Compassion: A Western Practitioner’s Understanding from His Experiences in Tiananmen Square

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I learned a lesson during my experience in Beijing [..]. Overall, our actions of clarifying the truth and breaking through deviated notions are acts of great compassion. Within the larger context of doing so, however, we often fail to embody the genuine compassion that has led us to clarify the truth in the first place.

When I was put in the police van I placed my hand on the driver´s shoulder and said to him from my heart: “you know that Falun Dafa is good, why are you doing these things?“ His silence spoke volumes. I knew he understood. I felt that this was a moment of genuine compassion. In the police station, however, I got caught up in the situation. I was rather hyperactive and not very calm. I bounced from one policeman to the next trying to quickly move their hearts and tell them the truth. My combativeness opened the door for my being beaten. I was in a very argumentative state of mind and was trying to win the conversations. In Zhuan Falun Teacher Li said, “when you take a step back in a conflict, you will find that the seas and the skies boundless and it will certainly be another situation.” At that time I was speaking from within the conflict and while I was trying to be compassionate, I was not conveying this in my tone, mannerism, or patience.

Later I had the opportunity to speak to a female officer who had very bad thoughts about Dafa. I sat and spoke to her for a very long time, but I was still aggressive. Another practitioner joined me and taught me a lesson as well. I could see how his words were coming straight from his heart and were going out through his eyes and through the policewoman’s eyes straight to her hear. She was frozen by his compassion, which left no room for her wicked notions. I was moved to tears. Learning from this, I tried to speak from my heart as well. Teacher Li said “if all a person wants is the well-being of others and if this is without the slightest personal motivation or personal understanding, what he says will move the listener to tears” (Clearheadedness). At one point I was able to expand my heart so that others were within its boundary. I began seeing the change in the policemen’s hearts, and hoped that they have truly understood the solemness of the situation. These efforts moved one policewoman to the point that she returned our Dafa materials to us.

Since I got back, along with my efforts, fellow practitioners have kindly pointed out to me when I am being combative and militant so that I can always maintain “a heart of benevolence and a mind of kindness.” During one interview, for example, I was locked in a battle with the reporter. After this practitioner quietly reminded me, I changed my approach, took a step back, and drew the reporter in, the interview completely changed. I raise this issue because I have noticed that many practitioners, including overseas Chinese, also struggle with this issue. [..]

In speaking with the Tiananmen police, with the media, or with common Chinese people, I have learned that it is not so much what we say but how we say it. [..] we must strive to embody the most genuine compassion of our levels and meet higher requirements of Shan [Compassion].


Leeshai Lemish
December 2001

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