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

When I was working at a regular company I always thought about where I would spend my next vacation, how much money I earned during a given month, what I was going to buy with the money I saved, and so on.

Never did I think that I would work six days a week, working more than 12 hours a day, and be satisfied with a salary that was just enough to support myself. Taking the opportunity of the Fa conference, I’d like to talk about my cultivation experience of the past year since I joined the media. I also hope that my experience sharing can help us compare how we have studied and cultivated.

My Turning Point for Joining the Media

I majored in computer engineering. A practitioner at the headquarters’ technology department contacted me and said that there was a project that could use my expertise – they were hoping that I would accept this opportunity. I was happy about it, for I thought that not only would I be able to go abroad and broaden my view, I would also be contributing to Dafa with my specialty.

That’s great for doing just one thing! But at the same time I was concerned, because I’d never been so far from home for so long. Thinking that I’d be in a foreign country with no family or friends to rely on, I began to worry because of my lack of righteous thoughts. The practitioner could tell I was worried, so they arranged for me to work there for three months to get a feel for it. Before I flew to New York, thoughts of wanting to stay in Taiwan, and wanting to live comfortably often emerged.

Sometimes I’d think that wherever I am, I could clarify the truth and validate the Fa. There are lots of things I can do in Taiwan as well, so why should I go somewhere so far away? But knowing that all my skills are given by Master, and are meant to be used in projects that validate the Fa, now that the project needs them, how could I refuse because of my attachments to fear and comfort? The moment any incorrect thoughts arose, I sent righteous thoughts to eliminate the interference and stepped up my Fa study to help me better understand my responsibility as a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple. I was thus able to weaken the incorrect thoughts.

During the three months when I first started working at the New York headquarters, every day I asked myself if I’d still be willing to stay once the three months were up. Born and raised somewhere where the temperature does not drop below 59 degrees, I found the weather in New York to be a tremendous test for me, despite encouragement from many other practitioners. In addition to the bodily tribulations, I faced homesickness. I wasn’t able to make a decision for a long time.

Fortunately, I had a good cultivation environment. I could do the three things well every day. I was surrounded by fellow practitioners who, regardless of age, were up early every day and made time to study and memorize the Fa, no matter how busy they were. I realized my shortcomings and was motivated to step up my Fa study, so I spent more and more time on Fa study. I studied the Fa on my one-hour commute from my dorm to work, and I studied the Fa using the time that I used to spend on my phone before sleep. Gradually, my thoughts started to change.

Master said,

“In your process of continually strengthening your determination, continually studying the Fa, and continually deepening your understanding, you will gradually turn around” (Teachings at the Conference in the Eastern U.S.)

In the two weeks leading to the end of the three months, with undivided attention, I read through Teachings From a Tour of North America from start to finish.

Master said,

“For how long have the old forces been arranging such things here where humans are? For two Earths’ time. I said before that Dafa was taught in the human world back in the past. A lot of students then asked me when it was taught. It was taught on the previous Earth. Why? The previous Earth was an experiment conducted for this Earth.” (Teachings From a Tour of North America)

Master also said,

“So people had to go through a long period of time to gradually enrich the human mind and give them substance and endurance. This wasn’t something that could be done in a short time, so these 100 million years were spent doing this.” (Teachings From a Tour of North America)

From Master’s teaching, I realized more rationally and clearly how much mental and physical exertion Master put into the Fa-rectification. The Fa-rectification has proceeded for hundreds of millions of years, for the purpose of saving the colossal firmament, and beings in the layers and layers of universes. I further understood my enormous responsibility as a Fa-rectification period Dafa disciple. Therefore, I made up my mind to go back to Taiwan, get a long-term visa, and then return to the headquarters.

Wavering When Back Home

While back in Taiwan, in that familiar and cozy hometown of mine, I was again tempted by friendship, sentimentality, familial love, and comfortable conditions. Although I wished to get my visa as soon as possible and leave the tempting environment, it was a two-to-three-month process. So instead of leaving right away I had to face the tests brought by the temptations.

My father, who’s not a practitioner, at first had no choice but to agree to my working far away from home, but then the CCP virus issue harmed the world. Every day the news channels were reporting the daily death count, and more and more relatives and friends of mine tried to convince me not to leave Taiwan, the safest place at the time. Luckily, many local practitioners encouraged me, and I kept on sending righteous thoughts to strengthen myself. I got my visa a day before the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office closed because of the CCP virus.

Although my visa was no longer a problem, I hesitated to buy my ticket. Meanwhile, the pandemic worsened, with over a 1,000 new cases a day in New York. My father, who rarely shows affection, told me lovingly that the thought of me going somewhere as dangerous as New York kept him awake at night with worries. Angry and caring at the same time, he expressed that he didn’t want me to leave Taiwan at such a time. My relatives also tried to persuade me. They said that my father was growing old and didn’t want me, whom he brought up, to put myself in danger, and that they hoped I would understand my father, and be filial.

As I was fettered by familial love, I received a call from Human Resources saying that in a few days flights to New York might be suspended, and nobody knew when flights would be resumed. They hoped I could fly to New York as soon as possible. My colleague in New York also called and told me how busy it was over there, how they were short of hands, and that they needed my help. I stayed up all night contemplating… There are practitioners younger than I who left Taiwan the day they got their visa, and there are others who rescheduled to earlier flights in fear of flights being suspended. So why can’t I do it?

Master said,

“What truly constitutes your life is your soul, so only the mother who gave birth to your soul counts as your true mother. You will have had countless “mothers,” both human and otherwise, over the course of your reincarnations. And the same could be said for how many children you’ve had over all your lifetimes. Neither mother nor child recognizes the other in their next life, and any karmic debts that remain between the two will have to be settled just like with anyone else. But people can’t see these things for what they are, and so they often can’t move beyond their affections.” (The Sixth Talk, Zhuan Falun)

I realized that my parents were only parents to me in this life, and as an ordinary person, my father was also someone who needed to be saved. If I think about what’s best for him with compassion instead of emotion, shouldn’t I help him understand Dafa and the importance of my going to New York? Also, if I missed my chance of a lifetime of going back to New York, along with my chance of fulfilling my vow, just because I couldn’t let go of sentimentally towards my family, my concern about the pandemic, and my attachment to comfort, would I spend the rest of my life regretting it?

Would I regret it when the Fa rectifies the human world? The answer is yes. So I made up my mind, and did everything I needed to do before leaving. I firmly, but rationally, explained to my father that the CCP virus caused so many deaths because of the cover up by the Chinese Communist Party (CCP), that the media carries the important mission of telling the truth to the world, and that it needed help. He eventually understood, and accompanied me on my four-hour car ride to the airport to see me off.

Before my return to Taiwan that time, I saw the interference and tests coming. My dorm in New York happens to have Master’s picture in the living room, so before I left for Taiwan I stood in front of Master’s picture and said, “Master, please help me firm up my righteous thoughts. I must come back to fulfill my vows.” So the moment I went back to my dorm, I immediately went to stand in front of Master’s picture, and with tears of joy I said to Master, “Thank you Master! I’m back!”

Eliminating Thoughts of Differentiating

The first test for many Taiwanese practitioners who join the headquarters, is facing the many mainland practitioners who speak Chinese with all kinds of accents. The environment I grew up in was one where the media fixated on the negative side of the mainland Chinese. During my travels the impressions that mainland tourists left on me were also negative. In addition, I figured that all mainland Chinese were indoctrinated by the Party. As a result, I had been holding negative stereotypical thoughts towards the mainland Chinese.

Master said,

“Any and all attachments you have must be ground down, and it will take place through any of a number of scenarios...” (The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun)

It wasn’t until I joined the media that I realized that among the 20 people in my department, there were only two Taiwanese, including myself. This was hard for me to accept at first. When I needed to communicate with a Chinese practitioner, I realized that I couldn’t make out his accented Chinese.

A common occurrence in meetings was Chinese practitioners insisting on their own views and wasting time arguing among themselves. Specifically, I felt dejected when I needed and asked for help but was refused it for the reason that they were busy.

I was once told to do something that was nontechnical. Although I wondered why I should go do something that I wasn’t good at when there were others who were, I nonetheless let go of my attachment to “self” and did it. In the process I asked for help from a couple practitioners who were good at the job, but I was rejected by them, because it was not part of their job. All of them happened to be Chinese, so I thought that they must be easier to talk to, and more willing to help if they were Taiwanese.

By coincidence, I once overheard a Chinese colleague sitting next to me talking about his experience being persecuted when he was little, where his home was raided and his family was jailed. I was shocked, since I had only heard about the persecution of Chinese practitioners on the Internet or TV, and I never imagined that it had happened to a colleague sitting right next to me. And it wasn’t just a few of them; many of my young colleagues from China were subjected to persecution when they were little, but they all persevered with their righteous belief in Dafa, which brought out heartfelt admiration in me.

In addition, during the new employee orientation we watched the documentary on how our media was established. Seeing all the hardships that Chinese practitioners had to overcome when building the media, and learning that some practitioners have persisted in the media for over a decade, I felt even more admiration for them. Truly every single Dafa disciple is extraordinary.

As practitioners we follow the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Forbearance. We are compassionate toward ordinary people, and to our friends and families, so why can’t we be compassionate to our fellow practitioners? I therefore told myself to be compassionate to the practitioners around me, to put myself in their shoes, and to consider the interests of others.

After all, many Chinese practitioners had been indoctrinated by the Party for decades, and some habits can take a while to be rectified. I also started focusing more on others’ merits and strengths. Some of the practitioners used to live a comfortable life, and some once had a nice job. But everyone still chose to come here for the purpose of validating the Fa and saving sentient beings. Then shouldn’t we offer encouragement and warmth to each other? I gradually saw that every practitioner has a side that’s lovable and respectable, and I could see those with unfavorable habits changing for the better in the Fa. My attachment of differentiating grew thinner and thinner.

Eliminating the Attachments of Combativeness, Showing Off, and Self-Esteem

Growing up, I did well in school. I went to a top-rated college for my Master’s studies, and my first job after graduation was at a big company. In addition, the reason that I got into the headquarters was that I had some skills that many people in the tech department didn’t have at the time, so right after I joined the media I had to learn how to teach and lead others. As a result, I subconsciously considered myself a cut above the rest. As time went on, I became involved in more projects and played a more important role. As I became a team leader, I was of the opinion that others in the team should listen to me. Without my realizing it, my attachment to self-esteem grew.

Many of my colleagues are highly educated, however, and some had worked for well-known companies. Sometimes during discussions everyone would deem their own opinion the best. Once, I didn’t agree with a colleague’s proposal, thinking that it shouldn’t be done this way. Unable to contain myself, I said to him with anger, “Your method is so unprofessional!” Also defiant, he responded by saying that I didn’t know as much as he did. That colleague became an eyesore to me, and it got to the point where I wanted to avoid him if possible.

But Master said,

“If you stoop to the other person’s level, then you are no different from them. And not only shouldn’t you respond like them, neither should you feel hatred or resentment. And I sincerely mean that. Any bitterness towards another person means that anger got the best of you. And in that case you have failed to live up to the standard of ren, and even less so shan. Yet we practice zhen, shan, and ren.” (The Fourth Talk, Zhuan Falun)

As I calmed down and looked within, I regretted my behavior. Why did I fail to live up to the standard of forbearance? Besides, why couldn’t I put myself in his shoes? There must be a reason that he considered his way as the better one. It was just that his way was different from mine.

Later, I had to cooperate with the colleague in another job. He told me to revise my code so it would be easier for him to run it, and even though my first instinct was “Why is he asking me to do it?” Because from the standard professional viewpoint he should be revising his code, not the other way around. But I remembered Master’s Fa teaching:

“…‘He's right,And I'm wrong,’What’s to dispute?”(“Who’s Right, Who’s Wrong,”Hong Yin III)

I suddenly thought, what’s there to argue about? As long as we get the job done smoothly, does it matter who revises the code? So I did as he said without complaints inside. Afterwards I could feel that I really let go of the attachment, and I felt at ease! Later when I saw that colleague again, he stopped being an eyesore to me like before.

Facing Loneliness

For the one year since I joined the media, the hardest thing for me to bear was the feeling of loneliness. On Christmas we had a day off, which was rare, but my family was nowhere near me, I couldn’t find any friends to keep me company, and all my roommates were out. I couldn’t stand the boredom, I wandered around outside. Watching people in the street walking in groups, I cried out of loneliness.

I sometimes felt envious, jealous, and even sad when I saw my ordinary friends and family posting photos of themselves having all kinds of fun on social media. Why must I be tied up by work when I’m so young and haven’t had enough fun yet?

Because of my fear of loneliness and my feeling that life was boring, I started doing so-called “pleasure-seeking” like ordinary people do. Sometimes I was after good food and fun stuff, and sometimes I watched movies and drama, fantasizing about me being the lead, experiencing different lives. I sought the pleasure of chatting and goofing around with my friends, and sometimes I thought about looking for a companion to start a family so as to bring happiness to my life. I was hoping that doing these things would ease the pain from loneliness and boredom in life.

My attachments were stimulated while having fun, and in place of the painful feelings were excitement and happiness. Every time I was done with the “fun-seeking,” I felt a deeper emptiness and a lack of fulfillment, and I wasn’t truly satisfied. Sometimes I knew that I shouldn’t do the things that I was about to do, but my desires were hard to suppress. Afterwards I would always blame myself and tell myself that it’d be okay if I just did better the next time, but the same thing kept happening over and over. I was trapped in a cycle that I couldn’t break.

Master said,

“Cultivation is essentially a matter of leaving the human state, getting rid of attachments which are driven by emotion, gradually taking them lightly as you cultivate, and thus slowly elevating yourself. Some people think that life would be boring without emotion—no more movies, no more interest in finding attractive companions, no more craving tasty foods—it’d be so boring. I will tell you, though, that this is how it looks when you view it from the standpoint of an ordinary person. If you ascend to higher realms, you will discover the beautiful state of those realms, and you will discover that everything is better than here in the human world. So much so that no words will be able to describe how beautiful it is up there. But if you want to enjoy that beauty, you will have to rid yourself of the emotion-driven, ordinary attachments you have to human interests. Only when you abandon ordinary human attachments will you get better things.” (“Teaching the Fa at the Founding Ceremony of the Singaporean Falun Dafa Association,” Collected Fa Teachings, Vol. I)

Master also said,

“Why do you feel lonely? If you go do things to save sentient beings and things that a Dafa disciple is supposed to do, you definitely won’t feel that way. If you were studying the Fa and diligently cultivating, could you feel that way? Only when you are not diligent will you have the leisure to mull over those ordinary human feelings, right?” (Teachings at the 2004 International Conference in New York)

Right! Isn’t it because I can’t truly let go of the attachment of pursing a happy life, didn’t put saving people as a top priority, and didn’t cultivate adequately that I have all these human notions?

Remembering Master’s compassion, the beings in my paradise and the fact that the hundreds of millions of years of reincarnation have all been for the sake of this moment in this life, righteous thoughts grew stronger in me. There are no shortcuts in cultivation. Indeed, only when we keep up Fa study will we be able to firm up our righteous thoughts. Only when we have the Fa in our minds, and the will to save all beings will we weaken our human notions.

Concluding Remarks

The media’s headquarters provides a nice cultivation environment, with a regular schedule for Fa study, exercises and sending righteous thoughts. By going to work I’m doing something that validates the Fa. Whether I’m at work or at my dorm, the people that I interact with are all practitioners.

It feels as if I’m surrounded by a giant field of righteous thoughts that melt into the Fa, where bit by bit I’m letting go of desires, attachments, and harmful habits formed in the ordinary society. Though the work can be hard and tiring and I rarely get a day off, it’s because of these hardships that I eliminated more attachments and elevated faster than before.

When I look at my fellow practitioners around me, I see some who are younger than I get up early just to do more Fa study or exercises, some older than I stay up late just to do more work and save more people, and some have persevered for over a decade, as if it were a day, all the time staying at their posts doing their jobs. They make me realize that I should cultivate more diligently and do the three things better, so that I can live up to the title of Fa rectification period disciple. I hope we can all grasp the opportunity to practice cultivation with care and finish the last step of cultivation with determination.

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