For some overseas Falun Dafa practitioners, going to Dafa experience-sharing conferences and other Dafa activities is like a conditioned reflex, or like a prearranged event that they should attend. They would easily forget to treat these activities as opportunities to reveal the truth about Falun Gong. Many practitioners travelled thousands of miles to the conferences because they thought that they might be able to see Master, which is of course understandable; however, this did not seem to be the main objective of the trip.
Sometimes during a parade or in the progress of other activities, some practitioners chatted, laughed, or looked around. Sometimes during solemn and serious activities such as parades and candlelight vigils, there were some practitioners who, being unable to concentrate on the activities, read the books while holding the banners and thus gave ordinary people an impression that they were indifferent. There were still some practitioners who even laughed or chatted at the site of the torture exhibit, which was ill-suited with what the exhibition displayed about the brutality of the persecution. All these aspects reflected the practitioners' xinxing [moral nature] and the degree of using their heart.
As Falun Dafa disciples living outside China, we have not experienced the brutality that the practitioners in China have endured. However, we should know what we are doing. Master told us in "Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Atlanta Fa Conference Atlanta in 2003": "Dafa disciples are all still being persecuted. You want me to be happy, but I can't be. How many Dafa disciples are being persecuted in those evil labour camps in China at this very moment!" We have participated in many activities in order to expose the brutality of the persecution and to appeal to people for their help. So having a right mindset during our involvement in these activities is, in fact, part of our righteous thoughts.
As Dafa cultivators, we, perhaps, already know what the practitioners who were tortured to death have attained. We also know that however much a Dafa practitioner has suffered, he will gain that much. Or we may have already taken very lightly life, death, and suffering. However, we should conform to the formality of ordinary society, since we want to awaken people's kind nature and gain their sympathy through exposing the brutality of the persecution. Therefore, we should truly exhibit what Dafa practitioners should exhibit in this society of ordinary people.
Was it due to our having taken lightly the persecution or due to our indifference that we exhibited this careless attitude and behaviour? This can be easily examined. If we can just imagine that the persons who were tortured to death were us, our family members, relatives, or friends, then we can see how we would feel. We would thus know whether we have shortcomings that we need to improve on, and know what mindsets or behaviour we should have during the parades, candlelight vigils, and other Dafa activities.
In addition, through the several dozens of years of political movements and atheist education, the Party has destroyed the traditional morality, civilisation, and civility of Chinese society. Most of us had lived in China for a very long time and have carried with us the strong influences of that society. So we need to be more conscientious and make more efforts in order to know how to exhibit the magnificence of Dafa practitioners, which is above that of ordinary people, in western society that values the surface culture. In a civilised society, many things are believed to be minimal requirements that the public has acknowledged for a civilised person. A person who fails to do well in the following criteria would be looked down upon by others. Such requirements are listed below:
- Do not speak loudly in public places and do not block traffic;
- Maintain the cleanliness of the restroom for the convenience of the next person who will use the restroom;
- Do not make unpleasant sounds;
- Cross the street in the designated area and follow the traffic lights;
- Follow the rules of a conference and keep quiet when the speakers are giving presentations;
- In public places, strictly control your own children so as to not allow them to bother others;
- Attend meetings on time and do not leave before the meeting is officially over.
- There are many more that could be listed. We should always be considerate of others and consider others first, and for our behaviour to be beneficial and tolerable to others. Every Dafa practitioner should at least require him or herself to meet this requirement.
Most ordinary people will not read any Falun Dafa books to learn about Dafa. The impression we give them will be their impression of Dafa.
In 1999, Master said,
"You don't mind the details, don't groom yourselves, and look sloppy. You talk loudly, without taking the circumstances or location into consideration. You don't pay attention to hygiene. Of course, I've said that you have to conform to everyday people to the maximal extent for your cultivation. As disciples who are practising cultivation, you must be able to achieve that. This originally was a non-issue, and was not what I wanted to discuss. But did you know that because of your behaviour, some Western students have been afraid of joining you for Fa-spreading activities? Everyone must pay attention to this! This is not just a behavioural issue. You really should pay attention to things in this regard. I'm not saying that you need to be particular about dressing stylish. You should understand human civility on the very surface. I can tell you, Dafa actually also encompasses the substances from the lowest level. If you can think of others in everything you do, I think you'll do everything well." (Lecture at the US East Coast Conference, unofficial translation)
In fact, many practitioners want to do better; but they sometimes forget the requirements. Because sometimes they did not pay attention to getting to know western culture, customs, and traditions, they do not know what behaving well actually means. Thus, when they failed to conform to the requirements of the society they live in, they could not become aware of the situation in time. If we can let go of ourselves more, truly follow what Master has required of us, always be considerate of others, and keep in consideration the image of Dafa practitioners as one body, we can naturally do well in many things and we can do them very well.
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