Our Cultivation State Is Crucial at Every Moment
(Minghui.org) Greetings, esteemed Master and fellow practitioners.
I am a 26-year-old Falun Dafa practitioner from central Germany. We had the opportunity to welcome Shen Yun Performing Arts in our state twice this year. This was the opportunity I had been waiting for.
Shen Yun had not performed in my state for ten years. Another practitioner and I were given the opportunity to arrange the artists’ accommodations in my hometown.
While involved in the preparations for the show, I learned to assume responsibility and not to worry about potential mistakes. To guide a group of practitioners takes courage, as well as a certain amount of selflessness, which is something we need to address on our cultivation path. Therefore, this task benefited my cultivation.
Fellow practitioners and I talked on the phone for many hours to organize the living arrangements. If we found that a particular method could be disadvantageous to practitioners, we sought an alternative to conserve the resources available to us. I learned what it meant to cooperate unconditionally.
“From now on, whatever you do, you should consider others first, so as to attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism.” (“Non-Omission in Buddha Nature,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
“I feel, however, that be it things of Dafa, or matters of Shen Yun, including some other things in Dafa, they are not to be done by a small number of people. If your area has just one person, Gods will help you accomplish it. If you have other people in your area who do not lift a finger, then Gods will absolutely not allow it, so you must go and ask others to all get involved.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference”)
Our local practitioners got involved without having to be asked. Everyone made every effort to responsibly carry out assigned tasks. In fact, everyone took care of his or her task and understood the assignment, which created a dynamic environment that was accepted by everyone.
We experienced cultivation opportunities when arranging accommodations. Sometimes it rained cats and dogs, while it was freezing cold at other times. This challenged our patience and willpower. However, I felt that clarity of thought was more difficult to achieve because of the influence of the external environment.
On the surface, distributing newspapers looked like an easy ask. It doesn't take much to put the newspaper in the mailboxes. However, that is where we had to remind each other that whatever we do is not easy, that we are in the process of paving the way for sentient beings who are predestined to encounter Dafa and Shen Yun. From this perspective, our thoughts are crucial.
“With whatever work it may be, if Dafa disciples can manage to have somewhat stronger righteous thoughts, things will go better.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference”, Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
It is not about distributing as many newspapers as possible in a short time. The importance lies in holding the sincere wish to find sentient beings who are meant to receive the newspaper. Thus, we avoided a frenzied attitude and remained focused.
Then, I learned that some of the newspapers were already being distributed by non-practitioners, reducing our opportunities for attaining mighty virtue. Therefore, it was all the more important to do this task well and hold righteous thoughts.
Passing the Test
Another element of the preparations was passing the test for selling tickets. Since Shen Yun had not performed in our state for a long time, hosting the show was a first for many of us. The test allowed us to promote Shen Yun in a forthright manner.
Some practitioners organized a training session to prepare us to sell tickets in general. This was a great opportunity to cooperate as one body and to learn from each other.
Overall, more than twenty local practitioners took part in the test, and we could sense the power of the one body working towards a common goal.
With this preparation, we could sell tickets for Shen Yun at our promotion booth in a shopping mall. One needed to understand that this was not a normal task as performed by ordinary people, although we were doing our task in regular society. Our xinxing had to be clear and alert, to make sure that predestined people would not stay away from the booth because of our attachments. Therefore, we maintained righteous thoughts, and some Chinese practitioners who could not help in the sales booth due to the language barrier were able to remain in close proximity to support us with righteous thoughts.
I always tried to make time to meditate and study the Fa before starting my shift. I knew that was the only way to strengthen myself and to cleanse my environment.
When time was short and I was unable to prepare myself, I had difficulties holding conversations with customers. I even stuttered one time during a discussion and was afraid of discouraging people.
I really had to take this matter seriously. As described earlier, when I prepared well for my shift and was filled with the Fa, I noticed that the unclean substances had no chance to contaminate my area or prevent people from coming to our booth; customers came of their own accord. At times I had the wisdom to answer certain questions that I was not prepared for. It was as if the divine were always helping us to complete our mission. Our mental state was crucial at all times.
In addition to the mall, we were also able to introduce Shen Yun in different shops that gave us permission to place posters. The first day of our poster distribution was very informative. Fellow practitioners and I stopped in a higher class shopping area. When we entered the first shop, the manager approached us. After we introduced Shen Yun, we showed him the spot where we would like to hang the poster. He said that he did not provide this particular spot for promotions but that he would make an exception for Shen Yun. We took this as encouragement from Master. I understood that Dafa practitioners play the leading role and that the posters should be given the best place in shop windows.
Another time, we entered a large department store that sells quality men's fashion. I didn’t think that we would be successful there, but my fellow practitioner encouraged me to give it a try. They immediately took us to the managing director, who met with us in his office. We told him about Shen Yun, and he agreed to have the fliers in the canteen for staff. The steadfast heart of my fellow practitioner encouraged me. If we have a wish, doors can open where perhaps there were none before.
The promotion was a process where I could learn a lot about myself, as well as about higher social classes. I realized that the more I was immersed in the Fa, the easier it was to approach people in the higher social class without having to pretend.
“Then, what do we require? Because our practice is one in which the Fa cultivates practitioners, this means that some situations will arise from gong and the Fa.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)
Shen Yun Arrives
Finally, the time had come. After many months of preparation, Shen Yun had finally arrived. We were excited. Our months of effort were not in vain, as both venues were sold out. This should not be a cause for happiness, but it encouraged us.
Some practitioners had agreed to help more while the performers were in town, as there were still things that needed to be done. We had to set up the stage, form a security team, and operate the Shen Yun shop. I decided to join the security team.
We had enough practitioners who had agreed to help to cover both venues. Many were assigned to the theater, while fewer were assigned to the security team.
I wanted to work in security inside the theater in order to be close to the artists. Although I knew that this was an attachment to pursuit, I did not think that this desire was really bad. Fortunately, Master immediately gave me the opportunity to rectify my heart and have me improve my understanding. The coordinator assigned me to the outdoor security detail. I accepted the assignment without complaint because I knew that everything needed to be taken care of. However, my heart was saddened for not being assigned to the in-theater detail. But I asked myself: Was this occasion arranged for me? Was it not arranged to save many sentient beings?
It did not matter what task was assigned to me. Every task was important and deserved a sincere attitude. I understood that emotions and personal beliefs should not play a role in this sacred matter. The moment I let go of my egoistical thoughts, I found that my assignment was very enriching.
Unconditional cooperation meant not only doing the job on the surface but also being comfortable with it in one’s heart. In the end, I was also assigned to the security detail inside the theater. This incident showed me what effect my thoughts could have.
During one of the performances, I noticed a middle-aged man filming the show. Part of my security duties was to catch such incidents and then persuade the individual to erase the recording. I asked myself, “How could this man in my assigned area film the show? Was there a problem with my xinxing?”
Looking within, I was shocked to find that I was looking for someone doing something wrong. On the surface I believed that I was trying to protect Shen Yun, but there were attachments still hidden in my heart.
I asked myself why I was assigned inside the theater. I wasn't stationed there to control sentient beings. I was assigned to send righteous thoughts to help these sentient beings attain the Fa and be saved.
The change in my attitude was apparent by the next show. I told myself, “In the area assigned to me, sentient beings will be able to immerse themselves in the show. None of them will think about filming it. With my new attitude that was guided by a compassionate heart, no other unpleasant incidents happened.
Supporting Shen Yun was an extraordinary experience for me. I noticed that the artists trained hard day after day but always kept a smile on their faces. I experienced how our cultivation environment stabilized and changed as a result of our forming one body and looking out for each other. Such an opportunity comes only once.
Thank you, Master, for giving us the opportunity to save more sentient beings through this project. I also hope that my fellow practitioners and I will do even better in the next season.
Thank you, esteemed Master and fellow practitioners.
(Presented at the 2019 Germany Fa Conference)