Persisting in cultivation

Experience sharing from the 2017 Euriopean Fa Conference in Paris
 

In 1999, I left Greece my homeland and came to Italy to study medicine. In 2007, while I was still a student I learned about organ harvesting in China from a practitioner. He invited me to study and practise Falun Dafa, but my own karma prevented me from starting cultivation.

His words on forced organ harvesting from practitioners shocked me and I started looking for more information about the persecution online as well as talking with my friends at the University. A few months later, the Olympic torch in defence of human rights, (calling for a boycott of the China Olympics), passed through Italy. The Italian practitioners organised a truth clarification activity. I felt a strong force inside me that pushed me to participate. When I arrived at the activity I asked a practitioner how I could help. She smiled and gave me some flyers and told me to distribute them to passersby. I felt very comfortable and I was very calm. I felt a very pure energy field and I was very glad to stay with them. A practitioner offered to teach me the exercises and on my birthday, three days later, I learned them. From that moment, Master gave me a new life, a life of cultivation.

It was not easy to obtain the Fa. In the first year of my cultivation my old creditors came in my dreams to take my life. I dreamed many times of strangers running behind me to kill me. It was all so vivid. I felt every time the vivid sensation of the knife or the bullet of the gun through my body. It was so tiring to escape from them and every time I woke up very weak. I got to the point that I was afraid to sleep. Studying the Fa, I gradually understood that I could not only think of myself. I created tribulations for these people and I had some debts with them. I felt a sense of compassion for them and I cried for the suffering I caused them. One night I dreamed of climbing a ladder very quickly and behind me there was a man who wanted to kill me. In an instant I found the strength, I turned and without any fear I looked at him. He looked at me but did not kill me. I realised that I had already paid for my debts.

Later on, another episode happened to test my faith. I felt a great pressure in my mind during a tribulation. After that pressure I started to have bad thoughts about Master and the Fa. Those thoughts told me to stop cultivating and that Falun Dafa was not good. I didn’t know what was happening and because of my fear I didn’t speak with other practitioners. I looked at Master's picture and I told Him with tears that they were not my thoughts and asked for forgiveness. For all the day, I persisted to eliminate these thoughts but the next day these thoughts came back in my mind. I was afraid of being possessed. The fear dominated me and a new thought appeared - suicide. So to save my life I thought: “I know that Dafa is good but I cannot cultivate. It’s too much for me. I have so much karma. I have to stop my cultivation”. Despite that all these forces were trying to stop me from cultivating, I persisted. I realized that “saving my life” was a false thought. I had to continue my cultivation. That would be the only way to be truly saved. The next day I studied the Fa and recited all day “Falun Dafa is good” and “Truth, Compassion and Tolerance are good”. I didn’t recognise the old forces’ arrangement. I passed the test. Master helped me to eliminate my thought karma and strengthened my main consciousness.

I knew it was hard to obtain the Fa and I had to treasure my journey. I understood that I had to face all these tests because I had decided to embark on the path of cultivation, otherwise how could I eliminate my karma?

Master said: “Those ordeals and the suffering, no matter how great or harsh you find them to be, are good things, because they take place solely on account of your cultivation. A person can eliminate karma and shed human attachments when he goes through ordeals, and through ordeals he can improve. “(Fa Teaching at the 2008 New York Conference)

During the tribulations I never stopped clarifying the truth to the Italian people and Chinese tourists. I was thinking of the suffering and tribulations that Chinese practitioners endure in China and that gave me the strength to resist and continue clarifying the truth. All the tribulations made me mature, strengthening my main consciousness and my determination in cultivation. I strengthened my faith in Master and I realised that my only purpose in life was to help Master in the Fa-rectification.

I knew I had to do better. I had to follow the path Master arranged for me. For this reason I finished my studies in medicine and I started contacting the Italian Parliament to clarify the truth about forced organ harvesting. At the beginning I was very shy and my voice always trembled. I was afraid to lose face and be ignored. The MPs seemed to be disinterested, cold and sometimes they seemed to be disturbed. I felt their hearts closed. I cried because I felt I could not help Master but at the same time I knew it was my path, my mission. I had to clarify the truth to the Italian Parliament. I slowly eliminated my attachments to fame and losing face and I was able to calm my mind. I understood that the key to touch their hearts was to cultivate Shan.

When my only concern was their salvation, the MPs started answering me and receiving me in their office. Before every meeting I felt very bad with chills and cold, I sweated and went to the toilet many times. I knew Master was purifying my body.

Every time I had to remind myself not to look at their social position and I remembered Master words.

Master said: “When clarifying the truth we aim at people, and do so to save people, regardless of who they are. “ (Fa Teaching Given at the Fa Conference Marking the Tenth Anniversary of the Minghui Website’s Founding)

Continuing to clarify the truth I realised that the standards were high. I had to improve my xinxing but at the same time I had to improve my professionalism. I thought that by elevating my professionalism I could clarify the truth better. It was all clear but I did not know how to do it. There were not any doctors among practitioners in my area. In 2013 I had great help from Master. I became a member of DAFOH, Doctors Against Forced Organ Harvesting. I had the possibility to learn from others, look at their strengths and share how to improve. I learned to combine professionalism with the heart of a practitioner.

With the help of practitioners we strengthened truth clarification to our Parliament. The MPs took a righteous position and they decided to support Dafa instead of their interests and the fear of disturbing relations with China. In these years the Italian Parliament approved a resolution against forced organ harvesting and approved a law against organ trafficking.

Being part of the one body

In 2016 I saw Master for the first time at the New York Fa Conference. Master’s concern for practitioners and for sentient beings deeply touched my heart.

Master taught in the 2016 New York Fa Conference: “Anyway, I just want to tell you that, as Dafa disciples, you should know how enormous your responsibility is, and this is not a child’s game. This undertaking has already come to the last stage, and I am extremely worried, yet you still do not treat it seriously. In the end, however, it will be too late even if you cry.”

During Master’s teaching I deeply felt the sense of urgency for sentient beings. This strengthened my thoughts and the will to bear all the hardships and tribulations in order to fulfill my vow and to eliminate all my attachments like when I just started my cultivation.

Back in Italy from New York, I was determined to do well because Master was waiting for good news from me. I put my heart in the project to clarify the truth to the European Parliament with the 0048/2016 Written Declaration on stopping organ harvesting from Falun Gong practitioners.

The project coordinator asked me to share the importance of the project with all Italian practitioners because Italy has a large number of MPs. Following his suggestions I started sharing with fellow practitioners the importance of participating in this project, but I didn’t receive any acceptance. I explained to the coordinator that I had done what he asked so things no longer depended on me. The coordinator did not give up so easily. He kept asking me to involve practitioners but I was not able to understand.

One day the coordinator told me: “I beg you to share the importance, it is an urgent problem, we should not treat it in a relaxed way”. His words touched me. Master’s 2016 New York teaching came to my mind, along with the urgency he spoke about. I immediately thought: “Where is my shortcoming? I need to find immediately my shortcoming!” I could no longer hide myself, it was an urgent matter.

In the Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference Master taught: “Dafa disciples, although Master spoke a little sternly, it was to lift up your spirits, because you are the hope for humanity! The hope for sentient beings! You are also Master's hope!”

I thought: “Master wants me to involve Italian practitioners to succeed in this project. Without practitioners, Master cannot save the Italian sentient beings”. I thought: “I need to urgently look inside me to see my shortcoming”.

I saw my lack of confidence in Italian practitioners. I saw my selfishness because I did not want to waste time in training practitioners on the arguments and I did not want to take my responsibility. I saw that I did not put my heart into involving practitioners. My invitation was not pure and it hid a sense of mistrust and fear. These were my fears: “If practitioners who have no idea how to deal with an MP would like to participate?” And “If practitioners who have no experience about organ harvesting call an MP, they could maybe damage a relationship built on years of hard work.” Practitioners also needed to go to the European Parliament to speak directly with MPs, and they had no experience. How could I take on the responsibility for others?”

All the thoughts in my heart suddenly showed up and I saw the wickedness in their content. I thought: “How is it possible that Master could take the responsibility and the guilt for all of us and I can’t take the responsibility for the actions of the practitioners that would like to help Master? If a practitioner does not act in the right way, wouldn’t it be my responsibility? Why do I put my attachment to losing face behind Master requests?”

In that moment the Fa principles became very clear. I saw my responsibility. I did not keep any excuses. I could easily eliminate thought karma, selfishness and attachments like reputation and the attachment to time. I had to trust practitioners; this was what Master asked me to do.

Master says: “Do not fear that there will be problems with them. Perhaps they have no experience at the moment, but as time passes, through practice they will gain experience.” (Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference)

After seeing my shortcomings, I really tried to motivate practitioners. I considered every moment they could dedicate to the project to be very important.. Every call to the European Parliament was very precious like gold, regardless of the result. After changing my mindset, in 2-3 days more then 10 practitioners joined the project and within a short period of time, our group was composed of 30 practitioners both Chinese and Italian. I realised that the heart of practitioners was already there but what was missing was my heart for them, for my fellow practitioners. My fears blocked them.

With this project I experienced once again the enormous power of the Fa. Almost all the practitioners hadn’t any experience, they never called MPs to clarify the truth. Some really knew nothing about organ harvesting, but everyone set their hearts to learn and do well. Their desire to do well allowed them to acquire all the skills that I did not acquire in years. I was so honoured to work with them. Their arrangements with MPs were truly extraordinary, I would never achieve alone what they reached together.

I felt for the first time the sensation to be part of the one body. Our sharings were open and sincere without any fear or prejudice. Amid difficulties and mistakes, everyone looked inside and we never pointed the finger to others. We never complained about each other and we worked together like brothers and sisters. When a practitioner encountered some difficulties, all practitioners supported him and encouraged him to overcome them. I saw the sacredness and the dignity of opening our hearts and sharing our attachments with fellow practitioners without hiding.

We considered every MP as a precious being that Master wanted to save. We worked hard until the end to encourage all of them to sign. In the end 61 of the 73 Italian MPs signed the Written Declaration.

Better understanding of my role in coordinating

A few months later I was asked to coordinate the Public Relations area for Shen Yun 2017 promotion in Milan. My coordinator told me that this year I had to involve more practitioners.
Since I had already worked with many Italian practitioners for the European Parliament project, I did not find it so difficult. But the standards and the requests were now higher. There were many challenges and pressure. I could feel some forces that would separate the one body and set us against each other. Competition, complaints, fear of conflicts with others and fear of losing face – all of these showed up. I started to have bad thoughts about some practitioners and I realised I needed to elevate my xinxing, look inside and put all my efforts to strengthen the one body. I understood that to fulfill my vow I needed to have a big heart and to listen to all practitioners.

Master says: “People in charge are coordinators, and you should coordinate others well and motivate them well, and have everyone involved. That is being in charge!” (Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference)

I took Master’s words seriously and I felt compassion for fellow practitioners. I listened to their ideas, their difficulties, their criticism - and with compassion I supported them. I realised that being responsible for a project means also being responsible to practitioners. All practitioners put their hearts into the project and for the first time, thanks to Master, we got a full house.

This is my understanding at my current level. Please tell me anything that is not in accordance with the Fa.

Thank you Teacher.
Thank you fellow practitioners.

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