Walking Our Cultivation Path While Coordinating for SOH
(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I began working for Sound of Hope (SOH) Europe in January 2019, and I'm in charge of the Culture section.
In order to attract more local Chinese people, a new section called “Life in Europe” was added to the website and I was asked to coordinate it. Another practitioner named Shirley and I were the only employees. One or two other practitioners helped us. We published articles such as: “A Tourist's Guide for Visiting British Lavender Fields,” “English Life through My Eyes,” and “Useful Mobile APP Inventories.”
We thought about making videos but we didn’t have enough manpower. One article about local cleaning products was very popular, so we decided to make a video about it. We set up a video channel, and Shirley and I were the only team members. She was the host and I made the plan. We didn’t have a video editor, so my husband volunteered. Our video channel was launched last July and the goal was to enrich our website and to attract more readers. At the same time we marketed SOH Europe. We placed the SOH logo and its web address at the end of each video, hoping to attract readers to visit our website so that they could be saved.
Shirley bought a video camera with her own money, and we bought other equipment. She put her heart into making this program. Our first video was shot at my home. Shirley left her home early in the morning and spent five hours on the train to get to my place. We started filming as soon as she arrived. She left immediately after we finished and she didn’t even have time to have dinner with us.
Soon afterwards we made a video on how to make dumplings. We invited a Western practitioner who could speak Chinese to join us, and he made dumplings with Shirley. It was very interesting but the video wasn’t very popular. My husband and I decided to present it the same way as ordinary people’s entertainment programs did to make it more interesting.
This was hard because we really didn't know how, so we added narratives and special effects techniques to make it funny. My husband and I studied several techniques and gradually improved. We downloaded nearly one thousand voice files, listened to each one, and then selected the most appropriate ones.
Often we spent an entire night editing a video. We had to stop a few times each night to comfort our crying baby and we continued working after he fell asleep.
The video was finally finished after a month of hard work. It received 900 views and a lot of positive feedback. Even some Westerners were interested in it and some people watched it twice.
Our goal is to present topics closely related to everyday life and to let people know Europe. Our channel introduces the culture and local customs of European countries. Two members of our team are from Britain, so our videos were all related to Britain. Some practitioners commented that our program should be re-named “Life in England.” We didn’t change it because we believed that we would soon cover topics in other European countries. At that time no programs on social media covered such broad areas in one program. Although we worked very hard, our video traffic was low. However, we never thought of giving up. We reminded each other that the result was not as important as validating the Fa during the process.
We kept posting good articles in our website’s Life Section. We selected quality articles, edited, and modified them carefully. Our articles soon began covering different countries.
Coordinating with Others
Gradually our team expanded. I had never been a coordinator before so I didn’t have much experience. Slowly I gained experience and developed my own management style.
“People in charge are coordinators, and you should coordinate others well and motivate them well, and have everyone involved. That is being in charge! Suppose you say, “I am in charge, and I just want to do it myself.” Yet it’s not that you are the lead person doing this thing—it’s not this concept. As I have been saying all along, I ask the people in charge to lead the people in this area well.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference”)
My understanding was that my responsibility was to keep the practitioners working smoothly, remind them to cultivate diligently and improve their xinxing and that our goal was to save sentient beings. That is what Master wants. It was important to have a good cultivation environment. Only when practitioners cultivate well can we do projects well. We have group Fa study every night and I encouraged team members to participate. I reached out to those who didn’t come or seldom came.
Our weekly meeting was also a good opportunity for us to share cultivation experiences, so I encouraged everyone to participate and talk.
I thought about how to motivate the others so that they would remain enthusiastic about the project. I reported on our progress and I asked for their opinions. In this way each team member was actively involved and their participation rate was high. I tried to provide opportunities for new members to learn.
“I have not only taught you Dafa, but have also left you my demeanor. While working, your tone of voice, your kindheartedness, and your reasoning can change a person’s heart, whereas commands never could! If others are not convinced deep down inside but only superficially comply, they will still conduct themselves according to their own will when no one is around to see them.” (“Clearheadedness,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
My understanding was that I needed to communicate with practitioners often and listen to their opinions and ideas. If someone had difficulty I helped them. If there were technical problems, I would try my best to help solve it. I felt my role was to mobilize, coordinate, and put together everyone’s efforts into one body so that we could do the project well, and together.
About communication, Master said,
“Without knowing the specifics of the situation I can’t say much. But you touched on an issue, which is, that people don’t directly communicate with each other even when they see each other, and instead they send text messages. I can tell you that that’s what aliens do. Human beings are supposed to interact with one another. For thousands of years of human societies, with traditional, god-given culture in place, human beings never went without interacting.” (Fa Teaching at the 2015 West Coast Fa Conference)
Even though we sometimes had xinxing issues, through sharing from the Fa's perspective, the conflicts were resolved. Dafa projects are different from ordinary people’s projects - work and cultivation go hand in hand.
Master mentioned “tone of voice” and “kindheartedness”, so I treated my teammates with compassion. When a practitioner made a mistake, I pointed it out with kindness and in a way that they could accept. If someone did a good job, I praised them. Most practitioners are not professional and there's a learning curve. Our team supports and encourages each other.
In order to coordinate the project well, we don’t rely on ordinary people’s methods, but rather use the wisdom and ability we gain from the Fa. So first and foremost I must be a diligent cultivator in order to do my work well. I tried my best to study the Fa and do the exercises more every day. My baby was still small, so I couldn’t really focus on the project during the day. I started to work from midnight until 4 – 5 a.m. Then my husband would start editing the video.
My forbearance and patience were constantly tested. Practitioners come from different backgrounds, have different characters and their cultivation states are different. So I had to have compassion, but I sometimes got angry or complained if someone didn’t listen to me.
Some practitioners don’t have professional experience and I have to teach them. This was a big cultivation test for me. One practitioner started the project knowing nothing. When she did it herself, she forgot and I taught her again. When I had to teach her the third time, I became impatient and complained in my heart about her slowness. I heard that she wanted to quit the project because she was not confident that she could learn. I felt she wanted to leave because of me. Master arranged for her to come, but I was making her leave. When I looked within I realized that I lacked compassion and patience. I became very patient, showed her again, and kept encouraging her. She realized that she shouldn’t give up so easily. After we elevated together, she learned the skills quickly and became a key employee.
My mind became broader as my cultivation improved. I felt bad when I thought of the people and things that once angered me. I knew that I was more tolerant now. There were countless beings in a Buddha’s world. The higher the Buddha’s level, the more beings he has. He can look after every one of them with compassion and kindness. Shouldn’t a cultivator be like this?
The Tribulations Start
The old forces interfered with my body. Parts of my face, neck, arms, hands, chest, and back became dark and hard. My skin became very dry and looked like tree bark and small patches flaked off. Even my scalp was like this. My skin was itchy and sore. I scratched my skin until it bled.
Things got worse at night and I was awakened by the itchiness. Sometimes I had to do the second exercise for an hour before it eased. I tried many methods to stop this, such as memorizing the Fa, sending righteous thoughts for a long time, and looking inward. I found my attachments of jealousy, lust, and desire. I tried to eliminate them and things eased. Because this condition had been torturing me for a long time, my resentment surfaced. Why did I have to bear this? I realized it was resentment that I had to eliminate. My health improved as my cultivation improved. But it relapsed. I still needed to look for my attachments and cultivate them away. I should also send righteous thoughts more.
Even though this condition persisted for years, I was very determined that it shouldn’t affect my doing the three things. Regardless of how difficult the situation was, I insisted on doing the three things well and I did not let up. Initially I could hardly bear it, but no matter how hard it became, I didn’t stop even once.
Another challenge I encountered was applying for refugee status. We weren’t allowed to work – but our mortgage payment each month was a huge financial burden. I wanted to apply for mortgage relief. But, after discussing it with my husband, we decided against it. As practitioners we should adhere to the principles of Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance. This was an opportunity for me to let go of my attachment to personal interest.
Fulfilling Our Goals
The Life section on the SOH Europe website has been established for a year and the video channel for 10 months. Our team became stronger. We now have team members from England, France, Germany, Belgium, Switzerland, and the U.S. With everyone’s efforts, this section became better and better. Our articles section covers a variety of topics such as education, life, economy, legislation, tourism, and food. One reader was able to find out how to get a visa in France through one of our articles. This shows that our articles help readers, thus we achieved our purpose for setting up this section.
We originally had one video team and made one program each week. Now we have five teams with several hosts and make three programs a week, covering life in many European countries.
We changed the channel name to We Are in Europe. We re-designed the logo and background pictures and made the channel look more professional and eye-catching. Our viewership went from dozens of viewers to now thousands or even over tens of thousands.
The video which attracted the highest viewers was about panic buying during the CCP virus (coronavirus) pandemic. Shirley did the shooting but the video was shaky. I asked her to re-film it. She wasn’t willing and said that she couldn’t do better considering the conditions at the supermarket. She demanded that my husband make it look better when he edited it. I was angry but didn’t insist. The next day I went back to film it myself. Shirley phoned and said that she would re-film it. The resulting video was very popular and received ten thousand views. We knew that Master helped us when he saw that we improved our xinxing. We are doing projects to save sentient beings. Our success is not purely based on human techniques but is intertwined with our cultivation.
I’ve had many challenges while working at SOH Europe this year, and I've had many opportunities to raise my xinxing. We enjoyed success thanks to Master’s protection and practitioners' cooperation. Here I’d like to thank every practitioner who has supported me and helped me. Let’s work together, make full use of these opportunities to cultivate diligently together and be worthy of our mission.
(Presented at the 2020 Sound of Hope Cultivation Experience Sharing Conference)