|Improving through Sharing With Fellow Practitioners 在与同修的交流中提高自己|
Improving through Sharing With Fellow Practitioners 在与同修的交流中提高自己
Nina S from QLD
Improving through Sharing With Fellow Practitioners
Nina S, Gold Coast Queensland
昆士??金海岸 Nina S
Greetings, Revered Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I first attained the Fa in October of 1999. It was a bit of a rocky start for me, but in early 2000, I started to really cultivate properly, studying the Fa every day and because I wasn’t working at the time, attending the daily exercise site as often as I could. I got married in 2000, my husband is also a practitioner; and we have 2 daughters. We live on the Gold Coast where we run a business together, which brings with it lots of opportunities to improve my xinxing. I am also the local coordinator for my area, and am responsible for coordinating our local Fa study group, local truth clarification activities, government work and Shen Yun promotions. I often feel time is so tight and the pressure is immense, but in spite of how well or poorly I cope with those pressures there is always a sense of responsibility towards sentient beings that stays with me. Our local Fa study is an environment I have come to cherish, and in that field the pressures seem to melt away and I am conscious of an almost unspoken understanding of one another and the pressures that each one of us faces in different ways in our own environments. It feels like a true family to me.
We will be presenting the Art of Zhen Shan Ren on the Gold Coast at the end of September. As with most projects, the process has been quite challenging from securing a venue to inviting VIP’s and so on. It’s very easy to get disheartened when a lot of effort is put into a project, but you don’t see much in the way of positive results or positive outcomes. It is often difficult for us to get VIP’s and government representatives to attend our events regardless of how much effort we put in.
I was responsible for sending out government invitations to the opening of the exhibition. I went to a lot of effort, and coordinated with our local practitioners to include their names and addresses on the invitations sent to their respective councillors, state & federal MP’s. I thought that if we coordinated and cooperated well and put our best effort forward, we would achieve a positive result.
After emailing the invitations out one by one, I printed good quality copies for the local practitioners to also hand deliver to their respective councillors, state & federal MP’s, organizing one practitioner from each electorate to take care of the task so they could also have a chance to personally connect with their representatives. The practitioners all put their hearts into it, and we cooperated & coordinated well. Before some practitioners even had a chance to visit their representatives, the rsvp’s were coming in, all saying they could not attend the opening. I didn’t lose heart, and a suggestion was made by our local art exhibition coordinator to send an email to the group reminding everyone to FZN and only acknowledge Master’s arrangements, which I did. Some practitioners did get to deliver the printed copies of the invitation, but the rsvp’s continued to come in with no one able to attend. I thought I would give the politicians an opportunity to still position themselves well and replied to their rsvp’s asking if they would like to send in a welcome greeting or message to be read out in their absence.
There were still several politicians yet to rsvp, and I shared with our local art exhibition coordinator that I wanted to contact the state MP for the area where the exhibition was to be held to ask if he would like to officially open the exhibition. He hadn’t rsvp’d yet, but I didn’t want to be pushy or seem desperate as I thought that wouldn’t reflect well on the the exhibition. After sharing, we thought that it was worthwhile doing if handled correctly.
A couple of days later I received a response from a councillor declining to send a welcome or greeting message, and I started to feel disheartened and sad because I truly wanted these sentient beings to be saved. I felt I had failed them and didn’t know what else I could do to assist Master.
I called our local art exhibition coordinator to share with her. I said that I was now unsure about asking the MP to open the exhibition and wasn’t sure that he would be able to anyway as the responses so far hadn’t been promising in terms of attendance. When I look back, it was clear I felt defeated, which wasn’t a good state to be in. We shared for a while and she asked me if I had read an email she had sent out the day after our group Fa study. In it she had shared a section from Master’s Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting – 2009
"...As long as you come into contact with someone, you are doing something to save him—including when you solicit advertisements. Which side a person stands on, and whether he will make it—these are all things placed along the way as Dafa disciples go about interfacing with ordinary people in various capacities, and you shouldn’t attach too much importance to those activities in and of themselves. The bigger you perceive the challenges to be, the harder things will be to carry out, since “the appearance stems from the mind.” And so the task will become increasingly burdensome. When I say “the appearance stems from the mind,” by that I also mean that the difficulty stems from your overstating the importance of the matter itself and seeing yourself in a lesser light. Don’t take any such things to be a big deal, for with something as significant as saving sentient beings you should just do what you are supposed to do, going about it in a composed manner. When you encounter things that don’t sound so good or that aren’t what you hoped for, don’t take it to heart, and just nobly and confidently do what you are supposed to. If you don’t let the evil’s interference sway you, bad factors won’t arise from you, the evil will become trivial, you will become towering and massive, and your righteous thoughts will be ample. That’s truly the case.”
After I read this, I realized that Master’s words pointed directly to my shortcoming in handling things. I truly did place too much emphasis on the tasks instead of simply carrying them out in a composed manner, and I saw myself in a lesser light, something I have struggled with for many years.
I looked within and knew that how I saw myself was something I had carried with me for many years of my cultivation, a lack of confidence and self worth as a cultivator. Being in this state has sometimes manifested in an attachment to needing to prove myself by working hard on projects, and this often gets out of balance and affects my everyday work running a business with my husband and caring for my children, and most importantly my time for exercises and quality Fa study.
Although I became aware of this incorrect thinking some time ago, and had worked on eliminating it, there were still elements of it there that were now manifesting in how I handled the government work for the exhibition opening. I read the rest of the section this practitioner had emailed and sent forth righteous thoughts. I felt a shift immediately, and decided to call the MP that afternoon and carry it out in a composed manner as Master had instructed. I checked my emails at that moment, and an email had come through from a councillor who couldn’t attend the opening asking for some draft wording to help compose a welcome message to be read out in her absence.
I knew that sharing with a fellow practitioner who then advised me to read Master’s words had created a breakthrough and change in thinking which closed a gap and produced this result. I had some work to do for our business, so I focused on that for a while. I was starting to feel a little hungry and thought I’d make myself a quick bite to eat, but decided to call the MP first, again not feeling overwhelmed by the task, nor feeling I had to overly prepare myself for it, but again, just carrying it out in a composed manner. After speaking with the MP’s staff member, he said, “Oh yes, he’s definitely coming, we just haven’t sent the RSVP to you yet. I don’t think it will be a problem for him to officially open the exhibition, just send an email responding to our rsvp with more information.” That state MP has since confirmed his attendance at the opening. He will be attending with his wife and will also officially open the exhibition and give a welcoming speech.
In that moment, I really became aware of the importance of my thoughts and attitude towards the tasks I am undertaking at any moment, but also the importance of my thoughts and attitude towards myself. As I stood at my kitchen bench, I felt a wave come over me, and I was overcome by Master’s boundless mercy for me and for all sentient beings. Later that day another welcome message for The Art of Zhen Shan Ren came through from a state MP.
“There is a lot of hidden meaning contained in [China’s] semi-divine culture, and that also holds true for the old expression “the appearance stems from the mind.” Because each person covers a certain expanse of his own in the world around him, his emotional state will have a bearing on his affairs. That’s even more the case for Dafa disciples, for they shoulder the mission of saving sentient beings, and their expanse is even greater. The Dafa disciples of the world together encompass the whole earth, with each person having a certain reach. All of what you encounter and meet with owes to factors that are present within your expanse. If you can have sufficient righteous thoughts, you can then be towering and massive within your expanse and suppress any bad things that might exist there. Were every Dafa disciple able to achieve this, the entire world would change, since each of you assumes responsibility for a large expanse in this world and represents a certain segment of sentient beings.” (Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting – 2009)
During the process of working on the exhibition there are many difficulties, but sharing with one another has really helped to work through those difficulties. If there was something I or the art project coordinator was unsure about, we’d share with one another and things would become clear. Even though we were both so busy, taking the time to share with one another was an important part of the process.
The following week we were tested again as rsvp’s continued to come in with people saying they couldn’t make it. The art project coordinator called me, concerned. I reminded her of what she had shared with me the week before, and that we should remember Master’s Fa and just continue doing what we needed to do, and every person we’d contacted was someone we were trying to save and that counted for something. Within 5 minutes of her hanging up the phone, she texted me saying a local councillor had just confirmed her attendance at the opening. I called her and we laughed in amazement at how every time we shared on the Fa with one another and corrected our thinking, the situation would improve. It was a reminder to cherish one another, and that eliminating our bad thoughts and notions is an ongoing process, and that sharing with one another can help us expose those bad thoughts and notions so we can eliminate them. Of course none of this is possible without the guidance of our Master.
“It really is hard to clean out those notions and bad things that you have formed while leading your daily life, and you need to change those habitual things that have formed. You have already formed a way of thinking such as that, and so you have to look into your manner of thinking and correct things there if you want to avoid more problems. You might be wondering, “But haven’t I already cleaned those things out?” Indeed, when you send righteous thoughts the field does become bright and clear. However, the moment you get up, what’s in your head is in fact human thinking, and when you think about something or do something, you quickly lapse and go back to where you started from, and that thing [you cleared out] is there again. And further yet, if your mind and thoughts aren’t even steady when you send righteous thoughts, you will be clearing out and eradicating bad things over here while at the same time producing them over there. Cultivation is about reforming yourself, and things are indeed as I’ve described..."( Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting – 2009)
Thank you Master.
Thank you fellow practitioners.