Back in March, while reading one night, an argument started up in my mind. Underlying it all was a wish to learn Mandarin, but on the surface it revolved around a question that I had pondered many times without ever having come to a clear conclusion. It went like this, ‘Shall I just forget the German that I knew quite after living in Germany from 1990-1992 and begin to learn Mandarin, or shall I re-learn the German first and then move on to Mandarin?’…As a side note, it is possible that both thoughts could have been planted there to sidetrack and divert my energies, but that is not the focus of this sharing… So, learning German, at this point, didn’t seem very rational. In fact, it seemed more like moving backwards. So, up until this point I had repeatedly pushed the possibility out of my mind. This time, though, the voice to focus on learning German was so loud I had to give it a clear look from another perspective.
So, this time I took the mindset of Zhang Guolao, about whom Teacher says in Zhuan Falun, “He discovered that going forward is moving backward, so he rode the donkey the other way around.” (Zhuan Falun, pg. 109, 3rd Edition) Also, referring to the manner in which the assistant consciousness can play a role, Teacher says, “You may say it is not good, but when you look back ten days or half a month later, you will say, ‘Wow! It was done so well! How did I do it then?’ These things often take place. Because the Assistant Consciousness does not care about the effect at that moment, it will, nonetheless, have a good effect in the future.” (Zhuan Falun, pg. 352) Using this mindset, I said to myself, ok, though it seems much more rational to just begin learning Mandarin at this point, I’ll follow my instincts and read Zhuan Falun in German and use this as a way to re-learn German, as there must be some greater reason for me to freshen up on this language. With this, the argument in my mind stopped completely, my mind became clear, and the words of the German Zhuan Falun flowed smoothly into my mind.
Monday night, April 22nd, after returning from Vancouver, I finally realized why this had taken place…it was all tied to JZM’s visit to Germany.
Weeks prior to this, I saw the first notices requesting that practitioners go to Germany during JZM’s, now publicly announced, visit. These messages met with resistance in my thoughts. Seeing them as just another of the many messages that I’ve seen which are tagged as urgent, or, very important, and sensing within them the attachments of haste, pursuit, and coated with a demanding nature, I quickly threw them out. An intolerant heart blocked my mind, and I was thus completely unable to see the light regarding the significance of JZM visit to a western country.
Also playing into my thoughts were human sentiments. Rather than embracing an opportunity to use the German language skills that I still have and make the journey to Germany, embarrassment hit me; embarrassed at the level of German language proficiency lost over the past ten years and a fearful of revealing my current level of ability, negative thoughts washed over my mind, such as ‘No, you need more time to practice before you go there,’ or ‘Don’t bother this time, wait until another time,’ or ‘You wouldn’t be able to communicate with people very well anyway.’ Thus, rooted in fear, this attachment created huge loopholes for the old forces to use, further blocking the possibility of thinking more deeply about the situation.
On Saturday, April 13th, while reading the accounts and stories of what was happening during JZM’s visit to Germany I began to realize the seriousness and the preciousness of the opportunity that was being presented to us. To be very brief, with JZM out of the country, he was exposed, the evil forces do not have the same protective powers as they do when he is in Beijing, and, in Germany, great battles in other dimensions were underway. That morning, between reading and doing exercises, I sent out righteous thoughts on the hour, and continued to do so into the afternoon through the now standard Saturday afternoon worldwide times. This marked a major shift in how I spent my time. For months, I had rarely SFRT more than three times per day. Clinging tightly to the German mindset of ‘quality over quantity,’ though, I believed I was taking SFRT “seriously,” but had been completely resistant to committing the time to raise the quantity.
In “Fa-Lecture at the Conference in Florida, U.S.A.,” Teacher says, “What you eliminate from your own mind are ones which have an effect within the expanse of your own body; at the same time, you need to eliminate the external ones, which are directly related to the dimensions you’re in. If you don’t eliminate them, then they not only persecute you and restrain you, but also persecute other students, other Dafa disciples.” (“Fa-Lecture at the Conference in Florida, U.S.A.”) That morning, I realized that the quality and quantity of my SFRT had not been high enough to eliminate the effect the evil was having on me and the dimensions I’m responsible for. As a result, I would often drift in and out of a good cultivation state, in and out of a clear mind, often being ‘restrained.’ Or, in other words, without realizing it, I was passively enduring, and allowing myself, and others, to be persecuted.
Now, during the week of JZM’s visit, while continuing to read the accounts from Germany, I was shocked to see two things…one, that the actual number of practitioners that went to Germany was only 400, and, two, what this seemingly small group was doing, SFRT every hour, 24 hours a day. Up until then, I had seen many e-mails telling people to SFRT every hour, all daylong. Unable to understand their level, and, again, an intolerant heart being unable to see past perceived mixtures of haste and pursuit, their attempts to awaken and inspire failed, and bounced, literally, right into the trashcan.
By increasing the quantity of SFRT, the quality steadily improved.
Gradually, then, throughout that week, I increased my efforts to SFRT from six, eight, and then up to ten time a day for 15 minutes each. Amazingly, I found it to be quite feasible, though it took focused effort. Each day the strength and clarity of the Thoughts improved, as did the ease and quickness of breaking out of poor states, and the sensitivity to recognize the distinction between the two.
Then, late in the week, I began to see messages about going to Chinese embassies and consulates to SFRT all weekend long while JZM was still outside of China. Unable to see the possibility in my mind to go to an embassy, I disregarded the messages, and again, straight to the trashcan they went.
Friday afternoon, after being very diligent earlier in the day, I drifted into a less than ideal state of mind, became complacent, and wandered around in a fog. Then, Saturday morning, April 20th, a practitioner called to let me know that some Seattle practitioners were going up to the Chinese embassy in Vancouver. Instantly, the trance was broken, and immediately I enlightened to the opportunity…’I could go to Vancouver,’ and, ‘I should go to Vancouver.’ With the restraint lifted, a clear and righteous thought had broken through. Before that moment, I was unable to think, “I could go to Vancouver,” it didn’t exist, it was not allowed to exist. Teacher explains in the “Fa-Lecture at the Conference in Florida, U.S.A.,” “Then think about it: could the human society, and everything that we can see, exist by chance? Even each Dafa disciple’s every move, every action, every word, and even the questions you ponder, none of it is that simple. In the future you’ll see that everything was very carefully arranged. But it’s not me who arranged this, it’s the old forces.” (“Fa-Lecture at the Conference in Florida, U.S.A.”)
At this point I was faced with a decision, fulfill a commitment to go to Olympia, WA to help with a hongfa activity and work on other projects for the weekend, or, drop everything and spend my weekend in front of the Chinese embassy. Let me share my thinking at this point…
Last summer in DC I began to understand the significance of the Chinese embassies around the world. On one level, according to my understanding, they are like the tentacles of an evil serpent, and act as channels for the evil to flow through. Here in North America, when you step into a Chinese embassy, you are, in effect, stepping onto Chinese soil. So, though we are outside of mainland, China extends into our regions of the world directly through its embassies and consulates. These places thus become, in essence, the front lines for battles of the evil and righteous forces overseas. Having practitioners place themselves in front of these locations has the effect of “Suffocating the Evil,” and, SFRT there is eliminating the evil head-on, face to face, and where it is most concentrated. My experiences of SFRT in front of the Chinese embassy in Washington DC confirmed this understanding, as the intensity of the evil, the degree of pain and difficulty of SFRT is incomparable anywhere else overseas. Along these lines, in the North America Tour lecture, Teacher explains, “When you go to Chinese consulates to hold appeals, it seems that the consulates are very afraid. In reality, it is the evil elements that are afraid.” (North America Lecture Tour, pg. 35) And, as the Clearwisdom editors shared their understanding, “It is particularly powerful if the location chosen for sending forth righteous thoughts is near where the evil gathers.”
But why this weekend? What was so important, urgent, and serious? I found a notion had been inhibiting higher thinking. I had taken the understanding that the Fa-rectification would come at the same time as the end of the persecution, and thus, JZM, would be kept alive until that time. Teacher, though, hints at another possibility…
“It’s just that right now the old forces think that Dafa disciples have not yet been completely tempered and become mature, and need to be tempered further, and they think that they still need to keep up the evil. Of course, the old evil forces want to do this, but I don’t recognize these things one bit. It’s only before my Fa-rectification arrives that they can act as they do. It it were otherwise, when the Fa rectifies the human world it would be peaceful–there wouldn’t have been this evil drama, people would all be studying the Fa, humankind’s morality would be rising, and when the force of Fa-rectification came it would still be peaceful.” (“Fa-Lecture at the Conference in Florida, U.S.A.”)
I began to understand this Fa to say that it is possible to eliminate the head evil and have the persecution end before the force of Fa-rectification reaches the human realm, for these were only old force arrangements. This was an eye-opening realization. Thus, with this scenario, there could be a peaceful period of time without the persecution whereby the world’s people could come to know Dafa untainted and uninhibited by the persecution.
Realizing this was also realizing a level of complacency that I had been carrying regarding SFRT and towards the persecution. In fact, it is possible for us to be attached to the persecution…and, if enough of us have these notions, the old forces will have loopholes they can use to justify their onslaught. So now, these words by Teacher made much more sense, “So this is something extremely critical, extremely important. Then if every student is able to do that, I can tell you, with five minutes of sending forth righteous thoughts together, the evil in the Three Realms will never exist again–that’s how important it is.” (“Fa-Lecture at the Conference in Florida, U.S.A.”)
So I came to recognize that with JZM out of the country, the evil had put itself in a very vulnerable position. Away from Beijing, where the evil protective force is greatest, he was, essentially, a sitting duck, waiting to be hung and dried. We had been given the opportunity to completely eliminate the evil supporting him before he made it back! In the North America Tour, Teacher says, “If you send forth righteous thoughts in close proximity to the head of the evil, the evil won’t be able to supply enough support and protection…” (North America Lecture Tour, pg. 35) I then realized that everything that I was working on, any projects, etc, anything was secondary to eliminating the evil supporting JZM right at this time, while he was vulnerable and exposed, and that this was an opportunity I had to embrace. Ultimately, the more practitioners in front of the embassies, the stronger the energy field, the stronger the SFRT, and the more difficult it would be for the old forces to protect JZM…if great enough, everything would be changed. So I went…I dropped everything and went…nothing was more important.
Arriving in Vancouver, the clarity of purpose of the others there validated my understanding. Their eyes showed determination, seriousness, the sparkle of optimism with the realization of a precious opportunity, as well as a hint of sadness with the realization that not all the practitioners “got it.”
So, at the embassy, every hour SFRT…so much pain, so challenging. The thoughts became purer and clearer. If the mind wandered just a bit, you were ‘beaten’ with pain… During one of the first rounds of SFRT there, as waves of chills and energy ran through my body, I cried my way through…an understanding of the historical significance had hit me.
On Sunday morning at the embassy a Minghui article was passed around and verbally translated which helped to shed light on what had just happened. In it, a practitioner explained what they had seen in other dimensions. To paraphrase, unable to feed more energy to JZM because of an impenetrable shield that had been placed around him by high level Gods, the old forces had turned their disruptive energies towards practitioners, doing anything possible to block their understanding, muddle their heads, or create dissension; anything to stop them from going to embassies to SFRT that weekend with JZM away from Beijing.
It then became all too crystal clear. The old forces had truly been manipulating my thoughts and blocking my mind so that I, and others, would not understand sooner. I also realized, with a bit of guilt, that a lack of firmness and confidence in the understandings that I had come to, were loopholes the old forces had used to block the possibility of effectively relaying this understanding to others.
Upon returning to Tacoma on Monday morning, I was hit by a level of sadness, as I realized that as a whole, we had missed the opportunity… JZM had made it back, and the persecution continued. That day, in an article on Clearwisdom, a practitioner described seeing great Buddhas in the sky playing chess, and the chess pieces were practitioners. Throughout this whole process, and especially now, the chess game was becoming clearer…
Monday night, April 22nd, I read an e-mail from a practitioner in DC who stated how regretful he was now that he did not go to Germany, that work could always be made up, but not this opportunity. So he was going to be at the embassy for the whole weekend. Before reading that e-mail, I had never had the feeling that going to Germany was the right thing for me to do. His e-mail, though, tied it all together…Teacher had given me the hint about going to Germany back in March with the issue of reading in German; but only now did I get it. He was pointing to Germany and JZM’s visit.
Later that night, attempting to read Zhuan Falun in German, the words were empty, and my thoughts wandered. I put it down and began reading an English version of Zhuan Falun again. Now this was the right thing to do. Teacher has his arrangements, and gives us hints and clues… this one I had missed…the old forces had played chess with my mind, used the available loopholes, and blocked the path to awakening.