10 years in the Tian Guo Marching Band

Experience sharing from the 2017 Euriopean Fa Conference in Paris

I started playing in the Tian Guo marching band in Paris in December 2006. At that time we only played two pieces: Falun Dafa Hao and Fa Guo Fa Hao. We had only had a couple of rehearsals one month earlier to practise marching and playing together. How interesting it was for me to discover that one could play outside without aiming for perfection. I realized that each parade was a way for me to improve my skills. With that first street parade I realized that I had an attachment to perfection and that I wanted everything to be top-notch.

Then we started touring major European cities. When we came back from Copenhagen, I went through a conflict with another practitioner. I felt hurt about it. When I got home I spoke directly to Teacher saying: This band is an awesome project but it’s not for me. Teacher took me over Tian An Men Square and showed me all the Tian Guo bands in the world, all playing together. All the practitioners wore the great Tang outfit. After that experience I realized the importance of that project and I told Teacher that I would not give up on it. I endeavoured to keep that memory in mind always, and keep it clear. It is that vision that has been upholding me these past 10 years. I also realized that it was important not to run away from any difficult or disturbing situation and that I should look inward and clarify to that part of me that was not quite Zhen Shan Ren yet.

I decided to print out one of the band’s music scores whose melody I really liked. And then I thought: Wait a second, this is much too hard, the notes are too high and I don’t even know all of them and anyway the rhythm is way too complicated for me. And then, in a totally unexpected way, I heard a voice that said: Let’s work on that piece together, shall we? My first thought was that I really can’t play it and that the notes are too high, but I accepted the offer all the same. The voice guided me through the first notes of the first bar, then the second bar until I reached the end of the first line. I could feel a benevolent and encouraging presence pushing me. After a few minutes and much to my surprise I could play the entirety of the score. Then the voice guided me though the rhythm that I had found so complicated and the voice was very encouraging. Bar after bar, line after line, I managed to reach the end of the score. I was in a state of wonder. I had learned how to play that piece in no time. I heartily thanked Teacher for walking me through the score and allowing me to play it.

We started playing in Frankfort along with other bands that came from all over the world for the occasion. The street parade started in good weather but then it started raining and then pouring down. We were all drenched but we kept going. Many groups left the parade and went for shelter but we went on. I felt how powerful, determined and diligent our own group was.

Our first street parade in Poland took place in the Chinese district of Warsaw. As soon as we got dropped there the weather started to change. We got our instruments ready and got ready to play and the clouds were getting darker and darker above our heads. With our first notes of Falun Dafa came the first raindrops. We were soon soaked again with no sign of abatement throughout the parade. I then saw that there was a battle between good and evil that took place in other dimensions. Each and every sound that our band made was a deadly attack on evil forces. It was spectacular. I felt the importance of being concentrated and to try and produce the purest sounds possible. I could see that the purer the sounds we made were, the deadlier they were to the evil forces. For more than three hours the Tian Guo Band led a battle against the Evil.

Another time, before starting on our street parade in Northern France, a practitioner suggested we recited “Lunyu” together: me in French and her in German. So we did that. At first my heart was calm and focused but as it went on I felt that I was too restless and that I always wanted to finish first. I was going faster and faster, to the point of stumbling in my words. I couldn’t help but start to finish first. I realized that it was an issue of competition that I should let go of. That fellow practitioner asked me to recite it again alone – she said she wanted to hear how it sounded in French. Then my heart completely changed. As I was reciting it I could feel that reciting “Lunyu” was like a sacred offering, that it was the most precious gift you could offer. And very quickly I could see a great energy field around us, and it was expanding as I recited, it was pushing beyond the people in front of us and beyond the buildings that were in the distance. Reciting “Lunyu” has helped me feel and understand the power of Dafa.

Another time in London, we spent the night at a youth hostel and during that night my grandfather came up to me and told me he had to go. I was confused. I was happy that he had decided to come and tell me that he was leaving but at the same time I felt angry that he should have chosen that particular night when I shared the room with other practitioners. And then I felt extremely sad. On the next day, after practice we met with the other players for rehearsal. As we were getting our instruments ready, I tried to mount one reed, then another, then another, but I could make no sound. I had to go and join the others so I finally decided on one and started rehearsing, but again I could make no sound. I asked Teacher for help and then I realized it had to have a connection with what had happened the night before. My heart wasn’t at peace and that explained why I couldn’t play. I emitted a powerful righteous thought and then my heart and my throat began to relax and I was finally able to play.

During our first street parades, I noticed that my heart was getting restless every time another player wasn’t playing right. I could feel that I was focusing on the others when I should be focusing on myself. I shared my impressions with other practitioners and they advised me to do FZN, and indeed, after a few moments, people were correcting themselves. This is how powerful FZN is.

In June, there was an exchange of emails regarding the languages we would use when studying the Fa. It said from now on it would be in Chinese and German only. It is true that at some point we had up to 10 languages, but I really liked hearing the Fa being read out loud in so many languages. Three days before our street parade in Germany, it was decided that we would only use Chinese and German. At first I understood their point of view but I ended up being angry. I emitted a powerful righteous thought in order to find out what was bothering me and I realized that I had an attachment to my ego. I needed people to take me into consideration. When we finally read, I was reading in French in my head while listening to the others reading in Chinese, German and English. I think that the power of the Fa dissipated my anger.

When I got back to France, an unexpected pain surged in my hips whenever I was walking. I tried to ignore it and convinced myself that it would go away. And it did. But on the next day when I sat down to meditate the pain came again, and it was intense. It really surprised me: I knew I could be in pain in the last five minutes, but being in pain in the first five minutes was new to me. For the first few weeks, I tried to look for the origin of the pain but only focused on external factors: it was probably due to those long trips in coaches and to that static position of mine whenever I played. As the days went on I couldn’t be in lotus position for an hour anymore. And when I emitted righteous thoughts I could not concentrate as well as before and I was getting easily distracted when studying the Fa. I opened up to a Chinese practitioner about it and she told me to focus on reading the Fa and doing FZN. And then she put her hand on her heart and said: I think you should look within yourself. When I did that that evening I realized that I was craving for recognition and that it had led me to anger and resentment.

During our next street parades in Cambridge and London I spoke with a Chinese practitioner and I told her that I missed reading in French with everyone. She suggested I did it in Chinese. After all that’s what we do in Paris so I thought it would be a good idea. She got me a Chinese version of Zhuan Falun and we started reading in Chinese with all the practitioners. It was a great experience and it was very powerful.

In August we met in Gerolstein, Germany, for three days, rehearsing, practising and reading. We got there first and started reading in Chinese and French then others practitioners joined us. These sessions are really important for me because they don’t take place very often. We practised the first four exercises then rehearsed and then in the evening we still had some time left for reading. Would we able to study in French? It would be important to do so because we were 6 French practitioners and 2 of them were new in our group. I really wanted us to read in French not so much for myself since I can read English and Chinese but for the newcomers. The person in charge quickly scanned the room and said that we would be reading in Chinese, German, English, and exceptionally in French tonight. I was satisfied that the newcomers could participate. But in the evening, looking back on it, I wondered whether that insistence on French was really altruistic of me. I think that it was only partially so. There was also anger in me and an attachment to rebellion, a craving to be recognized and valued. In fact, I realized that when I made that suggestion my heart wasn’t very pure, that it wasn’t a divine heart thinking, but instead that I had acted with a human heart. Much too human.

On the next day, we were about to practise the first four exercises in a huge outdoor stadium when someone came up to me and said that there would be no French reading today but Chinese and German only. I said sure, let’s do the practice and we’ll discuss it later.

The music started and my heart wouldn’t be still. I was unable to control my thoughts and couldn’t focus on the movements. Why come up to me right before the practice? How come people can’t study in their own languages? I was making a mental list: Everybody should be able to read out loud, it is a way to harmonize the group, it helps create one united body, etc. What binds us all together is not the music, it is Dafa, bringing us all together so we can accomplish our mission. And suddenly it struck me that I could be wrong: reading in Chinese and German could be enough to create one body. And I remembered a poem by Teacher in Hongyin 3:

Who’s Right, Who’s Wrong
As a cultivator
One always looks for one’s own faults
’Tis the Way to get rid of attachments most effectively
There’s no way to skip ordeals, big or small
[During a conflict, if you can remember:]
“He’s right, And I’m wrong,”
What’s to dispute?

My heart was at peace. I could now concentrate on the movements.

Once the practice was over, the same person came up to me and to my surprise his way of thinking was quite different this time. It is important, he said, that everyone should read in their own language, and as he explained I realized we had the same viewpoint.

I wish to thank Teacher and I wish to thank all the practitioners who have helped me to see through my attachments and helped me to purify myself.

Thank you to all practitioners.
Thank you Teacher.

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