An Unforgettable Cultivation Environment
(Minghui.org) In the Spring of 1996, I went to visit my elder sister in Jinan City. I discovered the book ZhuanFalun on her desk and looked through it. When I saw the author's photo, I felt I had met him before; so I blurted out, “I know him!” My sister said: “This is a great book, I'll give it to you. Take time to read it!”
I read Zhuan Falun in my dormitory. The Fa expounded in the book was profound. Some of it I understood literally, while some of it was beyond my cognition. Through the intermittent reading of the book, I learned that I needed to accord with Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to be a good person, why good is rewarded and evil is punished, and the relationship between loss and gain.
Transforming My Workplace
I worked for a Taiwanese-owned food company headquartered in Jinan City that has branches in various other cities. I was the manager of the branch in our city. There were nearly 100 employees, mostly young people. They didn't get much schooling and were far from their hometowns. I tried my best to take care of their daily needs and made meals for them.
Summers were very hot, so I used the money I got from selling scraps to buy white T-shirts for them and even embroidered the girl's T-shirts. I often talked with employees about the importance of being a good person according to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, doing one's job well, and helping out and tolerating each other when they socialized.
When the owner came to inspect our branch, he saw that all of the employees were wearing white T-shirts. He asked the manager of the factory why this was? The manager told him that I bought the T-shirts with the money I earned outside of work and also gave each employee a new towel every month.
The owner saw that we cared about our employees and said that no one in the other branches provided these things. Some branches even deducted the employees' living expenses and provided poor meals for them. The owner said he was very satisfied with our branch.
At that time, I used the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance to guide my work. I was strict with myself and didn't treat myself as if I was special. I eventually gained the trust of the owner and praise from the employees.
Taking on a New Challenge
In September 1997, the company transferred me to a branch located in my hometown that had been opened for nearly a year. The branch was in bad shape; the accounts weren't kept properly, management was chaotic, and sales were poor. Nearly 20 employees had nothing to do except play poker and chess all day.
The owner said to me: “There are a lot of difficulties in running this branch, but I believe you can do it well. Try your best, don't put pressure on yourself, do what you can, and if things don't work out, we'll close this branch and you can go to the headquarters.”
The branch was located in a prosperous area, and the monthly rent was 10,000 yuan (approximately $1,500 USD). The front of the first floor was the storefront, the rear was the manufacturing area, the second floor was leased to other customers, and the third floor had the warehouse, dormitory, canteen, and bathroom.
I asked the employees, “What do you do each day?” They said: “Play poker and chess. But we also worry that if we increase the amount of goods we make we may not be able to sell them.”
I then announced: “Tonight, finish whatever you are supposed to do and then clean the workshop thoroughly. Tomorrow after lunch, clean the dormitory and the surrounding area. I'll inspect everything tomorrow night.”
The next day, I invited managers of the food vendors in major shopping malls to visit our branch, hoping to build a business relationship with them. After returning to the branch, I checked the bathroom and saw that the floor was dirty, and there was used toilet paper everywhere. I found a few plastic bags and collected the toilet paper. I prepared a bucket of hot water and detergent, poured it on the floor, and started to clean it using a brush.
The bathroom was used by men and women. When an employee saw me cleaning, he looked embarrassed and said, “Let me do it.” He dragged me out and called a few people to clean the walls inside and outside the bathroom. I used kindness to enlighten them: “The living environment must be maintained by everyone, and a clean environment will make everyone happy and healthy.”
I asked the factory manager to prepare a schedule for daily clean up and to include me on the list. Since then, people have kept the place clean, and I no longer have to worry about it.
I took up my new post with various responsibilities, such as hygiene, epidemic prevention, business administration, and marketing management. I followed the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and slowly, the branch's business improved.
Our headquarters previously provided us with raw materials, paid our wages, and paid the factory housing rental fee. We became able to pay our own wages, purchase raw materials, pay the housing fees, and even turn in a profit to the headquarters.
We expanded our production capability and leased a larger facility. I consistently followed Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance in my daily life.
Group Fa Study Improves My Cultivation
After the Mid-autumn Festival in 1998, our branch moved to a new facility. I found that the new chef, named Mia, was also a Falun Dafa practitioner. Every day after dinner, the two of us read Zhuan Falun, with each reading a paragraph in turn.
In the spring of 1999, Mia excitedly announced that there was a Fa-study site near our workplace. When we went there, we saw a huge room that was cleaned up by the people who came early. Everyone was very happy to see us. It was almost eight o'clock. We sat cross-legged on the cushions that practitioners brought and began to recite the Fa. Seventy or eighty people recited “On Dafa” and other scriptures.
I had been cultivating alone before, and then read Dafa books with Mia in the evening. This was the first time I had joined a group Fa-study and was somewhat stunned by the scene. The harmonious voices of men, women, and children reciting the Fa made me feel ashamed. Was what I had been doing considered cultivation?
I found what my cultivation was lacking and wanted to keep up and cultivate diligently. We studied the first lecture in Zhuan Falun together. Everyone read one paragraph. Due to different educational levels, some people read fluently, some read slowly and stumblingly, but everyone listened patiently.
Afterward, the coordinator asked us to study more Fa at home when we had time. Starting at 5:00 in the morning, there was a group practicing the first four sets of exercises in a small park nearby. Seventy to eighty people were divided into two groups. We did the exercises according to Master's requirements. Veteran disciples corrected the movements of new practitioners from time to time. They were attentive and responsible in helping us to lay a good foundation for our future cultivation.
Since I joined the group Fa-study and cultivation, I have developed a clearer understanding of what cultivation is and how to make progress. I needed to study and memorize the Fa more. Once the Fa is in my mind, I can measure what I do in life against the Fa. During that period of time, I obtained Essentials for Further Advancement and other Dafa books. I was bathed in Dafa's boundless grace.
When I practiced the exercises, the practitioners' honesty, simplicity, consideration, and consciously helping others were visible everywhere. In the morning, when practitioners went to the park to do the exercises, they took plastic bags to collect the ice cream wrappers, soda bottles, and sundries people had discarded. After the exercises, they put the trash in a large dumpster.
One morning, I got up a little late so I wanted to climb over a fence in the small park to take a shortcut. Just as I lifted my leg, an elderly lady stopped me: “We practice Falun Dafa, you should consciously be a good person and maintain order.” I was embarrassed by her words.
Through Fa-study, I gained a new understanding, which is this is not just about being a good person, but being better than a good person, always considering others first, and being selfless.
Among all the branches of the company, our meal service is rated the best. When the owner inspected us, he asked me how I did it. I told him that I practice Falun Dafa. I behave according to Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance, and I consider my employees first. The migrant workers live away from their hometowns. Improving their quality of life gives them peace of mind; in return, they work very hard.
I heard from some employees that no one was taking care of the employee meal service in the other branches, the meals were not well prepared, the employees didn't like the food and dumped it in a large tank outside the cafeteria. They would rather eat instant noodles than the slop served in the cafeteria.
In contrast, there is no big tank outside our cafeteria. No food is wasted, and our employees enjoy their meals.
The owner’s nephew is the manager of a branch in charge of production. When he took a turn to work in my branch, he said: “I was looking forward to coming here. You treat employees so well. I have worked in all five branches of our company. We talked about the company naming an outstanding leader, and we will all vote for you.”
Dafa changed me for the better. I am grateful to Master for spreading such a great Fa to the world, and I am so happy to see the positive changes in people once they learn it.