(Minghui.org) I started shooting videos in March of 2019 and encountered many cultivation challenges. I want to share my tribulations and how I overcame them with fellow practitioners’ help.

Overcoming Jealousy while Creating Videos

I formed an attachment to viewership numbers, which just got worse whenever my videos did more poorly than expected, or when videos I considered inferior to mine garnered more views. Feelings of unfairness began to arise. Even an amateur video, shot by a rural farmer, was more viewed than mine, and I was overwhelmed with a flood of negative feelings, including jealousy, anxiety, and dissatisfaction. When my feelings of jealousy were especially acute, I would refrain from “liking” good quality videos published by ordinary people, out of fear that their popularity would supersede mine. I was snapped out of this by a sudden realization one day. By refusing to support others, how could I hope to gain any support?

Master said, “…for if someone is doing well, instead of feeling happy for him or her, people’s minds will feel uneasy.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)

I started searching inwards for the reason why I feared that others were more successful and found that my jealously stemmed from selfishness, greed, and an attachment to showing off. Instead of praising and appreciating the success of others, I deliberately competed against them, desperate to surpass them. I turned a blind eye to the effort they’d invested and refused to acknowledge their strengths. I even failed to consider that, even if their success was easily obtained, it was due to a predestined arrangement.

Master taught us to be considerate of others and search inward whenever we encounter tribulations. I asked myself, “What is your goal in cultivation practice? It is to become a Buddha. Do Buddhas live for themselves or others? Buddhas have boundless compassion and help others with no strings attached. Would a true Buddha suffer from fear that others in the universe could become better than himself?” I was horrified by this realization. With this flaw, I would never be able to cultivate to the level of a Buddha, no matter how much effort I put into Fa study and practicing the exercises.

I began to correct myself by memorizing and reciting frequently sections from Zhuan Falun. Master said,

“The issue of jealousy is very serious as it directly involves the matter of whether you can complete cultivation practice. If jealousy is not abolished, everything that you have cultivated will become fragile. There is this rule: If in the course of cultivation practice jealousy is not given up, one will not attain Right Fruit—absolutely not.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)

Now whenever I see a good video, I feel happy for the publisher and “like” it straightaway. Although I have yet to fully eliminate this attachment to jealousy, at least I have made significant progress in this area of cultivation.

Eliminating the Attachment of Depending on Others

I recently re-watched the videos I made last year and found many shortfalls in the presentation of the tone and quality of content. I can now express myself more naturally and with confidence, although there remains much room for growth. My inability to speed up this rate of improvement contributed to my growing sense of anxiety. I also became dissatisfied with the paltry amount of support and attention I received for my work.

Thus, I visited a team in Los Angeles earlier this year for a study trip. I was shocked to learn what their team of five or six people could earn in one year, while the amount of hard work and effort they put into each research topic left me greatly impressed. This team had a rocky start, but with perseverance and cooperation, they finally achieved success. On reflection, I could see my own shortcomings. Just complaining about my situation would get me nowhere. I happened to share this observation with a fellow practitioner one day.

He pointed to a dying potted plant in my home and said, “Pretend there are two pot plants here. One plant is thriving and flowering, while the other is shriveled and dying. Naturally, people would be more motivated to water the healthy plant every day, instead of the dying one.” His words gave me food for thought. I was more likely to overlook the dying plant’s existence, instead of making an effort to save it. Similarly, if I was unwilling to put any effort into my assigned task, how could I expect others to do so? Naturally, it would be easier to find volunteers willing to help successful projects in small ways. With this understanding, I stopped complaining about being overlooked.

By believing in the value of my work, and applying the principles of the Fa in everything I do, my accomplishments will not be in vain. Now, I consciously search online for video production training materials to study. As I watch other people's videos, I take careful notes on the good points in their production. Whenever I encounter phrases that sound really good, I make sure to write them down. In this way, I accumulate experience bit by bit.

Despite the difficulties, it felt as though Master was constantly by my side, encouraging me with inspiring videos, creating favorable conditions for my work, while having others encourage and enlighten me.

Understanding and Accepting Others

I’ve come to the realization that, in order to achieve high viewership, I must cater to the interest of the masses, rather than focus on my own personal desires. I encountered repeated comments regarding this shortfall. Even my aunt, who is also a fellow Dafa practitioner, told me, “I can’t watch any of your productions. I find them too abstract and impractical.” After a period of focused discussion and feedback, I realized that people have a wide variety of preferences. To gain widespread acceptance, one must be able to understand and relate to their needs and circumstances.

One historical figure who understood the value of this was Bai Juyi, a famous poet in ancient China. He would recite each new poem to elderly women, revising the content over and over each time they expressed confusion. As a result, his finished poems became widely understood by the masses.

One day while reviewing videos, I came across a warm interaction between a blogger and his fans. I suddenly realized that, in order to awaken people’s consciences, one must invest in cultivating a relationship and trust. To do this, one must be open to accepting others. Hiding behind barriers to protect oneself is not possible on social platforms. Besides, being more open can expand a person’s cultivation environment and capacity for awakening more sentient beings to the truth of Dafa.

My initial hesitance stemmed from my selfish refusal to interact with total strangers. However, practitioners must treat sentient beings with equal kindness and sincerity. Also, my original goal in producing lifestyle videos was to awaken the consciences of more sentient beings. Sometimes I feel a pang of loss whenever I see fellow practitioners hosting current affairs programs, envious of their circumstance that allows them to present the truth behind the persecution of Dafa so straightforwardly. However, I do know that a segment of viewers may not be interested in watching current affairs programs. In these areas, lifestyle programs like mine can close this gap.

Nowadays, I start my day by reviewing messages from my audience and answering their questions. Although this trivial task is very time consuming, I believe this work will form a solid foundation for my future productions.

On reflection, producing videos, achieving high viewership numbers, and making a profit were not motivating factors that pushed me to start producing videos. I wanted to produce videos that could reach out and awaken the consciences of more people.

While standing in my doorway one day, I looked up and saw a grove of trees. Alone, deep in the mountains, trees grow tall and sturdy without praise or attention. At that moment, I realized that each tree was responsible for its own survival and growth. There is certainly no need to compare itself with other trees. A practitioner can draw a parallel from this: I can invest my best into cultivation practice and try to awaken the consciences of sentient beings.

(Presented at the 2020 Sound of Hope Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)