Experience Sharing by a Western Practitioner at the Toronto Fa Conference
Experience Sharing from the 2009 Canada Fa Conference
[PureInsight.org] Greetings Master and greetings fellow practitioners.
It is difficult for me to write a sharing. Many times I have started but never finished. What are the reasons? A lack of enlightenment or improvement? Fear of exposing myself? A lack of time or desire to share? I think it is a combination of all these and probably other factors are involved as well. However, I feel that these opportunities to share together are truly very precious, so even though I would like to offer a greater and more profound sharing, this is one that reflects where I am in my cultivation and my desire to do better.
Shen Yun 2009
This year, I enlightened to a lot from the show. I realized that everything in the show is divine and that I should closely watch it for hints in my cultivation. However many times a being has the chance to watch this show, they are blessed each time. Everyday people can criticize the show, but it doesn't mean that they are right. They are criticizing with their notions, they use the standard of modern society to judge, but is that standard right? For example, some professional in the field of 3D animation commented on the backdrop last year, and I gave much credibility to their opinion, thinking that we needed to improve. This year, I felt that the backdrops may not have been completely to their liking, yet, if the show could achieve something more elaborate and complicated, it wouldn’t necessarily make it more divine. I believe the show talks to the divine side of everyone and helps us awaken. It resonates with our higher self. I understand that only people that are far from their original nature might dislike it, or sometimes people’s notions may control them.
I benefited greatly from watching the show, and I would have appreciated the chance to watch it again, as there were too many insights for me to grasp at once. I hope that next year I can see more performances.
I accepted the responsibility of organizing the Western practitioners when selling tickets in the malls last year. It was a great challenge for me and everyone, including my several month old son, who had to often wait patiently while I was attending to the endless phone calls. I first accepted this challenge reluctantly, as I had karma in my mind prompting me not to do it. I was afraid of the unknown and the eventual sacrifices that I needed to face. A large part of me was telling me not to move and maybe everything would be all right as others would fill the gap. But eventually I just thought that I should do it, to take on the responsibility and just do my best. When I made the decision to move forward, it seemed like things were cleared out of my path. The effort and time I put into this project were actually much greater than I initially thought, possible due to my situation as a new mother.
Eventually, we did very well! Everyone made great efforts and sacrificed a lot of their time and more to come together as one body and really give their best to selling the tickets in the malls, offering a chance to ordinary people to see the show and to be saved. Through this collaboration, our group has grown more mature, and our participation and understanding of acting as one body was further solidified.
I have always been more of an individualist, caring for my own cultivation and participating according to my ability. I would enjoy the group, but more for how I could benefit. I was not genuinely caring and being responsible towards the group. I feel I have matured very much in this regard even though I can see I still have a long way to go. I now realize that working for the benefit of the group, thinking of the whole group instead of oneself, is a sort of miraculous force about which I'm starting to discover the power of more fully. I think that recently in Montreal we have made great progress in this regard, and I hope we can keep moving more consciously in this direction. Here's a recent example: A practitioner created the opportunity to study the Fa together at 5:00 a.m. every morning. Then two other practitioners joined the Fa study every single day, and I believe they are not doing it entirely for their own improvement, but for the group. They contributed so that this effort could last and bear its fruit for everyone. Many times I was able to join because I thought of the group primarily and wanted to support this effort. If we can all think more about the group, we will all benefit greatly. Of course, this is a process which I am still learning, yet being more conscious of it can help us to collaborate more together and think of the whole group in everything we do.
I want to share here that I now feel most fortunate to be part of the Montreal group of Dafa practitioners, and I also want to express how I appreciate the efforts of the Chinese practitioners when reading with Westerners at the group Fa study. For many years now, Chinese and Westerners have prioritized the weekly group Fa study in which we alternate by reading one paragraph in English, one paragraph in French and then one paragraph in Chinese over the course of the whole lecture. In my opinion, this has contributed greatly to building and straightening the bridge between us. I know Chinese practitioners have sacrificed their reading for this, but I'm quite confident in saying that Westerners truly appreciate their efforts. I have gradually witnessed a wider understanding between Westerners and Chinese practitioners and a greater respect for different ideas and input. I hope we can all continue to solidify this bridge and make further conscious efforts to collaborate together, value and understand each other as well as accept to work on our differences, strengths and weaknesses.
The Epoch Times
The other topic I want to cover today is the Epoch Times. I became involved a few months after the beginning of the newspaper and since then it has played a great role in my cultivation and become a main Dafa project for me over the years.
I want to discuss the Epoch Times because I would like to share my cultivation process through working for the Epoch Times and also because I think that supporting the Epoch Times is every practitioner’s concern. Some may only be able to support with righteous thoughts and that’s great, while others may be able to offer their support directly and that's even better. If anyone has a misunderstanding or bad thoughts toward the Epoch Times, I believe it is so important to share because practitioner's thoughts have power and if everyone’s righteous thoughts are with the Epoch Times, we will surely come to a positive cycle and fulfill our mission effectively.
In the beginning, we had individual sales people in Montreal, and now we have a sales team. For a long time, I was the only Westerner working as a sales representative for the Epoch Times. At first, I would make calls from home when I would find the courage, then I worked from tentative offices, which were practitioner's homes at night. For two years now, we have had an office in Chinatown where Chinese and Westerners work together not only in the same space, but also collaborate well together, share ideas and have weekly meetings together. Our meetings are now more structured, professional and fruitful. We also recently initiated a daily morning Fa study together.
One practitioner offered great support to me when I was the only Western salesperson and I wasn’t doing very well. From our sharings, I eliminated my negative view toward my very limited contribution and this allowed me to improve gradually but greatly. This practitioner has the group at heart and he always wants to bring the group together, clear misunderstandings and everything that stands in the way of collaboration. I believe, it has helped greatly to have built this team that we have now and the collaboration between Chinese and Westerners. When the heart is there, results eventually come. We are now sometimes a team of up to one dozen Chinese and Westerners working together, but unlike most cities who have an Epoch Times office, Westerners here are actually greater in number. Also, about two years ago, a new Westerner practitioner joined the sales team full time. He sacrificed a lot for this, and he has helped a great deal in making things move forward. He also managed to encourage a veteran practitioner to join the sales team full time. Many other practitioners have now joined the team and have made great contributions.
However, we still need more support. We need new people, more efforts and strong righteous thoughts from the whole body. If everyone sincerely holds the Epoch Times in their hearts, there is no way we cannot succeed.
Everything is a Process
When I started working as a sales representative, I did quite poorly. It seemed that I had endless shortcomings, yet I persevered and my skills have greatly improved. Even my personality has been shaped to fit this job. I have changed from not liking to talk to new people to enjoying phoning new clients. I have changed from being too scared to pick up the phone to looking forward to making calls. I have changed from judging myself and others severely, to having respect in my heart for everyone I talk to. I have also changed from having strong notions and judgments about publicity and sales people in general to feeling fortunate to be a salesperson.
At first, I did not even dare to say that I wanted to sell an advertisement when I would call potential clients. All this I had to eliminate through the process of being a salesperson. With time, I gained confidence and eliminated many of my notions.
I can assure you that the changes within me are truly amazing. I am confident that no ordinary person
could change so much in just a few years and not even in one lifetime. And all of these changes are the result of Dafa, which gives me the strength to persevere and continue to face my fears.
It's truly just as Master say's in Zhuan Falun: “When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible. If you can actually do it, you will indeed find: ‘After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!’”
Thank you Master and thank you fellow practitioners.