Japanese Practitioner: Cultivation Experiences in the Divine Land Marching Band
Greetings, benevolent Teacher!
Greetings, fellow practitioners!
It has been 20 years since Falun Dafa was first taught. Although I have only recently started practicing, please allow me to express my appreciation for Teacher’s saving me and to report the progress of my humble elevation in celebration of “World Falun Dafa Day.”
My Personal Experiences Since I Learned Dafa
I learned Dafa in the fall of 2006. I maintained Fa study for an hour along with doing the exercises for two hours every day. It was difficult for me to squeeze in three hours a day since I worked from 8 to 6 every day. I did the standing exercises before leaving for work, modified my subway route so I could sit for 30 minutes to study the Fa, and did the sitting exercise after work. As I continued, unexplainable things happened. To meditate, I struggled to put myself in the double lotus position because my body was stiff. But as soon as I began, a column of red light appeared over my head. It was indescribably beautiful and felt very comfortable. I could not hold back the tears that came to my eyes. It lasted for over 20 minutes, and I meditated for one hour in the lotus position easily. The same situation continued for three days. From then on, I developed the habit of sitting in meditation for one hour every day.
A week later, I felt I had lost my appetite, and my stomach was upset. I knew that my intestines were being cleansed. I knew that I was entering the illness-free stage, so I threw out all my medication.
I drank alcohol before I began cultivation. I read in Zhuan Falun, "I’m responsible for making business contacts. It’s not easy to make a deal without drinking alcohol." I then thought, “My drinking is not a requirement of my work. It is purely for my enjoyment. Why don’t I stop?” As soon as I had this thought, I was no longer able to drink. At work, I would feel dizzy and my heart would pound if I had merely a sip of beer when other people urged me to.
A month later, I was faced with the problem of committing to one discipline. I had cultivated Buddhism with my parents since childhood. A few months before I began to cultivate in Dafa, I already saw that the disciplines in Buddhism could not lead to True Fruition, but I did not quit. Just as it said in the book, I felt I could not continue to be muddle-headed. Everything that happened in my first month of practice was all real. Zhuan Falun reveals all of heaven's secrets. I faced Teacher’s photo in the book and made up my mind: “I want to separate myself from the Buddhism that I learned over the past several decades. I will erase all my memories of Buddhism and concentrate only on Teacher’s Fa.” I sold some of my Buddhist books and threw out the rest, together with my notebooks and the Buddhist beads that my parents had left me.
A year later, I encountered the problem of “no second discipline.” I told the lay-Buddhist who was my instructor in Buddhism that I was leaving Buddhism and joining Falun Dafa. He almost wanted to hit me, but I did not waver and just made my decision clear to him. Seeing me unmoved, he left. I said to Teacher's photo, “I passed this test. Thank you, Teacher!”
Just as Teacher said in Zhuan Falun, “You’re a cultivator, so the path your life takes will change after today.” I married my husband ten months after I began practicing. He began to cultivate in Dafa at about the same time as I did. His parents also practiced the exercises everyday and were supportive of my participating in Dafa activities. I could not describe my gratitude to Teacher.
Let People Know That Falun Dafa Is Good
I told my friends of my experience of improving my health and becoming illness free and how I was much happier so that they could know the wonders of Dafa. From Teacher's lectures, I realized that we need to explain things according to people's attachments. For example, I met a lady who had kids and lost her temper easily. I told her that Dafa improves one's temper and makes you feel calm. I shared my own experiences of practicing Dafa, and people have been receptive. I also told people things in Dafa books or flyers and brought those who were predestined to the practice site.
The salon that I visited every month was a good place for me to promote Dafa. Health issues were good starting points to chat about. I often told people, “I never have back problems,” and, “I don’t catch colds,” to start introducing Falun Gong to people.
Once I could not find any topic to begin chatting about when we shared a ride with another family on a tour. I did not want to miss the opportunity to introduce to them Falun Gong. I said to Teacher, “Teacher, please help me find a topic.” Right away, the mother sitting in front of me turned around and began to talk with me. She asked, “What qigong do you practice?” I handed her a flyer and urged her to try it.
Studying the Fa
After I read Zhuan Falun a few times, I began to read Teacher’s other lectures. Because there was no printed Japanese version, I could only read them on the computer and it was rather inconvenient. I thought it would be good if there was a printed version of Essentials for Further Advancement. One day, a fellow practitioner walked toward me smilingly with a pocket-sized Essentials for Further Advancement, which was printed in Taiwan, in her hand and asked, “Do you want this book?” Wide-eyed, I asked “How did you know?” I took the book over and read it repeatedly. I downloaded the Japanese version of the rest of Teacher’s lectures and stapled them into small booklets. Now I am reading them for the sixth time and I have been having new understandings each time I read them, just like when I read Zhuan Falun. Teacher told us that Zhuan Falun is the most important and has emphasized repeatedly the seriousness of Fa study. I no longer read Teacher’s lectures in public places after the first time I read them, because I was moved and cried because of the benevolence I felt, and I was too embarrassed to ride the subway and cry with people around me.
Joining the Divine Land Marching Band
In 2007, my husband and I joined the Divine Land Marching Band in Japan. We both played the saxophone. We felt that, since we had decided to play in the band, we needed to be serious about it, so, although I had played other instruments before, we went to a nearby school to take music lessons and started from the basics.
We formally joined a parade in April 2008. At first I thought attending activities in Japan was sufficient. But soon some practitioners asked me if I could attend an activity on Saipan Island, where a visa is not required for Japanese but is for a Chinese. In a sense, my going was a way to fully take this opportunity. I also felt that Saipan and Japan had a predestined relationship, so I agreed to go. That was the beginning of my participating in activities abroad.
In Saipan we attended the July 4th parade for U.S. Independence Day. Most Dafa attendees were from the Taiwanese band and only a dozen or so were from Japan. We had a wonderful performance, and I felt proud to be one of the members. The experience sharing after the parade was very moving, too.
Once I attended a parade in Seoul, Korea. The park that the parade began in was huge, and I got out of the taxi on the wrong side of it. When I was looking for the band, I could hear faintly the exercise music from afar. It might have been my imagination, but I believed that it was Teacher who was leading me. I carried my instrument and ran toward where the music originated, and, sure enough, I reached the gathering spot of the band. I thanked Teacher for helping me catch the parade in time.
Teacher talked about the Divine Land Marching Band in “Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles” in 2006:
“When the band was playing, the energy they emitted was tremendous. Be it the energy emitted, the sounds you made, or the music and notes themselves, they all had the effect of validating the Fa and sending out energy.” “The area became clean instantly.” “When the students who are part of the band were playing, they themselves were actually moved. They felt it was truly sacred.”
After reading this, I was moved to tears every time the parade began because I felt its sacredness.
Playing in the Divine Land Marching Band in India
Attending the parade in India in September 2009 gave me another chance to elevate myself. I had heard about the activities of the Divine Land Marching Band in India and always wanted to go. I learned that the band was going to participate in parades in Calcutta, Nagpur, and Mumbai, so I decided to go.
The days in India were pretty tough. We stayed in a Buddhist Temple, with no air conditioning or hot water. The fan above my bed was broken. I lay in bed and could not stop sweating. But I thought that it was cultivation and I needed to bear it, then I was able to fall asleep. I had only two to three hours of sleep and got up to do the exercises in the hall before daybreak.
From morning to night, we were in several parades and gave many performances at various spots. It was crowded with people in India wherever we went. When we played at one particular spot at night, we stood so close to the audience that we could touch them. Looking at their big sparkling eyes, we just wanted to do our best. Performing on very hot days was hardship. While walking in between songs I kept saying to myself, “Cultivation, cultivation.” If it was not for Teacher’s help, I would have collapsed. It seemed to me that the parade had been going forever. The elderly lady holding her palms together (heshi) while listening to our performance left me with a very deep impression. Afterwards, I was told that an ordinary person with their celestial eye open saw that many divine beings were with us. There were also monks holding their palms together while listening to our performance.
Another thing that happened in India is worth mentioning. At customs in the airport, an official asked me if I could play something when he saw the saxophone after he opened its case. I hesitated a bit, since it was indoors and there were many people around. They were watching me expectantly, so I played a part of “Falun Dafa Is Good.” The sound of the music filled the entire hall, and people applauded. Afterwards I regretted that I did not play the whole tune. My lesson was that the opportunity to promote Dafa is everywhere and not limited to just during a parade.
After India, we went from Mumbai to Hong Kong through Bangkok to attend the parade for the National Day celebration. We played “Falun Dafa Is Good” several times in front of the Chinese Consulate. It was dark by the time everything was over. It was the first time I had been in a parade lasting five hours. I saw an elementary-school-aged student in the Taiwanese Divine Land Marching Band who also played saxophone. The saxophone felt heavy even to me. Seeing that student encouraged me. Surprisingly, I did not feel tired at all after the parade. I think it must be that the energy field is strengthened when practitioners are together.
I Saw Teacher’s Plan When Promoting Dafa Overseas
It is easier to go overseas with a Japanese passport. My husband and I went abroad 12 times in 2010, and 15 times in 2011. It must have been Teacher’s plan.
Once we were in Surabaya. It felt somewhat different when we did group practice the day before the parade. It was a bit incoherent, and the gathering was kind of unorganized. On the day of the parade, the police officer stopped us right after we had lined up in formation and were ready to play. We were told a police officer had hit a band member and the performance was canceled. This was the first time that a police officer had ever hit a band member. Aside from the Indonesian Divine Land Marching Band, all of the other bands were dismissed. The conductors of the Taiwanese and Singaporean bands, along with many local practitioners, were all arrested. The rest of us all went back to the hotel to send forth righteous thoughts. In the evening, the arrested practitioners returned, and everyone gave a sigh of great relief. The police officer's poor conduct was filmed by a private TV station and broadcast. The directing police officer was fired that same day. I felt the power and the solemnity of Dafa.
Participating in the activities of the Divine Land Marching Band overseas and from my personal experiences and fellow practitioners’ sharing, I felt even more that many things of mine needed improvement. With my becoming more diligent, I could feel even more the wonders of Dafa and I was moved more. Things that I obtained from real practice are true treasures that are worth cherishing.
Elevating Oneself in Daily Life
Since the overseas activities were typically short, they would pass sooner or later as long as one endured, even though one might feel miserable or helpless at the time. On the other hand, cultivation in our daily lives takes place every day, and that is the most critical. So I began paying attention to and doing everything well. I got up early, did the exercises for two hours, studied one chapter of Zhuan Falun, and read Teacher’s lectures in any extra time. I reminded myself to act as a practitioner at all times. That way, I could deal with even small things in our daily lives with a practitioner’s mindset.
But since I live in human society, I am sometimes affected by it and have ended up paying attention to formality and gotten slowed down in my cultivation. The cultivation experiences on the Minghui website are of great help to me. The efforts and diligence of practitioners in China are a great encouragement to me and re-invigorate me and have moved me to tears many times.
Six years have passed in the blink of an eye. I am far from achieving Teacher's requirements. I will cherish the time and do my best to be diligent.
Thank you, Teacher!
Thank you, fellow practitioners!