Talking to Chinese Tourists Helped Point Out My Notions
(Minghui.org) I've always been an introverted person and seldom spoke to strangers. As practitioners, however, we need to talk to people. Although I have been trying hard, I still find it challenging to initiate conversation.
When I first arrived in the U.S. I was in a large city and went out to clarify the truth at well-known tourist attractions. Most of the Chinese tourists who travel outside China have been warned not to speak with Falun Dafa practitioners and not to accept any materials from them, otherwise they might have trouble when they return to China. Therefore, they usually waved me away or shook their heads when I offered them flyers. Some even swore at me. It got so that I hesitated whenever I saw them.
One day, seven or eight tourists from China sat down on a bench to rest. I walked over, greeted them and started talking about how millions of Chinese have already withdrawn from the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) and its affiliated organizations. Not surprisingly, all of them waved me away and some said, “It’s so annoying. We see Falun Dafa practitioners everywhere.”
I walked to the end of the bench and sat down. I started talking to an elderly man who was next to me. He immediately got angry and loudly said that he didn’t want to listen. He told me that I couldn't sit next to him. I calmly said, “You have the right to sit here, and so do I.”
A few minutes later, he stood up and walked away. Four or five people left with him. I knew that I should talk to him but I feared being rejected again. I looked inward and realized this fear came from my human notion of losing face. I walked over to him. He raised his hand and refused to listen to me. I gave up and sat back down.
There are many tourists at this popular attraction and it's usually hard to find somewhere to sit. However, there were several empty seats between the two of us and no one sat there. We were so close yet so far away. I thought, “Isn’t this a hint from Master? I should overcome my fear and break through my notions about rejection and losing face.”
Once again, I walked over and sat beside him. I smiled and said, “You see, we are two strangers from China. We've both traveled across mountains and oceans to meet here in the U.S. and sit on the same bench. Wouldn't you call this a predestined relationship?”
The man’s face relaxed. I continued, “You must have walked a lot today and are tired. I’m sorry for bothering you.” The man looked a little embarrassed.
I smiled and said, “I'm actually very shy and don’t talk to strangers. The reason I keep bothering you is, there's something very important that I have to tell you for your sake. I don’t want to occupy too much of your time. I just want to briefly explain why I'm inviting you to withdraw from the CCP. Can you please listen?”
I started to talk and finished by asking whether I could help him withdraw from the CCP with an alias name. He nodded and agreed. He smiled and thanked me.
I finally broke through my attachment. However, I was not happy because it would reoccur – this fear of disturbing others and of being rejected. Overcoming it was like peeling an onion, layer by layer.
Once, I talked to two men about withdrawing from the CCP. Although they were reluctant, they didn’t have a bad attitude. One of them suddenly started taking photos of me. I’d heard that spies take photos to report to the CCP so I asked him to stop. He continued and even followed me. I asked if I could see the photos then asked him to delete them but he refused.
I looked inward to see what notion caused this. I realized it was my fear. I feared being reported to the CCP. What was so terrible about being reported to the CCP? When I was arrested in China, the police took my photo from different angles. Why should I be afraid of this tourist?
I remembered what Master said:
“So, wherever our cultivators are, as long as you are vigilant with your mind and cultivate in an upright and dignified manner, you don’t need to worry about those things. You won’t have any problems. Since your worry itself is an attachment, as soon as you have that attachment it has to be eliminated. So although it might seem to be interference from others, it could actually be caused by your own mind.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Conference in NewZealand”)
I decided not to argue with him. While he was taking photos I asked him and the other man to withdraw from the CCP and its affiliated organizations. The man taking the photos was not a member of any of them. I asked him to remember, “Falun Dafa is good! Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is good!”
Before they left, I asked the man why he took my photo since we didn’t know each other. He smiled and said it was a keepsake. I realized that he just wanted to show off when he returned to China. He met a Falun Dafa practitioner in the U.S. who advised him to quit the CCP; it’s a good thing. I hope he tells others about our encounter.
Placing Others First
Once while I was clarifying the truth in a library, a woman requested a flyer and asked me what it was all about. As soon as I said Falun Dafa, she threw the flyer at me and yelled that she didn’t want it. She turned around and left.
I thought, “I’m standing right beside a Falun Dafa booth. How can it not be about Falun Dafa?” I couldn’t restrain myself and laughed. The woman heard me. She stopped, turned around, and also laughed.
Her laugh moved me. Many Chinese people pass me on the street, and their faces are bitter and tense. They ignore anyone talking to them. This woman smiled, which indicated that she was kind.
“Even when in your daily life you pass by people so quickly that you don't have a chance to talk to them, you should still leave them with your compassion and kindness. Don't lose those who should be saved, especially those with predestined connections.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Atlanta Fa Conference”, Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IV)
My understanding of “predestined connections” is not that profound because I don’t know whom I have predestined relationships with. I'm just kind to everyone.
Most of the people who pass by on this street are blue-collar workers. Many people aren't used to being called, “Sir.” Gradually more people reacted to my kind attitude. Some started to talk to me: “My eyesight isn't good. I can’t read it.” “I don’t know how to read.” “I already have one.” “I don’t have time to read it.”
I was very touched when they started to interact with me. Many people smiled at me. Those who used to have a bad attitude had a softer facial expression.
I sometimes go to a bus stop where people catch a bus to a casino. Near the scheduled departure time, people wait in long lines. I heard that there were many Chinese spies there. I still wanted to talk to them.
One day, a woman waiting for the casino bus asked for a flyer. A man in line yelled at her, “Don't you know it’s Falun Dafa materials? Why did you take that?” Everyone was listening. When he saw me watching him, he lowered his voice. I couldn’t hear what he said but I knew he was saying something bad about Dafa.
I didn’t want to intensify the conflict so I didn’t immediately walk over. When I saw the man standing at the end of line, I said to him, “Sir, do you know about Falun Dafa? I can give you some information.” He refused. The people around us could hear our conversation. My purpose was achieved. I just wanted people to realize that he didn’t know anything about Falun Dafa.
I always hold the truth-clarifying materials high so that people can easily read the titles even if they don’t accept the materials. In the beginning my shoulders and neck hurt. I thought that I didn’t need to always hold the materials high and I could put my arms down from time to time. But many people might not see the materials. Holding materials high is hard, but suffering hardship can eliminate karma. I negated the thought of being comfortable and kept my arms high.
One day I was at a truth-clarification site near a post office. A middle-aged woman came and said to me, “Please give me one. I see you haven’t handed one out for a while.” I thanked her for her kindness.
May is usually rainy and windy so I hold an umbrella. My clothes get wet and my shoes became soaked but I didn’t want to wear a raincoat. When I wear a raincoat, the materials are hard to get out in time as people rush by.
A middle-aged woman who seemed angry passed by and said, “It’s so cold. Why don’t you go home?” From her words, I felt people’s caring attitude toward us. That day my shoes were wet and my body shivered in the cold. I kept reciting Master’s words:
“A cultivator is bothered by neither heat nor cold. And wind can’t make you sick.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Conference in Singapore”)
Identifying My Attachments
While distributing materials I noticed some old people using walkers, or workers unloading trucks. I thought they would not be able to take the materials as they didn’t have a free hand. However, other practitioners would hand them materials and they would accept them. I realized my human notion blocked me.
The workers would put the materials in between the boxes and still have two free hands to push the cart. When people accepted the materials, they found a way to keep them. I still had the notion of not bothering others. I realized it was an obstacle that would affect my ability to save people.
When Chinese tourists didn’t want to listen, some practitioners would play the audio of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party and walk with them. I wasn't sure whether this was appropriate. Those practitioners said that it didn't matter whether people wanted to listen, they might still hear one or two words. This may help eliminate some evil in other dimensions.
I remembered Master said:
“How could someone who's to be saved choose how he's saved? It's like he falls into water and someone tries to save him, but he says: "You can't save me directly with your hands. You have to save me with a boat that I like." How could that be?” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A.”, Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. II)
There are different understandings of the Fa at different levels. I looked inward and asked myself why I wouldn't do this. I realized that I still had fear. I didn't want people to reject me and I didn't want to bother others.
“Dafa is harmonizing all sentient beings, and all sentient beings are also harmonizing Dafa.” (“Expounding on the Fa”, Essentials for Further Advancement)
Dafa is harmonious. No matter what the situation is, one should look inward to see what notions we have and then eliminate them.
“Another thing is, you have really had a tremendous impact in making the truth known and saving people with all of the truth-clarification teams and activities you have initiated as Dafa disciples. It’s wonderful! It’s not about the size and scale of what you do. It’s about the results, the heart you put into it, and whether you go about it as a cultivator.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2019 New York Fa Conference”, Team Yellow Translation)
We should cultivate ourselves and eliminate our human notions so that we can more effectively save people.