When Following a "Great Way without Form," Work and Cultivation Are Not Mutually Exclusive
(Clearwisdom.net) Recently my husband told me he was going to build a factory with some friends. Since I am usually not very busy at work, he asked me to be their accountant. He said the decision has been made and asked me to start work in a couple of days. I haven't had to go to work on a regular schedule since 2000. Following my release from a detention center in 2003, I became a part-time accountant for a company. I only go there when I have to. I do not get paid very much, but do not have too much to worry about, either. I felt this was perfect for me because it allowed me to do more Dafa work. When my husband mentioned this new arrangement to me I felt it to be interference. I thought: why does he still think about setting up a factory at this time? What if we lose money? I heard that the factory location was not a great one, and I still have my job. If I took this position, I would be busy. How would I be able to do work to validate Dafa? How would I have time to offer sentient beings salvation? I found many excuses and did not want to become the accountant for the new factory, but I could not persuade my husband. I was angry, but a part of me knew that I was in the wrong.
Master's lecture Teaching the Fa to Australian Falun Dafa Practitioners mentions that some practitioners said, "I am here to cultivate. I am not here to work." After I read this I thought: how could they be like this? They should still do their work well!
Then Master mentioned that some practitioners thought that work and cultivation are mutually exclusive. I suddenly realized, "Am I not one of those that think work and cultivation are mutually exclusive?" When I thought time was tight and we should not spend time building the factory, isn't that a manifestation of the attachment to time? I also feared losing money. Isn't that an attachment to money and benefits? I heard the business is not big enough and did not want to go. Isn't that an attachment to reputation? I thought it was interference. But Master said,
"Whatever you experience during your cultivation--whether good or bad--is good, for it comes about only because you are cultivating." ("To the Chicago Fa Conference" 2006)
I was surprised to have identified so many attachments through this. My anger was the result of human notions! After I found the underlying reasons for the things that troubled me, my mind became calm and clear. I decided to accept the new situation the way it was.
I had a dream that night: a grade school hired me to be a teacher. There were many forced labor camp inmates (not practitioners) sitting on three or four rows of benches outside of the school. I walked to the school gate and thought, "A grade school teacher is not the prestigious position I wanted!" I did not then understand what that dream meant.
Today, they notified me that it was time for me to go to work. In the morning, I bought document cabinets, tables and chairs for the new office. I took the opportunity to persuade the store's owner to quit the CCP while he assembled the furniture for me. Just when I asked him to quit the CCP, someone arrived and interrupted the conversation. After that person left, just when I did not know how to start again, the owner asked me, "Are you from an insurance company?" I did not understand what he meant. He then said, "Then how do you ensure people's safety?" I then was able to finish what I had spoken of before. The furniture was done, and he happily quit the Young Pioneers. When we went inside to get more furniture, I met his daughter and helped her withdraw from the Youth League. When I went to dismiss the driver who had delivered the furniture to the new factory, I convinced him to withdraw from the Young Pioneers. He left happily. As a matter of fact, all sentient beings are waiting to be offered salvation!
Pondering this morning's experiences, I suddenly understood the hints from my dream: taking the job (grade school teacher) is not the ultimate goal. Offering salvation to sentient beings who have been deceived by the CCP (the inmates outside of the school) is what I should be doing. My attachments to prestige and money made me almost lose this opportunity. I had actually considered work and cultivation to be mutually exclusive. We should know from the standpoint of the Fa that although work is not cultivation, a practitioner's level of cultivation will reflect in our daily work activities and interactions with people. Sometimes I could convince one or two people to quit the CCP during work interactions, and I have also been doing the three things. I thought a tighter work schedule would impact me negatively. This arose from my hidden attachment to comfort. The Fa-rectification has advanced to the current state. Saving people becomes extremely urgent.
Work and cultivation are not mutually exclusive. A Great Way is without form. The path Master arranged for us must be the best. Focusing on our jobs without forgetting our mission and responsibilities as practitioners will make our cultivation paths broader and more righteous.
This is my experience. Please kindly point out anything inappropriate!