Cultivate Diligently in the Media Environment
(Minghui.org) Greetings Master, and fellow practitioners:
I joined the Sound of Hope project in 2015 and was assigned as a news chief editor of the broadcasting team, dedicated to mainland China audiences. I not only write news, but also edit the news, and train the editors.
Cultivating as Chief Editor
Since all of us did not receive professional training in journalism, there were gaps in our assignments, making us less professional. Some editors had a good foundation, and were easier to get started, while some had difficulties. For a while when I reviewed the news articles, if I felt the editor did not grasp the essential points of the news, I often focused on the technical details, and repeatedly emphasized how to write a better news article. For a long time, I felt that there was something not right, but I thought the improvement of writing skills is still necessary for the editors. I rarely looked within to find out where I needed to improve my xinxing.
Some editors’ articles were easier to edit and needed just minor tweaks, while other articles needed quite a bit of editing. Sometimes it was easier to just rewrite the entire article, rather than edit the article. A few times the editors had different opinions about my editing. But due to the tight schedule of broadcasting, I did not consider it carefully, and still used my idea for rewriting. Until we had an editorial meeting, a fellow practitioner who was not an editor told me, “You can reserve your opinion.” I became very upset. However, later I realized that if I was upset to hear the practitioner’s comment, it was time for me to look within, and find what attachments caused me to be upset.
I searched within for a few days and realized that I tend to be self-centered while reviewing the articles. I always felt that I was more experienced, and had more seniority. I was confident that my understandings of news and my judgment and acuity were better. So I did not take the particular editors’ thoughts and efforts seriously.
“What you are working on is not cultivation in and of itself. Be it the businesses you own, your Dafa projects, or whatever it is you do—they are not cultivation in their own right. What makes something cultivation is the attitude that you bring to it and the way that you deal with and resolve any issues, namely, by applying the standards for a practicing Dafa disciple!” (“Fa Teaching at the 2019 New York Fa Conference”)
I found that I was too focused on the news editors' writing skills, but overlooked that it was time for me to improve my xinxing. A practitioner talked about his understanding of “choice” in a Minghui article. He said under whatever circumstance, he always measured his choice using the criteria of “selfish” and “selfless” to make the right choice. I compared his actions with mine and realized when I made the decision, I did not measure it based on selflessness.
I continued reflecting on myself. When reviewing the news articles, I was attached to doing things, while not using a practitioner's standard to deal with issues. For every article the practitioners wrote, they put in a lot of effort and tried their best to awaken the conscience of sentient beings. However, I made the decision of making trade-offs, largely rewriting the article, or even completely rewriting it solely based on the technical perspective. I did not view things from the practitioners’ perspective, nor did I take their dedication and effort under consideration. Sometimes it may be easier to rewrite a news article myself. However, the practitioners’ efforts would be totally wasted. This is actually also a kind of selfishness and no compassion.
“So what's their state of mind? It's tolerance, an extremely immense tolerance, being able to accept other beings, and being able to truly think from other beings' perspectives. This is something a lot of you haven't achieved yet in your cultivation, but you're gradually catching on and achieving it. When another God proposes an idea, they aren't eager to reject it, and they aren't eager to express their own ideas and they don't believe that their own ideas are good. Instead, they look at what the end result of the other God's proposed approach will be. The paths are different--everyone's path is different--and the truths that beings validate and enlighten to in the Fa are different, too, but the results might very well be the same. That's why they look at the results, and if the result of a God's idea can achieve the goal, if it can truly achieve it, then all of them will go along with it. That's how Gods think. Also, if there's something lacking in it they'll unconditionally and quietly supplement it to make things more complete and perfect. That's how they handle things.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2002 Fa Conference in Philadelphia, U.S.A.”, Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. II)
I understand that Master let our practitioners work together to create the media in order to awaken the conscience of sentient beings. Every practitioner shares the responsibility. When I edit the news, even if the article disagrees with my personal views, I should not be in a rush to deny it. Instead, I should try to understand the practitioners’ way of thinking, and retain the good content of the article, meanwhile supplementing and improving the imperfect content. This is the standard of selflessness the practitioner should have, and a way to best utilize the ability of each practitioner to become a whole, as Master asks of us.
When I realized my attachments, I could clearly feel Master was strengthening and purifying me. When I truly let go of self, I found some articles that I would have rewritten completely in the past would be a good article after careful review, a little guidance, and modification.
I feel ashamed that I let down the practitioners who worked with me for a long time, was dedicated, and I want to take this opportunity to say that I am truly sorry for that. I will try to do better in the future. I am also grateful for the practitioners’ tolerance.
Cultivation as Coordinator
I also started to do some coordination work in the second half of last year. Coordination involves dealing with people, which is my weakest ability.
“From the perspective of a higher life, the development of human society progresses according to specific laws of development. Therefore, what one does in life is not arranged based on one’s abilities. Buddhism believes in the principle of karmic retribution. One’s life is arranged according to one’s karma. No matter how capable you are, if you do not have de, perhaps you will have nothing in this life. You think that another person is good at nothing, but he has a lot of de. He could become a high-ranking official or make a big fortune. An everyday person cannot see this point and always believes that he should do exactly what he is able to.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)
Since I was weak at dealing with people, there must be a lot of things I need to improve on. So, Master arranged for me to improve myself in the cultivation environment as a coordinator. Gradually, I truly found many attachments.
I made two mistakes in succession for a short period of time when doing the news editing work, which I was good at. Other chief editors pointed it out. I thought I must have some attachments. When I looked within, I remembered to have hinted in front of my family that I was more capable for the editing work. Sometimes, during a relaxing family environment, I would expose my true thoughts and my attachments, such as zealotry, and showing off, which I may not easily show to the outside world. The reason I felt good about myself is still due to my attachment to self, and the omissions of my cultivation. In fact, our abilities are all given by Master.
Once during an editors’ meeting, we discussed a specific issue, and my idea was not accepted. Someone told me that I should insist on my idea, otherwise my reputation may be compromised. For some reason, I felt upset for a while. Then, when I recalled it, I wondered why I felt upset. When I looked within, I realized I had the attachment of thinking that I was better than others. Letting me take charge of coordination does not mean I must be good for everything. If I made some mistakes, should I feel ashamed, or see it as being detrimental to my reputation? This is the attachment of fame which made me upset. When I looked within and eliminated the attachments, my thoughts also changed. I felt is was very normal for everyone to discuss issues, and learn from each other in order to improve as a whole.
Taking Acceptance by the Audience Into Account
Our broadcasting targets the audiences in Mainland China but we are not based inside China. So we need to shorten the distance to the audience. We not only need to broadcast the truth they need to hear, but also take into account the acceptance of the audience, since many of them were heavily brainwashed by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). For the same news, we usually report from a different angle than our overseas media. In addition to the basic skills of editing, our editors also need to not simply copy the news but tailor it for the audience with the right angle. Without much professional guidance, we always keep exploring for the best way moving forward.
During the editing and coordinating work, I found myself often trying to argue and reason for myself whenever there was a problem. I understand that arguing is actually trying to cover mistakes, and hinders my improvement. Many attachments would be hidden, could not be easily identified, and eliminated. So I tried my best to suppress being argumentative. If I made mistakes, no matter whether if it was for a good reason, it was a mistake, and I admitted it publicly during the editor’s meeting or on other occasions. I also accepted the criticism openly regardless of the seniority of the person who pointed it out.
Gradually I felt that it is a good thing that someone criticized me or pointed out some imperfections. It is mutual progress that benefits everyone. For the practitioners who pointed out the issue, they must have already given it a lot of thought, and it was an improvement for them. For me, when someone pointed out some issues, there must be something I can improve upon and some attachments I can get rid of. For the project, there must be some aspects that can be perfected and be more powerful for awakening the conscience of sentient beings. This is a good thing and benefits all of us.
I also understand that letting me do some coordination work is to let everyone work together to save more sentient beings. If I only do well myself, the power is still limited. If we do well as a whole, it is the most powerful. Improving as a whole is always what Master asks us to achieve. The most important aspect of coordination is to let everyone put to task their best strength, rather than just being satisfied with running in the front of everything, and leaving others behind.
Complementing Each Other
There is a dancer who performed with the highest skill during the early Shen Yun Performance, and everyone enjoyed watching her dancing a lot. She stopped being a dancer, and started to be a Shen Yun choreographer and dance teacher. Later, the audience commented that every Shen Yun dancer reached the highest level of a lead dancer. Shen Yun is a role model for other projects. I think our Sound of Hope should be like Shen Yun, and everyone should reach the level of a good chief editor, so we can do a better job of saving sentient beings as a whole.
A practitioner shared the understanding in a Minghui article that the coordinator should learn to lower oneself, and become a down-to-earth “stepping stone”. I think this is a great understanding based on the Fa and what I should achieve myself. Therefore I arrange the work according to this idea. I try to give editors and chief editors more space to exercise the ability for selecting, editing and reviewing articles. I often position myself as an assisting role, providing references, and sometimes acting as a gatekeeper. I feel many editors have great potential, and can do better than I over time. Meanwhile, I also agreed with the chief editors to turn the Saturday weekly meeting from me speaking most of the time to all the chief editors taking turns to host the meeting, so that everyone can learn from each other, and complement each other. They all showed different abilities and characteristics, which also gave me great inspiration.
“Many practitioners have always done well in the projects run by Dafa disciples, and they have been redoubling their efforts. But there are also many who have done a half-hearted job, as there isn’t that much pressure anymore. But you should know that you are saving lives, and that is what everything you do is for. So you mustn’t let up. So many lives are waiting for you to save them.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2019 New York Fa Conference”)
I understand that Master told us to redouble our efforts in order to do well in the project. It is more pressing now, and the time really is not waiting for us. There are so many sentient beings waiting whose conscience needs to be awakened. We must study the Fa well, use the Fa to measure every thought, improve within the Fa, and work together as a whole to awaken the conscience of sentient beings. We must not let down the name of “Dafa Disciples” bestowed by Master.
Thank you Master, and fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2020 Sound of Hope Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)