[New York Fa Conference] Remembering to Contribute Without Pursuit When Doing Truth-Clarification Projects
(Minghui.org) Greetings Master, greetings fellow practitioners.
I am a practitioner from the UK and would like to share about some recent experiences which have come from coordinating projects related to the UK Parliament.
Over the last few months, we have had a lot of different activities happening in the UK connected to raising awareness about forced organ harvesting, including a formal debate in the UK Parliament, a campaign for British MPs to sign and support a call for banning organ transplant tourism, several smaller initiatives, and the second set of hearings for the ongoing China Tribunal, which were also held in London.
I have been coordinating the efforts connected to the debate, the campaign for MPs, and a few other connected projects. Cultivation is always a journey and not a destination, and over the last few months my journey has had several highs and lows. It constantly reminded me to be more diligent, trust Master more, and simply try to do my best in whatever situation I find myself in.
Earlier this year, the NGO I am working for provided me with an opportunity to take on more responsibilities and a greater role, and at the same time the Parliament projects I was organizing started to require a lot more time and effort. As such, I almost instantly made the decision to start working full time on these roles, or at least full-time hours – trying my best to balance things with my own business.
After several meetings with different VIPs, we were able to arrange a new Parliament EDM campaign. An EDM is a UK Parliamentary platform which stands for Early Day Motion. This is an opportunity or platform for UK MPs to come together and sign a document to say they support a cause or a call for action.
We tabled a new EDM titled “Forced Live Organ Extraction from Prisoners of Conscience in China,” which described the persecution of Falun Gong and other religious minorities in China, referenced the ongoing China Tribunal’s Interim Judgement, and called on the UK government to ban organ transplant tourism.
We then had the opportunity to arrange a formal 90-minute debate in UK Parliament on organ harvesting titled “Forced Live Organ Extraction in China.”
As the debate and EDM had been confirmed we needed to get more practitioners involved to support it, and I was trying to arrange a meeting with practitioners. Every time I tried I found I was either not able to reach certain practitioners or the people were very busy with other tasks.
I then had a xinxing conflict with a practitioner, and in the heat of the moment probably said some things that were a bit harsh. After this I tried to look inside, and realized that I was not being compassionate enough or considerate of this person’s situation.
I found myself reading The 2012 International Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital. One part really stood out for me,
“In cultivation you will inevitably not pass certain tests well and will have to go through them anew, or you won’t handle certain ordeals well and will have to meet with them again. That’s cultivation.”
The more I thought about this, the more I realized that as a coordinator my role is to help support practitioners and to really have the heart to help, no matter whether this means enduring some extra challenges or pressure.
Fresh from these realizations the next morning I tried again to arrange a meeting with the practitioners I had been trying to reach. Within a few hours I had been able to connect with everyone I had been hoping to speak to. What stood out for me was that the process suddenly became smooth and when I was sharing with these practitioners almost everyone shared the same thing to me about challenges they were facing, some current difficulties they had, and about pressures they were under.
I could feel that Master was showing me that above all when we work together as practitioners it is important that we have the heart to help and support one another. We are all trying to juggle so many different tasks and have commitments from various projects, family, and work, but when we come together with the heart to help each other Master will help to open situations up and allow for our projects to make progress.
The outcome was that later that day we had a very positive and encouraging meeting, which began the preparations to help support the upcoming Parliament debate and EDM.
This was a reminder for me, and as with many of the situations I have encountered over the past few months, I tried to see things with righteous thoughts, have a positive mindset, and above all to keep going when situations were challenging. In the past I may not have always been the best at this, so in many ways I felt like these situations were arranged for me to do better with my own personal cultivation.When we were about to start working on the campaigns to support the EDM and debate, a practitioner who I had been working very closely with experienced some personal tribulations and had to step back for a little while. At the time this was daunting as I knew there was lots of work coming up and this would result in extra pressure and work for me. From looking inside, I could see I needed to increase my capacity, endurance, and heart.
This situation made me look inside, and helped me realize that above all I needed to put my trust and faith in Master and everything would be fine. I constantly thought of what Master said,
“Things have been arranged for such a long time and this is such a major event, so things are really well-ordered! If I told you that even every step you take as you walk, and that even how big your stride is, were arranged, you might not believe it.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2014 San Francisco Fa Conference”)
In a way, remembering this quote helped to keep things simple – everything was already arranged, all I had to do was try to do my best. If I found myself in a situation where I had to try to work a little bit harder or take a bit of extra pressure, I realized this was arranged for my personal cultivation.
Looking back while writing this sharing I can see that there were many days when Master really helped to encourage, support, and look after me.
Once we had started the campaigns to help support the EDM and debate I was very busy, and I had to write and prepare a report which would be used to support these initiatives, while organizing and working with the team supporting these campaigns. Even though I knew the report was important, I had been busy and had left this to the last minute, which meant when I started to write this, I only had two to three days to prepare it.
This resulted in me working continuously, day and night, for a few days, with very little sleep. By the third day, just when I was finishing the final edit, I felt like I needed to get out of my house for a little while, as I had not had a chance to do this for a couple of days.
It was coming up to global sending righteous thoughts time in the afternoon and I wanted to go out afterwards to get some fresh air. As I sat down to do righteous thoughts, I suddenly felt extremely tired. I could barely concentrate, and it felt like the last few days were catching up with me, and that I had no energy left. I realized too that I had just received some emails which required me to send out some communications, prepare, and organize some things.
At the time I was not sure whether I wanted go to sleep, go for a walk, or take a breath and carry on. Even though I felt tired, I knew I had to focus on the work, so I sat down in front of my laptop and started to send some emails. Almost immediately, it felt like I was doing the 5th exercise – I could feel the rotation, not just in me, but all around the room I was working in. I could feel that Master was encouraging me to keep going.
I remembered a quote from Zhuan Falun, Lecture One where Master said,
“Cultivation depends on one’s own efforts, while the transformation of gong is done by one’s Master.”
Reminding myself that I needed to focus on trying to do my best—everything is arranged by Master—and if I can focus on my cultivation and doing things the best I can, then Master will arrange for everything I need. Afterwards I felt so refreshed, not tired at all, and I could feel that Master was with me.
At the same time as the campaign to raise awareness about these initiatives was taking place inside Parliament, we had a team helping to encourage support from practitioners around the country. We were helping them reach out to, connect with, and arrange appointments to see their MPs. Within the first week or two, we had received a big response from practitioners, all wanting to help.
There were many examples of practitioners speaking to or going to see their MPs, some who had little or no experience with this from the past. After seeing or speaking to practitioners, MPs started to offer more support with both the debate and EDM. Face to face truth clarification, where possible, will always be more powerful, and when we come together as one body our efforts will always have a greater effect, just like when Master raised his hand a few years ago making a fist, when talking about practitioners working together.
I believe that the combined approach of having so many practitioners come together with the same heart played a big role in helping the UK to make some breakthroughs during this process.
Working on projects connected to Parliament like this provides an interesting challenge. As when we are working on specific situations like the EDM, where we have a focus and role to help encourage MPs to sign, it brings up the issue of pursuit. It can be quite challenging, and I am not sure I have really found the right balance yet, working hard towards something while at the same time not being attached to the result.
In Zhuan Falun, Lecture Two, Master said,
“In Cultivation and practice one should be in a state free of intention. As long as you focus on cultivating your xinxing, you will make breakthroughs in your level and certainly get things you deserve. If you cannot give something up, isn’t it an attachment?”
This really made me think of what our intention is when we are working on projects like this, and to look back at a similar situation I found myself in a few years ago.
During the 2016 EU Parliament Written Declaration project, I was coordinating the UK team and helping to support a few other areas. There was one day where I was asked to share with practitioners to help encourage them, and afterwards we had another smaller meeting where again I found myself trying to be encouraging and supportive of practitioners who were going to speak to MEPs (Members of European Parliament).
At the time of these sharings, we still had a long way to go for the Written Declaration to be a success, and while I did not say anything to practitioners at the time, I remember starting to feel like there was some pressure on me, as the project was on the surface quite important. That night, when I was in bed, I found myself literally praying to Master for help and guidance.
I was asking for help for all the MEPs to sign the Written Declaration – and then suddenly I felt blocked, which surprised me. I tried to look within and I realized I had pursuit. My wish should not be to get MEPs to sign the declaration but to simply try and use this process to save everyone I met – the MEPs, their assistants, and all their officers. At that moment, I felt an enormous rush of energy run through my body and I saw Master’s fashen. It was late, and I was a little tired, but I took this as a hint to trust Master.
The next day another practitioner and I had an appointment with a senior MEP from a UK party. During the meeting they initially expressed that they were supportive of the Written Declaration but were reluctant to sign due to issues connected with party politics. Soon another MEP from the same party saw us, came over, and joined the meeting. They also expressed that they were considering signing. After some discussions and personal appeals from us, both MEP’s indicated that they would sign. I then asked them whether they could help encourage fellow MEPs from the same party to support. They invited us to join them in the MEP-only bar, and they would see if they could introduce us to some of their colleagues. As soon as we walked into the bar, there was another MEP from the same party. We were introduced, the person we had first met explained that they were signing the Written Declaration, and they encouraged them to listen to us.
Just after I started to speak, another MEP from the same party came into the bar and the process was repeated – we were introduced, this time I apologized to the MEP I was just speaking with and explained I would like to start again from the beginning. Then, what I can only describe as a miracle happened – this process kept repeating itself, until we had seven MEPs and several assistants all sitting round the table. Each time a new MEP came, I felt in my heart that it was important to begin again from the start – I did not want to lose the opportunity, so I kept apologizing, but thankfully they were all very supportive.
By the end, when I had finally managed to explain the situation to everyone, it became clear that most were supportive and had indicated they were going to sign the declaration. Again, like with the initial part of meeting, I asked them whether they could help encourage fellow MEPs from the same party to support the Declaration. They then started speaking among themselves and asked whether I would like to come and do a small presentation to an inter-party group meeting they had later in the evening. Of course, I agreed and thanked them for all their support. During this whole process I could feel that Master was arranging and opening everything up.
I was told I would have about five minutes to talk about organ harvesting, and that it would likely be a small meeting with about 20-30 people. I got a call a couple of hours later telling me to prepare a shorter speech of about 3-4 minutes long, but there may be a few extra people. It turned out that a senior politician had just resigned and there was an event immediately after this meeting. As a result there were about 80 attendees at the meeting. Not all were MEPs – there were many assistants there too, but I could feel everyone was there to hear the truth.
When my name was called out to speak, I was told I would have 90 seconds. The practitioner I was with looked at me and whispered, “What are you going to do?” I did not even think... I said I had to do the whole speech. It would have been impossible to change it on the spot, so I did that. Everyone at the meeting listened and I could feel people were genuinely engaged. After my speech, the person chairing the meeting asked me to clarify a point and then asked me a question. I could feel he was shocked by the Organ Harvesting and did not know much about it. Right afterwards, two MEPs—one from Italy and then one from France—stood up and said they had signed, and encouraged everyone to do so.
This experience will always stay with me, as a powerful reminder to not pursue things and to try and do things with my heart. The projects we have been working on recently in the UK are very similar in nature – in terms of trying to work towards to a goal, but without being attached to the result.
I have found it extremely helpful to share with some practitioners who have been very diligent in reminding me and others, that our focus is not on the result but to simply try and save the people we come into contact with through these processes.
With that in mind, on the surface at least, some of the projects we have been working on seem to have generated more and more energy within Parliament, and it feels like Master is opening more doors for future efforts.
The EDM campaign, calling for organ transplant tourism to be banned in the UK, has been signed by 47 British MPs. During the Parliament debate on March 10, MPs spoke out about the persecution of Falun Gong, organ harvesting, and the climate of religious persecution in China today.
Several remarks were made drawing similarities between the persecution and organ harvesting, with the holocaust during World War 2. One MP stated this was “nothing less than a 21st century genocide.” There were several strong calls for the UK to ban organ transplant tourism to China. These calls were echoed in the mainstream medias as well as among many other national and international medias.
To have the opportunity to work alongside so many practitioners, trying to support them and do my best, is an experience I will cherish, like so many others. I hope in the future I will be able to do better and work with more compassion and heart.
Thank you Master, thank you fellow practitioners.
(Presented at the 2019 New York Fa Conference)