Improving in My Daily Life and Work
(Minghui.org) Esteemed Master and fellow practitioners:
Thank you for the opportunity to share some of my recent cultivation experiences and understandings of the Fa principles. It is a great honor for me and a sign of our Master's inexpressible compassion.
First, I would like to share how a recurring situation helped me gradually improve in my cultivation until I finally achieved a breakthrough.
I accepted a four-year contract after I graduated from university. It is common in my type of work to get temporary work contracts for a certain type of project. To accept it is up to the holder of a doctorate. It was a good job and I thought four years was long enough.
Facing and Handling Adversity
Within a short time, however, one of the project partners dropped out, leaving the project without funds and no money to pay the staff. Some were fired immediately, and I was told that I would be only retained for a few more months. I’d accepted the position shortly after graduating without having looked at other options or sending out any applications. The prospect of losing my job so quickly came as a surprise, but for a cultivator, this was not an accident.
I looked within and wondered why this was happening to me. Although fame and fortune were not important to me, I realized that I like to plan ahead and was calculating. Unfortunately, my hidden attachment unnerved me, as I had not been astute enough to develop a plan. After realizing this omission, it was clear to me that I held a wrong understanding of the issue.
I looked within and tried to find the reason for this happening to me.
“From the perspective of our universe, "to be smart" is already wrong, for we require following the course of nature and caring little for personal gain. Being so smart, he intends to pursue self-interest.” (Lecture Two, Zhuan Falun)
In my understanding, there is nothing more important than believing in Master and the Fa unconditionally. Master arranges everything and the cosmos adheres to the Fa principles. My true self understands that, but, according to human notions, everything only works well when well planned. I believe that this is an obstacle to believing unconditionally.
Master said, “In fact, other than a person’s innate purity and innocence, all notions are acquired postnatally and are not a person’s actual self.” (“For Whom do you Exist?” Essentials for Further Advancement)
When I found this attachment, I eliminated it. Shortly thereafter, I was reassigned to another project and my contract was extended.
However, a year later, I faced the same situation. This time I already knew that this was a test, and I had to remain calm. I thought that my task at this workplace had come to an end, especially since my colleagues were aware of the circumstances, while I was not. So I surfed the Internet for other job opportunities. Compared to the job opportunities I found, I thought I would rather keep my present job.
Then, a section of Master's Fa came to mind: “If you cannot give something up, isn’t it an attachment?” (Lecture Two, Zhuan Falun)
I understand that it is not a problem for a cultivator to have or do something in ordinary society. It is not important if it has to do with property, family, a spouse, a good education, or a decent job. One can have all of the above and do everything well. However, it becomes a problem when one can't let go. Even the thought “I would have preferred to keep my previous job” is the beginning of not letting go of something. Once I realized this, I told myself that all I want is to cultivate – nothing else. As long as I am a member of human society I will do well whatever task I am responsible for. But I won't hesitate even a second to let go.
“People are just attached to these things. Do you think that you can achieve tranquility this way? 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)
“Yet as a practitioner you will find the things that people take seriously to be very, very trivial—even too trivial—because your goal is extremely long-term and far-reaching. You will live as long as this universe. Then think about those things again: It doesn’t matter if you have them or not. You can put them all aside when you think from a broader perspective.” (Chapter III, Falun Gong, 2016 version)
Suddenly, this issue was no longer important. It also no longer mattered where I would work. Shortly afterward, my employment was unexpectedly extended. The situation had resolved itself – but not entirely.
After the third time this happened, however, I felt that I finally understood, at my level, an important underlying principle.
One day, after I arrived at work, I found that I could no longer access my accounts. Personnel told me that, since I had switched between several projects, I had been involved in a chain contract and was no longer allowed to hold such a position. Thus, I was told that I was being let go immediately.
My boss was rather annoyed, especially since I was in the middle of several projects. She told me to see someone experienced in such cases, someone who would be able to take care of the issue. On the face of it, that person should have been responsible for avoiding such chain contracts. However, the person in charge blamed me for creating the issue. At that moment Master's Fa came to mind, and I understood that I was also responsible: “Nowadays, people behave this way and will first of all avoid responsibility upon coming across a problem, regardless of whether they are at fault.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
At that moment I understood everything much better. I realized what was going on, especially since all those involved were aggravated. Yet, I did not feel that I was involved in the issue.
It wasn't like the last time when I told myself to stay calm. This time I was calm. The calmer I looked, the better I saw the situation. My boss was worried that the project would not be completed and that she would lose money. The person in charge of the issue worried about being blamed for the issue. At that moment I felt as if I could briefly see through the illusion. Just like a play that they took much too seriously. At that moment I felt and was filled with compassion and gratitude.
I told my boss not to worry, that I would hand over all projects in good condition and not just leave even if I was not compensated. Then I told the person who was responsible not to worry, that no one would blame her. I, too, should have been more careful.
It was not difficult to say that at the moment. I felt very light and calm, almost as if I was doing the fifth exercise, instead of discussing my resignation. It was not difficult to let go.
But after a few days, things turned out differently and I was assigned to a permanent position. This was unusual in my kind of situation, and everyone was surprised. Given my level, I understood another Fa principle.
This happened three times. The first two times I found the attachments and let go. My xinxing improved a little and so did my situation. But it was not completely resolved. Once I judged the situation based on my current understanding of a higher level Fa, the situation resolved itself much better than it first appeared possible.
Increasing One’s Comprehension
Master had already explained it clearly when he talked about how everything is controlled by the cosmic characteristics. But in the first instances I only understood the part that had to do with karma.
“If a nationality is to be truly virtuous, it must have little karma; it is certain there will be no wars against it. This is because the principles of Dafa prohibit it, as the nature of the universe governs everything.” (“A Brief Explanation of Shan,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
Once I understood the above principle more deeply, other conflicts or situations in which I had improved, but had not really resolved them, were cleared up. So then I understood that there were still some outstanding issues that needed to be resolved. It did not matter if it happened in everyday life or when I was clarifying the truth – I did not yet have a full understanding at a sufficiently high level. Once I understood this, I also found it easier to let go of attachments that prevented me from understanding something on a higher level.
“Be aware: I am not asking you to intentionally do something. I am only trying to make you understand the principles of the Fa so that you will have a clear understanding of this. In fact, Dafa is not only to save human beings—it is also taught to all beings in the various dimensions. Your enlightened, original nature will automatically know what to do. Cherishing your human side enables you to enlighten to and ascend in the Fa.” (“Expounding on the Fa,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
I am truly grateful to Master for this valuable arrangement, which dragged on until I could finally understand it, step by step.
Encounter with the Coronavirus
I would also like to share two experiences that have a connection to the outbreak of the coronavirus.
Insights about Writing for the Media
When the spread of the coronavirus became known, many practitioners from around the world felt the urgency to awaken the consciences of more sentient beings. For me, this meant my work for the media increased. In the past, my healthcare articles did not warrant much mention. After I was assigned the topic of the coronavirus, thousands of people were suddenly reading them.
Thus, my responsibility increased greatly. At times I read new research studies until the wee hours of the morning. I was trying to give the reader the most up-to-date information, including the cover-up carried out by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP).
Nonetheless, some articles generated negative comments. People claimed that the articles should have been written differently, although I quoted from valid sources. At times I wanted to get back to the readers and correct them. I once complained to my husband about a comment. He saw it differently and suggested that, instead of complaining about the comments, I should put more effort into writing a better article.
I finally understood that I was in the wrong. Of course, the article did not digress from the truth, and anyone with a medical background would not suggest that what was written was wrong. However, as a cultivator, I was still in the wrong.
Master said, “You’re well aware that the media work you do is to save lives, to let the truth be known, and to stop the persecution.” (“2018 NTD and Epoch Times Fa Conference,” Team Yellow Translation)
I was supposed to expose the CCP's crimes, even if the topic covered medical issues. I had to write so that readers would trust what I wrote and understand that is was true. That was my task, not thinking that I knew more than the individual who wrote the comment. My understanding was that I was a tool to validate the Fa.
“But you can't have an attachment to showing off, for you are validating the Fa, not yourselves.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Meeting with Asia-Pacific Students,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol.VI)
“Do you not realize that you are supposed to be saving people? You must not make enemies.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference”)
As I reflected on the past, I regretted what I had thought. Everyone we come into contact with, no matter how they appear on the surface, is a worthy sentient being and is here for us to awaken their conscience. Master gave me the opportunity to contribute a tiny part to this effort. Thus, I should humbly fulfill this task and improve upon it. It is my understanding that I can only succeed if I respect and appreciate every single living being, which affects the task at hand.
Distributing Dafa Informational Materials
At the beginning of the lockdown due to the coronavirus, I went out to distribute leftover truth-clarifying materials. One could not buy masks, but I knew that this was not one of my tasks.
Actually, I planned to go to two pharmacies in a certain part of the city that I had not visited in the past. These two stores were still open while most of the other stores were closed. The streets were almost deserted, and it was depressing.
When I looked more closely, I noticed that the owners were cleaning up before they closed. Although the stores were officially closed, I had the opportunity to hand out newspapers. I stopped in every store, and they all accepted my newspapers. Distribution had never been this easy that I recalled. Every single person who saw the newspaper took one, and I could talk to many in more detail.
Another time, I was putting truth-clarification materials in mailboxes in an apartment building when an older man opened his door and stepped out. Seeing me, he stopped at a great distance, and I noticed that he was worried about getting infected. It turned out that he was one of the few who had “no free newspapers” in their mailbox. I asked if he wanted a newspaper and briefly explained the contents, and he said he wanted one.
I wanted to put it in the mailbox so he could take it after I left, but he suddenly walked over to me, took the newspaper with both hands, and thanked me. He looked rather friendly, especially since I had stopped by despite the more or less dangerous situation. I was touched, because he had seemed so fearful when he first saw me. He seemed to have understood the value of my gift and the fear appeared to have dissolved.
These are only a few of the things I have experienced lately. I'm infinitely grateful to Master for the many opportunities he has given me. Although I have not always acted like a practitioner or understood the Fa well, whenever I wished for an opportunity to make amends, Master opened to door for unaccounted for possibilities.
I would like to close with Master's Fa, as it touched me deeply:
“If today I were to offer any high-level god, no matter his greatness, the chance to come and be a Dafa disciple, he would leap at the opportunity in a split second—the instant my words reached him he would come. He would be simply elated, for everyone who is aware knows that this way he could not only save himself, but also the countless sentient beings of his world. That is simply the most extraordinary thing in the future cosmos.” (“What is a Dafa Disciple,” Collected Fa Teacihngs, Vol. XI)
Thank you, revered Master and fellow practitioners.
(Presented at the 2020 Austria Fa Conference)