What I Learned from Writing Articles in the News Media
(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I became a Falun Dafa practitioner in 2003 and started working at the Epoch Times in New York in 2012. In 2017, I switched to online news translation and writing.
Working at the media has been a very important transition period for my cultivation. Here I have understood how to cultivate, why we cultivate, and the practitioners’ gratitude for the opportunities from Master for us to cultivate.
From Hurting Others to Being Considerate of Others
I am an only child, and also the oldest daughter in my extended family. I was spoiled when I was young and had a bad temper. As a result, I often ended up hurting others when I talked.
Had I not cultivated, I would not have been able to recognize my selfishness. I remember when I was graduating in 1998, I glanced over at my roommate’s diary. On it were lines after lines of words from me that hurt her. I was shocked since I did not realize those casual words would hurt her feelings. Plus, they had been on her mind for so long.
I wanted to find a chance to apologize to her for a long time. It was not until 2012 when I arrived abroad that I finally called my roommate.
When I called my former roommate, she was really happy. When I was apologizing sincerely to her, she seemed to have forgotten all about it. I know that it is Master who was helping me get rid of that layer of matter after seeing my changed heart.
When I was not cultivating yet, I always compared myself to others and felt good about myself. Now I know that I need to cultivate according to the Fa and set an even higher standard for myself. That includes being kind to everyone.
For instance, when I was interviewing a respondent who came from Taiwan many years before, she wasn’t very happy about me writing about her. I was not disturbed by that and still considered her to be a friend. I respected her and kept in contact with her. Every time she was contacted about certain issues, I always did my best to help her. As a result, I regained her trust.
Now, she is a loyal reader of the Epoch Times, and she has watched Shen Yun year after year. She even called her friends and family back in Taiwan, recommending them to watch New Tang Dynasty Television.
The Power of Compassion
Not long ago, we covered a piece of news about a Chinese person being convicted of stealing trade secrets. As a result, a friend of the convicted person came to us, hoping that we would withdraw the article.
We had every right to ignore such a request, but in order to save people, we responded and told the person that we would figure out a better option to solve the problem.
This reader felt that since she is Chinese, and we are a Chinese media, we would be able to understand. The American government is currently causing trouble for Chinese people, and therefore, her friend is a victim.
I won’t talk about how her friend’s case went, but the caller did not see clearly the influence of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). I decided to use my own personal experience to broaden her understanding, and told her: “No matter what kind of bad views people have on the Chinese people, it is your words and behaviors that will speak the facts.”
She understood right away and did not say anything else. The current undesirable situation was caused by the CCP, which led to the rift between people abroad and Chinese people.
She agreed and said that she and her friends support Falun Dafa. They had also watched the parades by practitioners and Shen Yun performances.
Through this experience, I realized that when I take a step back and consider her perspective, instead of following human notions, I would feel the power of compassion. It is very harmonious and calm, and very strong.
We are a Chinese media outlet in the U.S., and our readers are mainly Chinese living in this country. Given the CCP’s infiltration overseas, many Chinese could feel the impact. It’s important to interact with them, and understand things from their perspective. It’s important to let them understand that we stand by them, and that we are thinking about and considering their point of view. That way, when we clarify the truth to them, we will be able to pull them away from the influence of the CCP’s propaganda.
Master said in Essentials for Further Advancement II,
“Validate the Fa with rationality, clarify the truth with wisdom, spread the Fa and save people with mercy—this is establishing the mighty virtue of an Enlightened Being.”
I understand that our ability to save people stems from Dafa. When we cultivate better and have fewer attachments—only then can we have wisdom and rationality while doing things. Only then, will we have mighty virtue.
Not Doing Things Halfheartedly
Recently, because we are short on staff, I’ve been exhausted. Because I haven’t gotten rid of my strong attachment to doing work and at the same time, I haven’t been able to properly study the Fa, I did not consider myself a practitioner or look inward. My xinxing fell, my body began showing signs of exhaustion, and my temper got worse. Every day I was grumpy, and my attachment to resentment was very strong.
I knew that this wasn't right, but I didn’t have the power to fix it. More specifically, I did not have a strong desire to get rid of my attachments, and instead I allowed these attachments to control me.
Then something awoke me. I have had my driver’s license for two years, but I was always afraid of driving. Now, I am forced to drive in order to pick up my kids. Every time I practice driving, my husband always pointed out a slew of mistakes that I made. Sometimes when he pointed out the same mistakes repeatedly, his tone wasn't so good, and I didn’t want to listen to him. I always found excuses and did not make an effort to improve.
This continued for about a month, until one day, I realized that if I am unable to drive with an instructor by the side, there would be no way for me to drive by myself in the future.
This made me think of cultivation. Master said in Zhuan Falun,
“I can make you immediately reach the state of 'three flowers gathering above the head (sanhua juding).' Once you step out this door, however, the gong will come off because it is not yours, and it is not from your cultivation. Because your xinxing standard is not there yet, it cannot stay there. Whoever wishes to add it to you will be unable to do it, because it comes completely from one’s own cultivation and from cultivating one’s own mind.”
I thought that if my cultivation doesn’t improve, my gong will surely not improve. I need to steadily do things by myself. I can’t just say that I’ll raise my level and my xinxing when the time comes. This mentality of doing things halfheartedly will not work. “When the time comes, I’ll do whatever it takes” is actually an excuse, and it’s an excuse to “not do something, and not wanting to do something”—it’s an excuse and delusional.
When I realized this, I began to take my thoughts more seriously. That is, I looked deeply at myself and found many attachments.
When I dug deeper, I found something that still existed in my mind—a negative thought. For cultivation, I had always considered myself an “average person” and used that as an excuse. Because I am not a “wise person” that Master mentioned in Zhuan Falun, I thought, I did not have to work so hard or do things so well.
Master said in Teaching the Fa at the Fa Conference in Australia,
“You can call it “cultivation” only when one wants to cultivate, has the desire to reach Consummation, and at the same time carries out the actions involved in cultivation.”
I shared this with other practitioners. They said that this type of “average person” mentality isn’t from my true self. It is from the old forces, encouraging me to relax and not allowing me to improve. This is a type of thought karma. We came with Master from above with the heart to succeed in cultivation—where would this “average person” end up?
The reason I accepted this irrationally was because I did not have faith in Master and Master’s Fa. I obtained the Fa, but failed to cherish it—I did not have sufficient righteous thoughts, and as a result, I did not have righteous actions.
Those who had cultivated the Tao in the past were able to achieve the state of mind of “having heard the Dao in the morning, one can die in the evening.” My state of mind was more like sighing in frustration but doing nothing to resolve the issue. Instead, I got around it with the excuse of “I don’t have what it takes to do something about it.”
In my mind, the good and the bad things that I had done are all in the past. Time waits for no one, and now that I have awoken, it is crucial for me to do better. I need to let go of my attachments and steadily cultivate, abandon the negative thinking and mentality, and rectify myself according to the Fa.
Master said in “Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting”,
“Because each person covers a certain expanse of his own in the world around him, his emotional state will have a bearing on his affairs.”“Because each person covers a certain expanse of his own in the world around him, his emotional state will have a bearing on his affairs.” “If you can have sufficient righteous thoughts, you can then be towering and massive within your expanse and suppress any bad things that might exist there.”
Cultivating Is Essential for Writing Articles
As a cultivator who obtained the Fa after 1999, personal cultivation and rectifying the Fa are linked.
When I hit a roadblock while writing and cannot progress further, I need to improve my xinxing, along with looking inward. Especially when it comes to articles that pertain to the CCP’s persecution against Falun Gong practitioners, it becomes even more evident.
Another feeling I get is that every time I found an excuse and put off writing the article, it came back around quickly, forcing me to work on it. This is arranged for me, so I cannot get rid of it. Because this job is the path that Master had arranged for me, when it comes to tests that I must pass or the attachments that I must get rid of, I won’t be able to bypass any of it.
For example, one time I was assigned an article regarding brainwashing centers. It was the first time that I came across this subject, and I felt that it would be hard to do. In addition, there was a lot of other news to follow, so I ended up putting it off time and time again.
Later, when the deadline was approaching, I felt resentful to my supervisor for not managing this well and made everyone unhappy.
That night, not long after sending forth righteous thoughts, a big tree beside my house fell over and knocked down the power line, causing a blackout. I realized, “I was wrong.”
I had been entrusted with an important job—clarifying the truth through the news, yet it was blocked by my attachments. I had just left China not long before that, yet I was so unclear about the persecution of Falun Gong happening there. I felt like I had forgotten my base, forgotten the original purpose of the media, and that I had forgotten to speak up for the practitioners in mainland China, who couldn’t speak up for themselves.
Looking back at the experiences that I had in the past few years, the key point is that when writing articles, one must maintain a tranquil mind and righteous thoughts. The power behind the words goes hand in hand with our cultivation. Every article that gets published will have divine support. This is not something that any ordinary article can achieve.
I used to find some articles from others that didn't really follow the right format or had a multitude of other issues. When I took a step back, however, those problems didn't seem to be such a big deal.
Actually, it’s not that the problems in the article became fewer, but that we are cultivators, and our feelings towards the article are different. Master said in Zhuan Falun, “When you go home and write a few words—no matter how your handwriting is—it carries gong!”
As a truth-clarification media, we are carrying out an important mission. We must approach things with a higher requirement for professionalism.
Looking back, I felt really regretful to not have continued studying new things, as I am far from the level of professionalism required by Master. I hope that through writing I will be able to remind myself of that from now on. I hope to change and do better.
I feel that if we could write more professionally, with Master's help and support, it could really be something extraordinary.
I would like to use a dream that I had to end the sharing. I often dreamed of clarifying the truth to everyday people, telling them about the wonders of Dafa, but doing so through writing with a brush pen, stroke by stroke.
After writing, I got ready to buy a train ticket home but found that my ID was missing, preventing me from buying the ticket. The train was preparing to leave, when all of a sudden, a practitioner that I knew ran up to me and gave me my ID. She said, “Those people you clarified the truth to went everywhere, saying 'Falun Dafa is good,' and they found this ID.”
I understand then that this was Master telling me to continue to clarify the truth to people through writing articles.
(Presented at the 2018 NTD and Epoch Times Fa Conference)