Member of the Tian Guo Marching Band: Letting Go of Attachments
(Minghui.org) Note: About 100 members of the Tian Guo Marching Band from all over Europe held an experience-sharing conference in Athens, Greece, on Sunday, October 13, 2019, following a successful parade in the city. Below is one band member’s story.
Actively Participating in the Tian Guo Marching Band
I’ve participated in the Tian Guo Marching Band since its founding in 2006. I was a principal supporter and supervisor of the young children who played the snare drum, clarinet, and trumpet. This resulted in good memories for my daughter.
If I neglect my cultivation by not doing the three things well, something that Master asks of us, I immediately start to have problems playing well. Restraint and self-control are necessary for the tones of the trumpet to sound pure to the ear of the listener. To me, this is a reflection of cultivating at a higher level by improving one’s xinxing. It is about perseverance, cooperation, good listening, mutual trust, attention to detail, daily practice, striving for quality, letting go, and so on. This can only be achieved by doing well the three things Master asks of us.
Letting Go of Negative Thoughts and Improving One’s Attitude
I lack musical talent and face many obstacles. Thus, I have to work hard to overcome them.
My music teacher suggested that I think more positively about ability. That was the crux of the matter, because things did not go as quickly as I desired. The absence of positive thoughts was a major obstacle to improving in my cultivation. At one point, I wanted to quit. These negative thoughts isolated me, and my attachments grew stronger and stronger. The old forces almost achieved their objective of having me accept the illusion that I was good for nothing. I even thought that ordinary people could do better than I did. I saw how comfortable life would be as an ordinary person.
Master said in “Teaching the Fa in Washington D.C. in 2018:”
“… in this society’s bewildering variety of temptations, or even under the interference of various human attachments, it’s very difficult for you too to avoid falling into the trap or being contaminated by these things. The good thing is, in history Dafa disciples have all been continually cleaned up by me and have been continually eliminating karma, and as they’ve made it to today’s stage, they are nevertheless different from everyday people. In the eyes of Gods, in this rolling torrent, whoever is not drifting along with the tide and whoever is able to stand there unmoved is already remarkable! Whoever remains unaffected is simply too remarkable! With Dafa disciples, however, they not only are unaffected, but also go against the tide!”
“In humankind’s rolling torrents, you are going against the tides. When you come to think of it, however, it’s more than that! The whole universe is in the middle of being eliminated and is degenerating, while you are able to go against such tides! In today’s society, if a person can have a few righteous thoughts, this person is already remarkable! Isn’t it so? Depending on the kind of society and the kind of social setting, for a being, there is a difference about his having righteous thoughts. Let’s say, in the past, with people in society, their minds were very upright, their morality was very high, so a bit of good things you did counted as nothing, for everyone was like that. In today’s society, however, good and bad are jumbled together, or they might even be all reversed, so if you are able to treat all of this with righteous thoughts and if you are able to have righteous thoughts, you are truly remarkable.”
Master's Fa helped me recognize my predestination with Master and how I should cherish it. I understood the significance of being a practitioner, as well as the privilege of being involved in this undertaking. I also understood that righteous thoughts aren't something that can be learned by just thinking positively. It is precious that one can attain the Fa through studying the Fa. This is something that can only be attained by practitioners when cooperating with each other on projects chosen by Master.
It is just like being a member of the band. It is up to the practitioner to save sentient beings, cooperate with each other to improve his cultivation level, master his instrument, and play every single note as purely and in harmony as possible.
Participating in the band requires discipline, faith in the Fa, and a clear understanding that the three Dafa principles, Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, are necessary for us to follow through on in our mission until the end. How can we achieve this? I believe that we can mature by studying and obtaining righteous thoughts from the Fa.
Master said in “Teaching the Fa in Washington D.C. in 2018:”
“But I am just saying that, as a cultivator, you should not slack off. You’ve traveled the hardest path, you’ve come through the most difficult period of time. Walk well your own path—it’s really easy to say and really hard to do. No matter how hard it is, however, you’ve come for this undertaking. No matter how hard it is, your life was created for this undertaking.”
“So, if you do not do it well, you will leave yourself nothing but regrets. Those veteran Dafa disciples in particular, don’t slack off. You’ve walked till today through years of tremendous hardship, it is not easy at all! Don’t you know how to treasure it? Even I treasure you! Even Gods treasure you! (All disciples applaud enthusiastically) So you should treasure yourselves even more.”
I also read this passage in “First Fa Teaching Given in the United States:” “If you are able to earnestly read the book, Zhuan Falun, you will find that it is incredibly precious.”
These teachings continue to encourage me to achieve the fundamentals: studying the Fa, doing the exercises, and sending forth righteous thoughts. If I do the fundamentals well, I will elevate automatically.
Traveling and organizing daily tasks, such as caring for my disabled mother, son, and brother, require me to work under pressure and develop organizational skills. By spending less time with everyday people and more time studying the Fa, I have fewer ordinary thoughts and no more negative thoughts. I still deal with attachments, but they no longer overpower me or interfere with my trumpet practice.
I obtained an A diploma in my trumpet class at music school and am now working on my B diploma. I embarked on this educational journey to improve the quality of my playing, which is necessary to save people. However, the cultivation aspect of playing in the band is much more difficult.
It was difficult for me to control my instrument while marching and to improve my musical skills at the same time. Unfortunately, I could not participate in the band for one year and was not disciplined about taking trumpet lessons during that time. My disabled son, who previously lived in a nursing home, had moved back home, where he developed psychosis. Stabilizing him took a lot of time. In addition, I was also involved in other Dafa projects, including the Dutch ticket hotline for Shen Yun and the community management team for the Epoch Times Netherlands. Given all this, I thought that I could no longer be a part of the band. I later realized that I could improve my cultivation state by changing my attitude. After I did, things changed for the better.
Participating in Parades
Being a musician in the band allows me to let go of my attachments and eliminate negative thoughts, as our music is for the salvation of sentient beings.
After a year’s absence, my first parade with the band was in Berlin. Many attachments started to bother me. Physically it was not that hard, but it took a toll emotionally.
The next parade was in London. While I improved during that parade, it still took an emotional toll. The next parades were in Riesa and Prague. Again, I improved but noticed that I had to spend more time preparing and on details. Some things didn’t go as I had hoped. However, what attitude I take is up to me. I need to watch my own behavior instead of watching others. After elevating this way, I gained more confidence in playing the trumpet. Comparing myself with others is another attachment that must go, as it does not help me improve.
I thank Master for this chance to become a part of the band and use music to save sentient beings.