(Minghui.org) Greetings, esteemed Master and fellow practitioners!
I began working full-time for the media and have since been given very different assignments. Whether I was assigned to work as a reporter on the street, a video editor, a spokesperson, a writer, a legal advisor, or whatever task, I’ve always noticed how the tasks and the daily challenges that come with them are always in tune with my cultivation. Or rather, I’ve always been given just the right tasks so that my attachments were pointed out to me, enabling me to do what I should do.
At each stage of a task there are opportunities to let go of my attachments and ego. I would like to talk about this using the example of anchoring the daily news program.
When I was asked if I could speak in front of the camera as a news anchor for a daily program, I was not comfortable at first. Because that would mean having to look good in front of the camera every day, in other words, giving a consistent, high-quality performance that everyone could see immediately. My attachment to comfort was shown to me again. In addition, I saw fear - fear of losing face on the one hand if I did not perform well and everyone saw it. But an even greater fear was speaking on the news about controversial issues that other media outlets cover quite differently. I was afraid that with my face in front of the camera, I would get a lot of hostility and be vilified. I knew that it was a test for me, and I could only overcome this fear by making it clear to myself that I must have full confidence in Master and also in my fellow practitioners, since they also cultivate Dafa, and thus the news should correspond to the Fa.
Cultivation was a priority every single day. Besides the time factor, which created additional stress for my other work, I always had to keep in mind I needed to make the best possible impact in front of the camera, even if I sometimes had a day or a phase when my cultivation state was not so good. During that time it was a challenge for me to bring about a good performance every day and record each show with sincere thoughts. Moreover, time was short. When I was not in a good state, I could still do my task. I just held the sincere thought that there are a lot of living beings behind the camera, and I am making this recording to reach them in a positive manner.
It was also a cultivation opportunity for me when I was told that I could not continue because we could no longer make money with the videos given the restrictions of Big Tech, and also because we were reaching very few people. On the one hand, I welcomed the decision because it eliminated a major factor in an already tight daily schedule. I no longer had to face such high pressure. I felt freer and more relaxed. But, I also noticed how a kind of craving for recognition and fame had become part of my psyche. I silently complained that I would no longer be seen online on a daily basis. After all, being a news anchor was prestigious. Quite a few people recognized me and said, “Oh, I know you from TV.” When I no longer needed to do this I realized how much I liked the fact that the videos were seen by tens of thousands of viewers – thus I was well known.
It became very clear to me that each phase of a task is arranged for my cultivation. Besides, my attachments are always pointed out to me through my work, which allows me to let go of them.
Once while having a long phone conversation I noticed how my counterpart was complaining about many things occurring in our company. This annoyed me, and it put me in a really bad mood. I asked myself why my counterpart complained non-stop about all kinds of circumstances, and had such a strong, negative attitude, without trying to find a solution.
An aversion to my counterpart arose in me. At first I felt annoyed, strained, and heavy, and I wanted to end the conversation. At that moment, however, I noticed how I let my mood be influenced by my counterpart. I wondered how it could be that another person was influencing my state and also what it had to do with my being confronted with so many complaints.
It immediately struck me that my counterpart was a mirror of myself. At first I wondered why my counterpart was complaining so much. I suddenly realized that I was complaining a lot about my counterpart complaining so much. I also realized that I was being shown my own attachment of complaining. I can cultivate myself, but not others. So how to deal with it? I realized that this complaining was not going to get us anywhere, it wasn’t constructive at all. I don’t want this complaint and I don’t need it.
All at once I noticed how my heart and body became light again. The complaint disappeared and I was able to listen to my counterpart with a more open mind and think more solution-oriented thoughts.
When I was telling my coworker about this experience, I noticed how, when I said the word “Complaining” and the expression “I complain,” the German language is very precise when addressing this issue. I make myself, my heart, and my body heavy when I complain about something. So why am I doing this? Why should it be acceptable for me to make my heart heavy when I can choose to do just the opposite? I can enter a state of being free from these burdensome and negative substances, which enables me to move forward with righteous thoughts in a constructive and solution-oriented manner.
I decided not to complain anymore.
Of course, that’s easier said than done. I notice in everyday life how my complaints easily surface. But now I remind myself, “Wait a minute, I’ve learned that I don’t need to complain, and don’t need to make things difficult.” Then it’s much easier to go in a positive direction in my daily work. I’m also always grateful for tips from my fellow practitioners in case I don’t realize that I’m complaining.
As a journalist during the COVID crisis, I heard a lot of criticism of the pandemic measures, alternative treatment options, and especially warnings regarding vaccination.
I thought that the question of vaccination would not concern me. It always seemed that I could carry out all my tasks without getting vaccinated. So I had no reason to consider it. I even told non-practitioners that I was not vaccinated.
I did not fear becoming infected, but I also thought that I was not being obstinate by not wanting to be vaccinated. Because it was simply not an issue with me, I was not confronted with this situation.
But when I had to travel to the U.S. for an assignment I was told it was necessary for non-U.S. citizens to prove they had been completely immunized, including the COVID vaccine. So, I was confronted with it after all. I suddenly realized that I had not let got of my stubbornness as I had thought.
Since more and more media began reporting on the strong side effects, and in my opinion the injection had no advantages, but only disadvantages, the fighting spirit arose in me. Thoughts came up like “Such hogwash! I won’t do that for sure” or, “I don’t see why it’s necessary, the whole issue has almost passed anyway” or “Do I really have to go to the U.S.? I can just stay here.”
On one hand, I noticed that I rebelled because I was doing something against my convictions. I started looking into how I could bypass the vaccination, and still fly to the U.S. After a few phone calls and even meeting with someone who could make it possible to find another solution, I realized that this was not the way I should go.
I also realized that it was not the fighting spirit inside me but that I was afraid of having to get an injection. The spirit of contention appeared because I didn’t want to do anything against my will, and I saw absolutely no need for the vaccination. Actually, my fear was due to the fact that there might be side effects from the vaccine. Besides, it has been proven that in many batches of the vaccine there are substances that are definitely harmful and can even lead to death. I always thought that I would not be attached to my body, or to life, but I now saw clearly that this wasn't the case after all.
In “Wake Up,” Master said,
“Some practitioners have been afraid of getting infected, while others have adamantly refused to get vaccinated. In either case, you should stop and ask yourself whether you are living up to the title of “Dafa Disciple.”” (“Wake Up”)
I realized that I was looking at the issue with human thoughts, and not from a cultivator’s point of view. Fear really held a grip on me for a while, so I couldn’t think clearly and I just couldn’t let go of it.
I was helped a lot by talking with fellow practitioners. One practitioner told a story about Buddha Milarepa. Someone doubted Milarepa and hated him. He wanted to kill him by feeding him poisoned food. The Buddha knew about this and ate the poisoned food anyway. He did it to prove a point to the person. When the person was astonished that the Buddha did not die, the Buddha took this poisonous substance he had eaten and pushed it toward that person. It was just for a short time, and he had a difficult time thinking about it. Then, Milarepa took it back, thus showing his abilities to the doubting one. He did this to give the person another chance to be saved.
This story really made me think of reasons why I should actually let this poison be injected into me. I became much calmer and I could also remember Master’s words again. I decided to be vaccinated because I thought it was the correct move, and I would be able to do my assignment.
But, I really held a deep fear. Although I decided to get vaccinated, I had a really queasy and anxious feeling the day it happened. That morning, I was reading in Lecture Three of Zhuan Falun, where Master talks about how students are protected. When I read in Lecture Three, “What Has Teacher Given to Students?,” Master’s words just opened my mind: “Besides, you have the protection of my fashen, and you will not be in any danger.” (Lecture Three, Zhuan Falun)
This time these words felt as if Master was speaking to me, and all at once my fear disappeared. I wanted to get it over with early in the morning, but I procrastinated and started to work first. When I was on my way to the vaccination center around noon, I suddenly felt nervous and insecure again. When I looked in the rearview mirror, I saw a car behind me with a sign: “Mask? distance? Vaccination? Doubt? – and the link I immediately realized that I was being tested again, and my human gaps were being exploited. I hadn’t quite closed them yet.
After the first vaccination I had no significant symptoms, but afterwards I felt extremely hot throughout my body. When I arrived home I had no motivation to work. I just felt listless and weak. I really felt like I betrayed myself and my own beliefs.
I remembered the first vaccination some time later. I realized how difficult it was for me to let go of my human views and expectations. It required several levels of the process, which were deeply ingrained with each other. But, once I understood the reason for the first injection I suddenly had a clearer understanding of Master’s teachings in “Wake Up.”
For me, the answer was now obvious. I understood that everything, starting from the most microscopic, is formed by Dafa. Every substance and everything is contained within it. Dafa is above all viruses, all karma, and all injections. So if I cultivate and align myself with Dafa, and at the same time don’t have this karma, what should I be afraid of? As a Dafa disciple, I’m helping Master, so why shouldn’t Dafa protect me, or why should these substances be allowed to harm me?
In my understanding, it’s important that we look at the situation as cultivators. In my understanding, if I can look at it from high levels and understand it, I get the protection from high levels. However, if I look at it with human views and attachments, my xinxing is at the human level. Thinking about it from the human level, vaccination is not a good thing. So what matters is to go beyond the human level with one’s xinxing, then the human danger cannot reach us.
To be able to get the full travel status, I also needed the second injection. Thus, I held no more fear and I relaxed. Nevertheless, I noticed that for two days afterwards my human views still tried to come through by paying attention to my body when anything did not feel normal. But I was always able to quickly come back to the fact that I am a practitioner and the principles of high levels apply to me.
We created a very good cultivation environment at work. In the morning we read Zhuan Falun for an hour, then did exercises one, three and four. After lunch we did the second exercise and after work we read Master’s other articles for an hour and exchanged ideas.
In the evening, we read Master’s teaching:
“If you study the Fa more, you will not do a bad job in your work. I point out your shortcomings in order to make Dafa develop in a more healthy way, with fewer problems. In fact, Dafa is also enriching your insights and creating the elite of Dafa.” (“Clearheadedness,” Essentials for Further Advancement)
I wondered what Master meant when he said that Dafa is about to create Dafa’s elite. In my understanding this is about cultivation and how well one cultivates. So, by reading and practicing regularly and diligently, one can achieve a good state of cultivation. One is able to recognize and cope with the opportunities given to us when cultivating.
Given the good cultivation environment in the office I see many more opportunities for my cultivation to improve. It’s not that these opportunities weren’t there before, but I don’t think I was in the good enough state to always recognize them, and make the most of them. With this good environment, I now feel that I can cultivate much more consciously and better.
That’s not to say that practitioners are the elite in the media, not at all. Because it depends on each individual and always on myself, especially how and whether I can cultivate myself. With a lot of discipline and perseverance, one can cultivate oneself.
While doing the second exercise one day, I realized that this good environment at work is a very great and compassionate support, so that I can really cultivate myself as well as possible. After all, what else is really important in our lives other than cultivation?
While doing the second exercise my heart was filled with joy and good thoughts: “This is the best time of my life.”
Thank you, Master, and my fellow practitioners.
(Sharing paper submitted to the 2022 European Fa Conference)