Experiences In Organising the Edinburgh Cavalcade In Scotland

Shared at the 2006 European Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference

Greetings to Teacher and all Falun Dafa practitioners!

My name is Rosemary and I am from Edinburgh in Scotland. Today I would like to share with you my experience of helping to organise the Edinburgh parade this year and what I learnt.

For the last five years where Falun Dafa practitioners have participated in the Edinburgh Cavalcade, a parade with 3,000 performers that marks the beginning of the Edinburgh International Festival. It is an event that has always attracted tens of thousands of people from all over the world, including many Chinese people. UK practitioners have always considered it a great opportunity to show the beauty and magnificence of Falun Dafa so as to give more people a chance to find out about both the practice and the truth about the brutal and illegal persecution that is taking place, to participate in this event many practitioners travelled to Edinburgh.

The Chinese Consulate in Edinburgh has tried to pressure the Cavalcade organisers to refuse our entry for the last five years. Although the current Organiser has not given in to the Consulate’s demands, we have not been allowed to hand out leaflets with information about the persecution of Falun Gong for the last two years. Also the Edinburgh Chinese Community, which is backed by the Chinese Consulate, has taken part in the Cavalcade this year and last year.

After sharing with Scottish practitioners we realised that we have not sufficiently eliminated the evil in Edinburgh, particularly at the Consulate. Practitioners only occasionally go to the Consulate to send righteous thoughts and do the exercises. I know that I have not taken it seriously enough and have put my focus on other projects. We also need to hold more Falun Gong related activities among the Chinese living in Edinburgh. This has created a loophole for the Chinese Communist Party to influence the Cavalcade organiser.

We realised that it would be a great opportunity to have the European Celestial Marching Band take part in the Cavalcade this year as my understanding is that Teacher mentioned the powerful effect the Marching Band has in eliminating the evil in other dimensions and removing the poison, particularly in Chinese people’s minds.

There was much interference in organising the Marching Band to come. One of my responsibilities was to complete the application for our entry into the Cavalcade. I had done this before, but I had notions that it was too much work, that I was too busy, felt lazy, didn’t want the responsibility, and a feeling of “here we go again”. I didn’t feel a sense of the honour of a Falun Dafa practitioner helping Teacher in the Fa-rectification.

Because some of the Band members needed visas to enter UK, the coordinator for the Band asked another practitioner to ask the Cavalcade organiser if he would write a letter to invite Falun Dafa to take part in the Cavalcade and then on another occasion the organiser was asked to write a letter to confirm that Falun Dafa was taking part in the Cavalcade. The organiser refused that practitioner both of these requests.

I felt relieved that it had been that practitioner who had made the request to the organiser rather than me. I had hoped I would not have to talk to the organiser this year as I felt I had not done a good enough job of clarifying the truth about the persecution to him last year and so my attachment of fear made me anxious about speaking to him again.

However, the organiser phoned me – not the other practitioner - and was unhappy that he had been given these two requests. He said he only wanted to speak to me as I was the contact person on the application form. He also did not understand why practitioners were coming from other countries to take part in a local parade. I knew that the evil was trying to interfere to stop the Celestial Band from taking part. My explanations to him were not sufficient to rid the interference and my righteous thoughts were not strong enough, so as a result he said he was going to ask advice as to whether we could participate in the Cavalcade. I also did not fully see the loophole at that time.

My understanding is that although a coordinator’s attachments and notions can interfere with the arrangements of a project, the coordinator is part of the whole body and so it is the whole body that also needs to have a righteous understanding of the importance of a project to save sentient beings. At that time the whole body including the Celestial Band did not have strong enough righteous thoughts to have the Band perform in Edinburgh.

Scottish practitioners studied the Falun Gong teachings together and shared their understandings. It helped me to have a better understanding of this precious opportunity to invite the Celestial Marching Band to the UK. I also felt more willing from my heart to take my responsibilities more seriously.

A few weeks later I hadn’t heard from the organiser so I phoned him to find out whether he had accepted our application. I felt calm. He said he was still waiting to hear from the police whether our Falun Dafa entry could participate, because we had practitioners coming from Europe who needed visas. He again said this was not the spirit of the Cavalcade, which is a local event.

I suddenly enlightened to what our loophole had been – we had not really looked at this event from the organiser’s point of view or properly conformed to everyday people’s society. I remembered a Scottish practitioner had said that the Cavalcade was a community event, but I hadn’t previously taken this point to be so important. I had not really understood how the organiser viewed the Cavalcade. So he didn’t understand us and was suspicious of us. I knew that the Marching Band was going to perform in London before Edinburgh, so they were on a tour. I told the organiser that and it changed everything. He gave us permission to take part. I was really grateful to Teacher for arranging the Band to perform in London – without which we may have not been allowed to take part in the Cavalcade – and for opening up my wisdom to help carry out my tasks.

This shows me an important lesson – if we want to save sentient beings and show the greatness of Falun Dafa we need to look at things from their perspective, try to understand and conform to their rules and ways of doing things – or they won’t understand or accept us a part of society. I also realise that as a coordinator it is very important to diligently study the Falun Gong teachings and be open to allow our wisdom to flow forth.

I hope that Falun Dafa practitioners can help each other to move forward as one body, do the three things well and save more sentient beings in Fa-rectification.

Thank you Teacher. Thank you everyone.

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