Cooperating on a Dafa Project
(Minghui.org) Several years ago, I got involved in planning and implementing a new truth-clarifying project. The project has been operating steadily for the last four or five years. During this time, I have become more mature in my cultivation.
The cultivation states of all the practitioners who participate are reflected in the progress and effectiveness of Dafa projects. It is especially so in this project. Whenever the project was stalled, it was usually because I needed to improve my xinxing, so I frequently had to remind myself to look within. Only when I found my attachment did the project move forward.
When it comes to actual implementation, members of our project often have different ideas. Before the project framework was set up, most of our ideas were not well thought out. Many discussions and changes were taking place, and there were many opinions about how things should be done. It was my job to find the best solution.
I weighed the different suggestions, thinking, “This one is good, that one isn't good.” But when I put a plan together, it seemed that something was lacking. I knew I had to improve my xinxing before I could see the big picture. After a lot of Fa-study and discussions with other members of the team, I came to realize that the purpose of our project is to show people the truth of Falun Dafa. We needed to look at it from the perspective of everyday people. We needed to make it easier for them to accept the facts.
“But, you have to clarify the truth rationally and in line with people's logic and ways of thinking. If you talk about it in a strange, otherworldly way, not at all based on people's logic and way of thinking, and not considering whether people can accept it or not, then you're doing harm and the result is opposite what was intended. Make sure you do it rationally and clearheadedly. When you clarify the truth to people you have to consider their level of acceptance.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2003 Atlanta Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IV)
It is easy to get trapped in our own feelings when we clarify the facts about Falun Dafa. We may think that people will pay attention to this thing or that thing, or that they will only understand if we explain it that way. Oftentimes what we were describing was what would work for ourselves, not for everyday people.
Most people nowadays are full of modern thinking and rarely care about anyone else. If you want to appeal to their conscience, you must think about how to get their attention, how to tell them the facts in ways that resonant with them. When I understood this and reviewed all my options again, it was easier to decide what could help to save people and what was off target. As a result, I was able to set up the framework very quickly.
Sometimes when other practitioners have different opinions, it can be a hint from Master to point out certain issues. I remember after we made some progress with the project, I had a feeling something was not right, but I couldn't pinpoint it. One day, a team member told me what another practitioner said about our project. Although the criticism was harsh and difficult to swallow, it was right on target. I was very grateful for Master's arrangement. After I made relatively large changes based on the criticism, everyone thought the end result was better.
Interference and Obstacles
Members of our team often face different forms of interference. Sometimes it comes from work, sometimes it comes from family, sometimes it manifests as physical issues or from other dimensions. At those times, we focus on improving our xinxing and cleansing ourselves. We also send forth righteous thoughts more to eliminate that interference.
For a period of time, my legs felt heavy, as if they were filled with lead. A team member said, “Maybe it is because this project has such a big impact that the pressure is so intense.” At first I agreed with him, believing it was a manifestation of the principle of mutual-generation and mutual-inhibition.
“human society has had a principle called mutual-generation and mutual-inhibition. So where there is good, there is bad; where there is righteousness, there is evil; where there is benevolence, there is wickedness; where there are humans, there are ghosts; where there are Buddhas, there are demons.” (“For Whom do You Practice Cultivation,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
But after a while, I felt there was something else I needed to break through. One day, I suddenly realized that it was me. I had given this project too much importance and that had resulted in the interference.
Looking at other practitioners, I saw that they all were saving people in different ways. Everyone has his/her specialty that was probably established since long ago in history. I have the technical skills because I had vowed to play this role. For me, those practitioners who clarify the truth face to face every day are remarkable. However, I was viewing my project as something special. The bad things I was experiencing were the result of my attachments and had nothing to do with the impact or effectiveness of the project.
“mutual generation and mutual inhibition is a principle at the low levels of the universe, especially in the Three Realms.” (“Teaching the Fa at the International Experience-Sharing Conference in Beijing,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. I )
When I let go of myself and started treating this project with a calm and pure mindset, the pressure that I had felt disappeared.
Zealotry and the Mentality of Showing off
Practitioners with technical skills are often experts in certain areas, but such expertise can also become an obstacle if one is not on the Fa. When I started on the project, I had very little experience in this area, and I often learned as I went. With Master's help, things went smoothly. I gradually got more recognition from other practitioners as time went on.
One evening, I emailed out some information to the team. I was secretly waiting for others' praise. The next day, I checked my inbox to see if there was any feedback. Nothing. I couldn't help but keep checking throughout the day. I checked several times that day. This urge to check for feedback surprised me. Wasn't this showing off and zealotry? I started to eliminate those attachments. The next day, a practitioner left me a message, pointing out that what I'd sent out was not very good. Ever since then, I always examine my thoughts when I work on the project and ask: “Am I showing myself off or saving people with a pure heart?”
Later, when the project met with approval, I wasn't unduly moved. I knew very well that I was able to accomplish what I did because of the skills and abilities given by Master and support from fellow practitioners. The project should be doing well—it would be a problem if it was not.
Different Roles Complement Each Other
For security reasons, there are only four practitioners involved in this project. Two of them I have never met in person: one is in charge of coordinating the project and the other is the technical expert and often provides technical suggestions. Bao and I were tasked with implementation. Although we are few, we cooperate very well. Several times when we had serious differences of opinion, we were able to discuss the issue openly without pointing fingers. We were able to find ways to resolve our conflicts based on the Fa.
Bao and I often meet to discuss the project. I often see the limitations and lack of maturity in my own thinking from his rational comments. The issues he points out are usually areas where I need to improve. After each discussion I always feel that my mind has been broadened with regard to both the project and cultivation. Our ability to cultivate diligently and improve together has assured the quality and stability of our project.
I was in charge of the project with help from Bao during the first phase of the project. During the second phase, we switched roles, with me helping him. I thought cooperating well with him meant that I should just do whatever he needed me to do.
One time when we were discussing the project, Bao asked my opinion. After I told him what I thought, he said, “It seems that you are talking as if you were not part of this project.” I went home and thought a lot about what he said. “Maybe I should take initiative and do not wait to be asked,” I thought.
The next time I saw Bao, I told him in detail what I would do if I were the architect and the person in charge of the project. I felt that I had given it my careful consideration and was offering a solution, and was not putting myself outside of the project. But the project still appeared to be stalled.
I went home with a feeling that I still did not cooperate well. I recalled how Bao had cooperated with me during the first phase of the project. Whatever the project needed, he would try to find a way. How could I cooperate with him well? What does it mean to cooperate well? For a few days, I thought about this over and over.
One day, I saw the word “cooperate” in 3D imprinted in my mind. Suddenly I sensed the meaning of “cooperating.” It felt warm, gentle, and grand. It was a mind state of completely letting go of one's own thinking to help others. It was selfless and beautiful. I knew then how I should cooperate with Bao. I put aside my own ideas and studied his design and made improvements on his design. I didn't think about “his idea” vs. “my idea” at all.
The past few years have been precious to my cultivation. Master let me see my shortcomings and pushed me to improve rapidly. I often worked all night on this project and still worked my regular job during the day, but I've never felt I was suffering. People I come into contact with do not know what I do. All they see is that I was very busy.
“If you can manage to quietly complete what you notice is lacking, quietly do well what you should do, and quietly do something well when you find it to have been done less than ideally, then the multitude of gods will have tremendous admiration for you and exclaim that this person is simply extraordinary. Only doing things this way counts as what a Dafa disciple should do.” (“Be More Diligent,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. X)
I feel blessed that I can quietly do what I should to the best of my ability. I know Master has given me so much. It is such an honor to be a Dafa disciple. Thank you, Master!