(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master! Greetings, fellow practitioners!
I joined NTDTV in 2003 and left temporarily in 2007 before returning soon afterwards. I have stumbled around through thick and thin over the past 18 years. Thanks to compassionate and great Master’s care, I have been able to come this far!
Discovering Dafa, Fulfilling My Vow Through Media Work
Since I was a child, I often thought, “Why do I exist? Is what I see in the mirror me, or not?” I chose to study philosophy in college and graduate school, hoping to find the meaning of life in the theories of ancient sages and philosophers.
I learned about the persecution of Falun Dafa practitioners by the Chinese Communist Party in a book club in 1999. Subsequently, by chance, because of my mother’s poor health, an office worker at the school she worked at gave her a copy of Zhuan Falun, the main text of Falun Dafa. Although my mother did not practice, this book led me to start my cultivation in 2001.
One day in 2003, a fellow practitioner shared in a large group Fa study that she hoped that people in China could see NTDTV on the day when the Fa rectifies the world. Impressed and inspired by her determination, I also joined NTDTV, embarking on my journey of validating Dafa and saving sentient beings through journalism.
But with that came the constant test of balancing my academic studies and media work, as well as how to get my family members, who don’t practice Dafa, to understand why I was always interviewing people, writing news, and often staying up late editing the news. In the early days, NTDTV was not as successful as it is now. Back then, almost everyone was a volunteer, which made it even harder for my family to understand and accept the level of my commitment.
It seemed that it was my family who didn’t support me, when in fact, it was me who didn’t fully make up my mind. I was still thinking about finishing my doctoral studies, while working as a reporter for NTDTV. I straddled two boats and had a hard time balancing both. Whenever I had setbacks, I told myself that I could still finish my dissertation and get my Ph.D. degree. But when I sat down to work on my dissertation, my mind was focused on how to write news stories.
I realized that I couldn’t hold a firm ground to my choice. When working for NTD, I did not fully do it for the mission of saving sentient beings, but to validate my skill and myself. Because of the attachments, I left NTD in 2007 and went to Germany to pursue my Ph.D. in philosophy, on the grounds to “fulfill the expectations of my parents and family members.”
After arriving in Germany, I thought I had started a completely different life. I went to language classes every day and also found chances to clarify the truth to my classmates. A few weeks later, however, a message on the bulletin board in my dormitory brought me back to work for NTD again.
It was a message posted by another student, looking for people to share a wifi service, for six euros a month. I responded to the message and thus got connected to the Internet and the New York branch of NTDTV. I then began to work on global news, and many big events happened during the time. That experience helped me to put aside my ego and improve myself in making sacrifices for others and the project.
In retrospect, I am grateful to Master for taking care of me all the time. Once after twelve hours of continuous work, at the first light of day, I clearly felt as if all the boundaries surrounding me had disappeared. I was in an empty space, with a clear thought of why I was doing all this.
But I still had to decide whether I should work for NTDTV full-time or not. Unlike the mature professional working environment we have now, everyone working at NTDTV back then had to take on many, many tasks at the same time, while facing criticism and other xinxing tests from everywhere. To me, whether to join the media full-time became a test of whether I could let go of my fears and my attachment to fame and fortune. It was like choosing between two different worlds that never overlapped. If I wanted to do really well with NTDTV, I needed to make a choice.
After I made up my mind to devote myself to working full-time for NTDTV in Taiwan, my mother, who always asked me to work as a public servant and was still mourning the recent death of my father along with the rest of our family, suddenly stopped chattering about her expectations of me. The pressure from my family miraculously came to an end.
Facing Conflicts and Attachments While Doing Media Work
With Master’s protection along the way, our media developed very fast. Many projects quickly built up from scratch. From not knowing anything to becoming experts, little by little, we achieved what we have today. In this process, many of my hidden attachments also surfaced. I faced them and cultivated away my everyday human mindset, with a strong determination to do what Master wants us to do – saving more people.
Every morning at the news department, we have to select topics for the four daily news shows. We are also responsible for the programming of a two-episode-per-week talk show. The workload was very heavy, but we all worked together, especially at critical moments, to complete the task. We all know the importance of letting go of the attachment to self and using the news to validate the Fa. If we lose our hearts to save people and become lax in our will to cultivate, the evil may exploit our loopholes. Reflected in the work, our omissions may result in mishaps during the broadcast, or equipment malfunctions.
My main responsibility was to handle news for all of the Asia-Pacific region. At the beginning, other practitioners weren’t sure how well we would do. It took us a long time to overcome many hurdles and achieve our goals. While my physical body was under much pressure, it was more difficult to pass the xinxing test.
To establish NTDTV’s brand and our unique angle in news reporting, I had to discuss the news selection directly with the editors and reporters for the prime-time evening news face-to-face, three days a week. Perhaps due to my headstrong personality that may have caused pressure for the reporters and editors, I began to notice the change in their attitude towards me – they chose to sit as far from me as possible during the discussion, and those who came in late had to sit next to me.
I felt sad and bitter. I faced the situation with human sentimentality. At that time, I just thought, “I had given my all and fully devoted myself, but why have I become pressure for others?”
One night after work, I did not leave immediately, but memorized the Fa in the office. I went to the painting of Master’s statue and asked Master to help me get rid of my resentment.
On the way home that night, I watched an interview with a Shen Yun dancer on my phone. The dancer said something along the lines that when you put yourself up high, you will naturally seek something in return, and when you can’t get what you want, you’d feel unjust and unfair. What a stick warning for me!
My devotion to the media project was mixed with human pursuit. I did not meet the high standard for a Dafa practitioner of doing good things unconditionally. I had just memorized the section “The Issue of Pursuit” in Zhuan Falun in my office before going home, but I was just going through the motions and did not take the Fa to heart. I treated Fa-study as a task to be completed. How disrespectful to Fa I was!
I memorized this Fa teaching several more times, letting go of my pursuits and trying to be more humble. I felt ashamed for only focusing on my contributions to the project. After I realized it, it felt lik a big mountain exploded in my heart in an instant. I felt relieved and light. Thank you, Master, for compassionately enlightening me!
Master taught us:
“In cultivation and practice one should be in a state free of intention. As long as you focus on cultivating your xinxing, you will make breakthroughs in your level and certainly get things you deserve.” (Zhuan Falun)
Improving Through Eliminating Attachments
The news department launched a talk show in 2019, which coincided with the sharp increase in viewers during the protests in Hong Kong against the extradition law. During the process, we also met many righteous scholars and experts. Each week, we discussed important political and economic issues in depth. In 2020, we set up a specific video channel for this program. During the U.S. election, we analyzed how the socialist ideology was encroaching in America. We witnessed a thrilling change in American history, and recognized in the process that Dafa disciples should not be obsessed with partisanship.
Changing from one episode a week to two per week may not seem like much to an outsider. But in our program production, this involved all sorts of trials and tribulations, from finding people who could do the program from the limited manpower available, to coordination between the teams that handle the production. For each video, we worked like warriors ready to go to war. Without much talk, we quietly worked with each other to complete the task.
Every episode produced is also related to our cultivation. After cultivating for more than a decade, I thought I had cultivated away jealousy and my competitive mentality. But when conflicts with other practitioners arose, I found that I was still far from completely ridding myself of these mentalities.
For example, I became very upset when the talk show host changed the script that I had put great effort into writing, when viewers spoke highly of the host, or when the guest and the host chatted warmly after the show. I felt that as a producer, I carried so much pressure and worked so hard behind the scenes, but no one seemed to recognize my contributions. I could not help but feel unappreciated and resentful. I knew it was jealousy, but I could not overcome it no matter how hard I tried.
I had issues with the talk show host on many occasions. To avoid having more conflicts, I subconsciously kept a distance from him. Once, he talked loudly again when making a phone call in the office, I immediately put on my headset. Then the words “memory capacity is insufficient” appeared on my computer screen. How could that be? My computer was brand new. The reminder was too clear: it was my heart capacity that was not sufficient!
Cultivation is serious. If we don’t face it, the conflicts will become more and more intense. Later on, this practitioner also clashed with several others in the news department, and several members threatened to quit. It seemed as if this practitioner was not getting along with many others. But the more negative thoughts I had toward that practitioner, the worse the situation became. At that time, I did not look inward, but sought outward solutions. I even asked for more rules to restrict and regulate everyone, and turned to top management to help solve the problem.
One weekend afternoon, during a routine Fa study and sharing session within the news department, I took a moment to quiet my mind and saw that there was only one way to turn things around—to unconditionally let go of my ego.
Master once said:
“Let me endow you with two sentences: “Without ‘nothing,’ it is a human feeling. If it is a human feeling, then it's not bei (compassion).”” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. V)
It is not crucial for me to analyze and clarify what is wrong with this practitioner, but what mentality did I have while facing the situation? I thought that when fellow practitioners were imprisoned and tortured in China, in addition to not fighting back, they also looked within to see whether they had a competitive mentality.
“...good and bad outcomes come from a person's one thought.” (“Teaching the Fa at the 2004 Western U.S. Fa Conference,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. V)
The reason I couldn’t eliminate my jealousy was that I wasn’t really improving and elevating from my study of the Fa. My basis of measuring good and bad seemed to still be about defending myself. Because I had an everyday human mindset and attachments, I failed to view problems with righteous thoughts or be considerate of others’ feelings, let alone develop compassion towards them.
By looking within, I saw my competitive mentality and my attachments to fame and personal gain. After sending forth righteous thoughts for a long time to eliminate my attachments, I developed a heartfelt understanding and compassion for that practitioner, and I truly hope that we can all do well together in the news department.
We had a heart-to-heart talk that night. The partition between us disappeared. I reminded both of us, “Remember Master’s compassionate salvation, and let us cultivate off our grievances and grudges.” I sincerely said, “Thank you for letting me see my shortcomings, and let us work together well to the end!”
The past eighteen years seem like a fleeting moment. The journey of following Master in Fa-rectification was like climbing one mountain after another. When I thought of giving up at difficult times, Master always compassionately enlightened me so that I could let go of my attachments and continue to walk my path in the media.
During the period, Master also let me experience time and again that if we set our minds right, we will have the power to validate the Fa and save sentient beings in our work. When I had righteous thoughts during my media work, it wouldn’t take long to find the information I was looking for, or as soon as I went out for an interview, the rain that was just pouring down would stop. There were also times when people I wanted to interview appeared in front of me without me asking. In a recent case, I took a hard fall while rushing to the TV station, but I didn’t have any injuries except for some minor scratches.
My gratitude toward Master is beyond words! I will diligently cultivate and do the three things well.
Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!
Please point out anything inappropriate.
(Presented at the 2021 Falun Dafa Experience Conference in Taiwan)
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