Falun Dafa practitioners from more than 30 European countries attended the 2015 European Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference on September 20 at the Austria Trend Eventhotel Pyramide in Vienna.
|The conference hall|
Twenty-one practitioners from 13 European countries and the United States gave speeches. Reflecting the multicultural background of the attendees, the speeches were translated and read in seven languages, including Chinese, English, German, French, Spanish, Russian, and Italian.
Sergejs from Latvia reflected, “In the last ten-some years, we have three group Fa-studies every week. It has not been easy, but we persisted.” He added, “If we do everything on the Fa, and if we assimilate to the Fa, then we can overcome any difficulties.”
He shared a story. In 2002, Jiang Zemin, the Chinese Communist Party leader who initiated the suppression of Falun Dafa three years earlier, visited the European Union. Since there were no practitioners in Estonia and Lithuania, practitioners in Latvia decided to drive to these two countries and to hold protests. However, due to the pressure from China, some governments arrested practitioners who tried to approach Jiang in the protest. Almost every border agent had a blacklist of practitioners, provided by the Chinese government.
A few practitioners in Sergejs' van were on the list. When they went through customs, police tried to arrest them. “We sent forth righteous thoughts and clarified the truth to the officers,” he said. “We passed through customs successfully. I believe that the intensive group Fa-studies have helped us pass this test and many others in our events.”
Happiness After Letting Go of Self
Mr. Wang from Austria was confident and happy when he first started promoting Shen Yun last year. However, the ticket sales did not go as well as he expected. He started to complain about other practitioners for not working hard enough. When he tried harder to introduce Shen Yun to people, he found that people ignored him, and even tried to avoid him. The initial happiness was gone.
Mr. Wang started to look inward, and found his negative attitudes towards fellow practitioners and his self-centered attachments. “The impure mind was like a hard shell wrapping myself, preventing the happiness and compassion from coming out of my heart,” he said. “So, I tried hard to look inward, cultivate myself, and let go of my self.”
When he corrected himself based on the Fa, collaborated with fellow practitioners well, and let go of self-interests, he sensed the happiness of cultivation once again.
Cultivating Oneself Through Coordination Work
Sinikka from Finland said that cultivating as a coordinator made her stronger and more mature. “I learned how to prioritize others and do things based on the principle of cultivation,” she said.
It was difficult for Sinikka to accept her fellow practitioners' negative feedback: “I cannot tolerate others making changes in what I've done. I felt depressed, and it seemed like the old forces tried to make me fall and give up the project.”
She said that Fa-study helped her stay in the project and overcome her own attachments. “I found that the biggest attachment of mine is my strong self-esteem and fear of losing face,” she said. “I realized that if our hearts are pure, then the project will go smoothly.”
Seventy-three-year old Antoine from France had been tortured by the Togo government years ago before he was rescued. He said that his motivation for cultivating in Falun Dafa is to rescue the Chinese practitioners who are being persecuted in China.
After reading Zhuan Falun a few times in 2001, Antoine started to understand what cultivation really is. “I started to look inward, although it was hard because I could not see what my attachments were. Gradually, I was able to see my attachments in conflicts.”
In the processes of clarifying the truth, Antoine has gotten rid of many notions and attachments, such as fear, pursuing fame and personal interests, and jealousy. “The more I go out to talk to people, the more attachments I am able to give up,” he said.
It is not easy to clarify the truth of Falun Dafa in Africa, where many people are poor and uneducated. Antoine also needs to overcome the influences that the Chinese government has in Africa. However, he believes that “on the cultivation path arranged by Master, there is no difficulty that I cannot overcome.”
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