When I knew the Fahui was coming up and practitioners could submit their sharing's, my initial thought was that I didn’t want to write one as I knew I had not done as well as I could have this past year and I had other things to do. However, this is no excuse, and all the more reason to write a sharing in order to make up for any sad losses caused to sentient beings because of my shortcomings.
Last September I moved out from home to live in student accommodation for a one year course. There were about 90 people where I lived and 5 students per flat. Before moving I was a bit nervous – but this nervousness was a manifestation of the attachment of comfort as I was worried about my environment changing into a difficult one. But what should I fear? When I had visited that area before, it had felt very predestined. I should think about others first and validate the Fa well! As Master says in the 2007 lecture:
“Right now, one important thing that needs to be attended to is the matter of how to save more sentient beings, and it is something Dafa disciples are to accomplish during their current process of achieving Consummation. This is Dafa disciples' mission, a duty that cannot be shirked, something that they must do and must complete.”
With this thought I started my course, but later on in the year I regret that sometimes I forgot the fundamental reason of my being there, to save sentient beings.
What I found hard especially during Fresher’s week was that it seemed everyone got drunk and went out to nightclubs a lot. I also happened to be in the “Party Flat” where everyone from other flats came up to drink and smoke before partying. For the first few weeks, as I was not too far from home I often went home over the weekends. During this period the most precious time was sharing with local practitioners over the weekend and speaking with fellow practitioners through Internet speaking software. I found it hard to go out with other students as most were just out to drink. As the environment in nightclubs can be contaminating, after sharing I realised, if in a good cultivation state it is good to endure this environment – set an example for others and spread the goodness of Dafa. Also, from my understanding it is conforming to society for my age group. If on the other hand you are in a not so good state of cultivation this environment could be very dangerous as it is very easy to be dragged down.
Sometimes I found it hard to share with my friends and flatmates in their conversations. At that time I read Master’s words from Teaching the Fa at a New York Meeting, March 22, 1997 and felt encouraged by these words:
“Cultivation is full of hardship. ...when your realm is raised, your gong is raised, everything else of yours improves accordingly, and your way of thinking also changes, you’ll find that extremely few people have anything in common to talk about with you. In this sense you’ll feel very lonely, and will feel a kind of hardship inside you. Then along with this comes a state: You’ll seem to have less to say and less contact with everyday people, even with your family members – it’s sure to be this way. But this is all normal. We just do our best to balance the relationship.”
Then, after I talked to a fellow practitioner, I again realised I was mistaken with my attitude. I used to have thoughts such as, my flatmates are gossiping again… it’s so hard to mix in! Actually, it was only because I still had this element of qing inside of me, and it was me who deep down still liked to gossip; often what they talked about merely pointed out my attachments.
I had been used to being around smokers at my previous college, and all my flatmates and others often smoked cigarettes and when they had some, marijuana in the kitchen of our flat. I even had the selfish thought that I didn’t mind them smoking as I felt it didn’t really affect me. Of course, I shouldn’t tell them what to do, or have a pursuit for them to stop, but at least I could think of others more, as smoking must have made them accrue so much unnecessary karma. Once when I had this righteous thought even my friend decided not to have a cigarette at that time. I knew this was because of Master and the Fa: just like in Master says in Zhuan Falun"..propriety and righteousness harmonize everything."
Since moving to my accommodation I started doing the exercises in the gardens five minutes up the road from me most mornings before I went to college. My flatmates knew that I practise Falun Gong from almost the very start. At the start of term we had to fold lots of lotus flowers for the Truro Carnival so I talked to them about the persecution through folding flowers. Although they understood the truth, this meant they knew more about the persecution before they knew much about the practice, as none of them had ever heard of Falun Gong. A bit later in the term I started a Student Union and went to the Fresher’s Fayre to promote Dafa. However, after this I still had not fully let go of shyness, as when my flatmates and others asked me to show them the exercises in front of them so they could watch I suddenly felt quite shy and couldn’t do them, and deeply regretted this afterwards. I had shown people in several different environments before but why not now? Master gave me another chance when they asked on another occasion but I still did not do it. Then again another one of my flatmates asked me and this time I showed them some moves but not yet a full exercise. Why didn’t I let people know about the great way of the cosmos? Probably everyone can see the selfish thoughts and that the answer is clear. If I had followed the Fa and thought of them first before myself I could have shown them. I hope there are still more chances in the future.
During my first few weeks, I also found excuses for not Sending Forth Righteous Thoughts, especially during the set times. Sometimes the kitchen was full of my flatmates and friends chatting, but when it became the time for global SFRT, everyone disappeared back to their flat or went somewhere else, or other times my flatmates would subconsciously remind me “oh, it’s five to ten”. I knew Master did not want me to slack off.
The biggest Hong Fa we have had this year in our area was when practitioners came down to participate in our local festival. When I was back home for the Easter holidays, I happened to meet one of the organisers in town, who is a friend of ours as well, then within the next three days I bumped into him twice again, so we knew this was time to start organising the event. I emailed the parade organiser and he was very happy for Falun Gong to participate, and we found a good place to accommodate large groups, and provisionally booked the rooms.
The only starting point was to let practitioners know via the email group, and actually neither my mother or I could drum or dance. Veteran practitioners compassionately pointed us in the right direction, and after a couple of trips up to London we had a better idea of what parades are like, and that we could not rely just on the email as a means of communication.
It did really feel like the people watching were everyone’s lost relatives from the past, and practitioners came to save their friends and relatives. For sure the festival was created for this parade. It was not until later, though, that I realised the significance of this event. There was a Hong Fa after the parade and people’s reactions when they remember the parade was so good.A group environment is forming at the exercise site, even the cold and wet summer this year is not putting them off.
Just like the scorching suns in the piece “Lady of the moon” from the Divine Performing Arts show, that need to be struck down to save the villagers, I need to strike down my attachments in order to better help Master save sentient beings, and use every opportunity to clarify the truth.
These are my limited understandings so far.
Thank you all for your patience, thank you Master!
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