Cultivate Yourself Well and Validate the Fa at Work
(Clearwisdom.net) I'm a young Dafa practitioner, and I have studied the Fa for five years. Looking back, I found myself stumbling along on my path of cultivation regarding work due to insufficient Fa-study and a strong human mentality. By digging out my fundamental attachment, I gradually achieved balance in the relationship between work and cultivation, and I understand more deeply the meaning of Dafa cultivation and the mighty power of the Fa. I'm writing down my latest cultivation experience to share with my fellow practitioners, hoping that we will cultivate diligently together. Please compassionately inform me about anything that's incorrect in this article.
I work in the field of advertising sales. Influenced by the environment in which I work, I was strongly attached to showing off, jealousy, competition, loss and gain, and reputation. Then, when I was 26, I was struck down by a serious disease. It warned me of life's variability and limitations. I started to look for answers to life's many questions, and I eventually started on the path of practicing Falun Dafa.
I was very happy after I learned Dafa, because I had found the fundamental answers to life's questions. I wholeheartedly wanted to cultivate Dafa to return to my true self. However, I still had many attachments. I was very attached to time due to my attachment to Consummation. I also regarded letting go of one's ordinary job as tantamount to letting go of ordinary attachments. I felt that the advertising world was extremely complicated and dirty and that people working in this area had a strong attachment to self, were most deeply lost, and were difficult to save. Deviant ads were part of the reason for society's moral downslide. These ads hurt society, and they even made me feel physically ill after I had seen many of them. With an attachment to sickness karma, I resisted this complicated job from the bottom of my heart. In addition, due to my shallow understanding of Fa-rectification cultivation and my notion about cultivation that one undertook in mountains and forests, I had a strong attachment to remaining upright and avoiding pollution by taking an easy, clean path at work. I didn't want to have much of a workload because I wanted to have more time for truth-clarification. Although I thought of myself as a diligent cultivator who had let go of attachments to reputation and material interest, I was actually using Dafa cultivation to cover up my attachment of selfishness. As a matter of fact, I was walking the path arranged by the old forces.
"...if the many occupations and the many fields seen today were brought here from those distant systems of beings, and Dafa disciples are cultivating in this setting, with Dafa disciples cultivating in different occupations, then isn't it just like rectifying [those systems] with the Fa? Isn't that acknowledging their existence? Isn't that saving them?" ("Teaching the Fa in the City of Los Angeles," in 2006)
Master also said,
"So everything that you do, be it your balancing well your family relationships while you live among ordinary people, balancing well your relationships in society, how you perform at your workplace, how you conduct yourself in society, etc., none of these are things you can just go through the motions on. All of these are part of your cultivation format, and are serious matters." ("Teaching the Fa in Canada, 2006")
I knew that I didn't even do as well as a regular, good person would at my job. I only wanted to use cultivation as an excuse, and I ignored cultivating myself solidly. As a Dafa disciple in the Fa-rectification period, how could I fear complexity or filth? We should manifest the wisdom endowed by Dafa and do well at work. This was clarifying the truth and saving sentient beings. Besides, this was the occupation that I chose and for which I had studied a lot, and people in this area had predestined relationships with me. How could I not try to save them? I went back to work in this field soon after I realized this and understood the relationship between cultivation and work.
Every time I used the Fa to look within and compare myself with the Fa's requirement, I could feel Master's immense compassion and His intention to rid me of human attachments in this complicated environment. First, I found my fears. Then I realized that any kind of fear is actually imaginary and a rigid imposition we put upon ourselves. Nothing will really happen if I have strong righteous thoughts in that specific situation. I have now understood that every thought of a Dafa disciple matters. Once, I suddenly felt unwell at work after I entered the conference room for an internal meeting. Whenever this happened I would always have some candy or a biscuit to relieve the discomfort. An image appeared before my mind: "You can't stand it. Go downstairs and get some candy." But my main consciousness told me clearly that I was a practitioner and that I shouldn't always be controlled by this discomfort.
Master's words immediately came up to my mind,
"When human thinking gains the upper hand, that person heads toward humanness; when divine thinking and a person's righteous thoughts gain the upper hand, he heads toward godhood." ("Teaching the Fa in San Francisco, 2005" in the Lecture Portion)
I thought, "Of course, I should head toward godhood!" The discomfort was instantly relieved. At the meeting I gave many helpful suggestions for work.
To help me improve, Master arranged for other attachments of mine, specifically my desire for self-protection and unwillingness to be criticized, to be exposed and let go of in tests at work, one after another. My boss was a typical advertising person. He had many thinking patterns that looked just like mine before I started to practice Dafa. For example, he was a perfectionist and very aggressive, and he often made me feel oppressed. I understand this kind of person's inner suffering because I was like that before. However, I was still repulsed to have such a boss. I looked inward and found my mentality of being unwilling to suffer. This mentality affected me, and it weakened my righteous thoughts.
"Isn't not wanting to hear criticism an attachment? You want to hear only pleasant things, but how could that be? [Arrangements are made] exactly to have others say unpleasant things and see if you are moved. A god wouldn't pay any heed to what a human being said about him--you can't affect him. He wouldn't in the least try to figure out how what you do relates to him. He pays no attention at all, because you cannot affect him. Gods can control the human mind and lead humans to do certain things, not vice versa. How could human beings possibly affect gods? So if you wish to become a divine being, don't you yourself have to be that way? Don't you have to let go of those attachments? And don't you have to let go of those feelings of yours that can be stirred up by human beings?" ("Teaching the Fa in Canada, 2006")
I realized that I should talk to him with righteous thoughts and rationally so that I could influence him naturally and do well in my job.
Of course, it wasn't easy in the beginning, particularly because my attachment to reputation was still very strong. Once he was very dissatisfied about an advertising copy that I wrote. He criticized me using many harsh words. I knew that he wanted to stir me up so that I would do a better job. I was calm on the surface, but after I went home that day, I could still remember almost every bad word he said to me. Some bad thoughts occurred to me. I even thought that I didn't have to keep that job and that maybe I would resign. However, that thought was gone very soon. It is just like what Master taught us, "One must truly temper and upgrade oneself through actual practice." ("Lecture Four" in Zhuan Falun) I was still reluctant to say much to him two days later over a meal with my former boss. Although I understood the situation from the perspective of the Fa, my attachment had created a knot, a discordance with the cosmic characteristic of "Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance." Consequently, my words carried negative matter. He criticized me once again. I thought, "This couldn't have happened by chance. I really should take a good look inward. If I always carry negative thoughts into conversations without noticing it, I will frustrate others and create a bad energy field. It will affect my job and my truth-clarification. The mentality of competition, showing off, and always defeating others is from the old cosmos. This is truly serious." Nothing happens just by chance. After the meal my boss pointed out my shortcomings for the third time. He looked very serious. I thought, "This isn't me. I must let go of the jealousy and my attachment to self-protection, and better combine my body and my divine part." I was thankful to Master, but I was still grimacing when I said goodbye to him.
I studied the "Fa" more after I got home, and I found my problem: I had developed a feeling of superiority and an attachment to complacency, which made me feel that non-practitioners were not good and that I didn't want to be a part of them. Besides, I was attached to doing things, and I wanted to show off to others that I was different. I immediately adjusted myself when I found those attachments. My interactions with my boss became good again. It is true that I should look within whenever something comes up.
A general staff meeting was held three days later. Over 100 staff members from various departments participated in cheerleading activities to stimulate the passion for work. All my colleagues in the department were on business trips that day except for me and a new colleague. Based on my personality in the past, I should have been very reluctant to do this kind of ordinary thing. My boss also thought that I wouldn't want to participate. Contrary to what was expected, I led the new colleague to participate in the activities with righteous thoughts. Meanwhile, I sent righteous thoughts to eradicate my own bad elements, and I sent out a wish for this meeting be harmonious, lively, and cheerful. The meeting was, indeed, unprecedentedly cheerful. After the meeting all the department supervisors and staff appeared relaxed and harmonious for several days, although they seemed stressed before the meeting due to intense work pressure. Later, I sincerely talked about my positive way of looking at things and why I felt it was a precious opportunity to be part of the team at a meeting with senior supervisors. When a high level supervisor interviewed me, he was very interested in my practicing Falun Gong. He strongly approved of what I said, and the interview had a harmonious and meaningful energy field. Following the interview, a colleague sitting next to me said, "Yes, I feel that you are truly like what you said." This experience convinced me of Master's Fa: "Dafa Disciples' Righteous Thoughts Are Powerful." (Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I easily fell into the trap of just saying the words when clarifying the truth of Dafa. I wanted others to know about Dafa immediately and made people feel as if I was repeating slogans or lecturing them. To overcome this problem, Master often arranged for my boss to remind me, "No lecturing." But sometimes, when I was supposed to speak with a Dafa disciple's righteous thoughts, I was still suppressed by my own attachments to self-protection and self-cultivation. Thus, I couldn't manifest a Dafa disciple's virtuous style. I feared what others might think of me, that others might be jealous of me, that I might be affected by people's negative attitudes, and that others might be frustrated by my words. All these should be let go of bit by bit through actual practice, so that I can do better and help people around me feel the greatness of Dafa.