Letting Go of Self, Always Cultivating
- Presented at the 2009 US West Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference
(Clearwisdom.net) I joined the Dajiyuan [Epoch Times] sales department in 2001. I have experienced a lot over the last eight years, sometimes bitter, sometimes sweet. Others often ask how I was able to keep at it for so long. The answer is simple - "Believe in Master, believe in Dafa." I thought about giving up when I experienced setbacks, but Dafa always inspired me to go on. I could feel that Master was always with me, encouraging and protecting me. Here I would also like to thank those practitioners who offered me help and support when I was going through tough times.
It was a coincidence that I became a Dajiyuan salesman. One day, in a casual conversion with fellow practitioners, I learned that Dajiyuan was in urgent need of funds and sales persons. Without giving it a second thought, I decided to give it a try because I knew that our media wouldn't be able to develop without a good financial situation. Depending on donations from practitioners is not a good long-term solution.
During its early days, Dajiyuan was not mature in terms of layout and content. At that time, many people held negative attitudes about Falun Gong due to the slanderous propaganda from Chinese Communist Party (CCP) media. I often ran into people who were angry at me, cold, or even yelled at me when I approached them for advertisements. It took tremendous courage for me to walk into the office of a business, not to mention ask them to advertise with us. During such occasions, Master's words echoed in my ears,
"When it's difficult to endure, you can endure it. When it's impossible to do, you can do it." "When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible. If you can actually do it, you will indeed find: 'After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!'" (Lecture 9, Zhuan Falun)
I thought, "Even if at the end I fail to sign a contract with you, it would be still worthwhile if I could let you know the truth about Falun Gong." In many cases, business owners came to understand the truth about Falun Gong while I clarified the truth to them. Their attitudes towards Dajiyuan also changed. Some business owners and I became good friends. Meanwhile, advertising contracts were signed one after another.
As a salesperson, the biggest test for me is whether I can keep on doing the work instead of doing it just during a moment of enthusiasm. When my righteous thoughts are not strong, with even just the slightest wavering, tests will surely follow. One business owner was quite touched by my persistence while I continued to follow up with him. He frankly promised me good benefits if I quit Dajiyuan and came to work for him. Another business owner wanted to pay me a high salary and hire me as their sales director. The offer was tempting. I asked myself, "Should I continue working with Dajiyuan or give up?" After studying the Fa, I came to realize that what I was doing wasn't a simple sales job, but my vow. Everything including my cultivation and my consummation all come from it. I said to myself, no matter how many difficulties or tests I run into, I must firmly go on. Once I was determined, I never again encountered such distractions.
Another test for me was how to do well both in my work and my cultivation. In the first few years, not many practitioners participated in sales, so most of the time I worked on my own. Therefore, there were not many xinxing tests of coordinating well as one body. As more and more practitioners joined the sales force, such tests appeared frequently. As a veteran sales person and sales manager, it was my responsibility to work with new members and help them grow quickly, so that we could coordinate as one body. However, my selfishness started to surface when I was overwhelmed with a large workload. I was reluctant to sacrifice more time to train new sales people. Consequently, the sales department seemed to always have a revolving door. People came, but didn't stay very long, and quickly left. For a long period of time, we were constantly shorthanded. This situation went on for a long time without any improvement. This of course influenced the operation of the Dajiyuan newspaper. Some practitioners reminded me of the problem, but I was in the state of simply doing things, rather than cultivating myself seriously, so I just verbally expressed my acknowledgment, but didn't look within, and missed the opportunity again and again.
At a recent Dajiyuan staff meeting however, one practitioner pointed out my problems that had existed for a long time. I was caught by surprise. At first, I felt that it was unfair. I thought that since the person was new he didn't know the real situation, and what he said wasn't true. When I calmed down, I found that he had truly pointed out my shortcomings. It was my hypocrisy and attachment that prevented me from accepting them. This xinxing conflict awakened me and made me realize the urgency and seriousness of cultivation. As Master said,
"For example, everyday people have all kinds of bad thoughts. For self-interest, they commit various wrong deeds and will acquire this black substance, karma. This directly involves our own minds. In order to eliminate this negative thing, you must first change your mind." (Lecture 4, Zhuan Falun)If I want to eliminate this negative thing, I must first change my mind. Otherwise there is no way to eliminate the karma or to assimilate to the characteristic of the universe. After I enlightened to this Fa principle, I suddenly felt light and experienced once again the feeling of joy after passing a test. However, enlightening to the truth is not enough, I must also act according to what the Fa requires. Otherwise it's not true cultivation. But it's not an easy thing to truly relinquish the selfishness and become an unselfish enlightened being. I began to better understand:
"Physical pains count little as suffering,
Indeed, cultivating mind is hardest."
("Tempering the Will," from Hong Yin)
Nonetheless, after I made up my mind to remove this attachment, everything around me started to change as well. Some practitioners who were reluctant to talk to me before began sharing their experiences with me. I also opened my heart to communicate with fellow practitioners who previously had barriers in talking to me. New sales persons could also feel that the working environment became more and more harmonious. We get along with each other very well like a big family. Today more practitioners are joining our sales team, and consequently, the operation status of the Dajiyuan newspaper has improved quickly.
After passing this test, I deeply felt that we must not get attached to just doing a Dafa project for the sake of doing a project, and neglect individual cultivation. Otherwise, we are not being responsible to our own cultivation. Moreover, we could unknowingly even damage the Dafa project. That is to say, it's harmful to both us and Dafa projects.
Recalling this whole process, I understand that it's not because of how capable I am, but rather it's Master's arrangement for my cultivation. Master took this opportunity to give me a chance to cultivate and eliminate my attachments. I am grateful for Master's compassionate salvation. I will strive to live up to Master's expectations, do better in my duty as Dajiyuan sales manager, and cultivate myself well. We will make Dajiyuan operate in a positive cycle and play a greater role in the Fa rectification, and save more sentient beings.