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

I work for the English Epoch Times’ (EET) publishing department. I’ve been on the team for almost two years, and during this period, I was very fortunate to witness EET’s rapid subscription growth.

Realizing the Weight of My Responsibility

After the New York Fa conference in 2019, two practitioners suggested I work for the EET’s customer service team. I never thought that I would work for EET since English isn’t my native language. I really cherished this opportunity and put lots of effort into my work. For many years, I worked for the Chinese language Epoch Times in Europe, and I persisted out of a sense of being responsible for my mission. In Europe, we didn’t have an office, formal employees, or highly effective teams; it was difficult.

Looking back at my over ten-years-long journey working in the media, I feel that our media has finally become mainstream in the West. I have many thoughts and feelings when I look at the soaring number of subscriptions and touching feedback from readers. After so many years, the hardest time is in the past, and our path to validate the Fa is at the very end. What we have to do right now is to just keep working hard and be more diligent. We need to remove our human attachments, cooperate better and save people with righteous thoughts so that we can meet Master’s requirements.

One time we surveyed our readers and my manager asked me to select some feedback from the responses. Some of this feedback really comes from people’s knowing side after being saved, and I was often moved to tears while reading them. Our readers’ feedback gave us huge encouragement. We were also able to isolate the service issues that customers reported and keep perfecting our service. I’m so lucky to be part of such a good team and at such a good time. I’m deeply grateful for Master’s arrangement. I also remind myself to be diligent so that I can be worthy of such a big responsibility. I must cultivate myself well and not leave any regrets.

Learning to Think Positively

Among my job responsibilities, the tech team requires the most cooperation. Because we learned to do many things from scratch, our work often needs to be repeatedly revised and can’t be completed all at once. During this process I was able to remove many uncompassionate aspects of myself and expand my capacity.

I’d like to share an example here. At first, our subscription page didn’t have a function to verify user addresses. I checked with the tech supervisor multiple times and he responded that the system simply didn’t have this function. I was speechless. How could it not have this function? I felt this function wasn’t difficult to create. When you type in your address on almost any shopping website, you need to verify it.

Since I’m responsible for the delivery lists, I had no choice but to verify new customers’ addresses manually, which included all of the new subscribers that the New York team is responsible for. First I ran the addresses through software to find the wrong ones, and then corrected them one by one. I often had to work until three in the morning. On the one hand I was happy to see new subscriptions pouring in, but on the other hand, I felt somewhat frustrated and helpless. I was unhappy and couldn’t understand why it was so hard to create such a basic function.

Every once in a while we would receive many papers returned due to address issues, but no one was able to process them because everyone on the team was already overloaded. I tried to communicate with the tech department, but they kept pushing it back since they had too many pressing projects. My initial reaction to this situation was helplessness and low spirits. When my manager came to check on my work, I couldn’t help but complain to him that I couldn’t stand it anymore. I was really sad to see people cancel their subscriptions because they couldn’t receive papers due to wrong addresses. But one day I suddenly realized that my mentality wasn’t right. At first I wanted to help improve the situation, but after a while my xinxing didn’t really improve. Problems piled up and I felt like my xinxing was on the brink of collapse.

One day we received several boxes of returned papers, almost a thousand copies. I realized I couldn’t continue this way and I should solve the problem with a cultivator’s mindset. I had been looking at this situation negatively and passively for a while now, putting all my hopes on the tech department to solve the problems. But they were too busy and no one had the time to dig into the problems and analyze them from their root.

I realized I had to expand my capacity and remove all my complaints and frustrations. I tried hard to help solve the problem, remembering that we’re doing this to save people, and tried to purify my heart during the process. I stopped waiting for and relying on others and I started searching for solutions. Maybe because I put my heart in the right place, the search went very smoothly. After some basic research, I went to ask the tech supervisor for some advice. Originally they had planned to push this back at least a month. But the second time I went to the tech supervisor, he suddenly agreed to help create the function as soon as possible. The burden was lifted off my shoulders and I finally saw hope. I felt that I had passed the test since my xinxing had improved.

After several similar experiences I knew that any difficulties were temporary. No matter how hard it is we just have to persist, and we will see the light at the end of the tunnel. However hard the circumstances might be, it’s not as hard as it was back at the beginning, so we just have to put in a bit more work. Compared to the past, even a little sacrifice returns great rewards now. But looking back, I think that I should have done better. I should have realized I needed to improve my xinxing the moment I noticed the issue. I should have used the wisdom from the Fa to actively and quickly solve the problem so that we could’ve reduced losses.

In the process of working with the tech department, I gradually learned to think positively. Regardless of what issue I encounter, I just look within and think about what attitude I should have to address it. If I’m positive and upright, the problems are often solved pretty quickly. Gradually I removed all the negative substances and no longer complain anymore. I just maintain a positive attitude and discuss solutions with others.

Expanding My Compassion

We kept hiring new employees since our business grew really fast. Within a year, my team expanded from myself to over ten members. There were also a few volunteers helping out remotely. So I had to learn how to lead a team even though I had zero management experience. My manager had been guiding me for a while. He never directly said what I should do, nor did he criticize me when I didn’t manage things well. When I got really stuck, he found someone who was very experienced in management from California, who offered me advice and helped me solve the problem. I’m very grateful for that. I learned from him to treat co-workers with compassion and tolerance.

A practitioner who joined the team after I did had a really good cultivation state and skill set. But she’s concerned that her English wasn’t good enough, so every two or three months she would tell me that she wanted to quit. At first, my heart was moved to hear that she wanted to leave the team. I was worried that my work would become so much harder after she left. Also I wasn’t able to completely understand her hardship. From my perspective, the media was developing really fast and we’re such a good team. What do you need to worry about? Just work hard and do your job.

One day I finally realized it was all Master’s arrangement. So I let go of my worry and selfishness that I would have to work so much harder. I only needed to listen to Master’s arrangement. If she’s supposed to be on the team, then she won’t leave. If she’s not, I can’t be afraid no matter how hard I have to work. I started to understand the challenges she was facing. I also encouraged her so that she would improve fast and become better. I also reminded myself that I can’t have pursuit and that I can’t ask her to agree with me. I tried to use a pure heart to communicate with her. I said what I should have said and the rest is all taken care of by Master. In the end, as I hoped, she steadily played an important role in the team. Now she’s also started managing a small team and she is doing better and better.

In one case, a mistake caused mismatches between the names and addresses of customers in hundreds of emails we sent out. One day, the practitioner who processes subscription cancellations came to see me. I learned that a customer was very upset and canceled his subscription because the email reminder he received had a different name. That customer also wanted to cancel subscriptions he purchased for several friends. The practitioner spent several hours drafting a letter to the customer. She printed the letter and signed her name. After discussing it with me, she mailed the letter along with several popular posters.

After several days, she told me cheerfully, “Do you remember that angry customer? After reading the letter, not only did he keep his subscription, he also apologized to me.” Tears filled my eyes as she talked. I was touched by her heart. I also felt fortunate for the man who was able to change his attitude after this interference.

During my communication with the practitioner who made the mistake, I could feel his strong sense of guilt. He blamed everything on himself and promised that he would for sure do well in the future. From my perspective, it’s an opportunity to improve the workflow. I asked another co-worker responsible for mailing to go through the workflow with him. But the other practitioner thought that the workflow had no problem. It was simply his fault. I was concerned that he would blame himself too much and get stuck in a negative state. I explained to him why we needed to re-examine the workflow: We need to avoid any potential loopholes, as we cannot make mistakes in front of customers. I didn’t complain as I understood he already felt very bad.

Reminding Myself to Be More Diligent

Last October, we started to distribute a large number of sample newspapers. Many seniors do not have credit cards or prefer to use checks, so we received a lot of letters containing checks every day. The other department members joked, “You guys are so lucky that you’re counting money until your hands are weak.” Reading the letters from people every day reminds us of our mission and responsibility.

Many readers are from prison, and once we received a letter from an inmate that said, “This newspaper is so valuable to us. Every issue of the Epoch Times is passed around by several inmates until it falls apart. Although I am in prison, I care about my country. I care about my family on the outside and I care about the future of my children. Your reports are so important, and I thank you for all that you do.”

Another thing that really sticks in my mind is that during the election last year, we got a check that said on the memo line, “Please Help Save Us.” Holding that check, I felt a great sense of purpose and mission.

Reading our subscribers’ feedback and their recognition and appreciation of our media motivate us to do better. We also receive a lot of feedback on problems, which makes us realize that there are still many details to be improved and many aspects to be enhanced.

Finding the Mission and Persisting All the Way to the End

Now, I would like to talk about my cultivation over the years. I heard about Falun Dafa in the summer of 1996. Unfortunately, I did not understand what true cultivation was. I only thought that it was good to follow Truthfulness, Compassion, and Forbearance and be a good person. Eight years later in Europe, I was able to connect with Falun Dafa again. After losing it and finding it again, I finally understood how precious Dafa is, how Master was still caring for me all those years, why I began to practice in another country, and why I felt so familiar when I arrived in the U.S.

In 2006, I met a practitioner who brought me a copy of the Chinese Epoch Times newspaper every week. I stopped living a life of nothing but having a good time, and started searching online for the truth about the live organ harvesting and the June Fourth Incident, etc.. The truth often made me weep. I couldn’t help but ask: Is the Tiananmen self-immolation true or not? I watched the DVDs of the Nine Commentaries on the Communist Party. The psychological impact of knowing the truth was huge. In order to fool people, the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) state machine distorted history, persecuted so many innocent people, and deceived everyone. This was so evil and terrible. Soon after I understood the truth, I returned to Dafa again.

In 2007, there was a discussion among local practitioners about adding news from Belgium to the European version of the Chinese Epoch Times. It was only after reading the Epoch Times that I realized the truth and returned to cultivation, so I felt it was my responsibility to contribute to the Epoch Times. Everything was difficult at the beginning, and I had to learn everything from scratch, from translation, editing, layout, and later reporting. In 2009, after Master’s talk at the Epoch Times conference, I started working part-time as a salesperson in addition to my daily editing and layout work. At that time, I just wanted to make money quickly so that a few fellow practitioners with particularly strong ability could participate on a full-time basis. Thinking back to the beginning of my sales career, even though I had passed the internal sales training, I was still scared to go out.

Antwerp in Belgium is the world’s largest diamond production and distribution center. We started with retail stores. I partnered with a fellow practitioner and we started by going from store to store. Gradually, we pulled in some advertisements. When we looked at several diamond trading buildings containing thousands of companies, we wondered how we could motivate them to advertise. We brought back the Diamond Association’s membership directory, and one practitioner made 50 phone calls a day. We were able to get 2-3 appointments each time, and another practitioner and I were responsible for face-to-face meetings. We met with many companies, large and small. Some large companies do not serve the end consumers at all, so it was impossible to discuss advertising, but as long as they agreed to meet, we went.

In 2013, Spain and Portugal launched the Golden Visa, which allows foreigners to buy real estate and obtain the right of residency. This was a great blessing for a large number of Chinese who wanted to immigrate to Europe. Since there was no stable Epoch Times sales team in Spain and Portugal at that time, several members of our team frequently flew to Southern Europe. One of my most impressive trips was to Marbella, Spain, a small city that attracts celebrities and rich people from all over the world. After spending several days with us, one of the biggest real estate agents saw the Epoch Times' huge potential. But due to some business considerations, this agent did not want to advertise on our paper but were more interested in cooperation. However, we had no cooperation programs to offer, so we ended up leaving empty-handed. On the way to the airport, I suddenly felt a life holding my heart and shouting for help, and everything outside the car window seemed to have a life, making me feel a strong connection with this place. My tears streamed down, because we did not open the market this time, perhaps causing many lives to lose the opportunity to be saved. This was also the first time that I felt that the karmic connections that Dafa disciples make in their lifetime are beyond human imagination and that the field covered by each Dafa disciple is huge. I always practiced without any feelings about other dimensions, and that was the first and only time I felt the cry for help from other dimensions.

The reality is that the Western practitioner who helped us with the advertisement kept in touch with the real estate agent, and she helped us a lot in the subsequent promotion of Shen Yun. She also flew to Barcelona to watch the Shen Yun show. The reporter I worked with at the time was on site covering the interview sessions. This agent was one of the audience members being interviewed, and she still didn’t forget to ask about the possibility of cooperating with us.

I never took a break on weekends, since the newspaper needs to be published on weekends. When I needed to multitask, I got even busier. I had to do a lot, but I was depressed because I am not a professional but still need to do all the advertising design by myself. It took me much more time than professionals, and the result was still not satisfactory. I really did not know when this would end, and when I could meet Master’s requirements.

Right before the 2015 Global Fa Conference, I realized that there was little room for development based on local Chinese people's situation, so I decided not to do local news any more. I planned to spend more time on business operations. When the business operates well, I would be able to afford to hire professional people.

After only one month in the Manhattan office, I was transferred to Flushing, where many Chinese people live. It wasn’t long before I realized that my practice environment in Belgium was so comfortable, and everyone was exceptionally nice and supportive of each other with few xinxing conflicts. In Flushing, there were so many things that I had never experienced before. I didn’t realize at first that those conflicts happened to expose my attachments so that I could improve. I complained and wondered why practitioners behaved this way. After years of living in a place where there were few Chinese, the behaviors of regular people and practitioners that was caused by CCP culture hit me really hard. It was only later when I realized that this was an environment for cultivation. If everyone were good to one another, how could I cultivate and improve? This also showed me that my cultivation at that time was not yet solid.

I began to look down on people. Sometimes I couldn’t accept what the management did. Stuck in the mindset of an everyday person, I felt that I couldn’t see any hope, and I couldn’t improve on the basis of the Fa. One day I thought that even if I couldn’t do this project, I could work on another one. Someone needed me. Fortunately, I quickly realized that it was not right to think that way.

Master said,

“Have you done well what a Dafa disciple should do in every regard? If so, then what you’ve done is right. (Teacher laughs) Don’t worry, and this includes some of those who have stumbled. Just hurry up and get up.” (Teachings Given on Lantern Festival Day, 2003)

Looking back on my experiences at the Epoch Times, I realized early on that my mission was to work with this media outlet. How could I give up so easily? But without improving my xinxing, I was entangled in human reasoning.

A fellow practitioner from Europe, who also worked at the headquarters, understood the difficulty of cultivation in the U.S. She kept encouraging me not to think about leaving, no matter what happened. She pointed out that those conflicts were tests of my ability to cultivate in this environment, and of my steadfastness. She said, “No matter how unfair you think it is, the only way is to look inward and really improve.”

Her sharing gave me great encouragement. I stopped thinking about moving to other projects. I realized I had to be determined and that nothing is accidental. I must have karmic relationships with certain practitioners in my previous lives. Master was using this opportunity to eliminate my karma and help me improve. After realizing this, I tried not to have strong notions about fellow practitioners. When I things were unfair, it became easier for me to stop feeling resentful. Gradually, I found that my capacity was expanding and my compassion was increasing.

I feel ashamed for having faltered. When the test was too big and difficulties arose, I didn’t have righteous thoughts and just looked for the easy way out. During my years in Belgium, even though I was stumbling around in my cultivation, I still thought I was doing okay. When I arrived in New York, it really gave me a wake-up knock on my head and showed me the gap in my practice.

Later I realized that while I was going through difficulties, my lack of compassion was also hurting my fellow practitioners and creating a test for them. I couldn’t stand other people’s CCP culture behavior. But wasn’t it also a mirror, reminding me of where I needed to improve myself? I also had the same problems. But my eyes were focused on other people’s problems when I should have been looking inward.

When I look back on what I’ve been through in the past over ten years, I think that it was really like what the Master said,

“You’ve all worked hard, truly hard. You have traveled a tremendously bumpy path since setting up The Epoch Times newspaper, and the process you have gone through—going from not knowing how to do it to eventually knowing how—has truly been marked by hardship after hardship. It hasn’t been easy working through, step by step, all of the xinxing tests of a personal-cultivation sort as well as the outside interference.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the Epoch Times Meeting,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. X)

For several years, I wept whenever I read this passage. I was deeply saddened by the fact that I had gone through all kinds of hardships, but could not meet Master’s requirements. Nevertheless, I was still cherished by Master.

Cultivating Towards Maturity

Looking back over the years of my cultivation in the media, I have been able to let go of my human attachments. I feel I’ve improved and matured. Thinking about so many beings waiting to be saved and our sentient beings in layers of the universes. In the last few moments left, the only way to accomplish our mission is to be more diligent.

Finally, I would like to share with my fellow practitioners the following quote from Master’s teachings. Master said,

“Today I can tell you this: your cultivation is absolutely not a personal, simple matter of reaching Consummation—your cultivation is saving the countless sentient beings in the cosmic body that corresponds to you and who’ve put infinite hope in you. The cultivation of you all is saving the sentient beings in every single gigantic cosmic colossal firmament.” (Teachings from a Tour of North America)

I would like to ask my fellow practitioners for their compassionate guidance if anything I’ve said does not comply with the Fa.

Thank you, Master! Thank you, fellow practitioners!

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

Chinese version available

Category: Experience Sharing Conferences