Striving Forward Diligently and No Letting Up in Cultivation
Greetings, revered Master!Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I had been too busy to reflect on my cultivation experience, and I’m glad the Media Fa Conference provides me with the opportunity to examine myself and look within.
Master said in “Rational and Awake” (Hong Yin Vol. II):
“Pause for a moment of self-reflection,and increase your righteous thoughtsThoroughly analyze your shortcomings,and progress with renewed diligence”
We should take full advantage of this opportunity to compare how we have studied and cultivated so as to improve together.
Treasuring the Cultivation Environment in Our Media
I once read an experience-sharing article in which the author talked about seeing with his third eye a mountain inside an enormous celestial body that has surpassed numerous realms of the universe. A sacred stream flowed down from the top of the mountain, and wherever it touched, it turned once-lifeless places into platinum, diamond, shining jewels, or magnificent gold. Countless sentient beings who were waiting in anticipation all knelt before the stream with tears of happiness. The sacred stream’s manifestation in this mortal world is the few media companies founded by practitioners.
It is such a precious opportunity to work for NTD, and I dedicate all my time to doing the three things. I realized that we are all but drops of water that form the sacred stream. We cultivate and elevate in this environment arranged by Master, fulfilling our vows to help Master rectify the Fa and save sentient beings. I treasure this cultivation environment very much. I participate in the group activities to study the Fa, do the exercises, and send forth righteous thoughts every day. I can feel the enormous energy field, which is filled with pure, peaceful righteous thoughts.
“It is necessary for a Dafa disciple to ensure his cultivation on a daily basis, and it is the mission of a Dafa disciple to clarify the facts and save people. You cannot go without either of these as you journey toward consummation.” (“A Reminder,” Team Yellow Translation)
What we do doesn't appear much different from ordinary jobs, but it is completely different in terms of its nature and significance because we are Fa-rectification Period Dafa disciples who are saving sentient beings in the Dharma-ending period of time. Sometimes when we get busy, we forget our true mission and work just for work’s sake. Therefore we must keep up with our Fa-study in order to better cleanse and temper ourselves. We must give up human notions and attachments that are exposed under different situations. We need to keep reminding ourselves that we’re practitioners, that we’re Master’s disciples.
Studying the Fa Well to Truly Obtain the Fa
I understand the importance of Fa-study and study the Fa every day. However, I didn't truly understand the Fa from the heart despite the countless times I’ve read through Zhuan Falun.
I'd heard other practitioners talk about the benefits of memorizing the Fa, but I felt it had nothing to do with me. I didn't think I had the aptitude to memorize the Fa, and I told myself it'd be enough if I just studied the Fa well.
In March this year, a practitioner shared with me again his experience of memorizing the Fa. He said that he just kept memorizing paragraph by paragraph, even if he had forgotten what he had previously memorized. He encouraged me to start memorizing the Fa. I immediately realized that this must be a hint from Master. Wasn't my thinking of not being capable of remembering anything a human notion? I came to see that it was time to make a breakthrough. I started memorizing the Fa that day.
It really took patience and perseverance. I did well the first few days but soon slacked off when work and family matters piled up. My thought karma also worked against me. I thought to myself that I must not give up and that I must negate the old forces' interference. I forced myself to keep memorizing the Fa and was able to continue without interruption.
I found myself becoming more patient, pure and efficient during the process. I grabbed every opportunity to memorize the Fa every day, sometimes one paragraph and other times a few more paragraphs. I made sure to not miss a single word. As I kept memorizing, I felt that every cell, every molecule, every atom, every nuclei, and every electron within all layers of my body was reciting and assimilating to the Fa. The wondrous feeling of being incorporated into the Fa was immensely beautiful.
As Master said in Melt Into the Fa:
“A person is like a container, and he is whatever he contains;”
“The more your mind holds, the faster the change.”
I was able to gain a deeper understanding of this passage by reciting the Fa.
The essential part of learning the Fa is to obtain the Fa. One should not only keep increasing their understanding of the Fa but also put these understandings into practice. Whenever something goes wrong at work, one should recall Master’s teachings and look within, looking for what is not done well and which human notion is provoked. Only by doing this can one truly understand the deeper meaning of the Fa. The key to learning and obtaining the Fa is to integrate the theory and the practice.
My son, who was attending a top college in China at the time, initially didn't want to join me in the U.S. He felt he didn't want to leave behind his comfortable life in China. Interestingly, the month in which I started memorizing the Fa, he told me he wanted to transfer to a university in the U.S. Two days later, I received my green card, which enabled me to apply for a green card for him. I couldn't believe my luck, but then I realized Master was encouraging me to do better. Thank you, Master!
Cultivating Myself in Practice
I've worked different jobs, from sales to post-sales customer services, during my three and half years in the media. I treated each assignment as a cultivation opportunity and finished it well.
In the past few years, our health team held many large-scale health exhibitions in Chinese communities, including those for lung health, cancer, viruses, prostate health, and blood cancer. Initially I took care of only a small part of these exhibitions, but now I am responsible for every aspect, including inviting doctors and VIPs, collecting gifts, gathering sponsors, designing and running ads, printing posters and flyers, distributing flyers, managing field staff, managing audiovisual crews and their equipment, gathering and analyzing data, and giving clients detailed reports. I spent a lot of time and effort to make every detail of every aspect as perfect as it could be.
In order to have more people come to the NTD Health Expo and learn about our media and Dafa, I usually called the event registrants a few days before the expo. The most phone calls I made a day was 218. Some people said they were loyal fans of NTD and Epoch Times, loved our programs and newspaper, and would come for sure. I was encouraged too and felt happy for the people who had learned the truth and were saved. Our media play a great role in saving people.
Every event reflected my cultivation and gave me plenty of opportunities to improve myself.
In September, there was a health expo in a hospital in New Jersey. I was assigned to work with another salesperson who had a totally different style and personality. I liked to do things quickly, but I was impatient. She was slow and never in a rush. It often took quite a few back-and-forth emails to understand her intentions. It was tiring to try to communicate with her. For a few days, I dreaded seeing her emails, and I got really annoyed.
When I calmed down, I realized I shouldn't behave that way, which was nothing like what a cultivator should be. Wasn't that my demon nature showing? Where were my compassion and kindness? I must not allow the demon nature to take over. When I became anxious again, I worked hard to control my emotions. Gradually, I found my stubborn impatience was removed layer by layer. I was then able to work well with that salesperson.
It was not easy promoting events in New Jersey, which has a vast area with a sparse population. We had to drive around instead of taking public transportation like in New York. How to attract more Chinese people to attend our event posed a challenge to us. But we knew that Master would make perfect arrangements for us as soon as our hearts were in the right place. For several straight weekends, two other salespeople and I took the subway, then the mini-bus to cross the river to New Jersey, where a local practitioner drove us to various places, including a supermarket, a local Chinese language school, and a senior center to pass out flyers about our event.
One Saturday, I was given the job of passing out flyers outside the supermarket, while another New York practitioner worked with a New Jersey practitioner on the Chinese school. I stayed at the entrance of the supermarket for several hours without drinking or eating. I was thirsty and hungry and began to complain that those two practitioners hadn't come to pick me up. But I realized immediately that I shouldn’t have this negative thought. Fellow practitioners were also working very hard and sacrificing a lot, and I shouldn’t complain. Furthermore, what a practitioner wants is opposite of that of everyday people. The more hard work, the better.
Master said in the Fourth Talk of Zhuan Falun:
“That black matter is karma, and suffering has the power to eliminate it and convert it into virtue.”
“Virtue is of course something practitioners want.”
“A higher energy like gong is most definitely not something gained through comfort and ease.”
Yes, wasn’t it good to cultivate and improve? The Fa-rectification has progressed to the human world, and there is not much time left. We must seize every opportunity to improve ourselves. The more flyers we passed out, the more people would know about our event. With such a thought, I no longer felt hungry or thirsty. I stayed at the supermarket until past 5 p.m., when my fellow practitioner came and we went home.
She told me she needed help passing out flyers at two Chinese schools the next day. More people were needed because Chinese classes were usually held on Sundays. Hearing this, I blurted out, “I've already made arrangements for tomorrow. I don't have time.” She said she'd go by herself then. I didn't know what to say but just felt that something was not quite right.
I soon realized that I was being selfish and failed to consider the needs of promoting the event. I should let go of self and cooperate with other practitioners unconditionally. I could reschedule my own commitments.
I texted her upon returning home and told her I'd go to New Jersey to distribute flyers. The next day, I worked with a New Jersey practitioner to pass out flyers at the two Chinese schools. It was pouring, and we kept sending forth righteous thoughts. Master arranged many people, including parents, students, and teachers, to take our flyers. On the day of the Expo, we saw quite a few people we had met at the schools.
Master said in A Congratulatory Letter to the Fa Conference of Europe:
“What a cultivator works on is always him or herself, and even the slightest change to your human thinking amounts to an improvement and will be witnessed by divine beings.”
I also improved my xinxing by answering phone calls for the Expo in New Jersey. I had been afraid of answering phone calls because they kept coming in and I found them troublesome. But I had no choice this time as I was given the job to answer the hotline. I wasn't too happy with my assignment, but then I realized that nothing happens by chance. Wasn't it an opportunity for me to remove the notion of avoiding trouble?
Master said in the Fourth Talk of Zhuan Falun:
“You will be made to give up all of the worldly attachments that you hold onto. Any and all attachments you have must be ground down, and it will take place through any of a number of scenarios where you will be made to trip and fall, and from it come to new spiritual insights.”
My heart felt lighter, and I no longer complained about answering phone calls. The more ads we ran, the more audience reached us via the hotline. From morning to night, people called all the time. I received a call as late as 10:30 p.m. I answered every call with a peaceful mind because I knew I was establishing karmic relationships with sentient beings. I registered those people for health exhibitions and answered their questions patiently while making detailed records. By doing this, I gradually removed my notion of being afraid of trouble. On the day of the event, there were still people calling to register. I picked up 103 phone calls and registered 178 people. Many satisfied and grateful attendees asked us when the next event would be.
Relinquishing Human Notions, Overcoming Sickness Karma
I suddenly felt sharp pain in my stomach one morning in February this year, but I kept working as if nothing had happened. I used to have stomach problems while in college. Even after I started cultivating, the same symptoms would still pop up once in a while. I had always thought I was hungry or tired, and I did feel better in my stomach after I grabbed something to eat or lay down for a little break. This time, though, I remembered to look within to see why I had stomach pain. I realized that I had been using human notions to deal with my trouble. No wonder my sickness karma lingered. I sent forth righteous thoughts. In just a few minutes, my stomach pain was gone. It was truly like what Master said in New Life (Hong Yin, Translation Version C): “Decayed matter is removed; The brilliant light shines.” I realized I need to watch even my slightest thoughts, which can accumulate to affect whether we can strive forward.
“Dafa disciples are magnificent because you are here at the same time as the period of Master’s Fa-rectification and are able to safeguard and uphold Dafa. If what you do is no longer worthy of a Dafa disciple, think about it, if under the greatest mercy since the beginning of Heaven and Earth and under Buddha’s infinite grace you still can’t do well, how could there be another chance? Cultivation and Fa-rectification are serious. Whether you are able to treasure this period of time is, in fact, a matter of whether you can be responsible to yourselves. This period of time will not last long, but it can forge the mighty virtue of magnificent Enlightened Beings, Buddhas, Daos, and Gods of different levels, and even Lords of different levels. It can also destroy overnight a cultivator who has reached a really high level but who has become less strict with himself. Disciples, be diligent! Everything that’s the most magnificent and the most wonderful is developed in the process of your validating Dafa. Your vows will become testaments of your future.”
Please correct me if you see any problems with my understandings.
Thank you, Master!Thank you, fellow cultivators!
(Presented at the 2018 NTD and Epoch Times Fa Conference)