I moved to London about five years ago from Jersey in the Channel Islands where I am originally from. I came to London to do a music project and it was my intention to become a professional musician. I had obtained the Fa prior to coming to London but as I became involved with the local practitioners more opportunities arose for me to step forward. When I came to London I did not have a particularly good job and it was far from where I lived in West London. It took me an hour and half to get there on the other side of London. It was just something for me to do while I was doing music non-professionally and to pay the rent.
During the second year of me working in the bank I started to distribute the Epoch Times around the city at Monument in the financial district in the morning. This was just after the nine commentaries came out which I also helped to hand out around London underground stations. I would have some papers left over from my weekly round and would take them to work and put them on the table near the breakout area. During this time I found it hard to explain to some people at work about the paper. There would be a few that were a little interested but not many. Looking back now I can see this was partly due to my cultivation state and I was not clear and confident about what the paper is about and also not clear or confident in myself.
It was soon after this I realized that the music project I was doing was not something that should hold me back on having a “proper career”, so I handed my notice in. It was around this time when a couple of practitioners mentioned to me that there was a Fa conference in New York and would I like to come. Well I had no problems in taking holidays as I did at my old job and that was because I didn’t have a job. So I said yes and it was something I looked forward to. The trip was only about a month away.
The day came when we were to travel to New York. We queued to check in and when we got to he desk I handed over my passport. The lady behind the desk scanned it and quickly gave it back to me and said, “I’m sorry Sir but you will not be travelling to America with this passport”. When I asked why, she said that it did not have digital bar code on it and that meant it was not issued by an English Embassy in the UK. I knew this was true as in 2002 when I was travelling in Nepal my hotel room got broken into and I had my passport stolen and had to get one issued in Nepal so I could get home. I asked how I could get around this and the lady at the desk pointed to another desk. I went over and explained my situation and a lady explained that she could put me on another flight tomorrow at 16:00 hours. She also advised me that I needed to get an emergency passport from the passport Office in Central London before this. So I booked the flight and by this time I was determined that I was going to make every effort to get on that plane. It was not going to be easy as I would have to travel across London twice, wait for a passport to be made then check in an hour before the flight at 4pm. For a moment I felt that Master was looking over me and testing me. I thought about the future and thought if I do not go to New York then there is a reason for me not going and maybe that I was not a good enough person to be there. As soon as I had that thought I thought, 'I am not going to waver and I am going to do everything possible to make this work.' Once I had strengthened this righteous thought it was a matter of just doing what needed to be done. It was now too late to go to the passport office so the best thing to do was go home and Study the Fa and get up early on the morning.
So to cut a long story short I just made it and I was happy to be sitting on the plane. So, I had the opportunity to listen to Master Lecture on the Fa which was special. During the next day we did some truth clarification work in Manhattan and then in the evening we did group Fa study. After the Fa study we went home and I saw some things through my real eye. I was calm and just watching and it was very beautiful. I don’t think this type of experience can be put into words, but after about five minutes I thought of Master's scripture in Essentials for further advancement, An Explicit Reminder: “Only when you have completed the entire course of cultivation can you achieve Consummation. So when your Primordial Spirit goes out, no matter how wonderful you find those places, you must return.”
Thinking this I realized that the thought of never wanting this experience to stop was one that was forming an attachment so I quickly let it go and after about 15 minutes the scenes I saw faded away. It seemed to me that after my moment of self-doubt a couple of days before Master was giving me a moment to give me confidences.
After coming back from the trip I managed to step up my practice by increasing Fa Study and doing the exercises more. Due to my travelling tribulation I had spent all the money I had, having to pay extra for another flight and the emergency passport left me with exactly no money. But a few days after I got back I got a phone call from a job agency saying I had got a job and asking if I wanted to take it. So, I took it and this is the job I still have now two and half years on. One of the benefits of this job was that where I worked was right by the weekly London Fa study site. Something I thank Master for arranging.
I was a creative person before I obtained the Fa and had the energy to paint pictures, write music and perform. I remember reading Master's Lecture on Fine Art and everything seemed to be put in the right place in my mind. As when I went to Art college I was led to try approaches which I now know were not the correct path.
About a year ago I shared my understanding of music to the co-ordinator of the Celestial Marching band and he suggested that I should join. So, I did and went out and bought a trumpet. All my musical experience came from playing string instruments so this was going to be different. There was a practice for two days in Basildon in Essex and I attended. The head of the European Marching was to be there so it would be good to have this initial guidance.
The two days were quite literally a blast. Trying to produce a note out of a trumpet was not as easy as I had first expected. There was a practitioner who had played the trumpet for some time and talked me through her thoughts as she plays. This was of great help and we would practice simple scales together with breaks in between to send forth righteous thoughts and to give my lips a rest. At the end of the day I could hardly feel my lower face though, due to using to much force in the wrong place. It was only later when I could utilize the power of deep abdominal breaths. Day two came and I had to adopted a softer approach and I had the opportunity to have some guidance by the conductor which was a time for me sit back and see how it should be done.
After that weekend about a year went by and I had not been practising as much as I was advised to but still had made some progress. The London co-ordinator then asked if I would come to the practice in Germany I said yes, slightly hesitantly as I was not confident in my ability. I was also hesitant about giving my body measurements to the co-ordinator for the Celestial Marching Band uniforms, which in turn caused a conflict with him. In the end the outfit was ordered and I was going to Germany.
When I got there we got up early on the morning at the Send Fort Righteous Thoughts time, did the exercises then did Fa study, then onto rehearsals. I still had not got over my lack of confidence and feared breaking loose with a wild out of key note so I would only play certain parts of the songs and some of the songs I could not play at all. For some reason I felt lonely which I believe led to a stirring up of emotions.
After the first day I was speaking with the London co-ordinator in our dorm and the fact that I had not spoken to my father in ten years came up. I can’t quite remember how this popped up but obviously it was not a coincidence. So, I was advised that I should speak to your father so you can establish your mighty virtue. At this point I wasn’t really convinced. The next day we had morning practice and I was again suffering from numb lips and decided not to join the group and practice on my own. When we had the morning break I was sitting on my own and one of the girls came over who I was speaking with the day before and said “would you like to sit with us?” so I joined them. During the conversation I mentioned what the London co-ordinator had said to me about establishing mighty virtue. Then one of them asked me, “Why haven’t you spoken to your father in ten years?” and I started to tell them about the last time I met him and we had a very large conflict which confused me more than anything. As I was doing this I was suddenly hit with a strong emotion which left me unable to talk. There was a silence, they were all looking at me. The Russian practitioner said to “ELIMINATE IT!”, so I did and it disappeared. I realized that I had some sort of feeling of self injustice in the fact that I thought I’d had a terrible father. I realized that this is not compassionate and it is Dafa Disciples' duty to save beings. Something had come up when I least expected it and for a moment I felt quite stupid around some people I had only just met, but then the other practitioners shared about their shortcomings and it made me laugh.
Another practitioner shared about their situation in trying to form a relationship with their father who they had not spoken to in long time and how it was not easy. The Russian practitioner also told me about a family feud she had had with her two sisters which resulted in her not speaking to her parents and sisters for a long time. This was before she became a practitioner. When as a practitioner she had made the contact back with her family things were not good and her father had a terminal illness and it was her understanding that their predestined connection with the Fa had been cut, and that going back to this situation it seemed that life was not flourishing. She also went on to to tell me about one time when she had a third eye vision, not something that has happened often, she said. But one time it was quite clear and it was that when she sat down to read the Fa one day she saw her relatives in different dimensions come around to listen to the Fa. She then quoted from Essentials for further advancement - “Having heard the Dao in the morning, one can die in the evening.” It had struck me that I didn’t actually understand the meaning of these words but now I could put it into context. All the beings in the universe are waiting for this opportunity and whatever I do is going to affect them. This required some thought. The practitioner's past away relatives had had the opportunity to hear the Fa and could now be at peace with them selves.
So what was I to do? I decided that I would try to establish contact with my father but this has not been straightforward as I do not have any contact details, he has not replied to my note on his website either, so I have yet to make a breakthrough in this area. Whether it is possible to establish a relationship or not with my father I do not know but at least at this present time I should try to give him an opportunity to understand the truth about Dafa. The realisation of this situation also gave me the opportunity to remove my attachments.
So, I had come to learn the trumpet and ended up learning more about myself on this trip. It can be hard to see something that you really do not want to see in yourself whether it be jealousy, showing off or any desire. But as a practitioner this is a fundamental point in my understanding.
In summary I would like to thank Master and also thank practitioners for their help in my cultivation.
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