Remembering to Look Inward and Get Rid of Attachments While Promoting Shen Yun
(Minghui.org) From childhood, I was always considered to be gifted. I thought I was outstanding and that I could achieve anything. I did not realize that others thought I was arrogant and self-absorbed.
When I went to university I did well and was active in many student clubs. One year, I was the president or chair of six student clubs. I was named the outstanding student of the year and recognized by the Prime Minister.
Underneath the glow of success, however, I felt my life was out of control. In my student leadership positions, I had to deal with many conflicts. I had no friends, and I had trouble sleeping. Sometimes I couldn’t fall asleep until dawn. My liver function was abnormal. I had many tests but the cause remained unknown.
I was in my early 20s, how could I have so many problems? I was confused and frustrated.
A Crisis Leads Me to Practice
Just when everything in my life seemed to be going wrong, I noticed the Falun Dafa booth during a student club fair. The club members were very friendly and introduced me to Dafa. One student looked younger than me but was actually a third year Ph.D. candidate. I was surprised and thought, “Can practicing Falun Dafa really make people look so young and healthy?” One club member lent me a copy of Zhuan Falun and encouraged me to try practicing.
By the second page, I felt that this might be the most important book I'd ever read in my life. Master said, “I’ll tell you a truth: The entire cultivation process for a cultivator is one of constantly giving up human attachments.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)
This statement was like a lightning bolt, and I was suddenly awakened. All that I had pursued were simply attachments. How could I be happy? How could I be healthy when I was burdened by so many pursuits? I went to the practice site on campus. That afternoon, I learned all five exercises. As I listened to the other students talk about their cultivation experiences, I felt that practitioners were very nice and friendly.
The first night after I did the exercises, I was able to sleep through the entire night. My insomnia was gone. My liver function gradually returned to normal. Because my parents both work in medicine, they were surprised and asked me what I did. I didn't know what to tell them, because all I did was do the exercises and read Zhuan Falun. I also tried to conduct myself according to the teachings. The members of the Falun Dafa Club were very kind and encouraged me. I am grateful because they offered a new practitioner so much help.
Promoting Shen Yun
In 2007, Shen Yun came to Taiwan. We didn't know anything about promotion, so we invited our friends and family to see the show. I invited the dean of our medical school. He’s also the vice president of the university, a professor emeritus at a well known U.S. university, and an internationally renowned cardiologist. After seeing Shen Yun, he was very moved. He said, “Not only does Shen Yun promote Chinese culture, but it combines the arts and culture. It's not simply singing or dancing, it portrays the depth of human culture. It presents the deep and profound values of traditional Chinese culture.”
When I first began practicing, I knew that I had to let go of my attachments. I later realized that ordinary people will learn about Shen Yun and Falun Dafa through us.
Mainstream people do not ask how much money you have or how much you make. They judge you based on your appearance and your speech. In order to do well promoting Shen Yun, I knew that I must pay attention to my image and read about the arts and culture. I found that, if I was professional, people would be interested in seeing Shen Yun.
We held VIP Tea Parties throughout Taiwan to introduce Shen Yun. I was invited to be the moderator and a speaker during these events. At first, I tried to connect what I knew about science to Shen Yun. The feedback from other practitioners gave me opportunities to do better, even though I thought I was already well prepared. However, I was not very effective even though my slides were well done.
It's All about Our Cultivation
I finally realized it’s all about our cultivation. Being well-prepared is a must, but promoting Shen Yun is our sacred mission to save people. Through the show, audience members learn about mankind's traditional values and even about Falun Dafa. If they miss it this time, they might not have another opportunity.
I finally understood this after talking with other practitioners. I was able to attract the audience's attention with my knowledge of the ordinary world, but I only mentioned Shen Yun at the very end. Now I focus mainly on Shen Yun Performing Arts. I introduce the traditional arts using Shen Yun as a reference. I used to worry about talking about Dafa, but now I talk about Falun Dafa while introducing Shen Yun and tell people that the traditional arts came from heaven.
In Taiwan, I've heard many practitioners from different professional backgrounds share about their experiences. Their understandings are all different and all good. In this noisy, chaotic world, it's really difficult to see the beauty, power, wisdom, and compassion in such a pure and gentle art form. With Master's guidance, we are given a relatively relaxed way to save people through Shen Yun Performing Arts. Throughout history, saving lives was usually done in difficult circumstances. We get to dress up and smile while saving people.
Master said, “...if Dafa disciples have that allotted fortune then they’re free to enjoy it. Master isn’t directing you to be poor the way the evil CCP would have it.” (“2012 International Fa Conference at the U.S. Capital”)
In order to promote Shen Yun, we must do better in our ordinary jobs. In the process of promoting Shen Yun, I now have a deeper understanding of what Master said:
“It looks like you're doing things for Dafa, and some people may be thinking, "I'm doing things for Master, because Master told me to do them." (Master smiles/chuckles) In fact that's not the case. The things I tell you to do, those too are done for yourselves.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. V )
Things haven't always gone smoothly, and I've encountered difficulties and obstacles. I felt that these were all opportunities to help me improve my xinxing, which is fundamental to our cultivation. When we first started promoting Shen Yun, we would go wherever there was a chance to talk to people. Because I would be gone three or four times a week, my time became very tight between work and family, and my wife and I started having conflicts. One day, she and I realized that we usually had an argument just before a promotion was scheduled. We tried to remind ourselves about the upcoming events and treat each other with compassion. But things soon became unbearable again and we would argue. I wanted to tell her, “You knew what I was getting ready to do. Why couldn’t you try to be thoughtful, ease my burden, and help me to do my best?”
After we had several big arguments, I realized that I must have some serious attachments. I looked inward and saw that I had been putting myself first. As a speaker, my role was to save people. But I needed my wife’s help to ensure our home and child were taken care of. However, I acted like she was simply staying at home and she needed to be more considerate of me. On the contrary, I was the one who needed to be more thoughtful. After I realized this, I agreed with my wife that I had to balance my time better to make sure the quality of the promotion was high. By giving only two presentations a week, the quality improved, and I had more time to spend at home. My wife and I stopped having conflicts.
I knew that I should not blame her and that, because she's also a practitioner, she's also encountering interference. After I decided to use these tribulations to improve myself, I found that everything was calm at home after I gave a presentation. I felt that Master was encouraging me.
Master said, “...“Among all the projects of saving people, Shen Yun has the most power in saving people.”...” (“Teaching the Fa in Washington D.C. in 2018”)
After she read this, my wife told me, “Master has said it. Now I understand better the meaning of Shen Yun. You should just go and do the best you can.” I was very touched. I did not ask for anything but she was more supportive. I am grateful for Master's mercy. Thank you, Master!
If I hadn't begun practicing Falun Dafa, I don't know what would have become of me. Because of Dafa, I have peace, a better relationship with family and friends, and I'm no longer confused about the meaning of life. Thank you, Master, for your compassion and salvation. I can only repay Master by cultivating firmly and doing the three things diligently.
Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!
Please kindly point out where I need to improve.
(Presented at the 2018 Taiwan Experience Sharing Conference)