How Participating in Promoting Shen Yun Helped Me Identify My Attachments
Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I have practiced Falun Gong for six years. For the last four years, I've had the honor of helping to promote Shen Yun. With each new season, I can feel my cultivation speeding up: tribulations come suddenly, helping me to have new understandings and to enlighten quickly by elevating my xinxing.
Tickets sales in my area were very successful in 2018. A month before the company arrived, the shows were sold out and we added an additional performance.
When promotion for the 2019 shows began, I had to overcome some very different tests. First, tickets were more difficult to sell. Then, I invited about 20 practitioners from other states in Mexico to stay in my home for four months. They came to help with ticket sales during the promotion campaign and then help when the company arrived. Everyone worked hard. The week before the show opened, practitioners traveled from Canada and the U.S. to help with ticket sales. I felt I was under a lot of pressure.
“Dafa disciples all know that bringing Shen Yun can save people, that it can achieve this, but if you don’t act responsibly towards Shen Yun, then it’s a problem. Shen Yun brings about a change in conditions for the Dafa disciples in each region it goes to, and advances the cause of saving people, but you, in turn, have to provide Shen Yun with the conditions that it needs. If you decide to bring Shen Yun, then really ensure that you do it well. And since it is Master who is personally guiding Shen Yun, if your area doesn’t do well it will very quickly get back to me.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
We had no time to rest. Sometimes there was only one practitioner available at our booths on weekends.
Everything seemed to take a long time, such as distributing leaflets, invitations, and letters to government officials. I coordinated with the practitioners who stayed at my house but neglected working with my team. I wanted to participate in everything; I tried to pay attention to everything. I felt very stressed and knew that I didn't handle things with compassion. I did not realize that this was my opportunity to expand my tolerance. The best part was that, with so many practitioners in my home, I was able to study the Fa with the group every morning and share understandings. This helped me a lot in my cultivation.
Because it was so difficult to sell tickets this season, I looked inward to see how I was contributing and where I needed to improve. It took me a while to understand. Because our theater is not very big, the expensive seats are close to the cheaper ones. Since it was easier to sell the cheaper tickets, those were the ones I promoted. I was doing this with human notions. I observed the way the four Chinese practitioners from Canada were able to sell the expensive tickets. They didn’t even speak Spanish! I remembered what Master pointed out:
“I want Shen Yun to start with mainstream society, establishing itself first in upper-class society. We want to open a door there for saving people, only then could we have an impact on the entire society.[…] I am not discriminating against anyone here. I want to open the gates of saving people by targeting mainstream society—I want to save all people! Only when the gates of mainstream society are open can we have an impact on all of society.” (“Fa Teaching at the New York Fa Conference on the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Dafa´s Introduction to the Public”)
Master carefully looks after every aspect of our Shen Yun promotion, thus ensuring the salvation of thousands of people. Despite any interference, tensions, or fatigue, participating in promoting Shen Yun is a great opportunity to cultivate and to fulfill our mission and the vows we made to Master long ago.
When Shen Yun returns, everyone should help. Those practitioners who are not involved in other projects can help with sales. Their help is especially needed in cities where there are few practitioners. Master said,
“…those Dafa disciples who are not busy, or those who are not busy in various Dafa projects, could help promote Shen Yun. […] I want to say to everyone, since Shen Yun is so powerful in saving people—after each show, one to two thousand people will be saved—those students who are not busy should consider this carefully. What are you here for? But, there are fewer and fewer such opportunities.” (“Teaching the Fa in Washington D.C. in 2018”)
Eliminating My Attachment to Family
I had a very revealing cultivation experience with my 32-year-old daughter last year, which helped me elevate my xinxing and expect more from myself in order to walk my path righteously and be more tolerant. Although painful, it helped me eliminate human notions. I did not realize that I had a strong attachment to my daughter and my grandchildren.
“Why can human beings be human? It is because human beings have qing. They live just for this qing. Affection among family members, love between a man and a woman, love for parents, feelings, friendship, doing things for the sake of friendship, and everything else all relate to this qing. Whether a person likes to do something or not, is happy or unhappy, loves or hates something, and everything in the entire human society comes from this qing. If this qing is not relinquished, you will be unable to cultivate. If you break free from this qing, nobody can affect you. An everyday person’s mind will be unable to sway you. What comes and replaces it is benevolence, which is a nobler thing.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
My relationship with my daughter has always been difficult and we had frequent confrontations. She was rebellious and always questioned my authority. I tried to be very patient. I tried to put myself in her place and wondered why her heart was so hard. Over time, I learned to get along with her. She married at the age of 20. After she left home, we seldom spoke.
I analyzed why she was always angry with me. I looked for answers that would bring us closer, or at least have a more harmonious relationship. I understood what Master said:
“One’s Original Soul does not perish. So, in your social activities in past lives, you might once have owed someone, bullied someone, or committed other wrongdoing, and those creditors will come to find you. It is said in Buddhism that one lives because of karmic retribution. If you owe someone something, he will find you for the repayment. If he takes too much, he will have to pay it back to you the next time around.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)
My daughter moved in with me in August 2018 with her two children, one 11 years old and the other a year and a half. She was also pregnant. Although she finally needed me, I felt that my tolerance was tested the entire year we lived together. It was a tough year, but I was respectful of her pregnancy and lovingly cared for my two grandchildren.
I felt that she had not changed and was still putting her personal interests first. She wanted to return to Mexico City for the birth of her baby, under unstable and risky circumstances for the whole family, including me.
I talked with her and asked to think about what she was doing and the other people involved. She insisted that she was right. That night, I started having diarrhea and stomach pain. A rash appeared all over my body and the itching was excruciating. I had no appetite and started to lose weight. I was very unhappy. My granddaughter would be born within 25 days, so we had to move in a hurry.
I was under a lot of pressure. I wanted to study the Fa and do the exercises, but I felt powerless. I experienced a lot of interference and I thought that I might die. I remembered that I was a Dafa disciple and that Master had helped me many times. He would not leave me this time. At that time, another practitioner was also going through a similar tribulation. We kept contacting and encouraging each other.
“If a debt is owed, it must be paid. Therefore, some dangerous things may occur in the course of cultivation. When these things take place, however, you will not be scared, and neither will real danger be allowed to happen to you.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)
After 20 days, the diarrhea began to slow down and the itching subsided as well. I had an understanding that I would stop living with my daughter. I felt in my heart that it was time to let her follow her own path. I began to overcome the fear and guilt that my grandchildren would not be okay. I was confident that my daughter was strong and loving enough to move her family forward.
Master Gave Me a New Understanding
Five days after my granddaughter's birth, I had another experience that helped elevate my xinxing. I had an accident on a motorcycle that I've driven for 12 years. I should have died or at least broken a leg.
I went to cross a street and didn’t see a car speeding toward me. Suddenly, I stopped without knowing why, and the car hit the front of my motorcycle. It was like a lightning strike! I jumped off my motorcycle and stood there, watching: the motorcycle was pushed about two meters and the front was destroyed. People surrounded me to see if I was injured. The driver stopped and ran back to check on me. He couldn’t believe that I was calmly standing there! I apologized to him for what happened.
It was truly a miracle! Master had just saved my life! I felt totally lucid and conscious of what had just happened. I was enveloped in a feeling of great peace and enormous gratitude because I was standing there uninjured. I was not frightened or confused. It was like an instant of great enlightenment to the meaning of my cultivation in Dafa. I was extremely grateful for Master’s mercy! At that moment I understood that I was fulfilling my karmic debt with my daughter. I also understood that I needed to eliminate my deep attachment to her and my grandchildren. I needed to stop living with them and allow her to live her own life.
The Fa Can Change the Course of Human Events
My other daughter is 23. In 2018, she was planning to travel to Shenzhen City in China. She would meet her fiance, an American, who taught English at a school. They planned to live together in China for a year and travel in Asia afterward.
My daughter prepared for six months and finished her degree. She improved her English and applied for a job with a Chinese company in Shenzhen. Two months before the trip, her fiance suddenly canceled their engagement, saying he needed his freedom. At first, my daughter was angry. She later found a job and put her disappointment aside.
When I heard what happened, I felt that she was very fortunate to not go on that trip, but I did not say a single word. It had taken me a few months to let go of the attachment that she would leave, and I was calm now. When she told me that she planned to live and work in China, we agreed that she would no longer “like” Falun Dafa, Shen Yun, or the Epoch Times on her social media posts. We knew that practitioners are systematically persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and that could have put her in danger.
“The wicked Party has units that specifically probe into Falun Gong. Did you know that they have something as ridiculous as so-called Falun Gong “experts” and Shen Yun “experts,” who specifically study Falun Gong’s developments and this or that about Shen Yun. Everything is “intelligence” to them. What the Party does is abuse people on political grounds, so they want to find out even the trifling details of people’s daily lives. So, once they approach you, they appear to know everything already and to know you inside out. (…) The wicked Party has decades of experience abusing people for political reasons.” (“Fa Teaching on World Falun Dafa Day”)
Although my daughter is not a practitioner, she has positioned herself well in the last two years. She has seen Shen Yun several times. She knows about the persecution and understands our mission to save people. Practitioners who come to help have stayed in our house. I have also hosted our Fa Study group for at least two years. She follows my cultivation very closely.
Two months ago, the young American man contacted my daughter. He was filled with remorse for abruptly breaking off their engagement. He asked her to move with him to the U.S. They will study together and get married. He told her about the horrible things he experienced in China that year: he said that the CCP instills a fighting mentality in children. Morality is ridiculed. There was a great lack of freedom both in thought and what people are allowed to do. The CCP controls every aspect of people's lives. Women are promiscuous. Many young people drink or take drugs. As a foreigner, the police checked his residency papers every week. He said, “I was very saddened to see that the Chinese have no souls. I'm glad you didn't have to experience this.”
My daughter forgave him and they renewed their engagement. I know that Master helped her, because the Fa also benefits our relatives.
“We teach salvation of both ourselves and others, as well as of all beings. Thus, Falun can save oneself by rotating inward and save others by rotating outward. […]Only the energy field from cultivation in a righteous way can produce this effect. Therefore, in the past there was this saying in Buddhism, “The Buddha-light illuminates everywhere and harmonizes everything.” This is what it means.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)
This is my understanding at my current level. Thank you, Master, for your infinite mercy!
(Presented at the 2019 Mexico Fa Conference)