Grateful for Our Cultivation Environment
(Minghui.org) Greetings Master, and fellow practitioners.
“Do well what remains to be done, and head toward the future with a cultivation journey free of regret.” (“To the Canada Fa Conference,” Team Yellow Translation)
I feel a little anxious every time I see the words “no regrets” when studying the Fa, or in practitioners’ sharing articles, because I don’t think I have done well in the past. The only thing that comforts me is that I have persisted in doing media projects.
From volunteering, to part-time, and then to full-time work, from working as a salesperson, to a sales assistant, then to a full-time news translator, I have been involved in media projects for almost eight years.
Looking back on this journey, I am grateful that Master arranged such an environment, preventing me from distancing myself from Dafa. I often think of what Master said,
“In whatever you do you should carry it through to the end, do it well...” (“What is a Dafa Disciple” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
So, when undergoing xinxing tribulations, leaving the media has never been an option for solving my problems.
My project underwent a major personnel change shortly after I became a full-time staff member.
As a newcomer, I knew very little about the conflicts that existed between people who worked on this project. All of a sudden, I began hearing many rumors. I can’t recall any of it in detail, but I do remember that at the time it greatly disturbed me. I cried twice after going home from work, and wondered how the coordinator could do the things being cited in the rumors.
But, I thought, “I’m not doing the project for him.” As a result, I calmed down. The next day, when the coordinator spoke to me, I proactively opened up to share with him. He shared with me his thoughts concerning some issues he had experienced.
I was relieved upon hearing it all, and understood that there were two sides to every story. We cannot listen to only one side of a dispute. When witnessing conflict between people, we should view things from a cultivator’s perspective and not be deluded by the mixed signals from different people’s xinxing tribulations, or analyze problems based on human sentimentality.
This coordinator is also a cultivator. He also cultivates by facing conflicts, learns how to manage others, and leads the project. On the surface, he might seem to lack consideration before doing things, and have a tough attitude, but we need to look at the big picture. I have also experienced such tests, but I took a step back from the conflict each time, tried to find my selfishness and attachments, and improved based on what I discovered. I also noticed that the coordinator was also improving his xinxing, and had changed his leadership style.
I once had a dream in which the issues happened in ancient times. The coordinator and I, along with some others, were standing together dressed in battle armor. I remember that in the dream he was our general.
After that I had another dream. The coordinator and I were catching a flight to America with a few others.
I realized that no matter what the project, the members working on that project may have already formed sacred predestined relationships in history and experienced life and death tests together. In this life, everyone is fulfilling their mission as part of the one body. We must cherish our destiny and obey the commands of the “general.”
Prepared to be a “Softie”
I take things seriously, and it is relatively easy to talk to me. Therefore, whenever a supervisor asks me to do something I don’t make excuses.
But when I started viewing the performing of tasks as cultivation, and when my state was not stable and calm, I began to feel resentful. I once heard someone else complain about the supervisor saying, “She can’t just keep picking on the softie.” I found this metaphor quite interesting at the time, but because I was not involved in the conflict, I didn’t think too much about it.
Later, for a while, the supervisor often assigned extra work to me, and this gradually became a matter of course. Once when asking me to translate an article, she said, “You need to work overtime on Saturday.”
I felt a little uncomfortable and thought, “In the past she would at least ask if I was available to work overtime, but now something that should be a request has turned into a command. She didn’t even ask whether I was willing to do it.”
Of course, I still worked the overtime, but I was a little reluctant and resentful. In the past, when my colleagues had nothing to do, I noticed them browsing the web and reading stories, and I thought, “We are on the same salary but our workloads are not the same. Because of the nature of my work, I always have tasks to do, but the workloads of others fluctuate, and they have free time on their hands.”
I also noticed that some colleagues were doing things perfunctorily, and when the supervisor pointed out the issue, they had an attitude of, “This is my level of capability—I can only do things to this level.” When the supervisor saw that they were upset, she tried to make them happy, and dared not give them more work. Then she would say to me, “Be understanding of each other. It is not easy for everyone.”
Although I went along with it, I felt a bit unhappy and thought, “Why does the supervisor go so easy on these people—they would have already been fired in an ordinary people's company.
In fact, this showed that I was jealous, but rather than rejecting those negative thoughts, I failed to look inside more deeply, and eliminate this attachment.
I was once chatting with a colleague about this situation. It started off as sharing, but then turned into complaining. We both thought that we were easy going and were softies who were always picked on. As we spoke, the fellow practitioner mentioned a scene in a movie she had heard about.
In the movie, a man with a strong faith in his god was always being bullied by a colleague in the company. He did all the work, but his colleagues stole all the credit. In the end, one colleague had even stolen his girlfriend. When he was experiencing such extreme sorrow the god he believed in enlightened him—the god turned out to be his colleague, who was in fact testing him.
After hearing that, I understood everything and woke up from the illusion. I posed the question to myself,: “Isn’t this Master’s arrangement to help me cultivate? I work hard and take on as much as possible. Isn’t this expected of me? Why do I feel abused? The supervisor is trying to consider the feelings of everyone in the team, so why am I unhappy?”
As I improve in cultivation, I have become more and more aware of why Master emphasizes the need for Dafa practitioners to relinquish jealousy, because many attachments and negative thoughts are an outcome of jealousy.
After I adjusted my mindset the supervisor returned to her normal state. Every time I was given extra work she politely asked if I was able to help. The attitude of my colleagues also improved, and they took on more work. I truly understood Master’s Fa principle:
“Pacify the External by Cultivating the Internal,” (“Pacify the External by Cultivating the Internal,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
Fame, Fortune, Sentimentality
Last year, my supervisor asked me if my husband could also join the project. This situation exposed many of my attachments.
I used to think that my attachments to fame and fortune were not very strong compared to those of practitioners who were unwilling to give up their high-paying jobs in everyday society. I thought I was quite good.
But this request from the supervisor exposed many things I was unable to let go of. Before I got married, my husband and I agreed that I would focus on the media project, and he would be responsible for our finances. Because of his income we did not need to worry about money.
At that time, my husband was changing jobs, and would have a higher income. We often talked about buying a house and having children.
If he were to also work on the project the income would be meager, our finances would be very tight, and if my husband were to go to New York, would I go with him? The lives of practitioners in New York is not easy. Could we stand it? Would we have to give up the idea of buying a house and having children? These were questions that came to mind.
When my husband was told about the job offer, he wanted to accept it. In that case I had to let go of my attachments, and support him.
He said he would explain the situation to the project supervisor, hoping they could give us a combined salary that would be enough to live on. In addition, he was not going to give up his IT project. If that was successful, we would have additional income.
My need for personal comfort was thus met and I felt more secure. During the time that my husband was changing jobs he was out of work for two months. Then, after he began working for the project his income decreased a lot. As I saw that our savings were gradually decreasing, my attachments were constantly being triggered.
Two months after he joined the project, the human resources department suddenly terminated my husband’s employment due to an insufficient workload and some miscommunication.
Being a new practitioner, my husband was very depressed for several days. I tried to comfort him in the beginning, and convince him that everything would be okay, but my heart was not calm.
I thought to myself, “Why did you enthusiastically invite him to join at the time, and now suddenly let him go?” We experienced a lot of psychological struggles around this issue. We had changed our life plans. How could this be the result?
When these thoughts were tossing and turning in my brain, Master’s Fa teaching came to mind:
“Cultivation is about working on the human mind and heart; it is about cultivating oneself. Only when you are able to examine yourself, looking inward amid problems, conflicts, difficulties, or when being treated unfairly, is it true cultivation. And only by doing so will you be constantly improving, staying the right course on your cultivation journey, and progressing toward consummation!” (“A Congratulatory Letter to the Fa Conference of Taiwan,” Team Yellow Translation)
At that moment, my eyes filled with tears.
Yes, it appeared that my husband had been treated unfairly, but why was I feeling so uncomfortable? Even in the past, I cared a lot about how others saw and treated my husband. Isn’t this personal interest and sentimentality? In addition, there was also the attachment to fame in the mix. When my husband joined the project he was highly valued because of his personal qualifications. As his wife, I felt very proud. Now that his employment had suddenly been terminated, it seemed as if he was “out of favor” all of a sudden, and I felt that I had lost face.
Furthermore, this entire situation exposed my strong attachment to fortune. When my husband had no income for a few months, I couldn’t stand it, and constantly expressed my concerns about our financial situation.
Why was I obsessed with my husband’s income? It was because I didn’t want to jump out of my “comfort zone” and live a harder life—I definitely had a bottom line for suffering.
I had not given up my pursuit for a happy, comfortable life. I had always wanted my own small home, which I could arrange at will, and to live a stable life. I was constantly disturbed by this attachment. I recently asked myself, “Do you want to stay in ordinary human society to live a good life, or return to a paradise?”
Although the answer is obvious, I clearly feel that my determination to leave this ordinary world is not strong enough. I had tried to motivate myself by listening to “The Cultivation Story of Milarepa Batu” and reading cultivation stories and experiences of torture written by other practitioners. However, it was not enough for me to stay diligent.
I realized that I was always looking outward. Now, when attachments arise, I will recite Master’s Fa:
“It has been said, 'When I come to this ordinary human society, it’s just like checking into a hotel for a few days. Then I leave in a hurry. Some people are just obsessed with this place and have forgotten their own homes'.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
I strongly felt that this stubborn attachment weakened under the power of the Fa. I am grateful for the cultivation environment provided to me by the media during these years, and I am grateful for Master’s arrangements.
Thank you Master, and fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2019 Australia Fa Conference)