Experience sharing in Fa study and Shen Yun Promotion
Greetings to respected Master! Greetings to Fellow practitioners!
Since I came to Australia, this is my first time writing a Fa Hui sharing article. I would like to report my experience in Fa study and Shen Yun promotion to Master and fellow practitioners. Please feel free to point out anything that is inappropriate.
Insights in Fa Study
It has been 13 years since I obtained Fa and started practicing cultivation. In the cultivation process, I always feel that I am not a practitioner with good enlightenment. At the early stage of cultivation, although I am persistent in Fa study, exercises and clarifying the truth, I don’t know how to examine myself during Fa study. Instead, I used the “smartness” I learned in human society to cover the insufficiency of cultivation inside. The way I am best at is to participate in various truth clarification work, so that my outside performance is brilliant, therefore, on the surface I do not feel my own deficiencies.
When I was in Canada, I was one of the local coordinators and one day a very young and introverted practitioner told me that he felt I didn’t truly practice cultivation. As he was so sincere, I believed vaguely that what he said was true, but I did not quite understand his specific meaning. Later on I gradually realised that what he meant was exactly this kind of state - not knowing how to examine myself and look inside during Fa study. Now when I am thinking back, I felt that state was like Master putting the ladder to heaven in front of me, but I did not know how to climb up.
類似的故事其實一直在我的修煉過程中重演。07 年8月澳洲學員去紐約聽師父的講法之前，我心理一直有排斥感，覺得自己才來澳洲不久，卻要被列為澳洲的一員去美國，真不是一件光彩的事情。澳洲講法出來之後，在剛開始學法的時候也常常會有向外看其他澳洲學員的心理，卻不知道將自己放在其中。例如，我常常想：對啊，那個誰誰誰執著心這麼強，怎麼連這麼簡單的法理都不明白呢? 完全就是不遺餘力地為他人的修煉作貢獻。一直到幾個月之後，透過反覆的學对澳洲講法，我才慢慢理解到，師父在澳洲講法裡說的問題，幾乎每一項我都有。例如，師父在講法中說：“一個人哪，你修煉中碰到的什麼事情都是好事，這句話雖然師父這麼講了，有幾個人能理解，你們幾個人能做到?” 我就從師父講得這段法理中明白了，自己從來不懂得將所遇到的不好的事情都轉化成提高的因素。像這樣扎扎實實的內修，才是一個修煉人該走的路。
Actually, similar stories have always been repeated during my cultivation practice. In August 2007, just before Australian practitioners went to New York to listen to Master’s lecture, I had a feeling of repulsion. I thought, I just came to Australia, while now I had to be listed as a member of Australian practitioners to go to the US, which is really not a glorious thing. After the Teaching the Fa to Australian Practitioners DVD was published, and we first watched it, I still often looked outside at other Australian practitioners, without knowing to put myself into it. For example, I often thought: Ah yes, that so and so, his attachment was so strong, how can he not understand such a simple principle? He absolutely spared no effort to contribute to other people's cultivation. A few months later, through repeated study of the Fa Teaching to Australian Practitioners, I gradually realised that the problems which Master mentioned, I had almost every one of them. For example, I recall Master talking about whatever we encounter in cultivation is a good thing, and how many people can understand and how many of us can achieve that? From this experience, I understood that I never previously knew to change bad things into improving factors. Cultivating inside solidly like this is the path a practitioner should take.
So, while I once thought that going to the United States in that circumstance was a shameful thing, now it seems to be my windfall. Only under the heavy hammer did I know to be diligent, through my life experience, to enlighten to the deeper layer of Fa.
Enlightenment is only a part of Xinxing
I don’t recall exactly when, but I had developed a learning hobby or habit. I liked to pursue knowledge, and liked the feeling of making progress after I learned something new. Since my profession was doing research work, in my cultivation practice, unknowingly, I particularly emphasized the so-called research on the Fa, the result of which is to focus on enlightenment. When sharing with fellow practitioners, I also like to talk about all kinds of understanding on the Fa.
然而有次學法學到轉法輪第一講 ，師父提到 “心性是甚麼？心性包括德（德是一種物質）；包括忍；包括悟；包括捨，捨去常人中的各種慾望、各種執著心；還得能吃苦等等，包括許多方面的東西。人的心性方方面面都要得到提高，這樣你才能真正提高上來，這是提高功力的關鍵原因之一。”
In Zhuan Falun, Lecture 1, Master said “What is xinxing? It includes de (a type of matter), tolerance, enlightenment quality, sacrifice, giving up ordinary people’s different desires and attachments, being able to suffer hardships, and so on. It encompasses various things. Every aspect of xinxing must be upgraded for you to make real progress. This is a crucial factor in improving gong potency (gongli).”
This paragraph of Fa made me realize that the improvement of Xinxing, actually, is much broader than having the right understanding on something. A common mistake for a practitioner is that he may feel that his insight is right, his level of enlightening is high, even taking what he enlightens as a standard to measure others. But in this process, he ignored other aspects of Xinxing, which Includes tolerance, sacrifice and enduring hardships, etc. I realised that in many other aspects my effort is not enough. While the improvement of Xinxing can only be achieved after all the aspects of Xinxing have been improved.
Participating in Shen Yun Promotion
Many practitioners thought promotion of Canberra’s first Shen Yun was not as good as the later years in comparison, whereas in reality, looking at it from the angle of cultivation, the first Shen Yun in Canberra was an important breakthrough for practitioners in terms of cultivation.
07年之前，堪培拉由於學員人數少， 凡事都依賴其他城市的支援。久而久之，就養成了很強的依賴心，形成了修煉上的一個嚴重的阻礙。因此，首先就是從這種強烈的依賴心中走出來。說來可笑，當時我們還希望悉尼給我們財務上的支援，在得知沒有支援後，記得當時我一一詢問了幾個學員，敢不敢做下去? 他們那時堅定的回答讓我至今難忘。我想，對所有的坎培拉學員而言，那真是歷史性的一刻。
Before 2007, due to number of practitioners in Canberra being small, we relied on support from other cities on everything. Gradually we had formed a habit of relying on others, creating a big obstacle in cultivation. Therefore, the first and foremost thing was that we needed to break away from this strong mentality of being overly dependent. It may sound laughable in hindsight, at the time we even hoped to obtain financial support from Sydney. When we knew there would not be any support, I recall that I discussed with a number of practitioners - do we dare to carry on? Their solid affirmative answers were deeply imprinted in my memory to this day. I feel, to all Canberra practitioners, that was truly a historic moment.
I also remember that lasting emotion after the performances of the first year, seeing so many people praising the show in the theatre, and so many people learning the truth. Shen Yun is truly a god-given treasure, Master’s great compassion bestowed to sentient beings, as well as to practitioners.
Participating in Shen Yun promotion is a process of self-improvement
事實上，此後的幾年，也都是學員們不斷突破自己的過程。例如，有一位西人學員，原本個性是非常內向，也非常沉默寡言的人。每年的神韻他除了幫忙後勤工作外，就是幾乎一言不發的在商場的展位上發傳單。去年，他得知神韻的演員們，是用難以想像的辛苦在籌備演出，受到了很大的觸動。他於是開始學習著扮演更積極的角色，在商場開始積極向人們售票，成為一名銷售員。從他的變化我看到一個負責的學員应有的態度 – 我們應該看售票的需要来決定自己的參與，而不是根據自己的喜好與观念来设定自己的位置。後者是在證實自己，而前者才是證實大法。其實， 如果每一個學員都勇於在修煉上突破自己，呈現出來的整体狀態就是用心，就是配合，所以神韻售票一定會做好的。
Actually, over the following years, practitioners in Canberra made constant breakthroughs in their cultivation. For example, a western practitioner had a personality that was very introverted, very quiet. For every year’s Shen Yun, apart from helping with logistics work, he just handed out flyers at shopping centres, without saying a word. Last year, when he learned that Shen Yun performers prepare for the show with hard-to-imagine efforts, he was greatly touched. He began to play a more active role, selling tickets to people in the shopping malls actively and became a salesman. From his change, I saw an attitude that a responsible practitioner should take - we should determine our participation based on the needs of ticket selling, rather than set our positions according to references and ideas. The latter is to validate ourselves, while the former is to validate Dafa. In fact, if each practitioner has the courage to breakthrough himself or herself, the whole state presented is one of mindfulness, of co-operation, and then Shen Yun ticket selling must be done well.
Personally, face to face selling is one of my big tests. As my profession is abstract and boring research work, I don’t need to face the crowd, don’t need to consider other people's feelings, and do not need to accept the marketing test. At the same time, the habit I got from my profession is to infuse my idea to others, persuade others, and criticise other people's deficiencies. This is opposite to Dafa’s principles of compassion and kindness. Therefore, every time when I clarify the truth face to face to ordinary people, I always need to struggle, because I need to adjust a lot of bad habits. Otherwise when I open my mouth, like a teacher lecturing to students, it is not easily accepted by everyday people. I know clearly about this point, it reflects my shortcomings in cultivation. It is because my heart is not in place, so I cannot do well. I also like to retreat to the second line, intentionally or unintentionally, only doing technical support for practitioners who tell the truth on the first line. But later on I realized that, in Canberra, practitioners who can speak English are limited, and practitioners who can make sales are of serious shortage. Therefore, I realised I should break this inertia. If I can train myself to be an economist, I should also be able to train myself as a salesperson.
Promotion of Shen Yun does not have knacks
I believe many practitioners, like me, are thinking about how to promote Shen Yun every year. Some fellow practitioners asked me to share experiences of Canberra in Shen Yun promotion. Actually, for these questions, there should be no easy answers. Master said,
“Doing well, working together well, and being effective really come down to you, yourselves. You might ask, “Is there some kind of secret weapon we could use? Can we come up with some kind of special method?” What has been given to you is the most righteous of paths, but it is a narrow one. When your intention is wrong or there are issues with how you go about things, the path will be difficult. The path is very narrow, and it may look like it can’t be traveled. But in fact, you can do it.” (Fa Teaching Given at the NTDTV Meeting).
我在學習如何銷售的時候，常常去請教作的好的同修在跟客戶面對面的時候，應該如何說。但結果我發現，這些學員作的好的原因，不只是說的內容到位而已，更是這些學員所散發出來的善良慈悲的一種氣質，還有一定要將銷售作好的正念。技術是可以學習的，但慈悲怎麼學? 正念怎麼學? 在二零零四年美國西部法會講法, 師父說“善它不是裝出來的，也不是表面上維持的一個狀態，善是真正發自內心的。那是通過修煉才能得到的、才能體現出來的。”於是我理解了師父在二零零九年大紐約國際法會講法中所說的 : “其實各地推票的情況，就是各地學員的修煉情況和配合情況的真實表現，具體表現。”
While I am learning marketing skills, I always consult with practitioners what to say when dealing with customers. I found that the reason why they are selling well is not only because they explain things more thoroughly, but their kind and compassionate disposition, as well as the righteous thoughts that they must do the sales well. Skills can be learned, but how to learn compassion? How to learn righteous thoughts? In Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference, Master said, “I've told you before that Shan isn't something pretended, nor is it a state that's just maintained on the surface. Shan truly comes from within and can only be attained and embodied through cultivation.”(Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference). Therefore, I understand what Master said in Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference, “How sales go in a given locale is, in reality, a true, tangible sign of how well practitioners have cultivated and cooperated there.”(Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference).
During Shen Yun promotion, I realised that my deficiency is to focus too much on methods and techniques, while I look inside myself too little. Before exploring the best way to sell Shen Yun tickets, there is more need to ask the following questions: Do I insist on my own idea? Do I have prejudice toward other practitioners? Do I look inside to find my own shortcomings? Do I consider the needs of other practitioners? Do I have the attachment of pursuing of relaxation and comfort?
Being an Coordinator
The practitioners in Canberra are reluctant to take the role of coordinator. To tell a joke, a coordinator looks like the only role left after all others had been picked up. Although I am the coordinator by name, I am really not willing to lead others, or guide others. In fact, in the past 5 years, what was more often happening is, other practitioners had guided me, and tolerated me from cultivation. If we really had done well for the promotion of Shen Yun, I would say the best part Canberra practitioners had done is that they have grand tolerance towards a coordinator.
In the meantime, nearly most of the projects for clarifying truth, including ideas for promoting Shen Yun, are all raised and started by practitioners themselves. I am quite busy with my everyday job, so I hardly can look after every project personally. Just because fellow practitioners take the initiative to undertake all tasks, I don’t think there is anything that cannot be done without me. Until last year, the management team at the Canberra Theater had been severely interfered with by the evil party and this had started to impact on Shen Yun. They even deliberately shortened the time of the Shen Yun shows. I realised as a coordinator, I should meet their management team and resolve this issue by myself.
At that time, all practitioners felt the situation was serious, and they sent forth righteous thoughts together to eliminate interferences, as well as tried to find a chance to clarify the truth to employers of the theatre. But the interference from the theatre had not weakened. Later on, they even threatened to cancel the show. I felt this is the test for Canberra, I realised I should face it seriously. But what I did at that time was just on the level of clarifying truth and sending forth righteous thoughts, and always pay attention to suppress the attachment to competitiveness. One obvious loophole was, we lacked the determination to get rid of any evil interference.
During the New Year’s holiday, we read again many old Jing Wen from our Master on the topic of how to face persecution, and how to be a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples etc. During the Fa study, I suddenly realised that, interference from the theatre means the evil party had extended the persecution from mainland China to Canberra. Suppressing an attachment to competitiveness or sending forth righteous thoughts were not enough, and we must erase these interferences. Otherwise it is not being responsible for Dafa and personal cultivation. After realising this point, we talked to a lawyer, and decided to sort out all evidence of interference from the theatre and planned to file a lawsuit. This action was backed by fellow practitioners. At the same time, we informed the theatre management team that we were seeking a lawyer’s help to handle the discriminatory practices we had experienced from the theatre. Then, to our surprise, the management team of the theatre totally changed their mind. In the after-show meeting with them this year, we were told that our conduct and the performance were perfect, regardless of what had happened in the past, and in marked contrast to what we heard from them in the past two years.
This issue helped me to realise that it is very important for a coordinator to understand the propriety of projects that are maintained for clarifying the truth. Fa study is the key for understanding and taking proper action.
In conclusion, please review the words from Master in, “Drive Out Interference”:
“The Fa can break all attachments, the Fa can destroy all evil, the Fa can shatter all lies, and the Fa can strengthen righteous thoughts.”
Thank you Master, thank you fellow practitioners.