Dear Master, fellow practitioners,
I received the Fa in 1997, but I didn't start cultivating until half a year later, when Master Li explained the Fa to us in Frankfurt. When the evil persecution of Falun Dafa began in 1999, I had only been cultivating for a year, and the "heart of complaint" appeared in my heart for the first time. When I saw the images of persecution on TV, I still didn't have a deep understanding, and I thought, "Why is something so pure and beautiful being persecuted?" Surely such a thing should not be allowed to happen. Why can't practitioners live their faith in Dafa in public any more? Why can't it go on as before and I can learn the Fa and do the exercises?
At that time I didn't have a deeper understanding and I didn't realize my attachment. In 2007, Divine Performing Arts, the forerunner of Shen Yun Performing Arts, came to Germany for the first time. I remember it well when we sat together as a Fa-study group and discussed how we should deal with the new project. When it came to who would provide security for the artists and Shen Yun Company vehicles, the main coordinator looked at me and said, "You're a policeman and you know best about this kind of thing, you do it". His tone was very assertive and my "heart of complaint" and "comfort" came up again and I thought: "We have so much to do already, we founded the Tian Guo Marching Band just before and we are on the road so much and now this as an additional task". But shortly afterwards I thought,"Master has used the mouth of the Chief Coordinator and entrusted you with this task, what are you complaining about?"
Master tells us Zhuan Falun, Lecture 1: “With a change in character will come a significant change in your body; physical changes in your body are guaranteed to accompany positive changes in your mind. What will happen is that the bad things that have led you to form attachments will be cast away. To help you picture what happens, imagine that there is a bottle filled with dirt and that’s capped tightly. If the bottle is tossed into water it will sink to the bottom. But if you pour out some of its dirt, and toss it into the water again, it will float up this time; and the more that’s poured out, the more it will float.”
I had not yet recognized the attachment to complaint, but at first I did not think about the fact that I myself was weighing down my heart and thus "making it heavier". However, Master explains to us in Zhuan Falun, Lecture 9: “Remember that a holy being would never let anything affect him or her emotionally; worldly things simply don’t occupy a holy person’s mind. They will always be pleasant and upbeat, however badly they might be treated. If you can genuinely be like that, then you have already achieved a basic level of divinity, known as arhat.”
How far was I from enlightenment anyway, when I can't even let go of this hidden "heart of complaint" and these things? Are there other attachments that I had not realized? Was the "heart of grievance" the real attachment, or were there deeper attachments? Can I still cultivate at all, can I even reach the ultimate goal of cultivation? Doubts arose in me for the first time.
But then I remembered another passage from the Zhuan Falun, Lecture 9: “This means that whoever manages to practice here, in this painful setting, is just exceptional; it indicates that he has the Way in his heart, that he wants to develop spiritually, and is truly special. He hasn’t lost the innate divinity within, even here in this trying place, and wishes still to make himself worthy of heaven. And so unconditional help can be extended to someone like this.”
This gave me courage to continue cultivating, not give up, take my responsibility for Shen Yun safety and help Master save living beings directly with Shen Yun. However, even at that time, I had not recognized my basic attachment. What was the "basic attachment" that made me complain?
In the years that followed, events, insights and exchanges with fellow cultivators encouraged me to continue cultivating. Nevertheless, under certain circumstances this heart of 'complaint' showed up again and again, it became weaker but it still showed up.
One year, when Shen Yun gave a guest performance in Frankfurt, the room that was meant for security was suddenly needed for orchestra rehearsal. Since Shen Yun's needs for the smooth running of the show were paramount, we had to move out. The only question was where?
At this point, there were no other rooms available for use. At first we wanted to meet in the foyer and study the Fa together. But that was not possible because the manager there did not want to make his space available to us free of charge. Despite all my efforts, I could not find a solution to this problem. My thought was that we needed a room to study the Fa, talk and have something to eat.
Since no other solution could be found, we went outside. However, it was winter and quite cold. Due to the conditions, part of the building was covered, but we were not directly exposed to the weather. A practitioner "complained" that we were standing in the cold, it did not give a good impression to the theatre staff. I again felt the heart of complaint. I thought to myself, how am I supposed to do the job well for Shen Yun when they don't even have a proper space for us. Besides, we are supposed to do the job well too. So I paused and reflected, apologizing to fellow practitioners that this circumstance had appeared, but also pointing out that Shen Yun's needs come first, as our honourable Master directly saves living beings with Shen Yun. After this statement, the practitioner calmed down and did not complain further. However, I had not yet realized that it was my attachment that the practitioner "held up" to me. I also wondered whether this heart of 'complaint' was the basic attachment, or whether it was just the visible part and there was something else.
Then I remembered the following passage in Zhuan Falun, Lecture 4: “For example, they might see visions of a higher being that they worship, and pray to it, but when they do so they mix in all sorts of complaints about their unanswered prayers, as they think that this being hasn’t done much for them or made life easier. But that higher being won’t respond to their wishes, of course, since the ordeals in their lives were in fact planned by him and meant to develop their character; things like interpersonal strife can do a lot to perfect one’s character, after all.”
Only now did I realize that it's all about increasing your Xinxing. The master has set up each step of cultivation individually for each cultivator, and I have wasted many opportunities to improve my Xinxing.
When we hosted Shen Yun again in 2022, there were still many "covid-related" restrictions on access to the theatre. In the preliminary discussions with the theatre management, we were told that we would have to do admission checks ourselves of vaccination cards, antigen tests and, if necessary, self-tests. The performance would not be possible otherwise, as the theatre did not have enough staff available. Again the heart of "complaint" came up.
My thought was that we would now have to deploy many more staff to carry out these checks. However, it was then that I realized it that it is about increasing Xinxing. As we were in a densely populated area in North Westphalia with a high proportion of foreigners, it would be helpful, in order not to have any language barriers during the entry checks, for the entry checks to be carried out by a team that speaks different languages. We then quickly met with the team and clarified who spoke which languages and who, if necessary, could do the antigen tests before the entrance. As no other practitioner had the authorization to carry out the antigen tests and also did not have the necessary experience, I took over this part. In addition, a local practitioner was asked about a tent so that we would at least have some protection from the weather during the antigen tests. All this was organized relatively quickly. Finally, we were able to cover the foreign languages English, Chinese, Vietnamese, Russian, Italian and Turkish at the entrance. This meant that the entry checks went quickly and smoothly. That evening I realized how valuable the knowledge of fellow practitioners and their commitment is and the heart of "complaint" did not surface again, at least in that venue. But something else in my heart, a positive force appeared. The heart of "appreciation" for fellow practitioners.
Since difficulties can always arise in carrying out our tasks for Shen Yun, it is important to cooperate well and seek solutions quickly. The difficulties that arise, according to my findings, are mostly related to upgrading Xinxing. This year was the first time Shen Yun came to our city. The local practitioners. had wanted Shen Yun to come there, but there were obstacles every time. Either the theatre was not available, or there was a date but a bigger city took priority, etc.
In addition, it was the first time for Shen Yun to perform there and it was all new. In the preliminary discussions with the technical director, she pointed out to me that we had to cover 15 "illuminated emergency exit signs" during dark scenes. For safety reasons, the fire brigade insisted that the illuminated signs not be covered with a foil. So the practitioners had to cooperate well with each other to cover these "illuminated signs" simultaneously in the scenes. Since Shen Yun only had 12 illuminated signs to cover, we had to either make 3 more or get them from somewhere. A practitioner then asked the theatre's technical department and they had some black signs. As some of the emergency exit signs were on the wall and not above the door, we were able to use these additional signs to cover them. The technical director sent on a shared messenger the times when the "emergency exit signs" had to be covered. This was then discussed and it worked out well at the events to fulfil our role for Shen Yun.
Shen Yun offers us many opportunities to increase our Xinxing. Besides, we can learn from the Shen Yun artists and all the staff how our honourable Master guides Shen Yun and how we can do it well. Therefore, after so long, I appreciate the work despite many untapped opportunities to increase Xinxing and look forward to the upcoming 2024 season.
If I have uttered anything inappropriate, please correct me mercifully. Let us walk the final road well together and cherish each other. In conclusion, I would like to recite the following poem from Hong Yin V as an encouragement for us to move forward together:
The Future Is in Your Hands
Though we know not one another
The Creator mercifully protects us all
Though we may have different cultures
Our values are the same at heart
We all ultimately await His deliverance
Humanity is at the end of its time
Knowing this inspires me to share these truths
Modern thought and ways corrupt us
Atheism has turned us from the Divine
The theory of evolution devalues our lives
The Divine is sifting the good from the evil
And the Saving Ark shall sail without delay
(Selected article for the European Fa-conference 2023 in Paris)
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