2004 European Conference: Experiences During the Preparation of the European Falun Dafa Conference

I have wanted to write this experience sharing report for a long time. I believe this to be a great opportunity to share with you all the different situations and activities I encountered during the preparations of this conference. I sensed that the past two months’ coordination efforts in preparation for this Austrian conference allowed us to grow closer together and helped raised our cultivation levels. This is the first time that I distinctively felt as one body. I also must admit that I had not felt at any time before so clearly that any of us possessed abilities, which others needed so urgently. We complemented each other perfectly.

I even noted, to my astonishment, that those actions that had before been utterly annoying to me were suddenly those that were needed the most during this effort. It never ceased to amaze me that any task, be it coordination, technical expertise, manual skills, artistic abilities and creativity, was available in one form or another. It was so clear that each of us possessed different abilities. Even though, there are only about fifty practitioners in this region, and the number of those who are in constant contact with each other is even smaller, we still managed to do everything ourselves. I could see clearly how Master had arranged every tiny detail for our environment.

I understood that my cultivation path had been arranged even with the tasks in hand, as I was put to the test already during my first conference discussion. I had volunteered to arrange accommodation and hotel reservations and was subsequently asked to take over this task. At that time I still battled with cynicism and for a long time, one particular practitioner had been the victim of this cynicism. I was unable to see that this was my opportunity to let go of this attachment, especially since I saw it as a humorous attribute of mine. I believed deeply in my mind that I could tell her half jokingly and truthfully anything without insulting or offending her.

I was fortunate enough that another practitioner could clearly, with true and gentle compassion; point out this attachment to me. I finally realised that I had to let go of this attachment. Regrettably, I had no idea how to communicate in any other way, so I just refrained from communication with this practitioner and made every effort to evade her. Being around her made me rather angry, as she also seemed to have some disagreements with me. I also held an attitude that made me believe that I was more capable than her. Put simply, I just saw myself as being superior to her in many ways.

To my utter consternation, this particular practitioner volunteered during the first meeting to help me with all that needed to be done. This troubled me, as I knew perfectly well that I had a problem talking to her. It really wanted nothing to do with her, because I still did not know how to address her differently than with my usual cynicism. I was fully aware that I totally lacked the compassion and tolerance of a practitioner whenever I was around her. I wondered if I should just quit this task and volunteer for something else, such as media arrangements or the decoration. Maybe I should just let her get on with the accommodation arrangements by herself. During a peaceful meditative hour I decided to stick out this challenge.

I believed that there must be some reason why we two had to work so closely together, which later turned out to be true. This practitioner and I had turned into a really great team during the past weeks. We most likely are, with respect to our attachments and outlooks, quite different. Yet, if both of us cultivate diligently we certainly will become more and more alike. We accomplished much and kept in constant contact. Our communication environment had turned around completely and thanks to her I made great strides forward.

This was my opportunity to learn that it was not up to me to expose all her attachments, although they always glared me in the eye. I had to stop being her mentor in this. I needed to see that her attachments were shown to me to strengthen my compassion and tolerance towards her. Furthermore, this was Master’s way, and I thank him from the deepest recesses of my heart for this opportunity, to help me, because of this practitioner, to discover my attachments and the loopholes my enemies could take advantage of.

We first looked for a large complex that was cheap. We knew that many practitioners from the former East block, who really were short of funds, would come. We called all available prospects. I called the barrack administration and spend a whole day to talk to a number of military leaders. I was pleasantly surprised to find these high ranking and powerful people very pleasant to talk to.

Even though none of them was of great help, this experience helped me greatly to let go of my timidity to talk to high-level people. I always believed that I wasn’t very good with verbal communication, especially when it came to talking over the phone. I found that I often couldn’t string together meaningful sentences. Yet, during these phone calls I was completely in charge of myself and found everyone most helpful, especially once I found, in a polite and truthful manner, the right approach towards each of my phone partners.

I contacted almost a hundred schools and asked if we could use their gym as sleeping quarters. We thought of using sleeping bags for this occasion. When I had the right attitude, the school secretaries responded very politely, were very helpful and apologised for not being able to help. At those times when I was exhausted and thus unable to concentrate, I found that, though I spoke the same sentences as before, those secretaries were impolite and under much time constraint. I sincerely hope that my omissions did not close the opportunity for these people to think positively of Dafa. I hope that they would not position themselves on the wrong side because of me. Once I recognised this, I proceeded forwards very carefully and honestly during my conversations with others.

I had searched for accommodation for a long time, but during my last conversation with the school personnel I found some gyms that could be rented and used for sleeping accommodation. I smiled in my heart and wondered at Master’s deep wisdom. It was obvious to me that if I had been immediately successful I would not have had to make so many phone calls. I would not have had the chance to talk to so many people..

This point of view and understanding grew proportionally in our new exercise group in Burgenland. I always felt a strong connection with the women who came to learn the exercises. It was as if only their faces that seemed familiar, or the character of the women that made me feel comfortable as soon as I met them, although we were total strangers. These experiences clearly demonstrated to me that there are people in my area who are waiting to form a connection with me. They are perhaps of my world, who are waiting patiently for my improvement in attainment levels and my enlightenment. I’m a cultivator whose third eye is closed, but these fuzzy recognition encouraged me to strive forward diligently in my cultivation.

My husband became rather busy with his work. Therefore, I took over his obligations. It took me only a little time to learn two graphic computer programs. This helped greatly to enhance my artistic ideas. I sat for hours in front of the computer to design banners, posters, pamphlets, invitations and leaflets.

I remember that I was rather impatient doing such work in the past. I grew restless after two hours in front of the computer. My eyes began to burn, I lost interest and became frustrated. But nothing like this happened to me this time. I sat for days in front of the computer, consulted with others, improved and changed without resentment work that it had taken me hours to accomplish. Then I had to send them to the mailing list and wait for feedback. The final weeks went by rather fast. I felt that I really had accomplished something for Dafa. But I then realised that this thought wasn’t correct.

I’m a professional singer and singing teacher. I completed my studies about a year ago and spent most of my time at home. I hadn’t found a real job, with the exception of a few hours a week here and there. It hadn’t worked out to get a job at a TV or radio station for one or another reason. I still did not understand clearly why I had not made and strides towards getting a job. I saw myself sliding into a feeling of been worthless. It is important that we have a job in this society. Not being busy leaves the wrong impression.

It was wonderful to be busy and feeling useful, to have something to do and to accomplish something. It was a change in my daily life style, which usually meant singing lessons, band auditions, performances, school, yard work and housework. I felt I needed to spend the days as if I was at a job, and the solutions and successes invigorated me.

I was oblivious that I had neglected my singing exercises, my techniques and my profession, being so busy with the conference preparation. I neglected to sing a tone for weeks which showed when I rehearsed with my quartet. I felt that I was really bad. Although I enjoyed myself tremendously with the conference preparations, I was overcome with anger once I realised how much this had affected my singing ability.

I thought about the things that could have gone wrong. How could I have totally forget about my profession? Firstly I reasoned that I had to organise my time better, and that there was room for everything. I had to recognise my profession as my job that also had to be a priority, although I don’t have any immediate successes and economic gains. I reasoned that my positive feelings during my work for Dafa were in reality the attachment of cheerfulness. Therefore, I encountered problems now and it took me this long to recognise them. For the first time I understood the meaning of cheerfulness. I had brooded over this word for quite some time. Did it entail that I could no longer be cheerful and happy, or was it only my cynicism to be eliminated?

This experience was another step forward, as it showed me that there are always two sides to everything. To be overly happy, particularly unhappy or mad are only personal views. I noticed rather quickly that negative habits, such as anger, fear and viciousness are those that humans have to let go off during their cultivation. When it comes to be overjoyed, I’m at a loss. This experience clearly showed me that I should not become overjoyed either. Such over enjoyment could cover or expose a loophole that could be exploited. My loophole let me completely forget my profession over my happiness and dedication in my Dafa work.

This taught me another lesson. Nothing in the world is really difficult or insurmountable. Once I understood that “every cause had an effect” or everything has two sides, my voice sounded as if I had practised for several hours daily. I suddenly recognised the importance and seriousness of my profession. I no longer held so many thoughts about my profession being a job or something artistic. Now I have to let go of the attachment to fame and wealth and let my music and art find its right place in my life. I now know that I will be fine in my job search.

A few weeks ago I put by mistake my e-mail account out of commission, and this on a day that seemed especially critical. I couldn’t send or receive any e-mails. I was supposed to send an experience sharing report that same day, as well as invitations. Also, the next weekend we were going out of town for my cousin’s wedding. I was totally stressed out. That morning I was more unwell and unhappy that I had been in a long time. I felt such pressure, as if the conference and associated activities depended solely on me. I felt as if I was overburdened. Further more no one could contact me. I was supposed to be dancing cheerfully at a wedding at a time when my mind was clearly somewhere else.

It was as if the roof fell in over me. I became hysterical. During a phone conversation with a fellow practitioner, who was ready to help me with my e-mail problems, I cried my heart out. Shortly after I came to my senses and resolved what needed to be taken care off, though more cumbersomely. My e-mail still did not wish to cooperate, but I was on my way to the wedding. I also could keep contact by phone. I asked myself if it was right or wrong to have broken out in tears. I’m not quite sure yet. However I’m certain that it was I who was in the wrong at all times.

Three days later another practitioner brought home the answer to this lesson. She told me over the phone that we could do no more than our given abilities allow us. She was much less critical than I was of myself. Generally I don’t forgive myself for any of my mistakes, watch myself critically and reprimand myself for days. Now I can look forwards. The past is the past. I did the best I could. Yes, I made mistakes, but I learned to make allowances for myself. I do have to remember that I can’t go to the extremes with this. I can’t become neglectful or lazy. I know now that there are two sides to everything. Extremes are not good either.

I often wondered how so many practitioners have learned such great wisdom, don’t we cultivate under the same cultivation system. At those times I feel inferior and believed not to have reached the same level on my cultivation path. One practitioner is able, during discussions or when questions come up to cite, with the correct location, words that Master has said. It may sound funny to you, but I often thought during discussions, where do they find this and how can they make the connection to my situation in such a short time?

On the one hand, I thought that I had to read more what addresses my particular situation. On the other hand, I rarely notice things, or my head is empty. It often is difficult for me to connect some of the thoughts with my daily life. But, I know full well that when it is time for me to understand a principle, I will understand, and when it is time to raise my level, it will be raised. I found this to be true!

This conference presented itself to me as the perfect opportunity to let go of attachments and rise to new levels. Master was there to help me find solutions during different situations and tests, and I kept on a straight path. Master’s words are not always on the tip of my tongue, but I understand all the principles at a given level, whenever my level improved, deep in my heart and soul. I feel at all times within the Fa, even during painful tests. Even if I didn’t do that well at all times, I was able to recognise what I had done wrong and was not able to put as well as I wished into practice. This was the first step. Once one let’s go of an attachment one needs to realise that next time it will be much easier.

This was the first time we held an activity of such magnitude in Austria. It was rather exacting and challenged us greatly. But it gave us the golden opportunity to tell people about the persecution. More and more people heard about it and are deeply disturbed by it. I hope we did not miss a single chance to save human beings and to raise our level.

I want to take the opportunity to thank all of you and tell you from deep within my heart that I deeply value this opportunity to be with all my fellow practitioners.

I hope that all of you who have come on this occasion from distant lands that all my efforts allowed you to have a pleasant time. I also hope that my report has helped you on your cultivation path and contributed to the success of this conference. Every practitioner walks his own path. During this conference we can learn from each other. I want to thank you for listening to me and for being here. I greatly value this time with you and the chances I was given to cultivate, no matter how difficult at times.

I also want to take this opportunity to thank our esteemed Master for guiding me during this period in my life.

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