Sweden: The Journey of Falun Gong Over the Past Ten Years (Part 3) (Photo)
Cultivation is to upgrade one's character and to assimilate to Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance
The term, "cultivation," a concept familiar in the East, is still new to many Westerners. Many Western Falun Gong practitioners have learned to strive to be good people according to "Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance" in their daily life, and they are becoming clearer and clearer about what cultivation is.
Sven, a practitioner who attended Teacher Li's lectures in 1995, says, "At first, I really did not understand what the meaning of cultivation was, what Falun Gong was. Through explanations by Teacher in his third class in Gothenburg and my study in a seven-day Falun Gong class, I came to understand what cultivation is and learned that the meaning of cultivation is to upgrade one's character. From then on, I have been trying to cultivate myself in my daily life and in my workplace, at any moment and at any place, which is not that easy. At work, especially when there is a lot of work to do, you will be under pressure and you will become irritable so that you cannot cultivate 'Tolerance' well. When something unexpected occurs in my work, I can easily become impatient. Sometimes I am also reminded of that. I remember once, a young man working with me told it to me like this: "You have 'Truthfulness,' also 'Compassion,' but 'Tolerance'..." After that, I seriously looked inward; he was right to remind me like that.
"While working, I can get cold, dirty and strained. Some of my colleagues will use foul language; it is really difficult to reach the level of 'Tolerance.' Sometimes, when I make it, I feel very happy. When I fail to do well, I will try to look inward and make an effort to do better next time. Actually, how we are thinking, every thought and every idea is very important. Like a mirror, our thoughts will reflect what we are thinking, telling you whether you are really clear in your understanding. I am getting clearer about how to cultivate myself. At the beginning, we did not have much material to guide us, but I understand that the core of cultivation is Truthfulness, Compassion and Tolerance. It is very important to know this."
Helping more people know about Falun Gong
After Teacher Li left Sweden, in order to help more people benefit from Falun Gong, Swedish practitioners who have benefited from cultivation practice began holding nine-day lecture classes in addition to going to practice sites and doing the exercises together every Sunday. After several years of these activities, more and more people began participating and everybody wanted to have a copy of the book Zhuan Falun in Swedish. In order to meet the need, some Swedish practitioners started to translate Zhuan Falun into Swedish. At that time, the English translation of Zhuan Falun was not yet finished, so they asked practitioners from mainland China to help translate it into English first, and then they translated the English into Swedish. During the translation, they were scrupulous about every detail. They didn't feel that the first translation was good enough, so they did it twice. Eventually, the Swedish version of Zhuan Falun was formally published in October, 1997.
At the same time, these Falun Gong practitioners went to neighboring countries, introducing the practice to more people. Marya went back to her hometown in Finland and held nine-day classes, watched Teacher Li's lecture videos with local practitioners and worked on translating Zhuan Falun into the Finnish language.
Sven went to many nearby countries. Every week, he would spend three or four hours driving to Denmark to do the exercises with fellow practitioners there.
Just as Falun Gong practitioners in other countries were doing, practitioners in Sweden got together to do the exercises, share their experiences and help each other upgrade their characters. But these peaceful days were interrupted by the Chinese Communist Party's persecution of Falun Gong in 1999.
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