Cultivation Ups and Downs While Working at NTD Television
(Minghui.org) I am working in the news department of the NTD television network Asia Pacific. It is said that working in the news department is like fighting a battle. To produce and broadcast news smoothly, we count each second and each minute. With our nerves stretched to the breaking point, we can't afford to make mistakes.
I used to work as a programmer. When NTD was established in 2006, I was asked to be a news anchor and news editor, and had to learn everything from scratch.
I understood the importance of the media when it came to Dafa truth-clarification, but our media outlets were short of manpower, so I quit my job in the beginning of 2014 and became a full time NTD employee.
NTD decided to change operating procedures in the beginning of 2014, which boosted morale. Besides news broadcasts in the evening, they also started broadcasting in the morning and at noon in March 2014. Thus, during the Sunflower Student Movement, we could provide more up-to-date news for our audience.
NTD highlighted the core message of the event. We reported in depth on how the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) was trying to penetrate Taiwan, which was exposed through the student movement. We offered people a chance to examine the truth about the CCP.
Regardless of the time of day, the news department has to respond quickly to breaking events. There is no time to adjust our cultivation state. The news is top priority, and each member has to cooperate unconditionally. Any negative emotion or conflict has to be let go of immediately.
Short of manpower, all the reporters had to be on duty during the month of the student movement. Our reporters were stationed not only outside the Legislative Yuan to photograph the attack and defense on both sides, but also inside the Legislative Yuan. We had close contact with the students, so we could produce quality news reports. Thus, NTD and the Epoch Times gained in popularity among the younger generation.
Now, if you turn on the TV in Taiwan, you can often see the blue microphone of NTD. Many viewers will say that they are watching our news because of the in depth analysis.
When I was about to leave after an interview a few years ago, a man walked toward me, pointed at my microphone, and said, “There is also NTD in Taiwan! I thought it only existed in the U.S.”
He told me that when he was doing business in China, he was able to bypass the Great Firewall and watch NTD. He also said that what NTD reports is right, and that it would be fatal to do business in China without watching it. He also expressed his sympathy for Falun Gong, condemning the CCP for its brutal organ harvesting.
With the increase in our news periods and programs, as well as mutual cooperation by all the departments, our programs are improving. But our workload increased significantly.
The time before a broadcast is the most intense. Right after an interview, we need to write the report, having it proofread, dubbed, edited, uploaded, and scheduled to broadcast. Any mistake or delay in the workflow will lead to big problems with the broadcast. Although I was busy, I felt fulfilled and content. As a full-time staff member, I hoped to devote most of my efforts to validating the Fa.
At that time I worked as a chief editor and a reporter. It was common for me to work from eight a.m. to one or two a.m., over 15 hours daily. It’s normal for the news department to work around the clock. The general director and general editor in particular shoulder more responsibilities. Their scheduled work hours even extended to up to 18 hours at times. Every so often the general director could only sleep two hours.
Importance of Cultivation
With a tight schedule and constant fatigue, my cultivation slacked off. Even on holidays I only felt like sleeping and relaxing. Meanwhile, the temptations around me were dragging me down. I could not remember when I had last read the Fa or done the exercises. I often missed the nightly group Fa study and exercises.
With my slacking off in cultivation and physical fatigue, I felt negative emotions, such as a short temper and outrage. Particularly under stress and during times of conflict, my negative emotions emerged when associating with others. Gradually, I grew tired of mutual cooperation.
Later, I felt that my supervisor didn’t appreciate my efforts. I felt ill at ease and was debating leaving this job. Sometimes I even felt unfairly treated when seeing how other departments could have time for experience sharing, enjoying the holidays, having regular days off, and a day off during typhoons. The news department is always busy, unable to take a day off and working overtime. I felt that it was unfair. I knew I had to search within, but without the basis of a stable cultivation, I could not change, although I knew that there was something wrong.
I said at the end of 2015, “It’s better to resign from the news department and accept an easier job. Then, I can read the Fa and practice the exercises.”
Much to my astonishment, these thoughts lingered in my mind. All I could do was to struggle against these bad thoughts. I knew that my departure would aggravate the lack of manpower. My initial efforts to overcome barriers to entering the department would also be wasted.
“These beings are just like you Dafa disciples, who managed to come here and take on such tremendous missions and responsibilities. Could you not have known what would become of this setting? It would have been hard to imagine saving people when you yourself might have even been ruined here. And yet you came. And they did the same. They came.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2015 New York Fa Conference.”)
Many different feelings welled up inside me. Master wanted us to advance further to save those who descended to the world, having great hopes for Dafa. Although I still had the wish to fulfill my mission, I was mentally and physically worn out, and unable to take any action.
During the Fa conference, I was bathed in Master’s infinite mercy. I seemed to have rediscover myself. Master said,
“After each Fa conference, I look forward to seeing and hearing about the improvements you’ve made after the conference.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2016 New York Fa Conference”)
At that moment, I resolved to pull myself together after returning to Taiwan.
“The words you say will have energy that can eliminate his prejudices and attachments; it has such an effect and can restrain those bad things that interfere with his thoughts at the time; only then can you save him.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2016 New York Fa Conference”)
I am aware that a cultivator’s energy and righteous thoughts are indispensable to saving others. But my then cultivation state yielded no righteous thoughts nor energy. I knew that I had to cultivate myself well.
Another chief editor was also in the same downward spiral. So, we planned to increase our monthly work days and reduce our daily work hours. Our supervisor approved of our plan under the premise that the overall news output would not be affected.
In mid-July when I started working during a shift, I seized every chance to read the Fa and practice the exercises. Because I hadn’t devoted enough time to doing the exercises in recent years, I suffered poor health and could not cross both legs, so I increased my exercise time.
Having been severely interfered with, I felt upset when taking up my Dafa book. Thinking of irrelevant stuff, I would put down my book and leave. I also felt impatient when doing the exercises. A 10-minute exercise would feel tediously long for me. When sending forth righteous thoughts, I would be bothered by unrelated thoughts. Thinking badly of myself, I tried to avoid sending forth righteous thoughts.
However, as I started practicing the second exercise, I felt that the thought-karma was greatly reduced despite muscular pains in my hands. The xinxing tests that I had not passed in recent years started to emerge. Sometimes when I was getting so furious that I wanted to quit, I told myself, “I have to persevere! Only by searching within can I detect my problems and let them go. Each step on the path of cultivation should be correct, and each test should be passed.”
During the second month of doing the exercises, I could remain unaffected and no longer felt any pain. Focusing more attention on Fa-study, I came to better understand Master’s teachings and thus began to treasure the Fa-study time. I realized that if I can’t persist in reading the Fa and doing the exercises daily, pollutants from ordinary society will accumulate in me and then cause interference or sickness karma.
Within the subsequent months of doing the exercises, my negative emotions were eliminated and I felt peaceful. When I was in a peaceful state of mind, my interaction with co-workers was more harmonious.
To correct my behavior and regain my righteous thoughts, I paid close attention to my state when sending forth righteous thoughts, and regarded it as a process of strengthening my main consciousness and recognizing outward interference. I was also alerted by other practitioners that strange fancies were always interference from another dimension. And “feeling sleepy” was like being hypnotized instead of being in need of sleep. At first I might be in good spirits, and then became absent-minded. Sometimes I seemed to be in a dream; other times it seemed to be triggered by some topic as if I were under the influence of drugs. By strengthening my main consciousness, the interference diminished and my energy increased.
Once I sent forth righteous thoughts for a fellow practitioner who suffered sickness karma. With concentrated and powerful righteous thoughts, I felt “an air of supremacy and of destroying all evil in the cosmos.” Five minutes later, I felt all the disturbance eliminated. After sending forth righteous thoughts, he said, “I suddenly felt hot, and now my illness is almost gone!”
It was something unbelievable to me in the past that sending forth righteous thoughts could produce such quick results!
Saving Sentient Beings in the Delusional World
Everyday people’s media are full of sensational reporting of lust, scandals, and such, and I used to shut them out entirely. However, through sharing with fellow practitioners, I understood that if we want to save people, we cannot be afraid of the negative substances. We are the hope of sentient beings. In this corrupt world we have Dafa to guide us. In the face of controversy, we can regain our righteous thoughts. Only when we manage to purify ourselves can we guide everyday people .
“Dafa disciples have a duty and must, no matter what, fulfill the vows that brought them to this world. For it was on that account that you once pledged your life as a god and were thus allowed to become today the most magnificent kind of being in the cosmos—a disciple of Dafa”. ( “To the European Fa Conference” from The Essentials of Diligent Progress Vol. III)
In recent years, I have seen some become full-time NTD staff members, but hesitate to move one further step, and some who had become full-time members, but leave soon after. I know that the income is not much, and that everyone has to take one's actual life into account and choose their own path.
But when thinking of them, I still feel some regret, “We were partners who had promised to join hands with one another in NTD until the last step! Although we lack material prosperity, we are indeed the richest!”
We give up higher income and chances in ordinary society in exchange for the opportunity to devote all our time and energy to saving others. This makes us the envy of all divinity!
I ask myself whether I will give up once I see others leave. If I were the only one left here one day, would I still try my best to save people with the greatest mercy?Fortunately, I am not alone. I join hands with many practitioners.
Fellow practitioners rush to the front line for timely news broadcasts, regardless of shortages of money and manpower. They go wherever there is news, regardless of the circumstance or difficulties.
The general editor was nine months pregnant, but continued to work until the morning when she gave birth. The anchorwoman who was lying on the floor due to acute menstrual pain had no choice but to brush away tears to broadcast one piece of news after another, since there was no one to take her place.
As I started serving as a full-time staff member in 2014, another chief editor told me, “Thank you for joining me to share my workload.” Previously he was the only chief editor and had not taken a single day off in years.
“No,” I replied, “it is me who came late. With your long-term support, NTD could make it through hardships and grow into the current NTD!”
Because we have one mutual wish, we hope to make it through the hardest period; we hope to make NTD the most popular TV network in this world, and we hope to bring the power of NTD to every corner in this world – this day will not be in the too distant future!
Thank you Master! Thank you fellow practitioners.
(Presented at the 2017 Taiwan Falun Dafa Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)