Sharing on Promoting Shen Yun
(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I am a practitioner from New York who started practicing Falun Dafa in October 1998. I'd like to share my experiences promoting Shen Yun.
When it came to promoting Shen Yun, I used to have many obstacles and didn't like to help sell tickets. In the beginning, I thought Master had arranged for me to not sell tickets, so I wasn't enthusiastic about it and didn’t really understand the importance of the Shen Yun programs. However, at the Washington D.C. experience-sharing conference last year, Master completely removed the barriers that blocked me from helping to promote Shen Yun, just like smashing a layer of shell [that covered me]. At that time, my true thoughts emerged, “Assist Master’s Fa-rectification and harmonize what Master wants.” It was from my heart that I wanted to help promote Shen Yun. When I listened to Master's Fa, I felt the theater was like a chessboard, and we needed to get predestined people to go see the show like placing every chess piece to fill the theater seats.
When I got back to New York, things didn’t work out as I thought they would. Suddenly, there was pressure at work that made me feel powerless, and I didn’t even have time to promote Shen Yun. I was very confused. However, Master must have seen my heart. Early in March of this year, Master helped me—my work was relocated, I no longer felt pressure, and I was able to dedicate myself to promoting Shen Yun.
The two months of promoting Shen Yun in New York was a priceless experience for the Greater New York area practitioners. I feel very fortunate to have been part of the team, aiding Master in Fa-rectification.
The first time I participated in the poster team, fellow practitioners shared their experiences in a large group gathering. I was envious and looked forward to the following weekend when I could put up posters. The coordinator specifically arranged for me to partner with a very capable practitioner.
When I first went out to put up the posters, I was surprised that every shop we went to took our materials and they knew about Shen Yun. I feel that Shen Yun has been rooted in every corner of society. At one school we went to, we asked the porter at the gate if he would allow us to put up a poster. When we asked if he had heard of Shen Yun, he told us that he had always wanted to see the performance, but missed it every time. We told him that he could buy a ticket right there and he agreed. While I showed him the seating chart, the other practitioner called the box office. If I had only been by myself that day, I might not have succeeded in selling him a ticket. However, with another practitioner there, I felt our energy field was strong and righteous. I feel we should encourage anyone who is ready to buy a ticket on the spot. That day, I felt it wasn't just our efforts and righteous energy, but all of New York practitioners’ constant efforts in promoting Shen Yun that had formed a strong field.
That night, I was very tired since I had just begun participating in the project. When promoting Shen Yun, any issue that seems very simple could be a big battle between good and evil in another dimension. The tiredness gradually went away.
Besides putting up posters, I also introduced Shen Yun to a group of people. This was an effective promotion method initiated by New York practitioners.
One time I made an appointment with an acquaintance to introduce Shen Yun to her and three of her colleagues. A practitioner who was good at making presentations came with me. She did a great job. While she was talking about traditional Chinese culture, I felt a lot of my behavior and thoughts didn't conform to the traditional culture. I learned a lot by listening that day. My friend and her colleagues listened attentively and responded positively to the presentation. They wanted to buy tickets, so we sold them five. After that, the practitioner and I decided that I would make appointments and go with her to the presentations. While she talked, I listen attentively and learned how to present—a process of purifying myself. After the presentation, people immediately approached us to buy tickets.
A manager of a chain store is my friend and has seen the show. He wanted to help with the Shen Yun promotion, so he reserved a time for us to do a presentation at his store. In fact, this was the first time I had booked a presentation. The practitioner who gave the presentation did a great job, and many wanted to see the show. I was really touched. After that, I started to make a lot of appointments for presentations. At that time, the store manager wanted his company to buy tickets for the employees. Later, I set up another presentation with the same store at a different location through my friend. After about a one hour presentation, the employees were very interested in the show. One clerk mentioned that if the company didn't buy a ticket for him, he would buy it himself.
After the two presentations at the same chain store, we didn't make any more progress in making more presentations, as the show time was near. Also, we weren't sure if we should continue giving presentations for these same stores, but at different locations, after the amount of effort we had put in. We didn’t have experience in the beginning, so we could have done better, including allowing people to buy tickets right after the presentation. However, I felt that we should reach out to people and promote Shen Yun, so they would have a better understanding even if they didn’t buy tickets for this year's show. With such a wish, I continued with what I was doing.
We then reserved a time to make a presentation at their store in Long Island. Another practitioner drove us there. We were on time, but the store manager had left a few minutes earlier. I was a bit disappointed, thinking it was my fault because I should have arrived half-an-hour earlier and had the other practitioners get ready. However, I was disrupted by unimportant things, so they had had to wait for me.
This store was located in a noisy area. I felt a bit annoyed in the beginning, without knowing what would be the outcome. However, as long as we have the heart to save people, Master will arrange an opportunity for us. Two employees said that we should start, so we did. There was a Chinese employee from mainland China. When the practitioner mentioned Shen Yun, the Chinese clerk mentioned that he had no objections to us promoting traditional Chinese culture, but he had many misunderstandings about Falun Gong. One practitioner told him, “I think you don't understand Falun Gong” and continued to introduce Shen Yun. The two Western employees listened with great interest, while the Chinese clerk went out to make a phone call. I asked if he was reporting us to his store manager. I then sent righteous thoughts. After a while, my heart calmed down and I felt a very peaceful field.
The manager later returned with his boss. The Chinese employee quickly called them to the back room. I don't know what was said, but the manager came out when we were almost finished. He stood there listening. We’d done many presentations and had never encountered any negative reaction. I didn't know what would happen. When we were done, the manager took a Shen Yun flyer and said, “This show looks very attractive, I'm going home to ask my wife if she wants to go.” His words took me by surprise. Afterwards, we spent a long time clarifying the truth to the Chinese clerk.
On the way home, I felt good, as though I had just started practicing and gone out to validate the Fa. The practitioner shared with me on the way back home that saving a person is not a trivial matter; it is indeed very significant, relating to a wide range of the universe. Isn’t that important? What matters on earth can compare to that. Master has mentioned this many times in his Fa-teachings. Master says in "What is a Dafa Disciple,"
“When one person gains salvation, that represents all of the beings behind him gaining salvation in the future. [I say this] because the vast majority of the people on this earth, of today’s people, are heavenly kings who descended to earth, who incarnated here as human beings.”
When it was near showtime, I called my friend and he said his company refused to buy tickets for them. I then called the clerk who expressed an interest in buying a ticket himself. When I asked if he wanted to buy a ticket, he told me he needed to check with his manager. I asked myself, “Why does he need to ask his manager if he wants to buy tickets himself?” I didn't have much hope. Three days before the show, he called the practitioner who did the presentation and bought five tickets. It turned out that the clerk had encouraged other employes to go see the show, including a new employee.
During the promotion, ticket sales went pretty well in the beginning. However, things started to change. People expressed an interest in seeing the show, but found all kinds of reasons not to go. I was frustrated and looked inward to see what was wrong with myself. I found that I didn't study the Fa or send righteous thoughts enough. I also reflected on my earlier experiences of what went relatively smoothly.
I remembered that a person had called me to talk about business. I was half asleep as I talked to her but still sold four tickets. Why did that go smoothly? I then remembered that earlier that night, I was seriously studying the Fa, so Master had cleaned up a lot of bad things.
So, I began to study the Fa. However, selling tickets still didn't go smoothly. I felt I had a lot of attachments—no sense of urgency to save lives, and an attachment to comfort. Since there was no pressure at work, every day was very relaxing. So why did I feel discouraged when a ticket was sold? It was because I was attached to selling tickets itself. I began to not be attached to ticket outcome, and seriously focused on introducing Shen Yun to people. There were many other attachments. For instance, I did poorly in sending forth righteous thoughts. I should correct all of these things and improve.
In the promotion of Shen Yun, I would like to share some important factors:
1. The Importance of a Large Group Study
After Master’s teaching in Washington D.C., I began to participate in group Fa-study and sharing. I feel I have greatly benefited. After each Fa-study and sharing, I feel reborn. Many practitioners' sharings had an impact on my cultivation, knowledge of Shen Yun, and ways to promote the show. In fact, the large group study helped me overcome the mentality of not having time and feeling powerless, to becoming determined, and to actively participate. Moreover, the other sharings gave me knowledge and helped me to correctly understand Shen Yun.
2. The Strength of the One Body
Promoting Shen Yun is fundamentally a cultivation process of practitioners’ overall cultivation, improvement, and co-ordination in their areas. The results also reflect this process.
I feel very lucky to be part of the entire promotion process. Since I got involved late and missed many opportunities, I especially cherish this valuable opportunity. A practitioner shared that her happiest moments each year are when she is promoting Shen Yun. Another practitioner said he is very grateful to Master for giving him the opportunity to be involved in the Shen Yun project, as his cultivation is quickly improving. Their sharing deeply touched me. This year I have improved my understanding of promoting Shen Yun, became part of the one body, and eliminated the gaps between others and myself.
Cooperating with fellow practitioners is very important, even in a small team. I feel fortunate to have worked with the practitioner who makes presentations. Oftentimes, I find gaps between us. This practitioner has been fully participating in the Shen Yun promotion for a few years now. Everyone can see the changes she has gone through internally and externally. When she talks about traditional Chinese culture, she gives a great deal of detail that leaves many people impressed. She mentioned that she never misses an Epoch Times article on Shen Yun. Therefore, she is able to use different content when talking to people about the show.
3. Learn to Appreciate Shen Yun
During the promotion, I often read the Epoch Times articles on Shen Yun and learned how to appreciate and understand the show. Many of the articles include interviews with artists or people with insightful comments. Particularly, the interviews of theater and art critics helped me learn that Shen Yun is a masterpiece in terms of dance, choreography, costumes, and music.
In the past when I saw Shen Yun, I would pick a seat close to the stage where I could see the details. However, I didn't get to see the whole performance as I was focused on the details. This year, I let the box office person choose a seat for me that was relatively in the center, but a distance from the stage. While watching the show, I felt that the whole stage design was superb! I was fascinated and truly understood what the artists were saying in the articles.
I continued to promote Shen Yun even after the show was over in April because I think that it is one of the most meaningful things to do. I also made appointments for presentations. I went to several trade shows and became acquainted with many vendors. I introduced Shen Yun to them, told them about the sold-out shows in New York, and let them know about the upcoming show in New Jersey in October 2012. If they can’t make it, I recommended that they attend next year's performances in New York. I began promoting tickets now, because I'm not good at rushing to sell tickets at the last minute. So I am trying to be an early-bird to find the predestined.
I think Shen Yun is enormous, covering the entire universe. We can promote Shen Yun to every single industry. Master said in “Fa Teaching at the 2007 New York Fa Conference,”
"You all know that Dafa disciples are to validate the Fa, so then what is Master doing? Master came to do Fa-rectification. That is why once I decided to do this, everything changed--the audience members before us, the people I wanted to save, and the affair itself that was to be carried out.”
Most of the time when I contact people, I focus on introducing Shen Yun, so it makes everything very meaningful. In promoting Shen Yun, I can feel that all is at Master's command.
Master said in “Dafa Disciples Must Study the Fa - Fa Teaching Given at the 2011 Washington DC Metro Area Fa Conference,”
“...whether it involves the form of the cosmos, the state of affairs in this world, or anything there is from high to low—instantly it shall be.”
I feel that Master has given the best to us, and the ability to succeed, as long as we keep up with Master's Fa-rectification process.
In fact, Master is doing all these things, every single thing, big and small. As a Dafa disciple, I just have the Fa to purify me over and over, do well the three things Master has asked us to do, and harmonize what Master wants.
In cultivation practice, I still have many shortcomings. I will continue to promote Shen Yun and learn from and cooperate with fellow practitioners, so that we will make a bigger breakthroughs and become more mature.
Thank you, Master. Thank you, fellow practitioners.