(Minghui.org) Greetings benevolent Master! Greetings fellow practitioners!

This global pandemic has presented us Falun Dafa practitioners with new and unexpected opportunities to cultivate away our attachments and save people. I would like to tell you about some of my recent experiences.

Communication and Cooperation

When I first moved to Quebec City from Montreal three years ago, I still had a strong heart of selfishness. Several local practitioners said to me, “It’s good to have you here. In the past, there were often difficulties in communication and cooperation between local Western and Chinese practitioners because of the language barrier. Your being here is very helpful.”

I didn’t agree, thinking that Western practitioners had gone through various tribulations and challenges over the past decade. They cooperated in bringing Shen Yun to Montreal and many other projects to save people. I felt that they had already established good cooperation. It seemed inappropriate for me, a Chinese “outsider,” to suddenly jump in and coordinate things. As for the Chinese practitioners, I felt that since they’d been in Quebec for several years now, they should have no problem communicating in basic French, so I didn’t want to get involved in coordination issues. I just wanted to wait for the coordinator to arrange things.

Because of the pandemic, the frequency of our outdoor truth-clarification events last summer was greatly reduced. The most important effort—Shen Yun promotion in the winter—was also gone. In the past, as long as I was fully engaged in projects like Shen Yun and the Tian Guo Marching Band, it felt like I was driven by some kind of mechanism to remain diligent in my cultivation. I simply listened to the coordinator, and did not think too much about the overall picture. But without these projects and the group cultivation environment, I was pulled by my attachment to comfort and I became very passive. I realized that this was an omission in my cultivation. 

Master [Master Li Hongzhi, the founder of Falun Dafa] said, 

“Coordinators only arrange things as needed. They cannot plan things for you each and every day. Of course you should proactively, of your own accord, do the things Dafa disciples do to save sentient beings when there aren’t any group activities arranged. Those are not things you can wait for a coordinator to set up.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2010 New York Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI )

As summer was winding down last year, I was asked by the Montreal coordinator to arrange for the Tian Guo Marching Band to perform in Quebec City. My first thought was that I shouldn’t miss this rare opportunity. My second thought was that I was worried that it would be a lot of work. After the local online Fa study, I raised the idea of having the band participate in a truth-clarification event, but no one responded. After a moment of awkward silence, everyone logged off. My mentality of complaint surfaced, but I tried to restrain myself and calm down. 

I thought that other practitioners might be too busy with other projects to take the lead. Since Montreal practitioners expressed their willingness to give support, I decided that I should try to coordinate it myself. So I asked the practitioner who was responsible for dealing with the police during previous events and found that it really wasn’t difficult. I only needed to submit the event application form. Very quickly, the police officer in charge confirmed the event and said that it would be fine as long as we paid attention to the pandemic prevention rules.

However, when it came to determining the theme of the event, choosing the moderator, the content of the speeches, the content of the petition, the coverage of the interviews, the timing and communication with fellow practitioners… I found that there were many tedious and detailed things that had to be considered in advance. In addition to eliminating obstacles in my own mind, I also asked fellow practitioners to help me by sending forth righteous thoughts before the event so that no evil elements would interfere with our truth-clarification effort. 

The day of the event, the weather was pleasantly sunny, and there were many tourists in the city. After the event, some practitioners congratulated me on how well the event was planned. I was a little surprised because I did not feel that I organized it, but rather, it was practitioners in Montreal who took the initiative to come to Quebec City to save people; Master gave us the opportunity and it was practitioners’ selfless cooperation that made it possible. Just as Master said, 

“With just one thought from a god, something can become real.” (“Fa Teaching on World Falun Dafa Day”) 

“And the time field they use for this is one that’s exceptionally fast, with particles of their gong in all dimensions acting in concert, creating it out of nothing in merely an instant. Yet this is done in the fastest of times possible, so it is accomplished at just the thought of it.” (“Fa Teaching on World Falun Dafa Day”) 

I feel that the cooperation of Dafa disciples is the same. Each practitioner is like a particle of the Fa. When we act at the same time, and in harmony, our efforts to save people are smooth.

Later, I gradually started to take up some communication responsibilities between local Chinese and Western practitioners, or between Quebec City and Montreal practitioners. This included organizing car parades, collecting signatures for various petitions, and contacting local practitioners to participate in truth-clarification activities in the Montreal April 25 event, the May 13 events (World Falun Dafa Day), and so on.

Many xinxing conflicts between practitioners kept surfacing, including misunderstandings, and even some “historical” gaps and knots were suddenly exposed. Driven by comfort and self-protection, I kept thinking about escaping. But this time I was alert. I asked myself why I wanted to sidestep the difficulties. We needed to become a unified group so we could save people. Why was there so much trouble? I realized that this was an opportunity Master gave us to help expose our attachments so we could cultivate and improve. 

Master said, 

“Do you realize that as long as you’re a cultivator, in any environment or under any circumstances, I will use any troubles or unpleasant things you come across—even if they involve work for Dafa, or no matter how good or sacred you think they are—to eliminate your attachments and expose your demon-nature so that it can be eliminated, for your improvement is what’s most important.” (“Further Understanding,” Essentials for Further Advancement)

“If you are able to succeed in improving yourself this way, what you do then, with a pure heart, will be the best and most sacred.” (“Further Understanding,” Essentials for Further Advancement)

Master also said, 

“I often tell you about situations like this: When two people have a conflict both should look for the causes within themselves, asking, “What problem do I have here?” Each should search for his own problem. If a third person witnesses the conflict between the two, I would say that it’s not accidental for that third person to see it, and he too should think it over: “Why did I see their conflict? Is it because I still have some shortcomings?” Only in this way can it be good.” (Teachings at the Conference in the Western U.S.)

On the other hand, I understood that these conflicts were a result of the old forces’ interference. They certainly do not want practitioners to cooperate—so they exploit our attachments and human notions to interfere with us. As Dafa disciples, we cannot let them succeed. If those bad things affect me and make me want to avoid trouble, then I must do what I should do.

However, although the Fa seemed clear to me, when facing specific issues and communicating with fellow practitioners, my heart was still moved by some of their behavior. I developed bad thoughts about others, my eyes were fixated on other people’s attachments, my heart was frustrated and couldn’t let things go, and my attitude became unkind and impatient. Although things looked like they were being handled appropriately, I knew my mindset was definitely not right. 

I found the DVD, “Fa Teaching Given to the Australian Practitioners” and watched it several times in a row. While I listened, I looked at Master’s kind face on the screen. I felt his all-embracing compassion, and felt that every word seemed to address my current situation, as if he were speaking to me face to face. I repeatedly wept as I listened.

As I listened to the Fa, I felt the bad substances that hindered the cooperation between practitioners slowly dissolve. My mind also slowly became clear and calm. Thinking back to the so-called “unacceptable” behavior of other practitioners, my heart was unmoved. Under the purification of Dafa, my heart was increasingly filled with appreciation. I cherished the predestined relationship with other practitioners to save the people in our area.

I also understood that the group of practitioners is not like an ordinary people’s “club,” but an environment of cultivation and salvation. Our interactions are for the purpose of cooperating to save people and to improve our xinxing as a group, which is a sacred relationship that transcends any worldly relations. There is no place for human emotions or concerns. 

Furthermore, it’s not good to always arrange things or avoid issues so we can be comfortable. If we don’t face our attachments and eliminate them, then we’ll only stay at the level of ordinary people who do good things so that others will think they’re good people. We shouldn’t pursue superficial harmony, seemingly at peace with each other, while still hiding our attachments. This is a disguised attachment to saving face and is not cultivation.

Before I do anything, I ask myself: What is this for? Is it for my own comfort, for other people, or for validating the Fa and saving sentient beings? When I see others behaving in a way that is not in line with my own concepts, or when my attachments are exposed, my heart is moved, and I want to contradict others, escape responsibility, or give up, I also ask myself: Who will be happy if I treat others this way? Master? The people waiting to be saved? Or the old forces? Dafa disciples are arranged to be together so we can save people and eliminate our attachments. 

It shouldn’t matter how others act or if they understand me. When I remember this, it’s easier for me to control my xinxing and harder to be driven by emotions and illusions.

Eliminating Party Culture

This January, Montreal’s coordinator asked me to organize a car parade in Quebec. Once again, my first reaction was that I should do it. But, when I thought about it again, I was afraid of being burdened. I felt it would take time and it would be difficult to communicate with everyone. I was also afraid of not getting a positive response and if we failed, it would be my responsibility. However, I also knew from the bottom of my heart that I could not run away from my responsibilities. I had to overcome this attachment to comfort. 

When I discussed the car parade with local practitioners, it turned out that everyone was ready to participate. Those who had cars participated in the parade, whereas those who did not own a car gathered signatures. Practitioners who worked in public transit or were familiar with the city helped plan the route to make sure we would pass through the busiest streets.

After receiving the map for the parade, Montreal practitioners began signing up. I was a little nervous at first, because I was worried that those who were not familiar with the city would hinder the parade. I thus prepared in anticipation of this situation: I drove the route beforehand. I became familiar with the route, made notes of its intersections on Google Maps, and shared these findings with fellow practitioners in a document. 

We all coordinated well, and the parade was very successful. The practitioners from Montreal said that there were more people on the streets of Quebec City than in Montreal. They thought the trip was well worth it. Thank you, Master for giving us such an opportunity. Later, we organized two more car parades, and each time I noticed passersby’s reactions go from confusion to solemnity. They gave us the thumbs ups, took pictures, and clapped their hands to show their support, which encouraged us a lot.

During these activities, I was tested on eliminating the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) culture in me. The first time I drove through the route alone, I saw that there was a police station right next to our departure point. At the time, the rules on preventing the spread of the virus were still quite strict, and I was afraid the police would cancel the parade for those reasons. In order to prevent other practitioners from feeling needlessly anxious, I did not tell them about the police station. I only asked them to gather at the departure point and install the signs on their cars in the area of the parking lot farthest from the police station. 

At the same time, I eliminated my insecure thoughts and tried not to think about them. As a result, the first time around, no policemen came to question us. However, the second time, while we installed the signs on our cars, the patrolling police saw us and came over to ask what we were doing, while talking over their intercom. My first thought was, “We can no longer get away with it.” But then, I realized, “Since we are doing what we can to save sentient beings, let us clarify the truth to the policemen.” After that, the police were very kind and courteous. One officer only came over to ask if we needed him to block traffic. After another practitioner and I explained about the car parade, he said that there was no problem, that protesting was a civil right, and that all we had to do was be careful on the road. He also said that the next time, we should advise them in advance. We told him about the theme of our parade and also gave him flyers. He accepted them and left, looking pleased.

Upon reflection, I realized there were still remnants of CCP culture in my thoughts. I was under the impression that the police would interfere due to the pandemic, but this was a defensive mentality from CCP culture, where everyone thinks of others as enemies. My first reaction was negative. I therefore tried to pacify the police by explaining that we were outside and respecting social distancing rules, etc. I later also realized that the two extra police cars that came were there to help us block the roads if needed. I really have to eliminate this CCP culture!

Before the third car parade, I sent forms in advance to notify the police in Quebec City about our activity, and we were granted permission. The day before the parade, I received a call from a police officer who told me that he would come greet us at the departure point. When we met up, the policeman introduced himself and told us he was the officer from Sûreté Quebec, in charge of coordinating public events. He gave me his card and told me to advise him if we needed to organize parades in neighboring cities, since he was in charge of the police in the entire province. He could help us get in touch with local representatives. 

I thanked Master from the bottom of my heart! I felt that as long as we have the wish, Master arranges everything and create opportunities for us to save people.

Cooperating and Forming One Body while Collecting Signatures

Last fall, when practitioners around the world started organizing the petition to end the CCP, Quebec practitioners also coordinated the project locally and collected petitions in the cold of winter. In the beginning, I participated very passively. I had to work on Friday night and Saturday. I was driven by the wish to seek comfort and tried to avoid going out.

After the first car parade, I felt that my righteous thoughts were a bit stronger. I participated more actively and had some changes in my thinking. I stopped thinking I was tired. I gave people a chance to make the choice and sign the petition, without being attached to their reactions. I stopped feeling joy when I obtained an easy signature, and I stopped feeling frustration when people refused. I stopped counting the number of signatures I got each time. Instead, I reflected on whether I clarified the truth well about the evilness of the CCP to each person.

Sometimes when I heard other practitioners happily say, “I gathered so many signatures today!” I did not feel good, thinking that we should not measure our impact by counting the numbers of signatures. However, I realized that this was jealousy and an unstable mind that made me believe that other practitioners didn’t clarify the truth well even if they collected so many signatures. I had to think positively. I should focus on gathering many signatures while clarifying the truth as clearly as I could. I was also encouraged and inspired by the pure heart and seriousness of other practitioners who participated in the project.

This petition targets Western society, giving Western people a chance to choose and position themselves. However, while many Chinese practitioners are eager to save people when they participate, due to the language barrier, they sometimes have no way to directly clarify the truth to Western people or answer their questions. At the urging of a local coordinator, we organized an online French truth-clarification class. After collaborating with another practitioner for a few weeks, it was agreed that I would teach some short truth-clarification sentences in French once a week. Fellow practitioners were very happy and worked hard to learn. They were able to use these sentences to collect signatures and they became increasingly confident after breaking through the concept of not being able to communicate. Later, as a group we gradually learned some other topics, such as how to introduce Dafa, and sentences about the CCP’s state-sanctioned organ harvesting from illegally detained practitioners in China.

For me, this process is also a good opportunity to “teach and learn.” On the one hand, when preparing the course content, in order to refine the most concise expressions that could be learned by fellow practitioners who do not speak the language, yet that could be understood by the Western public, I would read a lot of relevant French truth-clarification materials and do a lot of thinking. This is also very helpful for me to expand and refine my own truth-clarification materials. On the other hand, in order to make the course content really applicable instead of empty talk, I also had to go out to petition a lot. I needed to know what questions people actually ask and how they react, so I could come up with the best possible answers. This had the effect of pushing me to collect signatures. I am grateful from the bottom of my heart for this opportunity to improve and to work with other practitioners to effectively save people.

Learning a New Instrument in the Tian Guo Marching Band

The Montreal Tian Guo Marching Band has always been a very involved local project and has been very effective in saving people. I’ve played the snare drum since I joined the band in 2013. About two years ago I started practicing the French horn. Looking back on this process, I have a better understanding of Master’s teaching that, “If xinxing is improved, everything else will follow up.” (Lecture Two, Zhuan Falun)

I recall the first time I wanted to change my instrument. The band encouraged practitioners with spare time to practice a second instrument in order to balance the number of instruments in each section and to improve the overall performance. At that time, I thought that it was too heavy to carry the snare drum—so I semi-seriously told the band coordinator that I wanted to switch to the flute. The coordinator just laughed and didn’t say anything. It didn’t work out. In retrospect, I had such a strong heart of selfishness and sought self-validation, so it certainly wouldn’t work out.

Years later, although the snare drum was still heavy, it was no longer a problem for me. In late 2017, I had just moved to Quebec City. One time, I saw a clarinet at the home of another snare drum player and learned that the band was planning another adjustment. The snare drum section at the time was overstaffed compared to the other sections, so those who played the snare drum were encouraged to practice another instrument. I borrowed a clarinet and tried playing it and found that I could play the scales right away. So when I met the band coordinator, I told him that I could also practice the clarinet if needed. The coordinator said that there were already enough people who started to practice clarinet. I said, “Well, let’s see what other instruments the band needs, and I’ll practice.” I was given a French horn.

When I went home I researched on the Internet and realized that the French horn was one of the hardest brass instruments to play. I did not let this discourage me. I felt that since I received the instrument, I should be able to play it. I thought I was pretty good at teaching myself. A Western practitioner who played the horn also gave me some advice, so I learned basic music theory and tonal conversion. But after a while, in early 2019, I could barely play the scales. Later, because of Shen Yun promotion and because there were no parades in the winter, I stopped practicing the horn.

Now that I think about it, the heart to validate myself was very strong at that time. I thought that if I could teach myself such a difficult instrument, how accomplished I would be! Others would praise me! This was my attachment to showing off. 

But there was still a part of me that was motivated by righteous thoughts that wanted to be responsible for the instruments I received. I felt it was my promise to the band. With Master’s help I was able to successfully teach myself the fundamentals of music theory and play the scales.

The next time I improved again was during the last U.S. election. I saw that the media was playing such an important role, and becoming a beacon of truth. When it comes to media organized by Dafa disciples, Master said, “Not only will it become mainstream media, but in the future it will be the world's biggest media outlet.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. VI

I never imagined what form this would take, but it suddenly seemed to make sense. At the same time, I also realized that when the cosmic climate changes and the opportunities suddenly appear, it is very important for Dafa disciples to be in the right state of cultivation and to be able to take up this important task at any time. Looking at my own cultivation and state in various projects, I asked myself, “If you needed to play the horn right now, would you be ready?” 

The answer was no—no way! So, I was determined to learn the horn as soon as possible, because I realized that I had to keep up with the progress of Fa rectification in all aspects and maintain a state of “in place” at all times. As a result, when I picked up the horn again, I found that I could play some relatively easy pieces at a slow speed. Now that I think about it, this improvement was given by Master after my xinxing improved.

Recently, there have been more opportunities for summer parades and performances. I think that although I can join as a snare drummer, in terms of balancing the instruments and having a better effect to save sentient beings, the band actually needs the sound of an extra horn more than the sound of an extra snare drum. 

This time, I really didn’t want to validate myself or think “Look how good I am at teaching myself how to play the horn!” Instead, I sincerely wished to contribute to what the band really needs, in order to save people. With this wish, Master helped me. 

I’d just returned from a successful petition event with Montreal practitioners who came to Quebec (I had to go through a lot of xinxing tests to organize this petition). Before the evening French class started, I remembered that my homework for the band was not done, so I recorded myself playing. The result was amazing: all the high notes that I was unable to play before suddenly became playable, even the overall tone suddenly sounded better, my breathing also flowed much better. For a week or two before that, I was busy with other things and hardly practiced my horn at all.

During this period, many practitioners gave me very detailed technical guidance and advice, especially the brass section leader, who took a lot of effort and patiently summarized many good learning materials for me. The great power of practitioners working together was once again demonstrated in the band. I believe that in such a pure environment, I will definitely be able to participate in the parade as a horn player. It is no longer about “my” efforts or abilities. Now, it’s as if “I” am just a carrier, just a medium to transmit those sacred notes. All I have to do is to purify myself, and it is enough as long as I don’t hang onto negative things. 

Looking back at this process, every time my selfishness and my self-validating ego were removed a little, and my heart for others and to save people was increased a little, or my mind was changed a little, Master gave me more in terms of musical technique. If I look at it from the perspective of ordinary people practicing a new skill, the effort I put in practicing the horn and the results I get from playing it are not proportional. I’ve never had much talent in music; at best I’m average. 

Master said, “Once you improve your xinxing, your body will undergo a great change. Upon xinxing improvement, the matter in your body is guaranteed to transform.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun

I realized that it is not only karma and diseases, but also various functions in the body, such as the strength of the mouth muscles and the lung capacity needed to play the horn. When my xinxing was raised, these substances changed in a positive direction, allowing my horn playing to be enhanced. Through this experience I once again I saw the boundless power of the Fa.

Closing Remarks

In the past, when I was still trapped in the old universe’s mentality and looked at things from the perspective of selfishness, I relied on my own ability among ordinary people. Whenever I encountered conflicts and difficulties, I wanted to run away and seek comfort rather than face hardships. As I continued to be tempered in Dafa, I felt that I was stripping away my “selfishness” and “ego” and becoming more and more humble and altruistic. The way I thought about things was changing. Now, I can understand things from the positive side and see the good in others. I think that the expansion of one’s capacity and the increase of ability after the improvement of xinxing is also the result of trying to follow Master’s teachings of “...Doing, but without pursuit---...” (“Abiding in the Dao,” Hong Yin). 

After breaking through the twisted concept of relying on reality brought by modern science, I gained the wisdom given by Dafa. This wisdom and abilities are for me to use to cultivate and save people. I hope I can live up to my Master’s grace and successfully walk the rest of the way.

This is only my personal understanding. If there is anything not right by the Fa standards in this sharing, please point it out compassionately.

Thank you, Master. Thank you, fellow practitioners.

(Presented at the 2021 Canada Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)

Chinese version available

Category: Experience Sharing Conferences