Rectifying the Work Environment
(Clearwisdom.net) I have practiced Falun Dafa for 11 years, and have held down a regular job for ten years. When reviewing past experiences associated with my cultivation and work, I found that these two were inseparable. I know work itself is not cultivation, but my work often reflected my cultivation. This meant that my work behavior and attitude had to be governed by the Fa and the deep desire to save sentient beings. The cultivation methods in this secular environment will be used as a reference by future cultivators in harmonizing the new cosmos. This is to say that work that may seem very ordinary actually has enormous inner meaning and encompasses great responsibilities.
Validating the Fa at Work to Harmonize Dafa
Before the persecution began on July 20, 1999, practitioners from throughout China lived by the principles Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Their words and deeds let people witness the power of Falun Dafa, and validated and harmonized the Fa. People in our local area gave the thumbs up sign whenever Falun Dafa was mentioned. They said that practitioners were all kindhearted and trustworthy. If they became officials they could not be corrupt and were upright, honest, and virtuous. If they were regular folks they would be honest and kindhearted. Practitioners in the cities worked hard, regarded criticism as a way to improve, and were conscientious and meticulous. Practitioners in the rural areas were known for their good deeds. They built or repaired bridges and roads. They took their in-kind tax payments, such as grain, to the government collection office on time. Before Falun Gong was banned, local government officials said that practitioners were good and honest people and didn't make trouble for the government.
After July 20, 1999, we were deprived of our right to practice Falun Gong and lost our cultivation environment. I was among the practitioners who were detained. During my detention, a senior colleague went to the police station to ask for my release. He told the police that there were too few young men like me. Many other colleagues went to the police station to put in a good word for me and even the general manager came to visit me. He was unhappy about my detention.
After I was released, those responsible for my detention and persecution ordered the factory management to withhold my salary. The general manager went through the formalities but told the finance department to pay my wages. He told his superior, "In the entire factory there are only two people (another practitioner and I) who work hard but never argue for any personal gains."
Many years later I am still moved to tears when I recall how my colleagues and the management supported me. My colleagues positioned themselves well with kind deeds at the critical time, despite the slanderous and defamatory propaganda targeting Falun Gong. I believe that their choice came from observing me and witnessing the beauty of Falun Dafa as evidenced by a genuine practitioner. I realized that we must do a good job and not just go through the motions. Doing a good job was not for fame and gain, but to meet the requirements of Dafa's principle of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. Only by doing our work well can we validate and harmonize the Fa. When confronted with facts, lies weaken and disappear into thin air.
Cultivating Diligently and Showing Compassion and Tolerance at Work
When practitioners gathered, the environment became a pure land. Alas, I could not take advantage of this environment very often. I spent more time at work and with non-practitioners. When among non-practitioners, we should not be affected by ordinary people's attachments and seek fame and gain, as we should not drift with the tide. On the contrary, we should step aside and let warped and degenerated ideas and notions bypass us. We should also be governed by pure compassion and tolerance. We should rectify everything that is not righteous. Yes, this is not an easy task. Despite having cultivated for eleven years, I still feel at times that it is too difficult and too hard. Then, after I pass the current test, I find that it was not that hard. If I'm truthful, I have to admit that when it seems to be hard and difficult, I have failed to let go of my attachments.
After July 20, 1999, we lost our cultivation environment. Practitioners could no longer gather and study the Fa and share experiences. I, like many other practitioners, found that we were no longer that diligent. Before the persecution, we were very diligent. We met after work, studied the Fa, and practiced the exercises as a group. We felt we were improving very fast, even in our dreams. I was shocked when I compared what it was like before and after the persecution began. The environment had some effect, but the real reason was that we slacked off and became numb. We became indifferent and uncaring. Yet, the requirements of Dafa for its practitioners remained unchanged. We still had to study the Fa diligently, look inward, eliminate the factors behind the persecution, step out of isolation, share more with fellow practitioners, and read more articles from "Minghui Weekly." Only this could be considered genuine cultivation and allow us to keep up with the pace of Teacher's Fa-rectification.
After the persecution began, I changed jobs several times, because the factory was closed due to the reform that swept the country. In my next job, my boss was a lady in her forties. She was fairly righteous, and she was positive towards Falun Gong after I clarified the truth about the practice and the persecution. She thought that practitioners' moral standards were higher than those of others. I remained in this position because of her positive attitude. Not long after I discovered that this woman had temper tantrums. It was said that more than a dozen employees left their jobs because they were sick of her behavior, suspicions, and constant criticism.
Yes, I agree that working under her was a little like torture. She made a fuss over nothing. During meetings she would talk for one or two hours. She seemed to know if other people were critical of her. I had a headache after each meeting. Later, I heard that our clients had a very bad impression of her, which affected my work. I regretted having accepted the job and wanted to quit. But I decided to stay. I didn't want her to think badly of Falun Dafa. At least the company was a well-known big company and its products enjoyed a good reputation.
After I began working for the company, sales rose. I did not think about it, as my heart was no longer on the job. But I also was not diligent in my Fa study and forgot that I was a practitioner. I was immersed in misery and looking for my superior's shortcomings--a strong attachment. Since her shortcomings were so visible, many people talked about them. Since my complaints multiplied and affected my attitude, she and I had a few misunderstandings that resulted in conflicts.
I had never felt so helpless since the day before I began to practice Falun Gong. I tried to talk to her, to no avail, to solve the problem and reduce tensions. I was more and more puzzled. I thought that I was very tolerant of her mistakes and that someone else would have resigned long ago. I had done everything humanly possible, yet without result. I asked myself, "Why does she refuse to listen and not want to change?" It came to the point that I even was at a loss for words with other colleagues, and my work took a turn for the worse, but I didn't try to overcome these difficulties. This continued until the day she wanted to fire one of the salespersons. I couldn't bear it any longer. I thought that as an outgrowth of her suspicion, she resented the salesperson. I quarreled with her and then reported the issue to the leader in charge of our section. Upon hearing what I said, the leader replied, "You look very much like her." I was really shocked. I had become just like a non-practitioner that I thought was very bad. That is when I looked at my cultivation status.
Sharing with another practitioner I was told, "Other people's behavior is a mirror for us." It hit me like a hammer and I looked within. It finally dawned on me that I was also a very suspicious person since childhood, but I had suppressed that attachment after I began to cultivate. The fundamental root of this attachment had not been eliminated. Didn't I always consider myself to be in the right when confronting her? Fellow practitioners once suggested that I had that attachment, but I did not pay any attention. I also liked to point out other people's shortcomings in public and set strict requirements for others. I considered what I had done was for the good of that practitioner. I was really shocked to find the seriousness of this problem. The root of my problem was that I had not cultivated well and had not looked within for quite some time. What my colleague showed was actually a mirror of my own attachment and a hint to look within. Teacher asked us in his Fa lectures to look at other people's strong points, but I simply couldn't tolerate my colleague's shortcomings.
When I looked at the issue with the Fa truths, my anger toward that colleague instantly disappeared. Instead I found that she really had a lot of strong points and her strong points were actually my weak points. I realized why Teacher had arranged for me to work with her. I stopped thinking about resigning and worked hard. Our problems were all resolved. I talked with that colleague a few times and we cleared up some of our misunderstandings. It was that I misunderstood her reasons for doing what she did. It was the salesmen who used my tender heart to create conflicts between that colleague and me. I felt so ashamed of myself for dealing with things using emotions. I told her that I was sorry, and we were able to help each other. We learned from each other's strong points to offset our shortcomings. She said to me with a smile that when it came to management, she was like a strict father and I was the compassionate mother. We complemented each other. I knew Teacher used her mouth to show me my shortcomings. It is not important if we are fellow practitioners or colleagues, we must all work as one team. As a matter of fact, our being together was not accidental. Everyone had his/her strong and weak points. We have to learn from each other to offset our shortcomings and not compete with each other. Only by doing this can we form one body. We subsequently cooperated very well. She listened to my opinion and tried to use my strong points to offset her shortcomings. I naturally reached the state of compassion and tolerance. I also changed toward fellow practitioners. I could now be compassionate and tolerant.
Since we cooperated well, the sales in our area increased significantly, and we ranked first in the country many times. The upper management was satisfied with what we had achieved. Our area was chosen as one of the units that everyone could trust, and I was selected as one of the outstanding marketing department salesman.
I realized that when one's xinxing reaches the standard of the Fa, people and the environment around us change instantly. Only by studying the Fa diligently and not forgetting our mission of saving sentient beings can we become compassionate. Only by looking at other people's strong points and looking within when encountering problems can we be tolerant. When our xinxing is upgraded, Teacher will give us wisdom and abilities at that particular level. The following proverb makes the point, "When conditions are ripe, success is achieved." Doing work to validate the Fa or working in a non-practitioner's environment are both the same.
Fulfilling the Mission of Saving Sentient Beings at Work
To clarify the truth and save sentient beings is the sacred mission of practitioners. This arises from our true aspiration and from the state of compassion we achieve after assimilating to the Fa. As a matter of fact, when the persecution of Falun Dafa started, I began clarifying the truth after a short period of confusion and depression. My cultivation experiences over the two years before the persecution let me witness the changes in my health. They helped me understand that there was nothing wrong in doing good deeds. I also experienced a lot of supernormal phenomena that Teacher had talked about it in Zhuan Falun, such as feeling the spinning of Falun in my arms when doing the second exercise, "Holding the Wheel in Front of the Head" and finding my body, four limbs, and head were all gone, with only my mind--a trace of awareness--left when doing the fifth exercise. At work I saw two Falun spinning when I was clearheaded. All this told me that everything was real. The propaganda spit out by the wicked Chinese Communist Party's (CCP) television broadcasts were nothing but lies. I couldn't allow people around me to be deceived.
Therefore I spoke of Falun Gong and the benefits I had witnessed to everyone I met at work. I asked them if they would rather believe what was broadcast on television or what a real human like me was telling them. Some of my colleagues said, "You can practice at home. We support you!"
I clarified the truth, and the more I clarified the truth, the more experienced I became. I had plenty to tell when explaining the truth about and persecution of Falun Gong. Over the years, I have lost count of the many people I have clarified the truth to. I have used every opportunity, including when I bumped into someone, when I traveled, or in anything else arranged by Teacher. I have answered questions and clarified the facts about the persecution of Falun Gong to those with predestined relationships. I have asked them to withdraw from the CCP and remember that "Falun Dafa is good." When I see their confused eyes became clear and bright, their grayish skin begin to shine, and their expressions become happy, I know that they have learned the truth.
Of course, given my personal attachments, I also missed a lot of good opportunities, so I always was very upset with myself.
Actually, at this point in our cultivation, most practitioners clarify the truth to people predestined to encounter them. The differences that set them apart were in their degree of diligence and how much they did.
In Searching for a Job We Still Mustn't Forget Our Duty of Saving People
I noticed that some practitioners had difficulties finding a job, and always put themselves in the position of waiting to be chosen. All of these practitioners were honest and hardworking, and would have had no problem doing the job. It is difficult to find someone like our practitioners in today's society. Employers should compete for practitioners since they will be good for business. Then why was it so hard for practitioners to find suitable jobs? Teacher said,
"The majority of our Falun Dafa practitioners (that is, except for those professional practitioners) practice cultivation among everyday people. They therefore cannot avoid leading a normal life in ordinary human society and interacting with society. Everyone has a job and must do it well. " (Zhuan Falun)
The Fa stated it thusly, so where was the problem? I shared with several practitioners and found that they didn't think about finding a job that allowed them to save sentient beings. They were acting just non-practitioners looking for a job to support their families. Since they acted like non-practitioners, they were restricted by the laws and regulations that govern everyday society. Besides, this would be an opportunity for the old forces to persecute us financially. Since these practitioners were behaving like everyday people as far as this issue was concerned, Teacher could not help them.
I experienced the above when looking for a job. When my main consciousness was very strong and I looked for a job that would allow me to save sentient beings, several companies offered a job at the same time. I recall looking for a job in a city where I left my resume at an employment agency. A steel pipe company and a computer company both wanted to hire me. The steel pipe company needed an office director and the computer company wanted to hire management personnel. Both companies needed someone with good computer hardware maintenance skills. I finally chose the steel pipe company, as I would have more opportunities to clarify the truth. I remember that the steel company boss was very happy, while the computer company boss was really disappointed. He called me and asked that I reconsider my decision. Since I couldn't work at two companies at the same time, I had to decline his offer. I regretted it afterwards. I know everyone has a side that understands and knows that practitioners are their only hope for salvation. If practitioners take saving sentient beings as their prime mission, they will find a job quickly and bring blessings to the people there. Later, I had some opportunities to visit the computer company and clarified the truth about Falun Gong and the persecution to them.
Looking for Another Job after Clarifying the Truth at the Steel Pipe Company
Again the same situation happened. Two employers offered me a job at the same time. I had gone into marketing. This allowed me to be involved in many areas. I thought I made the right choice and also did very well. The work was great for clarifying the truth. Then, a practitioner who had contacted me frequently was arrested and revealed my mobile phone number. I used this phone for work and to contact fellow practitioners. Her arrest put me in a very awkward position. The pressure was so great that I could no longer bear it, so I quit. The general manager of the company asked the marketing manager to try to persuade me to stay. One of our clients had told the general manager, "Xiao Zheng's professional dedication is hard to find nowadays." He had a very good impression of me. They thought that I had resigned because of the pay, so they offered me a salary increase. I couldn't tell them the real reason for my resignation, so I said that something had happened at home. When I became sober minded again I very much regretted not negating the old forces' arrangements and persecution with righteous thoughts. There were still a lot of employees in that company to whom I had not yet clarified the truth. I knew that they were disappointed.
I finally understood, after studying the Fa diligently, that if my thoughts were on saving sentient beings, I firmly believed in the path arranged by Teacher, I sent forth powerful righteous while being compassionate toward sentient beings, I stopped evildoers from using non-practitioners to persecute practitioners, and I negated everything of the old forces, that I would be able to do well in the tasks given to me by Teacher. Clearly I took detours at the time and didn't do that well.
After I resigned, I deeply repented for quite some time my decision. Since my thoughts were not righteous I also had financial problems.
I began to look within and compared my previous job search efforts to what I was doing now. Eventually, I discovered that my thinking was different. Was work the only means to support a family, and the only task for a practitioner? If we held such thoughts we might find it difficult even to even support our families. My important mission and responsibility was to validate the Fa and save sentient beings. When I changed my thinking and correctly positioned myself, let go of the attachment, and asked Teacher to make the arrangements for me, I found a job with no problem.
Over the past years I came to understand that we make contact with the people who have predestined relationships with us through work. Work is a method for us to better clarify the truth to those who have a predestined relationships with us. Therefore, when looking for a job at the final stage of the Fa rectification we must not forget a practitioner's important responsibility. We must keep in mind the play's main theme, saving sentient beings. Only when we are clear on this can we play a principle role in the play.
Work and Clarifying the Truth Should Complement Each Other
As a practitioner we must do a good job at work since it is beneficial to validating the Fa and clarifying the truth. However, we must not let doing our work well become an attachment. This could result in another notion, "Since I did not do my work well I might not clarify the truth well." The evil forces will latch onto this and create problems. We could become afraid of not doing our work well. Being afraid is another attachment. Then we could slide into the mentality of accomplishing a task. As I think about it, whenever had this mindset I found it difficult to work well. The more I became attached to it, the more difficult it was for me to work well. When troubles and conflicts occur, we must look within and see if we have done well in clarifying the truth. The problems disappear once we rectify ourselves and clarify the truth compassionately. When we incorporate truth-clarification into our everyday work, the results will certainly be good.
When I had setbacks I looked within until I corrected the relationship between my work and clarifying the truth. I tried to follow the requirements of the Fa, without pursuing a result, in my business dealings. I visited my clients daily, as stipulated by my superiors. I never neglected my duties, despite severe weather conditions. Since I was able to deal with all unexpected incidents in a timely manner, and effectively solve all the post-sale problems, our customers had a good impression of me. Of course I continued doing what a Dafa practitioner is supposed to do--explain the truth about Falun Gong and the persecution.
I was cautious at first when clarifying the truth to those I didn't know well, and told my story only to those I did know well. I didn't have any set methods in my truth clarification efforts and just used what fit the situation. I didn't think truth clarification was difficult. Actually, our association with clients was very boring, though we had to watch out for competition. Therefore, if any sales representative could make a client aware of something new or could give "historic insights" they had not heard about, they were warmly welcomed.
The truth is that one will have a beautiful future after he/she learns the truth about the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), Falun Gong and the persecution, and withdraws from the CCP. Another outcome will be that the lives in the dimension that he or she corresponds with will all be saved. What else is as important for a sentient being? But we need to remember that the outcome depends on whether we have cultivated our minds well and whether we have strong righteous thoughts when we clarify the truth. Actually, every sentient being has a side that understands, and this side has been longing for the truth and waiting to be saved. It is important to remember that the human side will be interfered with by all kinds of notions and the factors of the evil specters. We should ignore their temporary irrational behavior and become even more determined to save them. We need to send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate all bad substance behind them. Before leaving for work I always send forth righteous thoughts to eliminate all the bad substances behind the people I will meet during the day. I want to make sure that they can be saved. I also send forth one thought periodically to "strengthen the resolve of all sentient beings that have a predestined relationship with me and let them treat practitioners kindly!"
As I continued cultivating I gradually began to maintain a state of happiness. Our mindsets affect other people, and many of my clients greeted me with open arms when I went to see them. The compassion of practitioners, the benevolent field, along with an optimistic altitude, tasteful and witty talk, and honesty will affect everyone we meet positively. Some of my colleagues and clients told me that they felt safe and comfortable when they were near me.
When I clarify the truth I like to create a happy atmosphere. A happy atmosphere makes people more willing to listen to the truth. People laugh when I repeat the rhymes and jokes that I recall about the wicked CCP, and those that speak of today's morals, and the atmosphere instantly becomes lively, playing a positive part in clarifying the truth.
I believe that it's not accidental that I am involved in marketing. The training and experience have helped me to enrich my power of expression and improve my observation abilities. I can control the situation and create the needed environment. I am now able to clarify the truth to people of all ages, no matter what their notions, or the degree to which their minds have been poisoned. From a simple chat I can instantly find the most effective way to get my point across to them.
It was a little difficult in the beginning to encourage people to quit the CCP and its subordinate organizations, namely the Youth League and the Young Pioneers. It was easy to clarify the truth, but to persuade people to withdraw from the CCP had its problems. I worried that people would think we were "involved in politics" and they would think that it was "superstition," because we say that Heaven will eliminate the CCP. During the first few months I was unable to help a single person quit the CCP or its youth organizations. I was puzzled and felt it was hopeless for quite some time. I was so discouraged that I didn't read any experience sharings about how practitioners have persuaded people to quit the CCP in the Minghui Weekly. I thought, "Why bother?" since I lacked the aptitude. I thought that if I read those articles, I might feel sad or blame myself for failing in this important task.
When I tried to persuade a client to withdraw from the CCP, I just couldn't get around to the main topic. Eventually the client got impatient and said, "This is too complicated. Why do you have to beat around the bush?" I knew it was Teacher using this person's words to give me a hint. I decided to read some sharing articles on persuading people to quit the CCP and then put them into practice. After a while I found that it wasn't that difficult. Without exception, what non-practitioners are attached to is the fear of death and the hope for safety. Some claimed that they were not afraid of death, but they didn't really mean it. Therefore, I used the fear of death and safety as my point of reference. I based my discussion on the questions, "Why do we need to quit the CCP and its subordinate organizations? Why is it necessary to quit the CCP? How can we quit the CCP?"
There are a lot of sharing articles on this issue, so I will not go further into it. The above questions are basically the questions that non-practitioners ask. When you answer these questions and give them a pseudonym, they agree to quit. Many people have thanked me. When there was not much time, I simply asked them if they had joined the CCP, the Youth League, or the Young Pioneers. Then I told them it was not beneficial to belong to these organizations. I told them that to ensure their safety they should quit these wicked organizations, and I could help them by creating a pseudonym. They often nodded their heads to express their consent. When approaching the subject with atheists, I tell them a true story about other dimensions. Once we overcome this obstacle, it's a lot easier to approach the main subject. As time went by, it became easier for me to persuade people to quit the CCP and its subordinate organizations.
For those to whom I clarified the truth and those who quit the CCP, I fulfilled my mission in saving them. Therefore, they all treated me well. When the regional managing director inspected my work, these clients all praised me. The managing director said that the clients treated me like a member of their families. Given this good relationship with my clients, my sales continued to increase. Due to hard work, bringing hope and a bright future to sentient beings, and clarifying the truth, I won the trust of all my clients. They said that Xiao Zheng from the xyz Company was the most responsible and best salesperson they had ever met. Those who gave me the best recommendations were the ones I had clarified the truth to more thoroughly. I knew this was repayment from the sentient beings.
Looking back over my cultivation path of many years, it was not easy to cultivate in a working environment. One misstep and one would be caught in the trap of fame and gain or become muddle-headed. It is just like Teacher said,
"It was more difficult for a young person to conduct himself or herself well. Maybe you would have found this person usually very good, caring little for fame and self-interest, when he did not have many abilities in ordinary human society. Once he became well-known, fame and profit would easily interfere." (Zhuan Falun)
Many times I had difficulty positioning the relationship between work and cultivation, and work and saving sentient beings correctly. I stopped cultivating, forgot to look within, and got stuck in many work related problems. I didn't look at the problems from the perspective of a practitioner and saving sentient beings.
We are lucky to be under Teacher's compassionate care and to have the Fa as well as help from fellow practitioners. They have allowed us to make it to today. Yes, we have stumbled and fallen many times, but we have come through.
I hope that my experience sharing can play a role in validating the Fa. Regardless, the process of writing this sharing is also a process of cultivation as well as a process of rectifying myself. Some practitioners were able to complete their sharing articles very quickly because they are assimilated to the Fa and want to validate the Fa. Being of pure mind, they were able to finish their articles quickly. It took me more than a month to complete this article. I made changes and had to stop many times before continuing. In looking within, I found that I had to let go of many attachments. Since I had slacked off at times, my cultivation status was not up to par. My mind was not pure, and I still was quite selfish. There was much interference, but I did finish before the deadline. I felt very ashamed. Actually, there is much I still could share, but I will end now. I think as long as my intentions are to validate the Fa instead of validating myself it will be alright.