Greetings, Master. Greetings fellow practitioners.
I started practising Dafa in 2005 and after a while I decided to attend the European Fa Conference. Since I have always been involved in writing, I wrote down my experience of obtaining the Fa and was not much surprised when it was selected. A few days later, however, a message arrived from the sharings coordinator, that translators had objections and some parts needed to be changed. I was puzzled. How can translators have objections to the content of an article - isn't it their job to translate? I became upset, almost angry.
Quite a lot of time had passed since then, and I wrote more sharings and participated in various Dafa projects, but only recently have I found myself in the situation of these translators and understood them - although I haven’t been translating anything but worked for Shen Yun. But let's start from the beginning.
Shen Yun in Salzburg
The conditions are not suitable at present for Shen Yun to come to my country, but in many other places, outside help is welcomed. The closest city to mine, where Shen Yun performed in previous years, is Salzburg, so I went there on several occasions to help with the promotion and security work. This year's show was scheduled for the end of January, and since the pandemic measures were still strict, we had to start preparations months earlier. Vaccination was the first hurdle to cross. But even if there were some dilemmas, Master dispelled them in the article "Wake up": "… Some practitioners have been afraid of getting infected, while others have adamantly refused to get vaccinated. In either case, you should stop and ask yourself whether you are living up to the title of “Dafa Disciple.””
We got vaccinated. However, two in our group had a dilemma with which vaccine brand to take. I immediately realised that it’s a human thought. In the end, they chose a wrong brand - the result was that they could travel, but the pandemic measures did not allow them to enter the venue, only work outdoors. One thought changes the outcome.
My first assignment was at the door where performers enter the stage. Since I hadn't seen the latest edition of the show, I thought it’s a pity I can't see the stage from where I'm standing. Two hours before the show, however, a security person from the theatre came and locked the door, so my task became superfluous. I got a new assignment - to help the audience take photos in the lobby.
I was surprised by the great desire of people to be photographed next to the Shen Yun posters, even with a mask on their face. The posters are well designed for sure, but good design is the standard these days and people still don't take pictures in front of every well designed poster. However, before the show, as well as during the break, the audience waited in line to take a photo next to the poster of Shen Yun.
Master said in Fa Teaching at the 2013 Greater New York City Fa Conference, that “Many in the audience can sense or see that divine beings are taking part on the stage.” I wondered whether it was similar to the posters? People had excitement on their faces as I photographed them using their phones, and a kind of relief, as if they had found what they were looking for.
Eventually, after the audience entered the hall, I asked the coordinator what I should do now. "Have you seen the show yet?" He asked.
It was not necessary to ask again - I took a vacant seat, right there in the venue where Mozart once conducted his works.
Shen Yun in Graz
Three months later, several of us travelled to another Austrian city, Graz. The Graz Opera is old and respected, so visitors are from high-class. This time I was part of the security in the hall, with the task of making sure no one took photos during the show. The coordinator had no experience in this role, but there were a lot of experienced practitioners in the team, so everyone tried to help the coordinator do his job well. Between tasks, we studied the Fa intensively, and practically everyone knew what to do without even being told. It really was one body of practitioners in action.
Although I had helped Shen Yun in previous years, this was the first time I saw a full house, given the difficulties Shen Yun encountered in Europe in the past. The synergy between the performers and the audience was clearly there, and the applause was loud and enthusiastic. I felt like I was part of the event, not a helper. In fact, I have come to realise that we practitioners are not here to help Shen Yun - but that Shen Yun helps us. The show will go on - with or without us, and whoever needs to be saved will be saved. Our participation in that process is the infinite mercy of the Buddha, an opportunity that is extremely rare.
When I returned home, local practitioners asked me if I had had the opportunity to watch the show. "Three times," I replied, because there was almost no interference by people taking photos, so we could watch the stage with one eye. In fact, I got the impression that interfering with Shen Yun is no longer possible or has been minimised - as if in this period of time the old forces no longer have a word, but only Master. My conclusion was that the European venues are full this year based on that.
Shen Yun in Prague
I have a special memory in the city of Prague. In 2002, I went there on business and came across Dafa activities at a tourist spot. Although I was not interested in anything spiritual at the time, I was interested in information about the persecution in China, so I agreed to take the flyer. Basically, I didn't even read it until two years later, when my wife was diagnosed with a very serious illness. Although I am not one of those tidy people who keep things, I found the flyer in a drawer nevertheless, and we decided to try it together, by learning the exercises online. After a month, my wife received information that the diagnosis was wrong and that she was completely healthy, so there was no need to exercise. So she stopped - and I continued.
The reason for the activities in Prague at the time was the NATO summit, which took place at the Congress Centre. When I learned on my return from Graz that Shen Yun would perform at the same Congress Centre in May, I immediately felt like going there. I offered my help to local practitioners, and it was accepted.
Working for the Prague performances was completely different, for two reasons. The hall had 2,700 seats, which is much more than the previous ones; and second, security team coordinators were not so experienced, just like many of the team members.
My personal experience and the experience of the practitioners who came with me was definitely needed, but how to apply it in practice? At the Austrian performances, the team had group Fa-study and sharing, but in Prague we didn't even have our own security room. The coordinators were overloaded with work and seemingly focused on external issues, e.g. how to communicate using the walkie-talkies. They thought our schedule was too busy for group Fa-study.
In the end, we didn't manage to put the walkie-talkies in operation - which may have been Master's arrangement, because that would only disturb the audience. However, there were arrangements by the old forces too, although in Austria I thought they were gone.
As the show progressed, messages from team members about people breaking the rules and taking photos started to arrive. At the first show, there were a lot of children who were escorted by their parents to the toilet, by walking down the entire venue and then by the stage. This certainly disturbed the audience - some perhaps to such an extent that they did not want to return to their seats after the break. I understood later that the venue security had locked some of the exits without prior notice, so the only exit from the venue was the one by the stage. The other exits were unlocked after our intervention, but that only partially solved the problem with the children, already accustomed to using the wrong exit.
Although all the tickets for the three shows in Prague were sold out three weeks earlier, some audience members may have made a wrong choice during the show. I felt sorry for those sentient beings, but at the same time I also felt resentment. I complained about the Prague audience in general. Unlike Austrians, Czechs were late for the show, trying to get inside with glasses of wine, and some of them were not even properly dressed. When unauthorised photography is added to that, the situation becomes a bit chaotic, and some people may have lost their chance to be saved in accordance with Master's arrangement.
I think the whole security team realised we had to do better. The next day we found a suitable place for Fa-study and most of the team members were there. The coordinators gave precise instructions on how to act in each situation, strict procedures were implemented, and upon that, I observed a change within me. As 2,700 people entered the hall, I stood by the entrance with a smile, and silently followed them with my eyes, with righteous thoughts in mind. This time I had a firm thought, that each one of them must be saved. I really loved each of them, no matter what they were like or how they behaved.
I don't know what inner changes the other members of the team experienced, but the third show was much more like those in Austria. No person took photos - there were literally no incidents - nor were there any exiting the venue or delays in entering it. The calm and harmonious atmosphere resulted in a long applause at the end.
Shen Yun's visit to two Czech cities was considered super successful, as more than 8,200 tickets were sold, compared to barely a few thousand in previous years. The question that lingers in me is, how many sentient beings might have lost their chances due to our shortcomings.
On the other hand, I learned a great lesson and experienced the power of unconditional cooperation. Finally, when I remind myself of those translators from the beginning of my story, I realise they were not just translators but first of all fellow practitioners who proactively participate in the Fahui, trying to make sure that sharings are as much as possible in accordance with the Fa.
In a similar way, I tried to help Shen Yun during the shows in three cities, ready to accept any role - from bus guarding to backstage work, lunch deliveries, taking photos and banning photography, without thinking which of these roles may suit my capabilities or which is higher or lower. Because in Dafa there is no high and low, and as trivial as a role may seem in this dimension, in other dimensions it may be the majestic divine act of our cultivated side, which is earth-shaking.
Master has been talking about Shen Yun over and over, but it was as if I had only recently become enlightened to his words:
"What Shen Yun expresses, however, brings blessings to all people, whether they are positive or negative. Shen Yun brings blessings to all people, so everyone says it is good. It is here, in the first place, to save people." Fa Teaching at the New York Fa Conference on the Twenty-Fifth Anniversary of Dafa’s Introduction to the Public
"We’re just putting on a show. But this is something that lives have been waiting for. Nobody would have imagined that this approach would be used to save sentient beings."
Fa Teaching at the 2019 New York Fa Conference
Eventually, I’m able to feel enormous compassion of the Lord Buddha who personally saves people using classical Chinese dance. Some of those people might have been from our paradises.
Whatever it is, at this phase of the transition from Fa-rectification of the cosmos to Fa-rectification of the human world, we must focus on the most effective way to save people, and that is Shen Yun. I hope there will be more opportunities like those above.
Thank you, Master. Thank you fellow practitioners.
(Selected to the European Fa-conference 2022 in Warsaw)
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