My Experience Sharing on Our Group Fa-Study and Media Work
Shared at 2005 Washington DC Falun Dafa Conference
(Clearwisdom.net) On behalf of our Virginia Fa-study group, I would like to share the cultivation experience of our group Fa-study.
Since the persecution began, everyone has been busier with Dafa work, so aside from the large group Fa-study held weekly, only a few practitioners in Washington D.C. can attend our smaller local group Fa-study. Even so, this study group has continued for 6 years, with more than 10 practitioners in attendance in some cases, though usually at least 8 or 9 practitioners are present. Also, our Fa-study group has changed immensely since last year. Before, we spent much time chatting rather than sharing experiences. To correct this problem, we realized that we needed to improve ourselves as well as remind each other of any mistakes. There is something special about our group: we always have new practitioners, and those who don't often attend our activities coming to this group study. Indeed, it is more important to share experience with these practitioners, for we have the responsibility of helping them catch up with the most recent states of Fa-rectification. Among them, an elderly practitioner from Mainland China maintains that she always looks forward to the Tuesday group Fa-study. She conducts herself very well in everyday society, yet she was often unclear about some fundamental issues in cultivation, with the major problem being that she did not completely trust in Master. To solve this problem, we began holding detailed discussions after studying the Fa and trying to help her find her attachment. We found, after all, that she did not actually believe in the existence of gods. However, she knew that Dafa is good, so if you were to ask her to give up cultivation, she would not let it go either. She told us that every time she comes to the USA, she sees a lot of changes in us, and she also sees that we are very good people, so she thinks that Dafa is amazing.
When she started improving, the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party were published, and she felt it hard to accept because it seemed to her then that we were getting political after all. She refused to read the Nine Commentaries because she is a senior Communist Party member, and although her father was persecuted by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), she is loyal to it. In her mind, the CCP is malevolent, but our evaluation of it is still too extreme. Every time we discussed this, she always defended the CCP consciously or subconsciously, so we became worried about her. Some practitioners even thought about giving up on her. But Master told us,
"How I look at things is different from how you or the world's people do. When a human being sees someone make a mistake he finds it almost unforgivable. But I don't look at things that way. I look at an entire being overall, and even when there's just one thread of hope, I'll give him hope."
("Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Chicago Conference")
We spent a whole night discussing this problem with several practitioners. After the discussion, some of her notions and problems were solved, and what's more important is that she decided to start reading the Minghui website (the Chinese version of Clearwisdom). She had previously held negative feelings about Minghui. After some time, she finally got herself out of the CCP trap. She sensed our care for her, and she decided to look inward more deeply. Although it was quite a painful experience, she felt much better afterwards. She carefully watched numerous truth-clarifying videos at home, and in the end, she finally accepted the truth that Dafa is supernormal and that gods exist. And once she accepted this, she had a completely different response upon rereading the Nine Commentaries. Afterwards, she withdrew from the Party, and she now feels more confident explaining the Nine Commentaries to her family. When her husband laughed at her, saying, "They [the Nine Commentaries] dug up the tombs of our ancestors, and you are still speaking for them?" She replied by asking, "How many years has the CCP been in power? How can you see it as affecting only your ancestors?" Her husband was then speechless.
It seems on the surface level that we helped this practitioner to improve, but actually we all improved in the process. Although we were sharing our own understanding of the Nine Commentaries, we actually had some unsolved problems about it in our own minds. After sharing, our problems were also solved, and another practitioner who also neither read Minghui very often nor attended our activities frequently also started browsing Minghui and helping with other projects.
There is a 6-year-old practitioner in our group who always reads with us. One day she was very serious and focused when reading, She later told us that she had a dream the previous night in which Master told her that she should strive forward diligently and not be naughty. Even young practitioners share their experiences with us.
A practitioner who obtained the Fa one year ago experienced dramatic changes both spiritually and physically. She got rid of all the medicines she had been taking and has involved herself in Fa-rectification. She is very sincere and shares with us whenever she has questions. She can view issues from the perspective of the Fa. She brought a big positive influence on our group with respect to opening our hearts when discussing, and in the past year, she has never missed a Fa-study.
Every time we come to the environment of group Fa-study, it is like bathing in clean water. The clean water of Dafa washes away all our human notions. We also cherish this environment. When a fellow practitioner's sharing deviates from the Fa, we always point it out and send forth righteous thoughts to help him or her. Studying the Fa in a group is also improving and correcting ourselves as a group. Several years ago, we ignored doing exercises with the excuse was that we were all busy with Fa-rectification work. Sometimes during the Fa conference, instead of listening to fellow practitioners' sharing, we went outside to discuss our own projects. Later, since we saw our bad cultivation state, we studied the Fa more carefully, and after looked inward deeply, we felt ashamed of our behavior. Following the crowd is not cultivation, so we should take the Fa as our guide. Group Fa-study, group exercise and Fa conferences are the cultivation forms Master gave us, and it is also the environment that practitioners in Mainland China dream about. How can we not cherish it? About one year ago, several practitioners who lived close to each other resumed outdoor group exercises every morning, and in the group Fa-study, we also encouraged other practitioners to come. Now, more and more practitioners come to the group exercise. After doing the exercises, we not only feel refreshed, but also have the happy feeling of being rectified. It is this righteous field that brings the beauty of Dafa to the neighbors of our exercise site and brings more people with predestined relationship to us. Some of our neighbors have already started practicing with us. One month ago, because of our exercise site, a person who was from another state got a chance to learn about Dafa, and he not only rid himself of his misunderstanding on Dafa and other Chinese issues, but also started reading the Fa, doing the exercise and clarifying the truth.
Now, I would like to share some of my experiences in soliciting advertisements.
Once, a practitioner told me that we have the technology to save the sentient beings, but we lack the money to carry things through. The old forces tried their best to keep those sentient beings, whose purpose of coming to this world with a lot of money was to help Master rectify the Fa, from obtaining the Fa. So although we have built up our media, it is still too hard for most of us to solicit ads, and I personally remained hesitant for a year before I began this endeavor. Master said, "When it is difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it is impossible to do, you can do it." (Zhuan Falun) I grew to understand this principle deeply at the beginning of my work to solicit advertising. At the beginning, I felt like I was sitting on the tip of a needle as soon as I stepped into a potential client's door. But I always comforted myself with the thought, "Why can't we succeed at a task even everyday people can achieve? Moreover, we can bring the clients something that an everyday person cannot, namely a bright future." Soliciting ads is also a process of improving as a whole. When I started out I misunderstood a client's words over the phone, and a fellow practitioner was very angry at me, even telling me not to solicit English ads. In return, I was upset that the practitioner treated me this way, but I also had a feeling that it was interference from the old evil forces. At that time, my husband, who is also a practitioner, encouraged me and asked me to broaden my heart, so I did not give up then. Later, I cooperated with this practitioner very well, and we have since encouraged and helped each other.
Now, although I have not sold very many ads, I already feel relaxed when dealing with clients, and I am able to do it calmly. Looking back, all the ads I have sold were brought to me by certain predestined relationships, and they were also opportunities to clarify the truth. I never hide from potential clients the fact that I am a Falun Gong practitioner. I also estimate their ability to accept what I say and clarify the truth to them accordingly. Shortly after I started soliciting ads, I realized that doing so was one of the best ways to clarify the truth, and now I am renewing bonds with those all over the world who were my friends and family in my previous lives.
Last year, for some reason, I took notice of the ads in a Korean newspaper, and I then went to some Korean business owners. Although I had very little experience, I still sold several ads. I started delivering the newspaper to those businessmen whose offices are close to us and asking them if they would like to place ads in our newspaper. One day, a businessman whose office is very close to my house accepted my offer. I talked to him about the goal of our newspaper and the persecution of Falun Gong in China, including the persecution of my mother. When we talked about Westerners adopting Chinese babies, I sincerely expressed my appreciation towards those families, and we signed a contract 30 minutes later. This success gave me a boost in confidence in soliciting English ads. Later several businessmen in my neighborhood bought advertisement space from me and became my friends. To be honest, they do not know much about our newspaper, but they all trust in my kindness and sincerity.
An American businessman told me the traditional way Americans do business: first, they give the clients something, such as a free newspaper, then see if the clients would like do business or not. It does not matter if he or she is uninterested, because he or she will still speak of your friendly and kind personality to others. I realized then that even this traditional business way also fits the Fa principles on some level because we should consider others first. Although Dafa practitioners don't have too much professional training, we have the most precious nature. How we manifest the principle of "Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance" when dealing with clients is the key to success. Of course, we also need to go make use of our predestined relationships.
Last year, we went to a big company to ask them to sponsor the New Year Gala. It seemed that there was no hope to get them to be a sponsor, but right before we left, a woman in this company smiled at us and started talking to us. She was interested in the Falun emblem we were wearing, and the topic moved onto Falun Gong naturally. I gave her a copy of the newspaper, after which she told us that perhaps they would advertise in it. I took this opportunity to introduce our newspaper to her and exchange our contact information. One month later, I got the first advertisement document from her via e-mail. Since then, they have been one of our biggest clients. In May this year, we were invited to an Asian activities held by their company. Our performance of exercises was not only popular among everyone in that company, but also videotaped as a historic event of the company. Recently, I got an appreciation letter from them and an invitation for the same activity next year. Perhaps predestined relationships are more important than skills when dealing with big companies.
Sometimes, I neglect the principle that "One should gain things naturally without pursuing them," since I will be considering how the clients can benefit if they advertise in our newspaper. Once, a client agreed to do a small advertisement on TV. Although I had been soliciting ads for more than a year, I had not sold any TV ads, and I was thinking then, "Now, I have a start." However, at the final stage of the business, when we started talking about pricing, I noticed that he hesitated. Since he is a very nice person and also knows that Dafa is great, his hesitation purely came as a consequence of his financial budget. Looking at him, with his slightly painful expression, I suddenly asked myself, "How can I, a cultivator, bring pain to others?" We speak of how "one should gain things naturally without pursuing them," so how can we forget this when the crucial moment comes? I quickly adjusted my heart and told him it really did not matter if he cannot advertise immediately. He explained that in August or September, his financial budget for a TV ad will increase, and he will do it then for sure. I made up my mind to ask him again then, but even if he still cannot do it, we are still going to be friends.
There are only a few practitioners soliciting ads in D.C, so it is very important to encourage others to involve themselves in this effort. I realized this a long time ago. But I had a concern: I was afraid that if other practitioners solicited ads together with me, they would think that I am doing a bad job and that they cannot learn anything from me. My husband pointed out how my worrying was wrong, and I later enlightened to the fact that if a person like me who is not very good at this can still sell ads, then others would certainly sell more. I told myself, "It is not important that others praise me," and so I then encouraged myself to bring other practitioners to solicit ads with me. As I expected, other practitioners soon realized that my job is not hard at all, and this mitigated their fears and increased their confidence. Sometimes, when I cannot understand a client's words, other practitioners will take over for me. I am always overjoyed at seeing other practitioners doing business and clarifying the truth with fluent English.
I once felt sorry for myself when I could do nothing but stay home with my two children at such a young age. Now, I have my job of soliciting ads. I really cherish it and appreciate this opportunity arranged by Master. This job has not only increased my income slightly, but also, and more importantly, it has been an opportunity for me to manifest the principles of "Truthfulness, Compassion, Forbearance," to broadcast our media, to make bonds and form relationships with sentient beings and to reduce our financial burden. After the brave Chen Yonglin and Hao Fengjun withdrew from the CCP, I realized that in the future we will gain an icebreaker in the field of economy, so I increasingly sensed the celestial changes. I hope more and more fellow practitioners will sense it too. Only then will we not miss any opportunities, and, moreover, only then will we be able to break the old evil forces' economic blockade and save more sentient beings.