Initiates from Italy, Switzerland and France gathered in Rome for the National Vegetarian Fair on May 7, Golden Year 3 (2006). This was an event where people of many different animal interest backgrounds such as animal shelters, anti-animal testing groups, vegetarian league of Rome, etc., came together driven by the need to help animals and diminish their suffering. The day before the fair, we went through Rome to distribute Alternative Living flyers in Italian. Not finding many people around we returned to our hotel room, which opened onto a busy street, and decided to meditate during the lunch time.
Suddenly we were jolted out of our meditation by the sound of loud music. Looking out the windows, we saw a parade with thousands of young people. We had wanted to distribute to young people but hadn’t encountered many earlier that morning. So here was our opportunity! We got ready and rushed out of the hotel, flyers in hand.
We were met by a wall of blaring music and a scene of young people dancing, smoking and drinking. We found out that it was a parade for the legalization of marijuana. Not quite sure whether this was the right place to distribute Alternative Living leaflets, we saw that the young people were very friendly. Fighting our preconceived ideas, we remembered what Master had said, that those people who look for drugs or alcohol are the ones who are most desperately seeking God. With this focus, we moved through the busy crowds and distributed many leaflets.
After a night of meditation, we arose in the morning and prepared everything for the Vegetarian Fair. Being among the first ones to arrive in the square, we picked a nice spot under the trees. Thanks to the skillful help of initiates, a beautiful booth was created and was finished just in time to greet the first visitors. Many people stopped to read the large Alternative Living posters. They especially seemed to enjoy our list of ‘elite’ vegetarians!
Some initiates continuously circulated through the fair grounds distributing leaflets, while others answered questions at the booth. Many people stopped, some of them already vegetarian, others wanting to learn more about the vegetarian diet. One Italian would-be-initiate helped us tremendously. She glowed with Master’s grace as she spoke enthusiastically about Master, and the response from her countrypersons was very good.
People asked many questions about the vegetarian diet and where to buy the vegetarian food. Some wanted to know about Master and the Quan Yin Method. We were happy to be able to respond to their questions and to refer them to our newly created Italian Quan Yin website.
An Italian Tai Chi teacher who had just come back from Spain told us that he had received the Alternative Living leaflet in Spanish a week ago. He bought Master’s Buddha chanting tape and asked for some leaflets to hand out to his students. Then we met a lady who had helped with Master’s lecture in Sweden. Another Italian lady asked for some leaflets to put in churches, because she had read the names of Jesus and Saint Francis on the list of vegetarians.
We had good contact with the organizers and participants of the fair and found that most of them had become vegetarian because of their love for animals. People were committed and positive, and the atmosphere was very uplifting.
Thank You, Master, for Your blessing during these days!