Five Months in Ladakh, India (Part 3 of 3): Firsts, Challenges, and Blessings
(Minghui.org) Continued from Part 2
Although the practitioner was introduced to Falun Dafa in Ladakh around 17 years ago and has returned for many years, often visiting the same schools and offices, there were still many “firsts” this year.
This year was her longest stay in the area (over five months) and saw the most materials distributed (more than 200 kg). She visited eight government schools instead of the one or two during prior trips. She also traveled to several schools hours away from Leh.
This was the first year that school administrators wrote letters of appreciation in which they shared what children said after the Falun Dafa sessions. They also shared observations about the positive changes in the children after they were introduced to Dafa.
Assembling the materials to bring to Ladakh was a challenge, but practitioners in India helpfully sent materials to her home in South India. The practitioner also traveled to New York to gather the latest materials and wants to thank practitioners there for their help.
Traveling across the world, and especially in Ladakh, where the roads can be treacherous, was strenuous and tiring. Weather extremes in Ladakh posed a challenge as well, from intense heat to unseasonable chills.
Over the five-plus months, the practitioner experienced health tribulations, irregular eating schedules, and periods of loneliness where she felt isolated and far from other practitioners.
She reflected that it was a challenge to keep the heart and mind unmoved and full of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance while staying in a room with piles of materials waiting to be distributed. Holding to her faith in Master and Dafa was most important, as was regularly studying the Fa and doing the exercises. Although it was very challenging when difficulties arose, when the materials were heavy and travel was difficult, when stuck in traffic jams or when illness symptoms struck, the practitioner did not give up and found the strength to continue.
Oftentimes, when she visited schools, the pressures and difficulties leading up to the visit seemed to vanish into thin air. Restaurants and shops offered her discounts in order to show their support for Falun Dafa and her work in Ladakh. A young woman invited the practitioner to stay with her family in a village for several days, and they firmly refused her offers to pay for lodging, food, and fuel.
The practitioner sometimes found herself wondering why, after all these years and effort, not a single local practitioner has emerged, although at least three people from outside India started practicing Falun Dafa in Ladakh. She realized that this might be a future issue and that, as long as people have a heart for Falun Dafa and know that the persecution is wrong, it was worth her efforts over the years.
What brings the practitioner back to Ladakh nearly every year since 1991, despite truly “heartbreaking” changes, especially over the last few years? What makes her come again and again for weeks or even months at a time? It is probably a deep connection to this land and its people, and certainly to the many schoolchildren and their sincerity, enthusiasm, purity, and innocence.
Her zig-zag journey often resembles sowing seeds and planting yet never seeing the fruits of her labor. But from time to time, brief encounters show her the sprouts that she hopes will flower in time, spreading hope and beauty all around. As one example, a boy in the 12th grade said that he would leave school after that year. The practitioner said to him, “I hope you don’t forget Falun Dafa after you leave.” The young man replied, “How can I forget Falun Dafa? If I forget Falun Dafa, I would have to forget you, and I can never forget you.”
There are so many more schools in even more remote areas that remain to be visited. The practitioner hopes to see other practitioners take an interest and travel to Ladakh in the future to visit these schools and their many children.
Sometimes when locals complain about the changes in Ladakh, the practitioner jokingly tells them that she is taking care of the future of Ladakh in her own way, by introducing children–the future hope of all–to Falun Dafa and the universal values of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. She says people in Ladakh and around the world need these values now more than ever, with the incredibly fast erosion of tradition, culture, and moral values. It is her sincere wish that the people of Ladakh will reconnect to and live by these universal values.
Category: Clarifying the Truth