Saving Sentient Beings and Clarifying the Truth by Traveling to Many Places around the World
(Clearwisdom.net) I obtained the Fa in 2001 at my mom's recommendation. Three months before the establishment of the Taiwan Divine Land Marching Band in October 2006, my mom enrolled herself and me. Then she asked me, "Do you want to join the band?" I replied, "Sure." She continued, "I have already enrolled both of us. I was the first one and you were the second one." Thus I began my cultivation practice in the Taiwan Divine Land Marching Band.
I was a member of the New Tang Dynasty Choir, had some knowledge of music, and I played the trumpet. I became the lead of the trumpet team. Two months later, when the major coordinator of the Taiwan region left to go abroad, I began to be in charge of the entire band. Since then I have had two roles to play in the Divine Land Marching Band: the coordinator and also a trumpet player.
Because I was relatively young, many fellow practitioners had never seen me before. When I suddenly appeared to lead such a big band, plus the fact that the standards for the Divine Land Marching Band are so high and I had such enthusiasm at the beginning, all of my attachments such as showing off and doing things were exposed. I felt that I was under a magnifying glass and fellow practitioners were watching my every action and word.
Sometimes when I sent an e-mail, I didn't think much about it. As a result, practitioners from the South and the North would reply and correct my mistakes in the e-mail. On a record high day, I received about 50 to 60 phone calls. Moreover, during those early days when the Taiwan Divine Land Marching Band was first established, there were lots of things to handle. I even wanted to quit the job. But giving includes paying a price. One practitioner later told me that he had been observing me for over a year. He noticed that when other practitioners pointed out my shortcomings and offered suggestions, in most cases I could correct them. From this I could see that I was a capable coordinator.
The Taiwan Divine Land Marching Band has so far participated in over 100 activities. I, myself, have participated in about 70 activities both in Taiwan and abroad. Some people have seen me on one occasion and then another, or in Taiwan and then abroad, and thought I must be very rich. Otherwise it was hard for them to imagine how I had the extra time and money to participate in all those activities. In fact, I also have a family and a job. My husband and my boss are very supportive of Falun Dafa, which has allowed me to involve myself in Fa validating activities. Due to limited time, I will not talk about the support from my family. I will just focus on this special job I have in the Taiwan Divine Land Marching Band, and then I will tell about what we have gone through in the past two years in our Divine Land Marching Band.
1. Establishing the Taiwan Divine Land Marching Band
When the Taiwan Divine Land Marching Band was first established, we had a lot to learn. Most people who joined the band had never touched a musical instrument before. Many senior practitioners went to buy musical instruments, and the owner of the music store thought it was unbelievable and wondered why so many old people wanted to buy musical instruments. After all, playing orchestral music requires some professional training and also a strong constitution. Therefore, most people did not think those seniors could do it.
In December 2006, when the Taiwan Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Convention was held in Xinzhuang, our Divine Land Marching Band marched from Banqiao all the way to Xinzhuang. The teachers who taught us how to play those musical instruments and the owner of the music store were astonished, "It's amazing that in just two months these seniors not only can play these instruments, but they play so well even as they are walking." Many people were moved to tears.
The members of the Taiwan Divine Land Marching Band worked very hard. No matter the weather, we had to wear the same costume. We had to use a lot of energy to play our instruments. We also had to take the correct steps, following the music director's instructions. We had to listen so we could keep in sync with each other. Sometimes we had to play for over three hours. We were so tired and were so dry and thirsty, but still we had to keep smiling. Besides this, we often had to travel more than two days to reach our destination. Over time, there were tests with regard to our jobs, money, family, and other areas. Some practitioners participated in many projects, and it took quite some effort before they were able to travel with our band. If a practitioner did not have a strong sense of responsibility and mission, he/she would not be able to continue.
In order to encourage fellow practitioners, when I communicated with them, I often stressed the positive side. Some people thought that if I always said good things, it would not help us to improve. But several coordinators and I thought that everyone had been working very hard. We really felt that we should not say anything negative. Otherwise, some people might want to quit.
No matter where the Taiwan Divine Land Marching Band travels, it receives positive responses. In fact, our band was not good at walking in good formation at first. Later on, after sharing our opinions several times, we agreed, "If we all look at others and keep pointing out each other's mistakes, we are actually in disarray. That is to say, if each one of us can take care of ourselves and silently make up others' shortcomings, the entire band will keep in sync all the time." In fact, the cultivation practice environment is the same. If every practitioner can look inward and silently make up for others' mistakes, the entire environment will surely become better and better.
In the Taiwan Divine Land Marching Band, we make good use of our time. When we travel on the bus, we often do two things: study the Fa and send forth righteous thoughts. We do the exercises before the beginning of activities. Whenever we have time, we send forth righteous thoughts or recite On Buddha Law or Hong Yin.
To encourage fellow practitioners to stick with it, I told them about a dream I had. In the dream I saw several hundred trumpets playing in Tienanmen Square. I thought, "Only trumpets? There were so many people. There must be more than a thousand people for the entire band!" Then I looked further far away and saw a band with several thousand people. I raised my head and saw Teacher, who was directing the band from the top of Tienanmen Square.
Later on, Taiwan practitioners agreed to make ancient Chinese costumes for the Taiwan Divine Land Marching Band. The numbers are the same as those in my dream. Using this dream, I told my fellow practitioners, "No matter how difficult it is, we need to persist until the end. Otherwise, when it is time for the band to play together, you might be absent."
At present, there are over 500 people in the Taiwan Divine Land Marching Band. That is only the minimum number required for this band. Because the Divine Land Marching Band must be magnificent, we need more people in the band, at least 100 more. Every activity is a test for us. Besides having enough people in the band, we also need to make sure that each section has the right number. Otherwise, it will not sound like the same music. Sometimes I had a lot of difficulty finding enough people for each section.
There were two major tests. The first was in January 2007, when we first went to Hong Kong. Because we considered the Taiwan Divine Land Marching Band a single unit, we did not register each individual. As a result, I had to prepare for that event where individual registration was required. We designed a registration form and mailed it to every participating practitioner. But many senior practitioners did not know how to fill out the form or how to mail the letter. I had to be very patient and teach them step by step. Some practitioners had never gone abroad before and asked many detailed questions. All of a sudden, there were many questions. In order keep from dampening their enthusiasm, I had to be very patient and tried not to get impatient. In the meantime, I tried to solve the problems as soon as possible.
Every time the Taiwan Divine Land Marching Band went abroad, we had to bring a lot of extra stuff. Our first Hong Kong trip was not spared from this, either. There were lots of things to take care of. It was our first time to handle many things and we had to think of a way to solve them while we were doing the preparation. In order to make this trip to Hong Kong for over 150 people a success, a fellow practitioner and I were busy for an entire month and sometimes we did not even have any time to sleep. Often I had to work till three o'clock in the morning. When I was planning to take a break, fellow practitioners reminded me to do the exercises and my wish to go to sleep was in vain.
The second time was in October 2007 when we participated in the Taiwan National Athletic Games. The Taiwan Divine Land Marching Band led the opening ceremony, guiding athletes into the stadium. The host had high praise for the high quality performance of the Taiwan Divine Land Marching Band, which also gave a good impression about Falun Dafa to the athletes from around the country. After the Taiwan National Athletic Games, over a thousand athletes signed their names to support the Human Rights Torch Relay against the persecution.
2. The Tremendous Impact of the Divine Land Marching Band
The Divine Land Marching Band has played a very important role in saving sentient being since it was founded. I would like to share a few notable events from my experience.
As more and more invitations from domestic and international festivals and sporting events are received, the band sometimes has to divide into two or even three groups to participate in all the events. For example, in December 2007, one group went to Hong Kong, another to the UK, and the third stayed in Taiwan. Practitioners in the UK were hoping our band would send the best players to encourage improvement in the local performance quality. We tried our best to accommodate their request, although it was difficult to find practitioner players who could play well and also were able to travel overseas.
The band had a positive influence on both practitioners and ordinary people there. We did the Dafa exercises with local practitioners at 4:00 a. m. every morning, and studied the Fa together every night. After group practice was over, we went out on the streets on London's cold winter days to help promote the sale of Divine Performing Arts tickets. Taiwan practitioners' cultivation state impressed local practitioners, and we worked hard together to make the Divine Performance show a huge success in London. The local Dafa group had never been able to participate in the New Year's parade in London, but was invited by the municipal government to join the parade due to the impact of the Divine Land Marching Band's first performance there last year.
In April and May of this year, we traveled to Nagano-ken, Japan, to support the local Divine Land Marching Band and to join in their first parade there. Because of some different opinions regarding the band, sometimes the band was placed at the end of the parade. Later we noticed that if the band was placed at the front of the line to cleanse the evil, people on the streets would be willing to accept truth clarification materials and we ran out of materials quickly, but if the band was placed at the end, there would be many materials left over.
Even so, we still had a great impact on Nagano-ken, and more than 10 major media outlets, including some that had never shown up before regardless of invitations, followed our band everywhere. The influence of the performance was tremendous--some fellow practitioners in India even saw media reports in India!
Similar reactions were felt in Nagoya-shi and Tokyo. Right before the parade in Nagoya-shi, heavy rain poured down. But we all had strong righteous thoughts and decided to walk through the routine no matter how bad the weather was. When we started playing in the parade, it was as if the music broke up the thick dark clouds, the rain stopped, and the sun came out. This miraculous scene surprised and moved fellow practitioners who had had different opinions about the band, and they realized that the founding of the Divine Land Marching Band as instructed by Teacher was for special missions and had great power.
The latest event that we participated in was the National Volunteer Firefighters Competition held in Tainan City, to which 320 of us went. To accommodate the requests of the event committee, we divided into two groups, one playing music for the whole event and the other leading competitors onto the field. High performance quality was shown by both groups. Liao Liao-yi, the Minister of the Civil Department ,was thankful to the band for strongly supporting this event.
In order to guarantee a high quality performance, we rehearsed many times, even the day when the typhoon hit Taiwan and all the other performance groups stopped practicing. We all stood still in our uniforms under the baking sun during the rehearsal. The hosts were very moved by our band members and frequently said, "Falun Dafa is good, so good!" or "The spirit of the Divine Land Marching Band is just like that of the volunteer firefighters to save people, very moving and respectful." They were right to say that because Dafa practitioners were saving sentient beings. Later on the field, the cheerleaders cheered for the band; and some of the volunteer firefighters said to us, "Today we are not the focus--you are." I think their knowing sides were telling us the truth.
At the end, all the volunteer firefighters showed their respect to the band members, and we were touched, too. They all gave us invitations to visit and perform in their counties or cities. Even though it was dark after the event, the director of the Tainan Fire Station waited for us to say thank you and took a picture of us to record the occasion.
3. The Trip to Spread the Fa in India
I brought some paper lotus flowers with me when I visited India on business with my boss. The Indians that received the lotus flowers from me liked and treasured them very much. I had a very good impression of the local people for their purity and simplicity. Last year when I went there again with my boss, I talked with the local Dafa contact person about the possibility of introducing the Divine Land Marching Band to India. Later we managed to participate in the Human Rights Torch Relay in India in October, 2007. However, many fellow practitioners regarded the Torch Relay as just an ordinary people's activity, not Dafa's, so they thought it was not appropriate for the band to participate, not to mention the obstacles of language and transportation.
Around that time, the local Dafa contact person in India had a dream in which the Divine Land Marching Band was walking toward him. He realized that the band should come to India and made efforts to help coordinate and get rid of the conflicts among practitioners. Thus, we worked hard together no matter how difficult the situations seemed to be until a possibility showed up.
In the Human Rights Torch Relay, I wore an ancient Greek goddess costume and walked in front of the Band. As we approached the city hall, the VIP that was holding the torch suddenly pointed to the sky and said with surprise, "Look! What is that?" We looked up following his finger and saw that the sky was full of colorful law wheels that could be seen with the naked eye, as if the Buddha's light was shining on us.
We went to India a second time to participate in the celebration of the Buddhist Renaissance Festival and Demon-Elimination Festival from October 7 to 9. A fellow practitioner had a dream beforehand that the old forces in India were scared and trying to fight against our band. The interferences in reality were serious. After we had already booked all our tickets to India and within India, the Indian government didn't approve of our participation in the festival parades. Hearing the bad news, practitioners from Singapore were considering canceling the trip. Then the practitioners from India, Taiwan, Malaysia, and Singapore discussed this issue together and shared from the Fa's viewpoint, and we reached an agreement: we should all go as we had planned! As long as we maintained our righteous thoughts, nothing could interfere with us.
"Master affirms what Dafa disciples have done. As long as you are doing things out of a wish to validate the Fa and save sentient beings, I will affirm all that you do. And when you go do those things, there will be my Law Bodies or gods there to amplify it and make what you do yet more magnificent and extraordinary, and they will assist you." ("Fa Teaching at the 2008 New York Conference")
The result of collective righteous thoughts made a huge difference, and we did go to India that time and brought about great effects there. The news about the Divine Land Marching Band spread all around the country.
Our flight arrived in India on the 16th and it was raining hard that day. Some of us were wondering if we could still perform. I said without hesitation, "Don't worry, the sun will come out when we perform." Indeed the weather was very nice during the several days when we had our performance.
About 400 or 500 thousand people and monks and lamas from across the nation came to the celebration. The director of this event was the wife of a former national minister. She had not agreed to have our band perform in the celebration, but just a few days before, she had a dream in which a marching band was walking toward her. Then she realized that there must be a special reason for our band to come to India. Her attitude totally changed: not only did she immediately permit us to perform in the celebration, but she also helped arrange performance activities for us in different places.
Thanks to the director's arrangements, our band was welcomed like superstars in India. Our schedule was so full that some events had to be squeezed in. We rushed to different performances by car or plane. We would start playing right away once we arrived, and then travel to the next place right after we finished. We hardly had time to go to the bathroom, and the vehicles were the only place for us to sleep. We lost count of the number of performances in those three days. We only knew that we were playing from morning to night and from night to morning. Many of us broke the skin on our lips from playing the trumpets too much. During the parades, I saw many Buddhist monks holding gestures of heshi (pressed both hands together in front of the chest) to us, as if they were looking at something they had longed for for ages.
Because the streets that we passed through were very crowded, the audience held hands to make way for us. Our band was the focus of over 30 media outlets in India. Newspaper headlines were about us, and one TV station did a live broadcast of us to the whole country.
The chief lama who was hosting the event let us play for a whole hour. When we performed on the Buddha Pagoda the next day, we shouted with the audience "Falun Dafa is good" after every two or three songs. The voices sounded like they were rising to the heavens. When our performance was done, the monks, lamas, and people followed us in the parade to show their respect. To show their respect, the band members were allowed to walk into the main room of the temple with their shoes on, which was prohibited for thousands of years.
We also visited the Minghui School founded by Principal Vichiduring our stay. This will be the first formal Minghui School in the world when construction is completed next year. The wife of the principal told us that construction had almost stopped because they could not find water to use there. The principal asked Master to help and they found underground water after digging only two feet down.
In the school dormitory, we saw many law wheels fixed on the ceilings and walls, as if they were painted there. The principal's wife told us that those law wheels had been rotating before and stopped later. I also saw many shining law wheels on the trees in the school. How special the first Minghui School was!
Since it was founded, the Taiwan Divine Land Marching Band has traveled everywhere in Taiwan and to Japan, South Korea, Australia, Europe, and even Guam and Saipan in the western Pacific. The journal that we have kept during the past two years reads like what Master described in "Expedition" (Hong Yin II):
"Ten thousand miles I gallop, breaking demons' battle array
Cutting down all dark minions, eliminating wicked deities
I heed not their thick fog or the gale winds they whip about
Mountain rains en route wash off dust from the expedition."
The above is my personal cultivation experience in the Divine Land Marching Band. No matter how long the rest of journey is ahead of us, I will walk it steadfastly with thousands of band members and disciples around the world, guided by Master.