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

I started practicing Falun Dafa with my mom when I was eight years old, and I joined the media two years ago. I feel like I’ve been through quite a cultivation journey to be able to come here and be part of this one body of Dafa disciples working together to save sentient beings. Today, I’d like to share my experience with everyone and remind myself to cherish this opportunity, continuously be diligent, and “...cultivating as if you were just starting.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2009 Greater New York International Fa Conference” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. IX)

I was exactly the type of person Master described, “It seems that young people tend to have ambitions in life that are unrealistically high, so they might have a hard time settling down with what they do.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2019 New York Fa Conference”) Despite the fact that I couldn’t settle down, benevolent Master still arranged the best cultivation path for me.

After I graduated from high school, a series of events that I hadn’t planned, and never expected to happen, happened–including studying abroad and creating my own self-media channel. About five years ago, another practitioner told me that they wanted to start an independent social media project, gathering young practitioners to create content they’re interested in while using the opportunity to clarify the truth from a third-party perspective. At the time, I thought that since I didn’t know anything, therewas only room to improve. So I started from zero and used my spare time to learn video editing from the Internet, research how to manage and grow a channel, as well as what types of content people like. Perhaps because Master saw my pure heart and gave me a push, things went pretty well during the first two years and the channel kept growing. I also managed to clarify the truth in a few videos.

But at the time, my cultivation state was not solid and the online world is a more intense dye vat than ordinary society. On top of that, I used being busy as an excuse to not participate in the local group Fa study, so I was mostly cultivating on my own in a semi-isolated environment. Everyone I came into contact with were ordinary people, so I often found it hard to stand firm in the downward stream of society and not follow it.

In fact, I already developed a lot of attachments, including arrogance, jealousy, competitiveness and the pursuit of fame and gain. The constant flow of inspiration I had before was gone, and I felt like a hamster running round and round on its exercise wheel tirelessly, without moving forward.

One night, when I was thinking about what to do next, I thought, “Maybe I should move to a new place and work overseas.” Then I thought, “If I were to work abroad, why not just join the Epoch Times and NTDTV headquarters in New York?” But the next second, I wavered. If I gave up my channel that had already grown to the extent it had, wouldn’t all my efforts be in vain? While I was agonizing over this, I recalled Master reminding us multiple times that “...to cultivate you have to look at things in reverse.” (“2018 Fa Teaching Given in Washington, D.C.”)

I tried to look at the situation in reverse. Perhaps the road that a cultivator traveled would never be in vain; perhaps Master was precisely utilizing this situation to reveal my strong attachments that were hidden deep inside, giving me a chance to elevate my xinxing while maturing and acquiring the skills and confidence I needed through the process; perhaps all of these things were paving the way for me to save sentient beings while working for the media. Realizing this, my mind gradually calmed down and I believed that Master would let me know what I should do.

Within a few hours, I got a message from a fellow practitioner, who shared an English self-media show produced by NTDTV headquarters. The righteous thoughts and compassion sent out from the program struck down my long-standing negative notions about our media. I could feel that it was made possible by the power of the Fa and the collective effort of a team. This helped me realize that I had fallen behind quite a bit in my cultivation. I think this happened because Master once again saw my heart, gave me a hint, and arranged a path for me to come work in the media. At the same time, I realized that the negative notions that existed in my mind were wrong. They were the result of my incorrect thoughts being taken advantage of and were reinforced by the old forces.

I realized under all circumstances, no matter if we think our opinions are sensible or if it comes from a good place or not, even if it’s just a flash of an unrighteous thought, we must remember what Master told us–to reject and eliminate them so as to not let the old forces take advantage of it. In the process of correcting these unrighteous thoughts, I noticed that whenever such thoughts come out, as long as we can detect it and differentiate those thoughts as not being our own, we’ll be able to sense that our surroundings instantly change, and that what we previously perceived as real and objective were merely illusions created by the old forces. Reflecting on the whole journey, on the surface, it seemed to be my decision not to come here, but it’s actually because my xinxing hadn’t improved so I didn’t meet the standard yet. Benevolent Master was waiting for me to get rid of my postnatally formed human notions so that I can truly serve my purpose to save sentient beings and fulfill my mission.

Gradually Understanding What It Means to Save Sentient Beings

The team I’m on is one of the few programs at NTDTV that’s not news or politics-related, we create content on skincare and self care. The major role we play is to bring in revenue for the media. For me, this is precisely what makes it difficult. Since our show does not have anything to do with directly clarifying the truth, it’s hard to sense the impact we’ve made in terms of saving sentient beings. Sometimes I lose motivation and even feel numb or like I'm just going through the motions. Even though I didn’t say it, in my heart I still looked up to those who worked as reporters or in other shows that directly clarified the truth. I envied that they could have a sense of honor and mission at work.

One Monday evening, during the weekly Fa study and sharing, someone from the independent social media team said: “How many of us who work at the media really want to save sentient beings? Since we are all part of the media, even those who work as cleaners should always keep in mind that they are here to save sentient beings.” My heart was moved upon hearing that. Especially from the Anti-Extradition Movement in Hong Kong to the CCP virus outbreak, one major event happened after the next and I saw others busy with important tasks on truth-clarification and saving people, while I needed to work on not-so-important things. At least in this regard, I felt it didn’t differ much from the work the cleaning staff did. I didn’t know how to always keep saving sentient beings in my mind under these circumstances. Although such thoughts weren’t good, I felt like Master heard my confusion.

The following week during the Monday sharing, a practitioner who works in the kitchen talked about his experiences. Being a professional chef, he did not know what to do when he first came and saw the conditions here. At the time, they didn’t have proper kitchen equipment and were even cooking food in a rice cooker. He decided to ask Master for help. He told Master in his mind, “Master, please help me! I’ll do the actions and let Master handle the rest.” While everyone laughed, tears fell down my face. I thought, “Isn’t that precisely what it’s like to have righteous thoughts?” When he encountered a difficult situation, his first reaction wasn’t to complain or feel helpless; instead, he first thought of Master and believed that anything could be overcome as long as we have Master with us.

He said that the kitchen is a high-pressure environment. From buying the ingredients to cooking, they have to get the meals ready for a few hundred people within an hour. However, the practitioner realized that he shouldn’t have any negative thoughts during the process. He said, “If unrighteous thoughts were developed during the cooking process, mixed into the foods, and eaten by other practitioners who are working hard saving people, then wouldn’t that interfere with saving sentient beings?” I felt like Master was answering my questions through the practitioner’s sharing. It doesn’t matter how small a role we play in the media, what’s important is putting our hearts into whatever we do, and being responsible for ourselves and our sentient beings.

Master said,

“Whatever you do, do it well. In the process of doing things, what’s looked at is your hearts, not your success itself. In the process of doing things you can save people! Your process of doing things is also a process of you elevating in cultivation, which, at the same time, plays the role of saving sentient beings! It is not that only if you succeed in doing that thing can you play the role of saving sentient beings.” (“Fa Teaching at the 2016 New York Fa Conference”)

When I reflected on myself, I found a lot of shortcomings. These included not paying attention to details, arrogance, and complacency. When things went well, I was pleased with myself; when other people pointed out my shortcomings, I felt uneasy and resentful even though I tried not to show it on the surface. I was also competitive and showed off, hoping that my efforts would be noticed. When I heard other practitioners complain, I got irritated and did not want to listen—instead I should have looked inward unconditionally like a cultivator. Thank you, Master, for helping me see my shortcomings through fellow practitioners’ sharings.

Improving through Conflicts and Witnessing the Power of Dafa

There was a new seating arrangement for our team about a year ago. Our manager wanted me to sit beside a colleague who’s responsible for our social media account, so that it would be easier for us to exchange ideas and help each other out. Things went pretty well at first, but as the workload increased, an invisible wall slowly formed between us. Although we were still friends, we weren’t able to communicate openly for quite a while. She often looked stressed, as if there was a dark cloud over her head, and every time I shared a new idea with her, her first reaction was “No!”, as if I was trying to pick on her or load more work on her.

I knew that as a practitioner, I should look at things from the Fa. I repeatedly tried to remind myself not to look at people in rigid ways—instead, we should focus more on other people’s positive sides. However, after my ideas were rejected one after the other and my multiple attempts at communicating proved fruitless, I started losing confidence, feeling helpless, and even had the thought that “it’s not my responsibility anyway.” On top of that, I had resentment towards my manager. I felt the reason she re-arranged the seats was because she didn’t want to talk to that practitioner herself. The buildup of all these problems and conflicts led to our social media account’s number of followers and engagement rate being stagnant for a long time and we couldn’t figure out why.

One day I had a dream, where that practitioner was putting her hands around my neck from behind with a weird smile, like a karmic creditor coming to collect debts. After I woke up, I felt that perhaps there were complicated karmic relationships and deep resentment between us through various lifetimes of reincarnations. And then I had the thought, “The only way to resolve it is through compassion.” Although I couldn’t find the fundamental reason yet, I decided to talk to my manager about the situation in order to not let this affect the project and our important task of saving people. During the sharing process, one thing she shared left a deep impression in my mind. She said, “We, as practitioners, all know to take responsibility for our Fa study. Even though other people around us are not taking it seriously, we will persevere without being affected at all, right? Then why can’t we apply this attitude to our job?”

I reflected on what she said and suddenly realized that’s exactly the crux of the matter. My realm of thought had always stayed at the level where “Even though other people are not doing a good job, I’ll still do it.” Whereas the state she described was, “what other people do can’t affect me or reach me at all.” The two seem similar on the surface, but in reality, they were completely different. When I was thinking the former way, I still put what other people did first and was fixated on their shortcomings. This meant to a certain extent, I was still making comparisons, feeling uneasy, and having grievances in my heart. On the other hand, the latter was just joyfully doing whatever one needs to do. Knowing the huge responsibility and tremendous honor we have as Dafa disciples, we should feel optimistic and content. If we base our understanding on the Fa, whether it’s Fa study or Dafa projects, whatever Master asks us to do, it always ends up being the best arrangement.

Master told us,

“However high your understanding based on the Fa-truths reaches, that’s the extent to which you can do things. Everything you have been doing is done for yourselves, and it’s absolutely not for me. (Teacher laughs) Let me put it this way: It’s only Master helping you, never you helping Master. (Applause) In the future, when you see the true situation, you’ll say, “Wow, so that’s how it was!”” (Teachings Given on Lantern Festival Day, 2003)

I told myself, it doesn’t matter if something is my responsibility on the surface in terms of work division; when there’s something lacking and I see it, then it’s my job to supplement it. Besides, I needed to get rid of my attachment to dependency and the notion that I wasn’t gifted enough artistically to make things perfect.

Surprisingly, over the next few days, my surroundings underwent some major changes. Upon seeing me suddenly becoming so busy, my coworkers started asking how I was doing and offered to help. The wall between that fellow cultivator and me completely disappeared. It was just like a huge iceberg had suddenly melted. We started sharing about our understandings and improvements in cultivation like we did before.

Not only has our social media account grown much faster in terms of analytics, we also started getting sponsorships almost every single week compared to once every few months as before. Such changes really were like what Master described in Zhuan Falun. Master said, “Just by being like that they’ve changed the morale of the whole factory, and our profits have grown.” (The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun)

No words could describe how grateful I am to Master. I knew this could not possibly be solved using human means. It was a real and concrete manifestation of the Fa’s power.

Master said,

“You will meet with many ordeals in the course of your cultivation. As long as you study the Fa earnestly, you will be able to overcome any difficulty. As long as you study the Fa earnestly, answers can be found within the Fa that will be able to solve any hard-to-untie knots in your heart, or any hang-ups. This Fa encompasses how to be a human being as well as how to be a divine being. I am also telling you how to be a Buddha, Dao, or God, and even how to be a god in still higher realms. How could the Fa fail to eliminate your hang-ups? How could the Fa not open up your mind? How could the Fa not resolve your problems? It can do all of that.” (Teachings at the First Conference in North America)

After this happened, I realized this task was actually a responsibility given to me by Master and it was something I was supposed to do, but I stubbornly held onto human principles. I thought that since the manager asked me to help out, I would just be helping instead of really taking responsibility. I kept looking outward and examining other people’s faults, which in turn put an invisible and unbearable pressure on the other person and explained why they gave me an attitude. However, when I decided to shoulder my responsibility, things became smooth again.

Looking back, I realized we actually work really well together—I’m better at writing while she specializes in graphic design. All the abilities that I lack, she excels at, and what I excel at are precisely what she lacks. So by working together, we perfectly supplement each other. Zooming out further and looking at it from another angle, the people around us, including fellow practitioners, have been arranged to be there for a reason. Some are here to pay karmic debts while others are here to collect debts—even more intertwined are the complex karmic relationships formed lifetime after lifetime and during the process of descending to the human realm.

If we can’t comprehend things from the Fa, the old forces will take advantage of our shortcomings, worsen the conflicts among fellow cultivators, and hinder us from saving people. On the other hand, if we can elevate our xinxing and align our conduct with the Fa, Master will be able to benevolently resolve the elements at their roots and turn a bad situation into a good one.

Closing Remarks

My decade-long cultivation journey has been bumpy. There have been hardships and suffering when I couldn’t pass my tests, feelings of wonder and splendor when I elevated my xinxing, and, more than ever, the endless gratitude to our great and benevolent Master. Sometimes when I walk along the street, I feel light and a smile unknowingly forms on my face, thinking about how lucky I am to be a Dafa disciple in this lifetime, the most fortunate being in the universe! No matter what difficulties I face, there is the Fa’s guidance and Master’s care along the way.

I'd like to conclude with this quote from Master, as best wishes for being steadfastly diligent in our future cultivation path so as not to let down Master’s benevolent salvation.

Master said,

“Yet as a practitioner you will find the things that people take seriously to be very, very trivial—even too trivial—because your goal is extremely long-term and far-reaching. You will live as long as this universe. Then think about those things again: It doesn’t matter if you have them or not. You can put them all aside when you think from a broader perspective.” (Chapter III, Falun Gong)

Above is my understanding at my current level. Please kindly point out anything not in line with the Fa.

Thank you, Master! Thank you, everyone!

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

Chinese version available

Category: Experience Sharing Conferences