Germany: Clarifying the Truth about Falun Dafa Outside the Cologne Cathedral
(Minghui.org) We have organized a vigil outside the Cologne Cathedral several times a week. The cathedral is the most visited tourist attraction in Germany, with six million visitors every year.
We consider this building to be a gift for our group, as it allows us to meet tourists from all over the world, as well as many Chinese people who visit Germany while on a European tour. We regard this to be our obligation, because it allows us to clarify the truth about Dafa to people, thus saving them from possible annihilation if they remain beholden to the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
We are giving special attention to mainland Chinese people, as they are deeply poisoned by the CCP propaganda.
“The goal of your clarifying the truth is to save as many sentient beings as possible, and those who have been poisoned the most severely are none other than the Chinese people. Superficially speaking, what Dafa disciples are doing is counteracting the persecution, but in reality your greatest duty is to save sentient beings, and that is the true embodiment of validating the Fa. The persecution that has been perpetrated upon Dafa disciples and upon the people of China was launched by the wicked Party in mainland China, and this means that you need to focus on mainland China, to focus on the people of mainland China.” (Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005)
My heart is deeply touched when a Chinese person quits the CCP and its youth organizations. That is when I realize even more so the importance of our position. Especially in the wintertime, it is difficult to be outside the cathedral. The cold gets to you, especially the gusts of wind that decreases the temperature even further. However, all of the hardship we experienced is forgotten when we see the shining eyes of those who have quit the Party.
Experiencing Xinxing Tests
Unfortunately, I did not appreciate these precious opportunities. Police refused to grant us a permit back in 2005, the time when the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party were published. We all looked within, which allowed us to find many attachments. In addition, we talked to the police officer in charge of issuing the permit and clarified the situation – but no one reissued the permit.
One million young people from all over the world came to the cathedral for a Christian event in the summer of 2005, about five months after we experienced the permit issue. Our heart was in turmoil because there were so many sentient beings, and we could not tell them about Dafa and the persecution. We thought that this situation was unacceptable.
I overcame any reluctance and called the police officer responsible for issuing the permit. Lo and behold, a permit was issued immediately to myself and to my sister, also a practitioner, allowing us to stand outside the cathedral and hold a banner with information about Dafa and the persecution.
My fellow practitioners and I always had lively exchanges when at the booth at that time. In between I demonstrated the exercises, and once in a while distributed brochures. However, my mind and heart were not with the passersby.
It was as if I checked off a list of items I had to complete at that time. More often than not, when a passerby would stop, I would be talking to another practitioner. Only when they stopped and looked at the banners did I approach them. But then they would refuse to take my brochure.
I wondered why they acted so hostile and angry. Then I had an eye-opener. I should have clarified the truth, instead of talking to my fellow practitioners. My heart was heavy when I realized that so many people lost their salvation because of my behavior.
“The cultivation of speech that we teach refers to: that which involves one’s reputation and personal gain that cannot be given up among everyday people, that which has nothing to do with the actual work of practitioners in society, the senseless gossiping among practitioners in the same school of practice, attachments that cause one to show off, hearsay or circulating rumors, or those discussions on some social issues that one is excited about. I hold that these are all attachments of everyday people. I think that in these areas we should watch what we say—that is the cultivation of speech we refer to.” (Lecture Eight, Zhuan Falun, Version 2000)
I then found another attachment – craving recognition. I wanted to tell the other practitioners all the good things I had accomplished, where I distributed brochures, or what I had recently discussed with a pedestrian. At the same time I wanted to apologize to have established a bad environment that stopped them from saving many more sentient beings.
I also realized that as soon as we were in the wrong, the police or someone from the regulatory agency would approach us and point to things we should not do.
A staff member from the regulatory agency told us that we do not have permission to distribute brochures. Then, we showed our permit. He left, but my sister and I immediately looked inward to find the cause of this incident. We realized that we had distributed many brochures instead of having a face-to-face discussion so they could truly understand the truth about Dafa.
A practitioner was approached by a police officer who seemed annoyed and scolded us for harassing people. After we had ended the vigil, we talked and realized that the officer was in the right. The minute we saw Chinese pedestrians, it was like running the gauntlet. We ran towards them, and every one of us wanted to hand them a newspaper, or a brochure. This was not the behavior of a practitioner.
Harassment has nothing to do with the Dafa principles of “Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance.” We naturally wanted to hand the informational materials to these people. However, our pushy behavior resulted in just the opposite from what we wanted to accomplish. This opened our eyes and we changed our behavior. We kept a distance, smiled, and only one of us approached the individual.
Master said, “We say that when you take a step back in a conflict, you will find the seas and the skies boundless...” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun. Version 2000)
Receiving Information Not by Accident
A large parade was arranged two years ago in a neighboring town, and the Tian Guo Marching Band was invited to participate. As I was involved in the preparations, I was certain to partake in it, instead of being outside the cathedral.
My sister and I participated in the vigil outside the cathedral that day before the parade. A security member told us that the cathedral would be closed for a priest consecration. Besides, it would be closed the following day, as the federal president would visit.
All night long my mind went back and forth about partaking in the parade or staying behind in Cologne. It was not easy to come to a decision. What to do? What was right? I was certain that it was not an accident to hear about the federal president's visit. This last thought determined the outcome. I told fellow practitioners that I would not be present at the parade.
My sister and I arrived early in the morning at the cathedral. The federal president arrived in the afternoon surrounded by a crowd of people. We held the banner high above our heads so that it was visible from afar.
We were ready to leave after he entered the cathedral. A woman told me that she had just been at city hall and noticed the president's official car parked outside that building. However, there were many people at city hall.
A thought hit me. I could give the driver some Dafa informational materials and request it to be turned over to the president. We went to city hall. The official car had left. Someone else told me that a concert would be given in the Philharmonic Hall and that the president would give the opening speech.
We packed up and went to the place where he would pass on his way to the Philharmonic Hall. Many police officers and riot police could be seen all over the place. We clarified the truth and explained that we wanted to give the president some informational materials. They gave us permission, and soon after I saw him walk along the route we had assumed. He noticed our yellow shirts and one practitioner gave him a brochure, while I gave his assistant some more materials I had put together.
After arriving at the cathedral that morning and having unrolled the banners, two Chinese pedestrians walked toward us. We gave them different informational materials, and they were delighted to receive them. My heart was touched and I was pleased to have remained in Cologne. Four more practitioners arrived to help us, and we developed a harmonic field.
Instrumental in Opening Hearts
I have a suggestion for our Chinese fellow practitioners. Although it is not easy, it is worthwhile to view the places Chinese tourists visit the most, a place where one can clarify the truth. This is instrumental in opening their hearts, so they will quit the CCP.
“As I mentioned at the last Fa conference, [our group as a whole] must not let up with our truth-clarification at tourist spots. Especially with tourists coming out of mainland China, you really must focus your truth-clarification on them. Practitioners everywhere are taking action, and doing well.” (“Fa Teaching on World Falun Dafa Day”)
(Presented at the 2019 German Fa Conference)