The 2005 Florida Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference was successfully held on May 7 at the University of Central Florida, in Orlando. Practitioners from across the State, representing many cultural and ethnic backgrounds, participated.
|Morning group exercise||Practitioners sharing cultivation experiences|
This was the fourth Florida Experience Sharing Conference. Since the last Florida conference in 2002, the Fa-rectification process has entered a new stage, and practitioners' understandings of the Fa have also advanced. The new stage of Fa-rectification provides both opportunities and challenges. Practitioners have exposed the persecution in their own cultivation environments and have also joined the global efforts to save sentient beings, including the efforts currently underway in Manhattan. The purpose of the conference was to share cultivation experiences, increase mutual understanding between practitioners, and strengthen efforts to work together as one body.
Ten practitioners, mostly westerners, shared their cultivation experiences in introducing Falun Dafa and exposing the persecution to sentient beings and improving as one body. A practitioner from India spoke about his experience during a recent visit to his hometown. He talked about Falun Gong to the people he met along the way. He taught the Falun Gong exercises to a group of 25 members of a "Laughing Club" he met in a park. Everyone showed great interest in learning the exercises and asked him to come to teach them every day.
Another practitioner used the metaphor of "five fingers, one hand" to talk about the importance of working together as one body. Over the years since the introduction of Falun Gong in Florida, he has seen five independent fingers become one strong hand. He realised that practitioners in China and abroad are one body, and if one finger bleeds the whole hand loses blood.
A Western practitioner shared that Communism has also had deep impact in the United States, even though, unlike China, there was no communist bloodbath here. The practitioner had initially thought that the Nine Commentaries on the Chinese Communist Party were to help Chinese people rid themselves of their illusions about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). However, he realised that communist ideology has also greatly influenced westerners, and shared that we all need to rid ourselves of its influence.
A practitioner from Cuba gave a personal testimony about the disasters that communists had brought upon the island country. People labelled as enemies of the state were thrown into forced labour camps; many lost their lives. His father had risked his life to bring his children to the United States. The practitioner was grateful to Master Li for having shown him the way to Truth, Compassion, and Tolerance. He spoke about how he has devoted his time to helping end the persecution in China and to saving children who have been orphaned by the persecution.
Another practitioner spoke about how he had gotten back up after falling down. When he returned to his old habits, he thought he was not worthy of being a Dafa practitioner. However, a fellow practitioner helped him realise that he had not let go of his old attachments, which had made his understanding of the Fa very shallow. He also realised that if we leave gaps in our cultivation, the evil will definitely exploit them.
After formal experience sharing presentations, practitioners shared their experiences about various ways of exposing the truth about the persecution. Some spoke about utilising the media. One practitioner showed videos that he had made for web viewing. One was entitled, "What is Cultivation Practise?" and there were other videos on the slave labour camps in China and the persecution of Falun Gong.
After the experience-sharing articles, everyone gathered for a group picture for World Falun Dafa Day, May 13, which marks the 13th anniversary of the public introduction of Falun Dafa. The conference successfully concluded at 7:00 p.m. after small group discussions.
The conference attracted practitioners from across Florida. For quite a few practitioners it was the first time they had attended such a gathering. One practitioner commented, "My first impression when I arrived at the gathering was that everyone was very happy to see each other. We seemed like family members who had not seen one another for a long time [From Miami to Jacksonville, practitioners in Florida are as much as 500 miles apart]. I ran into some practitioners whom I don't commonly talk with because of the language barrier. We exchanged warm greetings simply, with eye contact; but the eyes seemed to speak a divine language. I was surprised to see a few new practitioners. I was reminded that there are still many predestined people to be reached during the Fa-rectification period. We must work harder to clarify the truth more to the public."
Another practitioner observed, "In their experience sharing reports, many practitioners showed that they had examined themselves in accordance with the Fa and had made breakthroughs in their personal cultivation. One article called, 'Falling Down and Getting Back Up' was especially moving. I saw light around the practitioner as he read his report, just as I had seen around two other practitioners at a time when they had also broken through huge obstacles in their cultivation."
|Group photos celebrating World Falun Dafa Day|
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