How I Became a Falun Dafa Waist-Drummer

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I have been cultivating in Falun Dafa for about five years. I have participated in many Dafa projects and have experienced many ups and downs. Recently, after joining our local waist-drumming team, a whole new joyous and exciting dimension opened up in my cultivation. I wish to share my experience with fellow cultivators around the world.

Ever since childhood I have had a good sense of rhythm and sometimes, for enjoyment, I would even play a Darbuka (an Oriental goblet drum), not professionally though. But for some reason I was never in a hurry to join our local Falun Dafa drumming team, although deep in my heart I had always yearned to very much.
Finally one day the opportunity arrived. During a rehearsal for a big parade, one of our drummers proposed that I take up drumming, and went on to show me the basic moves. She said it would suit me perfectly to be a drummer, and as it turned out she was right. Luckily there was a drum lying around that no one had been using and so it was given to me with an instructional DVD. Although I still didn't know the moves, my new red drum infused my heart with a kind of excitement and happiness I hadn't experienced in many years.

I wasn't given a belt to tie the drum to my waist and so I had to fabricate one on my own. I went downtown to a fabric shop, purchased some red fabric and cut it to the right size. Then I asked my mother, who is handy with a sewing machine, to sew a hem for it to keep it from splitting. On the same occasion I told my family about the Falun Dafa drummers, the heavenly dancers, and the Divine Land Marching Band. My family members, including my brothers and sisters and their children, were all delighted and wanted to know when and where they could watch our parade. I was very happy with the new opportunity to tell them about Falun Dafa, and this time from a new and such a wonderful perspective.

I watched the instruction video very carefully. A Chinese woman explained the principles of drumming. I was amazed at the accuracy, strength and majesty she displayed. I tried to imitate her but to no avail. The more I tried the more my moves remained weak, sloppy and imprecise. I searched within myself and came to the conclusion that succeeding in drumming takes more than just technique. But what was it?
Every day I continued watching the Chinese drummer. To find more clues I even went to the extent of looking her up on the Internet. I was surprised to discover that she was living in Ireland and is very active clarifying the truth about the persecution of Falun Gong. Her sisters in China were both sentenced to three years in a labour camp because they refused to give up practicing Falun Gong.

I talked to some practitioners about the drumming and heard different understandings. A practitioner who had studied classical ballet in Russia wasn't a drummer but had nevertheless formulated very interesting realizations. She explained the importance of the stage actor's upright attitude. Excessive enthusiasm and exaggerated cheerfulness are but an obstacle, she said. They are qing (emotion/desire), something that interferes with and lowers the level. When qing is gone, compassion follows. When the artist is free of human emotion, his performance will not be that of a regular person but of a Falun Gong practitioner, saturated with gong. And the audience will feel that gong, she said. She went on to explain that similar to the five Falun Gong exercises, the drumming movements were designed according to the energy channels in our bodies, and have a close relationship to them.

I continued watching the instructional video and practicing inside my small apartment, not too late at night though, being considerate of my neighbours who were perhaps already asleep. As time went by I felt that I was improving little by little.

One day a practitioner-drummer turned my attention to a new attachment that I had started to develop. He said that my success in cultivation lies not in my ego but in the force of Dafa that flows through me. This awakened me to the fact that drumming, just like other Dafa activities, is an arena for improving xinxing (heart and mind nature), with countless opportunities to elevate and ascend in cultivation.

But practicing alone at home is far from enough; to progress in drumming the drummer has to play together with others as a team, match their rhythm, learn and compare. The goal is to have all drummers in the band play in unison and synchronization as one body. I started by drumming once a week with a fellow practitioner at our local practice site, after completing the five sets of exercises. Then I went on to join the rehearsals of our official Israeli Falun Gong waist drumming team.

Today I have grown to control all the drumming moves and can keep up with the rest of the team. But I feel that a long way still lies ahead of me in drumming. Like in cultivation, until we reach completion, there is always room for improvement.

I would like to conclude my experience-sharing with Master's poem in Hong Yin Volume II:

Waist-Drum Team
Written in the style of a Yuan Dynasty lyric poem

Waist-drum formation
Gods in Fa
Each thump-thump of Fa Drums is Zhen-Shan-Ren
In the Three Realms, eliminating evil and saving the world's people
Majestic presence and righteous thought shake the gates of heaven
Rotten ghosts--where can they run
January 22, 2004

These are my understandings at my current level. Please point out any shortcomings.
Thank you Teacher, and Dafa.

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