Balancing My Job and Cultivation Well in the Fa-rectification Period
Greetings, revered Master. Greetings, fellow practitioners.
My seven years of cultivation have generated a strong conviction in me: as long as one puts Dafa first, all other things will go smoothly. "Cultivation depends on one's own efforts, while transformation of gong is done by one's master." (Zhuan Falun)
I knew from Fa study that the theory of evolution is wrong, but even though I had done evolution research for over a decade, I still couldn't prove that the theory of evolution was wrong. I became more and more indifferent to my job. Prior to arriving in the US in 1998, I had done research in evolution for seven years. Many of my colleagues had their papers published in top world research journals such as Nature and Science. Although I tried my best, I had never published one paper in those journals. My advisor often had a good idea and let me do the research. But the results of my research frequently did not meet expectations and couldn't get published in those top journals. My boss could only feel sorry for my bad luck. That is true. How can a Dafa practitioner validate the theory of evolution? I understood that Master was safeguarding me, so that I wouldn't incur karma. My boss told me in early 2006 that I could only stay there until the end of March. I thought to myself: "Now that I haven't proved that the theory of evolution is wrong, even though I have tried for more than ten years, I really can't do research here any longer." The theory of evolution was something the evil Chinese Communist Party (CCP) applied to humankind. It destroyed human moral values, made people disbelieve in gods, and set obstacles for salvation of sentient beings. I was made aware that a career in evolution research wouldn't exist in the future. Losing this job was a good opportunity to change careers.
Giving up evolution research meant that what I had done before was all for nothing. It was very difficult to find a job without related work experience, not to mention that I had never searched for a job before. Nevertheless, I decided that, even if I had no food, I wouldn't work in evolution research anymore. Consequently I never applied for another job related to the theory of evolution. Although I applied for many jobs as time went by, I had no reply by the middle of March. But I was determined that I absolutely wouldn't work with evolution research. Master had seen my mind and provided an opportunity. At the end of March, a friend told me that the lab he worked for was looking for someone to perform surgery on animals. My major was in zoology, although I had no medical background. I thought I would like to give it a try and applied for the job. When the boss interviewed me, he clearly pointed out that what I had done in China was not something related to animal surgery, but, rather, it entailed taking animal tissue for molecular studies. However, he still decided to hire me and even offered me a high position and high salary.
I hesitated at the time, since the job involved the issue of killing lives. I read all of the lectures Master taught on the issue of killing. I thought that there must be a deeper reason for having been offered the job. A Dafa disciple should have a job so that we have a stable income to ensure our work of validating Dafa. The Dafa project I was involved with was short-handed and we were under intense pressure. I needed to put all my efforts into it. My husband's income is not stable. If I refused this job that practically fell into my lap, both of us would then be faced with having to look for a job. It would mean a distraction from offering salvation to sentient beings. Although I couldn't figure out the reason Master arranged this job for me, looking at the total picture, I decided to accept it. Only 20 days had elapsed since the end of March when I lost my previous job until I started my new one. I was simply transferred to another lab at the same university, so my personal information was sent directly to the other department.
The new job initially bewildered me. The task I was assigned should have been finished by the end of June but was delayed because of the person who worked on it before I did. That person had been fired and had left a messy situation behind. There was not even a progress record. The boss assigned a specific person to teach me microscopic surgical procedures. I even couldn't recognize the names of the basic surgical tools or products. They taught me in English, which made the information even harder for me to learn. I diligently read related books and asked for instructions from others. Yet, my progress was still slow. The job was completely unrelated to what I had done before. When the company came in June to inspect the results, I couldn't present the results they wanted, since two months on this new job was too short for me to have learned all I needed to become proficient. The pressure was consequently on my supervisor, because the boss was absent at the time. The supervisor didn't know the specifics related to the experiment and cared only about the results. He scolded me almost every day and was quite mean. It seemed that it was entirely my fault the task couldn't be finished on time.
I had grown up in a praise-filled environment. I had never encountered such a situation, had never endured such insults. I thought it must a way me to make up part of my personal cultivation I had missed, because I began cultivation in Dafa after July 20, 1999 [after the persecution began]. I stepped directly into the Fa-rectification cultivation period from the beginning and hadn't gone through personal cultivation.
Master taught us in "To the Chicago Fa Conference,"
"Whatever you experience during your cultivation--whether good or bad--is good, for it comes about only because you are cultivating. A cultivator cannot achieve Consummation when laden with human thoughts, laden with karmic debts, or laden with attachments."
I knew this Fa, but still needed time to truly achieve that status. I endured the supervisor's insults and kept explaining things to him. It turned out that the supervisor gave the presentation.
Three months later, my boss had a talk with me. He gave me two choices. First, he said that he was fairly satisfied with my work attitude, but thought I had poor writing skills. He hoped I could stay, but he would need to make adjustments for my position and would pay me only two-thirds of my original salary. A second choice was that I could leave and find another job, and he would be OK with that, too. What should I decide? A lowered position and lowered salary, in addition to being scolded? Deep down I was reluctant to stay. After all, wanting positive recognition was a strong attachment in my life. However, could I bring that attachment with me to Heaven? Wasn't it an opportunity to let the attachment go? Since I had no experience with this new job and hadn't done the job well, I hadn't even clarified the truth to any of my coworkers. Furthermore, spending a lot of time looking for another job would certainly influence my Fa validating work and efforts to offer sentient beings salvation. The whole body of practitioners would actually suffer a loss. Although I had no previous experience with this type of work, since Master had already arranged this path for me, I would certainly pass this test. I thus chose to stay.
Once I focused my mind on the job, everything became smooth. I found a local practitioner who performed surgical work and spoke with him about my circumstances. He was happy to help me. He set aside two nights to teach me the basics of surgical procedures and some additional basic skills. I learned the basic things from practice. My boss also took time twice to teach me the nerve repair skills and venous duct procedures belonging to microscopic surgical procedures. Since the practitioner had already helped me, I had some sense of what the boss taught me. Very soon I started a formal experiment--microsurgical nerve repair.
This January, several surgeons arrived from a Shanghai Hospital for training in our lab. The boss asked me to provide them training on animals. But the subjects for training were decided a mere two days prior to the Shanghai visitors' arrival. I had not even learned those things myself. I went to the animal center for help. A professor helped me and prepared related materials for me. He gave me a rough course on structure. Having these basics, I quickly prepared the training contents. When I demonstrated the procedures on a venous duct in white mice, I punctured the neck vein. So many people were staring at me. What would I do if the demonstration failed? I was not flustered and silently asked Master for help. After a while, the duct was successfully induced and I had not ruined the experiment
I was responsible for providing training and translation during the visitors' stay. Although I was very tired, it gave me an opportunity to clarify the truth to those people from Shanghai and from my workplace. My boss also completely changed his impression of me. I sincerely thanked Master for His compassion. Everything was so carefully arranged.
There was a problem with nerve repair that hadn't been resolved for a long time--the animals would bite their wounds after surgery, which would interrupt the experiment and provided no results. Because of that, I had to work overtime on weekends. I was exhausted. It also interfered with Fa-validating work. A practitioner said, "Those little animals have a little predestined relationship with you; how come you didn't tell them, 'Falun Dafa is good?' Master said,
'...in Fa-rectification, regardless of whether you're an animal, plant, or any kind of thing, I just look at your attitude toward Dafa. For those who are positive toward Dafa, I can resolve everything. The most common scenario is that I have it return to wherever it came from after it assimilates. I can resolve the issue.' ("Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students")"
How could I have forgotten this? Since then, when I inspect their surgical wounds every day, I recite "Falun Dafa is good" to them. The animals don't bite their wounds any more. The results are good.
I received a favorable job evaluation at the end of this March. The boss praised me, saying I had good skills and had solved surgical difficulties that had never before been resolved in the lab. How could they know that it was the power of Dafa? Otherwise, how could a person without any medical background do microsurgical nerve repair? I finally balanced doing the job of an everyday person and doing Dafa work well. Thank you, Master, for giving me this opportunity.
I would like to share another experience of how a Dafa disciple can change his/her circumstances. The supervisor I previously mentioned initially scolded me almost daily, and his words were quite mean. He also made many unreasonable demands on me. For example, he required me to keep a precise and to-the-minute time record of my activities. Then he scolded me, saying that I had no ability, while he simply sat there doing nothing, not earning his keep! Even when people were on vacation in other departments that linked with ours and I couldn't finish the job the same day because of that, he still criticized me. Furthermore, when he discovered that the practitioner was teaching me surgical skills in the lab, he insisted that the practitioner leave. He seemed to vent all his anger on me because of the job delay, which was actually the fault of the person who had worked there before me. I was then very disappointed and couldn't achieve the state of a practitioner's forbearance. When I explained things to him, I felt a little anger in me. Eventually, however, these things no longer moved me. I understood that a practitioner would be able to overcome this and would not argue with anyone! When the supervisor scolded another woman colleague in the lab, she felt unfairly treated and always argued with him. They once fought with each other in front of the boss. It became clear to me that those people who had previously held my position all left because of the supervisor's insults. He knew little about the actual operation and only knew how to write a paper. As time passed by, he came to recognize that I was different from other people. I didn't fight with him and even introduced him to the NTDTV Spectacular and the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. In addition, my job performance showed that my professional level wasn't low at all. My previous university training resolved surgical difficulties that hadn't been solved before. He was suddenly polite to me. He seemed to have become another person. When I clarified truth to him, he became interested in Dafa. Now he is reading Falun Gong, the introductory text to Falun Gong practice.
I know that I still have a lot of human thoughts that I need to get rid of. I also have lots of attachments I might not be aware of that I haven't let go of yet. I shall make good use of time, do well the three things Master has asked us to do, and walk well on the path Master arranged for me.
Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!