A General Manager's Growth in Cultivation
(Minghui.org) I was an outstanding student at school and had a very good job with an enterprise. These circumstances led me to develop a strong sense of self-esteem. I obtained the Fa in 1998 and began practicing Falun Dafa (also known as Falun Gong).
After the persecution of Falun Dafa by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) began, I lost my job and endured many hardships.
Currently, I work for a private real estate company and have had several managerial positions. Although the work environment has improved and the job enables me to meet many people from different levels, I find the increasing conflicts between me and others hard to face. Just like Teacher said,
“I would say that physical pain is the easiest thing to endure; just grit your teeth and it's over. When people are scheming against each other, that is when the mind becomes the hardest thing to control.” (Zhuan Falun)
Conflicts with My Boss
I developed a set of tax plans that enabled the company I worked for to legally save tens of millions dollars on taxes in a year.
One day, I submitted a tax status report to my boss, thinking that I would be getting a monetary reward as promised to me verbally. I thought he would praise me for the excellent job. Instead, he said, “Based on your results, we'll assess the situation. Whatever additional money we can save, you'll be rewarded for that.”
I was surprised and didn't know what to say. I had already done my very best to help the company avoid paying more tax and thus saving lots of money. I knew very well that there were no other ways available to save money.
I asked myself, “Which of my attachments had been aroused?” First, I wanted to hear him praise me, to be appreciated so I could be recognized as an authority. That was the desire for fame. Second, I wanted to be rewarded financially to improve my lifestyle. That was seeking profit.
I wanted to prove to my boss that I was capable. That was self-validation. I didn't even think of using the same degree of effort to validate Dafa. And yet, I felt frustrated. As soon as I saw my problems, I quickly became calm. Later, my boss told me that 50,000 yuan had been deposited into my account.
Then I got promoted and was in charge of my company's finances. An audit led me to discover that my company had overpaid over a million yuan to the government to support the city. Many people said to just ignore it because the money had gone to the government and we'd never get it back.
I got in touch with the proper departments and helped the city government to connect with the appropriate personnel. In the end, over a million yuan was returned to us.
I was so happy! As I was getting ready to report to my boss, he called and asked, “Why did we get one million yuan returned?” I told him what had happened, thinking that he would be proud of me. But he said, “Don't mess things up. See if this money should be returned to them.”
I thought to myself, “You don't even appreciate the effort. Why not?!” But then I reminded myself that I was a cultivator. Nothing is a coincidence. What was my mindset? Although I didn't consult with him when I began looking into the incident, I did intentionally keep him informed. I wanted him to know that I was very responsible and that I always kept the company's interests in mind. That's the hidden mentality of seeking fame. Then, when the boss called me, I became zealous. Deep down, I still had a strong desire for wealth.
I am a Dafa disciple. Dafa has given me much wisdom. But at the crucial moment, again, I forgot to validate Dafa and indulged in validating myself. Am I a cultivator or not?! I asked myself this question.
“Those who are attached to their reputations practice an evil way, full of intention. Once they gain renown in this world, they are bound to say good but mean evil, thereby misleading the public and undermining the Fa.
Those who are attached to money seek wealth and feign their cultivation. Undermining the practice and the Fa, they waste their lifetimes instead of cultivating Buddhahood.” (“Cultivators’ Avoidances” from Essentials for Further Advancement)
Conflicts with the General Manager
I was the financial controller, so the general manager and I were the ones my boss relied on. When it came to finances, I'd say that the boss relied on me more.
In the second half of 2011, when I calculated the demolition cost with the local government, I personally audited each expense item. My efforts helped the company make a profit of nearly 10 million yuan. Like always, I reported to the general manager who often expressed his appreciation. Then he went to meet with the city government representatives on behalf of the company and final decisions were made. He often said to me, “Nobody but you can do those things.”
But when he and I met with the boss, he talked nonstop about how he fought for the company's benefits and helped the company make the 10 million profit. The boss was proud of him and seemed to not even notice that I was present. I felt wronged. It was I who played the main role and he did nothing! Didn't the boss know that? My self-esteem plummeted.
But I very quickly became calm and was able to begin looking inside. What was this so-called “self-esteem” and mentality of showing off? I thought about I often showed off in front of the general manager. I didn't miss an opportunity to show off to people that I was skillful, talented and persistent. I had the business proficiency and the ability to do every job well—even the general manager's. I didn't think about my relationship with him and often felt that I was better than him. I had totally forgotten that I was a cultivator; I behaved like an ordinary person!
“Because of cultivating among everyday people, a lot of our students cannot release many of their attachments. Many attachments have already become second nature, and these people themselves cannot detect them. This mentality of showing off can manifest in any situation; it can also surface when doing a good deed. In order to gain fame, personal profit, and a little benefit, some people often brag about themselves and show off. "I'm very capable and a winner."” (Zhuan Falun)
As soon as I saw my attachment, I corrected myself. I was under the general manager; that was our working relationship. But when it came to things in life, I played the main role and he played the supporting role. I should not forget that saving sentient beings is my main concern. When I do my job well, that, in itself, is clarifying the truth.
Because I regained a righteous state of mind, when I talked to the general manager about quitting the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), he was willing to listen. Although he didn't quit at the time, he promised that he would discuss the matter with his family when he returned home. I was confident that he would make a good choice.
In 2011, because I didn't pay attention to security issues when clarifying the facts to people, I discovered that the city police were following me. They tailed me for a long time.
One night, I was seized and taken to the police station. When the general manager found out about it the next day, he called the boss who had connections with the city government. He reminded the boss about the 10 million yuan that I helped to get from the city government long before.
He said, “So what's the big deal about practicing Falun Dafa? He's free to do that. Indeed, he is a good man! I don't see anything wrong with Falun Dafa.” The boss said to the city government representative, “It's only a matter of religion. Why can't he practice?”
The general manager then went to the police station and said, “Practicing Falun Dafa isn't against the law. He is not a bad person; he is good and kind.”
I kept sending righteous thoughts, hoping to strengthen the righteous thoughts of the boss and the general manager. The guard that watched me told me everything that he saw and heard. He asked, “Do your boss and the general manager also practice Falun Dafa?” I smiled and said nothing.
The next day, the general manager and the department coordinators came to take me home.
Conflicts among Colleagues
Everyone at work knows that I am a Falun Dafa practitioner. I try my best to conduct myself according to the standards of a practitioner. But when I became carefree, I would encounter problems that disturbed me.
The sales manager at my company was a young female practitioner. She was young, very capable and straight-talking. She and I cooperated well for many years. A new practitioner was in the purchasing department under me. Because he already listened to me clarify the facts, we had a good rapport. Because he was willing to read Dafa books and also introduced Zhuan Falun to his mother, I treated him differently. As a result, I was more lax about his handling of money in the course of his work for me.
Unintentionally, I mixed cultivation with work. This became an issue among the employees, because everyone saw that I treated these employees differently. This man was later fired after misappropriating 200,000 yuan in public funds. The incident had a certain negative impact, especially when I clarified the facts to others.
Once my boss said to me, “Wow, that fellow caught me by surprise. Perhaps it was because you were too easy on him. I don't know if he truly practices Falun Dafa or not, but the woman who practices in our company told me that he learned Falun Dafa from you. That's a shame!” Immediately, it was like a flame was sparked and I exploded inside. I thought, “She seems to be quite positive when Falun Dafa is mentioned, but it turns out that she is two-faced.”
But I realized very quickly that, as a cultivator, a Falun Dafa practitioner, I couldn't tarnish the image. It must be me who needed to make improvement somewhere and discard some attachments. I must seriously look within.
Why did the sales manager say Falun Dafa was good yet say something else behind people's backs? I thought it was me who didn't clarify the facts well. I also felt that perhaps I didn't conduct myself well and acted like an ordinary person. But I didn't look inward deeply, didn't take the opportunity to genuinely cultivate myself, and didn't catch my mistakes in a timely manner and correct myself.
Looking back, I could see that I was barely scratching the surface when I clarified the facts to the practitioner who was my sales manager. The good rapport with her was based on her work performance. Although I did mention to her about quitting the CCP, I never got her to make her choice known because there was always interference that stopped our conversations. Sometimes when Falun Dafa was mentioned, she was polite, but we didn't have an opportunity to converse further. Therefore, I think the truth-clarification wasn't done thoroughly, and she hadn't been saved yet. That prompted her knowing-side to remind me that I needed to do better.
As for the incident with the practitioner who misappropriated funds, I felt that, although he understood all the facts and had already quit the Party, the thought of bringing him into Dafa and helping with truth clarification was premature.
At the same time, because I mixed cultivation with work, it was definitely a loophole to assume that anyone who stepped into the door of cultivation could be trusted. From time to time, I saw some of the mistakes this new practitioner made, but, somehow, I always assumed that he would never make harmful mistakes. Just because he'd already read some Dafa books and probably understood some Fa principles, it was simply too naive to think that his work performance would surely be of good quality.
After reflecting on myself, I realized that I needed to talk with the sales manager about Falun Dafa. I sent righteous thoughts while clarifying the facts to her wholeheartedly. From her questions and attitude, I was certain that she understood. She quit the Party with no hesitation and even said that, when she had time, she would read Falun Dafa books.
Now that I am the general manager of my company, all kinds of conflicts—big and small—often arise. But I take Teacher's words to heart and always remember that I am a cultivator. I want to validate Dafa and cultivate myself better and better.
“Clarifying the facts and saving sentient beings are what you need to accomplish. There is nothing else for you to accomplish. There is nothing else in this world that you need to accomplish.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2015 New York Fa Conference”)