Learning from the Fa in Marketing and Sales
Greetings, Master. Greetings, my fellow practitioners.
I am greatly honored to report to Master and share with you. I have a lot to share in ten years of cultivation. Today I will focus on my experience as a marketing and salesperson for our media.
It has been more than one year that I have been doing media advertising. Many things are blurred when I recall events of the past year, but in the process, every improvement in my xinxing is unforgettable. I have come to realize Master's arrangements for my cultivation path and Master's compassion and enlightenment during all steps of eliminating attachments. I have gone from not intending to do marketing to reluctantly giving it a try; from days full of boundless despair to being persistent and finding the first client; from the attachment of being excited to sign an ad contract to the despair after losing clients; from seeing other practitioners do well and feeling personally incompetent to the time when I begin doing well and having all kinds of attachments exposed. Almost every day I was going through the process of painful elimination of attachments, fighting between giving up and being persistent, struggling back and forth, until finally becoming stable.
I still remember, at the beginning of doing sales, a veteran sales practitioner talked to me alone for almost two hours. She said a lot, but what stuck with me most was: you have to be persistent. After that talk, I attended an important training seminar by a professor in sales and marketing. I thought that maybe this would be useful for finding a job in the future. As I sat there, I felt so much pressure that I could not sit with my back straight. I realized this was my karma and evil factors that would not let me do the right thing.
After the training session, I started calling potential clients. I did not expect that this was the beginning of my career as a sales and marketing person. During my ten years of cultivation practice, this year has been the most difficult but also the most fruitful. It seems that the first nine years of cultivation was to pave the road for the last year of sales and marketing. During the calling process, I was hung up on, scolded, threatened, and scorned. Almost every day I was cultivating my xinxing. From a human-level point of view, I was having bad luck. But if evaluated from Master's Fa, these are really good opportunities for cultivation. However, at the beginning, I did not enlighten to this point and felt very miserable. I did not know what righteous thoughts were and could not see any hope. All I could do was to call potential customers and wander around every day. When I was asked, "What media are you from?" it seemed my tongue was tied and I could not articulate the three Chinese characters for the Epoch Times, due to the attachment of fear. Every time I thought of giving up, a voice told me, "be persistent."
At that time, I enjoyed only one thing: memorizing and reciting the Fa. When I read Zhuan Falun, every word, every sentence was different from what I read previously. Master was teaching me how to be a salesperson. Master mentioned in Zhuan Falun: "Cultivation is up to you, gong is up to the master." I thought, I could be counted as a veteran practitioner; at least I should have some gong, right? But why did Master not give me gong? Master also said:
"Abilities only come out when a person decides that he truly wants to cultivate, he can't make them the goal of his cultivation." (Zhuan Falun)
I realized that this was the testing phase. It was very difficult, and I achieved nothing at the human level, but this was to see if I would give up or stay on the cultivation path Master arranged for me. Every time I really wanted to give up, I said to myself: "Just persevere for one more day" or "Finish calling this phone list" or "Finish sweeping this street block." Master said:
"...in the Fa-rectification all beings choose their own path".("A Suggestion" from Essentials for Further Advancement II)
I enlightened to the understanding that every time I removed the thought of giving up, I actually chose to cultivate and follow Master's arrangement. Because it is cultivation, then I should endure. Maybe I had more karma than others in this aspect, so I had to endure more. Other practitioners doing sales could easily sign advertising contracts even though they had just started. I could not. One time someone signed the contract and paid with a check, but the person later canceled the check. Nine months later, after I had endured enough, and as a result of my reciting the Fa, and with the help of other practitioners, things began to change. I got more and more contracts and I became more and more confident.
Just as things began to get better, Master arranged for me to get rid of my attachment of pursuing self-interest. I was editing a special page and realized that it would be good for advertisement contracts. I thought I would do it myself. I quickly found that I could not do it, even though I worked very hard. I thought that I would ask other practitioners to simply work with me on this project, when, in reality, I needed their help to get it accomplished. I knew I was not right, but it was still hard to give up control. Master said:
"He gains more, he harms other people more, he gets things he shouldn't get, and he'll care a lot about his reputation and profit, and the result is that he loses virtue."
"Maybe your life originally didn't have something in it, but then out in the world you get that thing, which originally belonged to somebody else, and now you owe him." (Zhuan Falun )
What I did was actually against the Fa and a result of not believing in Master. I looked inward and found in myself the notion formed in human society that the more self-interest one gains, the better. That notion stopped my righteous thoughts. Even though I knew I was not right, I still did it. Master said:
"How can the uncultivated side restrain your main thoughts or the side that has already attained the Fa?" ("Expounding on the Fa" from Essentials For Further Advancement)
I sat down to send righteous thoughts and made a plea to Master: "Master, your disciple wants to follow your path, not the old forces' arrangements that seek to control me using my human notions and attachments." I asked Master to take away those impure notions. Every time I sent righteous thoughts like these, it was really painful for my body and mind. This was because those dirty things were struggling when they saw that their future was doomed. I watched them with my main consciousness and said calmly, "Eliminate." Then, the shapeless mountain on my head was gone and I could stand up straight again.
I found that my tone of voice changed after I had some achievements. I used to like to find fault with others, always thought I was right, and did not want to listen to others. Because of this, I always quarreled with other practitioners. When I hurt other practitioners with words, I would be very unhappy after I went home. Sometimes I could not calm down to study the Fa for several days. In the beginning, I used my human notions and focused on the specific case: "I was right on this point. He was not based on the Fa. I was right. I was right." The human notions in my mind kept holding forth like this, so I had to force myself to speak to Master: "Master, I was wrong. It was my fault." Although these were short sentences, it was very difficult for me to verbalize them. In the end, I would fall into self-criticism and feel sorry for the practitioners I hurt. I could not totally eliminate this attachment.
One day, my husband told me that his computer was infected with a virus. It took him a lot of effort to find a particular anti-virus program. This anti-virus software scanned the computer for two hours and seemed to remove hundreds of viruses, but after the computer restarted, the same symptom persisted. My husband was frustrated because he was in a hurry to finish a project by a certain deadline. I thought that this tribulation must be related to me: "As soon as I find my attachment, his problem will be solved." But I did not know where to look for my attachment. The next morning, my husband told me with relief that he had found the reason for his computer problems--the anti-virus software he found actually was a master computer virus. Every time it ran, it pretended to find a lot of viruses and remove them. Later, he found a more advanced anti-virus program that successfully killed the master virus.
After he finished his story, I could not hold back my tears. Master used this wise way to enlighten me that I should get rid of that root attachment. Otherwise, I would be buried in a lot of attachments and could never get rid all of them. With such thoughts, I had new enlightenments in my Fa study. I found that my root attachment was a lack of compassion, especially toward fellow practitioners. Without such compassion, no matter how right I seemed to be, I was wrong. I cannot describe what compassion is with words, but I can feel at a certain level what it is like and what it is. Later, every time I argued with other practitioners, as long as I remembered the word "compassion," I would calm down.
We always have certain notions about others. For example, this guy talks too much, that guy likes showing off, this one does not look inward, that one behaves abnormally. When we have these kinds of notions, we are not compassionate. Master said:
"Compassion is an enormous energy, the energy of righteous gods. The more compassion that is present, the greater this energy becomes, and it can disintegrate anything that is bad." ("Fa Teaching at the 2009 Washington DC International Fa Conference")
So I always remind myself to eliminate those notions. If everyone can do that, then that specific practitioner may behave differently. And it is easier for us to achieve What Master says:
"If your mind is always that peaceful and compassionate, when problems suddenly come up, you'll usually have a buffer and room to think it over." (Zhuan Falun)
In addition, what we achieve in our sales work is actually a mirror reflecting our cultivation state. Sometimes if we don't cultivate well, we cannot get advertisement contracts. If one does not use the Fa to examine oneself strictly, it is very difficult to distinguish if our thought is a god's thought or a human notion.
For tribulations related to family issues, I have always forced myself to endure. Although Master has already mentioned in the Fa how to deal with these issues, it is hard for me to apply the Fa in my own situations. Every time I argue with my husband, I talk about divorce. I can see his despair, lack of choice, and unhappiness. Ordinary human beings want to have a good life, but I cannot provide this for my husband. I feel very sorry and sad for myself. But if I do not keep this family together, I would be walking on the path of the old forces' arrangement. How much trouble would that bring me? It would be even more difficult. I don't want that path. How could I reach the level the Fa requires? I thought of compassion. Sometimes when I could not be compassionate to my husband, I forced myself to admit my mistake to Teacher and to see his virtues. Gradually I calmed down. When I improved my xinxing and saw things using the thoughts of gods, my husband also changed. Under the energy field of compassion, our relationship is getting better and better.
When I study the Fa well, I feel Master adding a lot of wisdom and good ideas into my mind. Sometimes I cannot sleep. I feel like I am in the process of reverse cultivation. Master mentioned:
"They attached to his body a soft tube, which works like a water faucet, and when it was turned on gong would come."
"He was given gong so that he could cultivate and improve and go up, and while doing good things for others he could develop his abilities and increase his gong. But some people couldn't tell what was going on." (Zhuan Falun)
I realize that I don't have those abilities, but that actually Master gives me those abilities. I should use these abilities to save sentient beings, not to gain respect from others. I also see a lot of practitioners with such an attitude. As long as they have accomplished something, they will behave differently and be short tempered. This actually is very dangerous and will breed demons in their own minds. But Master will use all kinds of ways to enlighten them, and one of these ways is to create conflicts with other practitioners. I understand that this is why we should look inward.
"When you're cultivating at high levels it's all done with nonaction, so the movements should follow along effortlessly, and there's no thought guidance, no breathing methods, or things like that." (Zhuan Falun)
I understand that all of my actions follow Master's arrangements. Sales and marketing is just so simple. Many people think they cannot do sales and marketing, because they don't know how to deal with people. This is actually a wrong understanding. I am not doing sales and marketing, I am actually cultivating. As long as you improve your xinxing level, act according to the Fa, and have a willingness to do well in sales and marketing to save more sentient beings, Master will give you wisdom. That is why, although many practitioners may not have the personality of a salesperson, they can do sales and marketing very well.
In summary, I feel I did not truly begin my cultivation until after I started doing sales and marketing. Since then, I have had opportunities to clearly see my attachments. I started to restrict myself based on the Fa, and I really understood Zhuan Falun. I always remind myself to look inward when there is a conflict, no matter what seems to have happened. But most of the time, I still cannot do this well.
Lastly, I beg Master to give me more opportunities to get rid of those attachments, so that I can have more compassion. My fellow practitioners, please remind me to be compassionate if I am not doing well. I understand that only when we have the most generous compassion and the purest heart can we save more sentient beings and fulfill Master's requirements.
Thank you Master. Thank you, my fellow practitioners.