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

I’m grateful for this opportunity to share my cultivation experiences during the past year and a half of working at the media. I joined the Epoch Media Academy class of 2019, and I’ve been working full-time since 2020. This journey passed in the blink of an eye. Writing this now makes me realize how quickly time passes and how precious each day is. Master compassionately reminds us that this period of time is precious and we should cherish it.

This is easy to say, but we know it’s not easy to reach the standard. Sometimes with the busy, pressure-filled days we lose sight of how lucky we are to be Falun Dafa practitioners, and how lucky we are to work for the media. I hope we can all encourage each other to cherish ourselves and this opportunity even more.

When I first started working at the media I was optimistic and full of energy. I couldn’t imagine anywhere else I wanted to be. But I looked around and noticed that most of the veteran employees looked tired. It was clear to me that for many of them, over the years it had become hard to continue to cherish the opportunity to work for the media. But I still praised them in my mind for having stuck it out all these years. I asked myself, “Will this happen to me? Will I one day not be able to bear the pressure anymore and decide to quit?”

I told my friend, “Hey, I think that someday working here will become very difficult. I may even have thoughts of quitting in the future if I can’t stand the pressure.” I asked her, “Please if I ever tell you I am thinking about quitting, remind me of this conversation and please convince me not to quit.” She smiled and agreed.

Months later, the pressure began to wear on me. I was miserable and had lost sight of how precious this time is. I forgot that Master led me here, and I gave in to selfishness. I complained to many of my friends that I was unhappy, wanted to quit, and go back to school. Finally, the friend I made a deal with long before spoke up and said, “Hey, you told me you would say this and told me to tell you not to quit… remember?” That helped me to readjust myself and get focused again.

This is just an example of why encouraging each other is very important, as we all face extreme pressure from work while at the same time trying to ward off human thoughts. Sometimes we can all use a reminder.

The challenges got even more intense though, and at one point I was just one flight away from saying goodbye to my pre-arranged path to contribute to our media. I had already booked my ticket to return home, only to have Master intervene and push me ahead.

Master Guides Me Through the First Big Tribulation

I’ve harbored some attachments for years, and they almost caused me to stray from my predestined path working for the media. Thanks to Master’s compassionate guidance I didn’t give up.

As news reporters, we have to pitch a topic every day, and schedule interviews. During our morning meetings I feel like I’m competing with others about who has a good story, who scheduled an interview, etc. On top of that, I constantly look for praise from my boss. I want to feel like I’m worthy of the job, so I always want my boss and colleagues to tell me that I’m capable and doing well. I have eliminated a few layers of these attachments, but still have many layers left to eliminate.

For example, I get very upset if I didn’t schedule an interview, if I can’t find an interesting topic to report on, or if I felt like others were doing well but not me.

These attachments to competitiveness coupled with my low self-esteem and not cherishing myself almost caused me to give up working at the media. The first few months working full-time, I struggled with strong negative thoughts like, “I’m not good enough. I can never schedule the right interviews. I’m not fast enough. I will never be a good reporter. My stories are never good, I’m wasting my time.” Or the worst thought of all, “I am wasting Dafa’s resources by being here. The company is spending money to pay me to work full-time, and I’m not even contributing anything that’s good enough to earn a profit…” I felt like I was drowning in guilt every day for “wasting Dafa’s resources.”

I told a few practitioners about these negative thoughts, and they all tried to encourage me. They told me that just being in the company with righteous thoughts was good enough. But I couldn’t accept it. Finally one day I decided that I couldn’t keep wasting Dafa’s resources because my reporting skills weren’t improving. It seemed like everyone else was doing better than me—they didn’t need me. So I decided I would quit and go back to college. I rushed to the back of the office and searched for immediate flights to return home. This was just last April. I had already planned to visit my family for a week that month, so I just rescheduled my flight ticket for an earlier date and canceled the return flight to New York City.

I immediately went to my producer and told her firmly that I quit and would be moving back home the following week. I told her my standard for myself was too high, even higher than her standard for me. I said that even though she never complained about my work, I never liked the work, and thought it wasn’t adding any value to the company. She tried to persuade me to stay, responding in a harsh tone, “Well, now you have no standard at all!” I felt moved by her words—she was right. But I was still insistent on quitting. Right after our talk I walked straight to HR and explained my plan to leave the next week.

I went back to the dorm to pack my things. I called my mother and aunt to tell them I planned to come back. This was around the time when the CCP virus (coronavirus) was starting to spread in the U.S. My sister and aunt both said they were concerned about me coming from New York City, the national virus hotspot, and they feared that I would bring it home to them. They kindly asked me to wait until the virus wasn’t so severe before coming home. Now, I was forced to stay in New York and squarely face my attachments.

The next few days I tried to focus on reading the Fa and trying to look inside. The attachments that made me want to quit started coming to light. I realized that I was spending too much time and energy on trifle matters—my competitive mindset was wearing me out. For example, I always worked hard trying to outshine others in the morning meetings. Or I worried too much when I felt like my story wasn’t meeting a professional standard.

Master’s words stuck out so clearly,

“But neither should we become overly-cautious gentlemen, always focusing on trifles, even jumping around when walking, worrying about stepping on ants. I say that you would live a tiring life. Isn’t that also an attachment?” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)

And I was reminded,

“One should focus on a broader perspective and practice cultivation in an upright and dignified manner.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)

I suddenly realized that even if my work didn’t meet a professional standard just yet, I shouldn’t focus on such trivial details. I told myself that I should continue to try my best and walk my path in a dignified manner. So, I stayed in New York City. I feel that Master truly protected me and didn’t let me stray from my path.

Just a few months after this intense episode, I saw the most impressive improvement in my skills, and those of my colleagues. We’re becoming more and more professional every day—I’m glad I stayed. Our English NTD channel has grown so fast, it’s still hard to believe.

Focus on Practicing, Master Will Handle the Rest

Master repeats multiple times:

“Cultivation depends on one’s own efforts, while the transformation of gong is done by one’s master.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)

I felt this sentence manifest before my eyes watching our English NTD channel grow so quickly. When I started as a full-time reporter for our English channel, just one and a half years ago, we had only two thirty-minute-long news shows per day, and we were not even broadcasting on cable TV. Fast-forwarding just 17 months later, we now have about nine quality shows, and we are broadcasting live on cable around the clock. We broadcast our show in multiple big U.S. cities and on a variety of platforms. We also just launched a new UK channel. We still have many improvements to make in professionalism and in other areas, but seeing how rapidly our English channel has grown makes me feel like I’m one of the luckiest beings to be a part of our media in these unprecedented times.

So how did we manage to accomplish this so quickly? Of course from Dafa’s wisdom. I want to share a little about the skill improvements I witnessed in myself and all of my colleagues. I remember the night that our CEO announced that English language NTD would start broadcasting on cable, and then a few months after that, the CEO announced we would start broadcasting 24 hours per day. He wanted us to start a couple of new programs and expand our two daily news programs from just 30 minutes long to one hour long. As I listened to his plan, I felt like it would be impossible, since our team was already stretched so thin while only producing the shorter programs. It already felt like none of us had time to breathe.

My skills were still at an elementary level at the time, and I struggled to even produce one news package per day. How could I take on more work? But I tried not to think about this too much and just went with the flow. I replaced my fearful thought with the thought that if we had the will to reach the goal, then it would happen, and we should just try our best.

Soon, writing scripts felt like a breeze, and scheduling interviews was no longer difficult. I was eventually able to write two scripts per day, do one or two interviews per day, and edit at least one video too, which was more than triple my prior workload. But it didn’t feel that difficult. I noticed that my colleagues were experiencing a similar push forward. Soon, all of our reporters could produce two news pieces per day. I know we were able to accomplish this rapid improvement because we had the thought that we’d try our best, and we had the will to do it, so Master pushed us ahead. The wisdom of Dafa helped our team reach a new level.

Eliminating Attachments of Pride, Competitiveness, Jealousy

I recently moved to Washington D.C. and we will soon launch a new program. Based on my experience expanding our English language NTD show, I have no doubt that we will accomplish this. But I do still harbor attachments that could block us from doing well, so I realize that I must work hard to eliminate them.

My attachments of ego, pride, and competitiveness surface nearly every day. I get very moved when I feel like my news isn’t good, or when I feel like someone else has a better story. I don’t have any great story to tell about how I’ve gotten over these attachments because I still struggle with them every day. I guess just being able to recognize them is a good starting point. I hope that by sharing it with all of you will help me take these bad attachments more seriously.

When someone is doing well, I’m very jealous and uncomfortable. I feel like that person in Zhuan Falun that Master describes:

“...for if someone is doing well, instead of feeling happy for him or her, people’s minds will feel uneasy.” (Lecture Seven, Zhuan Falun)

To eliminate this thought, I try to remember that if they’re doing well, our media is doing well, which means we’re effectively saving people. I also have to constantly remind myself not to care too much about my own accomplishments.

Thankfully, my producer constantly reminds me not to be attached to pride. When I show off or brag about an accomplishment, she asks me, “Are you saying this with pride? Are you proud?” I really do appreciate her for holding me accountable, and gently questioning if I’m indulging in an attachment. It reminds me to take this attachment seriously every time it comes up. I think that we should all try to encourage and remind each other, kindly and gently, when we notice another practitioner’s attachment. The other practitioner might not notice it, or take it seriously, and by reminding them, it’s an opportunity to cultivate our own compassion and learn how to be gentle and kind.

Another example of how my jealousy and competitiveness manifests is that oftentimes when I am around other practitioners who are deemed “successful” in our media, particularly show hosts and high-level reporters, I get extremely jealous. So jealous, in fact, that I mock them in my mind. Thinking, “They aren’t that great. If it weren’t for Master, they wouldn’t be so successful. They are so arrogant.” I question why everyone looks up to them, because after all there are no role models in Dafa, right? I even go so far as to criticize the other practitioners who are idealizing these well-known media figures.

I think the real reason I get so moved by these successful people whom everyone looks up to is because I want people to look up to me instead.

I still have to pay serious attention to this, because I still get annoyed when people don’t listen to me or take my advice. I don’t like to admit when others are doing well and try to brush it off as Master’s accomplishments and not their own, thinking, “Those people are successful because they have a successful team behind them and Master’s support. They aren’t that great themselves. Without their team and without Master- they’d be nothing.”

But having this thought is hypocritical of me. That’s because when I’m doing well or when I accomplish something great, I like to take credit for it. I don’t acknowledge that it’s the team behind me that helped this success unfold. I also forget that all my skills are given to me by my Master.

Master said,

“With an everyday person’s body, an everyday person’s hands, and an everyday person’s mind, do you think that you can transform high-energy matter into gong or increase gong? How can it be so easy! In my view, it is a joke. That is the same as pursuing something externally and seeking something externally. You will never find it.” (Lecture One, Zhuan Falun)

I have to remind myself of this principle every day, and continuously work on overcoming these attachments.

Thankfully, another practitioner in Washington, D.C. is very good at reminding me that my accomplishments are not my own so I shouldn’t puff up my ego. To help lessen this jealousy and self-centeredness I’ve tried to pay more attention to others’ accomplishments, and to constantly remind myself that Master has given me all the skills I have. I should care less about my own accomplishments.

I hope I can do better in this regard and walk my path solidly in the time ahead.

Thank you Master for this precious opportunity to work for the media! Thank you fellow practitioners for letting me share this experience with you.

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

Chinese version available

Category: Experience Sharing Conferences