(Minghui.org) I would like to tell you about my experience working for the Epoch Times.
I conduct interviews for the Life & Traditions section of the print edition of the Epoch Times. I did a telephone interview with an elderly German lady who lives in the U.S. She emigrated to America years ago and lives a simple and traditional life. She shares the traditional values she lives by with her followers on her Internet blog. I wanted to introduce her to our readers.
Our communication was very open and warm. After the interview, I asked her to send me some photos, which she did in separate e-mails. In each e-mail she addressed me warmly using my first name. In her last e-mail, however, she was suddenly completely different—her tone was cool and distant. Without further explanation, she refused to let me publish the interview or photos under any circumstances and she asked that I accept her decision.
I wondered why she suddenly changed. I thought that perhaps she read some misinformation on the Internet about the Epoch Times. I also realized that her sudden cool behavior touched my heart on a human level because we had initially hit it off.
I sensed that this must be interference and wondered how I should handle it. I wanted to give her an opportunity to reconsider.
“When you see something that does us harm, or when you see something blocking our validating the Fa, don’t take a detour—you should face it, and clarify the truth and save those beings. This is the compassion (cibei) of a Dafa disciple, and it’s our saving lives.” (“Fa Teaching Given at the 2002 Conference in Washington, D.C.,” Collected Teachings Given Around the World Volume II)
So I wrote her an e-mail and replied that I was surprised by her request, but of course I respected her decision. I also mentioned that I was saddened and that I would like to clarify any misunderstanding, if there was one, in a phone call with her.
I told my colleague about the incident. While she sent righteous thoughts to resolve the interference, the reply arrived in my inbox. She was ready to talk to me.
During our conversation, it turned out that she indeed looked up the Epoch Times on the Internet, but had apparently read a dubious site. She repeatedly stressed that she was apolitical and stood for truth and compassion and loved people.
During our conversation, which lasted nearly an hour, I was able to remove all her prejudices and concerns. I also explained to her the true circumstances and helped her realize for herself that our media represents the same values as she does and that it was also a mission for us, similar to hers.
She decided to agree to publish the article. A few days later, she expressed her warm thanks for the publication in the print edition. She said that her son also pointed out to her that she was lucky that such a good and trustworthy newspaper contacted her, which represented exactly her values.
Dare to Look Within and Cultivate Myself
One day while I did the exercises, I had a sudden thought of quitting the Epoch Times. I tried to ignore it, but it was very persistent and kept resurfacing. I closely examined this thought. I wanted to know if it was interference, arising from some emotion, or was it an indication that it was time to take a new path. On the one hand, I knew that my state of cultivation left something to be desired, and that this gap could be exploited by the old forces to lead me astray. On the other hand, I imagined what it would be like to have a normal job and do Dafa work in my spare time, as I used to.
To firm up my thoughts, I gave myself a few days before making a final decision. Afterwards I would tell the management about my plans. During this time I went to Shen Yun in Bregenz to help out on site. In Bregenz, in a private and quiet moment, I confided to a small group of practitioners about my situation. Something interesting happened.
The shocked reactions of the group shook me awake and brought me clarity. But unlike what I expected, the reactions would probably make an ordinary person think twice about quitting a job under such difficult conditions. However, I realized that the process was my own individual cultivation path. No one, not even a long-time practitioner, could understand and comprehend what I already enlightened to and let go of in my process of cultivation.
For example, I already removed a large layer of fear of financial loss at the beginning in order to be able to participate in our media. What I understood from their reactions was that I shouldn’t openly exchange with everyone without thinking, even if they were practitioners I knew, because I could only give a one-sided picture. Nobody knows the big picture and my process behind it, except Master. The experience also made me realize that I didn’t want to quit. I had a job to do.
Working in our media is not easy. It is sometimes very arduous and involves sacrifice. It requires dedication to the project. If I sometimes lose that dedication, I should check my cultivation. If I get overwhelmed, I can always set limits and communicate with my coordinators clearly but calmly. I realized that no one was actually forcing or pushing me to do anything. I always put the pressure on myself. The thought of leaving the Epoch Times was nothing more than an attempt to escape difficulties. I was attempting to distance myself from the difficulties and from facing my waywardness, which was sometimes mirrored by my colleagues’ behavior.
I didn’t have to break away from the Epoch Times to feel free and light-hearted. I had to work on myself.
In the process, I also realized that I have a strong need for safety, stability and security. These manifest on the surface, as attachments to my home, to my family, to my familiar cultivation environment and to a steady and good income.
Master explained in Hong Yin,
“Assisting the Fa
You resolved to save sentient beings,And assist Master as he journeys this human world;Come now, and help me turn the Falun,When the Fa is fulfilled, Heaven and Earth will be yours to travel.”
After reading this poem I came to the realization that the feeling of “safety and security” is just another illusion, because nothing on the human surface is ever “safe.” I can lose everything material in a matter of seconds. However, the Dafa that our honored Master has given us is everlasting.
I thank our Master for his mercy and patience, even though I am not so diligent in my cultivation at times.
When I sent righteous thoughts recently, I realized that it was a great honor to be able to work with our media at this time and especially in these sometimes challenging circumstances. As a small part of the body, I am allowed to play a part in establishing our media in the human world. Through this project we can help our Master rectify the Fa in the human world and lead people back to tradition and upright living. I understood that my dissatisfaction with some difficulties was absolutely misplaced and an attachment that I had to let go of.
(Submitted to the 2022 European Fa Conference)
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