Elevating and Saving Sentient Beings While Working on Media Projects
Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I obtained the Fa in 1997 and have been cultivating for over 20 years. I have worked as a reporter for The Epoch Times newspaper for over six years and am now starting my fifth year with the Sound of Hope Radio Network.
Born to Obtain the Fa
I was never very healthy before I obtained the Fa and had been on medications non-stop since I was little. I did not enjoy physical health until I began cultivating Dafa. When I first opened Zhuan Falun and saw Master’s picture, I felt Master was very kind and trustworthy. I started reading the book right away, finished the whole book in three days, and then read it a few more times. I deeply resonated with Master’s Fa. In fact, Master cleansed my body when I started reading. Every time I read the book, Master would reveal as much of the essence behind the Fa as I could enlighten to at my level. It was on the winter solstice of 1997 that I realized I should cultivate Falun Dafa. Winter solstice is a memorable day, and this day became my cultivation anniversary.
As a Dafa disciple, like many other fellow practitioners, I have experienced joy and happiness from cultivation like I’ve never had in my life. I actively participated in activities to introduce Dafa to others and was full of joy. After the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) launched its persecution of Dafa, I joined all kinds of activities, large and small, organized by the local Falun Dafa Association, such as parades, raising awareness of the persecution, and rescuing practitioners from persecution in China. I have stumbled along my cultivation path under Master’s guidance and care ever since.
Joining the Media Projects
In September 2007, I joined the media as my way to validate the Fa.
It was difficult to work for the media back then. This was especially so for me, a timid introvert who was not good at communication. I did not speak Cantonese well in the beginning, and people had to ask me several times before they understood the name of our media when I was making an introduction. They even helped to correct my pronunciation. I was so embarrassed that my face turned red.
The evil forces were wild then, and the Communist Party’s propaganda machine was going crazy trying to demonize Dafa. Many people did not know the truth. As a result, our media was not well-perceived, and we received very few press releases. Sometimes reporters from other media would forward them to us. The weather in Hong Kong is hot and humid. We rushed to events we learned about under the scorching sun and showed up hot and sweaty, often after the event was already over.
There were also challenges during the interviews. Many times, event organizers took me aside, asked how I had learned about their events, and told me to not report on them. Many times, someone would cover my camera lens when I tried to take pictures. Many times, I asked residents or subjects for interviews and was turned down four or five times straight. Many times, my requests for press releases received no positive responses. Reporters from other media did not accept us, either. They did not talk to me and excluded me from their circles. I felt very isolated, and all of this was because the staff of our media practice Falun Dafa.
Under such circumstances, I lost it several times and felt bitter, tired and depressed. Looking back, I am really ashamed of my unwillingness to perform my duties then. I tried to work in the daytime and edit news at night, but I refused to go out to the front lines to do interviews.
Strengthening Righteous Thoughts While Tempering Myself
Should I just give up? I was not sure. I decided to calm down and study the Fa. Fellow practitioners in the media shared their experiences with me to encourage me. They reminded me that the fact that I was able to join the media project might not be a coincidence and could well be Master’s arrangement.
I realized that it was because I had made a vow to Master that I could join the media projects. Therefore, I could not give up. All that I saw in front of me was due to the sentient beings’ not knowing the truth because of interference and obstruction from the old forces and the evil. As a practitioner, shouldn’t I cultivate and improve myself? How can I compare myself with non-practitioners? They are the subjects I should save! Wasn’t it because they’ve not been saved that they behaved in unfriendly ways?
Under Master’s guidance, I collected my resolve, let go of my ego, picked up my gear, and went out to cover the news. I recalled that I often recited Master’s poem “Climbing Mount Tai” to boost my own morale:
“I climb the steep steps, stretching miles ahead,Winding upward and steep, this road,even to set off is hard;Glancing back, ‘tis just like cultivating Righteous Fa,Pausing half way makes salvation hard.
So steel the will, and lift thy leaden leg,Endure the pain, diligent, and cast off attachments;Dafa disciples, the tens of millions—A place still higher awaits you at Consummation.”(“Climbing Mount Tai” from Hong Yin)
“So steel the will, and lift thy leaden leg” described my feelings at that time. I was grateful for Master’s encouragement. Once I made up my mind to go out with righteous thoughts, I instantly felt that my field was cleansed, my body was lightened, and the heavy weight dissipated. I felt that I had been reborn again and again. At that moment, tears rolled down my cheeks; I knew it was Master who was encouraging me.
Understanding Sentient Beings with Compassion
I brought up the earlier events because my feelings were acute and things were very difficult. Society did not accept us and kept a distance from our media. We had no interaction with the community. I enlightened that we must identify opportunities and entry points to allow people to hear the truth from Dafa disciples. We must gain the trust of the community.
“All of what you encounter and meet with owes to factors that are present within your expanse. 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.”(“Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting” from Teaching the Fa at the Conference X)
Master's teachings were unforgettable. I used righteous thoughts to face the challenges. When they did not allow me to report, I called them up and told them that it was interfering with the freedom of the press. When someone did not accept my interview, I politely asked why. I would later tell him, “How can you believe the CCP’s words? The CCP has engaged in a lot of political campaigns. Suppressing Falun Gong is just one of them. Its means of suppression are the same.” After that, I worked harder to find more people to interview.
Many people knew very little about Falun Gong due to the Communist Party’s propaganda. Sometimes, when my media work was done, people at the event were curious to see reporters who work for what they deemed as Falun Gong media, so they’d ask me questions about Dafa. Those questions offered me great opportunities to clarify the truth to them. Such conversations often went on for over an hour.
I talked about the so-called “siege of Zhongnanhai” on April 25, 1999, the staged “self-immolation” on Tiananmen Square, and the major changes to my own health and well-being since I began cultivating. I also talked about the many political movements launched by CCP, including its intensified encroachment upon affairs in Hong Kong. My points focused on the fact that we are all being persecuted, every one of us, and that none of us could be spared in the CCP’s suppression.
I told them Dafa disciples in the media not only provide a service to society but also reveal the wicked nature of the CCP to help people abandon their illusions of the Party. I made friends one after another by talking to one person at a time, as the truth spread from one individual to a group. A group of people would then know the truth about Dafa, respect Dafa disciples, and be my friends, who would help me in my future work, making introductions for me and sending me notifications of community events.
Boosting Professionalism As a Way to Convince People
The situation changed gradually. But I felt that I could not write articles well in the beginning, and people were skeptical and kept a distance from me despite my proactive efforts in reporting. I remembered talking to a representative of a group when a reporter from another Hong Kong newspaper walked in. The gentleman immediately left me and went to greet her, telling me that she reports news very well.
I realized that I needed to improve my journalistic professionalism. I thought to myself that as a practitioner, I could do anything everyday people could. Therefore, while learning from other colleagues in our media, I also studied materials about reporting. After each interview I conducted, I would look at how other media outlets covered the same story and take notes of the good articles they wrote and the good phrasing they used. I read these notes over and over again until I could use those expressions freely in my own work.
Before my interview, I would also spend more time learning the background of the incident and the key issues to be covered. Gradually, I learned how to ask questions, even challenging ones. While doing interviews, I also put in more effort than reporters typically do. I not only took notes but also recorded the whole session. I would insert in the article quotes that most appropriately reflect the thoughts and concerns of the community.
One day, I received a call in the early morning from a representative of a group I interviewed the day before. I was a bit concerned whether there was something wrong with my reporting, so I asked, “Is it that you don’t like my article?” She said instead, “No! I’m calling to let you know that you did a great job, better than a few other media outlets.” I felt so relieved and grateful for Master’s encouragement.
There were more and more such occurrences. With time, I earned people’s trust, connected with more and more groups, and gained access to many resources in society. These groups sent us their congratulatory messages at our anniversary celebration to show their support and respect. A chain reaction has also reached some councilpersons and societal groups. Gradually, I received more and more media notifications for political events, and requests to interview councilpersons, activists, advocates and political figures on sensitive social issues were granted more and more often.
I did not let go of any opportunity to stay close to the community, humbly hoping that I would stay at their level so that they would come closer to us and trust us. Getting closer is the first step of truth-clarification.
Being Considerate At All Times and Guiding Sentient Beings to Choose the Right Side
Since the hand-over of Hong Kong from the United Kingdom to China, the CCP has intensified its meddling in the affairs of Hong Kong’s administrative, judicial and education systems. It has also suppressed individuals and groups that are pro-democracy and engaged in social advocacy.
The ever-tightening grip made many people in Hong Kong feel suffocated and depressed. Often during interviews, people would mention to me that they have been fighting for decades, yet they feel more and more powerless and uncertain about the future. I would take such opportunities to encourage them, with an optimistic smile on my face, “Falun Gong practitioners are the number one enemy in the eyes of the CCP. We are all still living here. We are still fighting. What are you afraid of?!”
I told them that the CCP is not as strong as it seems. Its alleged power is unfounded, and what shows on the surface merely reflects the instability and fragility of its regime. Good is rewarded and evil is punished: That’s the law of the universe. The CCP has done only bad things, killed 80 million Chinese, and persecuted Dafa disciples. It will be held accountable for its actions. And now, its days are numbered, and in the near future, we will see its disintegration and demise. When the moment arrives, let’s go to the streets to celebrate. When they heard these words, they happily said, “Yes! No matter what, we must take the opportunity to fight and speak out when we still can.”
I often responded, “When you raise your voices of resistance, we have news to cover. Otherwise, what are we to say?” I told them that when pro-democracy activists are suppressed, they should be in the limelight and the center of public’s attention. I sent messages to them to tell them that they are not alone. They are all beings who support Dafa. I must care for them, let them know the truth, and be saved.
Little by little, I became close with these people, and I was happy to spend my time communicating with them. With the progress of Fa rectification, the evil is less and less able to sustain its persecution. While working for our media, the mutual trust between people and me has been solidified. I believe they can see and feel the sincerity, magnanimity and forthrightness that embody our spirit from cultivating Truthfulness, Compassion and Forbearance. While people see more and more of me at news events, they often come over to chat and share a joke with me. Sometimes, they would hold their banners and placards higher for me to take a good shot. They have shared their snacks with me while saying a few kind words. Other times, when I was not able to be on site for events, they would take pictures for me to use in my articles. They added me to their social media groups, and I became their friend. Sometimes, I learned that they were preparing for events before press releases were disseminated. They also often share with me their thoughts and comments on news events.
In recent years, the truth-clarification sites and parades held by Dafa disciples have often been harassed by the so-called “Hong Kong Youth Care Association Limited” (QGH), a known affiliate of the CCP. In my social media group, I often saw my contacts expressing their dissatisfaction with QGH and their support for Falun Gong. Sometimes, when Dafa disciples had parades, some group members would spread the news on the group platform calling whoever might have time to go and support the Falun Gong march on certain streets, as QGH was making trouble there.
I once interviewed someone at a parade demanding general elections, there were about a dozen QGH members on the roadside holding display boards with text slandering Dafa. The marchers saw them and rushed to shout “Support Falun Gong! Support freedom of belief! Jiang Zemin should be put on the wanted list and tried!”
Writing articles is, in fact, the same as being a person and a cultivator. Our work must conform to the principles of professional reporting in the press. In addition, as Dafa disciples, we must always be humble and polite regardless of society’s attitude toward us. When we write, we must not put anyone on the spot or push them into a difficult position. Otherwise, we may lose the connection and possibly push them away.
I remembered that some academics and commentators had been uneasy about our reports; I therefore sincerely told them that I was grateful for the interview opportunities, and although there was much for us to learn and improve, we put our heart into our work. Later, I would make sure to share the article link with them and invite their comments and feedback.
Dafa disciples should always be considerate of others. When people from mainland China were interviewed, I would keep their safety in mind. I would first inquire whether it would be okay to take their pictures. When the response was positive, I would ask if they were sure.
When a well-known mainland journalist who was famous for reporting on a corrupt official came to Hong Kong for an interview for the first time, we had a good conversation. Later, when he was holding a press conference, he took the initiative to call me to attend the event. After that, we became friends. He gave me an inside story of corrupt officials. I thus wrote several exclusive reports. However, I did not quote his real name. I told him that I could not bring harm to him because of a report. We established mutual trust, and now he knows the truth about Dafa well.
I often tell my contacts that when they run into difficult or dangerous situations, to say, “Falun Dafa is good!” I told them it is the most auspicious blessing.
Every time I go out to conduct an interview, I try to study the Fa, adjust my mind, and send forth righteous thoughts to clear the field. I also treat my fellow journalists with “Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance.” Sometimes, I give them a good spot to take photos. I sometimes help them hold the microphone. We also share information and details of media contacts. I have now established a very good relationship with my fellow reporters. I have friends at other media outlets, and we often make arrangements to go to cover events together. Our relationships are very good.
“The paths of cultivation are variedBut none is outside the Great LawWhen one is attached to nothingThe path underfoot is naturally smooth”(“Unimpeded” from Hong Yin Vol. II)
For more than a decade, I’ve had ups and downs and taken many beatings while I stumbled through my path of working for media projects. With Master’s encouragement and blessing, I soldier on. With the progression of Fa-rectification, people in the world have become more and more aware of the truth. Everyday people’s media are gradually declining, while the influence of our media is increasing.
We are now notified of large and small events. Many groups have actively asked us to interview them. Celebrities or political figures are all aware of the major media outlets operated by Falun Gong practitioners. We are guided by Master, and we are unstoppable. Sometimes, when I reflect on my path, I have complicated feelings. I am so grateful for Master’s guidance and leading the way. He gave me a path to validate the Fa so that I can grow while working for the media.
Allow me to conclude with verses from Master’s poem, “Diamond-like Will:”
“Lost beings each foment chaosKnowing not the great peril at hand,I strive to rescue things before they burst,Could I let rotten demons spell disaster?Will and thought harder than diamond,The vast and miniscule are all my creation”(Hong Yin Vol. II)
Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!
Please kindly point out any shortcomings.
(Presented at the 2018 Washington DC Fa Conference)