(Minghui.org) Greetings Master! Greetings fellow practitioners!
I am a young Dafa practitioner. In 2017, under the care and protection of Master, I left China and arrived safely in Canada. Shortly afterwards, I joined New Century Films (referred to hereafter as New Century) Fa-validation project. In the five short years since I joined the project, I have grown spiritually and have enlightened to many understandings in cultivation. I have taken the opportunity to reflect on my experiences and record them. I’d like to report to Master and to share them with fellow practitioners.
Letting Go of Fame and Gain; Being a True Dafa Disciple
For an average person, the film industry might mean a shortcut to fame, status, power, money, and attention from the opposite sex, where “fame, feeling, and profit” are most prevalent. However, in Dafa projects, those are precisely what we need to abandon. We need to go against the current and be a “clear stream” in this chaotic world.
After joining New Century, I appeared in many films one after another, portraying different roles and experiencing different lives on the screen. In each of the roles I played, it was a purifying process. Through playing Dafa disciples, I have learned that a Dafa disciple should be compassionate and resilient, and should think of others first when one’s personal gain is at stake or even when one’s life is threatened.
Although all the films produced by New Century are for truth clarification purposes, I have learned that there are different levels of truth, and different people can experience different inner meanings. In all the films that I acted in, I often gained spiritually. In preparation for the filming of the feature film “Actor’s Dream,” the director briefed the crew on the storyline. I listened to it more than once. However, every time I listened to it, even just a brief version of the story, I was in tears. The character’s experience is so like mine, her feelings and the lines she says are like what I think in my heart. As I constantly thought about the characters in the movie, I also reflected on my own life.
Prior to learning Dafa, I was an actor in mainland China; I graduated from the Acting Department of the Shanghai Theater Academy. I loved my profession and aspired to portray and embody different characters and their lives in different stories, while continuing to explore the art of acting, which I had once thought was my lifelong pursuit. But in that society controlled by the evil Party, all my hopes for good art were dashed soon after I graduated.
That was until I read Zhuan Falun. As the line in one of our films goes, “This precious book has changed the destiny of many people.” It was only after I began to read the book in earnest and stepped into true cultivation, that I gained the courage to face setbacks in life and felt more strongly that only a life of cultivation can offer hope. My personal experiences have been repeatedly portrayed by characters in the various movies from New Century, and I myself am deeply moved each time a character gets a new life.
From the excitement and gratitude of finding the true meaning of life at the beginning of my cultivation, to the journey of the past several years of actual cultivation, I have been in the process of constantly recognizing and letting go of my fundamental attachments. Although I had the intention to use my skills at New Century to clarify the truth and save people, deep down I still had the fundamental attachment to a happy life on earth. Now that I can pursue my passion for acting, subconsciously I thought I could continue to pursue my goal in life, but I didn’t realize that all of this was rooted in a well-hidden self and selfishness.
With everyone’s efforts, several of our movies have won awards from international film festivals, and I have won the honor of Best Actress at three festivals. This is a great honor for an actor. In any other film and television company, this would have been vigorously promoted for publicity and would have brought fame and fortune.
Having won these accolades, I was feeling relieved and happy like everyone else. I was also somewhat pleased with myself. Whenever this happened, I would remind myself of what Master said in “A Cultivator is Naturally Part of It.”
“For a cultivator, all the frustrations he comes across among everyday people are trials, and all the compliments he receives are tests.” （“A Cultivator is Naturally Part of It,” Essentials for Further Advancement）
I must eliminate this human heart that should not have arisen in a pure environment. “Actor” is just a role that I play in my life, but my true identity is a Dafa disciple.
Having said that, working in the studio, my human attachments would emerge. For example, the director likes to assign different actors to the leading roles. Sometimes, my human heart and notions would surface: “Are their acting skills good enough? Would it take a lot of time to get them up to speed on set?” As an acting trainer, my job during filming was to assist the director to help get the actors in the mood, including modeling for them, crying and laughing with them. This was a cultivation process for me. Every time I was struggling with these negative thoughts, I saw the director patiently and repeatedly guiding and inspiring the actors on set, constantly encouraging and praising them, with a smile on his face, calm and easy, without a trace of impatience. I understood that cultivation is to become altruistic and to learn to fulfill others.
Whenever I see fellow practitioner actors getting better at acting, I am very pleased. Only if we improve as a one body can our project improve. Interestingly, almost all our female actors have had a chance to be in a leading role and likewise, almost all our male actors have played a leading role. This would be impossible in a regular film production company. However, I have also found that I have another attachment, that is, I have fear that with time passing, I will get older and will no longer be young. When other people are shining, where will I be? Am I willing to help others to the podium? I found sometimes I would be struggling with these thoughts.
At this time, I was given a leading role in the movie Actor’s Dream. Compared with the character, I felt that I had a big gap in cultivation. After the character started practicing Falun Dafa, she let go of her hatred and gave up an opportunity that her daughter had been seeking, to her enemy. What realm is this!
The movie awoke me, someone who had been disillusioned about the film industry. Every time I think of the line in the film, “With you people, there is hope for the future of the film industry!” I can’t stop crying. Yes, I love my profession so much. Because of Master’s salvation, and because Dafa disciples have validated Dafa and rectified the industry, there is finally hope for the film industry!
Charged with this sacred mission, I am still clinging to the attachment to the little me, worrying about my own losses and gains. That is not good. Actor’s Dream was not only a movie that I participated in, but also a journey that I took to cultivate my heart; and because a group of good people is behind the film, it has moved the hearts of many international film festival juries. It has already won many international awards, including awards for individual actors, before it was even released.
The jury of the U.S. Golden Pictures International Film Festival, composed of veteran filmmakers with decades of experience in film-making, wrote a long letter to the cast and crew of Actor’s Dream, commending the director for his excellent vision, perseverance and passion, which they can see in his films, and which are precisely the virtues that filmmakers should possess.
The many honors and awards we received represent the understanding and acceptance of the truth of Dafa by the judges, and it is their souls being touched. Behind the film is the silent dedication of many practitioners, many of whom constantly check themselves against Dafa principles during the filming process, look inward, and try to improve themselves.
What really impresses the world’s people is the pure compassionate energy of the practitioners behind it, and fundamentally the empowerment of Master’s Fa.
Maintaining Righteous Thoughts in Times of Tribulation
I remember when I first arrived, New Century had just been established and not many people were involved in it. Compared with the large production teams, it was really small in terms of size and staffing levels. When I first joined the team, I was skeptical about it. I then slowly tried to get used to it, and gradually learned to work with everyone to complete each job. What was amazing to me was that no matter the difficulties and shooting conditions, this seemingly small team never stopped moving forward, turning from a candlelight into a blazing torch.
I played a role in “Capture II” that had a lot of action scenes. Once on our way to shooting, I felt a pain in my stomach, and at that moment I thought, “Oh, no, what should I do? I will have to run and jump, what should I do?” and then I thought “It’s okay, I won’t have any problem, I’m doing the right thing.” But during the shooting, the pain intensified, and I felt that I would collapse at any time. But the shooting was not yet finished, and I had to muster all my strength to finish each shot.
Miraculously, the persecuted Dafa disciples in the prison suddenly appeared in my mind. They were facing cruel persecution, but they risked their lives to clarify the truth to the prison guards who were persecuting them. That is altruism, a lofty realm, doing things for others with no regard for self. I asked myself, “Why am I here? Why am I making the film? Is it for my own sake?” “No, I am here so that I can make a better film for the world to understand the truth.” “So, can I keep going, no matter how painful or difficult it is?” “Yes, I can.”
This precious filming experience made me truly understand the responsibility and mission of Dafa disciples during the Fa-rectification period. It is so easy to give up, but in the face of trials and setbacks, can you still persevere and be strong?
During the shooting of “Capture III: Special Ops,” the most memorable scene for me was the courtroom trial at the end of the film. Before shooting started, I was practicing my lines while putting on my costume. When I said, “This is the first court on Chinese soil to put the perpetrators of the persecution of Falun Gong on trial,” I was overwhelmed with emotion as the images of fellow practitioners in China, including my mother, who have experienced persecution, came to my mind. This scene and the lines were so sacred and meaningful that I had to do my best to portray them. During shooting, when I looked at the sincere, expectant eyes around me and the atmosphere of the scene, I seemed to have forgotten that I was acting. Yes, we have been longing for this scene for a long time, and I am convinced that this moment will come soon.
Of course, we practitioners also have our joys, which can be felt throughout the day. Laughter and singing can be heard all the time. Mankind’s survival depends on nature, and shooting a film often depends on the cooperation of weather. However, when we wanted to shoot a rainy scene, as soon as our equipment was set up, it poured, and it stopped raining when we were done shooting; when we wanted to shoot a rainbow scene, we were given a double rainbow; when we hoped for a beautiful morning with hundreds of birds flying to the sunrise, we had countless white birds hovering overhead. Scenes such as these would take a lot of money and time to come by for a regular crew. We could feel the wonders of Dafa and Master’s blessings everywhere during our shooting.
After five years of cultivation, I have realized that what I have today and what I know today is all bestowed by Master and Dafa, and that Dafa has allowed me to live and work with a group of practitioners who strive to purify their hearts. I got married, which I had not dared to hope for. My husband has also started cultivation and has become a cultivator who knows how to look inward. I realized that I have been granted all of this not for me to seek fame and gain in life, but to enable me to share all I have with the world unconditionally, so that more people will feel the beauty of Dafa.
I am grateful to Master for the unfailing care and guidance along the way. I really have no way to repay him, but to be more diligent, to play my role well, to be a really good actor, to help Master with Fa-rectification, and to save more sentient beings.
I would also like to thank my fellow practitioners for their selfless help and care.
If there is anything inappropriate in this sharing, please kindly correct me.
Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners.
(Presented at the 2022 Canada Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)
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