Setting Aside Selfish Interests to Save People Through the Media
(Minghui.org) Greetings Master! Greetings fellow practitioners!
I've done layout and design for the Epoch Times for almost ten years. The first five years I worked in Canada and the second five years I've worked in New York. As time went on, I felt like I was an “old soldier”. My thoughts and ideas changed with time and with my experiences. My cultivation state is sometimes good and sometimes not good. I cannot keep myself at the level that Master talked about, “...always cultivating as if you were just starting...” (Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference, Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IX )
When I began working in New York I worked as a designer in the digital network department. I had a few years of experience in graphic design so I quickly picked up digital design. After a few years, only 3 of the original employees remained while dozens of employees had left. I felt perplexed and frustrated. Why did they leave without any hesitation even though they were excellent, capable and we got along well? Though I missed them, I had a lot to do and I kept doing my job.
Watching colleagues leave was not the most difficult part. The tribulations at work were the worst part. We tried to set up many websites and developed several software applications but most of them were discarded after we discovered the results were not good. Some practitioners were not able to take the stress or had differing opinions. They thought it was just a waste of time and left. Sometimes I had complaints and felt bad for wasting so much time. Some big projects were started, dropped and then re-started and dropped again. I became pessimistic about the new projects and thought that we should not do them because it was a waste of time.
" But when it comes to cultivating your mind, that is up to you, yourself. When it comes to your mind, as you run into trouble and face tests, whether you can endure and make it are totally up to you." (First Fa Teaching Given in the United States, Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. I)
After studying the Fa more and talking with other practitioners, I realized that it was cultivating my forbearance to see if I could forbear through the repeated troubles and tribulations. It was a process that allowed the media practitioners to mature. We did the design better and better and our understanding of our products became more and more comprehensive. Each time we cooperated better.
Things went on this way for a long time. I noticed that we didn’t have these issues recently. We might have passed that level of cultivation.
Selfishness or Selfless Choice?
We face choices in different stages of our cultivation and lives. I had one notion that I had difficulty letting go. My parents' generation worked for one company throughout their lives. I wanted to try doing different things while I'm still young. Because of the constant urgency and pressure at the Epoch Times, I wanted to change jobs.
I had worked for our media for nearly 10 years. I had done a lot and laid a good foundation for others. I felt that others could do my job. I started to find excuses for myself and make plans for my future. As time went on, this thought became stronger and stronger.
I wanted to work at night and weekends to earn some additional income. Later, I found some business opportunities and wanted to start my own small business. I stayed up doing research until two or three o’clock in the morning. I felt so good and capable and I dreamed of becoming a boss. I could continue my volunteer work at our media after hours.
I was almost ready to start my own business, and prepared to talk to my manager about working part-time. I was determined to make this change no matter what he said. But he talked to me from the perspective of cultivation and saving sentient beings, which I could not disagree with. He understood my pressure and gave me some advice. He hoped that I would continue working for our media at this precious time in history. He didn’t force me to do anything and only asked me to think about it before I made a final decision.
I went home and tried to calm down. It felt like I was charging forward all the time. I began to question my decision. Was it possible that the old forces arranged for me to start my own business and make me too busy to do the things I should do to save sentient beings?
I studied Master’s lecture “Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference” until midnight.
“Also, don't think, "Fa-rectification has come this far, so it looks like it'll be over soon and we should start making plans for the future." I can tell you that any attachment will bring on tremendous tribulations. You absolutely must not form any attachments! You should cultivate in an upright and dignified way, and handle well everything in front of you that you should do. If you're to Consummate tomorrow, you still have to do well what you're supposed to do today and in an orderly way. That's because everything Dafa disciples are doing today is to be left for the people of the future, and this is the path of cultivation for the people of the future.” (Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference)
Master’s words awakened me. Didn’t I try to make plans for my future when I believed the Fa-rectification would be soon over and our media was getting better and better? My boss said that he needed me to do many important things while I found so many excuses for myself and tried to shift my responsibilities.
“handle well everything in front of you that you should do.” (Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference)
Shouldn’t I continue working for our media?
I realized that the choice was to satisfy myself or to save other people. I could either pursue my own interests, or let go of myself and continue working for our media to save more sentient beings.
“I also want to tell you that your nature in the past was actually based on egotism and selfishness. From now on, whatever you do, you should consider others first, so as to attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism. So from now on, whatever you do or whatever you say, you must consider others—or even future generations—along with Dafa’s eternal stability.” (Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature, Essentials for Further Advancement)
Now I understood. I shouldn’t be selfish. My choice should be to benefit other people and I should cultivate to, “attain the righteous Enlightenment of selflessness and altruism”. (Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature, Essentials for Further Advancement) The following day I told my manager that I decided to stay. He smiled and said that he felt better.
Through this incident, I looked within and found that I had slackened off in my Fa- study. I seemed to have forgotten why I was here! I had developed so many attachments and forgot our media helps save millions of sentient beings. I had wasted so much time staying up late at night preparing for my business. I should have spent that time studying the Fa and practicing the exercises and looking inward.
“The Mind Empties and kind thoughts arise” (Entering a Sacred State of Mind, Hong Yin III)
“Breadth of mind, unattached, brings true insight” (Don’t Argue, Hong Yin III)
I realized that if I could push out any distracting thoughts and remain serene my wisdom would come out and I could achieve better results at work.
“Therefore, this gong transforms people all automatically. Thus, it becomes that "the gong cultivates practitioners," which is also called "the Fa cultivates practitioners." The gong cultivates you when you are not practicing, just as it also cultivates you when you are practicing.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)
I realized that when I do the exercises, I need to enter into tranquility in order for my body to fully transform. When I don't do the exercises, the gong is cultivating me. This is only my limited understanding at my level.
Do as Master Asked
I've realized recently that if I do as Master asks, it is a demonstration of believing in Master and the Fa. Here are some examples.
1) Master asked us to do what the main project coordinator decides unconditionally
I had different opinions from the main coordinator's and the project had some problems. I later realized that I should listen to Master. Master asked us to cooperate with the main coordinator unconditionally, so I should cooperate with him. He is responsible to Master. Master knows everything and is looking after us.
As I changed my mindset, I believed that many things would change in the long run. I gradually understood how hard it was for the main coordinator.
2) Master said, “Dafa disciples should handle everything positively. Don't look at the negative side of other people. You should always look at their positive side.” (Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference)
Sometimes I had negative thoughts about other practitioners when I couldn’t agree with the way they did things. I felt frustrated and even became agitated when I thought of that practitioner. I knew that it was not a good state and I shouldn’t be that way. Master said, “You should always look at their positive side,” helped me. I started to think of the good side of that practitioner such as his active involvement in saving sentient beings. Soon my agitation disappeared. I felt light and relaxed.
3) Master said, “Human beings are supposed to interact with one another. For thousands of years of human societies, with traditional, god-given culture in place, human beings never went without interacting.” (Fa Teaching at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference)
Master asks us to interact with each other. This is how human beings should be. At work I try my best to communicate face to face with other practitioners. I can solve problems more quickly, produce new ideas, reduce separation among practitioners and we understand each other better.
4) Master said, “I am telling everyone that no matter how uncomfortable you are, you must continue to attend this class. Once you walk into the classroom, all of your symptoms will vanish and there will not be any danger. There is one point to make to everyone: No matter how much you suffer from the "illness," I hope that you will continue to come, because it is difficult to obtain the Fa.” (Lecture Two, Zhuan Falun)
The media practitioners have group Fa-study on Saturday. My wife hesitated if she should go because she was going through karma elimination. I thought of Master’s teaching and asked her to listen to Master. She stopped worrying and attended Fa- study. By that afternoon she almost recovered.
If we listen to Master and put the teachings into action, we will benefit.
We all know that we are at the last stage of Fa-rectification. We should study the Fa more and practice the exercises more. By saying that, it doesn’t mean that you are diligent if you do the exercises 2 hours a day and read one lecture of Zhuan Falun each day. This is not fulfilling a task. The important thing is: is our mind calm when we do the exercises? Do we look within? Do we let go of attachments, change our mindset and the way we do things after we find our attachments? I believe doing this is truly cultivating diligently.
I’d like to share with you how I check whether I have good Fa-study every day. After I finish reading one lecture of Zhuan Falun, I ask myself if I had gained new insights. If I didn’t and it felt like I was finishing a task, then that might be a serious problem. It might be that my mind went astray and didn’t focus when I was studying the Fa. It might also be that my xinxing hasn’t improved recently.
Master answered this question in the lecture “Fa-Lecture During the 2003 Lantern Festival at the U.S. West Fa Conference”:
“Question: Recently when I've been studying Zhuan Falun I no longer feel like I'm developing new understandings and making progress each time I finish reading the book.
Teacher: However high a person's xinxing is, that's how high his gong is. There have to be reasons. Is it because your mind isn't calm? I think there have to be reasons. At higher levels the requirements are higher, too.”
The practitioners who work in our media are helping Master rectify the Fa at this moment in history. When this time has passed, we may never see each other again. When we look back in 1,000 years or 10,000 years, we'll feel this period of time was so precious. I hope that practitioners will study the Fa more with a calm mind, keep elevating in realms, achieve righteous attainment and follow Master to return to our original homes!
Please kindly point out anything inappropriate.
Thank you Master! Thank you fellow practitioners!