Don’t worry, you can pay me next time." She said that she would remember me because I always played Shen Yun music in my car and was the only taxi driver she had met who listened to symphonic music. She was very much impressed. In fact, I have received the same feedback several times. I play Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra music in my car because I believe it can cleanse people’s souls.
Distributing the Epoch Times
This year, I started to deliver The Epoch Times to convenience stores. I have to get up at three o'clock every morning. As I couldn’t adjust my biological clock suddenly, I suffered insomnia. Then I thought it might be good for me to practice the exercises while I was awake.
“Have you ever thought of the fact that practicing cultivation is the best form of rest? You can obtain the kind of rest that can’t be obtained through sleeping. Nobody would say: ‘The exercises are making me so tired that I can’t do anything today.’” (Lecture at the First Conference in North America)
Before I knew it, I could meditate for two hours. My sleeping time was reduced, but I remained high-spirited.
While distributing the newspaper, I encountered different kinds of convenience store clerks. Some were conscientious, some were busy scrolling on their phones, and some dozed off all the time. I enlightened that seeing these situations was not accidental. It reminded me of our cultivation. I must strive forward vigorously and not take shortcuts!
Some of the clerks had a good impression of Falun Gong. One of them was very kind and greeted me every morning. He said, “I’m very happy to see you because you are always positive and smiling.” Afterward, I introduced him to Dafa websites. Once he told me that some said that Falun Gong practitioners looked very kind. He said that I was the kind of person who is always very kind and compassionate.
Of course, I also met some impolite clerks. For instance, when I said “good morning” to one clerk, she always ignored me. Even if she spoke, her tone was arrogant. The situation bothered me so much that I felt stressed every time I went to that store. I thought it might be because I had mistreated her in a previous life and that I should just follow the course of nature. So, I still smiled at her every day. One day, her attitude and tone changed for the better. I think this is cultivation!
Memorizing the Fa
Our practice site is at the plaza in front of Keelung Cultural Center, which is the starting point of the freeway. With numerous people and cars passing by, this practice site naturally attracted attention. Three years ago, I became one of the coordinators of this practice site. A practitioner told me that some practitioners dozed off during meditation. I thus asked other practitioners to remind them or use their mobile phones to record the situation. At first, some practitioners did not admit that they were dozing off. After communication and coordination, the situation has greatly improved.
We start meditating at 4:50 a.m., which leaves five minutes before sending forth righteous thoughts. I thought we could use the time to memorize the Fa. After discussing with another practitioner, we decided to memorize one poem from Hong Yin every day–we recited long ones twice and short ones three times. Many practitioners did so at first, but some gave up. As of now, only seven or eight of the twenty practitioners have persevered in memorizing the Fa.
So far, we have memorized all the poems from Hong Yin, Hong Yin II, Hong Yin III, and Hong Yin IV twice. We are memorizing Hong Yin V at present. As a coordinator in this regard, I set an example by memorizing every poem in advance. Since I started memorizing parts of Zhuan Falun every day, my pace of memorization is getting better and better. Memorizing the poems also helps me remember Zhuan Falun.
After practicing the exercises, another practitioner would stay to lead others in studying Master’s recent teachings for about an hour a day. With daily study, the environment is getting better and better. More practitioners have joined us, and the homeless volunteered to clean the spot every morning. Perhaps it is a manifestation of Master’s teaching, “The Buddha-light illuminates everywhere and rectifies all abnormalities.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)
I have some gray hair on my head. Because of my attachments, I recently dyed my hair. Two days later, my scalp became inflamed. Not only did it ooze thin blood, but it was also painful and itchy. I needed to wipe it and used almost a box of tissue paper each night. I couldn’t sleep at all. I thus stayed at home to listen to Master’s lectures and do the exercises. I didn’t go out to talk to people about Dafa. Sleep became the most troublesome matter for me. Despite the adverse situation, I still kept telling myself that “... to become ill is seventy percent psychological and thirty percent physiological.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)
After maintaining a peaceful mind for a week, one night, I was on the verge of breaking down. I begged Master to save me. I finally slept about four hours that night. When I woke up, I felt much better. Then, I joined the group exercises. The bleeding stopped in the middle of practicing the exercises.
This reminded me of Master’s words:
“Our exercise sites are better than any other qigong exercise sites. As long as you go to our exercise sites for practice, it is much better than your treating your own illness.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)
I went to the practice site every day, and my scalp gradually healed.
I looked inward continuously during that time and asked myself, “Why did I suffer these tribulations? I figured out that I was not serious about cultivation in the following four areas:
1. I didn’t actively participate in promoting the Shen Yun Symphony Orchestra this year, as it did not perform in Keelung and there were some conflicts between other practitioners and me.
2. Because fewer and fewer Chinese tourists visited Taiwan, I slacked off gradually. I clarified the truth persistently at the tourist site, but I left quickly once my shift was over. In fact, I did not cherish the opportunity to clarify the truth at the tourist site.
3. Since I delivered The Epoch Times to convenience stores every morning, I didn’t join the group exercises several days a week.
4. I still had some attachments to eliminate.
This taught me a lesson. I am determined to cultivate like the little monk in Zhuan Falun and persevere in doing the three things well, regardless of suffering and hardship. I will walk well every step so as not to disappoint Master.
Thank you, Master, and thank you, fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2019 Taiwan Fa Conference)