Media Project: Contributing to the Best of One’s Ability
(Minghui.org) Greetings esteemed Master, and fellow practitioners.
Media projects play an important role during the Fa-rectification period, in changing the local environment. Though not a path I envisioned myself taking, participating in media projects over the last few years has allowed me to quickly improve and develop the needed abilities.
Working Diligently at the Epoch Times
I used to do the three things on my own, without cooperating with local cultivators. I realized, however, that this method was slow, and this heightened my desire to join a media project. Coincidentally, a fellow practitioner called me soon after with an offer to join. This was how I became part of the Chinese Epoch Times team in 2017. Master must have seen my desire to save more sentient beings and made this arrangement.
I remember my initial nervousness upon joining the Chinese Epoch Times Internet team. I was unsure if my abilities would be up to the task, but I was determined to persevere and treasure the opportunity. I silently promised to learn what I did not know, and gain the needed experience quickly.
In contrast to me, the other members in this newly formed team were much younger and had better understandings about and experience in using online programs. Although I was assigned to create videos, I had to learn everything from scratch. There were no formal training materials, and I had to search for online tutorials. Faced with so much pressure, I had second thoughts. Perhaps I should have participated in something simpler.
The Minghui website has published many experience sharing articles about doing media projects, which describe the difficulties overcome in mastering the craft. Fellow practitioners also told me how older practitioners successfully learned to make videos during the early days of NTD Television. I began to realize that Dafa practitioners were capable of doing a lot, as long as they had strength and determination.
The Epoch Times president has repeatedly emphasized the importance of studying the Fa. Thus it was arranged that practitioners for the Internet and sales teams to study the Fa together on weekends. I attended regularly, despite my occasional laziness, because the group discussed work matters and job assignments after studying the Fa.
Through studying the Fa and with help from fellow practitioners, I managed to let go of my worries regarding my age and slower learning ability compared with other members of my group. As long as I tried my best, the jobs were efficiently completed, with solutions to problems coming easily to mind.
For example, my initial attempts to create video content were wracked with worries. I feared being unable to keep up with the others, that my work would be jeered at, that attachment to pride would surface with praise, and depression and anxiety would result from criticism. After looking inward, I identified my many attachments and examined the factors which led to their birth. I sent righteous thoughts to eliminate these ordinary human notions.
I gradually learned to let go of my human attachments regarding video creation, such as wondering how many viewers the video could attract. I instead studied the Fa to calm my composure before starting work. I decided to contribute to the best of my ability, and simply produce the best product I could. The subsequent outcome would be handled by Master.
“Cultivation depends on one’s own efforts, while the transformation of gong is done by one’s master.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)
I achieved a breakthrough after letting go of my human notions. People started watching the videos I created, with some achieving respectable viewership numbers. The results strengthened my confidence. With continued Fa study and help from Master, I hope to create even more exquisite works.
A new challenge arose soon after mastering the basics of video creation. The video creation team was tasked to help grow business by creating sales ads. There were many challenges however. Sales video ads are usually held to higher standards, but our team lacked experience. A bad quality product would harm the reputation of the Epoch Times and increase difficulties in finding customers. Yet we had to explore this avenue in order to develop a sustainable business model for the Epoch Times.
Practitioners were under pressure to deliver, after receiving orders from customers. Customers unsatisfied with the finished product would send their negative feedback to us through the sales team. I would sometimes silently fume in frustration and resentment, “I’ve invested nights in making this video. Moreover I am not a professional. Why can’t you be satisfied with this?”
Cultivators never encounter tribulations by accident, however, so I started looking inward. When I first joined the video creation team, my approach was to take it one day at a time while avoiding problems and hardships. I thought, “I am not a professional, so it is alright to hold this project to a lower standard. It’s impossible for me to do better than a real professional.” Yet this initial notion itself was incorrect!
“For a practitioner, one’s mind-intent dictates supernormal abilities to do things.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
How could the supernormal powers of practitioners be surpassed by the skills of everyday people? Because of my negative thoughts, I restricted the supernatural powers given by Master, and produced a substandard product. Everyday people would naturally consider it bad. The quality is a reflection of my cultivation level. Besides failing to understand the power of Dafa, I also failed to put enough effort into my work.
After uncovering this problem, I began studying in earnest, watching YouTube video tutorials, and making notes on current mainstream video production methods. My efforts began to pay off as my techniques started maturing. I am stil far from matching mainstream market standards, but am working hard, and catching up to those professionals among ordinary people. Fellow practitioners in my group have also been sharing tips on video making, which have resulted in improvements to our group as a whole. We even received praise for our good work recently from customers.
The process of eliminating these ordinary people’s notions of stress, burden, and difficulties can allow one to reach a higher state in cultivation practice. Approaching the task with righteous thoughts, accepting the outcome with a humble mind, and searching inward has also helped my inspiration flow. Reviewing my earlier work has been inspiring. Producing at this level would have been impossible, had I not had help from Master.
Breakthrough While Promoting Shen Yun
Earlier this year, fellow practitioners proposed to start Shen Yun promotional activities. Interested locals from Singapore were to see the Shen Yun performance in other parts of Asia. Since this was an entirely new project, I did not want to participate as my limited abilities would result in a substandard outcome. I felt that our more experienced practitioners should join the project, while I supported from the sidelines.
“But normally when a problem arises, if it does not irritate a person psychologically, it does not count or is useless and cannot make him or her improve. Accordingly, his mind cannot get over it and is still bothered by it. It could be that his mind is hooked on it. He always wants to turn around to look at the faces of those two people.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
Against my wishes, fellow practitioners endorsed my direct participation. My heart was initially filled with fear and resentment towards them. Why was I asked to do it? I felt that others were more suitable for the job. Why didn’t they volunteer? The situation at the time was critical. If the few of us refused to participate, the activity would be called off. The pros and cons were warring in my mind. Although the recommendation was an honor, the difficulty presented by the incredibly short timeline seemed impossible to overcome.
With no other alternative I could envision, I decided to beg Master for help, and take on the project. I would work in the day and rush home after work to write scripts and select videos until the wee hours of the morning. I also helped organize the speakers, amend the presentation slides, and arrange the rehearsal. I still do not know how I managed to complete everything within two weeks.
That preparation period was so exhausting it felt like a life or death tribulation. As soon as I felt pangs of uncertainty, I studied the Fa and sent righteous thoughts. I practiced the exercises to boost my stamina before working through the night. Master must have aided us, as the entire process was completed smoothly. I thank Master for giving me this opportunity to save sentient beings, despite my inexperience.
Master has said,
We have held three Shen Yun promotional presentations in Singapore so far. Fellow practitioners have also begun promoting Shen Yun in mainstream society. In setting up this new activity, I have learned to avoid fear of the unknown, and let go of pride, self-esteem, and various insecurities. Strong righteous thoughts will allow us to elevate in levels and achieve the objectives Master has arranged for us.
In the past I would raise proposals, then sit back and wait for the person-in-charge to delegate the task. But now I ask myself first, “Why no take the initiative to do this task myself? If I am unwilling to take it on, does the reason stem from my righteous thoughts or my human notions?” I now take the initiative to do what I can.
I have seen many fellow practitioners working in the media for years, giving up personal wealth and time in order to save sentient beings. Their tolerance, sincerity, and faith have moved me to tears. From their words and actions, I have uncovered many shortcomings in my own cultivation, and received inspiration to work harder.
I have learned to cherish my fellow practitioners in this Fa-rectification period. Through cooperating with fellow practitioners, I have advanced in personal cultivation and gained experience in truth clarification projects. I also aim to contribute to the best of my ability and place Master’s worries to rest.
Thank you Master, and fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2019 Singapore Fa Conference)