Improving My Understandings as a Member of The Epoch Times
(Minghui.org) Greetings, esteemed Master and fellow practitioners:
As a member of the Epoch Times team, I would like to share concerns about elevating my understandings.
Making Phone Calls While Holding Righteous Thoughts
I joined the Chinese Epoch Times team a year-and-a-half ago. As I had no experience, I wondered, “How can I contribute to the Epoch Times?” After wrapping up a health seminar organized by the Epoch Times, I discovered that nobody had called any of the seminar attendees to solicit feedback. I thought this was important so we could find out if the audience liked our seminar and how we could make it more popular.
Because I used to work in hotel management and have customer service experience, I decided to call them and ask their opinions. Most of the feedback was positive, and many people expressed an interest in attending the next session. Such positive feedback is encouraging for our sales team and also helps us create a closer relationship with our readers.
The personal nature of such calls encouraged many attendees to share their health issues with me. Seizing the opportunity, I introduced them to herbalists or health products advertized in the Epoch Times.
Master Li said,
“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…” (“Non-Omission in Buddha-Nature,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
I care for our readers. In return, those who repeatedly attend our seminars support us and even encourage their friends to attend. Thus, we now have a pool of loyal attendees.
It is important that someone on the Epoch Times staff calls these former attendees before each seminar. Sometimes I call up to 10 people, one after the other, without any success. Some refuse to pick up my call, while others cannot make it because of a busy schedule. I get anxious and have to remind myself, “Such false appearances are due to interference. I should deny them.” After sending righteous thoughts, the following people I contact start reserving tickets. Throughout this process, I realize the importance of sending forth righteous thoughts. Regardless of the other person’s attitude, I constantly remind myself that I want to save this person. Because of my efforts, hard work by fellow practitioners, and Master’s help, the latest seminar was a success.
In addition to the two or three health seminars each year, our Epoch Times team also organizes small tea parties each month, where our editors discuss current affairs and share traditional cultural information. Naturally, it is my responsibility to call our readers to attend. Because these tea parties were smaller in scale, I assumed there would be fewer people involved. However, after my first tea party, the person in charge asked me to try to invite 50 to 60 people for the next one. I started feeling resentful. “Why so many! Do you think gathering this many will be easy?” Then I gave the matter further thought. “The person in charge has already decided on these numbers. I cannot refuse to try!”
“So, I want to tell you that from this day forth, the main coordinator for each project—the one principal coordinator—is that project’s representative. This holds true for the main coordinator of each region’s Dafa Association as well. He or she is its representative. Whatever it may be that the coordinator does, requires of you, or decides—carry it out unconditionally. (Enthusiastic applause) Starting today.” (“Be More Diligent,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. X)
Given Master’s teachings, I decided to follow the request of the person in charge unconditionally, no matter what difficulties I faced.
Master also said,
“Yes, that's true. With many things you shouldn't be constrained by human notions. You might say that you've formed certain habits before, but what's been bestowed upon Dafa disciples today is the state of Gods, and you should progress toward the state of a God. You can do a lot of things well if you approach them with righteous thoughts.” (“Teaching and Explaining the Fa at the Metropolitan New York Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. III)
After reading Master’s teachings, my conviction and righteous thoughts became stronger and I let go of my grudge against the person in charge. Each call went through without a hitch and I’d soon invited 50 to 60 attendees for the next tea party, a clear sign of encouragement from Master. Standing before Master’s image, I put my hands together and promised, “I will work hard and do my best for the Epoch Times.”
Cultivating in the Midst of Tribulations
In November this year, we netted a client who agreed to sponsor 10,000 dollars for our upcoming seminar. This was the largest sponsorship I had netted since joining the Epoch Times. Despite my happiness, I was also incredibly worried. My job only involved making phone calls, and I had to rely on fellow practitioners to follow up with the client. To add to my concerns, one practitioner was on vacation and the others were very busy. Fellow practitioners noticed my anxiety and reassured me that they would follow up promptly. However, I just could not let go of this worry.
After a few days, we were ready to issue the client a receipt for the sponsorship amount. Because I could not contribute in other areas, I decided to deliver the receipt to the client personally, in order to demonstrate our sincerity and cultivate a good relationship. I asked a fellow practitioner to go with me. To my surprise, she said, “We have no time for that. Just send it by mail.” Later, during our experience sharing session, she commented that I was stubborn and that I suffered from Party indoctrination and demanded things be done my way. I felt very resentful and angry to hear her say that, and I told her why I’d wanted to deliver the receipt in person. She refused to accept my explanation.
Later, I calmed down and recalled what Master said:
“When you meet with a conflict, it doesn’t matter whether you are in the right. You should be asking yourself, “What on my part isn’t right in this situation? Might it really be that there is something wrong on my part?” You should all be thinking this way, with your first thought being to scrutinize yourself to try to find the problem. Whoever is not like this is not in fact a true cultivator of Dafa. It is a magical tool in our cultivation. This is a distinguishing feature of our Dafa disciples’ cultivation. Whatever it is that you encounter, the first thought should be to scrutinize yourself, and it’s called “looking within.”” (“What is a Dafa Disciple,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)
What did I do wrong? I recalled the entire sequence of events and discovered that I often spoke to others in a commanding tone. Possibly due to the CCP’s indoctrination, I was unable to recognize this failing. As a Dafa practitioner, I want to assimilate to the Fa and reject any CCP influence. Thereafter, I began to pay extra attention to my tone. My heart became calm and my anger vanished. I thank Master for arranging these tribulations, so I can quickly improve and resolve conflicts with fellow practitioners.
Letting Go of Emotional Attachments to Parents
Around March this year, my mother became seriously bedridden with illness. My mother and siblings asked me to return and visit. My mother told me, “If you don’t come home, you may never see me alive again.” Her sentiments were similarly echoed by my father. Despite the intense pressure from my family, I could not return to China. We suffered from a shortage of staff, and there was no one who could take over my duties for some time. Additionally, the Epoch Times headquarters had stipulated that Chinese practitioners who return to China would automatically forfeit their posts in our media.
Many Chinese practitioners had also been arrested by the CCP after returning home. Moreover, Master had arranged for me to work in the Epoch Times and save sentient beings. I decided not to return home and to work on eliminating my emotional attachment for my parents. I held firm to my decision, despite my family’s pleas. However, whenever I called my parents, the pain would cut into my heart like a knife. While discussing my mother’s condition with fellow practitioners, I would burst into tears. Giving up this familial attachment was hard, and I truly struggled.
Every day, I begged Master to help my mother recover. Four months later, my mother started to recover and began to walk on her own again. My family stopped exhorting me to return home, and I knew Master had done this for me, so I could focus on my job with the Epoch Times. My gratitude to Master cannot be expressed in words and I will do well with the three things in order to repay Master’s efforts.
Solid Cultivation Inspires Change in Son
One day, when reading Zhuan Falun, I came across a section that talked about family relationships. Master said:
“If you want to practice cultivation, human sentimentality must be relinquished. Of course, in practicing cultivation in ordinary human society, we should respect parents and educate our children. Under all circumstances, we must be good and kind to others, not to mention to our family members. We should treat everyone in the same way. We must be good to our parents and children and be considerate of others in all respects. Such a heart is thus unselfish, and it is a heart of kindness and benevolence.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)
I came to the sudden realization that I had not treated my son with compassion. I was always curt him and actually resented him. Although I’d sacrificed so much to raise him, I considered him disrespectful because he contradicted me at every turn.
When I realized that I was not behaving in accordance with the Fa, I changed the way I spoke to him. I shared my opinions calmly and refrained from insisting that he follow my advice. I made more effort to show I cared for him. I had brought up my son singlehandedly after the premature death of my husband. I held multiple jobs to earn enough to live on and had little time to spare for him. In this respect, I owed it to my son to make an effort. I started getting up early in the morning to make breakfast for him and his wife. Slowly, our relationship began to improve.
When I first started to practice, my son opposed me. He started monitoring my whereabouts, reiterated the CCP’s propaganda and lies about Dafa, and treated me badly. Despite his efforts, I remained determined to cultivate. Later, my son and daughter-in-law noticed that my health had improved and stopped voicing their objections. But they remained unsupportive of my cultivation. In the past, my son and I barely talked. Our conversations always evolved into arguments that left me angry and sad. After I started showing him that I really did care about him, my son’s attitude improved. We can now speak to each other calmly and he now respects me as his mother.
This year, my son and daughter-in-law surprised me by celebrating my birthday at a high-end restaurant and even bought me a gift. They had never done anything like that for me before. My son also changed his attitude about Dafa and now supports the practice. Our family has become very harmonious and I feel so fortunate! Master has given me so many blessings and so much encouragement and support. I am determined to work hard, do well the three things, and fulfill my vows to repay Master!
Thank you, Master and fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2019 Singapore Fa Conference)