Greetings to benevolent Teacher,
Greetings to fellow practitioners,
It is a great honour to be here with so many other Falun Dafa practitioners. Ten years have past since Falun Dafa was introduced to this country and a lot of things have happened since then. Today I am truly grateful to have this opportunity to strengthen the one body so as to finally complete the tasks set out long ago.
In September of 2004 Falun Dafa practitioners from all over the world started to gather in Manhattan to carry out large activities to clarify the true facts about Falun Dafa and the persecution to the people of New York.
My husband and I had the chance to stay in Manhattan for two months to participate in these activities. A lot of different projects have been running, from anti-torture exhibitions on the streets, to showing movies, visiting corporations, working with media and the holding a Falun Dafa art exhibition. I would like to share my experiences on working with the Truthfulness Compassion Forbearance International Fine Art Exhibition.
Before travelling to Manhattan, I saw reports on the art exhibition on the Internet. I remember when I first saw the collection of paintings I really wished to able to see the paintings in real life.
When I arrived in Manhattan the art exhibition had already been shown at the National Arts Club for a couple of weeks. By request of media and others, and in spite of threats against the Club, the show was again displayed for another two weeks. The president of the club was very supportive and proud of having the exhibition in his renowned and prestigious art club and he believed that nothing should suppress the freedom of expression through art.
Before the opening reception of the exhibit we worked on inviting a lot of people. We delivered invitations to art galleries, corporation offices, museums, etc. Many buildings have high security and it is hard to gain entrance, but when we told the security guards that we were going to deliver an invitation to an art exhibit, most of the time they would let us in. Then we had a chance to clarify the facts to the corporation managers.
On the first day of the exhibition I went there to learn how to explain the meanings and techniques used in the paintings. The show consisted of about twenty artworks including sculptures and photographs. The first thing I thought when I entered the room was – “This is how art should be!” In my life I haven´t been very interested in art. When I was a little girl and went to art museums with my family I always became tired and wanted to go home. The paintings in this exhibit, however, instead of consuming energy, they were sending out energy to the viewers. One could feel that the artists only wanted to give, wanting nothing in return. Viewing these paintings from the perspective of a Falun Gong practitioner viewing these paintings, I was truly encouraged and I could suddenly see things in a new light.
Among the first visitors there was a Spanish speaking lady and two Spanish speaking men. A practitioner from Canada introduced them to the paintings, one by one, explaining the artists´ techniques, thoughts behind the works and at the same time he told them about Falun Dafa and the persecution. Since the two men didn´t understand so much English, the woman translated what the practitioner said. The result was that she was actually explaining the truth with her own voice, and in the end she was very moved, having tears in her eyes.
The practitioner who later has worked a lot with the exhibit has shared with us how he has experienced such remarkable changes in people visiting the exhibits. Coming from all walks of life and with all kinds of notions, they seem to completely change after viewing the paintings. It is like their karma is dissolving allowing their true nature to blossom like flowers.
When visitors entered the exhibition room, we would ask them if they would like to be introduced to the paintings. Sometimes they said yes and sometimes they said no. Many just wanted to read the explanations written on the small cards beside the artworks. However, since the practitioners knew how precious it was for them to listen to the explanations, they sometimes just placed themselves beside the visitors and started to talk about the artworks as if chatting, and oftentimes it resulted in the practitioners guiding them through the whole show.
Many visitors were very touched. Some said they hadn´t realised until then how serious the persecution of Falun Gong is. Some came to understand more about Falun Dafa and the beauty of cultivation. One time I explained a photograph to a woman, which showed a girl on Tiananmen Square, holding a banner in which I could read the characters “Fa Zheng” or “Fa Rectifies”. When talking to her I said that my understanding is that the Fa, that is, the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance rectifies the human heart. When hearing these words, the womans eyes welled with tears and it seemed it had awoken something inside of her.
Some of the paintings showed practitioners been subjected to torture and to talk about them in a way that can keep the listener attentive without feeling really sad, is not always very easy. But when we talked about the beauty of holding true to the principles of the Fa and how the practitioners, faced with brutality, still holds firmly to Compassion, Truth and Endurance and the fact that they don´t even want to give up on letting those persecutors know the truth about Falun Dafa, people seemed encouraged.
The paintings are great tools in clarifying the facts. For example, in the painting with the title “Uncompromising Courage” we could clarify the facts about the propaganda issued by all media outlets in China so as to slander Falun Gong and the staged self-immolation. In the painting “Homeless” we could explain what the 610-office* is *The 610 office is an agency specifically created to persecute Falun Gong, with absolute power over each level of administration in the Party and all other political and judiciary systems. In the painting “In Harmony” we could explain cultivation and what it means for a practitioner to assimilate to the principles of the universe.
The atmosphere in the exhibition room was the whole time very serene, solemn and compassionate.
When leaving Manhattan for Sweden, my husband and I carried three boxes with copies of the paintings printed on canvas. Soon after we got home, Swedish practitioners formed a group to start working on the exhibition in Sweden. Three days ago, we had a successful opening reception.
We have experienced how people really love these paintings. People who see them say out loud how beautiful they think they are. Some don´t seem to be willing to let go of them and have taken photos as a way to remember them and so that they can keep looking at them in the future. In delivering flyers, reception cards and posters, people are so happy, as though they have received a precious gift, which they indeed have. For someone just to look at a picture of these paintings can have a very positive effect on his or her being. The paintings speak the clearest language, directly communicating with peoples hearts.
It is also a great opportunity to reach media and certain groups of people who are difficult to be reached in other ways. Even if a person might not show up at the exhibit, he or she could still be saved by our visit or by the invitation materials.
I hope that Europe will have many art exhibitions and that we can cooperate and help each other across the boarders. I think that this Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference is a great opportunity to strengthen the European art exhibition team.
I would like to conclude with something Master said in explaining the Fa in San Francisco this year;
“If upon encountering trying circumstances your thinking can be truly righteous, then, when faced with the evils persecution and when faced with interference, just one sentence of yours fortified with steadfast righteous thoughts can instantly make the evil disintegrate (applause), and it will make those who are being used by the evil turn and flee, it will make the evils persecution of you dissolve, and it will make the evils interfering with you disappear without a trace. One thought born of righteous faith is all it takes.”
Let´s do well what we should do, and successfully complete our missions during this period of time.
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