I'm So Grateful for the Cultivation Opportunities Promoting Shen Yun Offered Me
(Minghui.org) Just before I learned that Shen Yun Performing Arts would come to Rome, I decided to change jobs. I needed to find a place to live near my new job, and another practitioner also needed to relocate. With our friends' help, we were fortunate to find a house in a good location. The house was too large for just the two of us, but we took it anyway.
A few months later, we learned that Shen Yun was scheduled to perform in the Rome Opera House for the first time. Our house became the main location practitioners prepared to promote Shen Yun. I finally understood why Master arranged for us to rent this house.
I was lazy and had not been vigilant about eliminating my attachments, so my cultivation state was not very good. I felt discouraged and thought that I would not be able to overcome these difficulties. We had to prepare for Shen Yun, however. Rome was the first city on the show's European tour. We had a very important task.
The coordinator asked several other practitioners and me to make the preparations for Shen Yun’s arrival, so we decided to meet as often as possible. We started to meet every day to study the Fa and send forth righteous thoughts. We studied the Fa for an hour and then sent forth righteous thoughts for another hour.
Because of the poor state of my cultivation, it was difficult for me to keep up. Studying the Fa was not a problem, but I found sending forth righteous thoughts for an hour challenging. At the beginning I could only send righteous thoughts for half an hour. It was very helpful and I could feel my field becoming pure and cleansed. But some deep obstacles remained, and I still could not send righteous thoughts for an entire hour.
One day we studied “Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference.” Master said:
“Of course, we don't acknowledge any of the things that the old forces arranged--I as your master don't acknowledge them, and Dafa disciples of course don't acknowledge them either. (Applause) But after all, they did do what they wanted to do, so there's all the more reason for Dafa disciples to do even better and cultivate themselves well in the course of saving all beings. When you encounter ordeals during your cultivation, you have got to cultivate yourself and look at yourself--that doesn't mean acknowledging the ordeals arranged by the old forces and trying to do well amidst the ordeals they've arranged, that's not the case. We negate even the very emergence of the old forces and everything that they've arranged; we don't even acknowledge their existence. We're fundamentally negating all of their things, and all of, and only, the things you do while negating and getting rid of them is mighty-virtue. It's not that you're cultivating amidst the ordeals they created. Rather, you are to walk your own path well while not acknowledging them, not even acknowledging the elimination of their ordeals' manifestations. (Applause) So looking at it from this angle, what we need to do is completely negate the old forces. Dafa disciples and I don't even acknowledge the manifestations of their last-ditch efforts.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IV)
This passage of the Fa touched me deeply. I was keenly aware that all those tribulations were caused by the old forces' tight grip on my thoughts and were causing interference.
Afterward, when it was time to send forth righteous thoughts, I was determined to do it for an hour to get rid of this interference. At the end of the first half-hour I “saw” a huge mountain range similar to the Alps, with huge rocks and no vegetation. Suddenly, the mountain peaks started to explode one after another and shatter into thousands of pieces. The old forces had instilled in me many misconceptions that had plagued me from childhood, but as I sent forth righteous thoughts, I eliminated some of them.
As I sat there with my palm erect, I felt a large, black mass of karma the size of a basketball pressed against my abdomen, and then it was suddenly and forcefully ejected from my body. I immediately felt relaxed. My back was straight, my thoughts were completely blank and light, and I continued to send forth righteous thoughts. From then on, I was able to send righteous thoughts for an hour.
Master allowed me to see my thoughts and the arrangements that the old forces had made for me and removed them. This was an important moment. After that, my cultivation truly improved. I was able to keep up with the other practitioners.
A few months later, the contract was signed, and Shen Yun would come to Rome. The main coordinator and other practitioners moved into our large home. I felt so fortunate! Master has so much compassion for us and provided us with such a great cultivation environment!
After a while it was decided that the local Fa study group would meet in my home, so I was immersed in a cultivation environment.
Every morning we got up and sent forth righteous thoughts. Then we did the exercises and studied the Fa. After that, I went to work. After dinner, I studied the Fa and concentrated on making arrangements for Shen Yun. The practitioners who came to our home gave me a lot of advice to help me improve, and I was very grateful to them.
That year, for the first time, Shen Yun was scheduled to perform in three cities in Italy. The marketing responsibility was enormous. This was the first year we held shows to save 10,000 people. With everyone's help and in this special cultivation environment, I was able to overcome difficulties.
Removing Attachments to Lust and Desire
The encouragement from this cultivation environment and the responsibility I felt gave me a strong resolve to completely eliminate the lust and desires that had long plagued my cultivation. I was very diligent and examined each of my thoughts and the motives behind them. I encountered a lot of resistance at first, but I refused to go along with it. At work, my colleagues stopped bringing up these topics.
During this process, I encountered two intense tests. One night, I was very tired and sleepy before going to bed. I suddenly had many lustful thoughts. It was as though I was poisoned. I felt numb and dizzy, as if I’d completely lost control of my body. I couldn’t resist them. In the chaos, one righteous thought emerged: “I must resolutely eliminate this! I can't give in. I don't want these things! I am here to save people.” Keeping this thought uppermost in my mind, I started to send forth righteous thoughts. My mental and physical state returned to normal.
The second time was very obvious interference. Less than two weeks before the show, all the practitioners involved in the promotion gathered in my home to study the Fa and send forth righteous thoughts. The coordinator announced that Rome would add another show. We were excited, even though we had less than two weeks to prepare. We were very confident and pleased that we would save many people. We had to sell a lot more tickets in a short period of time, and we had to do all the preparations for the arrival of Shen Yun!
A few days later when everything was confirmed, we were very busy. Although we worked late into the night, I was very happy and didn't feel tired. One night, however, I was nearly overcome with feelings of lust and desire. Once again I felt numb and dizzy and had all kinds of thoughts. This time they were really fierce and much stronger than the last time. They really wanted to destroy me.
I clenched my teeth and resisted them with all my strength. I remembered the last test and thought, “I don't want this thing. I refuse to go along with this interference. I know you want to destroy me so that I cannot save people. You want to ruin me, but I will eliminate you.”
I began to send forth righteous thoughts. Suddenly I felt a huge burden being lifted from me. I felt something deeply ingrained in me disappear. I felt a powerful energy like never before. I knew I had finally eliminated my attachment to lust!
Master Strengthened Me
About a week before the performances, I was asked to help with security. This was a new task for me. I had to quickly prepare. I was also still arranging the ticket sales in two other cities. I felt a lot of pressure.
The Shen Yun company arrived the night before the show. Since few cars were available, I had to direct the company's drivers and technicians. I also traveled back and forth with them between the hotel and theater many times. Each trip took about 30 minutes and didn't end until 3 a.m.
I was exhausted. By the time I drove the last practitioner to the hotel, I felt that I couldn't drive anymore. Every time I stopped at a red light, I slept for a few seconds and then woke up. I felt I had reached my limit.
One practitioner asked me if I could pick him up in the morning. I really felt that I didn't have time because I had to prepare the performers’ badges and signs for the following day, so I refused. He understood and said that he would resolve the issue himself. I felt relieved. When I arrived at the hotel, though, I met a company director. She asked if I could pick her up at 6:45 a.m. and drive her to the theater. I reluctantly agreed.
When I got home, I was exhausted. It was already 3:00 a.m. I complained that after sending righteous thoughts at 6:00 a.m., I had to drive to the hotel and get the director. But I also needed to prepare the badges and signs! I really didn't know what to do.
To add to this, I couldn't find a parking space when I got home. After driving around for more than half an hour, I eventually found a place about 500 meters away. I still had to walk up a big hill. I was very tired, irritable, and exhausted. I wanted to cry. I couldn't take much more! At that moment, I felt the challenges a cultivator faced. I wondered why all these things happened to me and why I had to bear all these heavy responsibilities.
I had a sudden thought: “This is an opportunity to improve and eliminate karma. This is a precious opportunity.”
I felt a warm current run through me and Master's strong compassion truly eliminated much of my karma and raised me up. I suddenly felt full of energy. A deep feeling of happiness enveloped me. That single thought completely changed my mindset and I no longer felt tired. Instead, I felt like I'd had a long, restful sleep.
When I got home, I patiently prepared everything. I worked until 5:30 a.m. I didn't feel sleepy. I simply sat on the sofa and meditated for half an hour before sending righteous thoughts. Then, I had a quick wash and went out to pick up the director.
There were two performances that day, and I stayed there the entire time coordinating the security and helping my fellow practitioners.
At the end of the day, I drove people back and forth, from the parking lot to the hotel, to the theater. I was very busy, but I maintained righteous thoughts. I did not stop to rest or relax. I continued to do what I needed to do, even though I didn’t get home until 3:00 a.m. the following morning. I was still in good shape. When everything was over, the Shen Yun performances in Rome were a success and all the tickets had been sold.
When I got up, I had plenty of energy and didn't feel tired. That night, when I was having dinner, I learned that two practitioners were stuck in Rome and couldn’t get home. The coordinator asked me to go to the airport and pick them up. My human heart began to stir. I had driven so many people over the past two days. I had already done so much! I didn't feel like driving again, and now I couldn’t even finish my dinner. I felt that I couldn’t bear much more.
As I drove to the airport, I asked another practitioner why the media practitioners had not left on time. He assumed that they probably hadn't finished the interview reports, because so many influential mainstream people had seen Shen Yun. Writing up the interviews was very important. Rome was the first stop on the European tour that year and those interviews would greatly enhance the promotion of Shen Yun throughout the tour.
I thought, “Master asked me to get these practitioners so they could complete their reports.” I felt that it was my responsibility and my honor to do this.
I felt a warm surge of energy as though Master was cleansing me. I felt overjoyed and tears ran down my face. All the tiredness and my complaints disappeared. Master was offering me more opportunities to eliminate my karma. I was really moved by Master's compassion.
Throughout those days, I experienced firsthand how maintaining a righteous mindset can completely change the situation, enabling me to do things that were simply impossible to accomplish under normal circumstances. I had to overcome my psychological and physical limitations. I withstood the constant interference to get rid of my human heart. I felt that Master was with me every step of the way.
Promoting Shen Yun presents us with an excellent opportunity to fulfill our vows and to make rapid progress in cultivation. I'm very grateful to Master for giving me this huge opportunity.
Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2019 European Fa Conference)