Cultivate as one body in the promotion of Shen Yun shows
Dear venerable Master, dear fellow practitioners,
It has been five years since we started the promotion of Shen Yun shows, and there have been manywhich was full of ups and downs. Indeed each year’s promotion entailedincluded all practitioners’ hard work and sacrifice. It has also been an excellent cultivation opportunity for all of us to cultivate as one body and improve ourselves.
This year’s Shen Yun promotion requiredraised higher standards fromor us.
With so many difficulties it was certainly a challenge, but also something very special for us. For Shen Yun promotion, what is needed is for us to make our continuous break throughs. When we make break throughs in our cultivations, Shen Yun promotion will advance enormously. Below are some of my personal cultivation experiences, particularly in the area of cultivating as one body in the promotion of Shen Yun shows. Please correct me if any of my sharings are inappropriate.
(1) Have faith in Master and in the Fa
We all know that we must have faith in Master and in the Fa, but that is. eEasiery said than done. Shen Yun is the only Fa rectification project which is directly run by Master himself. Therefore we have been telling ourselves that we must do well.
This year our top ticket price was $150. This price has a certain market in our city. However, I was not surecertain how many top priced tickets would sell and was concerned that empty seats might be left in the best areas of the auditorium. In particular, after Shen Yun performed in a number of overseas cities when I heard that the high priced tickets didn’t sell very well in many cities, I was more concerned.
Since 2007 I had been one of the main persons on budgeting and planning for the Shen Yun shows in our city. I was about right withfor my projections for the first four years here, so I thought I knew the local market and our practitioners’ capacity to sell tickets. Therefore I didn’t pay much attention when other practitioners told me not to worry about ticket sales and budget. My concerns remainedwas still about the same.
As one of the main local coordinators, practitioners seemed to pay a lot of attention to how I feel and what I say. Someone joked that, when X is happy, everyone is happy. This also means that when I’m worried, everyone is worried. This is probably not a veryn accurate description but I am sure, you know what I mean. I must get rid of this mentality of being concerneds. At least I must not be a barrier to success,, particularly in mythe role as one of the main coordinators.
In the process of promotion this year, I eventuallygradually realised that this year’s ticket prices were set up by Master who said:, “When disciples have ample righteous thoughts, Master has the power to turn back the tide”, Master was confident that we could do it so, how could I be concerned? The key is to take Shen Yun promotion as a cultivation opportunity, instead of an everyday commercial performance, and do everything following Master’s requirements with full righteous thoughts. Do everything with our hearts, do not to be attached to our own opinionsselves, and cooperate well as one body, then it will be as Master said: “one is able to do what seems impossible to do”.
Master said in his lecture to Epochtimes practitioners:, “Ordinary people don’t know that all of this is encompassed by the expression ‘“the appearance stems from the mind.’” So, put another way, one’s own factors can in fact change one’s surroundings.”
I am one of the main coordinators in my cityhere., Iif my thoughts are not righteous, worrying about this and that, then it will be a barrier for the Shen Yun promotion and ticket sales.
I repeatedly said to myself that I must have faith in Master and in the Fa, and get ridding myself of the mentality of having concerns and, instead to focussing myself on promotion and ticket sales.
Many Tthanks to all practitioners’ efforts, assistance from buddhas and gods, and the strengthening of our resolve by Master, and alsoperhaps including the change inof my own mentality,y, as it turned out, the top priced tickets were all sold. It was better than I had expected. In the last few days before the show, some people felt sorry because of not being able to buy the best seats. They left contact details, asking our sales representatives to let them know when tickets are for sale for next year’s show. They want to buy the best seats. They even said that the show is so good and the tickets are not expensive. For the first time, Shen Yun tickets sold better than I thought. My concern was not necessary.
I learned a big lesson this year. We must have faith in Master and faith in the Fa, not just in words. We must have unshakable faith in Master and in the Fa.
（2）Maintain a good cultivation environment
Though there are not many practitioners in our city, because of different opinions and attachments, there are often conflicts among us. Practitioners may like someone, dislike another, and have strong views on who is right and who is wrong., all Ssuch things happen all the time. Trust between practitioners also becomes an issue from time to time. This is particularly true when we were all very busy in promoting Shen Yun, due to not having enough time to study the Fa and practisedoing the exercises., Tthen there are more arguments. Because of different opinions, practitioners sometimes hang up in the middle of phone conversations, and. dDuring our sharings or meetings, for several times, some practitioners got so upset and left on several occasions!
However, we seem to have such an unwritten agreement in place, that saysis, no matter how big the argument might be, we do not let it affect Dafa work overall. Although Lletting go of self is not as easy to do in practice as saying itid in words., Iit has not always been easy to handle well, and when things happen, we always tend to think that we are always right and the other side is always wrong. However,, as practitioners, most of us have been able to look within.
Master taught us in his “Fa Teaching Given in Manhattan”：“Some people are always stressing that they’re right, but even if you are right, even if you’re not wrong, so what? Have you improved on the basis of the Fa? The very act of using human thinking to stress who’s right and who’s wrong is in itself wrong. That’s because you are then using the logic of ordinary people to evaluate yourself, and using that logic to make demands on others. As gods see it, for a cultivator to be right or wrong in the human world is not important in the least, whereas eliminating the attachments that come from human thinking is important, and it is precisely your managing to eliminate those attachments rooted in your human thinking as you cultivate that counts as important. ”
Therefore, after conflicts most of us could soon realise what to do and where our attachments wereare. Sometimes both parties would say sorry to the other. As a result we didn’t seem to have the Dafa work affected the next day because of conflicts among ourselves.
Partly due to the fact that I am one of the main coordinators and one of the relatively older practitioners here, practitioners often say this and that to me. And I always get to hear some negative things.
Negative things carry negative energy. They affect our thoughts and our behaviour. If passed onto others, they contaminate others. In addition, because of our own attachments, in many cases, we may not see the truth. Some superficial things, because of our own pre-occupied mind and our own angle ofto looking at things, our judgements may not truly reflect the reality of the situationwhat the thing is. Therefore, when such things occur to me, in one way, I try to tell myself that I need to maintain my compassion towards other practitioners and not to get involved emotionally. When such things are passed onto me, it must be there for me to cultivate and let go of my own attachments. On the other hand, I always try to look within togetherourselves with the practitioner I am talking to.
Master said: ,“when a conflict arises between two people and it’s seen by a third person, even the third person should think to himself, ‘“Oh, a confrontation is happening between them, so why is it that I was there to see it? Is it because I have certain attachments? Is it because I have that kind of problem as well?’” Since you are cultivating, you need to be truly responsible to yourself and need to look at yourself.” (Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference in Australia)
Therefore, when hearing negative opinionsthings and criticisms, I try to share with practitioners how we can do better and, how we ourselves canshould improve. Although sometimes I may get involved one way or another, I try my best to maintain a good cultivation environment in our city.
In fact, our local cultivation environment plays a vital role for weus practitioners to improve. In the 2007Lecture to Australian Practitioners Master said to us that our environment is related to our future consummation at 2007 lecture to Australia practitioners. It is our responsibility to maintain a good cultivation environment. This requires mercy, to be inclusive, and to be patient and give way. It is about cultivating ourselves following the standard of “Zhenn -, Shan -, Ren”. It is a process of cultivation.
Importantly, we should look at others’ good points, learn and improve ourselves. For example, if we try to look at a practitioner’s shining side and praise him/her from our heart at the beginning of the day’s Shen Yun promotions, then tickets will sell much better. If we look at practitioners’ good side more often, our cultivation environment will indeed become much better.
(3) Let go of self and harmonise the whole body
After stepping into cultivation, as my thoughts weregot purified and my xinxingself elevated, I gradually lost interest in many ordinary things. Because of being busy doing Dafa work, I felt that Iit was becoming moregetting worse and worse in breaking away from the everyday society yet at the same time needed to be more involved in that society to promote the show effectively.
Before the start of promotion for this year’s Shen Yun, we had many discussions about how to break into the “main stream” society. Taking into acountAccording to the successful experiences from other cities, we decided to focus on an international service club. In order to get close to everyday people, another practitioners and I joined the club., became their members. Other than participating in regular club activities, we had been planning how to seizegrab opportunities to promote Shen Yun to their membership. Because of our efforts, we secured invitations to give presentations in more than ten clubs.
Then I started to prepare slides. Giving presentations is easy for me because of my experience in giving seminars and talks in conferences over the past more than twenty years of study and working in Australia. My presentations had always been well received. I thought I could set up an example of how to use presentations to promote Shen Yun. But what I didn’t expect was that soon after I hadgave my first dry run, criticism came inlike a floods, from the introduction, to the selection of photos, the, main description, points of stories,and theto flow of ideas. , Ppractitioners criticised everything I prepared. In particular, none liked my choice of a number of everyday photos.
I listened carefully to practitioners’ comments and criticisms and took notes. But my initial reaction was that practitioners don’t really know how to give presentations, thinking they have lost touch with the everyday society and don’t know how to appreciate the art of natural and traditional beauty. I should therefore come up ways to convince them that my ideas were right.
After I thought it over carefully many times, however, I gradually came to understand their comments and concerns. I realised that it mayseems to be not be appropriate to give a presentation on Shen Yun in the same way as I organiselike my research seminars. So the challenge was hHow to make the presentations interesting, build in Shen Yun stories nicely, and present the breadthoadness and the superb richness of traditional Chinese culture. This would, it indeed require somes careful thinking. My first version of the presentation tendeds to address much detail but did not effectivelyable to highlight the key points. It was also not as interesting as it couldan be. Therefore the effectiveness of the presentation may not be as good as it shouldcan be.
I realised that I should let go of myself, let go my personal interest, let go my notionshabits in giving academic seminars, and do what the market requires, and not to be attached to my personal opinions and feelings.
In the following two weeks, I spent much time sharing with another practitioner who had extensive experience in selling Shen Yun tickets. I, listened to her opinion ontion what to saytalk and how to describetalk about Shen Yun, show stories, which aspectsstories should be selected, and how to highlight key points. In the end I revised my presentations four times and practisced giving my talk four times. By the time I formally gave the first talk in my own club, I could almost remember every sentence I was going to say and the flow of ideas was very clear in my mind.
My presentation was very well received in the clubs I visitedtalked, with comments of “excellent”, and “a powerful presentation”. One member in my club said with tongue in cheekhumour that he didn’t believe the Shen Yun show was as good as I said, andhe suggested everyone go to see the show and check it out themselves. Because the show was on our club meeting day, our club cancelled the meeting and manypeople went to see the show. Everyone loveds it and had a great time.
From this project I enlightened to the power of letting go of self and forming one body. Had I stuck with my own thoughts and notionshabits, the results may not have been so good. I indeed experienced what Master referred tosaid in Zhuan Falun: “the entire process of cultivation is letting go human attachments”. Only when in the Fa, may we elevate. It will also manifest ate in the everyday society with good results.
In fact, we have many examples like this, particularly in the process of promoting Shen Yun, especiall when. eEveryone shows mutual tolerance, and cooperates with a good heart justheart in ways as it should be. Towards the end of this year’s promotion, there was not really much need for coordination. Everyone voluntarily didoes what neededs to be done, worked and quietly in harmony, and picked up the slackise where others didn’t do well. This indeed shows the way as should be for practitioners in the future. In my view, this was probably the reason Shen Yun went well in our city.
Finally, let me quote Master’s poemarticle “Rational and Awake” fromin Hong Ying II which I am sure willto encourage us all:
“Pause for a moment of self-reflection,
and increase your righteous thoughts.
Thoroughly analyse your shortcomings,
and progress with renewed diligence.
Thankyous, Master, thankyous, fellow practitioners.