Reflecting on My Cultivation at SOH Radio
(Minghui.org) Greetings Master, and fellow practitioners:
Time has passed by so quickly, and I realized that I have worked at Sound of Hope (SOH) Radio for five years. During these past five years I have seen many people coming and going. Some left for financial reasons, while some could not get used to the environment and rules. I have in fact experienced all these issues myself, and I have also had thoughts about leaving this project. But, each time I based my cultivation on the Fa, I realized that what made me waver was either my own attachments, interference by the old forces, or arrangements by Master to give me opportunities to improve.
Correcting What Is Lacking
When I first started out at the station in 2015, I was really not used to how the system worked. I noticed that certain areas did not have clearly-defined responsibilities, and no specialized people were needed. When observing the system, it was clear that some tasks could be done by anyone, as the specific abilities were not an issue. Also, it was not clearly defined which department had ultimate responsibility.
When hired, I had come from a publicly listed company, which had an established management system. Given my past work and management experience, I had a hard time accepting such an environment. But, as I had just moved here from China, I realized that it was a different kind of media world. I was not ready to share my thoughts. Then, I did make some suggestions, but it didn't really change anything. Gradually, I became very passive and negative, which my manager noticed. Due to our lack of communication, I slowly distanced myself from my manager, and coming to work was painful – I was ready to quit.
“Actually, though, as a Dafa disciple, if in such cases your thoughts are righteous, and what you are thinking about is cultivation, about being responsible, and about how it’s something that should be done well, then you should quietly take whatever it is that you feel is lacking and do it well. That is in fact how a Dafa disciple should handle it. If all Dafa disciples could manage to handle things in this manner, everything out there would go extremely well, for sure.” (“Be More Diligent”, Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. X)
Master’s Fa was so clear and straightforward. It made me realize that I must face the issues I had, and do what I was supposed to do. I thought that in a regular company, if a responsibility was not clearly defined, then no one would work on it. If the responsibilities of different sectors were not clearly defined, the involved sectors would get into a big dispute. In a Dafa project, however, even if the management did not clearly define the responsibilities, other practitioners would just quietly make the necessary changes. Why should I grumble about it? Was I afraid of doing too much and thus feeling indignant? Was it because of my selfishness that my suggestions were often not accepted?
“As you know, when a person reaches the Arhat level, in his heart he is not concerned about anything. He does not care at all in his heart for any ordinary human matter, and he will always be smiling and in good spirits. No matter how much loss he suffers, he will still be smiling and in good spirits without any concern.” (Lecture Nine, Zhuan Falun)
Falun Dafa practitioners are assisting Master to validate the Fa, and will achieve a higher fruition status. How could I be affected by something like this? Even if there were issues, I still should look for my own shortcomings, and improve in my cultivation.
From then and on, I would always bring up my suggestions. When they were not taken, I would not mind, and would just make changes. Of course, there were still conflicts, and my human notions would rear up, but with Master’s Fa I was able to quickly get past these tribulations.
Also, several years ago, I often wanted to quit, as I was bothered by how some practitioners acted. I felt as if some practitioners had not let go of the indoctrination by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). It looked as if some practitioners couldn’t tell right from wrong. It also appeared that some practitioners gave me the silent treatment. The more I thought about it, the angrier I got. It got to a point that I couldn’t even work with them anymore. When I shared this with another practitioner who I was close with, she said, “We have cultivated for so many years and our cultivation path is coming to an end. Most ordinary things cannot move our hearts anymore. Without some conflicts from other practitioners, how would you cultivate?”
Indeed, why didn’t I realize that I was the one who needed to cultivate? The term “fellow practitioner” means that we practice Dafa together, and cultivate with each other. Wouldn’t their behavior help me cultivate and improve? Why did I always focus on others’ shortcomings but not use them as mirror to look for my own issues? Besides, was I still beholden to the indoctrination by the CCP?
When others treated me badly, was it because I'd subconsciously hurt them? Also, why couldn’t I just sincerely point out their shortcomings, and share with them? Even if they refused to change, why couldn’t I be more tolerant, and calmly work with them? As Dafa practitioners, we are about to become divine beings at high levels and the higher the realm, the more forbearance is needed. Moreover, different dimensions and different levels have beings with different characteristics. I should not use my standard, which isn’t necessarily correct anyways, to measure others.
Practitioners Are One Body
Master had revealed the structure of the universe. From that I realized that all practitioners are part of the one body. This is not just a concept, but really a physical structure. We are one body, which is mutually inclusive. Therefore, we interact with and affect each other. If our cultivation is not up to par, then it may cause the universe, and the sentient beings in the universe, to be incomplete.
Once I enlightened to this, I felt at peace. I then had a good conversation with another practitioner with whom I'd had some conflicts in the past. We were able to straighten out many misunderstandings. Some issues were just due to cultivation factors, and were due to my incorrect state of mind. When I was able to look inside based on the Fa, and let go of my prejudice, these conflicts and gaps disappeared, and we got along just fine.
When I experienced other conflicts that I couldn’t seem to get over, I would tell myself that there must be something I didn’t do well. I understood that there would always be new tribulations and challenges, because we must continue to enlighten, continue to cultivate, and continue to improve.
Through experiences over the past several years, I discovered that the mentality we have while doing Dafa projects is very important. I asked myself, “Why did I choose to work on a Dafa project?” I knew that it was a platform for clarifying the truth about Dafa, and awakening the conscience of sentient beings. As long as we are able to stick with this understanding, we are less likely be interfered with and bothered by our human notions and attachments.
At the same time, I realized that we must also look for our attachments. In the past I also had an attachment of relying on a Dafa project, using the Dafa project as an umbrella. But in fact, even if I was doing a lot of things, without solid cultivation and assimilating to the Fa, the infinite sentient beings who are represented by me will not be saved and will not be part of the new universe. Working on a project is a form of saving people, but we still must solidly cultivate ourselves, which is the foundation of cultivation.
By then I finally could correctly position my state of mind while being part of the project. I often use Master’s Fa to encourage myself.
“The things you do are not cultivation in themselves. Whether it’s the company you run, your Dafa project, or whatever you do, that in itself is not cultivation. But the attitude you take in your work, how to treat these issues and solve these problems, address them with the standard of a Dafa disciple and cultivator and handle them well—that is cultivation! ” (“Fa Teaching at the 2019 New York Fa Conference ”, Team Blue Translation)
Breaking Through Tribulations of Sickness Karma with a Righteous Mind
I was fortunate that I began to practice Dafa at a young age with my parents, and thus I don’t have ordinary people’s notions about illness. Over the past 20-some years I almost never suffered from sickness karma. But, I suffered serious tribulations twice in the past year. From these experiences, I found some deeply hidden notions and issues.
The first experience happened about six months ago. I woke up in the morning and experienced severe vertigo – everything was spinning. My legs and feet had no issues, but I just could not balance myself. I tried several times to stand up and each time I ended up falling to the floor. My first thought was on Master's words in Zhuan Falun.
“For instance, when I taught a class in Changchun, there was a person with very good inborn quality, who was indeed a good prospect. I found him to be very good and increased his tribulations a little bit so that he could quickly repay karma and become enlightened—I was preparing it this way.” (Lecture Six, Zhuan Falun)
When I thought of this, I was even a bit excited and thought that Master was helping me get rid of a big chunk of karma. Then, I thought about taking some time off work. But, as soon as I thought of that, my vertigo worsened. I felt like I was going to lose consciousness, and it was difficult to breathe. I was shocked. I realized that it was the Fa rectification period, and Master’s arrangements for us to eliminate karma would not interfere with us doing the three things. Thus, it must be interference and persecution by the old forces and the demons!
I sat on the bed and sent forth righteous thoughts for about 30 minutes. I felt that my mind became clearer and I could breathe again. Then, I had the thought of asking my manager for some time off again. But, as soon as I took out my phone, I remembered about a sharing with a fellow practitioner several days before. It was about her and her husband experiencing a tribulation at the same time. They had big bumps and blisters all over their bodies, which were painful and itchy. It was so bad that they were having trouble sleeping. But they each had different ways of dealing with the situation. She righteously negated the symptoms, wore clothes with high collars and long sleeves to cover up the bumps and blisters, and went to work, despite the pain and itchiness. The bumps and blisters disappeared very soon. On the other hand, her husband asked for time off and rested at home. The bumps and blisters lasted for a very long time, and it was quite painful. That practitioner said that if we wanted to negate the illusion of the sickness karma, we need to be not moved by it and we must continue to do what we normally do. We must negate it with our actions.
As soon as I remembered the practitioners' story, I stood up and got ready to leave for work. Even though I was still dizzy, I felt better. I worked as usual, and recovered within a couple of days. After this incident I thanked the practitioner who had shared with me. It really helped me find my righteous thought at a critical moment.
I also thought about why I had this tribulation. Not long ago, I heard about another practitioner in another region who passed away from sickness karma. Other than feeling sad and sorry about it, I also had a bad thought that was deeply hidden – maybe the fellow practitioner’s mind wasn’t righteous enough. It was a very opinionated thought and full of feeling good about myself, as if I would be able to break through it if it were me. This gave the old forces an opportunity to take advantage of me, and they immediately forced a deadly tribulation on me.
When the symptoms first arrived, even though I seemed to have treated it with righteous thoughts, and looked at it as eliminating karma instead of an illness, I did not think about negating it completely. So it got a lot worse. After I personally experienced it, I realized that sickness karma could really come in full fury, and life and death would depend on the one thought. Just one wrong thought could lead to the worst consequence. I also realized that we should not judge fellow practitioners. We should only help each other with a righteous mind.
The other sickness karma tribulation happened in late February this year. One afternoon while I was still at work, I came down with a fever. I kept working and it worsened by the time I got home. The fever lasted for several days. I had a persistent dry cough, and almost lost my voice. I was unable to work for some time. I realized that it was another tribulation that the old forces had forced on me. But, I knew that I had to study the Fa, do the exercises, and look inside.
It Is Crucial to Watch Every Thought
It happened when the CCP virus began to spread in China, and the United States refused entry of Chinese nationals to the U.S. I was covering the news for this every day, and without realizing it, I had gradually formed some ordinary people’s notions. Seeing that many Chinese people were buying face masks and sending them to China, I also did the same. Some other practitioners did it, too, but they were doing it for their family members who were ordinary people. However, I was shipping them to a fellow practitioner – my mother. She is very diligent, and I knew she would still be going out to clarify the truth, so I repeatedly told her to wear a face mask. On the surface, I was telling her to conform to the way of ordinary society, but in fact I was afraid of her getting the virus. Even though I knew she had strong righteous thoughts, I kept thinking “just in case.” At the time, there were very few cases in the United States, but I asked my husband to also wear a mask. I thought that since he'd started to practice Dafa at a later time, and sometimes he didn’t have strong righteous thoughts, so, “just in case.”
Later on I found that behind this “just in case” mentality, there was a strong fear of my family getting the CCP virus. Deep in my mind I didn’t believe that my family members were immune to the virus, even though they were Dafa practitioners. Wasn’t that not believing in Master and the Fa? The old forces would definitely take advantage of that. As I recall, I remember whenever I saw the news about the virus outbreak in different regions, I always felt slightly excited, because I would have something to write about. I forgot that I was reporting the news for saving sentient beings, and not just for the sake of reporting the news itself.
Both of these tribulations were due to the hidden thoughts I had that did not meet the standard of the Fa. From these I realized that it’s crucial to watch each and every thought that’s going through our mind. I also saw the even greater significance and importance of looking inside.
“The ten years of Fa-rectification have recreated the cosmos, have saved countless sentient beings from degeneration and annihilation, and have established the immeasurable colossal firmament’s all-encompassing and eternal Fa-principles and immeasurable wisdom. This is a blessing for sentient beings, and it is the mighty virtue of the Dafa disciples.” (“The Blessings From Dafa”, The Essentials of Diligent Progress Vol. III)
When I first studied this passage of the Fa, I only understood it literally: it was Dafa that established the all-encompassing eternal Fa-principles. But why is it eternal? My recent understanding is that it is because of the way of “looking inside.”
Our universe was originally in the phase of degeneration and annihilation, but our compassionate Master rectified the Fa, and revealed to us the fundamental Fa of the universe. We were then able to measure ourselves with the Fa and look inside, continue to correct ourselves, and assimilate to the Fa. We were able to save the sentient beings in the part of the universe that we represented. This is the mighty virtue of Dafa disciples.
After Fa-rectification, each level in the universe will use the Dafa principles established by Master as the standard. All the sentient beings can measure themselves with the Fa to find their shortcomings, and continue to correct themselves. This way, the universe will no longer degenerate and will be eternal.
Thank you, Master, and fellow practitioners!
(Presented at the 2020 Sound of Hope Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)