Cultivating Myself While Working for Epoch Times

Shared at the 2014 European Falun Dafa Experience Sharing Conference
 

I have been working for Epoch Times for nearly two years, and in this half year, I have been doing it full time. I have gone through the process of not knowing what to do until now I know more about how to do marketing and sales. We held an Epoch Times forum in Stockholm in September this year, and that attracted lots of attention from the local Chinese community and Swedish companies. That helped us to widen our prospects in northern Europe in the future. People involved with Epoch Times have matured, especially myself. I used to rely on others when doing the work or became easily grumpy. I have changed myself and try to understand others more and also learned to appreciate and cherish their work. Today I would like to use this precious opportunity to report my cultivation experience over the past year to Master and fellow practitioners.

I started practising in March 1998. I used to cry at the beginning stage of my cultivation, just like Master's poem in Hong Yin:

“Oh how many the years, looking for the master,
Finally the day has arrived to meet him.” (“Destined Return for the Holy Fruition”)

After the persecution began, the obligation of stopping the persecution pushed me to come out to validate the Fa. I went through the process of maturing in validating the Fa over the past 15 years. From initially being very shy, to talking to people in the street about Falun Gong, to interviewing politicians for NTDTV, and giving presentations when promoting Shen Yun and being involved in developing the market. I let go of lots of my attachments during this process.

Looking inward
I attended the 2013 New York experience sharing conference and listened to Master's lecture in person. I strongly felt Master's great compassion. I murmured to myself with tears: “Master, at this period of time of Fa-rectification close to the end, I only have two wishes. First, assisting Master to rectify the Fa. Second, cultivate myself well to save more sentient beings.”

After returning to Sweden, I decided to fully engage with the marketing work at Epoch Times. I have been living in Sweden for 30 years, I know very well about the local culture, language and way of thinking, and I have many years experience of doing different kinds of jobs. I think the media is the most effective way to save people. I have no doubt about it since I began NTDTV in 2006.

The experience I gained from the training given at the Epoch Times head office, NTDTV and everyday people's companies, I realized the importance of standard planning. Therefore, I made a market analysis plan of internal administration and product development for northern Europe and the Swedish-Chinese community. I also made long-term business objectives and a short-term budget scheme. I gave the plan to a Chinese fellow practitioner who works at the Epoch Times. The response was very supportive. However, I found that two months later I was the only one implementing the plan. This frustration had been with me for the whole autumn as we were too far away from what I planned. In northern Europe, none of us worked full-time for Epoch Times. We all did it after our regular work. I have seen lots of problems existing in Epoch Times. For example: small circulation of the paper; the quality needs to be improved; we didn't know the buying power of local Chinese and the newspaper had to be supported by practitioners.

I tried to share with fellow practitioners and wished all of us took more responsibilities to improve our sales. I suggested having a face-to-face Fa study in order to help improve the whole system. But to my surprise, we couldn't agree on a time to have the Fa study, as everyone was too busy.

I was at a loss. It seemed that it was impossible to organize the large-scale Fa study, then I thought about how to organize a small one in my local area. There are three practitioners, including myself in my area. At least we could form one body. But a few times after we met, I felt afraid, as I saw clearly the party culture in fellow practitioners. I then started looking inward when I got home. I found lots of filthy things on my body as well. For example: I was narrow-minded and self-centred, looking down on others. I was aggressive and jealous. I thought with me being far from perfect and the group being unsatisfactory, how could we have a successful business? I complained to myself about my own cultivation and others for not cooperating with me.

Just when I felt very disappointed, Master let me see a light at the end of the tunnel. Every time I had meetings with everyday people's companies, I could sense the effectiveness of the truth clarification our media brought about. The encouragement and support I got from everyday people made me feel their strong wish of wanting to be saved.

The volume of work and financial contribution I gave to Epoch Times made my husband very unhappy. And he often lampooned me in front of my children. Even the rumour of divorce had passed to my family in China. I knew his resentment was caused by my poor cultivation state. I tried to understand him and consider him when doing things, but the frustration had drained lots of my energy, I didn't have any strength.

During that time, many fellow practitioners thought that the time and conditions for us to engage full-time in Epoch Times wasn't right. Some practitioners looked down on others. I didn't want to share with anyone to fuel these negative emotions, and my husband couldn't understand me. I felt an immense loneliness. But I knew clearly that I had to cultivate myself. I began to reject the resentment. As long as the negative thought came out, I would reject it.

I found my own problems in the end. I could give up the friendship and love of this world, I could also give up materials things. But I strongly pursued success and encouragement from others. I saw my strong attachments of inferiority and lack of self-confidence, which triggered me to look outward. I looked for support and encouragement from the people around me. I wished others would tell me the right solutions. These attachments even made me not dare to take responsibilities; they even made me look outward, find other's attachments, and find the imperfections in Epoch Times. The lack of self-confidence also made me seek perfection when doing things. I would worry if it wasn't perfect, and even gave up when things weren’t going right. All these attachments were to uphold my poor sense of pride, to be acknowledged and respected.

I found my problems that had been hidden for years. I understood that the poor environment was caused by my attachments. I let go of my resentment and demands of the environment and fellow practitioners. I asked Master for help, I needed to increase my self-confidence. As long as I live in this world only for one day, even just myself left in this world, I must follow Master and do what Master asks me to do. And what I need to do is to save more people during the process of assimilating to the principles of Truthfulness-Compassion-Tolerance. This is what I want, it is just that simple!

I felt a lot more relaxed a month later. I started to concentrate on how to make my work better, and stop complaining if things didn't go well. Instead I encouraged myself to do better next time. Every day before I went out, I said to myself: “Master, I am going off now, being an envoy of yours to save people.”

Assimilating to the Fa in Organising the Epoch Forum
From the beginning of the end of November, seemingly by chance two lawyer firms were willing to cooperate with Epoch Times to develop the Chinese market. After more than one month, doors opened. I began to understand the coordinators and other practitioners during the process of involving the work of Epoch Times including the general and commercial news writing, sales, distribution, advertising design and layout. When I myself was able to accommodate others’ mistakes, I would feel the power of the whole-body which lets ordinary people be saved, and would also experience the wonderfulness of cultivation. Although it was hard work, I felt relaxed in spirit and gratitude, and observed my progress.

Then naturally I began the planning of the Epoch Forum and cooperated with other practitioners as a whole body. Throughout the process, it reflected the overall good results of cooperation among Dafa disciples. I would also like to explore business management of Dafa disciples’ media. My personal experience is validating the Fa at work, reflecting the cultivator’s Xinxing, specifically, looking at the conflicts positively, treating practitioners with tolerance and compassion. Master has paved the path for Dafa practitioners’ media, now the time extended is for practitioners to cultivate and save sentient beings. As long as we do things with our heart, the road will be wider and wider.

At each appointment with customers, I listened carefully to customers’ needs, and used every opportunity to tell them the truth in the way they could understand, if the circumstances allowed it, I told the truth deeply from different angles. So basically each customer could get from me not only just the advertising but also the understanding of the Chinese culture and the current status of China, and also help for their employees, either for their work or personal matters. No matter whether the ad contract was signed or renewed, we had become friends. All of this must be built on the foundation of their understanding of the truth and support.

By chance I was helping a lawyer to give a seminar to Chinese people in April. Later, at the suggestion of fellow practitioners, it turned out to be a seminar hosted by Epoch Times to provide Chinese people with immigration information and services. How large this activity should be, what attractive contents it should have, what audience it should target, which grade level the activity should be positioned at, different people had different ideas. One day a western practitioner said that the activity hosted by the Epoch Times should of course be top level! I agreed with this very much, and I hoped this event should become an opportunity to contact Chinese people, understand their needs and purchasing power. So I contacted one of the best hotels in Stockholm, the contact person was the same one I contacted before for promoting Shen Yun and other businesses. Over a month of internal discussion, the hotel decided to go ahead and postponed the refurbishment and gave us the venue for free. It was already in the middle of June, I started planning the advertising.

In order to clarify the tasks and get more people involved, I invited the majority of practitioners of our local Epoch Times to my home to have a Fa-study and sharing. This was the first face-to-face meeting of our local Epoch Times. Although we all had no experience, all of us felt that this was an opportunity to expand the influence of Epoch Times and interact with local Chinese, and also an opportunity to save people, so we all agreed. The advertisement was issued. The next week we discussed with the hotel and finalised the cost of refreshments, pre-ordered refreshments for 100 people and it would cost over 1500 euros. Although we decided to use the income of the activity from entrance tickets to cover the cost, I clearly felt the pressure among us, because we did not know whether the Chinese would attend or not in the end, or how many people would come. If fewer people turned up, it could not cover the costs, but also bring losses to the reputation of Epoch Times.

So we had a discussion again on why we should have such a high-class activity. I told practitioners again about my knowledge of the local Western markets; having such a high class activity is to lay a foundation to open the mainstream market in the future. At that time I had a mentality of not being attached to my own idea, therefore my mind was very calm. Later on, some practitioners were even willing to fund the event. My heart was very touched, I thought only every effort should be made to return their support.

I had no experience of organising forums and business networks, but I gained continuous learning in the process of planning, marketing and problem solving, and treating practitioners’ worries and doubts as the initiative to get a clearer position and perfect the activity. One day I suddenly enlightened in Fa-study that the time now is extended for practitioners to save people; it is given by Master, and the concept of being unsuccessful should not exist. A practitioner worried that the mainstream society businesses might be disappointed if the Chinese people who attended were not high enough class. I shared my thoughts with the practitioner that although the purpose of the forum was to establish a connection between western and Chinese businesses, that was not really our purpose. If it were only to provide opportunities for them to do business and make money, there would be no meaning even if the activity were bigger. Our purpose was to save people. To find the targeted Chinese, understand them, serve them, and look for sponsors, all of those were for saving people. Holding the forum was for Epoch Times to save people in a wider range, so we didn’t need to worry about it too much, just try to find the right people, do well what we should do. Throughout the process, we encouraged each other, our goals became clearer and clearer, and we became more and more confident.

Over a month before the forum, I started to become very busy, from the venue confirmation, guests’ invitations, website establishment, to the sales, translation, schedule design, and even how to use the event to pave the way to open the market for the future and so on, to be involved in every detail. Due to difficulties in keeping up Fa-study and doing the exercises, I felt very tired. Two weeks before the forum, my son was experiencing discomfort, he suspected it might be the symptoms of diabetes. My husband complained that I worked too late every night, regardless of the family and the child's growth. I know that the path for each one was arranged, and anything could happen when it is time for repaying a karmic debt! I told this to my kid and encouraged him to start the practice, but the effect was not good. Then I suddenly realized, does repaying the karmic debt have to be in this form? Is it necessary to be at the moment right before the forum? This is certainly not Master’s arrangement. I understood that this must be interference. I cannot acknowledge this! "The child has no problem" – this is the best thought I can have for my child. My heart calmed down. Later, the test results from hospital said there were no problems with my son.

The promotion activities of the Epoch Forum received supports from practitioners at the Nordic Epoch Times. Practitioners who are telling the facts at tourist sites also recommended the forum to tour guides they knew, thus Epoch Times activities became the activities all local Chinese practitioners could take part in. Three practitioners from Swedish Epoch Times also became actively involved in sales, sponsorship and other management work. One month after the European summer holiday, the forum was ready, there were over 80 ordinary people and companies registered, and nearly 70% were Chinese except those western companies we purposely invited. I no longer needed to mobilize practitioners’ enthusiasm, but suddenly I felt the power of putting our hearts together. The wonderfulness of looking within can only be experienced by cultivators!

The first Sunday in September was the day of the Epoch Forum. I myself, as a moderator of the forum, just rushed to finish writing the speech overnight before the forum day. On the morning of the forum day the sun was shining. I stayed up late for days without a bit of weariness, I gave myself 10 minutes for a delicious breakfast, with a relaxed body and mind from inside out, and I was constantly in tears and strongly felt Master looking after me. I felt Master was holding me! When I arrived at the Fa-study site, practitioners ware doing the exercises. That scene made me feel Master was above us, and also practitioners’ pure mind of saving people made the energy field very strong. I completed the exercises in tears with practitioners. Then I quickly briefed the schedule of the day, my heart was full of gratitude to practitioners and to Master, so I could not stop the tears when speaking. I said "the Epoch Forum went on today, it has been very successful because of everyone's efforts, and today we were out to save people together, no matter to what extent we could achieve it, all was successful!"

On the day practitioners took their own roles and cooperated seamlessly in their respective positions as speakers, exhibition assistants, translations, services, and media coverage of all aspects of the activities. The activities were planned for four hours, but after five hours people started to leave slowly. Many Chinese people were deeply moved by Dafa disciples in the field, some even in tears during conversation. Westerners were also very excited, they learned not only the truth but also met a lot of Chinese businessmen! We all felt the huge effect of saving people by practitioners’ joint efforts. In fact Shen Yun has set the example for us, seriously running Dafa practitioners media company step by step. We will also promote our media into mainstream society and let it become a recognized and honoured powerful media entity. Then the effect of our media will be greater for telling the facts, promoting Shen Yun and saving sentient beings.

After the forum many practitioners praised that Dafa disciples are today's heroes. I sincerely thank everyone in their respective positions who tried their best to cooperate with each other. I deeply realised that in running Dafa practitioners’ media company, it is not important who the coordinator is or who is coordinated. In fact, we all are scooped out of hell by Master, nobody is better than anyone else, it is not an accident that someone has certain skills, it is the responsibility to use it for validating the Fa. The most important thing really is not personal skills, but overall cooperation! If by starting from ourselves and doing well what we should do, also helping others to do well together as a whole-body, then the whole body will uplift in the Fa. The way of running Dafa practitioners’ media entity is playing the lead role in contemporary society with the power multiplied of each practitioner’s strength by assimilating to Truthfulness Compassion and Tolerance.

The first Epoch Forum was successfully concluded without using a penny of Dafa practitioner’s money. It opens a new market and situation for Epoch Times in Sweden, brings a new vitality to the Nordic market. Master gave us new possibilities and opportunities. How to grasp them and develop the team is a challenge for our next step.

Finally, I would like to quote Master’s Fa in the article "What is a Dafa disciple" for mutual encouragement for practitioners: "You are cultivators. I’m not talking about your past, what you once were, or what you display on the surface. I am talking about your core and the meaning of your life, the responsibility you shoulder, and your historic mission. Only thus are you truly a Dafa disciple. "

These are the most recent cultivation experiences, if anything is inappropriate, please point it out with compassion.

Thank you Master!
Thank you fellow practitioners!

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