(Minghui.org) Greetings Revered Master and fellow practitioners!

1. Listening to Master’s Words

Shortly after the Washington, D.C., Fa conference in July 2010, the coordinator of a media project asked me, “Can you work full-time for the media?” I realized it was what I should do. It was the biggest challenge on my cultivation path.

I read Master's lecture, "Be More Diligent," over and over. I seemed to have understood the path I must take from now on. Master said in the lecture to "unconditionally cooperate with the main coordinator."

Master said:

“Carry it out unconditionally. Understand what I said? In many instances, when people are debating things at length, all it should take is that coordinator stating his stance on it, and then that’s what you do. Furthermore, with many things, he should be able to just go straight ahead, without having to consult you, and assign tasks for you to do. And why is that? Previously, on many occasions when you argued back and forth I didn’t express my views on this, for I consciously wanted to allow you to temper your own thinking and succeed at making your own paths. But now, ample time has been given, and what you should have, you now have. So it’s time to do away with that state.” (“Be More Diligent”)

I understood that for the main coordinator to approach me, there must be a reason, and it was no coincidence. I'd worked for the media for a long time and had acquired the necessary skills. I also understood the local situation pretty well.

As the headquarters were moving to my area, more people were needed. The coordinator must have taken the need into account and then asked me to work full-time.

A genuine practitioner would have made the decision without any hesitation, unconditionally followed the main coordinator's arrangement, and quit his regular job right away. For an even more diligent practitioner, perhaps he would have foreseen the need and would have started to work full-time without the coordinator asking. However, I hesitated when faced with this test.

On the surface, my hesitation was justified with good reasons: (1) My wife had been working full-time for the media for many years, and I was the only breadwinner in the family. Moreover, the income offered by the media was limited. (2) Our elderly parents who were not practitioners and whom we were supporting financially would not understand the situation. (3) The way I understood it, when Master talked about “cooperating unconditionally with the main coordinator,” He was referring to project coordination and not about personal cultivation or becoming a full-time employee of the media. (4) I still had some attachment to jealousy. I felt that it was not fair that my wife and I should contribute that much when there were so many practitioners in the area who had two incomes and were not asked to work full-time for the media.

I thought I was not ready to become a full-time employee yet, and these were the perfect reasons for me to not listen to the coordinator and skip the opportunity to cultivate myself. In reality, I still had strong attachments, as follows: (1) I had a hard time letting go of my professional career. (2) I didn't want to live like a pauper. (3) I didn't want to give up our comfortable lifestyle.

I have experienced a lot of pain and struggle on my cultivation path in this regard. I knew since I was young that I didn't want to struggle financially. So, this was one of the biggest tests I've ever had.

For the past decade, the media that Dafa disciples initiated has effectively helped Master with Fa-rectification and in saving sentient beings. When I thought about the fact that the media needed to take off and enter a positive financial cycle, I was gradually able to break through the barrier.

After a long period of Fa study and sharing with fellow practitioners, I finally made up my mind to put down everything and let go of the fundamental attachments. In China, practitioners could lose their family and comfortable lifestyle just for distributing informational materials on the street. So for us outside of China, why can't we let go of these things? Why is it so difficult for us to let them go?

Finally, I handed in my resignation letter. My boss was very supportive. He was very touched by my decision to work full-time for the media. He asked about my financial situation and offered, “How about working part-time at our company? This way, you can still receive the benefits and keep your office, and it will give you flexibility to do the work for the media.”

I was surprised that he offered to keep me as a part-time employee. Because I still felt some hesitation about my decision and did not completely let go of my attachments, I thought it was an arrangement by Master to help me keep both jobs, so I took the offer.

Now I had more time for the media, but I still could not be fully devoted it. As I read Master's lecture, "Be More Diligent," I often asked myself if I believed in Master 100%.

Master said:

"Having said this much, I’ll say a few words in passing. Namely, I’ll talk about, “Whatever Master wants, that’s what we’ll do.” Truth be told, sometimes your lips will be saying that whatever Master wants, that’s what you will do, but, as soon as you are faced with real-life circumstances, [what you said] gets diluted without your realizing it. You always have your own opinions on things, and think that your opinions match your realities and circumstances. But that’s not true. You mustn’t forget: this current period of history was kept for Fa-rectification, and is given to Dafa disciples to save sentient beings and perfect themselves. It’s not nearly as simple as people imagine it, with human thinking. Another thing is, some people always think, “What Master wants, we’ll do it, but let’s do it a little better,” and again it’s a case of changing what Master wants. There are human attachments at work whenever that’s the case, and it serves as interference." (“Be More Diligent”)

April 9, 2012, was an unforgettable day for me. I no longer had my old job, but I felt very secure. It meant that I didn't have any hidden attachments, and I didn't need to be enlightened any more on this issue. Full-time work at the media was what Master had arranged for me.

2. Overcoming Tribulations

A few years before I became a full-time employee for the media, I was not able to balance my ordinary job and media work well. For long periods of time, I had gaps in Fa study and cultivation, and the old forces took advantage of the situation. My physical health was poor, and I had no energy.

After I finished my ordinary job, I drove an hour to the media's office. Oftentimes, I wouldn't get home until 1 or 2 a.m., and I still had to go to work the next day. This went on for a long period of time.

Besides inadequacies in operations management, there was also financial pressure from the media project. I was very stressed. When I did the exercises, studied the Fa, or sent forth righteous thoughts, I would feel groggy and had the feeling that I couldn't bear it anymore.

Oftentimes, I felt a stabbing pain in my back. It was so painful that I tossed and turned in bed. I had to be alert during the day at work. It was hard to describe my pain and suffering.

Around midnight, on my way home from the media office, I was often half awake and falling asleep behind the wheel. A police car would often lead the way or follow me. One time, while driving across a bridge, I nearly drove the car out of the lane. Luckily, Master protected me, and I woke up with a jolt and prevented an accident. On the way home, I would often miss the exit and have to turn back. I would then miss the bridge and have to turn back again to get home.

I knew from the Fa principles that in order to break through this tribulation, I had to upgrade my xinxing level. However, it was not easy to upgrade in one step. I could bear this suffering myself, but what made it worse was fellow practitioners' criticisms. I felt that I was pushed over the edge when I saw the helplessness of the situation and the hopeless outlook.

One time, when I was driving home during the wee hours of the morning, I recalled something that had happened during a meeting with the media project. I had this thought: “Give it up, stop being a coordinator, let someone take over.” As soon as I wanted to acknowledge this thought, a police siren sounded from behind. I looked at my speedometer and realized I was speeding.

I hadn’t received a ticket in a long time, so I realized that my thought was not righteous, and that was why I received the serious warning. Afterward, when overcoming tribulations, I never thought about giving up.

After I began working full-time at the media, my physical condition improved day by day, and the suffering I had to endure disappeared altogether. Now I have enlightened that all of the tribulations I went through were my own fault, because I didn't let go of being an ordinary person.

Master said:

“If you hold on to humanness with one hand and won't let go, and you hold on to Buddhahood with the other hand and won't let go, just which one exactly do you want?” (“Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference”)

Looking at myself according to the Fa principles, I stumbled through this tribulation. Compared to practitioners who are more diligent, and measuring myself against Master’s requirement, I was far from meeting the standard of the Fa.

I also had the notion that I needed to suffer continuously, and I firmly believed that it's the path a cultivator must walk. Persevering through tribulations might be the basic requirement for a cultivator. However, if I did not let go of humanness on a fundamental level, I could still walk the path arranged by the old forces and not be able to break through the illusion, and this could negatively affect my mission to save people.

Had I worked full-time for the media early on, I may have walked out of this tribulation and illusion much sooner. Had I not divided my attention between media and my ordinary job, I could have put all my efforts into the media and do Dafa work.

Here I would like to thank the main coordinator of the media for encouraging me to take this critical step, and I'm grateful to practitioners who reminded me to take the righteous path of cultivation. I took a long detour because I was not enlightened. I need to work harder to make up for the losses in our area and save more people.

It has been a year and a half since I began working full-time for the media. I cannot describe the joy of being able to pour all of my energy into Dafa work. It was very hard to sustain my energy when I was doing both the regular job and the media project. My wish is now fulfilled.

Master said:

“So, if clarifying the truth and the task of running a Dafa-disciple media entity could be rolled into one, wouldn’t that help resolve the time constraints that you face? And it would also be resolving the issue of making a living and having a job in ordinary society. What’s not to like about it? I think that this is now imperative.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting”)

I now somewhat understand what “listen to Master's words” means.

Master also said:

“It is hard in that you knowingly lose your vested interests among everyday people. Amidst your critical self-interests, are you moved? Amidst interpersonal mindgames, are you moved? When your friends or family suffer, are you moved? How do you weigh them? This is how difficult it is to be a practitioner!” (Zhuan Falun)

As the Fa-rectification period comes to an end, have we eliminated attachments that we are aware of? As the long-awaited predestined period nears its end, how many people are still waiting to be saved?

Recently, in the “Fa Teaching at the 2013 Greater New York Fa Conference,” Master talked about the principle and requirement of “Cultivate with the heart you once had, and consummation is certain.” I carefully read Master’s Fa and deeply felt that cultivating oneself well, being able to fulfill the requirements of a Dafa disciple, and continually upgrading in the Fa-rectification-period cultivation are the prerequisites to effectively save people.

3. Fa Study and Exercise Practice Are the Foundation

After I began to work full-time for the media project, my first challenge was how to position myself. Two things were clearly stated: (1) all employees have to follow the president's instructions, and (2) all work is based on the business operation of the media. Being a media company where all employees are Dafa practitioners, management and operation models are based on the model set by Master for Shen Yun Performing Arts.

As the editor-in-chief, my biggest challenge was to follow instructions unconditionally, based on the needs of the business operations, and at the same time maintain the normal function and management of the news department. In reality, this was also a test for everyone in the editorial department. I'd never led a team, so everything was new to me.

As a manager, I asked all team members to study the Fa and do the exercises weekly together with me. I also asked everyone to post their Fa study and exercise practice schedule.

Some individuals who only spent 2-3 hours on Fa study and exercise practice per week, are now spending 14 hours per week. All employees in my department now spend, on the average, more time studying the Fa and practicing the exercises than they did before. The editorial department established a small office in Chinatown, and the staff there study the Fa and practice the exercises on a daily basis.

The editorial department's work is very busy, from morning till evening, with no time for breaks. But being a Dafa disciple, studying the Fa is fundamental. It's also one of the three things that Master asked us to do. We cannot use the excuse of being busy and tired to not study the Fa and practice the exercises. After several sharings, all of us in the editorial department have come to know the importance and benefits of Fa study and the exercises. It is the magical tool for us to do our job well, cooperate with each other, and not slack off.

My cultivation state has improved greatly during this period of time. I used to feel tired when I studied the Fa, but now I am more clear-minded. My state of mind and my physical state have improved drastically.

4. Supervising Others and Being Supervised

Master said:

“When there is a division of labor there will be those who supervise others and those who are supervised. Yet you get upset when someone tries to supervise or direct you. Truth be told, if from the depths of your hearts you all want to see this paper succeed, then it won’t matter much what tone someone uses with you, who directs you, or who you have to be a subordinate to.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting”)

“When Dafa disciples are together, often what you can least stand is someone directing you to do something.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting”)

I fit this description of “often what you can least stand is someone directing you to do something.” But being part of one body, someone has to be the coordinator and supervise others. Especially for a group where people come from different areas, each person has their own cultivation state, personal characteristic, and a different way of doing things. Many practitioners have the mind set of being a “volunteer.”

In order for us to a good job, managing people became a huge challenge for me.

I thought the most important thing was for me to do a good job. Our department has established certain guidelines. We have an open and transparent policy when it comes to time management. Therefore, I must be the one leading the way. After a day of editorial work, I don't go to sleep until midnight. Then I have to get up at 5:30 a.m. the next morning and go to work. I begin the workday by listening to the news on TV and radio and handing out reporting assignments. In order for people to follow, a manager needs to do a good job first.

Previously, I had some concerns. If we didn't have guidelines, I could still do my job comfortably. But now I'm the manager, so I need to manage myself first. An employee may not need to look at what the manager is doing. But for me, I absolutely cannot slack off.

Being a Dafa disciple and working as a manager, I deeply realized the meaning of “put others before oneself.” Not only do I take the most difficult tasks myself, but I also try to give others more opportunities. As for some of the more important projects, I hope that other practitioners can join me and accomplish the task together.

When employees have concerns, we often share based on the Fa principles. We recite also Master's articles “True Cultivation” and “Realms” before meetings, to encourage everyone to eliminate human notions, improve together, and fulfill our vows.

5. Saving Sentient Beings and Playing the Lead Role

When the editorial department moved to Chinatown in our area, we understood that we are shouldering an important mission - using media to save people in our area.

The evil Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has invested a lot of money in this area to expand its influence, so the evil element is very rampant here. The editorial department established a long-term plan to engage the Chinese people, so that we could awaken their compassionate heart. At the same time, we are also playing the leading role in expanding our media's reach.

We targeted Chinese people who are patriotic to China, but who have been influenced by the CCP's propaganda. These people are unable to identify the CCP as the real traitor. Under the slander of the CCP, they have also misunderstood what Falun Dafa is all about.

Every week, we publish commentaries and ad campaigns tailored to this issue, so that Chinese people would realize that the communist regime is the real traitor of China.

I met a Chinese community leader when I attended a large event recently. He used to have illusions about the CCP, but now he openly criticizes the regime for being the biggest traitor in history. He has positioned himself on the side of justice and goodness.

Almost everyday, we publish commentaries that suit Chinese people's interests and at the same time uncover the lies put out by the CCP's campaigns. This arms the Chinese people with the knowledge and courage to properly deal with the regime's propaganda.

There was recently an incident regarding the raising of the Chinese regime's flag in the Chinatown of our area. We published numerous commentaries on the issue, leading the discussion and exposing the underlying control and the appalling methods the CCP has utilized to influence the minds of Chinese people overseas.

These articles enabled righteous people to step forward, which has successfully suppressed the CCP's control. Many Chinese people also started to shed their negative notions about Dafa and practitioners in the process.

One Chinese community leader who used to slander us, now thanks practitioners and places ads in our newspaper whenever there's a community event announcement. These are good results obtained from clarifying the facts.

Earlier on, practitioners in our area stopped an old man who used to slander Falun Dafa on the streets and even hit practitioners. We published the facts, complete with stories and photos. This has largely hindered the CCP-influenced media from propagating false information. Lately, when similar incidents happened, that media no longer dared to make false reports. Thus, we once again restrained the evil.

I've just shared with you some of my experiences in breaking through tribulations. I'm thankful for Master's protection throughout the years. If there is anything inappropriate, I hope practitioners can point it out to me.

Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!

(presented at the 2013 Western U.S. Fa Conference)