(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master. Greetings, fellow practitioners.
I would like to take the opportunity of this experience-sharing conference to share some of my recent experiences and related improvement, both from a cultivation and professional perspective.
I’m a practitioner from Italy. I moved to New York about three years ago to join the Circulation Department of the English Epoch Times. About six months ago I was given the opportunity to play another role, working for Epoch Times Italian digital edition.
During the past 3 years I’ve often been thinking about Master’s request to have the media run by Dafa disciples take successful companies as an example and learn from their business practices.
I didn’t know what to do when it comes to a media outlet – my professional background is in the restaurant business – and I developed a feeling of entitlement such as: it’s the company that must provide me with the training. I’ve been resentful for a while, but I knew it wasn’t the right attitude.
When I changed my mindset, let’s say from being dependent on someone else to taking responsibility for my own path. Because of this thought, I received several opportunities. I received a training course in process management from the company and a certain number of articles related to the media business showed up in an app I use to read offline. I guess they were hints from Master’s Fashen.
I found acquiring this knowledge and these techniques very useful, especially when it comes to managing time, which is the most important resource we have. Moreover, the whole thing gave me the opportunity to raise my xinxing in several situations. I’m going to share some of the ways.
In March, I went back to Italy for a few weeks to support the Shen Yun shows there. For the first time we had more than one city hosting the show. There were not that many shows overall and tickets were sold out weeks in advance. We added an extra show in one city.
One thing I learned through my involvement in Shen Yun promotion is the critical role of establishing smooth communication channels for the success of a company. A local Italian practitioner was talking to a member of the group of European practitioners in charge of logistics that tour with Shen Yun.
The Italian practitioner said that a certain thing was going to be different in the following theater. He said he knew because he had seen it and thought it was useful for them to know about it.
One man from the European group told him something like: “Thanks, but I don’t truly believe what you’re saying.” I was surprised to hear that, but I became alerted and asked myself why I heard that.
On the surface the intention of the Italian practitioner was good, but the fact they didn’t know each other to me means that trust must be created before accepting this kind of information.
I think the mindset of the practitioner from the European group was good as well. I guess he has had some similar experiences in the past with local practitioners who were willing to give “useful information,” and trying to help, but then it ended up being the opposite.
How can we build trust?
“Some of the things are indeed quite profound and, when discussed, may sound like superstition. Nevertheless, we will try our best to explain them with modern science.” (Zhuan Falun)
This sentence struck me for a while. I couldn’t understand why Master was telling us about using modern science to explain Dafa. Now my current understanding is that, Master was building trust and using a common language with the readers using scientific terms that they already knew.
Master told us science is everywhere. It has infiltrated in every aspect of society. And even though it’s not ultimately good for humanity and brought to us by aliens, my understanding is that Master used it as a way to unlock the predestined relationship of certain Dafa disciples.
My realization is that even though I might have acquired certain skills when it comes to management, I must be able to use a common language which can be understood by others. Cultivation wise, effective communication is an expression of being able of thinking of others first. Professionally speaking, I see it as the right way to be able to coordinate among people: build trust and communicate effectively.
Another element related to building trust and having a common language is for us to share our experiences.
Master left us a few forms: one of them is group study and sharing. My suggestion to fellow practitioners who might have a hard time sharing about their cultivation experiences – be it struggles they are facing or realization they obtained – sharing is a way to create this common language with fellow practitioners, so we can get to know each other better. If someone is having a hard time, he/she can ask for support, and vice versa. One’s sharing, even though it might be considered “not important,” can be helpful to someone and play the role of improving the overall cooperation.
When I got back to New York, I had a new position at the Epoch Times. I was now working for the Italian digital edition. The first thought was kind of surprising, I saw it as a great opportunity for clarify the truth to the sentient beings who speak the Italian language. It was similar to the heart at the beginning of cultivation Master told us several times. A solemn joy, driving me to do things.
Then I felt loneliness kicking in. The Italian practitioners I was working with were living in Italy. It was a completely different work environment from the one I was used to.
I moved from a job that was physically demanding – working night shifts, driving to deliver papers – to sitting in front of a screen and doing the various tasks by myself rather than having someone next to me.
The notion I had about being able to perform well only if the team is together, and the idea that physical work is more rewarding than anything else had to be relinquished. We know that mind and body are the same thing plus there are many professional people who work for big companies remotely, and can accomplish the results they’re supposed to get.
So it was time for me to keep moving forward in cultivation and in a professional way.
So to improve my professionalism, I needed to raise my xinxing. What I realized is that improving one’s skills and improving in one’s cultivation are like two tracks on the same path, running in parallel. To advance on my path, I do need to move them forward at the same time. It’s quite straightforward actually: passing tests and improving by looking within will elevate one’s gong.
With that energy, I can learn faster, and divine beings will grant me wisdom. Master required us to become professional and play a main role, so it’s also a matter of following Master’s requests. It becomes a positive cycle.
One day I had an argument with a fellow practitioner. It was very helpful in recognizing another notion I had to eliminate.
He has been in New York for just a few months, and even though we don’t work together, we usually get along pretty well. That day he told me I was showing a kind of arrogant attitude, something like “I know better because I’ve been here longer, because I’m older, and because I’m more knowledgeable.”
This kind of confrontation made me realize my selfish nature. While he was talking to me about those things, I was kind of waiting to get upset (as it can happen in these situations). I had the opposite reaction: I was kind of laughing at him, a proof that what he was saying was correct. I had the thought that “You don’t know, and you’re laughable.”
I later thanked him for the opportunity to improve, but it took me about 2 days to do it truthfully.
Then something clicked for me. I realized the idea of wanting to improve my skills was to validate myself. Something that already happened in the past, this time it was more subtle but was still there. Even though I knew that my wisdom and abilities are granted by divine beings, I still had some selfishness. I was not thinking about how to help others improve, which was part of the training I received.
My mindset was: If I am the only one around knowing these techniques, everyone will like me and I’ll have a lot of opportunities to join projects I consider interesting. Actually once I recognized this selfish element and did my best to negate it, I had the opportunity to get involved in certain projects; it happened quite naturally.
I’d like to end my sharing with a poem from Master that helped improve my relationship with coworkers:
“Don’t argue when people argue with youCultivation is looking within for the causeWanting to explain just feeds the attachmentBreadth of mind, unattached, brings true insight” (Hong Yin III)
Thank you Master and thank you fellow practitioners.
(Presented at the 2018 New York English Experience Sharing Conference)