Fulfilling the Sacred Mission as One Body
(Minghui.org) Esteemed Master, and fellow practitioners!
After I was introduced to Falun Dafa in Germany in 1998, I began my cultivation path. I had searched for this cultivation practice for a long time, and faced many twists and turns. Finally, I held both books of Master's in my hands: Zhuan Falun and The Great Consummation Way of Falun Dafa. My heart was filled with gratitude and happiness.
Ups and Downs in Cultivation
After I decided to cultivate in Falun Dafa in 1998, I experienced many ups and downs. I'm ready to share with you how I made it through under the protection of Master and through the guidance of Dafa.
There were far-reaching changes in Europe and Germany in mid-2016. The European Dafa association was dissolved. That did not directly affect me. However, there were also structural changes – the regional coordination structures were dissolved – including my own. Everything was restructured. Master looked after Europe, its practitioners, and all sentient beings.
During that time, there were strong negative surges going through the body of practitioners in Germany, especially when it came to responses to the e-mail lists. I responded emotionally to one of these e-mails; my heart was moved and my behavior towards other practitioners was not compassionate. It was not what Master taught us. At that moment I lacked forbearance, compassion, and wisdom about the sensitivity of the existing situation.
Now I had become a target. The evil had found a loophole in me, and through my fellow practitioners, a black wave of negative thoughts and words washed over me.
I was remorseful for my behavior. Master had to endure so much suffering for all of us so that time would be extended and we could continue our mission to save sentient beings. I also felt remorse for my fellow practitioners. Because of my behavior, I had stirred up disturbances in the one body. I had contributed to the problem, so their uncultivated side was active because of attachments and karma.
However, a part of me remained connected with the righteous thoughts and the true self. In the face of these accusations and negative things, I kept the Fa in mind. Master teaches us to keep our hearts calm during times of conflicts, and to look inward. He also says that you can't improve if it doesn't disturb your heart. Master's poem from Hong Yin III helped me keep my attention on my cultivation:
As a cultivator“One always looks for one’s own faults’Tis the Way to get rid of attachments most effectively There’s no way to skip ordeals, big or small[During a conflict, if you can remember:]“He’s right,And I’m wrong,”What’s to dispute?” (“Who’s Right, Who’s Wrong,” Hong Yin III)
Parts of me were in shock. Fear was spreading and doubts were forcing their way into my mind: “What did I cultivate all these years? Am I even worthy of being a Dafa disciple? Have I failed?”
I returned to human behavior. Feelings and attachments controlled me. This conflict brought out deep-seated knots in my heart. They had formed many years ago through conflicts among practitioners in our region and were still unresolved. I felt isolated and separated from the one body of Dafa disciples. In this situation, I gave in partly to the wrong idea of withdrawing. With that gesture I confirmed the separation.
“I just said that the evil at the low levels, including the old forces at the low levels, are really vicious. They do not want you to succeed in cultivation, and they want to kill you.“ (“Teaching the Fa in Washington D.C. in 2018”)
The arrangement of the old forces and the evil pulled me down. I felt as if I had been torn apart. I had a dream. I saw myself standing at the abyss and began to fall down – but then I floated. I was being honed, and that is exactly what cultivation is all about.
Perseverance When Under Attack
The evil tried to separate me from the one body of Dafa, and tried to destroy my fellow Dafa disciples' body during the Fa-rectification period. It instilled bad thoughts about myself and fellow practitioners in me, and exploited human feelings and attachments.
I kept repeating: “I follow Master. I am a sentient being created by Master through Dafa. Outside of Dafa, there is no possibility of existence for me and my sentient beings. This is my choice. Master does not recognize the interference by the old forces. I continue to cultivate, look within to find the devious things in myself, to let those things become one with Dafa, or to eliminate them.”
These words and thoughts were my protective shield, but deep in my heart there was still fear. This state lasted for several months.
Experience Sharing with Fellow Practitioners
Master arranged for me to be surrounded by fellow practitioners, with whom I could share experiences. I am very grateful for that.
When I had slipped back into guilt and was downhearted, a practitioner said very calmly, “If you don't realize that this is cultivation and a process in cultivation, you won't eliminate it.”
With this insight into the Fa, I became calm and could see myself as a practitioner again. Before that, I had seen it from the perspective of human notions, and had seen the negative statements about myself as judgments. With this righteous thought, there was clarity. It was as if a switch had been flipped. A righteous thought has this power.
Another time, I called a fellow practitioner as feelings and despair seemed to suffocate me. I thought that I would never again take on a coordination task. When saying this, I knew it was a wrong thought. Am I in charge of it? It did not originate from my true self.
The practitioner said compassionately, “You have had to endure a lot over the past few years. False accusations and defamation are things that all long-time practitioners must face.” She had focused on the cultivation process, and opened for me the way to escape human feelings and attachments.
The above shows the value of the opportunity to support one another. Everyone has to cultivate his or her own self. But we have this blessing that we are not alone.
Dafa Disciples: Do What We Have to Do
Master’s requirements for us for the time of the Fa-rectification are: to form one body – cooperation – to build a strong collective force for the salvation of sentient beings.
Withdrawing is the opposite of what Master wants. It is a wrong thought and means that one follows the old forces' arrangements. As long as we cultivate in the human world, we have feelings and human beliefs. Now, in this period, it is necessary to pay attention to the larger context and tasks of Dafa disciples during the Fa-rectification period.
I continued to do what I could do as a single practitioner or as a member of a small group – clarifying the truth. Evil elements tried to deceive me and whispered in my ear, “You're doing the three things you're supposed to do. You are, after all, clarifying the truth.” It was deceptive to believe that one is safe alone, because the strength of the entire body is required. The evil wants to weaken our strength, causing separation and disturbances.
“Except for newer students, from July 20 of 1999 on, Master hasn't created any personal cultivation tests for you, and that's because overall your personal cultivation has changed in every respect so that it's in the direction of saving sentient beings and validating Dafa.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Lantern Festival”)
Breaking Through Segregation – Being Connected
I finally saw through the arrangements of the old forces. In order to break through it, I participated on a regular basis in the weekly Fa-study group, which requires quite a distance to travel for me. Within a few months, after 22 years, I gave up my residence in the countryside and moved to a Rhineland town. This “nearness” on the outside had become possible because of having eliminated karma in other dimensions, as well as attachments and the arrangement by the old forces. I had broken through the impediment.
Fellow practitioners in the Rhineland and throughout Germany are focused on our mission – salvation of sentient beings. I did what was assigned to me – moderation tasks or speeches. For example there were several major events with the Tian Guo Marching Band in the Rhineland. In 2018 in Trier we cooperated as one body to eliminate the roots at the birthplace of evil. In Berlin, in front of the “Brandenburger Tor,” we appealed to the elected German representatives of the people to stand up against the persecution of Falun Dafa.
The more I cooperated with my fellow practitioners when it came to the salvation of sentient beings as one body, the more my fear disappeared. I am filled with joy and gratitude. I also increasingly experience a state of security when we stand together.
“The truth is, anything that is not consistent with Dafa or the righteous thoughts of Dafa disciples results from the old forces’ involvement, and that includes all of the unrighteous elements that you have.” (“On the Responses to the Piece About Assistant Souls”)
Even now there are still xinxing tests with fellow practitioners. Recently, a scene of conflict between me and two fellow practitioners appeared in my mind while I was studying the Fa. It thrust itself between me and the words in Zhuan Falun. I paused. “No!” I thought, “that is not the wisdom of the Creator. That is not according to Dafa!” I immediately decided to eliminate it. Even before I recited the sentences for sending righteous thoughts, everything was gone. I used to be more negligent, and did not react immediately with such clarity and determination. Remembering the 2016 incident, I have become more attentive and try to rectify any disturbance immediately.
Supporting Shen Yun: Following Master's Arrangement
It was a blessing that Shen Yun returned to my region after a very long time, performing in two cities. After the shows in my area went well, the main coordinator asked me to come help out in Berlin. I was supposed to take over tasks inside the theater, as it would unburden her. However, that was not planned, and there was a conflict because I had professional obligations on both weekends of the Berlin performances.
I thought, keep your thoughts calm! She is asking me to ease her commitment – she has a lot to do and to bear. To get the opportunity to be involved with Shen Yun is always a “YES” for me!
Thus, I decided to ask my customer if a change in date would be possible. I calmly wrote an e-mail and asked to get the two weekends off. The client has known about my commitment to Shen Yun for many years. I also let her know that it was only a polite request, and that if there was no possibility of changing our appointment, I would fulfill my contractual responsibly.
At that time, I already knew that the seminar series with almost 20 participants was fully booked. Yet their answer came in a very short time: “No problem, then the seminar will start later.” There was also no financial loss; the seminar date was only postponed and the order remained.
I was very happy for this sentient being who had positioned herself so well. Besides, the main coordinator was pleased, and I was glad that the issue was resolved amiably. Master had arranged everything so well.
Master said, “…if your righteous thoughts are strong, then Master and the Law-guardian Gods can do anything for you.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Lantern Festival”)
Several days before my departure to Berlin, bad and disturbing thoughts entered my mind. Something riled loudly in my head, trying to make me change my mind. It said, “I should stay at home. It would not be worthy of being a Dafa disciple anyway, and besides, I'm in a bad cultivation state...” I remembered these bad thoughts from 2016.
Suddenly I straightened up and was very clear and calm in my mind. With my whole heart I said, “That's no longer up for discussion! I am already a Dafa disciple. Master has already chosen me. And for a long time already. You're just jealous!” Then there was silence.
So I began my journey to Berlin – through wind and rain, hail and storm. With the protection of Master I arrived punctually at my appointment with the event coordinator at the Berlin Opera. A great time began in Berlin with my fellow practitioners, with Shen Yun and the honored Master. In the truest sense of the word the sky was rising in Berlin!
Master met with practitioners who worked for Shen Yun in Berlin. He asked us if we would be able to support Shen Yun if it came longer and more often to Europe. I remember very well, when I did “heshi” and answered with a deep gratitude in my heart with a “YES” – alongside my fellow practitioners.
Dealing with Financial Needs
After the Shen Yun tour ended in 2019, my job took up more time. I am a freelance consultant, speaker and trainer in the field of personality and personnel development. Most of my professional appointments are booked one year in advance. This gives me the opportunity to plan free time for the Shen Yun period. Meanwhile, this has to be balanced and more time has to be given for it.
In June, the coordinator called me and invited me to a meeting with the marketing team in Berlin. It would take place in a week and a half. But on that weekend I had a fixed seminar booking for a staff of 35 teachers. I had no idea how to make any changes. It was all set up, and the client – the school principal – could no longer be reached, as she was on vacation.
It occurred to me that I could not always cancel my appointments. I felt that this would probably be going to extremes. Also, I had no significant financial cushion worth mentioning. I am single and responsible for my economic wherewithal. As a self-employed person, if I don't work, I will make no money. This past spring, things had gone very well with the seminar shift. But right now, I didn't see any way to take advantage of this appointment from the Shen Yun marketing team.
In fact, my human thoughts concerning my financial needs, dealing with my existence and attachments to security were at work under the cloak of “Don't go to extremes.”
I also remembered how Master harmonized everything for me concerning my financial wherewithal when I dedicated my time to the salvation of living beings. I trusted Master and the Fa and let them guide me.
It went back and forth in my mind for a few days.
Master said: “A notion, once formed, will control you for the duration of your life, influencing your thinking ...” (Zhuan Falun Volume II)
When I finished the exercises one evening at the practice site, it suddenly became clear to me that I had given the power to my notions concerning my path.
I corrected my thoughts: “I deny all previous thoughts and beliefs about whether or not I can do something, whether or not I can make an appointment – only Master sets up my path. Only what Master has set up for me should happen.”
I felt relieved and went home with a happy heart. A little thought came up: maybe I should attend the Shen Yun meeting after all... But, I let it go and really trusted from my heart that Master would arrange everything.
The next day, I received a phone call. The assistant principal was on the phone. The seminar was to be in three days (and also the Shen Yun meeting). I thought that she wanted to discuss details about the seminar with me. But she politely asked to postpone the seminar. She said that many colleagues were sick and she wanted to hold the seminar after the summer holidays. I could hardly believe my ears. Yes – we could do that. She was happy and I was also happy. I thought, I can now make an appointment in Berlin and talk to her about Shen Yun. She even offered to pay the seminar fee in advance, and so my financial budget remained secure.
I traveled to Berlin again. There, I learned about an appointment a few days later in a theater in my home country. If I could, I should join them. What could I say; at that time a team coaching was booked – it was too tight ... The coordinator and I just looked at each other with a smile – we'll see what Master arranges.
I remained calm, paid attention to what was showing itself in my mind, and repeatedly confirmed that it would be the way the Master had arranged it. No attempt was made that it would have to “work,” or to canceling the coaching contract. Again it was the client who asked for the coaching date to be rescheduled, and I was able to participate in the theater meeting.
When I informed the coordinator, she laughed and said that this had already happened to me several times. “You really should write an experience sharing article,” she said.
Where There's a Will, There's a Way
The Fa-rectification is progressing rapidly. In 2016 we had a turn-around and new opportunities. Many high level beings are waiting so eagerly for their salvation through Shen Yun.
The 2019 meeting with Master in Berlin, when he asked us if we would be able to support Shen Yun if it came longer and more to Europe, and we said “Yes” – I said YES with all my heart. That had a deep impact and meaning. When Master asks us this question and we say YES, then everything is arranged by Master at that moment.
“The self that is you is the innate self, and it does not change. ... If you can manage not to form any notions, when you look at something you will have the perception of your own kind, innate nature—the view of the true you—and look at the matter charitably.” (Buddha Nature, Zhuan Falun Volume II)
Thank you esteemed Master and fellow practitioners.
(Presented at the 2019 Germany Fa Conference)