Letting go of self, welcoming challenges

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Greetings Master, Greetings, fellow practitioners!

I obtained the Fa in 2016 from my mother’s recommendation. From the time when I obtained the Fa to today, I have attended the local Fa study, Hong Fa (Fa spreading) and exercise practice activities every week. Following the deepening of Fa study, I always felt that I needed to attend projects to help Master rectify the Fa, but I had very little faith in myself, so although I had a thought of taking part, I had never put this into practice. This year I decided to breakthrough selfishness, so I took part in the Swedish waist drum group and moreover performed the waist drum at a parade in Poland. At the same time, I was fortunate to take part in the work of selling Shen Yun goods. During this process, I met unexpectedly with many things that spurred on my improvement of Xinxing (mind/heart nature), and this time I took the opportunity of the experience sharing conference to share this with everybody.

Cultivating Xinxing during the process of taking part in the waist drum team

In January of 2022 I started to take part in the waist drum team after being recommended by a fellow practitioner. At first, I just wanted to try it out, because I had never played a drum, and I also didn’t know if I could learn it. The coordinator for the waist drum team was very good and sent me many videos which I could study by myself at home. I would watch the videos whilst studying by myself, and occasionally I would ask the coordinator to teach me how to play the drums one-to-one online.

In my area I was the only person attending the waist drum team, so there were no people around me that I could practice together with. When I just started, I had to learn the basics by myself, and had to study the movements from the videos and remember the drumbeat too. When practicing, most of my time I had to rely on studying and improving by myself. In the beginning I didn’t know which the right way was to hold the sticks in the left and right hands. When I had just started, I first practiced one hand motion and then another hand motion corresponding to the drumbeat movements. I would practice one hand motion for a long time, and on the second day I would add another new hand motion and drum beat movements, getting there little by little.

More than two months later, I had just started to learn the first song, “Falun Dafa Hao”, and after I knew slightly more how to do the hand motions, I then added the foot movements, hitting the drums with the hands, whilst also following the beat with the movement of the feet. After practicing matching the hands and feet for a while, because my feet couldn’t keep up with every time my hands started to hit the drums, or because I wouldn’t be clear whether to first lift my left or right foot, after learning all the movements, I still had no way to play the drums along to the song, because I was completely unable to follow the rhythm of the songs. I could only sing and play the drums by myself there, but every time I thought of giving a try at playing along to the songs, I was at a loss every time, because I was unable to catch up with the beat. Every time I practiced playing the drums, it was always in front of the mirror, and I saw that whether it was in the face or body I was always in a stiff and serious state. I really didn’t like this, and wanted to change this, but was always unable to change.

During summer this year, I received a notification that I could enter my name to go to Poland and take part in the waist drum performance in the parade. At first, I was very unwilling to, and felt that the path there was so far, and I had to take a drum in my hands and felt this was very troublesome. I said to my husband who was a practitioner: “I just want to take part in the parade and the Fa conference, but don’t want to play the drums, that’s such a bother, having to also carry a drum, and then still having to study four new songs, which I am sure I would be unable to learn, and there is not much time.” After hearing my complaints, my husband replied and said: “If you don’t want to play the drum then, then when will you play the drum?”. Just when I heard this, I looked at him, and then lowered my head to see that a fellow practitioner in my group had signed up for the activity. I looked within to find myself, and found many attachments: I had the attachment to ease and comfort, and didn’t want to study well some songs in a very short amount of time; I also had a fear of anything that would be a bother, and having to take many things with me such a long way from home; the main problem was that I had an attachment to fear, fearing that I had no way to learn well those new songs, and I had completely no faith in myself.

Thinking back at the reply of my husband, I felt Master was borrowing his mouth to ask me. Hence, I decided to conquer my laziness and fear, and to play the drum at the parade team. Because of my delay, when I saw the three new songs that I had to learn in such a short amount of time, I thought in my mind “Woah, this is so difficult!”. My attachment to fear came about again, but now that I had signed up my name, I could only brace myself to start practicing.

Firstly, I printed out the drumbeat of all the songs, which was convenient for me to make notes when I was practicing and started by practicing the songs with the most difficult movements. Like before, I practiced little by little, memorising the drumbeat of the songs, learning gradually the movements on the video one by one, until I would finish learning a song. Whilst practicing, I would often get vexed because of forgetting the movements, and often because of doing the movements wrong, would heave a sigh when hitting the drum too slowly or too fast. In my mind I would nag myself about why I would always make the same mistakes, and sometimes whilst playing the drum I would think that I didn’t want to play the drum anymore, felt bothered, and was not pleased with myself. Although there were many difficulties, every time I conquered my feelings of being upset, and would pick up my drumsticks again playing along to the songs, my state of mind would get better again, and not only would I regain my happiness, but also would gradually get better at playing the drum.

After a month, I received a notice that everybody was to pass the parade coordinator a video of ourselves playing the drum, and those who weren’t playing well enough wouldn’t be able to take part in the parade. When I read this news, I began to be afraid again. My confidence in myself dropped again and I said to the coordinator that I didn’t play well and that I was willing to give my place to another practitioner who could play better than me. The coordinator for the Swedish waist drum team optimistically said to me: “We can all play well, none of us in Sweden will quit.” I was moved by the optimistic attitude of the coordinator, and I realized that it was me who had negative morale all along.

In those several days when I came to know that we had to film us playing the drum, I had complicated feelings. I had already filmed myself playing the drum, who knows how many times. I would watch them after filming, and then delete them, and I was not pleased in how I was doing. I wholeheartedly thought I would perfectly film the songs that were to be shown to the coordinator and would film the part of my playing that I felt was the best. The day to film the formal drumming came along, and on that day, I practiced for the whole morning, and no matter how I played I felt like it was not perfect, but my husband especially took some time to help me film it, so there was no time for me to delay.

I wanted to shoot the film in a bit of an out-of-the-way place, fearing that others would see. However, my husband specially selected a place where the flowers were flourishing the most in the park, because he felt that it would be good-looking if I played the drum in a colourful background. Although I was not very willing, I could only cooperate. When filming, I was very nervous, and was not in a relaxed state. I wholeheartedly wanted to finish filming whilst nobody was passing by, and then hurriedly leave.

The first time we filmed I didn’t forget the movements, but when looking back at the recorded film I felt that the movements were not good-looking, and moreover felt that my limbs and trunk were very rigid, and I felt that I could still do this better. Following this I recorded many times, and each time if I didn’t make a mistake, I would forget the movements, or otherwise my eyes would be looking all around disorderly, because I was afraid that someone would see me playing the drum. I became aware of my attachment to fear, and that playing the drum was for everybody to hear, and that I shouldn’t be playing out such joyous and sweet-sounding songs in such a fearful way, not daring to display It outside. Even if I would not play well, I should play impressively. Therefore, later when a married couple stood by the side to watch me playing the drums, I told myself not to be worried, and not to be fearful.

Soon the sky became dark, and I had still not recorded my most “perfect” performance that I wanted. Only the first film that I had recorded was complete. So, I very unwillingly sent the coordinator that film. I really didn’t like the video filmed this time, but my husband sent them to his close friends and family to watch, and I was very displeased, because I knew that I had done some movements wrong. My husband felt that whether I had wrong movements or not, that I was very capable, for having learning completely by myself these several songs, and how in the beginning he had heard me playing the drums in a mess and not being able to hear the drumbeat, to being able to hear a light-hearted and cheerful rhythm, up to the point when he could finally hear me finish playing well along with the songs played. He felt that this was not easy.

This matter of having to film a video made me to rethink, because I was very displeased with my own expression. I asked myself, why did I feel that what I myself had done was not good enough? Why could I not tolerate my own “mistakes”? Aren’t I still learning, and whilst learning wouldn’t I always make mistakes, isn’t it that my requirements for myself were too high?

I carefully thought about my attachment to pursuing perfection. Master said in the “Teaching the Fa in Australia”: “Everyone who lives in the world is living for himself, and many selfish attachments arise out of this. Once selfishness appears, it becomes easy for one to be affected by emotion, and during cultivation, things that are difficult to let go of and cut ties from manifest everywhere, and it becomes difficult to let go of these attachments during cultivation. Sometimes when you do things for Dafa, the attachment of defending and protecting your own role appears, as well; for example, you defend and protect your own reputation and wants. For everyday people it becomes even more complex: They have desires such as wanting to become an official, glorify their ancestors, get others to praise them, get rich, and be superior to others. Defending and protecting what one desires is a manifestation of emotion and selfishness, so it is the hardest thing to stop doing.”

Then wasn’t it selfishenss that I had when thinking of being so called “perfect”. Just so that I could be pleased for myself, I would only continue if I was comfortable in my mind. Because I was not pleased with myself making mistakes, which would then influence my mood, I would then not want to continue practicing, and I also didn’t want to share the videos of my playing the drum with the group and to share experiences with the group. So that I could protect this “perfection” that I wanted, and wanting to display my best, and wanting to hide from the public when not playing well, wasn’t this also an attachment to wanting to save my reputation? I wanted to protect myself, not wanting people to see me not playing well and all these attachments were for “myself”, and this was a selfish attachment.

When I was sharing experiences on the small Fa study group, a fellow practitioner helped me to realize another attachment that had been hidden for a long time, which was my attachment to ease and comfort. I always would put effort to practicing and then practicing more, and would delete after filming, and delete again after filming, and every time I would feel that I hadn’t done well, then I would get agitated and even blame myself for not having played well, which was actually because I was thinking in the bottom of my heart that “as long as I can film a perfect drumming video, then I wouldn’t have to continue filming drumming, because I wouldn’t need to, and would already have mastered it completely.” Wasn’t this an attachment to ease and comfort and wanting to complete the task sooner and taking a rest sooner, and wasn’t this also an attachment to laziness?

When I realized this, I felt more comfortable in my mind, as if a layer of thin coating in my mind and brain disappeared, and that my worries beforehand were not worries anymore. The next day when I picked up my drum again, I was very happy in my mind, and practiced the pieces one after the other, and in the following days I made films of me playing the drums, and I did not mind if I would make mistakes, and the views I got from sharing the videos of me practicing the drum on the online group also increased. Also, I discovered, that my rigid body and serious looking face that I had originally always had, had also started to change gradually.

Realizing my inadequacies during the parade

At the parade, when the waist drum group performed in Warsaw, Poland, each one of us had a fixed place, and the coordinator required each of the rows to walk along in a straight line, and not to move too quickly or fall backward. The coordinator repeatedly exhorted us to be careful of this, because during the process of performing, a team that is in order looks good.

In our line there were four people, and I was arranged to be on the left- hand side, and to my right was a Chinese practitioner, and in the other two positions there were two Western practitioners, and I was the shortest in that row. When the parade started, I tried my best all along not to walk too fast or fall behind and tried my best to pay attention to walk to the drumbeat, but no matter how much I paid attention, our line had no way of being very orderly, and couldn’t form a straight line when walking. I found that the western practitioner on the right-hand side was very tall and big, and every stride when she walked, I had to make two steps to catch up, but there was no way for me to catch up with her on every step. When performing the drum beating performance, all along I would impatiently use my eyes to look at the Western practitioner on the right-hand side, hoping that she would see me, and hopefully make smaller steps. But she wouldn’t look at me, and instead would put her effort into playing the drum, with her eyes fixed in front of her. The coordinator who was responsible for maintaining the ranks would use Chinese to say near my ear that our row was not orderly, but that Western practitioner could not understand Chinese! Each time I heard him saying we were not in line, I was very worried in my heart, and I was very displeased with the Western practitioner on the right-hand side, and felt “why doesn’t she look even once at the team, and why doesn’t she pay attention to the other people in the line?”. I also had no way, and could only remind myself, not to think about her, to look ahead, to concentrate on playing the drum, and to try my best to catch up.

When resting, I took an opportunity to say a few words to the Chinese practitioner by my side, and I said to her: “Our row was very disorderly, and we rely most on the practitioner on the outside who is always in front of us, and I often can’t keep up.” When I was saying these words, I didn’t realize I had carried an attachment to complaining, and I thought that the Chinese practitioner would approve of me very much, but I had not expected that she surprisingly said: “Right, then let’s us two try to match her speed!” I realized, during the parade I had harboured an attachment to blame all along, and an attachment to complaining. That other practitioner was not like me, and moreover she did not point to other people for their bad thoughts or mistakes, and instead made an effort to change herself to match other people, and this was indeed the best method to resolve matters.

I felt that this experience was very valuable for me, and it enabled me to see my inadequacies. Master said in the “Fa Teaching at the 2019 Fa conference in New York”: “And when problems arise between you and others, it doesn’t matter who’s at fault: start by reflecting on your part in it. If a cultivator cannot manage to form this habit, if he isn’t able to look at things in the opposite way of how people normally do, then he will always be stuck at the human level—at least in regards to whatever issue he may have failed to resolve.” I knew that I had to cooperate unconditionally with others when taking part in activities and looked within to look at my own problems.

Master gave me the opportunity to take part in a new project

This year Shen Yun came to perform in Denmark, and I wanted to help, but I didn’t know what I could do, and felt that anything to do with Shen Yun was very important, and I did not have faith in myself or that I could do it well. Rather hesitantly, I decided to sign up my name to take part in the group distributing programs. In the main hall of the theatre in Alburg, the coordinator wanted to let me hand out programs, whilst also learning how to do sales of Shen Yun goods. I stood to one side nearby, and when nobody needed a program, I would stand by the side and watch how practitioners were selling Shen Yun goods. I was just watching and hoped that the customers wouldn’t mistakenly think I was a salesperson. At the time I didn’t have any knowledge of the Shen Yun goods.

However, when I was standing there watching, a young girl with her mother saw a sapphire blue silk scarf on the edge of the display table. The two of them were looking at it and chatting about it in a quiet voice, but all of the assistants were busy, and no one had taken notice of this mother and daughter. I summoned my courage to take the initiative to walk up to them and asked them whether they would like me to unfold the scarf for them to see to see it in its entirety. When I opened-up the scarf, the two of them ceaselessly said “wow”.

I was thinking “What should I say now?”. I was a little nervous, and at the same time I continuously told myself to be calm. I suddenly called to mind that in this year’s performance there was a dance called “sapphire blue fairy/immortal dance”, and I immediately told them that in the performance just now there was a phoenix that rose to dance. The young girl replied and said to me that she remembered, and moreover that that was her favourite dance in the program and that blue was her favourite colour. The mother, upon hearing this conversation, was full of smiles, and immediately decided to buy this silk scarf. At the time I was very happy and pleased that this mother and daughter bought a product that they liked and was also pleased that I could sell a silk scarf. Also, at the same time I was thanking Master in my mind because I knew it was Master who gave me this opportunity, enabling me to have confidence in taking part in a new project. Soon afterward, I became a member of the sales group for Shen Yun products.

I sincerely feel that Master knew that I had a wish to take part in a project of saving people. Master chose me to go forward and moreover helped me all along on this path, to break through my own attachments, enabling me to have more faith in myself, and courageously walk out.

The above are a few examples of how I was enabled to improve my Xinxing. I request that fellow practitioners kindly point out anything that is not in line with the Fa.

Thank you, Master, Thank you, fellow practitioners.

Oringinal article: https://www.yuanming.net/articles/a162875-.html

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