Master Is by My Side at All Times
(Minghui.org) Esteemed Master and fellow practitioners:
I began practicing Falun Dafa 22 years ago. Compassionate Master has since transformed me from a person in poor health to someone in good health. I also changed from being a selfish person to someone who learned to take other people's needs into account, and looks inward when facing conflicts. I have experienced the preciousness of Dafa countless times. Master has been by my side to protect me, and I got to experience his compassion many times.
Struggling to Achieve Recognition
I joined the media Sound of Hope and was put in charge of the Food Section in September 2019. I previously knew very little about food, and was therefore under great pressure, as I had no idea how to operate a food section when starting my career.
It was depressing, especially when I saw my recipes published and receiving only a few dozen views, even though I spent a lot of time and energy developing the article. In addition, I felt I couldn’t awaken people to the truth about Dafa with what I was involved in. I thought that I should be involved in other truth-clarification projects. I therefore contemplated quitting my job daily.
I knew that my thoughts weren’t righteous. How could a practitioner walk away when facing difficulties? All of our Dafa media started from scratch. Only after so many practitioners overcame unimaginable difficulties, and persisted in what they were doing, were we able to accomplish what can be seen today. Many things that practitioners did were truly remarkable, and we need to create our own path. In addition, would any god say “I can’t do it”? Would that be a god still? Isn’t a god supposed to be almighty?
Thus, to find the kinds of recipes people would be more interested in, I began to surf cooking websites, which had a lot more traffic. Although I found some, after I made some modifications to what they did, my section still had very little traffic. Moreover, on top of coming up with some recipes, I struggled with presenting a “cooking techniques” section. As I spent too much time on that, I was almost late for meeting my deadline.
Learning through Research
One time when I was working on a recipe, while the chef was showing how to make the dish, he also mentioned some techniques that helped while cooking. Based on what he said, I wrote an article for which I received positive feedback and more than 1,000 views. Although it was still a small number, it was great encouragement. During the process of developing recipes, I noticed that every chef introduced some techniques and tricks during their cooking demonstrations that I could draw upon. This made working on the section much easier. Through this, I came to feel Master’s help.
But I knew that people who read the food section were not interested in being awakened to the truth about Dafa. What I did was to include some background information in some recipes, with the hope that it would lead people to return to traditional culture. The next issue was how to use it as a gateway to lead people to visit our website, which could awaken their conscience over time. But I still had no idea as to what kind of recipes would attract people.
A few factors impact the amount of traffic an article receives, including topic, content, and whether it’s practical or not. At the very beginning, in order to have the topic be more eye-catching, I often ended up wasting a lot of time but couldn’t come up with a good topic.
I then found out about joining some food groups on Facebook, where I could promote my recipes. This helped get some followers. Every morning, when I logged into my Facebook account, I noticed that a few dozen people either liked my recipes, shared them with others, or made some comments. With the promotion, my recipes got more and more traction. From there, I began to set a target for myself, to have more than 500 views on each recipe.
Dealing with Adversity
When I was determined to work towards my target, the two Facebook accounts that I set up for promotion were suddenly suspended. Although this happened before, they were reactivated within a few days, but this time it took nearly a month. My first reaction was to be very upset – what should I do?
While I was setting up new Facebook accounts, I also stopped and began to look inward. Why did such a thing occur?
I realized at first that I was so moved. After my two Facebook accounts were suspended, I was in low spirits for a few days. I felt very tired and lacked the motivation to do anything. In addition, I also realized that I was too attached to the ordinary people’s approach, without thinking that I was a practitioner, and possessed supernatural capabilities. I also saw my strong zealotry -- my heart went up and down when I had more traffic, otherwise it’d be the other way around.
Most importantly, through this incident, Master had me see my selfish side clearly, for I felt happy for high traffic, as opposed to how many people were awakened to Dafa’s truth when visiting our website. Before that, when I looked for food-related groups to ask to join, I always went for the size of the group, so as to help improve my traffic. However, now even when groups had only a few hundred members, I asked to join, as these members also correspond to countless beings behind them.
Through this, I came to realize that when I was looking for ideas in the past, I always thought about what I liked, what I preferred, as opposed to what my audience would like or prefer. When I completely changed my notions, by always thinking about my audience, the traffic on my recipes began to shoot up.
When going for a walk with my husband, I asked him how I could increase my online traffic. He said, “When your xinxing improves, your traffic should also go up.” I knew that Master was hinting through him.
Though the traffic has started improving in my food section, I have also accumulated some experience in picking types of recipes, but know that I have a long way to go. I need to keep improving my xinxing, which will help improve my performance accordingly.
With the onset of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) virus, awakening the conscience of people has become a more urgent task. My goal is to use my food section to hear about our media and learn the truth of Dafa. This requires me to make breakthroughs in my cultivation, which means in ordinary people's terms – what are their interests? This will make my path for awakening the conscience of people wider and wider.
Passing a Family Trial
My 84-year-old father was diagnosed with advanced cancer in March 2018. The doctor predicted he would live only three to six more months. As soon as I heard this, I was dumbfounded. My father has been doing very well, and my mother has been taking great care of him. I always felt that I would have a chance to see my parents in person before the Fa-rectification ends, even though they are in China. I now realize that this was an attachment.
My brother is my only sibling. He had been very spoiled and never learned how to handle things, because my father took care of everything, despite his age. Since my mother is the same age, their home was a mess.
My mother and brother called and put pressure on me to come home. My father also hoped that I could go back and then purchase a cemetery plot for him, as well as take care of burying him. My father has been a very upright person and has never backed down to anyone. Even during the Great Cultural Revolution, when he couldn’t even take care of the family, he never gave in to the evil CCP.
My father came to see me when I was illegally detained in a forced labor camp due to my belief. I told him about the United Nations sending people to see me, but I didn’t provide them with enough details on how practitioners were being cruelly tortured at the labor camp. He said, “Why didn’t you tell them? Even though you could be penalized for that, and maybe end up being beaten to death, it’s worth it! You must expose them, to let the whole world know what they did!” For an ordinary person, he had such great courage back then. However, this time, he was begging me to go back. That broke my heart.
I felt a strong sense of sentimentality and was under great pressure, which gave me severe back pain. I then began thinking about how to go about going back home, and the kinds of situations I could possibly face. My ordinary friends also gave me some suggestions. All in all, we came up with every possible way I could return home. But what worried me most was if I were to go to China and got arrested, it would impact an important media project that I participated in.
I was illegally detained in a forced labor camp for two years starting in 2005. After I managed to escape overseas, I put in a lot of effort exposing the persecution of the CCP with practitioners in mainstream media in Western society, including appearing on TV. I was therefore blacklisted by the Chinese embassy, and the police in China. My computer had been attacked several times, and I had received intimidating phone calls.
Yes, filial piety is important, but could I put a key Dafa project at stake. I was in a dilemma. I couldn’t sleep due to the great mental pressure. I knew it was because I had the attachment to sentimentality, that I must let go. Thus, after waking up, I recited Master's Fa.
“You are unable to interfere with the lives of others, and neither can you control others’ fates, including those of your wife, sons, daughters, parents, or brothers. Can you decide those things?” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
“Cultivation practice must take place through tribulations so as to test whether you can part with and care less about different kinds of human sentimentality and desires. If you are attached to these things, you will not succeed in cultivation.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
“If this sentimentality is not relinquished, you will be unable to practice cultivation. If you are free from this sentimentality, nobody can affect you. An everyday person’s mind will be unable to sway you. What takes over in its place is benevolence, which is something more noble.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)
Shen Yun Awakens Reason for Living
During this time, Shen Yun had its last show in another city, so I decided to go there to watch. It changed my perspective. I was weeping from the beginning to the end. When the scene with the carriage coming down from heaven appeared, I was scared and began to feel a sense of mission. I realized that my life didn’t belong to anyone or any family, but rather to Dafa and the universe.
I've seen Shen Yun every year for more than a decade. However, the experience from that show was very different from any other time. I came to feel the sacred mission I was shouldering as a practitioner. At the moment when the entire cast took a bow and said goodbye to the audience, I almost wanted to cry out loud. I suddenly felt that my severe back pain was gone. I knew that Master was suffering for me. Before that, when I ran into a tribulation, I often thought that I was making a breakthrough, but in essence, it was Master who saw my wish for cultivating well and removed the bad substance for me, so that I could pass the test.
Also after this Shen Yun show, I dropped the idea of going back home completely and communicated with my parents. It did hit them a bit hard, but Fa-rectification period Dafa disciples should put the Fa and our cultivation in first place in everything we do, and be responsible for the countless sentient beings in the universe.
Before that, I often longed for the ending of the Fa-rectification, with the hope that I could reunite with my parents. But it rarely comes to mind now.
With the onset of the CCP virus, as long as the Fa-rectification doesn’t stop, every day is an opportunity for sentient beings, as well as an opportunity for me to cultivate myself well. I will seize the time to do solid cultivation, reach the Fa standards as soon as possible, awaken the conscience of more people, and not let down my title of being a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple!
(Presented at the 2020 Sound of Hope Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)