(Minghui.org) I came overseas from China two years ago. I’m currently working full-time sales in the media. Today, I’d like to share some of my cultivation experiences.

1. Looking Inward to Find the Root Cause of Attachments

Sales work is generally detailed and tedious. I usually work with different practitioners. Besides bringing in advertising prospects, I also need to create advertisement contents and wording, conduct business interviews, and edit audio files.

We try our best to maintain customer satisfaction by doing the best job possible. However, I constantly made careless mistakes. When fellow practitioners discovered my mistakes, they would sometimes make rather harsh comments.

On the surface, I did look inward, and I never ran into conflicts with fellow practitioners. But I really didn’t do anything about my constantly making mistakes, until a practitioner spoke to me one day with a heavy heart and out of impotent frustration.

She said, “You really should cultivate away your carelessness.”

That’s when I finally realized that I had the problem from a very young age. When I started working, because I worked alone, my carelessness didn’t get noticed. Moreover, since I’ve always been a happy-go-lucky person, I got along very well with everybody.

Now that I’m working in the media and need to work with other people, my carelessness is constantly being exposed and becomes very prominent.

My carelessness is actually an attachment to irresponsibility. My mistakes are bringing a lot of extra burden on other practitioners. I realized that cultivation is serious. Saving sentient beings is our mission. My non-professionalism will create gaps for the evil forces to take advantage of and may affect our interactions with customers and prevent them from signing contracts with us.

I know I have to cultivate away this attachment. I’m grateful that working in the media and with practitioners have helped me see my need to rid myself of this attachment to elevate myself.

2. Cultivating a Compassionate and Forgiving Heart

In the media, we have group Fa study every week, and we communicate with one another other our understanding within the Fa often.

There was a time when I could always see how others were saying or doing things not within the Fa, or where others could be a little more diligent. I also discovered that I enjoyed sharing my opinions and often would write lengthy specious apologies to clarify my points or back up my arguments.

One day, I heard myself using Master’s words again to prove a point of view to demonstrate how I was right and the others wrong. Suddenly, I realized that that way of using the Fa was not validating the Fa but a dangerous thieving mentality.

I stopped and began to look inward seriously. Slowly, I ascertained that I had been subconsciously validating myself and thought that I had been cultivating well.

No wonder I had not been very successful in winning friends or convincing others, and oftentimes others even found my words ineffective and hurtful.

I told myself, “Practitioners are all Dafa disciples. Each of us strives to follow Master’s teachings in accordance with Dafa's requirements. How can I say someone is not within the Fa? Is thinking like that within the Fa? Dafa is boundless. What’s the significance of my meager understanding? Where do I have grounds to be critical of others? I must look only at myself.”

At that moment, I became fully aware of Master's magnanimous compassion–how he gives all levels of life different levels of Fa, different levels of content, different levels of understanding, and different levels of expectation.

In everyday life, I am a mother and live with my mother (also a practitioner). In juggling different roles, amid a variety of conflicts, I learned to appreciate my mother's habitual nagging and to tolerate my daughter’s naughty mischief.

Before, I had worked as a manager in a company for over a decade. Now, I am one of the staff in my current sales position. Master arranged for me to learn managerial skills and gain supervisory experiences so that I can better cooperate and coordinate with other practitioners.

In cultivation, every step of the way, whatever we encounter is an opportunity for us to face each conflict squarely in order to elevate. There are no shortcuts.

3. Rediscovering Righteous Thoughts in Cultivation

I’ve been working in my current position for more than a year now. When I first started out, I was full of confidence and filled with ambition to make some contribution for the media. With the initial surge of momentum, and with Master's blessing, I was happy with my performance and what I was able to achieve.

Gradually, when my beginner’s luck waned, various forms of interference surfaced, with the result that no matter how many phone calls I made, I was able to set up only a few interviews.

Some customers would make an appointment, but requested a change of location or time. Sometimes it would be postponed or even canceled.

Some customers agreed to meet, but hesitated to sign the contract; some agreed to sign the contract, but eventually had a last-minute change of heart.

During that time, I always felt that sentient beings with predestined relationships with me were somehow firmly blocked somewhere away from me, so I failed to connect with them, much less save them.

I knew it had to be because there were loopholes from problems in my cultivation, but I couldn’t figure out where the problems lurked. I was very distressed.

I would always try to solve customers' problems by applying various sales skills and techniques. At the end, even promising prospects hopelessly slipped through my fingers.

When such scenarios happened one after another, I had to stop and decide that I must devote time to study the Fa, study the Fa, and study the Fa.

Then I came upon this passage:

“When you seek to save the world’s people, you try to get them to awaken so that you can save them. Well, you too need to get clear, to wake up. It’s a problem if you forget about your cultivation because of doing too many things. You are cultivators. I’m not talking about your past, what you once were, or what you display on the surface. I am talking about your core and the meaning of your life, the responsibility you shoulder, and your historic mission. Only thus are you truly a Dafa disciple.” (“What is a Dafa Disciple?”)

I realized that my problem was that I got sucked into doing things and had gradually slipped away from maintaining the righteous thoughts of a Dafa disciple. If a cultivator does things with ordinary people's thinking, a variety of outside factors will interfere.

So I used the time on the road every day to memorize Zhuan Falun and other lectures. I adjusted my mode of thinking and did not allow myself to be influenced or disturbed by customers' negative attitudes.

As long as I could meet with clients face to face, I would send forth strong righteous thoughts. In my mind, I would not be concerned about their signing the contracts or my performance.

I had only one thought, that each sentient being we talk to face-to-face have placed infinite hope in us, long to be saved, and long to make the right choice amid troubled times to support Dafa media. Dafa disciples' mission is to save people, and this is the only thing we need to do.

When I encountered clients who tried to dismiss me with negative responses like "no time," "no money," "don’t want to advertise," or other negative responses, I would send righteous thoughts to their understanding side, saying, “I’m here to offer you salvation from Dafa. What you say doesn’t count. You need to listen to me.”

When I always bear in mind my mission of saving people, miracles appear everywhere.

One time, a Cantonese-speaking client took my hand and said excitedly, "I’ve enjoyed your programs for many years. I never thought you would come. I’m so glad you finally showed up!”

Looking at her happy and eager face, I realized that Master has always planned everything ahead, and that we just need to carry out what we’re supposed to do.

4. Rediscovering the State of Being Diligent

When I first arrived overseas from mainland China, fellow practitioners told me, “In China, one has to let go of the thought of life and death. Outside of China, one has to overcome the attachment to an easy life and the lack of sleep.”

I listened but didn’t agree. In China, I was always quite diligent and had already been able to surmount the lack of sleep. Overseas, I have also shared with practitioners my ways to conquer sleepiness.

However, later, for some time, when I became extremely busy, I found that I have to have five or six hours of sleep, and sometimes I couldn’t wake up in the morning to send forth righteous thoughts.

I became quite concerned, but found such an unconsciously-developed sleep habit hard to break. I continued to study the Fa. I continued to do the exercises. I continued to work hard. Yet, I felt that I was merely going through the motions. The power of the Fa seemed unattainably distant.

Sometimes, I would spend a whole day making many phone calls but fail to make one appointment. I would feel troubled that I couldn’t make progress in my sales efforts or in my contribution to the media. I began to experience a deep sense of loss.

I asked myself, “Master arranged for me to work in sales project for the media. Is it for the success of this project or for my personal success? How many human notions am I manifesting in my sense of loss? Aren't these my attachments to glory, to fame, to recognition, to self-importance?”

I went on to ponder, “Master is personally guiding the Shen Yun project. How many people are working quietly behind the scenes on this project, saving sentient beings? These people would never dream of getting recognition from the audience.

Why am I placing so much importance on my personal feelings? Hasn’t Master consistently affirmed the important role the media plays in saving sentient beings? Being a part of the media, shouldn’t I just be concerned with how to do my part well?”

I finally enlightened to my need to cultivate and elevate myself to a high standard of purity and compassion, in order to truly assist Master in rectifying Dafa and saving sentient beings. I need to become a genuine part of the media to raise it to a world-class level.

I also enlightened to the fact that, in China, I was able to maintain diligence and achieve my goal despite the evil environment and extreme conditions imposed by the Communist Party, because the pressure was created externally. The pressure was tangible.

Now, with no external pressure, I need to rely on the motivation intrinsic to a cultivator to work in the present loose-but-busy environment. I know Master is challenging me by requiring more from me. No matter what, I trust what Master arranges is nothing but the best.

After I adjusted my own state of mind, I felt a lot more relaxed. Last May, I went with my 11-year-old daughter to join the Western U.S. Divine Land Marching Band. Now, in addition to working my sales job six days a week, I spend five hours every Sunday at band training.

The reason I joined the marching band was very simple. I learned that Master wanted the band to include 200 members, and there was a dire need to fill that number.

I had no prior knowledge or experience, but I had a great desire to be part of this special project that would help save sentient beings, so I signed up and persisted in learning and practicing without any idea or care if I were good enough.

Five months later, with Master’s support, I was able to participate in my first parade.

I’m grateful to Master for this opportunity. I will cherish this opportunity. I will put forth my best effort not only to do a good job but also to cultivate well in this environment.

These are my practice experiences. Please kindly point out my inadequacies.