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

Right after the Fa conference in Washington DC in July 2018, I was invited to work in The Epoch Times subscription department and began exploring the world of subscriptions from scratch. Our media has grown rapidly since 2019, and our newspaper has played an important role in awakening people’s consciousness.

Many truth-clarification projects were impacted during the pandemic, however, millions of our papers were mailed to Americans each month. Through social media and email marketing, we reach tens of millions of people each day with our truthful reporting, truth-clarification information, and features based on traditional values.

We started out with the print subscription, and have now expanded into digital subscriptions and magazine subscriptions. The Epoch Times currently ranks No. 4 in terms of circulation.


Nothing came easy, however, and our path has been rough. Since The Epoch Times was not known in Western society, we mailed out sample newspapers. In order to introduce the paper we attended various events, including rallies and street fairs. Our staff gave presentations to different groups of people.

Despite our huge effort we only got a few hundred subscriptions each month. Once a week from 12:00-3:00 a.m. practitioners put together sample newspapers. We could only prepare around 3,000 to 4,000 each week, which only brought us about 20 subscriptions. Some people did call our hotline to subscribe, but we only received a few subscriptions each day. Even though we called it a “hotline,” it was not hot enough.

Moreover, our annual subscription price was $99, but our mailing cost was about $2.25/copy, which came to $117/year. Although we did get some subscriptions, we were losing money. We knew that we had no other choice, and that we had to save people through our media.

Master said,

“The more hopeless things may seem, it’s possible hope will appear right before your eyes.” (“What is a Dafa Disciple,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. XI)

With the persistent efforts of all our staff at The Epoch Times, our subscriptions finally had a breakthrough in April 2019. I still remember how we got over 1,200 subscriptions due to a selfie video on April 19. We later received 2,500, 5,000, and even over 10,000 subscriptions each day.

The interference never stopped either. We were de-platformed, demonetized, demonized, attacked, censored by big tech, and castigated by liberal news outlets. We also had days where the cancellations outnumbered new subscriptions, but we never gave up.

Master said,

“Your journey is one where if you can take correct, right steps, the doors before you that were once shut will open and the road will become wide. The journey is the same, whatever project it may be.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. X)

We try to look inward and learn positive lessons, and work on improving our product according to traditional culture and traditional values as required by the Fa. We also use different marketing approaches to reach people with the wisdom given by Dafa. My experience is that we must know what we are doing, and why we work in our media. Our hearts should not be moved no matter what happens, for we are the only hope for people to be saved. We should never give up no matter how difficult the journey.

Doing Everything with Heart

Due to the number of canceled subscriptions, some days we had negative subscriptions. How could we grow our subscriptions? I recall that our media was told: “use your hearts, cultivate yourselves well and save sentient beings.”

To keep our subscribers from canceling their subscriptions, first we analyzed the reasons why people cancel. Based on our analysis, we found that there were many reasons for cancellations, such as:

Money problems, I have no time to read. The election is over, so I am not following the news too much. I am disappointed with the election result and am frustrated. I have other news sources where I can get similar news for free.

We found that sincerely communicating with our subscribers is a very effective way to keep them. To communicate with our subscribers with heart, we need to understand them and think about everything from the perspective of saving them. So, we ran surveys. I read almost every single response. I also picked up hotline calls to chat with subscribers who wanted to cancel. I went to events to talk with them in person as well.

Based on the data and my understanding of our subscribers, I came up with an improved version of our renewal letter. First, we needed to make sure our subscribers read our letter; second, we needed to tell them why they should renew their subscriptions.

I changed “Renewal Notice” to “Get more out of your subscription, don’t miss anything you deserve.”

Together with editors, we came up with the following reasons to keep their subscription:

-The Epoch Times exists for our readers. It doesn’t exist for profit.-Not only does The Epoch Times seek to educate readers, it’s also a central part of our mission to bring hope and inspiration to our readers.-The Epoch Times has been leading the effort to expose Communist ideologies, which are the root cause of most of humanity’s misfortunes.

We wrote the above sincerely, outlining the benefits that our subscribers can get only from The Epoch Times. We will keep improving the renewal letter based on our subscribers’ feedback, but as long as we use our hearts to communicate with them, I am sure they can feel the difference and more people will keep their subscriptions.

Rectifying My Cultivation

I know that a good cultivation state is the foundation for doing Dafa work well. Therefore I have been paying special attention to my Fa study (especially to group Fa study), as well as sending righteous thoughts and doing the exercises. Since February, I’ve been experiencing some physical tribulations. My abdomen often bloated, and I felt extremely uncomfortable no matter if I sat or stood. To address this situation, I decided to focus on righteous thoughts every day. Whenever possible, I send righteous thoughts for 45 minutes or longer each morning. I also began seriously looking inward.

Identifying My Jealousy

Because I’m busy every day, I rarely have any time to calm down and think about my cultivation. I know that looking inward is the key to everything. I started to examine my attachments, one by one, from the superficial to the deeply hidden. Our weekly team sharing every Saturday made me realize that it was high time that I improve my own cultivation. One of the first attachments I found was that I have very strong notions about many things and people.

Master said,

“The most difficult things for people to abandon are their notions. Some people cannot change, even if they have to give up their lives for fake principles. Yet notions are themselves acquired postnatally. People always believe that these unshakable ideas—ideas that can make them pay any price without a second thought—are their own thoughts.” (“For Whom do You Exist?,” Essentials for Further Advancement)

I know that we cultivate our main consciousness, and because of this, we need to distinguish between our notions and our true selves. However, this is easier said than done. I’ve found that in my day-to-day activities, I often regard my notions as myself and fight with others to protect them. My notions are fake, while Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance is the true characteristics of the cosmos that I should adhere to. I shouldn’t be led by my notions—those are fake and not the real me.

Sometimes when my notions are strong, I just want to prove my point and stubbornly think that practitioners should do things my way. Because of this, I have suffered much. Master has given me so many opportunities to awaken to this shortcoming and improve, but I have blindly insisted on my notions for many, many years.

We know how big tech blocks us by de-platforming and demonetizing our media. One vendor abruptly stopped the email sending service. We realized we needed to have our own social platforms where we can show millions of people the truth.

Last year, I started to get in touch with some practitioners who work in tech. Some joined us and immediately came to New York. Others hesitated.

I spent lots of time communicating with these practitioners, hoping they could come to work full-time at our media. But some of them refused me for various reasons: family issues, a current company’s upcoming IPO, not wanting to write any more codes and just wanting to be a consultant, and many others. Some practitioners look down on our media and don’t believe that we can develop any kind of social media platform. Some didn’t trust me and thought that I was full of hot air. Some didn’t even pick up my phone calls. I even tried to invite them to our office on the weekend, but I was not just refused once, but several times.

Of course, quite a few practitioners did respond to my calls. As soon as I explained how badly we needed tech people, they took action. They came to our office, and began working on our project within one or two days. I developed a liking for these practitioners while growing notions of resentment against those practitioners who refused me.

I started to look inward, wondering what attachments are behind these notions. Ultimately, the answer was jealousy. Twenty years ago, I quit my well-paying job and all the benefits that came with it—a big house, a comfortable and steady income, a luxurious lifestyle... I never thought that jealousy would be one of my hidden attachments, but after reading many articles on jealousy on Minghui, I found that jealousy easily hides in many situations, and is often very hard to recognize.

Master said,

“A wicked person is born of jealousy.
Out of selfishness and anger he complains about unfairness towards himself.

“A benevolent person always has a heart of compassion.
With no discontentment or hatred, he takes hardship as joy.

“An enlightened person has no attachments at all.
He quietly observes the people of the world deluded by illusions.
(“Realms,” Essentials for Further Advancement)

I know that what I am doing every day in our media is for saving people, and that I need to continue doing it well. After the 2020 election, however, I was tired of politics. I was not interested in any politicians, regardless of whether they are Republican or Democrat. Compared to the year 2000, my passion to save people had waned. I know just doing my usual work well is not good enough. I need to have a very strong sense of urgency to save people. I found that jealousy was the reason. Politicians are waiting to be saved by us, so how could I feel unbalanced or that things were not fair?

One Minghui article I read really pointed out another manifestation of jealousy that I found within myself: “Another practitioner said: One day I realized all of these attachments have the same root cause, the attachment to self, based out on the premise that ‘I am the best.’ Because ‘I am the best,’ I am ‘noble’ and cannot listen to words that criticize me, and cannot accept the reality that others are better than I am.”

I subconsciously have the notion that as senior leadership, young staff or at least new staff should respect me. I am one of the people at the company with the most experience, and possess this higher management position. I think that our marketing and retention work is more important than other work because it will bring in more revenue for the company, which in turn can be used to save more people. Using such a selfish mindset to do work made me quick to anger and gave me a belligerent attitude. I argued with others, blamed our staff members, and complained about others due to their mistakes.

I also realized that jealousy manifests itself in the form of spite, focusing on the negative, and using fire to fight fire when I point out someone’s shortcomings. My hidden jealousy prevents me from communicating with them using compassion and tolerance.

Eliminating Party Culture to Grow Compassion

Since I’m focused on growing our media, I always think how wonderful it would be if more talented practitioners could join us sooner so we could save many people. My understanding is that there is no such thing as being “right” or “wrong” in cultivation. My understanding is that in cultivation only two things are important: upgrading our xinxing and saving sentient beings. Practitioners have their different understandings of the Fa at their own levels. It is impossible for those talented practitioners who don’t have financial resources to do everything according to my expectations. They may have their own understandings and considerations of the situation aside from monetary issues.

An interesting anecdote shows my strong notions and the Party culture behind those notions. Last year, I was trying to persuade my brother’s wife to quit the CCP (Chinese Communist Party).

We spoke for about 30 minutes, but it was me who did most of the talking. She just quietly listened. I finally stopped talking and asked her to quit the CCP, but she told me she had to think about it. With regret, I told her that it was okay. Suddenly I did not want to keep talking to her anymore. We finished our conversation abruptly. I told my wife that my sister-in-law did not want to quit the CCP.

When I thought about it, my truth-clarification was like trying to check off some task instead of saving a person with compassion. I was keenly aware of this. Inside my head a complaining voice said, “I’m so busy every day. Any allocation of my time is big, so how dare she be so stubborn and not quit!”

Through many similar incidents in the past, I realized that I have many notions. What’s behind them? I realized that they were my jealousy, resentment, anger, unhappiness, dissatisfaction, and complaints. Now I realize that behind my notions are also my demon-nature and Party culture. I kept analyzing my shortcomings. I finally found that something has been missing all these years in my cultivation—kindness and compassion, which have been separated from me by my notions, demonnature, and Party culture.

Master told us many times that a lot of practitioners that recently arrived from China have Party culture. I have lived in the United States for over 28 years, so I never put myself in that category. My wife told me that I have Party culture, as did many other practitioners.

I read the Nine Commentaries on The Communist Party as well as How The Specter of Communism is Ruling Our World, but I never finished reading Dissolving The Culture of The Chinese Communist Party. I decided to read it and identify the deeper, detailed manifestations of Party culture within me. I found many things.

For example, I often don’t follow the rules. I give myself the excuse that things will probably be okay, it’s no problem, and that things aren’t a big deal. I insist that my viewpoint is correct. I fight and quarrel and raise my voice in order to overwhelm the other side.

In my mind, the louder I am, the more correct I must be. I have a strong desire to show others they are wrong by proving my points are right. I am stubborn and won’t listen to other people. I often interrupt other people without realizing it. Sometimes I can be overbearing and obstinate because I think I am the best. In communicating with other people, I am sometimes not straightforward and instead have a hidden agenda. I think that people have to follow my ideas because I am speaking from the perspective of saving people—and if they don’t follow me, they are wrong. The list goes on and on.

Under the influence of Party culture, most of the time I also assume that other people were wrong before confirming or double-checking things with them. Sometimes, I even complain about others because I am prepared to fight with them, instead of taking the time to communicate with them peacefully.

I studied the Fa more, sent forth righteous thoughts, and paid special attention to my every single thought and action to get rid of my Party culture. After seeing my determination to get rid of my notions and bad mindset, compassionate Master helped me. I was able to look inward more deeply and made some breakthroughs.

I started to eliminate my notions one by one and became more considerate of others. I realized that I can’t force anyone to do anything if they are not ready. Whether other practitioners choose to eliminate their attachments is their cultivation issue. I can only require myself to do better. That being said, I realized that the only thing I can do is to communicate and share with others openly, without my personal agenda of recruiting them to work full-time. I should share with them sincerely, peacefully and kindly. Forcing others to do things according to my understanding is Party culture—it is a kind of dictatorship.

Now that my mind is clearer, I try to respect others. If they refuse my requests I will just follow the course of nature. After I began sending forth righteous thoughts for longer times on a daily basis, with Master’s compassionate help, the gas built up inside my body has decreased. I can focus on my work with less interference each day.

Just working hard in our media doesn’t replace cultivation. This environment gives me opportunities to cultivate myself well. I must be broad-minded instead of narrow-minded. If I am narrow-minded towards other practitioners, how can I practice compassion and save sentient beings?

Gradually, I am learning to be less and less selfish. Being able to quit my well-paid job 20 years ago doesn’t mean that I don’t have the attachment to money, and it doesn’t mean that other practitioners have to quit their jobs and join our media full-time if they are not ready. Only with a tranquil and compassionate mind can I create fewer misunderstandings between practitioners and leave no room for the old forces to interfere. My seniority with the company should not be an attachment or an excuse not to cultivate myself well. I always need to be humble in Dafa cultivation and improve my character.

I easily get angry because I haven’t truly cultivated kindness and compassion. I sincerely hope I can improve myself quickly in this regard. Truthfully, from the bottom of my heart, I greatly appreciate all of you in our media who have given up your personal comfort, your personal interests, your dreams and ambitions, and many other wonderful things which ordinary people pursue, in order to work here. But working at the media means that we have a predestined relationships with each other, which I cherish very much. Maybe our original vows were to work in the media.

Let’s all cultivate ourselves more diligently so we can save even more people!

The above is my self-reflection, which may not be correct. Please point out anything incorrect and I’ll be more than happy to improve.

Thank you Master. Thank you fellow practitioners.

(2021 International Online Fa Conference)

Chinese version available

Category: Experience Sharing Conferences