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Letting Go of Self-Interest and Saving More Sentient Beings

March 10, 2007 |   By a Falun Gong practitioner in China

(Clearwisdom.net) I am a businessman. Before I started practicing Falun Gong, making money was an extremely important part of my life. In hindsight, thinking only about making money and the enormous hardship that came with it made my life miserable and pitiful. Since I started practicing Falun Gong, I have encountered a lot of hardship to pass the xinxing tests about self-interest, but in the end I always prevailed over them. When I let go of the attachment to money, I experienced what Teacher has taught us—I didn't lose anything and, instead, good things started to happen to me again. I didn't lose any profits in my business. Instead, my business was booming when the market was bad. I have also become very respected in my trade.

During the cultivation process, I often experienced heart-wrenching agony when I was letting go of self-interest. Sometimes when I gained something, I had to make the right decision as a cultivator and let it go. There are often battles between my attachments and the Fa. As I continue to cultivate myself. I progressed from "doing things according to the Fa" to "doing things according to the Fa from the bottom of my heart." At first, I followed the Fa superficially and let go of self-interest, but I kept thinking about the sacrifices I was making. Later on, I became comfortable with letting go of self-interest for altruistic reasons. Sometimes I would even be enveloped with a happy feeling after I let go of self-interest and passed a xinxing test. Over time I have become mature, a state required of a Falun Gong practitioner.

Once I ordered a product at a national merchandise expo. Actually, a company in my area has been manufacturing this product. Because the product has many lines, the sales headquarters asked me to become a distributor of one of its product lines in the area. They told me that the decision had been made and they would find another distributor for the area if I should refuse them. I knew this brand is very popular in the market in China, so I agreed and wired the money to them. After they received the money, they shipped part of my order to me.

But when I started to sell the product, the general manager of another company confronted me in rage. He refused to listen to my explanation and accused me of stealing his business and disrupting the market. He also threatened to send his son after me. I was very calm at the time. I thought: "If I should choose to follow everyday people's standard, I could just tell you, 'This is the decision from their headquarters. Why are you taking it out on me?' That would end the argument right away. But there is no such a thing as a coincidence for cultivators." When I searched inward, I identified a hidden feeling of satisfaction, excitement and a mentality of showing-off when I was asked to become a distributor for the product in the area. Then I thought of Teacher's words. Teacher said:

"Sometimes, you think that something should be yours, and others also tell you that it is yours. Actually, it is not. You may believe that it is yours, but in the end it is not yours. Through this, it can be seen whether you can give it up. If you cannot let it go, it is an attachment." ("Jealousy" in Lecture Seven of Zhuan Falun)

I told this general manager, "Don't worry. I will come up with a good solution that you will be pleased with." I thought: "I will not argue about who is right or who is wrong on this issue. After all, everyday people's reason stems from selfishness. How can I act like an everyday person?" I told my employees, "We will let him have the sole distributorship of this brand." My sales manager complained, "In that case, it will look as though we were wrong. It would be humiliating!" I said, "Our business is becoming increasingly successful. We didn't arrive at where we are because we fought with others or because we are more capable than our competitors. We have become successful because we often think about others and win everyone's respect." I also shared with them the Fa I have learned. Finally all of my employees agreed to let go of the distributorship.

While processing this conflict, I suddenly realized it was exactly the same as the example about fighting over an apartment that Teacher told us about in Zhuan Falun. The leader gave the man in the story an apartment, but someone else took it away from him later. I was made the distributor of a popular product, but someone else wanted to take the distributorship from me. My situation may appear to be different on the surface, but it is essentially the same test about a cultivator's heart. Finally I called that general manager and said, "I will give you the distributorship. But headquarters has not shipped the remaining order that is worth about 10,000 yuan. After I received the remaining order, you may take over after that." Little did I expect his reaction. He said, "Tell them to send the products to me instead and I will pay you the 10,000 yuan." I was surprised by his aggressiveness. On the other hand, I realized that I hadn't completely let go of my attachment to money. I wanted to at least sell the rest of my order to get some profit. However, Teacher did not want me to keep any attachment to money. Teacher wanted me to eliminate my attachment to self-interest completely. So I notified them to come pick up the products. Many people came, including the general manager's son. I told him, "It is because I practice Falun Gong that I am able to let it go. Otherwise, do you think it would be possible for me to make any concession?" I told him the facts about Falun Gong and about how I become a kindhearted businessman. Later on, he agreed to withdraw from the Chinese Communist Party and its affiliated organizations.

After I let go of self-interest, I felt very relaxed. A client told me, "For some reason, I trust you and believe you are a good man. I prefer doing business with you." Another client said, "You do business differently. You always think about other people." I told them, "I was not born a good person. It is Falun Gong that improved me." It follows that it is very easy to clarify the truth to people. For the past few years, I have been clarifying the truth to my customers and employees. I have helped over 1,000 people to sever ties with the Chinese Communist Party.

I believe that Falun Gong practitioners are capable of making their mark wherever they are.