Greetings fellow practitioners!
It is difficult for me to write a sharing. Many times I have started but did not finish. What are the causes? A lack of enlightenment? A lack of improvement? Fear of exposing myself? A lack of time or a lack of desire to share...? I think it is a mix of all these and probably other factors are involved as well. But I feel that these opportunities to share together are truly very precious so even though I would like to come with a better, more profound sharing, I'm here with this sharing that reflects where I am at and my desire to do better.
Shen Yun 2009
This year I enlightened a lot from the show. I realized that absolutely everything in the show is divine and I should closely watch it for hints in my cultivation. However many times a being has the chance to watch this show, they are blessed. Everyday people can criticize the show but it doesn't mean they are right. They are criticizing with their notions; they use the standard of modern society to judge, but is that standard right? For example, some professionals in the field of 3D Animation commented on the backdrop last year and I gave much credibility to their opinion, thinking we needed to improve. This year I felt that maybe the backdrops were not completely to their liking, so maybe they could do something more elaborate and complicated--but that doesn't make it divine. I believe the show talks to the divine side of everyone and helps us awaken; it resonates with our higher self. I understand that only people that are far from their original nature might dislike it. Or sometimes people are not so far but notions may control them.
I benefited greatly from watching the show and I would have loved to have had the chance to watch it more than one time because there were too many insights for me to grasp at once. I hope next year I can see more performances.
I accepted the task of organizing the Westerners' manpower for selling tickets in the malls last year; it was a great challenge for me and everyone, including my few-month-old son, who had to often patiently wait while I was making endless phone calls. I first accepted this challenge reluctantly, as I had karma in my mind telling me not to do it. I was afraid of the unknown and the eventual sacrifice I needed to face. A big part of me was telling me not to move and maybe everything would be all right, others would fill the gap... But eventually I just thought that I ought to do it, to take on the responsibility and just do my best. When I made the decision to move forward, it seemed like things got cleared out of my path. The effort and time I put into this project are actually much greater than I thought originally possible because of my situation as a new mother.
Eventually we did great! Everyone made great efforts and sacrificed a lot of their time and other things to join as one body and really give their best to sell tickets in the malls and offer a chance to ordinary people to see this show and be saved. Through this collaboration, our group has grown more mature, and our collaboration, participation and understanding of acting as one body was solidified.
I have always been more of an individualist, caring for my cultivation and participating according to my ability. I would enjoy the group but more for how I could benefit. I was not genuinely caring and being responsible towards the group. I feel I have matured very much in this regard even though I can see I still have a long way to go. I now realize that working for the benefit of the group, thinking of the whole group instead of oneself, is a sort of magical force which I'm starting to discover the power more fully. Here's a recent example among others: a practitioner created the opportunity to study the Fa together at 5 a.m. every morning. I believe she is not doing it entirely for her own improvement but for the group. They contributed so that this effort can last and bear its fruit for everyone. Many times I myself was able to join because I thought of the group primarily and wanted to support this effort. If we can all think more of the group, we will all benefit greatly. Of course this is a process and I am personally learning to do it. I hope this can help us to collaborate more together and think of the whole group in everything we do.
I want to add here that I now feel fortunate to be part of Dafa practitioners' group and I also want to express how I appreciate the efforts that Chinese practitioners make when reading with Westerners at the group Fa-study. For many years now, Chinese and Westerners have put as a priority the weekly group Fa-study in which we alternate by reading one paragraph in English, one paragraph in French and then one paragraph in Chinese over the whole lecture. In my opinion, this has contributed greatly to build and straighten the bridge between us. I know Chinese practitioners have sacrificed their amount of reading for this but I'm quite confident I can say Westerners appreciate it very much. I also gradually see a bigger opening between Westerners and Chinese and a greater respect for different ideas and input. I hope we can continue to solidify this bridge and make conscious efforts to collaborate, value and understand each other as well as accept to work on our differences, strengths and weaknesses.
The Epoch Times
The other subject I want to cover today is The Epoch Times. I got involved a few months after the beginning of the newspaper and since then it has played a great role in my cultivation and become a main Dafa project for me in the last few years.
The reason I want to talk about The Epoch Times is that I would like to share my cultivation process through working for The Epoch Times, but also because I think supporting The Epoch Times is every practitioner's concern. Some may only be able to support with righteous thoughts and that's great, others may be able to join the effort hands on as well and that's even better. If anyone has a misunderstanding or bad thoughts toward The Epoch Times, I believe it is so important to share because practitioners' thoughts have power and if everyone's righteous thoughts are with The Epoch Times, we will surely come to a positive cycle and fulfil our mission much faster.
At the beginning we had sales people, but now we have a sales team. For a long time, I was the only Westerner working as a sales representative for The Epoch Times. At first I would make calls from home when I would find the courage, then I worked from tentative offices, which were practitioners' homes, at night. Now for 2 years we have had an office in Chinatown and we work, Chinese and Westerners together, not only in the same space but collaborating as well, sharing ideas and having weekly meetings. Our meetings are now more structured, professional and fruitful. We also recently started a daily morning Fa-study together.
A practitioner provided me great support at one point when I was the only Western salesperson and I was not doing very well. From sharings, I eliminated my negative view toward my very limited contribution and this allowed me to improve gradually but greatly. This practitioner has the group to heart and he always wants to bring the group together, and clear misunderstandings and everything that stands in the way of collaboration. I believe it has helped greatly to build this team that we have now and this collaboration between Chinese and Westerners. When the heart is there, results eventually come. We are now a team of up to a dozen working at once, Chinese and Westerners, but unlike most cities who have an Epoch Times office, Westerners are actually great in number. Also about 2 years ago, a new Western practitioner joined the sales force full-time and sacrificed a lot for this, but he has also helped a great deal to make things move forward. He then managed to convince a veteran practitioner to join the sales force full-time. Many other practitioners have now joined the team and have made great contributions since then.
However, we still do need more support. We need new people, more effort and strong righteous thoughts from the whole body. If everyone sincerely holds The Epoch Times in their hearts, there is no way we cannot succeed.
Everything is a process
When I started working as a sales representative, I did quite poorly. I had what seemed like endless shortcomings, but my main credit is that I persevered and since I persevered my skills have greatly improved. Even my personality has been shaped to fit this job. I have changed from not liking talking to new people to enjoying calling new clients. I have changed from being too scared to pick up the phone to now sometimes looking forward to doing prospect calls. I have changed from judging severely just about anyone (including myself) to having respect in my heart for everyone I talk to. I have changed from having strong notions and judgments about publicity and salespeople in general to feeling fortunate to be a salesperson.
At first, I did not even dare to say I wanted to sell an ad when I would call potential clients. All this I had to eliminate through the process of being a salesperson. With time, I gained confidence and got rid of many notions.
I can assure you that the changes in me are really amazing. I'm just about certain no ordinary person could change so much in just a few years and even in one lifetime. And all these changes are the result of Dafa, which gave me the strength to constantly face my fears and persevere.
It's truly just as Master says in Zhuan Falun,
"When it looks impossible and is said to be impossible, give it a try and see if it is possible. If you can actually do it, you will indeed find: 'After passing the shady willow trees, there will be bright flowers and another village ahead!'"
Thank you Master!
Thank you fellow practitioners!
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