During this Fa-Rectification period, I have regularly appealed at the Chinese Consulate in my home city of Manchester. However, in late November 2002, I realised that I had not fully played my role in appealing at the Consulate. I wanted to be there more than just once a week. Even though I had commitments to my family, I found that I could be there during the Consulate business hours of 9am until midday, Monday to Friday.
The appeal began by following the template laid down at other consulate and embassy appeals: Send forth righteous thoughts, practise the exercises, display banners and hand out leaflets to those who showed interest. But I soon encountered considerable interference, which was shared with other practitioners, and I became increasingly aware that the appeal of one individual practitioner at the Manchester Consulate had very different circumstances from other appeals, such as the one at the London Embassy. The Falun Gong display was situated just 16 paces across the road from the entrance to the Consulate and it was generally close to the display area that any interaction took place. I had reservations about approaching people on the Consulate side of the road in case the Consulate members took exception and reported it to the police as a form of harassment.
I became increasingly aware that whilst I was sending forth righteous thoughts and practising the exercises, many people were entering and leaving the Consulate without being given the chance to position themselves, particularly the precious Chinese people. This was only fleetingly observed at first, as the traditional way of appealing that takes place at other embassies was assumed correct and I followed it.
Earlier, I had a desire to be able to sit in double lotus in front of the Consulate, due to a sense of responsibility to be seen to do things correctly. Through some effort, I sat in double lotus position for a short 15 minutes every day for several days. Then something rather unusual happened: my left leg became so tender that to sit in single lotus was very painful and after repeated efforts it became impossible to sit at all. My leg had to be rested for at least 6 weeks to recover and the pain was most evident when trying to sit. I had to send forth righteous thoughts in a car outside the Consulate.
Examining and observing the ongoing situation and taking into account my sudden inability to sit at all, the hints were most positive. I became increasingly aware of the people exiting the Consulate. It felt wrong to let them vanish from sight without approaching them, just so that I could send forth righteous thoughts or practise the exercises. After due consideration, I decided to stop practising the exercises at the consulate.
Why such slow and leisurely steps? Hurry up and tell them. Master's words had been coming to mind. It was now a case of waiting for people to emerge from the Consulate entrance. They could either turn left or right. In order to allow them to clear the Consulate entrance by a couple of yards so as not to be to conspicuous to the Consulate cameras, I had to do mini-sprints to catch them up on the Consulate side of the road. Hurry up and tell them took on a real meaning for me and leisurely steps became a thing of the past. The traffic can be quite busy at times and timing when to leave the starting blocks in order to arrive at the side of an unsuspecting and often slightly startled Chinese person takes a certain measure of politeness and confidence. The boot of the car would be opened so that I could sit and rest in between my mini-sprints. Also sending forth righteous thoughts would be done in jieyin with my eyes open
The exchanges I have had with people have been many and varied. One time I had to deal with an irate Chinese gentleman who shouted at the top of his voice you are committing a crime against China as a lady apologetically pulled him away. He kept ranting all the way down the road.
There has never been any argument or bad manners from me, except on one occasion. Recently when sitting on the back of the car on a very hot day, a car was driven so close to me that I waved my hand to suggest that the heat of the radiator could be felt on my face. This caused the lady driver to refuse accepting a leaflet. Later, I asked the lady why she didnt want the leaflet. She replied, You were rude to me. This caused me to appreciate more fully that even a wave of the hand, which seemed at the time an inoffensive gesture, can exclude others. Looking at this wave of the hand more closely, I realised that the car radiator was not the real cause; it was because the lady had parked her car interfering with part of the poster display. I found that I had been thinking that those people who do not park in front of the poster display are good considerate people, whilst I classed those who did park there as not so good. This is hardly a cultivators state. Its an example of good and evil contained in one thought. I was taken aback to discover this lapse in my thinking and I realized how high and pure the standard must be when offering the worlds people an opportunity to position themselves.
On another occasion a Chinese man aged about 30 took a leaflet, sneered and violently threw the leaflet to the ground. I told him, That was not very nice. This, of course, was wrong. He should have been treated with Compassion and wished good luck in kind words. He returned to the Consulate some days later and was offered an apology and good wishes.
On one occasion, one of the Consulate staff who I was on speaking terms with came rushing across the road, just as I was talking with another Chinese Gentleman. Wide-eyed he offered the gentleman a book saying, This is the truth. It was a book slandering Falun Gong. I had already been given this book by someone who had visited the Consulate. The staff member somehow innocently thought that it may have some effect on me and was surprised to discover that I already knew about the book; he was taken aback when I politely told him that the book contained only lies. Turning away sharply, he stepped off the footpath in haste and would have been hit by a passing car, had he not heard our warning call. Overall, the response by the Chinese people has been reasonably good and the exchanges have been many and varied. Several have taken photographs of me and the display and some students have said they will show them to their classmates when they return home to China. Others have shouted across the road: Keep it up, well done! Some have told me they dont believe the Chinese government one bit. Most are surprised to see the display and on occasion get quite excited about it.
Many good mornings are said and I often give directions to various Consulate visitors on how to find the easiest way to local motorways, as people travel long distances to visit the consulate and many get lost in the process of finding it. The Consulate refuses to allow people to use the toilet and again this gives me the opportunity to validate the truth while directing them to relieve their anxiety. Telephone numbers are provided for taxis along with directions to bus services and the local photo booth, as many need photographs for their visa applications. Directions to the local post office are supplied and a book of 1st class stamps is handy for use by taxi drivers and visitors to the Consulate. I am relieved to mention that on all of these occasions, no sprinting is required. Some local passers by stop to talk and some are very intimate in their exchanges. Being an elderly cultivator who is all alone, I pose no threat, except to the evil.
One morning outside the Consulate, I suddenly became aware of the enormous magnitude of this persecution and at the same time I completely refused to acknowledge this persecution. All is well by order of the Great Fa which holds Dominion over all. I realised that I needed to have a more thorough knowledge of the latest events in the persecution of Dafa that are taking place. Chinese people often look upon a lone westerner as being far removed from the events in China and as being somehow deluded. To mix my own personal experiences with knowledge of past and current events, and to appreciate the manner and innocence of my approach, is most vital as we can see from the exchanges I have talked about here.
Because my appeal opposite the Consulate has lasted a long time, the Chinese community all recognise me now. When delivering materials in Chinatown, the overall response is that Falun Gong is good. This may not be conveyed verbally, but no unhealthy comments have been voiced for several years now. In fact, warm and humorous welcomes are generally the case as Im sure other practitioners who help me will verify.
My perception at present is that I should be blending with the immediate community at all possible levels even more than I have done before, as well as with my family members. I should be among people and demonstrate a Dafa disciples goodness and good humour. I need to be well-grounded and rational so that I am not seen as a strange or odd person. Then I can assist in laying the path for future beings. Recently I gave a short talk at the funeral service of a relative. Our youngest son, whos 35 years old, told me later that my words almost made him cry. As he told me this in the presence of his mother, he burst into tears covering his face with his hands. Our son wept because he saw what was missing in his own heart and mind, and he thought that I, his father, could be a greater beacon of light to himself and the whole family. That is certainly what the Great Fa asks from Fa-Rectification Period Dafa Disciples.
I do hope my contribution here today has carried some depth and meaning As a young man I noticed how simplicity would often be mistaken for stupidity and it saddened me. The simple things done well to my mind are a prerequisite for the more profound to be revealed. What great immense good fortune has befallen us all.
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