(Minghui.org) Greetings, Master, Greetings, fellow practitioners!

I began to practice Falun Dafa in 2008, but I really became diligent after I joined Fei Tian Academy of the Arts California in 2011. There, I learned traditional Classical Chinese dance, culture, and history, and I interacted with practitioners my age.

My first year of college, I practiced diligently. I read two lectures of Zhuan Falun every day, did the exercises, and got my roommate to quit the Chinese Communist Party (CCP)’s Young Pioneers. I did the exercises on the school lawn twice a week with a sign that said: “Free Meditation Class.” I also posted signs around campus about my offering a free Falun Dafa exercise class. Only 10 people came to learn that first year, but those were at least 10 more sentient beings saved.

Unfortunately, my diligence didn’t last. My Fa study wasn’t concentrated, and I started to do the exercises off and on. The hardest part was that I lived so far away from other practitioners, and I didn’t own a car to go to in-person Fa study. Luckily I never stopped cultivating. At the end of my last year in college, I spoke with some practitioners my age and was inspired to join the media.

Joining the Media

I encountered a lot of interference just before I joined the media. The media is extremely powerful in saving sentient beings, so, naturally, the old forces don’t want more people to participate in it. Some of the interference included my thinking that I should first get an ordinary job and gain design experience (I am a digital designer) and then I could work for the Epoch Times. My friends also kept telling me how great their company in California was and that it had a volleyball court on the campus and extravagant buffets were offered at every meal. But I eventually realized that the media was the best path, and so the week I graduated I headed to the Epoch Times.

My first two weeks sent shock waves through me. I didn’t realize how polluted I’d become while attending college. In the media’s well-grounded, diligent environment, I sensed a stark contrast in how practitioners spoke, thought, and conducted themselves compared to the people I’d interacted with at school.

I was especially heartened by what one coworker said after I sent him some design work. He said, “Thank you. Your services will be rewarded with lots of virtue.” This touched my heart, because I wasn’t thinking so deeply about what a few ad designs could be worth, but for the sentient beings that they would save, they would be worth unbounded virtue that would be priceless.

A month after I arrived, I was asked to be a news anchor for English language NTD. I was reluctant at first because of my past on-camera experiences. But seeing how desperately the news department was looking for another person to do the noon show, I decided to try my best to fill the position.

I was reminded when I read Master’s Fa teaching:

“But have you thought about it? You once signed a contract with me when you came to this world, vowing to save those sentient beings. You could then become a Dafa disciple, and you could then do this thing.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference”)

Although we don’t know exactly what kinds of vows we made before descending to this world, I understood that, if an opportunity comes by to save sentient beings and you are capable of at least trying, then why not try? I also realized that, if being an anchor was arranged by Master, then I should do it. If it's not arranged, then I wouldn’t have that position.

Being on camera every day put a spotlight on all my big attachments. When I went live, I had to concentrate on the words I read and understand what each news package was about. When I made mistakes, I realized these were all caused by attachments that were floating in my mind. Some attachments I had were fear of speaking incorrectly, fear that my voice would crack, or annoyance because the room was too hot. Many more attachments were exposed right in front of me. After many hints that these extraneous thoughts were hidden attachments, I improved my anchoring. And so when I went off camera each day, I would take a moment to reflect on what attachments I had, and I strengthened my will to eliminate them.

Righteous Thoughts

Before I joined the media, I hardly ever woke up to send righteous thoughts during the night. When I occasionally missed one of the other set times, I often didn’t make them up. I didn’t have the willpower, because I either wasn’t clear about what I wanted to eliminate or I didn’t understand on a deeper level their effectiveness. Because I went on like this for such a long time, I stagnated and didn’t realize I should push myself to improve.

One day when I told my mom about this, she told me something that a practitioner from Peru shared with her. My mom asked the practitioner how Shen Yun was able to do so well in Peru in their first year. The Peruvian practitioner replied that the number one thing that she had to pay attention to was to never miss sending righteous thoughts. If you happened to miss a time, you surely had to make it up. This practitioner said that one righteous thought missed meant the evil had a chance to interfere.

After I heard this, I wanted to improve. Since then, I wake up for every assigned righteous thoughts, and the times I happen to miss, I make extra time to send them.

Underlying My Thinking with Traditional Culture and Values

Master said,

“You know, all of human culture was arranged by gods, so the path to Heaven is closely connected with the divine. What other avenue is there to Heaven, after all? Could people with modern thinking, weird looks and hair, over-sized earrings and even nose rings, and who take drugs, possibly go to where gods are? You know full well they can’t. So traditional ways are what’s closest to the divine, because they were designed by gods.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the New York Fa Conference Celebrating the 25th Anniversary of Dafa’s Spreading”)

While I was in college, I got an ear piercing that was popular among the other students. It was situated in the center of my ear. My friends were getting their ears pierced, so I thought, “Why not, it’s a college experience.” I actually felt uncomfortable getting it done, but my attachments led me to get it anyway.

At the media, I still wore the earring. But when I started anchoring, I felt uncomfortable showing it and I began to want to cover my ear with my hair. Something didn’t feel right, but I avoided the thought of removing the jewelry.

One day, my ear actually began to swell, and I realized the only way to relieve it was to take out the earring. So when I got home, I tried to take it out, but the screw was stuck. I sat on the floor for an hour trying every way possible to remove it, and my ear hurt even more. Then I had the thought that I should not wear this type of jewelry, and seeing how it felt like removing it was impossible, I knelt and said sincerely in my head, “Please, Master, I want to remove this jewelry, and I promise I will never put it back in.” Ten minutes later, I was able to take it out.

I reflected on this. In ancient times, I don’t think it was normal for a person to have a piercing in such a weird spot. But more importantly, I was one of the faces of NTD as an anchor. In the future, when humanity sees the greatness of Dafa and the mighty power NTD has in saving people, these sentient beings may mirror our dress and looks. If I have such a modern, degenerate piercing, then wouldn’t I be leading people to copy the same degenerate habits?

Master said,

“So in light of all this, traditional culture should underlie whatever your media do, and should be your cultural foundation and serve as the basis for determining what are universal values. You must be grounded in traditional values.” (“2018 NTD and Epoch Times Fa Conference”)

As Dafa disciples and people working in the media, it is our job to help people understand and return to traditional culture. Surrounded by “modern” ideas, it’s even harder for ordinary people to find their moral compass, so it's imperative for us to help them.

There is so much more for me to improve on in how to ground myself in moral traditions. I am also a digital designer. While thinking about how Master asked our media to have a grounding in tradition, I’ve been considering how I should come up with inspirations for my designs. It’s sometimes not easy to find the separation between what is traditional and modern, but if we base our thinking on the Fa, I think Dafa’s wisdom will guide us.

Thank you, Master, for your grand mercy and benevolence in taking care of your disciples. I will not let you down and will follow you to the end.

(Presented at the 2021 Epoch Times and NTD Media Fa Conference)

Chinese version available

Category: Experience Sharing Conferences