Correcting One's Mindset during Coordination Work
(Clearwisdom.net) Greetings Master, greetings fellow practitioners:
I would like to share my cultivation experience in doing coordinating work. Before I started practicing, I always tried to avoid taking any positions of responsibility. In school I was an ordinary student. In my adult life, I had never been active in any social events. If somebody asked me to take charge of something, I would try to avoid it at first, and if I could not get out of it, I would do it very passively so that people would think that I was not the right person to be in charge and they would look for someone else. I was like that because I thought that taking charge of something is too troublesome, and I didn't want to deal with the interactions between people and relationships, so I always to tried to avoid it.
Since I began Fa study in September 1998, because I had not yet had any contact with other practitioners in Germany, I did not encounter any interpersonal troubles. Also, since it was the period of personal cultivation, there were not that many projects going on, like there are now. In April 1999, I met some practitioners and started work translating Dafa books, but my life was still quiet. It remained like that until the end of 2000. Then I saw my name listed as a coordinator of a translation meeting on the conference attendees' list. Since then I have become a coordinator for Dafa work.
Initially I didn't think much about the coordinator's job. I just thought that Master said we should do well, no matter what we do, so I tried my best to learn how to do this work well. Gradually, I realized that there is a big difference between being a coordinator and a practitioner who just simply gets involved in a Dafa project. A coordinator not only has to think about how to improve as an individual, but also needs to consider how to make the group do well as a whole body. One also needs to communicate with other people, something that is very difficult for me when we don't agree among ourselves. Whenever I encountered such a problem, I would feel agitated and lose my patience. I often forgot to look inward. I focused on others' problems, not realizing that I was attached to my own opinion.
A few years later a certain practitioner told me that when I first started this coordinator's job, my voice was always cold, and that she didn't even want to call me. It was just my cultivation status at that time. I understood the Fa principle. Master said,
"If everyone is good to one another without conflicts of interests or interference from the human mind, how can your xinxing make progress by your only sitting there? That is impossible. One must truly temper and upgrade oneself through actual practice." (Zhuan Falun, from 2000 translation version)
However, when it is the time to get rid of my attachment, I cannot do well, although I know the Fa principle. For example, for a period I always wanted to live my previously untroubled life and tried to avoid conflicts. My cold attitude and tone was a manifestation of resistance in my heart and mind. Sometimes I would think, "The thing I want to do the most is to finish the tasks assigned to me quietly by myself and then read the Fa and do the exercises. Isn't this also cultivation?" But I also realized that I was just trying to avoid trouble; if everybody thinks this way, who would do the coordinating work? I realized that my long-term notion of trying to avoid trouble is a big obstacle, which kept me from doing this coordinating work well.
After being a coordinator for a while it seemed that other practitioners thought I was doing well in this work. They gave me more work to coordinate. I always accepted, although I felt tired. I thought that I was responsible, but gradually I developed pride! I liked to listen to compliments. When I heard criticism I would feel uncomfortable and sometimes would argue back instead of looking inward. Gradually, I built a wall around myself to protect myself without even realizing it.
Something happened, which made me think deeply. A practitioner asked me for a favor, so I called another practitioner for certain information. That practitioner said, "They even reported such a trivial thing to you?" At first I felt nothing, but later I realized there was something wrong with me. How come other practitioners thought I was above them? Master has said that we should look inward, no matter what happens. I cannot blame others for having such a wrong thought. I looked inward and found that I had the notion that I am above other practitioners. Sometimes I was quite impatient with other practitioners. When I gave suggestions to others, my tone was like giving them orders. Moreover, I sometimes thought that I was quite experienced, that I can do something that they cannot that I can understand certain things faster than they. When practitioners asked me for help I felt good about myself and felt that I must be very important for them to rely on me.
I was quite surprised that behind my attachment to recognition lay the desire to pursue fame. I had previously thought that I treated recognition lightly because prior to cultivation I never wanted to have recognition. However, it was easy to relinquish the attachment to recognition when there was none. Once I became "famous" it became difficult to let go of it. Although I didn't pursue fame, recognition, praise, or acknowledgement in common society, isn't the desire for acknowledgement still an attachment of pursuit for a practitioner?
I also started thinking of certain things. For example, is it really being responsible to the Fa if I tried to be in charge of a lot of things? Since I am in charge of many things, other practitioners would develop an attachment of reliance on me. Would it not it be better if I could encourage other practitioners to do more Dafa work and contribute to a good environment for greater numbers of practitioners to become more actively involved in doing Dafa work?
In "Teaching the Fa at the Washington, D.C. Fa Conference," Master said,
"Each Dafa disciple is taking his own path, and each Dafa disciple needs to have the opportunity to take his own path."
I realized that it is a good thing to take on additional responsibility to save more sentient beings, but what Master wants is not only to save those who are not cultivating, but also to make opportunities for each practitioner to take his own path. After I became aware of this, when practitioners asked me for help or to do a certain project, I would think, "Who else is also able to do this?" instead of, "Am I able to do this?" If I had experience in that area, I would share it with other practitioners. I would also do some assisting work, such as collecting information or translating material to help other practitioners to do the task well.
Considering the short-term result it might be better for me to do that kind of work since I am more experienced. But looking at the long-term results, more practitioners will get trained and grow and advance, although they might not be able to do it well the first time. Isn't this better than merely one practitioner doing well? The most important thing is that Master wants every practitioner to mature and grow in their cultivation efforts; not just a few capable ones.
In many articles after the year 2001, Master has talked about "being responsible to the Fa." I came to the realization that my previous understanding of "being responsible to the Fa" was actually based on selfish pride. But the real meaning of "being responsible to the Fa" is to consider what Master wants and how to harmoniously perfect what Master wants, and not look at things from my own viewpoint.
Thank you everyone.
January 3, 2006