Greetings, revered Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
This year Shen Yun shows took place in the Austrian city of Salzburg on April 16 and 17. Since there are only a few practitioners in our small city, so many preparation tasks were given to me to coordinate. In my opinion I had one of the most difficult tasks: to coordinate practitioners. It was not an easy task to constantly work with practitioners with very different characters and mentalities. But because of these big and difficult responsibilities I was able to really feel what the improvement and enhancement of xinxing is. Looking back, I see that there have been many omissions in my cultivation up to this point. I am infinitely grateful to Master for such a valuable opportunity for my cultivation. The xinxing tensions and trials came down on me like apples falling down in fierce wind, sometimes it even seemed to me that I could not stand all these tests. Sometimes, the tensions were at the same time in all areas of my life, in the family, between practitioners and between other coordinators.
At the very beginning, I promised myself that I would use all tests and conflicts only to look inside and raise my xinxing. Of course, it was not always possible to do this easily and quickly, but I tried not to deviate from the obligation given to me and not to miss a single situation planned by Master. Every time I asked myself: what else do I need to understand? What do I need to find inside? Where did it hide? How do I quickly remove it and move on smoothly?
One of the first tests for me was when I heard of the decision that all practitioners from Germany should support either the performances in Basel or Berlin, and the performances in Salzburg should be supported by the practitioners from Austria. It seemed like a logical statement, but it should be noted that we managed to hold the first two performance tours of Shen Yun in Salzburg exclusively with the help of practitioners from Munich and the surrounding regions. I thought it was unrealistic to conduct all the necessary preparation with our own forces. Many of them are busy at work, or do not have enough financial resources, or live far away. This decision, in my opinion, meant the preparation of Shen Yun in Salzburg was a complete fiasco. I felt utter helplessness, resentment and injustice. I was struck by a flood of negative thoughts. Of course, some other practitioners around me also considered this decision absolutely illogical and questioned the success of Shen Yun in Salzburg. I began to notice that this negative stream of thoughts washed away my positive energy. I wasted my energy on absolutely useless thoughts instead of concentrating on solving the problem and positive thoughts. I realized that the old forces want us to waste our energies on controversy and struggle with each other. And then turning these unrighteous thoughts out I said to myself: “Stop! I renounce you! I do not want to think about it any more.”
In “Zhuan Falun”, The Sixth Talk Master said: “Most people can, however, repel it and deny it by having strong, self-aware thoughts. This indicates that they are savable and can discern right and wrong; it means that their faith is strong. My spiritual bodies will then help them by eliminating a large proportion of their thought karma. What I’ve described is quite common. If it does occur, it is a test to see whether you can conquer the wicked thoughts. Hold your ground and the karma will be dissolved for you.”
It does not matter what the decision is, I will follow it. Criticizing and evaluating the actions of other coordinators is not my task. I trust only Master's plans. I do not want to have any negative thoughts about them. I will only concentrate on how to do my best job – this is my main task. And suddenly this negative stream stopped. Of course, some negative thoughts have repeatedly visited me, trying to occupy my mind, but all these attempts met my stiff rebuff. Then the situation changed. When Shen Yun was almost sold out in Basel, more and more practitioners from Germany came to Salzburg to support. And although we constantly felt the lack of human resources, I was able to improve myself in this process.
Tolerating mistakes of others
When I left Ukraine and moved to Austria I discovered a lot of communist factors I had that I had not even noticed when living in Ukraine. I realized that of course it is very important to study the "Nine Commentaries", but it is even more important to improve myself and find and clean up unrighteous things imposed by the communist environment in the family, school and society. One of these factors was the psychology of finding the culprit, or a scapegoat in other words. My husband often pointed out this shortcoming of mine, saying that I wanted to find the guilty party in almost any conflict and unpleasant situation. At first, I did not understand what he was talking about, because in my opinion, in order to solve the problem, one must understand its roots. Therefore, an important point in this is to find the guilty one. But my husband always told me that a successful person takes responsibility, and I have read about it in different books. But still, even after having started to practise and study the Fa, I could not understand this principle. After all, a practitioner has not only to take responsibility for everything and not to blame others, but look inside and raise his or her xinxing.
But the Soviet ideology taught just the opposite: there is always a guilty one. I saw this very clearly talking with a friend from Ukraine, who is not a practitioner. For example she believed that if the mother was walking with the child and the child was sick, then it was her fault as she had overlooked something. I looked at her way of thinking from a different angle and was horrified to see the same thing in me; I realized that I always find the perpetrators everywhere and in everything. Then one day I heard one Austrian mother saying to her child, who was obviously careless and therefore, it seemed to me, was guilty: "Do not worry, no one is to blame. It's just an accident." I was amazed at this difference of thinking.
In “Essentials for Further Advancement I”, “Correction”, Master told us: “When a problem arises, do not try to find out who should be held accountable. Instead, you should examine your own conduct. Do not try to look into who wrote them. Take a lesson from it and be careful in the future.“
But it's easier said than done. Changing our way of thinking, imposed and formed for several decades, is not so simple in practice. I understood everything theoretically, but practically I thought the same old way. Once I heard a story from ancient China, published on the website "Pure Insight" about how important is not to blame others for what happened. One grandfather looked after his grandson who played on the street. Suddenly and unexpectedly a horse and cart came and knocked down the boy. But the old grandfather said to the people in this cart: "It's okay, go ahead, you're in a hurry and you did not do it intentionally." When the child’s parents came home, the grandfather told them that the boy was very tired and asleep. And the next morning the boy woke up as if nothing had happened. I was moved to tears by this story.
When I began to coordinate the preparation for Shen Yun, I had to face the fact that practitioners make mistakes, and sometimes serious mistakes. It always caused me a lot of negative thoughts and made me angry, especially the mistakes of practitioners with whom I did not have a very good relationship, or those who did not have credibility in my eyes. One Chinese female practitioner, with whom I used to have very strong xinxing friction, sent me a schedule of concerts in which I found many mistakes. And every time it made me think in a negative way about this practitioner.
Once I went to one of these events with another practitioner. It was very cold, and we stood near the concert hall exit and waited for people coming out to hand out Shen Yun leaflets. At the appointed time very few people came out. It turned out that it was just an interval. And the end of the concert was actually in an hour. We did not wait for the end, because it was already very late, cold and the other practitioner had been on her feet all day.
It turned out that this practitioner wrote only the approximate time, without specifying the exact time of the end of the concert. I was disappointed that we had come here in vain. Negative thoughts and condemnation occupied my heart. I thought that she had problems in her cultivation, and obviously the evil had found loopholes and blocked us. But the other practitioner, who was with me at the concert hall, told me: "We must be tolerant of others’ mistakes. We are all practitioners, and no one is immune from mistakes." At first I dismissed these words but when I got home and thought it over, I realized that Master was using this practitioner's mouth to point out my omissions. Her words were constantly playing in my ears.
I began looking inside and analyzing why I was so rigid and intolerant of the mistakes of others. It turned out that it all came from my childhood when my parents scolded me strongly for any mistake or oversight. My father abused me psychologically for some of the mistakes again and again. Of course, it was karma that I got rid of, but it also gave me the same attitude to other people. When I realized this, I felt good, and all negative thoughts dissolved. I could relate to such situations more easily.
A few months later we went to the theatre to distribute materials again. It was the last big concert just before Shen Yun. We were seven people in three cars. But when we arrived, it turned out that the audience had already left. We were half an hour late. In my defence I told practitioners that this time they came out earlier, although in my heart I had a suspicion that I had mixed up the days. Arriving home and looking at the program, I was horrified to find that I had just confused the days and chose the wrong time. I lay down on the couch; my heart grew so heavy that I did not want to do anything. Of course, I realized that this was my omission, and I could not forgive myself for this mistake, since I did not forgive the mistakes of others. Since I did not improve fundamentally on this issue, Master created this situation especially for me to show me clearly that no one is perfect, and we can all make mistakes and have omissions. We should treat others' mistakes graciously.
In Hong Yin III, Master said:
As a cultivator,
One always looks for one's own faults,
'This the Way to get rid of attachments most effectively
There's no way to skip ordeals, big or small
[During a conflict, if you can remember:]
And I'm wrong,”
What's to dispute?
(“Who's Right, Who's Wrong” in Hong Yin III)
Thank you, Master!
Thank you, fellow practitioners!
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