(Minghui.org) I was so fortunate to participate in helping bring Shen Yun Performing Arts to Alaska for the first time. I’d like to begin by sharing with you what Master said,
“If your area has just one person, Gods will help you accomplish it.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference”)
“Even with just one Dafa disciple, if your righteous thoughts are strong, the power is enough to split a mountain—just one thought will do it.” (“What is a Dafa Disciple,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
Although Alaska is one of the largest U.S. states, the population is very sparse, only around 700,000 people. Shen Yun Performing Arts came to Alaska for the first time this year. It performed 4 shows in 3 days, and the venue was filled for each performance. The original plan was to perform three shows in two days. Since tickets sold well, an additional show was added. Without much advertising, even one ticket was hard to get. This would have been absolutely impossible to achieve without Master’s blessing. I had no experience in talking to sponsors, but I was driven by the sense of mission to save people. I visited and spoke to 14 businesses in 10 days.
The Shen Yun shows in Alaska were coordinated by practitioners in San Francisco. They helped arrange the theater contracts, advertising, printing, and mailing flyers. As the only local Falun Dafa practitioner in Alaska, I did my best. The whole process gave me many opportunities to look inward and improve. I was moved and inspired by the other practitioners' stories. Whenever I encountered a problem, I really got help from Master.
I began practicing Falun Dafa in China in 1998, and I moved to Alaska in 2010. This year was the first time I participated in promoting Shen Yun. When I first heard that Shen Yun was going to perform in Alaska, I was very happy but also worried, since I'm the only practitioner here.
I had one wish: to cooperate with other practitioners unconditionally. They patiently gave me some advice. But to my mind some things they said seemed like unreasonable accusations. Nevertheless, I humbly looked inward and corrected myself. I realized Master was using fellow practitioners’ mouths to help me quickly improve. Master said, “...one’s gong level is as high as one’s xinxing level.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)
Last year, I heard that Shen Yun planned to perform in Alaska. I contacted practitioners in San Francisco and asked what I should do. They asked me how many posters and flyers I thought I would need. After the materials arrived, I stored them in my garage. I was worried, because the thought of distributing so many Shen Yun materials seemed daunting. Practitioners from other areas came to help me. At that time, Alaska was snowy and icy, and the roads were slippery. The younger practitioners came and helped for one week. The elderly practitioners were the main force. They stayed for 20 days.
Although I didn't feel very capable, I became a coordinator. Sometimes it’s awkward to give orders to others, and I was new at promoting Shen Yun. I learned from the other practitioners and we exchanged ideas. When the Shen Yun company decided to add another show, only a week remained before the other practitioners were scheduled to leave. I became anxious and I asked that we meet.
When I arrived, one practitioner angrily said, “You're a coordinator, but you don’t understand anything.” I firmly said, “I want a full house. We need to sell all the tickets.” We exchanged ideas and suggestions. One person who had promoted Shen Yun for many years said that righteous thoughts had a great impact. She said, “In one city there were only four practitioners. When they promoted Shen Yun they sent righteous thoughts every day: 'Three more shows’. In the end, they had to add three more shows.” After talking with the other practitioners, I realized that the purer the righteous thoughts, the greater the power. I felt inspired.
The next morning, the practitioner who yelled at me said, “I was wrong to talk to you that way yesterday, I regret it.” Together we sent a righteous thought to have a full house. We also reached out to all the practitioners we knew to add the thought that: the ticket sales in Alaska are so successful even one ticket is hard to find.
Three practitioners stayed in my house. None of us had met each other before, and our habits are different. When our human mindsets came out, differing opinions and contradictions surfaced. I enlightened later that Master arranged them to stay with me to help me improve quickly. One practitioner rented a large 7-seat jeep. This way they could use one car to distribute materials. I didn’t have to go. But one practitioner who stayed in my house said that she didn’t want to take the jeep but my car. I couldn’t refuse.
I had a problem in that I couldn’t talk to people when I drove. Otherwise, I became distracted. My family repeatedly reminded me about safety and asked me to focus on driving and not chat. However, with four women in a car it would be strange not to talk.
One day the others realized that I was not focused on driving, and they said it was too dangerous to ride with me. One practitioner actually moved to the back seat. I was embarrassed. After we returned home, one relatively new practitioner said, “I just wanted to point out two things. One is the issue of respecting Master. The room that has Master’s portrait is too messy. Also you fall asleep when you meditate. These are very serious problems and it might be very dangerous if you don’t correct them.”
I gratefully accepted it when the other practitioners pointed out my shortcomings, and I worked to correct them, such as not respecting Master and the Fa, staying awake while meditating, and not missing the time to send righteous thoughts. I corrected them one by one.
I asked the others to help me set the four times to send righteous thoughts on my mobile phone. The practitioner who helped me suggested that when I meditate, my hands should be in a different position rather than laying in my lap. After I tried, I experienced the beauty of “Ding”. The amazing thing is that I'm now awake when I meditate, I don’t fall sleep anymore. My problem not concentrating while driving is gone. The others also suggested that I move Master’s portrait from the room downstairs to upstairs. After I did that, I feel the energy field is very strong.
We four fellow practitioners who promoted Shen Yun during snow and ice in Alaska have different likes and habits. Some like spicy, some like sweet, some can’t eat salty, and others snored. We lived under one roof for 20 days, using one bathroom. The 79-year-old practitioner slipped three times when walking on the ice. But she was always cheerful, and didn’t get hurt at all. She always said that Master protected her.
When I distributed flyers in a Chinese restaurant, I noticed a flyer for another show. What attracted my attention were the sponsors listed on the flyer. I thought about advertisements for Shen Yun.
Then I turned to practitioners in other areas. One agreed to help me. I gave her the phone numbers, and she made the calls but the result was not good. The merchants didn’t call her back since the phone calls came from another area. She said that I had to go in person. I said that I was afraid to talk. I asked for help everywhere, but no one could come. Time was very tight, the advertisements were due in two weeks. After I talked with other practitioners, I adjusted my thoughts. I reminded myself that I was saving people. My courage increased and I calmed down. I convinced 2 of the 14 merchants I visited to sponsor the show.
I felt that I had come to live in Alaska with a mission and that this was Master’s arrangement. Practitioners from large cities handle many difficult tasks and they have a lot of experience. The degree of interference and difficulty are larger in those areas which have many practitioners. It's relatively quiet in the areas where there are fewer practitioners. As long as they do their best, the degree of interference and difficulty is small. I truly realized that Master has prepared everything, we just need to do our part.
I experienced some amazing things while helping with the show. I had just received a proclamation letter from Alaska State Senators and Assembly. While I was at the mall selecting a frame, a coordinator phoned and said, “Can you go to the sponsoring restaurant and pick up a few boxes of food. Can you get it in 10 minutes?” It usually takes more than 20 minutes to travel from that restaurant to the theater. I happened to be in the shopping mall next the restaurant. I drove to the restaurant in 2 minutes, collected the food and headed out. I ask for Master’s help and asked that all the traffic lights stay green. All the way to the theater the lights were green. It took only 10 minutes to deliver the food. Later, I drove the same route twice, and it took 25 and 19 minutes from the restaurant to the theater. Even my family said that it was amazing to make it from the restaurant to the theater in just 10 minutes.
As practitioners we need to do all the three things. This was the most important lesson I learned during the few months I promoted Shen Yun. The last week when I was very busy, I didn’t keep up with my practice; my physical strength waned and my patience wore thin. Trouble soon followed. My attachment of wanting to always complain surfaced. Even if you look inward afterwards it's different from a tranquil mind that does not complain.
Thank you Master. Thank you fellow practitioners. Please kindly correct me where I am wrong.
(Presented at the 2019 San Francisco Fa Conference)