I obtained the Fa in November 1998. I want to share with you about a few events that occurred at the beginning and some important steps on my cultivation path.
When we were asked to write about experience sharing, the SOS march in summer 2001 and our appeal at Tiananmen Square in Beijing in the autumn of the same year appeared in my mind. It was then that I experienced I really cultivated genuinely. It feels like I've been going backwards instead of forward and it's painful. Of course, I've done a lot of things to highlight what's happening in China and I've been involved in various projects, but I do not feel like I've cultivated with the heart that I once had. What has gone, I cannot change, but ... I can press the start button and restart, and find a way back to my heart as it was in 2001.
To let go of reputation
In 2001, the persecution was stepped up and got worse each day. In order to let people pay attention to the persecution and rescue Falun Gong practitioners in China, we started an SOS march from Falun City to Stockholm. It was about 260 kms to be covered in six days. Anyone who wanted would be able to march with us. I signed up for the march immediately. In my backpack, there were both hiking boots and suitable clothes.
However, before we started our march, there were some details to be dealt with. Among other things, we had to decide who would drive the car. No one who took part in the SOS march, wanted to drive the car. The car was very necessary to bring along our heavy luggage and other things needed in the march, so that those who walked could have a light pack to carry on the many miles they would go. We had a rather loud discussion that ended up with me being chosen to drive the car. Although I protested loudly, I found myself very reluctantly in my destiny. Others promised that we would take turns to drive.
We got detailed maps of the route, but the roads still needed to be investigated to see if it was suitable to walk without any danger from traffic, which became one of the tasks of the driver. This was the time before it had become common to have GPS in cars. A practitioner from Falun and I also worked to contact the media and try to get an overnight stay at suitable places along the way. We put tents in the car in case there was no other accommodation available.
While the others went on the SOS march, I drove the car. It was a relatively convenient task, but it was not what I wanted, so I was quite dissatisfied and sat muttering to myself. I wanted to WALK with the others because it was the only meaningful thing in my eyes. I was sitting alone in the car all the time, and although there were different things that needed to be arranged in the meantime, I still had time to wonder why I was sitting where I was sitting, in the car.
Suddenly, something struck me. Although I was completely alone on the road, I had to slow down and drive aside because I had a violent laughing spell. I laughed so much that I roared ... What a comedy! I realized that it was absolutely the right task for me. Driving the car meant that you could not be seen or noticed, and I just understood that I had an attachment to reputation.
In the midst of my laughing, I felt how a physical substance left me and just escaped through the car door, much like a balloon flying away when you let the air out of it. It settled the matter ... On the spot and at the time, I decided: Here the car shall be driven! I would drive the car all the way to Stockholm. I had decided that that attachment should be removed. I also got an understanding that when I laughed at the attachment straight in its face, it seemed that it just slipped away with its tail between its legs, to describe it with human language.
After this insight, the next insight came. I was comfortable in the car compared to all those who walked on the SOS march and who did heroic efforts on the roads, with tired and aching bodies. They really deserved all the possible service and support they could get. They struggled for about 15 hours and walked about a marathon, over 40 km each day. Some of them suffered terrible pain and some got sore blisters that made them close to discontinuing the march. I decided that I would do all that stood in my power to support the marchers in different ways. Now, in my mind, it was suddenly important to drive the car and there was so much that needed to be arranged along the way, besides the SOS march itself. I also understood that if we did not have a car, it would be difficult to complete the march to Stockholm.
Accommodation had to be fixed in appropriate places and the media would be contacted, which gave great opportunities for conversations with people who wanted to help, when they heard about our long SOS march between Falun and Stockholm, paying attention to what happens to people who do the same practice as us in China.
The first night we stayed in a village farm. It was basically just a roof over the head. Many were so tired that they just stumbled into the house and fell on the mat. They could barely eat. Another place we stayed at, I called it the Hilton, because it was a gym and everyone could sleep on 3 thick mattresses and there were even showers - something that was really needed for the marchers who had walked for several days.
The car was very useful in many ways. One of the practitioners had his 30th birthday. He chose to walk the march instead of celebrating at home with the family. I bought a cake for him to celebrate his birthday. I also drove the car to look for a practitioner who had got lost when he was going to join the march on the way.
On the last day, a practitioner from Stockholm took care of the driving to Mynttorget where we would have a rally with speeches by some politicians. It meant that I could finally walk the march and use my packed hiking boots in the end anyway. I was delighted to join the SOS march on the last day.
After twelve miles, i.e. half a marathon, towards the centre of Stockholm, I was completely exhausted and had pain everywhere. So, in retrospect, I was thankful to have the task of driving the car because I would never have managed to go a marathon every day.
Every time I think back about this event, I'm touched by how all the practitioners struggled to walk with a banner over their head every day, despite their aching bodies. And I was given the opportunity to see my attachment when I was driving the car and working more behind the scenes to support and help those who walked the march. Sometimes I also got the feeling that the gods have humour when they plan all our short and long steps.
In the same year, another unforgettable event happened on November 20th. It was our appeal at Tiananmen Square in Beijing. It was also a big step on my cultivation path. Before I had decided to go to Beijing to appeal or stay at home to help, there were many thoughts that were spinning in my mind. I felt bad and my heart pumped hard and irregularly. After Fa studies and sharing one day, about two weeks before the trip, I got the "keys" to help me decide. One was: Think, if I had promised Master? How big would the losses be if I did not go? The other key was: sooner or later all practitioners would face the question of life and death at different levels, so why wait? Having understood that our paths are already planned, I made my choice and decided to go. And my heart returned to its calm steady rhythm again.
My compassion towards practitioners in China had increased ever since the persecution started in 1999. I went to Beijing to help and support the brave Chinese practitioners and show them that they would not be alone in this terrible situation. I also wanted it to be a wake-up call for the world so that the governments of different countries could do something to stop the persecution.
We westerners gathered in Tiananmen Square, hoisted our banner with Zhen Shan Ren and Truth Compassion and Tolerance. After 20 seconds, we were surrounded by white buses and police cars. We were subjected to harassment and violence but managed to stay alive and were expelled from the country the following day. One thing that touched my heart was that even before we left China, our Foreign Minister had made a sharp statement condemning the Chinese regime and supporting us.
When we landed in Sweden again and met the media, I was interviewed on both radio and television. After the events in Beijing, my feeling of discomfort to be the focus was blown away. It was wonderful and felt so easy and I became really aware of how our attachments limit us and hold us back in different situations.
Clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings
In June this year, a few of us planned to write letters to our members of parliament in Gothenburg about the ongoing persecution that has lasted for 18 years in China. We had several meetings and discussed about who would contact the respective MPs. I had my chance to contact an MP that I had been in contact with in 2003 when the Chinese Consulate General tried to stop the radio programme that I was in charge of, Falun Gong Time. During the meetings we went through different ways of writing, but I still found it difficult to write a good letter. Then the summer holiday came and the letter was never sent.
During the summer, we had a car tour in Sweden. We started the tour in Gotland with the Almedals Week. It was a great place and opportunity to reach out to society, including media and politicians. We had a booth in a good location, near a couple of major news media and just outside the university where many well-attended seminars and meetings were held each day. It meant that there were many who saw us. The MP to whom I was about to write just passed by. I went and talked to him and mentioned that I was writing a letter to him, and he became curious about what the letter would be about. It led to a good conversation that moved on very naturally.
He still remembered about the incident where the Chinese Consulate General tried to stop the radio programme 14 years ago. Then it was easy to proceed in the conversation about Falun Gong and the difficult situation for Falun Gong practitioners in China.
I had been thinking a lot about him during the last few weeks before the holiday. I understand that our upright thoughts are strong. Now I’d got another chance and he stood there and talked with me in person. We agreed to resume contact this autumn.
During this time, I also got a chance again to cultivate away another layer of my attachment to reputation. We, Falun Gong, had an hour at our disposal every day on the stage in a square in the centre of Visby. I was asked a few weeks before if I could participate to talk about the disturbance to the radio programme that I had broadcast in 2003 from the Chinese Consulate in Gothenburg, and the recent incident where they tried to stop an art exhibition in Linköping.
I do not like standing on a stage and talking. I would rather let someone else do it but at the same time I realized that, in fact, this was a chance for me to peel off a little of my attachment to reputation. So, I said OK to that.
As the incident happened 14 years ago, I had to start recalling the memories by reading about it again. Eventually the pieces fell into place, at least when I was home. But when we were on the stage the first day, I became nervous, as if I suddenly had lost my memory. It did not help that I had made notes earlier, I forgot them as soon as I wrote them. So, I asked the practitioner who would be the host to help me by putting questions to me. Just before it was my turn to get up on the stage, a thought came: I shall change my attitude completely. Instead of seeing it as an unpleasant thing to be on stage, I should enjoy it! And yes, that went well and I'm grateful that I got a hint to think in another way.
One of the last stops on our car tour was the Summer Festival in Stromstad . We were in the square to show the exercises and talk to people. It was very nice weather so there were a lot of people around, including from our neighbouring Norway. I met a lady who mentioned that she had seen Falun Gong earlier in the summer on Oland. That was the 4th stop of our car tour. We participated in the programme together with other companies and organizations when Sweden's Crown Princess celebrated her 40th birthday. This lady met us there and she had talked with one of us. Afterwards I thought it was just as it should be. Imagine it would be great if everyone we met said they had heard about Falun Gong before. We could achieve that goal together. I also know that I need to cultivate myself better and work harder to succeed.
I have now broadcast radio for 15 years since 2002. In the first years, it was exclusively about Falun Gong. So the programme was called Falun Gong Time. When The Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party was published, I wanted to include them in the radio programme. I discussed this with the Dafa Association, we realized that it would be good and that the content of the programme then needed to be a bit wider and more about China in general. As of January 2006, the broadcast time was extended from 30 minutes to an hour and the programme renamed Sound of Hope. The programme today contains news from China, part of The Nine Commentaries, stories from traditional Chinese culture, language lessons and music composed by Dafa practitioners. I also help to produce a one-hour programme in Chinese every week, done by a practitioner in Finland. It has been difficult many times to do a new programme every week and it takes me a whole day to complete a programme.
On some occasions, I felt really bad and could not get up, let alone do a programme. However, it was important news that would be broadcast, telling people what's happening in China, especially about things that are not reported in other media in Sweden. I scrambled out of bed, switched on my computer and started working. A few hours later I discovered that I had recovered a little bit when the programme was finished. Although it took a little longer this time, I felt really good. It made me realize that when we do something upright we also get help to perform it, even if it seems impossible. Listening to the radio is so easy today. Many listen to podcasts on their mobiles. So that will be my next project to learn, in order to reach out to more people with our news telling about the truth in China that other media would not report on.
I want to conclude with a few words from Master's Fa Teaching on World Falun Dafa Day in 2014: "Cultivate with the heart you once had, and success is certain."
Thank you Master for helping me save people and cultivate in this precious time!
Thank you, all friends and fellow practitioners! Please point out my attachments and flaws in my understanding, if you see them
You are welcome to print and circulate all articles published on Clearharmony and their content, but please quote the source.