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

I moved back to Texas in 2021, and decided to work remotely for customer service with The Epoch Times. I’ve always held jobs that allowed me a management role. Thus, when I was offered a job at the media in 2015, I was given the role of Circulation Director for the English language newspaper in New York. 

I had started to practice Falun Dafa a year earlier – in 2014. I experienced many obstacles and tribulations, as the media was in dire financial straits, and many people were resigning and manpower was short. I had very little money and was sleeping on a wood slate on a bed without a mattress for the first two years. I worked like this for three years, until we switched to a paid newspaper. 

At the time, many things were shifting in the media, and while I helped stop the free delivery, sold all the boxes, and moved the circulation into paid, it was very tough. I was then asked to move to a different role at New Tang Dynasty Television (NTD), where we were getting permission to host videos on our Facebook page. It was primarily to create revenue that we desperately needed. I happily made the move since it was a job where I did not have to manage a department, and I felt that I needed a break from that kind of work. 

Not a day went by when I was not tested on improving my xinxing and I had many physical tribulations. I appreciate this time on my cultivation path very much. No matter how hard it was, I knew it was good and I was happy to help. I was just a new practitioner trying to understand how to do both self cultivation and Fa-rectification cultivation, and balancing the two. My selfish side just wanted to work on self cultivation and let veteran practitioners handle the rest, but I knew that was wrong from what Master Li, the founder of Falun Dafa, has taught; I needed to think of others’ needs first, put down self, and learn to cooperate more. 

I eventually moved from NTD to Sound Of Hope Radio, and became a manager again to operate the English Podcast side for America Daily. This was equally hard, since it was a media company starting from scratch with no proven business model. We failed due to many reasons. On the surface it was because of the COVID crisis and loss of advertisers, but inside I knew it was because I could not let go of the attachments to self. 

This was a really low point for me because I was so attached to self validation and being a success, but I kept failing in what I was doing. I realized I had drifted away from a good cultivation state due to not having a clear understanding of the Fa principles and I was not removing my fundamental attachments. I equated doing things to saving sentient beings, as a precursor to cultivating well. Even though I heard many practitioners sharing their experiences on this topic, I failed to enlighten to it. 

I started to look more within, and I got a hint that I needed to cultivate my inner self better. I started to look within more. My cultivation state started to change and I was again able to join The Epoch Times. At this time, I only wanted to be a customer service agent answering the phones and nothing more, but I was eventually put back in a management role and assigned to train agents. I know Master gave me this skill set to use in Fa-rectification, and it was nothing to be proud of and have an ego about. 

This job is perfect for me because it’s a blend where you can either be very selfish and full of ego or you can learn what it means to really lead others with compassion and selflessness. It is a perfect place to cultivate, as Master said about the workplace being a place to refine your character. 

Master said, 

“We have said that good or bad comes from a person’s initial thought, and the thought at that moment can bring about different consequences.” (Lecture Four, Zhuan Falun)

Each thought I have is either progressing or regressing in cultivation and the outcomes vary by how well I pass the xinxing tests and enlighten. I stumbled many times and keep going, but do keep enlightening to new understandings and removing attachments. 

Being a manager is really not that different from other jobs where you are assigned a unique set of responsibilities, but it’s just that you impact more people and that is why it can be tough. Your ego can easily grow. Constantly telling people to do this or that can make you set in your opinion and so it’s easier to fall into thinking that you are “right.” 

Each day I am in this process of having to remove my deeply-rooted selfishness and develop my desire to learn how to become selfless. 

Eliminating Attachment of Judging Others

A recent experience helped me further remove this attachment to judging others or being “right.”

I was having a quiet rest in my living room, where I have Master’s photo displayed. I had been asking Master in my mind why I could not develop the heart of compassion more. It was bugging me since I had many instances where I did not have the heart of compassion in dealing with people. I also felt that the truth-clarification I have done face to face with people recently lacked the effect of helping them. My truth clarification seemed more superficial and I was confused. Even my appearance seemed more severe somehow. 

I kept digging to find the cause, but one thing I knew was that there seemed to be anger in my heart. My mother kept telling me I seemed angry at the world. I didn’t feel real anger, so I was not sure how I was projecting that to others. I did however feel lots of disgust with things happening in the world. 

As I kept thinking about it, I calmed my mind and then one word popped into my head and that was “Indignation.” I Googled what it meant, to get a clearer understanding of the surface meaning of the word. 

Here is the meaning I found: Indignant is a Latin word meaning “unworthy,” and it refers to anger based on unworthy or unfair behavior rather than merely injury to one’s own interests. You may be angry, even furious, if someone shoves you, but you are indignant if the shove is directed at someone weak or helpless. Indignation is a complex and discrete (hidden) emotion that is triggered by social emotions and social environments. Feelings of anger and disgust are some emotions that make up indignation. 

“Righteous indignation” is anger driven by contempt. We are angry because we are disgusted at something we perceive to be morally incorrect. And because we bring our sense of morality to our indignation, we can claim it’s an “acceptable” form of anger. Even if we are actually using it as rage. 

After looking at those meanings I thought about this from a cultivator’s point of view and found so many more attachments hidden in their connection to “indignation.” 

Indignation from a Cultivator’s View

The above were the human-level understandings of this attachment, but for a practitioner it is much deeper. It’s also failing to follow the course of nature and being unmoved when seeing interference or evil in the world and not fighting back when punched or insulted – the first thing a cultivator must be able to do. 

If you do not follow the course of nature and look at these things from a higher level, this will also block compassion from forming in oneself. To align with Dafa we must develop compassion and not get involved in human affairs. We must see hardships as joy, develop a great heart of compassion for all sentient beings and help Master in saving sentient beings. 

Another manifestation of indignation is thinking you are right and looking down on others since you feel your moral understanding is correct. Jealousy can be a side attachment too since you think these evildoers should not have blessings or be thought of as good. You feel it’s righteous because it’s directed towards evildoers, but on a higher level, karma must be eliminated. It also means that I am not trusting the plans of higher Divine beings and I feel it is all flawed and unfair. 

I have never been able to understand the persecution of Falun Dafa properly, nor was I able to enlighten to how to walk the path of cultivation while being persecuted. While this did not happen to me directly, it always felt personal to me.

Seeing what the Chinese Communist Party (CCP) has done to practitioners, I thought that it was unfair to human beings and to practitioners alike. This Fa was meant for them to obtain, and no one should have gotten in the way of Master saving sentient beings, including saving practitioners.

My reactions were hard to change due to not seeing the fundamental attachment here. I kept thinking I was “Right.” To change yourself and stop these bad things, you have to change your mindset and I could not for a long time see what the root cause was in my thinking. I have felt since childhood that to deal with evil you have to expose it, reject it, and also feel opposed to it in your heart and mind. This allowed the rise of indignation as an emotion.

Righteous indignation in other religions is also seen as both good and bad since it can lead you to being self-righteous and judgmental when you don’t have the right to do that, either. You end up lacking compassion in your heart towards others. 

It makes you unconsciously categorize situations, places, and people according to your likes and dislikes that match your moral code. This is not the Fa’s standard. 

I could not adequately stop doing that due to this root attachment. Seeing this now is like a world of cultivation opened up to me. I now see so many places to improve and change. I know Rome was not built in a day, so I have a lot of work to do on myself in this regard, but seeing this root attachment has been very helpful now in removing what was not good for me.

In the past I even judged practitioners with this attachment of how they followed Master and the Fa. This way of thinking leads to having no real compassion for others. I also could not see my own faults. It was a huge force, blocking me in my practice.

I realized that even my way of doing things was just following human logic. I needed to remove human thinking more and see myself from a different perspective and not keep using human beings’ logic for handling issues. 

After reading the three recent Minghui editorials, I did a lot of reviewing of my path of cultivation and found that I had a good group Fa study and group exercise site for many years in the first half of my practice. However, during the recent four years and really since COVID, the environment changed quite a bit and I feel that I became a bit sluggish in improving myself. 

The move to Texas was easy but I found that the easier lifestyle here has increased my attachments to comfort and laziness. It is harder to do the longer exercise sets. We still do face-to-face Fa study daily in my home and I appreciate this arrangement very much. 

I am now faced with new attachments and insights. Through sharing in my local Fa study group, the veteran practitioners there have either directly or indirectly helped me see many more things where I was not in line with the Fa or needed to break through. I am grateful to them for helping point things out to me. The attachment to showing off and competitiveness and the part about demonic interference from the mind in the editorial article had me looking at my own thinking recently. 

Fundamentally changing myself is what I need to focus on and not how others are doing and if they are doing well. The path is narrow and my thinking cannot get off track. This can happen when I start to look down on others or think I’m somehow doing well in cultivation. I don’t typically think I am doing well but I do look down on others without realizing that I am doing that. 

I have other xinxing issues where my ego can lead down this path of not wanting to listen to others and being stubborn in my own ways. There is more there that is connected to doubt and suspicion. I think in this way I need to have an open mind and be humble. 

I felt moved by the three editorials because I feel I do have gaps in cultivation but at the same time I have been able to see more clearly what is impeding me too. 

My human thinking and not being willing to remove the hidden attachments to comfort, lust, and desire have been what has impeded me from being truly diligent in cultivation. 

I am hoping this year I can do better to further remove these deeper things, to really walk a more pure path of cultivation. I must do the longer sets of the exercises, and not use so many human ways of doing things. 

This is my current cultivation state and level; please point out anything that is not in line with the Fa. 

Thank you, Master and thank you, fellow practitioners. 

(Presented at the Southern US Fa Conference)